Mislintat tempers expectations

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Weird old world out there.

There’s a real divide in the camp. Those that think we deserved something. Those that think we took the L we deserved. I can see both sides of the story for once. I want to sit on the fence. I want to be balanced. I want to be revered for keeping everyone happy. Opinion is overrated.

I personally think that game was a special brand of nightmarish terrible luck. We slapped United all round the park and came out losers. The result is final, it looks good for Mourinho, and extremely typical for Arsene Wenger.

What can the club do? Fight on through December, rack up some impressive results, turn over Chelsea and Liverpool, then see what next year holds for us.

If we lose our next two big games, the club should really start thinking about a new manager this summer. Because it’ll be clear he hasn’t changed. If he puts on a good fight and pushes into the top 3, he’ll land his final year. It’ll probably be deserved if he achieves that in a climate as competitive as the one right now.

Ian Wright is in the ‘this is shite’ camp.

“Why am I seeing so much blame being attached to MOTD pundits about Arsenal not getting credit for 33 shots and 70 odd % possession! What are we supposed to say about 5 players rushing to close down Pogba, leaving Valencia free? Just asking. Maybe the refs fault.”

Pretty strong but fair opinion. It’s hard to be wrong however you chop the United game up. We’d normally score more from those chances… but we didn’t. We’d normally not make massive unforced errors, but we did. Still, Wrighty didn’t like the stick he took.

“I look at some of the comments and can’t believe they’re true Arsenal fans!! Why are they following me. No polite way to say it ‘F****ff'”

Never read the mean tweets. It’s just not worth it Wrighty. Always a legend for me, even when he’s slagging off fan geography. I’d deal with that sort of slagging if I were an internet troll. He’s given me enough joy in a lifetime to let him off the hook for that cheeky jibe. I do find fans that go at old pros a bit obnoxious, sure, have a pop at their opinions, but when it’s vitriolic, it really is scummy.

Alan Shearer went after the AFTV chaps, those guys seem to matter to the pundits. Fair play to them. They’ve produced some of the biggest celebrities in football. Quite amazing, and uniquely Arsenal. Other fans have a pop, but look, you know they’re all watching it without fail every week. It’s good TV.

Arseblog have a great transcript from Kicker about our new head of recruitment. The German is already bitching about too much pressure being piled on him.

‘When I check the press in England and Germany, people probably think I’ll find an (Ousmane) Dembele in every transfer window. I’ve been put on an inconceivably high pedestal.’

You take the major pound notes and come with the expectations. I am expecting Dembele like signings. Arsenal are a bigger club, we have larger resources, and we had a heritage for unearthing gems. There’s also a really low bar here… not sure what he’s so worried about. Less Park Chu Young’s, more Freddie Ljungberg’s!

This part was ominous.

‘Signing me isn’t a guarantee that you’ll make good transfers. That needs an outstanding team who are driven, hard-working and really really on top of the task to find the next Ousmane Dembele or Dan-Axel Zagadou.’

He’ll need a good team supporting him, and it appears Ivan is building that. But the talk later in the interview of him having to dig his heels into land Auba made me think about the legendary dithering of Wenger. How is that going to pan out? How is Wenger going to deal with a man who doesn’t owe his career to him? How’s he going to react when the club start signing players Wenger doesn’t agree to? What does a chief scout do when Wenger is commentating games on the last day of the transfer window?

Remember, this isn’t a junior. This is a man who turned a 10x profit on Dembele in a season. If he makes a push for an exciting name, business sense says you have to run with it. I am fascinated to see how all that pans out. It’s really exciting, I just hope that Stan and Ivan have spoken about what bringing in a name like this is going to do for the way the club do business.

There was a stat doing the rounds (via @oh_that_crab) that Sanchez loses the ball 22.6 times a game, 2 more times on average than KDB, Eriksen and Cesc Fabregas. I don’t think that justifies the 34 times against United. Also, we’re at the start of December, let’s see where we are at the end of next season. He lost the ball 656 times last season, the next on that shocking list was Benteke at 529. Not other player in the top 6 featured on the list.

You can look at that and say it’s the lack of quality around him, but I can’t agree. That number is disgusting. Alexis, for all the love with give him, led us to 5th. That never happened under Robin Van Persie. It never happened in a Cesc team. What does that tell you about that number? That it’s outrageous.

In podcast news, we’re moving over to Audioboom who look after the Totally Football podcast. Very exciting. For now, just crack into the below and enjoy it.


183 Responses to “Mislintat tempers expectations”

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  1. HillWood

    I’m all for technology to eliminate the horrendous decisions that have been made over the years (Maradona Hand Of God just one example)
    However it will only apply at the higher levels which kind of creates a divide in football.
    I’m fence sitting

  2. Adamafc

    Never happened under Cesc or Robin – Please.

    The above two are not Arsenal legends, nor are they in league as Sanchez.

    Cesc acted like a baby went he wanted out, and Robin was involved in a game that ended 8-2 to one of our biggest rivals. Fair enough you can’t blame him for the result, but he never had to sign for them, especially as he knew how we the fans feel about united.

    oh yeah, and in case you forgot, Cesc now plays for Chelsea. True legend.

    Sanchez looks every bit the quality player he is. You can see why he played for a barca team when he did.

  3. Pedro

    Adam, I didn’t call them legends.

    Also, Robin was a far better player than Sanchez outside fitness. Cesc has proven himself to be a better player as well.

  4. TonyD

    I’ve always thought VAR should have been introduced when the technology was reliably available. Reliable being the operative word.

    I don’t like the idea of managers having 2 calls as these calls could be used to slow the game down when an opposition are in a ‘Purple Patch’ , which could very well end up in them scoring.

    In this situation a player often feigns injury to stop the game and kills momentum of the opposing side and a manager could also do this using a call.

    I like the way the international rugby union TMO works. He keeps the ref advised of various infractions as the game proceeds, which we hear when the TMO advises the ref. It is then the refs decision as to whether he stops play or calls play back to see the replay. Because we’ve heard the interchange between TMO & ref, the ref can then be held accountable at the end of a game if he ignores the TMO.

    Unless a try is 100% clear in its build up and actual scoring process, the ref has a quick look at a replay asking the TMO whether there is any reason why he can’t award the try.

    My only gripe would be that the VAR could slow the game down too much and thus take the excitement away.

    I think that if clear guidelines are issued to the ref and VAR operator (TMO) to keep the game in progress as much as is possible, then keep the managers out of the VAR decision making process.

    Equally, the players are going to know that the VAR is there for ‘off the ball’ incidents, so they are going to have to clean up their acts as well. Trial by TV works now but would be far more in play with VAR.

    So, in my view, I see VAR being primarily being used for the following:

    Goals with possible infringements in the immediate build up play – say 30 second limit that could have occurred including offside calls. Also, include an impossible-to-see ball going out of play on the immediate lead up to a goal.

    Sending off decisions including second yellow cards to include a sending off offense (off the ball situation) Also, to include use of elbows in challenges and dangerous raised studs’ one and two footed tackles.

    Penalty calls, especially ones from diving or acting. If a player can be 100% proven to be diving from the VAR, then that would be a straight red card offense.

    I think if the FA started with these limitations and then reassessed the validity of these at either the season’s halfway mark or end of season, the process could be tweaked to be improved.

    VAR is never going to be perfect: it isn’t in International rugby Union, but it is a lot better than not having it.

  5. E54_

    Also, Robin was a far better player than Sanchez outside fitness. Cesc has proven himself to be a better player as well.
    Yeah, ones called Judas and the others called The Snake. Legends!

  6. peanuts&monkeys

    “If we lose our next two big games, the club should really start thinking about a new manager this summer. Because it’ll be clear he hasn’t changed. ”

    @pedro there are few bigger AKBs than you. What makes you suck up to Wenger so much? Is it the obsession of your readers with Wenger?

  7. grooveydaddy

    Top bantz from Newcastle fans, during that game against United, with the female linesman (lineswoman?) –

    ‘Robin, Robin, she said no!!!’ every time he was flagged for offside.

  8. Pierre

    As long as they bring it in ASAP (next season) and it’s workable and, as you said, reliable then they must go for it.

    I just think clattenburgs comments have opened up a can of worms and and brings the refereeing in this country into disrepute because that is not the only occasion that a ref has decided to use his own rules in a game.
    VAR will stop a refereeing performance like clattenburgs ever happening again. The game will become more honest all round.
    The players will be reluctant to cheat as much knowing that it could affect the outcome of the game.
    I’m sure it will be impossible to get 100% right but no doubt it will improve the honestly and integrity in the game.

  9. HighburyLegend

    Still talking about VAR since yesterday ??

    Well, it’s better to talk about VAR than WAR.

  10. HighburyLegend

    Beautiful picture for this post by the way, a taste of the party to come (one of these days, have faith) when kim jong will leave at last…

  11. TheBayingMob

    “However it will only apply at the higher levels which kind of creates a divide in football”

    I used to think this, and I know that the idea of football is that the rules the pros play to can be applied right down to the kids in the park, but I don’t see why that has to change.

    To be honest lower level and amateur football is not applied in the same way anyway. Many games don’t even have a full quota of refs.

    Football is also the last bastion of a professional league run by drunks and cheats, and, where cheating is encouraged and condoned at every level of the game; the only reason, in my humble opinion, that video tech hasn’t been included more into games is a resistance at the higher levels to keep the ability to influence the game as a whole through fixing.

    Every other sport in the world has moved on, in tennis they are even trial no line judges at all at major competitions. Cricket, Baseball and American Football have benefited (although I would say it’s gone a bit too far in American Football).

    The time was 5 or more years ago, so the time is definitely not to push this forward.

    Fuck all the romantic nonsense of keeping the game the same at every level, I’m sick of the cheating.

  12. TheBayingMob

    “In this situation a player often feigns injury to stop the game and kills momentum of the opposing side and a manager could also do this using a call.”

    In another nod to Rugby, why not just let the physio enter the field of play at any point without needing the refs permission?

    It’s laughable that the game has to be stopped by the ref. Head injuries aside, but if a player is down rolling around and it’s deemed not a foul, just carry on, if he needs attention he can get it without the game being stopped. If it was a foul, the game can carry on.

    What about allowing the 4th to manage subs – again no need to stop the game … no way for managers to shut the game down on 92mins

    Simple rule changes that would stop all that nonsense in a heartbeat …

  13. HighburyLegend

    What about another essantial rule – especially for us : the right for a manager to stay at the same club, but only for a (very) limited number of years.

  14. Micheal

    The one innovation I would like to see is that the linesman/woman become more involved as happens in rugby. For example, signalling for off the ball icnidents, body checking, etc.

    At the moment, linos in football do little beyond flagging offsides. Even when an incident or dispute takes place under their noses, they never signal unless asked by the referee.

    And exactly what is the function of the 5th linesman/woman in European games? I honestly cannot recall a single instance where they have signalled anything worthwhile.

    Involving the linesmen/women more positively will give the game another two pairs of eyes.

  15. TitsMcGee

    Simple solution to stamp out diving. Take retroactive decisions. I.e someone rolling around on the ground like they’ve just been shot when in reality they were barely touched. Happens 5 times a game in any league.

    No downside to VAR but the AKBs wishing for it for no other reason other than some last gasp attempt to deflect from Wenger will be in for a rude awakening when decisions go against us vs the smaller teams. We’ve certainly benefited from bad calls ourselves.

    Regarding Walcott to Everton can they eat his contract? One of the major obstacles with all of our dross is shifting the expense to the lesser clubs willing to buy them off of us . They tuck tail and run when they find out how much said dross is actually making here.

    Unless it’s a loan situation the hiring club needs to eat the whole contract on top of the transfer fee if I’m not mistaken. For smaller clubs this shatters their budget. We couldn’t give Bendtner or Jenkinson away for a few TWs.

  16. TitsMcGee

    Have a ref up in the booth that only buzzes the on-field ref if there has been a major error made. Ball not crossing the goal line fully etc . So there is no actual interruption unless absolutely necessary.

  17. TonyD

    In the case of shifting players on high salaries, we have 2 options.

    Either buy them out of their contracts with a reduced lump sum or sell them to a club and make up the players loss % where a club can only afford say 65% of a players contract. Then we pay the missing 35% .

    No point keeping a player we are never going to use.

  18. TR7

    3 major headlines on AFC NewsNow :

    Nketiah gets a brand new deal
    Wenger rules out selling Theo in January
    Jack Wilshere on an ice skating trip

    WOW !!

  19. Cesc Appeal

    If Walcott ends up getting a new deal we need his agent negotiating Brexit.

    This is a footballer earning £140 000 and not actually having to play football.

  20. Micheal

    Cesc: If Walcott ends up getting a new deal we need his agent negotiating Brexit.

    Brilliant. No one else is doing it.

  21. WengerEagle

    Feo will retire here, embarrassing that such a poor footballer has been here longer than the vast majority of our club legends and world class footballers like Cesc, RVP, Henry, Vieira, list goes on.

    12 years and given his age (28) it’s hard to envisage him not breaking the 15 year barrier putting him in Adams, Parlour, Seaman, Dixon territory.

    Like I said, his indefinite spell here is the personification of what a wankshow this club had become.

  22. Jim Lahey

    @CA –

    “This is a footballer earning £140 000 and not actually having to play football.”

    Or ever doing anything to earn it in the first place.

  23. graham62

    Although I’ve always rated Theo, he has clearly wasted his career at Arsenal. However, when you’re earning 140K a week I suppose it doesn’t matter too much to him.

    Wenger has ###### him about so much over the years, that he is incapable of thinking for himself.

    If he stays he will be ridiculed, if he goes he will be applauded. Come on Theo, show some balls and stick your middle finger up at Wenger and leave the club.

    You know it makes sense.