DISGRACEFUL REF RUINS GAME, BUT, DON’T IGNORE THE CLARITY OF VISION

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Every season there’s a game that you play where you are utterly f*cked by circumstances beyond your control. It hurts. It’s unfair. It stings. That game was last night against Wolves.

The game hinged on a very poor decision from a very poor referee.

David Luiz was adjudged to have fouled Willian José when his foot clipped the Brazilian’s knee. Craig Pawson, desperate to give the penalty, was backed up by VAR and he issued a red card, going against double jeopardy ruling. This is Mark Clattenburg on the incident.

David Luiz was incorrectly sent off after giving away a penalty at Wolves — it should have been a yellow card.

The Arsenal defender made accidental contact with Willian Jose as he ran clear on goal and that caused the forward to fall. No one can dispute it was a foul and the award of a penalty was the right decision.

However, a law exists that protects teams from conceding a penalty and losing a player to a red card if a genuine attempt to play the ball has been made.

It was a horrible decision and it completely ruined the progressive football we’d been playing for the previous 46 minutes.

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EDU BODYSLAMS THE TRANSFER WINDOW

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Wooooaaaahhhh… did I wake up FRESH from the news. I could run a marathon. I could climb a mountain. My head is so clear now Mustafi is gone I think I’m going to apply for a job at SpaceX on the rocket science team.

The German World Cup winner held us back in life, now he’s gone. Good riddance. No sentimentality here. He was a terrible, terrible signing and I am here, with you, thanking the footballing gods for lifting him from the club.

I always thought he was just a nightmare center-back, but when the rumblings came my way that he was difficult behind the scenes, it was time to exit.

Thoughts and prayers for Schalke… Christian Gross as their new manager, Kolasinac as their captain, Mustafi as their defensive rock… could you imagine a worse film poster?

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TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY: HOW THE SEASON SHAPES FROM HERE

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Well, the weekend was very interesting.

Spurs lost. Leicester lost. UNITED DROPPED POINTS LOLOLOL. Everton lost.

Project #Top4 Hope continues, even if unlikely.

What has been interesting is reading a whole number of Arsenal fans trying to reframe the last 5 weeks to keep up the pretense that actually, they were right.

Here’s some things we need to deal with.

The Squad (more…)


UPSET WITH A POINT? THAT’S PROGRESS

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Well, that felt a little more like the sort of Arsenal/United match we’re used to. I mean, for a 0-0. 30 shots, a tactical joust, and some very good individual performances… it wasn’t bad.

We rode our luck at times, no doubt, but at the highest level, that’s how it goes. We could have lost 2-0, but equally, we could have taken the game 2-0.

I actually left the 0-0 frustrated, which is be progress considering where we’ve been. A few of our players weren’t firing at 100% and we squandered the chance to hit a United that felt there for the taking in the second half. (more…)


MATCH DAY BLOG: TABLE OPENS UP AGAIN, CAN WE MOVE ON IT?

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Well, today is huge. Everton were beaten by Newcastle giving Arsenal the opportunity to go level points with them AND Spurs in the table. Both teams have a game in hand, but let’s be clear, some sections of the Arsenal fanbase have been purring over both managers, dreaming of the alternative reality where we’d hired them. I’m not sure the extra £12m a year looks like good value at the moment.

Today is one of the dreamy opportunities to close that gap when those around us are flapping around like a seagull trapped in a Pot Noodle container. Having to do that against a team that has the attacking options of United is going to be tough. Today is basically our very good defence versus their very good attack.

The main difference between the sides since the last time we met is that Arsenal has found a bit of a formula when it comes to attack. Since the emergence of ESR in the side, we’ve gone from creating 10 shots a game to 16. That’s quite the jump. Outside the shots output, we’ve just looked more cohesive in general. We can play some nice football at times, especially when the runners are on the pitch.

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SEASON DEFINING GAME AWAITS, DO ARSENAL HAVE THE SAUCE?

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Arsenal takes on United in a huge game that is going to go some way to deciding the fates of both teams this season.

If United win, they’re in the title race, and this will be a big moment for them after their dismal loss to Sheffield United in the week.

If Arsenal wins, it’ll cement us as contenders for Europe. Beating Southampton was massive, but it means very little without beating United. This match also sets the tone for a very rough run of games. Leeds, Wolves, Villa, Leicester and City will define if we make the top 6. I feel more confident than I did a few weeks ago, but let’s be real, this season has been very, very hard to predict, so who knows what is coming.

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MARTIN ØDEGAARD LANDS. SHOULD ARSENAL FANS BE EXCITED?

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Hope is a wonderful drug and damn did we just hoover up a couple of grams of it off the bathroom floor.

United LOST to Sheffield United.

Leicester drew.

Chelsea drew.

Villa LOST to Burnley.

IS THE DOOR OPEN TO TOP 4?

Well, technically yes.

Remember, the objective of the club was always to be within spitting distance of top 4 come the end of February. Where are we? 5 points off 4th after 20 games.

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