Grabbed a draw …… should’ve won?

Not the greatest performance, not the worst either.  Should we be happy with a point? Not really. They truly are terrible. But we’re not exactly flying either.

As far as the line up goes, it’s no secret I’d rather Xhaka didn’t start but this United team isn’t good enough to capitalize on his weaknesses so I was ok with it.

It wasn’t a bad “away” line up. The quality was mediocre and the ratings are based on the fact that the playing conditions were pretty awful. It’s annoying to hear someone as experienced as Graham Le Saux say they had no bearing on the quality of the game. Anyone who’s ever played knows that’s just not true.

In the first half we actually looked to have a defensive shape and seemed happy to work hard all over the field. We didn’t have much in an attacking sense but again, I don’t expect this current team to go up to the Toilet and play them off the pitch. We certainly didn’t but 0-0 after 44 mins was ok for me.

We just needed to get to half time then ramp it up in the 2nd half. We didn’t make half time. A break from a corner where Kola and Gwen both went for the same ball on the edge of their box resulted in their goal, a well struck but ultimately deflected shot that left Leno no prayer. Annoying for sure.

The second half left us trying to chase the game but in the conditions, creating clear cut chances was difficult. Remember, we are not City or Liverpool. We have a group of good, young and improving players who deserve credit for clawing a goal back. Saka was probably our brightest attacking threat. The commentary kept swooning over the Manure left back but I thought Saka was every bit as good playing a much more difficult role. Our midfield, including Xhaka played responsibly as a unit. I was happy to see Ceballos and I thought Torreira struggled anyway. It seemed as if he was playing as our furthest forward midfielder and if so, Ceballos is much better at that role. I commented to Liam that ‘this is it” when he came on. And a few minutes later we equalised.

Saka had a great chance to put us ahead and hit the target – rule #1. It was a good if somewhat fortunate deflection from Mr £80m that stopped it. Then later some bloke who had a lucky shot at the end of the 1st half showed his true finishing potential with an unchallenged header from 4 yards which he blazed over. That was the best chance we gave up.

We never really looked like winning it, they did but only based on our potential for slapstick defending. But the game “petered out” into a barnstorming end to end Spuds like match littered with errors and fouls more than well created chances.

A couple of takes:

In OGS’s post match interview, he said Manure were not cynical or clinical enough. Someone needs to explain the difference to him because AGAIN, they were plenty cynical. Some of their challenges were borderline ridiculous. It always happens at the Toilet and refs don’t give us any protection. I don’t mind making allowances for a slippery pitch but it made me sick when the comment after their cheating dirty bastard captain held Saka back and nothing was given was “that was clever play”. That Knob is a cheat, always has been, always will be.

Ceballos’ work rate was very evident tonight. I think he’s as hard working a creative player as I’ve seen. I don’t think we’d have been defensively any weaker if he’d have started ahead of Torreira.

Xhaka had a good game for the most part but his attitude seemed much better to me. Apart from the begging for yellows which I hate, I thought he gave as much as I’ve seen of him in recent times. If being named Captain is all it took, I wish Emery had done it sooner. However with the Koscielny and Ozil situations, that is definitely a case of hindsight. I’m not sure he won’t be exposed by better teams or in better conditions but it was a good start.

Ratings (I’d have given 5’s for our average players but I thought it was a difficult game to shine in so not making mistakes was crucial – therefore 6 is an average for this game) :

Leno: Made a couple of crucial saves and didn’t make any mistakes both with keeping and distribution. Maybe could come off his line occasionally on crosses – 7

Chambers – I thought he may get taken apart by James. He didn’t he was awesome. Crossing wasn’t stellar but his overall attacking play was very good. Defensively very solid – 8

Kolasinac – Really good, especially as he spent a lot of the game defending. He has pleasantly surprised me over the last few games. His form will allow Tierney a gentle introduction which will help prevent re-injury. – 8

Sokratis – Solid and dependable – no bonehead decisions or mistakes – 6.5

Luiz – Apart from one attempted dribble that nearly cost us in the first half, more of what you’d expect from him. Played well – 6.5

Xhaka – Somewhat inspired performance. Tracked back with purpose and pace. Can’t tackle worth a lick but with this application and effort, could be an asset. A solid performance by your central midfielder will make our defenders look better, (which seems kinda obvious UNAI !!!) – 7

Torreira – Worked hard and played well positionally. Got forward a lot but he isn’t a goal scoring midfielder. If Unai thinks he is, he’ll have a lot of average games This was one – 6

Guendouzi – Yet again our best player. Was everywhere and made things happen. He takes a lot of risks and will get caught out. But his plus % over a season will far outweigh the negatives. Going from strength to strength. – 8.5

Pepe – Complete crap. He deserves criticism when he’s this bad. Doesn’t mean he’s not a great player or a bust.He will get better. But how he lasted 75 mins is beyond me. – 3

Aubameyang – Led the line well. Still looks like he’s having fun while working hard. Will benefit from a strike partner that doesn’t play like me. Took his goal brilliantly. – 7

Saka – Was awesome. He’s doing for us what I expected Pepe to do, taking players on and beating them. Held the ball up really well too, especially considering the tool he was up against. Made one or two errors but for the most part, awesome – 8

Subs:

Ceballos – I like this guy. Maybe that makes me biased but I lost count of how many times he tracked back at pace to help the defence. It means a lot to us as fans. He didn’t get a chance to shine creatively but he will if we build on this stepping stone and start defending as a team. – 7

Nelson – Wouldn’t have made this substitution, would have brought Willock on for Pepe at the same time as Ceballos came on. However, Reiss played well, worked hard to help Chambers and got forward well too. Had a chance but snatched at his shot. – 6.5

Willock – No time to make a difference but every time this kid comes on, I can’t believe he’s not starting. Probably my bias but I don’t think so.

Unai – I wish he’d give his form players a chance. Until he does so, I have reservations about him. However for this game, did a competent job. – 6

Overall, not a great performance but in the scheme of things, we may look back at a good point gained. Hopefully a turning point for Xhaka and the overall mentality of the team. Along with Xhaka, players I’ve recently citicised and doubted played well namely Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac. Mostly their effort and application was evident and is appreciated by us fans. Now we need to move forward instead of stepping back.

MikeM

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88 Responses to Grabbed a draw …… should’ve won?

  1. Apologies LB, Mike had already agreed to send a match report ………………… here’s LB’s comment from last night

    LB says:
    September 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    It’s not that I expect Arsenal to win at Old Trafford; it’s not that I think they should win, however, it remains, above most others fixtures, one of those games that I really, really want us to win. Not to be again, a draw, probably a fair result but ahhh, Saka, if only.

    Arsenal are obviously a work in progress and my enthusiasm remains high for that reason, the reason being that we don’t know how good the collective talent can be, we haven’t even seen our preferred wing backs in the team, let alone Lacazette and our wing backs, so I go into every game hoping to see progress and to be fair there are bright rays of hope most notably Guendouzi but just when I expect to see a bout of Wengerball or Emeryball as it would be called now a school boy error of a pass causes loss of possession, all in all, collective progress is slow in coming and is making for difficult viewing. Still next time will be different………….lol.

    Leno: this is a quality goalkeeper, fantastic save in the first half to keep the scores level, couldn’t do a lot for their goal and came out in the second half and played at his commanding best. 9

    Chambers: there was a really annoying comment from Gary Neville in commentary: “ he is too slow to play right back, too short to play centre back and not skilful enough to play in midfield. He did pretty well tonight but can we please get Hector back ASAP. 7

    Socratis: a much more thoughtful performance, it’s as if someone has sat him down and explained this new fandangled technology thing called VAR is all about. No stupid tackles, no shirt pulling on corners, not even a yellow, much better maybe he can go back to being one of those players we all like instead of one that we don’t. 7

    Luiz: Not a bad game either; I do like his long-range passes that often find Aubamayang to run onto, all in all a bit better. 7

    Kolasinac: good game I thought; we might expect Tierney to walk into the team but I am not sure the Said would agree. After accepting his role as under study to Nacho I really get the feeling that he wants to fight for his right to remain the first choice rb. 8

    Xhaka: it seems to be the common view that he is an Emery favourite but has it ever crossed anyone’s mind that Emery just might not been able to replace him yet, well that’s the way I see it anyway. Replace him with Chambers? This is not an obvious improvement. With Torreira? Same thing but change will happen sooner rather than later. 5

    Guendouzi: this young Frenchman is the new Vieira, there I said it, he is our new midfield warrior; his improvement trajectory is really impressive and the exciting thing is we don’t know where the end is. I really thought he had plateaued but against Villa he showed that he is capable of getting into the opponents box, something he had never done before and he took another impressive step up. The interesting thing I noticed was that his dynamic with Xhaka changed; they played differently with Guendouzi playing more advanced and Xhaka further back, it worked or at least it was better. Guendouzi could replace Xhaka eventually but a Gilberto and a Guendouzi would be better. The Frenchman was nigh on perfect tonight and again gets the MOTM 9

    Torreira: this man did the job that he was supposed to do on the night which was scramble around trying to recover possession, he did it reasonably well; he got forward reasonably well. Interestingly, Emery played him as a pure DM against Forrest and I expect him to do so again against Liege on Thursday; he is no Gilberto at the moment but he still could be. 6

    Saka: a great prospect for the future, obviously still struggling to find his feet but all is well and continues to improve the more minutes he has on the big stage. 6

    Aubamayang: try and imagine a team with no Auba and try and stop yourself going into a dark room and screaming – not possible. Ohhhh, how scary things would be. Saved our bacon again. 8

    Pepe: I don’t care how good he is likely to be in the future, I don’t care how good he was in France, tonight he was dreadful. 4

    Subs

    Ceballos: if you are wondering why he didn’t start just cast your minds back to the Liverpool game and remember how easily he was by passed. Came on at the right time and added something to the attack.

    Nelson: after being leapfrogged by Saka he must now feel that he has got a real chance of getting back in the team and I hope he does because I don’t care who succeeds out of he and Pepe so long as one of them does.

    Willock: deployed at the right time and drove us forward well, all still good here.

  2. This comment from RC78 last night is interesting too …………..

    RC78 says:
    September 30, 2019 at 11:39 pm (Edit)
    I think there r question marks around a few players this season already and these ones are a bit surprising:

    – Torreira who has been very anonymous. Where is our Tottenham Torreira? Doesn’t seem as motivated and driven and he s definitely not as effective or dynamic.
    – Pepe, what s happening to the best forward winger of last year L1. He was unstoppable. What s going on?
    – Ceballos, a good first game and that s it…Touted as a Cazorla or Ozil type of player, he s not really confirming his reputation

    On the other hand, some players are playing better than expected… Chambers, Guendouzi, Willok, Saka.

    Let s see how the season unfolds but I can imagine that our best line up could end up being

    Leno – Bello, Chambs, Holding, Tierney – Douzi, Xhaka (no choice 😢), Willock – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    Cup team:
    Martinez – AMN, Sok, Mustafi, Kola – Torreira, Luiz – RN, Ceba, Saka – Martinelli

    In any case, no space for Ozil and ESR

  3. LB says:

    No need to apologise Peaches, as you said, Mike volunteered and I didn’t. I write when I am in the mood and I like it that way.

  4. LB says:

    Good read Mike, thanks

  5. Sue says:

    This is United’s worst ever start to a PL season… so to come away with just a point, for me is disappointing! Palace went there and won.. West Ham beat them at home.. so 13 years, scrap that, make it 14… sigh……

    There were some positives though.. Aubameyang 🔥 surely that golden boot is on it’s way back to NL.. absolutely brilliant!!
    Saka, at 18!! What a beast, puts some of the others to shame!
    Guendouzi… my oh my.. another great performance, he could quite easily be captain imo. Look how vocal he is, he leads by example… shows Granit how to do it! 👏

    There were also some ‘not so positives’ – Pepe… omg, 72m!! So frustrated watching him atm… give him time, i keep hearing… jeez didn’t Rambo & Mkhi score on their debuts, not so long ago? No point glossing over it, I’m majorly disappointed with what I’ve seen from him.. i was expecting soooo much more… and I’m wishing we’d got my Wilf instead (January maybe?) 🙏
    And what on earth was the linesman on last night? Offside? Don’t make me laugh! I bet that broke Mike Dean’s heart, giving that goal! Kevin Friend had an absolute shocker…
    Will we ever win again at OT? Some time this millennium would be nice…….

  6. RockyLives says:

    Excellent summary and ratings Mike. Can’t really disagree with much although I think both you and LB are being a tad generous to Torrieria.

    I’ll be honest and say he’s not one of my favourites. He showed promise in the first part of last season but every time I see him play there are so many occasions when he just gets muscled off the ball (including again last night).

    He is, literally, a lightweight and he would not be in my starting 11.

    Then there’s Pepe. That was a worrying performance but he’s still allowed some slack this early in his Premier League career. I don’t watch foreign footy so I never saw him in Ligue Un, but those who did really rate him so I have to believe it’s just a matter of time before he comes good.

    I’d be tempted to keep him out of the first team for a while and start him in the Europa League and Caribou Cup games where he can hopefully build his confidence against weaker opposition.

    So much for the negatives. There were some real positives out there as well last night and overall I think we controlled enough of the game to have won.

    Positives:
    Saka – always a threat and much stronger at holding off defenders than I expected.
    Gwen – don’t need to add anything to what others have said…
    Decent games from all the defenders.
    Auba’s finish.
    Xhaka – Mr Unpopular played well.
    Leno – some excellent saves.

  7. Rasp says:

    Thanks Mike, LB and peaches.

    I really didn’t want to wake up today with ‘the jury still out’ on Unai … but sadly that’s the case after yesterday’s performance.

    Top marks to him for playing Saka who was excellent and as others have said Guendouzi is the midfield conductor these days.

    Luiz played some really good quick forward passes – try him as DM please Unai and let’s release an unhappy (with life in the UK) Torreira as he’s going backwards.

    We’ve got to stick with Pepe. He’s rock bottom with confidence. He’s not taking players on. We need to give him the ball early out of defence and let him run with the ball.

    United made twice as many fouls as us, they received twice as many yellow cards and should have had 2 players sent off – so par for the course there.

    Why, why, why did we go into our shell after scoring? The game was there to be won.

  8. RC78 says:

    There are a few players that I would worry about now:
    – Ozil, no comment.
    – ESR, where could we play him? How far down the pecking order is he now?
    – Torreira – he s now behind Xhaka, Douzi, and maybe Willock.
    – RN- Have Saka and Martinelli pipped him over as well?

    I don’t put Pepe and Ceba there yet but if they don’t wake up…

  9. RC78 says:

    In any case, yesterday game was a poor result for us. We should have won. Emery needs to find the rigjy formula away from home as well. 2 points lost.

  10. Sue says:

    Since Jan 2018, Auba’s goals have won us 32 points, more than any other player, 7 points ahead of closest challenger (Harry bloody Kane).
    In his last 17 matches, Auba has scored 17 goals. In their last 17 matches, United as an entire team, have scored 15 goals!
    He is quite simply incredible!!!

  11. RC78 says:

    Auba is carrying the team up front…without his goals, we re a relegation team. It s that simple.

    When Laca will come back, things will be more spread out but maybe Emery needs to think about his set up because clearly Auba is great playing as a CFW so why not play a 442

    with Leno – Bello, Chambo, Holding, Tierney – AMN, Douzi, Luiz, Pepe – Laca, Auba

    I feel like Emery needs to put his best players in the best conditions.

  12. allezkev says:

    Great post Mike, thanks.
    A missed opportunity from the brief highlights I saw online.
    I had to suffer a Mancs love in on BBC5Live, Dion Dublin and Darren Fletcher as co-commentators, typical BBC balance…

    I’m worried about Pepe, as Rocky says, I think he needs taking out of the firing line, give him starts in the cups and bench him in the EPL where he can come on and maybe have some sparkling cameos.

    I was initially worried for Calum Chambers but the boy done good, up against a speed merchant he kept his cool and played intelligently.

    Thank you VAR…

  13. RA says:

    Well done, Mike, LB for your detailed Posts and ratings, and to Peaches for masterminding the admin recently. And Rasper for his usual thoughtful comments and for just being the Rasper!!

    Take a bow Guys!! 👍 😁

    There were many other terrific and passionate comments too from the rest of the crew, particularly from Sue, GIE, FGG, RC78, Rocky and so many others who all know who you are!

    Thanks to you too. 🤪

    These are all observations I could make at almost any time on AA, and my reason for doing so today?

    It would be all too easy to get into navel gazing, recrimination etc, but there has been none of that – just sensible, analytical, knowledgeable observations and adult discussions.

    I need to admit that the main reason I care to blog on here, is that I enjoy you people — I enjoy learning about the different personalities on show, the different perspectives on key matters that occurred, and that enable me to make sense of some of the stuff I saw for myself. and gives me a more contextual, rounded feel for how I saw the game.

    Excellent stuff and thank you all, again.

  14. RA says:

    And Kev !! 😀

  15. Gööner In Exile says:

    My feelings were summed up last night, I think your ratings are fair Mike and the report pretty much spot on.

    As Rasp said why didn’t we go for the jugular at 1-1. We had momentum and they looked worried, we let them compose themselves.

    I’ll pick up on Mikes point about cynical play, yes Ashley Young was and has always been that way, but I think I’d prefer that sly match craft than the obvious stuff our defenders seem to commit.

    A moment to praise Guendouzzi, what impresses me so much is he has yet to succumb to negativity about his occasional errant passes, he has a way of playing a style, and even when it doesn’t work he continues to try the same things. Why is this important? Because if every player worried about giving the ball away we would only move sideways, you might try 10 through balls and only 2 get through, but you keep asking the defence questions which they have to answer. As soon as you resort to high balls into the box as a win or bust or sideways passing you are harming the performance.

    Willock, Saka and to an extent Nelson also fall into this bracket. With them though we don’t know if it will continue yet, fingers crossed it does.

  16. VP of Oz says:

    excellent post Mike. A very good read.
    Without VAR we would be screaming at another Arsenal loss. As it stands, it couldve been a better result but it aint no loss.
    Maybe Manure have the most to fear from VAR. They cant cheat a result anymore. Now if only VAR would review the fouls, that would be the end of them.

    Honestly watching the flag go up was incredulous. The linesman should have his bank account checked for any recent large deposits. It was almost as discgraceful as the commentary who were hinting that Manure players stopped playing because of the flag so maybe goal shouldnt count…

  17. RockyLives says:

    Well said Redders.

    This is indeed an excellent forum.

  18. Rasp says:

    Yes, thanks Redders ….

    …we’re what Arsenal only aspire to be … a team that is greater than the sum of its parts … although we do have some pretty impressive parts IMO 🙂

  19. Rasp says:

    I’m going to completely put the kybosh on us now by making a foolish prediction … take a look at the fixtures widget to the right …

    … we should win at least 7 and draw only 2 of our next 9 games and be clear in 3rd by Christmas .. if … UE can integrate Lacca, Tierney, Holding and Bellerin back into the side without sacrificing Saka or Willock.

  20. Sue says:

    Mark Clattenburg has said the decision to flag Auba offside, was an incredibly poor one, from Scott Ledger, who was perfectly in line and perhaps lost concentration!! 😂
    Omg, lost concentration??!! All he had to do was look ahead… it’s not like a streaker had burst on to the pitch or anything! Poor, really poor….And there i was dreading the thought of Mike Dean being in control of var!!! If it wasn’t for him, I’d be feeling a zillion times worse!!
    Same thing happened with Kevin friend in the Palace v Villa game, i believe…. at least you can say one thing – that the refs are consistent (just a pity it’s consistently crap 😬)

  21. RockyLives says:

    Rasp

    I admire your optimism.

    To me it looks pretty similar to our “easy” run-in at the end of last season and we all know how that went!

    Our performances against the likes of Villa and the Hammers don’t inspire confidence but…

    …we all seem to agree we have some terrific players who are still less than the sum of their parts. So as you say, let’s hope their parts all come together and lead us to ecstacy (oo-er).

  22. RockyLives says:

    Sue

    That decision was so blatantly wrong that I don’t think even Mike Dean would have felt able to uphold it (although I bet it crossed his mind!).

  23. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m not sure why people thought Kolasinac was good yesterday. He should’ve given away a penalty with a ridiculous hand ball, and he was caught out of position on numerous occasions, most worryingly when De Gea dropped a 70 yard kick over his head straight to their winger. He comes across like he’s thick as shit and his play seems to back that up. Towards the end he sliced a clearance straight to their player around the edge of our box which could’ve been costly. He’s decent at getting forward but I think he’s a liability in the long term and hope Tierney comes in sooner rather than later.

    I think Pepe needs to keep playing and just needs to run at people. The fans love a dribbler and he will soon win everyone over and put in some big performances if he just starts playing his normal game. I feel like he’s thinking about it too much, but dropping him now could be a real set back for his Arsenal career. I’d rather Emery just keep playing him, especially at home.

    Chambers showed he is a good footballer last night and I think he needs to be playing centrally. He’s good on the ball for a defensive player and he’s calm. Something we could do with in the middle of our team.

    We really lacked a link between midfield and attack with 3 workhorses in the middle. I think Ceballos has a good work rate so why not let him be one of the 3.

    I really believe that Emery’s constant changing of the team is effecting certain players. Torreira just can’t settle and being in and out of the starting line up won’t help. The same goes for Özil and I think we saw it at times with Lacazette and Mkhy last season. I understand the need for rotation, but some players are playing 1 in 3 games which just isn’t enough and is detrimental to their form. How can an out of form player just turn it on in one game a month? If they aren’t involved then stick them in the U23s and at least get them game time.

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    Has everyone seen this Spurs story about Vertonghen sleeping with Eriksen’s wife??? Apparently Vertonghen got his black eye from Eriksen and Kane was also kicking off with Vertonghen because Kane and Eriksens partners are good friends. It’s also the reason why Vertonghen hasn’t signed a new contract and why he missed start of season games.

    I’ve got a friend who’s brother is mates with a Spurs director. Sounds ridiculous I know but it would explain a lot.

  25. LB says:

    Ooooh like that story Slim.

  26. Sue says:

    Well, i was hoping Vertonghen was going to get battered tonight, but it appears he already has been! (Terry and Bridge again!)

    Looking forward to a decent game later, and by decent, i mean… a Coutinho screamer, a Gnabry motm performance and a spud spanking!

    Rocky.. 😂 yes for a split second, at least!

  27. Rasp says:

    Yes, Sue … but actually we don’t want any of the English clubs joining us in the EL …

  28. Rasp says:

    Rocky @ 12:23 … “To me it looks pretty similar to our “easy” run-in at the end of last season and we all know how that went!” …

    …. Surely in chronological comparison being in the first half of the season it is more like the long unbeaten run we went on after the first two games … just saying 🙂

  29. LB says:

    But to answer your concerns: with hindsight I think it would have been more accurate to say that Kolasinac had a better game rather than a good game, which I still believe, however, I am as keen as the rest of the fan base to see Tierney come in.
    I was at the Forrest game and although he is technically gifted he still looks a bit light weight. I suspect he will play on Thursday so all will get a chance to judge; well all except me as I will be in Paris and will not be able to watch the game; bad timing on my behalf.

    Can’t be arsed to write my views on Torriera again so here is a copy and paste from above:

    Ceballos: if you are wondering why he didn’t start just cast your minds back to the Liverpool game and remember how easily he was by passed. Came on at the right time and added something to the attack.

    Torreira: this man did the job that he was supposed to do on the night which was scramble around trying to recover possession, he did it reasonably well; he got forward reasonably well. Interestingly, Emery played him as a pure DM against Forrest and I expect him to do so again against Liege on Thursday; he is no Gilberto at the moment but he still could be. 6

    I maintain that I thought Torreira was deployed well, we needed to contain United in the first half hour which we did and if it hadn’t been for their goal all would have been on course. As that course was changed so were the tactics and on came Ceballos.

    The thing that really went wrong was the attack: with Pepe being totally ineffectual and Saka wasn’t that good, it was so easy to double up on Auba which pretty much nullified our attack so I ask myself how on earth was Torreira supposed to be more effectual under those conditions?

  30. LB says:

    Why is it always Vertongohn slept with Erickson’s wife? Why not Erickson’s wife slept with Vertongohn?

    Just saying in these modern times and all. I suppose it could have just as easily have been: Erickson slept with Vertongohn………..

  31. Mike M says:

    Morning all. Thanks for the comments. Sometimes you wake up the next day and feel different about the game. In this instance I don’t, here’s why:
    Can you imagine if we’d lost? Difficult conditions, easy to make a mistake (you’re right FGG – Kola’s handball was awful but overall I thought he defended well which I’ve never given him credit for) and playing against the officials as well as Manure in the Toilet.
    I agree the game was there for the taking. But a loss would have been disasterous and in this instance I think discretion was the better part of valour.
    So we’ve got Liverpool and Manure away over with. We have coughed up points at Watford, saved a point against Spuds, pulled a rabbit against Villa and had 2 decent wins. That leaves us a platform to build on. Let’s see if we can push on. Defeat last night would have been unthinkable.

  32. Aaron says:

    Excellent analysis from many on here and thank you to both, Mike and LB, who provided match ratings.

    Match was there to grab, and we did not do it.

    Not as positive about the next few games as most. Emery tends to blow it against inferior opposition that is not a cup tie.

    If he can’t win away, there are a bunch of teams that are right next to us in the standings, and Leicester is above us again. How is that possible if the just sold there best defender? Places 4-11 are super tight, and we may find ourselves at one end or the other, I know which I prefer, but the malaise in the team is creeping death..ugh

    At least our goals against is down now to an amazing 59.7 goals projection.

    Will be interesting to see what transpires with Xhaka as our mainstay.

  33. LBG says:

    Thanks Mike. Admire your optimism in general on a night of mediocrity from both teams for me. Looking forward to a significant change of clientele on Thursday. Saka has surely shown great potential and lack of fear especially at Old Trafford. If only one of those strikes had gone in, I think we might have actually won comprehensively.
    We have both shared our views on Xhaka, and his appointment as captain was the most disappointing announcement this week for me. Surprised noone pointed out his pull back on Linguard in build up to Manure goal which would have been another booking ( and sending off in second half), if Friend had not ignored it because of the goal. No evidence of the maturity required of a captain for me and Ouzi copies his argumentative approach and gets booked himself.

  34. Mike M says:

    @ LBG – agreed about Xhaka for the most part. just like with FGG’s Kola comment which is also true to an extent, I feel a need to try to see the positives in these players because Emery is going to play them. I still have grave doubts about Xhaka but had they not scored, it may not have been the worst yellow to take for the team. His problem is he just isn’t athletic enough for the role he’s playing. But if he gives 100%, i’m ok with it because I’m stuck with it.
    Again giving him massive benefit here, maybe he’s persisting with some of these players so he can play them into form !!!??? I don’t believe that really but it might be a result of somewhat perplexing management from Mr Emery.

  35. Sue says:

    Xhaka’s one yellow away from a suspension

  36. LB says:

    One match away from suspension, hmmm, we have Bournemouth home next so he will be banned for Sheffield United away. Should be interesting what Emery chooses to do by way of replacement.

  37. RockyLives says:

    Haha – LB, I love the way you take it as a given that Xhaka will pick up a yellow in our next game.

    I ain’t going to argue…

  38. fatgingergooner says:

    Mike M,

    If someone else had pulled back their attacker like Xhaka did on Lingard then they don’t score and we get a yellow. It’s exactly what they were doing to us and exactly what a lot of us were saying we should be doing during the game, yet because Xhaka does it he’s a disgrace (as someone put yesterday)….🤔

    The fact is you can see good or bad in any player if you look hard enough, but the truth tends to be somewhere in between, and that’s why I find it irritating when all I hear is Xhaka getting abuse. We all know he’s not the best, but he’s not the worst either, so why waste time just looking for negative things to say about him? I don’t understand it. There’s nothing wrong with disliking a player but just giving him shit and reminding everyone of his discrepancies all the time is boring. At least have a bit of balance and point out some good stuff he does.

    Rant over. Only the first bit was to you Mike btw…😂

  39. Aaron says:

    Going to get a yellow, then Emery will be forced to do what is needed to protect the back line and get some dang balance in midfield.

    Emery will have no more excuses moving forward with all the our defenders coming back into the team.

    Want to see more of Chambers, his crosses are on a plate for our scorers and one of them yesterday should have been in the back of the net too.

    Counter rant.

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    I wonder if the fact we are paying for Pepe in instalments means that we get the player in instalments, like one of those magazines where you get a little piece every month until you end up with the finished article. In 5 years time he will be shit hot! 😂

  41. Sue says:

    FGG.. 🤣🤣 love it!!

  42. fatgingergooner says:

    Someone put on Instagram:-

    “It’s possible the highest quality match at Old Trafford this season will be Soccer Aid”

    😂

    Ricardo Pereira (a right back) has 4 goals from open play in his last 24 games. Rashford has 3! 😂

  43. Sue says:

    Saw this article (Daily Cannon) about yellow cards….
    Arsenal – Fouls 68 Yellows 21
    Chelsea 61 13
    Mancs 79 16
    City 70 12
    Spuds 83 16
    Pool 61 6
    Leicester have the least yellows (5) Are we really that dirty???

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi Sue, fouling may be a sign of indiscipline in defence …. either that or we’re just not very good at it.

    I’ve felt for many years that due to the way we played under Arsene in the post Invincibles era that refs had a subliminal bias based on the belief that other teams had a right to foul us because they couldn’t beat us playing football … but if we fouled it was out of character and therefore we were more likely to be punished. I think the stats have proved for many years we were the most fouled team and yet the one who picked up the most yellows per foul.

  45. Sue says:

    Hey Rasp! I think what amazed me is it takes 3.2 fouls to get a yellow if you’re a gooner… and 14.8 if you’re a Leicester player! I know we’re always going to feel our team is hard done by, but sheesh.. i think maybe a little inconsistency from the refs also.. you know like what we saw last night?!! (Plus i know we have a few ‘clumsy’ players) You’re right about the stats, Rasp!!
    Are you watching the spuds v Bayern? Some game… 2 beauties from Bayern 👊 All i want in the 2nd half is for Serge to score (& silence the crowd 😉)
    Oh.. and Hazard’s goal drought goes on…. he said he isn’t a galactico yet – no 💩 sherlock!! 😀

  46. LB says:

    Mike

    Just want to say that I think it’s refreshing to hear a balanced view on the Xhaka subject.

  47. Rasp says:

    Hi Sue, I have a policy never to watch totnum play … they don’t deserve my patronage … but delighted they’re being outplayed by Bayern. Definitely Serg to score … are the tiny totts booing him every time he’s on the ball?

  48. Sue says:

    Well, Rasp, i only wanted to see Gnabry.. he came close to scoring early on…. it hasn’t been as hostile, for him, as i thought it would be!!

  49. Sue says:

    Goal….. Gnabry!!! Beautiful, Rasp 💪

  50. Rasp says:

    He just scored according to my FlashScore app Sue

  51. Sue says:

    Gnabry on a hat trick!!! Come on!!!!!

  52. Mike M says:

    Oh that’s a shame. 1-4.

  53. Rasp says:

    They’re playing a German team … so schadenfreude is appropriate 😂

  54. Rasp says:

    Kane penalty … who dived for that?

  55. Sue says:

    🤣🤣 nice one, Rasp!

  56. Sue says:

    For once, it wasn’t Tom Daley….. 😜

  57. Mike M says:

    I wonder if Rose practices diving or if it just comes naturally to him. maybe he’s been having lessons from Ashley Young.

  58. Sue says:

    Yayyyyyyyy!!!! Hat trick, motm performance… take a bow, Gnabry…. once a gooner 😉

  59. What a legend 😁😁😁

  60. Taking full credit for this ……. wore red to their training ground this afternoon and told a Bayern supporter that Gnabry would score 😁

    And Rasp didn’t want me to go 😂😂😂

  61. Sue says:

    5? Make that 6 😜

  62. Mike M says:

    I can’t watch this any more !! ……………… Oh wait !!

  63. Sue says:

    7 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  64. Rasp says:

    I stand by my view … you should never do anything that could be interpreted as support peaches … BTW … Serge just scored his 4th 😂

  65. Gnabry had an interview in The Times on Monday I think ……. I’ll try and find it.

  66. Sue says:

    So glad i tuned in… 😜

  67. Rasp says:

    Mind you … the joke is on us a bit … we let him go 😳

  68. Mustn’t laugh too loud, got four tiny totts watching in the other room 😂😂😂

  69. Yeah we did let him go but he just scored 4 at their ground. For sure he’s wearing something Arsenal

  70. Sue says:

    Thank you spuds, the club that cannot help giving 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  71. Mike M says:

    We couldn’t keep him. He wanted to go. AW would have signed him in a minute. Anyways……… at least we kept Mesut……. Oh wait..
    I know I shouldn’t but I just can’t resist. So much fun. Especially after the stick we took with out 1-5. 5-1 losses to them.
    Is it possible we’ve only managed to draw against the 3 worse teams in the PL ???
    Ok I’ll stop now. bad karma may be coming…………. Maybe it’s Christmas? “Jingle Bells ……………Oh what fun it is to see Bayern take the lane Oh…..(rpt) ……….
    Ok i really am done now..

  72. Sue says:

    When does the dvd come out?! 🤣

  73. Mike M says:

    Now there’s a Spud fan on TNT talking about the game …………… LMFAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Mike M says:

    If a face could say a thousand words ……. Priceless !!!!!!!!!!!! They’re crucifying him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. RockyLives says:

    Smash and Gnab – I love it.

  76. Sue says:

    No doubt Vertoghen has gone to seek solace in the arms of… Eriksen’s wife….

  77. RockyLives says:

    Tiny Totts dispatched with Sergical precision.

  78. Rocky 😁 such a shame we don’t need a match report 😉

  79. Sue says:

    Piers Morgan tweeted this :-
    Boris Johnson offers Mauricio Pochettino job as new Brexit secretary. ‘Nobody can get us out of Europe faster than this guy!’ explains the Prime Minister 🤣🤣

    Love your comments, Rocky 👍

  80. Bless him

  81. Sue says:

    Sweet dreams (7️⃣) tonight, gooners! 😊😴

  82. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha hahahahahaha hahahahahaha

    Sorry came in to comment about the fouls v bookings. Here’s my take, well actually not mine the Laws:

    CAUTIONABLE OFFENCES

    A player is cautioned if guilty of:
    delaying the restart of play
    dissent by word or action
    entering, re-entering or deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission
    failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in
    persistent offences (no specific number or pattern of offences constitutes “persistent”)
    unsporting behaviour
    entering the referee review area (RRA)
    excessively using the ‘review’ (TV screen) signal
    A substitute or substituted player is cautioned if guilty of:
    delaying the restart of play
    dissent by word or action
    entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
    unsporting behaviour
    entering the referee review area (RRA)
    excessively using the ‘review’ (TV screen) signal
    Where two separate cautionable offences are committed (even in close proximity), they should result in two cautions, for example if a player enters the field of play without the required permission and commits a reckless tackle or stops a promising attack with a foul/handball, etc.

    CAUTIONS FOR UNSPORTING BEHAVIOUR

    There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour including if a player:
    attempts to deceive the referee e.g. by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation)
    changes places with the goalkeeper during play or without the referee’s permission (see Law 3)
    commits in a reckless manner a direct free kick offence
    commits a foul or handles the ball to interfere with or stop a promising attack
    commits a foul which interferes with or stops a promising attack except where the referee awards a penalty kick for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball
    denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offence which was an attempt to play the ball and the referee awards a penalty kick
    handles the ball in an attempt to score a goal (whether or not the attempt is successful) or in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent a goal
    makes unauthorised marks on the field of play
    plays the ball when leaving the field of play after being given permission to leave
    shows a lack of respect for the game
    uses a deliberate trick to pass the ball (including from a free kick) to the goalkeeper with the head, chest, knee etc. to circumvent the Law, whether or not the goalkeeper touches the ball with the hands
    verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart

    I would say we commit our fouls too late (stop a promising attack) and too recklessly (Xhaka). The persistent offences has to be one player.

    As you were:

    Hahahahjahahajahahjahahahhahahnahahahahabbahahhahhahahha

  83. RC78 says:

    Gnabry, what a match
    Let s hope Martinelli or RN or Saka score 4 on Thursday too

  84. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post …

  85. Sue says:

    What a beautiful morning, I’m in seventh heaven 😝 i honestly can’t wait for the return leg… .

    GIE.. thank you for the detailed comment on fouls/cards 👍

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