Arsene beats Conte again | The mostly highs of a very good day

by & filed under News Review.

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 15.35.58

BEEEEEEEAST via @Arsenal

Listen right here friends, you’re allowed to read into the Community Shield when you win it.

WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE

I kid, I kid. Yesterday was however, a very reassuring day out. A 1-1 draw against the Champions when you finished 5th is pretty good going, especially when three starters were unavailable, two of whom are your best men.

Chelsea looked kind of lost and uninspired, Arsenal looked lively, hungry, and fluid like a pint of beer gently gliding down a bar.

Match reviews aren’t my thing, but I have some highs and, well, mostly highs to talk about.

XHAKA XHAKA XHAKA

He had a very impressive game yesterday, he found space, he kept the ball moving up the pitch, he hit 100% pass completion, he mostly kept his discipline, and he led like the warrior his mother knew he’d be when she trusted him with that spare key. Many things to be pleased about against a very good Chelsea side.

However, it has to be noted that his sloppy clearance started the move for Chelsea’s goal (certainly didn’t finish it). You can’t avoid the reality that he’s very slow and he struggles to keep up with play if there’s a counter.  It’s tough to ignore that this is an on-going issue, regardless of the beauty he bestows upon us in games like this where he’s free to dictate.

He played very well yesterday, but he needs to work on his carelessness, or Wenger needs to work out a way of protecting the team against his weaknesses. The major positive is that unlike Ozil – who the purist evangelicals spent three seasons misrepresenting (until this summer when literally no elite club in Europe gave a fuck about him) – Xhaka actually cares. You can see in his game he wants to be better and will hopefully make good on that.

Elneney-should-play-many

Look, I really like the Egyptian. He’s not spectacular, but he does a lot of grunt work. He has a great engine, he’s very reliable when it comes to his passing game, and he really does have the height and power needed for the league. When I complain that our starting 11 is kinda small, this guy ups the level. I do hope he lands more game time this year, because it’s apparent already that Aaron Ramsey is going to go missing for large chunks of the season (out for Leicester). It was also duly noted that Jack Wilshere wasn’t at Wembley, ominous for his future.

Kolasinic

Came on after Cahill ripped Mertesacker’s face off and had a very good game. The 6ft BEAST from Bosnia was committed, good on the ball and a threat going forward. His goal from a strong header from a Xhaka freekick to equalise was a brilliant way to start his Arsenal career. I don’t want to say he’s a massive upgrade on Monreal, because the Spaniard has been a warrior for us and offers goals as well. I think the Bosnian is going to offer value with his brutish style, combined with his class in the final third. Very much on the pace today. Brilliant to have two super left backs.

Bellerin

Wasn’t overly enamoured by his performance. He needs to tighten up his decision making and he has to stop giving the ball away. His pace bails him out of a lot of bad positioning. Would like him to work on the craft of defending and attacking at the right time this season. Last year was a bit of a tough third album for him, he needs to push on if he wants to hit the next level of excellence.

WELBZ

This is another player who really has to make something of himself this season. He’s a terror moving forward, he was the main man harassing Chelsea from the left yesterday. His pace scares the shit out of the opposition, but his finishing is laughable. I do hold out hope though, Adebayor was a donkey in front of goal until something clicked inside in 2007 and he tore up the league. Would love Danny to find the magic.

Lacazette

It really is early days for the Frenchman, I just have worries about his style and how he can make an impact in the league. His movement looks average at the moment, and his physical presence is limited, which I fear will annonymise him in big games. He did wrap his foot around a Welbeck pass, which ended up rattling the post, outside that, he found it tough.

IWOBES

Another player I really want to see work some magic this year. He has great control, he used his pace well at times yesterday, and he had a very good game. I think the key to his success will be how often we play him, he certainly tired last season and his confidence dropped. Think it could be a big year for him.

Reiss Nelson

Well done young man, 15 minutes of game time and he’s already won more than Delle Alli. I don’t know what this appearance means, but I’d love it if he was talented enough to make an impact like Nik Anelka did in his first season.

Conclusion

A very good day. I’ll take any trophy after 10 years of getting my rocks off to the Emirates Cup being major. Petr Cech won a penalty shootout without saving a penalty. Arsene Wenger won another trophy at Wembley. Arsenal look to be in good shape heading into the Leicester game this coming Friday. Let’s enjoy the day, but remember we won the Community Shield against Chelsea 2 years ago, then let Leicester win the league. A good day, but it was only a draw in open play.

Let’s hope the manager can make a cheeky addition or two this week to give our squad a bit of a lift.

RIGHT, see you in the comments. x

362 Responses to “Arsene beats Conte again | The mostly highs of a very good day”

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  1. Bamford10

    Puma

    Dumb. Plenty of English supporters regard the FAC as a second-tier trophy that pales in comparison to the PL or CL as well.

    And I’m well aware of its history; that doesn’t make beating Hull or Aston Villa or even Chelsea in the FAC final some great achievement; it wasn’t.

    Just a good day in the sun for supporters.

    Does not for one moment make up for Wenger’s failures in the PL and CL over the past decade. Not for a moment.

  2. grooveydaddy

    According to Wenger, just qualifying for the CL means more than the FA Cup (*quoted in the midst of our trophy drought, and the start of the never-ending ‘4th is a trophy’ joke)

    Obviously exceptions are made in contract-renewal years…

  3. gonsterous

    why do posters like sanmi and Pierre do this to themselves. they kid themselves that arsenal we going to challenge for the league.. Wengers top priority is 4th place, anything higher and it’s a bonus. anything higher and he has a reason to come out and sprout some bullshit as real philosophical b.s….

  4. Wallace

    Monaco to sign Imbula from Stoke. Be fascinated to see how quickly Jardim can mould this new team into an effective unit.

  5. Leedsgunner

    Monaco sign Ghezzal from Lyon… since he’s a winger does that mean Lemar is headed for Arsenal?

    Roma also dropping out for Mahrez.

    I don’t want to count my chickens before they are hatched but does that mean Wenger, for once, has played his hand just right? I would be happy to see either to be at our club.

  6. loyika

    Quarters in the UCL means more than an actual trophy!?

    Says it all don’t it.

    Re Mahrez… well would be funny if Arsene makes a bid for him after the game against Leicester. Doubt it, but knowing Wenger anything is possible.

  7. loyika

    Tits

    That’s why its a “Cup Comp!?” like DUH!!

    Porto won the UCL under Jose, don’t see them winning it multiple times since then? How are Inter doing in Italy? Anyways i get that Americans don’t value the FAC so no point in this arguement.

    In other news Carra reckons Comte is gone season end? I say he leaves mid season. Doesn’t seem to be a happy bunny right now. Doubt Roman gives a toss though.

    Also Coutinho batting the eyelids at Barca… footballers eh!! Will throw Pools season into a tailspin if not sorted pronto

  8. ThePuma9

    Bamfraud

    ‘I’d argue that making the quarters in the CL means more than winning the FAC.’

    If anyone ever needed an example of how much a clueless dickhead you are. This is it.

  9. ThePuma9

    Tit

    ‘Wigan win the FA CUP a few years ago. Got relegated a week later and haven’t been back up since’

    Leicester won the league last year and went back to being shit. What’s your point?
    Anomalies happen.

    Using Wigan or even Portsmouth is weak. The only teams outside the traditional top 5 to win it in over 25 years is a weak argument. Every team that enters wants to win it.

    You get drawn against port vale at home why the fuck would you play your full strength team? Managers pick the team they think will be able to win the game, not to go out of the competition.

  10. TitsMcGee

    Anyways i get that Americans don’t value the FAC so no point in this arguement.”

    It’s “argument “.

    Secondly the fact that a lower league squad can win the trophy tells you all you need to know.

  11. TitsMcGee

    Leicester won the league last year and went back to being shit. What’s your point?
    Anomalies happen.”

    38 game tournament vs the FA CUP?

    Dumb (shocker right?) comparison. You can’t accidentally win the EPL(just ask Wenger right?, 6th biggest club in the world and can’t ‘accidentally ‘ win it in 13 years). You absolutely can accidentally win the FA CUP. See Wigan. See Hull City and Aston Villa getting to the final in recent years.

    We know you have a human centipede thing going on with Wenger but common sense goes a long way in life. Try it some time.

  12. grooveydaddy

    You can’t blame fans for belittling the FA Cup when Wenger himself said CL qualification/top 4 (never mind reading the 1/4’s) is more important.

    I don’t think the FA Cup has ever recovered, presitige-wise, from United pulling out of the competition altogether, as holders, in 2000.

  13. Don

    Apparently Gabriel could be off to Valencia for £10m
    Good!! Why sell chambers and keep him? He’s clearly not a premier league defender. Looks like he should be pestering me to buy sunglasses on the copa cabana not roughing it with lukaku

  14. TitsMcGee

    You can’t blame fans for belittling the FA Cup when Wenger himself said CL qualification/top 4 (never mind reading the 1/4’s) is more important.”

    I mean it’s absolutely a trophy but it’s bottom tier. Nothing worthy of praise.

    You wait. Wenger’s whole “they didn’t have Europe to worry about ” line of excuse making will absolutely be brushed aside WHEN we don’t win it this season. The excuse will shift to something like ” we had to travel all over Europe and some destinations didn’t have direct flights so…….”

  15. Don

    Groove daddy

    Not sure that’s good news for palace.
    He seems to be a meddler and a bit unstable
    I can see problems with him and deBoer if he starts trying to stick his oar in.
    Where dif he accumulate £200m though?

  16. Rambo Ramsey

    Baffles me seeing the lengths some of our so called fans go to feel miserable about the club and any its achievements.

    ‘Wigan win the FA CUP a few years ago. Got relegated a week later and haven’t been back up since.’

    There’s a difference between stumbling upon the odd win and winning it three times in four years. Best for you to go back to school, Titsy.

  17. Don

    Tits

    Look, there can be no excuses this year. The squad is deep enough to play a full second string in cup competitions and keep the first 11 fresh for the league
    This is his best tilt at the title since 07/08

  18. Pierre

    Tits mcgee
    You are sure living up up to your name with some of your comments… Making a right tit of yourself

  19. Don

    Over the last 4 years, out of all of England’s major clubs only the oil clubs have won the prem and none have made the champs league final let alone win it.

    Only the oil clubs…..

  20. Pierre

    I have seen The Arsenal lose to Swindon(who were in division 3)Leeds twice, Luton, Ipswich, West ham (who were in division 2) at Wembley plus valencia and Liverpool in cup competitions so when the Wenger Out Bores say that beating villa and hull means nothing it’s because they have no real experience of how difficult it is to win a final so Wengers of winning 7 (SEVEN) FA cups should be considered a great achievement….

  21. ThePuma9

    Tit

    ‘You absolutely can accidentally win the FA CUP. ‘

    Way to miss the point. It was an anomaly. The same as Wigan winning the cup.

    You can go back 30 years to find only Wimbledon, Portsmouth and Wigan have actually ACCIDENTALLY (whatever that even means) win the cup.

  22. Rambo Ramsey

    Bamford

    ‘There are two trophies that matter: the PL & the CL. That’s all that matters. Nobody gives a fuck about FACs or CSs. Sorry.’

    Back to speaking on behalf on everybody, Bamford? Just stop, seriously. You embarrass yourself.

    ‘Nah, Marco, you’re right: beating Hull City and Aston Villa for a second-tier trophy did not really mean all that much. Neither, frankly, did beating a Chelsea who were probably still hungover from their PL title celebrations.’

    I remember you specifically stating the first two of our three FA Cup wins recently would mean something had we beaten top quality opponents in the Semifinal/Finals. Now that Arsenal did exactly that for their third Cup win, you invent a new rhetoric to belittle the achievement.

    Have you no shame?

    Some of you are frankly beyond hope, with your endless stream of negativity. I think it’ll be an uphill struggle for your ilk to find anything to be happy about re Arsenal ever again. Like anything else, the attitude with which you see something/someone tends to become habitual.

  23. ThePuma9

    grooveduddy

    ‘You can’t blame fans for belittling the FA Cup when Wenger himself said CL qualification/top 4 (never mind reading the 1/4’s) is more important.’

    But again what’s your point? Up until this year we the CL qualification always accompanied our fa cup wins. The one year it doesn’t and you say you’d rather the CL qualification. I’m sure you wasn’t as complimentary and such a big deal when we were qualifying for it the last 20 years in a row.

  24. ThePuma9

    Tit

    ‘You wait. Wenger’s whole “they didn’t have Europe to worry about ” line of excuse making will absolutely be brushed aside WHEN we don’t win it this season’

    Are you full re.t@rd or are you just tying really hard?

    We’re in the europa. The teams that won the league weren’t in Europe at all.

  25. Chika

    Bamfraud

    ‘I’d argue that making the quarters in the CL means more than winning the FAC.’

    There is no limit to your stupidity.

  26. Emiratesstroller

    Much has been written on Le Grove criticising the Club and Wenger for our poor performance levels in EPL and Champions League. Also belittling the importance of both FA Cup and Community Shield.

    So I thought that I would produce here stats, which show a different picture.

    FA Cup Finals

    In last 20 years [tenure of Wenger] only two minor clubs Portsmouth and
    Wigan have won this trophy.

    The Winners have been:
    Arsenal 7 [lost 1]
    Chelsea 5 [lost 2]
    Man Utd 3 [lost 1]
    Liverpool 2 [lost 1]
    Man C 1 [lost 1]

    Community [Charity] Shield

    Arsenal 7 [lost 2]
    Man Utd 7 [lost 6]
    Chelsea 3 [lost 6]
    Liverpool 2 [lost 1]
    Man C 1 [lost 2]

    So whilst posters can be critical of Arsenal’s durability in the league you cannot discount Arsenal’s performance level in one off games.

    The fact is that NO MAJOR CLUB reaching the latter stages of FA Cup or competing in Community Shield does not take the trophy seriously and want to win.

    Chelsea did not put out a weakened team last weekend. The only first team player missing in their team who played for them last season was Hazard
    who was out injured. You could see from Conte’s reaction during the game that it mattered to him and he wanted to win.

  27. RayGooner

    For us to even think about adding new players we must first get rid of players we have…..

    We currently stand with 32 players (over the age of 21), it’s only allowed to have 25.

    We have 14 Homegrown and 18 Foreign out of the 32.

    You can only have 17 foreign players over the age of 21 so at least 1 foreign player must go.

    So if we get rid of 7 players we stand on 25 (the limit of players you can have).

    Then if we want to buy any more new players we’d have to get rid off 1 more for every new one…..

    So who can we get rid of?

    Well, there’s of course some that are surely on their way out:

    Gibbs, Jenkinson, Debuchy, Campbell & Pérez will be sold, that’s 5.

    But who else?

    I can see maybe Chambers & Akpom also going….so that’s 7.

    But apart from them we still need 1 more player for each new one to go….

    Let’s say we buy Lemar….

    Will that mean the end of Wilshere?

    And there’s talk about signing Seri….

    Does this mean we will take offers for The Ox?

    And shouldn’t we buy a top CB…..

    I think it looks more and more like we ain’t buying anyone else…..

  28. Chika

    I thought the hatred for Wenger was just banter, now I’m convinced it’s actually genuine.

    The length people go to ridicule the club is shocking.

  29. Ishola70

    Said before this obsession with playing or not in europe meaning clubs not playing in it have an advantage is only a recent phenomenon.

    Has playing in europe and EPL simultaneously got harder all of a sudden? Like just the last few seasons? Why wasn’t it such a hindrance playing in europe along with EPL all those previous seasons until recently?

    We have people now completely disregarding teams winning the EPL because they have this terrible albatross around the neck of european football.

    It’s absolute bollocks and stems from managers of teams always looking to make excuses for the sides they manage and fans are following this more recent trend like lemmings.

    Mourinho last season and Wenger for eternity are always looking for excuses.

    If you have a good squad and good players and a manager not looking for excuses there is no reason not to do well in both EPL and european competition. Has always been the case and still is despite fans following their lead from excuse making football managers.

  30. Don

    Ishola

    I’d say it’s due to the parameters changing on peak condition footballers
    The optimum fitness levels have raised
    And if the competition in your league have managed to keep their squads fresher then they stand a better chance of winning.
    It’s why squad rotation is now a thing when before the mid 90s it wasn’t

    Elite performance standards have risen due to computer technology coming in and performance analysts is now far deeper and more insightful than ever
    Like Pedro says
    Marginal gains
    That extra 2-3% is now the difference whereas in previous eras it wasn’t. The best were just the best because he eoppostion would be down the pub on Fridays and eating bacon sarnies on match day

  31. raptora

    Bamford:
    ‘I’d argue that making the quarters in the CL means more than winning the FAC.’

    So let’s say we finished in top 4 instead of Liverpool, and City finished like they did 3-rd, and we got the FA Cup while they lost to Monaco on the quarters of the CL. So their season would me more successful?! LOL
    That’s hilarious actually.
    As things stand with us finishing 5-th and missing the CL but winning the FA Cup one would argue that we had a better season that Man City. But in even terms both teams in top 4 and one reaching the quarters the other one winning the FA Cup to say that the quarter loser achieved more is …

  32. Don

    Raptora

    He should be a politician that Bamford
    Or at least a publicist

    He is the lord of spin
    Total spin doctor

    Le Grove’s answer to Allaister Campbell

  33. Don

    Ray

    I don’t think that Lemar will threaten wilshire’s position at all. More iwobi or Theo or even the ox
    But wilshire is probably our best back up mf at the minute with cazorla out.
    I personally would prefer him to start over Ramsey
    He will crest more goals than Ramsey and look to feed our forward players rather than get in their way and leave gaps at the back

  34. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal have not been a ‘Dominant’ force in English Football since the era of Herbert Chapman and his successor in 1930s.

    The only clubs who have dominated the English game since then have been
    Liverpool in 1970/80s and Man Utd under Fergie.

    However, Arsenal’s track record in domestic game is second to none for consistency and there are few decades when we are not in the mix for trophies.

    Our record in Europe is not great albeit that we have qualified for Champions League in 19 of last 20 years. However, the statistical fact is that in this period
    an English Club has won the Trophy only 4 times.

    Manchester United for all their dominance under Fergie in English League underperformed also in Europe.

    The reality is that English Clubs do struggle in that competition because of the
    intense competition in EPL and a tv scheduling, which often does our clubs no
    favours. This is in direct contrast to Germany and Spain where the leagues and tv stations are much more supportive of their clubs.

    One final point I am all in favour of criticism of the club’s management and
    major shareholder, but not the perennial aggression towards club and team.

    Some of the posters would be frankly better off supporting Spurs. Then they
    would have much more to criticise.

  35. Don

    Some of you are frankly beyond hope, with your endless stream of negativity. I think it’ll be an uphill struggle for your ilk to find anything to be happy about re Arsenal ever again. Like anything else, the attitude with which you see something/someone tends to become habitual.

    Ramsey

    You have to wonder what theyre like at home
    Are they like this with their wife and kids? Can they get a bird with this dreary, depressive, doom laden outlook.
    It’s like they have nothing better in their lives
    I love arsenal and It puts me in a mood when we lose but I wouldn’t let it consume my week or year or whatever enough to fill me with such hate that it takes over my life.
    It’s like these people have nothing else but their hatred of Wenger.

  36. Ishola70

    Don:
    “I’d say it’s due to the parameters changing on peak condition footballers
    The optimum fitness levels have raised
    And if the competition in your league have managed to keep their squads fresher then they stand a better chance of winning.
    It’s why squad rotation is now a thing when before the mid 90s it wasn’t”

    lol just the last two season then this undeniable advantage/disadvantage has materialised?

    Sounds nonsense to me and as said fans are taking their lead here from excuse making football managers.

  37. raptora

    I can see Ramsey being the star in a lot of teams. Not top 6 but certainly strong teams like Everton and West Ham. I could see him being a starter in Liverpool’s team. Ramsey is a star in the Wales team that has been doing very well lately.

    Wilshere got to B’mouth and was one of them all. Didn’t make fuss, when he didn’t play they were actually a better side. Eddie Howe had no desire of offering him a contract. Says it all really.

    We should stop thinking for the player he was but for the player he has become. There could be a way back ofc. But as things stand he is far from the needed level of a player worthy of an Arsenal shirt.

  38. raptora

    Wilshere’s stats 16/17
    1950 mins played, 0 goals, 3 assists

    Bournemouth were on 6-th place for goals scored, ahead of Man United. Jacky Boy for over 32 hours of football has registered a whooping 0 goals and 3 assists on his name. Oh lord. Such creativity.

  39. Don

    Raptora

    Yes but look at Gnabry’s loan and arsenal form then look at him now
    There was always a player in there if he were harnessed the right way.
    I believe the same is true of Wilshire.

  40. Emiratesstroller

    For the record Man City have spent over one billion pounds in transfer market
    since takeover.

    Considering the level of their investment and financial muscle they have hardly
    been a dominant force in English Football until now.

    Let’s see how well they do this season.

  41. Don

    And Raptora

    And don’t think jack is an out and out assist man but more pre assist
    In the same way rosicky was
    His direct running and one-twos in the opposition half opens the team up
    He then lays off to a more advanced player who then lays off to the striker

    Creativity does not only lie on an assist table
    Look at Ozil….. yes he makes the final pass and fuck all else
    Gimme jack any day
    At least he will fight for the badge

  42. raptora

    I stand corrected. I was looking at the fantasy premier league for his assists where they register assists for shots that the keeper parries or that come out of the bar. So Jacky Boy had 2 assists last season. 0 goals.

  43. Ishola70

    Don:
    “Nope. We benefited mightily in 98 from having no European competition”

    One example. And Arsenal won the league by one point. Mighty advantage that was wasn’t it. How about plenty of other seasons where league winners were in europe. And I don’t remember fans keep harping on about lack of european football being this huge advantage at that time either.

    It’s new breed of football fans who hang on every word coming out of their clubs via the media. If Mourinho says his players are dying of fatigue must be true according to these fans who take as gospel everything relayed from the club they support.

  44. ThePuma9

    Don

    ‘ Can they get a bird with this dreary, depressive, doom laden outlook.’

    Bamfraud is blatantly a troll looking 40+ year old virgin.

  45. ThePuma9

    Ishola

    ‘One example. And Arsenal won the league by one point. Mighty advantage that was wasn’t it’

    You’ve already had marginal gains explained to you are you not getting it.

    Points, performance, weather whatever any improvement in marginal gains will help you when teams are doing everything in their power to succeed.

  46. Ishola70

    This trend will disappear soon enough anyway when the next league winner is also playing in europe.

    The mania will end quick enough.

  47. Don

    Ishola?

    How many of the last title winners have progressed in Europe?

    Like I said, since the mid 90s fitness levels have increased every single year
    Players are more like f1 sports cars these days, they are that finely tuned.
    Anyway, you don’t need to understand it. It won’t affect my day.

  48. raptora

    Seriously surprised no one went hard for Cédric Soares. During the Confederations Cup there was some noise that Barcelona want him. I reckon he was one of the best in the Portugal team. A bit of a football manager bs but I would have sold Bellerin to Barca for £50m and bought Cedric for ~£25m. You earn money and get an arguably better player. I don’t like Bellerin. Hopefully he will improve but at this moment he is not great at defending, not great at attacking, relies on his speed to bail him out of jail way too much. Not one of our problem positions but would have been nice little business.