“Rubbish Game, Great Result”. A Fan’s View.

“Play shite and lose is unforgivable……..play shite and win is what champs are made of.”

I can’t improve on that. It is not easy making Newcastle look good but we really gave it our best shot. They are poor, really poor but the same team that were mauled at Southampton returned and it could have oh so easily been the sequel to Nightmare on the South Coast.

I felt sorry for Ozil from start to finish: an artist surrounded by journeymen. It was embarrassing at times watching Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain failing to fulfil the most simple of football tasks such as trap the ball and pass it to someone in a red and white shirt.

As I was watching I was trying to work out what had gone so wrong with those two, the only idea I could come up with was that although in training the energy of Sanchez and his determination to defend from the front has clearly rubbed off; they track back with greater determination, the problem is they also seem to both be copying the man from Chile’s unnecessary obsession of trying to beat at least two opponents before making his pass, Sanchez can get away with this – just — but it is downright infuriating when Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain try and do the same as neither of them has Sanchez’ close control; nothing like it in fact, the result is that we lose possession so easily and so unnecessarily which gifts attacking opportunities to the opposition. This happened so often yesterday I wanted to scream.

Some plum on this site wrote a match report not so long ago suggesting that the collective eleven were playing better without Sanchez; he might have had a point when the collective were playing simple, one touch, find your man football, but that was not the brand on display yesterday. Walcott or Oxlaide-Chamberlain going to keep Sanchez out of the side, I don’t think so. The Whirling Dervish can’t return soon enough as far as I am concerned.

We started quite brightly really with two excellent chances in the first five minutes both of which should have been converted and both of which should have put the game to bed but, no, we insisted on making Newcastle look better than they are by giving them opportunity after opportunity to go ahead; the most generous being at the beginning of the second half when one of their players got free and found himself one on one with Cech, fortunately the Helmeted One was on his game and saved our bacon again.

The breakthrough came our way, although, it could have just have easily have fallen to Newcastle considering the amount of chances they had. Özil sent in a corner, it pinged around a bit, Giroud did well to keep it alive and Koscielny was Johnny on the spot to tap it home which produced a huge sigh of relief around the ground rather than wild celebrations.


Wenger made his usual changes with Campbell replacing the Ox, and Gibbs replacing Walcott to shore up the left flank and then finally Chambers to add some more steel to the defense.

I find it fascinating how Wenger has introduced Chambers. Not so long ago both Arteta and Flamini were injured and Wenger was forced to throw Chambers into the fray; he was poor. GIE wrote after the game that he felt he could never see Chambers becoming a midfielder, his body language was all wrong. This is not meant to have a go at GIE, I like a bold comment, after all where would this blog be without them and what’s more I agreed with him at the time. But since then Wenger has been slowly building this one with a few minutes at the end of a game here and few minutes at the end of the game there and then interestingly a good twenty minutes against Southampton, the more observant would have noticed that Wenger always tries to salvage something when all seems lost and in this case it was giving valuable unpressured pitch time to the young would be DM before finally starting him against Bournemouth during which he found his confidence and got better and better as that game went on to the point where we were all singing his praises at the end. Chambers is a better passer of the ball than Flamini although the latter’s experience was exactly what was required yesterday but I do expect to see Chambers start next week.

I am going to give GIE the final word on yesterday’s game: “1-0 is 1-0 is 3 points”. Can’t argue with that.

Player ratings.

Cech: I don’t know much about this breed, I could never understand why people used to give Szczesny a hard time — I do now. Another clean sheet. 8

Bellerin: This young man has set high standards for himself and yesterday he fell below them, too many stray passes, substandard crosses, positioning not so good. 5

Mertesacker: Per is not likely to start getting called the Luftwaffe of the Arsenal defence in the near future; his aerial cover is non existant, time after time Newcastle were first to get their head on a cross when it really should have been cleared by the BFG. However, that said, he was as composed as ever on the ground again. 6

Koscielny: his goal covered a multitude of sins or miss placed passes if you prefer; he was slightly better than the others and a winning goal goes an awful long way. 7

Monreal: again, way below his usual high standards, poor passes, poor crosses; still, he has a lot of credit in the bank. 5

Flamini: the Frenchman is playing with far greater control; well, apart from the booking when he tried to kick the ball when it was a good six foot in the air. Not the man you expect to score us goals but gave a decent Flamini performance nevertheless. 6.

Ramsey: his day was summed up by the pass he failed to make to Campbell for a tap in which would have put the game to bed. Too many poor decisions. 4

Ozil: People questioned his ability when he first arrived, what we now know is that the problem wasn’t his ability it was his commitment. Mesut had been used to playing with the likes of Ronaldo for goodness sake and then what, Gervinho? Santos? If that doesn’t lower a player of his calibre’s self esteem I don’t know what will and yet the change has been incredible, this man has brought into Arsenal lock stock and barrel. I mean, did you see him wearing that silly Arsenal Santa jumper, awful, absolutely awful, but he wore it and he did do with a smile on his face, now that is a man who is committed to this club. Wenger must take a huge amount of credit for patiently guiding him to where he is now and my guess is that he will continue his integration by making him captain next season. 9

Walcott: put the ball in front of him to run onto and we have good Theo, put the ball to his feet and ask him to think and we have bad Theo. Too much bad Theo yesterday. 4

Oxlade-Chambelain: how did we all get so excited about this player, someone remind me because I cannot see a single attribute that is above average and most were well below yesterday. 3

Giroud: little bear’s porridge, not too good, not too bad, played an important part in getting the all important goal. 7

As Peaches’ title says “Rubbish Game, Great result”, I’ll take that right now.

Written by LB

58 Responses to “Rubbish Game, Great Result”. A Fan’s View.

  1. Thank you LB.

    Lots to discuss but I have to go out ……… back in a while.

  2. Rasp says:

    Superb analysis thank you LB.

    From what I saw of the game, we can indeed celebrate 3 points and hope the performance is not a sign of things to come.

    There will be many more rainy days before the season finishes, we cannot be fair weather footballers.

    Thank Dennis for PC, he kept us in the game yesterday. As GiE observed a while ago, his calmness and the fact that he never bellows at his defenders bring the solid stability at the back we haven’t seen since Seaman.

    We win and go clear at the top and of course, logically, the pundits make city favourites to win the title. I’m happy with that, proving them wrong will make it all the more pleasurable, but one or two who played yesterday will have to dig a bit deeper to make it happen.

  3. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all….two mentions in a terrific match report for those of us who didn’t go, didn’t bother finding a stream and were left with the result to go on.

    Having watched the highlights I would praise Cech for his stops and Kozzer for staying alive when others were on heels.

    Cech just does the simple things well, I am still concerned at his judgement of the high ball on occasion but he lives and dies by his own decisions and doesn’t seem to let bad ones faze him, also he doesn’t mind having to save shots, reminds me of safe hands in that way. Between him and BFG and Kozzer we have a pretty calm base from which to build.

    I should add on Chambers it wasn’t necessarily body language but body shape, to me he holds himself more like a centre back, upright, shoulders back. Where as I expect a centre midfielder to be more hunkered if that makes sense.

    On Kozzers goal I always find it interesting that no one questions man marking, clearly Perez lost his man, had Toon defended zonal they would have had at least two bodies in that area, and we may not have scored, but instead of focussing on the tactical side most pundits will say it was Perez’s fault that we scored he didn’t do his job….maybe some managers like that as they like to dig players out for an error. That can still be the case with zonal, watch City concede yesterday and you see Kolarov asking where the man who was supposed to be marshalling the near post had gone, but it’s more a collective failure when goals are conceded when defending zonally.

    I’ll take the 3 points and ask said yesterday 18 more 1-0’s and the league is ours. Alexis returning will lift the side and while he can infuriate it is simply the fact that he has amazing talent to go with the workrate that keeps him dangerous.

    FA Cup team??

    Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs
    Ox, Flamini
    Campbell, Ozil, Iwobi

  4. GIE

    I doubt if we’ll see ospina and the Boosh in the FA cup side next weekend… both are on the way out… would be a very bad team management decision. FA Cup is very important to us this season.

  5. chas says:

    That is a fine match view.
    Not at all as you sold it to us last night ‘Not much but better than nothing….’ 🙂

    Yesterday was definitely not just a rainy day. The conditions were atrocious with pelting rain and swirling winds. The ball must have been greasy and the players barely able to see in front of them. I’ve no idea how Newcastle coped better. Perhaps they play better when they can’t see. 🙂

    Bellerin was pants because his hair was all of a mess , Theo’s beard was sodden and the Ox’s upturned bucket hairstyle was obviously collecting water as the game progressed. There can be no other explanation for such shiteness. 🙂

    You’re bang on that it could have been another Southampton scoreline which just shows what a lottery football is.

    Flamini’s head high tackle was bizarre – why he gives a monkey’s about football when he’s minted is anyone’s guess. The only surprise was Anthony Taylor not using it as an excuse to put us down to 10 men.

    I didn’t think Rambo not passing to Campbell was that obvious at full speed. The only thing he did wrong, as far as I could see, was finish poorly.

    Great report, fine ratings and plenty to chew on. Thanks.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:


    That is the first time in probably years that I have read a match report through twice.

    Superb, and you make some excellent points, to say nothing of the wit. Loved it, thank you.

    I completely agree on how well Arsene is managing the transition of Chambers to covering the DM role. It will be fascinating to watch how this develops ie whether it is a temporary stop gap solution and he reverts to a CB, or whether it becomes permanent.

    On Mesut, yip to the nine score, although I’d like to add something. I agree with you how frustrating he must find it at times being surrounded by so out of sorts performances frm the likes of Ox and Theo, but at no point did he allow it diminish his input.

    Many players of his calibre might, and do, show prima donna tendencies. He does not. Very much respect to him for that.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh sod it, I tried not to comment on this line, but I am weak

    “Per is not likely to start getting called the Luftwaffe of the Arsenal defence in the near future; his aerial cover is non existant”

    Luftwaffe and aerial cover will work as often as a sliding cat vid. Every time 🙂

  8. Rasp says:

    Such an excellent MR deserves greater exposure. Unfortunately WordPress’ peaches mum rule is far more stringent than ours and the post has not appeared on NewsNow because of the word ‘shite’ 😦

    We’ve tried to re-submit edited posts before without success, so our apologies to LB, we’ll just savour his words amongst ourselves 🙂

  9. Shard says:

    Harsh ratings I think. Especially on Ramsey. Ok he needs to stay more disciplined and stay back, but his performance yesterday surely doesn’t deserve a 4.

    Also, on the Ox. I am as frustrated by him as anyone else, and he seems to be trying too hard to do something spectacular. Which is a shame because against Bournemouth he seemed to have a solid game and I hoped he’d build on it. However, did anyone watching the City game yesterday see Sterling? Man that guy is terrible. I’d take the Ox over him. Both are talented, neither are performing, but in my opinion only one has the mental capacity to become a great footballer, and it isn’t the guy who cost nearly 50m.

    Chambers is definitely an option at Dm, though like GIE, I see him as more of a CB. Per’s eventual replacement. But any game time is good for him.

    On the FA cup lineup, Debuchy is apparently close to leaving to west brom. Some rumours we will recall Jenkinson. I hope so, because otherwise we’re relying on Chambers at Rb, or maybe Flamini, but I am not sure that’s a great idea. Isaac Hayden is also back, and while he is expected to go on loan again, I would be tempted to play him in the FA cup. Also maybe by then we’ll sign Elneny and he can get a few minutes.

    Lastly, can we get Serge Gnabry back from Pulis’ dungeon? Maybe as part of the Debuchy deal. He may or may not be an option for us right now, but he’s only goin to go backwards if he has to stay there and have Pulis hit him with a wet towel everyday.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Why do we need Gnabry when we’re about to blow a reassuring £42M on someone called Aubameyang or something

    Superb news 🙂

    Off outside

  11. chas says:

    My godson from Nottingham came to his first game with his Dad yesterday.
    His Dad said they nearly cut their losses at half-time as Noah was so cold, wet and miserable. A walk on the concourse soon sorted him out for the second half, though.
    When Harry recounted his conversation with the ticket fairy who’d left some tickets at home and had to go back, ‘sh*t, sh*t, sh*t’ was the phrase used.
    Noah said as we walked away from the pub that ‘that man had said the ‘s’ word three times’. 🙂

    Here’s some photos of his day if anyone’s interested.
    (btw, I’m not sure his Mum is too impressed with me infecting him with Arsenalitis 🙂 )

  12. LB says:

    Nice pics Chas, welcome Noah.

  13. chas says:

    Cheers, LB.
    Just read your report again.
    You would definitely struggle to read anything as good anywhere else.

  14. chas says:

    Photos from Stuart MacFarlane.

  15. Le Coq Monster says:

    I`m always going to love a report that starts with a quote from me, very arousing !. The same responce I get when I see my reflection in a shop window !, it`s not narcissism, just the fact that I`m going to love myself more than anyone else does !.
    I love the proper ratings !, none of that poncey bias giving them a 5 or 6 even if they were rubbish, proper low marks of a 4 and 3 !…..on a proper Jeff Blockley scale !.

    BTW who`s the Plumb ?. hahaha

    Rasp ….you can always change my shite to crap if it he helps !. 😀

  16. Le Coq Monster says:

    Looks like the Chavs are going to climb to a 2016 high of 14th place !.

  17. Bloody Palace……useless

  18. kelsey says:

    Firstly thanks LB for the match report if you could call it a match.

    Going into the game we were top of the league and Newcastle were a fag paper away from being in the bottom three despite some noticeable victories.

    I have read many exuses about the weather which was awful but not exactly unusual in England and it was the same for both sides.

    Some are making every conceivable excuse or theory why so many of our players were woeful.Maybe the fixture list has caught up with them and with such a small fit squad rotation is only allowed to be minimam.

    Don’t kid yourself,we were second best practically all afternoon bar the first 8 minutes were a more clinical striker would have scored which may have changed the nature of the game.
    Ramsey is not playing wel, neither The Ox and Walcott again flattered to deceive.I leave out Giroud as he needs feeding to get the best out of him.
    Cech undoubtedly saved us but not sure he could do that against better and more clinical opposition.
    People drooling over Chambers cameo role against a poor Newcastle side but I hope that doesn’t convince AW not to buy, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Of course the points are most welcome but the performance as at Southampton was absolutely shocking for a team top of the league.AW needs to earn his money more than ever to put the momentum back into the team and for christ’s sake buy reinforcements,as he may never have another chance to win the league again.

  19. chas says:

    Haha, drooling over Chambers cameo – what utter nonsense.
    He came on in the 89th minute.

    I’m not kidding myself – just you. 🙂

    p.s. top class dooming, mind you.

  20. kelsey says:

    It only takes a minute 🙂

  21. chas says:

    Yep, that’s what Terry says.

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Afternoon all

    Everton 1-0 I see 🙂

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great pic of Dennis and Mesut

    As you know, I’m a massive fan of a doom, but surely the focus of our attention should be on the attack and goals, rather than some pathetic defensive issues

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Never mind, they’ll cock it up

  25. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Great stuff. A really enjoyable read.

    “Some plum on this site wrote a match report not so long ago suggesting that the collective eleven were playing better without Sanchez”

    Well played 😀 😀

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening Erik

  27. RockyLives says:

    Top report LB – can’t disagree with a word.

    I take a similar view to Kelsey about some of our recent form, but come to a different conclusion:

    We have been absolute pants in several games and a bit above average in others and we certainly have not found our “groove” on any consistent basis.

    Yet we are Top of the League! How can you not be encouraged by that?

    And just imagine what it will be like when we hit a run of consistent good form, which will happen very soon (not least because of players returning from injury plus reinforcements brought in in the window).

  28. Big Raddy says:

    It makes me smile when Gooners complain about our form. We are TotL despite missing Welbz, JW, Sanchez, Coq, Santi etc and having been without Ramsey, Kos, Theo +++ for long periods.

    I am really, really happy.

    But I am a soft leftie hippy who tries to live one day at a time … and today and tomorrow we will remain TotL

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Evening Didit.

    Can you play a scale yet?

    And remember – Every Good Boy Deserves a Favour

  30. Gööner In Exile says:

    Very very true Rocky.

    Although what will concern those with a glass half full is that we are already playing our best football. And it’s only just enough.

    It’s the same for those who look at our current bench and say the squad isn’t deep enough. As I said yesterday a fully fit squad our bench looks a lot more impressive and some players who we would like to see won’t even be getting into a tracksuit on a Saturday afternoon.

  31. chas mobile says:

    The way I look at it being a drunk lefie hippy, too, is that you have to enjoy the ride. What’s the point of just being happy on the last day of the season?

  32. Excellent stuff LB. I was at the game and really enjoyed it. Firstly, rain reminds me of a previous LSD hallucination were I beat up Fred Astaire then shagged Gimger Rogers, and secondly, Paul Davis spoke at half time about the legendary Don Howe.

    Paul spoke so movingly about Don Howe, it moved me to tears. He recounted how the great Don groomed him as a youth, and then helped him further when he commenced coaching. You could tell Paul loved Don, and not once did Paul mention the exchange of money or the requirement to play with ones Bunny Rabbits.

    Oh yes, Don was a great man, Arsenal through and through.

    If I may LB, I would like to talk about Alex Chamberlain? The problem as I see it is that young Alex only wants to play when on the ball. When off it, defending does not come naturally but I can live with that. However, when we have it, he is as stationary as a resident of a Russian Gulag who forgot his fur coat. And that’s very stationary.

    Been stationary is not acceptable. I once stared at a piece of stationary, a ruler to be exact, for eight hours straight LB. it didn’t improve my football but by the end I grasped the concept of linear time and string theory, realising that in relative terms ime not really me, and that Martin Chivers was an overrated pounce, but how will that help Chamberlin?

    I am sure Arsene and the coaching staff are working with Alex, but the results are not what we expected. Maybe I should send him my ruler? One glance at that he will probably realise he’s really Mesut Ozil and needs to go back in time and tell Martin Chivers that unless he mends his ways, he will end up as Martin Chivers.

    Anyway, another three points on the road to the title.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  33. chas mobile says:

    Paul Davis was ace at half time.
    Harry and me wanted the interviewer to ask him why he lamped Glenn Cockeril.
    I bet it was some racist slur.

  34. chas mobile says:

    Heaven knows what Mesut thought about the three options in front of him for most of yesterday’s game.

    FP, flaky pastry and shite haircut – not much to work with there.

  35. chas mobile says:

    I’ve changed my mind, let’s whinge our tits off until Mesut gets the options he deserves in front of him. 🙂

    Spend some money.

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha a Chas u-turn in 3 comments 🙂

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    “is as stationary as a resident of a Russian Gulag who forgot his fur coat. And that’s very stationary.”


  38. Big Raddy says:

    Vid 1 is very strange

    I was thinking about the term “journeyman players”. Have a look at the career of one of our Youth Team Cup winners of 2001. Rohan must have earned a few airmiles


  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very slow start again at this end. Back to normal tomorrow.

    Chas Mobile
    When I mentioned the rubbish two in front of Mesut, I did of course mean three

    Transplant 🙂 🙂

    Us violists operate from the alto clef, rendering every good boy deserves useless

  40. Gööner In Exile says:

    Wow that’s some career for Rohan.

    Guess it goes to show just how hard it is to get into top flight football anywhere.

    And why when I hear the complaints that there is not enough space for homegrown talents I switch off, these “talents” cannot even get starts, keep contracts in the most humble of teams so why should the top flight clubs (including Championship)!give these players opportunities beyond their ability?

  41. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Has anyone got a couple of lines to spark a debate today?

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Nasty that Alto Clef, it is the Joey Barton of Clefs. Not as bad as the Teonr Clef which is known amongst us muso’s as the Teddy Sheringham Clef 🙂

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Erik and Rasp hello
    The three musicians all together 🙂

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m still thinking Rasp 🙂

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Give me ten mins Rasp

    Although may get interrupted, so will push hard

  46. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky 🙂

  47. Gööner In Exile says:

    One on drafts Rasp

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    post sent

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thank God for Exile
    So much more likely to be talking sense 🙂

  50. Rasp says:

    Thanks guys …..

    …. New post …..

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