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A few thoughts on the Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal league match

November 4, 2012

Morning Gonners…

Before today’s game I was quietly confident of Arsenal getting a result, a draw at least. United are not at their best and others teams have gone to Old Trafford, showed courage, scored goals and caused them problems. Our defence even if by hook or by crook was the best in the league… This was the game and the venue (The Theatre of dreams and boy were Arsenal dreaming) for the likes of Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski to show what they are made of. No way was this season going to be another 8-2.

The team : Mannone, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs not used: Arshavin, Walcott Martinez, Koscielny, Coquelin, Jenkinson, Chamakh.

No place for the mid-week goalscoring hat-trick and two assists hero Theo Walcott. Ramsey playing out on the wing AGAIN…

A lot was being made about Robin van Persie’s first game against Arsenal today and the odds on him scoring? Pretty good you would think. For me though it’s all about the Arsenal and the team turning up and playing, unlike Norwich away and the first half against Reading.

I was watching the pictures of the teams in the tunnel with RVP shaking hands and hugging with the Arsenal players. Now while I did not want the away fans slagging him off in the ground with that song, I understand the feelings amongst Arsenal supporters that he f**ked us over… I get that… What I also don’t expect is the players having a love-in with RVP in the tunnel. This was a big match, you ignore the bloke, stay focused as at that stage he is your enemy, an opponent and any chat and hugs can be left to the bar after the game and off the TV screens. This is when you are focused and ready for battle. Throw Pizza’s or alike, don’t hug in such a big match.

Arsenal v United in the past. Opponents but enemies

Today all shaking hands and pats on the back and asking for shirts.

Referee Dean gets the game under way and Arsenal kick off and lose possession.

Oh dear, oh dear!!! 1-0 United… The ball is played to Rafeal who crosses into the area where TV5 is there to make an easy clearance but makes a complete hash of it and the ball goes straight to (The away supporters singing “She said no Robin, she said noooo!! She said no Robin, she said….”) van Persie hits it right into the corner of the far post 1-0 United… Irony? No celebration from van Persie. Bloody hell TV5 what were you playing at. Had TV5  been to the bookies for a bit of spread betting, £1000 on van Persie to score after 3 mins, there you go Robin, bang it in and that’s £6k for me at 6/1… I’ll share it with you 70/30.

Apparently RVP has won Man Utd 11 points with his goals so far this season more than any other player, without his goals they would be 10th… One man team? don’t see too much media coverage of this. If he gets injured they are F***ed!!!

What a poor start to the match. Once again passing is not too much of problem for Arsenal, well five-ten passes before the obligatory pass that gives possession back to our opponents. Arsenal are showing no threat whatsoever and the best they can do is pass the ball to the edge of the United area and then give it away.

Finally some glimmer of an attack as Jack sends Rambo down the right but his cross is cleared easy, not that anyone would have been there to take advantage. However, the ball falls to Santos who hits a 20 yard screamer towards the corner flag. United only have to sit back and wait for us to give them the ball.

Jack is booked for lashing out at Cleverley and rightly so, though it was his first foul and Carrick will be able to make as many fouls as he likes and not get booked. Jack is at least showing some fight. Having just been in a 50/50 with RVP maybe Jack was a bit wound up. Still can’t understand why people on social networking are giving it large to Santos, when it was TV5’s error for the goal. I understand as well that Santos is hardly pulling up trees. Arsenal are just not at the races, well maybe TV5 is with his bookie… Arsenal can’t even make two passes count.

Rodney has time and space to send RVP clear albeit a bit wider that he should have, however, RVP gets his shot in and Mannone manages to parry it to safety. It’s all United!! Mannone makes another save as he parries Rodney’s shot, only for it to fall  to RVP who puts it straight back at Mannone.

Hold on!!! Arsenal attack Ramsey on the right puts in a low, hard cross but De Gea gets to it before Giroud. that’s a little better.. Young is now booked for tackle on Sagna. Arsenal have gone back to being poor.  Carrick should have been booked for tackle on Jack.  Carrick will make 20 fouls in this game and will not be booked.

FA Rule 24.6.12 states Carrick shall not be booked.

I wish I could write something positive about Arsenal, but they are just not playing well at all… Cleverley gets booked for tackle on Cazorla. Cazorla wins a corner – takes it and there is Giroud with a head like a dice to head it away from goal. Pretty much sums up Arsenal at this stage. Arsenal cannot get near the United goal and for me this has more to do with Arsenal than United. We don’t look like we want to go forward… United’s area had been placed off bounds to Arsenal by Arsenal.

Great tackle by Arteta on Rafeal who would have been through on goal. Not that I think Arteta had been anywhere near his best in this match. Rodney crosses into the area – the BFG swings his foot and manages to slice the ball over his own bar for a corner. From the corner the ball goes to Young who crosses and the ball hits Cazorla’s hand and Dean has no hesitation to award a penalty. Funny I thought even though we had no real chances as such we were slowly getting back into the game…

Right!!! I get it!! Young crosses and Cazorla hand is high. The ball hits his hand, I’m not sure Cazorla meant it and  is silly enough to give a penalty away, but dems the rules. However, what worries me is that if that was Santos crossing into the area and the ball had hit Young’s hands would Dean have awarded a penalty? Answers on a Post Card or to the FA by email at or write to Wembley Stadium PO Box 1966 London SW1P 9EQ. Look at that address, the 1966 part, says it all really. 1966 our only success… And since when has Wembley been in SW1?

Rodney steps up to take the penalty and strokes it wide of the left hand post, YES!!! he missed!!! Could that be the lift we need? Justice done???

Half-time United 1-0 Arsenal. Arsenal have not really been in this game. I just don’t understand how we can play with such lack of creativity.

Second half kicks off and straight away TV5 looks to make his spread betting account even more lucrative as he loses possession of the ball to RVP, who in turn crosses low for Valencia to make it 2-0 only for him miss from six yards. TV5 isn’t getting another £6k this time. Not for want of trying though. United are now queuing up to shoot, first Rafael, then Carrick, thankfully neither could hit a cow’s arse with a banjo.

Hello!! Whats this? Santos down the left – crosses low into the area and guess what? Yes no one gambling to get on the end of a cross, wasted! Early sub as Ramsey is withdrawn and Theo comes on. Close! Cazorla crosses – Giroud hits the post. COYR’s… Good passing move by Arsenal with Cazorla’s superb through pass putting in Santos who can only cross way over the bar and wasted… Andre you’re not doing yourself any favours mate.

That’s a RED card, all day, everyday… Oh I’m sorry I was forgetting myself, it was a United player at Old Trafford so scrap that it does not count. Cleverley gets away with it. Now van Persie is booked for a foul on Sagna. (later kicks the ball into the net after clearly hearing whistle and not booked) Barcelona anyone?

Arsenal are looking better now – keeping the ball well but still cannot get anything going up front. Young crosses and there is RVP all alone, beats the offside, controls the ball, makes a cup of tea, read the sports pages and then shoots for 2-0.. But wait!!!  Mannone again to the rescue and he tips it past the post.. However not much rest bite as from the corner the ball is fed to Rodney who in turn crosses the ball which sails over the BFG’s head and there is Evra to head United 2-0 in front. Here come United again (but I’m thinking this is just illusionary domination so it’s not that bad) only this time it’s Anderson that can’t hit a barn-door from 18 yards

And there we have it Ladies & Gentlemen – Arsenal player is sent off at Old Trafford shocker!!!. A booking for his first foul (yet Carrick makes six and is not booked). Fair enough Jack got a warning on another tackle just before this one, but as soon as Jack goes in for the tackle on Evra, Dean can’t wait to send Jack off.

Wenger should have done what Fergie did and took Jack off, but that’s bye-the-bye. I called it on Twitter that Jack should have been taken off and he was an accident waiting to happen.

The fact is Arsenal are playing at Old Trafford where it is decreed that they must concede a dodgy penalty and have a player sent off each season, while no such fate should befall the home side… FA Rule 34-4-2 says so… So Cleverley escapes and Wilshere doesn’t… Somehow that does not seem quite fair of the referee to judge two incidents completely different in the same match only a few minutes apart. Killing what hope Arsenal had of a comeback. Yes we were not playing well, but this is football and anything could happen. It’s not for the referee to decide football matches. 🙂

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

Anderson is booked for a foul on Arteta. Santos brings down RVP and escapes a booking. Cazorla gets the ball and runs at United, feeds Walcott out on the right, whose shot is – well best forgotten… RVP scores again – offside. Anderson scores – offside. Blimey two correct decisions. No point in saying we could be 4-0 down as they were not goals and correctly called offside.

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

Rodney goes into the book for a foul on Arteta. Arshavin comes on for Podolski. The Smarts is saying Lu Lu Lu is playing with an injury, why? Mr Wenger is the ultra cautious type he never plays injured players, they can’t give you 100%, his words… Look at Jack and Diaby, ultra cautious with them. Why all of a sudden is he taking risks with Podolski? Mind you Podolski was awful. Arshavin booked for bringing down Rafael, less than a minute on the pitch. Good work by the BFG who along with Mannone are my two who can take credit from this game as he stops RVP from scoring. Arteta is now booked for a foul on RVP.

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

Chance at last Cazorla crosses low and there is Giroud, who, for me, should have made it 2-1, De Gea saves.

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

Gooooooooooooooal!!! After a bit of a scramble in the area the ball falls for Cazorla, who shapes up and hits a pearler into the far corner 2-1… The players don’t even have time to celebrate as Dean brings the proceedings to a close and United win 2-1.

However with those two late chances – one scored, it shows that maybe with 11 men we may have somehow scraped a draw. I don’t think we would have deserved anything from this game, we were poor it’s a simple as that. Blame the ref, well not really. I think on another day or end the penalty may not have been given and Jack was harshly treated when you combine Cleverley’s tackle and others in the match, though Arsenal did little to help themselves.

Cazorla scores a pearler

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

We love you Arsenal, we do, we love you Arsenal we do…..

My conclusion.  Another non-performance for most of the match from the players. I thought Arsenal were building up a head of steam, beat West Ham 3-1 and looking good. Then the Internationals came along, the players left and when they came back 10 days later they had forgotten all about each other and have since played like strangers. I cannot remember a time under Arsene Wenger’s reign when any of his teams have been so short up front and made so few chances as of late.

I must also add was Man Utd’s dominance an illusionary dominance as they only had seven shots on target and a few of them were not going to go in. yes they looked threatening coming forward, but did they really cause that many problems? What they do is get the ball in the area and see what happens. They also shoot from anywhere, unlike Arsenal. They had six corners to our one.

I once remember Arsene saying in an interview that “he is a fan”. Though he is the manager sitting on the touch-line he wants to see his teams play “Good football” he wants to be just like the fans and enjoy what he is watching. Well how the bloody hell can he be enjoying what he watching as of late. Unlike, me, you, them, everybody, he has the opportunity to do something about it. Maybe it’s not his way, but learn. Throw some tea cups, blast the hairdryer at the players, tell them to play for the shirt and the superb fans who turn up week in – week out.. Tell the players that if they can’t be asked then there is the door and don’t come back. At least Jack was showing some fight, The BFG was defending like a Panzer trying to repel United’s advance, where as the rest of the defence couldn’t trap a bag of cement and what the hell was Tv5 playing at the start of the first and second half, Wake up son, or let’s get the Boss back in and give him a run to get last seasons form back.

Me? I’m just confused now by what is going on at Arsenal. The support is back (did it ever go away) to WOB’s and AKB’s though the gap is closing.. We have money to spend? Thing is this just illusionary money? Do the board really want Arsene to spend it? If the money is there does Arsene want to spend it? There is so much spin at the club at the moment; I feel I am on the tea cups at the fair and I hate the tea cups.

Right now I do feel the pressure is revving from the supporters who are starting to feel let down. Its one thing losing, it’s another players not trying game after game. I’m not talking about the serial complainers whose duty it is to moan when a player makes a stray pass and calls for the board to be sacked, I’m talking about supporters like me who have stood by Arsene Wenger and argued the toss with supporters who saw things differently.  I feel I have backed Arsene and the club, when told of where we are heading and yet also feel like they have slapped me in the face. I’m not going to blindly support someone who in the end seems to be just talking the talk. However, I am not going to jump up and down on Arsene’s or the boards heads just yet.

Something needs to improve and fast, starting with performances where I feel the players need to start showing they give a damn as much as the supporters who were brilliant at Old Trafford yesterday. Ok we may lose, but at least show they care. I want the club to find the combination to the vault and quickly and get a forward in who can scores goals and take the pressure off. Get a midfield destroyer. We have Diaby, who I think is a superb player, but we cannot rely on him and that’s not his fault if he keeps getting injured.. We’re losing ground season after season while we wait for these players to come back from three weeks out, which ends up lasting for 3-6 months.

Then get another goal-keeper, an experienced one that can back up S1 and help him over the next few years to become a top, top keeper. Also though I do like Santos, we need another left back who can play there when Gibbs is injured or even get in before Gibbs. Santos very rarely gets beaten on one-on-ones, yet opponents only need to knock the ball over the top and Andre is nowhere to be seen. Lovely fella, but…………

If in January these problems are not solved then I feel the club are going to get what is coming their way and deservedly so…

This has nothing to do with high tickets prices for me, this is just a sensible solution to problems that are there for all to see. I’m not sure how the board are expecting to make money sliding down the table and waiting for 2014.

That said. We conceded two goals to a team that just scored seven against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in two games. By 7pm last night City Everton and Chelsea had drawn, Spurs had lost. So even after the attacks by Lineker, Hansen and Shearer on BBC MOTD telling us how we’re not a team and so on and so on. After 10 games we’re nine points off the leaders in our worse start to a season since 1994 and only two points off 4th place.  Maybe it says as much about the rest of the teams in the premiership as well Arsenal and the premiership itself. A league that is exciting, but lacks any real quality. I have said before any team can beat any team in this league but in the main the big clubs will win. maybe the lesser clubs though are battling harder and the top clubs are not as good as experts say they are.

Now I’m not crazy enough to think we’ll win the league. The league start to pan out after Christmas, when teams find their positions and teams confidence rises or drops. But nine points from top and two from 4th is nothing with 28 games to go. Also for those so-called experts out there thinking Arsenal might struggle to make top six, name me six better teams in the premiership? If anything we’ll end up top four by default.

Not many teams have £70m ready cash in the bank, so Arsenal (if it exists) should be in the cat-bird seat so to speak in January, save Chelsea or City entering the market. Arsenal could get almost who they want if available and the cost is not mad, so maybe Falco is a pipe dream. So all is not lost. We’re on a very poor run of form, not only losing, but not playing well, which I have said for me is a bigger worry than losing as at least if playing well, the results will come. this team and it’s players are not bad by any means. The very team that the experts say is not a team, was something different to Hansen and Shearer after the West Ham match, experts whose opinion changes with what way the wind is blowing. Something is missing though and it’s the management’s job to put that right NOW!!!

Interesting article on Financial Fair Play Rules



2 Comments leave one →
  1. Herbert Chapman permalink
    November 4, 2012 12:25

    The lights are going out all over Highbury. We shall not see them lit again in our time. R.I.P. Arsenal Football Club. Born 1866 died 7 May 2006. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we shall remember them; our Highbury heroes.
    Th corpse was revived on 8 May 2006 by Arsene.con FC and a bunch of witless bastards.

  2. Madge permalink
    November 4, 2012 15:17

    Can’t disagree with anything, Steve.
    There are lots of issues that need to be
    sorted. I don’t see asking for AW’s head on
    Plate, helps but he needs to have a long discussion with players & Bouldy about
    attitude. As for Shalke bring them on.
    Onwards & upwards. Thank Steve enjoyed

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