Leicester a draw: good or bad?

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal drawing at Leicester is when you look at our recent history not that strange. As in the pre match article we pointed out even the invincibles had to settle for a 1-1 draw. And when you look at the fact that that season Arsenal won the league unbeaten and Leicester went down it feels like a strange result.

Now I must say that in those days I couldn’t watch the matches live so I cannot say anything about that match. It might have been that the ref refused us half a dozen penalties, we might have hit the post and crossbar 5 times. Or we might have been lucky on the day and could have lost the match. And then there wouldn’t have been an unbeaten season. But I wasn’t there, couldn’t see it so I don’t know.

What I do know is that the invincibles not being  able to win against a team that got relegated sounds strange. I wonder if the AAA in those days aksed for the head of Wenger and wanted us to buy all the strikers and all the defensive midfielders that run around on a football field somewhere in the world?

On to the match of today. We conceded our goal minutes before it actually happened. When Koscielny clashed heads with a Leicester player, went off with a head injury and then came back on I found he didn’t look himself. He was very lethargic when he came back and that was just what he did when we conceded. He even didn’t went for the ball. Very un-Koscielny-like and I think that if we would have taken him off immediately after his head injury and bring in Chambers we probably wouldn’t have conceded.

But this is the way it goes sometimes. In fact when Wenger made his two substitutions left to him we again suffered injuries in the last 15 minutes of the match. First Özil and then Oxlade-Chamberlain. So in the last 15 minutes we played with seemingly 8 fit players and 2 half fit. Very difficult to force the final break then.

But for the first time this season we scored the first goal. Sanogo worked very hard but was not always lucky with his touches but this time his ball ended up before the feet of Alexis who made no mistake. A second goal for the Chilean striker who is slowly finding his finishing boots it seems. This bodes well for the future.

And yet again he offered a hard working performance. It is amazing. I really cannot remember such a hard working striker in the last 10 seasons. Unless I suffer from some form of memory loss. But after a  quick scan in my head cannot come up with a striker who worked that hard like him.

I will taken on the performance of the ref later in the referee review of course. I think that we were careful and cautious to not give him much chance to screw us.  But as I said more on that later in one of the following articles.

In league terms this is of course 2 points dropped. We would have hoped for the 3 points. But after a tough run of matches and with this ref I have a feeling that it isn’t that bad. Other teams like Chelsea and Liverpool have had no midweek matches and so have it much easier.

The fact that Manchester City lost to Stoke shows that even teams who didn’t play in midweek can lose against teams that they should beat. These things can happen. And we at least avoided defeat after having had to play a very tough midweek match in the CL. We have had more worse results after having had to play a midweek CL match.

Looking at the whole match we tried to play our football and Leicester tried to defend and use the counter attack to punish us. They parked their defenders very tight and left us no room. And then it is important to take the few chances that come your way. We didn’t do this. Maybe some players weren’t as sharp after the run of matches in the last 10 days.

Apart for those who want to moan after every dropped point it will be happy days. If they were around in the unbeaten season I want to ask them how they reacted to us drawing in those days? If Bergkamp, Pires, TH14, Gilberto, and all couldn’t beat low positioned Leicester: was it also the end of the world?

For me it isn’t. The only regret I have is that we lost a few players and saw a few players limp off at the end of the match. And that we didn’t get the win I hoped for. But we also didn’t end up losing as I feared before the match. Our physical effort and the ref mostly contributed to this fear.

But another match added to our unbeaten run in England. Long may it continue. All we now can do is be calm for another 24 hours and then see what has happened and then hope that all our players are back fit when we come back for the PL to play Man City at home. And let us hope that our players are then all back to full fitness by then.


53 Replies to “Leicester a draw: good or bad?”

  1. Two draws away from home after a gruelling schedule ain’t too shabby at all.

    I just re-read the ref preview by Andrew again and points 4-6 all came true. I, with my limited knowledge of these things, even predicted in a post at 3:09pm on Bulldog’s thread that we would be denied a clear penalty. Yet some will continue saying these are genuine mistakes and we’re just conspiracy theorists. Mistakes that keep being predicted here time and again, with accurate results? Please.

  2. Not the worst result, not the best, but as you say, a tough week, three difficult away fixtures, and newly promoted teams always seem to put on good performances, especially at home to the top clubs.Let’s hope we don’t see too much of this ref this season, although as we know, others are waiting in the wings.
    Agree, we seemed cautious of this ref….Flam especially seemed measured by his standards……maybe the club are reading….and acting on the ref previews, because they certainly should be.

  3. Al, I bet that pen incident will not even get a mention. That would speak volumes

  4. We could win 37 and draw the other in a season and some would moan, I still remember beating Southampton 6-1 and plenty moaned about(an injured), Shcezney, dropping the ball from a cross for them to get the one. Those that are programmed to moan and cry will always moan and cry,thankfully many more of us a realists who take the rough with the smooth.

  5. Not the best result, not the worst result, especially considering the malevolent influence of Taylor. Look forward to the ref report.

  6. Funny things happen in early season football. This very evening, Real Mad two nil up away to Real Sociodad after eleven minutes..Mad ended up losing 4-2

  7. Mandy,

    I think the Real Mad fans will be asking for their club to finally buy some players….they should splash the cash…. oopsss…

  8. I thought a new rule had been introduced by FIFA to prevent players continuing after serious head injuries. Kos only left the field for long enough to get stitched up ( or whatever they did to him ) & he was back and looking a bit concussed.
    He must have had an examination before returning, surely?
    Is this the new Shad Forsythe system in operation?

  9. It is true that we look like we are looking for the right gear but it’s also true that:

    1) we haven’t lost 13 competitive matches in a row despite being five times behind, two times with ten men and two times had a two-goal-deficit and

    2) last two seasons Leicester had participated in Premiership prior to their return we won the league (2001-02 and 2003-04).

    The thing is, we don’t need to sign anyone before the deadline – neither a striker nor a defensive midfielder. All we need is that Joel Campbell and Tomas Rosicky get some playing time.

  10. Yes Walter, Ancelotti out! The white handkerchiefs will soon appear, bet their aaa are gutted they missed out on Remy. Maybe signing Hernandez will appease the masses

  11. oldgroover
    You started off well enough and then spoilt it with your last sarcastic paragraph.

  12. Is good result when the manager and the board can sought out the weak areas. A proven striker needed holding medflider and a defender

  13. Not a bad result if you consider the fact that the promoted teams are used to winning. I would much rather play a mid table PL club than a newly promoted side.

    Re Kos, considering the amount of pain he seemed to be in after the incident , I’m really surprised they let him back in.

    Some things just never change. The physio asked him if he was good to continue and Kos said yes and that’s what usually happens in these situations.

  14. I know that we had a tough midweek game, but having Sanogo as a target man till OG comes back is not ideal. We can see that he’s got talent but he can develop his finishing touch in the Carling of FA cup. We don’t have a established finisher. Yes we can throw in names like Theo, Poldi, Campbell etc but do we honestly think that we can rely on them to take us through?

  15. Just seen the Liverpool penalty……soft not the word……looks like the pgmol carrying on from last season with that team.
    As posted on this site, we would never be given such a penalty. Just surprised it was given against another media darling. But Dowd has history with strange penalty decisions

  16. Sanogo is average at best and it’s amazing that Wenger doesn’t give Campbell a proper run out considering he is proven on the World stage and the former would struggle in the Scottish premier on that showing. Times fast running out for Wenger to give Arsenal a chance of challenging for major trophies this season, he still needs another CB who could possibly play at LB dues to Gibbs injury plague and Monreal not looking good enough against better teams, an animal of a defensive midfielder because Arteta and Flamini would get tortured against the likes of Chelsea and above, and after today’s abortion they should break the bank for a proper striker.

  17. Mika, if we bought the mythical “beast of a DM”, I will guarantee he will be carded so often that he would never be able to play for us, you just need to look at the yellow card to SZCZ today for being fouled and showing his displeasure.

  18. Mick
    Don’t be such a smart arse.
    I repeat. Is this the new Shad Forsythe system in operation? If it is I’m not impressed. Kos should never have been allowed back onto the pitch and someones to blame for what might have had serious health repercussions.

  19. Mick
    It needed to be said. FIFA have introduced ( or are in the process of introducing ) a new rule to stop this.

  20. “I wonder if the AAA in those days aksed (sic) for the head of Wenger and wanted us to buy all the strikers and all the defensive midfielders that run around on a football field somewhere in the world?”

    Why do the writers on this site engage in such needless hyperbole? You know very well that ‘in those days’ it was our third time winning the title in 7 years, finishing 2nd 5 times and winning 3 FA Cups- most fans were happy enjoying unprecedented success with Henry and Bergkamp up front, Vieira and Gilberto in the middle.

    Further, nobody wants “all the strikers and all the defensive midfielders that run around on a football field somewhere in the world?” (well except maybe Mourinho). But now we allegedly have the cash why can’t we hope for more competition in the squad that top class proven players would bring?

    Striker is the last position I would buy now as I believe Alexis can play there effectively and Campbell will move ahead of Sanogo. For what it’s worth I really rate Sanogo, but as of this moment he has never scored a top flight senior goal in any country and he could turn out to be an Anelka or an Aliadiere, so is it really wrong for an Arsenal fan to want another proven goalscorer as backup to Giroud? I fully understand it does not guarantee success and could go wrong (like Torres/Soldado), but it could go right too and if it did wouldn’t it possibly give us a greater chance to compete on all fronts?

    I would like to see a defensive midfielder. Who wouldn’t like to see Khedira, Bender, Vidal or Pogba walk into Asburton tomorrow? Would they improve our 25 man squad? Yes when you consider that have been a midfielder down, unavailable for most of the last 5 years and injured again now, through no fault of his own I add.

    Regarding the central defender situation. if he does not sign one by 23.00 tomorrow it is nothing short of negligence.

    Whatever happens I will get right behind the squad of players we have tomorrow at 23.00.

  21. I’m sorry but this is the most disingenuous article I have read. It seems a lot of us gooners have Stockholm syndrome. Arsene wenger seems to keen to prove something, though I don’t know what that is.
    Playing sonogo is neither good for team or him. He could potentially be the greatest stiker ever. However he is no way ready to be leading the line for asucka huge club like arsenal in one of the most gruelling leagues
    He keeps saying sanches is meant to be fc and padolski can’t play cf. yet when he made the subs, sanches was wife and padolski was cf.
    he plays the best no 10 on the wings.
    He has failed to adopt tactically and to new age of football. And ppl like you who spout this nonsense for reasons not known to me has helped him destroy his legacy.

  22. I was at Leicester today and I would only make one comment. Where oh where has our pace gone? At Goodison Park we at least tried and succeeded in bringing back a point after going 2 down, today we had the possession but no drive. It doesn’t matter how much (or how little) Wenger spends if the passion, drive and determination is not there.

  23. I think the performance today was pretty dreadful and the players themselves will know it. Too slow, too predictable. We most certainly need a top striker and I think Arsene Wenger will move to bring a striker in tomorrow. Sanogo is young and raw and not yet ready for the pressures of being Arsenals main goal threat.

    It a a huge day tomorrow in our season – we must strengthen

  24. Mickess- well said.

    Take a look at our players for our corner in the 82nd minute- the one they broke and could have scored from. I am putting it down to a total lack of concentration after a tough fortnight- tougher than any other team in the PL, but the entire situation spoke volumes and brought back nightmare memories.

  25. First off, good point. After seeing the tigers last games and how they play, i was sure we would have problems with them if we were not sharp enough.

    I remember when Arsenal used to be “gung ho”, off from the whistle, straight at them (seems pool have adopted this style now) but now Arsenal is much more cautious. We use the whole game to try to win it now.

    Our team is still not firing properly yet, and is clear to see that our defence needs a protector, especially while it is in this process of change.

    All in all we were a little languid, not Arsenal at all today, hope this changes soon.

  26. PS.
    It looks like our “target” or main players are targeted. How many of them in this game gone down with those “simple” little kicks in strategic places? How many players booked for those challenges? It looks like this is the main attack strategy this season, and they intend to stop Arsenal by hook or by crook.

    Why does AW not try to rest the team after European matches?
    I’m sure many more of the youth in the team to rest the players from midweek, at least some of them. I’ve noticed where we usually are not playing too well it is usually after one of these matches. The youth would surely have not done any worse today, we now have players on the bench.

    This reveals that the squad is truly not settled yet, players can still come and go up to tonight.

    My wishes are, Joel stays, and we get Carvahlo, but hey, will probably not happen right?

  27. Not so sure how realistic this is, but given the disposition of referees towards Arsenal, the injuries we subsequently suffer, the tight schedules we inevitably end up with, should we not prepare to field two first teams at any time in order to survive? Oh, and can we sign a referee or two tomorrow?

  28. Mika……..aren’t you the master tactician and wannabe manager……what insight (despite your miserable syntax and grammar) you provide:

    After only 3 league games you say that time is rapidly running out for Wenger! I think your time is up mate….way past your bedtime….and do take your x-lax coated valium before.

    An animal of a defensive midfielder?……the old ¨beast¨of a DM refrain……but that is not how AFC setup nor has it ever been about how one man protects the back 4….better luck next time.

    The only abortion is your post…..it was actually stillborn but I don’t expect you to produce anything worthy of discussion……so back to Legrovel with you….your mommy is calling you.

  29. Mika has now been added to my growing list of ignorant illiterati whose 5 minutes of ¨fame¨ are up.

  30. InitialsBB

    Fair enough. I would like to see a CB, DM and Striker as well.

    Like you I think Sanogo has potential. But its unfair to say that he does not score goals when he provided that assist through his unpredictability. He is far too raw to be a reliable starter.

    We do need another target man, even if it is for the short term.

    We need a deep lying playmaker too. Arteta is badly missed. I just feel that Flamini is just a tactically disciplined and experienced guy but he adds little when we are chasing the game.

    Finally a CB is needed. Now that Jenkinson is our backup RB, let’s not take chances by just having 1 backup for 2 positions. I know that Bellerin is indeed capable, but with our CBs dropping like flies, it will be good to get another body in.

  31. The attack aren’t bad except that Sanago just can’t score. They were also not organized in the first 20 or 30 minutes. Once they get things going, they were able to push Leicester backwards so the Arsenal’s mid and back stabled a bit.

    The back is another story. Very weak covering.

    I think the problem is that both Flamini and Ramsey did badly leaving the back which weren’t covering each other well anyway very exposed. (Ramsey actually had 3 very very stupid passing errors)

    I don’t know the problem but Ramsey hasn’t been good these games and this one is by far his worst.

  32. I thought we looked a bit tired yesterday. Leicester played very well and stuck to their gameplan. It can often be hard to meet the newly-promoted sides early in the season, as we haven’t hot into our stride yet and they still have that fighting spirit that usually dissipates a bit after a couple of months.
    All in all, two points dropped I’d say, but these things happen in football. Early days still, and at least we’re unbeaten near the top of the league at this early stage. Life could be a lot worse, look at Man U!

  33. Black Hei,

    1. Define “short term”.
    2. At what moment did we “chase the game” today? We weren’t trailing on the scoreboard, were we? Someone that didn’t see the match might believe that we were, and we were lucky not to lose, judging by the amount of YAAAPs weve seen today.
    3. I believe Jenkinson is on loan to West Ham.
    4. I’m sure Mr. Wenger is aware of the “gamble” we’re taking by having only “1 backup for 2 positions”, and he and the transfers team will do everything they can to get the players they think the club needs, within opportunities and budget. I don’t have the exact numbers, but it’s easy to guess that Vermaelen was on a decent salary, that would easily cover what most of our possible targets (whoever they may be) would be content with.

  34. As always, a draw or a loss before the international break leaves bad taste. And just simple like that. But in general, yes, we are only in early season and have to continue to play in the ‘not good’ conditions that we’re well aware of year after year.

    There are still players we have on the bench who I really want to see on the pitch. I want them to have their chances badly: Rosicky, Podolski, Campbell and others. So, I am not into the transfer deadline.

  35. Mika
    It’s bit early to say “times running out”, after all we’re unbeaten, “active” in the transfer market and playing quite well.
    Take no notice of the grammar police.

  36. Morning All…very good insight Walter on the game yesterday.

    My post yesterday wished for ‘non-stressful watch for us mortals’ but it wasn’t to be…and as I predicted to my 16 year old son’s surprise; we would have a bought time away yesterday!! Unlike the PUNDITS who sing of Leicester’s incredible performance, I watched a team PARK the BUS, bring down our guys at will – receiving ONLY three yellows for their troubles (Hammond should have seen red at least twice!!!!).

    Having said that; we were not sharp at the back, and we should have dealt much better with their counters on several occasions!

    If Real can go down 4-2, we can be accepting of such a result!!!

  37. Oldgroover,
    why do you bring up Shad Forsyth his name up in regards to Koscielny and his head injury?

    If I’m not mistaken Lewin and O’Driscoll are doctors. And if there is a decision to make it is them. Not Shad Forsyth.
    As far as I know Shad Forsyth is a physiotherapist and that is something completely different than a doctor.

    And by the way there are new rules about concussion. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20140805/pl-announces-new-rules-for-head-injuries

    So if you have any remarks about Koscielny returning (I do in fact) then you should aim your remarks to the tunnel doctor. He has the last word on such matters. Certainly NOT Shad Forsyth.

  38. I believe:

    O’Driscoll – Doctor
    Lewin – Physio
    Forsythe – Conditioning Coach

    Therefore Forsythe’s role is to prepare the players to be as fit as possible while preventing injuries. He will also be involved in rehab for players who are recovering from an injury.

    He is definitely NOT involved with injuries as they occur.

    Thought Taylor wasn’t too bad other than the penalty – which I think should have been but wasn’t a 100%er – and his allowance of serial fouling by Leicester without sanction beyond free kicks. Hammond should have had a yellow card in the first half for persistent fouling which would either have calmed him down or led to a red in the second. The card, when it came, was far too late. Yellow cards are a formal warning designed, as far as I am aware, to calm players down and improve their subsequent behaviour.

    This seems to be a typical “northern” interpretation of the rules – i.e. it’s a “man’s game” (which the commentator actually stated at one point!). The problem is such a lax approach leads to injuries. Several Arsenal players were whacked. Leicester were lucky (deliberate?) that both Ozil and Chamberlain acquired knocks late on when we would normally have been ramping up our last 10 minutes of pressure.

    There is also no question that we were tired after the Besiktas match.

    All in all, a reasonable start to the season. The absolutely critical goal was to qualify for the Champs League (done). We are also unbeaten in the League, albeit not playing that well, and won the Community Shield.

    It should also be noted that many of our players were involved in the latter stages of the World Cup and this has an impact. Historically, we have not done particularly well in the seasons after major championships, World Cups in particular. UEFA and the PL really need to look at their scheduling in seasons like this. Why can’t everything be pushed back two weeks? Elite players will suffer burnout as a result.

  39. Walter
    My understanding is that Forsythe has overall charge of our medical staff. If I have this wrong I’m out of order. Wasn’t this the big thing we were all rejoicing about when he signed with us? He must be setting the standard for match day care of players, even if he’s not actually in attendance. Between the tunnel doctor and our medical staff a decision was made to allow an unfit player back on the pitch, which not only endangered him but also directly lead to the goal against us.
    If Shad Forsythe has no input on how our medical team operates at matches I withdraw my remark.

  40. Oldgroover – I am almost certain that Forsythe is not in charge of the medical department. He is not a doctor.

    Re Koscielny the commentator said that he had not suffered from concussion and didn’t lose consciousness. Although agree that, in hindsight, it was a mistake to put him back on.

  41. Pete
    Ok. Thanks for putting me straight.
    Looks like they’re still waving two fingers in front of players noses.
    Is there any other way?

  42. Perhaps the ‘little knocks’ will mean a reduction in players going to play for their country.

    All the better for Arsenal.

  43. Pete,

    Re Santi’s penalty appeal:
    I recorded the match and watched the replay of several moments in slo-mo as well as at normal speed. At first I too was unable to see the exact actions, but on slo-mo I noticed the push in the back on Santi, and a slight trip on his right foot. The trip was probably marginal, and didn’t really impede him, but combined with the push it broke Santi’s movement and threw him off balance, which resulted in him being unable to play the ball. By the letter of the law that is a foul.

    I also paid attention at several fouls. I already mentioned on another thread that Debuchy was the target of an assault in the 10th second(!) of the match, being caught between two opponents, one of them stomping his leg against Debuchy’s while making sure that he simultaneously touches the ball. That is a case of making use of excessive force, and should have been punished with at least a yellow card, if not a red, as Debuchy’s leg almost snapped off (it was the standing leg btw).

    Kos’s injury was also a direct result of the opponent barging in, attempting to play the ball but determined to whack away everyone that would have stood in his path.

    Also, Ramsey was the target of several fouls, one that I can remember was towards the end of the match, and the opponent treaded on his leg after a semi-successful tackle.

    Yes, Taylor was that bad. Not only incompetent, biased too.

  44. @Florian

    Agreed. Those nice boys at Leicester were allowed to play like Stoke RFC at times.

  45. Florian, I was watching the match with my liverpoo supporting brother in law He said well you should have put ref money in like the oilers do! Chelsea the new manure! I said if yours was a penalty ours should have been assault on santi!

  46. @Andrew Crenshaw, so let’s not buy a dm because he might get carded. Maybe that’s why we won’t buy a top striker, because he might get too many disallowed goals. Weird thought process. Me, I’d like a striker or a dm, either will do but I’ll leave it up to Wenger to decide. If we get nobody, so be it.

  47. We have to really check the fitness of players after a CL match and not go on their say so. Ramsey looked tired, although he was in defence a lot today.

    I think the connections between the mid fielders is getting better, it takes a little longer when they change positions frequently.

    One good win against a “big” side will catapult us onwards, and we have 2 weeks to prepare, (also with any additions) before Manc.

  48. Colin Lewin, is in charge of the nedical department!

    Shad Forsythe, has no job description in the staff dossiers.

    HIS position in the pecking order, would appear to be somewhat misleading?

    I would hazard a guess, that the rehab of injured players is in his brief?

  49. Hammond was allowed to kick and foul till the 80th minute . The ref sets the agenda no chance of a double yellow and a sending off for Leicester

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