Onto the Round of 16-Arsenal Advance and Fans get to see Alexis, Coq, Elneny and More. Nine Changes and Onto

Southampton on Tuesday Night.  Not Bad!!

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Making nine changes from the group which started vs Chelsea six days ago, Arsenal managed to advance to the round of 16 in pursuit of their third consecutive FA Cup against a tough and well organized Burnley FC. The match was a success in this regard and in so many others.

Beyond the result, it represented a return to the starting line-up for two of our most critical players: Alexis Sanchez and Francis Coquelin, both out injured since November.  With rests given to other stalwarts, most notably Mesut Ozil, but also both fullbacks, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin, and goalkeeper Petr Cech, we not only advanced in the tournament but also sacrificed very little in terms of squad exertion ahead of the league match against resting, i.e., already eliminated, Southampton.

Alexis and Coquelin were the quality elements in our play even if both look in need of playing time to regain competitive fitness and reintegrate into our style of play.

The match was also the debut for Mohamed Elneny bought earlier in the January transfer window from Basel FC.  Moving brightly from the get-go (his first contribution was to foul a Burnley man), he kept at it for over 70 minutes with no sign of hiding from the action nor tiring.  I liked what I saw, including the unsuccessful shots from distance, but I also believe he will have much better outings.

Substitute appearances for veterans Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta and starts for eager younger guys like David Ospina, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Paulista, Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also very welcome.  Adding ballast at both ends were the two returning starters from the Chelsea match, our two bigger and more experienced Frenchmen, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud.  With all the changes, it wasn’t our most fluent performance but it was enough to get the result and show that we should be able to compete on multiple fronts as we approach the business end of the season.

Without breaking this one down in minute to minute fashion I will say that the match was played in an open style and with a generally good spirit.  Chances were created at both ends and both clubs had periods of superiority but the 2-1 final scoreline seems about right.  Burnley almost made an early breakthrough (through Gray) but Ospina saved well to deny them.  On 19 minutes, after sustained Arsenal possession, Alexis slid a ball between a defender’s legs to Calum Chambers who finished with a Rosicky-esque reverse curler off the outside of his right foot.  It was a lovely goal and a fine celebration with Iwobi (19 yrs old) and the Ox (still just 22).  There’s some quality footballing talent in Arsenal’s future, I believe.

With the early goal, Burnley, a team up to 3rd and accustomed to winning in the Championship, were able to hold some possession and build some attack of their own.  With Coquelin and Alexis back in the frame, however, they still had to respect our ability to strike quickly on the counter, while Giroud was always an outlet up top.  Throughout, Elneny looked eager to offer himself as an easier, possession based target while also being quick to move into space whenever he passed the ball.  Nonetheless, on 30 minutes, following a weird moment where Gibbs took out Coquelin near the corner of our box, the new man was a bit indecisive closing down a cross which found the head of a Burnley man (Vokes) for the equalizer.  Both he and Gray had outmaneuvered Gabriel and Chambers at the edge of the 6 yard box and the header was unstoppable for Ospina who decided to stay on his line.

With renewed belief, Burnley looked the more likely to score again as the half played out.  Beginning the 2nd they continued brightly which was perhaps their undoing.  As an attack broke down on the edge of our box, Gibbs played out to Iwobi who advanced the ball nicely to Alexis who shuttle it forward for Giroud.  Ollie elected to back-heel into the path of hard running Iwobi who sent a lovely diagonal pass into space that found the Ox streaming down the right.  His first-touch cross just behind overplaying defenders found Alexis who would make no mistake from point blank range.  Play with fire and you get burnt, Burnley.

That would end the scoring although there were additional chances, mostly for Arsenal, to add to the scoreline.  The single goal difference, however, helped keep everybody on their toes, making the experience of the substitutes much appreciated.  Iwobi and Coquelin subbed out for the final 20 minutes, Alexis a few moments afterwards, having all played well.  Rosicky and Arteta, both also needing some playing time to help regain match fitness, will be more pleased with their outings than Theo Walcott, who, in added time, with only the keeper to beat, allowed him to save as he tried to round him.

I see almost nothing but positives coming from this one, though, of course we can always quibble with some of the performances here and there or at least see areas for improvement.  Getting to scout so many players we don’t often get to see is a pleasure in itself and offers opportunities for all kinds of insight.  I’ve reprinted Admir’s comment from the previous thread with just such views directly below.  Please add your own.

The biggest positive, however, might be the thing we didn’t see: the rest given to some key players who will now be fresh and ready to get in on the winning ways of their teammates.  How about a bit of revenge (served very cold…) for Southampton on Tuesday night?

by 17highburyterrace

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41 Responses to Onto the Round of 16-Arsenal Advance and Fans get to see Alexis, Coq, Elneny and More. Nine Changes and Onto

  1. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry guys, I don’t quite know how to move comments from one thread to the next…On the previous one…

    Admir Wrote:

    Hello, people! 🙂

    A solid run-out today and a replay avoided. We needed a victory and teams like Burnley tend to play a lot of physical football which is not what we like.

    Ospina – made a good save in the first half. Couldn’t do much about the goal.

    Chambers – brilliant goal but partially at fault for their goal.

    Gabriel – shares the blame for the goal with Chambers. Looked a bit unsettled next to Koscielny.

    Koscielny – he looks like he has been in some sort of depression since The Boxing Day. Made a crucial intervention in the last minute though.

    Gibbs – tackled Coquelin before their goal. Nacho can sleep tight.

    Coquelin – still rusty but it’s great to have him back.

    Elneny – he is yet to adjust to English football. He was pretty much always the second best in duels. However, he covered the pitch like a “perpetuum mobile” and doesn’t hesitate to take a shot which is a good thing. His passing game is Arsenal-esque and the way he offers his team-mates an option to pass to makes him a rather exciting prospect. He could try to use his left peg though. Also, a positive thing is that he actually played two different positions with Coquelin on the pitch and once Coquelin was substituted.

    Ox – created a goal and should have had two assists by his name had Walcott finished the counter-attack properly. He was wasteful with corners but overall, he looked better than in his previous outings.

    Iwobi – such an exciting prospect. He is far from being a finished article but his touch is so special. Maureen apparently said that he could say when Özil hit the ball only by sound of it. Iwobi has some of his uncle’s talent – Jay-Jay Okocha was a real artist with the ball. Iwobi played an important role in our winning goal but he should use his namesake’s current struggle with form as a warning.

    Alexis – MoTM, head and shoulders above any other player on the pitch. A world-class player.

    Giroud – fought a rather difficult battle with their central defenders. Things didn’t work for him, especially at set-pieces where he didn’t have 1) Özil to make a proper delivery and 2) Per to distract one of the defenders and open space for Giroud’s powerful header.

    Rosicky – I love him. It was great to see him back. Still needs match fitness to recover sharpness.

    Arteta – didn’t screw up anything and made one solid defensive action.

    Theo – well… Oh Theo. He either denied Elneny a goal on his debut or another assist for Ox. He has to improve his goal-scoring record if he wants to call himself a striker.

    Arsene – a positive game, a good rotation, good substitutions. Kudos for giving Mesut and Aaron a rest before dealing with Wanyama on Tuesday night.

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    And if I move Admir’s over, I should do likewise for JK…

    njk84sg says:

    Watched the full game last night.

    Positive game, but we still are unable to deal with teams pressing and running at us.

    Elneny is more than Rambo, some sort of a supercharged Rambo than a supercharged Arteta.

    He seemed to like the way we play, but is a little wasteful at giving balls away but overall he is good.

    Le Coq has a quiet game, but he showed glimpses of his old self. Positive but we will see.

    Kos and Gabby cannot play together. They have to rotate among themselves and paired with Per, as Per brings stability to the defense.

    Through to the next round, but i wouldwant things to be better than today.

    Cheers,
    JK

  3. njk84sg says:

    17ht, if you would let me add.

    We should not play Ox on Tuesday night. He shoots when it is better to pass to someone near and would likely to have scored, so i would not say he has improved.

    Knowing that Heaton is a good keeper, his defense let him down on 2 occasions, but overall the away team did well against us with well timed blocks.

    We have to learn from the mistakes and the rustiness against a Soton side which is very similar.

    Cheers,
    JK

  4. Admir says:

    Rosicky is out due to a new injury and Jack won’t be back for Barca. I guess we need to change our plans foe that game.

  5. Brian says:

    Theo couldn’t finish his dinner! he has gone backwards along with the OX. The coaching needs to be looked into as we have too many players going backwards. Bould seems to offer very little as defence looks terrible! I do think Gabriel with a string of games will be more solid than BFG. Alexis looks different class and great to have him back. Now wenger tells us the transfers are finished ? lied to us all again and we have to accept it. The one signing we need is PEP ! Wenger cannot coach this squad effectively to enable us to win a title. Look at spurs. .. they look solid, they have had a fully fit squad for most of the season WHY? we are doing something wrong on the training ground but nothing ever changes. WENGER needs to go and let us move on.

  6. retsub1 says:

    I don’t normally rise to bait like this, but sometimes something has to be said. Most of these facts are from memory

    Since Wenger was apoointed. … Managers

    Arsenal 1

    Spurs. 11 plus

    Premierships

    Arsenal 3

    Spurs 0

    FA cups

    Arsenal 6

    Spurs don’t know did they scape 1?

    Champions league qualification

    Arsenal. Every year

    Spurs is it 1?

    Champions league runners up

    Arsenal 1

    Spurs.. Think Lineker may have commentated once

    Invincible season

    Arsenal 1

    Spurs never and never will do

    I could go on

  7. Pony Eye says:

    Retsub1, yes you can go on and on, for example at this very relevant moment

    Arsenal at 44pts

    Spurs at 42pts

  8. retsub1 says:

    Pony Eye you shouldn’t encourage me, but here goes

    Stadiums

    Arsenal . Emirates 60’000 state of the art

    Spurs . Shite hart lane, considerably less and well named

    Doubles

    Spurs proud boast, the first team to do the double last century, so Arsenal have done it three times since

    Champions

    Spurs have never won the premiership but have won the old first division twice. A good friend of mine is a Spurs fan and I often remind him we have only won two as well. Two at Shite Hart
    Lane that is.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for a fine match report, summing up all the positives to take from the game, 17HT. 🙂

    I will try and watch the full game myself this week, if I can find some time to do do. We were lucky to play Burnley at home so we could make so many changes without getting punished. Yet, it was a proper game and a lot of players who needed a start had one. Really happy for Chambers to score with Cruijfesque shot from the outside of his right foot. Also pleased for Ox to have an assist and for sexy Alexis to score and produce a fab assist as well.

    The comments on Elneny are encouraging and the same goes for le Coq. They both play in positions where it is not easy to hit the ground running straightaway (we only have to look at Rambo for example) so this game will have done them good.

    From what I saw, Ospina was strong and confident which is also good. The fact that we could rest so many players and give so many returning and ‘fringe players’ a chance to shine is also good.

  10. Pony Eye says:

    Elneny, from my assessment is more of Rambo than anything else.

    SIMILARITIES
    He passes well and makes himself available to receive passes.
    He shoots at goal at the least opportunity and loves getting into the box.
    He is non stop running and he could be found anywhere on the field.

    SUBTLE DIFFERENCIES
    Elneny is more of a one touch passer. Rambo loves the extra touch.
    Elneny has better acceleration and greater agility ( Flamesque).
    Rambo has stronger body strength.

    CATEGORIZATION.
    As BtoB, Elneny better defensively, Rambo better offensively. Still early days though………..

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers, PE. I cannot wait to see him play myself.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice player summaries, Admir. 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    So it is Hull again. Another good home draw. No reason for complacency though, but we are lucky to draw a home game again.

  14. allezkev says:

    I’m hearing that Rosicky has a thigh injury and could be out for 6 weeks. 😟

  15. Admir says:

    Sadly, Rosicky picked another injury and it spells curtains for him. Such a shame as he was a positive spirit of our spring revivals in the last four campaigns. 😦

    I watched a replay of their goal. I focused on Elneny and, indeed, he’ll have to improve defensive-wise, especially in terms of jumping and agility. Firstly, he was beaten in the air by the opposite number (OK, it can happen). Then, he made an attempt to clear the ball from the box by kicking the ball over his head but his kick wasn’t strong enough. Finally, he wasn’t agile enough in closing down the crosser just before Vokes equalized.

    I still remain at my yesterday assessment that Elneny looks like an Arsenal player to me, not just by the contract but also by the style of play.

    With Coquelin next to Elneny I believe Elneny’s flaws won’t be too visible and Elneny’s passing ability and intelligent movement should give us what Coquelin doesn’t add going forward.

  16. geoffchase says:

    Hi

    Seen the game and my thoughts are:

    a. Agree with PE on El Neny, would add good outside shot which we have lacked (or simply not our style?)

    b. Coq sat back more and was less “intrusive” of the other sides outlet passes. Is this a new approach or rustiness? Flamini sat back and left gaps, which didn’t help. When Coq was best he was a touch more forward in shielding the back by blocking outlet ball. Else, or perhaps just, a quiet game — should play again Tuesday?

    c. Theo … in a cold spell just now. Cannot call him sometimes = frustrating

    d. Alexis looked like he wasn’t gone more than a day or day and half… good news there. With him back like that and Coq hopefully coming right we should be in good shape for Soton. Should be..

    e. Chambers looked good defensively to me, but Gibbs looked rustier. Was good to rest Bellerin and Monreal.

    Those are my quick thoughts… My only real concern is Coq sitting back, which could be rust and/or fitness, but doesn’t suit us I well, so hopefully we see the more “intrusive” version game by game.

    cheers — jgc

  17. njk84sg says:

    Prof,

    I think that Le Coq is letting Elneny do his introduction and at the same time getting his positioning tweaked to the lineup.

    When he pairs with Santi, that was the same case too. He does the dirty tackles, while Santi does the rampaging. He only needs to get his bearing right and he is good to go.

    Cheers,
    JK

  18. geoffchase says:

    JK

    I agree. More nervous he was strangely under-visible. But it’s game one back so..

    Cheers — jgc

  19. njk84sg says:

    Someone do the preview tomorrow?

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    A shame about Rosa, so talented and yet so fragile. I reckon he will make a good manager so I hope we will see him back after his footie career.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Geoff, I was absolutely amazed that Le Coq even started as Wenger usually takes his time to ease players back in. No doubt it is just rustiness and Francis taking it easy.

    What are you up to at the moment? And did you notice we know have another professor on the blog…. From Sweden (Lund)?

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    Quick note: Yes JK, there will be a match preview… Probably in my afternoon while I watch the US coverage of the transfer window closing which they’re turning into a 3 hour show… It runs from 2 until 5 which is 10 until 1 in the morning in Britain… When is the actual deadline? For Arsenal it’s all about where Debuchy is headed, I fear…

    Comments on this one…. somehow turned into a North London pissing contest… Oh well, so it goes… Along with a (very) few others. Always good to see the (Kiwi) professor around. You must mean El Neny (not Flamini) when talking about our set-up ahead of the back four… I’m going with the way he’s spelling his name on his shirt: Elneny…

    I thought Le Coq had a decent enough first match back. He definitely stayed back and looked to organize from that position. Their goal featured that weird moment of Gibbs taking him out and Coq rolling around in the continental injury simulation style which I really do not enjoy. Worrying about him really being hurt AND in a spot where the ref won’t whistle (seeing as it was his own teammate) is good for no one… El Neny looked not quite sure how to proceed and, like Ramsey, he takes big strides (rather than quick ones, which, IMO, are much better…) when trying to make a play. The crosser thus had all day and the two Burnley guys were able to screen out our defenders (Gabby and Chambers) so it was an easy goal… Who to blame? Who cares?… We got them on the break and had the much better chances over the final hour…. Onwards, I say, even if Spurs were more ruthless in their match at Carlisle…or was it Colchester?… Hull at home, even if AW lets Akpom and Hayden play, seems a good draw…

    So, I’d like our right footer, Elneny, to work on his playmaking, but I also like that he looked very keen to watch and get into good positions and offer himself as an easy outlet for his mates, often knowing where he could play a one-touch and move option if they gave it to him. He’ll likely need some time to adjust to the speed of the league and lack of ref protection (advantage always played even when fouls are deemed to have occurred…) and how so much can happen so quickly on the break Bottom line, he looked very eager but not totally sure where to go… We’ll be needing him, esp. now that Rosicky and Wilshere seem unavailable for the longer term. We’ll likely need Arteta too even if he seems as hated as the manager these days (see Claude, the super-fan, for example)…

    The one guy who disappointed (just my opinion…) was Gabriel, who looked very nervous throughout the match. There was a comment up above (JK maybe) about him replacing the BFG but I didn’t see it based on that performance. That said, he was very decisive in pressuring the ball and should maybe get a bit of credit on that early save from Ospina.

    Back this afternoon with the preview (and all the transfer news)…. In the meantime, please keep at it–with the player assessments from Saturday… or Arsenal > Spurs… or who we should buy at the deadline… or whatever else floats your boat…

    Happy Monday! 😀

  23. Jnyc says:

    Fantastic analysis from the gang. I’d only add that, for a first game with us, Elneny shows promise. ,what i expected from what we read about him before the transfer. Boundless energy and desire. Who couldn’t use a player like that?
    On le coquelin, first thing i noticed was the normal reticence to throw his body around at the beginning, to be expected after a major injury….but slowly became more confident and physical as the game went along. So I’d say both debuts went as i would have imagined. Really happy to see Coquelin stay healthy throughout. I think he will be rested Tuesday.. .Bad news about Tomas.

  24. retsub1 says:

    “A North London pissing match? I guess it’s my turn then? 17HT. Clearly during your time in the UK you never experienced a North London Derby and the love that Arsenal and Spurs fans have for each other. Please accept my apologies for going off topic. It a love of all things Arsenal you see. I guess I could have done worse and succumbed to poor punctuation or some other crime. Now that I have thrown my toys out of the pram I will depart from blogging.
    T A. Have enjoyed our time together and wish you well.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Please don’t go Retsubster. You are a very valued blogger on BK and would be missed badly. I am sure 17HT was not having a go at you, but I can see why you read more into it.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie, fully agreed on your expectations of Elneny. I am just happy we had him and Le Coq start a game and therefore get closer to making a difference during the rest of the season.

  27. Rocastle07 says:

    Do any of you guys watch ‘The Breakdown’ on Offical website really good profile on Elneny’s debut and positive performance of Iwobi, really worth a watch.

  28. Rocastle07 says:

    What do you guys think about Sanago to Charlton from Ajax, what’s that all about? Some expert opinion please!

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Very sorry retsub… I didn’t mean any offense (or offence or however it’s spelled over there…) to you… I think new poster Brian is a Gooner who is suddenly jealous of Spurs, who, in this, their “magical season,” are only a couple of points behind us… You were correct to point out ALL the reasons not to worry about such things…

    Listen, I have periodic troubles with staying motivated with the Arsenal writing… So, when TA asked me to do a match report (since he wasn’t able to watch it…) I was hoping for some commentary upon what people saw… Brian–just my opinion–is one of the many silly Gooners who allow the media to lead them by the nose (or is it the tail…) into a permanently negative view. Surely he’s having a giant moan about us “losing” out on Pep Guardiola at this very moment… Man City–in the league cup final and round of 16 in both the FA Cup and the CL and two points off in the league and their firing their manager. Thank dennis I don’t support them…

    Same as Spurs…(who were ready to fire their guy after all the early season draws, btw…)

    So, I have absolutely NOTHING against Gooners who know our VASTLY superior history, only against those who actually sink low enough to be envious of that lot…

    And I was hoping for more back and forth about the match itself…

    That’s all. Again, please pardon the way I expressed myself… and realize I’ll probably bungle again in the future…Nothing but respect for retsub1… And please tell me how I can help gather up the toys and get them back in the pram and get you back on board…

    I cannot say the same for Brian, however… Sorry…

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Seventtenho, that’s what I thought you meant. The guy who starts with a b and ends with an n is clearly a troll and best to be ignored.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Rocastle, it’s the Coquelin formula: on loan in Europe, then move to Charlton for a few months…an injury to a key player, loan is cut short…. Like a super star signing, Sanogo joins in April to steel the show… 😉

  32. retsub1 says:

    Thanks T A and thanks 17 HT lets just put it down to a misunderstanding and leave it there.

    I would be far more upset if I we a certain Mr Pelligrini, what a shabby way to treat someone, must be a great motivation to him (not) to finish the season and hopefully will have a similar effect on the players.

    Just confirms you can buy expensive toys, but class is permanent and.cant be purchased

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah Retsub, a classless club Man City, and I am also very disappointed in Guardiola to go where there is a strong squad and loads of money. Turning the current Manure team in a title winning and European force again is a much bigger challenge, but he likes it easy. Somebody wrote on another blog, after City Guardiola will go to Celtic hahaha. 🙂

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers Retsub…

    Definitely a misunderstanding and my fault…

    Another element which is really difficult for me is trying to wrap my mind around the different way you folks have to watch the game… I pay a bit for my television but not as much as many here in the Sates and we get every single PL match, every single CL match and a couple of the 3 o’clock kick-offs for the domestic cups. By adding the Spanish language sports (for less than 5 pounds/month) I get all kinds of Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue Une and Serie A, plus extra league cup matches. There’s even Europa league so, if B***n wants to switch to Spurs, he could move here and follow them on the telly… 😀

    What about these midweek matches? Will tomorrow night’s match be on TV?…

    That said, all the talk thus far on the US coverage of the TW is about Pep/Man City and Terry/Chavs using the media to get a new contract… A little talk about Spurs not pushing out the boat for Berahino…

    I guess Arsenal will be slated for letting Debuchy go… Chambers looked good enough over there on Saturday, I thought…

    Oh, and then there were all the lies… and all that money AW likes to roll around in when he takes his big jacket off… (Hint: contracts are headed skywards…)

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    On the question of class… It goes deeper than that, I fear…

    Over here, where our “top cop” has brought down Sepp Blatter, we see MASSIVE corruption in aSOCciation football (i.e., Soccer)… Why spend all these crazy millions on transfers and salaries and new managers (while still paying the old one…) when a quick million for Mike Dean or Mark Clattenburg gets you 3 red cards against you local rival, for example? (FIFA are suspending transfer bans for Real and Atletico Madrid during an appeal process, in other examples…)

    I desperately would like to think there’s a measure of fairness in the football landscape but I KNOW our Billionaire owner plays for the bottom line rather than silverware. I accept that element but I cannot help but wonder about the Gas and Oil owners… Money for nothing, who can resist it?…

    A view from over there would be much appreciated…

    5 Minutes to go… Buy somebody or I’m gonna smash something… 😀

  36. retsub1 says:

    17ht. Will try explain. Two companies in the UK have all the Premiership games, Sky and BT sport both being pay channels. Traditional kick off at 3pm Saturday is taboo on TV supposedly to protect attendances at other matches. It’s almost certain that matches outside of Saturday 3 pm will be screened. However Only one match can be screened so. Either Sky or B T will have a match on. Tomorrow night I think it is Villa and West Ham. So no other games can be screened in the uK. Until recently many uk fans streamed games via site called Wiziwig, but this has been shut down making it very difficult to stream

    Typically there is an early game 12am uk time on Saturdays for T V purposes. This week I think it’s Bournemouth v Arsenal. Then another game at 5.30 and two on Sunday’s 2pm and 4pm.
    It is normally agreed before the season begins, which games will be screened, but they do occasionally change the schedule. For instance the Arsenal v Leicester game was originally planned for a 3pm Saturday kick off. I guess it wasn’t perceived to be a top of the table clash. Sky have now obtained the game and moved it to a Sunday so they can screen it. Causing outrage amongst Leicester fans who had pre booked Saturday rail fair in advance.

    The F.A cup is an exception where The BBC sometimes get games

    Clear as mud huh

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    The principle is simple, Seventeenho. The clubs partly depend on getting the stadiums full so there are limits to the number of games available on TV – per the assumption that the ease and cheapness of watching at home would keep supporters away from the stadiums. The rest of the world can watch it without any issues, and of course ‘every little helps’. 😃

  38. retsub1 says:

    Personally I would be vey surpised if one of the top refs in the UK were taking bribes, although I have little doubt they get approached. Football supporters in the Uk are very tribal and if any ref was caught cheating here, there are enough crazy people willing to send death threats or worse. I think a bigger problem is the fact that you can almost bet on anything these days, throw ins, corners, fouls, bookings etc. Whilst it’s difficult to throw a match and not be obvious, conceding a foul, kicking the ball out for a throw in etc is fairly easy. I would be surprised if there weren’t a few players on the take. There have been one or two accusations (Bruce Grobbelear springs to mind). And I think there is a case pending at the moment. I seem to remember reading about a scandal way back when involving Sheffield Wednesday, but other than that I don’t think much has been proven and we haven’t seen a Shoelees Joe yet

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    TW shut. Good. Bring on proper footie and let’s move on.. We have a league to win, a cup to defend and to give Barca a game or two. CoYG!

    Night all. 🌙🌌🌖

  40. oz gunner says:

    Good wrap up 17. How good was it see Le Coq back!!!!!! We’ll definitely need him for the tail end of the season. Southampton worry me…they tend to do well against us and wanyama always lifts a gear to nullify our creativity.

    Clearly teams are a bit more organised when it comes to the TW. It’s disappointing though because I love the drama of the last few hours.

    Glad debuchy will get minutes. I was worried we’d sell him off. I read that Toon/Man U were hoping to get to Gibbs.

    It’s good having quality cover for a change. I just hope Debuchy and Gibbs don’t leave for more game time. Gibbs did have more than a few chances…just that soft body of his.

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheer retsub for the understanding and the answers to my questions… Always good to see Oz… Wanna write some match previews?… 😀

    On that note…

    New Post

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