Away at QPR ….. a good 3 points

Our game against QPR away, turned out an ok 2.1 to the good guys. Many of us saw this as an easy 3 points but we also realised that quite often what looks easy is far from it. The game started where both teams were feeling one another out, we usually have a half hour like that before one or other gets in their stride. QPR i feel did get the initial boost of confidence and we were under a bit of pressure as the half ended.
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We came out second half with a little more motivation. Whether the manager had said his two pennyworth  or not, all I know is that we started to string a few passes together and looked like we were starting to work together. We had a few chances but shots at goal seemed like pass backs and did little to worry QPR goalkeeper Green. Ozil I felt had an influence he was moving quite well and also a few nice passes as well, Le Coq with his white Phantom of the opera mask on was as enthralling as ever and with the mask, didnt let that interfere with his task at hand. Present stats say he has made more tackles than any other DM and he certainly wasn’t going to let up.
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Both sides had their chances, but the first goal came by a combination of passes and real doggedness from the Arsenal attack, a nice pass inside by Gibbs rebounds to Giroud who quickly found the back of the net …..  1.0 to the Arsenal. It has to be said that the referee looked a homer from the start but as the game wore on he just seemed card happy. QPR were anything but gentle and many times an Arsenal player was bowled over. This arsenal side seem to have come through the bullying stage this season players like Cazorla now seems to stand toe to toe with many of the tough guys, his trickery has them at two and eights and the way we pass so quickly seems to alleviate a lot of the physicalities.
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Sanchex again was like a Duracel battery. Where he gets his stamina is anyones guess, but he was all over the place – defence wing attack and bitting at legs, he is certainly an all rounder. Bellerin was up and down. Many complain that he ventures up to much but he also runs back another who is only getting better with time. The ageless Rosicky also had a good spell he also puts a lot in and certainly helped the cause. Ospina still holds the starting shirt, he did nothing to suggest that will change.
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Another attack and a nifty inside pass from Gibbs again to the ever willing Sanchez and a bit of wizardry saw the ball as quick as a flash whip past the flailing Green 2.1 to the good guys.
01 03
QPR had been shaken, but the complacency of our side started to give Rangers a boost. A was ball passed into our box to Austin who had his back against our goal. It looked for a minute to be safe, only for Gibbs and Koscielney to take steps backwards to give their striker time to turn and hit a venomous shot passed the helpless Ospina.
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I have seen our defence do this many times and many’s the time we have been punished, that definitely needs sorting. But when the final whistle came the best team won. Ramsey came on as a sub looked a little lost but should soon be back to his best. A good 3 points not many points dropped by any of the teams above us so more importantly none dropped by us either.
Written by Steve Palmer
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We are spoilt today … here are RockyLives’ thoughts on the game
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On a rare visit to these shores I managed to blag a ticket to join our wonderful away support at Loftus Road.

It was also the first time I’ve been to that stadium, which is bizarre as I’m a born-and-bred Londoner and have been to all the other London grounds. Even Dulwich Hamlet.

The experience of attending games at the Emirates and at older grounds like QPR is now so stark that it’s almost like going to a different sport altogether. However, there is a charm to the old places that is distinctly lacking from the new super-stadia.

Anyway, on to the game.

It was a match that pleasingly fulfilled a host of footballing clichés: a game of two halves; we were forced to dig deep; Ollie scored a poacher’s goal and so on.

In the first half we started slowly and then put the handbrake on. The Rs were up for a battle and made the game very physical. We were unable to take control of the ball in midfield which meant we were soaking up a lot of pressure and our defenders looked nervous – hacking the ball away rather than playing it out.

During this period our defenders did well. Paulista won most of his challenges and headers before being forced off with a hamstring injury. The BFG was dominant in the air and marshaled the back line well and both Gibbs and Bellerin were dogged in their work.

As for Francis Coquelin – he turned up dressed for a Venetian masked ball and proceeded to patrol the area in front of our defence like a Renaissance duelist (younger readers, think Assassins Creed), never shirking a challenge. His composure on the ball is also something to behold.

It was something of a relief to get to half time 0-0. QPR had few clear cut chances but it felt like the sort of game where we would inevitably concede a goal if we couldn’t get off the back foot.

Fortunately we came out much more positively in the second half – attacking towards the noisy away support behind the goal. Beer had been consumed so the exact events are a bit of a blur, but Ozil and Rosicky really got in the game and began dictating play; Sanchez worked as tirelessly as ever and Giroud showed for everything.

With good wide support from Gibbs and Bellerin we began to properly threaten and the Rangers players started to tire.

The breakthrough game after some good work down our left from Gibbs, who got a low cross into the near post for Ollie to poke home. It wasn’t a spectacular goal, but you have to give credit to our French Stallion for being alert to the situation and getting there first.

Cue much relief among the Arsenal fans (we were already aware that scores elsewhere were not going our way).

And shortly after we felt even safer when Alexis picked up a ball from Gibbs and twisted and turned his way into the box before deceiving Green in the QPR goal with a low reverse shot just inside the near post. A lovely piece of skill and imagination.

Two-nil and we relaxed a little. In the ensuing 10 minutes or so we had two or three good opportunities – the best falling to Alexis who found himself in a one-on-one with Green. Alexis tried to slip it to Ozil on the right but Green read it and cleared up.

And then we came over all Arsenally. With the game looking safe we switched off and in a split second Rangers were back in the game at 1:2 from a well hit Charlie Adam shot after Gibbs and Koscielny backed away from him.

It made for a nervy last 10 minutes but we held on and we were able to bring home a very important three points.

Some thoughts on individual players: Ozil is an absolute joy to watch – he seems to think at a faster pace than the players around him; Santi – while not quite up to Man City away form – was always available to relieve pressure with his close control; Ospina is starting to look like our real Number One; Giroud’s strike rate is starting to nudge him towards “top, top striker” level – do we really need to look elsewhere in the summer?

RockyLives

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84 Responses to Away at QPR ….. a good 3 points

  1. RockyLives says:

    Nice one Steve – good observations and exactly as I saw it.

    BR in his pre-match pointed out how poor our record away at QPR has been, so I’m grateful to have nabbed all three points.

    Rasp – I’ll popped my report into drafts but I think Steve has covered things well and using it might be a bit repetitive.

  2. RA says:

    Nice one, Steve,

  3. RA says:

    NB

    I was more than pleased to be mistaken by you for our hoppy, happy Hippy. 🙂

    Slightly concerned that the leaf strumming, El Greco lizard looks like he has been posed after going to meet his maker. Probably too much heavy metal. 🙂

    I loved your petit déjeuner painting — well I say ‘your’ painting, but you have clearly nicked it as it is not signed ‘North Bank’, but by some lad called ‘Chris’. 🙂

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, I’ve added your report to the post.

    I agree with your praise of Ozil, I was beginning to think he’s not for Arsenal. Having players like Coquelin to do the dirty work around him (as in the German national side) frees him to do what he is exceptionally good at and works for the team.

  5. Rasp says:

    …. sorry and thanks to both Steve and Rocky for their match reports 😀

  6. RockyLives says:

    Apologies for the mistake in my report – when QPR scored it brought the score to 2-1, it didn’t “level” it as I wrote. It’s just that when their goal went in we were all fearing a late leveller, so the idea must have stayed in my bonce 🙂

  7. RA says:

    I blinked and the Post had multiplied like some sort of fecund amoeba splitting in two.

    Anyway, another nice report, Rocky.

    What neither author mentioned, was the effort by Özil for which he was initially castigated for apparently shinning a pass he should have buried.

    The BBC blow by blow match account gave him a sarcastic comment inferring ‘banjo and cow’s ass’, but shortly afterwards offered a lame apology as he had been fouled by Karl Henry and it was a clear foul. The guy already had a yellow card and it would/should have been a penalty and a sending off for a second yellow.

    That would have materially altered the course of the game.

    Any reason for this negligent omission in your reports fellas? 🙂

  8. Rasp says:

    I’ve sorted it Rocky 🙂

  9. Rasp says:

    Raddy was right about Sandro in his PM … what a dirty piece of ‘totnum’ he is!

  10. RA says:

    You are such a creep, Rasper. 🙂

  11. RA says:

    I managed to kneel on a jagged pebble while engaged in an ‘here let me lift that for you, madame’ moment – and had to visit a hospital.

    Human nature is a wonderful thing and I have been impressed with the milk of human kindness shown to me since, during my recovery.

    ‘Did you know that you have been sending subliminal morse code messages as you walk across the wood floor?’ What??

    Apparently, I naturally favor my duff knee and it sounds like ‘dot’ and ‘dash’ as I walk/hobble, with the occasional ‘dash, dash, dot, dash’ when I stumble. Bastards!

    This morning a fearful sounding young lady who shares the flat said she was terrified last night by what sounded like some giant alien insect walking around the place clicking its mandibles and skittering quietly on 4 or 6 legs – not an arachnid then.

    The explanation was that, in some considerable pain. I went to the kitchen around 3 in the morning for some pain killers, and had to use my metal crutches. These do make a sort of metallic clicking, and playing them in front of me, somewhat arrhythmically to get my balance and then sliding my ‘good’ foot forward while holding my ‘bad un’ in the air, the combination does sound a bit like a frazzled ant making ‘ugh’ noises. [That is me trying not to cry!] 😉

    I was asked to keep it down in future, and try to show some consideration for those copulating quietly and unable to investigate the alien critter noises, or those trying to sober up before going to work early.

    Friends are such wonderful sh*ts sometimes. Now they have pinched my crutches!! Bollix.

  12. RockyLives says:

    Redders – what is the saying: “No good deed ever goes unpunished.” 😦

  13. RA says:

    Actually, Rocky, there has never been a word spoken so true! 🙂

    They are really funny flatmates, and are just paying me back for being such a baby – and I cannot catch them. 🙂

    You have obviously snuck back into the UK and I am pleased you managed to see a win rather than the dismantling of our European hopes recently.

    Are you here long?

  14. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Steve and Rocky. I am delighted with the win and I haven’t seen the game or even any highlights yet so am only going by your fine reports. It sounds like we were well in control and easily good for the victory from your summations. That goes slightly at odds with me staring intently at the BBC text commentary and watching the sky sports thing with Geoff Stelling for the last 10 minutes and literally crapping myself every time one of the pundits watching the games shouted out in the background.

    It looks like Chelsea, Utd, and Spuds all had a nervy last 10 as well so we weren’t isolated in that, it just seems to me that we have more of those “take 6 months off your life” last 10 minutes than anyone else.

    I am glad Ozil played well. Having backed him in the past when he has had his detractors I was very disappointed with him in the Monaco game and had started to question his continuation with us. Some players are everywhere and make lung bursting runs all over the place. I don’t expect that from Ozil and want him primarily positioning himself in areas to allow for quick and clinical attacks.

    I do however feel that in this modern game all players have to work hard to press the opposition and try and win the ball back. In Ozil’s case I don’t want him necessarily tracking back 40 metres but do want him to close down quickly and press in the attacking area he operates in. If it moves away from that zone then leave it to other members of the team. Against Monaco Ozil was guilty of not pressing opposition players close to him when we had lost possession and I did find that unprofessional.

    Sorry Rocky but as for Ollie my answer is yes we do need to look for something else in the summer. Ollie is a very useful squad member but is only a decent striker for me, and is not nor will ever be world class. I wouldn’t sell him but he would be the back up option for me in our squad to someone more world class. He will have his purple patches, and I am glad he is scoring regularly, but his deficiencies will show through against the best teams in the biggest games. We will not compete with the top teams in the top competitions while they have strikers / forward players like Aguero, Costa, Neymar, Ibrahimovich, Cavani e.t.c. Ollie is a player that should contribute to successful seasons with Arsenal but will not help us win the biggest prizes.

  15. GoonerB says:

    RA sorry to hear about your poorly knee. Did the jagged pebble cause a laceration or has it inflamed the bursa under the knee-cap? Not that I know much about it but that is a common problem in camels, all wormers of any worth know this.

  16. RA says:

    GB,

    I had an X-Ray, and the knee (patella area) is swollen so I might have to have an MRI scan to locate the exact problem.

    In fact the anti-inflammatory gell is working well now, and I am sure it will be fine soon. Thank you. 🙂

    You probably missed my comment last week, that a heat map thingy showed that in the top 5 ‘ground coverers’ during the Monaco match, 4 of their team were included, at 1, 2, 4 and 5.

    The Arsenal player who had covered the most distance – in third place – was Özil.

    Many fans, like your goodself have the impression that he is a ‘lazy’ player, when in fact he is anything but.

  17. RA says:

    And don’t think, GB, that I missed your allusion to me being a camel in need of worming!! 🙂

  18. GoonerB says:

    If only RA, then I could help you. You would feel so much better once wormed. Alas all I can say to you is ice pack it on a regular basis and sometimes a bit of gentle self massage really helps (not the type that Terry and Cockie would think I meant).

    On Ozil RA I likely didn’t explain myself so well. I have seen those stats about distance covered myself and have satisfied myself that he is not lazy as some say. It was more I observed him stopping and looking to the heavens when a 1-2 hadn’t come off but also when he was close to the opposition player in their penalty box. One of our other players closed down from the front and Ozil could have immediately gone and closed from the side angle and possibly forced them into a mistake in a dangerous area, but he stopped and didn’t. It is funny how certain things stick in your mind and it may be that this was purely a one off, an isolated event so I will give him some leeway. I just remember how much it irked me at the time.

  19. GoonerB says:

    RA, look up housemaids knee, which is actually a bursitis. These normally happen with repetitive pressure such as from repetitive kneeling but they can occur in a one off event if that individual pressure is enough and catches the bursa at the wrong angle. It does sound a bit like this but difficult to fully analyse over a key-board.

  20. GoonerB says:

    Off for a bit, catch you all later.

  21. arnie says:

    wow. what a double bill! thank you Steve, thank you Rocky. 🙂 today we are spoilt indeed. 🙂

    Busy day, back laters, but first two quick things that I think have not been touched upon.

    First. Wenger, we realise what you are trying to do. Midweek next week, we have a tough job on our hands. We have to get creative and use the width.

    So, what better way than to unleash all four of Ozil, Santi, Alexis and TR7 together. Plus width from Gibbs and Bellerin. What’s not to like?

    Except that, time is short. Initial indications are good. Hope this plan works. But we need to be tight at the back. COYG.

    How back is Easter’s injury?

  22. arnie says:

    Second. This is the last time Evonne was spotted on these shores.

    Eddie says:
    February 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    “thanks Terry, very funny post.
    I am worse than over last Wednesday – I don’t care much and that is dangerous. Once I lose interest in something it’s forever. Small loss to the Arsenal, but how many other fans are equally disappointed?

    It was criminal to throw away such great an opportunity. We won’t get a better chance of winning. We thought it was our year

    arnie – we won’t win 3:0 away – they will try like you seldom see them trying. but it is not happening”

    Sad. 😦

  23. RA says:

    Thanx for the advice, GB. 🙂

  24. Big Raddy says:

    We are blessed to have two posts!

    “All Arsenally” had me smiling – so true.

    Despite all QPR’s huff and puff all of their shots were taken from outside our area allowing Ospina time to move. This shows a level of defensive control we have struggled with pre- Le Coq.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Sorry to read of your knee injury. GN5 knows all about knees. You haven’t been very lucky with health issues over the past few years have you?

    I have just booked into the acupuncturist for treatment of repetitive strain injury to my elbow – could have been the wrist in my youth 🙂

    Eddie. 8 wins out of 9 must be reason to return to blogging.

    Kelsey. I hope you are enjoying a speedy recovery

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy, I don’t think RA is in kneed of any more sympathy but as you say I do know how he feels. My doctor tells me that both of my knees are “nicely unstable” but I’ve resisted surgery for over 50 years and will continue to do so.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    It was wonderful to read not one but two positive reports on the win over QPR. Raddy’s 55% positive was far more realistic than my gung ho approach but in the end it was good to see a good team effort that resulted in 3 points to the good guys..

    Is it just me or do others also get the impression that we are always playing in a forest full of very big oak trees? I read a report that on average we had the shortest and lightest team in the PL – I forget the exact stats.

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    This is a very lengthy but very positive report copied from Sky Sports.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    Arsenal show mental strength to beat QPR at Loftus Road but can they handle the bigger tests that lie ahead?

    By Adam Bate

    Arsenal won 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday night thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez. Adam Bate was at Loftus Road for Sky Sports to see a performance that was a testament to the mental strength of Arsene Wenger’s side…

    Arsenal began Wednesday evening in third spot but in the knowledge that the four teams below them were all still within striking distance. Thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers they remain among that top three and Arsene Wenger is certain to be encouraged by his team’s resilience.

    A weekend win over Everton had ensured time for introspection following the shattering 3-1 defeat to Monaco last week had been kept to a minimum but answers were still required one week on. The claustrophobic confines of Loftus Road and a QPR team in the midst of a relegation battle never looked likely to be straightforward but it’s a test that the Gunners were able to overcome.

    Battle for Gabriel

    Quite what Premier League newcomer Gabriel must have made of it is unclear as the centre-back was treated to the Bobby Zamora experience. The home side pelted balls in the direction of their target man, perhaps sensing a weakness in the heart of Arsenal’s defence as the Brazilian was paired alongside Per Mertesacker for the first time.

    Wenger hails desire and belief

    Zamora certainly had his moments against Gabriel, pushing him aside more than once as Arsenal were forced to devote much of their concentration to contesting the second balls. But it would be wrong to characterise the defender’s exit due to a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half as an admission of defeat in his tussle.

    Gabriel won possession more times than any other Arsenal player in the opening 45 minutes, nipping ahead of Zamora when he could, and his tally of 12 clearances remained a game-high for well over half an hour after he’d departed. It was typical of the resilience Arsenal showed – even when QPR’s pressing made it virtually impossible to play through midfield in that opening half hour.

    Fight to play

    “We needed not only to fight but to fight to play,” said Wenger in his post-match press conference. “We were nervous in the first half. They put a shift in that they paid a price for certainly in the second half. They stopped us playing balls through the pitch. Sandro played a big part in that and, of course, when he went off after an hour it became a little easier for us to control that.”

    Francis Coquelin had a battle on his hands in midfield but Arsenal rode the storm well

    Such was the domination of Chris Ramsey’s team that after 35 minutes it was midfield bully Karl Henry who’d completed the most passes in the game – more than any of Arsenal’s plethora of playmakers. That Santi Cazorla had made more successful passes than QPR’s top two passers by full time was indicative of how the game turned. As QPR tired, Arsenal were able to impose themselves.
    Top speed

    Kieran Gibbs was the fastest man on the pitch, clocked at 33.74 km/h [Source: TRACAB]

    The relentless running of Hector Bellerin and Kieran Gibbs (the fastest man on the pitch having been clocked at 33.74km/h) tested the home side down the flanks and following the departure of Sandro in midfield, Arsenal’s players were not closed down quite so quickly in the middle. By the full-time whistle, Mesut Ozil had fashioned as many chances (five) as the entire QPR team put together.

    Gutsy Giroud

    It still needed someone to find the breakthrough and for the second time in four days that man was Olivier Giroud. The French forward had been much criticised following his missed chances against Monaco last week and speculation continues regarding his suitability for the task but it’s a testament to his character that he is able to produce decisive goals against that backdrop.

    Olivier Giroud came in for plenty of criticism against Monaco but has responded admirably

    Sprint king

    Olivier Giroud made 78 high-intensity runs v QPR – the most of any player on the pitch [Source: TRACAB]

    “He’s strong mentally, Olivier,” said Wenger. “He can take some criticism mentally and respond. He’s shown that.” With 78 sprints on the night, more than anyone else on the pitch, Giroud worked tirelessly for his opportunity and took it when it came – sweeping the ball beyond Robert Green after Gibbs’ blocked shot fell kindly for him.

    Sanchez scores

    That goal forced QPR to chase things a little more and once Sanchez was left free to run at young full-back Darnell Furlong it felt like only a matter of time before there would be further punishment. Sanchez finally doubled the lead by beating Green at his near post from close range after twisting and turning to elude his marker. It was his first goal in eight games.

    Alexis Sanchez is back among the goals for Arsenal after going seven games without scoring

    “It’s good because when you don’t score for seven or eight games it is on your mind even if you say it’s not,” said Wenger. “He never gives up.” That was particularly true given that he might have been affected by wasting a one-on-one chance shortly before his goal. “After that, the fact that he can still score shows he has the mental strength to respond,” added his manager.

    Test of character

    Charlie Austin’s fiercely-struck shot inside the final 10 minutes made for an awkward finish with Steven Caulker playing up front in the dying minutes in search of an equaliser. But once the game was over, Wenger is likely to regard the experience all the more rewarding for having come through such an examination.

    Wenger must be encouraged by the response of his players since the Monaco disappointment

    “We were all down after the Monaco game and we responded well against Everton and again tonight,” said Wenger. The away support certainly enjoyed themselves, tormenting their hosts with the chants of “we’ll never play you again” as the clock ran down. However, it’s a team they’re destined to meet again and again that will be occupying the Arsenal manager’s thoughts now.

    Monday means a visit to Manchester United for an FA Cup quarter-final against an opponent they’ve beaten just once in 15 meetings. With a second leg in Monaco to come too, there are clearly bigger tests of character ahead. But at least Wednesday’s battling win over QPR offered some evidence that Arsenal possess the strength of purpose needed to face those challenges head on.

  29. G’day all,

    Two excellent match reports, thanks Rocky and Steve.

    Our referee friend, Friend messed up the only significant decision he had to make, the tug by Henry on Mesut’s shirt, which should have resulted in a second yellow and a penalty. It was as clear as you can get but the one-eyed b*****d missed it. Select panel? Most of them shouldn’t be allowed to officiate a Subuteo game.

  30. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon all, sorry been out all morning,
    I saw in the comments that RA has asked the question why was Ozils scuffed shot not mentioned, in reply i can only say that the ref the two linesmen and the fourth official didn’t see the tug on Ozils arm which i saw clearly, The commentator explained it as a missed chance.

    Seeing how the ref hardly missed a chance to give a foul or show a card i felt if i had mentioned it a yellow would have shown up in the morning post, Lets face it we won 2.1 why whinge when it wont change the score. 🙂

  31. Steve, only three yellows in the match, it could, should, have been at least four, Henry’s shirt tug on Mesut would have then resulted in a red. so I don’t think it’s fair to say that Friend was exactly card happy.

  32. stevepalmer1 says:

    Norfolk i felt he was a homer maybe i am wrong, but i didn’t rate him. obviously we differ with opinions, but we are both happy with the 3 points

  33. Steve, my opinions of Friend and many of his colleagues in the Select Group would not meet the criteria set out by Peaches’ mum. I didn’t see enough of the game to argue against him being a homer, so I don’t disagree with you on that, only on the card happy point.

    I was delighted that we got the deserved three points, particularly as all our direct rivals got the maximum as well.

  34. chas says:

    Thanks for the reports, Steve and Rocky.
    Both are fine summaries of a tricky fixture we eventually managed to negotiate our way through.

    Charlie Adam scoring for QPR, Rocky? Watching the game through a haze of alcohol is great, innit? 🙂

    Question to the editor – nice photo of Sanchez but weren’t we playing in yellow last night? 🙂

  35. Big Raddy says:

    The sad fact is that every PL game has poor/wrong refereeing decisions.

    As Rasp said this morning (and many times previously) we need video replays for the 4th official. If there is doubt it goes with the on-field referee’s initial decision just like it does in cricket.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Oooh chas. You are naughty!

  37. Shubham says:

    Important win. 3 points matter a lot at this stage. All teams around us won, so it was crucial. Now on to ManU. Need to do them nice and proper to keep the momentum going. Then we’ll take care of Monaco. COYG!

  38. Rasp says:

    I keep offering chas access behind the scenes so he can correct our numerous faux pas – but he shuns my advances 😆

  39. chas says:

    Haha, only kidding.
    Just proving I read and absorbed the excellent match reports.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I am not surprised

    chas and Didit are from the Punk generation. You know the types. Take the piss but refuse to take any responsibilty 🙂

    Whereas us blokes who fought in the trenches, leaving our loved ones at home to defend our country and make the world a safer place for our children are still saddled with the responsibility of keeping the site going 🙂

  41. Rasp says:

    Exactly Raddy 😀

  42. RA says:

    I have no interest in conspiracy theories, either at the Mourinho boo-hoo level, or the cabal of referees against Arsenal guys.

    Never-the-less there is no excuse for the consistently poor level of competence demonstrated this season by elite refs.

    It would be wrong to condemn them out of hand as most of us if handed a whistle and told to officiate a game at whatever level would probably be lucky to escape a lynching – but……..

    Manure were excused a penalty against Newcastle at the weekend, when Smalling committed an inarguable penalty early on.
    Penalty and red card? Nope the ref gave sod all [Anthony Taylor?]

    Chelsea’s Hazard scored the only goal against Wham which was at least a yard off-side.

    Özil was fouled by Karl Henry – clear penalty and a second yellow card for the culprit? Nope the ref ‘did not see it.’

    And so it goes on and on.

    And what’s more – no one makes much of it anymore. Pointless to complain? Yep.

  43. Rasp says:

    Video replays right all those wrongs Redders …. it’s coming mark my words. The reason FIFA isn’t keen is because it condones match fixing.

  44. chas says:

    Ha, summed me up perfectly.
    No kids, little or no work, exercise, Arsenal and good mates.
    Life’s a bitch. 🙂

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s it Raddy.

    You’ve done it this time with your “chas and Didit are from the Punk generation. You know the types. Take the piss but refuse to take any responsibility”

    So, let’s clear up the hippy contribution shall we.

    I’ll start with women’s lib and the resultant unshaven, short haired angry birds. They’re your fault. Then there’s lesbians spawned by anti-nuke Greenham Commoners. Your fault again

    Shall we go on? :-).

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    We’ll finish this at dawn

    Nite all.

  47. chas says:

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. We had green & LSD , you had speed and heroin.

    We had free love and gong baths – you had pogo-ing and spitting

    We had Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny – you had Nancy Spungen and Poly Styrene

    We fight at dawn.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    Noticed a lot of love for Ospina yesterday, but I do still worry about the amount of shot he fails to palm away from the danger area. It could be a very costly trait if it’s not rectified.

  50. arnie says:

    ouch, Redders, please take care. a toast to a quick recovery. 🙂

  51. arnie says:

    not that anyone is asking, but my position regarding strikers in the summer is the following. Giro is our best, but he is not world class.

    I am with Micky here that we should be looking for a top signing, even if it costs the earth.

    But Giro is a 20-goal forward, we do not want a 15-goal-a-year numpty, but a 30-goal top gun will be brilliant. Please, Arsene. 🙂

  52. arnie says:

    From GB’s list, and only based on this season’s record, Aguero, Neymar and Ibrahimovich fit the bill, but Costa or Cavani do not. IMO.

  53. stevepalmer1 says:

    RA just read your comment and although i agree with what you say, still think you were right this morning about your comment. If it happens then yes it was worth a mention.

    Maurine in my mind has turned things around to suit himself, he does have a team that dives at the flimsiest touch and players who lose their cool some what easily.

    Manure also use many things to gain decisions, in fact i feel that referee’s are picked out specially for their games. Conspiracy theories are passed around all the time, we all see things that they don’t but at the end of the day officials can not always see everything,

    The theory that it all evens up at the end of a season doesn’t wash with me. But if there is any skulduggery i am sure it will surface at some time.

    Many leagues in other countries have been found to have corruption, i dont watch every game thats played but the ones i do watch seems to favour the bigger clubs. just my opinion.

  54. arnie says:

    Its been a tough week at work, and still one day to go. However, this is what comes in the evening. 🙂

  55. arnie says:

    Technology, dear me, not a tool that tools should be trusted with. As for DRS, same for the so-called Elite Group. 😦

    Mark Nicholas in Cricinfo:

    In the match between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, James Taylor was denied a hundred by a flaw in the system of adjudication. With England nine wickets down, Taylor needed two runs for three figures but missed his shot and the ball cannoned into his pads. The umpire ruled him lbw. The ball trickled away for a possible leg-bye. Taylor signalled for a review of the decision. The uncertainty led to hesitation. James Anderson, backing up, attempted the run but the throw hit the stumps direct. The lbw review went in Taylor’s favour. The run-out review went against Anderson.

    Out, review, not out, review, out. Wrong.

    The playing condition states that after the umpire’s finger has been raised, the ball becomes dead. Anderson could not have been run out. The ICC admitted the umpires’ mistake the next day. It was a bad one.

    Anyway, forget about the mistake for a minute. Imagine the same thing happening with two needed to win off the last ball of the World Cup final between Australia and India. This is not as unlikely as it seems. An attempted slog often hits the pads and ricochets away. The bowler will surely appeal. Umpires are under extreme pressure. Fingers go up, batsmen review. What then? Dead ball? End of match? Even if the review is upheld? And, wait for it, what if the ball ricochets to the boundary and rolls over the rope? The boundary should win the World Cup. But the ball is dead, even though the batsman has been proved not out.

    Thus, the DRS has created a problem. In search of the truth, an injustice occurs. When a batsman reviews a decision given against him, the game stops. Fielders, first celebrating the supposed dismissal – and certainly not chasing the ball – stop to see whether or not they have their man. The batsman, of course, stops to find out the same. The DRS was introduced to eradicate “the howler” (hate that expression). In this illustration it has eradicated the shocker, okay, but created an even bigger shocker still.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy

    ha ha ha ha I just googled images Sandy Denny and Joni Mitchell. Holy crap you must have been smoking some strong shit. Complete boilers. Really.

    Two words. Debbie Harry. I’m mean come on, that’s a phwoar in anyone’s era.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    World surfing started again
    Women first
    Australia round one
    http://www.worldsurfleague.com/

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Virtually flat, but if you look really closely,, there’s the odd good backdoor shots to enjoy

  59. arnie says:

    motning Micky, motning all.

    cricket beckons. 😛

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes, motning Arnie
    I have to apologise to you or Chas. The world cup cricket is still on. Heard that on the telly news last night. Guess the Kiwi Aus game was an early round or something.
    Is Beefy playing? 🙂

  61. arnie says:

    you would not recogmise most of the players, I reckon. neither do I. only the Hippy follows regularly and knows all the players.

    Today’s game India v WI. old timers Gayle and Dhoni

    Beefy is probably playing in bed somewhere. 😛

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Micky. Sorry I couldn’t make dawn. Had to meet a man about a dog.

    Have to give you Debbie but I was writing about the music. We had some fit female singers but hippies do not objectify women 🙂

    Loving the cricket. India in the ascendancy today, Beefy is in Oz as a commentator

  63. arnie says:

    aha, Raddy, meet a man about a dog! hmmm. did the main bite the dog? I wonder

  64. chas says:

    Nancy Spungen, music?

  65. Morning all

    When they designed and built Westminster Bridge they didn’t take into account the sunset ha ha

  66. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Trust you to find the weak link!

  67. Thanks chas…. my photo didn’t work for some reason 🙂

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Cockie says he’s an award winning pie deliverer. Not true. Civil engineer.

  69. chas says:

    Pie deliverer builds love shack in back garden.

  70. chas says:

    Sorry, NB, I thought it was BR trying to post a photo. I know you know the techy stuff already.

  71. chas says:

    Sorry, NB, I thought it was BR trying to post a photo. I know you know the techy stuff already..

  72. chas says:

    Bloody WordPress (Peaches mum is banned from watching this)

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    Spot on Chas. Clues everywhere. Now the hard evidence 🙂

  74. Big Raddy says:

    🙂 🙂

    I love the mornings on AA. Always brings a smile

  75. arnie says:

    or two. 🙂 🙂

  76. arnie says:

    NB. It was pissing rain when they built the bridge. what sunset? 😛

  77. chas says:

    Off in the summer?

  78. chas says:

    Micky
    Couldn’t you knock up a 10 minute rant about hippies?

  79. Rasp says:

    Rant Friday is a vacant slot at the moment 😕 Anyone fancy it?

  80. Big Raddy says:

    I am writing …..

  81. Big Raddy says:

    There is a

    New Post

  82. RA says:

    Personally I have always found Hippies a fascinating mixture of ant-organisational individuals that live outside the morals and standards of accepted societal norms, and yet show an abundance of love and empathy for naked people, plants, trees and hideous looking insects, while stolidly rejecting peaceful, war repellent weapons like the H-Bomb.

    Where did they come from all these bandana wearing, sun-glass totin’, jean beclad, individuals reeking of psychedelic drugs?

    Well I guess the Hippie culture probably started in the college campuses of the US, and spread swiftly to other like minded critters in the UK and Europe where it was deemed to be fun to smoke pot, listen to soft tunes about going to San Francisco, and playing with the unclothed sections of the opposite sex.
    No, that’s not right – playing with the unclothed sex of opposite persons. Damn this spliff is good stuff.

    I guess that the beatniks who originated in NYC may have been the early fore-runners of the Hippie movement.

    For those of us who missed out on Woodstock and the Summer of Love you can still see sign posts along the Californian coast saying touristy things like ‘Hey – you missed out on the pot and the free- love – yeah that’s right Terry – free love – and you missed it. Tough titty.’ 🙂

    But maybe you made it to the Isle of Wight Festival – in the 70’s. like Raddy, and pranced about in the rain wearing leather boots and nothin’ else – just listen to the rain, good people.

    Don’t be square man – be cool, you know!

    I just bet Raddy loved Jefferson Airplane, The Merry Pranksters, and the Grateful Dead as well as the Family Dog.

    Enough about those easy living’ Hippies, how about a word on the Micky type Yippies – po-faced activists who tried to levitate the pentagon – yeah that’s right – levitate the bloody pentagon by chanting with their Micky like leader Jerry Rubin. Oh, boy – what a clutz.

    Woodstock? As a kid – wow that was something. I missed all of the 60s and 70s Hippy stuff — but there was Janis Joplin, Credence Clearwater rival, willing girls who thought I was cute – did I just dream that I was in paradise – or was it really real.

    Then life found me and I found football – and the need to earn a living – and I said goodbye – sort of – to the hippies and even that slow-burning Hippy, Rocky.

    Still………..

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