Kick The Ball, Not Our Players.




Good day positivistas,

I wasn’t going to bother with a match report because everyone saw it and most of the talking has been done in the comments already, however, there are a few things I would like to mention on reflection.

The first thing I noticed was the odd position that Xhaka had taken up. He was playing as some sort of leftback/quarterback/centerback hybrid. Now we have recently seen him moving to the left, I thought that was to help out Saka with his defensive duties, but this was something different. It appeared to be his starting position, Saka was mostly in advance of him and Guendouzi was on his own in the DM position, rather than it being a double pivot(get me with the know-it-all jargon), it certainly worked because in the first half Saka and Martinelli were free to run riot down that flank, often with Martinelli moving inside to give Saka acres of space to run into. It was noticeable because Mustaffi keeps pinging long diagonal balls out to our young flying leftback. It worked well , but if we are put under pressure, it will leave us short handed in centre midfield at some points, as it did in the second half where we were not as dominant on the ball. The four players involved in this tactic ,Xhaka, Saka, Martinelli and Mustafi, all have very good games, it worked a treat.

The second thing that struck me was how once again we were not as good second half as we were in the first. There are several possible reasons for this, they include

Perhaps Eddie Howe worked out our tactics and made adjustments at haft time

Maybe we just ran out of gas.

Or, and this is much more likely, Bournemouth started to kick the crap out of us and the referee allowed it. I mean Martinelli, among many others, was assaulted several times, and not only were yellow cards not given, but often it was not even seen a a foul. We were hugely lucky not to suffer some serious injuries. During the first half, the terminally boring BT commentator Steve McManaman actually said, and I quote the prick ” They’re not even kicking the Arsenal players” Until this attitude, and the acceptance of it, is considered unacceptable, we will forever be on the end of it. I might be bias, but I can’t imagine any referee allowing it against either City or Liverpool.

Anyway, it was a good game and we march on into the next round. I love Atreta and his team.


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82 comments on “Kick The Ball, Not Our Players.

  1. 24 hours of the transfer window left, and it seems we can expect Arsenal to sign Cedric Soares from Southampton, despite him being 3 to 4 weeks from full fitness after injury.
    3 weeks would mean he might be available for our EL first leg game,

    not much rumors of any other possible signings, or for that matter any players leaving either. I’d say we might loan out a youth player or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good article about Josh Da Silva today. Many of those who make it through our academy seem very decent types, and speak well.

    Suppose it makes me a bit of a git that my main feeling, reading it, was slight concern it’ll encourage other similarly promising young players to take chance and leave. Think it’s probably got harder in recent years to persuade youngsters to sign new deals and will likely get harder yet.

    But anyway, the reasonable part of me is glad it’s worked out for him and he’s doing well.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I see Mustafi has revealed that his scan results are “very positive”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Its official, welcome Cedric Soares

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So, anyone got any strong impressions of Cedric Soares from time in prem or Portugal?

    Hopefully it’ll go better than last time we signed experienced right back from prem, Debuchy, though Stoke, misfortune and Bellerin emergence were mostly reason for that.


  6. Really pleased if Mustafi ok. For his sake and ours, too. A long term injury now would have been rotten for him and could have made it very messy sorting future out. Remainder of season will surely determine now what happens this summer.


  7. Mustafi is now considered a “doubt” for Sunday’s game instead of “injured”. He’s on the right juice it seems.


  8. Why do we seem to be signing other people’s crocks?


  9. Little disappointed were not in for big Oli even if was so he couldn’t go to the spuds.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. i see Cedric says he nearly joined Arsenal a few years ago.


  11. Ian I think Giroud is exactly the sort of striker we need for bringing off the bench when we need to break down a stubborn defence

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Unai Emery: ‘There were several problems: four captains; the Özil-Kolasinac case; Pépé’s signing, which needs time to be that of France … We didn’t play well, that’s for sure. That brought us bad results, there was no improvement, the fans focused on me and they threw me out.’


  13. The arrivals of Mari and Soares balances our defence according to MA.
    I feel the same way and have a really good feeling.
    We’re now well stocked and have more flexibility.
    All of a sudden, no position lacks able personnel.
    Picking up good, experienced, out-of-the-limelight players in their prime for me is the way to go considering the young guns and franchise players already in the team.
    Make a few more of these kind of buys and we will be right back up there.
    Klopp did it in 4 years. I say MA will do the same in half the time and at more-than-half the cost.
    It’s looking more and more like “our Arsenal”.
    Can’t wait to see them all in action!


  14. Here’s the latest update from our medical team ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Burnley at Turf Moor.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Available for selection after suspension.

    Calum Chambers
    Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on 29 December. Successful surgery completed. Rehabilitation process expected to take between six to nine months.

    Sead Kolasinac
    Left thigh strain. Has progressed well this week and will be assessed ahead of Burnley (a).

    David Luiz
    Available for selection after suspension.

    Shkodran Mustafi
    Left ankle. Sprained ankle during Bournemouth (a) on 27 January. Being assessed ahead of Burnley (a).

    Reiss Nelson
    Right hamstring. Hoping to return to full training in the winter break period after Burnley (a).

    Kieran Tierney
    Right shoulder. Dislocated right shoulder during West Ham Utd (a) on 9 December. Successful surgery completed. Good progress being made in rehabilitation process with participation in regular outdoor fitness sessions. Aiming to return to full training in March.

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.


  15. Interesting Emery saying the fans threw him out.
    In fairness, he mentions other problems, four captains, the Ozil Kola situation, guessing losing Kos and Nacho didn’t help, but let’s face it, emery doesn’t seem a man wholly against losing key leaders in a team, would add throwing players under a bus, his mixed up tactics, his communication ability by all accounts, which reportedly was not just a speaking English issue, his apparent lack of charisma, all the shots against, clear, and now outed fitness issues Just for starters.
    Maybe the fans ultimately did throw him out, they do have a degree of history there, perhaps some felt they had to act as Raul ,left to his own devices and vested interests would surely have kept him, as he tried to extend his deal last summer, incredibly.
    But what finally did for emery? So many things, the worst home run in what , 50 years? Scared of Watford. Losing to Brighton at home. Frankfurt at home. Giving the firm impression he was taking a group of talented players to the relegation zone. The leaks, the alienation of senior players, Ramsey, the stupid captaincy vote which backfired spectacularly, giving the impression of being Rauls and maybe other’s puppet, perhaps resulting from his last minute hiring. Not playing his strongest side in the league at the end of last season, presumably with an aim of winning the EL, perhaps ego driven, screwing up a gift horse to the top four, and losing all in the final couple months of last season. Players losing faith.The worst showing in a final I have ever seen from an Arsenal team.
    Yes, Unai , it was the fans wot did it.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Going back to the Oli thing I think it maybe something we need to address in the future. We need someone who can hold the ball up and connect not only the front three but the midfield as well. Traditionally this has always been done with a big man like Alan Smith or Giroud or even Anelka however modern teams do this with a strong smaller player who can hold up play but be technical as well.
    At the moment Auba doesn’t give us that his excellence is in movement and anticipation in where the ball will land, even Laca cannot make the ball stick lay it off then turn again.
    The nearest thing we have at the moment is Martinelli who seems to have potential in all areas.
    I remember when all the ARSENAL fans were in love with Ian Wright but in later years when you heard about how selfish he was ( which was made him a great striker) it made you wonder how much he took away from the team. At Palace Salarko used to say how nasty he would get if he crossed to Bright instead. Kevin Campbell one of our all time prolific reservers said no matter how many runs he made and how many times he was in a better position the team would always pass to wright. You have to wonder how much better Kevin’s career with us would have gone had wright not been there. Wright’s time with ARSENAL also coincided with our worst league finish in thirty odd years and us not winning the league until he was a squad player and the focus of the team was on goals coming from everywhere.
    I’m sure every decision Arteta makes about the types of players he wants the powers at be to recruit will be about cohesion and links between units as opposed to talented individuals.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Remember said Olayinka got off to good start on his loan with motm? Posted photo today of crutches and leg in protective boot. 1 bloody game! Saw on match updates he was down injured late in the game and someone booked for ‘bad foul’ on him. Phhh. English football.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Report – Azeez returns but Arsenal U18s are thrashed by West Ham
    by jeorge bird

    U18 Premier League

    Arsenal 1 (Matthews (pen) 43) West Ham 5

    Arsenal U18s suffered a heavy defeat at home to West Ham United today as they were beaten 5-1.

    Ken Gillard was deprived of the services of a host of players, with Ben Cottrell, Sam Greenwood, Alex Kirk, Matthew Dennis and Ryan Alebiosu all travelling with the U23s to Liverpool.

    As a result, schoolboys Khayon Edwards and Zach Awe started for the U18s, with Alfie Matthews the only second year involved.

    West Ham took the lead in the 28th minute with Sebastian Nebyla scoring but Matthews pulled Arsenal level from the penalty spot.

    The Hammers missed a penalty of their own and then made it 2-1 after the break as Kamara Simon-Swyer found the net.

    A brace from Ademipo Odubeko inflicted further misery upon Arsenal and Zane Monlouis then scored an own goal.

    There was one positive for Arsenal, however, with midfielder Miguel Azeez featuring as a substitute as he made his return from injury.

    Arsenal: Graczyk; Oyegoke, Monlouis, Sraha, Ogungbo; Patino, Awe; Butler-Oyedeji, Matthews, Edwards; Plange.

    Subs: Kovacevic, Azeez (for Patino 59), Cirjan (for Butler-Oyedeji 59), Laing (for Sraha 65).


  19. our U23’s are currently 3-0 down away to Liverpool U23’s

    Team: Hein, Swanson, Medley, Clarke (C), Omole, Lopez, Smith, Cottrell, McEneff, Coyle, Balogun

    Substitutes: Hillson, Alebiosu, Greenwood, Kirk, Dennis


  20. Bit ominous for results for rest of season for u23/u18’s, that. Figured the loans out this month + u18’s promoted to cover would likely hit both teams.

    On optimistic front, maybe promotions + adversity will lead to some decent development. No denying , though, I like to hear of good results for them, and get a little shot of positivity from it.


  21. Emile Smith-Rowe has scored his first goal for Huddersfield


  22. yes Rich, with so many young lads in the first team squad and others out on loan, it means the U18’s are moving up to the U23’s and so U16’s are moving up to the U18’s. /Today Joel Lopez, our young Spanish left back made his U23 debut. and much like the first team, our youth teams also have lots of injuries.


  23. I’ve just put my name forward to give a rescue dog a forever home, not sure if I will get her, she is a 3 year old labrador collie cross, I’ve already got a 14 year old collie and am a bit in two minds about bringing in another dog, although I do give a temp home to a neighbours dog when they are away on holidays and breaks and my old dog is fine with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. oh what a surprise, just before Liverpool score, Southampton have a clear penalty not given. LiVARpool


  25. Jefferson Lerma finally sent off for Bournemouth, he was on a yellow, committed another bad foul late in the first half but was let off cos he was on a yellow, but he did not learn his lesson and is now off for a second yellow.


  26. Kolasinac was in full training today, as was Mustafi


  27. Liverpool still getting big help on pens and big calls, even with unassailable title lead, suggests the will of pgmol et al now includes seeing them go undefeated for the season. Alas.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. looks that way rich, did you see that along with the non penalty call against them, that ten minutes into the game a defender passed the ball back to the keeper on his line and he picked it up, no freekick given. the pgmol are not even trying to hide it


  29. Haven’t yet seen highlights of their game today, but this season in general, LiVARpool make peak Fergie look hard done by with the refs, I have never seen a team get so much rub of the green, as good as they are, the PGMOL should feel embarrassed if they were capable of such things.
    The media will ensure this continues for up years.
    Still don’t know why they are pinching our club doctor, who, apparently is an anti doping expert!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Yeah, saw passback. Heard Clattenburg argue for decision live earlier on as well. He reckoned defender must have been trying to play it off opponent, so not deliberate.

    Though about it in our game other day when a defender had a real good grab on our player in box, and this soon after it had looked like player was grabbing at Pepe as he threatened to race clear on goal outside box. I don’t believe going down would make a difference (though we might get booked), and it’s an astonishing advantage to, exact reverse of us, get those calls very frequently.


  31. Then the other advantage of being able to grab etc when defending in and around box. Had a bee in bonnet (well, even more than usual) since Luiz was mercilessly mocked for conceding two ‘stupid’ pens earlier in year for offences at similar level to those Van Dijk, great as he is, has not been punished for.

    Think that in general, perceptions based on decisions not incidents.

    Got a feeling that Luiz’s third pen means he may have conceded more with us than in whole time at Chelsea. Think I heard mention a while back his total was two with them. H emust have got a lot more stupid since signing with us.


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