ARSENAL BATTLE THE TEMPTATION TO PLAY VICTIM (AND WIN)

by .

Watford: 19 fouls. 2 bookings.

Arsenal: 6 fouls. 4 bookings.

We start on a gripe because we won which means I’m allowed to complain. So what is going on here? Why are referees allowed to go into a game giving a bigger team a handicap because they want to even out technical levels with fouls. Why don’t that have tech that tells them rotational fouling is going on? It’s so shoddy refs can be conned like this. Or worse, just uniformly favor other teams. Considering how nonviolent our team is and how little fouls we make, it’s striking how bad our sending off/booking rates are.

I also want to bring this point up because some people, including weird Arsenal fans, are complaining that we didn’t kick the ball out of play when there one of their players went down in the build-up.

I’m sorry, but just as I don’t think the police should help drug dealers retrieve their ill-gotten gains when a rival gang steals from them, I’m not going to talk about class issues when a Watford player, feigning injury, 60 minutes into a rotational foul strategy, doesn’t get sporting behavior when he hits the ground.

It’s mildly amusing that the sort of Arsenal fans that talk up Conte for his ‘win at all costs’ mentality now want to talk about Arsenal dropping a bit of that for the first time in a long time.

So what about the game? I thought it was good for a lot of reasons.

Everything went against us. Saka had a goal disallowed early on, please don’t ask me to explain why that’s now offside, but apparently, it was.

Ben Foster had an outrageously good game.

Auba missed a penalty after Lacazette was smashed down by Danny Rose.

Danny Rose didn’t get sent off.

Auba took a touch on an Odegaard goal that made it disallowed.

The atmosphere was one of those weird muted Sunday types where people are sensing something rubbish might happen.

We basically had all the ingredients there for a sucker-punched 1-0 home defeat we’d have to ruminate on for a few weeks.

As it turned out, we weathered the game and its travesties really well. Not everyone was at their best, but as Arteta said in the week, everyone was united around the mission and worked like monsters all game.

Our defence was rock solid all game. Ben White had one of his best in an Arsenal shirt. He’s everything we needed this summer and more. He opens the game up because he’s a non-traditional centre back, you can’t press him, stand off him, or lunge in because he’ll beat you like Aaron Ramsey and go on a run. In fact, his run led to our first goal… a tackle on him allowed Laczette in, with ESR sweeping in to open the scoring. He’s also a good defender, he’s sharp in the tackle, he’s surprisingly good in the air, and he won’t be shoved about. Let’s be honest, the debate that we didn’t need to replace Luiz with a ballplaying centre back really was one of the worst. Who is talking about his price-tag now?

The full-backs were really good again. Tomiyasu in particiular. He contributed well to the final third with some line-breakers and good crosses. It’s also really nice to have a centre back like object on the right, because it means we have 3 defenders that are good in the air from corners. 4 when you consider the height of Nuno. The Portuguese had another solid game, he doesn’t look inexperienced and his stamina is off the charts. Those mazy late-game runs will count as he gets older. I thought he had another reassuring 90 and he’s certainly asking questions of Kieran Tierney.

Gabriel. I read someone say that you just get used to him dropping 8 out of 10s. He’s moving into that level of reliability we’ve not had in that role for a long time. No one intimidates him, his passing is great, and he is an absolute menace from corners. He was very unlucky not to chalk up another goal when hos downward header bounced off Ben Foster’s legs.

Auba didn’t have a good day out, but I won’t knock him. He’s doing an immense amount of work for the team regardless of how he’s playing in front of goal. He missed a penalty, he’s in a bit of a rut there, but I just love his attitude at the moment.

Lacazette, Smith Rowe and Saka all had solid games. They’re finding each other and working out patterns. It’s nice to see the bonds forming and the trust grow with each game. Again, Saka was really unlucky not to be the first scorer.

Ainsley had a super game next to Sambi. I’m so, so happy he’s focused himself this season. He has it all to do whatever he wants in the game. Arteta made the point after that he’s just different this year. He’s more urgent, his body language is better, and he’s thinking about his career a little more. I was a bit worried about the two of them in the middle, but Sambi continues to prove he was one of the bargains of the summer. His pass completion was 87.3%.

It was also worth noting that Odegaard came on and looked like he wanted to impose himself on the game. He played a few really good balls, he should have scored if it weren’t for Auba, and his running was truly appreciated.

Ramsdale nearly made his first mistake missing the ball. Luckily Josh King couldn’t make the angle. Overall though, I liked his game. He’s trying to find Auba with daisy-cutters into feet, which is quite the skill. That’s a big improvement on the launch balls he was doing earlier in the season. His pass completion rate was 81.3%, quite exceptional when you consider the ambition of his choices. I love him

So we did it. 10 points from 12. 4 very different games. Palace on that Monday now looks like a really good result, Lacazette set the ball running for a really good run.

9 games unbeaten. 6 cleansheets. We’re 5th in the table. 6 points from top. 2 points from Liverpool. Our goal difference is back to 0.

Arteta has a better win ratio than Wenger for the first 100 (matching GG on 56%). Considering the team he inherited and the moment in time we just went through, that’s pretty decent.

The team is finding performances. They’re digging deep. Every summer signing looks like a winner. Every senior player getting game time is putting in a shift. The squad is unified. The fans are unified.

The progress is very, very real.

I like that we’re finally a club where everything looks like it’s in good shape.

There’s loads to do this season. We have to improve our in-game management. Squad rotation needs to happen so players are ready for a busy December. We still need to do better in open play. The players are all still sussing each other out. But this train is finally moving and it feels good.

What I like the most out of all of this: We did things the hard way after trying to short-cut for 5 years. We took a chance on a young innovative coach and gave him time. We stopped signing old bums (time thiefs acc to Arteta) and aged down the squad. Our approach to recruitment considered the character of the players as well as the skillset put through a very, very specific vision of how the game should be played… and you can see more than green shoots now.

It’ll still be tough. There will be bad moments. But now we can see the promised land, we don’t have to catastrophize every blip along the way.

Right, that’s me done. I couldn’t do the OTW yesterday because everyone is out and about but we’ll have some content for you this week.

202 Responses to “ARSENAL BATTLE THE TEMPTATION TO PLAY VICTIM (AND WIN)”

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  1. Bankz

    The win against watford was a very important one.
    I really detest international breaks as they always seem to break up momentum.
    Hopefully we hold our own against Liverpool next week.
    I think we can put out a consistent run of wins together again after Anfield.

  2. DM

    Sambi def looks a talent but I gotta admit I was very worried yesterday that he’d end up playing a loose ball and it would cost us. He had so many mislaid passes, really needs to work on that. I was desperate for Arteta to take him off cos last thing I want to see is him gift them a goal and the impact that would have on him. Luckily we were ok in the end.

  3. Buckagh

    SaladinNovember 8, 2021 09:31:35
    ESR could be our new Ramsey.

    He will be better than Rambo, and hopefully not as injury prone.

  4. Buckagh

    Zippy post Pedro
    On another day they could have bagged 4/5 goals,
    Progress is obvious, despite some naysayers on here, atmosphere in the ground is the best in years

  5. Karsa

    Very encouraging performance given all the potential banana skins.

    Nice to go into yet another international break will a smile on our faces.

  6. TR7

    What a brilliant manager Pep Guardiola is. No striker, no problem. Absolute footballing masterclass from him against Man United. The league is blessed with some real titans of the game in Pep, Klopp, Conte, Tuchel etc. I don’t think we have ever had such great array of managers competing against each other in the same league

  7. TR7

    AMN has got good technical ability, pace and athleticism. All he needs to do is be more focused and he can nail down a starting spot in our midfield.

  8. David Smith

    I don’t think those refs are getting conned, believe it is a deliberate ploy to assist certain teams for whatever reason.
    Mike Riley always did , and it seems still does have some issue with this club, no idea why
    Wenger tried to deal with this by blitzing these teams making ref bias or instructions irrelevant, Arteta seems to have a plan as well.
    All That said, guess miraculously, AMN got away with a foul leading up to the goal

  9. Bankz

    ESR is currently my favorite player in the team.
    I hope he keeps improving.

    Pep Guardiola is just a genius and I will never understand when people try to write off his achievements by saying he is a “cheque book” manager.
    He’s the Messi of managers.
    I still think he will come out on top come May.
    Once he leapfrogs Chelsea, no team is catching city again.
    Played United at old trafford, Chelsea at Stamford bridge and visited Anfield already.

  10. Kroenkephobe

    Pedro

    You sound a little shrill and defensive.

    I’m personally delighted we won and, almost as importantly, that we clearly deserved to win. Watford paid us respect insofar as their strategy was to be dirty, overly physical and to waste time and con the referee. That suggested we’ve at least recovered slightly from being viewed as passive pushovers. They were, to a certain extent, hoist by their own petard, by conceding a goal to…. we’ll, let’s call it gamesmanship.

    Rose fucked up by kicking it out when, whatever the mincing Watford player was rolling about with, clearly wasn’t a head injury. But you can’t deny that what we did was not in the spirit of professional football. I coached a lot of kids’ teams and in that scenario I’d have (reluctantly) told my players to give possession back to the opposition. It wasn’t egregiously wrong – like the overmars-kanu thing against the blades (where Wengo did show some morals) but it was against the spirit of the game. Surely you see that. Its a simple test Pedro – ask yourself how you would react if it happens in our next game chez the bin dippers. BTW, Liverpool’s first yesterday was ‘created’ by that cheating bastard Salah.

    I’m going to sound like a stuffed shirt here (sorry to steal your thunder ES) but that incident didn’t really pass the sniff test. I felt guilty and a bit conflicted celebrating the win in those circumstances.

  11. englandsbest

    Super post, Pedro, accurate in every detail.

    The point made about ‘the character as well as the skill-set’ applies not just to the players, it applies throughout. And there we have the key to the transformation of the Club. And it ought to be emphasised that it began with the hiring of the manager. Arteta is forthright, honest, straightforward. And now those qualities permeate the Club from bottom to top.

    This showed clearly in Josh’s interview. We should take him at his word not play the ‘wotldly’ cynic like some on here do. The owner is always the most important guy at any Club, he sets the tone, defines the aim, exempifies the mood. And Josh’s appointment of Arteta has done all of that.

  12. Emiratesstroller

    Watford came into this game intent on bullying our young players and that was blindingly
    obvious with the foul count in first half.

    It was also clear that Arsenal were punished with yellow cards when we committed a foul.
    By contrast it beggars belief that Rose was still on the pitch after his foul on Lacazette resulting in penalty. That was “dangerous” play in anyone’s book.

    My main concern about our team is that we do struggle in last quarter of games. We allow
    opponents to take control of games and that was increasingly the case yesterday. Most of
    the midfielders in our squad are not able to maintain a 90 minute performance.

    The major positive after the first three games is our defence. We have conceded just 4 goals
    in 8 EPL games including FIVE Clean Sheets.

  13. Berg10kamp

    Don’t think that from AMN was a foul. To me Sarr wanted to block him off and AMN just bumped him over as he is stronger.

  14. Leedsgunner

    Watford got caught with their pants down, they were play acting and they are upset because we saw right through it… and played the advantage and scored.

    Their defender who went down prompting Rose to throw the ball out should have been booked for simulation.

    Watford have nothing to complain about.

  15. TR7

    Klopp although a great manager is a sore loser. Always comes up with weird excuses and accusations when his team loses. The first goal that Pool conceded was legit and Cresswell didn’t deserve to be red carded but still he can’t stop moaning about the two decisions.

  16. Kroenkephobe

    Arteta is forthright, honest, straightforward. And now those qualities permeate the Club from bottom to top.

    EB
    He has none of those qualities and you know it. And nor do you for saying it. You’re possibly being paid for saying some of this claptrap aren’t you? No one is buying it. Just state for the record that you’re categorically not Mark Gonnella or one of his minions.

  17. Terraloon

    Leeds

    Their defender who went down prompting Rose to throw the ball out should have been booked for simulation.

    How can that be? There was no foul to con the ref. If we are going to come down on simulation then I’d be 100% behind that initiative but in this instance Rose was fully justified in kicking the ball out.

    All I hope is that the failure to return the ball doesn’t set some sort of precedent when other clubs should return the ball should it be an Arsenal player who expects the ball to be returned.

    Look a win is a win is a win and the league table doesn’t lie and all that but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves because other than the Leicester game away I am not looking at any results yet that I wouldn’t expect.

    As I said the other day most of the clubs that are in this years CL & EL will very very soon be able to concentrate on the league without the distractions of European competition. It was in the first third and last quarter of the season that missing out on UEFA competition would benefit Arsenal this season . We’ll benefit things on the pitch but certainly not in the coffers

  18. Spanishdave

    Still struggling to score, Auba needs to be dropped. Running around a lot doesn’t produce goals .
    We need a heavyweight CF who can stir up defenders so players can feed off the loose balls.a
    Both our attackers are over the hill and overpaid.

  19. Terraloon

    TR7

    Was the WHU goal much different from the Brentford goal in the first game of the season ?

    I personally thought Cresswell was quite close to getting a red and I certainly have no love for Liverpool.

    On the day WHU we’re worthy winners but just about every manager will point fingers away from their players if they loose.

  20. Pedro

    Kroenke, not much of an audience for the anti-Arteta agenda today, think you’ll have to put a slab of humble pie in the oven and get the cutlery ready.

  21. Pedro

    TR7, Liverpool after the break will be interesting. Brighton and West Ham showed the way. I’m hoping with our defence playing they way they are we might ask some questions of Klopp.

  22. TR7

    Pedro

    Yes, we are playing well as a unit. Obviously they have more firepower in the attack, we will need Auba to step up to stand a chance against them.

  23. Bob N16

    Karma smacked Watford in the face, sure our goal was dubious, AMN collision and not passing the ball back BUT the Watford team were constantly going down, wasting time and fouling. In that context, f*ck ‘em, I have no sympathy whatsoever.

    We got a deserved 3pts, it should have been more comfortable but we kept a clean sheet. One gripe, in the last 10 minutes or so we struggled to keep possession, Ramsdale was going for the champagne pass and we were giving back the ball too easily. Martinelli should have come on 10 minutes before he did but subs were fine otherwise.

  24. Kroenkephobe

    Pedro
    Your moral compass is awry. Fairness – and the semblance of fairness – matters in sport as it does in many other walks of life.
    I laugh at the ‘same old Arsenal, always cheating’ mantra from all those cunty teams that routinely abuse other players and habitually con refs. You should know that with your profound understanding of elite sport and PR. Image and reputation are important.

    To dress up what I said as anti-Arteta was hopelessly wide of the mark. We’re talking about Arsenal here – get real and stop being so Arteta centric. It’s sad and a bit culty (phew – glad I spelt that word right). How are you going to feel when – not if – we’re on the receiving end of cheating – I predict Mane and Salah will make our next game look like a Tom Daley training session. You’re already getting a bit Atwood-esque about officiating.

  25. Kroenkephobe

    Bob
    Ha ha. Dubious eh? Don’t get back on that fence mate – you’re much more readable when you’re opinionated. It was against the spirit of the game and that’s the inconvenient truth

  26. Pedro

    Kroenke, I know elite sport and PR and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt… that incident yesterday will not do us any harm. In fact, it’ll work for us as teams realise we won’t be rolled. There’s a real theme or the type or fan that is bothering about that give ln the context of the game.

    I’d package up your hopes for the Liverpool game with a little more subtlety, wouldn’t want the slim mask to slip. You wouldn’t want people to think you are putting your agenda over Arsenal.

  27. Ashwin Gunner

    Guys

    When Jose Mou wins trophies at the end of the season, no one gives a shit how he did.

    Wenger was the nicest guy and didn;t win shit. Its time we had some one who has some balls to play the game as it is. If you want to be a gentleman do it in your personal lives. Once in football win the games within the rules. I dont think anything was unfair in yesterdays game. Remember Nice guys finish 8th.

  28. TR7

    Pedro

    I don’t see any point in playing a deep block against Liverpool. You can put your body on the line and still lose the game to a screamer from TAA or a piece of magic from Salah.

    Their fullbacks are not great defensively. Antonio troubled them whenever he ran at them. If we can get Tavares, Saka, Auba and ESR run at their defense we can score. There’s no shame in losing to Klopp’s Pool, so I would rather we lost the game trying to win than parking the bus.

  29. Ashwin Gunner

    Sir Alex has won every damn there is to win. Was he ever fair. hell no.. he knows how to win a match. He had players like Eric Cantona, Roy Keane who spent more time in gym than in training ground. Were these players every fair? No.. They were there to win at all costs. because 10 years from now, all that matters is what you won and not how you behaved during a 10 sec passage of a game.

  30. Ashwin Gunner

    Pedro.

    True. some people have sad lives mate.. really. why cant they be happy that Arsenal won and start moaning on one incident.

    Had it been the other way round, these fellas who are advocating good behaviour would curse Arteta and the players for being too soft..

    Damn if you do, damn if you dont.

    SMH

  31. LoveSausage

    The “incident” yesterday was a storm in a teacup. It’s karma for Watford’s cunty tactics and I’m certainly not losing any sleep over it. If anything, I’m impressed that this young group of players were unfazed by the physical play. Didn’t let themselves be bullied or lose their heads. It’s a good sign for the future.

  32. Thank you and goodnight

    As I said yesterday, watch the replay and you can see Danny Rose furiously gesticulating to his own player to stay down, which obviously means he was ok and back on his feet so their was no need to throw the ball back to them.

  33. Leedsgunner

    We play best when we play on the front foot. When we play the deep block we give Liverpool too much space and respect.

    Salah will punish you when you give him time and space.

  34. TR7

    Really really impressed with Nuno Tavares. Plays with so much confidence, purpose and assertiveness. Tomiyasu plays more conservatively obviously because Arteta wants only one fullback to romp forward which puts more responsibility on Tavares and boy he delivers.

  35. Bob N16

    Kroenke,

    Of course our goal was dodgy but Watford deserved f*ck all and but for brain farts from PEA and some decent goalkeeping from Foster we would have been out of sight.

    The fact that Watford were pushing ‘gamesmanship’ to the limit( and poor refereeing) means I have no sympathy. The referee stops the game for head injuries, this kicking the ball off has crept in far too much. Their player jumped up, fully ‘recovered’ just as Rose was kicking the ball off. It was a strategy all game to break the game up. I sort of don’t blame them for trying it but it then requires the ref to be good to try and make the game flow.

    So, again f*ck ‘em!

  36. Graham

    I am with you on the ball out of play incident. Watching it live I thought – I really hope we don’t give the ball back – the player had been faking an injury (and was not even pretending it as a head injury) and was getting up anyway. And Rose largely kicked it out to waste time when under pressure. And anyway it just gave us a throw in in their half which they had completely set up to defend – hardly directly causing a goal.

    I was at the Kanu Sheff Utd game (right next to the Zheffiekd fans) and that was a very different thing altogether. It’s silly to compare them IMHO.

    But two things

    – surely there were 4 yellow cards for Watford – one player alone got two. Then Sissoko and King got 1 each. Still makes the stats look odd but at least get them right.

    – and what is this nonsense re not understanding Saka being offside. That was offside under any interpretation of the offside law that had ever existed since it was formalised in the 19th century. Which part of the law don’t people understand – at least two opposition players are needed between you and the goal when the ball is played. There was one. One is less than two.

  37. Pedro

    Graham, don’t think I was ever aware two players needed to be behind the ball. Nor were the players by the looks of it. Celebration was a bit different to Odegaard

  38. AFC Forever

    Kroenke

    “Get real and stop being so Arteta centric. …It’s sad and a bit culty.!!”

    Fucking hell mate, you’ve got balls the size of melons….!

    Remind me who it was who was boycotting this blog because it wasn’t ‘Arteta Out’ enough? Who was it that was trying tor recruit for their “Arteta Out’ Whatsapp Group? (I still laugh at the sheer stupidity of that.). So to talk about being Arteta centric and cultist, has to be paraded as the most hypocritical thing ever said on here. Because you described yourself perfectly.

    You are so obsessed with your own opinion you’re now straying into anti-Arsenal territory – again. Your fake outrage is because you have to find something to complain about. You are a tantrum thrower, who when he doesn’t get his own way gets all precious and wants to cancel everyone.

    As you know, the bloke was feigning injury and back in position before the throw was taken. Their cheating back fired on them, the rotational fouling and feigning injury straight out of the Mourinho book of dark arts. I’m fed up with Arsenal always being the nice guys rolling over and getting their tummy’s tickled by bullies. Thank fuck we’ve got a backbone now but it;’s a shame some of our fans don’t. Fair play my arse, tell that to PGMOL who let Mcarthur volley Saka & get away with a blatant red card, in fact they had to suspend Mike Dean for that one. Then Johnny Evans who molested Aubameyang when through on goal. Did you complain then? Of course you didn’t.

  39. englandsbest

    Kroenkepheeble

    Your pretence of gentility is hilarious, nice people don’t indulge in personal insults, something you do all the time..

    Anyway, putting your make-believe temperament aside, pro football is not a gentlemanly contest like, say, golf. On the contrary, it’s a sport where you get away with whatever you can. That’s why we have referees with whistles. We see this happen in every game, to a greater or lesser degree.And that throw-in that you pretend offends you so much is certainly lower level, did NOT create a goal, and is piddling in comparison to what Rose did to Laca.

  40. Pierre

    Give Lacazette is due , he has mastered the art of going down like a sack of shit, just thankful that we don’t have to hear his pathetic screams as he writhes about in mock agony.

    I suppose the means justify the ends and it’s the results that matter

    Will be a shame if our less experienced players recognise this as the only way of getting results but if that’s what it takes , then so be it.

  41. Nelson

    “when a Watford player, feigning injury, 60 minutes into a rotational foul strategy, doesn’t get sporting behavior when he hits the ground.”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    I fully agree. Even the Ref got fed up and ignored them. Now they blamed the Ref for the loss. They have only themselves to blame.

  42. Nelson

    Auba still carries the hope that he’ll get back his scoring form. He tried. But his first touch was getting worse. One of it resulted in Saka’s offside goal.

  43. Pedro

    ‘ Your pretence of gentility is hilarious’

    Amen to this. Will wrap an insult in some faux intellectual point about humanity or daughters, before spitefully popping off at anyone who doesn’t want to got to hell with him after a NLD win. Very sad. Good point on the boycott. 😂

  44. AFC Forever

    Graham

    As you say that offside rule has always existed and always been wrong. I went to a coaching session once where a coach was trying to find ways to get his goalkeeper to advance and play attackers offside, it was absolute carnage. Most of the players didn’t even know it existed, so I am not surprised so many people didn’t know about it. It’s a silly rule but it was the correct decision..

  45. Words on a blog

    Kroenkephobe,

    Maybe our decision to play on was against the “spirit of the game”.

    But this was after we had endured another mysterious “non-red card” decision for the Rose foul on Laca, and a strategy of rotational fouling and time wasting from Watford, which was also dealt with leniently by the ref.

    So yeah, for me, “spirit of the game”, whatever.

  46. Graham

    “Graham, don’t think I was ever aware two players needed to be behind the ball. Nor were the players by the looks of it. Celebration was a bit different to Odegaard”

    Well to be fair the linesman had his flag straight up on the Odegaard/Auba goal. What the linesman and ref were doing on the Saka goal I really have no idea – classic case of where VAR avoided a major mistake.

  47. Dissenter

    Terraloon[ is indeed right
    The Westham goal is identical with the second goal Brentford scored against us.
    In both cases, the player went to directly foul the goal keeper.
    Ogbonna just jumped into the goalie and raised his hand to thwart Allison’s catching motion.

    It was 100% a foul. Goalies are going to start using counter measures that will cause head injuries.

  48. LoveSausage

    We just need to sort out the goal scoring now. 13 goals in 11 games is really poor. But at least it’s not because we’re playing negative low margins football anymore. We should have had 4 yesterday.

    Arteta needs to be willing to drop Auba and experiment a bit. In a way our striker situation is almost a blessing. Laca and Eddie will be off in the summer and Auba is spent. So there’s no value to protect. Arteta can be completely pragmatic because we’ll be getting a new starting CF either in January or in the summer.

  49. AFC Forever

    Pedro

    “Good point on the boycott.”

    That was me.

    He was trying to cancel you, which is funny when you remember his political rants. But the icing on the cake had to be the Whatsap Group. I have read some weird stuff on here from so called fans but that is definitely in the ‘Ridiculously Stupid’ category. Still I’m sure he and Tony are enjoying themselves on it….?!!?

  50. TR7

    Dissenter

    There is no rule which says an opposition player can not stand in the line of sight of a GK when attacking a corner. West Ham goal was legit.

  51. Ashwin Gunner

    For Pool start our strongest team. The players are getting used to each other. Pool have very lethal forwards. It will be challenge to hold them too long. Best strategy is to attack as we cant defend for 90+ mins. If we attack and score some goals we have more than enough chance of securing a draw. Defend and we will loose.

  52. InsideRight

    “…some people, including weird Arsenal fans, are complaining that we didn’t kick the ball out of play when there one of their players went down in the build-up”

    Watford players had been rolling around like they had been shot too many times, trying to con the ref. We were right to play to the whistle because the incident before the goal was powder puff. AMN is a lightweight and he came away from the contact as if nothing had happened.

    It wasn’t a foul, there had been too many instances of play acting, damn right we should carry on. If Watford’s players want to disadvantage their own team with their dramatics, any goal conceded is on them.

  53. Topside Northbank

    Pedro etc,

    Getting the foundations right, the back four has been the catalyst for our recent recovery.

    We are 2nd in the table since Ramsdale came in and coincides with Tomiyasu, he is more in the mold of Lee Dixon in hard to beat, massive asset in the air, huge leap for a RB.

    He has been excellent one iffy game at Brighton but even that night stuck to his task to compare the previous RB Bellerin is chalk and cheese a player that would point to others and visably look nervous on and off the ball.

    That Tavares is going to make it hard for Tierney to get back in is only a massive plus, depth and competition any club looking to go anywhere needs that.

  54. AFC Forever

    Dissenter

    I agree. When you do set-piece coaching you try to disrupt the goalkeeper as much as you can. However, goalkeepers are a protected species so jumping into them or putting your arms on them is always a foul. The West Ham goal was a foul. Especially in view of the fact that they are usually so well protected. We used to encourage our goalkeepers to use their fists in those situations, if you punch the player heading the ball so be it. Allison seemed a bit soft to me which didn’t help imo.

    I think PGMOL and their guys are useless, always have.

  55. LoveSausage

    AFC,

    I honestly didn’t see anything wrong with the West Ham goal. Looked like Alisson jumped into the WHU player rather than other way around.

    Either way, the hammers showed how to beat Liverpool. Mid block, get up in their faces every time you can so they don’t have time to look for cute passes, and hit them on the break.

  56. Topside Northbank

    TR7 agree on standing near the GK.

    Rewind 12 months we got a shocker of a VAR call v Leicester and certainly cost us getting something out of the game, no infringement other than VAR official got it horribly wrong./biased delete as you feel.

    VAR has not been kind to Arsenal be it red cards or goals ruled out Sokratis v Palace at home probably the worst we have had. Perfectly good goal ruled out for no reason iirc Atkinson the ref even gave a shake of head as if to say he was surprised.

  57. TR7

    Ogbonna didn’t touch Allison, so no foul there for me.

    Against Brentford, Leno couldn’t even move from his position as he was held by an opposition player, definitely a foul.

    The two situations can’t be compared.

  58. AFC Forever

    Tposide

    Yes agree. Last season our back four and goalkeeper were poor in possession. This made our play slow and we struggled to beat the press. Leno would often find touch or put a player in trouble.

    Ramsdale and White have transformed us. Add Tomi and Gabrielle plus the back-up player Tavares and we’ve completely changed the backline. Now we beat the press with ease and we are playing faster. White and Gabrielle look a great pairing, White’s ability to break through the press into midfield positions opens the pitch up for us. Often Tomi tucks in to allow Tavares to bomb forward, like Tierney used to. That back five didn’t play in the first three games, which in hindsight is probably a good thing from a confidence perspective,. Same with Partey who also missed those games, I think we missed him yesterday. Top of the pitch we need to work on though, we had enough chances to bury Watford so we have to be more clinical.

  59. Dissenter

    AFC
    Do you remember when Ospina almost decapitated Oscar?

    Goalies will start deploying such measures; knees into back catch or flatten anything between fist and ball.

  60. El Gooner

    first – they need to sort out access to the stadium – very weird queueing to get in which lasted about 10 minutes before everyone just decided to ignore. Either get stewards out there or just go back to before.

    Don’t get the Tomi love in – he will be a cult hero, always gives 150% but get’s turned consistently. Better teams will attack that and he will need support.

    AMN got off to a flier but disappeared after about 20mins – still happy to have them to cover and start against the weaker teams.

    Auba work rate off the charts even if finishing let him down. Suspect Laca is going through the last year of contract self promotional push. It will be a (necessary) shame to see him leave. can’t help but thinking we didn’t get the best out of him even though overall balance of his time will be positive.

    Danny Rose – LOL.

  61. TT

    @Dissenter

    Isn’t that something similar to what we have seen Ramsdale doing already? Sometimes when he comes out to catch the ball he goes up with one knee raised. As to say to the attacker this is what you will get if you crash in to me 😀

  62. Dissenter

    TR7
    Go watch it again
    Ogbonna jumped into Allison and used his hand to push Allison’s hands.
    He obstructed the mechanism of the keeper catching the ball.

    Referees call that a foul 99/100
    Simple foul called and Ogbonna wouldn’t even complain.

  63. Dissenter

    We ought o kick out the bal, when the opposition player is down, that;s the convention but the spirit of the Watford game was different.
    Watford were deploying street tactics to misuse that convention so we reacted streetwise.

    Most teams wouldn’t kick out the ball when the game is still competitive in the last quarter hour, that’s just the way it is. Professionals know when a player is injured or when a player is just full of beans.

  64. AFC Forever

    Dissenter/TT

    Yep. We used to get our ‘keepers to do that. When you jump up for a ball, it only needs.a slight touch with an arm to prevent you from getting to the ball cleanly. Affecting the goalkepper is important at set=piece play, West Ham did it all game. We used to always put a player in front of our goalkeeper to protect him. Your goalkeeper has to be aggressive, knees up into the back or side of the challenger or fists first. The goalkeeper never gets penalised. Allison was soft yesterday and too worried about Anthony standing in front of him. Liverpool should have put a man there, poor defending.

  65. TR7

    Dissenter

    Come on now !! Like Allison, Ogbonna had the right to jump to attack the ball and natural momentum of his body led to his arm coming in the way of Allison. What is Ogbonna supposed to do there ? Duck in so that Allison can catch the ball easily ?

    Even the Cresswell foul wasn’t a red. His leg rebounded off the ball and again due to momentum of his body his leg ended high up at Henderson. No malice behind the tackle. Klopp is a whiner, the facade he puts on of being a nice guy slips away when his team lose.

  66. Leedsgunner

    I just don’t get this faux out rage at Arsenal for not giving the ball back.

    If the player who went down had legitimate cause I can sympathise but they were doing it to take advantage… on the field of play and nothing to do with anyone’s actual welfare.

    The REAL travesty is why Rose didn’t get sent off for a dangerous challenge on Lacazette!

  67. The Bard

    We need to get real. Not returning the ball wasn’t a good look but then neither is rotational fouling or forwards going down like they’ve been shot every time they get touched. Cheating in football is endemic.

  68. Matt

    It is generally true what they say that what goes around comes around. We have been victims of such incidents before and I am sure we will be again in the future so I am happy to be on the other end this time. I’m really not sure why some people are feeling so aggrieved by it.

    Surely the more pressing debate is Auba and whilst I agree with pretty much everything Pedro wrote today, I have to disagree on Auba not being a concern. He is a huge concern for me. All the running around in the world doesn’t mask the fact that he is simply a long way past his best and if we are relying on him to get 20 plus goals this year, I think we are going to have a disappointing season, regardless of how good we may be defensively.

    A striker in January is a must!

  69. Asoa

    Finally Wenger admits he should have left around 2007 , that he stayed on too long.
    Something everyone was saying for a long time. Guess hindsight takes 14 years to kick in.
    Wonder whether Arteta will admit in the far future that it would have been appropriate for him to start at Championship level instead of wasting 2 seasons of AFC.
    After all quite a few saying that too now😁

  70. Bob N16

    TR7, agree about Klopp, Wenger was the same. Do accept that the interview you’d get a couple of hours after a game would be much more considered than an emotionally wrought 20 mins( or whatever it is) after a game.

  71. DivineSherlock

    I think all these decisions and Sky choosing to focus on Arsenal not giving the ball just makes it clear to me they are all trying to protect the refs , English refs are just plain incompetent . I dont recall a single contentious decision during the Euros , why ? Simply because they are professionals.

  72. Tom

    I liked how we played and I thought it was a very good win for a lot of reasons, not least because it was scrappy.
    Also agree with Arteta that Arsenal players are probably the most honest around so the entire controversy of not returning the ball to Watford is a bit overblown for me in a game when one team is desperate for a point and kicking the ball out offers a chance for a breather.

    The lopsided card count normally would be a bit of an issue but the most important wrong call went for Arsenal — the AMN hockey style body check on Sarr, which led directly to our goal— so I’m not gonna dwell too much on the yellow cards , especially when there wasn’t a straight red for any of the Watford fouls , including the Rose foul on Laca.

    Picking holes in Pedro’s takes on things is a fool’s errand these days so I won’t.
    Happy with the way things are shaping up. Too bad we can’t play Pool right now when they have some important injuries to deal with.

  73. AFC Forever

    Matt

    Yesterdays game should have been dead and buried, they didn’t have a single shot on target. We created plenty of good chances and tactically we are proving well organised and efficient. The back 5 and midfield are doing a great job out of possession. For me, our weakness is we just aren’t clinical enough in front of goal. We are creating chances though, so we just have to be more clinical and that’s down to the strikers.. I think we do need to buy.

  74. Terraloon

    Divine

    At the Euros there were 18 referees. In terms of numbers England had as many refs in that 18 as any other country

    You have to factor in that neither were allowed to take control of either of the semis or indeed the final due to England progression to the final but both. Control of three games which must say something in terms of how they are rated
    Fast forward to the 2022 WC and Oliver’s name is included as England’s representative and Pawson and Tierney it seems will be there likewise as VAR

  75. underrated Coq

    Sportsmanship, spirit of the game…..what a bunch of bs.

    Football is a millionaire’s game now complete with cheating, thuggery, bribery, you name them. That’s why we have teams like Watford playing the way they do.

    If I were Arteta, I’d ask the team to do it again. And again, another time. All these thuggish teams bending the rules to the max, give them a taste of their own medicine.

  76. Topside Northbank

    Going into the international break after a win is a massive plus.

    It should of been a comfortable win yesterday it wasn’t Auba left his shooting boots at home, but it’s a similar game that we have seen us drop points many times in the past.

    AMN & Lokonga controlled the midfield Watford offered no real threat a Ramsdale mistake thankfully didn;t cost us near the end.

    Rose should of had teo bookings and been off by HT how he wasn’t booked for the penalty is a mystery, Would of been a traversty we had not won that game, we certainly need to sharpen up in front of goal, But overall some green shoots of recovery and more positives than negatives to work on,

  77. Bob N16

    Aubemeyang can make amends by getting a teammate to leave one on Sane and then Salah in the following match, as Togo play Senegal and then Egypt. Either that or Agent El Neny can find a way of crocking Salah at least.

    In recent years, Liverpool always seem to be at their best against Arsenal. They are vulnerable at set pieces and their midfield isn’t all that but a point against them would feel massive.

  78. Topside Northbank

    January will be intersting in the market for many teams.

    Newcastle will be a player and agents dream they are going to get rinsed, with their wealth may not matter but if they get their initial recruitment wrong.

    We need a striker and realisically I don’t expect anyone coming in January, Vlahovic being linked but I doubt unless Man City come in for him he will be better served keeping his options open until the summer.

  79. Tom

    Kinda funny reading posters clamoring for a clinical goal scorer after having seen them lambasting anyone who dared suggesting a £50m CB might’ve not been a priority.

  80. LoveSausage

    Asoa,

    Yes, but he’s still talking about it from the perspective of a victim.

    “I loved the club too much.”
    “I sacrificed the best years of my life.”

    It’s kind of sad really. As if he wasn’t paid massive amounts of money and given full control of the club. No reflection over the inertia or the poor mentality that set in.

    Sometimes I wish he’d come back and join the board or something. But every time I hear him talk I regret it.

  81. LoveSausage

    Tom,

    There’s really nothing funny about it. Most people who were against spending 50M on a CB were arguing that the money needed to be spent elsewhere, like MF and CF. Luckily, White is looking better by the day but we still need to invest in other positions.

  82. AFC Forever

    Underrated

    “If I were Arteta, I’d ask the team to do it again. And again, another time. All these thuggish teams bending the rules to the max, give them a taste of their own medicine.”

    My sentiment exactly. I watched Artetas interview with Amy Lawrence and it was so refreshing. It looks like it may have taken too many years but we’re finally getting that hunger back. I love the fact he’s making players appreciate how fortunate they are to wear our shirt and what it means and filling the training ground with memories of what we once were. He talked about the importance of unity and he is right. These lads need to go into battle together and they are certainly showing that. Great interview, it’s on youtube for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

  83. MidwestGun

    Good post Peds… I mostly agree with all that.. In real time it didnt even register that Rose kicked it out to be honest, I bet half our players didn’t even notice . Even if they, did the spirit of the game goes out the window when one team is clearly trying to push the limits of an unwritten agreement by play acting, rotational fouling, and constantly barking in the referees ear every 3 mins about fouls that didn’t exist on our part.

    Anyhow… other then that, Saka was offside no doubt not even an arguement about that. It’s always been 2 men have to be beyond the goal scorer before he first touches it. It”s just that usually one of them is the Keeper. In this case Foster coming out benefitted them.. He bascially acted as an offside trapper stepping up with the other defender on the goal line even though that was not his intention.

    Very happy with the points though… and where we stand in the table so far . We were by far the better team yesterday and it showed. All the teams other then West Ham falling around us and we took advantage. That feels good.

    I’m still very much in the if it “ain’t broke don’t fix it” mode. Wouldn’t change anything other then due to injury. Maybe AMN for Loko next match if Partey is healthy, 3 wins in a row playing with this setup and lineup for the most part..and also a couple of nice Cup wins thrown in. No need to reinvent anything and that includes keeping Tavares at Left Back.

  84. DivineSherlock

    BoB N16

    I seem to recall a match we defeated them ,in the PL . I think Reiss Nelson scored , Van Dijk made an error . Emi Martinez saved one from Trent in the last minutes. If we have a fit Partey we have a good chance , right now their midfield lacks substance

  85. TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

    I like the fact that we could live with Watford’s fouling. I would like us to be even more savvy with the use of subtle dark art manoeuvres when needed. Is that coachable or determined by the individual intelligence of the player. City are experts in this area.

  86. Gonsterous

    Pedro

    I don’t know what arteta is doing, but it seems to be working.
    Top 5!!

    Hope this isn’t the High point of artetas tenure and we keep getting better. It’s hard being a manager because the expectations on you are never enough.

    Hope edu and his team are eyeing up a juicy CM in the jan window. I won’t expect much movement but a CM minimum will do wonders for our top 5 run.

  87. Dissenter

    I thought Auba was a bit naive when he allowed Sissoko to keep lecturing the official like that, all game long.
    A better captain gets in on the act to break it up.

    Sissoko worked the referee all through the game.

  88. Tom

    “PGMOL is the last bastion of dinosaurs , once the likes of Mike Rileys leave , we will hopefully see the standard of Refereeing go up a level.“

    Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
    PGMO isn’t there to implement the rules of the game as written but rather to help the league in creating the most attractive product they can.
    They’ve been very successful at it.

  89. AFC Forever

    Tom

    “Kinda funny reading posters clamoring for a clinical goal scorer after having seen them lambasting anyone who dared suggesting a £50m CB might’ve not been a priority.”

    Here we go again.

    You really are showing your ignorance here Tom. If you think we could have kept Leno and that back four and only needed a striker you really shouldn’t be so arrogant with your views. You don’t know what you are talking about if you genuinely believe that nonsense.

    We needed White for what he brings to the team dynamic. It was essential we can play quickly from the back, beat the press and start our attacking play. Same with Ramsdale. We’re building a team, not adding players to a fantasy league team.

    This is why you all got it wrong spending months slaughtering Ramsdale and White. The fact you still don’t get it is alarming to be fair, so you must be trolling.

    You all complained we were too slow and sideways and when I used to explain that was because of the personnel at the back you all called me a fanboy. Well I was right. Your ‘mate’ Jamie was even less complimentary. Changing the goalkeeper and back five has transformed us. It was £70m well spent on Ramsdale and White, especially when Harry Maguire cost £80m on his own. We now play a higher tempo and don’t give the ball away playing out. It was important that we fixed that major problem first. We did. Buying a striker would not have fixed any of that, we wouldn’t be creating the chances we do now to complain about not being clinical enough.

    The first part of team building is to identify the way you want to play and profile players that fit that. It’s basic stuff. Last season I said we had to compromise and needed press resistant players at the back. I was right as were many others who said the same thing.

    So Tom. sometimes in life we get things wrong. None of us are perfect mate. When you are wrong, the best thing to do is put the shovel back in the shed. Otherwise, as the hole gets deeper your vision becomes even more impaired. Enjoy the way we are playing now and don’t worry about having to keep finding ways to have digs with that shovel of yours, about why Ramsdale and White were a waste of money.

  90. NORG

    The Legend that is

    Your man was the expert of the Dark art of fouling. He had the knack of hurting another player without being detected (most of the time).

  91. Topside Northbank

    AFC Forever,

    Green shoots of improvement, mentality and attitude being two.

    The last ten years we have suffered some real drubbings 8-2 at Utd, Chelsea 6-0, Liverpool away several times let alone the meek surrender at City 5-0.

    However badly our club has been run and we can all list them and spend the days, weeks, months and years as sites like this as I have read over the years it comes down to one thing.

    I can’t tolerate the acceptance that went with those defeats, deflection by management and players. I know we can’t compete with several clubs financially to get elite players but the excuse and seeing teams roll over the minute a game goes against us I can never accept.

    If we are moving towards defensive solidity and making sure any team that plays us no matter who knows they are going to have to play well and work hard to win, thats the bare minimum I expect. The club has tolerated mediocrity for far too long even when coming 4th season in and out with no real ambition to push on. That to me is sporting failure.

  92. Pedro

    Gonsterous, i hope so too.

    Winning games like yesterday gives me hope it won’t be. We’d lose or draw games like that last season.

    Big month ahead.

  93. Karsa

    We would have bought a striker in the summer to go alongside our 50 million CB, but we couldn’t shift Laca or Auba. Abraham would have come in if we had been able to create a spce for him.

  94. MidwestGun

    I agree that Auba isnt the best Captain.. For me it would be Gabriel.. he was working the official for us when he noticed… Watford trying to influence Friend. I also like having a CB as a Captain if possible. But I do understand why Teta would be reluctant to take it away from Auba…. would come across to him as an insult probably and we need him to be mentally in the games.

    Man this is going to be a long International break… I’m already missing the PL and it’s only been one day! hahaha

  95. Kroenkephobe

    AFCF – Forever!
    Get off that bandwagon you so keenly jumped on an re read what I wrote. I was trying to strike a balance between some on here claiming it was a blow against perceived and perennial victim hood (we’re no more victims than other southern teams) and others who may have seen it as a betrayal of the ‘Arsenal Way’. It’s nuanced you twat and Watford entered the game in such a way that they deserved little sympathy and we, on the other hand, thoroughly deserved the win.

    Pull your head out of other people’s arses and express some original opinions. You’re like one of those old women who used to do their knitting by the guillotine during the French revolution who stopped only to call for more blood.

    Have another drink mate and mellow out a bit.

  96. Jamie

    “Your ‘mate’ Jamie was even less complimentary”

    Every time you whine I feel sorry for you.

    List all the other monikers you’ve used to post here.

  97. Pedro

    Tom, we couldn’t sell any of our striker and Auba is one of the most clinical in the world. Think the plan was pretty clear in the striker department… one in one out. 6 points off top with one of the most exciting back 5s in the league isn’t money misspent.

  98. DivineSherlock

    Tom

    Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
    PGMO isn’t there to implement the rules of the game as written but rather to help the league in creating the most attractive product they can.
    They’ve been very successful at it.

    I dont disagree with your point but now the League is a global product , If fans see Euros or World Cup and the standard of officiating in those tournaments , the expectation would be to make the officiating better in the league too . But yeah the FA is more concerned with Ratings and controversial decisions so the pundits can debate it ad nauseum , and it keeps the fan engagement rolling every week debating/outraging over the same.

  99. AFC Forever

    Topisde
    I
    ” can’t tolerate the acceptance that went with those defeats, deflection by management and players. I know we can’t compete with several clubs financially to get elite players but the excuse and seeing teams roll over the minute a game goes against us I can never accept.”

    Great comment.

    We were as soft as butter. I agree with what Arteta said, there was a culture problem in the club. Players didn’t seem to respect how big we are and what we demand. The least I ever demanded was that we started to behave like the big club we are. I love the attitude of these players and the fact we are building a proper team from the back. We used to be so poor defensively it was embarrassing. That Emery team without the ball was a complete joke. Now we have a mentality, a pride in playing for the club. Previous teams would have lost yesterdays game. We’ have picked the playacter up, combed his hair and turned our backs while we gave the ball back.

    Big changes afoot, long way to go yet but the signs are good.

  100. Tom

    “ In real time it didnt even register that Rose kicked it out to be honest, I bet half our players didn’t even notice “

    Midwest, the way Rose has been playing lately I think it’s fair to say our players might’ve thought he was passing to a teammate

  101. Bob N16

    Sometimes Kroenke you verge on to the poetic.

    DivineS – all I can seem to remember are Liverpool comfortably beating us!

  102. AFC Forever

    Kroenke

    “You’re like one of those old women who used to do their knitting by the guillotine during the French revolution who stopped only to call for more blood.”

    You are new to this football banter malarkey aren’t you.

    ‘You’re not knitting any more
    You’re not knitting
    You’re not knitting
    You’re not knitting any more”

    Don’t think it will catch on. It’s up there with your Arteta Out whatsap group mate.

  103. Tom

    Divine, the league has been a global product for years now and that didn’t stop them from cheerleading Leicester to their PL title.

  104. AFC Forever

    Tom

    “Midwest, the way Rose has been playing lately I think it’s fair to say our players might’ve thought he was passing to a teammate.”

    Made me laugh. That’s more like it Tom.

  105. MidwestGun

    Hahaha Rose was by far the worst player on the pitch, He looked like he was on the Eden Hazard workout program as well. Packing on the weight around his middle for the winter months.

  106. AFC Forever

    Divine

    Keith Hackett said everything we are about PGMOL. He was a former referee who also ran PGMOL for a number of years. The fundamental issue is that they do not want the English game changed. The FA are adamant the English game must retain it’s physical aspect and that means allowing a more robust, free flowing game. PGMOL is a protectionate.

  107. DivineSherlock

    AFC Forever

    I dont mind the physical part of the game really , its the bad calls we get due to the refs incompetence/bias that hurt . I like what theyve done this season , theyre letting 50-50 decisions go and not blowing the whistle and then have a 5 minute waiting period to check in VAR . The issue is bad refereeing , not punishing the obvious stuff.

  108. Shaun

    Tom 14:05, agree with your comments about Mike Riley, what does he actually do. Why after the previous weeks games doesn’t he come out and explain what the same incident in City v C Palace and Leicester v Arsenal resulted in 2 different coloured cards for the defenders that denied the goal scoring opportunity. I can accept a ref may have a bad view but he needs to state why VAR did not bring it to the attention of the ref to upgrade to a red.

  109. Nigel Tufnel

    Tom….November 7, 2021 17:20:18
    Are Europa League games included in Arteta’s first 100 matches in charge?
    Did Wenger play the likes of Dundalk in his first 100 Arsenal games in charge?This comment makes your agenda so obvious. The guys record is his record. Old time manager stats must include many league opponents that were not a difficult as the league is today… from middle to bottom. They also didn’t include the free spending man city and Chelsea type teams that possess 2 starting 11’s.You hate Arteta, we get it.What’s particularly stupid is that you persist with it … in the face of an incredible run of results under him.
    It comes off as pathetic right now.

  110. TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

    NORG

    Hence my comment about the individual intelligence of the player of which DB is of the highest order.

  111. Nelson

    “Midwest, the way Rose has been playing lately I think it’s fair to say our players might’ve thought he was passing to a teammate.”
    __________________________________________________________________________

    For me, it looked more like he was trying to give a throw in instead of a corner. Unless one of the ball boy looked like his teammate.

  112. LoveSausage

    Divine,

    Couldn’t agree more. Every CL game I watch is almost a shock to the system because there are no ref decisions to fume about. And those aren’t easy games to officiate either. So I really don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to do in the PL, even while retaining the more physical aspects of the game. We take it for granted that the best foreign players should play in the PL. Why not the best foreign refs too?

  113. Marx

    Sambis needs to work on his physique, too lightweight and slow. Ive lost count of the number of times hes been bullied off the ball by opposition. Hes also a bit slow which makes it even harder for him. His position requires power and speed. You need to look at AMN performance to understand.

  114. Bob N16

    Don’t see that about Sambi Marx.

    Not saying he’s the finished article but I appreciate his physicality, composure and decision making – I’ve not once considered that he is a slow player. Given that he’s so new to the PL and to the team I’d say he’s performing really well. AMN was good yesterday but he can also learn from Sambi about when to turn, move and pass.

    If you think he’s slow, how would you describe Xhaka’s speed?

    Amazing how people can judge a player so differently, particularly their physical attributes.

  115. Johnno

    Pedro.

    First the good. Love the enthusiasm and your take on Watford. Rainieri is the most misunderstood manager in the league. Cuddly eccentric uncle. My ass. His Chelsea team were cheats. His Leicester team were cheats. And his watford team are cheats. . Watching him lecture arteta like a bitter old man that deserved nothing, added nothjng and got nothing was revealing. Shame the media chose to ignore it as it doesn’t fit their narrative on him.

    Now the bad. Mate – you run a blog about football. Not just any blog – onewith some heft. You should know the laws of the game. That has always been offside. Auba s appalling first touch – all too common – made Saka offside as the keeper was advanced of Saka at that moment and only one defender was on the line.

    Do better mate. We expect it.

  116. Kroenkephobe

    Just for my education, is there something (even) deeper in the antipathy towards Rose than the mere fact that he was a spud? I recall that rather remarkable goal he scored against us as a kid on his debut, but has he ever said or done something to rile up the Arsenal base? It’s all relative but when he played for them, I tended to think of him as one of the more acceptable ones. I know he was treated pretty shabbily towards the end of his time by Levy et al and that he was a vocal opponent of racism in football so I can think of many more of that generation who deserve opprobrium.

    He was like a pantomime villain yesterday though. Starting to get a bit too heavy around the neck and chest as well.

    I remember a funny story from the 80s at Highbury. Remember they used to get kids to take penalties in a little competition at half time? To start with, the MC would ask the kid’s name and where he was from (no girls allowed to take part unsurprinsly). There were 4 in the competition and the last one announced he was from, you’ve guessed it Tottenham. The crowd went mental and gave him the full treatment as if he was Graham Roberts booing every touch and singing the full anti TH repertoire. He missed and the North Bank went nuts…

  117. Tom

    Nigel, the only thing pathetic around here is posters like yourself losing their shit over other people’s comments.

    Dundalk, Molde, and Rapid Vienna’s total value is about £30m combined and I can’t remember a weaker Europa league group ever,
    6 straight forward Arsenal wins with their reserves no matter the manager.

    If that’s irrelevant to the first 100 games winning % then you must be even dumber than your posts come across.

  118. Bob N16

    Pantomime villain Kroenke.

    Maybe five years ago I happened to be at a Harringay primary school when Rose turned up, gave out some prizes, signed loads of autographs and generally came across as a decent human being.

    Joined in with the ‘Even Spurs think your shit!’ chant yesterday though!

  119. Kroenkephobe

    Bob
    Heartwarming. I used to live on the ladder on Wightman Road. Handy for getting quickly to absolutely nowhere. Used to be some good graffiti up there and it was definitely an Arsenal foothold in Haringey. Ever remember what was known as the Gooner triangle? Struggling to remember the exact coordinates but maybe it was Finsbury Park – Cally Road – Highbury Corner. Anyone else remember?

  120. andy1886

    Kroenke – wasn’t Rose one of those ‘I only play football for the money, I don’t even like the game’ types? I seem to recall him saying something along those lines.

    My first thought yesterday – who’s that tubby little b*stard? Yellow certainly doesn’t suit him, from the upper tier he looks like a little yellow fire hydrant and about as mobile.

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t have any issue with the throw in leading to the goal, we were all fed up with the dying swan act by half time anyway.