The Arsenal Way is fundamental. Free flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class.

NOR v ARS: The Good-The Bad-The Ugly

See game stats at end of article courtesy of premierleague.com

Freddie Ljungberg’s Arsenal career in the dugout of a Premier League game started in the same fashion which Unai Emery finished his, a 2-2 draw that saw Gunners come back twice. Once again fans were left with the perception that had it not been for Aubameyang and Leno, things would have been much more bleak.

With this draw Arsenal not only extended a winless run of games to 8, equalling our worst since 1992 under George Graham but also missed an opportunity to jump to 5th in the table. Instead we now find ourselves sitting at 8th, seven places off top 4.

But regardless of the result, after 18 months of witnessing “Respectball” and opponents peppering our goals far more than we shoot at them,  it was good to see Arsenal take one small step towards what was once the Arsenal way by applying themselves with more purpose and better attacking intent and tempo. On the other hand one cannot deny that the influence and the shadow of Unai Emery still clouds this squad and that it will take some time to be shaken off.

Better offensive output

Arsenal did many things better versus Norwich which resulted in having a better offensive output as evident by a much better xG than usual. which paints entirely different picture than the end scoreline. But similarly, there were many things that reminded us of why we had to part our ways from the Spaniard.

One of those things was the starting line-up. The Swede did say he would not change things drastically but none of us thought that it meant picking a team that had Emery’s signature all over it. We also lined up similarly in a 4-3-3 with more focus on defensive balance rather than unleashing the offensive prowess of this squad.

That saw Pepe extending his spell on bench with both Mustafi and Xhaka given a clean slate and being recalled to the team.

Arsenal started better of the two and dominated early proceedings in a way that we have not done this season away from home. Auba starting on the right wing was always lively as Arsenal tried to find him with early long pass as often as they could. Ozil staring on opposite wing was also always in the game with every Arsenal move flowing through him.

And this domination should have resulted in a goal had it not been for Lacazette fluffing his lines in front an open goal. Arsenal tested Krul from couple of corners but somehow despite of all this possession, Arsenal seemed incapable of finding that killer pass in the final 3rd.

Reluctance to play through the lines

At start the focus it seemed was to play more through center with Guendouzi playing further up the pitch than normally employed under the Spaniard and Willock consistently finding pockets of space. But as the half went on the more Arsenal seemed to go back to the Emery days of shifting the ball out wide and operating largely in the channels and reluctant to play between the lines.

With Arsenal struggling to turn hard work into substance, Norwich suddenly found a moment to counter with Pukki’s run causing havoc for Luiz and Mustafi but with 2 defending against one, the Finnish still found a way into the back of the net to open Arsenal still fresh wounds.

Arsenal responded quickly and won a penalty after Zimmermann handled the ball. Auba’s effort was saved by Tim Krul only for it to be retaken due to encroachment. Auba remained calm in face of both the situation and the animated Dutchman to put Arsenal level.

Weaknesses in midfield and defense

But by now, Norwich had found the weakness in Arsenal defense and midfield and exploited it to perfection. Another turnover resulted in Norwich counter attack which Cantwell finished superbly from the edge of the box to send Norwich with lead at half time.

Ljungberg saw enough positives in the first half to keep the same team and his belief was rewarded when the man of the season once again stepped up from a set piece situation to put Arsenal level again.

But this is as good as it went for Arsenal, as Norwich started to dominate the midfield and hence the chances and had it not been for couple of wonder saves from Leno, Arsenal would have found themselves again behind in the game.

Reaction to adversity

Ljungberg tried reacting to the situation but his substitutions brought more confusion than clarity. First he brought on Torreira for Willock to increase the shield ahead of his defense, but seeing it did little or nothing for the overall balance, he later decided to bring on Saka for Guendouzi.

Arsenal for a short period did benefit from this change but it was clear to see that the gunners still lacked the spark in the final 3rd. With players like Lacazette misfiring and Ozil getting very little help from his midfield to advance the team forward, Ljungberg had to act but he did not and waited till 88th minute to throw the last dice on the pitch in the shape of Martinelli. Too little too late.

The drama continued in the injury time with Leno denying Aarons and then Torreira’s near perfect shot being blocked much to the agony of our new caretaker as he had to settle for share of spoils in his first game in charge.

Arsenal on the day felt like a Unai Emery team but less worried about opponents strengths. And one could feel that Ljungberg could have done more to influence the game but after only one session with the team that in itself is quite an improvement.

On early signs it seems that the Gunners can be an exciting and attacking brand under his spell, though how effective is a question still open. At least on Sunday we saw no improvement over Unai Emery.

But at least we have taken the right step!

 

24 Comments

  1. It was certainly a more interesting match than what we’ve seen for the most part over the past 18 months. After watching Southampton overwhelm us as though they were Barcelona this is a welcome change. It will be interesting to see change in how we play. I hope Willock realizes that there is a giant opportunity for him to grab a role as an offensive midfielder and take that next step. Guendouzi probably realized that things would be different with Freddie when he got the hook. I thought his berating of a linesman and his reaction to the hook was petulant…not impressed!

    Anyways because Raul dithered when it was clear Emery was going, Freddie will have little time to prepare for the matches coming very 3 days. I wonder if Jose was the target and the spuds got him first. Thankfully! Emery should have left before the intl break!

    Reply
    • Omair JavedDecember 3, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      The reports certainly say that Raul wanted Jose as manager but he was not backed in this decision by those above him in shape of the board and the Korenke’s.

      As for us being better than Southampton game, I completely agree otherwise you would have seen Norwich absolutely hammer our goal.

      I still think Willock’s best position is as #8 and not as #10. He is more of a Ramsey than a play maker. And whenever he has played in #10 role this season he has always looked out of place. Anyways, managers also use him for his work rate rather than his offensive capabilities in that role.

      As for Guendouzi, I think it’s high time that he saw a bit of bench because he is not doing anything to suggest that he should be playing ahead of Torreira and Willock in that role.

      Reply
  2. OT: re the other post, I think you guys are too hard on Dixon. 1) hes paid to say sensationalist things so its worth taking with a pinch of salt. Which ex Arsenal play licks the clubs arsenal unconditionally? Who does?I dont. I cant see any blogs or outlets that do anymore, at this moment that time is over. 2) the bloke is much an Arsenal legend as anyone ever who played for the club, who won more than most in his time. The things he says also can be view from a perspective that he wants Arsenal to win and do well and therefore shows the mistakes and is hard on them, I dont like that way, but its some peoples modus operandi. I mean, isn’t that we’ve done since last Xmas, one way or another? Why is it we can say what we like and they cant?
    To me Dixon was a great defender, I sympathise with him wanting to have a strong defence as ours is weak and leaky at the moment, the defence of GG and early Wenger was solid and could soak up pressure and shit all day long. In his time the Arsenal defence was a success and through that perspective who wouldnt want a tough strong defence to stop the endless flow. Dont forget that Norwich are second from bottom, if that was an Emery game, we would have all been putting the boot in, but we love Freddie and want things to change. So far weve either lost or drawn with the bottom three, and we are 9th.

    Mills the fotze xxx

    Reply
  3. Dixon is a sideshow imo. My biggest issue was his entire negativity after one game. It was disgraceful. New coach, legendary ex-player and he is not even afforded the courtesy of a honeymoon, of time and space to repair the damage inflicted over the past 18 months.

    Dixon is emblematic of a wide swathe of Arsenal supporters who care more about spreading fear and alarm rather than basic commonsense. From the experience of AFTV and most of the big accounts on Twitter as well as the biggest bloggers and YouTubers misery loves company and most of the fear-mongers do very well in the popularity stakes.

    Fear is a negative emotion and has never advanced progress in humankind. A positive vision that instills hope in the future has always thrashed the fear-mongers. Arsenal fans are at the crossroads; further down the hole that a Emery and his boss Don Raul dug OR a slow climb back to the top-4 and hopefully compete for a title.

    #FreddieNeedsTime to succeed.

    Reply
  4. first part I agree with Shotts and I havent said anything different.

    Fear is a negative emotion, but to say it hasnt played a part in advancing human kind is not how it is. Who can tell the outcome of an event?
    When we really look we can find no solid idea of what either good or bad are, but peoples perspectives and agreement on that. Good and bad are no absolutes but strange frozen concepts that shift in flux and mutability. Of course that doesn’t mean I condone hideous crimes or vile abuses, but to some deluded and ignorant people those things are fine. They think they are good. Its difficult to deal with, as my Great grandfather was gassed, but the Nazis thought what they were doing was right. The problem is also inherent in “jew” and “nazi” as frozen ideas, which got us into trouble in the beginning, except there was no beginning.

    “When an old farmer’s stallion wins a prize at a country show, his neighbour calls round to congratulate him, but the old farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”
    The next day some thieves come and steal his valuable animal. His neighbour comes to commiserate with him, but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”
    A few days later the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and joins a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”
    The following day, while trying to break in one of the mares, the farmer’s son is thrown and fractures his leg. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man’s attitude remains the same as before.
    The following week the army passes by, forcibly conscripting soldiers for the war, but they do not take the farmer’s son because he cannot walk. The neighbour thinks to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

    To mean when we are in dualities we are pretty messed up. Any grappling for truth endless up without words but just perception.
    For what its worth I agree about positivity, but this too is a term in flux, shifting and mutating. Any sense of positivity as an absolute would mean we couldnt be relative with it, so when positivity rises negativity rises too, to counter support and to make it live. It odd and not nice, but its part of the nature of reality.
    I agree he is a sideshow, but what are we? Arsenal media world is a pool of endless opinions, some close to what we agree with at that moment, and others not. To me all is an experiment, all is an approximation. Any idea of truth is ungraspable as is it so massive and in relative.
    And here in lies another problem, because we all sense ourselves as “right” and others as “others” we get lost, if it was more discursive, and playing with any idea of where can we go from here, when we really dont “know”, then who knows?
    I agree Dixon comes across as being hard in a time of fragility and vulnerability, some call for hardness and other empathy. Our choice is either we agree with his opinion, and its only that, neither right nor wrong.
    I agree that it wasnt the right time to clamp down hard, but other will say this has been one of the major problems.
    But I stand by my opinion that Dixon is and Arsenal legend ( a daft term in the first place?)and really likes Arsenal. Each person is conditioned to such a degree that they can only pass on the system that had placed in their mind.
    Who wouldnt want a rock solid defence at the moment? I would have the late GG early Wenger defence back in a second, even if the games moved on. Does anything move on, or does it just change?
    But all this doesnt mean that I dont like you or George or UnA or PA etc or not on your side (etc), I just felt you were being a bit hard on Dixon, but that doesnt mean youre not right or Im not wrong. I agree Freddie needs time to succeed. But tv and media outlets employ people to play this role and that role. Im interested in whose the real authority in a world of relativity?

    What worries me in society is that we find scapegoats, ignore our own finger pointing and all think we are right, but in flux it means this goes on and on, and on, and in the end we all end up being victimised by this.
    I did apologise in PA when I posted something similar, knowing it was going against the grain, but it just means Im kicking around ideas.

    Reply
    • Didn’t Stoke have a rock defense? Dominated by fear of conceding, they had very few creative ideas of how to break down teams and score goals consistently. Manchester City put up over a 100 points year before last, not by emphasizing defense but taking the attack to the opposition. There squad was dominated by offensive talent while ensuring a good blend of defenders. That [hilosophy allowed them to repeat the title last year, overcoming Liverpool at the end.

      Am sorry but this obsession with defending is not supported by the performance of most winning teams in the league.

      Reply
      • Second email first, I agree. When have I not? And I wrote in my 12.15pm post that I agree that Freddie needs more time.I was also glad that Emery went. How many times have I written supportive posts to you and George both here and at VAR and PA agreeing with your podcasts and articles? But the world has no time anymore for sportpersonship or time. I dont like it, and dont want it but this is big business now and stick holders want their cash. Kids are desperate for their online kick of sensationalism, channels pay money for experts to be good cop bad cop. Its dumb rhetoric and dumb theatre.
        But these are the hurdles of our time. Freddie or whoever will have to deal with them like everyone else.

        I wrote many articles at Untold re these things, and what for? I might as have gobbed in the sea to make it deeper.

        Dixon feels the need to be hard. I can see why, thats all. All those older players dont get for many seasons how we run our captain policy. Captains treading on eggshells. In the time of Dixon, Rice, Adams, Young, this shit wouldnt be around. They dont get it. How can they?
        This is the worst Arsenal defence in my time, but if gf60 or my grandfather were here they would be laughing, as prior to my time we were having a nice dance with relegation and Im sure they had many tales to tell re 1960.
        Perhaps one problem is the whole is the whole legend thing. If Dixon wasnt a legend would anyone care? Maybe less for sure. But is he an authority? Who is? Hence me writing about frozen concepts in flux. Dixon is as much AFC as Henry, Freddie or anyone else. What is the true definition of an Arsenal legend? Nobody before the 71 double team? But thats perhaps any real legend lies. Its all relative. But whose defining these things, and whose the authority? Thats why I wrote the bits and pieces in the 12.15pm post.
        But if Dixon didnt care for Arsenal he wouldnt say the things hes said, unless hes paid to say them ( who can prove that?). He thinks hes being positive.

        First email second.(imo)

        No they didnt, but they played more an altogether defensive game. Of course we know that both Bould and Dixon came from Stoke, of course Stoke were playing a different style in those days, but GG saw how good and strong they were.
        I havent emphasised to only play a defensive game, but like everyone else know that our defence is very poor. In not one single post have I said we should be set up to defend.

        But I played football a lot as a kid, I was house games captain,(in a hard council school were it stop you getting your head kicked in if you were good at sport. Mostly all we had was sport and music) and captain of three sides, and played in a team where one guy played SE counties League ( and that was a big deal) for Watford and the other went pro and played for Luton (when Luton were at there best when the PL was the first Division).I played in sides that were really advanced for that time and we could be outstanding, but at some point in the game, you mess up, and you need tough defenders. I had a guy behind me, who sadly committed suicide some years ago, but he was a muther of a defender. You feel safe, but woe betide you wanking off in a game. You need cover and solidity.

        I started with AFC in 77/78. To me, my perspective are not just the Wenger years, and in many ways although the transition was also invisible, the early Wenger teams changed after the CL, less hard, less defensive and more skilful and Tiki Taki. How am I supposed to look at my time as an Arsenal fan and as someone who played a heck of a lot (and failed despite all ) and see only the Wenger style of play( in its various forms?), to me the picture is from 77 till now. It doesnt mean Im better or worse, ist just those were my experiences.

        So what I mean is, “Arsenals DNA” in many ways changed with Wenger, or changed after the CL final. A strong defensive back-line was always a big part of the team that since i started supporting. And to me we always had a tough defence even if sometimes makeshift it was until after the CL final loss.
        That why Dixon and people like me are going to champion the idea of a strong back four.
        Ok, why did I mention playing? Because to be successful imo a team has to be strong in all areas. If any are weak it pulls down the structure of the team, hence us seeing teams who park the bus. Emerys crime was that he made a total mess of the midfield. It cant defend the defence particularly well, and its been very poor in supporting the attack. And as we can see its had a massive affect.
        George said its the third best squad in the league but also ( I would need to check it again) Im sure he asked what can Freddie do with the players we’ve got? We all know its better psychology and letting them play again, or even start to play.

        Every double winning side had a rock solid defence. Ironically from people Ive spoken to they said of the 71 side that we were utterly boring.
        Also the GG league win of 91 had a totally tight defence, we only lost one game that season.

        I dont see what wrong with a defence having a fear of conceding. It should be the philosophy of all defences. But other positions should be doing their job too. And our midfield is operating in a self destructive way. So are the defence most of the time. This is what Dixon is calling for. Hes not imo asking for Arsenal to turn back into the boring old GG teams, but for a GG style of defence. Ok kids use smart phones, but the basic essence is that they are communicating. It used to be smoke signals the tin can with string in them, letter, phones, but its all the same thing.Things change but it stays similar.

        I don’t feel Im obsessed with defending, I don’t even want that as our style and there isnt any evidence of me calling for that on any archive anywhere.

        Even the tiki Taki sides must have a strong defence, I would much rather have Liverpools defence than ours.
        Imo, a stronger less leaky defence would be a major help, then sort the midfield out that it can control the game a bit more, with some of them assisting the attackers and the other helping the defence out. Guen is not a dm in anyway whats so ever, nor is he a good supporting. I was the first tool to start criticising him at PA and here. And he is the manifesting of Emerys bizarre tenure. Utter garbage midfield set up and execution. Worst since 77, even the Don Howe sides had better midfields.

        Football to me is about balance, as well as psychological clarity and intuition and unity. Theres more but ive already been on this a while and my brother in law has had a stroke so I have to go ans deal with that. These are tough things to create and maintain. I want a strong defence, a midfield that is able to defend and attack and an attack thats skilful hungry and lethal. But the over all philosophy should be attacking football, but when needing to defend, fkin defending not wanking like we’ve been doing. But now they have a new footballing guide( oh what an orrible word in German).

        If Arsenal listen to advice or perspective and opinion from pundits thats their affair. Freddie can handle Dixons thoughts, and Im sure he even agrees.

        We were still poor against second from bottom, it might have been good for 30 mins, but we still drew. A stronger defence might have stopped it being a draw, as strong better organised midfield might have been no goals for them and more chances for us. And an alive hungry forward line might have meant more goals. But we are in Emery hangover world. And relatively Emery is the worst manager Ive seen.

        Reply
        • Just had a chance to read your post in full Millsy. I understand where you are coming from; your long experience supporting the club and playing decent football at a youth level struck me most. We have more in common than you may imagine. Even though I only started supported Arsenal in 2005, as you may be aware my active interest in the game started in 1970 but only recently did I seek a deeper knowledge of the game But I believe we share some of the same experiences at least at some intellectual level.

          Based on what I have observed over the years, although defending is important, modern football is by every measure a more attack-oriented sport. Teams must not only win but they must win in style. That by the way is something Unai Emery couldn’t or refused to embrace. As a defender (a very poor one at that) playing youth-club football 30-40 years ago, the following are some of my tricks which are now outlawed: tackling from behind, excessive force to get man or ball, tackling with the studs showing, swinging the elbow when going for a header, etc. Lee Dixon is from the era when you built a team from the back. To me those days are gone and harping on them serve no useful purpose.

          It’s only my opinion. Others may differ and I welcome them to do so in these pages.

          Reply
          • I agree about attacking football, and the days of building from the back are over if you want to be a power house like Liverpool or City, or how we were, and how ManUre were. But we still need a rock of a defence, as no team can keep the ball 100% of the time. So my own opinion is that guys like Dixon will always have advice on how to defend. But which of the ex-players in the media arent critical? In this period I would like us to be more solid, more cautious at the back with the midfield doing its rightful job.
            The longer we go on, the more we shall see the extremes Emery went to, the very antithesis of what a great team can be. To see a solid line up at the back, unchanging ( unless injury )would be something, not seeing Ainsley playing in defence or Chambers shifted around here and there. What Emery was doing nobody seems to know. Make a mess and destroy much of the processes and systems Wenger set up?
            Emery made the goalkeepers and the defence really nervous, then he set up the midfield to not really do anything. Even Laccas lost his confidence.

            Everyday I cant believe we let Rambo go.

            Anyway, just a note: if I ever go against the grain it doesn’t mean I not on the same side, it just means I dont agree with that point and interested in discussing it, debate is something else( not really for me as its always dealing in absolutes) but discussion means we can kick things around a bit. For me the whole sport has gone to the dogs, that why I come to meet you guys as you havent, but Im interested in how to survive in weird systems, and how do we operate in them, and ultimately still enjoy the game. Im easy to take the wrong way, but I certainly dont come to antagonise anyone, otherwise I would be hanging around Le Wanc or some other site.
            Im sure we are all looking forward to the next game.
            COYG!

  5. Freddie did not:
    Lead Arsenal to 7 straight winless games.
    Turn us poor offensively & defensively with a negative goal difference.
    Make us scared of poor teams.
    Release Ramsey, Santi and Jack for free.
    Buy Papa and Luiz
    Loan Suarez and Ceballos
    Marginalize Ozil
    #FreddieNeedsTime

    Reply
  6. SHOTTA
    I see reports that Wenger has said the EPL referees must use pitchside VAR monitors during the recent IFAB meeting.
    If you can find more info why dont you give us a write up i think this issue needs more publicity.
    The Wily old fox Wenger coming back to put Riley in his place after all those unfair refeering decisions.

    Reply
    • Hi Mhukahuru. Welcome. I used to focus on these issues in my old blog UniteForVAR.com and one of the things we emphasized was the sabotage of this tool by Mike Riley and the Powers That Be by refusing to implement a pitchside monitor. I will look into a follow up.

      Reply
      • Thanks Shotts,what happened to the blog UniteForVar i enjoyed reading it,it was very informative and you were hitting the nail in the head….am gonna start #bringback UniteForVar-blog

        Reply
        • Good write up yet again!!! (Enjoyed the podcast also).

          Well, I was overjoyed by what I saw. I am looking for perfection out of the gate rather the team moving towards being Arsenal again!

          I think it was close to a miracle that we could see some semblance of Wenger ball given Freddie only had a matter of days. It shows that it was in the players all along but Emery was a joy kill.

          My biggest issue remains Guendouzi (who seemed shocked to be subbed off). He does make some decent passes at times but does take too many touches (as George said it the podcast. What troubles me most of all is that he always get beaten, he is soooo slow.

          He does not seem to realize he is slow and tries to go in for the tackle and gets blown by time and time again. I see this is every single match, he cannot her himself back into a helpful defensive position.

          He is not even ready for the bench no matter how much people hype him up. Let’s get Torreira in, please!

          Reply
  7. Can’t see my comment?

    Reply
  8. Hi Mills
    Sorry for my late reply!

    I accept I lowered myself to the level Dixon has taken this past week.

    Lee said before after the match that GG could sort that defence out in five minutes.
    He is either

    A) taking the piss out of bitterness
    B) taking the piss for money
    C) forgotten GG’s glory years at Tottenham etc and his final few seasons with us

    This was undeniably a premeditated attack on a former team mate.
    I’m simply highlighting that in his critique that Lee is showing as much support to this ex team mate as he did towards Paul Davis. And that is a fair critique of Lee’s critique. He may be a legend but his behaviour is not Arsenal quality.

    Worse then that. ANY follower of Football could see the improvement in the Arsenal after just ONE training session. No debate. So what exactly is Lee’s angle here?

    Like the bitter bloggers he appears to be incapable of acknowledging that Arsenal very recently had World Class CBs. They can’t say those words: world class, because it means admitting how much shit they’ve been pumping out the sewer these past years.

    And one of those CBs is in the dugout.

    He’s German. And the young up and coming coaches in Germany are talking about 2-7-2 formations as that is is the game is going. Venger and Young Pep pioneered this development a decade ago, and will can be no turning back now. Just look at LCFC’s midfield!

    Better pitches, billions more people playing the sport, Lee can argue against the tide if he wants to but why does that mean The Arsenal have to drown with him? What kind of love is that? Wet Sati?

    And where was this level of critique over the past 18 Months when the GA got worse! Why should we respect him if he has chosen this moment to so publicly turn the screw? I’m sure if he’s willing to dish it out like that then he can handle a little critique in return.

    Reply
    • fins, Im in bed with the grippe, and dont have any energy to get into it further. I still think there are other options for what Dixon might mean by being hard on Arsenal-but you made a good point in the final GG season being a mess.
      I agree if youre going to dish it out , expect it back , especially in the age of the inter opinion. But to me he remains an Arsenal hero and was a great defender.
      But Ive written a lot on all that, including that I think Freddie can handle it. I dont really see any ex players speaking well of things, not even Ray. People are always going to be trapped by their cloning.
      Theres something else appearing though, a pattern that also includes us in how we react to things, I ve havent worked it all out but Im nearly there.
      I suppose I just didnt feel as sensitive to what LD was saying. If it had been P Morgan or someone else it might have given me the spark. Most of the ex players dont touch my nerves, but I understand others feel more irritated by what they have to say. Dont worry fins, Im not holy by any means and am often triggered by words people say.
      My biggest worry is that Freddie will be martyred for Viera, who I think is a poor manager. Freddie has the support of many people. I also think if we started thrashing everyone and had clean sheets Dixon would be raving about the team.
      Anyway heres to beating the Seaweed.

      Reply
      • Mills

        I agree with you and your sentiments.

        Always.

        It’s the hawking of Vieira who was dumped by Man City by Dixon that raised the red flag for me:

        As that is one of Raul’s options to dig himself o it of the hole he has made for himself. He doesn’t have many. Let’s hope this shallow grave is the last we have to see of him at the Arsenal. I doubt it, he’s here to fleece the club and Pépé was just the start, I mean Suarez, I mean Litchsteiner…

        …we can dream!

        I feel the online reaction against Jose was so strong that the delay in appointing him blissfully allowed the Arsenal to avoid the Toad infecting us with that horror story.

        I hope everyone can understand our critique of Lee is a designed to dismiss his premeditated nomination of Vieira.

        If Raul chooses the next coach we might as well stop commenting on the Arsenal as of now!

        The priority for all Arsenal fans is to get rid of the clown who swapped Litchsteiner for Chambers, let Rambo go for free etc.:

        To
        Get
        Raul
        Out
        The
        Club

        Reply
        • fins, thing is how can we as fans clean up the game, when what people like Dixon do is seen as being normal? Its allowed by tv companies of all styles. Personally I would like it how it was in the pre and shortly post war period where ists all more of an event and just enjoyable, no matter the result, but we dont live in that time or attitude anymore. The whole game is saturated with opinion ( Im part of that obviously), if the bullying hadnt descended on Xhakas head then we could have avoided the unnecessary drama of all that. Trouble all fans have a democratic right to criticise, but we often seem to go far.
          I suppose my problem was Dixons rant seemed like Keown or Adams or whoever having a pop at the club under that which they call “advice”. Tbh fins, I wished I could just get back to loving watching the football, even in the period after the CL and we didnt win anything for a long time, the football was the most excellent Ive ever seen Arsenal teams playing.
          I think I shouldn’t have said anything, but hopefully its all helps to look at how we think and react?
          Anyway, the next chapter is on us. Shards right, Freddies is a loveable guy, I hope he gets a chance.
          Cheers fins, take care mate.

          Reply
          • Mills you should always speak your mind!

            For myself this has been an interesting thread as it touches on the continuous evolution in the sport that some of the older generation want to reject.

            Will tackling disappear?
            Meh.
            Will we see anymore backheeled tackles from Torreira again if he starts as a No.6 tonight? Hehe.

            These are the threads we love to have.

            I don’t mind Lee Dixon having an opinion. I had a problem with him attacking his ex team mate with premeditated tropes that had nothing to do with the Football match we had all witnessed but everything to do with flatulent opinions. I don’t care about his broadcaster/employer but I do expect him to at least attempt to match the standards set by Rice, Wilson and in his own words in that amazing presser: Freddie too.

            I expect him to talk like an Arsenal man. That is all.

            Let’s hope for more footy talk from Freddie as he so brilliantly did in his press conference.
            I have no doubt that more people would’ve listened to Freddie’s focused comments then Lee’s vague critique.

            COYG!

  9. Wenger telling the “untouchable” Mike Riley what to do?
    You love to see it.

    As Delboy once said: “He who laughs last…” hehe!

    Did Mike not like that!

    Reply
  10. < Forgive my inability to count I meant 2-6-2 above which I’ll additionally amend to 2-5-3!

    IMO it was smart man management from FL to choose the two senior CBs (who can pass the football) to start the first game.

    He’s reset a dressing room seething with scorn and resentment.

    Mustafi out of the freezer etc. Now no one can complain. Except maybe Pepe, but I think he’ll get a fair crack soon enough. The Xmas crunch approaches at speed and the inability to make this obvious change between Watford and the last break is yet a further inditement of Raul.

    Perhaps Raul doesn’t want to see FL succeed?
    I have my guess.

    Rumours on Arteta & the prospect of a trinity of MA, FL and the BFG in the dugout next season appeal to me. Greatly.
    I enjoyed the away fans singing for the latter two on the weekend, looking forward to a a little more tomorrow! If I’m being greedy I’d like to hear some more loud praise for Aubameyang.

    Shotts
    The pgMob were doing their best to help Liverpool go unbeaten before AW’s appointment.

    Dean at Anfield for the first time.
    Wonder what odds I’d get on this being Riley’s last season heh. UniteforVAR is on the record as having been there when required, the Big Man has come in to follow through.

    Utd may win but Spurs & Mourinho lose.
    1-2 to the Arsenal!

    Reply
  11. < to clarify the link between UfV & AW was not serious!
    Just amusing.

    Who knows what impact the Chief will have on the rotten state of the pgMOB but speaking simply and gently taking the piss sorry I mean kindly highlighting Riley’s twitch in some of his first comments in the job is a great start.

    Reply
  12. New post up.

    Reply

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