Wow, that was a hell of a half time talk! – Leicester ratings

We were so poor in the first 30 minutes I was starting to wonder why I’d made the trip down from Notts. By the end of the second half I was ecstatic and delighted to clap my team off the pitch.

Occasionally under Arsene it seemed as though a half time doobie had been partaken of, because of the sluggish way we came out for the second period. Under Unai it’s the complete opposite. (Mind you, Mesut’s deliberate cannon off the post just before half time must have given the boys a shot in the arm, as well.) 🙂

Leicester looked a yard faster and fillet steak with pepper sauce hungrier at the start of the game. Arsenal’s front 4 may as well not have been on the pitch. All of the micro-management directions on how to play Leicester either hadn’t been given or were completely ignored. Free kicks were given away in the final third (partly down to an appalling display from the ref), possession was conceded in our own half playing to their counter-attacking strengths and a lethargic work rate all contributed to the feeling that it was only a matter of time.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Bernd made a superb save from the unicorn rider before being finally beaten by a spawny deflection. One nil down and fully deserved. Finally we woke up and seemed to realise that another gear would have to be found. Wobbly cracked in a fine drive after good build up play which turned out to be the aubergine mezes before the superb Mesut inspired lamb tagine. Micki getting dragged over just as Hector returned Ozil’s pass seemed to distract the blue defence and our Mesut’s guiding of the ball sidefooted off the cushion has never been executed by Ronnie O’Sullivan with greater aplomb. Back in it right on the stroke of half time. Perfect.

The second half could not have been more different to the first. Leicester went from looking threatening to looking terrified with a red tsunami bearing down upon the North Bank goal.

Iwobi suddenly began to live up to his recent rave reviews. Mesut’s speed of thought overtook and then completely buried Leicester’s willingness to run their arses off. The substitutions were just sublime – like attaching a jet engine to a Golf GTI.

Goals two and three were just magical. As Micky said, words are a bit pointless. Rat tat tat, bish bash bosh. Mesut’s pass to Hector for the second, Terrier’s driven pass forward, Mesut’s dummy before Laca’s perfect lay off back for number three were all gems in the middle of such lush gorgeousness. Glorious team play a certain Frenchman would have been purring over. Just perfect. You could see in the celebrations of the players how much they realised they’d created a nigh on perfect team goal. We might have a few contenders in goal of the season at this rate.

Ratings (mostly second half apart from the keeper, but who cares?)

Leno – some excellent saves and many touches on the ground without ever looking too much in trouble…8

Hector – absolutely superb in the second half – two assists…8

Mustafi – pretty damn fine, especially with some intelligent covering in the second half…8

Holding – mature and accomplished – who’s Calum?…8

Lichtsteiner – out of position on the left and it showed…6

Torreira – like the central cog of a timepiece we’ve been missing for so long. Thank Dennis the nasty challenge from Albrighton didn’t cause more damage…9

Xhaka – was better at left back than Stephan…8

Ozil – a goal, an assist and a pre-assist – damaging the opposition where it hurts, what a feckin player…10

Mkhitaryan – seemed a little tired from his trip to Armenia but still contributed…7

Iwobi – looked class in the second half, protecting the ball in possession and always looking for a dangerous pass…8

Laca – appeared somewhat miffed when Auba emerged from the bench for two tap-ins and then proceeded to fluff two glorious chances of his own. His work rate was magnificent throughout and his contribution to the win not to be underestimated…8


Auba – everything went up a notch when he came on – the sexy half hour was a joy to watch…9

Guendouzi – showed his full range of passing in his half hour on the pitch. Instrumental in the shift up to warp factor ten…9

Rambo – seemed to revel in his small part of the Harlem Globetrotters half hour…8



98 Responses to Wow, that was a hell of a half time talk! – Leicester ratings

  1. mickydidit89 says:


    If you really must use words then you deploy them in Mesut fashion. Stylish. Thank you.

    A game definately worth bothering to attend 🙂

  2. LBG says:

    Well done Bro, sexy words to follow a sexy game. You must have been up all night. The least some could do is get up and give you a full house response this morning.
    Micky, the strap on worked again last night!

  3. Maxwell says:

    Chas! You are so assiduously quick off the mark with your excellent review.

    Re. Mesut Ozil and a comment I may have posted a few days ago…

    Big up to Didit, and a grovelling apology to our #10.

    What delightful, joyous goals!

  4. ArsenalDK says:

    I must say, I think you’re being pretty generous with the rating.. Our second half display was just a joy to watch. But why can’t we play like that from the beginning? Laca was really trying as always, but didn’t do many things right. We cannot play like that against Liverpool and we could easily have been down by two yesterday and a man down.. But let’s enjoy the win for now without getting too carried away 🙂

    Next up Sporting and a chance to rotate..

  5. chas says:

    Train was delayed due to over-running engineering works. Three hour and 10 minute train journey from hell but at least I had something to do and something good to savour to pass the time. Got in at twenty to 3.

    I’m only up now because I needed a pish.
    Back to bed now.

  6. LBG says:

    Sorry about your penalty Mr Puel, but I’m afraid we were not happy with the refereeing in the first half either! The discussion all week had been about how your Club disliked this selected referee. Well he certainly tried to balance the books last night. Talk about one eyed! And any referee with gonads would have sent Albrighton off for a nasty tackle on Terrier as a second booking.

  7. LBG says:

    Blimey Chas, I thought my not in bed til 1.00am was bad enough. Still it’s better “Live”. Sleep well!

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    A real smørrebrod of a read chas. Thank you.

    I would like to know what changed mid first-half? Was it tactical from AFC? Was it that LCFC relaxed? Whatever happened we became another and far better Arsenal.

    Second half saw some sublime football, my only concern being Leno’s flap at the corner which led to Maguire’s header (?) hitting the crossbar. Could this be the failing UE is worried about? Other than that Burnt had a fine game

  9. Big Raddy says:

    LBG.Agree about the ref,. Still, at least he was shite in both teams favour.

  10. mickydidit89 says:


    Apparently, they always do 🙂

  11. Rasp says:

    Morning all, great report Chas, I don’t care about the poor first half, those two goals in the second half will live long in my memory, and I have rekindled my belief in the beautiful game. As much as enjoying the brilliance of the goals, I love the show of team spirit in the celebration, and the looks on the faces of the supporters all around me. I haven’t felt like that watching an Arsenal performance for many years.

  12. Gööner In Exile says:

    Last night I found myself travelling on the train so watched the game courtesy of my Sky app and a pretty good 4G.

    I clapped on my own drawing strange looks on that third goal.

    I had to hold back on the first, just covering mouth with hands, the split pass by Mesut to set Hector off, had me sitting on my hands.

    The third I just couldn’t hold back, simply beautiful.

    Whilst commentators focussed on PEA getting hat trick it would seem he was more bothered trying to set up Laca for a 4th.

    I know Ramsey only had ten minutes, but if anyone tells me he should earn what Ozil does I’ll show them that performance.

    Lovely report Chas.

  13. LB says:

    Top read Chas, thanks for making the effort, much appreciated.

    Love the Red Tsunami image, wish I had thought of that.

  14. LBG says:

    So begun the four hours four minute work through last night’s game and, at half time want to refute the dominant nature of Leicester in first thirty minutes.
    Clear much of their success came down our left side where we had a (slow) right back playing too far forward. (This is the kind of forced change where the tactics should change slightly. Give yourself more chance Litch, drop a little more and Dick, tell your own left sided attacker ( Wobbly in this case) to literally hug the touchline. All that said, two strikes on goal and questionable whether Maguire was offside. Several tackles from behind in dangerous areas from Leicester that should have been free kicks to us, and worse, led to breakaways which added to ‘impression’ of absolute dominance.
    Things I accept, Madison was class in that 30 mins. Hector own goal, not Chilwell’s. 60-40 pen. Unnatural hand position but nudge caused contact.
    Second half analysis to follow. One thing clear. If you want to motivate the team for those “big” games to come, Dick, play Souness and Carragher to them before the Liverpool game. “Neat and tidy”, Terrier! A Souness type knee high tackle would soon sought out that loud mouthed Scot.

  15. Ahimbisibwe Osborn says:

    I think with teams we are stronger than, we should be using Xhaka on the left flank. He appeared better there than in the middle. Also Gued becomes the centre of focus which makes others also work hard.

  16. Ahimbisibwe Osborn says:

    Great and enjoyable team performance.

  17. Jjgsol says:

    I agreed with the ref that it was not a penalty.

    Clearly ball to hand in a situation where Holding was on his way up and could do nothing else.

    However why the ref allowed so many aggressive tackles against us is a mystery.

  18. chas says:

    Mesut Ozil taking a morning stroll.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    10.51 Brilliant (as are his books)

  20. LBG says:

    Interesting! We thought Granit looked more competent ‘defensively’ at left back than he ever does in the middle of the park!

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Really? I thought Granit looked lost out there 😀

  22. fred1266 says:

    Leicester City boss Claude Puel said Jamie Vardy was made ill by the decision not to give his side a penalty in Monday’s Premier League defeat to Arsenal.

    The Gunners came from a goal down to win 3-1 at Emirates Stadium and record a 10th victory in a row in all competitions.

    Puel was incensed at referee Chris Kavanagh for not awarding Leicester a penalty in the first half, when Rob Holding, who had already been booked, handled the ball inside the Arsenal area.

    The 57-year-old even joked that the decision was the reason striker Vardy was forced to leave the pitch through illness before the final whistle.

    “Jamie was ill and he could not come back in the game and we finished with 10 men,” Puel said. “I think he felt this in the second half.”

    When asked if Vardy had had a stomach complaint, Puel replied: “Yes, [he] couldn’t digest the penalty decision.”

    Leicester, without a win in 26 visits to Arsenal, are 11th in the Premier League table following their fifth defeat of the season.

    View image on Twitter
    View image on Twitter


    10 – Arsenal have won 10 consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since October 2007 (a run of 12). Momentum. #ARSLEI

    4:50 PM – Oct 22, 2018
    1,159 people are talking about this
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas you put us all to shame with the effort you are putting in to benefit the rest of us AAers. Thanks a million.

    I’m not at all at ease with our 1st half performance. It was yet another 1st half where if we had been playing one of the top teams in the league the game would have been lost. I’m not trying to minimize the second half but I do believe we need to be realistic.

    The last 50 minutes of the game were pure “Mesut time” he was simply magical and pulled up the overall team performance.

    I believe that the reason the three teams above us in the league are all unbeaten is due to them being more consistent over 90 minutes – whereas we have become a great 2nd half team.

  24. fred1266 says:

    Didn’t find we played so badly first half

  25. fred1266 says:

    It was ndidi hitting the bar

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    GN5 and Fred

    I’m with Fred on this. At half time, we were 1-1 against a very fast and competitive Leicester, as I imagine, will be other top four sides

    We all agree we were dynamite 2nd half, but we must remember that we started with a back four of Licht, Hold, Must and Bell which is both untried and far from our best defenders, namely, Nacho, Sok and Kos

  27. LB says:

    That 10.51 is so clever.

  28. LB says:

    On the subject of Nacho does anyone know what is wrong with him?

  29. LB says:

    Ahh, hamstring, not going to be ready for Thursday.

    AM-N (Con) is back though.

  30. LB says:

    OK I have waited as long as I can, it’s the second half again for me.

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha LB 🙂

    Not a bad idea at all

  32. LBG says:

    Regarding first half – two bits of Wobbly tekker to chuckle at, and my favourite goal of the game, ( one by the way, I deed not see live as, much to the disapproval of Chas, I had to have a pee. The reaction of the approx dozen men standing in the same pose as the roar went up was “typical! but I’ll take that!) Mesut ‘God2’, for the grace with which he passed a ball that needed to be kept down (watch it again in close up) into the net via the post.

    Second half – Further evidence that Leicester weren’t that brilliant from the mouth even of that bete noir Alan Smith in the 53rd minute “Leicester struggling with lack of chances/pressure, their last one was in the 20th minute”. Further evidence IMO, of a sh** referee. Perreira, Vardy and Ghezzal should all have been booked if you use Holding’s one as the measure. And as I commented before, Albrighton left a boot in to the top of Terriers instep, then tried to drag him up as if he was simulating. Red and OFF.
    But enough of the negative. Ozil’s pass for the second goal, Bellerin’s crosses during the game (Rasp), Dick’s celebrations, and then that ” gorgeous, glorious, wonderful Arsenal (third) goal” to send us floating heavenward.
    And even then, Lacs x2 and Micki should have made it 6-1, and we would have been third. We murdered them!

  33. LBG says:

    Sorry LB and Micky, hope I didn’t spoil it for you (again).

  34. Gööner In Exile says:

    One thing to mention on this first v second half display thing I think we are no different, I think opponents tire.

    We are purposefully spreading out the pitch to give us lots of space to move the ball, this in turn gives the opposition incentive to hunt and sometimes in packs, if we keep our discipline and distance 9/10 the ball can bypass the pack hunting 1/10 they get a chance from it. Eventually they tire they can’t keep at it and 9/10 becomes 19/20 and so on, and we start to dominate.

    Eventually opposition may get cute and not bother hunting, but in some ways given them the encouragement to think we are vulnerable encourages them to waste energy. I think this will work particularly well away from home.

    How it will fair against sides with more expensive finishers we will see.

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE, It sounds like Ali’s “rope a dope” let then punch/tire themselves out and then land the perfect punch/goal.

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Our next six games will determine if we can in fact “rope a dope”

    Crystal Palace a
    Liverpool h
    Wolves h
    Bournemouth a
    Tottenham h
    Manchester U a

  37. GoonerB says:

    Brilliant write up Chas.

    There was some sublime football on display there that I haven’t seen since AW’s earlier tenure. Some of our patterns of play, our firepower, and our hunger to attack in numbers were so pleasing that they make me not want to dwell on this poorer 1st half phenomenon. However, I still can’t fully shake some of the concerns that GN5 stated @ 11.53.

    There could be another angle to look at it though. Modern football and modern sports science means most mid to lower table teams are very quick and energetic these days, and while those energy levels are at their peak (in the first 1/2 to 2/3rds of the game) it can somewhat bridge the gap on the better technical side.

    Maybe this will become more of a modern trend, not just for us but all top teams, and maybe it is when energy levels drop that those teams ramp it up and let their superior technical football do the talking. It would be interesting to look at if we stand alone as an isolated case in this getting stronger as the game goes on, or whether other top teams are also being held for large parts of the first 50-60 minutes. I seem to remember that both Spurs and Pool have been given a hard time in a few games they have gone on to win.

    I think we have seen a couple more obvious games before this where we were very poor in the first half and much better in the second. In this game I think we were sublime in the second but maybe not as poor as many think in the first. Lets not forget that Leicester are one of the better teams in the next tier down. That mixed with some of the ref’s decisions which often shifted the balance of open play in their favour, and that the pundits love to big up the underdog and bash the favourite (if they are not 10-0 up at half time), are maybe muddying the true picture of the first half.

  38. GoonerB says:

    Haha GIE, As I was writing that comment you have trumped me with a much more concise version of what I was saying 🙂

  39. GoonerB says:

    I thought the Holding penalty decision could have easily gone against us just because he is jumping with his arm up, and we have seen those decisions before. There has to be some allowance for having your arms up to a degree when you jump to get lift; you can’t expect footballers to permanently jump pogo style. How much allowance before the arm is deemed raised beyond what is natural for that lift off is a bit subjective.

    The other thing though was that I thought the ref could just as easily have given a foul against the Leicester attacker. I haven’t seen it again since last night so am going on what I remember thinking at the time, but Holding seems to jump with his arms in a natural position for lift off while the attacker extends his arm across Holding and into his face. It looked an illegal contact to me and therefore a foul against the attacker on Holding.

    This use of the arm at that angle by the attacker both restricts Holdings lift off and slightly alters his jumping angle as he is forced the other way, both of which result in his hand connecting with the ball, which it wouldn’t have done if the arm wasn’t across him and in his face and he was able to jump and compete for the ball fairly.

    Anyone got some replay footage of it.

  40. fred1266 says:

    That’s how u break down a packed defence

  41. fred1266 says:

    I only have one critique of the whole game even the commentators mentioned it on set pieces bellerin was marking the unicorn riding man

  42. fred1266 says:

    Fingers cross I should be there for spur United game

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Another positive from yesterday was the power coming from the bench. Having two top international strikers, Welbeck and PEA is an extravagance.

    Once our CB’s get back to fitness we are in great shape and have a very strong squad. With the addition of a LB it could be the best we have ever had

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    That was a pleasure to read Raddy, it was a pure joy to see him in action yesterday, AW would have purred if he was watching.

    In retrospect I cannot remember ever seeing another player perform with such sublime skill, maybe our God.

  45. LB says:

    That is a good article, I have to watch the goal again to see the pass to Guendouzi which at the time I thought was the straight forward part.

  46. LB says:

    Oh, it was that one, hardly straight forward, more like. off the scale.

  47. chas says:

  48. fred1266 says:

    Ok lets don’t get carried away BR welbeck isn’t a top striker

  49. fred1266 says:

    Ok what do I know since I thought Iwobi was a bad player

  50. chas says:

    Course he is, Freddie.

    You’ll be saying Iwobi is shit next.
    Haha haha.

  51. chas says:


  52. fred1266 says:

    Is that the upper tier chas

  53. LBG says:

    Couldn’t believe the one eyed Schmeichel after the match. No sorry, could believe it! And as for Souness, Mesut has more skill in his big toe nail ( neatly clipped of course)…..than…..Sourpusss.

  54. chas says:

  55. chas says:

  56. chas says:

  57. LB says:

    Just watched Rambo’s goal against Fulham again, hate to say it but it looks a bit pedestrian compared to last night’s third.

  58. chas says:

  59. GunnerN5 says:

    I just had a lovely afternoon I played a game of scrabble with my wife and in the background I watched United getting truly thrashed by Juventus.

  60. chas says:

  61. chas says:

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Chas

    The effect of monday night has not worn off 🙂

    Do like the 1886 tweets

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    6:43… evidence of why I think Darwin was wrong 🙂

    Having said that, science is always wrong given time

  64. chas says:

    Did you like the Cannon Insider vid at 6.50?

  65. chas says:

    Darwin was wrong?

    Next you’ll be saying that Einstein was shit.

  66. chas says:

    Twitter are getting heavy handed about removing goal vids.
    This was Dara O’Briain replying to a manc lad commemting on Arsenal’s third goal.
    There were two big girly “woooaaahhhh”s during that third goal. The first for Mesut’s first flick pass and the second for his step over dummy. Just incredible.

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    well, not shit, just wrong. Good try though 🙂

    The results of a recent experiment at CERN, the giant particle accelerator near Geneva, seem to attack one of physics’ sacred cows: Albert Einstein’s postulate that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

    In the experiment, physicists saw that streams of neutrinos — tiny, ghostly particles which seldom interact with other matter — were traveling just above the speed of light….the article goes on, obviously

  68. chas says:

    Yeah but wouldn’t time disappear up its own arsehole if that was the case?

  69. chas says:

    Speaking as a layman, of course.

  70. chas says:

    Got any polls for us for today’s post?

    Who was more wrong, Darwin or Einstein?

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh…that 6:50 vid…..yes, superb

    Reminds me of about four years ago, I was flying into London from Dusseldorf at night and Arsenal were at home (CL game). Approach to Heathrow was vis the Thames and I could see The Ems to my right. It was like a massive beam of light shining upwards from this round spaceship looking object on the ground. Awesome sight

  72. chas says:

    As for Newton – well, the guy sucks.

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha

  74. chas says:

    So, is Unai Emery a proponent for the theory of ‘intelligent design” ?

  75. chas says:

    Darwin – yeah right.

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Gravity does not suck either 🙂 and yes, he was wrong also…next?

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Unai was wrong also, as my then theory was later proved

    ie he insisted on an idiotic theory that Auba should play wide left, Mesut wide right and Ramsey central


  78. chas says:

    Micky’s Unification Theory – A Purist’s guide to football management.

    The Sun “He’s never been wrong in his life ★★★★★”

    The Telegraph “Who said Darwin knew what he was talking about – he said The Beagle should sit behind the front three brig-sloops – Didit takes him down”

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    A poll? Mmmm…thinks

  80. LBG says:

    Morning you two. It’s certainly too early to disappear up your own arses, lads. Careful.

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    It’s what we do best and we’re happy 🙂

    Any ideas for a post/poll LBG, or anyone?

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I seem to have stumbled across a science blog.

    Love the pic from the 60’s with the ship and the old cars. Must be somewhere up North.

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m going for Greenwich, Cutty Sark, and bonjour Erik

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Did we do a poll of where we thought AFC would finish this season? If we did, it may be interesting to compare and contrast opinions today.

    Or, who is the bigger shitehawk, Stewart Robson, Glenn Hoddle, Tony Gale or Graham Souness?

    BTW I can’t create a poll.

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    Science blog ROLF
    More like two pissed up dribbling old gits in a boozer with theories about theories. More Pete ‘n Dud if you ask me

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent call on Greenwich, young Didit

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    definately go with the first as I can’t believe anyone wants to think about, let alone discuss, those four

  88. Big Raddy says:

    6.46 is my favourite pic of the day. Reverse KKK

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Is it true about the neutrinos? I am giving a short talk about Niels Bohr today (he was Danish). Amongst other things, Bohr set up CERN in Geneva.

    Could be an interesting addition.

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    6:46 is my favourite also and I had a comment penned in this little box but decided to hold back, so deleted 🙂

  91. chas says:

    (bit of a cut and paste job, but at least it refreshes the page)

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