Dean was Poor but Arsenal were Dire – A Wenger record but the song the same

WBA 1-1 Arsenal

Not the best of performances last night.

And a certain Mr. Dean did rob us.

But in honesty, that’s not what’s bothering me.

What IS bothering is another sideways shuffle and impotent performance in the final third.

We had more than enough, in terms of personnel, to win that game. It’s just we didn’t look to try.

The story over both halves was that it was a poor attacking display, with more of the same. Same old Arsenal, in many ways.

The free-kick by Sanchez was well-executed. However, the penalty by Gibbs (no less, nice way to pay back his old club…) hitting Chambers on the arm was harsh.

Wenger incensed at Dean

Wenger, Jack, Cech, and many others in our team were rightly incensed. Even Pardew said it was not a penalty. Yes, he will welcome the point, but there are clear infringements and others are merely not.

However, the performance here was dire, and we lacked the attacking impetus to create any real chances or scoring opportunities.

It’s not a good way to end 2017, and for some the calendar year ended in individual awards only. For us at the least, we won an actual trophy.

Impressions/player ratings


Despite the non-penalty, we just didn’t offer much here.

We played more of the same sideways pass football, and lacked penetration, and drive.

As usual, we dominated possession. But possession for me is a nonsense stat. It cannot ever translate into who warrants a victory, and we didn’t here. If anything, by watching us all the time, this has shaped my view on the utility of possession stats.

Chambers was harshly penalised for the penalty, and I don’t see how that infringed the laws of football. It was not intentional. Did he moved his arm towards the ball? Maybe in a split second. But he could not have done much else in that position. It was a classic case of “ball to hand” and not “hand to ball”.

Arsenal is just stuck in a rut, and we can only progress by moving from it. My views on how we should have not changed. We had the players and ability to win this game, but we didn’t, and this is highly annoying. We are mismanaged on every level, and we can only progress with a “catalyst for change” (sorry…..)

Cech 6, Chambers 5, Bellerin 5, Mustafi 5, Koscielny 5, Wilshere 5, Xhaka 5, Kolasinac 5, Sanchez 5, Lacazette 5, Iwobi 3, Welbeck 5, Maitland-Niles 5.



Is this his last performance for us? Who knows? But if it was, it was a great free kick. His work rate, performances, etc. have been a telling part of our recent seasons. We would not have won the FA Cup without him, that’s for sure.


I like him, but then he’s pretty much not doing it now. He is all tricks, but where is the end product? He needs to be dropped, and Wenger cannot play him vs. Chelsea.

Iwobi adds litle


Bar the penalty, he was pretty solid. He needs regular time to prove his worth, since he can do well for us in the long-term.

Mike Dean

Yes, he erred. Big time. But he did give us a non-free kick against our good friends in November, didn’t he?

We cannot blame our draw on him though, we just didn’t have the drive to win.


Look, I’ve critiqued him a lot. But he should be given his due. I doubt this record will be beaten again, at least not any time soon. He warrants the praise/respect for his longevity, but then he needs to go despite this latest of numerous records. Had Palace scored their penalty today, another record would be surely intact, though there’s still much football to be played this season.

A record that won’t be equalled

This has been pretty much morose. But then there wasn’t much positive to cite today.

That said, enjoy your New Year.

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3 Responses to Dean was Poor but Arsenal were Dire – A Wenger record but the song the same

  1. GunSalute January 1, 2018 at 10:30 am #

    I do not get this ‘dire’ thing. A few weeks ago, United were dire at the Emirates yet walked away with 3 points. Yes we could have created more, but having said that WBA would not have scored for another 24 hours had the referee not been so generous. I thought we did enough in the second half to merit a win. What about the foul on Welbeck, does that not constitute a penalty?

    • Marble Halls TV January 4, 2018 at 7:41 pm #

      I don’t agree with the comparison with United, yes they’ve been poor lately. But then for us it’s the same mistakes we’ve seen for years. Literally when Fergie was at United, and how long ago was that? Mourinho has made a different team with a different style.

  2. Victor Thompson January 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

    I agree completely with your blog but believe it or not I think there was one constructive point that arose after the game. It may be missed by the AKB brigade but what it is, is that all of the failings we have had this season were on display in this game. Majority of possession with no reward, sideways and backwards passing at walking speed, no plan B, no change of tactics, 70th minute sub. Apart from Sanchez and Wilshire, there was none of the “great character”, “great resolve” and “great mentality of this team” that Wenger alone seems to spot.

    All of the above are yet more of the empirical evidence that no one can deny, which shows how much Arsenal Football team and club has declined. On present form, I cannot see this team finishing in the top 4 and next year will be even harder with our two best players gone. Unless Wenger goes, or he breaks the mould and pays the going rate for two or three top players, we have a few barren years to come.

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