Will Anthony Taylor be the deciding factor in the NLD?

February 10, 2018

Given Pocchetino’s honest but appalling admission that Spurs players dive, how would previous  managers have responded? Bill Nick would have tut-tutted then stubbed out his ciggy and ordered another pint (check out his nose),  Pleat would have cruised home in despair, Harry would have congratulated Poch upon a fine coaching job. Hoddle would have re-arranged his cilice (look it up!) They have always been morally bankrupt.

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Consider Gazza: Violent wife-beating nutter. Hoddle? Diamond Lights. Lineker? Adulterer. Klinsmann? Serial diver. Sheringham? Without doubt the most scurrilous, unpleasant player of the last 30 years. Ruddock? Vicious thug. The list is very, very long.

No wonder Defoe and Bale left as soon as they could.

And what of the current bunch of swindlers and soap-dodgers? Alli? oh dear? He was a wonderful prospect before he got Spurred. Dembele? Would you leave your children on their own with him?  Kane? England Captain and cheat – which says all we need to know about the FA.  Eriksen? Already booked the removal company to take his furniture to Spain.

Still enough of them

My Team:

Cesc

Koscielny     Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey     Xhaka    Iwobi

Ozil    Miki

PEA

The early signs of the New Arsenal are very encouraging. Whilst accepting Everton were rubbish it was our new attack which made them look rubbish. Pace, power, vision and an ability to find space will bring success over the coming seasons. The portents are very positive and whilst I remain in doubt as to whether they will gel immediately I am convinced that 2019 bodes well.

We know our weaknesses. A defence that gets flaky under pressure, a midfield which loses concentration and wing backs who get too adventurous. Spurs have the team to take advantage but hopefully we will be out of sight by the time they score – and they will.

A worry:  Monreal left the pitch holding his buttocks which could indicate a hamstring injury. If it is, there is the distinct possibility that Kolasinac will start. It hurts to write that in the time he was on the pitch last weekend, his pass rate was less than 60%. Easily the worst in the team and as bad as the worst Everton player. Add to that that his appalling defending for the Everton goal and he clearly has problems.

Let us pray Nacho is fit or that Maitland-Niles (Cons) gets picked to play left back.

If AW sends the team out to start on the front foot with positivity and attacking purpose, we can win – just as we did in the home fixture. Go out half-asleep and concede early, as we have done so often this season, and trouble awaits.

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I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we need a referee who can spot the cheating (unless it is to our benefit) . Given it is the fool Anthony Taylor, the man who gave a penalty to Chelsea when Hazard dived under pressure from Hector and the chap who mild-mannered Arsene Wenger told to F**k Off at Burnley, this could be an afternoon when the referee becomes the centre of attention. Let’s hope not.

Should be an exciting afternoon

COYRRG

 

 

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Time for Ozil to Step Up

October 4, 2015

Kelsey says one more injury and we are bollixed and Crystals is usually right.

Today we have Koscielny, Flamini, Wilshere, Arteta, Welbeck and Rosicky all crocked. Would any of these players be automatic starters apart from Kos? Probably not but it would be great to have them available especially Welbeck and Wilshire.

Why do I start the post with the above? Because I really do not know where to start today’s pre-match! The opponents are/were TOTL and in great form. We, however, are handily placed in 6th and could go up to 3rd with a win – but will we get the 3 points?

A poor MU took 4 points off us last season and as far as I can see we haven’t beaten them in the PL since 2010/11 – it is about time we did. However, and here is the rub, this Arsenal team is hugely inconsistent; a fine win over Stoke was followed by a dreadful loss to a poor Zagreb side,  a week which included super victories over Spurs and Leicester also saw us fall apart in the CL to Olympiakos.

We know our current squad is good enough to challenge for the PL (well, i know might be more realistic). Trouble is they need to do it on a game by game basis rather than the odd occurrence. If we can overcome the Mancs today it would be a huge fillip to both the players and the fans, and perhaps, kick-start our season.

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And what of the Mancs? The insanely expensive purchases appear to be successful for the moment. They are playing well and as usual getting the rub of the green. Referees adore them and continue to give favourable decisions to the Red Devils, the fans are on-side with LVG, injury-wise they are in good shape – it augurs well for them.

I hope Chary does not read this paragraph (wherever he is) but I believe English football needs a strong and successful United. They are the flag-bearers of the PL however much we may dislike them. Who would you rather see doing well in Europe – the financially doped Johnny-come-Lately’s or a club which has a proud and successful history?

In yesterday’s Telegraph, Gary Neville wrote a fine article about Arsenal’s preparation for games (thanks NG) highlighting the difference between what he sees as the classic MU/AFC winning teams and the current AFC. He believes we do not analyse our opponents in enough depth. Is he right? Is Steve Bould so inept that he doesn’t spend the days pre-game instructing his players how to close down dangers? Neville assumes Mr Wenger tells the players to play their own games without heed to the opposition in the knowledge that our better football and high possession will win the game. I cannot believe we are so naive.

Our Team:

Cech

Bellerin   Gabriel    BFG    Monreal

Ramsey  Coquelin    Cazorla

Ozil   Sanchez

Walcott

Expect to see OG make an appearance later in the game and possibly Chambers coming on to secure the defence should we be winning on 75 mins.

Ozil needs to convince the fans who continue to dismiss his superb skills that he really is worth his enormous transfer fee and wages. This afternoon would be a fine time to open his goal-scoring account.

I wish I could pick the Ox in our first choice eleven but despite non-stop effort and input he has disappointed. Could he benefit from a long run of games? Can Mr Wenger drop one of the above side to give him that chance? If so, who gets dropped?

Today’s referee is Anthony Taylor. He will be busy and I can guarantee that he will anger the Arsenal fans. The man is not so much biased against AFC, more that he is incompetent. Coquelin will be booked in the first half as will Gabriel. We must hope that our full-backs remain card free so they are allowed to tackle MU’s wingers upon whom they rely so much.

If Arsenal can remain disciplined in defence then we will win – we are better than them, but sadly that is a huge IF. Our players are good enough but the organisation and concentration has been poor this season – we have conceded 13 goals in 11 games which is not good enough. We must improve or find ways to score far more goals, especially from midfield (apart from Flamini  the others have scored a sum total of none).

I would love it if we beat them

COYRRG


Arsenal 1 – Aston Villa 3 : How Not To Start A Season

August 18, 2013

I’m not even sure where to start, as no one else has offered to do the report i’m going to try and fill the breach.

I have to admit that I missed a portion of the first half between our opener and their equaliser (parenting duties called).

There were no surprises with the team and bench, we are down to bare bones before a ball has been kicked, the absence of Arteta was a concern to all. We had seen in the Emirates Cup that Ramsey and Wilshere are not yet ready to partner each other in the deep lying midfield roles, this is due to a mixture
of inexperience and lack of understanding between them when it comes to one staying and one going.

We started brightly our opening goal a lesson in how to break quickly and clinically, Rosicky playing a great ball down the line to Oxlade-Chamberlain, he in turn picks out Giroud who finished well having made a good run in the box.

What was all the fuss about? We were going to prove the doubters wrong.

What followed was a combination of our old failings, individual errors that brought pressure and lifted Villa, an injury stretched squad
picking up more injuries in innocuous challenges, and our complete inability to get a ref to do us a favour once in a while.

The Villa equaliser came from a bit of good play from Abonglahor, he drifted past too many half challenges with ease no one getting close enough in red and white and was hurtling into the box, Szczesny had few options….stand big and hope he fluffed his shot or go for the ball, he chose the latter and raced out to the feet of Abonglahor, he lost the race Abonglahor pushing the ball past him and taking the contact. Taylor let play go on to see if there was an advantage but as the Villa player stuck it in the side betting he brought it back for the penalty. (Remember this later when I give a full assessment of Taylor).

Szczesny got down well to save the initial penalty but Benteke was first to react and nodded it home. That was disappointing as when watching the replays you see Benteke stop after he takes his kick which should have meant we could at least make his second chance more difficult but Szczesny was left exposed and the Villa front man nodded gratefully home. I should say I think Szczesny made a bad choice on the rebound, he jumped towards the ball, which made Benteke’s header a bit easier…..not that I am blaming him, it’s just another lesson our young keeper can learn.

Not long after we were being forced into a reshuffle, as Gibbs challenged for a header, his forehead connected with the back of the Villa players head. I was surprised at the amount of blood on Gibbs forehead and unable to be stitched and return he was substituted, I guess with the midweek trip in mind as much as for the players safety.

This is where the first calls about our squad lightness will appear. I have two comments:

1) If Monreal had been fit it wouldn’t have been an issue, if anyone believes we should have three senior left backs in the squad please do not moan about squad bloat or paying too high wages to squad players ever again.
2) Even if Monreal was fit he wouldnt definitely be on the bench, after all you don’t have one player in each position on the bench, and we could have easily seen Jenkinson on anyway.

For me I would have left Sagna at right back rather than switch two positions, although to an extent I can understand why you wouldn’t want to young players making combination on the left.

We made it to half time at 1-1 with a couple of scares along the way and not much more created going forward.

We started the second half ok, Cazorla on for Oxlade-Chamberlain another injury….Cazorla seemed to help the team retain possession and do a bit more with it but it also unbalanced us, there was no real cover for Sagna on the left side of midfield.

That was until we undid ourselves again, the ball moved far too easily through the midfield leaving Koscielny tracking back to win possession, which he did with ease, clearly playing the ball, it looked good on first viewing it looked better on replays, Taylor and his linesman decided otherwise awarded the penalty and booked Koscielny. Koscielny’s look of disbelief and smile said it all.

Benteke took the spot kick and sent Szczesny the wrong way.

Just six minutes later Taylor decided to put the icing on the cake of one of the worst refereeing performances I have seen by producing a second yellow card for Koscielny, he had hardly touched the Villa man (if at all I haven’t watched a replay) but he made another step before sprawling himself to the floor. Taylor bought it and showed Koscielny the second yellow.

At this point it was game over, if we wanted to get anything from the game anyway, we could have opted to shut up shop and go away with a 2-1 defeat, but instead we tried to find the equaliser, which was always going to leave us wide open at the back.

We went close a couple of times, Rosicky sending one high and wide and another into the body of the Villa keeper. Giroud had a half chance to hit one with his right peg but chose instead to try and bring it back to his left.

Villa took the opportunity to add a third as we had over committed to attack and Szczesny was left 2 on 1 and no chance.

It is hard to deny we are light on numbers, however the only position that would have helped us yesterday would have been defensive midfield, as with (the panic bought) Arteta missing there was too often a big hole in the centre of the park, and I would guess with his presence we would not have conceded so much ground on Villa’s opener. But this comes down to when we want to spend and who we are trying to spend the money on…do we want a Premier League defensive midfielder or a Champions League one? In two weeks time it may be irrelevant, but surely better to wait and buy the best we can get than rush in and buy average, remember no one likes average squad players on good wages.

As I said earlier despite injury to Monreal surely spending on a left back would be frivolous unless we plan to let one go as well. A centre back would be handy at this point, loaning out Miquel seems crazy if we don’t plan to buy big in this area, as I’d prefer a young centre back raised the Arsenal way to another Squillacci.

The same goes for the spear head of our attack.

And now the ref…..where do I start. He allowed Villa to get away with numerous fouls before being booked, the same did not appear to apply to us. He played advantage on their penalty, but rarely have us advantage for innocuous fouls when we had the ball. I can remember two clear occasions, Rosicky fought to turn his man, once he had turned and had taken him out of the game Taylor blew his whistle for the foul to allow Villa to reset, a late foul on Wilshere by their full back in our half, the ball was with Cazorla ready to get moving and Taylor pulled it back and allowed Villa to reset. Garbage,

And then bookings:
Koscielny 2 fouls, 2 bookings
Cazorla 1 foul, 1 booking
Abonglahor 4 fouls (repetitive ankle taps) 1 booking (last one)
Westwood 4 fouls 1 booking (last one)

And then the curse of rotational fouling, we suffered 18 fouls, 8 on Wilshere, targeted? Just a bit! Allowed to get away with it….absolutely….but of course it’s up to Arsenal Football Club to protect Jack for England…do me a favour!!

So what did we learn, well nothing new really we already knew it all, but it makes it harder to judge when all the other footballing gods appear to be against us.

I do know that this coming fortnight is going to be very tough, and we will see signings one way or the other, it’s just a question of what level of player they are.

If anyone wants to rate the players they can, I can’t after that result because I don’t think it would be fair.

Gooner in Exile