Slog On The Tyne: Arsenal Report and Player Ratings.

So we enter 2014 as the star on top of the Premier League Christmas tree.

Will we still be there at the end of May? Who knows, but if we are it will be thanks – in large part – to grinding out difficult wins like yesterday’s at Newcastle.

Toon have been one of the EPL’s form teams in recent weeks so going up there three days after playing another away fixture and coming home with all three points should not be underestimated. Coming away with the win was hard slog indeed and made a fitting end to a year in which we have been the best team in the country, bar none.

If the league title was played from January to December, we would be Champions.

There were a number of reasons to be concerned before the kick-off yesterday: injuries or illness to Ramsey, Ozil, Monreal and Vermaelen had severely reduced the manager’s options; Olivier Giroud was on a long non-scoring run and the referee – Lee Probert – has previously shown himself blind to fouls committed on Arsenal players.

Nevertheless we started brightly, moving the ball well and finding our players at close range for little give-and-gos.

Unfortunately whenever our moves reached the point where we could hurt the opposition we chose precisely that moment to misplace a pass, miscontrol the ball or chose the wrong option entirely.

Even superb technicians like Santi Cazorla were found wanting.

To a degree we seem, as a team and a squad, to be slightly off our game at the moment (perhaps the result of mental and physical fatigue from a recent unhelpful schedule that might have been devised specifically to harm our prospects).

Newcastle, to their credit, worked hard to deny us space and to ‘get in our faces’. They are a big, physical team with some talented players and it was easy to see how they have been getting good results. I noticed before the game that several of the “experts” were tipping this game as a good bet for a home win.

Newcastle were set up pretty defensively against us so it was no surprise that Theo Walcott, in particular, had little space to exploit.

Referee Probert, true to form, was letting quite a few clear fouls on Arsenal players go unpunished but, in fairness, he also overlooked several fouls by our players. However, for the second game running there was an off-the-ground jumping tackle on one of our players (Williamson on Giroud) that went completely unpunished when, at the very least, a yellow card was merited. It seems like it will take another leg break before we start getting protection from this sort of recklessness.

In the first half we managed to get off a few shots from medium distance, but the ball was magnetically drawn to Tim Krul’s midriff on each occasion.

Newcastle came on strong in the last couple of minutes before the break, forcing a fine save from Szcesny from a long distance effort and hitting the crossbar with a speculative lob.

Half time 0-0.

The second half continued much like the first with Arsenal having the majority of possession and looking like the better team, without fashioning clear goal scoring opportunities.

Newcastle were most dangerous down our left flank where Gibbs was often up against two players because Cazorla had been pulled infield.

But the real battle was in central midfield – a place where Newcastle have been particularly strong and combative this year

Tomas Rosicky and Matthieu Flamini were our stand-out performers, constantly breaking up Toon moves, winning tackles and keeping the ball moving when we were in possession. Rosicky also looked the most likely to provide a breakthrough going forward.

Jack Wilshere also had a very combative game. He has a tendency to turn into trouble and over-elaborate on occasion but I thought this was a much better performance from him than in recent outings. His overall pass success rate was 83% – but it was 100% in our defensive third of the field, 90% in the middle third and 67% in the attacking third, where he was trying lower percentage options. Defensively, he won two third of his tackles. He has also been reading Arsenal Arsenal I reckon, because his body language was much better and he (mostly) got straight back up after being fouled/falling over.

The breakthrough, when it finally came, was from our handsome, non-scoring French centre forward.

Not much had been working for Olivier Giroud (a lot of his lay-offs went to black-and-white shirts) but, as ever, he laboured tirelessly for the team, taking his usual quota of knocks into the bargain.

But when Theo Walcott floated a beautifully weighted free kick into the box, Ollie got a slight contact with his head – just enough to guide the ball past Krul’s left hand.

og

What a pleasure it was to hear “one nil to the Arsenal” ringing around St James’s Park. It goes without saying that our away fans were fantastic (and were just a fraction louder than usual, thanks to the presence of Chas and Ant).

Soon afterwards we almost made it 2-0, when Theo managed to get a toe-end on a through ball which then rebounded back to him off Krul. Theo’s second stab at it – a little lob – was goal bound but was headed onto the crossbar and out by an alert Toon defender. The ball then came to Giroud on our right of the six yard box for a gilt-edged chance to at least threaten the net. Sadly Ollie showed why many people still have doubts about him as a finisher, shanking the ball away from goal. In comments yesterday Rasp put this down to his lack of a decent right foot.

Gibbs was removed with an injury and Flamini moved to left back, while Arteta slotted into midfield.

Then came perhaps the hottest debating point of the game. With about 15 minutes to go, Arsene Wenger opted to go completely on the defensive, taking off Walcott, putting Carl Jenkinson at right back and moving Sagna into the middle to give us three centre backs. In post game interviews he said this was because the team was looking tired and he thought it better to close out the game. He even referenced mistakes from previous seasons where we had let in goals late on through not being defensive enough.

According to some who commented yesterday it was tactically astute and enabled us to cope with the extra forward players that Alan Pardew (Arsene, Arsene knock him out, Asrene, knock him out) had thrown on to try and salvage a point.

To me it seemed crazy. It led to a final quarter of an hour that made The Alamo seem like a pyjama party as we basically said to Newcastle: “OK, you have the freedom of the park to bombard our goal.”

There were numerous Toon crosses into dangerous areas; countless heart-in-mouth moments as the ball bounced around our penalty area; last ditch clearances and headers; frantic hoof-outs from the back.

We failed to control the ball for more than 10 seconds at a time and were, in my opinion, slightly fortunate not to have conceded.

Meanwhile with Walcott off and a ponderous Giroud up front, there was never any chance of countering with speed.

The one real counter-attacking opportunity came when Tim Krul came up for a Newcastle corner. We cleared the ball and got a throw-in in their half. Krul was desperately legging it back up the field. All it needed was a quick throw-in from Jenkinson to the screaming Bendtner (who was on for Giroud) and Bendy would have had an open goal to aim at (albeit from about 40 yards out).

Unfortunately young Carl had been possessed by the Eboue fairies and as he diddled and dawdled the chance went begging.

The final whistle, when it came, was a huge relief.

In summary, we deserved the three points for being the better team for 75 minutes, but boy did we make it tough on ourselves at the end.

Player Ratings

Szczesny: one great save from a long range shot; some fine work as we were under siege at the end… but there were a couple of howlers from our young Pole in this game. Following his gift to Carlton Cole a few days earlier I hope the carelessness of last season is not creeping back into his game because he has been fantastic so far. 6

Sagna: very solid defensively and offered plenty going forward: 7

Mertesacker: thank Dennis for the BFG. We really needed his calm head and composure in this game and he was excellent during the final onslaught. 7.5

Koscielny: back in the side and back to his best – which he needed to be at times. 7.5

Gibbs: had real problems in the first half because Cazorla was caught inside and the Toon fullback kept making overlapping runs. Overall though he was as solid as we have come to expect and contributed to our attack when he could. 7

Flamini: a very good game from the Frenchman, tackling hard, covering brilliantly at times and doing well when forced to move to left back after Gibbs’s injury. His pass success was an outstanding 95%. 7

Wilshere: better than in recent outings. His defensive work was solid but he still has a tendency to run or pass into trouble at times. 6

Cazorla: some good moments from the wee Spaniard, but too often his touch was off where it really mattered – in and around the opposition penalty area. 6

Rosicky: all action from start to finish and our stand-out performer. Without Tomas it’s unlikely we would be coming home with three points. 8

Walcott: Newcastle’s approach to the game meant there was little or no chance to exploit his pace. But he made the goal with a beautiful free kick and was very unlucky not to have scored. 7

Giroud: was having one of those games until he scored. You can’t fault his effort, but he will still need to do more to convince some people that we don’t need an extra striker in the January window. He gets an extra point because of the goal. 7

Substitutes

Arteta: seemed a bit off the pace. 6

Jenkinson: aside from falling asleep when he could have given Bendtner a chance at an empty net, he did his defensive work well. 6

Bendtner: did all he could for the short while he was on. 6

RockyLives

About these ads

165 Responses to Slog On The Tyne: Arsenal Report and Player Ratings.

  1. Manthan says:

    RL,

    Great post!! I always love post with players rating.. I was bit scared for last 15 minutes but kudos to our player who played their hear out yesterday,,,

  2. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers, good morning and thanks Rocky, I think you and I saw the same game yesterday, not always the case in the past,

    I thought it was a mistake to take off Walcott just when his pace would present a danger to a team getting increasingly gung ho and desperate.

    Three points, a clean sheet, away to an inform team, what more coukld we ask for?

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Slog on the Tyne, as good as “Fog in the Channel, Continent cut off”! :D

  4. Daniel says:

    Glad others also recognize Rosickys contribution…. His never ending drive forward and massive defensive workrate is crucial.

  5. LB says:

    Always good to read your posts Rocky.

    If we had kept Walcott on would Newcastle have changed tactics and not attempted an aerial bombardment – I think not, that is their plan B and they have no plan C.

    Then better to have people capable of meeting it.

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    I noted during the game that we had encouraged the last 15/20 minute onslaught with our substitutions but Walcott is not known for his stalwart defensive capabilities so taking him off was justifiable.

    That was a very harrowing end to the game and many times I was close to putting the game on hold and not watching the final few minutes until I knew the outcome – but I stuck it out, despite the acid reflux.

    A great victory in a game where I thought a single point would have been a good result. Now we have to be sure not to drop our guard against Cardiff, every three points has to be fought for and it’s easy to mistakenly believe it’s a push over against the lower teams – just ask Man C.

  7. 26may1989 says:

    Nice report, Rocky.

    Having just watched the game back again (well, the wife and kids are at Brent Cross… :) ), I would definitely say that Wenger won the tactical battle in the critical last 15 minutes of the game. It was in effect a contest of surge strategies, with Pardew shifting to 3-4-3 to chase the game, and Wenger reacting by going to 5-4-1. Some fans may have felt nervous about bringing the Geordies onto us, but it worked: they didn’t get a single clear cut chance in that last period. Ben Arfa skinned Flamini at one point, but when he looked up for options in the centre, all he saw was a sea of red and white, so he went for a shot that wasn’t really on. Beyond that, all Newcastle could create, with the massed ranks in front of them, were poor long distance chances.

    For me, far from being crazy, it was chapeau to Wenger, his responsive ploy worked perfectly, he neutralised Pardew’s attempts to flood the attacking third.

    Newcastle were pretty good up until we scored, set up as Chelsea were at the Grove, and that was tough to crack. For our goal, it was a nice floated ball from Walcott but we were lucky Coloccini switched off and allowed Giroud to get to the ball unhindered. Several Newcastle players did well, Cabaye and (albeit with a lot of fouling) Tiote, for example. But the best player on the pitch yesterday was Debuchy: perhaps he really could be Sagna’s replacement?

    But after we scored, Newcastle had Cabaye playing almost like an NFL quarterback, trying to find gaps in our defences from long distance. He’s a good player, but his efforts failed.

    All in all, yesterday feels very satisfying, both in terms of the result and (given that the team was a bit off-colour) the performance. Not that it was positive, our passing and movement from pretty much everyone wasn’t great yesterday. That’s got to improve. But it was another great away day for the boys.

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    I just read a game report by Peter Fraser, on Teamtalk, he was very fair to the Arsenal.

    Among other points he highlighted Theo’s stats, who only won 16.7% of his one on one’s and made only 24 passes from his 36 touches the last two stats being the lowest in the team.

    So other than his superb free kick he was mostly ineffectual, further evidence that AW made an appropriate decision in subbing him for defensive coverage.

    Seems that AW has changed his stripes this season, not only has he put in place a plan “B” but his vision must have also improved – what is left for the pundit’s to criticize?

  9. RA says:

    Loved the Post, Rocky.

    However, unlike your goodself, :-) I had no doubt that AW made the right choice in substituting Theo, because as GN5 has already said he is not known for his defensive abilities which are negligible, and although he has pace he is not known for his ability for holding up the ball when it is hoiked upfield to him either.

    I think Wenger won that one tactically and the proof of the pudding is in its successful implementation, even if there was an element of luck involved, as there is in all sports encounters. :-)

  10. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, you’ve presented a very balanced perspective on the game – Jack’s stats show he had a much better game than I perceived. You’re spot on about the whole team seeming to be slightly off form at the moment – gone is the destructive fluency that we saw in the first game against Napoli. But yes, the ability to win ugly is what is required if we have ambitions of finishing top.

    There was an interesting interview on the radio this morning by a journo (and also Arsenal fan) who analyses refereeing performances.

    He made a very good point. Refs judge the severity of a team’s fouling by that team’s standards. i.e. Stoke are known to lack quality and try to compensate with a physical game therefore a hard tackle from them is the norm and not punishable. Arsenal are known to have an artistic passing game and therefore if they commit the same tackle it is seen as out of character and consequently punished. The same tackle, two different reactions from the ref ….. we’ve seen it many times. It’s wrong, but it happens all the time.

  11. Rasp says:

    I agree with GN5, start with bendy by all means against Cardiff, but let’s not take that game for granted. I’m pretty sure that if we beat all the teams with think we should beat (from 7th downwards) and average at least a draw with those competing for the title, we will win the league. As someone said a while ago, – 3 points is 3 points, it doesn’t make any difference which team you are playing.

  12. RA says:

    Oh come on GN5, you should have more faith in those who wish to stick the knife into AW and they will not give up criticising him that easily.

    He was far too defensive, don’t you know, and playing with 3 CBs shows he had no interest in attacking in the last 10 minutes. :-)

    In the past, when we have attacked right up to the last minute and then lost to a break away sucker punch it was because AW was tactically inept and had no idea how to defend.

    Anyway, it is handy to have either complaint 1 or complaint 2 nicely to hand to cover both eventualities.

    [Ed’s Note: There is no suggestion that anyone on AA has done so!] :-)

  13. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent Rocky

    Watched the game in a Bar in Brussels. Strange watching the game whilst listening to a bellowing of eighties tunes, but everything fell into place.

    When we scored “the power of love” was playing and at the final whistle “the final countdown”, great stuff.

    Every time the camera zoomed in on Pardew I expected YMCA, but I guess its the wrong decade.

    My take is that the result is testament to Arsenals unity and resolve. Great credit should be lauded to Arsene and his staff for the way they have a moulded a fantastic spirit and desire within the squad.

    Top at New Year hey?. We have every chance of going all the way. Ourselves and City are the two best teams, but after extensive study of the fixture list I believe we will edge it.

    By the way, if you ever go to Brussels be on your guard. When we first got there myself and the Mrs couldn’t find our apartment so I asked some geezer for directions and the swine pulled a knife out. . The Mrs was yelling for me to walk away, but the knife wernt that big and we needed help, so I persisted.

    After shoving the map in his face, he relented and started to help. The Knife became useful as he pointed it in the direction we had to go, so overall, he wernt a bad bloke really. Probably just a troubled upbringing, poor fella.

  14. RA says:

    Hiya Rasper,

    How does it feel now that tempus has fugit-ed another year? :-)

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders – not that great to be honest. Its not so much that I’m getting older, but everyone else is getting older at the same time :roll:

  16. Rasp says:

    We’ve all heard the stat that for the last 4 seasons, the team that is top in the new year has won the title – but this season is so much more competitive. I reckon whoever finishes above city will win the title.

  17. LB says:

    If pass completion stats had any real value then Denilson would not only still be at Arsenal, he would be captain.

    If there were stats for the amount of goal threat each player offered I would take notice.

    But simple pass stats might work in many of the North American sports but, in my opinion, they are deeply flawed in our game.

  18. RA says:

    Oddly enough Rasp, I know exactly what you mean!

    I happened across someone a couple of weeks ago that I used to have the hots for. It was a long range lust as she was a few years older than me and married. :-)

    She is a really nice person and someone I am very happy to have known as a friend, but I could not understand why I had got all hot and bothered over her 12 years ago — I suppose tempus fugit happens all over the place — and not just to you!! :-)

  19. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Fine work and pretty much as I saw the game.

    As to the Theo argument, does anyone imagine either the Newcastle players or Pardew realised how ineffective he was? No, they would have been fearful of his counter-attacking potential and acted accordingly.

    I prefer the gung-ho psychology. If the opposition is forced to chase the game then that is the very time to put on more attackers. But then I am not paid to manage!

  20. Rasp says:

    OK this is the last of my trilogy. Its a mathematical fact that out of 3 games, a win and 2 losses is better than a loss and 2 draws.

    How’s this for a piece of mickyesque brilliance. Award 1 point to each team for a nil nil draw but 2 points if its a score draw. This may influence teams to be more attacking (less parky bussy) and will of course benefit teams who prefer to attack = the Arsenal

  21. Big Raddy says:

    What about 4 points for an away win?

  22. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, I can’t see AW supporting that idea as he’s already written to UEFA to complain about the away goals rule and your suggestion is based on the same premise – also it wouldn’t benefit the Arsenal this season as our away form is marginally better than our home form.

  23. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, re your reference to pass stats not being relevant to performance in the EPL, all stats are dependent on too many contributing factors. Theo’s stats were poor yet we wouldn’t have won the game had it not been for the accuracy of his delivery for the goal.

    So generally I agree, the evidence of our own eyes is what influences us at games, but clinical analysis later can paint a different picture. The thing about stats is they are often only viewed as salient by the individual when they can be used to reinforce a preconceived opinion held by that individual. That’s not a criticism of you – we all do it.

    We have to accept that the risk taking game-changers will not necessarily have the best stats, but they are more likely to win you the game.

  24. RA says:

    Hi LB,

    The main purpose for using basic stats is to try to understand or quantify the evidence there is available to justify or disregard an explanation for an event.

    Stats should not be used in isolation but as you have pointed out, they are only relevant where it is agreed they are critical in the evaluation.

    You mention Denilson and that is a case in point. (I do not have any relevant details) If he had a 90% success rate in his passing, and Cesc (let us say) had only a 75% success rate, it would appear that Denilson was the more valuable player, which most would agree is nonsense.

    We would need to look behind the face value stats to see what is going on.

    It might be that Denilson’s stats look good because he had a preponderance of ineffective 5 yard passes sideways and backwards that were completed successfully.

    Whereas Cesc’s stats included a high proportion of defence splitting passes which had a lower chance of success but if executed well led to a high proportion of goals or goal scoring chances.

    Suddenly the value of Cesc’s contributions to the team would be much greater.

    What I am saying is that you have a valid point in saying that bald stats on their own are not enough, and the data needs to be carefully assessed and correctly interpreted. :-)

  25. LB says:

    I agree with all that Rasp

    And a belated happy birthday.

  26. LB says:

    Yep, again RA, I agree with all that.

  27. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, its getting quite worrying – we seem to have agreed on many topics lately ….. which one of us is changing do you think? :lol:

  28. Rasp says:

    Ladbroke’s have just given me odds of 1:100 that LB will say that I’ve come round to his way of thinking :P

  29. Rasp says:

    Here’s a stat for you….. if you judge an attacking midfielders performance by goals and assists per game, Theo has been considerably better than Ozil this season ????

  30. RA says:

    I will put $1,000 on that Rasp, thank you.

    {LB there is a tenner for you if you say you have come around to Rasp’s way of thinking — just keep your fingers crossed} :-)

  31. RA says:

    I would suggest you are fiddling the figures Rasper. :-)

  32. Rasp says:

    Not true Redders:

    Ozil has started 15 PL games (and played 90 in most) for which he has 5 goals and 8 assists

    Theo has started 8 PL games and come on late in 4, for which he has also scored 5 goals with 5 assists

    Is Theo better than Ozil? … no …. I rest my case

  33. 26may1989 says:

    To state the obvious, there’s only one stat that matters.

    But each of the stats now available for breaking down the game, passing stats included, has the potential to offer an insight. It would be silly to put too much store by any one stat (other than that obvious one), but used appropriately (and with the limitations of each one accepted), they are very useful.

    So, yes, if one looks at Denilson’s passing stats in isolation, it can be misleading. But take his general passing stats, and perhaps break them down according to area of the pitch (as Rocky did with Wilshere’s passing stats), average distance covered, time in the game or proportion of key passes, and something different might emerge. Likewise, comparisons with other players.

    The trouble is: when we’re watching the game, especially when we get all het up about whether Arsenal will get their due three points, our subjective view stunts what we see. Our minds play tricks on us, causing us to exaggerate the good and the bad, especially if we have a bit of an issue with a particular player, as I have to admit I do with Flamini. I find stats useful, because they often correct a lot of my in-built sources of bias.

  34. kelsey says:

    Well that’s three of us who have admitted to having acid reflux when watching our beloved team.

    As per usual a good and well thought out post Rocky.

    I have changed my views on Pers, he is pivitol to the team and IMO should be captain.
    I don’t understand when Santi plays more centrally he is immense but put him on the wing and he is not the same player.
    I am all for rotation when required but Jack,Santi,Arteta, Flamini,Ramsey and Ozil cannot always take each others position
    .
    Walcott still to show that consistency but on reflection it was the right move to sub him.

    Re Jenkinson have you noticed whenever he takes a throw in it is nearly always a foul throw in.

    We got away with it with resolute defending but I wouldn’t want to chance that approach too often as we saw against Everton.
    I have a gut feeling we will see more changes than usual against Cardiff with Monreal,Bedtner and Gnarby all starting and possibly Vermaelen..

    By the way what exactly is the italian keeper doing that we bought/loaned ?

  35. 26may1989 says:

    Kelsey, re Viviano, I think the answer is “not a lot”. He played for the reserves when they got caned 5-1 by Sunderland a few weeks back, but I think that was his only game for an Arsenal side. And now there is a rumour kicking around that his loan may terminate early.

    It’s good to see Vito Mannone doing well at Sunderland, I always liked him – moving was definitely good for his development.

  36. Thanks Rocky, the usual quality standard-bearer from your good self.
    Arsenal have been very impressive this season – some will say the whole calender year – but after the shock opening day against Villa, the players have really stepped up, especially in the big games.
    In many ways the re-signing of Flamini has been equally as important as the signing of Ozil, we don’t have the brittleness or the fear factor that has plagued us in recent years.
    Perhaps having Robert Pires and Thierry Henry around has helped too, there can’t be too many players who aren’t inspired by those two Arsenal legends.
    On another night we’d have beaten Chelsea, and the result at The Etihad was very harsh, but we’ve bounced back superbly from those minor set-backs, and go into 2014 in great shape..
    Finally we have a squad that every Arsenal fan can feel genuinely excited about.
    Happy Birthday for yesterday, Rasp.

  37. RA says:

    We all appear to be in general agreement over the need for care in interpreting statistics when applied to individual players.

    I too have my reservations about Flamini who seems to be the flavour of the day — but no good will come of discussing that, I guess.

    Interestingly, and this will come as no surprise to those who, like me, are inclined to have a swift whizz around other blogs that the opinion on the effectiveness of L’il Jack is split sharply between those who are disappointed in him and those who think he is doing a good job defensively.

    Human perceptions at work again. :-)

  38. 26may1989 says:

    Oh crap, I’m agreeing with RA again……

  39. RockyLives says:

    Good day all and thanks for the comments.

    I agree with most of what’s been said about the usefulness (or lack if it) of player stats, but 26 came closest to my take on the issue.

    Showing that Denilson had a very high pass completion percentage would by no means tell the whole story of Denilson. But it would have relevance if people had been saying: “that bloody Denilson, he keeps giving the ball away.”

  40. RockyLives says:

    The perception-influenced-by-prejudice concept is undoubtedly true and I have no doubt I am guilty of it.

    I wrote my match report and player ratings immediately after the game. Later I was looking around Newsnow, and in particular at some of the other player ratings.

    It was interesting that some peope also made TR7 the MOTM. Others scored him quite low. Some had the BFG as MOTM. There was one who gave that honour to Flamini and another gave it to Kozzer. Some had Wilshere among their higher ratings, others marked him down for having had a stinker. One even gave MOTM to Szcz.

    This probably shows that there was not a clear, stand-out performer for us and that lots of players did well in a tough game.

    But prejudice undoubtedly plays a part. My feelings about Rosicky’s performance yesterday – as expressed in the report – are exactly as I saw the game. But I can admit to having a fondness for the little Mozart. Did that colour my judgement? Who knows… Not me :)

  41. UltraPeace says:

    Flamini must be wondering what he has to do to get a 7.5 jeez when Theo gets the same rating for being invisible for most of the game.

  42. RockyLives says:

    UP
    Scoring systems are all subjective. In mine, Theo got an extra half point for the goal assist.

    But there is certainly a case to argue that the Flamster could have been given a higher mark. Feel free to make it.

  43. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Frankly I can’t see the value of statistics, a player can get a very high pass completion percentage by making his passes on or around the halfway line, as Denilson did, I’m sure Merts and Kos have a very high percentage by passing the ball between themselves in their own half and under no pressure. While Santi will be playing higher up the field with opposing players in very close proximity. Jack gets criticised for a poor pass completion percentage but is seldom faced by fewer than two opposing players, often three or even four, and is carrying the ball rather than looking for the instant pass.

    Different styles of play, different pressures, different positions, different states of play. What do stats tell us about these? Sod all!

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Rumour mill at work saying we have signed a striker (Belgian/Spanish/ etc etc etc).

    Is so, is Bendtner going in January or should we keep the loon?

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    NG;

    As a person addicted to stats I see a lot of use in Jack’s stats.

    Due to our possession style of football we are a team that has to face more than our fair share of packed defenses and breaking through those barriers even once or twice during a game is critical.

    Jack is really no different than say Ozil, Ramsey, Rosicky or Cazorla who if playing in the same position are subjected to the parked bus technique and knowing statistically which player has the highest rate of success is vital information.

    Having stats which show a players passing successes or failures in different zones of the pitch is critical information for the coaching staff to use when making A) formation and B) player selection against specific teams – this applies to all players and all areas of the pitch – not just the offense.

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    BR;

    Surely he has outstayed his welcome? He is only been used as a sub because we really have had no other choice. Also he has continued to state that he wants to move on – so why would we keep him around if we do in fact have an alternative?

  47. Big Raddy says:

    If that is the case why put NB on at Newcastle for the last few mins instead of Podolski?

    Shop window or has he shown enough in training for AW to want to rehabilitate him??

  48. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear, I am a football lover first and foremost, I watch football for enjoyment, for the entertainment, for the sheer pleasure that it can give. That pleasure is is no way whatsoever enhanced by knowing that player A passed the ball more times and more accurately than player B.

    I am not a football coach, I’m not qualified to be a football coach, nor do I have any inclination to be one so stats, as far as I’m concerned, are of no more consequence than knowing we are playing at the time of a full moon, the winter solstice or in the Age of Aquarius.

    No amount of helpful and earnest argument will ever induce me to regard stats as anything other than even less interesting than watching the proverbial coat of magnolia emulsion drying on the out-house walls

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, perhaps it was because of the wonderful defensive play he has exhibited throughout his overly long career at Arsenal. :D

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    Come on NG, everybody wants to know how long it takes for a coat of paint to dry.

    I accept your point and frankly stats are of no use to me personally during a game, as I also watch for enjoyment, hopefully without causing acid reflux. However in a post game analysis statistical data has a whole different meaning to myself and many, many other poor souls like myself who spend hour upon hour creating data charts and spreadsheets.

  51. RockyLives says:

    NG
    Actually, our results are 15% better during solstices.

    BR
    I think the theory would be that Bendy can hold the ball up more when we hoof it out of defence, whereas the Pod is less of a ‘hold-up’ player.

    And we did plenty of hoofing in those last 15 minutes.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky,

    Almost a top report. The small downside was implying that Jack had been reading AA and taking advice about his body language. This implies that he’s listening to LB and I, for one, am not enjoying all this lovey dovey stuff with our ferocious peddler. I miss the old confrontational LB. Hopefully the new year will see him return to form :-)

    Although I agree that Mozart made a massive contribution to what was a real fighting team performance, I think he lacks the guile to play central.

  53. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    That’s a “hoofing” good point…………..

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Norfolk
    With help, I got the Granny’s scarf line :-)

    ps I reckon the Moon plays a massive part, but then I’m a mystic or something.

  55. kelsey says:

    No one has cracked it as yet :)

    When in front of the television and we kick off playing from left to right (old North Bank to old Clock End) home or away, we have a much higher percentage of wins.It’s a fact.

  56. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, the only time that I have been shown a spreadsheet was when a newly appointed sales director handed me with one that purported to show my performance over the previous year. after a glance at his document I asked who had been the top salesman by business generated during that time, he looked at his stats and said “You have”. I pointed to the Top Salesman’s Award that I had just received and said ” I won that without the aid of a spreadsheet, would you prefer me to spend my time studying your statistics or selling the company’s products?”. We parted on not the best of terms.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    You’ve clearly been in the West Country for too long. They’re all pagans down there.

    Just don’t tell Evonne – she has no time for any New Age mumbo jumbo. Unlike me.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy

    Interesting one about NB. Pretty sure Chelski will pull out all the stops for a top striker in the window, which may well create space somewhere for some player swapsies.

  59. RockyLives says:

    And by the way Micky, our friend LB still has a firecracker or two in his locker. Yesterday he accused me of having ‘wobbled’ in my support of our fine manager! The cad! :)

  60. RockyLives says:

    Maureenio has Torres, Ba and Eto (among others) and still moans about needing a clinical striker.

    He crazy man!

  61. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done micky, the scarf was a myth but it was based on a straw boater that I saw a fan wearing to a game back in the fifties, he had taken great care to paint it in red and white bands and had carefully added the words “Always Aresnal” to it. :D

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Too right Rocky. The place is crawling with Druids. I know a bloke who’s title is Head of Druids, Ovates and Bards (UK Dept.) :-)

    He even gets invited to world summits on environmental issues. Free flights, the works.

  63. RockyLives says:

    Crikey, what’s on Ovate?

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha, Norfolk.

    Bit like my mickydidit thing. May 27, 1989 and Mickey Thomas had a baseball cap with Micky Did It on the front.

    Wot with me spelling, it’s just fine and dandy as far as I’m concerned :-)

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky
    Google the bastard, and let me know :-)

  66. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Here’s one for all you stats fiends, can someone compile a table comparing the careers of Arsenal players with a number eight in their birthdate against those without.

    According to that fount of all football knowledge, Victor Tan, having a birthdate that includes the number eight is of paramont importance when considering signing a new player.

  67. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Ovate, an egg that’s already been eaten?

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn it. I came on here to talk about football.

    Errrr, umm, who are we “linked” to? :-)

    Someone obscenely expensive, I hope.

  69. JanMan says:

    Personally in my humble opinion stats are a waste of time, nice to have but in most cases meaningless as depending on how they are used it is very easy to show a false picture. The only stat that concerns me is who has the three points at the end of the game :-) :-)

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Norfolk ROLF :-)

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheers Rasp.

    From your link: “In ancient times an Ovate was a prophet, seer, healer and diviner”

    I kid you not, but I get bored easily, so I do things like the odd evening course. Did navigation over one winter. Did oil painting another (that went horribly wrong, and me and teacher had a massive falling out), then one year I did Divining and Dowsing. It was absolutely brilliant. I have made my own divining rods. I have enormous foot long ones I made from stainless steel for strong wind work on Dartmoor

    Oh God, what have I said :-(

  72. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Blimey! It sounds like Ovates were the statisticians in the first century of the Common Era. Why the f*** can’t they use Anno Domini like all sensible people? :D

  73. RockyLives says:

    Phwooar… look at the size of Micky’s rod :D

    Did you find anything with your whopping pair of dowsers?

  74. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I take it your career as a fire-fighter didn’t take off Micky. ;D

  75. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, I happen to believe that divining/dowsing works – but no idea how or why? Certainly as a species we have forgotten, or maybe lost touch with instincts that were more used when we had to fend for ourselves.

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh grow up Rocky, and yes I bloody well did. Actually.

    I found water and energy and shit :-)

    Seriously, you can dowse for lost things, and stuff.

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Norfolk. I have a substantial list of careers that didn’t take off :-)

  78. RockyLives says:

    “water and energy and shit” :D

    You found water on Dartmoor? Wow – that’s impressive :)

    Could I dowse for my lost youth?

  79. So basically the definition of a Druid Ovate is……a fcuking nutter !.

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    “Believe” Rasp. I can prove it.

    Water companies, Electricity Companies and so on employ them before hurtling around the countryside burying cables and whatnot.

    Could give you many examples, but you lot need to get back to your stats and association football talk.

    Don’t worry, I’m off in a mo :-)

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    Monster
    Judging by my classmates on that particular course (in Okehampton), you’re bang on the money.

  82. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Careful Rocky dowsing for a youth can get you in serious trouble with the druids. :D

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh shurrup Rocky :-)

  84. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’m off to study my Karma.

  85. Finding water on Dartmoor is as impressive as finding a grain of sand in the dessert or a snow flake at the North Pole or an ugly bastard in N17 !.

  86. Tricky
    I was in Okehampton the other day, so the chaps I see coming out of the bakery wearing the pasties on their heads were your class mates…….obviously you were the one wearing the Red and White one !.

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey CM,
    Saw you spent Christmas in Bath. Go there for two nights every year with ‘Er Indoors to get the Christmas shopping done. Might as well do it in Britains best City.

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Please do not believe Didit. He is a fantasist …. Diviner – as if!

    He once told me he had trained seals!!

    The man is at the pinnacle of my list of “Loonies have have Lunched with” :-D

  89. GunnerN5 says:

    A guy is flying in a hot air balloon and he’s lost. So he lowers himself over a field and shouts to a guy on the ground:

    “Can you tell me where I am, and which way I’m headed?” “Sure! You’re at 43 degrees, 12 minutes, 21.2 seconds north; 123 degrees, 8 minutes, 12.8 seconds west. You’re at 212 meters above sea level. Right now, you’re hovering, but on your way in here you were at a speed of 1.83 meters per second at 1.929 radians”

    “Thanks! By the way, are you a statistician?” “I am! But how did you know?”

    “Everything you’ve told me is completely accurate; you gave me more detail than I needed, and you told me in such a way that it’s no use to me at all!”

    “Dang! By the way, are you a principal investigator?”

    “Geeze! How’d you know that????”

    “You don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going. You got where you are by blowing hot air, you start asking questions after you get into trouble, and you’re in exactly the same spot you were a few minutes ago, but now, somehow, it’s my fault!

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    Sea Lions Daddy, Sea Lions.

    Got books on Divining ‘an all :-)

  91. GunnerN5 says:

    George Burns said that “If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. You see statisically very few people die past that age.”

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Right. Son and I got four Surfing films between us for Christmas, and numero uno is about to go on.

    See ya.

  93. One thing, it is impressive to have a foot long rod, but having two is the thing of Dennis`s !.

  94. GunnerN5 says:

    I remember seeing George Burns on TV being interviewed on his 100th birthday. He was puffing on a cigar. The interviewer made some comment about the incongruity of longevity and smoking. George Burns: “Twenty years ago my doctor told me that these cigars were going to kill me”

    Interviewer: “What does he say now?”

    George Burns: “I don’t know. He’s dead”

  95. Big Raddy says:

    So …. I have books on all sorts of things from “how to build your own yoghurt machine to Understanding Nuclear Fission”.

    Doesn’t mean I go out the house with two bits of metal looking for water or energy. Let me give you some instruction ….. go into the kitchen (you know.- the place where the cooker is) and you will find a tap over the sink, turn it, and hey presto ….

    Next it will be Ley Lines

  96. GunnerN5 says:

    Two statisticians were traveling in an airplane from LA to New York. About an hour into the flight, the pilot announced that they had lost an engine, but don’t worry, there are three left. However, instead of 5 hours it would take 7 hours to get to New York.

    A little later, he announced that a second engine failed, and they still had two left, but it would take 10 hours to get to New York.

    Somewhat later, the pilot again came on the intercom and announced that a third engine had died. Never fear, he announced, because the plane could fly on a single engine. However, it would now take 18 hours to get to New York.

    At this point, one statistician turned to the other and said, “Gee, I hope we don’t lose that last engine, or we’ll be up here forever!”

  97. Rasp says:

    I believe in Ley Lines too :roll:

    Micky, I know you’ve gone now, but do your books/did your course explain how divining works. Is it the human or are you just conduit?

    That’s opened the floodgates for derisory comments :lol:

  98. GunnerN5 says:

    A statistician confidently tried to cross a river that was 1 meter deep on average. He drowned.

  99. After Didit`s revelations of the two foot long rods, I think I can now unravel the longest running AA “Who was it ? ” mystery and reveal that Micky`s high pitched 80`s lover was non other than………………………………………….Jimmy Somerville !.

  100. GunnerN5 says:

    The jokes have received no comments – so I take that to mean that statically they are a flop…………

  101. Is that a divining rod….or are you just glad to see me ?.

  102. GunnerN5 says:

    Or maybe they were static (statically) who knows but statistically they definitely made up the number of comments today – so they must work?

    You will be happy to know that I’m off to complete my daily Sudoku.

  103. GunnerN5 says:

    Cockie, it was Mae West h=who coined that joke back in the mid 40’s saying- “Is that a pistol in your pocket – or are you just happy to see me”

  104. arnie says:

    O, wow!!!! AA keeps on getting better and better. Fantastic job, Rocky, a-two-in-one as well (match report and Rocky Monday musings)!!!!! :D :D :D And great discussion, everyone.

    A quick one. There is a distinct change in strategy from Arsene this year. Not that I personally like it so much, but perhaps it is better than giving away a four goal lead that we have done occasionally in the past. Yes, it is nervy for us fans, but perhaps sometimes more efficient. :D :D :D So be it, then. The positives and negatives has been discussed well on AA, so onwards and upwards!

    My question is why? Two tentative suggestions. First, our new found efficiency in defence, led largely by the trio of BFG, Kos and Szcz. This was not a feature of our game in the past. Maybe, this was what restricted us from seriously challenging for trophies for a while.

    Second, maybe, dare I say it, Arsene is becoming more mature (not only older) and therefore more risk averse. Playing a beautiful game is our forte, and we have been among the best in Europe in this front. But in winning dirty, we have never been particularly good. Maybe, from the view of strategy, the best balance between attack and defence is not one that is always loaded in favour of attack. So may it be!!!!! :D :D

    We are Top of the League, so surely the good guys are doing some things right. Who are we to blow against the wind!!! Let us ride the crest. Its a lovely journey, is it not? :D :D :D

  105. RA says:

    Micky @ 5:28

    So why did your carers not take off? :-)

  106. arnie says:

    Micky @ 5:28, Redders @ 6:12: Variety is the spice of life!!!! :razz:

  107. arnie says:

    In all matters except those that concern Arsenal, of course!!!! :D :D

  108. arnie says:

    On possession stats, Arsenal is no longer a team that can retain possession for long periods of the game. Collectively, we are no longer that efficient in passing. Hence, one or two accurate passers do not really make it for us.

    Rather, we win games by constructing moments of brilliance. Hence, what is more important in our current game are the fantastic defence splitting moves and assists, together of course with the final shots/headers. Nevertheless, stats are probably useful!

  109. RA
    That must be 2 carers…..one for each rod !.

  110. arnie says:

    On subbing Theo: I suggest we should all get back to Timmy’s fantastic post over the break. It was fantastic analysis as to how the attacking formation works for Arsenal. This clearly shows why defence is crucial for our attacking game. Perhaps also sheds light into the thinking behind the contentious substitution yesterday!!!! :D :D

  111. GunnerN5 says:

    “Hence, one or two accurate passers do not really make it for us”.

    Wow arnie, I could not disagree more with that statement, we just paid 42 million for one of the most accurate passers in the World

    The lack of a final pass is the making or breaking of a team.

  112. GunnerN5 says:

    Which defender has the best passing statistics this season?

    Which mid-fielder has picked up the most yellow cards?

    Just a game of statistical trivia.

  113. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    Pure guesswork, but I would say:

    1) Mertesacker

    2) Flaminal

  114. GunnerN5 says:

    That’s right Rocky and both stats are the highest in the PL.
    But remember they are only meaningless stats and mean absolutely nothing.

  115. GunnerN5 says:

    Mertesacker 92% accuracy, Flamini 6 yellows.

  116. evonne says:

    Rocky – now that’s the way to write a proper report! Great stuff, captured it all. Hard grafting, Jenks and Szcz’s errors and Giroud’s easy goal stick in mind most from this game. Not a bad game, but hardly a thriller. But it will do me, got us where we want to be and that’s all that matters for the time being. Happy dayz

    Thank you Rocky, not just for this report but for dozens of fab articles that all stick in the mind.

  117. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    Peter Wright is up 4 seta to 1 over Simon Whitlock in the Semi – first one to 6 sets.

    Up next Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis

  118. chas says:

    Nice report, Rocky.

    Our Geordie mates didn’t like Pardew’s subs because they lost their tight shape.
    Everyone can do the manager’s job better than the man in charge can. :)

  119. r0blucci says:

    2008/9 Denilson (3,074 minutes)

    Tackles won (includes aerial): 148 (average 4 per game)
    Tackles lost: 81 (average 2 per game)
    Pass interceptions: 146 (average 4 per game)
    Accurate passes: 2,009 (average 59 per game)
    Bad passes: 238 (average 7 per game)
    Assists: 7
    Goals: 3

    2008/9 Song (1,741 minutes in midfield)
    Tackles won: 104 (average 5 per game)
    Tackles lost: 50 (average 2.5 per game)
    Pass interceptions: 51 (average 2.5 per game)
    Accurate passes: 742 (average 38.4 per game)
    Bad passes: 90 (average 5 per game)
    Assists: 0
    Goals: 1

    2007/8 Flamini (2,665 minutes)

    Tackles won: 102 (average 3.4 per game)
    Tackles lost: 56 (average 1.9 per game)
    Pass interceptions: 57 (average 1.9 per game)
    Accurate passes: 1,321 (average 44.6 per game)
    Bad passes: 100 (average 3.4 per game)

  120. RockyLives says:

    Evonne
    Whatever you do, don’t read the comments!

    (Oh, I’ve just realized that if you’re reading this it’s probably too late already).

    Because if you read the comments, you will see that Micky (and even Rasp) believe in faeries, magick and spooks. And I know that you are, above all else, a scientific rationalist and I would hate you to be upset…

  121. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    Well they were two lucky guesses then! (although I assumed they would be Arsenal players, or why else would you be asking?).

  122. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky the darts were a bit of a cake walk,

    6 sets to 2 for Peter Wright and 6 – 0 for van Gerwen.

    Wright looks like he should be in the circus as a clown and not playing in the final of the World Darts Championship.

    Incredible money at stake 250,000 quid for the winner and 100,000 for the runner up.

    But then again they are the very best in the World.

  123. Hi all

    We don’t have a post for tomorrow yet and I wondered if anyone fancied putting together a bit of an end of year special for us.

    Might need to be one of the insomniacs or overseas bloggers.

    I’ll see what turns up in the morning ;)

    Night night

  124. arnie says:

    GN5: My point was about accurate passing, that is what the stats report, not accurate final passes, and this is what we need! :D Hence I stick to my point, until I am convinced otherwise!!

  125. arnie says:

    Peaches: I can drop in a few lines. If anyone else is already doing this, please let me know.

  126. arnie says:

    Darts reminds me. My (US) school team Spartans is playing in the Rose Bowl this year first time in 26 years. Crunch game against Stanford in Pasadena CA on New Years Day. If any of you have time after the Arsenal game please drop by and support the Spartans. :D :D

  127. RockyLives says:

    arnie
    I know the Rose Bowl well – I used to live a few miles from it. Great old open air stadium in lovely surroundings. I hope Michigan do it for you…

  128. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    Darts produced my all time favourite sports commentator quote, made by the peerless Sid Waddell when Eric Bristow clinched the world championship for the first time.

    As the final dart went in and Eric celebrated, Sid said: “When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer… Bristow’s only 27.”

  129. mickydidit89 says:

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky
    Love that Sid Waddell line :-)

  131. chas says:

    That darn sheep makes it look so easy.

  132. Arnie – thanks for the offer, yes please, I’ve sent you an email.

  133. Morning earlies

    I was thinking the same thing about the sheep

  134. chas says:

    Are you baby minding, peaches?
    Damn early for you. :)

  135. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches
    Just emailed you.

    As for easy looking, it’s not hard, although the sheep does make it look so. He’s very light on a relatively big board. Stick a 16 stone bloke on a 20ft long board (ok they don’t exist) but he will drift in on a wave.

    Wood, foam, fibreglass float. Make it big enough and you/anything will float on it.

  136. chas says:

    Did everyone know that the clock used to be down the North Bank at Highbury?

    Whenever GN5 says that him and his 300 relatives were stood under the clock, I always assumed it was at the Clock End.
    Mind you, I do seem to remember the Clock End being referred to as the South Bank when I was a nipper.

  137. chas says:

  138. chas says:

    Why does wordpress sometimes expand the twitter link and sometimes not?

  139. No, not baby minding, just awake early

  140. chas says:

    Something to put you off your ReadyBrek

  141. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow Chas
    The North Bank was Laundry End, and Clock End, the College End. Never knew that.

  142. chas says:

    Hello, peaches.
    Laters, peaches.

    The ovine ovate should be back on a moment. :)

  143. mickydidit89 says:

    Yuk
    Gotta love Big Ron though :-)

  144. mickydidit89 says:

    Big Ron
    “He can’t speak Turks, but you can tell he’s delighted.”
    “The 33 or 34-year-olds will be 36 or 37 by the time the next World Cup comes around, if they’re not careful.”
    “There’ll be no siestas in Madrid tonight.”
    “They compare Steve McManaman to Steve Heighway and he’s nothing like him, but I can see why – it’s because he’s a bit different. They are both called Steve.”
    “In some ways, cramp is worse than having a broken leg. But leukemia is worse still. Probably.”
    “Despite his white boots, he has real pace and aggression.”
    “Goalkeepers aren’t born today until they’re in their late 20s or 30s and sometimes not even then. Or so it would appear. To me anyway. Don’t you think the same?”
    “The substitute is about to come on – he’s a player who was left out of the starting line-up today. There were others as well.”
    “The ref was vertically 15 yards away. He has a moustache.”“England have the best fans in the world and Scotland’s fans are second to none.”
    “The tide is very much in our court now.”
    “It’s like a toaster, the ref’s shirt pocket. Every time there’s a tackle, up pops a yellow card. I’m talking metaphysically now of course.”
    “I’d love to be a mole on the wall in the Liverpool dressing room at half-time. And not for the reasons that you’re thinking of Clive.”
    “The game has gone rather scrappy as both sides realise they could win this match or lose it or draw it even.”
    “I know what is around the corner. I just don’t know where the corner is.”
    “You can’t do better than go away from home and get a draw.”
    “…using his strength. And that is his strength, his strength. You could say that that’s his strong point.”
    “Chile have three options – they could win or they could lose. It’s up to them, the tide is in their court now.”
    “Though it’s a lot bigger. And more expensive. I prefer Hamburg, more variety. There are these ladies there with fully formed moustaches, know what I mean.”
    “Argentina are the second-best team in the world, and there’s no higher praise than that.”“A tremendous strike which hit the defender full on the arm – and it nearly came off.”
    “The good news for Nigeria is that they’re two-nil down very early in the game.”
    “That decision, for me, was almost certainly definitely wrong.”
    “You’d think the Moroccans would have learnt their lesson by now. You can’t win games without scoring goals.”

  145. arnie says:

    Peaches – I have sent in some year-end thoughts to Nuts!!!! A bit delayed, apologies. :D

  146. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, fine report Rocky.

    Can’t really add much that hasn’t already been said.

    I do like the way that with Flamini, TR7 and Santi on the pitch we seem much more proactive in winning the ball back, rather than sitting back and trying to intercept as Arteta and Rambo do.

    There were for me encouraging signs, how often have I screamed at the TV for someone to row Z it or just clear the damn thing in the past….far too often, not on Sunday though.

  147. mickydidit89 says:

    Nice work Arnie.

    I’ve been busy this morning. Made a chart :-)

    It is the Arsenal year from Jan 1 2012 to now, Dec 31 2013, showing total of Played 38 games, with wins, draw, loss, goals for, against, gd and final points. Then I’ve listed winners over past five years, so we can see on past 12 months how we would have done in previous seasons.

    Brilliant eh? And it’s all neat and tidy in columns and stuff.

    Shall I send it in to tag onto your annual report, or just post it in comments after yours goes up?

  148. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Micky. Let us just add this to the “annual report”. Will be great fun!!!! Off to bed now. Will catch up a few hours later. :D :D

  149. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok Arnie.

    Instead of sleeping, why don’t you go for a 1000 mile drive through snow or something :-)

    Sweet dreams.

  150. evonne says:

    thanks for the warning Rocky!
    Nothing would surprise me about Rasp, but Micky and fairies??? Nay, no way. He might be deluded (thinking that pigs make good pets), but has his feet firmly on the water

    Yankee to get an OBE, good girl!!

  151. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Love the sheep vid. and looking forward to Micky’s chart. Wish I had the smarts to create a chart.

    Love the Big Ron quotes. Is he still broadcasting?

  152. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy
    Think he got banned for saying a Bad.
    The chart is quite brilliant.

    Evonne,
    Never listen to Rocky. I bloody hate Fairies :-)

  153. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh God, that sounds like I hate Bottom Fancying Gentlemen, which I don’t, just the things with wings.

  154. evonne says:

    don’t worry Micky, I believe no man, all bullshitters :)

    poor sheep, must have been petrified…

    Andy Murray didn’t get an OBE??!!! What the heck, surely he deserves it

  155. mickydidit89 says:

    Evonne
    Who’s Yankee?
    And what other Sports people have got Gongs for services to themselves. I mean Country.

  156. evonne says:

    oooh ha ha ha ha ‘Bottom Fancying Gentlemen’ ha ha ha you nutter :)

  157. evonne says:

    all right, Yankey even

  158. mickydidit89 says:

    Who’s Yankey?

  159. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooops, just googled Yankey :-(

  160. evonne says:

    arsenal and your country’s best winger dear

  161. Morning again

    Gonna publish early ………….

  162. Big Raddy says:

    Denmark has just had it’s warmest December for 50 years – still feels bloody freezing.

    Wish I was with Big Al in Koh Samui or wherever he is

  163. …………..New Post ………………..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 507 other followers

%d bloggers like this: