Category Archives: Chary

Man at the Match, Chary: Arsenal second string lose out in Capitol One Cup.

A goal conceded in each half eased Arsenal’s fixture congestion problems by ushering them out of a Cup competition which many will say was our fourth priority of the season. The first goal due to a defensive howler and slightly fortunate ricochet/shot and the second half goal an inevitable result of the home team pushing up for an equaliser and being open enough for the petro-dollar team to launch a counter, which Mata expertly finished.

After the hard fought league victory against Palace at the previous weekend the attention was on the starting XI to see who would be rested for the visit of the Bin dippers for the next league game. A cold night at the Emirates saw Rambo surprisingly start with the rest of the team, Kozzer aside, being as we’d expect with BFG, Gibbs, Sagna, Giroud and Özzy left out.

The first unwelcome surprise of the night was the 4-5 block allocation given to the West London plastics.

Mourinho Groupies

CSKA Fulham Bus Stop

For League games 2-3 blocks seems to be the allocation yet this time the blue hordes had spread, like vermin, beyond this and made the extra noise commensurate with their larger allocation.

Two main features of the away support was the persistent shout of “Show us your European Cup” – to which the home support countered with “Where were you when you were shit ?” and, secondly, an almost prepubescent style gushing worship of Abramovich’s (current) favourite eye gouger Jose, the Specious one, Mourinho.

Who's eye can I gouge ?

Who’s eye can I gouge ?

The Justin Bieber-like worship of Eye Gouger by the Chavs made me think it would only be a matter of time before soiled Y fronts would be hurled at their beloved José from the away end as a sign of their devotion.

Initially the possession and play was fairly even and with the onus on arsenal at home to attack so they pressed more, however as with all Mourinho teams the defence was packed and every time the good guys attacked the Chavski penalty area was packed with the blue-kitted Mourinho automatons.

Chavski were happy to counter attack while staying solid/turgid, but it was one of these counterattacks that was partially cleared but led to a looping ball just outside the Arsenal penalty area.

This was not dealt with by Jenks properly and his attempted headed return to Fabianski in goal failed to reach him and fell invitingly for a Chav player to rifle through his legs for the first CSKA Fulham bus stop goal.

To the home crowds credit there was still the will to urge the team on to equalise and while Rambo played his usual for this year, sterling effort in midfield and Santi showed touches of genius, surprisingly Nacho man Monreal seemed quite an attacking threat on our left flank. The first half finished with Arsenal still pushing forward and the mood fairly optimistic amongst the home support.

The second half began and the away support were even more obnoxious than before with various snide and crude chants directed at Arsenal and Wenger, with a lot of finger provocative finger wagging at the home support going unchecked by the stewards whilst at least three Gooners ejected for responding to the provocation or just for standing up to respond.

Of the non-first team players Nacho man seemed to impress the most especially attacking wise suggesting he is a possible option on the left side of midfield.

Monreal unimpressed with Chavski free kick award

Monreal unimpressed with Chavski free kick award

Sadly, however, Ryo looked far from ready and the way in which he was constantly shrugged off the ball reminded me of watching Carlos Vela in Cup competitions in years past where it appears he’s not up to the physical side of playing in England.

With time ticking away Wenger brought on Özzy to create a way pass the solid wall of blue defending Schwarzer’s goal.
Within minutes of that, as Arsenal pushed forward ever more desperately the inevitable sucker punch was duly applied as our two centre backs for the day left a huge gap between them which Mata ran into and volleyed in a superb second goal.

The sucker punch delivered

The sucker punch delivered

This sent the already raucous away support into further paroxysms of delight and I noticed many Arsenal players shoulders sag at this point.

Giroud was then brought on to replace a largely ineffective Bendtner however despite finally getting some shots on target the feeling that there was going to be no arsenal goals intensified as shots went just wide and Arsenal’s forward players couldn’t find a way through the Chavski robots who were happy to sit back given their two goal lead.

The game wound down as predictably Mourinho used his subs to break up the rhythm of the last few minutes play and allowed Mata to be applauded off; a smattering of applause from the home support showed we have the class to appreciate a good player.

Demba Ba to me seemed just like a clumsy battering ram who barged his abut the final third with little intent on doing anything with the ball.

Final whistle

Too many empty seats

The final whistle went with swathes of empty seats on show and a chill wind starting to whip up from the concourses. To me there seemed an inevitability about the remorseless progress of the Chavski team through the game and in the competition as a whole and as much as I find Mourinho to be a despicable so and so and the ultimate personification of preening narcissism he does build an air of invincibility about his teams, whatever the personnel he uses.

On the up side we have one less competition in which we have to stretch the resources of our injury ravaged squad for yet I hope this defeat won’t damage the morale and confidence of a team on top of the league.

UTA !

By ChärybdÏß1966 (on Twitter @charybdis1966)

Man at the Match, Chary: Arsenal Out-stoke Stoke to go top of the table

After conceding an unlucky equaliser to an Aaron Ramsey opening goal Arsenal’s defenders stepped up to put the game beyond Stoke with two more goals from set pieces to ease Arsenal to the top of the table.

Having held Man City to a nil all bore draw at home last time out Stoke were fancied by some in the media to take a “plucky” point from the soft, southern boys from London.

An hour or so before kickoff a welcoming committee of fans were out in force with their number 11 shirts to welcome the umlauted ex Real Madrid playmaker, M Özil.

In front of the Armoury

In front of the Armoury

The weather for the game was as you’d expect for late autumn in southern England, overcast with a light wind and a temperature around the twenty degree mark. Not ideal for rugby but better for football, no prizes for guessing which team would choose to which sport to play.

A rather unwelcome surprise just before kick-off was the news that Theo was out, not even in the squad, due to an, unspecified at the time, injury and young Serge Gnabry was to step into the breach on the right wing.

The early pattern of crowd behaviour set the tone of the game: the Stoke fans would chant their worship of chief Orc Ryan Sha***ss, from the second minute onward as I noted, and the aforementioned Orc’s every touch would be greeted by boos/whistles from the home supporters(and me of course) all game long. This happened to such a degree that he didn’t seem to want to dwell on the ball.

All the pre match excitement had been about Özil’s home debut and the script could not have gone better for him as the first of many fouls committed by one of Stoke’s lumpen defenders resulted in a free kick that Mesut stepped up to take.

Having deliberately placed the ball yards in front of me at the corner flag of the Clock End and the west stand the ball was swung in by our £42.4m man.

Waiting for Özil's free kick to come in

Waiting for Özil’s free kick to come in

The ball dropped into the penalty area and Begovic, in goal for Stoke, seemed to have it covered yet amazingly it popped out and one of our players pounced to lash in the spilled ball. When I realised it was Rambo the arced run to the opposite corner flag, in front of the away support, made sense.

Never has “One Aaron Ramsey” been sung with such gusto and vehemence in the face of the away support who were still holding him responsible for psychological damage to their ‘ickle Captain.

How to silence the Stoke supporters

How to silence the Stoke supporters

For most of the first half the Arsenal midfield kept a strong hold of the game with Flamini’s bow legged running style combining well with Ramsey’s athletic all action brand of midfieldmanship. While all the attention was on our star signing Flamini added some strength to the team and impressed me to the extent it could have been like watching our midfield of 2008.

Later in the game he would pump his fists at the crowd to ask for their help in keeping the tempo up by urging the team on, to which the crowd responded – he seems to have been forgiven for the manner of his departure. If he carries performing as he has and I will cheer him on as much as I would Santi, Prince Poldi, Kozzer or anyone else who busts a gut for the team.

Then came the undeserved Stoke equaliser, from a long diagonal ball (how often do Arsenal get undone by those?) that luckily fell onto the boot of an onrushing Stoke forward who half volleyed his shot onto the post. Six inches to the left and Chesney had it covered, six inches to the right and it goes wide, but bang in the middle it ricochets off the post precisely into the path of another Stoke player who barely had to change his stride pattern to rifle his shot in.

This transformed the away section into a mob with incomprehensible chants (they sang the Spud’s song “When the Spurs go marching in” and the Rugby union song “Swing high, swing low” just to revel in their notoriety as a rugby team playing in a football league) where before they didn’t have much to say.

Now in seasons gone past the Ashburton Grove crowd would have transmitted their nervousness to the team with groans, but from the resumption “Come on arsenal” was the message.

Soon enough Gnabry’s growing confidence, after being slightly overawed at the start of the game, led him to run the channels enough to force a corner which was to be taken by you know who.

Taking a corner

Taking a corner

An Özil outswinger led to a back flicked sort of header from the BFG that looped into goal to rightly restore the Arsenal’s lead, cue the “Who are you?” shouts eyes right to the away section that was silenced again, 2-1 to the good guys.

The second half started a bit slower and yet the Arsenal’s midfield still exerted a control on the game although Chesney did have to make some important saves. Stoke did push forward a bit more but their lack of quality showed in the number of through passes that led nowhere and overhit crosses that went into touch, appropriate to a team of rugger players.

It has to repeated that I’m proud of the way that every touch the Stoke skipper took was greeted by boos – this is what home support should be all about, make it uncomfortable for opposition players. So when the Sh*****ss showed dissent to the lino in front of me for giving a goal kick rather than a Stoke corner, most of my section got up with me to wave arms and shout at the number 17 to stop arguing and get on with it.

This led to him getting a talking to from Mike Dean as he was alerted to the dissent by the home supporters reaction, kudos my gooners!

A word for the referee, for once he had little effect on the game by making any incorrect decisions so perhaps Mike Dean is turning over a new leaf and being the impartial enforcer of the rules he should always have been.

While Wishere was being prepared to be subbed, and yours truly was trying to ascertain who were the other three parts of our double substitution, another Özil free kick was being lined up; as it was at the North Bank end of the stadium, opposite to where I was, I saw little of the goal other than Sagna’s run to the corner flag and celebration.

Distant fuzzy shot of Sagna's goal celeb

Distant fuzzy shot of Sagna’s goal celeb

So three goals from three set pieces – against the team who are set piece specialists – who’d a thunk it ?

A welcome return to the ranks for the man with Lego perfect hair, Arteta, was the only further incident on the pitch, while off it the sight of flailing arms amongst the away section pointed to some ejections from the ground. So Stoke supporters start fighting amongst themselves and they get chucked out, who knew?

Three satisfying points

Three satisfying points

At the final whistle while Arsenal fans could bask in the view from the top of the table while the journey back to Mordor was about to start for “Sparky” Hughes’ team and their supporters.

Three points earned and returning first team players on the horizon, a satisfying way to finish September, UTA !

By ChärybdÏß1966 (on Twitter @charybdis1966)

Relegation is hard to stomach

Man at the Match, Chary: Arsenal rain on Wigan’s parade

Despite the award of a free kick for a non-foul that led to an undeserved Wigan equaliser to Podolski’s early strike, Arsenal bit back in the second half to score 3 goals in a 15 minute spell and trounce championship bound Wigan.

As the rain came down in relentless sheets on the red corner of North London the Arsenal faced up to a Wigan side fresh from a giant killing of Roberto Mancini’s former team, Manchester City.

The neon lighting around the Ashburton Grove stadium combined with the heavy bursts of rain to give the look of a Blade Runner inspired backdrop but with a cool autumnal feel despite it being mid-May.

With all but the ever injured Abou Diaby available for selection the major choices for Wenger would have been whether Gibbs and Flappy would return to the starting XI at the expense of Monreal and Chesney, with the latter having done nothing to deserve being dropped, in the event the return of Gibbs was the only change.

Wigan’s support were squeezed into one block, rather than the three away clubs normally get probably due to their supporters opting for the Wembley fixture of their 2 London dates in the space of four days.

Wigan squeezed  into 1 block

As the game kicked off the Wigan danger man McManaman was given license to run their right wing however it was clear early on that Gibbs had the measure of him – Kieran’s anticipation of his interplay with Maloney prevented anything of consequence developing offense wise for Wigan.

While there was a little tension in the air around the stadium Gooners would have done well to realise that Wigan’s defence has been leaky most of the season and so it was to prove. A cross into their box was headed in, with little challenge from the Wigan defenders, by Podolski to put the good guys one up fairly early. Due to Arteta losing the toss we attacked the North bank in the first half, and not the second as is usual, so my view on the goal was a distant one as I was in the Clock end lower tier.

The rain carried on saturating the players and the pitch and possibly Mike Dean’s brain as he gave the first of two Wigan free kicks for fouls of what seemed to be of minimal contact and close to the edge of our penalty area.

The first of the free kicks went into the wall and ricocheted off in my direction to the right of the goal but the second 30 seconds before half time beat Chesney’s left hand.

The sense of injustice of an equalising goal coming from the “Dean effect” galvanised the crowd and the aforementioned official and his team left the pitch to a justified chorus of boos and whistles.

The atmosphere at the stadium could have gone one of two ways in the second half – either nervous anxiety or defiance and support of a team that deserved to be winning. It went the second way and it has to be said the way the crowd got behind the team and didn’t let the officials get any respite from home crowd pressure or the timewasting by the Wigan players (the goalie, who was given the countdown, or the player who got booked for slowing down the taking of the corner) go unnoticed.

The Arsenal were now attacking the goal in front of me and it seemed the team were being energised by the crowd to get the win that was rightfully theirs with Cazorla being effective in decisive bursts.

Goalmouth melee

All of a sudden he was running towards me, down our right wing, and a cross was slung in towards Theo. At that point time appeared to slow:

Oh, it’s bobbling around in there, wouldn’t it be nice if Theo got onto that, but wait the goalie has ploughed into him, that’s a penalty surely, never mind it’s a goal now as he’s bundled it in!

It was nothing more than Arsenal deserved and the crowd felt the vindication of taking a lead that was lawfully theirs.

About 25 minutes or so to go, would we hold onto the lead? Moments later, all of a sudden Podolski latched onto a through ball from Santi, who I think took advantage of napping by the Wigan defence to send in a quick cross, and Lukas duly lobbed the floundering Joel in the Latics goal.

Pod's second

Relief! A two goal buffer, one that this more defensively resilient Arsenal would surely hold onto. However yet another telling through ball from Santi set off Rambo on a marauding left wing run, which just as I saw the whites of his eyes he flashed them to the side and curled in a delicious goal past the keeper who was expecting him to cross, and made it four goals for Arsenal. After another lung busting performance in a dynamic midfield the supporters to a man were elated for Aaron, who thoroughly deserved to score

Rambo goal golf

A few late subs saw Jack return; he suffered his first foul (one that Dean even called) after being on the field for five seconds and our skipper come on after Oxo.

4-1, a decisive score line and one that started the exits of the bedraggled Wigan supporters to begin their long journey up north to Lancashire, where they would contemplate life in the Championship come August. To the Arsenal supporters credit when the Wigan team went to clap their fans at the final whistle they also applauded the team and their remaining fans.

Relegation is hard to stomach

The chants of “We’re coming for you, we’re coming for yoooo—uuu, Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you” rang out at fulltime and while the job is not finished the home season ended on a high note and the lap of appreciation was warmly received and all thoughts would then be focused on final fixture against Newcastle.

Lap of appreciation

It’s been a rough old season and your humble scribe hopes you enjoyed this season’s reports and looks forward to a win on Sunday to salvage a season that started off inauspiciously.

UTA!

By Charybdis1966, on Youtube and Twitter.