5 things we learned from Saturday

November 20, 2017
  1. I will start with this because IMO it is the most important. We had a proper 12th man. The fans were wonderfully raucous from before kick off until well after games end. It makes a massive difference to the players. Just imagine you were on the pitch (a dream, I know), which would inspire you, The Library or Saturday’s passion? We need the same every week.
  2. We work best when we have our first choice 11. Obvious. How many times this season have we lined up with the same defensive 6? Once or twice? People write about how there are open spaces across our defence and we are too gung-ho/undisciplined/tactically naive etc etc. Simple matter is that when we have AW’s chosen men we play better.
  3. Hard work pays. Ramsey led the ranks as usual, but all the players ran tirelessly. Surprisingly Spurs ran more than us! The difference was that our players ran with purpose.
  4. We should have scored more. We totally dominated the last 15 minutes and a 4-0 would have been even more dispiriting to the WHL miscreants. Subbing off Lacazette for Le Coq was unnecessary given how dominant we were. Mr Wenger has developed this habit of securing the points rather than going for the jugular but given the quality of the top 6 teams goal difference could be very important.
  5. Despite rumours to the contrary, Spurs are and always have been … merdre

 

written by BR

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Spud Bashing – Player Ratings

November 18, 2017

Team up for it, crowd up for it, great day in the Red and White side of North London. Grown men singing Sweet Caroline at the tops of their voices as they left the ground – Good times never seemed so good – and Neil Diamond was not wrong.

Cech: his maturity counts for a lot, solid as ever and a great save at the end to keep an impressive clean sheet. 8

Bellerin: excellent going forward, always there to offer an outlet on the wing, some decent defending and some down right worrying defending towards the end. 7

Mustafi: there was a reason why the defense worked today rather than not on other occasions and that was because of the return of Shkodran. A general in his organisation and a tower of strength to the other defenders around him and if that isn’t praise enough he set us on our way to the fine weekend that we are having now with a brilliantly headed goal, my motm: 10

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Koscielny: seemed to be inspired and lifted by his fellow CB, some superb defending and some down right poor passing in the first half. Maybe this is harsh as the noticeable thing was that he was the only player who was looking for the Lacazette runs, I noticed in the week that the French national team understand our number 9’s runs and know how to find him, they are still working this out at THOF. 7

Monreal: a very calm, sensible performance nothing fancy nothing silly just went about his job in his professional way. 7

Kolasinac: the honey moon period is over now and there is a touch of the Emperor’s new clothes going on here, don’t get me wrong I am as pleased as punch with the Oxlaide-Chamberlain upgrade but I am still struggling to see exactly what he brings to the table and is what he brings enough? That said if you play in a team that beats spuds 2-0 you will always be worthy of praise and so should his compact, no frills performance today. 7

Ramsey: probably the player that raised his game the least today and as for playing in trainers for most of it, sliding all over the place and loosing possession cheaply, that was not good; he finally changed his boots and got a bit more to grips with things. 7

Xhaka: this player always worries me as it always only seems like a matter of time until he gets sent off — but he didn’t today, I am not known to be the biggest Wilshere fan but I would have Jack in that team ahead of him everyday of the week. Granit sprayed the ball around well and clearly has a lot of self belief which is a useful asset. 7

Ozil: here’s a question, were you a Bergkamp fan or an Henry fan? If you were like me a Berkamp fan and are of a certain age then there is a linage that you have followed: you loved Liam Brady, you secretly admired Paul Davis more than Rocastle, you liked Merson, you thought and think that Bergkamp was and is the greatest player you have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt and you were a great admirer of Pires and yes you still have a soft spot for Fabrigas. Why all this? Because they are all a similar type of player and can be traced through the decades; the more skillful type rather than the pure goal scorer and as such, you, like me, love Ozil more than any other player at the club. We’ve got Ozil, Mesut Ozil, I just don’t think you understand. 9

Lacazette: he is getting close isn’t he, you can sense that there is so much more from him to come but it is coming isn’t it. Interesting that Wenger remains cautious wit him, only ever playing him for 70 minutes. I suspect Wenger knows the levels of fatigue that the Christmas calendar has on players and wants to make sure he is still standing in the new year. Good day today. 9

Sanchez: another brilliant performance, committed as ever and Johnny on the spot again to fire home our second. 9

Match thoughts from a jubilant LB


Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent

November 18, 2017

The last two posts have given begrudging admiration towards  the positive developments happening down the Seven Sisters Rd, but let’s be honest … you can’t polish a Richard 😀 😀

Always in our shadow. Flash in the pan, One swallow – summer, a pig’s ear doth not a purse make etc I am sure you can add a few more.

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Our Trophy Cabinet (for Aaron)

You know the stats, it will take a generation of poor results for the heroes in Red and White to be overtaken by the incestuous, heathen hordes from Wembley.

We have had to wait for 50 years to see a Spurs team capable of finishing second 🤡🤡

As to their fans – have they developed along with their team? Sadly not. They remain fur covered knuckle-draggers, only slightly up the evolutionary tree from Orcs.

As to today, Arsenal still have selection difficulties. If fit, should AW find a place for Welbz? Iwobi is unlikely to start given his heroics midweek for Nigeria. Is Mustafi ready? Dare we play a back 4 given the current form of Eriksen (the papers over here are comparing him to Maradona!!)?

My Team:

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Bellerin    Xhaka    Ramsey    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette    Sanchez

 

I know he is a  bit marmite but Theo loves a goal against Spurs and should certainly get at least 30 minutes. I really do not want to see Coquelin on the team sheet. We have enough strength to cope with Spurs attack assuming that the lads play as a team and CONCENTRATE.

As always, we have a very strong bench even without Giroud and Iwoi.

One fly in the ointment is the referee. How can Mike Dean get another Arsenal game? The stats show that this man is not just incompetent, he is also biased. The Man City game was evidence that refs can ruin what could be a good performance. We got stuffed at Stoke and the Etihad, and No, it does not even out over a season.  Whatever happens we can be sure Dean will be in the spotlight and it is a forlorn hope that he will shaft the Lillywhites. Grrrr

So, what do we expect from this afternoon (another stupid k.o. time)? Certainly a fighting performance. Some artistry and lightning fast attacks would be good. A few long distance shots on target (no Lloris). A goal or two.

Win, lose or draw, Spurs will always be in our shadow

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COYRRG

 

 


Spurs. An Obsession?

November 17, 2017

Over the years of AA we (or should I say “I”) are often accused of being “obsessed” by Spurs. Is it true?

Judge for yourself.

Firstly, I was born in North London, equidistant from AFC and THFC. Most of my friends were Spurs, my father was Spurs, thankfully my Uncles had more sense, though one had a season ticket at Chelsea 😦

Before girls and music football was everything, break time at school, after school, all weekend we played or talked about football. It was always Arsenal vs Spurs in the park, playground, wherever. It mattered and it mattered big time. Was I obsessed – certainly. We all were.

I expect this is different for those born away from North London but it seems the principle remains; it is almost impossible to love Arsenal and have anything but begrudging respect for Spurs.

Let me ask you this, which is the first result you look for after Arsenal’s? For a select and deluded few, it will be United, perhaps Chelsea, but for the vast majority it is Spurs. If we lose the only thing which eases the pain is if Spurs lose. It has been so for as long as I remember.

If you happen to support Spurs and read this Arsenal blog, tell me it is not the same in reverse for you?

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Just think back to when we won the League at White Hart Lane in 2004, Spurs fans celebrated as Keane scored a dodgy penalty to get a draw. It was more important than the realisation that we had become Champions at their ground (for the second time :_D )

For 20 years there was little rivalry thanks to the descent of the Lillywhites into mediocrity, this was good and bad because IMO we need a NL challenge to enliven the season. Their temporary improvement also brings another team into the fight for a Top 4 place. 75 points may no longer be enough.

IMO we are very interested in Spurs, they are our noisy neighbours, it has been thus for  almost 100 years. Obsessed … No.

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Written by Big Raddy


Spurs. A worrying trend.

November 16, 2017

Remember when they were a laughing stock? Doesn’t seem that long ago. This is the  bunch who employed Harry Redknapp thinking he would bring back the Glory Days  😀

Times have changed and it started a few years back. I loved it when the muppets had to sell their best assets and then waste the money on overpriced dross. Modric and Bale wouldn’t stay and who can blame them.

Spurs have always been good at getting top money for ordinary players and even better money for their stars, the difference today is that they are developing players and keeping them. With 3 players who would certainly cost upwards of €100m a piece they are looking good. Eriksen, Kane and Ali are hot properties with a host of European Giants willing purchasers, though Pochettino says he will not sell.

They have accidentally found a proper manager, a young man with competence. Add in the new stadium and Spurs look as though they will be a force to reckon with for some time.

Thankfully, they remain Spursy.

Oh, and in case Spurs fans get lairy,  just point out the empty Trophy Cabinet. 😀

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written by Big Raddy


No Baked Spuds – A Point Gained or Two Lost?

November 7, 2016

15th of June – fixtures for the new season released and I scroll down the list looking for the Arsenal v Tottenham game.

6th November, yuk, 5 more months to go, but never mind, it will be worth it. Or will it?

Yep, sad old me was really looking forward to that game. Both teams were in good form, both have strong attacking abilities, mutual hatred going back 103 years and counting, it was going to be a game to remember. We were off to a good start, several chances to score, good tempo, looked promising. But……all the chances were wasted and with each ball going to row Z, I started to think that this could be costly. Fortunately, Spurs gave us an opening own goal and the team perked up a bit.

nld2

A silly mistake from Koscielny cost us a penalty, well executed by the not-exactly-Pierce-Brosnan look alike, Harry Kane. One all and I’m sitting deeper and deeper on the sofa, showing signs of resignation. The penalty was game changing, as it always is, and Spurs attacked with new belief and energy.

nld1

There were no more goals, hardly the goals galore I expected, but all in all, I think it was a good result for us. We played beautifully, technically beating Spuds hands down, but that is not a recipe for success.

I’ve said it time and time again – any team that allows us to play beautiful football will be punished. Any manager worth his salt knows by now that you can get a result against Arsenal by playing a disruptive game – don’t let the Gunners dominate the game and you can match them on their own turf. And that is exactly what Tottenham did yesterday.

The second glaring reason for yesterday’s poor result was, in my opinion, the absence of Santi. He is the player who can deal with the kind of pressure Spurs inflicted; he will cherish and distribute the ball and make sure it stays with us. He was missed, both yesterday, and in the previous 2 games. When is he back?

I am not angry, I am deflated, which is probably worse. We will not win the league, 13 years on the trot. That is really poor from a club that claims to be one of the best in the country.

Player Ratings

Everyone gets a 6 to match my feelings about an average performance.

Maybe Cech a 7, because of that save from Eriksen

nld3

Written by Eddie


Kroenke and Wenger Out.

March 4, 2016

I have just read that Guardian article that basically says that Swansea exploited the frustration of the crowd and of course there is a picture of the little home made banner that read Kroenke and Wenger out.

wenger out

I don’t believe that the frustration of the crowd played any part of our loss whatsoever and one little banner does not represent the majority at all.

For me it was not frustration that Swansea exploited it was expectation. It is expected that Arsenal should win the league and has been that way for some time, this is the burden that Arsenal have been having trouble with which has lead to them, for example, rushing simple passes, leading to loss of possession which of course levels the playing field against lesser lights such as Swansea. By contrast an unburdened Arsenal starting eleven would always find their man with such passes and nine times out of ten go on to win the game.

Tottenham and Leicester have been able to avoid the burden of expectation for longer than they should have been allowed but look what happened the first time that it really became apparent that Tottenham could go top and push on to win the league, I never thought that I would find a Donald Trump comment apt but here we are — Chokers. (Just in case the use of the name Tottenham attract some of the knuckle draggers I will say it for you — Pots and Kettles)

To a similar extent the same thing happened to Leicester against West Brom. Claudio Ranieri has been doing a fine job of taking the pressure of winning the title off of them but it was creeping in as they started to find that doing the things they have been doing effortlessly all season started to get just a bit more difficult in their mid week clash. Man City have been suffering from the burden of exploitation for even longer than we have and by the looks of their thumping from Liverpool they still are doing so.

bergenUnfortunately, I do not share Rocky’s confidence as to the out come of Saturday’s North London Derby as I feel that Tottenham will be able to play without pressure again where as we will be playing with the equivalent expectation of a 50 kilo army bergen on our backs.

It goes without saying that I hope I am wrong.

COYRRG

Written by LB