Cardiff Away Remembered

August 30, 2018

Last time we played Cardiff away was at the end of November 2013 and we cruised down the River Taff to take a 7 point lead over Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League (both were playing a day later). The BBC published the following stat alongside their match report…… “Arsenal have now won 10 of their last 12 Premier League games and continue to hold the division’s best away record.”  Here’s the AA post from the day after – take it away, LB.

How good was that? It is getting more and more difficult to find sufficient superlatives to describe the Arsenal performances these days. As the first half rolled on and the Good Guys were spraying the ball around with consummate ease the term “thoroughly professional performance” came to mind. But we have used this a few times recently and somehow it didn’t seem enough to describe what I was watching, intensifying the search was the first goal and the brilliance of its simplicity: a tidy pass to Özil who sent over an inch perfect cross for Ramsey to head home and put us in the lead. As he walked away avoiding celebration out of respect for his fellow countrymen, I thought to myself I am going to need something far more complimentary to describe this.

Racking my brains, playing cards came to mind and the hierarchy that exists: a pair is beaten by three of a kind which is beaten by a straight which, I believe, is beaten by flush and then it came to me: the next up from a “thoroughly professional performance” has got to be “A performance worthy of winning the league” and that is what is was, a full house of a performance, not to be confused with a “Winning the league at White Hart Lane performance” that is obviously a Royal Flush and although rare, it does seem to happen with more regularity than many might imagine.

Wenger foxed us all again with his team selection, it made sense to all who considered it to play Flamini alongside Arteta but no, Le Boss had plans for the Frenchman and opted to start with Wilshere and within one and a half minutes we all understood why: an arrow of a shot released from the edge of the box had all the makings of goal number five for our non-attacking midfielder lol but alas at the last moment it swerved away and hit the bar.

As it turned out, as far as Arsenal taking the game to Cardiff was concerned, this was only the start, the Good Guys were brimming with confidence, chances weren’t coming as often as London buses do when you don’t need them but they were coming; the next fell to Giroud who, clean through one on one with the goal keeper, decided to “walk” before the umpire had given him out, it might be the honourable thing to do as Özil clearly touched the ball but in this day and age — really?

We had to suffer five uncomfortable minutes when Mertasacker hit the deck with the force of a felled giant redwood having clashed heads with Sagna; I defy anyone not to have worried about the possible downside of this potential calamity but luckily all was well with our Big Friendly Giant.

Still goalless, but in today’s script only one person was going to be first on the score sheet and our humble Welshman rose to the occasion and headed us into the lead that took us into the break.

Cardiff started the second half well and created a couple of chances that were a bit closer than I for one would have liked, notably a header from Campbell that brought a brilliant save from Szczesny. TPIG was looking as commanding as ever, we could have and should have made more of the breaks that were frequently arising but our interplay was not quite as good as it should have been, it seemed like Theo time but Jack was tiring and they were coming onto us with a tad more purpose than was good for the blood pressure so Wenger opted to shore things up and bring on Monreal and then Flamini.

As the Frenchman took off his track suit all eyes were on the sleeves – tradition won out and rightly so; someone had clearly whispered into his ear that he had, perhaps without realising, upset a few fundamentalists and today was not the right time to go desecrating sacred objects – best solution: roll your sleeves up and go and score a thumping second goal — and that is exactly what he did, yet another sublime assist from Özil who rolled the ball into the Frenchman’s path to powerfully hit home and put us all at ease.

Was this going to be Flamini’s day, no it wasn’t, this was Aaron Ramsey’s day; a second goal for him and with it he rightly picks up pretty much everyone’s Man of the Match award.

Somebody remind me, where are we in the League?

Enjoy your Sunday.

Written by LB


Zagreb Victory Discussion

November 25, 2015

Things to discuss:-

The brilliance af the Alexis/Ozil combination. Best since DB10/TH14?

Why has Monreal improved so much?

Flamini is good enough for teams like Zagreb.

Is Campbell any good?

Why were there 12,000 empty seats?

Which was the best goal?

Can Chambers develop into a DM?

How do flies stand on glass?

Giroud’s record is good, make that very good. Why do fans not believe in him?

Unknown

Was winning last night the best result for the club?

Should Alexis or any of last night’s team be rested on Sunday?

Is Mrs Frith a force of good or evil?

Does Bellerin’s pace allow Campbell the freedom to play with confidence?

Why did DZ allow Cazorla so much space?

Hastily written by BR


Flamini strikes twice!

September 24, 2015

An unlikely source was the hero for Arsenal as Mathieu Flamini helped himself to a brace against bitter rivals Tottnumb and secured the Gunners’ passage in to the next round of the credit card cup.

An enthralling cup tie captured the imagination and the very best of the Arsenal away support with fans starting drinking at North London pubs as early as Midday. The Twelve Pins was the spot for pre-match drinks and come the late afternoon there was a huge police presence. The old bill focused very intensely on the Arsenal fans watching them chanting and even climbing traffic lights waiting to see when they would leave the bars for the the ‘Frog March’ down the Seven Sisters Road.

As the Red Army came out of the tube and marched up the Tottenham High Road there was a sense of pride and unity and the Metropolitan Police on their horses found it difficult to contain the hardcore Arsenal faithful. The fans finally entered Shite Hart Lane and there was the sense this meant more than the credit card cup. Arsenal had the early exchanges and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked bright. The decisive moment came when the Ox shot straight at Vorm which bounced in front of him and could only parry and there was Flamini to blast in the rebound. The goal sent Arsenals fans into raptures.

Despite the goal the Arsenal fans were voicing their concern at the lack of defensive discipline being shown by Mathieu Debuchy as Tottnumb were mainly attacking down the Arsenal right flank. Three friends sat together were fuming with the Frenchman saying he did not warrant his place in the team. However, half time came and so far so good as the away support were taunting the fans of their London rivals and highlighting our 13 league titles to Tottnumbs measly 2 league championships.

The second half began and again Debuchy was the brunt of the Arsenal fans anger as he was not covering and Chadli was allowed to cross low only for the unfortunate Calum Chambers to turn the ball past Ospina. The fans were left frustrated but rallied around the team and Chambers who despite scoring the own goal was having a fantastic game. The misfiring Harry Kane then had his acrobatic effort headed off the line by Kieran Gibbs who put in a steady performance on the night.

Arsenal pressed and Ramsey and Ox were trying to carry the fight but the the team needed another spark.. Welcome Alexis Sanchez. But that was not before a commotion in the stands between some Arsenal fans and the bitter stewards. The area seemed very congested with fans and stewards began to move fans anywhere to keep them in line. One 16 year old boy argued with a steward stating “Do you want another Hillsborough?”

On the pitch Alexis looked promising and cut inside only to shoot straight at Vorm. Arsenal looked the more dangerous team and were then rewarded. Tottnumb failed to clear their lines and a looping ball in the air dropped to the right boot of that man Flamini who struck a sweet volley into the bottom right hand corner. The Arsenal section erupted with people falling over, legs up on the air and seats being broken! It was a joy to behold for the Arsenal fans as the Gunners were closing in on a derby day win.

Tottnumb threw everything forward but to no avail and then came the final whistle. It was all over and the long wait to get out of he stadium did not bother the fans. Tottnumb Signs were ripped out in the stadium much to the laughter of the fans. The police then escorted the fans to the seven sistes tube station and the walk began just like it started on the way to the game. As fans poured out of Shite Hart Lane, a certain Frenchman was on everyone’s lips and was even given the accolade of “Cult Hero” status.

UTA!!!

Written by Sir A Hussein