A win at last.

Hell on Earth – Purgatory – First rung of stairway to Heaven

Just as I was beginning to believe, like some Emery contagious disease, that it wasn’t really Freddie and the BFG sitting on the bench but holograms, a young 18 year old turns up, unmarked in the box!!!

A first half that could be summed up by…….well, virtually 22 professional footballers, with no confidence, or belief, or ability to pass, or turn and lift the head or beat a man.

That said, West Ham at least seemed to want to win, were more often first to the ball, and were prepared to tackle forcefully. They got a deflected goal when a blanket would have covered our players in the box and half time came with the feeling all was lost.

Nothing much changed for the first 10 mins of the second half, then God, of whatever persuasion looked down and said ” Enough of this sh***, Satan, we all know you are a Totteringham fan, get your foot off Arsenal’s neck”.

And so Martinelli popped up, and we started to look a bit more confident. Pepe did what he was bought for and Aubameyang, despite being out of the game, did an Aubameyang.

Seeds of new growth. Send the youth, and Mustafi, out to Belgium and wrap up first place in our group. And add any player who shows heart to the squad for Sunday. We don’t expect miracles, but we do expect heart, Fred ( no, not you!).


And some player ratings from RC78

Leno – 6
AMN – 6
Chambers – 7
Sokratis – 6
Kolsinac – 6
Xhaka – 6
Torreira – 6
Ozil – 6
Pepe – 7
Auba – 6
Martinelli – 8

And so after 64 days Arsenal supporters could go to bed with a smile on their faces. Whoever flicked the switch, can they please flick it early on Sunday ……….. before we’ve conceded would be good 😉



49 Responses to A win at last.

  1. Thank you LBG for your post and RC78 for some player ratings.

    Are we all in shock that we’ve won at last? It was hard going and the first half was soooo boring and then we conceded, of course we conceded ………… gotta stop doing that guys!!!!!!!

    Feel sorry for Bellerin and Tierney, they’re not having much luck are they. I thought AMN put in the kind of performance that he used to give when he knew the position was his ……….. lots of energy, getting into box, trying to find a man.

    And Kolasinac!!! Not even in the squad to begin with, put on the bench after Bellerin was injured in the warm up and comes on to have a great game, linking up really well with Martinelli. Get’s an assist too.

  2. Sue says:

    Waking up with that winning feeling 😊
    So, I could have watched Eastenders instead and I wouldn’t have missed a thing! Because we didn’t wake up until the 2nd half!!
    Martinelli – what a player! I believe he scored on his debut in EL & Carabao (?) And now on his first start in the PL.. he has to play every week, surely! Absolutely brilliant 👏
    So glad Pepe scored & from open play!! Brilliant goal.. please keep it up!
    Apparently Tierney went to hospital, that looked nasty… doubt he’ll be about for a while. Although it was reported he’d already got a shoulder problem. Was surprised Kolasinac didn’t start. He’s such a beast, he deserves to play imo… 😍
    One thing that cracked me up was (I had my sound turned right down but saw it on twitter) that when Guendouzi came on, the announcer said David Luiz 😂😂😂
    A much needed confidence boost.. hopefully we’ll kick on from here 👊

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks LBG and RC. Well at last I can wake up the day after a game without asking myself whether I should give up following football altogether.

    Most of us (specifically me) got it wrong in our comments during the first half. As Freddie and others had said, lack of confidence has been the major reason for our poor performances of late.

    Thank goodness our young Brazilian has the energy and enthusiasm of youth, without his first goal we’d probably have lost 2 nil.

    For the second game in a row Pepe looked full of energy and ran at defenders despite receiving some heavy challenges.

    I’m afraid Xhaka displayed his now recognised lack of pace and awareness, and sloppy passing. He’s not captain material and has very few of the attributes to play a central midfield role. Guendouzi however has pretty much all the attributes and showed them from the minute he came on. All of a sudden he was driving play forward when he received the ball, not following the previous pattern of events, passing backwards until the ball arrived back with the keeper who was inevitably under pressure.

    Freddie, was excellent after the game. It is clear he has a rapport with the players that Unai never achieved.

    Four points out of the last nine is nothing to get excited about under Freddie, but maybe it gives us a more realistic view of what we should expect. We can now say we saw an improvement in that last 30 minutes and it is something to build on. We saw that the players do have the ability to play fast attacking football.

    Apart from the lack of confidence. the problem lies with the midfield. I see Guendouzi/Torreira as the way ahead until we can recruit a new midfielder or two.

  4. RC78 says:

    I think that at this stage, as fans, our expectations are very low in terms of results so we focus on heart and the way we play. We need players that are ready to lay their heart and soul on the pitch and that s why I have been advocating for players like Chambs, Kola, Martinelli to start because they don’t cheat, they give their all. Same with Douzi, Torreira, Xhaka, Laca and Luiz so given the circumstances I d be happy to play
    Leno – AMN, Chambers, Luiz, Kola – Douzi, Torreira – Pepe, Laca, Martinelli – Auba

    It s not that Bellerin, Tierney, Sok, Xhaka, Ozil don’t have heart or can’t play well, it s just that the others have more credit in my eyes…

    That said, yesterday, I thought that Torreira, Xhaka and Sok all made serious mistakes and because of the recent past, I am less forgiving… I d also like a bit more leadership from Auba

  5. LBG says:

    Ouzi’s role will eventually be centrally (No 8) taking the ball (and driving forward or playing dynamic forward passes) from two predominantly holding midfield players with creative spark when required, an Alonso/Vieira combination would do me. In the meantime Torreira with the usual “do not cross.. ” from me and a N’Didi/Fabinho type would be fine. (RC who would you suggest that might be available?).
    We may well lose Aubang and Laca in near future ( and get the ex Frankfurt forward), but Martinelli, Pepe, Saka, Nelson, Eddie N and IMO Smith-Rowe are the attacking future.

  6. RA says:

    That was a great and unexpected relief in that we turned a truly dreadful 1st half performance around.

    Three points – especially when they were not expected at 45mins into the game – will always cheer up the most miserable Arsenal supporter. Yaaay

    So everything hing is fixed. Apparently a fairy in her best tutu sprinkled some fairy dust on our players, which imbued them with a bucket of confidence each.

    Not only that – Freddie must have whispered into the players’ ears and told them to forget the nightmare tactical cap of playing around our penalty area, and moving at the speed of a constipated tortoise.

    If you believe any of that you really need to see someone to help get rid of the screaming delusional adjabs.

    the truth was that Freddie produced roughly the same team as previously. except for some injury adjustments, and also stuck to the same old tactical bollix. The first half was a disgrace to the name of Arsenal, and we were fortunate to be playing such a poor team as Wham.

    So what happened to make us all feel so much better, such that some fans incredibly seemed to think Xhaka actually played quite well – Oh Boy – and we all gloried, rightly, in the three points that never looked like coming, until magically we scored three goals in less than 10 minutes. Wow!

    My view about what happened, was that we were so abysmal at the back (defence and midfield – Leno excluded) that Sue’s boyfriend and Martinelli decided – eff it – let’s have a run – not a misplaced pass at walking speed – no., let’s see if Wham players can catch us – and the two aforementioned players swept up field and the Brazilian showed hoe easy it was for a natural goalscorer to put the ball into the net.

    Pepe, Auba and even the last Mesut must have looked at what happened, as they seemed as surprised as we were, and thought sod this defending crap let us speedy gifted forwards join in – and they did and hey presto – they scored again and we won.

    So we will be fine on Thursday and against City at the week-end, as we have this magic bollix called ‘con – fee – dence’, so we will probably win the EL championship, and make it into the top four in the Premier League.

    Really? So Freddie will overturn the terrible noxious -go-no-where tactics – Yaaay – and the defence has been miraculously released from the purgatory of just not-being-good-enough players. Yaay, again!!

    Anyone who believes that boloney should ……… well, you know how that goes ……. 😁

    [An alternative view to what we saw last night. Facing up to reality might , just might, make the Kroenke’s select a tough, experienced manager before it becomes too late, and we see more of the appalling first half standards, with that sickening feeling of déja vu.

  7. Sue says:

    We’ll find out in the next couple of days, who will be joining us in the EL (unless of course we lose 5-0 on Thursday and go out) 😳😀

  8. RC78 says:

    LBG – Ndidi or Fabinho, any would do but they d be hard to get. One if playing for a very strong Liverpool side and the other one is playing for a team that could play CL before us so there is not much we could offer these two players. We could however lure players like Allan, Zakaria, LLorente, Partey, Brozovic, Vecino or even Milinko-Savic (he is good going forward though). Any of them would work next to Douzi in a double-pivot. We could then play with 3 attacking players behind our striker:

    Leno – Bellerin, Koulibaly, Chambers/Holding/Luiz?, Kola – Douzi, Allan – Pepe, Laca, Martinelli – Auba

    Martinez – AMN, Sok, Holding/Luiz/Chambers, Tierney – Xhaka, Torreira, Willock – Ozil (Ceba?) – SR (RN?), Saka (Jules?)

    If Kroenke is serious, he gets Ancelotti, Koulibaly and Allan at X-Mas. You get a recognized coach, one of the best CBs and an industrious DM/CM. Total costs around 140 Mln MAX

  9. Sue says:

    RC.. who is that Allan guy? Is he Brazilian?

  10. LB says:

    Hi Sue

    Can you have a look at the picture in the Tweet again, I am confused about something, what are the two players on the right doing?

  11. LB says:

    OK, that was a really good, humorous read. Thanks for making the effort LGB.

  12. LBG says:

    Please dont include Sokratis, Luiz, Mustafi or Xhaka in your equations. These second class, over paid and overrated individuals, are the reason for our recent terrible decline. Opinions, opinions!!!

  13. LB says:

    Thoughts, of which I have many.

    Firstly, what a refreshing change it is to be able to understand what a manager, or in our case, Freddie is saying.

    The other thing, watch how well Freddie works the camera, he knew exactly where the camera was on the final whistle and in which direction to give a good fist pump.

    Notice also how he was on the pitch at the end, hugging all the players, making sure it was clear as to how much they like him and they clearly do, they all had big smiles on their faces when he went up to congratulate them but la piece de la resistance was walking off the field with his arm around Ozil’s shoulders.

    Very clever Freddie and naturally good luck……………..

  14. Mike M says:

    Didn’t watch the game. Saw some highlights. Go GOOOOONERS !!!!!!! Read the reports and from comments above,seems like we had a pretty poor performance until we scored. I couldn’t care less!!!!!!! We needed a win. I just think this squad is a lot better than it’s performing. In truth, I don’t see much of a future for a few of these players, Xhaka, Mesut, Luiz AMN, Sok. But they should be performing better than they have been. We needed something to give these guys a lift. A run of decent results will bring better performances. Lets pray this is the start.!!

  15. Sue says:

    Hey there, LB.. 😂 do you know what, I hadn’t even noticed that! Quite possibly something for after the 9pm watershed?! 😜
    Well spotted, LB.. nice one 😂👍

  16. RA says:


    I would not like to give the wrong impression of my musical tastes, so it would be remiss of me to fail to admit that classical music is the genre nearest to my heart.

    Awhile back I went to a couple of concerts by Mozart, and then Beethoven, following which Wolfgang (Wolfy to me and Ludwig (or Wiggy as I know him) went to a wine bar and had a great time, especially when Wiggy produced a very tasty bratwurst (sausage) and we tucked in.

    When I say ‘awhile back’ I guess it was nearer a couple of hundred years ago, and altho it dates me, I have to say it was well worthwhile. 😜

  17. LB says:

    And lastly my thoughts on the midfield.

    The players that are at the club have to be in the equation simply because right now they are Arsenal players.

    It doesn’t matter which combination of Guendouzi, Xhaka or Torreira is played on the weekend it will not work and I think it is fair to say that Emery tried all of them.

    Pointing to Guendouzi and how well he played when he came on yesterday does not hold water, the game was won and all he needed to do is play the ball sideways or backwards, both of which, he does very well.

    Surely at last we can stop calling Torreira a DM, the only thing he has in common with Kante is his height. Torreira is an advanced midfielder who can score goals.

    So, if Torreira is going to play more advanced who is going to cover and the moment, as we know, it is Xhaka, and as we all also know this does not work, this is not a personal attack on the man, it’s just that he cannot defend to save his life or our lives for that matter; he is slow over the ground which leaves us vulnerable to successful counter attacks.

    Solution: no it’s not Chambers; he is slower than Xhaka, the solution is David Luiz.

    For just 15 minutes this season we have looked solid, when was that you may ask, it was against Frankfurt. Emery finally played Luiz in front of the defence and we looked good, unfortunately Luiz got an injury and had to go off early, this meant we reverted back to the same nightmare combination of the trio that I mention above.

    I do not feel sorry for Emery, he could have and should have done that earlier, if he had he might still be with us.

    Freddie has only one possibility of avoiding a drubbing on the weekend and that is to play Luiz in front of the defence.

    Side note: Chambers looked pretty good in defence.

    Is this a headline post? I am not sure what one is now days……

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    What I don’t understand about our midfielders is how they seem incapable of acting as a unit on the field. They train together everyday and it’s instilled in young players that you should cover each other and make sure gaps are filled if one goes forward etc, but our midfield, regardless of personnel, just seem to line up as a group of individuals and do their own thing. I see very little communication in our team so it’s no wonder we leave gaps everywhere.

    You could say the same about all the areas of our game. Our defenders often wander off on their own and leave gaping holes with nobody filling in. Our attackers close down individually at times and then turn around to see nobody is backing up the press. I just dont understand how a team full of international footballers has such very little concept of team shape and how to move as a unit.

    What do they work on all week? Handshakes?

  19. LBG says:

    How is it that Torreira has never been played as an “advanced midfielder who scores” by any of his previous club(s) or national team?
    Disagree totally that that is his best position. He has been corrupted by Emery, who never wanted a ” holding midfielder”, tried to use Xhaka as a dynamic pivot between defence and attack, yet as a player Xhaka is totally ill equipped to play the role.

  20. Sue says:

    RA.. I thought you were older than that 😜😂

  21. RA says:

    You could be correct, Sue. 😁

    I listened to “Greensleeves” last summer, written by Henry Eight, so that makes me around 400 years old.

    Have you ever listened to it?

    Alas my love you do me wrong
    To cast me off discourteously;
    And I have loved you oh so long
    Delighting in your company.

    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves my heart of gold
    Greensleeves was my heart of joy
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

    Bet you have!! 😉

  22. Sue says:

    😂😂 No, I can’t say I have!!….. (oh no, it’s starting again 🙉) Not sure I’d want to swap playlists with you, RA 😜 Hehe!!

    Well, Sky are showing half hour highlights of last night… my dog is looking nervous (she doesn’t like it when I raise my voice, which happens quite often watching Arsenal, as you can imagine 😄)
    And I find myself wanting Liverpool to win (😱) Urgh!!! Don’t want them in the EL!!!

  23. John Mathews legend says:

    Evening all.
    We were absolutely appalling (so were Wham*, but still better than us) until that 9 minute spell where we played like the Arsenal. Then we saw it out quite professionally.
    * Our young guns went for it…..groan..
    Will be interesting to see what we can do against City.

  24. Sue says:

    Very good, JML 👍

  25. John Mathews legend says:

    Thanks Sue…Ess da way ah tell’em!
    (Harder to write with a Frank Carson Norn Airn accent than with a French one…)

  26. fred1266 says:

    Rc78 went to vosges but didn’t see nectarines, when check Google it said they has closed down any where else has the tatarines

    Last day in France thus far I have visited effil, parc des vos and champe ellise

    Did, louve, Notre damn and boat cruzing last time I was hear

    Thinking of doing psg tour

    Anything else would you like to recommend I do rc

    Thanks in advance

  27. LB says:


    Maybe the hurdle is my description of Torreira, how would you describe the position he played last night?

  28. Sue says:

    Disneyland, Fred!! The tower of terror!!!

  29. fred1266 says:

    Arsenal have identified Bordeaux coach Paulo Sousa as a potential successor to Unai Emery, a source close to the Portuguese tactician has claimed.

    Following an underwhelming start to the season, Emery was dismissed by Arsenal in late November, with Freddie Ljungberg taking over in an interim capacity.

    Although Ljungberg guided Arsenal to a 3-1 win at West Ham on Monday, the Swede is not thought to be in contention for the job on a full-time basis.

    Patrick Vieira, Marcelino Garcia Toral, Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta have all been linked with the vacancy at the Premier League club.

    But Sousa, who has taken Bordeaux to fifth in the Ligue 1 table this season, is also attracting interest, according to his entourage.

    They told L’Equipe: “They like his profile as a coach but also as a person – we’ve been blown away.



    👍 @Freddie

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    “That doesn’t mean he’ll leave. They’ve targeted several candidates, but Paulo is one of them, certainly. Between the two [Arsenal and Sousa], it could be a match.

    “With all the problems at Bordeaux, why wouldn’t he leave? The project is not what he was promised, that’s a fact.

    “He loves the fans, but he needs more from the board – this team is not strong enough to finish in the top six.”

    Sousa is no stranger to English football having already coached QPR, Swansea City and Leicester City, while he has also had spells in charge of Basel, Fiorentina and Tianjin Quanjian in China.

    Despite apparently having a desire to talk with Sousa, Bordeaux’s head of recruitment Eduardo Macia insists the Gunners have not been in touch with the club.

    “It would be normal that he arouses interest, but we have not been contacted,” Macia told L’Equipe.

  30. fred1266 says:

    Yea was thinking of going there but also saw london had something similar in Hyde Park or does it not compare

    We don’t have those things back home so anything will Ferris wheel looks the same to me

  31. Sue says:

    Winter wonderland in hyde park, is Christmas related.. shows, rides, games, attractions…. I’ve not been there, but have been told it’s good.
    Been to Disneyland a few times.. i love it (as I’m a big kid 😄) rides, shows, disney characters etc… and because it’s Christmas, there will be decorations and lights everywhere (which is what I love!!) I guess it depends on what you like though, Fred.

  32. Sue says:

    Ajax and Inter are in the EL then…….

  33. LBG says:

    The wrong position……. until Xhaka went off when he played centrally behind Ouzi.

  34. RC78 says:

    Fred – Grand Palais is great, Musee Rodin, Montmartre and Place des Tertres is a must l, wonder around Odeon, take a batobus ride if not raining, enjoy an evening at Le Moulin Rouge. If on Champs Elysee, drop by Lenotre for a coffee and cake or drop by the Opera and have an aperitif at their cafe. If you want out of Paris, go to Saint German en Laye if the weather is good.

  35. Sue says:

    Ancelotti sacked……….

  36. fred1266 says:

    Really hope buses are working cause walking about Paris isn’t fun

    Saw it had some type of March literally after that cars was even moving

  37. fred1266 says:

    Where can I go to get my tantarine though since I can’t find nectarines

  38. RC78 says:

    It s time to pounce and get Ancelotti. He s now officially available. Let s get him now and let s get Koulibaly and Allan at Xmas. This is our chance,. Hope we don’t miss it

  39. RC78 says:

    Hi Fred – try La Closerie des Lilas near Montparnasse or Pico Sainte Honore near Louvre or Le Comptoir de Relais near Odeon and worse comes to worse go to La Durée.

    What s your plan today?

  40. RC78 says:

    Oh Fred – am so sorry about the strikes 😢 if I were you, I d try to stick to 2 areas that you can walk to easily… Why not do Montparnasse area with the cemetery, the tower, the rue de gaiete nearby, the Rue de Rennes and then off to Odeon area. Very pleasant streets, should b nicely decorated by now.

    You can also do the Montmartre, Pigalles (part of it is still the red light district so be careful a bit) area and end your day at Moulin Rouge?

  41. LB says:

    Bouillon Pigalle will work if you are near by.

  42. LB says:


    The combo of Guendouzi and Torreira was tried when Xhaka was on the naughty step most notably against Leicester and we were poor to say the least.

    I maintain that the only hope we have of adding steel to the defence is to play Luiz in front of the back 3/4 with preferably Torreira next to him on the weekend as he can both attack and defend.

  43. fred1266 says:

    Currently going back to place du vorges saw some fridge magnet my sister wants then plan to fit in as much of the stuff u recommend

  44. VP of Oz says:

    Hi everyone
    Ive been really busy these last couple of weeks and have just had enough time to read but no real time to comment much until now so here goes –
    Lots of negative comments in the first half of the game but I saw it differently. The game played out just as I expected, either a win or a loss with the possibility of a draw.
    Very pleased with Martinelli’s progress. There is always talk about the next BIG player but with Martinelli, I really think he could be the one.
    I am also enjoying Freddie in charge. I am patient and expect he will do well. Even if they bring in another coach, I think Freddie will be our permanent coach in the long term. As for Arteta, why? I cant see him being better than Freddie so why. As for his experience under Pep, he is under a wing being protected from the hard realities of being accountable for results. Get out from under the wing or sucking at the teat of Pep and do some hard yards like Frank Lampard did at Derby or how Viera is doing now.

    The reason I have been so busy lately, my son finished high school, introduced his date to us at his final farewell school ball, as his girlfriend (we call him the vault as he tells us nothing about his personal stuff). The next morning my eldest daughter calls us to tell us that his girlfriend had stayed the night! This being a PG house (we have a younger 15yr old girl so dont want strangers joining her for breakfast as she gets ready for school), we were not impressed. But we are seeing a different side to him which is quite sweet. Subsequently he has now gone to schoolies with his GF.
    Meanwhile my eldest turned 21 so that was wild.
    And to ease the pressure on my back from running, I have started cycling again so am now doing multiple rides each week and buying new lycra. The key question I am grappling with is, should I, after 50+ year, shave my legs?

  45. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LBG for this post, I a bit late to the party admittedly.

    I agreed with most of RA’s and LB’s initial main points from yesterday on the game. I so wanted to be a bit more positive, but RA’s assessment about not getting too carried away was spot on. I just was too cowardly to be the first to say it 🙂

    LB’s assessment of our midfield and Torreira, Douzi and Xhaka e.t.c was also spot on and I too think we must give Luiz a go there. This weekend pair him with Torreira. LB is right that he is not an out and out holding midfield type (Luiz has more the attributes for that), but neither are Douzi or Xhaka.

    Torreira however remains closer to that than the other 2 so I would pair him with Luiz where Torreira will sit alongside him to help out but can also operate defensively slightly ahead of Luiz. He is more nippy than Xhaka and still a bit less error prone than Douzi, and this is Man City. Those 2 paired together should give a freedom to Ozil and the front 3 to get at City’s 1 main weakness this year, their defence.

    A welcome 3 points is the obvious main positive from the game, but also again we saw some evidence of us being able to execute a quicker front foot style of football and being a bit tighter in defence.

    Alas we are not seemingly slipping into this improved playing style for the entire 90 minutes and it remains sporadic at present, so there is still much work to do to get the confidence of the team up enough to play this way the entire game.

    We played too slowly with the handbrake on for at least half the game, possibly more. We still lost the shots on goal and on target stat, again against another team in trouble. We still looked too porous in our deeper midfield, and the defence still sat too deep too often and invited the oppo onto us and we still executed playing out from the back poorly.

    I watched Xhaka and so wanted him to change my mind on him but if anything he reinforced it in a new direction. It was more apparent than ever that Xhaka is not comfortable receiving the ball in tight spaces, but actually more than this when anyone is even remotely near him. I saw a couple of times when an incisive quick pass into his feet, that took out 3 of their pressing attackers, was pinged straight back to the CD’s in our area bringing their players back into play for the press again.

    This problem with Xhaka receiving and turning / carrying the ball is magnified more when he is facing our goal but on a couple of occasions I actually witnessed him facing forwards with space to carry the ball into and actually still making a backwards pass again putting 3 of their players goal side again to press and pin us back / win the ball in our danger area again.

    This needs to be stopped now and realistically we just need to see how much we can get in January for him. I don’t dislike the guy at all but it will never work with Xhaka and I suspect funds will need to be raised before we can recruit.

  46. Morning all

    we have a New Post …………

  47. fred1266 says:

    Thanks LB and RC for the recommendations got to go Odeon, montamatre, didn’t realise place de tertre was right there so hadto walk the hill twice

    Also got my cakes from lenotre

    Couldn’t get more done since m2 and M3 wasn’t running

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