Tag Archives: Barcelona

Pep dropping Hart not a big deal

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Manchester City kicked off their season officially last weekend and Joe Hart has been on the bench for their opening matches with Pep deciding to go with Willy in goal. There has been so much hullabaloo (my need to sound English) about Pep’s decision to drop Joe that in some quarters like those belonging to Joey Barton  it’s seen as disrespectful and disgusting.

Pep dropping Joe is not an indictment on him being a less than capable hand when compared to Willy it’s just that he doesn’t fit into the ethos of his kind of football presently. Pep has gotten rid of more accomplished and successful players in favour of less celebrated players that fit into the vision of his team. If we cast our minds back to Barcelona he got rid of Ronaldinho and Deco and promoted little known players at the time Pedro and Busquets from the Barcelona B team into the first team and the rest  they say is history. At the time nobody in their right minds would have brought in these inexperienced guys and sacrificing the likes of Deco and Ronaldinho. This same Pep who invested so much in buying Ibrahimovic, then sold him when he figured he didn’t suit his style of play or team ethos so I don’t get why dropping Joe is such a big deal.

He is England number one and has won the title with Manchester City yes, but the new man at the helm has a very clear picture of what he wants and has decided to go with Willy. If you ask me I am not convinced the Willy dude is such a great passer of the ball from what I have seen but if he is keeping Joe Hart out because of that passing ability then I would like to believe Pep who observes them everyday in training is in a better position to judge and is not being anti-English with some sort of agenda against Joe. I doubt very much there would have been so much noise had the roles been reversed as in Joe being the understudy being picked ahead of Willy if he had been number 1.

Pep has decided to start how he intends to go on and it is a bold statement to drop the England number 1 in favour of Willy, time will tell if it is the right decision.

Tottenham to drop 8 points and end up behind Arsenal? Yes or Naw

Yesterday football lost a legend, the word legend is used very loosely these days in football but Johan Cryuff definitely was the epitome of the word legend. He changed the way football would be played forever. Barcelona the best team in the world right now are successful because of the foundations he built in his time there managing the club. Rest in peace Johan heaven has just gained the real special one.

Getting to today’s post Tottenham come under the spotlight concerning their remaining fixtures and title chances. Tottenham currently lie 5 points behind Leicester and 6 ahead of Arsenal although Arsenal have a game in hand. Tottenham’s remaining fixtures are in the order below;

Liverpool(a), Manutd(h), Stoke (a), West Brom(h), Chelsea(a), Southampton(h), Newcastle(a)

The fixtures above are all tricky and if it was the Tottenham team of old I could easily say I could see them dropping point in all but one of these games and that would be the West Brom game at home, but this Spurs team have a new resolve typical of their manager. Even with this new found resolve they are difficult fixtures as we enter the home stretch and I still see them dropping points especially against Liverpool, Stoke, Chelsea and Southampton at home. Manutd at home? You never know which LVG team you are going to get, West Brom are usual spoilers with Tony at the helm but with them looking safe I think that should be easy for Tottenham and the Newcastle away game being the final game of the season, depending on where Newcastle are in the table that could be a tough tough game.

Tottenham do have a difficult run in, probably the most difficult of the present top 3 which kind of brings a little smile to my face as it will be a true test for this young side Pochettino is moulding. Cynical I know, blame the Arsenal fan in me.

The first couple of game weekends post international break  could serve up a twist in the title race. Imagine if Tottenham lose against Liverpool and Leicester beat Southampton or it’s the other way around and Arsenal win against Watford. The more I preview the permutations the more excitement I think this season still has to offer.

Ending with a Johan Cryuff quote; “football is a game of mistakes. whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins”. That could certainly be what determines the title with seven games left and may I add luck too, considering all the dodgy refereeing that’s rife in the Premier League this season. Mike Dean please stay away!!!

Have good Easter people will be back on Saturday to preview Arsenal, oh tomorrow is Saturday so that means tomorrow.

Arsenal defence let down against Barcelona

I watched the game with no expectation of an Arsenal result to be honest, but with the way Arsenal started I became hopeful and in the most “Arsenalistic” way they lose 0 2. I was surprised with Chamberlain  in the starting lineup I still don’t feel he has done enough to keep Joel Campbell on the bench. He fluffed his lines as usual when he he should have been calmer in front of goal and then dribbled straight into Mascherano on a counter with Ozil and Giroud waiting.

Looking at the two goals the captain of the day had a hand in both. There were several chances to stop the first goal and Mertesacker should have been more cynical when he slid to intercept the pass to Neymar, he missed the ball and Neymar was in on goal, the rest is history. The second goal Per kick the ball out of defence instead of trying to play out! His loose touch activated the rash Flamini who conceded a penalty within 47 seconds of coming on, that must be some record! All that hard work and Arsenal do a big poo all over themselves. I still don’t know what Wenger was thinking bringing Flamini on for Coquelin, for crying out loud he rested him at the weekend Coquelin should have been able to play the full 90mins.

Apart from the first half when Sanchez help carry the ball forward he was poor and gave the ball away a number of times and with all the assist Ozil has in the Premier League he didn’t stand up to be counted today in such a big game begs the question why he was rested against Hull.

The Arsenal defence were actually let down today by the attack today. Poor finishing and misplaced passes did not compliment the hard work of Bellerin, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey and Koscielny. There were some good that could be taken from this game, Arsenals shape, the high pressing and Ramsey’s discipline to help Coquelin, I wonder why we don’t see more of this in the Premier League. If you ask me this tie is over and the worrying thing is Arsenal are still not scoring.

The next game is against Manchester United and I hope the OX is on the bench and Campbell starts in his place.