Tag Archives: loss

Arsenal’s Home Comforts

We know a home crowd has a huge effect on players. We know it changes the course of decisions for referees – home teams are nearly twice as likely to get a big decision than the away team.

Is it truly the 12th man though?

It seems that way for Arsenal right now, and last season too for that matter.

The contrast between our home and away form is quite startling. Since December (this is written in the aftermath of our 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison) we have won a solitary game away from The Emirates in the Premier League. That victory was at bottom of the table Huddersfield, and we have had five away wins since the start of 2018 – Cardiff, Newcastle, Fulham, Bournemouth and Huddersfield.

Add to that our lack of a clean sheet away from home – the ONLY team to not have one this season – and you have a severe case of travel sickness.

It would be a case of relegation if it weren’t for our impressive home form. Only Manchester City have more home points banked than us, and it has seen us stay in contention for the top four.

Is our home crowd that vociferous that we need it to buoy us? Even Lacazette has twice as many home goals than away. Does our team require the home crowd more than we think?

As good as we can be at home sometimes, our crowd at The Emirates is probably not the answer. So why do our teams come out and play like artists at The Emirates, and yet fingerpaint away from home?

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Losses against West Ham, Everton, Southampton and draws against Brighton, Tottenham and Manchester United have all been games where we have failed to show up, or failed to push home the final blow.

The Hammers, Gulls, Saints and Everton results were devoid of anything remotely Arsenal-esque, and all shared the same fact – Our star-striking duo of Aubameyang and Lacazette didn’t start simultaneously alongside Mesut Ozil. Against United and Tottenham, our attacking threat was enough, but we failed to put away our chances, and it cost us.

When all three start, our results have been staggering, without loss this season. Mesut Ozil took his time to adapt to the ways of Unai Emery but has recently been involved in the starting eleven with increasing frequency.

Ultimately, that is down to the Manager and his selection.

It appears as if Emery favours attack as the best approach when at home, with our star three playing more often at The Emirates. When it comes to away from home though, one of our two strikers is usually selected, with Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi and / or Ramsey behind them. Emery is going conservative, trying to keep things a little tighter and emphasize the focus on closing down spaces rather than all-out attack.

The thing is though, when we do go for it at home, no matter the calibre of opponent, we create so much that we invariably have enough chances to win the game. We may concede a few – although in 2019 we have conceded less than all but Manchester City – but we seem capable of outscoring the majority.

Our knockout phase wins in the Europa League highlight the disparity of our home and away form.

Away from home against BATE Borisov, we fell to a 1-0 loss – the first English team to lose in Belarus.

Bring them back to The Emirates, we take them apart easily 3-0.

Same with Rennes – 3-1 loss in France, 3-0 win at The Emirates.

Let’s be straight here – these two clubs shouldn’t be able to hold a candle to us home OR away, yet they defeated us and left us to rely on our home advantage.

It seems then, that our malaise is down to a different approach, a lack of confidence to replicate our sizzling home form, and quite simply not playing well.

For this to carry over from last season shows that we need to change something, although there have been plenty of changes since Emery took over. The very fact we are still in with a shout of the top four shows we have improved from Wenger’s last season.

We have to hope we find the answer soon, otherwise it could cost us dearly.

Any ideas?

 

Arsene Wenger’s Highest High and Lowest Low

How do you judge the highest highs and the lowest lows? The peaks that made you giddy? the troughs that had you on the ropes?

Arsene Wenger’s 22 year spell as Arsenal manager has finally ended the rollercoaster ride that has in recent years, kept journalists in a job and fans heading for the exits.

His tenure can be split into sections, with the first decade being the reason why expectations are so very high now, dragging the club firstly into contention, and then ensuring its survival at the forefront of a sport that was transforming rapidly.

Then came what most know as the stadium years, when The Emirates required funding and the fallout from this was the transfer budget had to be created, rather than given. Perhaps his greatest feat was keeping Arsenal in the Champions League during those lean years, when other clubs were burning money to keep warm.

And then came the years of doubt, where Arsenal were supposed to herald in a bright new dawn, free from the albatross of uber-debt around our neck, we could now compete with the big boys, but instead, we slipped further down the ladder as Wenger’s shortcomings in tactics and his recalcitrant approach to these failings meant that not only was a first title since 2004 well out of reach – we also let in clubs that were previously playing perma-catch-up.

If we look at Wenger’s highs and lows on a game by game basis, naturally we’ll look to his first ten years for the best moments, and his last decade will be littered with references to instances when we feared the worst.

But there are matches in every season that could be nominated for either.

Our 8-2 and 6-1 stuffings at the hands of Man Utd are obvious picks when highlighting nightmares. What of our 6-0 hammering by Chelsea though? Or when Liverpool pasted us 5-1? We’ve also racked up a few derby defeats as well, after going so long without one. Let’s not forget our European nightmares too (we don’t talk about Paris).

In terms of high points, our 1-0 win at Old Trafford to win the league in 2002 was golden-hued, and I’ll never forget our recent FA Cup wins. We thumped Inter Milan at the San Siro, we were the first English club to beat Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, and winning the league at the pisshole down the road ranks pretty highly too.

So many of either to mention, but if I had to pick just one of either…

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal – 14 March 1998

This match broke United’s previously unbowed spirit. We had the perfect gameplan, we had the back 5 as the perfect foundation, Vieira and Petit were patrolling midfield and in Marc Overmars, we had a weapon that was unanswerable. The flying Dutchman chased a flick on and headed the bouncing ball into his own path, before finishing low past Schmeichel. It was a signal, to both Fergie and our own fans, that we were a real force. It was unforgettable, and it was the beginning of the best years as a Gooner for quite some time – if ever.

Arsenal 2-3 Leeds Utd – 4 May 2003

We’d won the double the season before, and humiliated United in the process by winning it at Old Trafford. The next season had been given the perfect platform, and we made it count for the most part, but our slip against an underwhelming Leeds side managed by Peter Reid. Mark Viduka had one of his games where he was unplayable, and we shot ourselves in the foot. It handed the title back to United, meaning we failed to regain the Premiership yet again. This was a title we should have won, but defeats like this hampered us. Thinking about it even now gives off waves of ‘what should’ve been,’ and of massive missed opportunities.

These are just my own choices. Mentioned before, there’s plenty of both to choose from. Our 3-2 defeat to a weak Man United side and subsequent loss to Swansea City in 2015 ran the Leeds loss unbelievably close.

What are your personal high and low matches in Wenger’s reign? Drop me a comment, it should make for interesting conversation!

Was The Crystal Palace Loss Our Worst Under Wenger?

I know your mind is reluctant to revisit trauma. It is the brain’s way of protecting you from reopening old wounds. To ensure you carry on, no matter what is inflicted upon you.

Being a Gooner means that your grey matter has a full inventory to deal with, an ever-increasing storage space jam-packed with terrors that will make your goosebumps get goosebumps. We have a huge array of horrific moments that have unfolded on the pitch to choose from if we wish to open Pandora’s Box, and some of them really should be  forever consigned to the darkest depths of memory.

Under Wenger, we were fortunate enough in the first decade of his Arsenal stay, to be able to inflict these painful defeats unto other teams. In the last five or six seasons however, these scorelines have been reversed with a distressing raised frequency. What first appeared to be anomalies have begun to occur not quite with regularity, but often enough to raise worry amongst us all. 

This season, we have seen some truly erroneous displays and scorelines. There was our humbling at the hands of mid-table West Brom. There was the double 5-1 hammerings at the hands of Bayern Munich. That is just this season. 

We have had the 5-0 and 5-1 losses to Chelsea and Liverpool to stomach in the last few years. There have been real shockers when we were defeated by Bradford, Birmingham, Olympiakos. We have had more nightmares than Sean Spicer’s Twitter account.

Our recent spanking via the hand of Crystal Palace resonates more than most though. The Eagles comprehensively dismantled our brittle side with desire, precision and technique. They made us look like lower league opponents. They left our apparent ‘world class’ superstars looking like lost children.

What was most disconcerting about this game was the lack of wanting from our players. The first half saw perhaps only Mohamed Elneny and Nacho Monreal, along with Emi Martinez, go into the dressing room at half time with any semblance of pride.

The second half stripped them of that emphatically. The second forty five minutes should have seen a different Arsenal take to the pitch, frantically covering every blade of grass and squeezing the home side into their box as we search for an equaliser. 

Instead, what we were given was a timid Gunners side who were bested in every area of the pitch. We were second best in every vital part of the game. Simple five yard passes went astray. Chasing back to aid defensive efforts were lame and uncoordinated.There was zero effort put into pressing the Eagles. It was plain awful.

This was a side that included some stellar names and proven Premier League, Champions League and international players. They were playing against a team that had never beaten Arsene Wenger in the top flight. The Eagles were battling to avoid relegation and by the end whistle, the roles had seemingly reversed.
It was so comprehensive, so emphatic, that there could be no excuse. Theo Walcott, captain for the game, rightly or wrongly called it like he saw it in the post-match interview, stating that ‘Crystal Palace wanted it more.’ There was fury regarding his comments, but this was not becuase of his candid comments. It was due to the fact that it was true – and that is far from acceptable.

Most consider our 8-2 hammering to Man Utd in 2011 to be the biggest blot in Wenger’s results copybook.  The six goal gap, but especially the way United – once our rivals but now light years ahead – swatted us aside was humiliating. 

The fact is though, that United were one of the best teams in Europe at the time, and we were still floundering in footballing purgatory in a vain attempt to balance books. 

The 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace was with our strongest squad since 2005. It was against a side we are expected to defeat. It was a game that had the onus on our side to show our credentials. The motivation to win was obvious. We should not have lacked any fight whatsoever. 

This is why this embarrassing defeat was the worst we have suffered under Wenger. 

This is why it will need a separate room in your mind to house it. It cannot be forgotten, only hidden from view. 

Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal – Men Vs Boys

Sometimes, you can make the right calls, all the correct decisions – but it doesn’t matter.

This game saw Chelsea throw down the challenge to the rest of the so-called challengers – to try and stop them marching on to another title. They toyed with the Gunners and at times it was painful to watch. 

Arsenal’s weak title challenge was ended once Martin Atkinson blew his whistle for full-time – but it had flattered to deceive the whole time. Arsenal have not applied any real pressure on the top of the league, and they have not shown form that is worthy of the label ‘contenders.’

It is incredibly painful for me to write this, but the stark contrast between the teams was there for all to see – and the difference will be in May when Chelsea will be holding the Premiership title.

Arsenal opted to leave Olivier Giroud on the bench and go for Theo Walcott and Alexis sharing striking duties. It was the correct decision as Giroud would have gotten short shrift from Chelsea’s defence. 

To maximise this offensive change and cause Chelsea damage, we needed runs though. 

We started well, and the faded, disjointed first halves that have been a staple for this season did not appear. We pressed the home side and Alex Iwobi very nearly gave Arsenal the lead inside five minutes, shooting just wide after he and his cohorts squeezed the Chelsea defence.

Chelsea soon got to grips with Arsenal, and our pressing became diluted. This lack of covering saw Chelsea grab the lead.

A cross from Pedro saw Diego Costa rise highest and his header smacked against the crossbar with Cech beaten. The ball spun off the bar into the air, waiting for someone to claim it. Marcos Alonso did so and headed into the empty net, via knocking Hector Bellerin to the ground with his elbow.

Some say it was a foul, some don’t. The facts are he led with his elbow and it WAS a foul. 

Regardless, Chelsea went into the break a goal up, and the old script of previous encounters with Chelsea seemed to be in place again.

Eight minutes after the restart, Conte’s men put the game to bed, and end Arsenal’s slim hopes. 

Eden Hazard went on a slalom run, and his marker Oxlade-Chamberlain let him. What it needed was a cynical challenge to stop the Belgian, but it didn’t come. Instead he was allowed to continue, and after bamboozling Koscielny, he slotted into the corner. 

Chelsea were looking imperious. Arsenal had put in plenty of effort, but a shifting attention to pressing and poor covering of runs meant that their opponents in blue always had the edge.

Then, insult was added to grievous injury. Cesc Fabregas had only been on the field for a minute, but he capitalised on a ridculously poor Petr Cech clearance to lob into the net over the stranded keeper. 

Laughable. Humiliating. Deserved.

Giroud was a sub in the second half and he grabbed a consolation late on from a Monreal cross, but the truth is – this match had been over from the first minute.

Here are five things that really need to change on the pitch, from this moment onwards;

Maintain the Press

We started so well, but with each passing minute, our grips on Chelsea’s midfield weakened. By the end, they had the freedom of the pitch. If we are to press, then we need to do so as a team. We also need to keep up the effort. 

Switching off is not condoned

Some of our players looked visibly sapped by the end of the game. Some of them looked that way DURING the game. This was not only a derby, but it was the game which would either let us dream or destroy our bid for another season. There is no room for passengers.  This was not good enough at all.

The Ox and Gabriel are surplus

Gabriel, time and again, has shown that he is not Arsenal standard. He does not track, he is rash, and he leaks goals. The Ox has had ample time to grow. He has shown promising glimpses of what he can do, which  has lengthened his Arsenal career. He is inconsistent though, and has been from the start. Some will argue that he has not had enough games, but he has made over 115 appearances in the Premier League alone since he joined in 2011. He was markedly out of his depth in this game and he cannot be depended on.

Petr Cech needs to step up

It may be form, but this season has been Cech’s worst in the Premier League. He has looked rigid, unable to flex for saves – and his normally unshakeable hold on his box has looked anything but steady. His mistake for Chelsea’s third was something I can’t recall seeing from Cech. His own high standards will tell him that he is letting his club – and himself – down in a big way.

Where is the edge?








Eden Hazard, when scoring his goal, could have been brought down by Coquelin and a couple of other players. He could have been halted. He wasn’t and look what happened. Alexis did the same thing for us, and Nemanja Matic went into the book for stopping his progress. There is the difference. Chelsea are professional. They play great football when it calls for it, but when the game is dirty and it needs a firm hand, then they do that too. We looked like a promoted side in the face of Chelsea’s approach. We need to toughen up – but not in the way that Granit Xhaka has attempted to do.

I’m going to wrap this up, as I really am not enjoying this.

Bayern Munich in the Champions League means our Euro hopes are up against it. Chelsea have destroyed us in the Premier League. If we play like we have in our last two games, then Sutton will be ending our FA Cup dreams.

I need a drink. 

Arsenal 1-2 Watford – 5 Lessons to Learn

Yet again, we have been burned by our inability to start strongly.

Or rather our refusal to. We have seen the destruction our team can cause when we go at teams from the first whistle, yet we continue to hold back and invite pressure. We allow teams to breathe, to dictate – and the result is there for all to see.

This result though, is probably our worst this season. Watford were on the back of seven winless games. They were a lame dog, turning up to the home of title-chasing Arsenal. They would have been expecting an onslaught, to sit back and soak up the pressure, and hopefully pose a problem on the break.

Instead, our lack of impetus meant that the Hornets were given the freedom of The Emirates. Within ten minutes, they had grabbed the lead. 

A free-kick given away needlessly by Gabriel meant that Younes Kaboul was given license to swing away with his boot. It knicked a deflection from Aaron Ramsey and it spun away from Cech’s despairing dive. 

Watford had grabbed the initiative, as it seemed to all and sundry as if Arsenal really didn’t want to. Then, three minutes later saw Watford double their lead.

Etienne Capoue was bossing the centre of the park, and his drive toward Arsenal’s box was unhindered. He let fly and was denied by Cech, but he could only parry to Troy Deeney, who was waiting with intent three yards out. 

Two goals to the good – and the only positive that could be grabbed was that it had happened so early in the game it allowed the Gunners plenty of time to get back into the game.

Instead, the rest of the half comprised of Watford going close to extending their lead. 

This was insipid stuff from the home side. The half time whistle blew, and boos rang out from the stands. It was deserved.

The second half saw the expected and needed revival from Arsenal. Whatever Arsene had said in the dressing room worked, as the gears clicked and Watford were camped in their own third.

Chances for Alex Iwobi and second half sub Theo Walcott were saved, and Mesut Ozil was also denied by Gomes in the Watford goal. 

Where were these players in the first half? Where was this vibrancy we can just choose to flick on and off? Why turn it off in the first place?

Arsenal did grab a goal, as Alexis crossed for Iwobi to put away the chance, but we would not grab an equaliser. Lucas Perez – who also came on in the second half for Francis Coquelin – was denied by the crossbar.

We now sit nine points behind Chelsea, and we play them in the weekend. If we play anything like this, then our title hopes are over before they have even began. As it stands, we are on the periphery. Win or bust at The Bridge.

There was plenty to ruminate on in this game, but here are five lessons we must learn from:

Coquelin and Ramsey do not work together still

Coquelin was hooked early, and that speaks volumes. It may be due to putting in extra attacking resources with Lucas, but Coquelin had a rare off-day where he didn’t do what he normally does, and that is to provide an extra line of defence. Then there is the partnership with Ramsey. It was devoid of pace, and the duo does not take it in tandem to attack and defend. The chemistry just isn’t there. Ramsey needs the right partner to allow his best play – but more often than not he is found wanting. Coquelin does the defensive work well – normally – but is severely limited everywhere else. He is a great squad option, but in terms of central midfield – we need an overhaul. 

Gabriel has not evolved

The Brazilian is still the athletic but slow to react defender that we bought two years ago. He was rash then and he still is which is a massive weakness in this league. He can duke it out with the most physical strikers in the Premiership, but when it comes to defensive nous, positioning and using your head? Gabriel is found wanting.

Lucas and Theo need to start 

The Spaniard has capitalised on every rare occasion he has taken to the field. Theo offers us something no one else does in our team. It is clear our attack needs a bit of a lift, and these two deserve a run in the side. 

Bench Ozil and Alexis




















Before you lynch me, please read what I have to say. These two players are capable of destroying anyone in European football almost single-handedly. So when they put in performances of which we have just witnessed, it is clear something is missing. Both were rested in the weekend, so fatigue is not an issue. It may have been just a bad game, but when Lucas, Theo and Welbeck are pushing for games as hard as they are right now, then maybe a wake-up call is needed. If a starting berth is guaranteed, then maybe displays will dip every now and then by 5%. Alexis has done more than most this season, so this latest game and his efforts really do seem far worse by comparison. Mesut Ozil flitted and passed and looked for openings, but where is that player that eviscerates defences with a single pass? Where have his goals gone? It is time to play players on form.

Cech back on form

Cech kept the scoreline in the first half to a level where thousands of Gooners did not spontaneously combust. If it weren’t for the Gunners keeper, Watford would have strolled to the dressing room leading by four goals. Can you imagine? Cech’s save from Sebastian Prodl’s header was spectacular, and his denial of Daryl Janmaat was vital. He may be awful at stopping spot kicks, but Cech’s mastery in between the sticks should not be ignored. He never lost it. 

There was more to dwell on, but we lost and I feel it is best to not focus too much. There is need for change in the team though. With Ramsey injured, it means Oxlade-Chamberlain will be in the centre of midfield. He has shown massive improvement this season, and his dynamism may prove to be the shot in the arm we need.

Up next – top of the league Chelsea. I hate football. 

Man City 2-1 Arsenal: 5 Key Points 

The cliche ‘ it’s a game of two halves’ was made for this game, as we followed the description to the letter.

The problem is, it was the same description as our previous match – the midweek loss to Everton by the same score.

The first half of both matches was positive, especially versus City. Our front press divided their backline to great effect, but yet again we failed to maximise our superiority. We should have gone in to the break in both games with a two goal advantage.

Then, the second half showed the other side of Arsenal still exists; the side that is still the undoing of them. We failed to adapt to the changes movement of Sane and De Bruyne, and within two minutes of the restart, they were level. 

Our second half showing was so dire we went from being so dominant to not having a shot in anger. Our press was rudderless and Pep’s side were utterly rampant.

On these two showings, we still have some work to do before even thinking we can catch Chelsea. 
Here are 5 pointers as to where it fell apart:
Dropping too deep

Our press in the first half didn’t give Kolarov, otamendi and co any time to build, and we harried them into mistakes. The second forty-five was the exact contrast. They passed around us and the urgency from our play had gone. We also only started to close down when they entered our final third. It was to our cost. 
Fitness an issue? 

The second half was the culprit for this second loss, just as it was against Everton. The abject running, no dynamism, it appeared as if the majority of our players were running on empty. Are they tired? They are going through a fixture list just as congested as the other CL competing teams, why do we look so jaded?
Sanchez can’t do it on his own

Alexis once again showed his superhuman stamina, and he implored his team mates to follow suit time and time again. He was the spark for the goal, and about ninety percent of our goalshave involved the Chilean. It is high time someone else at least lightened the load a little. Theo and Mesut have good figures, but during the whole game, we need more.
We are giving it away

Both losses, the opponent have been on the chopping block, waiting for the blade to come down. We have had them in our grasp and it is only our weakening grip which has allowed them the wriggle room they need. What about when we face a team that is actually in form?
Cech is off the boil



No clean sheet now in eight games for Petr, the longest run he’s suffered in his career. He may not have been at fault for the first, but he was beaten at his near post by Sterling, which he should’ve kept out. He still pulls out saves that keep us in the game, but that consistent barrier which has been the bane of so many teams is flickering. He’ll get it back. 
There was more to point out from the game of course; Gabriel is doing a half-decent job but he is no Mustafi, Xhaka and Coquelin are working hard but they must try harder to link play, and Iwobi looked bright but must try to avoid switching off when it’s time to track back. 

We need to forget about Chelsea for now. We must forge a gap again between us and tottenham, City and Liverpool. We have to concentrate on closing out games.

We MUST win our next game. 

Next up – West Brom at home.

Everton 2-1 Arsenal – 5 Keypoints From The Game

Everton ended their recent woeful run with a tight 2-1 victory over Arsenal, as Chelsea and the rest of the Gunners title rivals looked on with undoubted glee.

Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has never lost to Arsenal at home with any of the sides he has managed, and he kept up this record with a win earned by way of Ashley Williams first for his new club in the 86th minute.

Arsenal meanwhile, see their run without loss ended with this lacklustre result, which was devoid of any of the spark which has been the signature of their last three games.

Too many of our stars had a rare off day for this game, with Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott in particular shackled well, but the Gunners did take the lead through Alexis and a devilishly deflected free-kick which fooled Marten Stekelenburg.

Everton though managed to level the game at a crucial time which probably changed the game, as Seamus Coleman stole in to head in Leighton Baines cross in the 44th minute.

The second half was a largely frustrating affair, with play being stilted thanks to unforced errors in passing, and not just from the home side who were low on confidence. Arsenal’s midfield were working hard but they could not inject the side with impetus as possession was regularly gifted to Everton.

In the end, Arsenal got what they were asking for, as Ashley Williams capitalised on some poor zonal marking to grab the winner, leaving minutes for the Gunners to salvage something.

Second half sub Olivier Giroud nearly performed heroics, but his effort was blocked on the goal line, and it meant that Everton maintain their unbeaten home record, Arsenal lose ground in the league, and confidence will be dented with our next fixrure at The Etihad carrying more pressure than ever.

There were a lot of talking points in the game, but here are five that seem the most pertinent:



We let Everton back in

The first 20 or so minutes, Everton were as bad as their run suggested. They were ripe for plucking, but we seemed reluctant to press them into errors. Instead, we slowly loosened our grip and it seemed as if we invited them to attack. They were still awful, but we tried to match them for mistakes. Our midfield misplaced SO many passes. If we had cut out at least 40-50% of our misdirected passes, we would have had at least a point.



Where was the rest of the injury time?

Leighton Baines, Stekelenburg and Olviier Giroud all had to recieve treatment, and injury time should have been racked up. Instead, we got the regulation four minutes. What about the lengthy stoppages? Did Clattenburg forget to put on his casio digital and had to use his Transformers talking watch instead? In injury time we almost scored, what could we have done with the extra three minutes we should have had?



Defence is better, but it needs to improve
















We have a world class keeper in Cech, and Mustafi has indeed boosted our backline, but no clean sheets in eleven games tells its own story. Whether it be zonal marking or simply a lack of concentration, it needs to improve if we are to truly break our duck this season.



It was a matter of time, but the manner was disappointing

With our run, it had to end at some point. The manner in which we allowed it to happen is very frustrating though. We loaded the gun and gave it to Everton. We did not click and our opponent was punch drunk for the first part of the game! Ruthlessness would have seen the points bagged.




We must not let negativity take over 

We have lost, and the performance was wanting, but we are still in contention and our record is still impressive. While we hope this doesn’t snowball and we bounce back against City, we should have full confidence they will as their performances on the pitch have earned our trust. We have been burned so many times, but let’s try to be optimistic even if the ninety minutes we just watched felt rather downcast.
There was a lot more to write about, such as Monreal being exposed again, and our widemen really flattering to deceive, but I really don’t fancy going into any more detail about a game that will be consigned to the recycling bin of most of our minds. Like a dog turd in long grass, the lawnmower in our brain will quickly dispatch the offending article and leave no trace. 

Tottenham Vs Arsenal – Match Preview

Where do I start?

Arsenal have their backs to the wall when they need to be putting their best foot forward, after two weeks of pure pain for Gooners everywhere.

A draw at home to Championship Hull City in the Cup. A valiant but ultimately campaign-ending loss to Barcelona, an embarrassing surrender to a weak Manchester United side and on Wednesday, a soul-crushing defeat at The Emirates to Swansea City.

What next for a crestfallen Arsenal side? Well, potentially the biggest North London Derby in recent memory.

So no worries then…..

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Old Trafford Chance Blown

I was able to go to Old Trafford to witness the game yesterday first hand. Needless to say, it won’t be forgotten any time soon.

A five hour road journey with none other than @thedanielcowan saw us eventually get to Old Trafford and we took to the away section with hope and excitement. The United lineup lacked experience, talent and should have been easy pickings for a near full-strength Arsenal side.

How wrong could I have been…..

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West Brom 2-1 Arsenal – Match Review

This match was meant to represent the start of a run of games in which Arsenal would consolidate their title credentials. Five matches against teams who occupy the lower reaches of the table. First up, a visit to The Hawthorns.

Not the greatest start.

Gooners can bemoan the fact that as in recent seasons, a team in which they are expected to roll over has rolled up their sleeves and took maximum points, but the fact is, if Arsenal had finished with a little more conviction one of their eleven shots on target – then they would have left this part of the Midlands with at least a point.

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