Hand In Glove

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: A tale of two handballs as Arsenal beat Hull

It was an expected three points, but Arsenal took until injury time in the second half to make them safe. A so-so performance against a well organised Hull side who enjoyed plenty of the ball and created a number of very decent chances. However, the home team enjoyed greater luck yesterday, and the game did not feel like it was won until Sanchez’s injury time penalty.

Bould – Occasional movement. Pic by Marcia Milnes

On a chilly, grey day with consistent snow falling, but not settling, large numbers of season ticket holders decided to give this one a miss after the twin reverses against Watford and Chelsea. Arsene Wenger had requested the Arsenal fans behave more like Tottenham’s in the pre-match press conference. Does that mean settle for mediocrity and the empty illusion of a title challenge while paying hefty admission prices without complaining about it? Many regulars at the Emirates are doing exactly that already.

Theo Walcott started. Why? He was rubbish against Chelsea, and Perez was on the bench. The Theo situation is like the Sunday league kids’ team where the dad picking the team always picks his son to play even though there are four better subs. At least he was removed after the usual 70 minutes, whereas the Sunday league kid would play the whole game. There was also a very good argument for starting Danny Welbeck in place of Iwobi who has hit a poor patch. Arsene sat out the final match of his four game ban in the directors’ box and occasionally Steve Bould got off his backside to shout some instructions.

The opening goal came from some ping ponging around the area and the ball being fired at Alexis’ hand. A case of pressure telling really. Mark Clattenburg apparently entered the Hull dressing room to apologise at half-time stating he should not have given it. It was evident something wasn’t right by our only seeing one replay of the goal on the giant screen from an inconclusive angle, while the referee and linesman were consulting over whether it should stand. If they’d seen the more incriminating footage of the goal it sounds like they might not have given it. Some judicious selection with the use of the video by those running the in-house broadcast there.

The Gunners rode their luck further with some suicidal passes across their own backline, but got away with it. Perhaps Hull suffered a bit from not having striker Abel Hernandez available. In the second half they were the better team, and Gibbs was fortunate not to be red carded when penalised for shoving over Markovic when he was the last man. Mark Clattenburg did Arsenal a favour there, although there was no doubt about the penalty that doubled their lead.

Hull’s manager Marco Silva beat Arsenal at home last season when he was with Olympiacos, and he has undoubtedly improved them, given them hope of getting out of the relegation zone. As for Arsenal, they climbed to third, but could be back in fourth by the end of today if Manchester City win. Currently, second to sixth are separated by two points. The Gunners still have to play the other four sides below Chelsea in the top six before their League programme is completed. If Arsene Wenger were to announce he had decided to move on in the summer, the stadium might get behind the team more the way he would like them to. As it is people are simply not turning up or if they do are sitting there unmotivated to make a racket. If he wants the dignified exit that most everyone would prefer, he needs to stop the kind of dithering that has cost him so often in the transfer market.

Anyway, a win’s a win and was much needed for the top four hopes in a very tight battle. How significant it will prove, time will tell. Arsenal will have to up their level against Bayern in midweek, and perhaps consider starting Perez and Welbeck because they will need goals. With a midfield of the Ox and Coquelin, I don't foresee the home side failing to score at least a couple.

And for younger reader who wonder about the title of this piece, here’s a brief musical history lesson for you…

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12th February 2017 08:43:05


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Mathews  8:50am 12th Feb 2017

Although it was a scrappy win, it was welcoming to uplift the mood in the camp ahead of Bayern tie. Looks like a 50-50 tie for me as Bayern is relying on individual bursts than a collective effort, we should make up the most of it. Feeling good to be back here ! - Post No. 103858

GoonerRon  9:43am 12th Feb 2017

Pundits need to learn the rules before running their mouth off - Danny Murphy: "you can't score a goal with your hand, it doesn't matter whether he meant it or not". Well actually, Danny, that is actually bull****. The ball popped up from 2 yards at probably 60mph for Goodness sake. The only luck we had in that decision is the ref made the right call. The Gibbs one, I'm not convinced it was a clear and obvious goal scoring opportunity, but it was risky. Anyway, after last week, I just think Gibbs wanted it more and Markovic has to be stronger. 3 points, clean sheet, defended set pieces well, started faster than usual (although not difficult to do that). Ox impressive and deserved to be retained at the expense of Theo for Bayern. - Post No. 103859

Leek fc  9:47am 12th Feb 2017

Nice NEGATIVE post as always Kevin. - Post No. 103860

gooner.ed  10:13am 12th Feb 2017

Leeky - We made hard work of a home win against a team in the relegation zone. The only positive I could see was the three points. Please list those that you saw in addition to that rather than simply slag off the post without explanation. - Post No. 103861

GSPM  11:21am 12th Feb 2017

It's all about 3pts, performance was laboured , would have liked to see wellbeck & Lucas start the game, Theo was once again anonymous except when he had a set to with their big defender ( nice to see a bit of fight) As for the Wrighty Wenger rumours , it's all a bit strange , would Wenger really want a private conversation out in the public domain, unless he wanted it to be, smoke & mirrors spring to mind, Wenger indirectly sending out his mantra message " be careful what you wish for" to stir the AKBs .........anyway leeky , stop being negative, do you have anything, something of value to say ??? No thought not. - Post No. 103863

Cheltenham Gunner  11:31am 12th Feb 2017

Another laborious, slightly fortunate victory against a struggling team. The match was ad dull as dish water in contrast to Liverpool's victory against Spurs. Why did we not bid for Mane, who's looks twice the player Walcott does? I see you did not mention Ozil Kevin, probably because once again he did sod all!! When Wenger does depart can he please take those two weaklings with him. Look forward to our much improved performance on Wednesday LOL. - Post No. 103864

Deighty  11:56am 12th Feb 2017

Another well below par performance. I agree about Walnut starting, what has Perez got to do to get a start under this old fool. BTW if TOF wants us to be more like the spuds then the booing would've been ringing around the ground years ago - Post No. 103865

Leek fc  11:59am 12th Feb 2017

Well how about a mention of the league's top scorer with 17 goals and 8 assists. A masterstroke from the manager playing the ox in midfield. Elneny back. Clean sheet. Danny looking sharp. The mighty Spurs losing. Away day to Germany to look forward to. Plenty to be positive about if you wanted to. - Post No. 103866

GSPM  12:25pm 12th Feb 2017

Spot on leeky , well done . See it's easy when you really try 👍 - Post No. 103867

jjetplane  12:30pm 12th Feb 2017

Love the Liver win putting more pressure on the 'top 4' which should finally put pay to Wenger going out of the CL with humdrum regularity they no one bothers even reporting anymore. Even his worshippers have nothing to say. This is Sanchez's level like the rest of them - a very average club. Nice bit of music Kev bringing back memories of DJ'ing in Eddy and Glasgow as a pre-trainspotter. Great report Kev and now the mass media have the old fart in range it will not take long now for him to run off with his loot. Ian Wright Wright Wright. - Post No. 103868

Gaz  12:33pm 12th Feb 2017

I take back everything I've ever said about Wenger. Yesterday proved that he's still a genius and I hope that contract is signed real soon. - Post No. 103869

Wardy  13:25pm 12th Feb 2017

I felt the urge to put some perspective on things as there is a lot of crap being written and the venom towards AW is understandable but way OTT. 1. AW has been a fantastic manager and us Gooners have been privileged to have watched some wonderful football throughout his tenure ,,,, some short memories out there 2. In my opinion AW should not have been offered a new contract after the Hull FA cup win, but our boards continued focus on profit rather than trophies meant that another 3 years of the same failings was always on the cards if we won 3. No-one should want to see AW leave under a cloud as he deserves a great send off and our thanks for a job well done, however 4. The same mistakes are being made, I.e. no plan B, too many weak players hence the injuries, and no consequence for poor performances, which is why we need a new manager. 5. I fear more of the same whoever is the manager, as Kroenke couldn't care less whether we win trophies or not, share prices and profit are the only reasons he's at Arsenal Sadly the team selection against Hull shows quite clearly why AW cannot succeed any more, how on earth did Ozil, Walcott and a few others deserve to play yesterday after their no-show against Chelsea. Players have to be motivated and need to know that a poor performance means being dropped, messrs Welbeck, Holding, Perez & Giroud must be steaming angry to have been overlooked. No-one expects players to play well every week, but the Chelsea defeat was pathetic and unacceptable in the way it happened. So thanks for the good times, thanks for the memories as you leave with your held held high, having performed miracles at times, and you have worked a damm sight harder than some of the pampered under achievers that you have invested so much faith in. A new manager will inherit a fine squad with only minor surgery required, goodbye Walcott and Ospina, maybe Ozil unless he starts trying harder ,,,,,,, sign a new keeper (Joe Hart), perhaps another CB and a goalscorer and to finish for discussion, how about this 11 to see the season out (as its flavour of the month lets go 3-4-3) Cech, Mustafi, Holding, Koscielny, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ox, Gibbs, Perez, Welbeck, Sanchez ..... Subs, Ospina, Monreal, Gabriel, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Giroud. Whatever the formation, this squad must find it within themselves to step up & finish the season in style, an FA cup win, a top 4 finish and getting past Bayern (I can dream can't I) ,,,,, this will ensure Arsene Wengers last match at the Emirates is what it should be, a full house, a thumping win and a joyous occasion to celebrate one of the games finest. - Post No. 103870

markymark  13:48pm 12th Feb 2017

Keown has seriously embarrassed himself of 5 live. He tried to deny that Rio Ferdinand said he wouldn't have wanted to play for Wenger. Saying he'd have loved to have played for him. When confronted with Rio's opinion piece. He then tried to say he was wrong. Obviously next question was how can you say he is wrong when he is saying he didn't want to play for him. My God perhaps he should have called him an idiot. It seems to be the stock reply for any anti Wenger sentiment. - Post No. 103871

jeff wright  13:59pm 12th Feb 2017

Clatenbug obviously saw replays of the handball goal at half-time and changed his mind on it. I think it was handball and Sanchez who is a quick thinker reacted to the chance that was given to him. you can see on one replay that he he does use his hand slightly to direct the ball into the goal .Would it have gone in without that assistance. I don't think so. Gibbo's foul was a definite straight red card . I don't think this is even arguable . Overall a laboured yawn inducing performance in which the only highlight was seeing an angry Wally getting all riled up and aggressive - you have to laugh . However the Hull defender whom Wally was ranting at just treated him with contempt - as you do with idiots. As for boring boring Arsene seated fretfully fidgeting in the stands the relief over the fortunate win was palatable .I have noticed that Wenger doesn't look like normal human beings ,check out the pictures of him surrounded by them in the crowd. He really does stand out as looking rather odd .A case of the oddball in the crowd if ever there was one . So once again the spuds Cocrell has crowed for a false dawn at the lane of pain . The slow build ups that work at home fail lamentably in away games against the better sides. This all looks rather familiar actually . Although we do have some pace in our side to counter-attack unlike the spuds who are slower than wet paint drying in the rain. The problem with us is Wengo who rarely ever picks the right side and lacks any tactical nous.Yet again though the usual suspects of the fawning AKB are talking up Wengo's chances in Europe. Tbh though I doubt that the Deutschlanders are shaking in their flash boots at the prospect of facing the very stressed out Wengo . One thing I must add is that if the old fraud wins his top 4 trophy then he will still be with us again next term . It's hardly rocket-science to work that out. - Post No. 103872

markymark  14:16pm 12th Feb 2017

Jjetplane - The AKB's have one word to say "Idiot" , they use this to any form of critique no matter how structured. They think it will shut us down. How wrong they are. - Post No. 103873

mbg  14:24pm 12th Feb 2017

I can't believe it Bould can move and walk, TOF must have been out at the toilet, he won't be best pleased to see or hear of bould standing up. wenger out. - Post No. 103874

Bard  14:29pm 12th Feb 2017

Wardy I dont think Wenger gets anything like the amount of stick he should. He is managing the 5/6th richest club in the world and consistently fails to deliver a decent title challenge. And for £8m a year. Frankly its scandalous. By and large he gets an easy ride from the media. He was once a half decent manager but not a great one but he past his sell by date a long time ago. Yesterday's game was a none event and has no bearing on anything unless you are a devotee who is happy with bucketfuls of mediocrity. - Post No. 103875

mbg  14:39pm 12th Feb 2017

According to Gibbs they made a statement yesterday, a statement of what exactly I wonder ? it certainly wasn't a statement of intent, maybe they were arrested in the dressing room afterwards for boring the arse of us all and putting us to sleep. Any resignation yet ? - Post No. 103876

jjetplane  15:13pm 12th Feb 2017

Markymark Keown was an untold (sic) embarrassment whining on about the most over hyped manager in the history of football. It was Adams who won those trophies and the Ferdinand bit was priceless with arse lick Keown and his guard knocked out of his teeth hanging on the ropes. Bet adams and Bouldie thought he was a bit of a **** back in the day. Perhaps though maybe more rspect for Arsene and howabout a nice sea burial in May lol! Arsenal should feel honoured at the amount of shillings I threw their way from 63 to 2004. Thank **** I sussed them before they moved to the major food outlet which we in the know knew it as a waste site. Used to use it a bit getting rid of building related rubbish. Keown carping on about how Wenger invented the place is pure ****ing sick bag. - Post No. 103877

CT Gooner  15:26pm 12th Feb 2017

I'm with Kevin and many others that positives were difficult to find yesterday. What I witnessed is leaving me fearful of our midweek trip to Germany. We won, there you have it, the positive. How we won against Hull, I grant you a resurgent side, does not give me faith that these players can elevate their game to the level we expect, and know they are capable of. Let's all be honest, we know this Arsenal side could be awesome with a manager who knows how to get the best from them, IMO that's not Wenger. - Post No. 103878

mbg  15:31pm 12th Feb 2017

Wardy, it's simple mate, TOF listens to know one, will not be told what to do, takes no advice or opinions (I doubt he even asks for them) it's his way and it doesn't matter to him if it's right or wrong or detrimental to the club or team, especially if the fans want something and make it known (players, positions, etc,) he'll do the opposite. wenger out. - Post No. 103879

GSPM  15:37pm 12th Feb 2017

Editor : any chance we can have a limit to posts Twitter style , posts of 5000+ words not really necessary. It's not a dissertation ffs. - Post No. 103880

The Man From UNCLE  15:54pm 12th Feb 2017

anyone watching the Rangers-Morton game? Senderos is playing for the Light Blues. As for yesterday's game, well. Something tells me we'll give Munchen a run for their money. - Post No. 103881

Moscowgooner  16:30pm 12th Feb 2017

It would be an ugly, embarrassing, end to a distinguished career if AW is bundled out at the end of the season having failed to clinch his beloved 4th place trophy. (But of course it would be a hell of a lot worse if he stayed....) - Post No. 103882

markymark  18:24pm 12th Feb 2017

Jjetplane - absolutely we could have a thread all to itself pulling Keowns argument to pieces. Further craptastic statement ( though your reminder of him being the secret grand architect 3rd degree of the Emirates is priceless). Question to Keown. "So how does Wenger deal with poor performances does he shout?" Martin Keown: "no he just drops you" Interviewer: "So Mezut Ozil is not favoured in anyway?, he's not been dropped" Keown (completely backtracking) "Well it's the spirit of being in a team... blah, blah, blah, blah... So from Martin Keown we now know that Rio Ferdinand does not know his own mind and in some sort of delirious state penned an article of complete fallacy in the Times. That Arsene drops poor performing players except he doesn't, and that he is the secret architect of the Emirates as well as no doubt being a bilderberg, illuminati, grand poobar . Oh and yes he can choose when he goes as he's some sort of legend to what I struggle to understand. God I'm an Idiot. - Post No. 103883

jjetplane  18:45pm 12th Feb 2017

Either Stan is letting him have crust of the pie or he gets a 1000v for any 'negative' answer. The other guys sitting there are obviously thinking 'what a little bitch you are!'. Keown and Brickfields Gunners are one and the same. Wrighty is presently on Wenger's case again. Keep the headlines coming. - Post No. 103884

CORNISH GOONER  19:53pm 12th Feb 2017

Really fed up with the apologists re-emerging after The Business is thought to be back on track after scraping such a fortuitous win against a relegation side. GSPM, we need constructive "dissertations" on here to make plain how bad things have become. All the old "meeja" support for a past it manager re-emerging (yes, you Oliver Holt) as are the Clouseau cliches, "played with the handbrake on", "I feel guilty when we lose" (WHAT!!!) etc. etc. Greatest manager ever? NO. Good? YES in his first half. Lucky? VERY because he inherited great players/fighters. It took Herbert Chapman 5 years to build Arsenal & win their first trophy & went on to be unstoppable before his early & untimely death. He WAS great & I, for one, would be happy to see a new,dynamic young manager appointed & be given time to rebuild a very sick club & see an end to the avarice & spin that we endure every season Not holding my breath though - he is going to stay for another 2 years for sure. - Post No. 103885

GSPM  20:05pm 12th Feb 2017

Good one Cornish , Herbert chapman a true Arsenal legend . Most of the Jonny come lately brigade won't know what we are talking about. Change is coming wether it's end of this season or 2 more years. Wenger is having his last drink at last chance saloon, don't know when he'll finish his drink but it won't be long. - Post No. 103886

gooner.ed  20:44pm 12th Feb 2017

GSPM - Today's editorial was 711 words, not including the necessary publicity for the printed issue which I suspect most people gloss over. So a little short on the 5,000 words - Post No. 103887

Leek fc  21:40pm 12th Feb 2017

GSPM also known as goonersol is quite quick to criticise yet appears not able to put together a piece that could be selected by O.G. 5000 words or 711. He's typical of your non attending gooner these days. Lots to say but puts nothing into the club. Many on here will secretly agree and it's a proven fact eh mbg. - Post No. 103888

GSPM  22:33pm 12th Feb 2017

Editor : was not on about feature article , rather the posts in reply. As for you leeky you are always questioning fans allegiances , like I told you before I have bought 3 bags of sweets for a £1 from the guys on avenell rd so that makes me a 100% Gooner . The shortening of replies does not apply to you as you can barely put 2 sentences together . - Post No. 103890

Leek fc  23:06pm 12th Feb 2017

There you have it Ed. Yet another bell end gooner trying to run the site. - Post No. 103891

mbg  23:16pm 12th Feb 2017

CORNISH, yes pathetic isn't it, Vinegars, poor me, I feel sorry for myself, I've no friends, I've had enough card has certainty started to work among the wengerites and his luvvies alright, they're starting to appear again, for a while anyway,(some of them will soon change their minds again) maybe it was the statement of intent yesterday. You couldn't make it up. wenger out now. - Post No. 103892

GSPM  23:17pm 12th Feb 2017

Leeky . The site was modified due to idiots like you who have fa to say accept attack any anti Wenger views . Your posts are limited in content and just attack anyone who doesn't share your view , didn't see any of your posts when Arsenal lost v Watford & Chelsea , beat hull and you appear like a bad smell. Now jog on and finish reading the boro programme , you know the one, the one you bought on your last visit to the bowl ?? - Post No. 103893

Mathews  4:20am 13th Feb 2017

Burnley vs Chelsea looked a different game altogether, Sean Dyche does play hardball, Gray making great runs, Barton & Co. controlling the midfield, alas Chelsea were scruffed by their neck. Wondering when are we going to change gears for games, well we havent for 13 years by playing the same ploy of beautiful football. - Post No. 103894

markymark  7:23am 13th Feb 2017

Squeak - Untold need new contributors hint, hint. They won't let me on for some reason so I can't contribute. Poor old ****ing brickfields is re-telling his whizzer fun medical joke book 74' edition to an empty audience. You're needed on there they'd love you. - Post No. 103895

The Man From UNCLE  9:29am 13th Feb 2017

One word to sum up Saturday: turgid. - Post No. 103896

clarky  10:00am 13th Feb 2017

Have heard from a source that Wenger has already signed a new 2 year contract and the club is just waiting for the right time to go public. If true, would that really surprise anyone? - Post No. 103897

Redshirtwhitesleeves  10:17am 13th Feb 2017

After the shambles against Watford and chelski how did he only make one change? Unbelievable, if ever you needed an example of the culture of comfort and no consequences for underperforming, well there you have it. How Walcott keeps his place is absolutely beyond me. Ozil too. We might as well just start with 9 men. Ramsey if he was fit would be the same. If the manager has any sense at all left then he needs to drop Ozil and Walcott and play wellbeck, Lucas and Sanchez up front against Bayern. If I was him I would be telling Walcott and Ozil they have played their last games for the club. Continued reward for such cowardice and negligence is unacceptable and the only place where it is deemed as ok is Wengers Arsenal. - Post No. 103899

Bard  10:22am 13th Feb 2017

clarky mate it doesnt surprise me one bit. Thats my view. Bottom line the club are making money hand over fist so why change. Title winning football as a goal is way down the list of priorities. A couple of good performances against Bayern should do it. His problem is that too many players are on their holidays already so a spanking form Bayern is on the cards as a possibility. - Post No. 103900

Yes its Ron  10:29am 13th Feb 2017

I think the Sanchez goal was a goal, just about. There was no apparent intent behind the arm ball. Gibbs should have gone. Theres no doubt in my mind about that. All in all, Hull were unlucky not to score themselves really and Gunners were fortunate to get the win. A rotten insipid match match really that occurs all so often there. Those who didn't go made the right call. Glad i didn't!! - Post No. 103901

The Man From UNCLE  10:40am 13th Feb 2017

How about this for perfect symmetry. 13 home league games have resulted in an average of 2.0 goals scored and 1.0 conceded. If only the accompanying football was as easy on the eye. - Post No. 103902

MAF  14:03pm 13th Feb 2017

this was the sort of Performance and result that would have done nicely V Watford. I could then have accepted the chelsea defeat (theyre better than us), but not the Performance. wed then be sitting on 53 Points which is about right. the style of the defeats is what created the Depression and back lash. dont blame any fans for that. blame Team Club Manager. we were lucky V Hull make no mistake. Alexis Handball and Gibbs ridiculous challenge was a sending off. 3 Points masks over the weaknesses that we can all see. we will get a spanking at anfield if we are not up for it. same at the Lane and Man U + Everton at home. as is usual with Arsenal it can all go either way I wouldnt bank on anything with this lot. - Post No. 103922

mbg  21:17pm 13th Feb 2017

Redshirts, unfortunately that'll never happen, because wenger in the biggest weakling, most negligent and biggest f*****g Coward that we've ever had the misfortune to see manage this club. WENGER OUT NOW. - Post No. 103938

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds