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Dire, appalling, grotesque, mindless, ill-informed, repetitive

If you think you know your Arsenal, it is time to think again. Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.

———

 

By Tony Attwood

Dire, appalling, grotesque, mindless, ill-informed, rephandetitive

Yup, the house TV channel of the AAA were back with a performance so useless that it rivalled their notorious handling of Arsenal’s 6-1 win away to Everton at the start of the season a few years  back.  Thank goodness they have lost their licence to destroy matches in the Premier League after this next season.

In case you weren’t following the match on ESPN let me explain.  The teams changed at half time, and the commentators didn’t have a clue who was on.  There was no graphic, no stream bar, nothing.  Occasionally we got the names of the youngsters on the pitch, but not always, and certainly we got no commentary on the interesting formations that were being experimented with.  In fact it was quite clear that the two commentators not only hadn’t got a clue, they weren’t actually there.  They were sitting in a studio somewhere, and watching the same pictures as we were – but without knowing who the players were.

So what did they do?  They filled up the time by repeating the same script that they have been using for years.  In the end it got so mindlessly awful that one of the commentators said of Arsenal, “They have always been a team that tries to walk the ball into the net under Wenger.”

So that is walking the ball into the net like oh, I don’t know, Henry, Pires, Bergkamp, Van Persie…

Oh and then they had a chat about David Beckham.

There was a lot more of this, but I couldn’t be arsed to write it down. We also had no review at the end of the game, no interview with Mr Wenger – but then I suppose it would have been embarrassing as they didn’t know who was playing so they wouldn’t have had any questions to ask.

What was self-evident was that the game was played on a pitch that churned up like a village ground after the rain.  And out there you had players like Diaby, back for his first game, and absolutely not wanting pre-season to do his ankle.  Some of the depressions left after tackles were even worse than that.

The Arsenal team avoided injuries because they took it easy, backed off, and followed what was clearly the prime instruction: don’t get injured.   They played mostly as an under 21 side with a few older players, and they played in unusual formations.   We could have had quite a discussion about Santos playing up front (maybe you saw that one coming along, but I certainly didn’t), but there was nothing on that.  Instead they had a bash at Chamakh and then told us that without RVP there wouldn’t be any goals.  Oh, so we don’t have new signings then?  And we didn’t score any goals in the seasons before this last one when RVP didn’t play that way?

We could also have talked about Coquelin in central midfield, but no, we didn’t.  Or the fact that normally this game is played in Austria against a local team, as Arsenal players start to warm up.

Anyway, in case you were watching the inept and stupid EPSN here is the first half team

Vito Mannone

Carl Jenkinson;  Thomas Vermaelen (c);   Johan Djourou; Kieran Gibbs

Abou Diaby; Francis Coquelin; Mikel Arteta

Andre Santos; Chamakh; Gervinho

And in the second half we had

Kyle Bartley; ; Nico Yennaris;  Craig Eastmond, Ignasi Miquel

Alex Song; Thomas Eisfeld; Chuks Aneke;

  Ryo; Benik Afobe; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Walcott played until being replaced by Eisfeld.

It was a highly experimental team, and with everyone being careful of the pitch, it was a fair old performance.  I doubt that Arsenal really expected such an awful pitch, and hopefully they will be checking more carefully in future.   Mr Wenger I suspect will be having words – not with his players but with whoever did the deal to play on this pitch.

The Malaysian players were playing at the end of their season – which is why it was strange that they broke up the game so much by stopping it every four minutes to make another sub in the second half.  In fact they even did that twice in the first half.  Not much good from a spectator point of view.

And learning points?  Well, not very many.  Ryo looks what we always thought he looked – an incredible prospect – he can dance around holes in the ground, while taking the ball forward.  The Ox was a sensation even at this early stage.  Alex Song did one of his sensational passes, which the commentator seemed to suggest no one had ever commented on before (so obviously he wasn’t watching RVP accept those passes then last season).   And Eisfeld.  Wow.  What a way to start your career.  He scored and looked emotionless.  Extraordinary, as TV commentators might say if they had a clue who he is.

We won 2-1, not that it matters.  More to the point no one got caught in a hole in the ground and twisted an ankle.  That is the good news.

I think it is great that Arsenal should travel the world and play games in front of fans everywhere.  I just don’t want those matches to be on pitches like this.

 

39 comments to Dire, appalling, grotesque, mindless, ill-informed, repetitive

  • Danish Gooner

    Completely meaningless friendly would have got more out of another training session,thank you very much Stan and Ivan.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Dummy Goner…..when are you going to join your AAA buddies at LeGrove and leave us in peace? We get it mate…you don’t like AFc management so try some other whining will ya…but not here…as the title of this post says:Dire, appalling, grotesque, mindless, ill-informed, repetitive…that’s your life!

  • GoonerDave

    Danish-
    Thats ridiculous. We have all been saying for years that we should go on tour to grow the club. It wont be too meaningless if it improves our revenue.
    Also, how would anyone here know whether that match was more or less productive than a training session?
    It seems in your hatred of the philosophy of the club, and your disdain for Arsene, that you have become just as blinkered as a fan who believes Wenger can do no wrong.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    I watched the entire game and was impressed with the Malayasians AND with our kids as well. It was like walking through a minefield with our players skipping and skating their way through a very bad turf. Mannone looked confident and that Eisfeld definitely has something to offer. I noticed Vermaelen was going box-to-box again and that Chamakh seemed to enjoy the service from his wingers but still couldn’t finish.
    This was a more pacey game than the Gunners expected but will serve them well in training for the season….and thank God no injuries so far! I can’t wait to see Giroud and Podolskiwork with our best 11…looks very promising so far.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sounds like you were treated to the more humurous commentators Tony – ours was not much better .This pitch was slightly better than that of last year which may not be too much of a compensation .
    Again ,glad all came off uninjured .

  • Goona Gal

    @ Tony, I can’t believe you have knocked this article out so quickly! Amazing and I agree, I just left my comments to that effect on the other article….I need to keep up really.

  • Goona Gal

    Project Youth is alive and kicking. Many reason’s to be cheerful.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Agreed Goona Gal – am suitable impressed by them ,having heard of them but seeing them play for the first time .
    Agree with Dom’s comments about the Malaysian team – they did well ,despite it being the fasting month .

  • ak47

    hideously horrible, outrageous neanderthals.

    i spent too long trying to work out personnel and formation. at times it looked like a 442!?
    then out came the doomsday lines. anything to give us a bash disregarding the circumstances not to mention relations. not very nice of us to go over and spank em is it?

    on the plus side. the ice man part 2. very assured and confident. has that ‘gonna be world class’ aura. and diaby kept getting back up and tried to make things happen. he’ll be playing for lost time. good times.

    oh and ricky. his 0-60 is summit else ay it. he looked a cut above movement wise.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Brickfields, the pitch was MUCH better last year. They clearly wanted to win and took winning the match very seriously. The thing is like I said on the other article, playing matches in those conditions are not worth our risk. It let the largely positive Malaysia trip down and in future a pitch in reasonable condition must be an essential cornerstone of any agreement.

  • El Tel

    The Irish commentator also said it was a good pitch just prior to kick off until He saw an holemthe size of a links course bunker appear following a tackle.

    Is it me or do all these commentators hate the Arsenal so much. None of them ever seem to want us to win.

  • omglol

    The pitch was awful, lucky Diaby went out healthy on halftime !

  • dave

    After a while I just turned the sound off.
    Some of the rubbish they coming out with: Slaughtering the Arsenal players for missing easy chances and then claiming that Arsenal couldn’t create anything. Saying that the amount of subs the Malaysians were making was going to make it easy for us even though we’d subbed basically the whole team and then saying that We won because they were tired, despite the fact that they’d just made so many changes that it was “disruptive”. The most annoying thing is that they seemed unaware that it was the first proper game of a preseason warm up schedule. Apparently, it was a game Arsenal couldn’t possibly afford to lose,despite the fact that other Premier League teams have already lost preseason games this year.

  • PerF

    Apart from the pitch I enjoyed the game for what it was: A chance for AW (and for all of us) to see some of the young kids – and the not so young kids – play with some of the stars.
    Heavy legs and lack of sharpness aside, it gives a good hint about what they’re made of. And it gives them an opportunity to show if they are ready to go to the next level. I was impressed with Yennaris (prefer him to Jenkinson), with Aneke (so cool, very nice passes, even better than when playing with the reserves), Ryo (always going for a challenge), Eisfeld (not much time on the pitch but great move and positioning when scoring). And Diaby, of course. MOTM in the first half.

    On a negative note I just have to get this off my chest: What is it with (British?) gooners and Theo Walcott??? One good spell at the Euros and everyone seems to have forgotten how terribly poor he played in 75 percent of our games last season. Today he looked like a 16 year old and surely not like an experienced international. I really hope AW cash in on him. I wouldn’t miss him.

  • silentstan

    rephandetitive????????????????? what?

  • omglol

    But lol again Comeback kings !!

  • dan

    I’ll be doing my bit in Vietnam.

  • afc_gunner

    Decent performance, Chamakh didn’t do that good of a job holding up play. Diaby was looking exceptional in my opinion, a couple good through balls and build up play. I was just glad he came off unhurt. The ox can do better to keep position at times he seems to lose it when he isn’t being challange too much. We can also do better to finish our chances, no reason to miss when u are in against the goalie. Again i was glad Diaby made it through, when healthy he can be a great player for us.

  • Northernbof

    Excellent report.Agree totally about the abysmal commentary ,nearly turned the sound off. Perhaps the 2nd half performance is why W isn’t too bothered about signing all those nearly famous wantaways from other clubs.Still need more defensive work but sure Steve Bould will sort it.

  • Smash GH

    Eisfeld will be a great gunner. good start 4 a pre season

  • Gerry Lennon

    I only caught the second half – on the Arsenal Player – they did know who was playing, but it would have been nice the have a teamsheet. From what I saw of the pitch, I am amazed that any decent football was played by either side. Interruptions aside, I though Yennaris used his pace well, but did follow the ball a bit too often when defending. Miquel played well on the other side, he too has good pace. Walcott suffered from what usually makes him look bad … that is being given the ball when defenders are too close. Ryo did have some bright moments. In fact the only one who lacked sharpness was Afobe, but I hope he gets another chance on a better surface. I think AOC has been studying under Dr Song, as he repeatedly tried through balls that were invariably cut out. The pitch can take some credit for that, as the ball slowed the further it went. Eisfeld wasn’t on long before he scored the first goal, which involved good attacking play from Yennaris, and the move was finished off like a seasoned veteran.
    All in all, I was impressed, and I look forward to folowing the rest of the tour. But first I want to see how the first half went.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I watched it onthe Arsenal Player, they are doing live streams of all four pre-season games so was spared the ESPN commentary. At least the commentators knew our players and could relate to earlier appearances.
    Far too early to make too much of individuals efforts but overall a good work out on a terrible surface and no apparent injuries. Far from our probable first team but signs of a decent squad depth which we will need as the season progresses. Eisfeld’s goal looked to be very similar to Lansbury’s in Swansea. Both well taken from midfielders running into the box-encouraging! Nothing Manone could do about the goal, another of those wonder strikes that we seem to get every season. Let’s hope we get them out of the way now when they don’t matter.
    An encouraging start!

  • bjtgooner

    Tony, I share your feelings about the ESPN commentators, they were very poor, biased and ill informed – too lazy to do any homework.

    The pitch was very poor – but, we need to be able to play on long grass – we visit Stoke quite early this season – probably before the hay has been cut.

    There were some promising performances from our young guns
    and a very well taken goal from Eisfeld. What impressed me was at 1 nil down late in the second half the young guys didn’t give up – they kept going and won the game.

  • southstandstu

    what or who exactly is the AAA?

  • nicky

    Sorry to slightly disagree with you Tony, but I would rather watch Arsenal via ESPN than NOT watch them at all. The talk of most commentators on most channels meanders quietly over my head anyway.
    The pitch was bad and needed mega treatment at half-time.
    So many players were subbed during the game, I failed to recognise quite a few. For some reason I found it difficult to read the names on our away shirts.
    Diaby in the first half impressed me. He was involved in everything as was Gibbs.
    Looking forward to Friday against Citeh.

  • Ong Bing

    Good thing I like from Arsenal is we always have a group of promising youngsters.

    We know only a few of them will be a good players, but the hope makes us excited.

    Sad to read about Jack, I hope he can ready in January.

  • BertrumWeaks

    Santos was always going to be used as a forward, he has sensational technique , he has guile and usually can find the net (though not today clearly), oh and he cant defend at premier league level! plus gibbs will get a million chances with wenger so it makes total sense that santos would be deployed as a wing forward if and when we need. Didnt see the game today, but i assume if he was upfront as a striker that was merely for shits and giggles
    #

    id like to say a little word on the whole AAA AKB thing, I read le grove, and you do get a lot of childish banter, some of it funny, and ofcourse you get people beings rude and aggressive if you dont agree. But I tell you it is no better on here either, ive noticed that people with opinions that differ with the untold spirit het basically told to not come back, and that isnt right, people get equally childish and defensive on here , but in a more passive aggressive way.
    I think le grove and untold are two sides of the same coin. But at least with legrove the aaa and the akb have a place to debate, here it seems that it is very much “keep to our own”, and as the royal family found out, that is not good for our evolution, in fact it turns us into retards

  • @BertrumWeaks, Bertrumweeks or even Willybilly – Thanks, we’ll have a good long hard look at ourselves and try our best to meet the high benchmark for open debate that Le Grove has set.

  • Gunz

    @ BertrumWeaks
    I remember not so long ago, a poster by the name of Rhyle(Adcock) using the same saying “for shits and giggles” and constantly praising Legrove for how open they are for debate, lol! Sounds like the same old aaa bs. Are you Rhyle in disguise?

  • ARSENAL 13

    hehehe…I watched the game on Arsenal Player. Even they couldnt recognize the players in the second half. One thing they understood is that the pitch was horrible and its just a warm up game.

    I think Coquelin is responsible for the goal we conceded…..He was totally non existent. BUT then early days. AND Chamak was good.

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    Not to forget the way ESPNstar go on to report how successful Man United were in drawing with Ajax Cape Town or how absurd Liverpool was during their draw.

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    I would rather say ESPN is a pro Man United sports channel than an AAA channel.

  • Armin

    Well, Tony if it is going to help you, Sport Klub (where I watched) is about the same.

    Living 3000 km from Emirates I got used on watching Arsenal only on TV and developed “superpower”, listening and don’t hearing commentary.

    Though I must admit non-English speaking commentators (ones I understand)always had much more objective view of AFC than ones from SKY, ESPN or FOX.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    When I saw the title I assumed it was a reference to the intellectual abilities of the usual AAA member.
    If someone can suggest a way that a different manager can win a bidding contest with Chelsea, Man City and now PSG, without using the supposed financial strength of a man who wants to issue dividends to shareholders I will concede that they are right and that the current management structure needs to go.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Dogface – ahhh, good catch! Silly Billy gets sillier with every post!

  • C4

    BertrumWeaks has a point.
    Screw this site, I’m off to Le Grove.

  • rusty

    As an American, I find it strangely reassuring that ESPN’s soccer commentators are just as bad on your side of the Atlantic. I generally look for games on Spanish-language media — the broadcasts there are head-and-shoulders above ESPN.

  • Damien Luu

    @dan (from VN): Very happy to know I am not the only Vietnamese guy here 🙂

    @Dom: Yeah, the Malaysian national team IS a tough opponent. Sometimes they made our lives (and Thais’ lives) really difficult. I feel sorry about the pitch, though. The tour is obviously a hugh success marketing-wise.

  • Damien Luu

    Meant to write “huge success”.

    @Prasanna Veeraraghavan: Yeah, I will never forget their little commercial showing a huge ugly Rooney picture. Yuck!