There is a difference between criticism and abuse

 

  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Arsene and his boys managed to navigate a tricky win at the Emirates and with that showing I think if Giroud is going to be effective in that front three Welbeck playing alongside on the left is a necessity.

I am not going to say much about the game though a win was needed and the team got one. Before I go on to the protest I was very disappointed with Alexis deciding to walk down the tunnel after he was substituted, it was disrespectful to his manager and his team mates. He had a nightmare playing unintelligent passes, giving away the ball so often and dribbling into blind alleys when a pass would have been better. Big players are the go to players in their teams aka Ronalado, Messi, Suarez , Aguero et al and Sanchez hasn’t done it enough this season and he is part of the reason why the team is where it is. I understand he wants to play all the time but he should remember to be respectful.

Thanks to the amazing fans at the Emirates proving that social media warriors are not indicative of general sentiments at the club, while we want more, a lot of fans believe there is a better way to go about things. There is video circulating showing some “fans” chanting they would happy when Arsene dies! That’s crossing the line and those lot should be found and given a lifetime ban not just from the Emirates but from every stadia in the country, football is not ugly  like these lot are trying to make it. Please let’s get them identified.

I look forward to tomorrow when hopefully Leicester will realise the dream at the theatre of dreams. Can’t believe the season will be ending in a few weeks, what will I do with myself?

 

Wenger and underperforming players

Photo credits Michael Regan
Photo credits Michael Regan

Arsenal being true to type their consistent inconsistency was on show today again with a 0 0 draw at the stadium of light. Playing Sunderland at the stadium of light who are battling relegation was always going to be a tough a game but the manner in which a number of the players went about their job left a lot to be desired.

Wenger really needs to ask himself what is important, loyalty to some players or getting results for his team? His misplaced loyalty is one of the reasons why the season has panned out the way it has. After Giroud’s performance midweek I was surprised to see him start today ahead of Welbeck and he didn’t disappoint me with is poor display, that he was allowed to stay that long on the pitch had me bemused to say the least. I was also surprised to see Walcott on the pitch ahead of Campbell who has performed much better than the Englishman anytime he has featured for the team.  This idea of playing players when there are better performers on the bench is rewarding mediocrity in every way and in some subliminal way says it’s ok even if you don’t play well you will get picked.
Wenger himself said in his post-match conference that maybe  Giroud was lacking confidence, then why play him in this game where a win was necessary and Welbeck had done so well. He was also the same person that said why change something that is working, he confuses me the man.

I won’t be ranting much but Wenger needs to have a long look at himself and see how he has condoned mediocrity and poor performances this season. If he continues with this approach I won’t be holding out much hope for things to change next season. This is the time for him to set the marker that only good performances will get you in the squad.

Spurs going nowhere.

Leicester and Spurs

It’s a good thing I am not a drinker but watching Spurs take Stoke apart tonight drove me towards drink, knowing the Arsenal squad are currently capable of doing this but they just don’t. Matters made worse by the fact that Spurs currently have the best attack and defence in the league, parameters that justifies their claim to the title if they end up winning it. When an Arsenal fan gets to a point that he thinks that Spurs deserve the title provided they claw back the points on Leicester then you know he has lost the will to live just a bit!

Spurs knew they had to capitalise on Leicester dropping points and they went all out for it today, they took the game to Stoke .  I compare this display of Spurs with the one of Arsenal at Old Trafford facing an understrength United team knowing they had to win and it’s like night and day. The desire, composure, organisation, drive and mindset of  this young Spurs team is very enviable . A team is a reflection of its manager to a great degree and this team reflect their manager of two seasons Mauricio. He has carried on from Southampton and has gone on to instill his style of play and a stronger mentality in this Spurs squad.

So the lead at the top is now down to 5 with 4 games to go and with Spurs with the easier run of fixtures I wouldn’t be surprised if Spurs go on to win it and if they do, they would have deserved it, can’t believe I just wrote that. I witnessed the meltdown from Arsenal fans on twitter as a result of Spurs mauling Stoke I am trying to imagine what that would be like if Spurs actually went on to win it, Arsene will have to find somewhere to hide till next season starts.
Like someone said on twitter can Arsenal give the 6 points they took of Leicester back? It hasn’t done Arsenal any good…

It’s the midweek games left now and the source of football joy remains my fantasy league. I am off to eat some chocolate, ice cream then sleep.

Jon Moss; Mike Dean version 2?

 

Moss at work in another match
Moss at work in another match

Jon Moss tried to be Mike Dean version 2 today by making himself the centre of proceedings at Leicester. It was a match filled with drama to say the least and being and as an Arsenal fan I was relieved to see Leicester rescue a draw from the jaws of defeat at the death.
John Moss did get the two major decisions right for West Ham regarding the sending off and penalty, even though he will get hate from many quarters. Vardy was totally playing for that, flinging his legs into the defender and theatrically throwing himself to the floor with the dive; I thought it was only foreigners that dived, and the penalty for the grab by Morgan were right in my opinion.
Like Someone wrote on twitter John Moss is consistently inconsistent and I don’t know why Huth didn’t get a penalty for the exact same offence Morgan was adjudged to have committed at the other end of the pitch. Then at the death Andy Carroll conceded a penalty which Ulloa converted well considering all that pressure that was riding on the spot kick.
I can only admire Leicester for battling with 10 players for most of the second half and managing to deal with Andy carroll a player some quarters of the media have described as unplayable and are clamouring for him to go to the Euros. If you stop crosses like I said last week you nullify Carroll to the minimum a memo Arsenal didn’t get at West Ham
Talking of Arsenal , they did what they do best today and managed to drop points at home again because of a Cech error. Those clamouring for him last week making it seem like the team drew because of Ospina in the team and that Cech would have prevented a draw, I wonder what they are saying now. The reality is something is fundamentally wrong with that team, a discussion for another post.

It’s over to you Spurs tomorrow here’s hoping for three points for Stoke!

Is Mourinho really the answer at Old Trafford

Mourinho

Just got in from watching the match at a friends house and LVG pulled the rabbit out of the hat again avoiding consecutive defeats in 2 big games, he is either lucky or he makes it happen when he has to, so that’s Manchester United in the FA cup semi finals.  The “unplayable” Carroll as he was called by some sections of the media over the weekend was quiet for most of the game because he was starved of crosses. Doesn’t take a genius to figure it out that if you stop crosses you practically nullify Carroll, it was impressive to see that Fosu Mensah an 18 year old full back with little experience in the first team was one of those tasked with stopping the service at source and he excelled at it  unlike his older counterparts at Arsenal. I also don’t think that it was a coincidence that when Mensah was substituted at Spurs they collapsed as his replacement Darmian had no clue.

If one is to believe all the stories linking Jose to Manchester United which I don’t,then Jose is the favourite for the job especially with Pep starting at City next season. Is Jose the right man for United though?
Say what you want about LVG but he has managed to unearth some gems in his troubled time at Old Trafford. Do Manchester United fans really want Jose to be their next manager knowing how he is with managing young talent or not managing them? Are you willing to sacrifice the tradition of bringing young boys through for someone whose primary focus is trophies and himself but is  not big on the academy or bringing young players through,remember  his after effects are still being felt at Chelsea.  You can be sure the likes of Fosu Mensah, Rashford and Lingard will be stunted as they will be shipped out on loan in favour of star players if Jose is appointed.
In Jose’s second spell in charge in the Premier League, Chelsea development teams won titles to include the FA youth cup, the Development league , and the UEFA youth league, add the numerous Chelsea players on loan all over the world, are you saying there are no gems from that group that could have been promoted to the senior squad or slowly integrated? Look at Kevin De Bryune, while he wasn’t an academy player he was a young player that wasn’t given the opportunity to develop under Mourinho and sold too quickly.

You will probably ask who else can do the job at Old Trafford? I will advise your board to go after Mauricio at Spurs as I don’t think Giggs is ready yet, although I would love LVG to stay and keep “Vangaling” you lot. Pochettino has the experience of doing good things with Southampton and presently excelling at Spurs on a much smaller budget and he is big on youth.

What do you Manchester United fans think Jose or no Jose? Before I forget that Rashford goal was a great great goal and according to one of my United friends Mensah is a beast  and it’s scary that he is just 18, I completely agree with his observations.

Time to get behind Leicester

Took me 33 premier league games but with all that has gone on this weekend I am definitely team Leicester now. I watched Leicester today and was glaring to see why they are where they are, talent and quality can only do so much without passion and dedication. If those bottlers in red in north London showed the same desire, organisation, discipline, selflessness and dedication they would be topping the league by miles. If I was given a choice I would take all those qualities over fickle minded quality players.

It’s definitely a two horse race with Manchester United’s capitulation at the Lane, here’s hoping LVG is allowed to run out his contract at Old Trafford. I can’t believe I am going to write this but Tottenham deserve to be where they are, with a squad that young they are doing very well, no so called Ozil or Sanchez in their team and they have been getting the job done week after week, well done to Mauricio but definitely don’t want them to win the league!!

So we enter week 34 next week and it’s Leicester at home against West Ham, they will probably show the red shirt bottlers of North London how to deal with crosses and Spurs are away at Stoke not a good hunting ground here’s hoping they get Stoked!

Someone on twitter said describing Leicester winning the league is comparing it to a cat winning the Grand National, that cracked me up. They haven’t won it yet though but they are just 9 points away now, praying hard they win it. It will also be vindication for Ranieri considering how he was treated at Chelsea years ago when Jose took over, he could be getting the trophy presented at Chelsea where his former employer will be watching with no hope of champions league football next season.

Anyways have a good week people and to the Arsenal fans out there time to get on team Leicester, Arsenal are not winning the league and with performances like yesterday they don’t deserve to! Sense I am still a bit angry yes I am.

Arsenal rescuing defeat from the jaws of victory since 1889

Just finished the Arsenal game and best to pour it all out while it is still hot. How do you go from being 2 0 up then requiring an equaliser just to get a point from the game? That was a poor poor performance from Arsene and his boys more especially the boys, he has trusted them so much this season and they seem to do a good job of dropping him flat on his back each time. He needs to start thinking about who he lets remain in this team come next season. Haven’t the team been watching Leicester and how they grind out 1 0 wins? I can’t  imagine Leicester crumbling from 2 0 to 2 2 within minutes of half time.
Leading by 2 goals to nil  just before half time all Arsenal had to do was maintain a solid shape and focus on holding that  2 goal lead till half time, it’s called game management. I don’t understand what Bellerin was doing up the pitch at 2 0 with a few minutes to half time and Gabriel and Koscielny have shown again that they are poor readers of the game in how they marked Carroll. Carroll didn’t need a clown suit  with a giant red arrow on his back to know why Slavin put him in that line up. Before today’s game Carroll had scored just 4 goals just 4, against Arsenal he scores a hattrick!

I have been seriously slapped out of my hope of Arsenal going on to win the league, they typically displayed why they shouldn’t be champions because I definitely find it hard to see Leicester doing what they did today at upton park and in the manner in which they went about it.

Before I go and watch the 3pm kick offs I will say this the Koscielny Gabriel combo doesn’t work; they are both very fast players but poor readers of the game with very little cerebral input on the pitch and It’s time Wenger realises he needs a proper defender in the summer.

 

Grrrrrr breathe man breathe….

Still no wobble from Leicester

Another premier league weekend is here and as it stands Leicester are closer to their first title with their win last weekend, they can afford to lose two games in the run in and still win the league . Got it wrong last week with my predictions or wish as some of you have you called my predictions. I got two out of three regarding my predictions With an Arsenal Win, Spurs dropping two points at Liverpool although three would have been better and Leicester securing all three points at home to Southampton though I predicted a draw. Watching the Leicester game I must say the collective determination and hardwork of the team is immense I could hardly remember their goalkeeper having to make a save, all the players in front of him worked extremely hard on a day they didn’t play that well. I still don’t know how Ngolo Kante does it but he seems to be everywhere on the pitch, for his small frame versus his effectiveness in his role he totally dispels the myth of having to be of an  imposing size to be effective as a defensive midfielder.

This weekend’s games brings up a tough away game at West Ham for Arsenal, Spurs are at home to Manchester united and Leicester are away to Sunderland. West Ham at home to Arsenal is a tough one and that new team balance that Coquelin and Elneny provide will be tested, my advice do not bring down any West Ham player near the 18 yard box, any free kick conceded in that area with Payet in the team is as good as a penalty! If the team is disciplined and focused I see an Arsenal win with West Ham having an FA cup replay 2 days after the weekend game. Spurs at home to Manchester will be fun to watch fingers crossed LVG and his boys get the job done. Leicester at Sunderland will likely be a draw, Ranieri and his boys just don’t know how to lose at the moment and totally deserve to be where they are.

Moving away from tomorrow’s game I saw the Liverpool Dortmund game last night and Klopp is slowly transforming that team, impressive display in Germany. When Klopp gets his hands on his own players in the summer transfer window they are going to be a force in the league next season.

So here’s to an Arsenal win tomorrow and everybody else dropping points that means the remaining games ending in draws, that would be something. Anyways off to sort my fantasy league at least that is giving me joy as I am top in all the leagues I am involved in but one. Any ideas on who to buy this weekend guys?

I am still hopeful of a Leicester wobble although that fades more and more with a every point they get on the board!

British core holding Arsenal back?

In the past Arsene and Arsenal had been accused of fielding a team of mostly foreign players and in some quarters the lack of British talent or grit as some might label it was responsible for the lack of  progression being experienced by Arsenal. Arsene had always been of the opinion that quality and not the colour of your passport should be the reason why you got into the team.  Those days of such allegations against Arsenal are long gone, whether deliberate or not Arsene has gone on to recruit a number of British players in the team. Presently Arsenal have the following British players in its ranks; Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain, Chambers and Danny Welbeck. Arsene has a lot of belief and loyalty to his team in general and the British core make up a good percentage of that. One is not blind to see the promise all these players possess and the reason why Arsene recruited them but lately some of them have not been putting in performances required or not been available at all. Chamberlain has had a poor season considering the promise and standards set by him previously, Walcott is lacking consistency and Jack has had another season where he has been plagued with injury. Gibbs is an able deputy at left back, Chambers is one for the future and Danny is still finding his feet at Arsenal. Then there is the conundrum of Ramsey and his best position in the system the team currently plays and  he hasn’t hit the heights of two seasons ago. I can see why Arsene did not buy an outfield player at the beginning of the season, but with Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky to depart at the end of the season I think he should be thinking of getting top top quality replacements he won’t see as hindrances to the development of his British core but competition that will help the team and the players themselves in the long run.

Punditry and Respect;Robbie Savage

I was watching fletchandSav on BT sports yesterday before the Aston Villa Chelsea game and not for the first time I heard Robbie Savage use the phrase “the worst team” to describe the Chelsea line up that Villa were about to play in a bit to drive home the point that Villa should be encouraged. It was great to see a more accomplished footballer in Ian Wright not agree with him and try to point out the quality of the players still in the Chelsea Line up.
I have never played football at the professional level and can’t say I know what it takes to be a professional footballer but I would like to think fellow professionals would have a better idea than I do and should not forget that when they sit in the cosy seat in the studio as pundits, some like Ian Wright definitely don’t  seem to have forgotten what it takes to be a professional footballer.

I looked at that Chelsea team it had; Ivanovic, Pedro, Fabregas, Courtois, Loic Remy,  and Azpilicueta. These players have honours that include the World cup, Champions League, European cup, Premier League, La Liga, Copa Del Rey, and Europa cup. Not to make this post any longer but that is a summary of the honours those guys have there are more. Then I had a very quick look at Robbie Savage and he has just a League Cup to his name the irony right. It is one thing to take offence to John Terry stating he only takes opinion of people who have played at the highest level but it is a bit hypocritical to use the phrase “The Worst team” so frequently to describe team line-ups considering you are an ex-pro who must know what it takes to be a professional footballer and might show a bit more respect to your colleagues.

Listening to Robbie at times one would think he was ex Barca or Madrid and had loads of laurels but it was heartwarming to see a more accomplished footballer in Ian Wright defend the quality out on the field yesterday.

Punditry is there to offer opinion but let us not lose respect for those giving pundits a platform to make analysis and provide a job for them in the first place particularly if you are ex-pro.

My two cents before I go watch Southampton throw spanner in the works as regards Leicester Premier League campaign.