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!
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…
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.
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.