Villa Away, A Chance Of Redemption.

Good morning all.

An early 12.30 P.M. start away at Villa to quickly look forward to. I think despite the loss to Wolves, we have seen enough of an improvement to actually “look forward to” in a positive way. There can be no doubting that there has been a genuine improvement to our recent performances and results.

I have long said that Xhaka is a top player who generally always plays well. I have maintained that he has suffered from being put in midfield with the wrong players and in a poor set up. He was blamed for the teams shortcomings rather than any of his own, Of course I received dogs abuse for this opinion and despite me providing his personal stats to back up my opinion, I was told by the “I used my eyes” brigade, that I was an idiot. Well, Arteta has basically said the same thing now, as Emery and Wenger before him did, so I wonder if these fans will claim Arteta is an idiot? Partey is a good player, but i’m sure he will benefit from Xhaka, just as much as the other way around. I feel it’s a midfield partnership as good as anything in the league. I believe that centre midfield is the most crucial part of a good team, so there is much to be pleased about with these two lads.

Leno will be missing so I expect to see a half fit new boy, Mat Ryan, between the sticks as Alex Runarsson, has done all he can to convince us that buying him was a mistake. Good luck Mat.

Luiz will be missing and I think Gabriel will replace him. The lad was showing signs of vulnerability before he caught Covid so it could go either way with him, he might be less physically ready, but more mentally rested? Let’s hope he is at his best, which we have seen is quite good.

Smith-Row and Saka will surely play ,if fit, and Pepe has eventually shown enough to keep his place, so for me, it’s either Lacazette or Aubameyang in the middle. There is a good case for either and whoever Arteta picks, I won’t be criticising in hindsight, should all not go well.

I think Villa have been playing better ,as a team, than us, but we have better players. However, our team play looks better than it was, so that, and our better players, gives us a really good chance of revenging the hiding the gave us at The Home of Football.

It’s great that we can again be excited about a game and today is not the time to harp on about what has gone on for most of the season, lets leave that until May.

Enjoy the day and the game. Stay safe.

Pedantic George.

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73 comments on “Villa Away, A Chance Of Redemption.

  1. Think player frustration boiling up with it. Laca made twitter comment, which Martinez responded to claiming he was fouled first.


  2. By the way Emery’s only full season with us

    P38 W21 D7 L10 F73 A51 GD+22 PTS 70

    would mean we would to match that have to get

    P15 W12 D3 L0 F46 A28 GD +18 PTS 39


  3. the biggest condemnation of the EPL and the PGMOL today is that Mike Dean was selected to take charge of a game, after he got the second red card in the utd v sout game wrong in midweek, despite him viewing the incident on the pitch side monitor. So instead of being stood down for at least this weekend, he was put in charge of the Fulham v West Ham game, where he after reviewing it on the pitch side monitor he sent off the west ham player, a decision I and I would say most others, will expect to see overturned in the coming days.
    This highlights the whole problem with how the game is run in England, there is no repercussions to the refs for making massive errors in a game, they just go on to the next game and the next error.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arsene suffered even more at the hands of the officials and still managed to get top four regularly. He only failed to make top four twice and then one of those by one point and then those two seasons he was disabled by the club and the fans.
    Any manager that leads our club cannot use it as an excuse because as such a brilliant man Arsene never did and achieved so much in spite of it.


  5. It just doesn’t make sense to believe it has a massively detrimental impact game after game, but doesn’t massively impact league position.

    That’s not about Wenger’s heroics, it’s about logic. Emery, Mikel, whoever you want, supposing there ever will be anyone we actually want who isn’t Wenger.


  6. Mikel Arteta tells goalkeeper he’s 4th-choice option
    Dan Critchlow –
    Feb 6, 2021
    Arthur Okonkwo has been told he’s Arsenal’s fourth-choice goalkeeper for the rest of the season, according to a report.
    Arthur Okonkwo in first-team training in Dubai (via Instagram / _arthurokonkwo)
    Arthur Okonkwo in first-team training in Dubai (via Instagram / _arthurokonkwo)

    AllNigeriaSoccer report that Arthur Okonkwo has been formally informed by Mikel Arteta that he’s now Arsenal’s fourth-choice goalkeeper for the rest of the season, ahead of the other options at youth level.

    Arsenal have quite a few u23 goalkeepers right now, with Okonkwo joined by Karl Hein, James Hillson, Tom Smith, and others, but the 19-year-old is clearly leading the pack in Arteta’s eyes.

    As a result, the player travelled to Villa Park with the rest of the squad on Saturday as the third-choice goalkeeper – in Bernd Leno’s absence. He also joined them for the previous couple of games whilst Mat Ryan was injured.

    Ironically, it’s actually leading to less time on the pitch for Okonkwo right now. Given he’s joining up with the senior side, Karl Hein has been starting for the u23s. But it’s surely worth missing those u23 games for getting a taste of first-team football.

    Reports suggest Okonkwo’s Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season, so the club will hope this helps to convince him to extend.


  7. FT: Man Utd 3-3 Everton

    utd were 2-0 up, it went to 2-2, utd took the lead again and Everton got level at 90+5

    utd are now 2pts behind man city, but city have two games in hand, they play liverpool away tomorrow


  8. Let us accept for a moment, and I do, that the referees have an agenda against us, that does not, however, explain why we are so impotent in attack.

    We are back down to 3 shots on target per game. You don’t score goals if you don’t shoot at the goal and if you do not score goals, you cannot win or draw.

    It seems the ESR effect is now at an end.

    Whether that is a natural consequence of ESR being so inexperienced or the opponents countering the effect, or due to the way that Arteta has instructed them to play since ESR started to play, I cannot say, but the effect is the same, whichever way you look at it.

    I think we are now back to where we were before the Chel$ki game and on yet another downward spiral.

    Perhaps Arteta’s reprieve was shortlived.


  9. Rich, I see what you are saying and think your point is a reasonable one. I don’t massively disagree with you, when it comes to our best 11. That is better than mid-table talent. But take out one of those players, let alone three as today (Tierney, Mari, Leno), and we become bang average. Not alone there in this season of the brutal schedule.


  10. 900ftgooner.

    Fair enough. I’m just at end of tether as far as being fed up with how we’re officiated.

    For umpteenth time resolved to try disconnect emotions from watching us and see if I can do it in a detached way.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Surely is not the constant carping about the referees being emotional?

    You ignore the game, the rubbish being played by our highly paid players, and can only see the injustice of the refs.

    Yes, we are suffering that injustice, but the referees are not stopping our player shooting towards the goal are they?

    Do they, perhaps, blow the whistle every time one of our players is in mid backlift in the direction of the goal?

    The referee situation is almost as boring as the rubbish we are being served by Arteta.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Referees have a huge impact on Arsenal And have done for some time. Elite sport is defined by many things, amongst them marginal gains. You read about what Sky did for their cycling ( ok, maybe not a good example) and going back, what Clive Woodward did for the England rugby team, you see a bunch of little things make a difference. Imagine what a ref under orders can do, actually don’t bother imagine, we see it all the time
    What has happened this week and before would sap the morale in the strongest of teams. Especially when they see what others get away with.
    Our greatest manager ever, in his peak could, with his brilliant team overcome things, pre Riley. The second half of Wengers tenure were regular victims of the PGMOL, even if he kept us in the top four until almost the end.
    A combination of owners, the recent execs at the club, and the PGMOL mean no manager stands a chance of turning this current squad into top four for now, let alone title contenders. The top four is now as good as pre ordained City, Liverpool, Utd, and Chelsea , Leicester, Spurs can fight the other place amongst themselves, with Chelsea probably as favourites. The PGMOL will keep things that way should anything threaten it
    Arteta, Emery, Wenger, Nor anyone Arsenal choose as manager stands much chance of changing this, unless we get a new owner with vast resources and a desire to take on tthe status quo.
    Arteta has his faults and has made his mistakes, but realise what he is up against. It must be demoralising for all concerned, I think we saw that today. Not easy to beat a tilted system unless you are part of it, have massive resources, incredibly talented or are incredibly lucky, its fair to say this club / team are none of those at the moment

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I remember Theo said in his book: people see the situation at Arsenal


  14. is like (something) with no tomorrow, but for the ones inside it, there’s always hope.
    And I think they had that hope thanks to the inspiration that their football style brought them.


  15. FT: Sheffield Utd 1-2 Chelsea

    Sheffield Utd in massive relegation trouble, they are 12pts off safety , with 15 games to go, they only have 11pts, so have to better their relegation rivals by more pts than they have amassed so far this season, for a team with only 2 wins all season, to have to get at least 4 extra wins than their rivals, teams like Burnley(23) and Newcastle(25) and Brighton(25) is some ask, one I’d say is well beyond them
    WBA on 12pts are in same situation, and I have to say I would not miss either Sheffield Utd or WBA from the EPL

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Guednouzi and Hertha Berlin in a real relegation battle now, only goal difference keeping them out of the relegation play off place
    Schalke still rooted at bottom of the table too


  17. If some reports correct, Marc Overmars could be available for an upstairs role, not as a flying winger . Ajax did ok under him upstairs, I have no idea whether he would be any good or not, but since those running the club have provided substantial evidence, especially since 2018 of the possibility they really don’t have a clue, perhaps he should be at least looked at if he really is available?


  18. Still at it on day news of alleged death threats to Mike Dean the headline.

    Gallagher doing his thing, hosted by people who know he’s pgmol but want you to believe he is an independent voice, putting it out there he thinks Saka may have fouled Konsa when legs tangled.

    That entails deliberately, knowingly ignoring the fact Saka indisputably fouled first, rendering rest irrelevant.

    You can’t make such a mistake accidentally. Good luck to any Arsenal manager overcoming a rottenness that deep, pervasive and influential. Good luck believing it can’t be an excuse etc.


  19. Ah yes Dermot from Manchester with his hush money in his back pocket


  20. Not sure about hush money, although there may have been period between finishing reffing and taking on different role with pgmol.

    I don’t know for sure he is still on pgmol payroll, but he was as recently as period where Howard Webb briefly took up a management role with them when he stopped officiating.

    His book mentioned a big part of his job was working with Gallagher in Salford studios where they would watch live games and log and record incidents of note. Can’t remember all the details now but think part of role was to be on call for tv companies, to advise and clarify during live matches, and also to compose a set of clips as talking points for Motd later on.

    They would have meeting with MOTD team, who work from same studios, before show aired to discuss these points.

    A neat system.


  21. Mandy the thing is about Overmars the media are linking him with a job that we have only recently appointed a new guy to, well not actually to, as he has not taken up the role yet, Richard Garlick, we are getting him from the Premier League, and he used to work for wba
    the media have done the usual, a story about Overmars looking to leave Ajax, so they link him with two of his former clubs, Barcelona and Arsenal, not one iota of evidence that either club want him, or indeed that he wants a job at either club, except an old quote where he said he would one day like to work for either Barca or Arsenal in the future.


  22. can’t confirm about Walton, or Gallagher etc that work for the TV companies but I’ve seen it reported a few times that these guys are actually supplied by the pgmol, that the TV companies pay the pgmol for a former Ref to do the analysis, and the pgmol send in the clowns per say, and its the pgmol that pay them their fee. By the way these fuckwits spout utter bullshit in support of the pgmol game managers, I’ve little doubt that they must be in the pay of the pgmol
    the fact that not one of them ever question the standard of refs, or how var is being used differently in the EPL than in any other major league, or ever mention the awful job mike riley is doing, really suggests to me that they have to be still part of that whole gang of cunts.

    I see now that these former refs are using the excuse that the “refs are tired” due to the games being played in shorter frame of time than usual. But not a single mention from them that Mike Riley has too few refs, none from london, only one from the south of england, and has several refs he barely gives a game to, sticking with his favored bunch of arse lickers


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