Anything yellow and blue
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Dashing young thing
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 9:32 am


Post by Isaac »

Relatively predictable really and highlighted our problems this season. First 45 minutes we were good, solid, decent in possession (if understandably cautious) but never looked threatening. 2nd half Arsenal stepped it up a bit and understandably we couldn't quite cope once they got in front.

Made think back to the last time we played Arsenal in the cup, that day it felt like Arsenal (with Pires/Bergkamp) were playing a different sport to us, but I didn't get that feeling on Monday, which is better I suppose

I thought Bodin was our best attacking player, but when he created some space he had neither the pace or any options take advantage. Our midfield 3 are all excellent players but pretty similar, they all like the ball and the game in front of them, at no stage did anyone get meaningfully past Taylor - again this might be deliberate for this game given Arsenal had their first choice front 3, but it's been a problem in other games too.

Taylor looks like he needs a break - he was never particularly good as a lone striker, but made up for it by being excellent in the penalty area, however he and the team seem to rarely get there these days. The short term future for him might be better as an impact sub. Asking a lot of Joseph though, given he's only just back from injury.

I watched on ITV, or ArsenalTV given the Arsenal slant of the commentators/pundits. They were fairly complimentary and highlighted our lack of attacking threat. There was some focus on the new ground and the importance of the meeting on the 24th, which can't hurt.
Grumpy old git
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Re: Gonners

Post by slappy »

Although I had a ticket, I decided to take the option of watching on tv. Too far to drive on a Monday night for a match in the cold and rain with the prospect of getting home well after midnight. We don't really have the "flair" players from a few years ago where there could have been the prospect of an upset similar to our big games against Middlesbrough / Newcastle / West Ham in the cups.

Arsenal put out a first pick top 3. I thought we did well to keep it to nil nil at half time, but said to an Arsenal supporting friend that we would tire / they would turn the gas up a bit in the second half, which was how it panned out. I'd had a pint bet with him on Oxford with a +2.5 goals start, so sadly just lost that as well.

The new scoreboard looked impressive on tv, and from that angle it was far enough back from the goal not to be a distraction.
Kairdiff Exile
Mid-life Crisis
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Re: Gonners

Post by Kairdiff Exile »

Hard to disagree with this analysis which opens the match report in today's Guardian:
As third-round ties go this went by the numbers. Oxford United gave Arsenal a game for an hour, without threatening to make things more interesting than that, and could draw on enough positives to hope for a bright end to their third-tier campaign. The Premier League leaders eventually bucked up and picked them off with three goals in 13 minutes, meaning this went down as a job well done and banishing the looming spectre of a replay.
Like Isaac, I watched it on television, as it's so rare that we have a game on proper telly and I couldn't justify a four-hour round trip at this time of the year. There was no way we could maintain the tempo with which we started the game, and so it proved - at which point Arsenal's class shone through. Completely agree with Isaac that ITV's coverage was pitiful, focussing so much on the away team and patronising us throughout. A low point for me was their spam-faced presenter at half-time bemoaning the "anomaly" which meant there was no VAR at Grenoble Road, as though a) we'd want it anyway and b) it's clubs below the top flight who are the outliers.
Dr Bob
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Re: Gonners

Post by Dr Bob »

I too watched on TV, but only because I had to get up well before the crack of dawn on Tuesday to fly over to the US (just wish I had the time to check out Mile High Stadium while I am here). The first half, as has been said, highlighted our (relative) strengths but also our very well-known limitations (well, well-known to everyone apart from he/they who insist on playing Taylor when he is so out of form). I am not sure about the tiring argument for the second half. I would put it more down to the Arse finally getting their act together, and being able to bring on two world-class players. They changed the dynamic of the game, regardless of how much they were, or were not, involved directly in the goals. Shout out to Anderson. I thought he played really well defensively and showed the pace to keep up with their attacking players. Nketiah looks a class act. But I never understand why players of quality need to collapse in a screaming heap if an opposition player has the temerity to get stuck in. I remember seeing it at Highbury in 2003 and here we are again.

And I loved the SOS banner. Brilliant job. A nice little earner, but that is all it is, even with the TV money. But it was good exposure and great to see us end with several players on the pitch who had come through the youth set-up (even if that was a, ahem, Long time ago for some).
Kernow Yellow
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Re: Gonners

Post by Kernow Yellow »

I also had a ticket but watched from home on TV - too much work on to justify the time away and travel.

There wasn't actually that much in it - their first goal came from a free kick that should never have been, the second from a silly error by McGuane, and the third was offside. But the frustrating thing was that we were never going to score, so as soon as we conceded it was game over. A few observations:

Our need for a decent forward who isn't on the wane was clearly highlighted. You can't fault Taylor for effort, but it's a couple of years now since you'd have fancied him to make anything of that one-on-one. That was the one big chance of the game.

I have seen enough of McGinty I think. Ian Wright's comment on the third goal was 'look how small the keeper makes himself', and it's true. In fact he's over six foot, but he just looks so unimposing. He's getting more reliable and less maverick at least, but I'd definitely prefer Eastwood back if and when he's fit. Not writing McGinty off, but he isn't showing quite enough for me at the moment to keep his place.

Since Sam Long has been moved to centre back, he's been the better of the two in every game (imo), regardless who was alongside him. He reads the game so well and I'm glad Robinson sees his value in that position - he needs to stay there.

The Ciaron Brown story sounds ridiculous - if bookies were really offering 8-1 against him being booked (a no-nonsense defender against the top forward line in the country) they deserved to get hammered for it, and I can well imagine people that know him encouraging others to get stuck into the good value. I really hope the player hasn't been stupid enough to send or like any such messages himself, and I'm very glad we have signed the lad from Hull as cover/competition if anything bad does come of it.

Interesting how much the stadium situation was mentioned on TV coverage - the club had clearly done a big PR job on the ITV team about that. In fact the coverage overall was less patronising than you often see in these situations, though the focus on past Arsenal players and celebrity fans in the crowd, and Ian Wright's love-in with the club, became a bit tedious.

That's probably about it for any great interest in the season on the pitch, unless we implode dramatically.
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