Arsenal – Out Classed and Clueless or Valiant and Robbed – Perspectives vary!!

Unhappy Wenger at Ethihad

I was going to comment on the latest articles by Steve Wellman, Alexis Baguzin and Marble Halls but there is a bit of my replies to all of them in this article.

Firstly Steve`s article is right on the money when he says that true Arsenal fans should support the team on the pitch no matter what crimes the Board and the management may have committed against them. There is no doubt that many of the decisions made at board level are for the good of the commercial advancement of Kroenke, not the improvement of the team. The complete disdain by which Kroenke ignores any opposition by the fans is an insult, but I agree that the means of expressing their dislike should not be directing abuse at fellow Gooners.

I have to say, that I was proud of those Gooners who travelled to the City match and made themselves heard in supporting the team. We were beaten but we were not silenced until the offside goal was allowed by Oliver. To give him the benefit of the doubt, he may have genuinely thought it was onside and there would be an excuse that in the second that it took him to look to his right to see what was going on and then turn his gaze left, he missed the fact that Silva was offside when he received the ball and passed to Jesus, who scored. But what was the linesman at that side of the pitch doing? The TV replays showed that the stripes of the grass were alternatively dark and light green depending on the nap of the grass and it was patently clear that the two CB,s for Arsenal were in the dark strip whereas Silva`s leg was on the light (goal side) side and offside. His entire right leg was over the strip.

3rd goal offside

At the time we were pressing hard for an equaliser having been outclassed up till half time.

That brings me to Alex`s article and I share the comment of Mike Walsh when he said that having read it, he thought he had been watching a different game. In a way, that is testimony to the uniqueness of our Premiership as stated by Steve Wellman. Our games are so fast and so competitive that any given incident can be described in many different ways by those who watched it.

Now to return to Wenger; Alex gives him credit against City for his Tactics in selecting an attacking team and for the changes he made to try to recover the situation in the second half.

I cannot share that opinion. Alex was pleased to see his selection but he does confirm that Sanchez was on his own up front. In fact he did not pick a single person to lead the attack. Sanchez is said to have had one shot in the game and was generally useless. He was petulant and was forever gesticulating and berating his own team mates and the referee in turn. I could not see how the selection was going to present any kind of threat to City.

De Bruyne goal

To my surprise we started very much on the front foot and we were pressing City high up the pitch but after 15 minutes City had settled down and worked it out. Thereafter we were confined to our own half apart from a few breakaways, and the inevitable goal was scored by De Bruyne who capitalised on a gap between Kos and Xhaka (I think) when he drilled a solid shot into the side of the goal.

They then got a penalty which Wenger complained of when Sterling (dived) according to him and for which he complimented Sterling in being “very good at diving”. The replays showed that there was slight contact, but nevertheless in the circumstances a foul and a penalty. Monreal initially tried to make a shoulder charge and failed. The contact with his shoulder was marginally between elbow and chest.


Alex, who lately has been critical of Wenger but he gives him credit for a tactical change in bringing Lacazette on. He was only on for 5 minutes or so when he scored.

In my view he should have been on from the start and with Ozil performing as he did, there would have been far more danger in our attack. Iwobi should not have played in this game. He is a flair player who has nice control and a bit of pace, but he is not robust enough to challenge the top teams for 90 minutes. For long periods of the game he was out of his depth and City ruled the midfield. He was not the only one. Xhaka tried to carry the ball out of defence and he was dispossessed on the left wing trying to make a short pass which went to a City player. Two passes later it was in our net. That is the third time that he has dithered in a tight position and has given the ball away resulting in a goal. He has to sharpen up his concentration.

Should have started

Well we now know that we are fighting for 4th place and we have to displace one of Chelsea, United or Spurs to do that.  Liverpool will also be breathing down our necks. Had it not been for the spirit and resistance they showed (and in that I agree with Alex ) I would be despondent now. However with the same determination every week and a realistic team selection we still have a chance and so I come back to Steve Wellman and hope that we do all get behind the team. We must all adjust our expectations and realise that for the foreseeable future, if there is no change from the owner and the Board that is where we are

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7 Responses to Arsenal – Out Classed and Clueless or Valiant and Robbed – Perspectives vary!!

  1. Tendai Mavhura November 8, 2017 at 10:57 am #

    You guys are day dreaming! The good times for Arsenal are over. Forget about top four. In economics they talk of the law of diminishing returns. Wenger has outlived his usefulness at Arsenal. Stop blaming players please! I have seen great coaches making players great. Look at Sterling right now thanks to Pep the player is doing well. The buck stops with Wenger and those who apointed him, Kroenke and the board -I am a gooner forever.

    • Victor Thompson November 9, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

      Tendai, thank you for reading my article and posting a reply. I note what you say and I am afraid that when you say you are “a gooner forever” you are in for an unhappy life.

      If you say we are no longer a top 4 team. I have to differ. Just as last year, LIverpool may pip us for 4th Place but I am optimistic that we shall make 4th place. Our full squad is better than theirs and I can`t see them improving this year unless they buy some defenders in January. Outside 5th place I cannot see any other team being involved, so it is not as bad as you think.

      Just as a point of interest, early last year, I suggested that we might consider signing Johnny Evans from West Brom. He has been first class for them and he controls their defence so that they are always difficult to beat.

      N. Ireland are playing Switzerland tonight and Johnny is Centre Back for N.Ireland ( My home country ) . N. Ireland is a small country with less people in in it than Birmingham but we are rated 20th in the world and it is largely because we are hard to beat. I suggest that you watch the match and watch Johnnie to see what I mean. I still think he would be a good signing for Arsenal.

  2. Wellmington November 8, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    Cheers Victor
    What happens upstairs we still have to support the team on the pitch #UTA

  3. DEW November 8, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    I don’t think it is a penalty. I agree with Arsene on this issue. For me what happened was Sterling try to cut heavily to the left but encounter a challenge sholder to sholder. The ball was then in Monreal area and he protected it to be collected by cech. But sterling simply left his out of position left leg for running Monreal to touch it from behind, knowing that he lost the ball. This is what expert divers do these days and it is difficult to spot there intention.

    On Oliver:- I think he took fouls on Arsenal lightly and fouls by Arsenal more heavily, maybe maybe it is because he doesn’t understand Arsenal game. Have you noticed city fouls in the first half against sanchez and Ramsey, they simply got away with it even without getting warning. Look Otemendi foul on Lacazatte, neither the ball nor the movement was dangerous, but Otemendi comes in and made two simultaneous purposeful tackle on Lacazatte-elbow+leg. He is booked for it but Otemendi was expert in doing it and has nasty dark purpose in it. Dangerous fast tackles were here and there in the first half whenever Arsenal plays dangerously, but they got away with it.

    On the odds and match fixing scandal:- the odds were very wrong and very generous for Arsenal and it was like small team playing against a big team. Unlike the odds Arsenal has reasonable chance of winning or drawing that game. Considering that it is a big game, very wrong odds, poor referee decisions, match fixing investigation for the game is logical.

  4. Victor Thompson November 9, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi Dew, thanks for your comment. I think if you look at the photo accompanying my article, it is fairly clear that Monreal mis-timed his shoulder charge. As I said, his arm is between Sterling`s shoulder and his chest, so he did not meet shoulder to shoulder and it was therefore a foul. I agree with your comments on some of City`s fouls.

    • DEW November 9, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

      Hi Victor, I want to say one thing here, the picture is just after the shoulder to shoulder tackle, not before or during the tackle. Clearly on the picture Sterling leg is out of position because he didn’t want to take it with his body when he is pushed to the right. I think this is the modern diving.

      The other point is: Cech is right in front of the ball to collect it. One genuine argument I heard from commentators is a kind that Monreal didn’t get the ball, though they some how admit that it was not penalty. But what I am saying here is Cech was in front of him and Monreal was protecting the ball for Cech. I think we see defenders often doing this kind of staff during defending in football games.

      You know me very well I am not enthusiastic about this arsenal team especially the way they defend. But this particular case is true, and with due respect for their footballing talent most city players apart from some were not honest and genuine on the pitch, they were simply systematic and well trained sinister force. Maybe I am exaggerating it some how, but I have seen several cases and I didn’t like it.

  5. Marble Halls TV November 12, 2017 at 11:01 am #

    We were expected to lose, and we did in the end. But then we didn’t lie down and die, nor got annihilated. We looked to take the game towards them at times, which is what I at least expect from any defeat. It’s fine to lose, but bad to lose without any fight.

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