The Arsenal malaise returns

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Morning all,

After a six game winning run, Arsenal are halted by Lowly Middlesbrough, a tough game to watch after what we have been used to. Arsenal seem to be a Jekyll and Hyde football club, one minute showing form that could win silverware, then failing miserably to score one goal, against a side struggling in the relegation places.

Its common Knowledge that our players are very well paid, most supporters couldn’t care less how much they earn, as Arsenal can afford it, but they would like to see some of the clubs players at least trying to look as if they care about the result, Middlesbrough  came calling, and the bookies had us odds on favourites, playing at home, but held to a frustrating goalless draw.

Arsenal coming off a six goal win in midweek in champions League, only to fail to impress against a side at the bottom of the Premier. It was Arsene Wengers 67th birthday, but sadly ended his day struggling to understand his overpaid super stars. Granit Xhakha missed his first game of three due to suspension, while Santi Cazorla missed this game due to injury that he picked up in midweek against Ludogretts, but that seemed to upset the smooth running of camp Arsenal.

Arsenal spluttered and stuttered to half time without ever looking to penetrate Middlebrough’s stringent defence, The red hot Arsenal machine we witnessed in mid week, were having their Jekyll and Hyde performance which seemingly comes round a little to often for my liking.

I would normally talk about the game in question, but on this occasion, and the seemingly ground hog day performance, has me wandering back to my old conspiracy theories. I can remember my old playing days, and if i am honest, i would say that i was a very competitive player. I hated losing and i have to say i look for reasons when a team of highly talented players all have a bad day at the office together. In my day, i would have an off day, and i felt it stood out against the rest of the teams performances, many players lose form during a season but very seldom do they all lose form in the same game.

I look back to the first game Elneney played for us, and i remember reading a stat that said he had 20 shots, whether that fact was actually right, i can not say for sure, but i can say that his shots have dried up since, and not just his, the whole team seem to suffer on the same days.

Mesut Ozil, King of the assists, one minute pinging excorcet accurate balls through, to passing straight to a defenders legs, I have to wonder why. Theo Walcott a player tagged with having a talent for finishing off, and yesterday i saw fumbles at least three or four in area’s he would usually finish off from. Alexis Sanchez, a maestro going forward, yesterday saw him stuttering forward only to twist and turn till he was offloaded, in fact our back line were at times left wide open, by advancing way to far up the pitch, it seems that heroics from Koscielney and Petr Cech who couldn’t have been told of ground hog day, or is that just instinct.

Belerin and Monreal two very good players failed to find any reasonable crosses caught out of position and both on the same day, Iwobi a young man with oodles of trickery reduced to an early substitute for bringing nothing to the game at all. I could of course go right through the players but i am sure you can see where i am coming from, and i have to say that when the whole side seem to be having a  bad day, is to me suspicious.

When a side has 70 percent possession, but only produce 3 shots on target, and they happen to look like pass-backs i start to wonder the worse. What would be the reason, i ask myself, and i have to remember Wenger’s thousandth game as Arsenal boss, and remember the performance put in by the players that day, and click we had the same attitude. Is this just a coincidence, or am i just imagining a pattern. When a resolute defender with a turn of pace resorts to rugby type tackles, and not another defender anywhere near, i ask myself why, and sadly i cannot answer that question, all i do know is, this Jekyll and Hyde day will certainly come back again, and it is starting to come under question.

Written by a doubting Steve Palmer. 

23 thoughts on “The Arsenal malaise returns

  1. Bonjour mes amis, thanks Steve for an interesting match report. I’ve got the highlights recorded but from what you have said and what I’ve read in the papers, I don’t think I’ll bother watching them.

    I was massively disappointed by the result, watching how it came about would be a form of masochism I can do without.

    On an altogether different subject me me me Mourinho is grabbing the headlines again, “my ‘special’ status is at risk” is the headline in the Sunday Telegraph. Why do the media fall for his bull shit? I think he’s under more pressure than he will be able to handle, a loss this afternoon at Stamford Bridge will put his three year contract in danger.

    That’s one match that I’ll certainly be watching.

    Right I was late getting up this morning, so it’s time for brunch, bacon, eggs tomatoes, black pudding and fried bread. Followed by an anti cholesterol pill 😀


  2. Afternoon guys, was hoping to be on before now but what with washing her down and helping her dress, the performance up and down the stairs a trip to the hole in the wall while the washing is doing and then ironing what we are going to wear this afternoon, it has taken up the time, i was hoping to wash the car, but that will have to wait, she now wants to set out early and get flowers, plus i still have to get round for my Grandaughters party. I am sorry this is just a fleeting visit but my day is not yet over , no football for me today but hopefully i can watch in peace later on, catch you all laters.

  3. Hi guys
    Thanks for a great write up Steve, I can’t really comment as I couldn’t watch the match, but sounds as if I didn’t miss much.
    I realy have no idea of the malaise that strikes us so frequently, but if AW gets the credit when things are going well, he has to take the blame when they don’t. Yes we can blame individual players at times, but it’s a team game…I don’t even know where this commment is going, we have a good squad but….

  4. Poig, “I don’t know where this comment is going” a bit like our own dear football club. 😀

  5. Ten minutes to go and Southampton are holding on for a point…just. I can’t see them getting a winner at the moment, but you never know…

  6. One all, could have been worse, could have been better, but not a disaster

    Rooney dropped, not even on the bench. Off to the Chinese Super League in January?

  7. Chavs four nil up, that puts them up to third in the table and pushes the Spuds down into the Europa League places.

  8. Evening all, Everybody happy at the end of the day my legs are fucked, but i am sitting down at last. Missed all the football but had one of my Mrs’s Grandson’s giving us updates on his mobile what these kids can do with a mobile leaves me standing.

    It seems that the scores have been kind to us, still up there and and still in the race. Spuds pushed down a bit who doesn’t like that. Dropped the Mrs off at home, and went round my Daughters on my own, she is now capable of making a cup of tea and going to the loo without me now.

    My Daughter lives in a house that seems a spud household but none seem interested enough to have the football on, my Grandchildren only seem to play games on the tele so still no football, mabe later.

  9. Come on Steve, you know your more than happy to miss a bit of football so that you can spend time with your grandchildren. Make the most of them while you can. They’ll turn into stroppy teanagers soon enough and won’t have time for their old grandad.

    Good to here your wife is recovering.

  10. Thanks Norfolk, She goes back to the hospital today to start her Physio, Not pushed her too hard as i don’t really know much about it, so will wait and watch.

    Maureen is having a mare, and i have to say that that pleases me. When things are going good, and your allowed to spend other peoples money like its your own, and results are good, Its easy to criticise others who are having troubles, People who are not as fortunate as you and haven’t the resources at their disposal. Maureen seems to think he is an incredible coach, and results in the past seems to back that up, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, he struggles just like every body else. You can buy in players who should be on your side, but other players need to be treated well if you want the best out of them, at least get to know them a bit and see how they tick before you treat them as surplus. Mourinho’s record in the past may be very good, but he doesn’t stay in the job long so it seems, he goes to a wealthy clubs who have had what some class as excelent managers who have brought in superstars, and been replaced with Mourinho so he can buy more to fill the holes up, sometimes it works but in this case he is digging the same holes as he has dug before, I can see a bleak future for this one time lucky Manager, and as Keegan said, I love it

  11. Good morning Steve, Mourinho’s a specialist in being sacked?

    Sacked twice by Chelsea, sacked by Inter Milan and sacked by Real Madrid.

    If results at Man U don’t improve dramatically he’ll be sacked by them too.

  12. Oh well, 69er hasn’t surfaced yet so I’ll run my post up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes. 😀

    A Monday Mardle.

    In case any of you are wondering “mardle” is a Norfolk dialect term for a chat probably by two or three old gits in the snug at The Dog and Duck. In this case it’s a chat, hopefully with a few like minded denizens of 69er’s “open mic” website.

    Looking back over the past week, we must all have been struck by the highs and lows of the beautiful game. A six goals to nothing demolition of the reigning champions of the Bulgarian League Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League group stage. A match rounded of in spectacular fashion with a sumptuous hat-trick by Die Meister Mesut Ozil. Would any of us not give up that three goal feast for just one on Saturday afternoon? Well, it almost happened, just a few inches of off-side ruled it out.

    Which brings me neatly to the lows. In arsenal’s case the low level of performance supplied by our boys at home to a middling Middlesbrough. The one thing to be said pre-match was that the expectations were far from low. 69er and I both went for a three nil thrashing of the relegation fodder from the south bank of the river Tees, and tease they did.

    All afternoon they set up a teasing problem of a solid defence allied to some bright counter attacks. Lucky to come away with a point? Yes we were, thanks largely to a lenient ref who only booked Musatfi when he could easily have dismissed him for a tackle reminiscent of those regularly applauded at Twickenham and a super display by Petr Cech.

    Luckily for us, the media’s unhealthy preoccupation with a certain itinerant Portuguese bloke, who is currently (mis)managing the fortunes of Manchester united, took the limelight as the not so Special one led his shambles of a team to a crashing four nil defeat down the Fulham Road. To add to our own delicious schadenfreude Mourinho tried to pick a fight with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, accusing him of disrespecting him and trying to turn the Chelsea supporters against him. The odds on a new man at Old Trafford are shortening. Sam Allardyce anyone?

    Following of from Arsene Wenger’s sixty-fifth birthday party, pooped on by the Teeside Teasers, comes the Arsenal AGM. Points up for discussion:- Safe Standing area at The Emirates, that is safe standing for the fans rather than the safety of Arsenal’s League position: Addressing the empty seat syndrome that prevails at The Emirates for lower rated matches. Apparently an average of four thousand pre-sold seats remain unused each match day: Contract negotiations ongoing with Alexis, Ozil and Bellerin: Wenger’s own future: The question why Gazidis was awarded £1.6 million in bonuses and incentives last season.

    Well there’s not much more to say so until next time keep you a troshin bor. (more Norfolk dialect, Google it.)

  13. Nice one Norfolk, I stand by my post at the moment, Our form continues to confuse me, from a team that move like a smooth running engine, to a misfiring one, a couple of days later. and where 70 percent of the player’s lose form and a couple are outstanding, seems ominous to me.

    Arsene Wenger is a manager who rarely vents his fury in public, In fact he uses what is probably called psychology, Wenger is an expert when it comes to handling players, to me it seems he treats them as adults, and when one does something wrong, and Wenger wants to impress on the player the importance of playing the way he wants, said player has a leetal injuree that may last a leetal while.

    Arsenals form has me scratching my head, and the only way i can accept the way we play is that the League is fixed, Whether that is down to |Betting or if it is a way all football teams act to please the FA or to please the television companies i don’t know, the only thing i do know is that it is very unusual for a whole team to lose form overnight, unless something Drastic has happened, like a world war has been announced.

    Corruption is rife in football, we all turn a blind eye, and like to believe that it only rears its head in Italian leagues, but when its been proved that EUFA and FIFA are taking bungs then is it to much to believe that the English Premier is any different. I have watched or played football all my life i have been an Arsenal supporter before i took my first breath, I have watched nearly all of Arsenals European Matches and i have witnessed decisions that i couldnt understand when it happened, much as i don’t understand it now.

    Football rules have changed from season to season, they say to make the game more exciting for fans, but i believe rules have been changed purely to fix results. Any rule which has two interpretations is left to the refferee’s decision. In my experience i have seen offocials give out a decision which changes the nature of the game being played and many times it happens because a certain rule is not written in stone. Rules must always be interpreted one way so everybody knows at first glance whether the right decision has been made. That is not the case for some rules and that to me has been changed so that a game can be fixed.

    Back to Arsenal, and trying to understand some of our players. Why have we got some players who have cowardice in their nature. Walcott tries to play a non contact sport one on one with a keeper who always comes off better, the keeper because he Walcott never commits, I heard the other day that Walcott scored his first headed goal for Arsenal just the other day, and he has been with us over ten years he pulls out of all heading challenges, and he is not alone. Physical contact seems minimal with Arsenal players. Players will always back off or shut the attacking players path rather than challenge so how frustrating that over the years we have so many long term injuries. Aaron Ramsey springs to mind, a pulled hamstring which was assessed as minor which is at most two weeks to recover and he’s now been out 8 weeks and is still not ready, Welbeck been out what seems like a year and he still not fit what is he doing growing another leg. Giroud a sore toe been out weeks and weeks what is wrong with these grown men who play in a contact sport. Something wrong with this system or are these injuries a smokescreen for dodgy dealings.

    Granit Xhakha a straight red card for a trip, how many trips did you witness this weekend and how many straight red cards, so why did Xhakha’s warrent 3 games scandelous. Sorry Norfolk got carried away there mate, As for Mourinho he’s getting some of his own back and long may it continue.

  14. Steve, I can’t believe in the conspiracy theories but there is an inconsistency in the refereeing of games. One incident from the Chelsea / Man U game illustrates it perfectly. David Luiz caught Fellaini on the knee with the sole, and studs, of his boot. A blatent, dangerous foul which could have ended Fellaini’s playing career and was entirely worthy of a red card, it was right in front of the referee but he didn’t even book Luiz. Xhaka got a red card for an innocuous trip, nothing malicious, nothing dangerous. It really is time that those in charge of the game sorted out the refereeing situation.

  15. Morning Norfolk, That’s why i think the game is fixed mate, how many times did that happen in Rednoses day, Ever since he retired United have started going down. Now i was not a big fan of Rednose and his United, i always thought the free kicks they got on the edge of the box were just to many to be true, and many a game was won by those kicks, but as soon as he went their luck has been changed, If you ask me the brown envelopes must have stopped coming, and so have the decisions.

    Nobody wants to believe the conspiracy theory, but i bet a penny to a pinch of shit that’s the case, an old east end saying 🙂

    The referee’s are run by a committee, who in a roundabout way work for the FA that’s enough to convince me that not all is as it should be. Wenger i believe is too straight laced to be involved, but i do believe that in this league there are certain things that Managers do not talk about, Many of course have spoken up when things have gone against their team, but the FA know how to keep a lid on it. I don’t think i am wrong, but then again i am not involved, so what do i know.

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