Sanchez disappointed,Giroud disappointing/Bournemouth 3-3

From Simon : Sanchez frustration

I agree with your comments about Sanchez’ exasperation, especially notable in the Bournemouth game.

When he has the ball, he is always looking for the forward pass as the first option, and I noticed at a point in the second half when we had scored one or two goals and a comeback was clearly possible, he visibly dropped his head and tensed in frustration as the line of players just behind him (Ramsay, Xhaka etc.) continued to pass the ball sideways and backwards.

Just after this Sanchez repositioned himself on the halfway line behind these players, seemingly to try to break up this pattern and get the ball moving forward.

A draw was not good enough for him and he knew that with unrelenting pressure towards the opposition penalty area, we could not just draw level, but win the game. If half the team shared his drive we would have done.

From Chris Brown : Sanchez throws a wobbly, I’d have thrown something else

He had every right to be to be fuming as should every fan watching that goat Giroud act like that after shouldering one in.

I don’t know what your mailbag was like after you posted this Myles. You are not a fan though, so can be excused. ‘So Giroud, the hero once again, celebrated with a couple of mock scorpion kicks.And why not? The bearded giant had provided a goal and two assists.’

Thierry called it way back with Giroud, his celebration gave everything away, he’d been thinking about that for 91 mins.

He then had the audacity to shrug and sulk when not hit with long ball in the final few seconds – we’d have had a minute but for him and Gabriel hugging the poor sods who had to put up with that garbage for 70 mins.

Good luck Alexis, you deserve better from some of your team-mates and manager.

At least we know now that Eddie Howe is perfectly qualified to replace Wenger – the only other manager who could have thrown away such a one sided 3-goal lead.

BTW I like what he’s done Eddie and I guarantee we wouldn’t get the same old patronising guff we get year in year out from Wenger.

From Mark in Minnesota : What is this mental strength?

Hello to you Myles!

I hope that the Holiday Season has treated you well, and that 2017 brings you great joy.

I hadn’t planned on being able to watch the Arsenal-Bournemouth match today, but that all changed when I got a call from my son’s daycare. The joys of fatherhood, being called away from work to go pick up your young son who is nauseous. I will spare you the rest of the details.

As a result, we snuggled up on the couch to watch the match. Anyways, the first half of that match made me nauseous as well!

I understand that there were only 48 hours between our 2 matches, but the first half summed up why Arsenal won’t win the league under Wenger.

Bournemouth wanted it more from the kickoff. They chased every ball, pressed Arsenal, and took advantage of some terrible defending. What Bellerin was doing for the first goal is something he only knows??? Xhaka has improved over the last few months, but he has a habit of making clumsy challenges, and unfortunately they happen in some not so great areas of the pitch. 2-nil to the Cherries, and it looked like Eddie Howe was showing the Arsenal board exactly why he should take over for Lord Wenger.

Second half starts and it looks like more of the same. Bellerin gets “shrugged/pushed” off the ball, and Cech is beaten with ease. (I love Cech, and he certainly has bailed us out in his time with the club, but when is the last time the man saved a pen? Also, it seemed like he got beaten pretty easily for the other goals.)

3-o and the traveling Gooners started to sing about how embarrassing their team was. I must admit, I almost turned it off after 65 minutes of utter crap.

Time of death on Arsenal’s season, January 3, 2017…20:20BST, but then…the “mental strength” that Arsenal were lacking for 69 minutes showed up in the form of a diving header from Alexis Sanchez from Giroud’s flick-on. All of a sudden you thought Arsenal had a chance if they could score before the 80th minute.

Giroud’s scorpion kick goal was a thing of beauty, but Lucas Perez’s volley was an equal thing of gorgeousness. The man has played 11 matches total for Arsenal and scored 5 goals. Give the man some game time Arsene! He’s a goalscorer, that’s why you signed him from Deportivo in the first place. It isn’t go to kill anybody to rotate your squad.

3-2 with 15 minutes to go, and you thought Arsenal had a chance. I must admit that I thought the red card was harsh, but it was no different than the one in the West Ham game. If that was a red for the Hammers, than it had to be one for the Cherries as well.

When the board went up with 6 minutes to go, I knew we had a chance. Xhaka lifted a great ball into the box, and Giroud was there to flick it past Boruc. 3-3!!! Comeback complete! A point gained for Arsenal, and maybe a season defining moment/comeback. Life is good again in N5 London….

You didn’t think I was being serious there…did you?

As soon as the equalizer went in I thought 3 things to myself:

1. Why the hell is Giroud celebrating his goal like that?

Costa wouldn’t have done that. Drogba wouldn’t have done that. Ibra wouldn’t have done that. Suarez wouldn’t have done that.

And judging by his reaction at the end of the match, Alexis Sanchez would not have done that. Arsenal had 4 minutes to go grab a winner. 4 MINUTES!!!!

I don’t want to sound like I don’t like to have fun or see players not celebrate their goals, I love a good celebration honestly, but if you’ve just tied the match up…and you have 4 minutes to play…and the other team is down to 10 men…you grab the damn ball and go in search of a winner. If you have any “mental strength” at all, you go for the kill. All of the Arsenal players bar Gabriel were thinking the same thing, but Giroud wasted 30 valuable seconds with his “silly kicks”.

2. I knew that Wenger would crow about what great “mental strength” his team had at the end of the match.

If they had great “mental strength” in the first place, they wouldn’t have been down 3-0 to a team sitting in mid-table. I get that the Festive Period doesn’t allow you to have much time between matches, but please explain to me Lord Wenger why you haven’t been rotating your squad more?

Look how well Perez has played since you included him in the last 2 matches! Everyone wants to talk about Giroud’s scorpion goal, but I was just as impressed with Perez’s tackle that started the passage of play for it. He made the interception right next to the Arsenal box. He showed fight…he showed dedication to the cause.

3. I knew we wouldn’t win the league under Wenger again for the last 5 years, and this just highlighted it more.

Champions do come back when facing adversity, but rarely do champions come back when they shipped 3 soft goals. Had we scored the winner, maybe I’d feel differently but this still feels like 2 points dropped considering the circumstances.

Right now I’d take a Top 4 finish along with a FA Cup Winner’s Medal for the team. If Alexis and Ozil wanted to sign their contracts, that would be an added bonus. I don’t know if the Chilean will however, I can’t blame him for not wanting to play with this lot.

At the end of the day Eddie Howe showed us that he’s the perfect Wenger replacement by seeing his team give up a 3 goal lead. 4-0 at half to 4-4 full time at Newcastle anyone?

One of the many positives about fatherhood is this, it has helped me realize more than ever that it is only a game.

One played by millionaires, who are paid by billionaires. Billionaires who take money from the working class to help support their hobby of collecting millionaires at the end of the day.

In my youth Arsenal brought me great joy and lots of trophies, and as I grow older they bring me time with my boys and a 2 hour break from the events of the world. If they win…great…if they lose…oh well. If they come back from 3 goals down to draw…well drawing a game is like kissing your sister in my book.

Have a great 2017, Myles!