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December 14, 2015 09:42 UTC
April 1, 2009 12:42 UTC

On Rotation: Or Why Not To Worry About Joel Campbell

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Ask Arsenal fans who their favourite player of the last fifteen years is, and the chances are a reasonable proportion will pick Thierry Henry. While Henry was obviously a brilliant player, much of the unequivocal positivity about his Arsenal career stems from the lack of internet streams ten years ago.

The team ain't bad: a post-August appraisal

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How quickly people forget
At some point in your education, you probably were asked the question "why does a goldfish not get bored swimming round and round in a small bowl, especially when it does nothing but this?"

And you probably pondered: maybe the goldfish sees people walking past outside the bowl and this stimulates it?

Two weeks in: cause for optimism

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Francis Coquelin and Arsenal's system
Officially, Arsenal play 4-2-3-1. More realistically, it's closer to a diamonded 4-3-3, with a midfield three of Francis Coquelin with Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla ahead (with Cazorla drifting in so much, he can only nominally be considered a left-sided player, even when deployed there), and Mesut Ozil at the tip of that diamond.

Arsenal season preview 2015-16

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When I walked into the Emirates on Sunday, my only concern was that something had to give. For all Arsenal had enjoyed a successful pre-season and West Ham had struggled past the third-best team in Malta before being knocked out of the Europa League by Astra Giurgiu, I was concerned that at some point, Arsenal's sensational record against bottom-half teams was going to take a hit.

Arsenal season review 2014-15

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When I wrote my season preview back in August, I suggested that Arsenal would need to improve markedly this season just to stay still. It was oddly prescient of a debate which has been playing out over the last few weeks over whether Arsenal did indeed improve over the course of 2014-15, compared to the previous season.

Ospina the mean man

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In the age of the internet, it's become harder to have a nuanced view of footballers. They become viewed through a binary prism of good or bad, and that's that. So when a player who has received some criticism does something good, people use this as evidence to say "everything you said before must be wrong"!

Chelsea fans and the Paris Metro incident: what to make of it?

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I am almost certain that no club in English league football has entirely eradicated racism from their fancies. I've argued in the past with the REDaction Twitter account (the biggest Arsenal supporters' group) when they've pointed out racism at other clubs and mocked them - on one count, racism is still a disease which affects clubs north and south, those supported by the ‘liberal metropolitan elites' and those who have a more ‘traditional' fanbase.

Five thoughts on Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2

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Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2

Liverpool were there for the taking in the second half
Something I've written about before is about how pressing isn't some kind of absolute good thing, contrary to what many people tell you. And thus it was born out: ten of the Liverpool starting line-up had started against Bournemouth in midweek and having given an enormous amount in energy in the first half to only go in level, they started to tire.

Five thoughts on Stoke 3 Arsenal 2

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Stoke 3 Arsenal 2

The question of the manager
It strikes me that perhaps the most fallacious narrative of modern football is that in which the football manager is depicted as far more important than the players. It's a narrative perpetuated by clubs regularly changing managers at the slightest sign of a negative run of results, but exacerbated by the focus amongst analysts on tactics (as opposed to stamina, luck, personnel etc).

Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2. Confirmation bias is alive and well.

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Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2

In his book about Pep Guardiola's first season at Bayern Munich, Marti Perarnau recounts asking Guardiola what the best performance was from his Barcelona side in the time he managed them between 2008 and 2011. Guardiola ponders for a while before answering.

It's all about the money, money, money

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Across Arsene Wenger's 18 years in charge, there have been few consistent trends. One that does stand though is that Arsenal have pretty much always done better in seasons not preceded by an international tournament. The three seasons in which Arsenal have won the League under Wenger, he had a full pre-season.

Five thoughts on Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0

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Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0

This was not "same old, same old"
For sixty minutes, Arsenal were very good. Playing a better team away from home, Arsenal were reasonably in control. One moment of skill from Eden Hazard had cut Arsenal open but for the most part, Arsenal were defensively solid and producing quick counter attacks.

It Ain't So Bad

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A couple of years back Arsenal had a Dutchman playing up front who scored lots and lots of goals. So people drew up pointless League tables showing "Arsenal without Van Persie" to show the team's dependency on him.

In case you were in any doubt, this was an immensely stupid thing to do.

Six thoughts on Arsenal 2 Man City 2

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Arsenal 2 Man City 2

This was good fun
Social media has seen a great democratisation of football analysis, with every man and his dog able to have a view on things, but it's also led to a 24/7 discussion of all things Arsenal, leading to people taking football far too seriously.

5 thoughts on the Champions League draw

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Most fans' views on Twitter are very odd
Of all the bizarre complaints, people who were asking not to draw Olympiacos were the strangest.

If you're somebody who actually goes to matches, every person I know who's been to Athens (whether for Arsenal or just for a holiday) has said what a great city it is - even if they've been multiple times.