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Arsenal 3 Stoke City 1

December 11, 2016

Since beating Basel I was really looking forward to the Stoke match. For some reason beating the men from Modor always makes me feel good. Once again Arsene picked an attacking looking line up.

After thirty-five minutes, I was thinking “here we go again” the only have to step onto the pitch and we’ve won this attitude ploy was prevalent.

Passing was a lacklustre, coming forward was laboured, giving the orcs plenty of time to re-group. The seven fingered, one eyed mob were making a few chances because the team did not seem awake. No surprise when Modor FC grabbed a penalty and went 1-0 up. All opponents are getting penalties at the Emirates nowadays, it is written in FA laws, Rule 35 (sub section 2(b))

Not sure what Mason was playing at either when Sauron the Dark Lord keeper of Mordor FC started wasting time  whilst getting ready in the changing room before the match even kicked off. I get it, that if your winning away with ten minutes to go you might start time wasting, gamesmanship, but not that early, surely? Moss just kept turning his back, until shortly after half time when he had a word.

Arsenal finally started to click with around ten minutes left of the first half and were rewarded with yet another well worked team goal. Xhaka-Ozil-Monreal-Coquelin-Oxo-Bellerin-Xhaka-Sanchez-Bellerin and then tucked away by Theo

Much better second half as Arsenal took total control. This was rewarded with a superbly flighted ball from Oxo to Ozil and he actually chipped a header over the time wasting, waste of space, seven fingered Mordor FC keeper. Now waste time You muppet.

On came the lanky streak of piss that is Crouch and he almost got an equaliser with his first touch, which, surprisingly was with his head., but Cech saved well.

Iwobi-Sanchez (who was fouled and stamped on by the odious Adam), the ref let the game go on and Iwobi picked up the ball and passed his shot past the time wasting piece of space Henryesque into the net, 3-1 Arsenal.

Some of the football in the second half was once again a joy to watch. Arsenal starting to look the real deal. When Arsenal play the passing game that has speed, control, accuracy and looking to go forward and not side wards they are a different animal.

Xhaka run the game. The Defence benefits from not giving the ball away cheaply going forward. Ozil it not making assists. But wait! Ozil is scoring goals instead. Sanchez is a phenomenal player in everything he does, including work rate.

Coquelin was once again everywhere and biting back at our opponents, in their faces. Theo is looking stronger and less afraid on putting in a tackle or being tackled. Oxo benefits from more minutes. Bellerin is such a good footballer and very dangerous going forward. I like Iwobi a sort of morphed TH14/Kanu type player who could go a long way

Finishing the day top-of-the-league (albeit for maybe only twenty-four hours) was also a nice bonus as I was going out for meal last night and boy doesn’t it seem a lot better. Our next two opponents both got tuned over yesterday so this could be a good week. Not expecting much from WBA today – said in hope with reverse psychology. Having really looked forward to this match, I left having enjoyed the match.

I once went to the “Doctor and told him I can’t pronounce my F’s, T’s and H’s” He said “Well you can’t say fairer than that then” Which sums this yesterdays match nicely.

Cheers

@Harlowgooner

 

Basel 1 Arsenal 4

December 11, 2016

Arsene Wenger picked a strong team even though many including myself thought it might be better not to do so, seeing how it looked odds on that PSG would win the group after our home draw with them. Fair play to him, he got it right.

Gabriel once again kept at right back. Mustafi rested for Holding. The never complain Gibbs at left back. Xhaka teaming up with Ramsey. Iwobi back in. Ospina taking up place between the posts for the Champions League.

When the match kicked off and I saw Arsenal pass the ball along the back four of Gabriel to Koscielny to Holding to Gibbs and back again about four times, I though Arsenal are going to control this game, and control it they did.

Perez bagged a hat trick with a hat trick of assist from Gibbs. The first a tap in after a good chipped pass from Sanchez found Gibbs who crossed to Perez whose good control and composure then tidily dispatched the ball into the net.. The second after a thirty-seven pass move that saw Gibbs a shot saved and Perez pick up the loose ball and put it into the net for 2-0

The third and flick by Sanchez saw Perez free on goal and he tucked his shot away nicely with a cross shot into the bottom corner. Then after lovely chipped pass from Sanchez to Ozil, who in turn crossed the ball low into the path of Iwobi saw Arsenal go 4-0 up and game over.

Sanchez had a superb shot from a free kick which hit the bar with venom after it swerved and dipped. WOW! That would have taken me back to memories of the FACup Final v Aston Villa had it gone in.

Another very professional away performance from Arsenal. I doubt many expected Arsenal to win so convincingly. OK! Basel were not that great but I felt much of this was down to Arsenal’s play, than how Basel set themselves out for the match.

With PSG unable to beat Ludogorets Arsenal ended up topping the group and now could face Bayern or Real Madrid. A wink and a nod from Paris maybe? No way did expect that to be happening at 7.45pm on Tuesday night. I suppose if you want to win the Champions League you have to play the other big opponents at some stage and at least you get second leg played at home.

Maybe with the League Cup now a distant memory, Internationals not back till end of March and the Champions League placed on the shelf until Mid-February this gives Arsenal and other teams a break to concentrate on domestic football for a while. Hopefully Arsenal can capitalise on this.

I’m starting to enjoy going to watch Arsenal recently. I felt was getting to the stage I was simply going for the sake of it as the football of last eighteen months was not that great, save in patches. This is what us football supporters do, we support our team, thick or thin, during matches. We praise or criticise after the match. However, it’s always better when you team is playing well and bossing games and look like they could make a proper challenge for the Silverware being dished out come May.

Cheers

@Harlowgooner

 

West Ham United 1 Arsenal 5

December 4, 2016

Apart from Coquelin, the team rested against Southampton were all restored for this match. Jenkinson was apparently taken out of the spotlight from his mid-week  performance against Southampton and replaced at right back by Gabriel who this week had, had his own nightmares to contend with.

 

How refreshing it was to see Arsenal play and dominate most of a game of football. Right from the off it was clear Arsenal were winning this match. I reckon the players could have taken their feet off the pedal, put the handbrake on, played with less intensity, feel exhausted from previous matches, no urgency, lack focus, played Sanchez strapped in a wheelchair and we’d still have won. The most one-sided Arsenal v West Ham match since I saw Arsenal beat them 6-1 at Highbury in 1976 with Brian Kidd scoring a hat-trick Alan Ball grabbing two and the legendary George Armstrong getting the other.

 

OK! West Ham had injuries, but that’s something Arsenal have had to put up with for years. I could not believe the amount of times Arsenal attacked down the left and crosses from Oxo and Nacho were put into the box and we could not finish. I thought some of the balls were placed into the right areas and yet Sanchez, Theo and our midfielders were simply not gambling and expecting the ball put on a plate to them towards the edge of the box.

 

A few minutes spell of West Ham pressure saw the first shot of the match in anger came from Lanzini as Cech saved at the near post. Then West Ham’s make shift defence lost the ball under pressure from Coquelin (who I thought was superb) the ball run to Sanchez who cleverly knocked the ball past the West Ham defender and squared to Ozil for a simple tap in 1-0 Arsenal. The beauty of closing down your opponents and not letting them play.

 

The rest of the half was all about Arsenal not having composure going forward and wasting chances with poor final balls. The half ended 1-0. I have mentioned it before, I’m not sure what the half time team talk is all about in the dressing room but like Sunderland away Arsenal came out half-a-sleep. West Ham started to rally, the crowd grew in voice and you could almost feel a typical Arsenal coming up.

 

Arsenal then brought on Ramsey and were back to their full compliment of eleven players. Then after more chances at being wasteful and not being composed enough in front of goal, a pass from Mustafi was pinged into Sanchez who with his magnetic feet, controlled the ball, turned, beat two players and rifled the ball into the net with an authority that he made his mind up it was going to be goal.  I do love it when a player finishes with purpose.

 

Sanchez was at it again eight minutes later with a twenty yard half volley that was placed just out of reach of Randolph. West Ham then got a soft free and Payet’s superb shot hit the bar and who else would be there to stick the ball into the net from the rebound with his head but Carroll. This bloke is simply a head, the rest of him is pointless.

 

Oxo was up next planting a cracking shot from all of 25/30 yards in to make it 4-1 (I though Oxo also looked good and should be given a longer run the team). Two minutes later Oxo set Sanchez free and though offside the play was allowed to continue. The West Ham defender was beat, Sanchez bored down on goal, did a step over, sat the keeper on the seat of his pants before chipping the ball into the net for 5-1. This season we have seen two goals from Ozil and Sanchez that have been world class.

 

Many of the West Ham faithful had, long  enough since left and swaths of white seats reflected their displeasure. I do tend to feel a bit sorry for West Ham fans the move has hit them hard. It’s not a football stadium. The Arsenal fans chanting is “is this the Emirates” saying loudly what modern football has become.

 

Gabriel played well at right back. Koscielny is simply superb and though not yet there with Adams and O’Leary in the legend stakes the bloke is a proper defender. His partnership with Mustafi is looking very good. At the back of them we have a superb keeper in Cech, the man is the epitome of cool. Xhaka should start from now on as his partnership with Coquelin suits out style of play. Ozil was simply Ozil.

 

I still have my doubts though about Arsenal. We turned up for about seventy minutes of yesterdays match, yet when we play like that at Everton and City, I’ll really start to believe we have moved on.

 

How nice to be able to feel really good about a win. It would not be to outlandish to say it could have been 10-1.

 

Cheers

@harlowgooner

 

Manchester United 1 Arsenal 1

November 23, 2016

The following article was written by my 15-year-old Son. It is his wish to go into Journalism as a career and he has taken over this blog  as a learning curve. Should you have any comments please do feel free to leave constructive criticism and maybe even a bit of advice that may assist him going forward.

Mata (68′) Giroud (89′)

The first fifteen minutes of the match neither team were able to control the game for any length of time. Both sides seemed more interested in not wanting to concede early on rather than try to take the initiative. The game was littered with poor passing and fouls. Following this period only tame efforts from Pogba and Mata for United and an Alexis header that went well wide was all either team could muster.

Then ten minutes before half time, Mata became the first player to test either of the goalkeepers, when his low driven shot across the goal was well saved by Cech. Elneny then had a shot but way to high to worry De Gea. Then it was Martial’s turn to have a shot which was well tipped over the bar by Cech. the half time whistle went with the level.

In the first fifteen minutes of the second half there were not many chances and again the match was being littered with cheap fouls and both teams poor in possession. This was, until, Arsenal began to give the ball away cheaply coming out of defence and this gave Manchester United the impetus to put pressure on Arsenal. United won a series of corners and this pressure finally lead to the breakthrough as, on the sixty-eighth minute,  Herrera cut the ball back to Mata who finished calmly into the bottom left corner. Both Coquelin and more so Walcott not tracking their men. Arsenals much improved character this season was again to be put to the test

Manchester United could then have put day light between the two teams when Rojo just headed wide from a Blind cross at the back post. However, Arsenal as they have done a few times this season responded with a last-minute goal. Arsenal substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain beat Rashford down the right hand side, put a superb cross in that was just begging to be headed into the net and Giroud obliged with a proper centre forwards header sending the Arsenal fans crazy. Both late substitutes combining well.

A draw was just about a fair result as Manchester United did not play that well themselves and Arsenal’s defence did not deserve to be on the losing side. However, with Manchester City and Chelsea winning both teams may feel disappointed to not have won.

Thanks for reading

@Lukeafc01

Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham

November 22, 2016

The following article was written by my 15-year-old Son. It is his wish to go into Journalism as a career and he has taken over this blog  as a learning curve. Should you have any comments please do feel free to leave constructive criticism and maybe even a bit of advice that may assist him going forward.

Many thanks

Steve

Wimmer (42′ og), Kane (51′)

The much anticipated game of the season for both teams finished with honours even as neither Arsenal or Tottenham were at their best. Arsenal again failing to take their chance to go top of the league.

In the early parts of the match, the game was extremely cagey as it looked like both teams did not want to lose all three points with the top six being as very tight. Spurs were looking the better side and looking more in control.

In the 35th minute, Arsenal started raising their game and began to have some major chances of note. The most obviously being Iwobi’s miss hit shot after possibly the best move of the match and then seeing a Walcott strike cannon back off the bar with Ozil unable to turn in the ball as it rebounded to him.

With only three minutes remaining until half-time, a cross from an Ozil free kick saw Wimmer head past his own keeper Lloris and into his own net giving Arsenal a 1-0 lead going into the break.

Arsenal came out for the second half Arsenal looking nervous, and this was typified by their defending when in the 50th minute Dembele travelled with ease into the Arsenal both and was brought down by Koscielny, with Clattenburg given no choice but to award the penalty. Harry Kane slotted home the spot kick to level and also give Tottenham a bit of hope.

Eriksen then went close for Spurs with a nicely struck volley which was well saved by Cech and Nacho Monreal made a last ditch tackle at the back post to stop Tottenham snatching all three points from Arsenal.

Finally, very late on, Giroud went close with a header hat in the end was well caught by Lloris in the Spurs goal. A spurs free kick also cannoned off the inside of the post after it had travelled over everybody in the penalty area.

Not really the result either set of fans would have wanted, but seeing as both teams were pretty average a draw was no doubt better than a loss to local rivals supporters. The North London derby is normally one of the better of the English local derbies, but this game with both sides only mustering five shots on target was one that won’t be remembered.

Thanks for reading

@Lukeafc01

Sunderland 1 Arsenal 4

October 30, 2016

The following article was written by my 15-year-old Son. It is his wish to go into Journalism as a career and he has taken over this blog  as a learning curve. Should you have any comments please do feel free to leave constructive criticism and maybe even a bit of advice that may assist him going forward.

Many thanks

Steve

Sunderland 1-4 Arsenal

Team Selection

Arsène Wenger made two changes from the last league match against Middlesbrough, with Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing Walcott and Gibbs coming in at left back for Nacho Monreal. Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud also returned to the squad and were on the bench.

First Half

Arsenal knew a good win in this early kick off would send them top of the Premier League. The team started well and, after twenty minutes, took the lead when a move made up of 21 passes lead to a superb cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain which was headed home superbly by Sanchez to put Arsenal 1-0 up. All Sunderland looked to be offering was rotational fouling.

If Sunderland were to get anything out of the game they would have needed to open up a bit more and van Aanholt went close from a free kick. Oxlade-Chamberlain played a nice long ball over the Sunderland defence into the path of Ozil whose chip was comfortably saved by Pickford. Arsenal, as they tend to do then strolled to the half-time whistle with most of the possession yet not much threat to the Sunderland goal.

Second Half

Arsenal came and carried on strolling around as if waiting for something to happen rather than forcing something to happen.  Far too many passes that went from the half way line, around the box and ended up back at the half way line.

At 1-0 a game is never safe and this proved the case shortly after Arsenal had a fair shout for penalty turned down, as Whatmore was then deemed to have been fouled by Cech as he rounded the Arsenal keeper after some poor defending from Mustafi let him clean through on goal.

The penalty was converted by Defoe. However, this looked to have given Arsenal a wake up call they needed and five minutes after the equaliser, substitute on the day Giroud turned home a good cross from Kieran Gibbs to restore Arsenal’s lead. Five minutes later with only his second touch of the game. Giroud then scored again with and impressive flick on from a corner to give Arsenal some breathing space late in the game.

Alexis then wrapped the game up for the Gunners after Gibbs had stuck the post, rebounded to Ramseywhose unintentional pass, Fell to the Arsenal forward who turned, took one touch and flicked the ball, cool as you like past Pickford from close range.

In the end it was an easy win from Arsenal which kept them joint top of the Premier league on Saturday evening alongside Manchester City and Liverpool who also scored four each.

Thanks for reading,

@Lukeafc01

 

 

 

Arsenal 0 Middlesbrough 0

October 23, 2016

The following article was written by my 15 year old Son. It is his wish to go into Journalism as a career and he has taken over this blog  as a learning curve. Should you have any comments please do feel free to leave constructive criticism and maybe even a bit of advice that may assist him going forward.

Many thanks

Steve

Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough

After a relatively comfortable win last Wednesday against Ludogorets, Wenger kept faith in the same team, only making one enforced change as Elneny replaced Santi Cazorla.  With Arsenal having been in reasonably good form of late and Middlesbrough stuttering after a good start, it seemed like Arsenal would extend their winning run in the Premier League to an impressive seven games.

First Half

In the first ten minutes of the game, Arsenal had almost all of the ball in and around the Middlesbrough penalty area. Arsenal, and in particular Coquelin, were also closing down the Middlesbrough players very quickly after surrendering possession and winning the ball back, but unfortunately Arsenal couldn’t quite create any chances of note. Then, completely out of the blue, Koscielny’s miss control deep in Arsenal’s half gifted Middlesbrough a chance to take the lead; but Adama had his shot saved at close range by Cech, and then the follow up from Negredo was also impressively kept out by Cech.

This error from Arsenal looked like a carbon copy of the error by Xhaka last week against Swansea, and similarly like Swansea last week, Monreal struggled against a rapid Adama throughout the game, maybe highlighting to Alex Iwobi that he needs to provide more cover for the Spaniard. The last key chance of the first half fell to Ramirez as his header was saved well again from Petr Cech, after a Negredo flick on left him in acres of space at the back post.

Second Half

With many fans no doubt expecting Arsenal to come out for the restart playing a much higher tempo, the team rather did the opposite and, as the game went on, simply ran out of ideas on how to break down an inspired ‘Boro team. With Arsenal’s opposition gaining more confidence as the half went on, they began to play more counter-attacking football and the next best chance of the game also fell to ‘Boro, when Cech again saved well after Adama beat Monreal and was left one on one with the Arsenal keeper.

‘Boro came forward again and Negredo was put through but only a superb tackle from Koscielny stopped him from putting ‘Boro into the lead. Late on in the game Arsenal increased the tempo a little and a Mesut Ozil chip was disallowed for offside. The draw though did take Arsenal top of the league for at least twenty-four hours after Liverpool had failed to beat WBA by two clear goals.

Overall, it was probably a decent point in the end as Middlesbrough arguably had the better of the chances in the game. Also when you consider Tottenham’s slip up at Bournemouth and that fact the Manchester City may face a difficult challenge against Southampton on Sunday.

Who knows, the weekend could end nicely with Arsenal being top of the league?

Thanks for reading.

@Lukeafc01

 

 

 

 

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