Tag Archives: Liverpool

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..

One down thirty seven more to go!

Welcome Back Football!

With the first week of the Premier League season completed a few observations thus far;

Arsenal fans are going to need some sort of regular health check if they are to survive the season going by that first game!
Liverpool and Arsenal defend alike increasing the possibility of a top four place for the gunners.
All the big money strikers scored on their debut, Harry Kane still struggles to score in August (wonder why I had him in my fantasy league team) and Jonjo Shelvey is still stupid!
Rooney’s second coming started on a very good note.
Matic is looking like the missing piece to Jose’s midfield puzzle.
Conte looks grumpy and has started his Mourinho season in flying colours, I am wondering if he will see out the season.
Huddersfield are announcing they belong in the big league currently lying second.
The pundits still haven’t changed Jamie Redknapp thinks defending is all about leadership and heading the ball… ( I still don’t know how he gets a spot on on there all he does is overstate the obvious! )

The best performers of the week seem to be United scoring four past Hart, I am wondering if going to West ham is going to do his dwindling England career and confidence any good, that lot are playing like they are battling relegation already. Bilic’s first season looks like a very very long time ago….

I am happy to have football back as part of my weekend and look forward to game week 2.  By the time of my next post Chelsea could have lost two games in a row, they play Tottenham next and are missing Fabregas and Cahill…

Off to tidy my fantasy league, this week has been abysmal!.

 

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!

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4, we all saw that coming except Arsene!

Arseneee

This post is going to be a bit long so grab a cup of tea or something a bit stronger.
I got up yesterday with some optimism about yesterday’s game I don’t know why… so I messaged my brother an Arsenal fan who lives in the middle east saying  “Arsenal would win today with a clean sheet too” his response was “have you been drinking port?”, because of my new found love of port he assumed I had to be drunk with such Arsenal proclamations. You see I tend to be one of those that err on the side of optimism when Arsenal is concerned maybe too much at times. So when Theo scored I was tempted to send him a message saying I told you so but wanted Arsenal to hold the lead to halftime before I engaged in some boasting although I did send him a message along the lines of “you can see Arsene is not mad he knows what he’s doing” . Shortly after that message left my phone Arsenal conceded that brilliant goal from Coutinho’s free kick then I got his message back saying watch and see them collapse and boy was he right with that second half performance from Arsenal. Then he threw my statement back at me asking if I was standing by my Arsene is not mad proclamation. Of course I am standing by it but ermm let’s see..

For the past 9 seasons I can’t remember a season where It hasn’t been a case of Arsenal need just 2 or three signings and they will be challenging for the title, that has been the talk since the Emirates move and the dismantling of the Invincibles. 10 years on we are still saying the same thing! Graeme Souness said yesterday you move to a big ground like the Emirates to compete in the league of the big boys, but seems to me Arsene wants to eat his cake and have it, earn revenues of the boys in the big league and bleat poverty like he’s still at a small ground like Highbury. As a Tottenham (pretend you didn’t see that Arsenal fans) fan pointed out to me  yesterday Arsenal’s matchday gate takings of 3 million pounds is the highest in any ground in the world, add to that the largest cash reserve anywhere in club football it just doesn’t make sense how they have gone about the transfer business in a season that’s looking to be the most competitive. The problems from last season were evident and a proactive club that meant business would have gone out and resolved these issues at the earliest, but it seems to me that since the xhaka purchase which is a good buy but not the highest in the scale of our priorities Arsene and Ivan are waiting for sales and bargains in the closing days of the transfer season. To me that’s just indicative of profits being prioritised over a genuine desire to be competitive in the league.

Yesterday’s result was expected by many Arsenal fans and they were waiting to give Arsene a piece of their mind. I have always backed him to the hilt and a part of me thinks he deserved what he got yesterday from the fans even if I feel sad saying it. He set himself up for that and he is playing an active part in turning the fans on the players so early in the season, those guys don’t buy themselves or pick themselves for the team he does. Considering he was backed by a majority of the fans in that protest game last season, I think he is taking that grace for granted. Arsenal fans are not asking Arsene to make Pogba like signings but to invest in the squad and make it competitive. A defender and a striker was a priority going into this season, with 16 days to go in the transfer window a club with Arsenal’s resources is still yet to secure either of the two positions. There is nothing wrong with trust in your players but there is something like misplaced trust. At times I wonder what has happened to Arsene. This is the same guy that got rid of Ian Wright and Patrick Viera because he had his own vision of what he wanted for his team and was ruthless enough to make the changes when he deemed it fit. Now the same man bought an old decommissioned  Sylvestre from  Manchester United when Arsenal needed a proper centre back, endorses mediocrity by letting players who have performed below par in the team ahead of players who have performed better when they have been called upon, I am talking of Campbell being on the bench for Walcott and the Ox.

Holding and Chambers should never have been at the heart of the defence yesterday it was all due to indecision and lack of planning. I have always said solving those problem positions is not enough either. The mentality at Arsenal needs to be fixed and the team needs leaders. Why was a team so compact in the first half disintegrate when Liverpool exerted pressure for 20 minutes? I am still wondering if it were Arsenal leading at 4 1 and it came back to 4 3 , would they have held on to still win? The 3 3 result at Anfield last season says no!

I end with this big players who want to win things and not just after a big pay packet will ask themselves several questions when approached by Arsene. Sanchez and Ozil are entering into the final two years at Arsenal and with the knowledge of how rich the club is and a reluctance to invest in the team I am not sure they will be itching to renew their contracts. It’s 16 days to the end of this transfer window and the summer bargains Arsene and Ivan were looking for is certainly not going to materialise now that the whole world is privy to their needs, whoever they approach they will have to cough up an extra 10 to 15 million pounds above what is already an inflated price tag. If you keep doing the same things and expect different result is the definition of what?…

Arsene is not crazy he is just stubborn, like the Tottenham fan said to me yesterday (sorry guys yes it has gotten that bad putting a spurs fans comments twice in my post) Arsene came to England and changed English football, the game has then moved forward since his coming and Arsene has refused to adapt or evolve with it too.

 

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!

St Totteringham day a certainty as we enter homestretch

Thank God the international break is over now we can get back to real football. The Premier League beckons again this weekend and we are in the homestretch with 7 games to go in the season. Can’t believe it’s just 7 games to go can still remember predictions from the likes of Robbie Savage about Ranieri at Leicester making them candidates for relegation and Cech ditching the blue of London for the red of North London, it’s all gone by so fast!
This weekend throws up very interesting matchups with Liverpool at home to Tottenham and Leicester at home to Southampton while Arsenal are at home to their FA conquerors Watford.
Liverpool have 2 games in hand and are definitely in the race for that fourth position along with West Ham, Manchester United and Manchester city and I see them handing Spurs their first defeat since they lost away at West Ham.
Leicester at home to Southampton is hard to call considering that recently Southampton have been leaking in goals and not that solid defensive outfit they were a few weeks back. You always know what you are going to get from Leicester though and I am expecting a draw from this fixture.
Arsenal at home against Watford I am expecting a win after the debacle of their FA cup encounter.
Is this the weekend when Leicester begin to crack as they approach the finish line and appear to be on the cusp of a historic feat? I think it might just be but whether the crack be damaging enough to prevent them from winning the title we shall find out.  The remaining 7 games will be an exciting one and I see St Totteringham’s day still happening this season oh yes I do! You will have to google if you don’t know what St Totteringham day is though.
Grab your popcorn and watch as the most exciting finish to the Premier League unfolds, still rooting for Arsenal to win it, yes yes I am glutton for punishment.