A Fine Day’s Foxhunting

Well, that was something, wasn’t it?

It feels like a VERY long time since we’ve had an injury time winner at home in a game of real importance (no doubt someone will correct me in the comments, but hey ho – I’m talking about feelings, not facts).

We started the day five points behind Leicester City, which inevitably had us all reaching for that most common of clichés… it’s a Must Win Game.

But yesterday it really did feel like a MWG. Lose, and we would be eight points behind the leaders. Win and the gap would be just two.

Arsene recalled the BFG into central defence alongside Koscielny. Coquelin started in central midfield in place of Flamini and The Ox, perhaps as a reward for his goal against Bournemouth, got the starting berth on the right. The rest of the team was as expected.

The referee was Martin Atkinson, under whom we have not had the best of luck in recent fixtures.

We started very brightly, controlling possession and making several good chances. As early as the third minute we almost scored: Alexis leapt like a salmon on a trampoline to head just wide from a corner.

In the 10th minute we should have had a penalty. The ball was kicked into the Leicester penalty area. Kante, who had an otherwise excellent game for the Foxes, tried to block it with his midriff. The ball was going too far to his left so he leaned over and controlled it between body and arm. It was a blatant arm-to-ball movement and should have been given, but Atkinson was giving very little to Arsenal in the first half.

Giroud was leading the line manfully. He got through and scored but was fractionally offside; he should also have had a penalty when a Leicester defender tried to borrow his shirt during one of our attacks.

Leicester were content to soak up pressure and hit us on the break. They didn’t get many breakaways but when they did, it was definitely squeaky bum time.

In one attack Bellerin dozed off for a split second at the back post, Vardy got in behind him and forced a very good save out of Cech from a header.

In general, however, we were quite good at limiting chances to the visitors. For one thing it was obvious that Bellerin had been ordered to stay back for all our set pieces. With his lightning speed he was able to snuff out most of City’s counter attacks before they became dangerous.

Martin Atkinson’s first half stinker continued as he booked three Arsenal players for their first fouls, while letting Leicester get away with a lot of small offences including several off-the-ball blocks and trips.

And the ref topped off his abysmal efforts shortly before half time by allowing himself to be conned into awarding Vardy a penalty. The Leicester pace man had attacked into the left hand corner of our box. Monreal put a foot in, made no contact and then ostentatiously pulled out of the challenge. Vardy had other ideas. Having overhit the ball to his right, he turned left and crashed into Monreal.

vardy dive

It should have been a foul to Arsenal, but with Atkinson in this form there was little doubt what he would do.

Vardy took the pen – we went in 0-1 down at half time. The fact that there had been a colossally obvious foul on Ozil at the start of the Leicester move only compounded the sense of injustice.

But then something happened. I can only guess that Atkinson must have looked at some replays in the dressing room because he came out a chastened man. If he was all for Leicester in the first 45, he was suddenly all for Arsenal. Undoubtedly the crowd played their part in this too, having let Atkinson know exactly what they thought of his first 45.

Early in the second half Simpson was yellow carded for a not-too-serious foul. Then, 10 minutes into the half, the same player picked up a second yellow for tugging back Giroud. The second was definitely a yellow, but the two cards cumulatively and so close together seemed harsh. Not that I’m going to cry about it. We should have had a penalty for shirt tugging in the first half, so a red card for shirt tugging in the second was a form of poetic justice.

From then on the Foxes went to earth and it was just a question of whether Arsenal’s hounds could dig them out in time.

The manager immediately made a progressive substitution, replacing Coquelin with Walcott.

The big negative was that Koscielny had gone off at half time with a dead leg to be replaced by Chambers, which meant that our central defensive pairing was now Slow and Slower. Fortunately, with the visitors somewhat lacking in the personnel department, Vardy was forced to plough a lonely furrow and our CBs were not too threatened. In fact Chambers had an excellent half.

theo v leicester

At the other end it was a full on siege. We created numerous half chances but the breakthrough eventually came when, from a brilliant Giroud cushioned header, Walcott calmly finished to put us level. Still 20 minutes to go (plus stoppages). Could we do it?

The Arsenal onslaught continued. Ten man Leicester defended brilliantly at times, but we also made openings. One Giroud shot forced a stunning save from Schmeichel Junior.

The boss had brought on Danny Welbeck in the 84th – to a great reception from the crowd after such a long injury lay-off.

The 90 minutes ticked by. Every throw-in and goal kick for Leicester took an eternity. Surely it was too late?

But cometh the hour, cometh the returning hero.

A Leicester lump committed a stupid foul on Monreal outside the visitors’ area in the final minute of injury time. If you wanted one person in all the world to take a free kick in that situation, that person would be Mesut Ozil. And lo and behold, we happen to have Mesut Ozil.

Up he stepped, caressing the ball with a Valentine’s Day lover’s touch to send it whipping over the first couple of Leicester defenders straight onto the Holy Head of Welbz.

danny v leicester

Two-one to the Arsenal. The title race thrown wide open (again). The crowd went Radio Rental.

Is that 95th minute goal a turning point? Will it – and the players returning from injury – give us the boost we need to push on for the Title?

Don’t know, but I darn well hope so. It ain’t going to be easy. I don’t see Leicester slumping: they’ve gone too far and play too well in their preferred system. I think it will be between them, us and the noisy neighbours… meaning that our visit to the swamp on March 5th is beginning to take on epic proportions.

If yesterday was a Must Win Game, then March 5th is a MMMMMMMWG.

RockyLives

Ed ….. just drool over this once more ….. 🙂

http://arsenalist.com/f/2015-16/arsenal-vs-leicester/welbeck-goal-with-commentary-from-different-languages.html

 

 

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87 Responses to A Fine Day’s Foxhunting

  1. Rasp says:

    Superb summation Rocky, thanks.

    It was a great game, a great win (despite the ref) and a vital 3 points.

    I thought everyone played well with special mention for Monreal, Giroud and Ramsey.

    Chambers looked assured and comfortable in the CB role – so he’s done himself no harm.

    The main thing that surprised me about everyone’s favourite ‘to win it if we don’t team’ was that they are masters of the dark arts. Vardy dived and conned the ref for the penalty and shortly afterwards Mahrez did the same but luckily failed to win the pen.

    There was lots of stuff going on off the ball and they regularly left a foot in on the tackle. Drinkwater should get a heavy retrospective ban. He deliberately straightened his leg to cause damage when he went in on Ramsey – unforgivable!

    The result in Manchester rather took the gloss off the day for me. Their award of a non penalty was significant to the result and I now see the swamp dwellers as our main rivals for the title.

    I’m very happy for Welby, he is clearly very popular with his team mates. He could yet make the difference to us winning the title.

    Lastly I’d like to highlight the look of focus and concentration on Ozil’s face when he composed himself to deliver the free kick. It was reminiscent of Beckham against Greece. He knew the enormity of the situation and like all great players – he delivered. The cross could not have been any better … perfection …. and Danny’s header was exactly as he meant it … no luck by either player, just excellence 🙂

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And with this line “Up he stepped, caressing the ball with a Valentine’s Day lover’s touch to send it whipping over the first couple of Leicester defenders straight onto the Holy Head of Welbz”, we can all hang up our nibs.

    Absolutely superb Rocky.

  3. Eddie says:

    fab 🙂 fox huting 🙂

  4. Big Raddy says:

    What a joy.

    The Master at the height of his powers. Like Micky, I loved the Valentines Day reference.

  5. JM says:

    Arsenal F.C. (Specialist Player focus):

  6. JM says:

    Mesut Özil, MF
    DF: 10, MF: 42, FW:48
    Skill: The Graceful River
    Teamstyle: Offence-type (Direct Play emphasis)

  7. Gööner In Exile says:

    Fantastic stuff Rocky….although I don’t believe Simpson can have any complaints, and I think they were lucky to end up with as many as 10 on the pitch, Drinkwaters challenge was horrendous, Ledwecki or however you spell it’s tackle on Monreal could have equally ended up a red. Leicester seem to be getting sympathy for two soft yellows leading to a red, his first yellow should have been for his first tackle on Alexis, and leading up to the actual first yellow he had been going in to more and more challenges out of control, I think Atkinson probably felt he was doing Simpson a favour by booking him to stop him consistently leaving the ground and the very real possibility of a straight red. It wasn’t Atkinsons fault that Simpson is thick and got booked for a shirt pull in a non threatening area. A shirt tug with that level of physicality will always be a booking. As Simpson walked off he gave a verbal volley to aLeicester coach who was obviously saying “what were you thinking about”.

    I liked the way we approached the game we seemed to press high at the right time not allowing them time to play a long ball to their front men, forcing them to go short and through midfield.

    Whilst Theo’s run and finish were well executed it would not have been possible without that lovely knock down by Ollie.

    Rambo was man of the match for me.

  8. JM says:

    (In form) Mesut Özil, MF

  9. JM says:

    (The Wizard of Oz; “der Rabe”) Mesut Özil, MF
    Skill: The Magic Wand
    Teamstyle: Offence-type (Through Pass emphasis)

  10. JM says:

    Arsenal F.C. (Star Player focus):

  11. JM says:

    Aaron Ramsey, MF
    DF: 12, MF: 54, FW:34
    Skill: The Key to Victory
    Teamstyle: Offence-type (Key Player emphasis)

  12. JM says:

    (In-form) Aaron Ramsey, MF

  13. JM says:

    (The Welsh Rambo; The Caerphilly Pele) Aaron Ramsey, MF
    Skill: Plays the Pitch Like a Puzzle
    Teamstyle: Offence-type (Mixed Passing Work)

  14. JM says:

    Walcott could be the team’s “Pippo Inzaghi”.
    (a player who lived on the offside line; at the right place and right time; The “Defence” Line Breaker)

    Welbeck could be the team’s “Thomas Müller”.
    (a player who can find gaps in the opposition defence; “Raumdeuter”/ interpreter of space; a big-game player)

  15. RC78 says:

    Good win yesterday but not a great performance…

    First of all – hope that Gabriel and especially Kos are going to be back soon…Because without Kos, we are nothing defensively…

    Second of all – was good to have Coquelin back but he clearly was missing match practice

    Third of all – cheers for AW for going all out

    Fourth of all – We created chances but we failed to score. The biggest worry concerns Sanchez, Ramsey and Giroud inability to score as they are usually “OK” in that department, especially Sanchez

    Fifth – Leicester was the better side for 65 minutes and that is not good news…Thank God, a player got a red and thank God, Ranieri sacrificed his best player to bring in a defender…

    6 – Super-subs Walcott and Wellbeck provided the much needed goals.

    7 – Tottenham is a firm title contender, they have the champions luck, won 5 in a row and are hard to break and are great at breaking defenses and they have a balanced squad and attack.

    Finally –
    -> we are in the race but let us not count Man City out yet.
    -> Leicester will feel the heat
    -> Tottenham and Arsenal too
    -> What do we do regarding the CL and the FA Cup? We have no chances against Barcelona whatsoever and shall we just focus all our energies on the EPL?

    Let us hope Kos and Gabs are ok for the next EPL game (Man Utd away on 28th), who should be in our starting line-up against Barcelona and Hull?

    Here are mine:

    Barcelona:
    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Chambers, Monreal – El Neny, Coquelin, Ramsey – Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez

    Hull:
    Ospina – Chambers, BFG, Julio P, Gibbs – El Neny, Flamini, Arteta Ox, Wellbeck, Campbell

  16. RA says:

    Well let’s get to it – I did not read your Post, Mr Rocket, as I am convinced it will a lot of rubbish!

    Oh, to hell with it, just hang on a minute ……….. yes, well, I am back, and against all my principles and prejudices, have had a swift shufti at your abominable prose, and have found all my wretched fears realised.

    How anyone can be so indolently callous as to write something so exquisite and deserving of being lauded — making everyone else’s zealous writing efforts redundant deserves to be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    Well, that’s the final nail, the rest of us might just as well put away any thoughts of constructing a half-way decent Post, and simply wait each morning, like clamouring chickens squawking for the latest delectable tidbit of a Post to be thrown before our anxious beaks, and allow us to devour with our uncomprehending eyes yet another delicious exhibition of silky smooth prose, suffice to render us literally speechless and enveloped in a paroxysm of weepy vapours at the crushing realisation that we can never match the maestro’s eloquently skilful touch.

    Such masterful brush strokes using words as your palette can never be forgiven. Be off you varlet. 😀

  17. RC78 says:

    JM – Walcott works well with Giroud actually but in the following set-up: 4-3-1-2 with:

    Ramsey, Coquelin, Sanchez
    Ozil
    Walcott
    Giroud

    set-up as Ramsey can cover ground on the right flank, Ozil can work some openings and Giroud provides aerial threat that needs to be covered and Walcott can push the defense line back and of course, Sanchez is stretching the defense to the left…In this set-up, he can be picked by all players and he makes intelligent runs.

    Playing in this set-up will see us score a lot of goals but would demand tremendous defensive work from Sanchez and he might then lose some cutting edge up front but he has the engine – so why not? It is also great for Ozil as he has Ramsey, Sanchez, Theo and Giroud that all provide good options with their runs and passing skills for return passes and link-up passes…

    Against weaker teams and at home, I would love to see that set-up

    Otherwise, I don’t think Walcott would ever score as many goals as Inzaghi – unfortunately

  18. RC78 says:

    by the way – delightful post

  19. JM says:

    Both Martin Atkinson & Mark Clattenburg are representing the FA & England in officiating the matches at EURO 2016 (Total of 18 referees).

    Likewise in the CL, these referees will also be officiating at EURO 2016:

    Ovidiu Hategan (Romania) officiated the team’s away match against Dinamo Zagreb, which we lost 1-2.

    Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey) officiated the team’s home match against Bayern Munich, which we won 2-0.

    Viktor Kassai (Hungary) officiated the team’s home match against Dinamo Zagreb, which we won 3-0.

    Nicola Rizzoli (Italy) officiated the team’s away match against Olympiacos, which we won 3-0.

    ==========

    All involved referees (and their assistants) are scrutinised in the domestic and continental competitions, as they would look forward to be involved in the latter knock-out rounds of the tournament, leading to the final.

  20. RA says:

    Just a few prosaic words on the game.

    Daring to peek through the opaque veils obscuring the sight of a normal supporter like this one, I have to declare my observation that the gigantic 5′ 3″ Kanté was without question the outstanding player on the pitch.

    He did however commit an offence in the penalty area and was fortunate not to give away a penalty.

    The much maligned Giro worked liked a Shire horse, putting in a tremendous amount of hard work in a none showy way.

    The penalty awarded to Vardy was a nonsense, and the only complaint against against Monreal was that he allowed an ‘iffy’ ref to to give it, and Vardy showed himself to be a cheat – like so many footballers.
    Michael ‘Idiot’ Owen would have been proud of him.

    Welcome back Welly.

    A nicely put away goal by Theo, showed Sanchez and Rambo that you need to keep your eye on the ball when striking it.

    Meanwhile, in a stadium not far from this observer, another refereeing howler enabled the Spuds to score a non-penalty, awarded by ref Clattenburg that clearly struck Sterling on the back – well actually Clattenburg could not possibly have seen where the ball struck, and he just made a stupid and worthless guess. Poor!

    That probably/definitely won the Spuds the game, and an additional two points to keep them level with us. Grrrr.

  21. JM says:

    @RC78 (12:19 pm)

    Walcott doesn’t have to score many goals as Inzaghi:-

    Playing an “offside-onside” mind game with the opposition, he could work to disrupt their defence line, a.k.a. “line breaking”, thus offering chances for e.g. Alexis, Ramsey, Giroud, Ozil, Welbeck and whoever attacks to finish goals, if he was not going for goal himself off the shoulders of defenders.

  22. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    JM & RC78. is it possible for you two to commence an online dialogue? I would find that very fascinating.

    Top stuff Rocky

    It was a great game to be at. The intensity reminded me of a Wembley cup final.

    To be honest it was a shame they had a man sent off. if it stayed 11 v 11 ime convinced we would have hammered them.

    In my mind we are now almost certain to win it. If City continue to play like they have just realised there wives are staying, then its all over bar the shouting.

    Leicseter have done great, but when they come up against teams of there own standard, Sunderland etc, they will drop points.

    Totnumb? The chances of them not imploding are as high as me been the first man on Mars, and I dont like heights.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring.

  23. chas says:

    Super read, Rocky, thanks.

    Being a limp-wristed but warm-hearted liberal, I can’t approve of fox hunting.
    However, your foxes going to ground and Arsenal’s hounds set the challenge of digging them out analogy is so appropriate for the match after the red card, that I’m thinking of buying some close-fitting strides, a red jacket, poncey hat and joining the local hunt.
    We just need to find a super-efficient vermin exterminator for our trip to N17 now.

  24. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky, a super read and a rare treat.

  25. RockyLives says:

    Good day all and thanks for the comments.

    I didn’t see the Spuds penalty at Man City. Guess I’ll have to look it up. But whoever wins the league is going to need luck as well as everything else and they are getting their share at the moment.

    In previous years you could always rely on the Swamp Dwellers to follow up a famous win with a quick loss at the hands of some relegation fodder. Not so sure whether this year’s version are quite so vulnerable.

    Their main area of weakness is squad depth. An injury to Kane, Delli Alli or one of their other key players could cost them.

  26. Eddie says:

    I don’t want to appear opinionated, but I think you can go fox hunting with your lycras providing you have some fire arms, a horse and a dog

  27. chas says:

    That’s a bit rash

  28. chas says:

  29. chas says:

  30. RockyLives says:

    Bloody hell.

    The rules say the ref should not give a pen if there’s any doubt. If he had no doubt that the ball hit the arm in that incident he needs new spectacles.

  31. chas says:

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Both games had very poor refereeing decisions.

    I would like to highlight just the penalty decisions.

    The first. Knute Kinte clearly moved his arm towards the ball early in the first half.

    2. OG the arm of his shirt ripped off (slight exaggeration) by Huth.

    3. Vardy clearly jumped at Monreal. It was blatant cheating. Atkinson may have an excuse but his linesman was right there.

    4. Not as bad as Mahrez dive in the second half. No pen was given but it was noticed by Atkinson who should have given hm a yellow card. He gave cards for far less heinous crimes.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    JM. The Magic Wand & The Key to Victory 😀 😀

  34. Big Raddy says:

    RC78. I have only seen Rabiot once (at Malmo), I guess you have watched him quite carefully given his links with AFC.

    Is he any good? Or is Elneny an identical player?

  35. Rasp says:

    Despite my mild obsession about the correct use of the term ‘luck’ in relation to footballing matters, I am happy to define the incompetent ref’s appalling decision to reward totnum a penalty where there was no contact with the arm as a massive slice of luck for them 🙂 This is because events were altered by something beyond their control and to their advantage.

    Leicester were the recipients of the luck in our game when they too benefited from an incorrect penalty decision.

  36. RockyLives says:

    This really could end up being a memorable title race. Let’s hope we end up as the ones with the happy memories.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Some great comments today.

    Just reflecting for a moment on yesterdays results, much as it stinks, I do believe the Spurs win is better for our chances. The thought of City finally getting into their stride would give me far more angst then the thought of Spurs nearing the end of theirs.

    Not for one moment ruling Leicester out of the equation, but I do think our squad is getting stronger by the week.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky
    Agree the race looks close at this stage, but with the three points, staggering how quickly it can all change. As you rightly pointed out, instead of two points, the gap could have been eight.

    Really looking forward to the Manchesters and Spuds games.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    If we win them both

    Perchance to dream…

  40. LB says:

    That 4.02 is hilarious.

    A rare treat thanks for the read Rocky.

  41. Gööner In Exile says:

    Me thinks Bobby is getting buttered up to allow Maureen.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35581289

  42. LB says:

    The more I think about that leg breaking tackle by Danny Pisswater or whatever his name is on Ramsey the more angry I become.

    Leicester are a sneaky bunch of fatherless footballers and their fans are no better. They started off with “We are staying up etc” which brought about a mild sense of humourous good will among the Arsenal supporters, there was even a polite clap or two

    And then they tried to kick up off the park, followed by that diving little rat winning a penalty and all good will went out the window.

    It got worse, Leicester weren’t just trying to win the league by scoring more goals than us they were trying to win the league by seriously injuring our players all brought into sharp focus with the outrageous tackle on Ramsey, that bunch of banned words were trying to put him out for the season.

    Any “good luck little Leicester” has gone right out the window I hope they crash and burn.

  43. LB says:

    GIE

    You have predicted this Maureen to Manu for a long time now, just wanted to let you know someone took some notice.

  44. RA says:

    Rasper,

    I knew you agreed with the rest of mankind when you wrote – “events were altered by something beyond their control and to their advantage” a fine definition of ‘luck’, if ever I heard one. 😀

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eddie said ages ago about Maureen to Utd, and I told her in no uncertain terms they’d never go near him 🙂

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And this is also fascinating. Danny’s full name: Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah “Danny” Welbeck

  47. Herb's Army says:

    Rocky’s back with a knockout!
    I must admit, I expected us to beat Leicester, and perhaps it’s a bit naive of me, I expected a similar game to the one at the KP – same teams, tactical set-up etc.
    But there was no sign of their gung-ho attitude that has thrilled the neutral, no adventure, instead, as LB rightly points out, they tried to nullify our technical superiority by kicking us off the park. Aside from Vardy cheating to get himself a penalty, he and Mahrez hardly got a kick.
    Leicester came to nick a point, but were undone by over-physicality, the over-exuberance of their unusual position, spurred on by a nation that is getting more and more expectant with each game, and their inability to manage the occasion.

  48. Spot on LB

    What people forget is that this Leicester team is the machinations and vision of Doorman Nigel Pearson. You remember him. He got sacked for beating up the chairman who allegedly swore at a bird who didn’t dance with him.

    It’s nothing to do with Ranieri. All he’s done is advised the chef on the menu “the spaghetti Isa a bit dry, buter still, it nicer than Kentucky fried chicken, so congratulations to the Chef and his players”

    Ranieri just sits in the dugout amusingly wondering how his member now resembles the leaning tower of Pisa, as the players, he doesn’t even know there names, go round kicking every one

    Watching it on telly, Pearson angrily states “bleeding Eyetie, i would have barred Im but taken Im round the back first and squeezed his nuts. And then squeezed mine after. Loverleee”

    He then goes out and beats up the first man he sees not wearing a dinner jacket.

  49. Ian RealGunner says:

    Durham on Talkshite claiming that Ramsey pretended to be injured in order to get Drinkwater sent off – you cannot make this up

  50. Eddie says:

    yes micky, you said they had too much class for jose. Well then, have they?

  51. Eddie says:

    Ian – I listened to that too and was incensed. And then they went on to drool over Kante, never you mind Ramsey’s world class performance.

    To be fair, Aaron did roll on the pitch for a bit, but hey, you can hardly blame him after what happened at Stoke.

    Oh yeah, and they said that Drinkwater apologised because he knew what would happen – never ending hatred from the Gunners.

    Why, oh why do I listen to that shite? not even a masochist

  52. Herb's Army says:

    The landscape has completely changed at United, Eddie, and they suddenly find themselves playing catch-up.
    I don’t think the old guard who were there with Fergie would have entertained the notion of Mourinho, both Bobby Charlton and Peter Schmeichel echoed this.
    But the wheels have come off since the departure of Ferguson, and there are fewer top managers who can take the United job and hope to have the same impact. Plus of course, they have to react to City’s appointment of Pep or risk falling further behind the noisy neighbours.
    We ourselves have a huge battle with our neighbours in the coming years.

  53. RockyLives says:

    Interesting Herb.

    I could see Utd going for Maureen because they are getting desperate and his track record would suggest he could bring them success, at least in the short term.

    But I wonder…

    He has never tasted real failure like he did at the Chavs this year. Will he be able to work his magic one more time? I’m not so sure.

    The words “busted” and “flush” spring to mind.

  54. Herb's Army says:

    I agree Rocky, and I think his unravelling started at Real Madrid.
    I doubt he’d play the brand of football that United fans are demanding, and having been shown up by Guardiola in Spain, is his ego really prepared to transfer that to the PL?

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    The thing that United have forgotten and Chavs and Shitty have yet to realise whilst it took Levy 8 managers in6 years to realise is that the men that a club needs a manager who is given time to build something. Levy gave Pochetino a 5 year deal and has taken a back seat, for the first time in years it’s not about him. Fergie may have won Scottish titles but he was far from the manager he became, when we appointed GG he was manager at Millwall, Arsene despite some successes was as we know not the first name on everyone’s lips.

    Liverpool have flipped flopped around trying to employ the next big thing, and have found the fit for their club although I’m not sure Klopp knew how hard it was.

    This is what has changed in football, the boards do not want to take risks they will appoint the name the media suggests because then they are free from criticism. To be fair to Abramovich he tried it with AVBonly the fact that he has pumped billions into the club prevents Chav fans from calling for his head. They have had to accept him because without him they know they would be nothing.

    FSG, the Glazers, our own board and owner have a real chance of losing money should the popularity of the club falter. They have to play it safe, but by playing it safe they risk stagnating, they will be better taking a proper step back with a manager bringing new ideas.

    They have to do everything they can to appease the fans, look at FSGs climb down over the £77 tickets, what’s happened as a result? On average it will cost Liverpool fans more next season. It was 200 seats for 6 games, there was an equivalent number of seats in the £9 bracket which have also gone. So 1200 tourists won’t get tickets, but also 1200 kids local to Liverpool are priced out at the same time, the winners those that can afford the current price. But somehow they’ve been seen to appease the fans and therefore done the right thing.

    There will be new money in the PL next season and every penny will be spent across the board, which means every club at the top will be forced to spend more to attract even average squad players unless the club has a longer term plan.

  56. Herb's Army says:

    I’d love to know if Arsenal have a long term plan, GiE.

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    For manager Herb I don’t know….but I am hoping we won’t get sucked into this 2/3 year management cycle that everyone else is getting into. I’m not sure we have the budget to allow for it and stay at the top end of the table. Liverpool didn’t, and ManUre have proven even with the money it’s not easy to just expect that buying the best players available means you can stay up there.

    The benefit of having Arsene for so long and the benefit of Fergie at ManUre was that there is a more long term thought process to squad management, in his latter years Fergie did not get the budgets that have been given to his successors but having a mixture of players that had been playing his way for years and adding a few here and there he was able to keep them competitive. We had to adopt a slightly different approach when we were hampered by the stadium but the playing style remains consistent and Arsene is never just looking at players to bring instant impact but is thinking about years 3 and 4 too.

  58. Herb's Army says:

    I’d say that if Arsenal don’t win the PL title this year, Arsene Wenger wasn’t worth the new contract awarded in 2014.

  59. chas says:

  60. chas says:

  61. Eddie says:

    when are you going to get a dog monster?

  62. Rasp says:

    Morning all, has anyone got a few words for a post today please. I won’t be able to publish one because I am snowed under with work

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Don’t Dis Da Dotty. Well not yet anyway. Record so far: played 2, won 2 🙂

    Morning all.

    Rasp,
    Think Erik copied a comment from FGG from the Sunday, contenders’ fixtures and talkies, for a today’s post.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    As Micky wrote we have FGG’s comment for a pos. I will publish it later.

    7.19. One of the perks of Beatledom. And the main reason I started to play guitar 🙂

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Erik, Erik. Erik I’ve been dying to tell you something. Yesterday, Mrs Frith likened me to a Zen Archer 🙂

    Smoke on that 🙂

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Wow. Are you sure it was Jeffrey?

  67. Morning all

    Anyone got any ideas for post?

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Erik 🙂

    Peaches, I do have a glimmer of an idea, but would need 20 mins
    Erik has an idea (I know 🙄 ) also

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ps O and I are going surfing in 40 mins, so chop chop on a decision. The sun shines, the wind is from the East and it’s half term. Boards are waxed and ready to do.

  70. chas says:

    Arsenal Arsenal group photo from 2014…….

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Superb pic Chas
    Who is the ponce in the foreground with the Lamar hair?

  72. chas says:

  73. chas says:

    PSG 24 points ahead of Ligue 1
    Chelsea 20 points behind Prem leaders
    Score tonight?

  74. chas says:

    Eddie
    I’d like a dog but spend far too much time away from home for it to be practical.

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    “Focus on the process, and the result will come naturally”

    Hole in one there from those Zenists 🙂

  76. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post.

  77. Jared says:

    This post is in fact a good one it assists new net people, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

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