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Arsenal – Everton, a view from the smoke end

By Walter Broeckx or the ‘4 to 1’ man as will be known from now one.

My second visit for a home game this season. The other one only 14 days ago…great for me and this time another nice win.

On to the game seen from the clock end. Or the smoke end. Certainly at the start of the match and after Everton scored. The match started very lively. Arsenal going forward as they usually do but we had to be careful for the Everton counter attack. The first goal was a real class goal.  As soon as Cazorla had some space in front of him with Özil to his left I could see the gap opening up. A bit like against Stoke last weekend but then it was Podolski to his left. Santi then took the shot himself, this time he picked up the pass to Özil who with the inside of his left foot finished the chance off.  A perfect start.

Then Sanogo went close. And The Ox had a few cracking shots that were stopped by the Everton keeper. I noticed that The Ox is shooting as precise and as hard with both his feet. He isn’t completely ambidextrous as Santi but when it comes to shooting he sure can do it with both feet.  Sagna send in a dangerous cross that almost caught the keeper by surprise and I think he was lucky to see it bounce in corner after hitting his hand and the crossbar.

Arsenal pressed forward and Everton speculated on the counter. And they got what they were looking for when Barkley broke away and Flamini already on a yellow card could only track with him and not make any challenge. The cross from Barkley was perfect for Mirallas who somehow made a mess of it but he was a bit lucky that his missed effort landed in front of Lukaku who could finish in the empty net. 1-1 and that was not what we had seen on the field. But it was the half time score. Deserved or not.

You could see it was a bit of a shock but  this is an FA cup match and then you usually get close affairs in the match. It was fun watching both teams taking turns to go forward. But Arsenal was trying to create it with passing moves, while Everton was trying to hit us on the counter. So we had to be careful and don’t over commit ourselves at times. It was amazing to see how Flamini was shouting and pointing at his teammates on when to go forward and when to go back. Like a policeman directing traffic on a busy crossing.

Giroud came on for Sanogo after hone our and it did made us stronger up front. This is not a dig at Sanogo at all as he is still a work in progress. But Giroud is a bit better and further developed.

The Ox who had been very strong all match then forced Barry in to making a foul on him. In the penalty area. Barry kicked him just under his knee and Oxlade-Chamberlain even tried to stay on his feet but then went down as a result of the kick.  Arteta stepped up and send the keeper the wrong way. Big celebrations but I noticed something wrong very quickly. I have seen the encroachment from Giroud and well if you apply it to every game you will see 99.99% of the penalties to be retaken.

Now I must say that I have seen Clattenberg pointing at the line to all the players and warning them to stay out of the penalty area. Giroud and two Everton players by the way broke that rule by one meter.   According to the letter of the law the ref can have the penalty retaken then. Fine with me but the rule has to be the same for all and everyone. The yellow card was rather harsh.  But maybe Giroud protested a bit too much? So I expect from now on that Clattenburg will do the same each and every time there is a penalty. Don’t think he will by the way… so it was a slight shadow on a good performance from the ref.

Arteta stepped up again and then buried the penalty again. This time Clattenburg was satisfied with both the letter and the spirit of the laws of the game. 2-1 to the Arsenal. But Everton was a tough team.  They only lost 5 games so far in the league. And don’t concede that many goals. And they managed to win a point a few months ago in the league when they also were a goal down. So the game wasn’t finished yet.

Rosicky came on for Oxlade-Chamberlain to bring some fresh legs and it worked. Rosicky send Sagna away on the right and his low cross was pushed in at the near post by Giroud. 3-1 and from then on you just knew that this was it.  Everton tried something desperate with bringing on Deelofeu who scored the equaliser last time but this time he was disposed by Cazorla in the Arsenal half.

Cazorla send Rosicky out on the right flank and from my position you could see the field completely open. Rosicky saw Özil and his pass was perfect. And Özil what can you say. He already knew what should and would happen before it happened. So he pointed and probably shouted to Giroud to go to his left. So when Özil got the ball from Rosicky he knew where Giroud should be and he was there to stick in our fourth goal of the day.

The rest of the match was one big and long celebration.  This was actually my first ever FA cup match live from Arsenal in the stadium. And I really liked it.

57 comments to Arsenal – Everton, a view from the smoke end

  • Hissy Fitt

    Talk about disillioning Gnarbry and Podolski……

    Wenger just will not utilise his squad. He has his favourites – the teachers pets.

    I hope the squad does the business……..ALL of them…not juts the teachers pets.

    And I hope Fabianski has some revenge to serve up. Or atonement maybe. We all remember the woeful errors he made in the FA CUP semi vs Chelski in 2009?????

    GOD BLESS PAT RICE.

  • Mick

    Walter you are surely our very own Untold Lucky Charm, when are you next coming so I can get a bet on another 4-1 win.

  • Yassin

    Walter, are u going to Bayern game? Pleasr say u r….

    We were the better team, when the ref keep both teams playing football, we can destroy any team out there, its just when they are the rugby lover type of refs.

  • philo

    Double in our site.EPL plus league just to silence the negative AAA.2014 is the start of good things for Arsenal

  • nicky

    Walter,
    I would invite your view on the Everton goal. It seemed to me that Lukaku was in an offside position and clearly affected Fabianski’s view.

  • jambug

    nicky

    Said the same. Must of been offside, surely. Still, fortunately it didn’t matter in the end.

  • jj

    I thought the same with the Man C goal. Have we missed something?

  • WalterBroeckx

    No Lukaku was onside at the first pass and was behind Sagna and Fabianski when Mirallas miss hit his assist that was a backwards pass. You can only be offside when you are in front of the ball and Lukaku was behind the ball.

  • AL

    Just seen the GIF where Ozil indicates to Giroud the space to run into so he can give him the ball, all this before he received the ball from Rosicky himself. He was already thinking two passes ahead of those around him. Genius.

  • Gord

    @Al

    Got a reference?

  • Yassin

    Al,
    Link please? And the one where Ozil pray during the penalty if u have it available?

  • bjtgooner

    @Al

    Good link, although I think the headline is wrong, what Ozil was doing was positioning Giroud for the killer pass, not telling him how to score.

    It was a great piece of work by Ozil, but also by Cazorla, Rosicky and a great finish by Giroud. Yet again a fantastic team goal.

  • Yassin

    Thank you Al,

    When fabregas left, he left this hole behind, still no one to fill it, no doubt we got a supperior midfield and whole team to that days, its just Fabregas could lead the attack the way he wants it, and now we got great players everyone doing his own thing. Only when Rosicky is in the field, they start to gel together. Now Ozil should realize he is the playmaker and take what he is so grear at. Ohhhhh what a great season next one is gonna be when they start understanding each other, and Ozil gel well. We always tend to forget its his first year in the EPL, and its always hard. He is doing fine enough, he will be our world class player whose name will scare all the teams coming to the Emirates when our fans sing it.

  • AL

    Yes, the headline is incorrectly worded bjt.

  • AL

    And Yassin, sorry I can’t find the one where he’s praying. But this was at Arteta’s first penalty attempt, and he’s standing to the right side of Arteta.

  • Yassin

    Thank you anyway Al,
    I ll do my googiling later.
    Now have a goodnight all u untolders and hope soon we will be talking what a great and happy season its been, and what it felt for every single one of u to see Arsenal lift a trophy… U all deserve credit if that happens.

  • AL,

    I have seen Flamini point players to take defensive positions several times when we are being attacked. It is a good thing but if, say, Kieran Gibbs ends up blocking a tackle, would we say that Flamini told him how to do it?

    That 4th goal is one of the easiest that Giroud has ever scored for Arsenal and I rate Sagna’s assist for the 3rd goal better because the pass was made in a crowded area. I get frustrated when Ozil get over the top praises and this is a classic example. Where else would Giroud have been to receive that pass? I think his run to the left of Ozil was a no-brainer, pointing or no pointing.

    We scored a great team goal from a quick counter attack involving Cazorla, Rosicky, Ozil and Giroud. Let’s give them all credit and not insult Giroud by accepting the notion that Ozil pointed to where he should be to score.

    Like you, I am happy for Ozil that he could shut his detractors up but I don’t want to give him praises that diminishes the abilities and inputs of his team mates.

  • Pat

    Yassin – you are right. Whatever happens this year, next year is going to be great! Of course, fingers crossed for this year too.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Perfect!
    Wigan has eliminated $hity out of the FA cup.
    Next Wigan, then hopefully Hull or Sheffield United.

  • jambug

    Bootoomee

    I think people are just reacting to all the negative shit that’s been hurled at him for the last few weeks. You know, a bit of an over reaction in his favour to counteract the over reaction to his detriment. Just a thought.

    Anyway, thanks to all who contributed to my little survey on the other thread and a good night all at the end of a very satisfying weekend.

    COYG

  • Pat

    Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil has got over his penalty miss now, but it affected him badly because he felt he had let the team down. It’s good that he thinks like that. It’s also interesting that Arsene Wenger says again that Ozil can score more goals. Sounds like he has plans for Ozil’s development, like he has for all his players.

  • jambug,

    I agree with you. The Ozil has had to endure some unfair criticisms from the media. I am very happy for him for his performance on Saturday. I am just uncomfortable with the notion that his direction to Giroud made him (Giroud) know where to run for his pass. Comparing the 3rd and 4th goals and their circumstances just makes it difficult for me to accept.

    But well done to Ozil and my left middle finger to those in the media who have been given him unfair criticisms. The guy is doing great for a first season.

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    Not sure if it’s the way the headline to that GIF is headed or what that’s caused you to think it’s an insult to Giroud, but that’s not the case. Bjt pointed that out and I concurred the headline was wrong. Just need to be clear about that before we go any further.

    That goal was a classic Arsenal counter, and it involved four Arsenal players who played a key role each. The vision we are talking about is how Ozil knew what he wanted to do before receiving the ball; in other words he had decided he wasn’t going to take a shot himself, as he could see the Everton defender was leaving acres of space to exploit to the left, which he then gestured to Giroud to run into knowing he would deliver the ball there soon as he got it. You can see up to the point he made the gesture both him and Giroud were on the same side of the defender, to his right. After the gesture Giroud changes direction, whether he was going to or not with or without the gesture is neither here nor there, Giroud might well have been thinking let me go into that space before Ozil gestured. Whether Giroud would have kept running on the same side of the defender in the absence of the gesture or not we will never know, and it’s not that important. What’s important imo is Ozil had already calculated that the defender was going to go with him as he was closer to the ball, and instead of try and shoot himself he would pass to Giroud. It might look simple but I think to make a decision like that running at full speed, 20 or 30 yards before, and especially before one gets the ball too, takes some vision. Again, gesture or no gesture, this was just two teammates communicating to make the most of a situation. You rightly point out Flamini does this, and we give him credit for it. It’s just that we need to give Ozil credit because he had already decided at that point what he was going to do when he received the ball. Put any other player in that situation and chances are he would probably have taken a shot himself, or tried to play a one two with Rosicky when there was better room to exploit to the left. I also think, while not belittling Flamini’s contributions, it’s easier for a defender to point out where players should take position, it’s a different proposition altogether if you’re an attacker arriving into the opposition box with a defender breathing down your neck. You’ve a split second to think what to do.

    On the subject of praising Ozil, I think he has a football brain that I can only compare to Thierry or Zidane. These are players who anyone could see they were intelligent, their passes, shots, etc. Thierry also used to communicate, esp with Pires, while advancing into the opponents area in similar style. Ozil doesn’t just cross a ball in the hope someone will be there to meet it. The cutback that Sagna provided was beautiful, one of the best I’ve seen. And while I’m not trying to take anything away from it, Ozil did an exact similar cutback from the left into Gibbs’ path which the latter failed to connect with cleanly, and the keeper managed to palm it away. We’re not talking about that because it’s what we’ve grown to expect from him. Personally, I would rather Ozil has the ball when we are getting into an opposing team’s box simply because he’s the least likely to make a wrong decision. That doesn’t make him a better player than those around him, just that he makes less incorrect decisions. I watched him provide Gotze with two sublime killer passes on Tuesday(Gotze scored from one and blazed the other over the bar), and this is what this guy is all about. His problem is he does it so often we tend to take him for granted. I bet the Sagna pass will be talked about for months, nothing wrong with that, yet Ozil made a similar pass in the same match that people might have even forgotten about already. Sometimes good players become victims of their own success; many a time I’ve watched Barcelona and you hear commentators say Messi was below par today because he didn’t score, yet he may have made one or two assists. I think we should be able to praise players without inferring that as a knock on those around them, or thinking could so and so have pulled a similar move off. It’s not diminishing others, at least not from where I was looking at this from. It may have been Rosicky, Podolski, The Ox, or Ozil himself at the end of that move and I would still have viewed it the same.

  • Rantetta

    Jambug

    Thanks for all of your contributions.

    I wish to make an observation re your post at 2:09, on the previous article, where you mused that Clattenburg was ‘decent’, and (paraphrase) is OK for Arsenal. I agree that he’s better than our ‘favourite’ refs, but I also think he tows the line. The bitch line.

    I believe Clattenburg see everything, but doesn’t favour Arsenal. Firstly, I want to point out something good. In the very early minutes, Arteta was in a position where the ball could drop on his head. As the ball came down, G Barry charged (with malice) towards Mikel. Arteta spread his arms as he went up – keeping his arm straight. Barry bundled into Arteta’s outstretched arm. Both players went down.

    My view is that Barry led an assault, knowing it was “early doors”, and had decided to put a “reducer” (as racist Ron used to say) on Arteta. I think Barry stayed down for a couple of minutes to get himself out of a yellow card – hoping to get the sympathy of the ref, and a yellow card for Arteta. In other words, Barry was cheating, IMO.

    Clattenburg gave the foul to Arsenal. That was good. ITV showed many, many replays of the incident, whilst the plundits prevaricated. Even Andy “get in” T acknowledged it probably wasn’t a foul by Arteta, whilst the other git stuck to the usual “Arsenal should always be punished” script.

    So that was Clatters being good. The retaken penalty was in my view, a chance to make Arsenal suffer.

    How about his past matches? Well, in the last one he let some scum smash Theo’s achilles, remember? Then he let Rose cripple Theo, right? There were lots of refshite in that match against Totty.

    As I’ve written above, I believe Clatters sees everything. Including Adebayor stamping on Rvp’s face, spawning blood. No foul. Clatters was 5 – 10 yards away!

    This ‘fouling in plain sight’ is a tactic most refs use against Arsenal, along with the ghost fouls. At this time I can’t or don’t want to remember Clatters long list of bolux towards Arsenal. I like his style and his fitness. He’s certainly not Dean-esque, but he’ll fuck us over any chance he gets.

    Plus, Clatters has history – in the “norty boy” stakes, and was suspended a few years ago. As I always say; if you’re gonna keep your ref job, you gotta play the game.

    I’m only unsure how younger refs like Oliver – get their jobs in the first place. It was he who reffed the Chelsea match on Saturday. Some shambles, surely? And Oli was at Stoke – where he couldn’t see multiple assaults. Many multiple assaults. Multiple, multiple assaults. Nowt said by your friends: the meedja.

    Jambug, I’m not looking to be provocative or say you’re wrong. I just think that on this one – I’m right (smiley winky face).

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to see the City-Wigan highlights. Or maybe I should watch a re-run of the whole match, in order to see what tactics Arsenal should employ against them in the semi final. (Like I know anything bout tactics). Mind you, I know McManamaan’s a dirty B. He never got punished for fking up someones leg in a cup match last season, and the plundits all forgave him, after all, he’s a young Britisher, innit? Talented an’ shit, innit?

    (I’ve been wanting to write that for 24 hrs. Bah).

    I happen to disagree – not

  • Rantetta

    AL @ 11:54

    Good, reasoned observations.

  • Rantetta

    “I happen to disagree – not”

    Can’t remember what I meant to write, but I didn’t mean to end it like that.

    Pardon me, please.

  • Arvind

    OffTopic: I just watched the highlights as they became available outside Europe. Everything’s awesome of course… but just listening to Adrian Clarke on commentary reminds me why it’s a joy to watch Arsenal at times. Specially after reading and listening to the vitriolic tribal trash elsewhere. It’s just beautiful. He’s always respectful, never trashes anyone but all the same makes it clear that he’s a big big Arsenal fan : )

  • Jesse Sapolu

    Bit worrying that we are OVERHYPING Ozil again….
    Bladdy will end in tears….

  • Florian

    Since we’re at the “off topics”, I would like to mention one interesting fact: Aaron Hunt from Werder Bremen reversed the ref decision to (wrongly) award a penalty when he tripped himself in the area. That is a great gesture of fair play, one that we’ll never see from Eto’o and his acolytes. But what really aggrieved me was the comments on ESPN FC, here in the US. Steve Nicol and another guy held the stance that the player should have kept his mouth shut and get the pen, because “it is his responsibility to win the match”. The moderator was unable to counter his position. Just to show the extent to which the words “fair play” have been forgotten.

  • Arvind

    Honestly Bootoomee – I doubt anyone is diminishing anyone. If OG didn’t mean to make that run, Ozil helped out and we scored. If he did indeed mean to make that run, that’s excellent too – it means his movement is improving and so is his understanding with Ozil, which was not great a couple of months ago.

    Either way Arsenal win. It matters little to me who got the credit. Wenger will know and that is enough for me. For me, it’s just a huge huge non issue and I look forward to a good performance against Bayern. It was a good pass and a good finish.

    And on a separate note, letting the ball run across the body and stroking it in – it can go horribly wrong – it’s not as easy as it looks IMHO.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @AL, Nice interpretation.

    We’ll never know what information was exchanged during that millisecond conversation. But going by the face-value, I think Ozil pointed out his direction so that him and Giroud dont end up tackling each other. And I think it was directed at Rosicky as to where he wanted the ball.

  • Cant remember any one over there who would tell me how many teams has The Arsenal played in this FA tournament! and also let me know how they have overcome all of them,and they thought we will have $hity but got it wrong. Im not sure really if these are real draws all shitty draws anybody out there to collect me.

  • Arvind,

    You might need to see the goal again and then compare the move that led to it with that of the 3rd goal. I have see both more than 5 times now and Sagna’s assist as well as Giroud’s positioning for the 3rd was much more difficult than our 4th goal.

    As much as I will take on anyone who marginalises our players, I cannot stand by and allow statements like “Ozil pointed where Giroud should run to score”. It is insulting to Giroud. If you are a professional, would you be happy if a colleague is being given credit for telling you to do what you would have done anyway?

    And if it doesn’t matter anyway since we won, then why are we getting the issue written about in the first place. I did not start this; I’m only responding to what I consider to be an inaccurate notion.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    2 Florian – I read about that incident and am suitable impressed with Hunt’s honesty . He can hold is head high in the knowledge that he did do the right thing . What others think or say about will not concern him in the least.
    But it does shows the mind set of the individual .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    There are a few snappy comebacks on this link.
    ” Wipe your mouth , there’s still a tiny bit of bullshit around your lips !”

    http://www.ba-bamail.com/Content.aspx?emailid=8879&memberid=763708#.Ux1L8M66ETE

  • Jesse Sapolu,

    I think it may end in tears too. That is how it started the last time. If you over-hype a player that you like, then when such player’s form drops, you would have given his detractors more than enough ammunition to attack him.

  • Shard

    Bootoomee

    Sadly, I think we disagree about the Ozil ‘issue’. There is no issue there. It’s just appreciation for his talent and that it portends well for the team. Nobody took any credit away from Giroud (although caughtoffside might have, I never open that site anymore. I saw the gif elsewhere) AL explained it quite well I thought.

    As for players being overhyped… I agree with you that that shouldn’t be done, I disagree with you that not doing so would prevent any abuse of the player (it’ll just change the language of the abuse), I disagree that that is what is being done in the case of the Ozil Gif.

  • Shard,

    We can’t agree all the time now can we? We are not sheep 🙂

  • Pablobrown

    I don’t know what games you were watching Walter,but Everton deserved to go in at halftime all even. The pen changed the game,and what was Martinez thinking playing that goalkeeper? Arsenal deserved the win,but the score flattered the Gunners.

  • Shard

    Bootoomee

    Baaaaa 🙂

  • bob

    What you call Sagna’s “low cross” to Giroud was more than that. Sagna first had a give and go with Rosicki; and then held, held, got/forced an opening, threading it in there (your “low cross”) beautifully, and Giroud tapped in nicely. Sagna made that goal and deserves his raise.

  • Hissy Fitt

    pay the man!
    i.e.SAGNA

    that way we will have the best WAG in the world.

  • bob,

    That’s what I have been trying to say. Sagna did more to get that 3rd goal than Ozil did for our 4th – which I think is a great team goal but one that is not dependent on Ozil’s brilliance in particular. Cazorla started it with that timely pass to Rosicky.

    The fact that some have developed gif file of Ozil’s easy assist and not that of Sagna’s more difficult one says it all. We shouldn’t compensate for the misguided media attack on Ozil with over-hyped praises for his performances.

  • Menace

    Just watched the game (Replay as I missed it on Saturday. No matter what anyone says PGMOL and its sneaky rats tried to influence the game away from Arsenal. Several fouls were ignored specially against Ozil. How Arteta didn’t sustain a serious injury is amazing as he was specially targetted by Evertons kickers. The Giroud booking is an absolute farce considering the Everton players that had also infringed the area.

    Clattenberg is another of the PGMOL specialists with intent to derail Wenger from any success.

    Arsenal with all their quality, honesty and sportsmanship will have to endure the cheating of the powers that be and win in spite of it.

  • AL

    I’d no idea praising an Arsenal player would cause so much trouble. BTW I did NOT develop that GIF, it’s all over the Internet for anyone who cares to look for it, nothing to do with me. I guess my only mistake, if praising an Arsenal player can be viewed as that, was to search for the images after Walter and someone else who I cannot remember mentioned the move and said it was a brilliant move. Perhaps I need to go see if I can find the Sagna GIF to even things up, if I find it that is. To be honest, I find the whole thing a little pointless, can’t we just talk about something that we enjoyed in a game without having to measure it against all the other incidents that occurred over the 90 minutes? By the way, Giroud himself showed how much he appreciated both assists by the way he celebrated with both players after each goal; he pointed at Sagna before rushing to embrace him, and swept Ozil off his feet. To me that’s what matters, to see united team mates sharing so much joy together.

  • AL

    And Bootoomee, you wrote an article a few weeks back which compared Carzola with Ozil. To me, I think that’s more damaging as it can easily create rivalry (assuming it’s taken further than these boards, which isn’t impossible because the fans that come on here end up at the stadium ) than acknowledging a good move that resulted in a good goal.

  • AL,

    Not really. My article was in the same spirit as my objection to this notion that “Ozil is so great he even shows his team mates where to run for his passes”.

    Ozil is a great player but do we really need to go overboard in our praise of him? Especially when we don’t do this for his team mates. I am yet to see any gif on Cazorla’s pass for Ozil’s goal or one for Sagna’s for Giroud’s first. The last time I checked, these other guys play for Arsenal. Don’t you think they might read this and think that the fans only care about Ozil’s contributions?

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    I do think we do praise individual skills of brilliance every now again(Ramsey did a Bergkamp not so long ago) and get GIFs too , and don’t think we are being overzealous with our praise. You’re probably reading too much into this, and I don’t think the players would be that affected by it. I suspect (think you’ve said this actually) you feel some sections of the media have tried to use Ozil as an excuse of out recent success, and you took exception to that (rightfully) but he’s had his fair share of criticism from the same guys recently too. So just a little praise from us when he does well wouldn’t be out of place don’t you think. Don’t you think praise is better than booing 🙂

  • AL,

    Okay, I concede. But only because it’s you 🙂

  • bob

    MENACE,
    You’re spot on regarding Clattenburg. He’s a specialist. Used to have a good rep hereabouts, but adding on that penalty redo – that almost never penalized move by Giroud, against Giroud, another card for the near future suspension perhaps? – had me in a “say hello to my little friend” moment. That men has gotten way up Riley’s pecking order and is a menace to Arsenal.

  • bob

    Bootoomee,
    So glad about our continuing praise for Sagna’s worth. That was beautiful, patient, clinical football. How can we buy that experience elsewhere, with the understanding that our players are developing? Seems crazy to break up that mutual experience. The man is value added and can be valued as an all time great at AFC if we’re eyes wide open about him. He’s worth the money because he’s also more than a footballer; an inspired magnet to and for a much wider fanbase, and rightly so. His T-shirt sales will also soar. N’est-ce pas? 🙂

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    🙂 🙂

  • bob

    “The yellow card was rather harsh. But maybe Giroud protested a bit too much? So I expect from now on that Clattenburg will do the same each and every time there is a penalty. Don’t think he will by the way”
    Walter,
    Imo, Giroud is being carded a lot over minor infractions at best; at some (critical) point in the business end, I fear that those intending his suspension will get their wish. We need to be vigilant about this way of undermining our best actual striker.

  • bob,

    I don’t think that there is a bigger fan of Sagna than me. I love his athleticism and extraordinary “get-on-with-it” attitude. He is just an exceptional professional. Nothing will make me happier than to learn that he has extended his service with us. I hope he does and soon. But if he doesn’t (and I don’t really think there is anything we can do about his decision here), I wish him only the best as long as he does not go to any of our EPL rivals.

  • bob

    ?This was actually my first ever FA cup match live from Arsenal in the stadium. And I really liked it.”
    (Walter,
    Please don’t let Mr. Attwood read the words “like” and “FA Cup” in the same sentence. And you paid more for your journey than a certain editor here was inconvenienced by his, as I recall. 🙂 )

  • bob,

    Come on, give Tony a break. You know he meant well (or at least, he did not mean any ill).

    On on one of the previous thread, jambug took a poll of Untolders who, if they can only choose one, would prefer qualifying for CL over winning the FA cup. The result was overwhelming in favour CL qualification. I guess many of Tony’s blog’s regulars share his view but without any doubt, we all want Arsenal to win the trophy.

    What kind of fans would we be if we don’t 🙂