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A few thoughts on the Leicester City match

February 11, 2015

After a disappointing performance away at our North London Rivals on Saturday, Arsenal welcomed (and) Leicester to the Emirates.

I did not go to the match so it was a case of flicking between Sky Sports News for updates and watching the Liverpool v Tottenham match live on TV. After 10 minutes of Sky Sports and Paul (give Arsenal no credit for anything) Jewel, I gave up on Sky Sports and simply watched the LFC v THFC match for the rest of the night. Filled in by views and commentary coming in through Twitter I built a picture of the game. Last night I was starting to understand what the first four letters stand for on Twitter.

Moan, moan, moan, moan. It gets monotonous after a while. If you composite Twitter then Arsenal have a squad full of rubbish players not good enough for the club. The team cannot play. The managers rubbish, the board are rubbish and yet somehow this club we all love sneaked into fourth spot (albeit it could be for only 24 hours). To be there are also some very sensible people giving views as well.

The facts for some are simple. Arsenal had to score at least four goals v Leicester. Arsenal cannot concede a goal. At no stage should the opposition be allowed to cross the ball and if somehow this rule is broken then an absolute no-no is losing out on the cross as all headers MUST be won by Arsenal defenders or caught by the keeper. At no stage should the opposition be allowed to string more than four passes together and they should never be allowed to shoot or pass the twenty yard marker. A clean sheet is a must.

Having not seen the match, I going on reading a number of tweets, discussions with people I knew where at the match and some media reports. It looked to me that Arsenal were still suffering a hangover from the defeat at the weekend. Leicester came and gave it their best shot and did not simply roll over and die as many no doubt thought might be the case as they’re bottom of the league. The one thing you can say about the Premier League is on their day any team can beat another. There really are no easy games if the so-called lesser opposition turn up and want to give it a go. Leicester beat United 5-3 and recently beat Tottenham 2-1 away in the FACup.

The reading of the game I am getting is Leicester City came, gave it a go and had a few early chances to take the lead, but didn’t. Arsenal grew into the game and Ozil was Arsenal’s main man spaying the passes around and making chances. It was Ozil who set up the first goal from a corner where Koscielny got on the end of it and finished well.  Ozil then had a shot that was saved by the keeper only to be parried straight to Theo who put the ball away nicely. suddenly Arsenal are 2-0 and that was the half time score.

Apparently Arsenal, like on Saturday did not turn up for the second half and the forty-five minutes was a bit of a struggle.  Yet as much as Leicester put a lot of effort into the match and they managed to get one goal back, they could not get a second and Arsenal ran out winners, not playing at all well. Not playing well! I often see the debates where people say teams that win things, win when not playing well. I’m not sure this applies to Arsenal though? However, a lot of things don’t apply to Arsenal with some of our supporters.

When we win some fans find fault, by that I mean go way over the top looking for any criticism they can find . When we lose it’s obviously worse x10 and all sorts of questions are asked, justified or not.

It’s going to be a good run the last thirteen games as five clubs challenge for the 2nd to 4th places in the league. It does look as if Arsenal have one of the better run-ins.

I also noticed that the referee in charge of the match had a shocker. Another member of the useless brigade of officials that we see week-in-week-out in the Premier League, not just Arsenal matches. I’ve seen some of the incidents but not all, yet I’m understanding that once again the referee allowed a team to simply kick the crap at our players and let them get away with it. On the day that the Premier League announce a £5.136 Billion contract for the new TV deal with Sky and BT Sports, this is the standard of officiating we get in the Premier League. Someone please make officials accountable. Make them come out and explain some of their decisions. It might make them think a little on how they manage matches if they know they can be challenged.

Personally – I’m never sure why Arsenal do not highlight these incidents more. It would only be highlighting what everyone can surely see for themselves. Arsenal need to say more and by saying something will give it more exposure. Maybe Arsene should take a couple of fines for the cause. Sure some will say “Arsenal would say that”. Sure some clubs would argue till they’re red in face that they are whiter than white and Arsenal “Can’t take it up em”, but it will highlight the issue, put referee’s under the microscope when in charge of Arsenal matches.

Maybe Leicester can count themselves a little unlucky to at least have come away with a draw, but that’s football.  Yet when all is said and done after defeat to our rivals last Saturday, which our rivals enjoyed three glorious days above Arsenal, coming out of the shadows and seeing the sunlight the Premiership table took it rightful shape again as Tottenham lost 3-2 at Liverpool.  I saw some saying “what have we become” with some Arsenal supporters happy that we are above Spurs. “We’ve become just like them (spurs supporters)” they say. Well having supported Arsenal for over fifty years, it’s always been that way, its great being above Spurs. I can take losing to Tottenham as I’ve had enough practice during my time (Saturday being the 125th Arsenal v Spurs match since I was born) but I can still enjoy Tottenham being beaten and Arsenal (my club) being above them in the league and Tottenham being knocked out of Cup competitions.

I watched the rubbish Arsenal fed us year-on-year (save odd spells) during the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. The times when you would have to shout at the person next to you in the terraces of the North Bank or Clack End as he/she was yards away on 3/4 empty terraces. The past and memories can play tricks on the mind, make things seem like they were better than they were.

I’m not happy with everything that goes on within the club today, that also goes hand-in-hand with not liking some things about modern football. Yet modern football isn’t all bad and neither is Arsenal. At the end of the day a win-is-a-win no matter how it comes about.



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