It may not be a trophy but it sure as hell is fun. The “being there” report.

by Tony Attwood

OK we have to keep a sense of perspective.  The most consecutive wins in the Premier League is not yet within sight, as that was 18 achieved by Manchester ££££ last season.   We’re a long way from that, but oh the sheer joy of another win last night was just something special, and one of those where you really, really, really, had to be there.

Getting up this morning I read Walter’s commentary (was too knackered last night after 30 miles at 10 miles per hour through the Chris Grayling Memorial Roadworks on the M1 (the A1 being completely shut for the occasion as part of the Chris Grayling “Don’t Move!” policy of being transport minister), and it (Walter’s commentary) really does bring the excitement back to me.

And that’s good because I am finding it hard to get the words to describe what it was like.  When the first went in, we knew there was every chance. With the second and the third we knew we had past through the clouds and touched the sky.  I am still, this morning, buzzing. It is a long old time since the three of us who have the good fortune to have seats in the front row of the upper tier at Arsenal Stadium, had our arms round each us as we jumped up and down in just sheer overwhelming delight.

Because of course it wasn’t just the win, nor a response to the rather childish goading from the Leicester fans that followed their opening goal, but the utter style and quality of what we saw.

I have no idea how long the manager is going to continue bringing Aubameyang on as a second half sub, nor how long the player is going to put up with it, but for the moment it sure is a ploy that works.

So the run continues…

Date Game Res Score Competition
25 Aug 2018 Arsenal v West Ham United W 3-1 Premier League
02 Sep 2018 Cardiff City v Arsenal W 2-3 Premier League
12 Sep 2018 Coventry City v Arsenal W 0-3 Football League Trophy
15 Sep 2018 Newcastle United v Arsenal W 1-2 Premier League
20 Sep 2018 Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava W 4-2 UEFA Europa League
23 Sep 2018 Arsenal v Everton W 2-0 Premier League
26 Sep 2018 Arsenal v Brentford W 3-1 League Cup
29 Sep 2018 Arsenal v Watford W 2-0 Premier League
04 Oct 2018 FK Qarabağ Agdam v Arsenal W 0-3 UEFA Europa League
07 Oct 2018 Fulham v Arsenal W 1-5 Premier League
22 Oct 2018 Arsenal v Leicester City W 3-1 Premier League

Ten wins in the major competitions, 11 if you include the Trophy.   And let us not forget how we are scoring goals. 11 in the last three.   And there aren’t even people around saying, “fourth is not a trophy.”  The style of the play and the excitement in the ground is a trophy in itself.

Of course there are the comments about Arsenal being lucky not to concede a penalty, but these are as ever incomplete.  Just how many fouls did Leicester need to referee to ignore in the second half as part of their game plan? I lost count in the end.   It didn’t all even up in the end because the leeway given to Leicester in that second half far outweighed our escape in the first, but in the end it didn’t matter.

But it is a sadness that still, year after year, the newspapers and others will write and say that “the moment of controversy came when…” as if there was just one.  No, there were what, six moments of controversy? Ten? As I say I lost count. Ten fouls were given against us, nine against Leicester. That is just lunacy.  That is the controversy.

But let us not dwell on such inevitabilities.  Aubameyang and Guendouzi on, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Stephan Lichtsteiner off, on the hour.  Xhaka at left back????!!!! And then kerpow. Özil added another 10% to the 100% game he was playing and within five minutes  it was all over.

Meanwhile the press tell us that, “Harry Maguire ought to have scored with a header from Maddison’s free-kick” and describe it as a “let off.”  How many of those let offs did Leicester have? I lost count probably because I was too excited.   

But at least I have a sense of context.  It is a game played for 90 minutes plus a bit.  “A let off” indeed.  What total and utter crap.

And let us not forget Iwobi.  Remember Iwobi? The player who took more abuse last season than anyone else?  The staggeringly brilliant Iwobi.


Arsenal: There is no absolutely shame in selling Alex Iwobi (Pain in the Arsenal)

Arsenal should have sold Iwobi – (This is futbol)

Or how about

Piers Morgan names seven Arsenal players who should be sold …

That ws in the Express.  In the list was Iwobi and Lacazette.   And these comments came from last summer.  Oh how times change.  What appalling bad predictors most of these pundits are. 

So here is the top six…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 9 7 2 0 26 3 23 23
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 16 3 13 23
3 Chelsea 9 6 3 0 20 7 13 21
4 Arsenal 9 7 0 2 22 11 11 21
5 Tottenham Hotspur 9 7 0 2 16 7 9 21
6 AFC Bournemouth 9 5 2 2 16 12 4 17

We are the second highest scorers in the league and have the sixth best defence.  Not yet as good as we would like in defence, but an excellent improvement on last season, and by and large I don’t really mind how many we let in as long as we are winning like this.

And yes, fourth is not a trophy.  But when it is like last night, it sure as hell is fun.


20 Replies to “It may not be a trophy but it sure as hell is fun. The “being there” report.”

  1. The crowd really was great last night. There seems to be an underlying confidence that, however bad things look early on, it’ll all come right in the end. And the crowds confidence keeps being rewarded.
    Last night we saw candidates for the best save of the season, the best pass of the season and the best goal of the season (beating our own standard set at Fulham).
    It really was a joy and the icing on the cake was to hear songs for Torreira and Emery for the first time.
    Long may the hugging continue Tony!

  2. If Rob Holding goes you can’t say it wouldn’t have made is a mountain. That lacks some context in my opinion, the could in the second half addressed that somewhat, but he’s already been easy with the first yellow and overlooked the handball he was looking straight at. By the rules, which I care about as much as anything when they are sound.

    The ball doesn’t come from too close, he moves his hand to the ball and it is in the box.

    I like to be honest.

    That is not to say we don’t deserve the win in the grand scheme of things. Not least of all that Leicester and whoever else denied us a title that would have seen Arsene in the dugout.

    Fitting then that on his birthday he gets the biggest gift. Delivered by Hector, Mesut and Auba of all people. That magnificent last season January buy, sorry panicbuy! How easily they forget their wrongs and how slow to correct themselves, yet so quick to judge.

    Mesut, signed for life; in the last act. And Hector, believed in? Always believed in? An own goal from trying and then he remembers what he owes, grounded in tenement buildings in this urban jungle called home, oh he remembered well, not to mention it was an unlucky own goal, as a microsecond sooner and it is a corner and a nano second later and Berne is right there.

    What a performance? Rode our luck, he saved a game winning save.

    But what did I take from the game, a lot learned about balancing forward forays, Wengerball doesn’t insist you have 5 people up field, the ball moves, doing all the work, but the components are slowly dictating the pattern, only a genius does that. A regime that dictates the path of its successor.

    But what did I take from that game; Ben Chilwell, now a slight premium, but that’s a left back. 10 mins to go and he’s as long for movement in possession at 3-1 down. That above all things tells you a footballer. Alexis anyone! If have him back at a cut rate all day everyday. They would know, he left because he jerked violently over a World Cup. He doesn’t play because if at United they won’t play, it doesn’t matter to him.

    Aubameyang impact sub? That game might have shown him a thing or two. RAMSEY AND LUCAS! But if he shows that quality he is stuck with it and resigning Aaron, someone still wants to prove he is boss.

    Mikhi was quiet, Unai’s use of him is impacting his confidence further. Arsene – I am not worried about his quality but maybe his temperament after his experience at United. Echoes my own words given here prior to that press conference.

    Not one size fits all! You play Mikhi left inside forward or at 10 as option. He should share a wing with Alex Iwobi. Leaving is shy one winger and his under study. Reiss is that under study, who is that first 11?

    In A perfect world Alexis. But fate isn’t so fickle of late, so you never know, ots a deal which suits both owners; again. Oh so you get moneyball?

    James watched this season 3.

    Gooner till I die. Even when I own a different team, well unless, i suppose o could but it. For love but not money, make the other a feeder, is need a friend I could lend the money!

    There I go again being delusional. Or maybe o set the case up 7esterdau on Eengers birthday knowing everything was a win.

  3. Got a bad knee at the moment and can hardly walk around the house, so there was no chance I could have walked from Finsbury Park to the Emirates last night. Therefore, I had the dubious pleasure of watching Graeme Souness and Alan Smith try to suck as much joy out of this performance as possible … it is so much better being at games and not having to listen to their blinkered nonsense !!!

    I would love the refs on here to comment on the penalty shout … both players jump, both players have their arms up, but Holding’s hand is actually knocked into the ball by the impact of the Leicester player … that was clear enough at full speed on TV and was the angle, near enough, the ref had … does this really constitute a DELIBERATE hand ball or is having your hands up in the jump sufficient to claim the penalty if you make contact with the ball ???

    Also I’d like to know when the TV “experts” might consider that if in game after game, we start with one striker, hold the opposition to a level score at half time, bring on the other striker and win … that might actually be the tactic, and a successful one, rather than, as they seem to “think” Arsenal getting a bit lucky again …

  4. (borrowed from twitter – i like it a lot):

    YankeeGunner‏ @YankeeGunner
    Never a penalty. If you can’t put your arm above your head and punch a ball away in the penalty area then what can you do?!

    as early as at the end of the second game of the season, i thought to myself it might take long before seeing another wonderful team goal as the one iwobi scored that day
    now it’s “le cirque du soleil” all over again; week in, week out
    “sexy football”, mesut has said it all

  5. very very promising. One great advantage of watching from North America is we do not get the pontificating of managerial failures at half time. We get loads of adverts which is a huge improvement.

  6. After 30 minutes of last nights game Leicester lost their intensity , their fitness level dropped and they couldn’t raise it at all in the second half .
    The fitness level Mr Emery has put into this Arsenal team is showing in every match played

  7. Following AAron and PEA’s recent goal scoring exploits, SKY sports are currently running a vote on which of the following goals is Arsenals ‘Best Ever Team Goal’. These are they, including the current standings.

    Jack Wilshere v Norwich (2013) 58%

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang v Leicester (2018) 23%

    Aaron Ramsey v Fulham (2018) 13%

    Patrick Vieira v Everton (2005) 4%

    Tomas Rosicky v Sunderland (2014) 2%

    Have a look and see what you think.

    Personally I voted for Jacks as well, but it has to be said it is a beautiful collection of goals.

    Wonderful stuff.

  8. What drugs is ‘you know who’ taking before posting?

    Brilliant performance in the second half, Iif we finish top 4 this season I will be delighted! Liverpool is the big test, Although it’s not the result I am looking for, it’s how our defence plays! People keep saying we are too open at the back, I disagree!! We can be more open against lesser teams because we have the fire power to out score them, however against the better teams I want to see Arsenal defend the ball. Torreira is a cross between Kante and Cazorla… what a player!! 25m in today’s market for a player of his quality?? Brilliant business by Arsenal. Guendouzi only 8m!?? Not enough credit goes to our board sometimes.

  9. The ball off the crossbar was the equivalent of a shot that misses the net. It was as much a let off as Auba not putting in a third.
    As for the handball…In the replays, it looked like his hand got knocked into the ball’s path, but listening to the Leicester players you’d think that it was deliberate. That’s a tough call.
    Some are saying that every handball is an automatic yellow. That is not my understanding of the infraction. Would a penalty have changed the game. Yes, in the way that goals do. Nothing more. We did score 3 goals.

  10. So they put Aubameyang goal from yesterday, but not the Puskas award-winning goal from Giroud against Palace…

  11. Vince and Pat

    You have a point regarding Girouds goal but I think the key to it is ‘team’ goal.

    It’s about the move rather than the finish itself, on which basis Jacks, PES’s and Aarons stand out.

    But having said that there was quite a nifty move leading up To Girouds goal so it wouldn’t of been out of place on the basis of ‘team’ goal.

    My 3 favourite ‘individual’ finishes are Bergkamp at Newcastle, Girouds and Ramseys volley in Europe from about 35 yards.

    My 3 favourite ‘Team’ goals are Wilshere, PEA’s and then come to think of it, Girouds again.

    I don’t think it was a deliberate omission rather I think it’s possible that the sheer absolute brilliance of the finish rather over shadows the build up to it.

  12. Oh and last thing; thanks another correct result tonight.

    Who watched MOTD Saturday?

    Because Sheared, Lineker and Murphy agreed; as football experts of course. That arsenal are subject to corporate sabotage, inadvertently of course.
    The agreement was in respect of the Newcastle come back, Lineker asked if there was a reason they had to seemingly go 2-0 down before they would rally. Murphy quick off the mark, with Sheared nodding and then chiming in said that without a doubt it was the loss of confidence. Once they were so far behind they had nothing to lose and the shackles came off.


    So if you systematically print things about a particular club that aren’t true, there is evidentiary uncjarataftwristicly biased score in officiating, plus we show sky moving fixtures systematically and an algorithm is used to do fixtures and balls are heated up in draws, Lineker words. What Do you call all of that?!?!

  13. If a goal starting from a sliding intercepting tackle just outside the box, and moving all the way to the opposite goal in 12 seconds and exactly 10 ball touches from 6 different players (Ramsey -> Bellerin (2 touches) -> Giroud -> Xhaka -> Iwobi (2 touches) -> Alexis (2 touches) -> Giroud) is not a team goal, what is?

  14. Vince

    Hence I put it 3rd in my best ‘team’ goal selection.

    Cant think of any reason, other than an oversight, as to why they would leave it out, that’s all.

    When I watched it back It’s probably actually better than yesterdays.

    But honestly, they are all so brilliant it hardly matters.

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