Tag Archives: She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

Match Report: Newcastle 0 – 2 Arsenal

Newcastle United (0) 0 Arsenal (1) 2

Premier League

St. James’ Park, Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST

Sunday, 2nd May 2021. Kick-off time: 2.00pm

(4-2-3-1) Mat Ryan; Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel Magalhães, Granit Xhaka; Mohamed Elneny, Dani Ceballos; Willian Borges da Silva, Martin Ødegaard, Gabriel Martinelli; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Substitutes: Bernd Leno, Bukayo Saka, Cédric Soares, Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pépé, Calum Chambers, Pablo Marí, Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith-Rowe.

Scorers: Mohamed Elneny (5 mins), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (66 mins)

Yellow Cards: Granit Xhaka

Arsenal Possession Percentage: 62%

Referee: Mike Dean

Assistant Referees: Ian Hussin, Dan Robathan

Fourth Official: Andy Madley

VAR Team at Stockley Park: VAR Graham Scott; AVAR Peter Kirkup

Attendance: A maximum of 300 attendees due to UK government coronavirus restrictions

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is playing today, as he continues his comeback from malaria, and Alexandre Lacazette (hamstring injury) and Kieran Tierney (knee injury) are both back in training, but today’s match could come too early for these two to play a part in it somehow. David Luiz has recovered from his own knee injury and will also feature in this match with manager Mikel Arteta likely to have an eye on the second leg of the Europa League semi-final against Villarreal on Thursday. Let’s go!

The match started with us in dominant mood, eager to make an early impression, and sure enough, within five mintues of the start, Hector Bellerin took the ball to the by-line, crossed it with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in mind; he missed it completely, but fortunately Mohamed Elneny picked the ball up on the edge of the Newcastle United penalty area, and he cracked it into the net for the opening goal of the day. A few minutes’ later we almost nabbed a second goal, when Dani Ceballos slotted the ball to Hector Bellerin on the edge of the Magpies’ penalty area, but his strong right-footed shot flew over the bar. Although the home side came back at us with chances by Federico Fernández and Allan Saint-Maximin, we never felt truly threatened; in fact Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s shot from close range which went narrowly wide of the mark, was far closer than anything Newcastle United threw at us in the first twenty minutes of the game. Unfortunately, Granit Xhaka was booked for a silly tackle, and yet it never fazed him at all, as on the half hour mark, Martin Ødegaard set him up for a perfect shot on goal, but his goalscoring luck deserted him and his shot was saved acrobatically by Martin Dúbravka in the Newcastle goal. Over the next ten minutes or so, Gabriel Martinelli, David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all desperately unlucky in not scoring as our pressure on the home side’s goal started to get more intense. In fact, as the first half ebbed away, one was starting to wonder if Newcastle United was actually out on the pitch today, as all of the play came from a very good and competent Arsenal team.

And so, as form follows function, the second half began in earnest, and with it, our domination of the game continued. Sadly, just seven minutes after the restart, David Luiz was unable to continue because of a hamstring injury, and so Calum Chambers replaced him for the remainder of the match. The game started to get rather scrappy at this point, and Mike Dean brought this malarkey to an end by showing a yellow card to Federico Fernández for a nasty foul on Gabriel Martinelli. However, less than ten minutes after this incident, Gabriel Martinelli crossed the ball into the Newcastle United six-yard box for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to force it into the net for our second goal of the match. Calum Chambers should have made it three-nil with a superb header that went just wide a little later, and this started a period of Arsenal dominance with Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka getting close to scoring with very good and clever chances, and with just twelve minutes of the match remaining, Nicolas Pépé replaced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was extremely fatigued by this point of the game; and in another attempt to rest important players, Mikel Arteta decided to exchange Martin Ødegaard for Thomas Partey with just five minutes left of the match, which petered out to almost nothing. In fact, the final act of the match saw Fabian Schär being dismissed by Mike Dean for a cynical foul on who else, but Gabriel Martinelli, who appeared to receive more than his fair share of punishment at St. James’ Park this afternoon.

A good win today, that pushed us into ninth place in the Premiership, above Aston Villa, and a clean slate too. This match, which in the greater scheme of things will be become forgettable, but if it has done anything, it will have given the squad confidence for the more important game against Villareal on Thursday night, which we hope will be remembered for all the right reasons. Fingers crossed.

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: Villareal at the Emirates on Thursday, 6th May at 8.00pm (Europa League). 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.

Match Report: Arsenal 0 – 1 Everton

Arsenal (0) 0 Everton (0) 1

Premier League

Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU

Friday, 23rd April 2021. Kick-off time: 8.00pm

(4-2-3-1) Bernd Leno; Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Pablo Marí, Granit Xhaka; Thomas Partey, Dani Ceballos; Nicolas Pépé, Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka; Eddie Nketiah.

Substitutes: Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Magalhães, Martin Ødegaard, Willian Borges da Silva, Cédric Soares, Reiss Nelson, Mohamed Elneny, Mat Ryan, Gabriel Martinelli.

Yellow Cards: Thomas Partey

Arsenal Possession Percentage: 59%

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Assistant Referees: Marc Perry, Dan Robathan

Fourth Official: Graham Scott

VAR Team at Stockley Park: VAR David Coote; AVAR Stuart Burt

Attendance: A maximum of 300 attendees due to UK government coronavirus restrictions

For tonight’s St. George’s Day match here at the Emirates, we are without both of our first-choice forwards, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, due to injury and illness respectively; of course Kieran Tierney and David Luiz are also unavailable because of injury too, and Martin Ødegaard is in light training after an ankle problem and will be assessed by the coaching team just before kick-off. Let’s go!

We began the match quite energetically, applying pressure on the visitors’ goal, winning a corner within two minutes of the start, which although went nowhere, the intent was there. Everton’s best chance in the early part of the game came from a free-kick, which Gylfi Sigurdsson took, only for Rob Holding to easily neutralise the threat, by diverting the ball safely back to Bernd Leno. The two sides were looking fairly even, with their respective defenders skillfully cutting out any threat to score from either sets of strikers. Bukayo Saka was unlucky not to score when the ball flew into the Everton penalty area, but unfortunately Jordan Pickford made an easy save at close range from our young striker. At this moment in the game, the big players on both sides are lacklustre, it’s becoming fairly obvious that the match needs a goal to liven it up quickly, and Thomas Partey could just be the man to unlock the Toffees’ defence tonight. However, Bernd Leno made a fantatsic save from Richarlison at close range, and at the other end, a very quick smash’n’grab movement from us looked promising, but it petered out into nothing. Six minutes before the break, a twenty-yard Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick bounced off the bar with Bernd Leno beaten, and just before half-time, Emile Smith-Rowe was unlucky not to gain control of the ball in the Everton penalty area; if the ball had not run away for him, we may well have gone into half-time in the lead, but it was honours even at the break.

No changes for the team line-up for the second half, and it started in the same manner as the first ended, with plenty of pressure on both goals but to no avail. Everton had the better chances of the two teams out there, with one or two shots going close by Bernd Leno’s goal. We were granted a penalty six minutes into the second half, but sadly it was cancelled out by VAR because Nicolas Pépé was deemed to be offside in the build-up, and a couple of minutes’ later, Everton’s penalty appeal was cancelled out by VAR also. And so it goes. Just before the hour mark, we nearly had a classic own-goal situation when Calum Chambers put in a low cross from the right flank, Mason Holgate took a massive swing at it, but it flew off the outside of his boot and into the side-netting. Nearly. After a free-kick on the left, when Nicolas Pépé was chopped to the ground by Mason Holgate (who was booked for his trouble), Rob Holding’s subsequent shot fired over the bar from close range; Dani Ceballos took a quick, strong shot from outside the box which was parried by Jordan Pickford for an Arsenal corner, which was cleared by the Everton defence. With about a quarter of an hour of the match remaining, in an effort to liven up proceedings, Nicolas Pépé and Eddie Nketiah were replaced by Martin Ødegaard and Gabriel Martinelli. A minute or so later, the visitors took the lead when Richarlison cut in from the right flank, crossed the ball, and somehow the ball bounced off the inside of Bernd Leno’s leg and into the net. Now we were chasing the game, and with decent chances very few and far between, it became a big problem for our chaps. Calum Chambers was replaced by Willian with eight minutes of the game remaining, and despite having fresh legs out there, it did not appear to make a whole lot of difference at all. With the game running down, we made a last gasp attack on the Everton goal, but we were unable to breeak down their defence adequately.enough to score the equalising goal. Twice in less than a minute, Jordan Pickford kept his side in the game, but the harder we tried, the more we got nowhere, and when referee Jonathan Moss blew the final whistle, it was a massive sense of disappointment on our behalf.

The most exciting thing about tonight was the thousand or so Arsenal supporters outside the ground protesting over the Super League debacle earlier in the week. This match was turgid, boring and pointless, and how can it be? With fifty-nine per cent posession, fourteen shots on goal (three on target), how did we end up with this result this evening? With Villareal on the horizon next Thursday, we had truly better pull our collective socks up. Or else.

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: Villareal at Estadio de la Cerámica on Thursday, 29th April at 8.00pm(Europa League). 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.

The European Super League – Trying to make sense of why Arsenal led the way

First of all let me preface this piece by saying I’m not “in favour” of the proposed European Super League. In principle I’m fully against the idea. However, I’m about to try and make sense of Arsenal’s position in the middle of it all and why it’s possibly the “right” (bear with me) thing to do. I’ve also laid out some stark warning signs for us at the bottom of this piece.

Let’s just cover off one of the important things here – every other Premier League club would have signed-up to this if given the opportunity. Leeds United’s cheap PR trick with their t-shirts trying to embarrass Liverpool Football Club last night was crass, coming as it did from a club which spent 16 years outside the top division, and bankrupted themselves, having tried to crack the Premier League and Europe by spending money they didn’t have – by which I mean they were a prime example of the greed and spending that has put football in this position in the first place. Sky and the other broadcasters can do one too as their opposition is purely based on the potential loss of their own cash-cows knowing Amazon and the clubs would blow them out of the water when the TV rights are franchised.

So what about Arsenal? Why should they be in this? The fact is, in my view, that Arsenal needed to be part of this in order to try and dine at the top table from here on. We are way behind the 8-ball when compared to Chelsea, Man City, Barcelona and Real Madrid (and PSG) because our billionaire owner (or the King of Spain in certain cases) does not bankroll us. Some supporters lament that fact and some take it as a badge of honour that Arsenal try to compete without “buying” success outright. Strategically, Arsenal’s position in the middle of this whole thing has to be a “good” move to secure our position. If it all goes up in smoke we’re not really any worse off, and we’re also well placed to do well out of any compromise that might be reached. On the other hand, if it does go ahead, it’s far more important to be inside this particular tent than looking on enviously.

Is that “fair” on other clubs? Is that “good for football” in general? I’d say it’s not, but football is big business which makes it a cutthroat industry, whether we supporters like it or not, and if Arsenal are to remain relevant (by which I mean not being a West Ham or an Everton, for example) they have to be involved at the very start of things. 

Of course the big losers all across the piece will be supporters. It opens up the new league to games being played all round the world for a genuinely global audience. The term “legacy fan” has started to be used. What an insult that is. Where do these “legacy” supporters fit in? The fact is we don’t, because our clubs are literally owned by individuals, most of them geographically (never mind philosophically) distanced from the entity over which they preside. They are not custodians, they are investors – certainly in the case of the Kroenke family. Investors want to make money, not spend it. The “legacy fans” do not necessarily spend a fortune in the online shop, or buy expensive PPV TV subscriptions. The new worldwide fanbases do.

This is a massive crossroads moment for football, where the chance exists to reform or remove UEFA and FIFA (something I consider to be a pretty decent option, incidentally, especially if it means ending the farcical “international level” of the game) but at the cost perhaps of something quite fundamental to the game and the people who follow it. 

It’s also a massive crossroads moment for Arsenal and Stan Kroenke. While I think we’re better off in this small and unpopular group at the moment, the problem for us is what does Stan do if it goes pear-shaped? We know he’s not putting his money into Arsenal either way. But will he just sell up for a profit, and who would that be to? Or will he punish those who will have derailed his investment by running Arsenal into the ground, selling off the assets as he goes? 

If you think the European Super League is a scary proposition, just imagine Arsenal once it had been asset-stripped by an owner who holds no affiliation to us whatsoever. This is the hand we have found ourselves dealt, so for the moment I’m going to sit and wait and see how this pans out. If I was a betting man I’d say there’ll be a compromise that mostly suits the 12 clubs first and foremost. One thing for certain is that UEFA, the Premier League, Sky, BBC, BT Sport etc, need the clubs more than the owners of the clubs need those organisations.

Note: This blog was written prior to last nights announcement that all 6 English teams had pulled out

Dover Marksman