84 Comments

Kick The Ball, Not Our Players.

Mikel-Arteta-2-1-1024x708

 

 

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

  1. I will never understand why refs far and wide deem it completely acceptable for whomever we are playing to assault our players, and yet the moment one of ours has the temerity to engage in retribution (Auba) – the ref suddenly remembers the rules……

    Like

  2. Think I should enjoy it while I can, as really not sure I can hack another bad injury from a bad foul, especially to one of young lads.

    We got lucky with the two knee manglers on Pepe, and also with the Rojo and Mclean ones on Guendo, also think there was one from Forest player, just joined Sheff Utd, on Saka early this year, but that luck will surely run out if we’re getting back to past levels of kicking us and it seems we are.

    Gabriel is at very high risk thanks to being so good, and so brave in how he is always willing to receive ball with a defender on him. Ominous that the guy could hit him that way last night for no free kick and with comms apparently unable to even see anything wrong in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m loving the Xhaka Saka positioning. Seems almost too good to be true at times, in that it seemed to give so much at virtually all phases of game. Maybe a vulnerability with it will come to the fore at some point, but at moment it seems smart, innovative and effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eddie Howe and his assistant was pointing at Granit several times but I think they couldn’t work out a change till halftime.
    I was very impressed with Mustafi always wanting the ball and playing some absolute peaches around the park.
    Willock continues to impress and if he keeps improving like this we get our Aaron replacement.
    I said yesterday how bad I thought Atkinson was but the new development was how he let head injuries go sometimes even waiting till someone kicked the ball out before stopping play. He should be sacked for this as we have seen in the past year type of injuries can be extremely dangerous.
    The only player I was disappointed in was Pepe as once again he impressed in flashes but I still don’t think I seen him a have a good whole game.
    Overall though another great display as we continue to find form and ways to improve each game. Here’s to the next.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. you just could never imagine Steve McManaman or any other pundit actually say,
    ” They’re not even kicking the Liverpool players”

    or City’s, or Utd’s, or Spurs, or Leicester’s

    but it is openly called for when teams are finding it hard to deal with Arsenal’s play,
    we are looking certain to add to the Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey etc etc list of casualties that we seen first time around when this “getting in their faces is the way to stop arsenal” soundbite.
    It’s a fucking disgrace that pundits say it without fear of being called up on it, and its a bigger fucking disgrace that the PGMOL have bought in to the notion that this foul play is acceptable when its Arsenal, after all they all seem to be ofay with the idea that its “same old Arsenal, always cheating” nonsense

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Good to see us progress through to the next round but it comes to something when the two most disappointing aspects of the evening related not to the play but to the negligence of the referee, as has been spelt out in the post and comments elsewhere, and the continuing dire nature of the the BT Sport commentary, which is truly awful, all of the time.

    With regards to our 2nd half fading, I think it’s a combination of lack of fitness (which possibly dates as far back as pre-season, I’m guessing) and the willingness of The New Bolton to kick us to pieces in desperation to get back on level terms. Our first-half was superb, Bolton were well-beaten whilst they at least attempted to play football. The second half became a kick-fest, so well played referee in allowing all that.

    Fellow PA followers may be interested to know that today, 28th January, is, incredibly, the 7th anniversary of our first ever post. All the more poignant, given our very recent loss of our old friend Stuart, aka, Yogi’s Warrior. If we are all still around for our 14th anniversary then that would be a very wonderful thing as I have always felt PA was in some ways a reincarnation and a continuation of the comments section of A Cultured Left Foot.

    Sadly, it all feels a long time ago now, although Stuart’s superior contribution to the blogosphere only recently faltered.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. And here is that very first post, from Andrew himself, and what a post it was. Staggering now we know what followed, https://positivelyarsenal.com/2013/01/28/unity-in-the-arsenal-community-peace-in-our-time-or-just-fantasy-football/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Where have all the posters gone, long time passing?
    Where have all the posters gone, long time ago?
    Where have all the posters gone?
    Lost interest everyone.
    Oh, when will they ever learn?
    Oh, when will they ever learn?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hallo? My condolences for Yogi.

    Like

  10. Shame. Just had a look to see how it’s going with Bielik at Derby. Did his ACL couple weeks ago. Was in u23 game he was only playing in as got sent off just before Christmas. Against bloody Spurs’ scrotes.

    On those cursed ACL injuries, supposing none of them leave, when Chambers returns we could conceivably put out a back four who’ve all had em . Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, and Kola (did both I think before joining us)

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  11. Smith-Rowe, John-Jules, Olayinka all starting for loan clubs tonight. Good sign. Admittedly real battle is to still be in team after first few weeks, but certainly looks v promising in John-Jules case as has started all 3 available for.

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  12. reports that Mustafi has no serious ligament damage, just a badly sprained ankle, is expected to be out a number of weeks, and not the months first feared

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  13. When you think this site was created like a phenix from the flames of moaning, whinging and fuckwittery.
    aclf done us a massive favour when it started stabbing Arsene in the back. It represented the idiots who judged Arsene against Arsene but couldn’t understand the changing face of football and the massive challenges he was facing off the field that gave him disadvantages on it.
    I think everyone of any intelligence should see the things that happened since show we were justified in our stance and our defence of the most successful manager in our history.
    I know we have lost some of our comrades along the way and others have drifted away because of a range of reasons but I for one would like to thank everyone connected to this site in the last seven years it has been a light in the fog at a time when I was so frustrated with my own fans for the first time in the half century of watching the ARSENAL.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Arsenal are being linked with a £5M move for Southampton Right Back Cedric Soares, who is a free agent in the summer. Might be a smart move, would give back up to Bellerin and allow AMN to move back to midfield. Soares can also play left back so again giving us options there.

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  15. Excellent article. I also love watching Artetas Arsenal, those kids really are something, and there will be others waiting to come through, they could put Raul out of a job.
    Arteta has something about him, so many seem to sense it including I suspect the players, just hope Raul doesn’t get jealous one day.
    I am intrigued as to how Arteta will deal with the PGMOL, I have long advocated taking them on, behind closed doors if need be, indeed Birmingham City recently requested a meeting with them over what they view as a series of poor decisions against them. I suspect Arteta is a man who has a plan for most things, including the bent refs that Mike Riley retains, probably until they are in their 70s if he could! Wonder if he might make this team so good, they will make fools of these cloggers , Wenger had similar phases, though that won’t stop the opponent inflicted injuries.

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  16. The kicking was simply outrageous. Nine times out of ten, especially in the 2nd half, a Bournemouth player is fractionally late in his tackle or jump, and he is allowed to follow through and wallop an Arsenal player. We tried to give back a little of their own but why should players have to take the law in their own hands. All because the refereeing in England is still in the Dark Ages. Protection of the players is a secondary responsibility. I feel certain an Arsenal player is going to be seriously hurt before the season ends.

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  17. Much respect to the posts by Arsenal Andrew and Ian. Can you imagine 14 years we’d still be together with George advocating the Arsenal Way and defending our greatest ever manager. As a lover of the beautiful game and someone who believes that football must be treated as an art, it is worth the time and effort standing against the fifth columnists, cowards and fools who are still trying to destroy the legacy left for us.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Olayinka motm on debut. Tyreece and Emile more good mins under belt. Saliba reportedly with a very good game (nice little clip from it of a swerve that evoked Brazil midfielder at start of ‘that’ goal from ’70).

    Mavididi got last min winner in French cup. I’m fascinated to see where things stand with our current and former youth players in a few years time. At present our academy’s work is looking very good but I think it could go up a few levels and look truly exceptional by that time.

    Things obviously won’t work out for every bright prospect, there’ll be disappointments, but I reckon there’ll be surprises,too, with quite a few who have dropped down or tried luck abroad coming good.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I feel really optimistic at moment, buoyed up by what I think are three superb young players in Martinelli, Saka and Guendo, by the start from Arteta which has impressed me immensely, and the joy of better football again.

    I could be so damn positive..until I remember pgmol, and all the elements in British game which made them, and allow them to do what they do.

    Stresses me out and pisses me off that those young talents of ours, and the rest of our players, have to endure these kickfests so often and are at such high risk of progress halting and career damaging injuries.

    For me, there’s no way the Messi we know could have been that Messi if facing the treatment our players get week after week. And that’s without taking into account long injury absences; he just wouldn’t have had the platform to take his skills to their highest possible levels.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The boy Messi there, he just holds onto the ball too long, that’s his fault for getting that broken leg.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Every time I see calls for Arsenal to sigh Jack Grealish I smile, nod my head and wonder how long he would remain intact where he to come and play for us. Were I him I wouldn’t come within a million miles of us if I had any wish to see my playing days out safely.

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  22. One thing I noticed about Guendouzi on Monday was how often he seemed to anticipate where the ball was going to be cleared to by Bournemouth: there was a period when he always seemed to be picking it up and starting off another spell of attacking possession. I am full of hope that he (more than most) will benefit from Arteta’s footballing wisdom.

    It sounds from the news today that we have signed that new Centre Back after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Guendouzi plays like my dog chases a ball. she also anticipates where it’s going to land.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. The boys were generally solid against a Cherries team low on confidence.
    After the break their energy bars & drinks kicked in and they went on a kicking spree.
    Guendouzi & Xhaka were immense.
    Poor Mustafi was actually undone by Martinez. Hopefully he’ll return well enough to reclaim his spot as Arteta seems to have brought back his mojo.

    Mari looks like its going to happen. Loan with option to buy in the summer. Best of luck to him. At 26, he should be in his prime to compliment what we have moving forward.

    Cedric Soares was a player I was hoping we’d buy last summer. He would definitely give Hector proper competition and lessen his playing time which would aid in his healing on the long term. Could also allow us see more Ainsley in CM which, based on how well Willock played in the 1st half, could add more legs to CM and bolster another young gun’s chances of cementing his place moving forward.

    All in all, its beginning to look like we have “our Arsenal” back in Mikel Arteta.
    I know I’m excited…COYG!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. when does David Luiz return by the way?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Even though this season is a write-off, due to what happened prior to Mikel’s arrival, the one thing I suppose one can take comfort in is the emergence of Saka, Eddie, Joe, AMN and Reiss – all Hale End players, then there are Gabi, Douzi and even Lucas and Pépé who are still young ones themselves himself.

    With Mikel’s wisdom and guidance this team is setup well for years to come. Wenger would be very proud and Raul no doubt feeling more isolated from his agent friends.

    Some of us may grumble about the loss of talent recently, but I always felt with AW’s departure freshening the team up by getting in younger players was always the right thing to do. Of course the way we about that was all wrong but as fans we are mere spectators and no amount of terminal whinging will change anything except give us ulcers.

    With the folly of the Emery-era now behind us hopefully we can all look forward with a new zest on life.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Rich it was telling Messi that he did not join us when we tried for him as the world would have been denied a true great of the game. We would have bemoaned what might have been but for the serious injuries he suffered in the English game, many would be telling us that the lad was just too small for the rough and tumble of English football, a shameful notion that has seen so many bad injuries and careers blighted. The fact that the PGMOL Game Influencers can so willingly and willfully distort the rules of the game in England actually shames the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Ed. Aye, I’ve thought of it plenty of times with Messi. No idea how close it ever was, but no doubt we tried (believe we were also close to pique from same group).

    Honestly think I might actually be glad we didn’t sign the world’s best ever player at 16. Chances way way too high he would never have become what he did. Imagine football losing that to twats from Stoke etc!

    I watched a vid of Wilshere some months back playing Rangers preseason at 16. I’d forgotten how sensational he was. Bloody sad what happened (news today of hernia op for him). Sad truth is he would have been better off heading to Barca at 16. Or Liverpool/Utd. Anyway, you have to hope parents of talented young players and players themselves don’t see it as I do. But even in that I’m a little conflicted

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Speaking of Wilshere, don’t suppose you caught reserve game he played and was sent off in against City towards end of time with us?

    Even in that he was getting fouled hard when releasing ball, number of times by the same little twat (think the one he eventually had little scrap with, or who started it at least)

    Phenomenally depressing and something I don’t believe would happen elsewhere in world and v v unlikely to another club in England. A hugely talented domestic international, horribly blighted by injuries, being smashed with ball gone by reserve team kids in a comeback game. Ref not dealing with it. Don’t suppose you could get better illustration of how deep the problem goes.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. did see it Rich, and for anyone who has seen our youths, and even the ladies play, they will see that these teams also get it in the neck from the Refs, and can get kicked from pillar to post without any action taken against their opponents.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. lots of reports this evening that Arsenal are to sign Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton until end of season with an option of a four-year deal. He is a bosman free in the summer. So would have till end of season to impress enough to trigger the four year contract.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. reports from Spain suggest that after Barcelona had an £85M bid for Everton’s Richarlson turned down, they have contacted Arsenal over the signing of Aubameyang

    Liked by 1 person

  33. deal for Soares is said to be £5M

    Liked by 1 person

  34. if Man City progress to the CC final tonight, they have a 3-1 first leg lead, then our game v City on the 1st of March will be postponed

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Quite possibly at one point I’ll have had good idea on Soares as player, but don’t at moment.

    Thinking technically sound, reasonably fast , specialist full back? If he played during Portugal’s Euro win, I recall them having very good defence, though a lot of that was down to Pepe having outstanding tournament.

    Anyway, sounds a decent move for us, though I do think it could well put a real squeeze on Ainsley’s playing time.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. “Don’t suppose you could get better illustration of how deep the problem goes.”

    England’s record when it comes to reaching tournament finals represents the other canary in the graveyard.

    Talents such as Wilshere or Chambo would’ve been Southgate’s preferred 8/10s at the last WC if they’d have been able to run. Instead we could all witness clogger Alli who can be a second striker clog his way into the hall of fame alongside Phil Neville.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. rich here is another example of what our players, regardless of be it first team, womens team or youths have to put up with,
    this was not even called a foul, let alone a yellow, in last nights Women’s game

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Jeez, Ed.

    Worst of that is , supposing positioning not terrible from ref, it’s a very easy situation to see players converging on ball, at some pace, and so should be hyper alert at that moment. Pathetic decision.

    Gotta be honest, surprises me if different treatment has found its way into female referees. No surprise at all if it’s men doing women’s games.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Had a look Ed, and seems it’s a thing that fans of women’s team talk a lot about how much Beth Mead fouled this year.

    Someone put together 12 min video of it, but was quickly taken down by FA for copyright reasons. Really do wonder if they’d do that with women’s football for any other type of video. Can’t imagine they are typically a hundredth as diligent with copyright stuff because, well…completely different world to men’s football in term’s of money and exposure. If FA footage, would have been free-to-air anyway. But, I guess drawing attention to that sort of thing just won’t do.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Another one, Ed. Wrong how Van De Donk reacts, although she is probably fed up by this point and, I think, might actually be in relationship with Mead, so understandably upset by this.

    This is a seriously dangerous one and don’t know what to say about ref who sees this as yellow. Appalling. She should of course have sent offf our player as well for laying hands on her. Notice how much more upset comms are by that than the atrocious foul though. Weird country we are when comes to dangerous fouls.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. That was a yellow??????!!!!!!!

    IN any other game that had to be a straight red.

    I am not surprised our players were livid

    Liked by 1 person

  42. That’s a red card all day every day. No attempt to play the ball. Money changing hands from CFC?

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Unbelievable, that ref shouldnt be a ref, and probably wouldnt be anywhere else

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Whoever the coach of that Chelsea Womens team is should be taken out the back and given a good hiding.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Z@ZRAFC
    Ralph Hasenhuttl on Cedric Soares’s imminent move to Arsenal: ‘For the club and for him it is for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Arsenal Fixture News
    @AFCFixtureNews
    ·
    5h
    Arsenal have been drawn at Home to Monaco in the Quarter-Final of the #PLInternationalCup

    The fixture will be played by 16th March.

    Liked by 1 person

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