Lincoln Review: An Advert For The Future?

Arsenal 5 – 0 Lincoln City

Job done. The gulf in abilities shone through in the end with four second-half goals suitable reward for Arsenal’s dominance.

Lincoln’s first half efforts ensured they earned the sobriquet, “Plucky Little Lincoln”, for future reference while Arsenal got a bit of confidence back. The real test comes next weekend when we face West Bromwich Albion, a team whose fitness levels won’t wilt after fifty minutes of pressing and rearguard action.

Arsène surprised everyone by taking a common sense approach to the game. A first team bereft of belief, took to the field in an attempt to drag them out of the slough into which they had fallen. It’s too soon to declare it’s worked but as far as yesterday was concerned, the object of the exercise was to win and that box was ticked.

The Imps defended resolutely for the first half but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept Lincoln on course to reach half-time just one goal down. Then the luck which has deserted Arsenal in recent weeks returned. Theo Walcott’s shot deflected off a defender’s thigh and ended in the corner of the net.

That was the point it genuinely became a question of how many.

Safety in Numbers

Olivier Giroud’s goal eight minutes into the second half, was accompanied by the sound of floodgates coming slightly ajar. An unfortunate own goal five minutes later made it three and Arsenal were passing for fun as Lincoln’s first half efforts caught up with them. Tiredness and fatigue fell on them, that not even the 9k supporters could lift.

Alexis inevitably scored the pick of the bunch, an excellent curled finish around the ‘keeper after he had ridden an attempt to bring him down thirty yards from goal. He rattled the bar with an excellent free kick as Arsenal threatened to run away with the game.

I don’t know if we merited any more but an 8 or 9 goal thrashing wasn’t what Lincoln deserved. Aaron Ramsey finished off the scoring with the fifth, walking the ball into the net from close range. Although the way his luck has gone this season, I was more surprised he didn’t lash the ball over the bar.

Great British Mistake

 

 

Look, it was a comfortable win that not even the FA could cock-up for us.

Officialdom decided the match was so much of a ‘home banker’ that it a good idea to get Anthony Taylor back to the Emirates, to allow both he and Arsène the opportunity to put the past behind them.

All it served to show was that the Law of the Game are too trivial for Mr Taylor’s superior intellect. A genuine highlight was Mesut Özil shoulder charging a Lincoln full back to the floor. Not a flicker from the referee; no foul in his eyes. Indeed, most things were let by and deemed part of the ‘magic of the Cup’.

Except for Granit Xhaka’s foul; that’s always a booking.

There was time in the second half to consider a tweet to Bayern Munich’s social  media team along the lines of, “Hey Bayern, thanks for the lessons on Tuesday. We learned quickly. Five goals at the Emirates and a centre forward who hit the dirt in the penalty area.” I suspect they have come back with, “Ja, at least there was contact on Bobby”. I assume they call him Bobby; it seems a very ‘football’ thing to do.

Post-match, Arsène occupied some ethereal plane rather than reality. The players, he contended, “didn’t let me down, or themselves or the club.” I agree for the first hour that it was true but ignoring the last thirty minutes doesn’t make it go away. There isn’t some little footballing pixie who sprinkles her dust and ends the game early.

It was a collapse based on his own appalling gamble to chase five more goals. Barcelona’s success in overturning a similar deficit twenty-four hours later doesn’t justify Wenger’s decision. By the hour mark, they were already 3 – 0 up.

Presumably, he thought the ground was a sellout yesterday and that 10-15,000 empty seats was just a bloody long queue on the concourse.

Dad’s Jukebox

This morning sees claims that Arsène has the full backing of the dressing room. All except for Alexis, who’s sitting in the corner sulking and generally upsetting everyone. Equally unbelievable is the claim that the board has grown a set and demanded Arsène make a decision on his future during the international break.

That, of course, fits in with the ‘end of March/April’ timescale Arsène said when he initially commented on his situation all those months ago. Of course, that’s led to claims Arsenal transfer business is paralysed by Wenger’s indecision. So it’s business as usual, then. Boom, tsh.

Ah, what a week ahead of us we have.

Finally, Dad’s Jukebox ticked over to  1995 with Blur v Oasis among other things. Listen to the soundtrack of a year with all the rubbish taken out, here.

’til Tomorrow.

 

34 thoughts on “Lincoln Review: An Advert For The Future?

  1. Lincoln did themselves proud and deserve great credit but as you rightly say YW, they ran out of steam and then our superior fitness and technique told. Job done.

    Again lower league opposition allowed freedom to foul by the ref who punishes our players – just need consistency.

    BT sport pundits including the dreadful Chris Sutton very poor.

    I saw some of the comments here yesterday very negative – BUT FFS – we are Arsenal supporters and surely can enjoy a win ?

    Onwards and upwards

  2. @Yogi,
    If they don’t like Dad’s Juke Box, can I suggest they try Crumblie’s Choice…..this week it’s a jazz learning curve with ” I can’t get started” with Buck Clayton’s trumpet a masterpiece. 😉

  3. Good morning folks, as you say, Yogi, job done. A bit of pride restored, a bit of confidence regained. We must hope that it’s not the usual false dawn to which we are becoming accustomed.

    The morning following a five goals to nil victory is not the time to be critical, except in the case of Ramsey. A player of undoubted talent but with the inbuilt capacity to continually disappoint. Three excellent chances, each of which were dispatched high into the stands. Any one of them, had he scored from it, would have settled the nerves and knocked the wind out of Lincoln’s sails. Not until the game was effectively over did he finally stumble onto the ball so close to the goal line that even he could not miss.

    While it’s good to be in the semi-final draw, it is with trepidation rather than confidence that we await the name of our next opponent.

  4. Morning,

    Another fine write up.

    On course to sign up again after the West Brom game. Hopefully the team will be fired up, as WB will exploit opportunities if we are nervous and slow out of the blocks. They will also be determined to get back on track as they were fairly poor against Everton. An early kick off away from home on the Midlands, hmmm.

  5. No trepidation in our camp. Whoever has to meet us has to do so at Wembley, a confident stamping ground of ours where we have won more times than lost. 😉

  6. Just to complete the record :- played 49, won 25, drawn 6, lost 18. Not much of a hook to hang your hopes on.

  7. FA Cup Semi finals at Wembley are 3-2 and League Cup Finals are 1-4. I think Charity/Community Shields are 5-5 at Wembley.

    Watching Celtic V Rangers, so i thought I’d look it up.

  8. Anthony Taylor showed yesterday just how poor a ref he is. I think the word Buffoon was created for him.

  9. The Lincoln fans enjoyed themselves yesterday, and good luck to them.

    Much more pleasant than today’s proceedings up the wrong end of Seven Sisters Road. I have it on good authority that a significant number of South London’s most gruesome characters were starting today with a fry up at Euston station, before heading off for a spot of fisticuff.

    Just like the 1980s again.

  10. Good result. I thought Ozil also played well and good to see him and Sanchez linking up again. Why Wenger persists with Giroud up front though…. yes he scored but he looks so slow and, em, a bit overweight?

    Any news on the Ox?

  11. Very easy win, 6 – 0, for Spuds, Son with a hat trick, Millwall offered next to nothing, only four shots none on target.

  12. I must say-I did voice my opinion on Giroud earlier on in the season where I defended him.I felt some of the shit levelled at him was unfair.
    I watched him against Bayern the other night and he had 3 chances….not one even tested the keeper-that’s his trouble-he’s just not clinical enough.The teams that are flying at the moment don’t miss too often.
    As much as it hurts-gotta admit….the people that levelled the shit were right(even though he has scored some goals this season to get us out of jail),he’s just not consistent enough.Yesterday confirmed that,even if the Bayern game didn’t.

  13. Great review yogi

    Job done. The semifinals will be 3 of 4 richest teams in the PL plus Spurs. I enjoy the magic of the FA cup and all of the upsets in earlier rounds but I think this should be the most exciting final 4 that I can remember. An Arsenal spurs matchup would be epic.

    I was really happy to see Arsene put 3 scorers on the forward line yesterday instead of using a central midfielder on one of the wings. We have more then enough creativity and passing nous throughout the squad and we don’t need to supplement that technical skill by using someone who does not score such as Iwobe on one wing

  14. Jonnygunner,

    I’ve decided not to criticise the team, with the exception of Ramsey, today so you will have to wait until tomorrow for me to agree with you.

  15. Pete

    No, Anthony Taylor is so intellectually superior to us mortals that the trivialiites of fouls are beneath him.

  16. Evening,

    I watched the highlights of the match against today and I’m starting to wonder if we should convert Gibbs back into a winger. He’s a pretty lousy defender, but always seems to be in amongst the goals. He set up Walcott’s goal and the own goal yesterday and links up well with Alexis. He may not be able to do the LB thing, but he can provide support for the actual LB if he plays as a winger. I’d obviously like us to have a real winger on the left, but that seems unlikely so Gibbs may present the best option for giving us width on that side of the pitch.

  17. @Wavey,
    Agree entirely about Gibbs being transformed into a left winger. In my view he is not a fullback because he so often neglects his defensive duties. And he continues to find it impossible to use his right boot.
    Joining the attack down the left field from left back, he starts off well but unless he can get to the bye-line to cross, nearly every time he receives the ball near (say) the halfway, when tackled he is forced to play it (one-footed) back to a team-mate and the forward movement breaks down.
    What defeats me is that there appears to have been no attempt by the coaches to sort out this important deficiency. 😉
    This failing might be less costly if he became a winger. 😉

  18. YW,

    Yep, apart from Nicky’s point about him being very one footed. At least with 3 CBs he would have reasonable cover.

  19. I took my son to Peppard Pig world today and standing behind me in the the queue was Jack Wilshere with his family. Random! !

  20. The problem with making Gibbs a wing back is the same problem with Iwobe or Ox, Gibbs is not a goal scorer. We don’t get any goals from the midfield so we need to get almost all of the goals from the 3 forwards and in our system the “wingers” are 2/3 of the forward line. If we have a winger who is not a legitimate threat to score then almost all the goals have to come from the other 2 forwards. That works when we have 2 forwards who are both scoring regularly but it falls apart if one or both of those players is struggling.

  21. Chelsea can afford to play non-scorers like Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses as wingers because their system also allows for 3 goal scorers in the line up, Costa, Hazard and Pedro.

  22. Thanks Yogi,

    I too like the idea of 3 CB’S however our defending against well drilled and organised teams is so appalling at times I doubt that 3 at the back would really make much of a difference.

  23. The club is like Brexit. It is going to happen and save a miracle he is going to stay. It is not good, but all we can do is moan.
    Powerless. I would take a few years in the ManUre to see a tactical game played that won us a crucial game.

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