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July 2021

Arsenal – Marseille 2-0 : Pulling up the handbrake after 32 seconds

By Walter Broeckx

What a start of the game that was. We got the ball tried to do a spud start by almost losing the ball too easy, then slapped ourselves in the face, shouted: wake up and that is exactly what we did.

Within seconds Sagna released Wilshere on the right flank and after a superb cut back he curled the ball past the keeper who tried his best but this shot was unstoppable. 1-0 to the Arsenal after 32 seconds in the game.

Minutes later again Wilshere who seemed to enjoy himself playing out of position on the right flank to Ramsey and lo and behold from 7 meters out and with only the keeper to beat…. the keeper saved with an amazing foot reflex. As it was Ramsey behind the ball we expect him to score now but well the Marseille keeper didn’t wanted to co-operate on a goal fest. Oh well that is what he is being paid for by Marseille.

Özil then after a lovely ball from Ramsey but the ball ran away from his foot when he was alone on the keeper. He didn’t started too strong in this game and it took him the whole first half to find his game a bit.

We had more chances after that and we played and passed and passed and played and Marseille couldn’t get to the ball at times. But suddenly the ball fell kindly for Gignac but Szczesny was quick of his line to smother the ball and the possible danger. That is the only chance I can recall of Marseille in the first half.

Arsenal should have had a penalty for a pulling down of Giroud (I thought – streams you know…) but the ref wouldn’t put it on the spot…yet. A bit later he did it when Ramsey was brought down. The ref was standing just 5 meters away and the foul looked to be on the line but it could have been just outside also. The ref gave the penalty and Özil stepped up.

The keeper was almost 2 meters off his line when Özil took his shot and could stop the ball. A retake should have been given but the assistant on the line wasn’t looking properly I think although he gave the impression to be looking. But will not moan too much about it. Next time Arteta on the field please when we get a penalty.

When the ref blew for half time it was one of those games that you wonder: how on earth are we only 1-0 up? It should have been 2-0 or even 3-0 with a bit of better finishing.  We were completely in control and the crowd was singing ‘we are the North bank’ and the Clock end responded in loud voice. Thanks guys, great atmosphere that was something I could hear on my stream.

In the second half the same pattern in the game. Arsenal completely dominant and controlling the game. But with only 1-0 on the score board you knew that one little mistake, one slip could have been enough for Marseille to score an equaliser.

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Giroud and Özil came close to score that important second goal but Giroud his deflected shot went just wide and Mandanda denied Özil again. Giroud again after a good cross by Monreal but the ball rolled off his back and the keeper was first on the loose ball. You could feel that the second goal was coming.  Arsenal even without giving it all was in complete control.

And finally that second goal came. Özil and Ramsey with a nice combination and when Özil was released on the right his cross with the outside of his foot was perfectly placed in front of Wilshere who scored his second of the evening.  At last… and it should have happened earlier. Much earlier.

At that moment we didn’t pull the handbrake on, as that had already happened. No, it felt as if we stopped the engine for a while. Cardiff on Saturday on our mind? And suddenly Marseille with a big chance, Szczesny blocked the ball but it was going in but Nacho Monreal cleared it right in front of the line. Did I mention that Monreal had an excellent game yet? Well he did.  And not just for this goal line clearance.

Minutes later the moment of the match for me. Thauvin who had just come on for Marseille with a half volley shot from 10 meters out a low shot that seemed to go in but Szczesny with a wonderfull save on the goal line and Koscielny cleared the danger in corner.  This was an example on how you can get punished for a loss of concentration after having it too easy up to then.

We then put the motor back on and played the game out in a comfortable manner. Walcott could have scored a third but still looking very rusty for the moment.  A great evening for Wilshere who was played out of position but it didn’t bother him at all. Again our defensive game was superb apart from that one slip up due to some changes just before that maybe and the feeling that the game was in the bag.

So how things are standing now in our group as Dortmund won 3-1 against Napoli?

Arsenal 12 points

Dortmund 9 pts

Napoli 9 pts

Marseille 0 pts.

So a draw in Napoli will see us win the group. We even could go further in the group when we lose. But then we should avoid a defeat by more than 3 goals. So Napoli would have to throw it all in to the attack. Leaving some space for Walcott who by then should have his turbo back on I hope.

With one game to go we have our destiny in our own hands. But we need to put our full team out in Napoli I think. And just play our own game. Score ourselves and defend like we are doing for the moment.




63 comments to Arsenal – Marseille 2-0 : Pulling up the handbrake after 32 seconds

  • Edda

    Actually we will win the group even if we lose with 1 goal in the next game. A 2 goal loss will make us go through on second place. A 3 goal loss will put us in the Europa League.

  • jambug

    Sorry Edda but assumeing Dortmund win there last game we have to get at least a draw to win the group.

  • Mick

    Great result, nice to see Jack back to some good form and scoring goals. He should have had a couple of assists as well.
    Regarding the ITV commentary that twat Andy Townsend revealed his true feelings about Arsenal by shouting ‘GET IN’ when Marseille had a shot near the end. I thought I was hearing things so I rewound to listen again and I was not mistaken.

  • jambug


    Myself and Bootoome both mentioned this at the time on another thread.

    Honestly it’s a F***ing disgrace and frankly he should be ashamed of himself !!

    Be interesting to see if they edit it out in the highlights just coming up.

  • jambug

    Can you imagine a commentator letting out that kind of exclaimation would it of been against Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, City or Spurs ?

    I think not.

    As I said, F***ing disgrace.

  • Gord

    On, the Arsenal-Marseille match report mentions that the omission of Gibbs was a late decision, flu bug or something. Monreal seems to have done very well.

    The BBC has Wilshere’s goal at 27 seconds.

    A while ago, there was a comment in the news about Flamini and short sleeves. The BBC never said anything about Flamini having shorter sleeves. It did end up in Wenger’s press conference. No more scissors for Flamini.

  • WalterBroeckx

    May I mention that my scenario article was mentioned on yes I can 😉

  • AL

    Why don’t we all make a bit of noise by letting ITV know how disgusted we are.

  • Edda,

    My man! It’s been a while.

  • Allan1340

    Why we think about losing or drow?????!!!!!! Wenger will never ask the boys for that but I am sure we will play cleverly and get full point , we must be front runner in our group that’s very important and we will do that once again.

  • Ben

    jambug it does not surprise me, i noticed all English media so far are mentioning Arsenal may go out if they lose by 3 goals or more at Napoli, I mean come on!!!!!!

  • Mick

    I have just registered my complaint re the Townsend ‘GET IN’ comment to ITV. If anyone else feels as annoyed as me and wants to complain the email address is

  • Pat

    Fame at last, Walter!

  • OMGArsenal

    It is a good thing that you lads worrying about a 3-0 loss in Naples aren’t managing the Arsenal. Psychologist say that you can only think in two ways, positively or negatively. Being uncertain is negative as well.
    Wenger will , as Allan 1340 rightly points out, NEVER ask his players to play for a draw or a loss, regardless of the circumstances. He is a positive thinker and will advise that that a win is the only acceptable outcome for the Arsenal, home or away. That is great Football management.

  • Pat


    Thanks for the e-mail address. I’ve registered a complaint as well.

  • Pat


    You are right about Arsene Wenger and positive thinking. This is the manager of the Invincibles! And the 49 games unbeaten – which would have been at least 50 if it hadn’t been for Riley.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Mick, have registered a complaint on the email address you provided. Pretty poor showing but not surprising…who knows they may sack the uber bland Andy Townsend and employ Stewart Robson! ……who I and I am sure many others on here have also complained about…

  • OlegYch

    Don’t forget that we will have everton, city, chelsea and napoli all within 15 days, so a reserve squad in Naples seems like the way to go.

  • elkieno

    We are Arsenal, super Arsenal…
    No one likes us we don’t care!
    We are Arsenal, super Arsenal…
    We will follow them everywhere!

    Fuck Townsend an ex Chelsea of course he hates us, fuck him. The ones that the hating are the ones losing…

  • Florian

    Everton is on Dec 8th, Napoli on 11th, City on 14th. After that, a 9 days break until 23rd when we have Chelsea. Yes, 12 points might not be realistically achievable, but as long as we play at the current level my biggest worry is the refs. There will be some squad rotation alright, but a full reserve squad with Napoli is probably too risky. Wouldn’t mind seeing Gnabry though:) (not sure whether he’s injured).

  • Rufusstan

    The Townsend stuff was no better than the moany gits in the studio deciding that Arsenal achieving all of their objectives:

    Win — Tick
    Clean Sheet — Tick
    Controlled the game — Tick
    Dropping gears to conserve energy — Tick

    somehow wasn’t good enough, and a 5 or 6-0 win was the only achievement that mattered.

    Of course they implied the standard line: If Arsenal beat then they are Crap — as opposed to them being crap because Arsenal made them look crap.

    @Jambug — it gets a little convoluted, but we can still win the group if we lose by one goal, but only if we score enough so that we have scored more goals than Dortmund (We need at least 3, so losing 4-3 and up from my calculations)

  • Rufusstan

    By the way, if we do win in Napoli in a couple of weeks, we would have pulled 15 points from the ‘group of death’ (and won all of our away games).

    Considering a few months ago we were being told that Arsenal would struggle to qualify at all, I wonder how the usual suspects will spin that outcome….. 🙂

  • Gord

    As far as injuries goes, it sounds like Podolski isn’t too far away. The Ox, Sanogo and Diaby are all a long way away. We have young backup for Giroud with Gnabry, and we will soon have midfield/striker backup with Podolski. I don’t know that a person has to send a reserve team to Napoli.

    We have lots of bodies for the back 4:
    Centre Backs: Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Sagna
    Right Back: Sagna, Jenkinson
    Left Back: Gibbs, Monreal (Vermaelen?)

    We have 7 midfield established. Frimpong is getting games again, so he could be back. And there is also Zelalem.

    Forwards: we have 4 (5 if you count Bendtner).

    I don’t hate Bendtner, I just don’t know what to think about him. It is like he spends half his life with his brain in neutral.

    One nice thing about the Dortmund-Marseille game, is that it doesn’t matter how much Dortmund win by, the goal difference that counts is the one amongst Arsenal, Napoli and Dortmund. I see that as being a bigger psychological problem for Klopp, than Arsenal preparing for Napoli.

  • elkieno

    Ruffustan: the usual suspects won’t acknowledge the mistake or correct it ever. They also do not really follow Arsenal apart from watching match of the day and making conclusions. They probably didn’t comment much on Rooney kick or Medel incident unless it is in the highlights. I just made that up but you get my drift.
    Here in my country Australia the great game of Rugby League rules in NSW & Qld and the pundits know all about the game. We do have ex players that don’t know much at all apart from footy, but they are excellent and know the game really well. Even ex players just recently retired go down to talk to players and have a laugh…
    They know absolve the game and all teams, shame in England it’s the opposite..

  • AL

    Complaint duly registered with its, cheers Mick.

  • AL

    Got an automated response with the below. Time permitting I’ll be ringing that number as well.

    “If your email is urgent please telephone: 0844 88 14150 then press ‘option 3’

    Calls cost 5p per minute from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may be higher, and from mobiles will be considerably more.

    Opening Times: Monday to Friday 9.00am – 7.00pm; Saturdays 10.00am – 7.00pm. Closed Sundays, Bank Holidays and Bank Holiday weekends.”

  • AL

    Should have been ‘complaint duly registered with ITV’. Damn auto-correct.

  • AL

    Too often we’ve been accused of imagining things when we complained about the obvious media bias against us. This is proof we’ve been right all along. And we need to let them know, before it gets swept under the carpet. Let’s akk use that email in Mucks post at 12:50am.

  • AL

    F**k this phone; all, not akk. Will use my pc from now on….

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ AL – And its called a smart phone ? But you are not alone..

  • Gord @3.27am,

    Thanks for that point about the irrelevance of goals scored against Marseilles. Wearing ourselves out to beat the French side 10-0 is a waste of energy (while also risking injuries). We got the 3 points that we needed. Goals against Marseilles don’t count in the current scenario in our group so the handwringing by the usual suspects is nonsense. We needed to win, we won. Mission Accomplished.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A man walks in a bar with his iphone… He suddenly realises he needs to fart. He logs into Itunes and ups the volume thinking ‘the music is loud no one will hear’ So he farts… When he looks around, everyone’s staring at him Then he realises… He was listening to his iphone with headphones.

    iPhone One Liners
    We live in a world where losing your iPhone is more dramatic than losing your virginity.

    I think my iPhone is broken….I pushed the home button and I’m still at school. ( In my youth , we’d ask Scotty to beam us up – didn’t work either !)

    You traded in your iPhone 4s for an extra half inch? Hope your girlfriend doesn’t do the same.

    Phones, Tablets, Clouds, TVs, if Apple made a car, would it have windows?


  • Rupert Cook

    I imagine ITV will sack Townsend now with all you outraged fans pinging off emails. Personally I found it hilarious and unprofessional which is sort of what you expect on ITV. The second after he’d shouted “get in”, after Sir Chesney had made a fine stop, he then shouted great save, to cover himself. Gave me a chuckle.

    Pretty dull game. I imbibed a little absinthe hoping to hallucinate a more exciting game but it didn’t work. Marseille looked like they wanted to go home after Wilshire scored. They had no fire at all and I think their lack of motivation hardly inspired us to play with much urgency. We controlled the game completely with Wilshire and Ramsey in fine form. Passing was far too lax at times in the final third and we should have put five past them but I don’t think we felt like we had to as they offered nothing. Marseille only came awake when a couple of their better players came on and then they seemed to find some purpose but even then we dealt with them very well.

    Very pleased that we weren’t stretched too much as we have some tough fixtures ahead.

  • Rupert Cook,

    You never disappoint 🙂

    Drifting here and there, using lots of words, trying very hard to be on every side of every issue. Come on give it up already. We all want the team to win 20-0 but they did what they needed to do. No injuries, no cards, clean sheet, 2 goals, 3 points, opponents never had a chance until we were 2 goals up. What else can we ask for, especially when the number of goals scored by the 3 teams against Marseilles don’t count in the long run?

    I always enjoy how you stand up for Arsenal haters everywhere and mock those of us who complain or take actions against them. You are an inspiration to us all!

  • Rupert Cook

    @Bootoome, I don’t know whether you practice being in idiot or it just comes naturally. 🙂 There’s nothing in my comments that imply hating Arsenal. In fact regarding the score comment you may notice that it follows Walter’s line of thinking. Of course Walter’s always secretly hated Arsenal.

  • Rupert Cook

    Oh and I’m not standing up for Townsend. I just think he’s a clown and couldn’t really care what he thinks about Arsenal.

  • Rupert Cook

    being an idiot, I meant. Ha, ha, only an idiot would mix up his I’s and A’s on a keyboard when they’re about three inches apart.

  • bjtgooner

    They do say it takes an intelligent man to know his limitations – and then we have the rupert………

    Returning to the more important subject of the match, we may have appeared to have the handbrake on, but my impression was that we completely outclassed Marseille, making the match look easier than it actually was. We created a lot of chances and should have put more away. However, as Bootoomee has outlined, we played some lovely football, kept a clean sheet, scored two goals, won the match and collected three points – wouldn’t most fans have settled for that before the match started?

  • Rupert Cook,

    Based on the repeated posts of ad-hominem attacks, I’m glad my comment to you achieved its purpose of striking a nerve. Now, take a chill pill and sit down.


    Yes, most fans would but drama queens like Rupert Cook must have something to bitch about. I guess it makes him feel “special”. To be fair to the dude, he is pretty consistent at what he does.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Sent my bit to ITV even though I live very, very far from its footprint. I trust my Arsenal tribe to have told me the truth about them

  • WalterBroeckx

    Consistency wins you titles 😉

  • Damilare

    I dont care if the media/pundicts give Arsenal credits (we deserve) or not. Their opinions dont win you anything. AW doesn’t bother about them either. I think I prefer not being media/pundicts favourites. Arsene knows…he had said ”we do our talking on the pitch”.
    To qualify tops of our CL group is not rocket science. A win or draw in Naples will do it. Permutations are good recipes for medial cocktail…very academical too.
    To take 12 points from everton, napoli, shitty and chelsea in December is a possibility: One game at a time, same focus, dedication, commitment, self believe and absence of new injury. Pundicts are just what they are -‘puns’

  • AL

    I think your first line is designed to be protective to that clown Townsend. Why you feel the need to do that only you will know, but to us it comes across as one of your many instances where you always defend anyone who has anything bad to say about Arsenal. FYI,I have been chatting with fans of other clubs and they were all saying what Townsend did was out of order. Strange that you seem to be the only person seeing the funny side to this.

    I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but your consistently seeing things from the opposite angle from most Arsenal fans is a bit weird Rupert. To put things in perspective, I have an idiot(when talking football) of a friend who supports Liverpool but we even find some common ground than I do with you here. And we’re supposed to both support the same club!

  • Ideal game really, won with ease and pleanty to spare. Leaves us nice and fresh. Glad everyon picked up on And Townsend, I can’t imagine that happening whe watching any other English club. But then if that ad Flamini’s sleeves are all we have to get worked up about then I guess things are going OK.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Thanks to freak thunder storm, I watched only first 30 mins. Of what I watched, we had a good game. Watched the bitesize. Ramsey almost did a Bergkamp. Two good goals, and a few missed …..

    Cardiff next..

  • clockendjim

    A competent if not great display against a poor Marseilles. Fancy having 12 points and still not be guaranteed a place in the knock-out round.
    What it showed to me is that we still need someone who is a real goal-poacher to convert all the chances our wonderful approach football creates. We should have won that game 5-0 or 6-0.
    Someone like Suarez to put away all the Giroud knockdowns would complete the picture. A revived Podolski may just be that man, but I am not sure

  • John

    It’s interesting that every time we beat a team, it’s because they are crap or not trying. After all, we have to realise that we are in a really weak group, which only contains Napoli and Dortmund, rather than Europe’s super-elite teams like Basel and Leverkusen etc.

    The group is so weak that 12 points does not guarantee progress.!!!!

  • AL

    Haha Brickfields, I’m not getting an iPhone anytime soon 🙂

  • finsbury

    Walter, you’re first paragraph describes the opening to the game perfectly. Exactly as I saw it from behind Szczesny’s goal!

  • TommieGun

    On a side note, yesterday, a few moments before Jack’s second goal, it was published that Israel’s greatest singer, Arik Einstein, has suffered an aneurysm and passed away aged 74. His songs are the soundtrack of my childhood, my parents’ youth and even my young kids listen to some of his songs. His music is timeless and he is considered the no. 1 Israeli musical and probably cultural icon.

    Arik was a die hard Arsenal supporter, and even incorporated Arsenal into one of his songs, in the memorable line:

    “…had a great day yesterday, football, Arsenal, my kid’s birthday…”

    The team he supported in Israel, Hapoel Tel Aviv, lost 4-2 on Saturday. I think he would have loved it that his other team won 2-0, so he must have gone to heaven with a smile.

    RIP Arik.

  • TJ


    After listening to Ian Wright last night I admit I was wrong to defend him.

  • AL

    Finally someone in the mainstream media has decided to report on Townsend’s inappropriate comment last night. Let’s hope more will follow suit, and condemn this disgraceful behaviour. Well done to The Mirror.

  • TJ,

    I’m glad that you’ve seen what I meant. Like all individuals who have put on the shirt of Arsenal FC, I have utmost respect for Ian Wright’s contribution to the club but his utterances on the club is just absolutely unacceptable. Man United and Liverpool legend never do that to their old teams.

    Sincere apologies for my colourful description of your support for Wright.

  • jambug

    Testing, again !!

  • TJ,

    My apology from 9.00pm is rescinded. Fuck you. You are an idiot, just like your idol, Ian Wright.

    Here is my last comment to you on the other thread in case you missed it:


    Are you out of your fucking mind? What are you? A ten year old or have you just started commenting on the Internet? What the hell? Who the fuck are you? Reading my bio on my blog does not make you an expert on me or put you in position to pass judgement on my professional responsibility. Are you really that stupid? What has this forum and my contributions to it got to do with me being an educator and why is that fact relevant to any of our debate. Aren’t you really a scumbag by sneakily bringing my profession into question when I have no fucking idea who you are or what you do?

    How dare you mention my employer? Am I commenting about my job here or have I made any reference to the organisation that I work for? Have I said anything criminal or illegal? You are either monumentally stupid or just stuck in some 3rd world country where people don’t know their rights or where such exist but are ignored by the powerful. I know my right and employers are aware of the fact that they can’t trample on them.

    I rarely ever bring my professional bearing to any of my discussions here so I am puzzled by your fixation on this to score points against me. Also, you need to see me with my colleagues in our offices and out of the students’ earshot: we use colourful languages all the time. Being an educator does not mean you cannot swear or call people names, you just don’t do it in front of the students. You know just as newscasters can swear as long as they do it off air. I am really surprised that I have to explain this to you.

    Child, we are having a conversation on football fan blog, I can use whatever language I want and I can use name calling. It’s up to the site administrators what they find acceptable or not. Bringing up the stuff you did in your last comment to me has made me lose all respect for you and I never had much to begin with.

    Until you have provided me with an avenue to research your life, NEVER bring my profession into debates on this forum again, EVER!

    Now, fuck off.

  • Pat

    Glad to see at least the Mirror reported Townsend’s ‘Get in!’

    The Guardian and the Telegraph said nothing.

    I wonder if any of us will get a proper reply from ITV to our complaints?

  • AL

    Just thought I’d share with you the response I just received from ITV. Basically they’re saying it was an instinctive reaction from Townsend after seeing an impressive shot and an equally impressive save. Yeah right. So hopefully next time he sees a brilliant shot against a team like Utd or Chelsea he will repeat this.

  • Mandy Dodd

    got the same apology Al,unfortunately that station have a bit of history against our finest. Still, in a way, quite pleased that our boys and especially the manager (or in the case of Hansen, players and manager from the late 1980s) seem to have got under the skins of so many of these pundits over the years, shows we have been doing something right!

    Heres what they sent me:

    “Thank you for your recent email regarding our coverage of Arsenal v Marseille on Tuesday 26th November 2013.

    It was an instinctive reaction made by Andy Townsend to what he thought was a goal bound shot – as Andy explained in commentary moments after making the remark. He thought it was an impressive strike and he was astonished that Wojciech Szczesny made the save. He is not a Marseille fan or is he biased against Arsenal!

    ITV Sport endeavours to provide its viewers with first-class coverage when broadcasting football matches and a lot of thought is given to the studio guests along with the commentary for each game to ensure that they are well balanced. However, please be assured that we have welcomed your feedback and confirm that your thoughts have been duly noted.

    May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to contact us here at ITV and if we can be of further assistance in the future please do not hesitate to contact us again.



  • AL

    I laughed when I read that response Mandy. Did they honestly expect us to think he’s a Marseille fan? First-class coverage my foot. At least we got some kind of apology, no matter how ludicrous, than nothing.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Who knows…quite bizarre really, they missed the point to a large degree

  • TJ

    I got the exact same reply. I did enjoy telling them though:

    “Thank goodness BT Sport will have exclusive rights to the Champions League in the future”

    Then i shuddered at the thought of MonotOwen…

  • Pat

    Got the same reply from ITV as everybody else. Not convincing.