Bergkampesque Live Blog. Anything to Light a Fire Under Our Gunners?

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures…Or, maybe, let’s turn this ship AROUND!!!

 

What the World Needs Now–less than just about anything–Is another Arsenal Live Blog, but still, I thought I might give it a go.

Here are the line-ups:

 

I got most of it right, at least on our side of the ball, in the preview.  Borini we know, another Brendan Rodgers guy who didn’t make it on Merseyside.  Watmore?  Toivonen, I’ve watched, but I need to look him up to see if he’s ever played with our Finnish player, Glen Kamara.  Surprise of surprises, Wenger skips GK47 and goes for Iwobi as the bench choice now that the Jeff is out hurt… M’Vila was an Arsenal player, at least according to a slew of media outlets back in the Summer of 2008…Will Wenger rue the day he let him get away?…

Anyhow, I thought I’d try out this format (a new blog post) since nobody was joining me in the comments on the previous post.

If you fancy it, please chime in…Otherwise, maybe my comments can serve as a bit of a reference for TA’s match review.

Cheers!

And cheers to Sparky Hughes and his reasonably watchable group of cast-offs and misfits up in the Potteries.  Joe Hart trying to get his boys up for the challenge with Bacary Sagna, braids now gone, staring through him in the tunnel, is a priceless image…

by 17highburyterrace

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108 Responses to Bergkampesque Live Blog. Anything to Light a Fire Under Our Gunners?

  1. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, I thought I might try something new… Stupid, surely, I know… Better to do like Mr. Wenger and trot out all those predictable players…

    I’d love some company… Lonely here in the mountains of California just as it’s getting light out. At least the snow is such that I’m not missing much riding on my sofa…

    Coffee time… http://www.coffeegeek.com/images/16182/IMG_1963-1.jpg%22,%20863,%20960,%20%22JonR10:%20IMG_1963-1.jpg%22

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kick off…

    2nd min… Ox on the left and trying to go that direction = huge fail… Inverted wingers is the idea with Campbell on the right…

    Sunderland kits blending in like the plastic woven through our rock-hard pitch…

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    4th… Sunderland almost punish Arsenal on the break… a poor right footed corner fell exactly between Campbell and Giroud… Stab tackles in midfield failed but Borini with only Cech to beat touched it just wide enough that our keeper commanded the angle.

    Cech spares more blushes…

  4. Ab says:

    Listening in HT. Sounds like we are lucky not to be a goal down – let’s hope the luck stays with us today! We need Ozil and Giroud to stand up today – we should get plenty of effort from Ox and Campbell, but we need our established players to show the way. Our defence should be up to it – despite the early scare.

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    The ball from Watmore was inch perfect…

    7th, Ramsey wide… The good–he waltzed past Toivenen. The bad: He barely considered passing and shot closer to the corner post than goal… could set up more thoughtful options later on.

    Both teams have to fancy their chances with this sort of start….

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AB…

    9th min. Sunderland again make a chance at our end. Yedlin as a wing back crosses to a wide Green head who pops it to another better positioned but Watmore cannot get the next one down.

    10th. Another chance… Flamini needs an own goal saved by Cech!! Geezus…

  7. Ab says:

    What did I say about our defence….? Perhaps the old cliche, you defend from the front, is true. Spuds a goal up now dammit.

  8. Ab says:

    Looking at the live league table – showing the spuds above us – simply not on. Come on boys, we need 3 points here.

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lost a comment there… Flam-Ram is definitely struggling with possession play but have done better pressing hard to keep the ball down at their end.

    Sunderland definitely believe they can use the width of the pitch to their advantage which stopping Giroud with the 3 CBs…

    Giroud now hobbling around

  10. Ab says:

    Was just about to type – 15 min and no one off injured yet – but shouldn’t joke if Giroud hobbling. He is a bit of a tart though…..

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    20th… Flams misses a tackle but Kos mops up on the break. Both were potential ankle busters…

    21: Campbell, middle of the pitch, loses a ball but we get it back. Ends at another left footed cross out of play by the Ox…

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, AB, I think Giroud was just trying to influence the ref… Instead he’s contributing to dead silence in the stadium…except for when the traveling nor-easters get a song going…

    23rd: M’Vila into row Z from distance…hoping to show Arsene he should’ve bought him?

    Campbell being switched to the left now…passes to a defender trying for a 1-2…

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    25th: Ozil struggling and loses the ball. Kos can’t keep it in… The first half is evaporating.

    Watmore can only manage a very tame cross straight to Cech after Bellerin stands him up.

    27th: More misplaced passes on our left. We’re attempting to move the ball quickly at least but we’re risking many an ankle (Mertesacker most recently on Fletcher) stopping Sunderland on the break. Fletcher hurt?

  14. Ab says:

    Lots of rusty play by the sound of things – mixture of our slightly less technically proficient players and others coming back from injury. Should improve over the game, if we can avoid conceding.

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    30th: Fletcher is back up…

    Ramsey has a long blast blocked at the point—meaning it might have been on target. Campbell really battling with Yedlin on our left side… Costa Rican vs American, straight out of CONCACAF

    31: Sunderland using their physical side from a set-piece and more crosses… I hate to say it, but they look the better side so far…

  16. Ab says:

    Campbell!

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    JOEL CAMPBELL!

  18. Ab says:

    I’m so pleased for him – and another Ozil assist! Ozil getting loads of stick on the radio, but will wait to see whether this is in any way impartial commentary.

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yedlin caught! Ozil slide-rule was perfect. Mannone might’ve avoided the nutmeg…but Pantilimon was maybe too tall…

    1-nil to the Arsenal even if the outlandish pacifier celebration took some pleasure out of the goal…

    No change in game plan and Sunderland look dangerous enough to suggest we’ll need more…

  20. Ab says:

    If we can have a lead before Walcott comes on later then we might be able to play to his strengths. Long way to go before that though. More goals for Campbell please – I’m sure there’s a player there if his confidence can be boosted.

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    More Brilliance from Ozil with an awesome ball over the top…

    Unfortunately it was to the goal scorer (Campbell) who could do nothing with it even as it split the defender and the keeper…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    39th: Giroud pen shout…looked a dive to me… The young ref won’t give that in a million years…

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon AB and 17HT

    Joy to read your comments. I have no radio or TV footage so your comments are very welcome 🙂

    Campbell goal, Ozil assist… lovely.

  24. Ab says:

    Spuds level, and we are up and playing better. Afternoon improving. Radio felt the pen shout was a decent one? I take it Campbell missed an easy one there HT?

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    40th: Really poor possession play between BFG and Rambo…Throw in Sunderland…

    We almost break from it, however, Ozil to Ox pass broken up… More end to end and Watmore forces a corner…

    42: Scary but comes to nothing. Bellerin actually wins a call as Kaboul (I think it was) flattens him.

  26. Ab says:

    Afternoon TA. As things stand we are taking points on all the top 5 except Leicester. If we have to worry about Leicester come the end of the season then that will be the least of our worries! Wish we could bank it all as it stands!

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed, AB. Leicester deserve to be where they are and it has reinjected a bit of romance into the PL. But early days still for them. Hammers holding out against Manure as well until now. COYG!

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Campbell didn’t even get near it…Giroud (or even Theo) would’ve buried it. The pen shout, by the letter of the law was probably a good one…Ollie went to ground way too easily, however…

    Very end to end which should give us chances on the break…

    Watmore, their best player, down…Kos gets yellow, set piece from their left coming…

  29. Ab says:

    Oh dear – not to be. Own goal by Gir after a needless foul by Kos and set piece

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    1-1 Own Goal Giroud…

    Terrible defending…

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Toivenen dummied it…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey… Side-netting!! Very close but not to be…

    Half-time.

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    Coffee time… Have it TA & AB…

  34. Ab says:

    Might need something a bit stronger than a coffee HT!

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh dear, we do it again.. give the lead away before half time. Wenger will be livid.

  36. Giroud loads more ammunition into the guns of his detractors.
    And now, at the beginning of December it looks like another fight for fourth place.
    The decision to not sign any outfield players in the summer looks like a stroke of genius…

  37. Ab says:

    Who would you have signed Leon? A bench player, or someone you wanted dropped from our 1st 11?

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s all you guys have got?! Coffee for y’all or maybe stronger tea or a less than wee dram… 😀

    Welcome Leon…Sounds like you got lost on your way to Piers Morgan’s house…

    The analysis on Kos foul, I think is wrong… Pulled out of position as he was it wasn’t such a bad foul to give (or take, as we say)… A one man wall might’ve stopped the angle of the delivery which was ideal…

    We should be creating FKs and corners of our own but we are not holding onto the ball–as we might predict w/o Santi, Alexis and Le Coq. Hopefully we’ll feel the wind at our backs…

    Finally, if we could combine Ox’s talent level and Campbell’s effort and execution we’d have a player on our hands… As it is, I wonder about either of them having a legitimate future at a club with our ambitions… (Note, I didn’t say “at our club…”)

    Gotta dig deep and win this in the 2nd half…My hope is that Theo is actually able to play, not just window (or bench) dressing…

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    2nd half on…

    Arsenal trying for some possession play but it has a sloppy edge to it…

    48th: Yedlin wins one from Campbell but Cul-de-sacs it… Long throw is in his quiver… And we’ve got plenty of trouble clearing it…

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil finally wins a foul on the 3rd Sunderland grab…

    50th: Ramsey ball over the top to Ox comes to nothing. To his credit he might’ve dived but chose to chase it…

    Ramsey overhits one to Campbell… Gotta adjust to the wind, I think…

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Better combo work between Ramsey and Ox… leads to a corner…

    53rd: Flamini Ozil 1-2 falls apart when Flams doesn’t move as expected…

  42. Ab says:

    Ramsey starting to get more into the game? We need him to come good – I would like him to score now probably more than any other.

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    This half is evaporating much like the first…

    Better there, but Ramsey on a fine ball from Ozil is flagged off… First touch let him down anyway…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah AB, it appears Ramsey and Ox are alternating fore and aft… Our attack has gone very narrow in doing so, of course…

    Big News: My wife has just donned the Koscielny kit…

    Like I said, desperate times…

    Cech has to go low to parry a Fletcher shot… Corner for them…

    COYG…

  45. Ab says:

    We seem to have a habit of conceding goals very late in play; not a good habit for us to have developed – the most dispiriting time to be scored against.

  46. Ab says:

    Cech has earned his keep this season already. Proper quality signing

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Mrs 17HT will bring us luck in LK shirt, just keep la faith! 🙂

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow!! Cech saves us again. Woeful defense from the corner… but Ramsey on the post maybe deflects it to Cech. Fletcher hurt on the post… more time wasting in the library…

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    We need the boys to get the crowd excited. One hour played…

    61st: Ozil, shot-cross after dancing forward is just wide…and just out of reach of Giroud’s toe…

  50. Ab says:

    Theo time?

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    GIROUD!!!!

  52. Ab says:

    In the right end this time!

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    From Ramsey…but lovely team goal from our left with Nacho and Ozil as key contributors…

    Beatles song going now…

    And Theo in for Ox…

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Leon, was right.. a masterstroke of genius hahaha 😀

  55. Ab says:

    I can’t help feeling we are still likely to concede another goal in this half – sorry for the unusual pessimism there. We need Theo on to stretch them when they try and press forward. And I doubt Ox and Campbell will have 90 min in them. Iwobi too perhaps?

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    65th: Theo making himself felt with some possession work and a wide shot…We keep it in play and Flams sets up Bellerin. Out for a corner from which Giroud’s header is cleared off the line! Ramsey gets around a defender but cannot find a pass…

    Library finally coming to life…

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Mrs 17HT is not to get out of that shirt till late May… 😉

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ox is already off… I think the next sub needs to be Chambers… (for Campbell)… 3rd goal would go down a tonic…

    69th: Game still wide open… Campbell clatters M’vila… Set pieces could be an issue but we should have more pace on the break with Theo…

  59. I don’t go down the Morgan route but I just see an injury crisis like I saw last year and the year before that and as far back as I care to remember our season being crippled by players that either are made of straw or something is seriously wrong with their fitness training – or am I just imagining the injury list??

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Just watch the game Leon and keep the big thoughts for another day. We are winning, if you care to know… 😉

  61. Ab says:

    But who would you have bought Leon – which player? And would they have been recruited for the bench, or is there a 1st team player you would like to see dropped to the bench? Simple question, but a basic one you need to answer before saying ‘buy’….

  62. Ab says:

    Ozil setting up chances again. He is a star.

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    71: The interplay between Theo, Ozil and Ramsey is much better and we’re just failing to finish the moves. Still iffy at the back, however, but M’vila from distance is the best they can muster.

    Johnson has come on earlier and now Lens for Fletcher… Still iffy with 20 mins to go and just the one goal lead…

    Wow…Watmore beat the trap and only had Cech to beat… Couldn’t do it however…

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Forgot about Gibbs… On for Campbell…

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Hattrick by Mahrez, some player he is!

  66. Ab says:

    Gibbs a good choice. Mahrez – I remember the outrage of many Arsenal fans when we were linked with him in the summer….. Wenger (and his scouts) hasn’t lost his ability to spot talent.

  67. Ab says:

    Still worry about us dealing with a late set piece situation……

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    79th: Bad pass in MF (Flamini?) sets Sunderland on the break. Flams saves it and Ozil, brilliant, wins a foul and a yellow along the touchline…

    Giroud off, Chambers on… Looks like we’ll take a 2-1…

    M’vila shows some skill…for sale in January?…

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Gibbs and Theo on the wings should give us balance and plenty options for Ozil to direct the game, but we really need that third goal.

    Yes Mahrez is a versatile player and would fit in well at Arsenal, but Rosicky or Jack back would also be bliss.

  70. Ab says:

    Grief, Giroud off. Hope that’s a mixture of tactical and keeping him fit, rather than injury… We are trying to shut up shop, big time

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    83rd: Gibbs not quite in an attacking mindset… but gets a toe in as Sunderland try to pass long…

    Watmore seems just as divey as our guy with the brace today (Giroud)….

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    86th: Ozil dancing but also falling down…Only a throw… Very quiet in the stadium…

    88th: Arsene really working and taking advantage of the quiet to yell at his players…

  73. Ab says:

    Frustrating that the stadium is so quiet. We may not be convincing, but this is a scratch team that is winning at home; we should be backing them in every way.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Retsub…. nice to see you back on the previous blog… 🙂

  75. Ab says:

    5 min of injury time!

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Big Chance for Sunderland!!!

    Bellerin loses Van Aarnholdt…who blasts over….

    Big wake up call… Not over by any means…

    5 mins extra time…

    Ramsey, straight to keeper when it looked easier to score… Very squeeky bum here…

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    More worries in the 92nd… Nacho chests to Cech… Heavy sighs…

    Chambers takes a very tame shot at the other end…

    RAMSEY!!!

  78. Ab says:

    Rambo! Fantastic – just what we needed.

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Rambo Mambo 🙂

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey sliding celebration almost as bad as Campbell getting the pacifier off his drawstring!!

    AW felt it, however…

    It was a heavily worked goal, the key being the pass which found Chambers in acres of space on the right…

  81. Ab says:

    Hilarious – talk sport commentators gutted that Arsenal have won! ha! They were laughing all the way through, and sound just pissed now.

    Tough game, and we scored 3. Every reason to be proud of the lads. Same score does it for us mid-week……

  82. Ab says:

    United and spuds draw, after city lose…. very good day’s work!

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    There you are. Top of the league minus Leicester and points gained against all direct competition. Same goal difference as Man City. The boys have done us proud. 🙂

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, sad to say it but the average English commentators like those lower teams which they couldn’t even make (in this day and age)…

    Well, we made it…Wasn’t pretty, but it’s something. Very pleased to see that Theo is actually fit…

    Leicester top of the table? Arsenal 2nd?…

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Talkshite love to have a go at Arsenal and Arsene, so great to hear they got all down after the Rambo goal hahahaha 😀

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rambo could’ve died the way he was pushed on the goal celebration… 😀

    The result is all that really mattered today but we’re missing some players–some who aren’t coming back, I fear… One at a time but definitely some things upon which to work…

    Hope the (attempt at) liveblogging was OK, TA…

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    The longer these player play together the better they get, and you are right re having Theo back fit… that will make a big difference, especially midweek. Really glad Campbell got a goal as that will boost his confidence.

    The live blog was a good idea, 17HT. 🙂

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, did you get to watch the match? It sounds like Desmond is hitting Scotland pretty hard–hard enough to avoid a walk to the pub?…

    IMO, and I’m just one data point, but it was an extremely unconvincing win. It doesn’t matter, of course, but we’ll have to do better–much better– to give ManCity a match. They were even worse on their travels today but they’ve got the deeper squad by some quarter or half a billion pounds…

    First, of course, we need to outscore the Greeks and the Villains–on our travels…

    As per usual, I wish the fans could do a bit more to lift our boys… Playing as underdogs, however, should make the guys tougher and help when (away) crowds are against us…

    For me, Ramsey and Flambo are big steps down from Coq & Santi, but at least they were able to push hard all the way to the end, and Ramsey was rewarded with the goal (and the earlier assist) so that will impress the Santi-haters… For me, there were just so many giveaways which meant just about no control of the match and having to ride our luck and count on bad finishing from Sunderland. We scored their only goal and other bounces off our defenders were their next best chances… They’re a relegation (i.e., Championship level) club, however…

    Like I said…Desperate Times…so, I’ll take it! 😀

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    The deeper squad of MC is a great example why we should not fixate on buying players so much. How many points did they get from their last four away games… And how deep is the Chavs squad….and how well are they doing this season?

    You are very hard on FlamRam. They have played together one game and will get better the more played together.

  90. Admir says:

    Hello, people! 🙂

    Great victory after a rather poor performance.

    Now, aside from 17’s annoying habit of giving heavy attributes to people without addressing them properly, I would like to say he is right in terms of Flambo-combo today. Rambo has scored a goal and assisted for another but was all over the place. Flamini was left alone to do stuff from deeper positions and it’s one thing to create a new energy source and completely another to protect the defence and create from the midfield. Rambo was going forward too much so the opponents’ counter-attacks were always a danger.

    Ozil and Cech saved the day as whole outfield defence looked out of sync. Offside-traps just don’t worm for us these days. Giroud’s set-piece defending was also awful but the big man has been the biggest victim of our injury streak. Good call from Arsene to pull him off for Chambers.

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    Apologies there, admir… I just thought the Bosnians were all having a celebration day upon hearing about Santi’s knee… Just kidding, of course, and I realize that opinions come out as (often) too extreme…

    Same goes for my assessment on the day for Flamini and Ramsey, TA… I’m still not clear if you were able to see the match, but if you did and you have a different takeaway, I’m all ears… For me, Coquelin’s speed of thought and movement at at a completely different (and better) level than Flams and he was beginning to build a reputation in the league which is why I’m so extremely disappointed that he injured himself on a pointless 50-50…

    The same could be said about Santi vs Ramsey… Like a lot of folks I think Ramsey is a lot better further forward as he has the physical attributes which allow him to be a real goal threat. Santi has maybe lost those–or his game is less effective in England’s more physical game–but the ball movement and vision on the break are unparalleled.

    What we really need, at the moment, is for those two to stay healthy and for Jack Wilshere to get back in. Rosicky would be a help too, but there’s so little mention of him that he must be just about dead…Same with Arteta, I fear… I think the group today will do better the longer they get to play together but we really couldn’t control the match–again, even with a lead–and that won’t do vs the better teams or one’s which are a little luckier with their finishing.

    Bournemouth take the lead at Stamford Bridge… 😀

  92. Admir says:

    Apology accepted. In fact, there was one idiot that actually had commented Santi’s injury as a good one but then again, he is an idiot (the guy who commented, not Santi).

    I agree about Rosicky. I think he had been our most consistent midfielder for three years before he has gone on his mission to destroy ISIS single-handily.

    I miss Welbeck a lot though. His defensive work would have come handy these days. Those at The Guardian claim he’ll return in February.

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    Further negative notes… (But I will get to some positives, too…)

    Bellerin, needs to keep working on his defense (defence?…) which he’s admitted was nothing before he started working with Steve Bould… It’s tougher that we’re scoring so many own goals which makes guys like the Ox or Chambers (and now maybe Giroud) less excited about getting back into positions which might help him. His forward game is very strong, however…

    The Ox is becoming more and more of a mystery to me… So much ability but he just never quite translates his ideas to the ball. If he could just turn off his brain and use all those physical gifts it could be something…

    Theo should be the example… His pre-assist (to Chambers) on the final goal was really good. I have hope for the Greek trip based almost solely upon his cameo today…

    So, that’s a positive. Ramsey and Campbell off the mark are a couple more and Giroud scoring his brace (or at least the 2nd one) is another. Only serious goof-balls cannot appreciate what Ozil is doing… Nacho as well…

    The biggest positives are the 3 points, the next biggest are the points dropped by City up at Stoke and by United at home vs West Ham (Of course, that represents one point more than both City and Arsenal took from WHU in similar home fixtures)… And here, are 3 more… Bournemouth, however, will a tough match at the end of the month…

    😀

  94. retsub1 says:

    17ht. You asked for a match report,, not sure this will give you the level of detail you want, but I will put s few thoughts down.

    A friend of one has a couple of club level tickets and occasionally I get the use of one. Because of health issues I haven’t made it this season. Two things were apparent on arrival, the wind was really strong. Several small framed individuals came close to going airborne. It’s time like this that I an grateful for my extra ballast I have gained recently due to inactivity. Secondly the security around the ground was much more visible than usual. I was frisked twice before entering the ground. Can only speak for those seated near me, but there was a very pessimistic atmosphere in the air.. No doubt fuelled by the lack of wins in November and the ever growing injury list.

    Big Sam had a cunning plan to put his players in bright green to camouflage them on the pitch. On the tube after the game I was surrounded by a mob of green clad Sunderland supporters, but chose not to accuse them of underhand tactics

    Players seem more human at a live match and certainly more mistake prone. Ozil and Ramsey took some time to get their radar going and the team in general were fairly poor against a well organised Sunderland side, Two players stood out for me during the opening period, koscielny was immense and broke up a number of Sunderland attacks and Cech who made a number of good saves and was full of confidence.

    On the flip side Meresaker looked very ponderous on a couple of occasions and as far as I could see the Ox was virtually non existent.

    As the half progressed Ozil began to pull the strings, but there was very little movement ahead of him and multiple attempts to play short one twos in the Sunderlad box ended in failure. Campbell however was very lively, he wasn’t playing that well but did at least make a number of runs off the ball.

    Finally a great defence splitting pass from Ozil and Campbell finished well. He the proceeded to remove a dummy ( pacifier) from his shorts and suck it violently.

    Right on the stroke of halftime Sunderland won a free kick out on their left wing. A terrible miss hit cross cane in, which Giroud sliced into his own net at the front post. Norwich all over again? In fairness Sunderland had played well and didn’t deserve to be behind

    The second half was a little better and following a well worked move Giroud stooped to put in a brave header at the right end this time. Definitely better in the second half, but
    Sunderland still made a number of chances and Cech once again proved his worth..

    Not sure if the cameras picked it up, but very near the end, we won a throw in on the edge of their area. A small ball boy was very keen to give the ball to Nacho who was going to take the throw. Nacho signalled him to slow down and run down the clock. The ball boy reacted accordingly and was rewarded by a discrete low five. Nice touch.

    For the first time ever I left before the final whistle to allow my injured leg a chance to hobble to Arsenal Underground station ahead of the crowds. Just as I was paying homage to Thierry Henry’s statue a big cheer went up. It was loud enough to convince me that it was a goal for our boys

    Not a tremendous display, but a job well done and three crucial points COYG

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Admir, thanks for your additional views. As I said above FlamRam will take a bit of time to gel, and Rambo finding the balance between defending and attacking is of course key.

  96. Ab says:

    Lovely report Retsub. Lots of positives for me from today. The group will only get better and fitter.

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Retsubster 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your health issues and good to hear you are on the mend now. Really loved your typical personal account of the game and I am happy you saw us win. It sounds like the boys fought like lions which goes a ong way.

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    Excellent retsub… I think we agree on lots of stuff. Big Sam is a tricky one…Still a loser but there’s a reason he keeps getting hired… Sunderland, I’d guess (or bet…) is more likely to stay up than Toonies this season. Hope you get back to full strength soon…

    Cheers admir… Agreed about Welbeck…For me, he definitely would peck in ahead of both Campbell and the Ox…

    We can’t get those points at WBA and Norwich back, but so it goes… Gotta turn the carrier around slowly but surely…

    The biggest positive of all–if it’s true–is nobody newly hurt today. I definitely think this would be a good time for Gooners to get to Greece and give those boys a shout–they will need it, but it is not a mountain too high. Doing the job there would lift spirits. If we can keep the bodies intact and maybe add Jack into the mix we *could* make it through. Gotta take the light wherever it shines, IMO…

    Of course, also, IMO, Jack isn’t quite the English Santi…Others may disagree but I attribute that to absence and the heart growing fonder and that sort of lovey dovey stuff… 😀

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Interesting note retsub on Nacho slowing it down before the half… Another reason I think Kos’ foul (and yellow, a harsh one…) was wise even if it led to the goal… IMO we need to avoid ‘linear thinking’ Foul > Free Kick > Goal = Kos stupid (as AB reports from the radio)… No, smart, just bad luck… But try to tell that to the Twitteratti… 😀 😦

    Should Twitteratti have one T or two (three in total)?…

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Respect for your love of Santi, Seventeenho.

    He will be missed, as he brings something different from Ramsey. Aaron is the pure b2b though, and we know he gets better the more he plays, so let’s see how he will perform. Yes Le Coq over Flamini, of course, but he still ain’t that bad, and let’s see whether Arsene will add a DM in a few weeks time.

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    By the way, I thought Santi also could have avoided his injury, perhaps even more so than Le Coq…

  102. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, indeed, Santi stuck his foot in where he shouldn’t have also… Didn’t want to be called a lazy part, maybe… 😀

    I’ll be the first to admit that Santi, like Arteta before him, is past his best physical years. That, for many, I believe, is all you (or they…) need to know.

    That’s the rugby or American football mentality and pretty much true about most all players in those sports…except for the position of quarterback in the American game. (Sorry, I don’t know my rugby very well…though I’ve seen those little guys they toss up in the air…) In ‘our’ football, that QB position has been perfected by one guy… Andrea Pirlo… and dig it, he’s even got a girl’s name… Oh, sweet irony…

    In truth, I haven’t watched all that much Pirlo but Santi’s just about the closest I’ve seen, with maybe the exception of Xavi… My worry is that, with this injury, he’s done in England. With more success (with Arsenal) he might’ve been a force to change the game, IMO, for the better… As it is, maybe back in Spain or even over here in the States, where Pirlo (age 36) still does… (Is Cesc done too? It’s maybe hard to cross back on that burning bridge…)

    I don’t wish to write Santi off prematurely but Arsenal will have to cope without him so that when he returns he will truly be that luxury player people speak of… Still, what a set of skills and abilities…

    There’s nothing wrong with turning and running with the ball (Rambo, Jack and even Messy style…) but it does tend to lead to more exposure of the back line. Even a tiny body who can stay back (let the ball do the work…) can help…

    IMO…

    OK, snow’s no good but I gotta get out for a shuffle…

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine response, 17HT. I reckon Santi will still have a big part to play this season, helping us close out the season when the likes of Ozil and Ramsey need a break, or get injured themselves. Long term, I can see him develop into our new, senior Rosicky, but hopefully with a bit more luck on the fitness front. Wenger would be daft to let him go imo.

  104. Admir says:

    I would like Santi to tutor Jack. I think Jack can learn a lot from Santi in terms of ball-control and controlling the game. Jack won’t have too much time to finally become a master instead of being a Jack of all trades and he should use Santi’s presence to become a world-class deep-lying playmaker. He has a drive, quick feet and technique but adding a bit of Santi’s cleverness would be a huge thing for Jack and Arsenal.

    Pirlo’s best football was enabled by physical presence around him. At Milan, he had Gattuso ready to fight anyone and Seedorf in a Christmas Tree formation. At Juventus, powerful players like Marchisio, Vidal and Pogba were there to help him, usually in 3-5-2 formation.

    In a way, once Coq was broken, Santi was done too.

    @17 – I agree on Bellerin. He is still putting too much on his ability to pace himself out of trouble.

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    That is a nice line, Admir. Once Le Coq was done, Santi was as well. Love it!

  106. Ab says:

    Santi is a long way from being done for me. I would love to see him as the next Rosicky – i.e. with us to the end. But he has another 2 years of being first team, and the value of having him (and players with his technical skill level) playing with our young players in training must be huge – just as Ros has been in recent years. He may decide he wants to return to Spain at some point; but if not, we would be mad to let him go anywhere.

    As others have said, we should not be too hard on the flamram partnership, which has just come together. I think its a pretty good mix for us, especially if Ramsey starts to get in on the goals. But does it compare with Coqzorla? No it doesn’t. But that’s a very high bar, and being a bit shy of that is nothing for us to fret about.

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Well said, AB. 🙂

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

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