BT Sprout in meltdown; Giroud sails on; must be time to knock Lucas.

by Tony Attwood

Actually it was me that was in total meltdown as in the original version I wrote something, changed it, wrote something else and totally screwed up what I was saying about Messsi, Barcelona and Real Madrid (the last bit of which I then cut).  Excuses are there many, but the key point was that I rushed and didn’t go back and check.  Many apologies.  I fully admit to utter incompetence, not to say stupidity.  I’ve changed it now (the article that is, not my incompetence.  That will undoubtedly be on display once again in the very near future).

There was a magical moment on BT Sprout’s live commentary of the Preston game yesterday evening.  Gabriel had gone off with blood all over his face, and Arsenal were thus obviously down to ten men – one of those being a central defender.

Quickly they re-arranged themselves, sacrificing the attacking side of the game to enable them to get through to half time at just 1-0 down.

Such a situation obviously put pressure on Maitland-Niles who was feeling the pressure anyway, and as a rookie defender had been singled out as the route Preston should use to get through the back line of Arsenal.   Maitland-Niles is no Bellerin, but then at this stage in his career Bellerin was no Bellerin, and he took a few games like this to show his strengths and extraordinary abilities.  M-N may well be en route for doing the same.

So there we are, one goal down, one man down, and a youngster who has played a full season for Ipswich Town, but not for a Premier League club.

It was at this moment that the Sprout’s Resident Scoucer (SRS) (it could be Steve McManaman but I really can’t tell one from the other) launched into his standard anti-Arsenal tirade.  The essence of it was that Arsenal’s defence really didn’t know what day it was in that they had a young player in Maitland-Niles who was being left all on his own and given no support, while what he really needed was help from the more experienced professionals.  He gave an example from an event that had just happened – while Arsenal had 10 men.

What the SRS failed to remember (it had after all been two minutes before) was that Arsenal had lost a defender and were playing with ten men.  There was no one spare to help Maitland Niles out.

Now we often measure animals by their attention span – in a goldfish (famed for its lack of attention) the span is said to be about nine seconds – which is why most goldfish are quite content to swim in a moderately small tank – by the time they have got around, they have forgotten about the features they left behind nine seconds before.

However there is some excuse for the SRS, because a new study has suggested that many people today have become so taken over by digital technology (I of course use a quill pen and parchment so its no problem for me) that they now have the attention span of less than a goldfish, and this is clearly the case for the SRS (Sprout Resident Scoucer I should remind you, in case you have lost track – I did last mention that a couple of hundred words ago, and I know how time flies).

Anyway the SRS raved on and on about the appalling way the Arsenal defence were playing in not supporting the kid, and then half time came along and the studio was undoubtedly full of grown men saying “Kalm Down Kalm Down Kalm Down”.

After that it was rather fun, on the pitch if not in terms of the commentary, leading up to the moment when Giroud scored.

Giroud has now got nine this season as far as I recall (six in the league, two in Europe, and one in the FA Cup, plus three assists in the league) and has been scoring once every 73 minutes that he is on the pitch in the league.   If we look at the top 20 scorers in the league we find Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are the only clubs with three players in the list (which because of the number of players equal on the same number of goals is actually a list of 23 rather than 20.  Honest I am not having a digital goldfish moment).

Chelsea have two, as do Swansea, the Manchester clubs have one each, in common with Sunderland and Everton and the like.

# Player Team Goals (Penalty)
1. Diego Costa Chelsea FC 14 (0)
2. Zlatan Ibrahimović  Manchester United 13 (1)
Alexis Sánchez  Arsenal FC 13 (0)
4. Kun Agüero  Manchester City 11 (3)
Jermain Defoe  Sunderland AFC 11 (5)
Romelu Lukaku  Everton FC 11 (0)
7. Dele Alli  Tottenham Hotspur 10 (0)
Harry Kane  Tottenham Hotspur 10 (3)
9. Eden Hazard  Chelsea FC 9 (2)
Sadio Mané  Liverpool FC 9 (0)
11. Michail Antonio  West Ham United 8 (0)
Christian Benteke  Crystal Palace 8 (2)
Theo Walcott  Arsenal FC 8 (0)
14. Adam Lallana  Liverpool FC 7 (0)
Salomón Rondón  West Bromwich Albion 7 (0)
Robert Snodgrass  Hull City 7 (2)
17. Charlie Austin  Southampton FC 6 (2)
Leroy Fer  Swansea City 6 (0)
Olivier Giroud  Arsenal FC 6 (0)
Llorente  Swansea City 6 (0)
Roberto Firmino  Liverpool FC 6 (0)
Heung-min Son  Tottenham Hotspur 6 (0)
Callum Wilson  AFC Bournemouth 6 (3)

Having several players who can score is of course a huge bonus because it covers the club against injury and loss of form, and I think we should, at this moment, in the kalmness of a Sunday morning, reflect on the things that have been said about Giroud.

“The last and biggest reason we should get rid of him is because he can‘t score”.  AFC4Life.

“Why Olivier Giroud is a big problem for Arsenal”  JustArsenal.

“Olivier Giroud turns into a wandering wardrobe”  The Guardian

“Olivier Giroud does not give us an ariel threat”  Reddit

“This is just sad, can‘t believe we even have to consider this joke of a striker as an option.”  Goonersworld

Olivier Giroud was rated at just TWO out of ten by French paper L’Equipe”.  Daily Mirror.  Actually I went looking for this but couldn’t find it; the Mirror couldn’t have made up could they?

Of course not everyone has been this way inclined.  Full credit to Arseblog for “Why Arsenal can win the title with Olivier Giroud”.

But overall let us not forget…

Tournament Apps Mins Goals Assists Yel Red SpG PS%
Premier League 3(10) 440 6 3 1 1.5 72.8
UEFA Champions League 2(2) 227 2 1 1.3 59
FA Cup 1 90 1 0 N/A N/A
  • SpG is shots per goal.   PS% is pass rate
  • So he has started six games this season

In all he has started six games and scored nine goals.   Mind you, Lucas Perez has played a part in 11 Arsenal goals this season (six goals, five assists).  He’s actually only started six games.   Maybe it is time to deride him as well.

Untold Arsenal: Preston v Arsenal

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

FA cup : Preston North End – Arsenal 1-2 : Giroud, who else?

PNE v Arsenal: the teams. Will there be fighting? and proof that Giroud is better than Messi

Train warnings, price rises, stupid kick offs, West Ham lose. Stay tuned for the magic of the cup.

Preston North End v Arsenal. The battle of the invincibles and film of the last time the sides met

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #14 complete with video evidence

How football laid down the rules for the post-truth world

New from the Arsenal History Society all the player histories indexed.  The AHS player histories tend to be more detailed than those on the official Arsenal site – especially for players from the early part of Arsenal’s history.  Now we are undertaking the huge task of indexing the main articles.  Players with surnames A to K have been linked to their main articles and about 50% of L to Z is now complete.  We are continuing the task day by day.


33 Replies to “BT Sprout in meltdown; Giroud sails on; must be time to knock Lucas.”

  1. Wonderful article again Tony. I just have to contest one thing.

    I believe the goldfish memory span being seconds is actually a myth………in the case of Mamanaman, however, I believe it has scientifically proven to be correct.

    Anyway, as I’ve said before, you really shouldn’t be using facts in your articles, it makes it difficult for the aaa’s to argue against……………..or maybe not 🙂

  2. We currently boast the strongest forward line in the league in terms of quantity- 5 strikers if you consider Walcott one. What seemed to be a vacant point in our squad, as many liked to suggest, is now in fact our strongest point. A little more creativity and strength in midfield and I can’t see anyone else but the referees preventing us from succeeding

  3. I think Allyson Rudd of The Times is a goldfish. She said on Sunday Supplement this morning that she struggled to find an occasion where Mike Dean had ever done anything wrong.

    Asked by “nicking a living” host if Dean was our best referee, she said she would have to look at the stats.

    BTW, if you missed TSS this morning, I suggest you seek out the segment – Ashton leading into it by saying “it had to happen – we are going to talk about Mike Dean”.

    It really is complete and utter bollox.

  4. *cough* Positively Arsenal *cough* consistently championing Giroud for years now. Just saying.

  5. When did Real Madrid buy Messi? And it’s Scouse with an ‘S’ you moron. How can you be taken seriously with such utter tripe .

  6. Tony,
    You continue to deride BT Sport. Remember the sick and lame who rely on TV cameras in order to follow our great Club’s progress.
    For those few of us who are not hard of hearing, we do
    have the mute button, you know.
    And you may become old and senile one day…..if you are very lucky. 😉

  7. Guys,
    Nice piece Tony,

    I can’t remember who said that Iwobi is the next Ozil, but the more I see him play the more I believe that this may be coming true some day down the road.

    Just look at him keeping the ball, if I am not wrong 5 seconds, on an area 2 or 3 yards long and one yard wide, surronded by 5 opposition players.
    Reminds me of the saying they had at Dortmund when Chapuisat, the swiss leftwinger was playing there : you and Chappi in a telephone booth and you won’t see the ball….

    This was an absolutely brilliant piece of holding on to a ball and keeping 6 players busy, while at the same time waiting for someone to be available and making sure he gets the ball when and where necessary to score. I can’t stop myself from replaying the goal on the internet.

    The other guy I liked is Maitland Niles. Definitely he was searching for his marks in the first half. However as it progressed, you could see him get better and more assured. And in the decond half, his forays as a winger were quite good. I think we’ve got a ge here. If he survives aaa and stupid-idiot-arrogant-know-it-all pundit bashing. Everyone was screaming for him to be taken off. Happy it was not the case and that he could progress. How else byn gems like him ever get polished ?!?!

  8. Great article, Tony. I think Maitland-Niles was Ipswich Town’s player of the season last year. That says something for a youngster like that at a Championship club that didn’t do too badly for most of last season.

  9. Truly awful first 30 minutes. Rather than continue to be ****ing surprised by the effort of the opposition, why not start at 100% ourselves and neutralise it early? Much better second half and liking the way Giroud and Lucas link up when they play close together. Banana skin avoided, move on

  10. if our squad is so good then why are we only 5th in the league.
    If they are so good then they are either under performing or the manager is not preparing them for matches well enough.

  11. It was certainly noticeable that Maitland-Niles improved as the game went on. He looks to be a potential asset for the future.

    I watched BT in a pub, with the sound inaudible, – preferable to listening to the shite talked by commentators and pundits.

    Media disappointment all-round at our result !

  12. Re the Real Madrid bit, of course complete nonsense from me. I’ve cut that bit and put an apology at the top of the article. I think I’m going for a long walk now.

  13. A lawyer came home after having sex in his car. The girl forgot her bra and panties leaving them in the car.

    The wife found them, tore them up and shouted: “You dirty bastard you have been screwing your secretary.”

    Without blinking an eyelid, lawyer shouted back. .. “Bitch , you have just destroyed the only evidence of a high profile rape case I have been working on. You can now forget about diamond necklace you were asking for.”

    Wife fell on her knees, crying and trying to repair the torn pieces and lawyer walked away with a smile…

    Is there a moral to this story ?

  14. Olivier Giroud has all along been a progressive striker for Arsenal since he joined them as his goals tally has progressively been going on the ups season after season.

    But his striker role for Arsenal has been crossly underrated and underestimated mostly by a section of the Arsenal fans. And the reason for castigating him as such is not unconnected with the failure of Arsenal to win the Premier League title in the last 12 season. An Arsenal title failure that has made Giroud an easy target for castigation as the sacrificial scapegoat for Arsenal 12 years title failure by a section of the Arsenal supporters and also by some former successful Arsenal players, some newspapers Journalists and some football pundits.

    But notwithstanding those anti-Giroud comments largely by a section of the Arsenal fans who have deemed him to be an ineffectively lambpost leading the line for Arsenal as against their demands for a marquee striker be signed by Le Prof for Arsenal in place of Giroud.

    But Olivier Giroud has continue to do his things at Arsenal plying his trade there and steadily racking in goals for us in their numbers to lamb the posts for us to see in Arsenal games.

    Arsenal have been successful in their last three games against WBA, Bournemouth and Preston NE in which Olivier Giroud has played a leading role to see that Arsenal were not defeated in these three game.

    All that’s left for Arsenal to do now is for some Gunners playing in their positions on the field of play for Arsenal to start adding their own quotas in terms of goals scoring for Arsenal on a consistent basis in Arsenal games.

    Apart of those goals which had been consistently scored for Arsenal by Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and now Olivier Giroud, no any other Gunner who has been regularly playing for Arsenal has tried enough to consistently be scoring goals in their games for Arsenal. Are they being goals scoring shy or lazy or just what their problems are? If other Gunners too have been contributing their own quotas of goals or assists sufficiently for Arsenal in their games for Arsenal, and not to be leaving the burden of scoring nearly all the goals for Arsenal to a handful of Gunners like, Sanchez, Ozil and Giroud to mostly shouldered the responsibility, I am inclined to believe the beliefs being advanced by some football pundits who initially said Arsenal will lift this season’s PL title.

    In this goals scoring regard, it will glading the heart if Walcott, Perez, Chamberlain, Ramsey, xhaka, Elneny, Iwobi, Coquelin and even the Arsenal defense-line players will up their goal scoring efforts for Arsenal to start scoring goals regularly as a team and individuals in their games for Arsenal. In this wise, I think Perez has been trying. Let him keep up his goals scoring efforts for Arsenal to be scoring more goals for us.

  15. Great article Tone,

    Trev sprout also picked up and relentlessly plugged for 15 minutes that we should expect the opposition to be ‘committed’. And why was it a great shock? If you watch the post match interview with Ramsey and giroud I believe it was a thinly veiled cover that in fact PNE were cloggers and their ‘commitment’ went beyond the laws of the game. Listening to Steve mcwankaman after girouds goal was like listening to a eulogy.

  16. Why Intelligent People Can’t find happiness –

    “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”-Ernest Hemingway

    The presence of a faithful and loving partner, a great family life and a successful career may not be enough to prevent an intelligent soul to feel grief and melancholy.

    Here are six most likely reasons why happiness seems to elude highly intelligent people:

    1. They are the victim of over analysis.
    2. They want to match everything with their high standards.
    3. Intelligent people judge themselves too hard.
    4. They aim for bigger things .
    5. No one to appreciate them or have a meaningful.
    6. Smart people often develop psychological issues.

  17. Apparently the above also seem to apply to most of ‘them’ that come on here .
    But intelligent ?
    High IQs ?
    Please !

    1. They are the victims of others flawed analysis.
    2. They want to bring things to their level.
    3. Stupid people don’t judge themselves hard enough.
    4. No one can follow their meandering ‘logic’.
    5. ‘them’ people develop psychological issues .

    And I guess you already know the route that ‘Papa’ took ?

  18. When I have to watch on TV then I usually turn the volume off. It’s a shame as the crowd noise is part of the game but better to lose that than listen to the pundits (aka fuck-wits) drivel.
    Mcmanaman played for Real Madrid but as we’ve seen from his idiot colleague Micheal Owen, that doesn’t mean he has any understanding of football from a team of tactical point of view. Some years back he did say that he wanted to become a manager but I don’t think he survived above the Liverpoo! youth team coaching level, so we can see how skilled he is at that…
    I’m pretty sure none of his ‘Spice Boys’ Liverpoo! colleagues has actually been remotely successful in football management. Although I believe Robbie Fowler is a great success as Liverpoo! top slum landlord and Jason Macateer has succeeded in remembering to breath (which apparently requires his full concentration).
    If Jamie Redknapp said the sky was blue, I’d have to check myself as the guy speaks so much crap.
    Really, don’t listen to the pundits (even the former Gunners are tainted by the idiots they sit next to) and laugh at anyone that does.

  19. By the way, why should Torino fc sporting director made public Arsenal bid of £50m for their striker – Andrea Belloti 23m, who has been bid for in confidentiality by Arsenal? Must this bidding be revealed publicly for whatever be the reason?

    And Arsenal who have Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Perez in their players rank and file and who are currently in top form and co-leading the line for Arsenal in our games, but they still want to sign Belloti should give us food for thought.

    If Arsenal want to dish out £50m or more for the purpose to increase the Gunners goals scoring ratio for our this season’s PL and Ucl campaigns to serve as a security against any failure by us to win the PL & Ucl titles this season and the likely lose of Alexis Sanchez to a Chinese Super Liga club during this January window, I for one is in total support of Le Prof and the Arsenal management for their foresight and proactive measure action taken by them to forestall any further unfavourable happenings from happening to our campaign in all competitions again this season. Hail Arsenal! Hail Arsene Wenger! Hail the Gunners! Hail the Gooners!

  20. I have just watched my 2nd favourite team on bt.I lived in Plymouth for 6yrs and watched the greens.
    The scouser was giving Plymouth so much stick at half time for showing no intent.Do these guys ever see or understand lower league football.At full time, humble pie.What did he expect Plymouth to do.A replay and another 300k.Wonderful.
    Likewise, we have pissed off both Sky and Bt in the last 2 weeks.Magic.

  21. MickHazel – how remarkable that only Arsenal are affected by bad refereeing decisions.

    Seriously do you realise just how stupid that makes you look?

  22. Loved the fact the scousers couldn’t find a way past Plymouth, while playing at home too. Not so easy after all, these FA cup matches are they.

  23. Top Guns,
    as we do cover all other matches we do know that others are also affected. If you would have read, or understood the weekly referee reviews of the whole PL you should have noticed that in fact Arsenal is not the team most affected this season so far.

  24. If the Plymouth game was against us, the media would have been praising them to the skies for heroic defending and slagging us off for failing to break then down / saying how crap our rotated squad players are / attacking our manager for disrespecting the FA Cup etc etc etc.

    On the other hand, it was Liverpool, so Plymouth are criticised for not playing attacking football.

  25. re the Liverpool result its very tempting to rub salt into Liverpool’s wounds or is that just sadistic ?

    sod it sadistic or not hahaha well done Plymouth!

  26. Walter – ok fair enough, but I don’t think that refereeing decisions are the only reason we are 5th but there you go.

  27. Well done Plymouth, the media love loserpool as much as I hate them, must be my generation. On the article Michael Owen ( get the mascot off the pitch was the chant at anfield) is a total bore, I do rate Mcmanaman though, Mark Lawranson is useless and boring.
    As for us, think we need a reality check, dress it up anyway you like, we ain’t winning the league until…..

  28. It’s only a game but:

    It gets emotions going good or bad.
    It causes people to talk, even though some rubbish is said. (one man’s rubbish is the other man’s fertiliser).
    It provides jobs/income for many people.

    I can go on and on but you get the gist.
    We need our game.

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