Arsenal’s fire in the belly ignited by Aubameyang

Online Editorial: Pressure off, Arsenal’s stiffs come good at Burnley

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Aubameyang – Two goals for a share of the golden boot

Ed’s note – my thanks to Jon and Richard Hossain for stepping in to cover me for the editorial on yesterday’s match, which I was unable to see.

So we end up fifth and Aubameyang with a share of the golden boot. At the beginning of the season that probably would be seen as progress, but it could have been much more. An away trip to a northern town used to be a regular event, we’ve just got Burnley now and today for a change the sun was shining as opposed to the norm of driving rain or snow. A few in the away end wore traditional end of season fancy dress, but there were many more empty seats than normal and the support was quite subdued. Arsenal wore that awful toothpaste kit (for the last time) which normally sets the insipid tone. Seeing Mike Dean stroll out with the match ball didn’t help either.

End of season dead rubbers can have the air of a testimonial and we started like that. The first half brought back memories of Leicester away and other recent games, Burnley should have been two ahead, no urgency from the Gunners, no bite and poor passing. A cautious approach which I associate with our manager of late. The home side should have been down to 10 due to a blatant handball by their keeper which Dean of course called as a yellow. 

In the second half Burnley did us a favour by kicking our players, which woke them up. In fairness Ashley Barnes did this all game. You could also suggest that we also improved after the goal made entirely by Aubameyang’s pressing. Motivated players are a different kettle of fish, tackles went in, the passing was crisper and the opponents were closed down. It definitely worked on Iwobi, what a change to see him stand up and give some back. If he works on his end product, we have a player here.

Two goals from Auba shut up the home support (who sang some pretty distasteful songs about Jack Walker) the second was a particularly good finish, but he really could have scored more and won the golden boot outright. Pleased to see Eddie and Joe Willock get a run out, more academy players please. Eddie got a goal at the death, his first in the league, which I couldn’t see due to the awful view in that ground, but at least I wasn’t on the wooden benches this time.

If this was an audition for a place in the cup final team, then I think only Leno and Auba passed. We play in a different style with Leno in goal, he is an extra outfield player and did mug off one of their forwards. Cech is likely to play in the final, but he isn’t our best keeper. I hope that is the last time I see some of these players in an Arsenal shirt. If we had shown a quarter of that second half determination in the last few games, we’d be in the top 4, perhaps even 3rd. It’s difficult to judge this game in isolation when you’ve seen our recent games.

I do question the coach over the run-in with his selections, substitutions and why he could not put a fire in their belly. The language and communication must be a factor, “good ebening” can only go so far. Is it still too early to judge Unai? If he pulls out a win in Baku the season will have to be viewed through that prism, but is it still papering over cracks? This team needs investment. If that doesn’t happen it’ll be more of what could have been and the Bruce Rioja theme will continue. Baku is huge for us. This season seems to have flown by, but it’s not over yet… Come on you Gunners!

 

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18
comments

  1. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    May 14, 2019, 13:18 #113843

    Hi Ron - yep that is Fred Clarke between Joe and John Barnwell.

  2. itsRonagain2

    May 14, 2019, 13:06 #113841

    SKG - Thanks matey. Is id Fred Clarke between Baker and Barnwell? I cant recall his name and i didnt get him. All the others OK though. Blimey, memories eh! Yes, its Court.

  3. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    May 14, 2019, 12:50 #113840

    It'sRon - it certainly is John Sneddon my friend, I can name most of them including Vic Groves, Fred Clarke and I think a young David Court.

  4. peter wain

    May 14, 2019, 12:18 #113839

    my dad called Alan Skirton grace and hated him. I remember when we lost to Peterborough that he flick on the ball for Radford to score.

  5. itsRonagain2

    May 14, 2019, 11:08 #113838

    SKG - its John Sneddon isnt it on the back row?

  6. itsRonagain2

    May 14, 2019, 11:01 #113837

    Paul James - sorry matey but we didn't get top 4 because over the Season the team were s--t and lacked effort, resolve and character away from home.

  7. itsRonagain2

    May 14, 2019, 10:56 #113836

    SKG - Ive just seen the pic on the Somerset live thing about AS. Check it out matey. Who is that between Geoff Strong and Dave Bacuzzi (i think) on the back right row? Also, who is that between Baker and Barnwell on the front row? I cant place those two.

  8. itsRonagain2

    May 14, 2019, 10:46 #113835

    SKG - i ll second that mate. Good pic in yesterdays on line Mail of AS , Ure, Joe Baker, Sammels and Willow. Evokes good memories from being a young kid going to Highbury. I never actually saw AS play live.

  9. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    May 14, 2019, 09:27 #113834

    So sorry to hear about the passing away of Alan Skirton - "Sir Alan" as my father called him could be unplayable on his day. He gave me and my dad a great Christmas present in the 61 - 62 season. Arsenal beat, the then champions Tottenham 2 - 1 at Highbury after being a goal down, Alan equalized and Mel Charles "shinned" in the winner on the day before Christmas Eve. Alan was best on a muddy pitch and look out when he went on a run, got a lot of stick towards the end of days at Arsenal but so did many others in the mid sixties, scored a great hat trick, again on a muddy pitch at Hillsborough as we beat Sheffield Wednesday 4 - 0 (note a clean sheet) Alan Skirton was very much at the core of my formative years of being an Arsenal supporter, condolences to his family.

  10. Nigel

    May 13, 2019, 20:43 #113833

    Paul, you don't have to go as far back as the Spurs match for missed opportunities. Beating Brighton, you know the team that finished one place above the relegation zone, at home would have meant 4th place. I am concerned about Emery's apparent lack of ability to motivate players.

  11. markymark

    May 13, 2019, 18:22 #113832

    John F with the money that Real has courtesy of the Spanish Government , you could imagine them offering 120ml for both and we’d probably do it. Only to see Harry Kane being sold for 150ml the month after. If we went 4-4-2 which I know is unfashionable , we’d actually have one of the best forward lines in Europe. Btw I saw Real Sociedad give Madrid a right lesson yesterday so they do need to splurge they look like they could be doing a UTD.

  12. John F

    May 13, 2019, 17:58 #113831

    I agree Mark on the young players, I hope he has been keeping tabs on Belik at Charlton as well and Saka looks very promising.Worrying rumours about Barca and Real Madrid being after our front two.It could mean we do a Liverpool style cash in, the only problem is I do not believe Stan would allow the reinvestment of all the funds.

  13. markymark

    May 13, 2019, 17:08 #113830

    Gooner Ron - I wouldn’t even bother going to the market to replace Ramsay I’d just put Willock in. My reasoning is that Ramsay was so often injured we constantly had to make do without . By promoting Willock , AMN and bringing back Smith Rowe . The money could be spent on the defence and looking at the wings . Emery will have failed in my view if he doesn’t bring on the youth over 30+ European players. We have a sparkling youth. 50m could well be enough to really kick on

  14. markymark

    May 13, 2019, 17:00 #113829

    I keep on seeing people blaming Auba personally for not finishing top 4? What is it with our support when we bash 2 of the most clinical forwards currently in the Premier. Try Sanchez and Lukaku instead. We’d have been 8th. What’s gone has gone but it’s the 3 points dropped consistently away stuffed us. The Spuds lost 13 times and somehow contrived to finish above us. Onwards to Baku. However UEFA now have a major f’ing problem as they can’t guarantee the safety of one the players ( Mitty) what a bunch of clowns

  15. RobG

    May 13, 2019, 11:15 #113828

    We've got the sixth best team/squad and we've finish fifth. We also have improved 7 points. Not enough. But if we had finished seventh and were seven points worse off, I can see the reason for slagging Emery. Under these circumstances I think he has got us punching - a little bit - above our weight. The problem going forward is two fold. Firstly he probably can't shift all the deadwood in one window. Secondly, he won't get the kind of financial backing required to make the necessary changes. He will only be able to make a part improvement. He has to address the defensive side of matters and not just with two or three players but also with improved defensive coaching. Wenger did not. And he will be damned if he doesn't - starting in the closed season. The other - positive - is that he must bring on two or three of our younger players. Stop loaning them out and throw them in - to the squad. It's a risk but he has little choice. Finally before all that, let's give it our all in Baku - and win.

  16. GoonerRon

    May 13, 2019, 11:10 #113827

    I must have watched a different game as I thought we battled well and undoubtedly worked hard. Yes we can under pressure and they had some chances but we didn’t buckle and always looked dangerous ourselves. As for failing cup final auditions, perhaps not enough to get them into the starting line up considering their recent form, but Mustafi, Guendouzi, Mkhi and Iwobi played their best games in months to these eyes. I really like Willock - get him in the first team squad next season.

  17. Don Howe

    May 13, 2019, 10:48 #113826

    How please is it possible to motivate millionaires if they can't be bothered? This won't be solved until we get rid of the TV money in the game, if ever. I learn of AFTV this morning that the 6000 seats decision may be deliberate, BECAUSE Baku is so hard to get to. This makes me laugh. The suits in Berne imagine that the fans don't matter. I doubt the TV companies think so. In any event, this will all carry on getting more and more ridiculous until the fans and the clubs throw an elbow. The clubs (all of them) should tell UEFA that the finalists will chose a mutually convenient venue with an allocation of 40% of the tickets for each club. If they don't like it, they can put their football shorts on and entertain the crowd themselves. A failure of the clubs to do this really speak volumes about how much they actually think of us.

  18. Pauljames

    May 13, 2019, 09:25 #113825

    Can’t argue that 5 th is about right for us this season, but boy have we lived to regret Aubas late penalty miss at Spurs. That and Ramsey missing the last 6 games were key to us not finishing any higher.