Live-Blog Southampton-Arsenal. Neither Wind, Nor Sleet, Nor Early Kick-off Can Stop This

Courier from trying to tell it like it is when Arsenal have a league match… At least if the match is on the telly.  Oh my it looks grim on the South Coast, and, trust me, in my head, the tempest is nearly as strong.

But that’s why I have a timer on the espresso machine.

 The BFG comes in for his Countryman Mustafi and says, “That’s the way forward today.”  Or maybe, “I’m a tea-pot.”  I need my espresso.  Our taxi-man Kevin, needs his tea, so why not?…

It’s all a bit early so I’m doing what I can…

Here are the line-ups.  Just the one change for the Arsenal from the group that started so poorly vs Manchester United.  Looks like the 3-4-3 stays, for the moment at least.

 

Help me out in the comments sections, eh?… You know how it works…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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265 Responses to Live-Blog Southampton-Arsenal. Neither Wind, Nor Sleet, Nor Early Kick-off Can Stop This

  1. njk84sg says:

    We have kicked off

  2. njk84sg says:

    Good start by Soton, and we are a goal down in 2

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    The BFG goes down and so do we…

    1-nil So’ton…

  4. njk84sg says:

    Blimey.. almost 2 down

  5. allezkev says:

    Maybe Wenger should switch to a back four as our midfield has just switched off

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geez-us, that was bad… I was just writing about my troubles with getting the live-blog going this morning but then had to post about their goal…

    Kolasinac bursts into their box but can’t catch up with his own dribble….

    Oh my… That looked like it could be a So’ton 2nd… Cech smothers this time…after not looking very sound trying to block the one that went in…

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    Off-side flag raised (incorrectly the replay shows) after a Bellerin pass to no one… Not true, it was to the So’ton player, but Cech stopped the angled shot anyway…

    Damn, I’m just trying to wake up here!!!

  8. retsub1 says:

    Looks like Christmas is going to come early to Southampton

  9. jw1 says:

    The conditions are not good for Per.
    The pitch is slow allowing for through balls to be weighted for the quickness that SH is showing.

    jw1

  10. allezkev says:

    Off side, but Austin hits the post.

    Seton copying Man U against our dozy mob.

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    More offside by Charlie Austin, but hahaha, the post was there if we’d needed it… They are killing us and will surely score more if we can’t start playing here…

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, a little possession play from the blue-boys but still looking tentative… Jack did some ice-skating recently so maybe he should be the early sub when we give up the 2nd and are forced into the formation change…

  13. allezkev says:

    Can’t see Arsene wanting to upset any sensitive souls by an early substitution 17tino

  14. jw1 says:

    Looks like SH plans to rough up Sanchez early.

    jw1

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    All that possession ends with a blooper from Ozil to Forster… He had to read the wind but eventually it came into his arms…

    Seems like the conditions and So’ton’s minimal pressing is just about too much for us…

    Thankfully they’re calling the fouls (and offsides)… Alexis gets one… And the BFG nips in to stop them… But then Bells goes to ground and doesn’t get a whistle… Nor does Rambo…

    This up and down play is not going our way quite yet…

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kev, you’re watching today?

    More Geez… Kos gives a slack pass and their off… but we get it back, into touch or another offside?… (I missed that one, sorry…)

  17. allezkev says:

    Bobby Madley is the referee and he isn’t exactly the most reliable official in England, or anywhere.

  18. allezkev says:

    I’m snowed in 17tino, so day off.
    Listening to the radio.
    Southampton defending well.

  19. jw1 says:

    Not to mention Madley starting their last break.

    jw1

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, JW… lots of pressure whenever Alexis is on the ball…

    A shot! It was a weird play… Rambo blocks a hard pass from Alexis with his head, it falls to Laca but he can only get a weak one right at Forster…

    Other end, they get a corner but it’s straight to Alexis and we’re on the break. 3 v 1 but the return to Laca from Alexis is poor and it’s out for a corner…

    The corner bounces around but eventually it’s back with Forster…

  21. allezkev says:

    Sounds like Southampton are getting in our faces, euphemistically.
    In other words kicking us…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    Snowed in!! No snow here, Kev… Though the ski lifts will be running on the man-made stuff, you know, after the sun comes up…

  23. jw1 says:

    Sanchez has been down 3x already– two fouls called.

    jw1

  24. jw1 says:

    Colder and dryer here in Houston than at St Mary’s.

    jw1

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Some So’ton possession play but Ozil nips in to set us going… Ends with Madley claiming Xhaka used his hand on a nothing pass. They do look to be pressing high whenever they can, Kev, yet retreating quickly given their early goal…

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, I’m sure–right now–that the local temp in Lake Tahoe is lower than in So’ton… It’ll go to at least 50 (10 degrees C) later in the day…

    Ugh… the weakest of turn and fire by Ramsey and Forster has to wait for it to get to him…

    Mostly Arsenal possession now, however…

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s back with So’ton and our press looks poor… One of their guys slips and we get it back… Oooh… That was a nice move by Bellerin to get into the box but he can’t quite catch up to his dribble and it’s kicked off him and out for a goal-kick…

    They’ve got it down our end now…

  28. jw1 says:

    Ramsey had a nice chest-turn-shot– but the turf didn’t give him the bounce expected– topping it right at Foster.

    jw1

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    First a throw and now a Xhaka foul so they can bend one in from our right side…

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    With pace (riding the wind?) and Cech has to punch over for a corner…

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Another Cech punch and another So’ton corner… We’re under pressure here…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kos clears but it’s sent back in and Cech holds it after a scramble… Another So’ton effort but Ozil, doing all kinds of work to run the break wins a FK in their half…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    There was a hint of a Xhaka back-pass on the scramble that ended with Cech smothering the replay shows…

    We’re keeping it in their half–barely… and creating some better pressure…No shots on goal, however and they move smartly out through Bertrand, I think…

    Back with us and they head behind for a corner taken short… Ozil’s long shot is blocked and

    OOOoooh, THAT was a fine save by Forster from Ramsey… Shite!!!

  34. jw1 says:

    Lower-right corner for Ramsey’s shot– Foster made a fine save.

    jw1

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…. that looked a goal when Rambo hit it first time… It had some spin towards the middle of the goal but was still very well placed. Gotta give Forster credit–the big man was down to it in a flash…

    Both teams moving it from end to end now but our break comes to nothing off Ozil’s chest. His ball out to Bells was just a touch behind the young Spaniard…

  36. jw1 says:

    Seeming like every cleared ball falls to SH in stride.

    jw1

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ten mins to go in the half and we’re looking the team that’s on top…though So’ton could still break on us as we commit men forward… Bells does well at both ends… First in pushing off a defender and bringing a high ball down only for Alexis to not quite push his attacking move forward and then, down our end, blocking a pair of wide attacks and pushing So’ton back…

    They’ve still got it however…

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    More action down our right… This time it’s into touch and back with us…

    Moved around the back a couple of times and we build an attack oh so slowly…

    They’re stopping us in the middle near the top of the box quite regularly and we sort of look like we need half-time to buck up our ideas…

    Cech has to leave his line to head clear with a dive…

    Oooh…Nice pull back by Bellerin but Laca’s first timer is into Row Z….

  39. jw1 says:

    So again?
    Why is a foul allowed after the ball is hit out of play?
    Laca was taken to ground — in the box– after he skied his shot.

    jw1

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geez, poor knock down header by the BFG but Kos and Cech, slipping around, manage to smother it…

    Their end… We can’t push it through in the middle and they break on us (once again)… Some high balls ping around dangerously but we do enough. It’s getting stretched enough that I expect Wenger to commit to the attack with a formation change at the half…

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gotta get to the break, however… And we keep making turnovers and setting them off in our direction…

    One handball is not whistled, the next one is and So’ton are able to keep it and work it around in our half… For a bit… A crossfielder is into touch… One last bit of attack?…

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    We keep it in their half but there is nothing doing through the middle of their back line… Ends with a long FK over everybody and the end-line…

    Half-time…

    Tea? Bovril? I know what I’m drinking… Back in a bit…

  43. njk84sg says:

    Rambo did one good shot but great save by Forster.

    Normally that late foul on Lacazette was seen as a foul in other parts of the field. Poor call by the ref.

  44. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. Sorry to missed the game..
    So who must replaced sooner..??
    Must we put another striker to replace maybe Mertesacker..??

  45. njk84sg says:

    We got everything to play for in the second 45

  46. njk84sg says:

    Our passes in the first 45 were easily dealt with and that is frustrating. We had chances and the first real chance Laca made the weong decision not to pass to Ozil which has no one marking him.

    After that we were crowded out in the box so it is hard

  47. njk84sg says:

    Tea for me please 17ht. And send it to me. Thank you very much 😀

  48. allezkev says:

    Madley sounds useless, a Mike Riley clone…

    Alexis is fuming at some of his treatment and I’m not surprised, even Clive Allen on the radio, whose no lover of Arsenal, has commented on the Soton tactics and hinted at the ineptitude of the refereee.

  49. allezkev says:

    Anyway, my eggs n bacon were delicious, now for another mug of char. 😀

  50. allezkev says:

    Or chai

  51. jw1 says:

    That we’re only down 1-nil is a minor miracle.
    The slowness of the pitch is affecting sharper passing in Saints half. As HT noted there is little through the middle as was available vs United. Like to see Bellerin and Kolasinac take balls to the end line and cut passes back.

    Not seeing much movement from Ramsey near the box.
    Alexis has been all over the final third to little effect.
    The latter a byproduct of the former.

    jw1

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    How’s the weather where you are JK? Finally a good kick-off time for you in Singapore, right?…

    These are Tierra del Fuego conditions today and I’m not sure Alexis has ever played that far south… Giving up the first goal, I hate to say it, is probably as bad as giving up two vs United a week ago when it’s so blustery and folks are skating around on the pitch… Wisely, they’re giving us space out wide but closing down quickly in the middle–and on Alexis and Laca always… We probably need to them as decoys and hope the others can put the ball past Forster… Never an easy task….

  53. Goonereris says:

    Just able to join up now. Didn’t see the goal as I missed about 12 minutes of the 1st half (second game I have missed minutes only to come on after we’ve conceded).

    We knew it was going to be hard out here but the last thing we can do is lose courage and start changing too much at this stage (unless it is say Welbeck or Jack for either Alexis or Ramsey) . We also need to tighten up at the back and take responsibility for developing situations. Can someone please let Kolasinac know it’s okay for a wing back to track back at speed when the ball is lost in his part of the field. For God’s sake, it is annoying to see how he stands back and watches how Monreal is bursting everything to salvage situations. He did the same thing against United for their first; to me, even for the Southampton’s first, we could have prevented a free run at our goal if he joined the race backwards.

    Wenger has to have a nice hard talk with these boys, or…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    to use them as decoys, I meant… JW you’re seeing things the same way I am from the sound of your comments…

    If we can nick one, somehow (help Mr. Madley, please) it’s game on… If they get it, however… 😦

    OK, 2nd half on…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good break there with Rambo keeping his feet to get it and running well to spear-head. Alexis’ pass however, has zero chance of finding him…

    Possession and slow build up this time…

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    And more frustration when we try to penetrate their incredibly massed middle…

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    They do look eager, perhaps overly so, to break on us and get a 2nd… The counter-counter might be our best bet… Or just a lucky bounce…

    We’re pinning them in enough… and failing to get through that they might believe one goal will suffice…

    Kola tries a cross but it’s blocked into touch…

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    No formation change at HT but I still think it’s coming… Give this group until the hour mark to see what they can do? Maybe?

    OK, slightly better on the counter-counter but Kola is charged down in the box… Cleanly enough…

    Madley won’t call shite today, I fear, so we’re on our own…

    Cech has to catch a long effort and we’re (again) off on the counter-counter… Ramsey’s wide shot is almost touched back towards target by Lacazette. He’s quick but not that quick…

  59. jw1 says:

    Thinking we’re going to need Jack to come on and pick-the-lock for us.

    jw1

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    We go again from left to right, Alexis losing it after refusing the easy passes…

    Some So’ton possession but overhit and back with Cech…

    We try to build again and Ozil does well to keep it…

    10 men behind the ball for So’ton …

  61. jw1 says:

    Madley just disallowed the handball PEN we needed.

    jw1

  62. allezkev says:

    Next goal wins it.

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh Geez, please not Jack… Iwobi or Theo for me… Guys who can actually play at pace…

    Sorry, I know I’m in the minority (or all by myself) but I just don’t get the hype…

    Kola wins a corner and it’s delivered by Ozil with some style but cleared… Kola tries another but it’s grabbed by their giant keeper…

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    We might need the handball pen, but that was point blank and never gonna be given, I don’t think…

    60th min…

    Decent break but Laca can’t complete the intricate work with his back to goal…

    So’ton look scary enough down our end and break up another foray, again with Laca trying to control at the top of the box…

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    So’ton off the bar with a long one… Mert 8 yds off, hands across the family jewels forces just enough angle so that it doesn’t bury in the net? Maybe?

    Welbeck getting readied… Ditch the BFG please…

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bells, cut down by Bertrand on the right and it’s back with So’ton…

    BFG puts Nacho in trouble with a sideways header and that’s it for him…

  67. jw1 says:

    Would have preferred Giroud to Welbz.

    jw1

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, half an hour with the formation we likely should have started with… Or at least it might have helped on a break or two… They’ll keep plugging up the middle but somehow we’ll have to find a way through (or around).

    Welbs is playing on the right…

    Kos’s pass to him is woeful and they’re off… And they should have doubled the score. Luckily it’s wide of the empty net and we have a life-line…

    Gotta do something with it, however…

  69. allezkev says:

    Might be the end of the BFG…

    Sad way to go out.

  70. allezkev says:

    Jack to save the day 17tino 😉

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    End to end as Madley won’t whistle for the flying So’ton guy on the break…

    Alright, here comes Jacky boy and I hope I’m wrong…

    I dunno JW, I’m kinda liking Welbeck wide and Jack (in for Xhaka) in the deeper MF… The middle up front is already too crowded for Ollie…

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice from Ozil to Alexis but somebody’s pass is very poor… And his next one waits too long and Ozil is flagged off… Gotta keep my prejudices at bay here…

  73. retsub1 says:

    Don’t think Kos had his weetabix this morning. Please bring Giroud on and stop trying to pass the ball into the net

  74. henrychan says:

    Wilshere won’t come unless Ozil out..
    Giroud won’t also unless Lacazette out..
    So Welbeck get the benefits of it..

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ollie will be entering so we must hope a tall guy in the middle is better than the short but quick one… (Surely, Laca will be the guy coming off)

    Jack barged off the ball but the whistle blows…

  76. jw1 says:

    Giroud prepping…

    jw1

  77. retsub1 says:

    Giroud to save the day Kev

  78. jw1 says:

    Honestly? I’d yank Alexis.
    Poorest game from him I may have seen yet.

    jw1

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    I rather have to agree with Retsub… Ollie is big and high balls are likely the way towards goal. Forster is big too… Just gotta keep ’em away from him, I guess…

  80. retsub1 says:

    How many times have I yelled shoot today with no avail. At least with Giroud we might consider crossing it

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cross over everybody by Welbs but they don’t have enough runners on the break… Back with us and they may believe that one goal is enough… Sadly, I’m starting to think the same, though I hope I’m wrong…

    75th minute now… And Sot’on will kill more time with a whistle and FK….

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    Van Djik’s FK is over everybody…

  83. retsub1 says:

    Sanchez today has been 100 effort, zero delivery

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    We build with some possession but Jack’s ball into Ollie can’t be controlled… They’ll waste more time after Charlie Austin holds off Bellerin who stomps on his foot…

    78th minute… and Ozil gets us running but they stop us well enough…

    Bellerin fouls again and now sees yellow…

    FK as the clock ticks into the 79th…

  85. allezkev says:

    On the radio they said that Arsenal have lost 10 of their last 16 away games in the EPL

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Over everybody and with Cech… We build from the back…

    Possession gifted away by Ramsey and we try again…

    80th min…

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack pushing into space finds Bells… His cross is blocked behind for a corner…

    Ozil takes and…

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s a poor delivery, easily cleared… Next ball in by ? and it’s easy for Forster…

  89. allezkev says:

    Our corners are so repetitive and not really as effective as they could be with some variety.

    Blimey I thought that was game over

  90. jw1 says:

    Retsub– I’ll never doubt Alexis’ desire.
    But decision-making today rendered his effort as negative.
    A de facto extra defender for SH.

    jw1

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good time wasting by So’ton on a throw-in and Madley appears to issue a warning…

    We break from it but they break from Alexis’ blocked attempt at a lob pass… The trap works down our end and they’re flagged off.

    Back with us but time is ticking down… Jack, following his own touch, get’s to it and is scythed down… FK in a good spot…

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    This could be his (Alexis’) moment…

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s a good FK but Forster is up to it and saves into touch…

    85th min… and they clear after Ollie can’t get to a high one…

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bellerin IS taking a beating on the right and So’ton have it off him…

    The goal scorer (Austin) is off to much applause and appreciation…

    We tick into the 87th minute with more So’ton possession…

  95. retsub1 says:

    Wenger out , Retsub in

  96. jw1 says:

    I stand naked. And wrong.

    jw1

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    The Brit boys try and move the ball up but Rambo lets Jack and Welbs down with a short return touch…

    THERE IT IS!!!

    Alexis lofts on Giroud’s head!!!

  98. allezkev says:

    Retsub, I doff my cap to your superior knowledge. 😀

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ah Geez, now I’m picturing JW naked… 😮

    A point has been saved and there are a few mins left to try for all three!

  100. jw1 says:

    I used to be pretty…

    jw1

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack whistled but he did stop their break… How many mins of ET?…

  102. allezkev says:

    Can we nick this?

    Ramsey injured.

  103. jw1 says:

    Ramsey limping badly.

    jw1

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    A sliding tackle after their high FK from Kola sets us forward…

    The answer is four… minutes of ET…

    So’ton kill the first with a throw-in and playing it around the back and hitting a long one which they bring down…

    Jack closes down what looked to be an open shot from 20 yds…

  105. allezkev says:

    I am definitely not picturing JW, I have just eaten. 😄

  106. retsub1 says:

    Kev if you could see the game you would see it. Arsenal are all pussy footing around and Wenger complaining to the 4th official. At least if we crossed it we had a chance

  107. allezkev says:

    It’s bad enough looking at myself

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yep, Ramsey looking the gimp out there and So’ton pushing into our end win a corner. Chance for them to nick the full points or at least run down the clock…

  109. allezkev says:

    Retsub, I have seen it mate, I’ve seen it for the last 10 years.

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    Huge crash by Cech and one of them skying for it and, after a whistle we’ve got one last chance…

    Jack finds Welbs between defenders out wide and he gets it to Kola who gets the cross in but Rambo can only dribble it for Forster to pick up easily…

    Whistle blows thrice and we’re lucky lucky Arsenal not to suffer two defeats on the trot…

  111. jw1 says:

    Take that point boys– and not look back.

    jw1

  112. allezkev says:

    Ok, 17tino, JW, great work guys, thanks for the info.
    Retsub, we live in hope.
    Lata guys.

  113. njk84sg says:

    Worst ref ever. Blatant fouls not given and the closing moments of the match we were denied an advantage.

  114. jw1 says:

    So? What’s my penance for disparaging St Alexis?

    jw1

  115. njk84sg says:

    And I do not know why most of our balls are in our area.
    When we pressure we pass the balls to the defenders rather than the attackers?
    See how Soton play and learn from them. We were bad. Really bad.

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    I want to disagree–as politely as possible–with the older English fellows (or at least Retsub) wanting more of the old English style of football. In the end, that’s how we got the goal, but only (IMO) through tremendous fortune and skill (Alexis lofted–not smashed–cross was inch perfect between defenders). On a day like this you’re probably right, however… Tough any way you slice it when you concede the first goal…

    I’ll take the point and scurry off…

  117. njk84sg says:

    And yes JW1,

    Better drop Alexis and play Welbs. His passes were way off and most of the time hit a Soton player. Our second team saved us a point.

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    Let me give JK some props for also noting that the ref didn’t help much at all. Blustery conditions, slippery pitch, ref calling hardly nothing and it’s not a good recipe… I gotta say, I’m feeling done with 3 at the back if we’re gonna give away the quick goal right at the kick-off. We wasted the next 70 mins… Or were we just clogging up the middle so we could nick a goal from the outside?…

  119. jw1 says:

    Wanted to revisit the handball PEN not given.
    Realize it was point blank on the shot– but then the ball came to nearly rest under the defender’s arm and pinned to the chest. Perhaps not intentional. But sometimes aren’t handballs the result of bad luck and physics? Seems to me that was one of those times.

    jw1

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    As soon as I salute JK he says something incomprehensible… Alexis saved us the point, didn’t he? Nobody else was gonna find Ollie’s head, I don’t think. Did you see Welbeck’s attempt at a cross? It’s still in orbit somewhere….

  121. njk84sg says:

    I am with you HT,
    We played better attacking footy with 4 at the back. And Bells should be dropped for not crossing. Matt is better in that position, 3-at-the-back or not.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon BKers, will write something later but, early warning, it will not be positive. Enjoy your afternoons, evenings, days whatever it is.

  123. 17highburyterrace says:

    Handballs–to me at least–seem even harder to get correct then the divey stuff that makes up a “regular” pen, JW… No way in hell Madley was ever gonna give one of them today. Personally, I like it that we didn’t try to win one… Mark my words, whoever gets behind in these derbies later today will get super-duper divey trying to get back into their matches…

  124. njk84sg says:

    Yes HT, but if you see his passes it is definitely not good at all. Just one good cross found the head of Ollie.

  125. jw1 says:

    Believe if we had gone to Giroud instead of Welbz as I’d hoped– we might have nicked this one.

    jw1

  126. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geez, TA, that sounds ominous…

    Please be gentle… At least on me… It’s still an hour until daylight here… Sun’s probably going down where you are, of course, but still…

  127. retsub1 says:

    17HT. I know you will blast me out of the water with eloquent wording, but yes it was a good cross. But two other factors. 1 Giroud being in the box and 2 a brilliant header by Giroud. Had he been on the bench we would have passed it another 50 times and then fed a great pass to Cech

  128. 17highburyterrace says:

    JK, the problem with Alexis, I thought, is that he wouldn’t pass it… Tried to skip around (always to his right, of course, over and over and over. Most of the time he’d lose it on the dribble, sometimes with his attempt at a pass. Running the ball through the center of the pitch–as much as we didn’t fancy putting it up in the wind given their giant keeper (and tall CB, Van Djik) was never gonna work…

  129. njk84sg says:

    I have to agree with you on our overpassing Retsub1.

    We overpassed and we were more direct with the second team. I would like it if we did a swap of teams for the UEL and PL

  130. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, J-Dub, Giroud, perhaps from the start, was probably the way and there’s a good case to be made that a match like today’s shows that Wenger’s commitment to 2 different 11s is too rigid. I’m more upset with the choice of 3 at the back. Not only is it a man too few in attack, but the BFG just slows things down every which way… Kinda like the way I picture Jack doing in MF… (But maybe Xhaka does likewise)… Whoever noted the slower pitch was (also) spot on. We’re not looking very good away from home trying to play along the ground, I fear…

  131. njk84sg says:

    Yes HT. It will not work against sumo wrestler type of defenders with just passing. We need that tyoe of defender on our team, as we did really badly in stopping a string of passes.

  132. 17highburyterrace says:

    OMG JK, you are living on another planet… In my humble opinion… At least we got a point today. Sorry, but that would’ve been a 6-nil (the wrong way) if we’d have played the group from Thursday…

    Just my opinion, of course, from here on my own little planet…

  133. njk84sg says:

    I rest my case HT 😀

  134. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, guys… I can write all morning (given that it’s so early and I’ve got nothing better to do) but I live in (deep, deep) fear of TA’s post-in-the-making.

    The more I reflect, however, the more I’m becoming keen to blame this on Wenger and the rigidity of the 2 separate 11s… (See, I too, am able to criticize the manager!!!) It may end up working out well–given the heavy schedule coming at us–but today the big man (BFG) at the back–and the little guy up front (Lacazette)–seemed ill-suited to the conditions in the stadium. 4-2-3-1 (Giroud up top) seems kinda obvious even for one (me) not given to a lot of hindsight…

    Geez… Snowing up in Liverpool, though not blowing sideways at least…

  135. jw1 says:

    When Wenger took up the 3-back formation last season– it was out of desperation.
    He copied Conte’s change at Chelsea– and got the desired effect for nearly 8 months.
    But for most of that time– he got dynamic play from the wingbacks– the entire length of the pitch.

    Now no longer the case. Been a month or more since either Hector or Sead have shone in their roles. Opportunities tend to run their course. Personnel and performance dictate change.

    jw1

  136. jw1 says:

    That snow up in Pool might be Everton’s salvation.
    Need them to get a result to keep the status quo.

    That was me per the pitch HT.
    (An Ultimate observation on the conditions.)

    jw1

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    J-Dub… That’s expressed at least as well I could have done… The change is coming, I think, but AW, I also think, often hope’s for the best and I can see why he wanted to stick with the 2 11s and give Mertesacker a chance. Also, Giroud looked just about our worst player in the mid-week match and did go the whole 90 (I’m pretty sure)…

    Regardless, to me, it’s time to start mixing and matching and trying to adjust for opponents and conditions. When all is slick and fast, play Theo and Laca together. If you need more size and toughness and hold-up play, get Giroud and Welbeck out there. Alexis and Ozil, if you can’t sign ’em, probably also need to stop getting automatic starts. Rambo seems good if we want goals, Le Coq or Elneny if it’s gonna be a tight one…

    2 CBs or 3 is an even BIGGER question and I think you’re right about some changes there. Bells started well enough for me but finished poorly. Kola got that one last cross in but, like Bells needs good conditions to do his running, which is really the best part of his game. Nacho on one side, Debuchy on the other (as part of a back 4), might have some real merits…

  138. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK then J-Dub, well done–about noting the pitch, that is. In general, I think our boys get spoiled by the smooth pitch in our (wind protected) stadium. I played a lot of golf in my day and if you’re used to fast greens (or slow ones or ones that “bite” or ones that don’t, etc., etc…) it’s gonna cost you some strokes playing on different types of grass. And, then, if the wind blows… Forget about breaking 80 and just try to keep your score in the double digits…

  139. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton might need to get the ball out of their own half if they’re looking for salvation–or to help us in the top 4 battle–I fear…

  140. 17highburyterrace says:

    Feck it’s early here… The crazy skiers/climbers/hikers with the 2nd home across the street (bought with their Google millions…) are just getting up. Usually they’re out the door at least an hour or two before my first coffee…

    C’mon people, play with me here on the blog… Watching the Merseyside just ain’t gonna do it for me this morning…

  141. retsub1 says:

    17HT I wasn’t necessarily saying that Giroud was an obvious starter. It just became apparent we needed to change things around, horses for courses etc. I know many people will think I am anti Wenger. I am anything but, but I do think he has got more predictable lately
    ..

  142. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ah, big thanks for coming around Retsub… Just me and my echo was forcing me to watch too much Liverpool (Everton are hardly in this match from what I’ve seen)… Klopp is playing a seriously weird line-up but it’s dominating even if they haven’t scored a goal yet… Ox is taking the right footer set plays (Coutinho on the bench) and they are shite…

    Retsub, I think it was JW who was pushing for Giroud the loudest… But, on a slower, yet more slippery pitch, with cold winds blowing, he did seem a good call. Back-a-zette to goal looks a lot better if the middle of the pitch isn’t completely clogged. Credit to Southampton, however. While we saw lots of shots and chances vs ManU, they must’ve watched the tape and said, “get an early goal and force them wide (and backwards) and we can ride it out… ” And they almost did. Unfortunately, we need more than a point to keep even in the hunt for CL football…

    Anyhow, it’s good to hear you’re not against the manager. I also think he’ll need to mix things up given these two mid-week matches against West Ham that are looming. We travel to the Olympic stadium on Weds (where Chelsea lost yesterday) and that won’t be an easy one. For me, he needs to switch to a 4 man back line and start working in some players from the 2nd unit.
    Then it’s Toonies at home and maybe a couple more changes with a real youth team (Nelson, Eddy, Willock, AMN from the start for the league cup. We’ll see what actually goes down, however…

    Salah finally gets the goal, turning at the side of the box and then curling it in… Mo better (than our Mo, my avatar guy)… 😦

  143. jw1 says:

    retsub– maybe not predictable– but comfortable?
    As a manager (or coach)– I’ve always tended to ride a streak (and whatever routine caused it)– for what turns out to be ‘one-game-longer’ that I should have.

    Not to say a streak wasn’t going to end. They always do.
    But more so not making changes I might have considered valid– that could have continued the run.

    Arsenal hasn’t been on a streak/run per se– other than they’ve been playing well since the 1-nil Koln loss. The two 11s theme HT has mentioned– has been the routine. Arsene found his comfortable routine. And riding it one-game-too-long.

    jw1

  144. Goonereris says:

    There’s a lot of comments I am yet to go through, starting from the top; it’s been that type of day for me. I agree with retsub1 (100% effort; zero on results) on Alexis’ output today. I would have had him off much earlier. What’s all that “repeated loss of possession and failure to give the easy pass” about?

    Second; that was a handball and penalty not given. If the ball grazed the defender’s arms, unknown to him, no problem. But when you hug the ball for a few seconds, depriving the opposition of it in the box, then no reason the ref shouldn’t be giving that. We must cut out the early concession of goals and start being on the front foot in games or other sides will think they’ve Sussed us out, scoring first and lining 10 men behind the ball.

    Unfortunately, we’ve only gained one point on Chelsea after they lost yesterday (to our next opponents) and you just know Liverpool will wipe the floor with Everton so that we are further behind them as the reverse fixture with them approaches. Not a good gap to have at this time of the season.

  145. 17highburyterrace says:

    Half-time at Liverpool and just daylight here… Crazy stuff–that the snow is falling up there but not here where the mountains could use some… Total domination by the red side and they look a very deep squad with guys like Coutinho, Firmino and Sturridge not on the pitch… Ox even hit a not-half-bad volley there… Only Row J or K and not that far wide…

    More coffee or a shower or maybe even back to bed? So many choices… See, it’s tough to be a manager…

  146. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Eris… Most definitely missed you today… I need to go back and look at the handball shout… I didn’t see such a long holding of the ball… back in a flash…

  147. retsub1 says:

    I don’t know if I am about to write a load of old twaddle (as usual) undoubtably the game and the ball have changed over the years. But most of the successful Arsenal teams that I have seen have included a decent winger . Initially it was George Armstrong then in no particular order, Brian Marwood, Anders Limpar, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljunberg and who can forget Glenn Helder??? Most of us fortunately. Kev who did I miss?

  148. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, finally found the handball shout (around 58th min) and… If that’s what we’re hoping to prevail on, our troubles might be even worse than I think… Sorry, fellas, but that would have been extremely cruel on Southampton. Yes, it got pinned under his arm and it might have even been while still in play. Giving us the corner seems about right, to me… In the end, Kola’s heavy touch was the real issue with that play…

    In many respects we were quite lucky that we only trailed by a single goal and were able to sneak out with a point…

    Despite all the possession (two matches in a row) we’re not looking very clinical with both making chances and finishing them. The points that TA made on his assessment of the ManU match seem more pointed after this one… I hate to say…

  149. 17highburyterrace says:

    Retsub, I can’t say if that’s a load of twaddle, but I will say that I always try and have respect for my elders… And you’re sure sounding like one there… 😀

    From what you’re saying…available personnel notwithstanding… wouldn’t a quality winger have more of a chance if we’re playing a 442 from the get go? That’s most of my takeaway on the day, as I think is JW’s. (And fine enough if we want to call it a 433 or a 4-2-3-1 or whatever…)

    As time goes by (and Everton remind me more and more of a bunch of blue elves at Santa’s workshop) I’m beginning to look more and more forward to TA’s negativity…

  150. jw1 says:

    Gotta laugh watching Sam Allardyce trying to use a headset on the sidelines.
    He’s holding an earbud in one ear and the mic pod in the other– and reminds of this:

    jw1

  151. jw1 says:

    (Well then. My HTML insert didn’t fare well!)

    jw1

  152. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice one, JW…

    I guess at 1-nil… Everton are still in with a shout… Or maybe, Liverpool are just as non-clinical (massively inefficient) as we are… The title is (soooooo…) out of reach, but the top 4 trophy isn’t…

    And just as I write that Calvert-Lewin “wins” a pen!!

  153. 17highburyterrace says:

    And Rooney (who I haven’t notice for the entire match) converts… Pool with 15 mins to make things right….

  154. 17highburyterrace says:

    Fat Sam must’ve called in some favors (favours?) from somewhere… Paying back all the bungs, or something…

  155. jw1 says:

    Everton have levelled!

    jw1

  156. jw1 says:

    Coutinho with a FK centrally from 20– perfectly placed upper-left corner but Pickford anticipates and saves

    jw1

  157. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nicely placed FK from Coutinho… With no snow–in Barca for example–that one might’ve had enough power to go in…

    Took some time off the clock in the end…

  158. jw1 says:

    Yeah– right about this time of year– Coutinho must be peeved…

    jw1

  159. 17highburyterrace says:

    This is the experience of the Arsenal fan, JW… Oftentimes more fun to watch our rivals struggle than to watch our own…

  160. 17highburyterrace says:

    Question for you jw1… Why do your comments (and often JK’s from Singapore) have the name stamp at the bottom?

  161. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, how much extra time here… Seems to me that there haven’t been too many stoppages…

  162. jw1 says:

    For we don’t live and die with every detail.

    jw1

  163. 17highburyterrace says:

    4 mins, one already played but Pool are hemming the blues back and Firmino, if he’d broken more quickly, might’ve gotten something on that one…

  164. jw1 says:

    Habit. Like a ‘close tag’.

    / jw1

  165. 17highburyterrace says:

    Exactly, JW… Also, as I keep saying, it’s a game of constant failure and the rarest of successes… So the chances are always in our favor…

    3 mins played as Henderson, off balance and lacking enough power, can’t quite get his balloon shot into Row Z…

  166. jw1 says:

    I so loathe pulling for Mourinho.
    But there are only going to be so many legitimate opportunities at slowing City.

    jw1

  167. 17highburyterrace says:

    Finishes 1-1… Nothing lost on Pool, one gained on Chelsea (and probably one to get back from United) and still ahead of Totts… That point of ours is looking better and better… Take it and run (and don’t look back at the mess that it was)…

  168. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pep works hard to keep his group going in all the matches but I sense they might let down against lower competition at some point. Sterling has already saved more results than he deserves in his career, let alone in a season…

    Against United today, the better players will be well up for it, I fear… Plus, I can’t (ever) pull for MooU…

  169. jw1 says:

    United with Rojo at CB. That’s flammable.

    jw1

  170. 17highburyterrace says:

    23 to 3 on shots but only 3-2 for shots on goal…79% possession for Pool… Who can be the least efficient might be who finishes (outside not) in the CL spots…

  171. allezkev says:

    Rocky Rocastle was quite good on the wing Retsub 😉

  172. allezkev says:

    I used to like Jimmy Robertson, never won anything with him though and wasn’t Peter Marinello in the 70/71 Double team?

  173. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gabby Jesus to get Rojo sent off? Sorry, but for me, the South American defenders (meaning Rojo and Otamendi) don’t seem up to it in England… As if they haven’t quite learned the difference between backing off the divers and trying to maim the natives (who tend to keep running at least until they feel the contact)…

    I probably have to watch this one…waiting for my people to wake up… Wrong, here comes wifey… Time to pull some additional espresso and sneak a sip…

  174. jw1 says:

    Strange thing about the PL.
    2 teams who would be 2/3/4 in most other Euro leagues won’t make it into CL play.
    Then there’s Burnley too. At present– they could be Top-4 in other leagues.

    jw1

  175. 17highburyterrace says:

    Time for one of you guys to search you-tube for the grainy Youtube clips of the legends, I say… You’ve got my address, send in your post(s)…

  176. 17highburyterrace says:

    J-Dub, in truth, I thought our match against Burnley was as good as anything we’ve put out there in recent weeks, including the 2-nil and 5-1… And they should’ve kept us to a point, in truth…

  177. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey… Question for the oldsters (or all you watching in Britain)… Was the match on the telly? I know Kev chose to listen, but was that out of habit or necessity?…

  178. 17highburyterrace says:

    That said–about the Burnley game–I think Calvert-Lewin’s pen today was at least as, er, well-crafted, as Ramsey’s…

  179. jw1 says:

    Lukaku has gone cold after the early spate of (inconsequential) goals (where MU was adding on buckets-full at the ends of matches). Being the PL player who logged the least distance last season? With Zlatan is almost ready to play more? Mourinho likely to start sniping sometime soon..

    jw1

  180. retsub1 says:

    Kevl lked Jimmy Robertson as well, but I think he was a Spurs man bfore or after,..petroleum Marinello scored that great goal at old traffford and after that.. not much st al from memory

  181. allezkev says:

    17tino, I won’t buy into the Sky/BT package thing, if I could see Arsenal games on a one off basis, much like you get a per-per-view movie/film, then I’d do that, but there’s too much rubbish on the package that I’m not interested in to invest in it, so I listen to the radio, watch MotD and other highlights on free to air TV.
    Then there’s always YouTube to see highlights and Arsenalist from Toronto for other highlights.

  182. allezkev says:

    Retsub, we swapped David Jenkins for Jimmy Robertson from Spurs. Jenkins faded from things and drifted out of football after Tottenham, Robertson left Arsenal for Ipswich Town in 1970 I think.

  183. jw1 says:

    Kev–

    Don’t know about it in UK but NBC has a ‘Sports Gold’ package that has ‘cafeteria-style’ offerings on some events. And– there are ways to get around IP address identity that forbids access to broadcasts in other countries. One is to use Google Chrome’s ‘incognito window’ that blocks your location. Or the Tor browser– which is used for IP spoofing. You could also look at a VPN service (not expensive)– that would allow you to legally access those services abroad.

    jw1

  184. allezkev says:

    Two things stand out when I think of Peter Marinello, the goal he got on his debut at Old Trafford as you mentioned Retsub.

    And the other is, standing on the North Bank terraces at Highbury and watching Marinello being put through on goal against Ajax in the European Cup and having a weak finish saved.

    I also recall watching Marinello and George Graham playing in the reserves around 1972 and hearing George call Marinello a cu*t during the game.
    No love lost between those two methinks.

  185. allezkev says:

    JW, thanks buddy, appreciate the info.
    Not sure my IT skills can pull it of, but I’ll give it a go. 👍🏼

  186. 17highburyterrace says:

    Catching up and it’s like two different languages–neither of which I speak… 😀

    Kev and Retsub are talking in black & white about dead or Zimmerframe people pushing around a leather ball on mud-patches while JW is talking about ways of stealing bytes out of some sort of webby-cloudy thing–to get around the extortion-ary pricing of the Sports monopolies…

    Checking the “guide” on my satellite schedule, my $100/month DOES get me the West Ham match on Wednesday (I thought for sure that I was gonna miss it, refusing to pay the extra $50 for the Sports Gold thingee…)

    Happy days, unless, of course, Arsenal are stuck in their conceding early–attacking futility modus…

  187. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bad leg in by Hererra but Jesus… What a dive… Kompany with a crushing tackle off the ground and out of control… Heating up though the snow keeps falling…

  188. allezkev says:

    17tino it’s quite worrying to find yourself chatting about footballers you’ve watched who are probably in retirement homes or brown bread.

  189. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think I left out some commas in that last one… Better not show my English teaching wife… esp. now that she’s an administrator AND has had her espresso…

  190. 17highburyterrace says:

    “Brown bread”… Never heard that one before, Kev, but I like it… 🙂

  191. 17highburyterrace says:

    How do you get the thumbs up icon, which is what I shoulda used…

    On another note, though they haven’t made the breakthrough, I’m quite impressed how City are able to stretch (side to side) the United defenders in a way we couldn’t a week ago… Just gotta hope they slip up somewhere before they hit 49…

  192. allezkev says:

    JW I used to be on GMail, but binned it when they began to keep and harvest all your info, it’s getting a bit too Blade Runner for my liking these days.

  193. allezkev says:

    Emoji on my iPad 17tino

  194. 17highburyterrace says:

    Once the title is gone…And they’re out of Europe… I wonder if the Moo-man can get his ManU players buying into this all-defending-all-the-time way of playing… Seems like not much fun at least for the more attack minded guys… (And, hopefully, the last thing Ozil would want to do…)

  195. 17highburyterrace says:

    More good stuff, Kev… I hate Apple almost as much as I do Google, but you can’t fight progress or something… A worrying number of folks I know here in California, including a cousin or two are working for the G-monster… Eventually it will be everybody… Unless you’re stuck in an Amazon warehouse…

  196. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rojo gets both his head smashed and a yellow card… Nobody quite brown bread but surely they’ll have a lump or two on their noggins…

  197. retsub1 says:

    Sorry this bloody spellchecker drives me potty

  198. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, Kev, is “brown bread” Cockney (rhyming slang) or just descriptive… or maybe both?

    Big stoppage here so that Moo can tell his “attackers,” “Hey guys, you gotta get back and help defend, eh…”

  199. 17highburyterrace says:

    Who’s better amongst the small and bald midfielders: Jack Wilshere or David Silva? Surely the Jack lovers won’t take things THAT far…

  200. allezkev says:

    17tino, one day Apple and Google will run the world.

    They’re halfway there already.

  201. allezkev says:

    City 1-0

  202. retsub1 says:

    Oh dear

  203. 17highburyterrace says:

    Damn, maybe hitting the cross-bar or going over, but that is some save from De Gea…

    And from the corner the little bald guy makes it one-nil…

  204. allezkev says:

    Cockney slang 17tino, brown bread = dead. 😉

  205. jw1 says:

    Kev–

    I play in a 50+ softball league with over 300 players (some of whom are in their mid-80s).
    We have a saying: “It’s a good day when you wake up on this side of the turf.”

    jw1

  206. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kev, my ‘puter here (an Acer…) cost $300 and our whole house tries to use it more than the $1200 Apple we bought a couple of years back… My people love their phones, however…

  207. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s a good one as well, JW… Even got me lol-ing…

  208. retsub1 says:

    Never been so happy to see those boys score

  209. jw1 says:

    Be interesting watching Moo go after the game.
    1-nil or 5-4 makes no difference now.

    jw1

  210. 17highburyterrace says:

    WOW, that’s gotta be counted as an own-assist…

    Moo back to his familiar pastures for the 2nd half, I fear…

  211. allezkev says:

    I’ve actually got a Readers Digest dictionary that has section on slang, some of it is ancient, even before my time if you can believe that 17tino…

    1-1

    Slang is constantly evolving, for example rub-a-dub = pub, is a more recent addition to London colloquialism although Cockney is really spoken outside of London now, as the demographics of the inner city population has changed.

  212. retsub1 says:

    Wow would you Adam and Eve it

  213. 17highburyterrace says:

    As good as City might look there MUST be a team in the CL who can defend better… Enough diving, however, could overcome such things… 😦

  214. allezkev says:

    JW, ha ha ha, I love it mate, I must remember that….
    Yes, every day is a good day when you wake up… 🙂

  215. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, Kev, most of my forays east (and south) from Highbury were in search of (better) curries… I heard a good one in the Spittalfields market at the food court… A Scottish tourist saying there’s a hair in my egg-roll and the Chinese cook saying, yes, carrot… (no hair, yes carrot, over and over…)

  216. allezkev says:

    17tino I used to have a Packard Bell PC, it was really good and then my son bought me an iPad mini and the PC went in the trash can.
    Now I am well and truely under the control of Apple. As insidious as they are, I just love their products. I guess I’m just shallow. 😀

  217. 17highburyterrace says:

    Roberto Martinez doing commentary at half-time is probably worth turning off the mute… A nicer fellow than Wenger… I’d like him as our next manager, in fact… The Moo technique (brutal criticism of your own players) probably plays better with the average “supporter,” I’m guessing…

  218. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Kev, as long as you can get the black-cab fares (and keep Uber out of town) you’ll be able to afford the Apple gear… Good luck with that bit about keeping Uber out… 😀 😦

  219. allezkev says:

    Wasn’t Martinez being touted as a future Arsenal boss until he went to Everton and wheels came off of his career. Koeman likewise, there’s something about going to Everton.

  220. jw1 says:

    (Not to brag honestly, but because) Over the 20+ years I’ve been involved in work requiring PCs?
    Sitting in my living room there are eight (4 are several-to-many years old; re-purposed for specific tasks.) My better-half has one in the guest bedroom where she works part-time– and am betting I could do a dig in the garage and find 1 or more that I could possibly get running. Though– only two bought new. Nothing wrong with refurbed tech. Donating a couple of the laptops somewhere soon.

    And with all this? My sweetie sits mostly playing games on her (Android) phone…

    jw1

  221. allezkev says:

    17tino we are all lumbered long-term with Uber mate, there’s too much serious dough invested in them for it to fail, I’m under no illusions about Uber having their operators licence renewed despite the weasel words of the London Mayor and TfL. The only reason their licence came under question was because the Metropolitan Police was publicising all the sexual assaults by Uber drivers that had been covered up.
    Too many snouts in the trough mate.

  222. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton, like Totts, lose too many players too regularly… Which, it seems, we might be starting to do once again if Ozil won’t take the money (Like the Ox wouldn’t… Playing him and drawing with such domination today, Hmmmm…) If Martinez can get Belgium far enough in the World Cup (Quarters: OK, Semis: Brilliant) he might get back into good stead in the football coaching world…

  223. jw1 says:

    Or leaving Everton.
    *coughMoyescough*

  224. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, Uber, take ride, turn it into a date… 😦

    City back in front… Another own-assist on a long ball…

  225. 17highburyterrace says:

    If Moyes beats Chelsea on Saturday and Arsenal on Wednesday 😮 He’s back, baby…

  226. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kev, how about a post on some of your taxi stories (even if you don’t have the “back-seat video” as we have over here–“Cab Confidential,” I think they call it)…?

  227. jw1 says:

    “Another own-assist on a long ball…”
    What you get asking Lukaku to defend goal.

    jw1

  228. 17highburyterrace says:

    No way back for United I don’t think, though they at least have a FK, Sterling not going TO the pass (remember those sorts from disc, JW?)… Rashford takes it but it’s well over…

    Sane, at 21, what a player…

    De Gea, too…

  229. 17highburyterrace says:

    The younger United players have some real pace to them… So you never know… Lingard and Martial certainly made us hurt a week ago… Is Ibra an option… In truth, I’m mostly talking to my wife as much as watching the match…

  230. jw1 says:

    Yep. Not about yardage– just possession.

    jw1

  231. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hererra and Silva do some Spanish dancing out there… No real danger in it, I don’t think… Speaking of my wife and Spanish dancing, I’d like her to continue the flamenco dancing lessons she took when we were in Andalucia… kinda “scary hot,” if you know what I mean…

  232. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rashford wins a corner… and Ibra in for Lingard before it’s taken… Moo’s last roll of the dice… Comes to nothing… so my guess is that this one is over…

  233. 17highburyterrace says:

    The keeper with the scary tattoos seems like he’s sound enough to buck up the iffier City defenders… Maybe? I really haven’t watched them all that much…

  234. 17highburyterrace says:

    Herrera… A dive? Pretty close that one… Lukaku–if he’d gone down just before–might have gotten the call. They’re getting in the box at least…

  235. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sane is German, right? It could be fun watching him and Ozil at the WC… Gundogan? Is he a German-Turk (like Ozil)? Terrible pass, but blames the other guy…

    Germany should be favorites at the WC, I’m guessing, but maybe Messi will collude with Putin and finally win it for the Chays, er, Ches…

  236. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow, just me and my echo… Nobody still watching?… Or maybe watching too closely?…

  237. jw1 says:

    Ederson saves the game with dual saves.

    jw1

  238. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow!! Ederson double save when United looked sure to score… Point blankers by Lukaku then Mata… Replay shows that City used a face AND a hand to keep them out…

    Ibra set up the whole chance with great back to goal work and the pass out wide…

  239. jw1 says:

    United gets the DeGea treatment.

    jw1

  240. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, but both these teams are at another level than Arsenal… And then they’ll take Ozil and Alexis… The rich get richer seems the way of the world… 😦

  241. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s a classic from my youth…

  242. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s the great part of no commentary… You can make your own sound-track… It’s not TA’s heavy metal, but so it goes… 😉

  243. jw1 says:

    Honestly don’t think Sanchez will go somewhere that he’s not on the team sheet every game.
    So– he’s going to unseat whom at City again?

    jw1

  244. 17highburyterrace says:

    Plant your flower and you’ll grow a pearl…

    Child is born with a heart of gold…

    Way of the world makes his heart grow cold…

    😦

  245. 17highburyterrace says:

    He’s better than both Sterling and Gunda-already-gone… El Kun is too old to even get a minute in this match (or injured again)… Silva doesn’t seem able to play every match either…

  246. jw1 says:

    EW&F was slick.

    jw1

  247. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sterling looked good with the one-handed running… Until the pass behind the old bald guy…

  248. 17highburyterrace says:

    Maurice White, the soul of the group (EWF) is now brown bread… more frownies…

    Full time and ManU only lose by the one goal… Mooral victory, as they say…

  249. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow… That was a fun (enough) 6+ hours (more fun as it went on…) Thanks guys for the company… Just getting warm enough for some outdoor activity on a(nother) sunny (but snow free) day… Looks like the eastern half of our country may get all the winter again this year…

  250. jw1 says:

    Aguero is same age as Alexis.
    Silva seems ageless. Sane and Jesus are the future.
    And Sterling has found his niche the last 6 weeks at age 22.
    Then there is the best all-rounder of the lot DeBruyne.

    Alexis will not keep two of them sitting every matchday.
    His WC career over– he could finish his career a legend at Arsenal.
    Guess it depends on how much money he needs after football.

    jw1

  251. allezkev says:

    Stories from the back of my cab 17tino, some of them I could never repeat on a family blog like this one… 😉

    Freddie Ljungberg was an interesting guy, Jens Lehmann was more focused in getting a receipt than talking football, Teddy Sheringham was a moody sod in a loud suit, not that I wanted to talk to him anyway, Alan Brazil was a nice guy, Paul Davis was a gent, most players are too important to get cabs these days, they prefer a limo.

    City looked invincible – there, I’ve said it…. ☹️

  252. allezkev says:

    JW, I reckon that Arsenal are going to go down the youth route again, the Ozil/Alexis experiment was nice why it lasted, but the investment needed to be greater for us to really challenge, now whether it’s Arsene or someone else I think it’s going to be back to signing potential rather than the finished article.

  253. allezkev says:

    It was rather sad seeing Mertesaker struggling, he was so caught out for the Southampton goal.
    Gotta go back to a back four at the Olympic Stadium this Weds.
    I wonder if either Holding or Chambers will come into contention?

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see a Giroud start although who he partners up front could be interesting.
    Most would think a straight choice out of Lacazette and/or Alexis, but personally I’d start Welbeck up front with Olivier.

    Also maybe it’s time to bring Walcott back into the squad?
    For all his ‘faults’ he is actually a half decent goalscorer…

  254. jw1 says:

    Kev–

    Hope to offer a view of the club’s machinations– through an intriguing lens– with the piece I’ll be submitting around Christmas time.

    jw1

  255. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey fellas… Just catching up… Long day… But one that (more or less) improved as it went along…

    I’ll be on the road for the next 9 or 10 days so it’s questionable if or how much I’ll be able to do the live-blog thing… I sure did enjoy it this morning, however, esp. after our “great” escape… I *should* be more settled after Dec. 20th or thereabouts…

    Gotta say I’m agreeing with what Kev is saying there about both the club and the immediate team stuff… I’m not quite as worried about City going for 49 in a row… Somewhere back in my hundreds of posts I made mention of a hint about the frailties I can sense in their team but we shall see. Pretty impressed by United today as well, I hate to say…

    On the other hand, I can’t say much about all the nasty stuff in the back of the cab…including the Sheringham… 😀 Still think it could be worthy of a post, however… As I’m quite sure J-Dub’s will be too…

    Night night for me…

  256. Pony Eye says:

    Great stuff all and commendable mood too (not much turbulence). Maybe we’ve successfully adjusted our expectations. Remember the formula (Expectation minus Achievement equals Frustration E-A=F). I took time off to recalibrate.

    For me it’s not a bad wkend. Top 6 teams : Chl and Manu got zero points. Liv lost 2 pts at home. Who cares about the runaway ManC or the minnows Spuds.

    Cheers HT. Great work!

  257. njk84sg says:

    Lets look forward to the next game on Wednesday night against the Hammers.
    Will they be Hammering us like they did against the Chavs or will they turn into Hamsters?

  258. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you are back and healthy, PE. Give us a sign earlier next time as we were getting worried about you.

  259. Pony Eye says:

    Cheers TA, never guessed my little absence would be noticed. But I was visiting regularly.

  260. allezkev says:

    Östersunds (Sweden) a very useful short trip to Scandinavia, lucky Arsenal. 😃

  261. allezkev says:

    JW,
    I look forward to your considered observations on the present situation and where our club needs to go forward.

    17tino, don’t overdo it mate, but at least you’ll be back for the Scousers on the 22nd.

    I’m going to the West Ham Cup tie next week, really looking forward to seeing Eddie again and the youngsters, win and it could be a very very congested January.

  262. Goonereris says:

    Nice draw. Another chance to see the youngsters I guess.

    As for the CL, Chelsea v Barca and PSG v Real Madrid stand out.

  263. jw1 says:

    Eris, Kev–

    Arsenal need to be sharp and (dare I say it?) clinical, on Wednesday.
    Undoubtedly Chelsea was looking past WHU on Saturday.
    But that was no outlier either. The Hammers were even better against City the previous week– and were denied a result by the quality (and quantity!) of City’s attackers.

    Chavs should hope they were only looking past the Hammers.
    West Ham were somewhat physical– though clean.
    Barca? Could burn Saturday’s Chelsea to the ground and salt it.

    So what looked a less-than game on the fixture list 3 weeks ago?
    Looks to be a tough fight.

    jw1

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