Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy

No, we’re not talking The Who compilation albums but the effects of both removing managers and of installing new ones.

Thought AAers might be interested in the fascinating discussion on radio by a sports psychologist of two “effects” relevant to the Moaninho story and, I thought, relevant to us.

First effect is called the “false kick”. He was suggesting the problems at Manure are higher up and throughout the Club rather than at the managers door. The false kick believes all the problems will be removed by getting rid of him, and he was doubtful.

The comparison with the Arse was interesting to me. Did we get rid of the main problem by ousting AW? (Much more complicated, of course because we have changed the structure dramatically at the same time).

The second effect he talked about is the “bounce”, one we are very familiar with, even recently (don’t mention St Mary’s). The result of a new man coming in and the change in “motivation” from the same players who were seemingly not performing for the last manager, suddenly start playing like men possessed.

Again, surely we have witnessed a bounce from Dick’s arrival!?

I liked his comparison with teaching.

When a new teacher arrives, all the kids don’t know how to react (including the baddies, in my experience). How should we react, what will he/she be like, what are the rules?

This is the strongest moment in a teacher’s reign. Doesn’t last long though, folks.



54 Responses to Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy

  1. LBG says:

    Thanks Chas, didn’t realise we were going to be in need so soon of something else to chat about.
    Will add my additional paragraph to the above here then.
    This psychologist was also talking more generally about his breed being used more often today to “motivate” players. It was what ge said next that perpllexed me somewhat. “We teach players to think only of the moment, or the future possibles. Conceding a goal ( or even scoring one) should have no more significance than conceding a throw on.”
    This immediately got me thinking about one of my pet hates in the modern player. No outward evidence of anger/regret/motivational reaction, particularly when errors (often pub team quality occur). Most recent examples for me would be Walcott and Ramsey, but I am beginning to witness it in AM-N. So what, I cocked up attitude. I understand this more, as a poor golfer, in that individual sport. Miss the putt. Forget it, clear the mind, next drive. But in football it gives the impression anyway, of being a little “don’t care” or at least lackadaisical. Perhaps it’s me as an old fart, but having captained many rugby and football teams as a teenager, a lack of recognition of error, even so that I could pick them up again, would be what I expected.
    And as for not celebrating success, whilst preparing for a backlash …..well, never!

  2. chas says:

    Cheers, LBG.

    Very interesting ideas in this. Will reply properly later.

    Rambo’s casual ‘aw shucks’ reaction to a failed flick or something has wound me up for years.
    In that spud game when Auba charged down the keeper and the ball fell to Ramsey, his reaction to his awful attempt at a bachelor summed this up for me.

  3. chas says:

    Sorry. Spellchecker changed back heel to bachelor!

  4. RA says:

    Good Morning, and interesting discussion, LBG.

    I might not be totally convinced about this finger pointing at Manure being totally relevant at Arsenal.

    I read an article about this theory quoting an ‘unknown’ source, who might well be a Mourhino supporter.
    That’s not unusual — take Gary Neville — he was very quick to say Mourhino was not the problem, and also made a rude comment to Pogba who had shared his delight at hearing the news of the sacking.

    The idea that the directors/owners are responsible for shortcomings at a club are perfectly reasonable. Perhaps they have not been supportive of the manager, have not given him the funds to improve the squad, or have out in place an administration team who are not of the quality needed – and so on.

    That brings with it the responsibility to put matters right — and sacking certain admin staff, releasing more funds — or sacking the manager, are are all in their purview.

    I cannot stand Maoanie and laughed when I heard of his demise — so an unbiased observer I am not.

    What amused me – and I mean no disrespect here — is that having raised the issue that perhaps any problem at Manure lay with the upper echelons, and then conflating that with Arsenal, you both homed in on a ‘lower’ tier by launching into the irritating habits/mannerisms and nonchalance of some players who do not show any reaction when they cock things up.

    I agree with that actually, and it does not apply only to the Arsenal players, but that is perhaps more a reflection of the socio/economic ethos that is endemic in society generally.

    Players get paid huge money from a very young age, since ‘oil’ money poured into the Premier League clubs, and they think they are the bees knees, an attitude some carry throughout their careers.

    Maybe Pogba’s attitude may have contributed to Moaniho being let go — but the Specialist in Failure’ showed he could not manage a wealthy young bloke, and that extended to the dressing room which it was alleged he had ‘lost’.

    It is too soon to get into the AW story, but I think like all these opinions they can only be speculative as very few know all the facts behind the scenes.

    As for our lengthy unbeaten run, it may turn out to be more of a dead cat bounce, but there are signs Emery will bring hope and success back to the Arsenal.

    Anyone thinking the above is garbage — please join the line. 🤪

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Firstly, a very interesting post this morning, as is the follow up LBG comment at 7.43.

    For many years I earned my living as a psychotherapist and re-framing personal history was at the forefront of my work. It must also be true for sportsmen. Only looking forward is the correct response to a negative experience, when the situation is immediately ongoing (clumsily expressed but I hope you get my meaning!)

    There is time for recrimination and recognition of error afterwards. Otherwise the player cannot rely upon instinct and thus perform to his maximum in the moment.

  6. Big Raddy says:


    Pogba: There are clearly chaps who are poison in the tea, the “one bad apple”. It seems to me that when a club has tone then the manager is doomed.

    According to the Italian press Juve were delighted when Pogba was sold and astonished by the €100m fee. It comes as no surprise Juve have moved forward since his departure.

    Like him or not, Merinho brings a narrative to the PL. He will be missed. All the other managers bar Klopp are faceless and interchangable

  7. VP of Oz says:

    Ramsey married childhood sweetheart Colleen Rowlands at Caldicot Castle in Monmouthshire, Wales on 8 June 2014. They have a son, Sonny, born in 2015.

    Chas, You’re a bit of a heel if you thought of him as an awful attempt at a bachelor

  8. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks LBG a very challenging post.

    I don’t think we saw the UE bounce so much as his first game was against City.

    What we did see was a team who seemed to be enjoying their football again and a new spirit about the side.

    Positivity is the only way.

    I don’t accept the idea that UE’s honeymoon is over, hence the last two results. What is becoming clear is that he is working miracles with the injury ravaged squad and that some of the players aren’t up to the task whether through lack of ability or reluctance to play the way the manager wants.

    Players can’t help their faces (poor Ozil 🙂 ) and it is probably the right thing to do to is to expunge the memory of a bad incident … what I can’t abide is players who lose the ball and don’t bust a gut to get back when their error has put the team under pressure. Added to that, those players who stay down waving their arms with indignation when they think they’ve been fouled rather than getting up and fighting back.

  9. RA says:

    Hi Raddy,

    I am sure there will be others who disagree with me too.

    It is possible that you misunderstood the point I was making. I have no brief for Pogba and I have no view as to whether he has a poisonous personality, or not. How could I know?

    There were a number of other general matters that I was attempting to address, however inadequately, about the comments of a psychologist.

    [It puzzles me as to why a psychologist, who is an expert on the control of behaviour and mental processes, among other things, had any specialist knowledge about the management of any business, unless it was just a personal observation because he was a ManU/Mourhino supporter?]

    Manure may be in a bit of a mess since Sir A retired, but I think the implication that Mourhino was not at fault, and his dismissal was unfair because the real ‘culprits were ‘higher up’ is flawed or naive at best.

    To be candid I do not give a damn about Manure and their current problems. They are the biggest club in the world, and probably the richest ‘non-oil’ club, so with the appointment of a top manager, they will, sadly, soon be lording it again.

    As regards Mourhino, I have already confessed to my admittedly biased opinion, and you have your opinion – hopefully we can both continue to express our opinions generally as discussion points?

    Anyway, it’s nearly Xmas and I am still feeling OK. 🤠

  10. RA says:

    Hi, Rasper,

    I totally agree with you – and second all you say at 10:05.

    You finished with;

    — “Added to that, those players who stay down waving their arms with indignation when they think they’ve been fouled rather than getting up and fighting back.”

    And for me that posturing is really annoying because they allow the opposition to launch counter-attacks against 10 men.

    If they want to be actors – they should get on the stage. One leaves on the hour, every hour. 🤪

  11. Rasp says:

    🙂 hi Redders, thanks …. hope you’re on the up health wise. Season’s greetings to you and your kin …

  12. RC78 says:

    I think that the team spirit is overall better and that the team is working better as a unit in offensive transition phases (from when we get the ball back to creating/scoring a change) but defensively, although there is more intensity and intent in getting the ball back, we still give away cheap goals and concede many chances.

    It is very clear that some players are struggling like Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal. Others are doing better like Holding, Sokratis, Bellerin and Kolasinac. Xhaka is doing OK as a CM but otherwise, he has been played out of position too many times so that is not good.

    Offensively, we can see that Mhiky is short of fitness level and that Ozil would need to adapt his style or pack his bags…

    Emery has helped the team become more aggressive to get the ball back and to be more dangerous after we get the ball back. He has yet to fix the defensive unit and that requires a few additions at LB, CB and DM/CM level.

    Our unbeaten run brought back some positivity and belief but it also was hiding our defensive frailties. So with the last two losses (both featuring Kos and Monreal…), I think it is clear to see that the team is work in progress.

    Priority for the winter: CB + Winger
    Priority for the summer: DM/CM + LB

    Who can stay at AFC at the end of the season without a doubt:
    – Cech, Leno
    – Bellerin, Lichten, Holding, Sokratis, Mavropanos, Kola
    – Torreira, Guendouzi, AMN
    – Miky, Iwobi, Smithe-Rowe
    – Auba, Laca

    Doubts: Jenks, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Ozil

    The rest can be shipped out

  13. VCC says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy and Healthy New Year to ALL at AA.


  14. RA says:

    Thanks, Rasper, and seasons greetings to you and yours!!

  15. RA says:

    Hi VCC,

    Long time – no see.

    Hope all is well with you, and Merry Xmas and happy New Year to you too!!

  16. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Fair enough 😀

    VCC. Hi, MC & HNY to you

  17. LBG says:

    Can’t believe there are already AAers suggesting Mesut could/should depart! Much genius still to be viewed before we say adieu, for me.

  18. Rasp says:

    Hi LBG, it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks on here, following the manages most recent comments on the matter, it is clear that he doesn’t think that Ozil fits into his team at the moment. My guess is, for him to get back in the side, he would have to change parts of his game, and I can’t really see that happening.

  19. LBG says:

    Rasp, what did Dick say other than for Thursday’s game Mesut was was not playing for tactical reasons!!

  20. Rasp says:

    That’s exactly what he said …. tactical reasons = Mesut is not a ‘must’ starter … that can’t be right for the highest paid player, makes him a luxury.

  21. John Mathews legend says:

    According to Emery in this afternoon’s press conference, Mesut is in the squad for the Burnley game. When asked if he (Mesut) had a future at the club, he replied ‘yes, why not?’
    He’s been talking to different players (Elneny, Jenks etc, + Mesut) about what he needs from them to help the team, and doesn’t appear to want to talk differenciate between them in the way he does this. Which is good.
    I’m looking forward to a week in Islington for Xmas, 24th till 31st.
    Shame there’s no home match while I’m there.
    My two (half French) daughters, who both live in the Paris area now, will be there too, both Gooners.
    Apparently my eldest is trying to get tickets for Brighton away as a ‘surprise’ for her sister and myself, but the Bro has warned her that it’ll be nigh on impossible to find any, and that there might not be any trains on Boxing day anyway.
    Happy Christmas to all on AA!!

  22. VCC says:

    Rasp. Unai said this afternoon that Ozil is in the squad for tomorrow’s game ???

  23. VCC says:

    Hi RA & Big Raddy. All good my end thanks guys.

    Just starting to get my Arsenal Mojo back after the last few years of Mr. Wenger.

  24. chas says:

    Hello, VCC.
    How’s it hanging? 🙂

  25. chas says:

    I think Iwobi got a bounce from Emery’s arrival.
    Only trouble is, is he’s returning to the floor now. 🙂

  26. chas says:

    The number of times we’ve had trouble against a team with a new manager – oooo, it must be dozens.

    I wish the psyche guys could prep the team for that eventuality.

  27. Rasp says:

    Hi VCC, Merry Christmas 🙂 I’m not saying Ozil has to go, I am saying that at the moment he is no more than a squad player, and that doesn’t usually apply to the highest earner at the club. we need a player who can take control and orchestrate the attack, we have lacked someone creative in the final third in the last couple of games.My wish would be for Unai To find a way to make it work with Ozil on the pitch. But I think that means that he must be effective in all phases of the game.

  28. RA says:

    Unai, apparently, has a reputation for meticulous planning, including chatting to each of the squad players about what he wants, and what areas the players need to improve in.

    Sounds good to me.

    Mesut is a brilliantly skilful player, but sometimes seems to be unwilling to track back when needed.

    Truth to tell, I would be willing to see him carry on concentrating on the attack – and leaving the defence to others.

    On the other hand, our defensive players can be cr*p and leave holes that makes Mesut a hostage to fortune, along the lines of “Why didn’t he get back and tackle X?” Bollocks to that. 😀

  29. Big Raddy says:

    As I recall Ozil was the beneficiary of a perfect storm for the BoD. With Sanchez leaving we could ill afford to lose our two world class players.

    IMO his wages are an irrelevance.

    I do not agree that Ozil is just a squad player. He is our best player bar none. It is up to Emery to find the formation and team structure to allow Ozil to flourish.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    BTW that is a lovely pic of Arsene

  31. LBG says:

    Totally agree Raddy, but why can’t it also occasionally be horses for courses. “Squad player”. Bollox!!

  32. Rasp says:

    Totally disagree fellas …. look at the facts …. he gets taken off when he plays and he’s not even making the bench for some games. It would be great if he could find his place in the way we play …. but that is probably more up to Ozil than Emery. In terms of football his wages are an irrelevance …. in terms of financial management it is a problem …. but not Emery’s problem. I guess it comes down to whether you think a team can/should afford a player who doesn’t fulfil the manager’s team ethic.

    Ask yourselves …. how many times has Ozil won a 50/50 challenge …. in fact, have you ever seen him go in for a 50/50 challenge. He lacks aggression …. he hardly ever gets a yellow because he doesn’t commit himself to the tackle …. and that is not a player who is giving everything for the team.

  33. chas says:


  34. chas says:

    Two places higher and 4 points better off than after 17 games last season, I’d say we’re on the up.

    Burnley will be tough, the spuds only just spawned a last second win against them last weekend.

    Expect a really dour game today.

    My prediction 4-1. 🙂

  35. chas says:

  36. chas says:

    Finally BoJo is arrested for crimes against humanity and barbers everywhere………

  37. chas says:

    It’s nearly Christmas.
    Might have to break out my Arsenal santa hat for today’s game.

  38. chas says:

  39. LBG says:

    Have to agree to totally disagree, Rasp.
    And when I see Mesut doing an Ian Wright on a 50:50 ball not only will I want to move him on, but I’ll know the end is nigh.
    Dour Chas, Chrismas hats, 5* cognac, good company, and who says they are gonna score?4-0.

  40. chas says:

    Just tried my Christmas hat on and there was something about the crest I didn’t quite like.
    Probably won’t wear it.

  41. chas says:

    5 star cognac sounds belting!

  42. chas says:

    Who are you meeting for the good company?!!

  43. chas says:

    They don’t write ’em like this anymore.
    Thank Dennis.

  44. LBG says:

    Them was the days….we was poor, but we woz happy. Half a crown!!!

  45. Rasp says:

    Hi LBG, as you may recall from a chat we had at the ffb a couple of months ago, I predicted pool will win the league (city were clear favourites at the time) … last night they showed why …. they have 11 players on the pitch and every man on the bench who are prepared to run through the proverbial wall for the team. Every player gives his all every game …. similar to Leicester in their winning year. Much as I love to watch Mesut’s artistry …. he’s not one you want at your side in the heat of battle. He’s amazing when we’re given space and dominate possession …. but is away at a battling Burnley one for him? I’d start with him to see if we can dominate them, but if we can’t, I’d expect him to get hooked.

  46. chas says:

    Hopefully we’re at home, as that’s where I’m going today!

  47. chas says:

    Thanks to you and your ticket, I hasten to add.

  48. Rasp says:

    Oops … just so chas …. in that case the perfect showcase for Ozil to prove his class ….

  49. Rasp says:

    … and … my pleasure …. I’m miffed I can’t be there too ….

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Wish I was there instead of going out buying the food and booze for the next few days. Still, it has it’s positives!

    Rasp. Totally disagree. Check Ozil’s stats. He invariably leads the team in terms of kms run. He is not a lazy player. It is just bolleaux put out by idiots like Souness and Keane. Mesut may not always influence a game but it never due to lack of effort..

    Did Le Tiss tackle? Did Hoddle? Did Dennis always influence a game? No.

    Ozil is a game changer and should always play ahead of Iwobi or Mhiki.

  51. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, I’m aware that Mesut covers a lot of ground and works hard … I’ve never accused him of being lazy. He stays down too long when he’s been tackled sometimes. His running when we are not in possession is invariably to block space for the opposition’s passing rather than to actually win the ball back. I often focus on just one player’s movement when at a game, and Ozil is the same as Theo … he doesn’t really want to get involved in a tackle which effectively means we’re one defender short.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I don’t want Ozil to be a defender …

    There is a New Post

  53. LBG says:

    Rarely remember our chats. Manshitty for the League. Mesut compared to Walcott. Premier compared to Southern League 3!

  54. Rasp says:

    Not a comparison of footballing ability (as you know) LBG … but a comparison to their attitude to defending.

    In the modern game in the EPL, emphasis is placed on winning the ball back high up the pitch … attack as a team, defend as a team etc

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