Could Manchester United Be Any More Lucky or Negative??

What a game, unfortunately though we got a result we didn’t deserve.

3 shots on target and 3 goals, typical of a extremely negative Jose Mourinho side.

At the end of the game, I was proud of Arsenal. Yes, 2 stupid mistakes lead to the first 2 Manchester United goals but mistakes happen and it’s not as if Koscielny and Mustafi misplaced those passed on purpose. After going 2-0 down after 11 minutes, all Arsenal could do is respond and did they.

After the United sucker punches our response was (almost) perfect and we dominated the game, with chance after chance. The only problem was David De Gea was on world class form – some of the saves were sensational and he kept Manchester United in the game – because against any other keeper we would have scored 4 or 5 in the first half alone.

Manchester United have a reputation for being very negative under Mourinho but today he took that to a whole new level. It was as if he thought he was up against Barcelona in their pomp. A squad that cost around £500 million to assemble was reduced to a defensively desperate mess by Arsenal, and for that I am proud of my team.

And any Arsenal supporter who is critical of Arsene Wenger is an absolute joke – could be legislate for the 2 mistakes? No. Was it his fault that a side that cost half a billion to assemble played like a non-league side at The Emirates? No.

Arsenal gave it everything and our recent form has been outstanding.

Arsenal fans need to put things in perspective.

Arsenal Dominated Chelsea From Start To Finish

Before the game I was optimistic as you can be when Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge:


But on this occasion, I am more than happy to eat my words.

In the last decade, we’ve only won once at Stamford Bridge, when Arsenal won 5-3 and Robin van Persie scored a hat trick and John Terry decided that he forgot to move his legs and just gave up. While that was a great game and performance from Arsenal, the background to that match was that Andre Villas Boas was losing control of the Chelsea changing room.

And recently, we’ve been abysmal at Stamford Bridge, hence the above bet and tweet. It seems like every time we visit Stamford Bridge or Anfield, we play far too open and end up losing 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0.

But today, Arsenal played like a team.

Which this season hasn’t happened yet.

For the first time in a while, the formation, team selection and tactics were all spot on. Arsenal had Koscielny, Mustafi and Monreal in the back three, and had Hector Bellerin on the right (where he should be – not on the left!). And finally, finally, we had Sead Kolasinac where he was supposed to be, at left back!

Crazy I know Arsene but playing your full backs in the right positions might work!

Then we had Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in central midfield, both of whom had excellent games.

But whether Arsene Wenger had intended or not, the front three today were spot on.

With Alexandre Lacazette the spearhead of the Arsenal attack, he was flanked by Danny Welbeck and Alexander Iwobi – and it was a masterstroke.

That front three set the tone for Arsenal’s performance and all three of those players were full of running and ran their hearts out for the cause. They hustled, harried and put the Chelsea defence under constant pressure.

The amount of closing down they did was truly phenomenal and something we haven’t seen this season, mainly because of the way Mesut Özil plays.

Welbeck, Lacazette and Iwobi worked together and if it wasn’t for their example we wouldn’t have been good as we were because they set the tone, lifted the team with their passion and that’s why we should have beaten Chelsea in their own back yard – comfortably.

In terms of chances, Welbeck had a good chance with a header early on, Lacazette forced a good save from Courtois after Ramsey and Bellerin combined well – and overall we caused the home side all kinds of problems.

The performance from back to front was exceptional today and you will not find an Arsenal fan who was not proud of the lads today. They worked their socks off, gave it their all, were well organised and played like a proper team.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the goal we rich deserved and that’s a bit disappointing, but no-one can fault the performance and in a game where we usually get turned over, instead Arsenal have given the fans hope and optimism moving forwards.

#COYG

Arsene Needs To Leave & How Arsenal Should Have Lined Up Against Liverpool

Before the game I predicted that Arsenal would lose 3-1.

It seems that prediction was somewhat optimistic.

There’s particular things you can be certain of in life – the sun rising in the morning, the birds singing in the trees – and Arsenal losing every time they go to Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Anfield or the Britannia Stadium.

After the disappointing performance against Stoke which once again showed us that an Arsene Wenger side doesn’t have any mental strength or fight for a realistic title challenge, we arrived at Anfield in a massive need of a positive result to put some confidence in the camp.

Yet we do what we do every single time we go to a top side. We inexplicably play wide open football.

Arsene Wenger, are you taking the piss?

You almost want Alexis Sanchez to leave because the Arsenal setup (as it has been for the last 12 years) is just shambolic.

We have Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding, Mertesacker and Chambers who are central defenders yet Arsene Wenger persists in playing Nacho Monreal in there. We have a right back at left back, and play Oxlade-Chamberlain as right wing back – a player who wants to leave the club and clearly doesn’t care!

The midfield is a joke with Ramsey and Xhaka who don’t know their head from their arse and are presumably told to just randomly wander around the pitch?

Alexis is sapped of any motivation, playing with a bunch of idiots who are told what to do by an even bigger idiot (that’s Arsene Wenger if you didn’t know). We have a decent squad yet for some reason, Arsene Wenger is playing the wrong players and playing them in wrong positions!

For all the hope, promises and bullshit fed to the Arsenal fans all summer, it’s the same old bollocks!

Arsene Wenger has lost the plot. After losing at Stoke, it would have made sense to keep it tight and hit Liverpool on the break? But Arsenal’s naivety in their setup meant that Liverpool picked us apart similar to Mayweather picking off McGregor a few hours earlier in the day.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out how we should have setup and lined up against Liverpool. We should have setup like this:

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 21.27.27

Seriously, is that so hard?!

Mesut Özil can’t (won’t) defend so why put him in midfield? The Ramsey / Xhaka combination is clueless and certainly need cover in the form of Coquelin.

Bellerin should never be asked to fill in on the left (would you play Roberto Carlos or Maldini on the right?) and if Nacho Monreal is definitely needed in the back three (instead of Mustafi’s transfer status) then use Kolasinac on the left – why the hell did we buy him just to sit on the bench? Playing Hector Bellerin over an actual left back is just fucking crazy!

What the hell is going on at Arsenal? Arsene Wenger has 100% lost his fucking mind.

What drugs is Arsene taking because I want to know what the hell he’s thinking.

I have been an Arsenal fan for over 28 years now and I can literally tell before the match if we’ll lose or not. Chelsea away? We’ll lose. Manchester United away? We’ll lose. Liverpool away? We’ll lose. Stoke away? We’ll lose. It’s just a joke that a so-called experienced football manager makes the same mistakes against the same teams time and time and time and time and time and time again.

Seriously, the mind boggles!

It’s got to a stage where Arsenal are just conning the fans now. Ivan Gazidis, Arsene Wenger, the whole lot of them at Arsenal just spout shit. The same old rhetoric, the same old platitudes, the same old spin – just stop already.

The fans don’t believe it, the media don’t believe it – and more obviously the players don’t believe it.

Arsene Wenger is a huge legend for Arsenal Football Club but he has proved over the last 10 years that his ideas are tired, he’s stubborn and that he has no idea on how to move the club forward.

His USP was guaranteed Champions League football but now he can’t even ensure that – who knows where we’ll bloody end up this season.

If Arsenal Want To Win The Title, They Must Accommodate Giroud (w/ Player Ratings)

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[ Credit: joshjdss @ Flickr ]

What. A. Game.

If you wanted a football match to launch a Premier League season then this was it. It had everything, end to end football, some stunning goals, late comebacks – great for the neutral I’m sure but not great for Arsenal fans or Arsene Wenger with only 20 minutes to go!

Arsenal had the perfect start with new signing Alexandre Lacazette scoring with 2 minutes of the game gone. Then Arsenal, did an Arsenal. Leicester scored twice to take the lead which in no part came from defensive naivety from a make-shift back three. With Mertesacker, Koscielny and Mustafi out injured or suspended, we played Rob Holding (to be fair has been excellent for us), Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac. With the back three flanked by Hector Bellerin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, at times we struggled and it will be interesting to see who our first choice back five is when everyone is fit.

Rob Holding struggled and Arsene Wenger eluded to it in his post-match press conference, which I feel is a bit unfair as he didn’t have an experienced central defender helping him out.

We conceded two goals from set-prices and another from a situation where Granit Xhaka gave the ball away, which on the night was quite a lot. Our midfield struggled and Leicester successfully stifled the influence of Xhaka and Elneny, with Mesut Özil trying his best but ultimately unable to exert his usual influence on the game.

In attack Arsenal looked good, considering Leicester had 10 men behind the ball and credit to them, the opposition looked very good indeed and similar to the Leicester of two years ago. Vardy looked razor sharp and you forgot how quick he really is but he gave our back three all kinds of problems last night. Albrighton, perhaps a player who doesn’t get all the plaudits has one hell of a delivery and his cross lead to the first Leicester goal.

Lacazette put in a decent shift but was pretty much up against 3/4 players all night, and was unlucky not score another when Giroud laid the ball off and he showed quick feet, only to be denied by a great save from Schmeichel. Danny Welbeck did well and scored after a nice lay off from Kolasinac and of course then there are the super-subs, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud.

With 20 minutes to go, Arsene Wenger brought on Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud for Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck. Arsenal then had a back four which included a winger and three full backs in Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin. And to their credit, Arsenal went for it and it all paid off in the end.

A Mesut Özil corner found its way to Granit Xhaka, who found Aaron Ramsey at the back post. His first touch was excellent and he smashed the ball into the net with a powerful toe-poke.

Arsenal had Leicester on the ropes at this point and a lovely through ball from Ramsey found Giroud who played the ball back to Lacazette. The Frenchman weaved his way past 3 players before lashing a shot towards the roof of the next, before Schmeichel tipped it over the bar.

From the resulting corner from Xhaka, Giroud scored a simply stunning header – only a goal he could score – which bounced off the underside of the bar and over the line.

The comeback was complete and Olivier Giroud showed how vital he is to Arsenal’s season. Without him, we could have (and probably would have) dropped points and all the negativity around the club would have reared it’s ugly head. But as it stands, Arsenal are top of the league with an opening day win and have maximum points.

We all know what it’s like in the Premier League these days and dropping any points at all is a massive setback if you aspire to win the title.

Olivier Giroud gives Arsenal something no-one else can, and it’s vital that Arsene Wenger can find a place for him in our starting eleven. When he came on, his link up play with Alexandre Lacazette was excellent and that is something which could push us on to greater heights.

Player Ratings:

Petr Cech: 6/10

Did well to deny Jamie Vardy on a couple of occasions – firstly after coming off his line quickly to stop a through ball and then a quick dive at the feet of the pacy striker when the game was carefully poised at 4-3. Probably could have done better on a couple of the goals Leicester did score, but had a make-shift defence in front of him.

Rob Holding: 5/10

Had a night to forgot, poor lad. Gave everything and you cannot fault his effort but struggled against an experienced and cunning strikers in Vardy and Okazaki. Probably should have closed down Fuchs much quicker to deny the first Vardy goal and overall had a tough evening.

Nacho Monreal: 6/10

You’re asking a player who isn’t a central defender to command the back line with a young Rob Holding and a new signing who is also more of a full back in Sead Kolasinac. Did as well as he could but was asked to play out of position – if he’s in the back three he’s usually the left sided defender alongside two central defenders. Played the ball out of the back well but struggled against the Leicester attacks and we were too open at the back.

Sead Kolasinac: 7/10

A bit of a strange debut – struggled defensively (which is a bit of a problem if you’re playing as a central defender) but strangely did really well going forward. Played incisive and positive passes forward, and was unselfish when through on goal and showed real composure to lay the ball off to Danny Welbeck for our first equaliser. Involved in most things and gave it everything – so overall a positive start for the Tank.

Hector Bellerin: 7/10

Up and down the right flank all night and gave 110%. Gave Arsenal width which was needed to stretch the Leicester back line but did leave the poor Rob Holding exposed defensively at times which caused Arsenal big problems.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 7/10

Bright and incisive, Oxlade-Chamberlain always took on the Leicester defence and caused the visiting team problems – and was unlucky when he lashed a left-footed effort just over the bar in the first half. Very positive play from him and you wonder if left wing back will be his permanent position.

Granit Xhaka: 6/10

Provided two assists on the night which proved decisive but was generally poor all night – giving the ball away on so many occasions and lost possession for Leicester’s second goal. Struggled to link up with Elneny with any meaningful influence but did better when Aaron Ramsey came on.

Mohammad Elneny: 5/10

Was out of his depth which was disappointing after a good performance against Chelsea last week. Wasn’t helped by Leicester sitting so deep so had no space to really help the team. Moved the ball on well but couldn’t seem to penetrate the Leicester midfield.

Mesut Özil: 5/10

Had a poor night for me. Didn’t look himself at all and seemed to me as if he wasn’t fully fit. Not and influential as we know he can be and his performance showed why there is no interest from any big clubs in signing him. Too peripheral and floats in and out of games far too often. At half time I wanted Arsene Wenger to bring him off and bring on Olivier Giroud.

Danny Welbeck: 7/10

Tried time and time again to make something happen and was full of running for the cause. Didn’t have much space at all to do anything but scored the vital equaliser and had a few moments where he got through their defence and was unlucky not to score.

Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10

Made a dream start with a goal after 2 minutes and showed some good touches. Tough to judge his performance as Leicester had a 10 man defence and could have been the hero at 3-3 when his fancy footwork in the box almost resulting in a goal. Overall a positive debut with a goal and win, and you can’t really ask for any more than that.

Aaron Ramsey: 8/10

Came on and was decisive, positive and lead the team forward. Excellent goal and excellent influence when he came on.

Olivier Giroud: 8/10

Getting a reputation for being a super-sub, but he really is super. Gave Leicester City all kinds of problems and scored a simply stunning header which only he can. Football is all about fine margins and I dare say without him in our squad, we would struggle badly this season.

Theo Walcott: 4/10

Made no meaningful contribution and not sure if he even touched the ball?

It’s Time For Arsene Wenger To F*cking Leave!!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have always been one of the few AKB’s left amongst the Arsenal supporters. I believed that he was the right man to take us forward, especially after years of financial difficulties – but now enough is enough.

I tweeted before the game that there are only 3 things certain in life: Death, Taxes and Arsenal losing at Stamford Bridge. And I even said to myself I wasn’t going to watch the match as I knew exactly what was going to happen. But as most of you know supporting Arsenal is a religion and is something you can’t just turn off and on with a flick of a switch. So even knowing what would unfold this afternoon, I watched the game.

The game ended 3-1 and that’s not a surprise. Arsenal were second best all afternoon and again, that wasn’t a surprise. I hate playing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge because mentally we just bottle it. We approach the game with no fight, no determination and most importantly no belief. Why is that? It all stems from the manager.

I don’t know why Arsene Wenger keeps making the same mistakes. The only time we won there was when they had the incompetent Andre Villas Boas in charge and Van Persie scored a hat trick to give us a 5-3 win. Apart from that, the only win I remember was in The Invincible season when Vieira and Edu scored in a 2-1 victory.

Don’t get me wrong, the refereeing once again was a complete joke. The opening goal was a clear foul – Alonso pretty much pole axed Bellerin before heading into the net. In any other game thats a foul but there seems to be a trend of awful refereeing decision going against us recently.

After that we couldn’t really get into the game but despite this, we still make some decent chances to nick an equaliser. Gabriel had the best chance but his header went straight down the keepers throat.

But as it stands, after the defeat against Watford midweek, we are now 12 points behind. Once again, in early February we’re well out of the title race.

So now our only chance of silverware this season is either in the Champions League (are you having a laugh?) or the FA Cup. Ah well, at least we can try and finish 4th again.

Look, I love Arsene Wenger. That man has done more than any other to grow and build a football club that is self-sustainable and has one of the best stadiums not just in England but the world. And while the man has given us unprecedented success – he ideas and football beliefs are just outdated.

The best defence usually wins the league yet that’s an area he doesn’t believe he needs to teach. He inherited a side with one of the best defences the country has ever seen and did recruit well, signing Lauren, Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure, as well as bringing Ashley Cole through the ranks. But after that it’s been nothing but stop gaps. And Arsene was fortunate with The Invincibles defence, as Ashley Cole off to Crystal Palace before Silvinho had his passport problems, Lauren was originally a right sided midfielder and Kolo Toure was groomed into the roll by Martin Keown.

After 13 years without even looking like we could sustain a genuine title challenge, enough is simply enough.