I have just finished watching the City Arsenal game at the Etihad and can’t say I have seen a poorer Arsenal second half performance than what I have just watched in a long time, it’s like they all stayed in the dressing room after half time. I was chatting to a friend over in the middle east during the game and he was saying the losses have coincided with Mustafi’s absence, which I agreed with to a point but his absence can’t be responsible for the lack of bravery from Arsenal and how they fell apart like a two dollar suitcase. There were so many bad displays in that half if I listed them this would end up being a very very long blog.
I spotted a similarity in the loss at Everton and today’s loss at the Etihad; once the pressure and aggression was ramped up by Everton and City today the Arsenal boys went hiding, they weren’t brave and didn’t fight, Coquelin looked like he was alone in the midfield as Granit Xhaka couldn’t manage with the pace. I am here listening to Thiery and Graham discussing both goals being offiside or not on Skysports and honestly that’s not the issue if you ask me. Arsenal taking anything away from this game would have certainly masked the mental deficiencies in this team and I don’t know how Arsene fixes that. They were second to everything all over the park in that second half, and there can be no excuse for physically dropping off because of the Champions league participation as Arsene is trying to imply in his post match conference referring to playing Basel in CL before these away games because City too have been involved in the Champions league.
I can’t say I am surprised because over the years and being an Arsenal fan who has been scarred so many times you know Arsenal have these kind of performances in their locker but a part of me was hoping it was a thing of the past. You can’t always win but you have to leave everything on the pitch and I can’t say I saw that today, they left it all in the dressing room at half time it seems.
I try not to join the angry brigade and doom sayers after a loss or two especially when it comes to Arsenal, proclaiming the season is over but honestly where does the team go from here after losing both games in very similar circumstances? The manner in which they lost both games is familiar like every season since the invincibles and it seems to me the old fragile Arsenal tag will continue lurk around Arsene’s present team regardless of winning streaks and continuously ending up with nothing, until he himself sees it as an issue that needs to be addressed and fast.
Yesterday Jose secured his first League win at Old Trafford in a while and this time 1 goal managed to do it against Spurs. Just like last week Marouane Fellaini came on as a late substitute with United leading 1 0 and some United fans felt it was justified to boo him, which was cowardly in every way.
Fellaini doesn’t select himself to be on the bench neither does he sub himself into the game, the manager does that, their anger should have been directed at the manager and not Marouane. Then you had Jose at the end of the match justifying the boos from those sets of fans which in my opinion is also cowardly as it comes across he wants to be on the good side of these fans, I can’t see Sir Alex justifying his substitute being booed in any way. At no time should a manager justify the booing of his players especially when one is singled out for being called upon by the manager and I am amazed that he took that stance. In essence he is defending people who are second guessing his judgement instead of his player who he expects to run through brick walls for him. I hope the Fellaini dude is alright because no one deserves that from their fans or manager.
Klopp and Pep are finding our that no matter how fast and furious your play is, if you don’t have a good goalkeeper and defence it will bite you in the bum now and again . Pep set up in a suicide manner against Leicester without his best striker or centre half pairing and he deserved that result, that was totally self inflicted in every way. De Gea and Cech together in goal would have struggled with that set up in front of them. As for Klopp and Karius I like to think he is still settling in, I mean De Gea had problems adjusting in the beginning so I will still give him some time. After the weekend results Liverpool, City and Spurs are doing their very best to drag United back in.
Finally Arsene and his boys came back from a goal to beat Stoke and Bellerin is so good for Walcott they work a treat down that right side. It was also great to see three different goal scorers without Sanchez’s name on the score sheet, means goals goals from everywhere in the team. It’s that time of the year when football comes quick as it’s mid-week games week, Everton away is next. That reminds me sort out the fantasy league, catch you guys later in the week.
Arsene was ridiculed in some quarters earlier in the season for making Sanchez a striker, most interpreted it as him not wanting to splash the cash especially by that Morgan dude who never ceases to let us know at the slightest opportunity that he has Arsenal shares. This weekend Sanchez more than Justified Arsene’s decision to play him upfront as he has been doing most of the season scoring goals. His all-round performance against West Ham together with the hattrick was a thing to behold, and when you see tweets like this from one of Arsene’s most annoying antagonist, yes that Morgan dude again;
One is grateful he has absolutely nothing to do with footballing decisions at any club let alone Arsenal. To think he ever thought Fellaini was world class???
Whatever it takes to keep Sanchez Arsene do it! The Ox had a good game, if he can get his decision making better he will be one heck of a player. Coquelin continues to impress me in the middle and with Cazorla needing surgery I still believe Wilshere was hasty going to Bournemouth where he has been ordinary. All in all a good weekend for the boys in red, they still remain unbeaten in the Premier League and now lie second behind Chelsea.
Chelsea continue to surmount every obstacle before them, City being the latest one scaled. It’s now 8 straight wins, bagging 24 points in the process which has rocketed them to the top of the table. Conte has got it right and with no European distractions I think they will take some stopping.
Meanwhile the former “special one” has now become the drawing one, the 1-1 one or the fighty one as I call him is still making excuses all over the place with another draw at the weekend, it’s his default position as long as they continue to draw. When they begin to win he will start taking responsibility. It’s Spurs next week at Old Trafford and I am thinking those consecutive draws could be interrupted by a loss with Pochettino coming into town.
My fantasy league has been infused with a bit of Jose magic it seems and I have stalled the last two weeks, the West Bromwich trio in my team worked a treat the other week though.
Congrats to Gareth Southgate on his England appointment and I hope the British media, fans, the FA and everyone concerned gives him time and let him do his job.