The 2019-2020 Football Thread

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
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The Far Horizon
An Arsenal-supporting friend of mine has been in a season-long sulk - not so much because Arsenal are in the wilderness at the moment, but because he fears Liverpool will go undefeated and "take the Invincibles season away from us. That's all we have left!"

For the record, while it is certainly possible, I doubt Liverpool will do it. They still have to go to Man City, for one thing. There is a reason only two teams have ever done it In English top division football (with a shout out to Preston North End 1888-1889, the original Invincibles). I do think Liverpool will finish the season with substantially fewer draws than Arsenal did in 2003-04 (13), though perhaps not fewer than Preston's Invincibles managed (just 4, wow!).
No, I'm not in a season long sulk re Liverpool - that sort of outlook is self-defeating, to my mind.

Good luck to them if and when they win the Premiership.

I'd rather salute excellence where I find it.

Re Arsenal, my frustration, (rather than a sulk) lies with the fact that the well known issues of lapses in concentration, lack of mobility, and focus, (and possibly, fitness) in that notoriously porous and brittle defence are not new, and have not been seriously addressed for the best part of four years.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
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May 7, 2004
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Sod off
Re Arsenal, my frustration, (rather than a sulk) lies with the fact that the well known issues of lapses in concentration, lack of mobility, and focus, (and possibly, fitness) in that notoriously porous and brittle defence are not new, and have not been seriously addressed for the best part of four years.
Most of the Arsenal fans I speak with are simply hoping to see a little stability in the club. Arteta can't bring that on his own; this is a period of transition as the club owner and suits try to negotiate the first several post-Wenger years. Could be bumpy for a bit, but now is the time to see what Arsenal's leadership are capable of...
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
49,162
33,061
The Far Horizon
Most of the Arsenal fans I speak with are simply hoping to see a little stability in the club. Arteta can't bring that on his own; this is a period of transition as the club owner and suits try to negotiate the first several post-Wenger years. Could be bumpy for a bit, but now is the time to see what Arsenal's leadership are capable of...
Couldn't agree more.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
49,162
33,061
The Far Horizon
But another red card. More missing games. Personally I think you aren’t going to get a Europa spot. I think you’ll end up 7-9th.
Another red card, yes, but Luiz can be a bit of a loose cannon, and, in truth, I'm not all that sorry to see how the team is made to respond in his absence; however, the greater error, to my mind was that of Mustafi; his back pass was shockingly bad.

Besides, there are a few small grounds for optimism: Firstly, the transfer window is open, something positive - from a defensive or midfield position may come from it; secondly, Bellerin returned after ages out injured, played well, and actually scored - his loss for much of last season was deeply felt.

Thirdly, the ban on Aubamayang will be lifted shortly, and the team showed an ability to find scores from other sources.

And fourthly, Arsenal actually showed some backbone last night - by coming back twice from behind. They fought back, and never gave up. For, when they went behind a second time, I had resigned myself to defeat; far too often, they have been profligate and wasteful in front of goal, wasting and scorning chances; last night, they converted their slim pickings and chances - they had two shots on goal all night, and from those, they scored two goals.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
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May 7, 2004
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Sod off
Luiz is a laugh a minute. A one man comedy football show.

It's ultimately a good result for Arsenal - not just because they drew in a stadium where they usually lose, or that they came back from a losing position to get the draw, and did it with 10 men...though those are all factors. Maybe Arteta is on to something here. If he can sustain these kinds of performances, and if the club supports him in the summer, they could be set for a period of genuine improvement in status.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
49,162
33,061
The Far Horizon
Luiz is a laugh a minute. A one man comedy football show.

It's ultimately a good result for Arsenal - not just because they drew in a stadium where they usually lose, or that they came back from a losing position to get the draw, and did it with 10 men...though those are all factors. Maybe Arteta is on to something here. If he can sustain these kinds of performances, and if the club supports him in the summer, they could be set for a period of genuine improvement in status.
Agree with your post.

While the focus is on Luiz - and he obviously weighed up the choice of a definite goal after Mustafi's disastrous error in the form of a shockingly bad pass allowed Tammy Abraham through on goal, versus a possible yellow card and a possible missed, or saved, penalty - the irony is that the team, arguably played better without him, and he should not have been put in that position in the first place.

Having said that, also worth noting, despite the plethora of draws, is that Arteta has lost only one game out of the seven played since he took charge. Whatever else, he is slowly managing to install some fight, focus and steel into the side.
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
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May 7, 2004
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Sod off
That's why I've referred to him as David Lulz for years now. He's always good for it.

Still, Arsenal earned an impressive point at the Bridge without him.
It's easy to laugh at his expense (and I do), but as @Scepticalscribe pointed out he and Leno were placed in an impossible situation by Mustafi's suicidal backpass. A goal was all but inevitable the moment Abraham pounced on the ball. Of course, the thing that makes David Luiz David Luiz is what happened next. A more, erm, controlled center back (or a slightly faster one) would have focused on getting inside Abraham and shepherding him out to a less favorable position, or at least making him rush the shot and maybe put it wide or over. Instead Luiz just plowed straight into him, and that was that.
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 7, 2004
13,685
2,705
Sod off
Vardy just pulled a muscle, so that's two enforced subs for Leicester in the first half. But they are up 1-0. West Ham need to up their game, they could get something out of this.