Tag Archives: Arsenal

When your goalkeeper is your best player..

Super de Gea Courtesy Skysports
Super de Gea
Courtesy Skysports

It is bound to catch up with you at some point, so I will let Jose and his boys enjoy their escape at the Emirates yesterday, thanks to the heroics of de Gea. The Arsenal-Manchester United game was a typical Arsenal performance; present the opposition with gifts from calamitous defending, outplay the opposition, Keeper has a blinder, get back to within 1 then be stupid enough to concede even though there was a considerable time to equalise and no need to over-commit players forward. My mate over in the middle east was giving me live commentaries via WhatsApp and got excited when Lacazette scored but I wasn’t moved this is Arsenal we are talking about and they were true to type,  they should never have been 2 goals down in the first place. While I am still on Arsenal I honestly think Sanchez more often than not impedes the team’s style of play, holding on to the ball for too long and losing the ball as often as he gets it. I would think having played at Arsenal for this long he would understand the need to pass the ball as quick as possible which makes his team’s all-round play more effective. Anyways he will be somebody else’s problem or solution come the end of the season.

The wheels on the Spurs wagon has come off! In fact, there is no longer a wagon after watching them escaping with a draw at Watford yesterday. I don’t know what has happened there but it seems like beating Real Madrid is going to be the highlight of their season with the way things are looking.
Liverpool back in the top 4 after yesterday’s win taking Brighton apart at the Amex, things seem to be looking up on that side of Merseyside for now, the only unusual thing about the game was that Salah didn’t score. It’s the Merseyside derby next week, Big Sam now at the helm over at Everton started his reign with a home win over Huddersfield, I am thinking it’s going to be an interesting watch. Allardici against Klopp…. Huddersfield have definitely been brought back down to earth…
Chelsea notch up another win in a bid to cement their top four status, routine win not much to take from that game.

Pep and his boys take on Moyes and West Ham today I can’t say I am holding out much hope for West Ham but stranger things have happened in football.  Talking about Pep I will never understand the Pundits and Journalists who have never played the game trying to dictate how professionals who have played the game should channel their passion. Back to WestHam still scratching my head wondering what the West Ham Owners were drinking or smoking when they appointed Moyes. Must interview well or just be very good at hypnotising interview panels my only explanation for him still getting jobs.

City wanted Arsenal to do them a favour yesterday but I guess it was a case of sending boys to do a man’s job. Another derby to look forward to next week, one team’s run is going to end.

By the time of posting this City ran out 2 1 winners with a late winner from Silva. Moyes still seeking his first win with his team who are one place from the bottom. If I was a betting man I will bet they are still there or thereabouts 23 games from now.

Catch you all next week if I am not too hung over to post as I have two Christmas parties next week.

1 week in the Premier League is a long time

Spurs maanage a last gasp draw against West Brom Photo Courtsey the Guardian
Spurs manage a last gasp draw against West Brom
Photo Courtesy the Guardian

A week ago Tottenham were the pride of London just before the derby you heard no Arsenal player would get in that team blah, blah , blah, fast forward 1 week ,Spurs have dropped 4 points Arsenal have gained 6 leapfrogging them into 4th place. I am not drawing conclusions from that either it’s still early days and there are still 25 games i.e. 75 points to play for.  Also I have told myself the next time Arsenal play Burnley I will watch from the 88th minute we all know the script now.

Another week another win for City even if they had to come back from behind to beat a dogged Huddersfield.  I don’t get when people say it’s cruel when a team that played just not to get beat all game without a shot on target concedes in the last minute to lose the game.  The objective of the game when it was created was to get the ball between those two sticks you call a goalpost right?.. City so far are answering all the questions placed before them, if the core of the team stays healthy they will take some stopping.

His opposite number in the red half of Manchester is doing his best to keep up with City. A last minute win against Brighton keeps the gap at 8 points but the next three games for United don’t look easy. It’s Watford way, Arsenal Away then City at home. If they don’t start playing instead of parking a bus to victory I see them dropping at least 4 points from those three fixtures.  We all know he is going to set up not to get beat at Arsenal and against City but will he take the initiative against Silva’s Watford ?At least Pogba is back right…

Everton slipping down the slippery slope very fast and I don’t get how a caretaker who is obviously way worse than the manager sacked seems to be getting more time to drag them down further. Maybe it’s ok to lose with the caretaker guy, that’s the way I am explaining the situation at Everton.  Next week they face off against another caretaker at West Ham in Moyes, I will look for the result of that match not sure it’s worth watching.

Silva continues to impress at Watford, not just that he is winning but in the manner in which he is winning. I remember when Paul Merson complained about his appointment at Hull, because the bloke  knew nothing about English football as if the likes of Pulis, Moyes, Allardyce who know the league better could conjure the kind of football Silva makes his team play at Watford.

That’s that for this week and football is back tomorrow oh before I forget Liverpool still can’t hold on to a lead and it was also good to see Adam Lallana back on the field I like the guy.

Here We go again!

Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the win the Community Shield. Source Skysports
Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the win the Community Shield. Source Skysports

The Premier League curtain raiser is done and dusted and Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalties in the Community Shield which is classed as a friendly, next week the real thing starts against Leicester. Recently it feels like donning an Arsenal jersey is enough to beat Chelsea at Wembley, long may it continue

There are grounds for optimism considering Arsenal were missing a good number of important first team players and the team put in quite a good performance, and a win over big team regardless of the competition is always good for belief no matter how small.
On the match I will say I really don’t know why the OX is flexing about a new contract, from what I watched I think his agent isn’t being truthful with him and neither is he with himself.  In my opinion there are cheaper better solutions  out there.
The new guy from Schalke that costs Arsenal nothing is looking like a beast, very different in physique from the type of players we are used to at Arsenal,  it’s early days but so far I am liking what I am seeing.
Winning the Community Shield was a good preparation for the new season in terms of the team starting with a winning feeling. As for me I couldn’t be more prepared mentally for this season, I will describe my relationship with Arsenal going forward as some sort of casual fling that could get serious but for now I have been led on too many times only to be disappointed, the plan is to enjoy watching football this season and going forward. That reminds me time to sign up my fantasy league team. Catch you all next week!

St Totteringham’s Day? Not this year

Not this year and rightfully so
Not this year and rightfully so

For the first time since 1995 Arsenal will not finish above Arsenal and I am really not upset about it. I made my peace with that last season but they somehow managed to screw it up but kudos they have not only managed it this year but are challenging for the title.
Since Pochettino took over, this Spurs team have grown from strength to strength and taken on his identity and philosophy, a philosophy where no one is carried everyone puts in a shift! Contrast that to what is going on at Arsenal where there are coasters in the team everywhere you look from back to front. Take for example Arsenal’s most expensive player, in the 4 years since he joined Arsenal I am yet to see him take a difficult game by the scruff of the neck and be the difference! I can’t imagine him being allowed that much time in a Pochettino side with his application on the football field when things are tough. Then you have Giroud, would he get in a Pochettino side? He spends half the time moaning and falling down instead of digging deep and contributing to the cause. I didn’t see the point in him starting today and if it’s true he is wanted in France I will certainly drive him there myself at no cost. I could go on but there is no need it’s glaring what the team needs; an environment where mediocrity is alien and not the norm. Let’s start with if you don’t play well you don’t start and if you do you stay in the team, didn’t see the point of dropping Holding for Gibbs.

Arsenal kinda messed with my desire to blog and post this season, yes I am joining the bandwagon and blaming Arsene for everything. I have processed all that and I think I am back, kudos to the guys like arseblog that blog only Arsenal news and do it like 24/7 takes some mental fortitude!

Finally I do not subscribe to the notion that there is a power shift in North London not that it matters to me, we all know one swallow doesn’t make a summer neither does a tree make a forest. Finishing above Arsenal in a season where they might still come second and Arsenal win an FA cup (for hypothesis reason not that I believe this) but there is potential for a power shift if the situation at Arsenal isn’t arrested and arrested soon! My only consolation was that Chelsea won, yes it has come to this as the boys that were sent to do a man’s job at WHL failed with flying colours.

Another Year another exit in the Knockout Stages

Mustafi and Xhaka
Mustafi and Xhaka disappointing signings so far this season

Watched Arsenal lose 5 1 again to Bayern tonight and I must commend myself on achieving such a feat more of a masochist aka Arsenal fan. My mate an Arsenal fan who chose to nap instead of watching the game woke up checked his phone and thought he hadn’t refreshed the scores of two weeks ago couldn’t believe it was 5 1 again!

The referee no doubt was rubbish, crap, inept, I mean any word youcan think of that explains inefficiency but it’s still wasn’t a reason to capitulate and concede 5 in 45 minutes because you are a man down especially when you had rehearsed two weeks ago for this situation at the Allianz arena.
It’s an ideal night to scapegoat some players and I am deciding to do just that this time. The clubs most expensive acquisitions this season Mustafi and Xhaka showed again they have not added to this team or taken it up a notch in anyway , both directly responsible for two goals tonight. Players ghost past Xhaka so easily in the middle of the field and he is so one footed it’s unbelievable! Mustafi on the other hand can’t anticipate or read games he just loves a slide. He was directly responsible for two goals in this Bayern tie, for all the money he costs he is not better than Gabriel in my opinion.
I would love to see an Ox Ramsey midfield and Holding paired with Koscielny or Mertesacker reinstated because Mustafi for what he cost he isn’t doing it at all! Using Arsene’s lingo I am not very lucid tonight so I will be more emotive than analytical and to the fans chanting Arsene you are killing our club or something along those lines they should visit Blackburn or Leyton Orient for the definition of killing a club.
It’s a short one tonight still recovering from having 2 wisdom teeth taken out yesterday then add today’s performance to that feeling. I feel it’s Arsene’s last time managing Arsenal in the Champions League tonight but hey what do I know I put 10 pounds on Arsenal qualifying tonight so there you go.

Return of the Old Arsenal

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his team's second and winning goal against Arsenal Photo credit OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his team’s second and winning goal against Arsenal
Photo credit OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

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.

 

 

Mourinho’s Cowardly Defence of United Fans

Fellaini and Jose Mourinho Getty Images
Fellaini and Jose Mourinho Getty Images

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.

Another Week Another Change

PRemier League is here again!

Another game weekend and it’s another change at the top of the table with Chelsea replacing Liverpool at the top of the league table, I have a feeling that’s not the last time we are going to see a change at the top. Chelsea seem to be the form team right now, 6 straight wins and no goals conceded and it gladdens me that David Luiz is at the heart of that miserly defence. I get a break from the over exaggerated phrase ” if Terry was there they wouldn’t have conceded that” from the pundits particularly on Skysports. They seem to be averse to anything that breaks the mould of a “typical English defender”.

Chelsea and Spurs face off next week at the Bridge, the form team versus the only remaining undefeated team in the Premier League this season. As an Arsenal fan I am a bit  conflicted but would rather a Chelsea win I kinda like Conte, he almost makes the boys in the blue more likeable since the “fighty one” moved up North to Manchester.
Talking of the fighty one it was ironic to hear him talk about respect before the Arsenal game. I am not sure he knows what that is even if it hit him right in the face! I could go on about this but there really is no need, the internet is awash with this irony when it comes to his antics in every league he has been in.
Yaya came back with a bang scoring two goals in City’s win at Crystal Palace, makes Pep look like he got it right with the timing of his re-introduction after the very belated apology, lets hope Yaya has his employee his mouthy agent on a tight leash going forward. Yaya’s value is directly related to his pitch playing time unlike his agent who just needs a phone and contacts.

I don’t know where Pochettino keeps getting them some other Harry scored for Spurs at the weekend on his debut, the guy has a thing for developing youth. It’s Monday night football today and I have three West Brom players in my fantasy league, don’t know what I was thinking!  It’s gameweek 13 next week here’s hoping Arsenal get back to winning ways.

Beginning To Feel A Lot Like November

Bellerin

Apologies about my hiatus I have been having issues with my host server which took a while to resolve but I like to think such a blogging drought has now become a thing of the past.

What a time to be returning; the international break! With all the anti-Trump hysteria going on I was hoping for more but sadly there is not a lot happening football wise apart from the fact that it is really beginning to feel like November for Arsenal even on an international break. Alexis and Hector, are reported to be injured with some sources saying that Hector will not be available for the rest of November. I am crossing everything possible that it’s a horrible rumour and Hector won’t be out for that long. Alexis on the other hand is still being kept back by the Chilean FA with the hope that he could play the next international match which the professor hasn’t taken kindly to.
My own thought though is Alexis’ responsibility to himself, you should at least be able to say I can’t play if it is going to jeopardise your availability long term.

What is it about November and Arsenal?  I know they have a win and a draw since it started but these reported injuries feels like here we go again, especially knowing that Arsenal are facing “the one that likes to fight his players” on resumption from the international break.
Looking on the bright side it has been reported that Hector has extended his contract with Arsenal, although it hasn’t been confirmed by the club.

It was just important I touch base with you guys as soon as I could even though not a lot is happening, hoping I have not been completely forgotten. I plan on introducing a podcast, any ideas on what you guys feel it should be like or about?

Arsene Recruiting Leaders

Arsene recruiting leaders

Apologies about the missed posts, been struggling with server reliability and compatibility issues.  The transfer madness is over and thank goodness real football news can take centre stage again.

Talking transfers Arsenal signed Granit, Robert, Lucas and Shkodran,  all very good signings if you ask me. While I haven’t been entirely happy in the manner in which the club has gone about acquiring some of its targets I am pleased with the business done.  Looking at the new recruits particularly Granit, Lucas and Shkodran, they have something that has been lacking in the team for a while now; leadership and character.
I have always said more than anything I was more concerned about the mentality of the players at Arsenal FC than the price tag of players being recruited by the club. The collapse at Southampton on boxing day last season, the last minute draw at Liverpool last season, losing to an under strength Manchester United team at Old Trafford last season and the second half collapse against Liverpool on opening day this season are indicative of the lack of leaders in the team particularly when the team encounters difficult spells in a game. The acquisition of Granit, Shkodran and Lucas addresses these shortcomings in the spine of the team; at the back in midfield and upfront. This video of Lucas playing against Barcelona I came across reading one of Arseblog’s post  brought a very wide smile to my face. The guy is not shy to have a go at team mates when they are slacking and believe me the likes of the Ox and Theo need it! Not completely Diego Costa but he has a bit of it in there and that’s not a bad thing,  Granit and Shkodran are captains of their previous teams too.

From what I have seen of the new recruits and in theory there is a balance to the Arsenal team and depth( Mr Injury please stay away!). I still stand by my predictions for the season regardless but I am more comfortable with this team than the one that started the campaign

Jack has pushed for a move to Bournemouth to get more playing time, I think it’s a good move where the he will have to deal with the pressure of being the go to guy, the guy to make things happen. This will not only benefit his football playing skills but his leadership qualities too. I do wish him the best in his bid to discover his fitness and confidence, definitely in my fantasy league team post “interlull” (another arseblog contribution).