Tag Archives: leeds united

Match Report: Arsenal 1 -0 Leeds United

Arsenal (0) 1 Leeds United (0) 0
FA Cup Third Round
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Monday, 6th January 2020. Kick-off time: 7.56pm

(3-4-1-2) Emiliano Martínez; Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rob Holding, David Luiz; Reiss Nelson, Mattéo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka, Sead Kolašinac; Mesut Özil; Nicolas Pépé, Alexandre Lacazette.
Substitutes: Bernd Leno, Dani Ceballos, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli, Tyreece John-Jules, Bukayo Saka.
Scorers: Reiss Nelson (54 mins)
Yellow Cards: Sead Kolašinac
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 42%
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: 58,403

As we have just discovered, the winners of tonight’s tie meet AFC Bournemouth at The Vitality Stadium in the fourth round; certainly a prospect of another mouth-watering tie in the offing no doubt. However, first things first. It was a very competitive start to the match tonight, with the visitors having the best of the early exchanges, and to be fair, they were very unlucky not to score when a Jack Harrison shot was saved well by Emiliano Martínez. We looked a little all at sea when Patrick Bamford hit the crossbar a few minutes later, and if it was not for the superb performance of our goalkeeper, we could have been in deep trouble. Indeed, as the first half wore on, our play looked extremely sloppy with Leeds United taking full advantage of our tardiness in all areas of the pitch. On the half hour, we came close to scoring when David Luiz’s header narrowly went the wrong side of the post from a Mesut Özil corner, our first one of the match, unbelievably. Soon afterwards, young Mattéo Guendouzi showed intelligent play in clearing the ball out of the penalty area after yet another dangerous Leeds United attack in which we were fortunate not to concede a goal, and as the minutes wore on towards the break, it was Leeds United who looked the most likely team to score; with their youthful exuberance and desire on the night, they opened up the Arsenal defence time and time again with the ease of an electric can opener on a helpless tin of peas. Indeed, it was almost some kind of miracle that we went into half-time not being in deficit, as the visitors were by far and away the better side in the first period of the match.

The second half certainly started better for us, when Reiss Nelson was unlucky not to score after advancing thirty or so yards into the Leeds penalty area before being dispossessed by opposing defenders at the last minute. A superb free-kick from the right foot of Alexandre Lacazette skimmed the top of the Leeds crossbar, and a minute or three later we were unfortunate not to score when both Alexandre Lacazette and Mattéo Guendouzi came close to scoring. However, nine minutes after the restart, Reiss Nelson bundled the ball into the net (after some exemplary work by Nicolas Pépé out on the wing) via the leg of defender Kalvin Phillips, to open the scoring. Arsenal were now in the ascendancy, with purpose, verve and vigour; now it seemed to be our turn to control the match. A call by Alexandre Lacazette for a penalty was denied, and Arsenal changed shape again when Reiss Nelson was substituted for Gabriel Martinelli after the sixty-fifth minute. Sead Kolašinac picked up our only booking of the evening when he committed a foul on Helder Costa; the subsequent free-kick sailed over the Arsenal bar, courtesy of Barry Douglas. Deft and clever footwork from Gabriel Martinelli led to a good block from Ben White, just minutes before Joe Willock replaced a seemingly fatigued Mesut Özil after seventy-six minutes. With four minutes remaining, Sead Kolašinac was the subject of a VAR enquiry due to an altercation; thankfully, there was nothing to write home about and the game carried on in its own momentum. Bukayo Saka replaced Nicolas Pépé in the first minute of injury time, but by then the match was winding down to its conclusion, and ultimately it was Arsenal that progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

A classic tale of two halves; thankfully Arsenal woke up at half-time to finish victorious, but to be fair, the first half performance told another story. We were most fortunate not to be at least three down by half time, but by sheer fortune (and an exemplary performance by Emiliano Martínez) we held out. Granit Xhaka was lucky to escape a booking (at least), and most of our players looked completely out of their depth against a vivacious Leeds United side. However, the second half told a different tale, as the pep talk handed out to them by Mikel Arteta in the dressing room meant that they played with purpose and vision. Arsenal’s substitutes reinvigorated the side, changed their shape and ultimately we were able to end the match as winners. But it was a close run thing. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, 11th January at 12.30pm (Premier League). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

“Superpower” Tottenham are the Newcastle of the South

We wake this morning to headlines revealing “the secrets behind Pochettino’s success” and how Spurs are a “Premier League Superpower”. I spat my coffee out.

What success is this exactly?

This is Mauricio Pochettino’s 5th season with Tottenham. He has yet to win a trophy.

In the 4 completed seasons, he has finished above The Arsenal twice, and only finished top 4 75% of the time.

Let’s roll our minds back to the Arsenal trophy drought 2006-2012. An 8 season period of failure when Arsene Wenger failed to lead the club to a single trophy.

During that 8 year period, Wenger led Arsenal into the Champions League 100% of the time. The side finished above Spurs 8 out of 8 times and he led the team to a Champions League final and 2 League Cup finals. He was labelled a failure for doing so.

What Wenger “achieved” during that 8 year period, when Arsenal were paying off heavy stadium debt, was superior to what Pochettino has achieved in his 4 completed seasons at Spurs.

This year will make it 5 seasons in a row without a trophy. It could also see Tottenham finish outside the top 4 for the 2nd time in his short reign (Wenger was at the helm for 22 years and finished outside the top 4 just twice).

Tottenham may well end up finishing behind Arsenal for the 3rd time in Pochettino’s 5 seasons.

Reading a book explaining Pochettino’s success would be akin to reading a self-help book from Theresa May on how to unite your colleagues behind you. It would not contain anything useful.

The reality is the media are writing about Pochettino’s success even though he is achieving less than Wenger’s failure.

I have said for a while, Arsenal at their worst this century achieved more than Tottenham at their best.

As for the “superclub” comment, well that is just laughable.

The new stadium in Tottenham is an architectural masterpiece. The most technological advanced stadium in Europe. But that should be a given.

It is the most expensive stadium ever built in England, and the newest stadium. You would be a bit disappointed if it was not the best, most advanced stadium in history. Especially for £1bn.

The media have tried to compare it to Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. Spurs fans have “boasted” about how the new Tottenham stadium is superior. Of course it is superior. It is new.

Arsenal’s stadium is 13 years old. The technology that is around now was not around in 2006.

In 2006 the iPhone did not exist. The best-selling phone was the Nokia 1660. It still had snake and cost £30.

“The Nokia 1600 mobile has a speaking clock, which was a novel feature when the phone was launched in 2005. A user could use the speaking clock by pressing the asterisk (“*”) button during the display of the home screen.

The phone also includes a ringtone composer which allows creating custom ringtones. Pre-composed ringtones can be transferred through a data cable.

The phone has a basic calculator which can perform only addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

There are 14 pre-defined themes with 14 wallpapers and menu backgrounds.

The menu features animated icons.”

In 2018 the best selling phone is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, at a cost of £799.

Look at your car.

In 2006, things like SatNav and air con did not come as standard. Bluetooth A CD player and FM/AM radio was your entertainment system. In 2019, every car comes with SatNav, climate control, digital radio, bluetooth enabled and more. Technology has moved on.

In summary, you would feel short-changed if you spent big on a new mobile phone or car and it was not vastly superior to a car or phone from 2006.

It is a fantastic stadium, but that counts for nothing if you fail to win trophies.

Tottenham are no more a superclub than Newcastle under Kevin Keegan.

Keegan led Newcastle to a 2nd place twice, and three top 4 finishes in four years. Compare that to 3 top 4 finishes for Pochettino, finishing 2nd just the once.

Newcastle also reached two FA Cup finals, losing both.

In the end Keegan left having failed to win Newcastle a trophy, despite playing in-front of over 50,000 every week.

Were Newcastle a “Superclub” in the 90s? Or did they just have a couple of years where they finished high up the league, won nothing, played in-front of huge crowds and failed to break their league title drought which was well over half-century.

Tottenham have finished high up the league, won nothing, played in-front of huge crowds and failed to break their league title drought which is well over half-century.

Leeds under David O’Leary were cut from the same cloth.

They finished top 4 three times in a row, made a Champions League semi-final. But like Newcastle, it was temporary and they soon found themselves relegated.

Tottenham can not be talked about in the same bracket as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea. These clubs have all won trophies in the last 5 years. Tottenham have not.

They might have a shiny new stadium with all the mod-cons that the newest, most expensive stadium built in England should have, but that means nothing if they do not win trophies.

Tottenham are merely Newcastle of the South. They think they are a big club but do not have the recent silverware to back it up.

Keenos

Ups and Downs – An Arsenal Away Fans Thoughts

As the season is nearing its end, my mind often turns to the bottom of the league table, and top of the Championship. Thoughts and conversations with pals revolve around who we want to go down, who we want to stay up.

As someone who go’s home and away, with an away scheme membership (away season ticket) I travel the length and depth of the country every week with my pals. No agendas. No BS. Just a good group of lads going to the football.

For us, relegation and promotion into and out of the Premier League is important. Who are we losing. We are we getting?

It is always sad to lose a London club. Since the £26 ticket prices, we save a lot of money with easy trips round the capital. Birmingham clubs are similar. Just a little over an hour on the train, cheap train tickets, Birmingham is always a cheap trip up north.

On the other hand, last season the ‘worst case scenario’ came true when Burnley, Middlesbrough and Hull came up. All rank trip to Northern towns. I actually have not made any of them this season.

So who do I want to go up and down?

With regards to relegation, I am happy with it being as is, with the current bottom 3 disappearing.

I am bored of Sunderland now. Their constant battle against relegation year after year. If they were a horse, dog or fish they would be put down by now. Time to put them out of their misery.

The trip has improved recently with a new train from Kings Cross direct to Sunderland. But it is still a 4 hour trip, with no boozers the other end (unless you go via Newcastle). Sunderland station is in a run down part of the city (or perhaps the entire city is run down?). They will not be missed.

Also in the north-east we have Middlesbrough. Another dump. Whilst I will not be making the Monday night trip this season (thanks Sky!) I have done it before. It is another place that is not high on the list of places to visit in the UK.

Making up the north-east trio is Hull City Tigers. One of only 2 current Premier League grounds I have not yet visited (the other is Burnley). I have no plan to visit it. I went for a wedding in Hull 2 years ago. I do not plan to go back.

I would not shed a tear if all 3 went down.

Also in the relegation dog fight is Swansea.

Swansea is a decent away trip, if you are doing the night out. Full of Welsh slags. But if you are not doing a night out, it is a long old trip up their with Sunderland. Around 4 hours, their is usually delays, often engineering works.

In the last 3 years we have been re-rooted vie Gloucester, held just outside Swansea station for over an hour, and had to get a rail replacement bus service from Port Talbot. A good night out, but a tough old journey.

West Ham and above are probably fair enough ahead to not be dragged into it. Whilst the Hammers going down would be hilarious, going to the London Stadium is the easiest trip for me to do.

Leicester fall into the Birmingham category of being a nice easy, cheap train trip.

Sandwiched between are Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Palace have the London thing in their favour, although it would be nice to get rid of their embarrassing ultras. Burnley can also disappear off the face of the earth. A nasty little racist town.

Sunderland, Hull City Tiger, Middlesbrough, Burnley & Swansea. 3 of those 5 gone will make away days a little more enjoyable next season.

As for who comes up, it looks like Newcastle and Brighton are almost certain to have their Premier League status secured for next season.

Despite my hatred of the north-east , I actually do not mind Newcastle.

Whilst in terms of time the train journey is not too much different from Hull and Sunderland, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or a pub at the end of the train journey.

Newcastle has some decent boozers near the station. The ground is a short (but hilly) walk from the station. Plenty of options home (trains back to London every 20-30 minutes). It is a decent away trip. Add in that it is a decent night out too.

I am not so enthused about Brighton coming up.

We have done the trip down to the Sussex coast a couple of times in the FA Cup in recent years and both times, I was not too impressed.

The journey is not the issue, but I just do not like Brighton as a town. It just is not set up for football fans to turn up en masse and have a pint. We are looked at by locals as the scum of the earth. They do not want us in their establishments and seem like they can not wait for us to leave.

Add in that horrible little train to Falmer – Brighton are not actually based in Brighton – and a stadium which comes out of the identikit stadiums that sprung up in the late 00s / early 10s and all in all it is a trip I will not overly look forward too.

Everything could change, however, it we get scheduled to play them in August or September. Bit of summer sun and beers down on the beach.

It looks like a 5-way battle for the play-offs.

Huddersfield, Reading, Leeds, Fulham & Sheffield Wednesday.

Right off the bat, I do not want Reading.

Like Brighton, it is one of these grounds not built in the city or town it resides in. Instead it is build on an industrial estate which you have to get a bus too. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, not bothered about going back.

Sheffield Wednesday is another I would right off. After the League Cup defeat, I do not have great memories of the ground. It is falling apart. And is a pigs-ear to get to. Trains planes and automobiles come to mind as you have to get a combination of trains, trams, cabs and walking to get to the ground.

That leaves Fulham, Leeds and Huddersfield.

Despite having done Fulham plenty of times before, it is always an enjoyable trip.

Another London day out, easy to get too, plenty of decent boozers. I do not think I have ever had a bad away day to Fulham. Even when it was torrential rain. They would be my favourite.

Huddersfield and Leeds are two trips I have never done before so I honestly do not know what either would be like for an away trip.

It would be nice to have Leeds back in the Premier League. A proper club who were ripped apart by improper owners.

A nice easy journey into Leeds, with a bit of a horrid journey to the stadium ,it would be nice to have a proper club with proper fans back in the Premier League.

Huddersfield, whilst one many have not done in recent years, is probably bottom of the 3, purely because of the train journey. You have to get to Manchester Piccadilly then across to Huddersfield.

I think I will stick to my original thoughts and welcome Fulham back to the Premier League with welcome arms.

Despite everything that is going on at the club at the moment, I go to football for the day out. That involves the train, the beers, the mates, as well as the game.

When you travel up and down the country following your team, there is much more important things that make it a great day rather than just the football.

Keenos