Tag Archives: Arsene Wenger

Two More Years Of This?!

two more years of this!

Same old Arsenal
Same old Arsenal

I couldn’t start this week’s post without talking about Raheem’s sending off. Someone tell me what is the point of Mike Dean? I don’t know which will give me more joy, the day Mike Dean retires from refereeing or Arsenal win the league again or the Champions league for the first time.. He will claim he was following the letter of the law but like Alan clearly pointed out on MOTD if that was the case 7  City players should have been carded. Mike Dean probably saw himself making the headlines with the thought of a second yellow for Raheem and he certainly has! I mean he has taken 9 lines in today’s post, anyways to proper football talk..

Arsenal are the same and it’s because the same guy is still in charge that is my conclusion. This exact squad given to the likes of Pochettino or Conte won’t turn out performances of the last two weeks. For starters they will get the line up right. To think the Ox figures he’s good enough to play in the middle good luck to him getting into that Liverpool team that just handed his team or soon to be former team a pasting. If not for Cech could have been 7. Not even winning 2 FA cups this season can disguise how shitty things are at this football club and one is supposed to stomach this for the next two years, thank God for my new found indifference, I predicted a loss on Friday but not a pasting..  I am leaving it there don’t want to be repeating myself from previous posts. It’s not even February and they are this bad already.. Get rid of the Ox if he won’t sign he is really not that good!

United are getting it right with three wins out of three and they have Zlatan back, I am not sure that helps their new forward power play but we will see, Zlatan is never a bad addition to any team . Next stop for Jose and his men Stoke.

You can’t make an “Allardyced” side play like Ajax someone should tell De Boer, speeding towards a sack it seems. They are not that loyal at Crystal Palace.
Bilic looking dazed a must have some kind of link with the way his team are currently playing; like a dazed bunch. I don’t see how Joe Hart can maintain his so called number  one England goalkeeper status considering he is at the bottom of the table and has conceded the most goals in the league this season.

Newcastle have their first win thanks to WestHam and Huddersfield dropped their first points but are yet to lose or concede. Spurs dropped points in the last minute at their away home ground and I honestly don’t see them reaching the heights of last season playing at Wembley.
The game between Stoke and West Brom reminded me why I giggle when some people proclaim the Premier League is the best in the world! I beg to differ but I guess money dictates a lot of things these days.
City Scraped past Bournemouth in a game that should have been won in the first half, Pep’s side not putting away chances is going to hurt them big time this season and I have already discussed the ridiculous red for Raheem.
Hmmm.. what else have I missed oh yes Everton have spent loads of money and are still afraid to attack the opposition. Were outplayed playing a 10 man city last week despite leading 1 0 and didn’t have a shot on target against Chelsea till the 89th minute!

It’s international weekend so noPremier League action till the upper week. As it stands United are my pick for the title as they are efficient and pragmatic. Off to gloat about my fantasy league points my only present reason for joy every football weekend.

Premier League Week Two Musings

Conte source Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Conte source Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Still the same old Arsenal, batter a poor team creating chance after chance but no goal. Lose the ball in midfield then concede, huff and puff till the end of the game and lose… Sounds very familiar..
Select players in their best positions, playing your best left backs at the centre of defence when you have fit centre backs is mind boggling…  Oh and someone should tell Mustafi to stay on his feet he is looking like a poor acquisition every passing day if you ask me.. Jese will be grateful for his scoring debut,  Arsene and his boys are fond of giving gifts!

Chelsea let everyone know last week’s loss was an aberration, beating Tottenham at their “away home” ground, they scored all three goals and won 2 1. Matic won’t be missed from what I saw of Bakayoko, so the pundits can calm down now. Conte seems to know a thing or two about winning and blending a good team, maybe he could call Arsene and teach him a thing or two about team balance..
Oh and Luiz seems to be getting better and better… I bet the pundits must miss scapegoating him..

Manchester United scored another 4 goals and my only joy was in the fact that I had three of their players in my fantasy league team. I can’t say I am happy when Jose is happy but so far they have started like a house on fire, they will face stiffer opposition.. but well done to Jose and his boys as they top the league..

Newcastle are continuing from where they left off in the season they got relegated, which season you might ask? Take your pick I say.. Maybe Shearer will be called to another failed rescue..Huddersfield are not here to make up numbers, with no goals conceded like United they lie second in the league table.
That new dude at Crystal Palace is yet to pick up a win,  candidate for a sack at some point? I will be betting he wins if he plays Arsenal anytime before that happens..

Bilic is another one under pressure WestHam still can’t buy a win but Chicharito can still find the back of the net a candidate for my fantasy league team..
It’s City versus Everton tonight, Pep and his boys under the spotlight..
Arsenal Liverpool next Sunday , Klopp hasn’t lost to Arsene in the PL if I remember correctly (please correct me if I am wrong), and if he pulls the same stupid stunt with team selection again  that stat isn’t not going to change..
Have a good week people you either licking your wounds as fans or celebrating..

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.

Arsenal the Ideal pick me up opponents

Another groundhog day for Arsene and Arsenal

The final score at Anfield in the last few minutes are in no way surprising, Arsenal are the ideal pick me up opponents for clubs having a difficult season. Look at Bayern they were having a sort of Average season till Arsene and his boys visited the Allianz a few weeks ago you all know how that story ended.

Arsene talked about the need for a fast start at Anfield at his pre match conference on  that message clearly didn’t get across to his team nor did the line up indicate that was the plan.
Today’s  line up was very surprising with no Alexis in the team but I have always reasoned that no one player is bigger than the team. I look at what Pep is doing at City and can clearly see how he has improved Aguero’s game by leaving him on the bench at times in a bid to make him see what extras he wants from his game.
I was hesitant about moaning about the line up before kick off just to see what Arsene was trying to do, but by the end of the first half I still couldn’t see what the game plan was. Look if you are going to leave your best player on the bench you must have a game plan that can be excellently executed by the rest of the team, that Arsenal team looked rudderless with no game plan or heart from back to front in the first 45 minutes. The first goal conceded was poor and had nothing to do with Sanchez being on the bench.  A ball played out from Mignolet resulted in a goal, that is poor on every level and typical of this team I can’t believe Mustafi continues to start or that he has made that defence any better than when Per was there at least he could read games and intercept even if people complained about his lack of pace. The second half was better but as usual the damage had been done in the first half. I am not a professional footballer but I wouldn’t want to play in this fickle Arsenal team unless I was a masochist borrowing my pal LVG’s lingo. It makes me wonder what the likes of Sanchez and Ozil are thinking considering who they have rubbed shoulders with in dressing rooms at their previous clubs.
I have questions; Oxlade’s best performances have been in the middle why continue to deploy him on the wings? Coquelin needs another rebirth at Charlton it seems he hasn’t been good for many games,  he shouldn’t have been in that line up and to add he shouldn’t be near that team at this point in time. Why Substitute Welbeck for Walcott considering the influence he was having at Anfield today? Why play Iwobi for so long in a game of this magnitude particularly when he has struggled recently in games when you have a more experienced Lucas on the bench? I have many more questions like many of you.
Arsene talked about reinventing himself at the prematch conference on Friday and I actually think he needs some time away from managing especially at Arsenal. It’s been groundhog day at Arsenal for years and today’s performance only strengthen’s the case for a new direction at Arsenal going forward and the earlier that’s done the better. For the rest of the season I will be focusing on my fantasy league team for consolation, not that it’s doing any better than Arsenal but at least I am top of one league!

Time for a new direction at Arsenal

Two losses in a week that essentially ends Arsenal’s title bid for another season and the manner in which they lost was all too familiar. I didn’t bother posting about the Watford loss midweek as it was like writing a post I had written several times but the second half display at Chelsea to a man was shameful and pitiful to say the least. The first goal in my opinion was a foul on Bellerin, Alonso jumping like that leading with his elbow is dangerous play and  anywhere else on the pitch it’s a foul but that doesn’t excuse Walcott’s neglecting his duty to cover Alonso’s run, a run he saw clearly. He did the same at Old Trafford which led to a goal, was supposed to learn from that, clearly hasn’t. In fact the characteristic of the entire team is one that never ever learns, they do the same thing over and over again expecting different results and there’s a popular saying that addresses this behaviour. Arsenal making the average look exceptional since 1886 is how I describe the manner in which Hazard was allowed to waltz through the midfield to score the second, I am sure Kante or Matic wouldn’t have allowed Ozil or Sanchez that much freedom to do that without putting in a tackle to at least get a yellow on behalf of the team and stop the counter, it was nothing but naive from everyone concerned. From all the posturing for new and improved contracts from our star players they went Awol yesterday and Ozil not for the first time.  Mediocrity, lack of application, lack of fight creeps through the entire team. I wish the mental fortitude they have for social media could be applied to their main job. Yesterday Oxlade Chamberlain was caught up in a gaffe mistakenly liking a “Wenger out” post shortly after the game. You ask yourself what was he doing on social media minutes after such a loss, talk of priorities right. Not giving himself time to introspect and digest what had just happened, your team is now 12 points behind Chelsea, the title was no longer in your grasp. It’s like they don’t have a clue what putting on the Arsenal colours represent.
Those guys have it all too easy and there is no one else to point the finger at but Arsene. Players put in average performances and still get in the team. Yesterday in his post match interview he said the team gave all they had, I don’t want to believe he believes that that’s all they have and after the Watford game he said they weren’t ready mentally errm Arsene what’s your job? I am an Arsene guy and will forever be but there has to come a point where we have to be real; I think he has brought the club as far as he can and there needs to be a change. I will make it clear I do not support idiots that travel to grounds with banners or spew insults at him there is no place for that at all. I find it hard to comprehend that this same Arsene managed “The Invincibles” with what he lets this group of players get away with. I also sort of feel sorry for him as there is no one in that team absolutely no one that actually steps up on difficult game days to settle and focus his team mates, then again he does the recruiting.  There’s a part of me that feels he has lost what it takes to inspire that team, it has gotten stale, he can’t be that stimulus that brings about the required response on the pitch game after game. The team needs a different direction and the time has come for that change, it’s the same thing every year even if the league positions are different. Like a friend of mine said yesterday we have circled this mountain for too long.
I will end with this, Cesc scored the third goal yesterday, in the time he has left Arsenal and has come back to the PL Arsenal haven’t won the PL but Cesc has one PL title to his name and he is on the cusp of winning another, the only constant thing in that time has been Arsene.

Oh and Happy Birthday to me unlike the Ox I am doing some introspection…

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.

 

 

Sanchez proving Arsene right

Alexis doing damage at West Ham
Alexis doing damage at West Ham

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;

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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.

 

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?