Match Ratings : Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United

If my ratings offend anyone because majority people get offended anyway with opinions I apologise in advance.

Here is a picture of a stoned duck to lift your mood up :

Stoned Duck.jpg

Petr Cech – 5

Cannot fault this man for the goals conceded. Every single goal was unexpected and he did do his best. The issue with GK’s is that no matter what they do, you only remember the ones that went in – in this case, it was 3.

Koscielny – 3

Directly responsible for 2 of the 3 we conceded, this man probably was like Donald on top when playing. I am a Koscielny fan but one has to call a spade a spade. He was terrible. Even when he positioned himself well to defend against Pogba, he let his French counter-part get the better of him and allow a pass for United’s 3rd. Lacking in concentration, we are not used to him playing so shabby. Let’s just hope it was one of those days for him.

Mustafi – 2

Well, he made a huge impact on the game when he allowed himself to get dispossessed for Arsenal’s second. Can we really rate a man who was on the pitch for less than 12 minutes and was subbed moments after he led us to concede? It is a little unfair I feel with no scope for any real picture. I may have given him a 3 if he played the 90, I don’t know..

Monreal – 5

I like this guy. He filled in as CB when Mustafi was taken off and he did a good job. You can’t really blame him for any of the goals and he did his job as a defender when one needed him.

Bellerin – 5

He made a few good runs on the right, but nobody really gave him the ball. The usual flow of running down, cutting back and passing back was abundant in his play. He helped out at the back when needed though and the boy is really fast. I appreciate the fact that over time he seems to have become a little less lazy and help out when needed in the back (another crucial element in the 3-4-3 formation)

Xhaka – 2

I don’t really have much to say about this lurch in the middle of the field. I don’t see him contributing anything and have not seen him do anything for a while. He reminds me of Denilson, a player whose game only consisted of stupid back passes and once in a while shots.

Xhaka has been heavily criticised by Arsenal fans in the last few games. More criticism is biased towards him not doing anything rather than doing something productive. He failed to mark Lindegaard for United’s third too. Not a very good period for our “lost” Swiss camel.

Ramsey – 5

The guy tries. He seems to be improving and playing better with each game. I loved his presence of mind when he played the ball back to Lacazette for our only goal. He made good runs and played a few good balls, but nothing the United defence could not handle.

Kolasinac – 5

Out of position and out of place most of the time. His contribution towards attacking was null and with respect to his defensive duties, he really seemed too cavalier. Sure, he helped out when needed but overall it was not one of his games. His influence quotient which is a term I made up a few seconds ago and which means the amount a player influences a game on and off the ball was 0.

He was not at fault for the first goal, that was a shit cross by Koscielny.

Ozil – 6

Let us see. He made good runs. He took the ball forward, played some great passes and also helped out at the back. He had a good game given the rest of the team’s performance and certainly could have done more – but should I be harsh and type unrealistic things like he should have passed better or even scored, no. Even the man’s free-kick was on target and if it were not for Ashley Young he would have scored.

Sanchez – 4

I think, easily one of the worst games he has had this season. He just could not get it together for who knows what reason. Maybe his dog shat on him for some reason and he was pissed, I do not know, but I am never seen a Sanchez who was so out of sorts like the way he was on Saturday. Let’s not kid ourselves, the man was his usual self – making runs, pressing and taking the ball forward, but there was no end result for him today.

If I had money I would have probably lost it because I had expected him to equalise in the 56th min (fuck you DeGea), but nothing went right for him today.

Lacazette – 5

He deserves a little more. He scored the only goal in the game and for a player who was recovering from a groin injury, this man was astounding. I genuinely feel that Lacazette is a good player and with time he will improve. Sure, he has the odd chance that he skyrockets into Highbury once in a while, but everybody does that (Ramos, Beckham). I am going to give him 6 just because it felt like he tried.


 

As I said before, this game was thrown away by us. United were not better, but we made them look better.

I am not a very optimistic person but I do feel we are on the right track. That being said, there is no cure for a lack of concentration so one can’t do much about that.

Yet, I am hopeful that these holes can be plugged and we can bounce back at Bate, sorry, at Southampton next week.

Till then…

Peace!

Mr. DeGea, you should be frozen…

DDG

The last 2 wins for this Arsenal side was some-what ‘relaxing’, especially when you consider the Burnley game. But this game vs Manchester United is as always, a classic!

I did not expect any philosophy changes between Wenger and Mourinho for this game and when the team sheets were announced, the only surprise was that Lacazette started. Didn’t fancy Wenger for mind games manager, but I was impressed.

That was short-lived though as the first 15 mins changed everything.

On 3, Koscielny gave possession away and United scored. There are a few things for this 3-4-3 formation that are suicidal – giving away possession is No 1 on this list.

First, it was Koscielny in the 3rd minute when his cross to Kolasinac was shabby and weak. Second, Mustafi joined in – it was 0-1 in four mins and 0-2 in eleven. The Arsenal defence was shambolic, the Arsenal attack was mute.

We didn’t have to employ a tactic to counter Mourinho. We put oil on ourselves and lit it with a flint…imagine this guy…

BM

That was us…

Having played into United’s tactics, Mustafi’s injury (seconds after he gave the ball away) forced Wenger into a tactical change. Would he have made this change if Mustafi was fit, is debatable, but right now let us not get into that. Iwobi entered the pitch minutes later as the formation switched to a 4-5-1.

Its moments like these that set games up in a predefined way. When you face top teams, games are approached in a certain way. For Arsenal, it was (always is) keep possession and play to their strengths. For United, it is defending collectively and attacking via counter-attacks. Now imagine you give a cheap 2 goal lead to the latter (..feel that tilt)

From the 16th min onwards until the end of the first half, we gave it all. Everything was thrown at United. If you did a heat map scan of the pitch it would be this:

Heat Map.png

We had our chances. We definitely had our chances, but if it was not for David DeGea, a goalkeeper I honestly consider to be the best in the world we would have been 3 up.

I just want to make a small thing clear – there are players who make teams world class. David DeGea is one such player. He was the one who emulated another one of his famous performances against us a few seasons back when United had Van Gaal and won 1-2 at the Emirates. He was the one who was a fucking wall between us and the goal. That man should be frozen and kept alive to show generations ahead, what a GK is supposed to do. He made saves, he shouted at his mediocre united defence, he ran the show. I don’t do match ratings for opposition teams, but this man deserved a 20 on 10.

It was Arsenal vs DDG. Period.

In the second half, there were 2 or 3 talking points. One was Ramsey’s assist to Lacazette for our first goal. It was a delightful touch to set up the Frenchman for a good finish. DeGea was finally beaten.

One would think that dents confidence, but as I said before David here was on another level.

In the 56th minute, he made a double save that is worth watching more than once to keep United in the game as we unloaded run after run, play after play into his D-box. If this goal had gone in, we would have been in the driving seat of this game. United had not done anything to even harm Cech apart from their 2 goals and if Sanchez had slotted the ball past DeGea here, we would have had leverage, a great deal of it, over our opponents.

Right on the hour mark, another silly error by Koscielny made it 1-3 to United. It is very easy to give a defender shit about his performance. Laurent Koscielny quite frankly, just had one of those days in which he woke up on the right side of the bed but then stepped on dog shit seconds later. He made stupid decisions and was not himself. I have always rated the man highly and I feel he is a great defender, but even Messi ran through Roberto Carlos and Sergio Ramos once, so I am giving him a pass…

I am not going to critically analyse the game further because there is indeed nothing more to add to this game. There was only one “MAN OF THE SHOW” for United as he seemed to just level up after United clinched their third.

Wenger did change the formation to a 3-3-4 post the 70th min, but United held on.

Let us try and be objective in our approach here.

Manchester United came to play in a certain fixed way. All credit to them. Its classic Mourinho formula gentlemen (Matic and Pogba as CDM’s!!), the 1 nil wins or the 0-0 draw still adds more points than a loss.

We did serve the game to them on a pallet – nice and hot! You can plan tactics all night every night, but you can’t plan double whammy’s (or as they are known more popularly as “fuck ups”) they just happen.

Its just one of those games you know – imagine playing a small team (not referring to United) at home and losing 0-1 despite having more than 30 shots on target. It makes you feel “we tried our best, but it just wasn’t going to be” and that’s A BAD FEELING to take away in a game vs Huddersfield or Burnley.

But it is NOT a bad feeling to take away from a game like this. I completely agree that it sucks to lose to United, but there is a difference between 8-2 and 1-3 apart from the scoreline. We played well, we were the cause of our own demise.

Next week is Southampton, a place where we end up getting thrashed all the time. Don’t let this hiccup get you too down, we just need to be more consistent and concentrate for 95 mins or so on the pitch.

Till then, here is one happy beaver…

Beaver.jpg

[Report/Ratings] Arsenal 2-0 Spurs ; One of those derbies..

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 6.28.07 PM

This was indeed Arsenal’s best starting line up as the game kicked off today. This time Wenger opting to spearhead the attack with Aleksandr Lacazette – a player who I highly rate.

Arsenal started on a positive note with the midfield energetic and the defence playing a high line. Both Kolasinac and Bellerin played wide and the duo of Sanchez and Ozil took narrower positions. This allowed a more balanced side that could press from the front while defending and forming a solid defence at the back (when the wing backs fell in, it became a 5 man defence).

ArsSpurs

The first chance came in the 5th minute when some superb pressing by Lacazette forced a weak clearance from Dier, but the French man’s shot from the successful ‘nick’ found the sky as an unmarked Ramsey raised his hands in frustration. On analysing the replay, it is true that Lacazette could have found the Welshman and IF that happened we may have led. Yet, its hard to blame the striker for not trying and in split-second decision making moments like that, I felt it was fair.

The second real chance came when Ramsey’s ball from the middle found Bellerin’s run behind the Spurs defence but no sooner had the Spaniard shuffled in a low cross than David Sanchez struggle off Lacazette to make a last-second clearance for a corner.

In the 36th minute, we led.

Shkodran Mustafi found the back of the net in his first game since October from a cross from Ozil. It was one of those headers in which you follow the trail of the ball after its been head, right into the net – an exquisite finish as the German jumped and made a quick adjustment seconds before the ball landed on his head.

Coming to the off-side perspective of this goal – if you go by the rulebook, Mustafi is offside but from a footballing perspective if plays like this are given offside (5% of his body was off), it would really hamper fluidity in the game – This would be my opinion even if we had conceded in the same manner.

5 mins later, it was 2. Bellerin’s sneaky pass found Lacazette’s perfectly timed run (against a 5 man Spurs defence playing a moderately high line) and the Frenchman fed a delicious ball into the 6-yard box to Sanchez. The Chilean making no mistake as his 2 touches (one to set it up and another to fire it) found Lloris’ net.

As the first half ended, one could feel proud of the way Arsenal played. They did not give away silly balls and were professional at the back. They had this sense of hunger and urge to score – something this Arsenal team has been missing for a while. It was indeed great to see them play like this.

The second half, as expected started with some immediate Spurs pressure, but Arsenal just about managed to hold them off. It seemed like the Wenger had told his players to step down a gear while Pochettino said the opposite. Arsenal was content with their 2 goal lead and wanted to hit Spurs on the counter-attack. (A tactic I could absolutely see work if the defence held up good)

In fact, the majority of the second half was based on this approach. Arsenal waiting, soaking in pressure from Spurs until they could counter-attack when they had the ball. This almost came to fruit too as in the 78th minute, Sanchez had a superb chance from close range, but Lloris did well to block out the Chilean for number 3.

It’s not that Spurs did not try. Rather it was just some good organisation (sometimes not so good) and shabby Spurs football that rendered the away side useless – Dier came close in the 80th minute but his header was saved by Cech and Son squandered away a good chance moments later firing his shot wide as the Arsenal defence was asleep.

The only 2 real chances for them in this game.  

When Ozil left the field, the man was given a standing ovation – and it was well deserved given the way he handled himself today. He ensured that no one was left wanting for the ball, found every man (including Mustafi for the 1st goal) and he worked when he did not have the ball. One of the best performances of Mesut Ozil against a top side for a long time.

As we hit 90, Sanchez almost got another. From a long ball the Chilean powered off David Sanchez to make it 1 v 1 against Lloris, but again the French GK prevailed – denying Sanchez and saving Spurs from a red face – it could have been 4!

FT: Arsenal 2-0 Spurs

MATCH RATINGS:

Cech – Maybe 3, or 4 saves to make this game. Nothing to bother him…. 7

Koscielny – He made sure the defence was intact and had a decent performance… 6.5

Monreal – Same as Koscielny. I liked the way he supported and covered Kolasinac when the latter attacked…. 7.5

Mustafi – His goal was outstanding and he put in a solid performance at the back. I like this combination with Koscielny, maybe some more game time with both will nurture their partnership and understanding of each other….

Kolasinac – Made some good runs from the back to support Sanchez and he helped out at the back too. His physicality is a huge bonus and he did a good job today… 7.5

Xhaka – Supported the defence and played some good long balls. Decent overall… 6

Ramsey – Made some good runs into the box and protected the defence. One of the most versatile positions in the team, I liked the way he balanced going up and defending today. He needs some more consistent performances like this…..7.5

Bellerin – His runs from the wing are getting better and better. He helped out the back, but less compared to the others. I like the way he found Lacazette for the second goal – the pass was good and this is a side of Bellerin which can be nurtured. He needs to be a little better defensively but that is the pay-off if you are a wing back playing the 3-4-2-1.. 8.5

Alexis – Alexis doesn’t need to be rated. He gets a default 9 for his performance. If I am going to be critical he stole the chance to get a hattrick for himself (although he made those chances) and give millions of Gooners around the world eternal bliss…9.5

Lacazette – As I said, I rate this man highly. He makes good runs (as he did for the second goal), his understanding of the game becomes better and better with each game and he’s fast. The usual Lacazette score-card … 8.5

Ozil – MOTM – The standing ovation from the Emirates says enough for Ozil. Today he showed his true German self and exactly why he is worth the 42 million we paid for him. His runs, work-rate off the ball and of course his passing – made the afternoon …10

City 3-1 Arsenal : If you want to be optimistic, we were not that bad

MCISARSStarting with five at the back when I switched on the game on Sunday, the first thing I thought to myself was “Is he going to park the bus?”

To be honest, I would not be surprised if Wenger did choose to do go down that route with a team like City.  Three at the back would be suicidal against pacy wingers like Sane and Sterling.

90 seconds later, the hosts could have led as Aguero bumbled a chance you could have bet he would score. It started with some shabby Arsenal defending against a swift City counterattack after an overplayed pass by Sanchez on the other side of the pitch.

Arsenal responded within minutes as Sanchez’s cross towards goal was headed away, however, as the ball fell to Iwobi outside the D-box – the resultant shot is not worth blogging about.

As the game settled down after that, the first (second if you consider Aguero’s miss) real chance came in the 10th minute as Sane’s rolling ball across Cech’s goal almost found Sterling.

In the 18th minute though, it was 1-0 – a brilliant goal from Kevin DeBruyne, the master orchestrator and Silva’s prodigy for Manchester City as he slotted a left-footed drive under Cech, who to be honest, should have done better. Arsenal was not playing bad till then and it wasn’t a one-sided game, it was a textbook case of executing and taking your chances as even prior to that we could have led, despite the ‘real chances’ count being 2 for City.

6 minutes later, Ozil could have found himself in a 1 v 1 situation but Sanchez’ pass was fractionally over-hit. One of few chances wasted, the Chilean was having a sub-standard game till now.

By the half an hour mark, Silva mimicked a Sane type ball as he was fed a slick ball by DeBruyne and slashed it across Cech. Fortunately for Arsenal, nobody was in the box.

When Arsenal attacked the back four narrowed itself in a three-man defence and when they defended, the wing backs sat back as the three-man defence changed to 5 at the back. The issue was however lost possession while attacking. In the 32nd min, the away side lost possession while attacking leaving a 2 vs 1 situation between Sterling-Sane and Koscielny. Sterling, however, majorly fucked up as he botched a simple ball to Sane for the latter to tap in.

Arsenal, on the other hand, seemed to lose the plot. The “right formation” was ditched for the suicidal one as Wenger resorted to a 3 man defence in a hope to get more players onto midfield and control of the ball.

48th min, City were awarded a penalty as Monreal forced his weight on to Sterling after the latter shrewdly timed his run past Kolasinac and found himself 1 vs 1 against Cech. It was a case of shoulder to shoulder between Monreal and Sterling, but the benefit of the doubt was given to City as the Spaniard was not near the ball. Aguero stepped up and slotted the ball for 2-0.

Alexandre Lacazette came on in the 56th min for Coquelin as Wenger made a bold change – 10 minutes later, it paid off as the Frenchman slotted a right-footed drive between Ederson’s legs. 2-1

City did not take kindly to Arsenal’s goal as they immediately retaliated. The Arsenal defence was of no help to him as the “Lord Almighty” Jesus found the ball at the end of a shabby cross from De Bruyne. His shot, however, was miraculously saved by Petr Cech as the latter showed the world why he is considered world class. (He may have a few poor games, but if you think he sucks, sincerely, have yourself tested)

On 74, it was 3-1 as Silva slotted the ball to Jesus who had a simple tap-in. This goal was dubious as the linesman should have flagged Silva off-side. Arsenal was hard done by as the game that was well poised before this goal finally shifted to the hosts. People can criticise the Arsenal defence for overlying on the linesman’s honesty, but this was a harsh goal for us – even for me.

Arsenal purposely stretched themselves after this goal as this was the only realistic way to have numbers in the midfield and attack. This did lead to a few chances for the home side but none of them were tucked away.

Arsenal did not play poorly. It was better than the debacle against Liverpool, but City was overall – a more composed and clinical side as they took the chances that fell for them. Yes, we did give them a good fight and the offside did swing things their way, but credit must be given where its due. We were NOT the usual mediocre Arsenal against top 6 opposition. City, all be it a little fortunate were just better.

Final score : Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal FC

November blues exist.

 

Arsenal FC v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League

If you personify the month November and compare him to a kid in the playground, he is the bully which makes Arsenal’s life hell.

November is that month of the season in which you get some direction to where a team is headed and if they are likely to do anything in the season. It is not conclusive, but it gives you a good idea.

For Arsenal, however, November sucks.

I did some digging in to drill in my point. I made a list of all the games we have had since the 2012 season, specifically for the month of November. Disclaimer to Arsenal fans, go watch “IT”, it is less horrifying than the stats you are going to witness…

2012-13

Played 5 – Points picked up out of a possible 15?

6.

Games thrown away, look at 2,4 and 5.

2013-14

Played 5 – Points picked up out of a possible 15?

12.

Games thrown away, look at 2. Believe you me, this was the outlier November.

2014-15

Played 3 – Points picked up out of a possible 9?

3.

Games thrown away? Both, since this was the season in which even Manchester United was shit.

2015-16

Played 3 – Points picked up out of a possible 9?

2.

We drew to Norwich and lost to Albion – both away and we drew to Tottenham at home. Seeing a trend already?

2016-17

Played 3 – Points picked up out of a possible 9?

5.

To be fair, these games were not easy. Although Giroud saved us with his 90th min header and we scored 0 goals in the derby, this too was one of the better Novembers.

Our total games played over these 5 years are 19, which means a total of 57 points. Of this, we have picked up – 28.

In short, we have a 49% chance of picking up points in each game this November.

Just think about that for a moment – if I told you that there is 50:50 chance that a team will pick up (may win or draw) points against the teams it faces this month, would you categorise that team as a “title challenging team”

Over a season, if we consider that out of 38 games, a team will pick up points only in 19 games that give us maximum points of 57 (assuming they won 19 out of 19) – the end league position over one year would be about 7th to 9th.

This is our fixture list below :

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If you do not consider Cologne (which you should not since we are talking about the premier league specifically), what are the odds that we will get points vs Burnley and Huddersfield and drop points against City and Spurs?

I’ll leave that for you to ponder over.

..I hope I am wrong.

Koeman sacked as Arsenal high 5 Everton

EVEARS

Koeman’s demise in football is one of the safest bets one could pick if you needed some quick money.

Facts that you can’t object to :

  • Investment made over the summer

133 million SPENT; 95 million RECEIVED

Net spend = 133-95 = 38 million (doesn’t matter but mentioned anyway)

The manager sanctioned spending on top class talent (by virtue of amount paid only) worth a little more than 80 million as he recruited players from abroad (Davy Klaassen – £23,60,000  Henry Onyekuru – £6,800,000) and from England too – Jordan Pickford – £25,000,000, Michael Keane – £25,000,000. Rooney, of course, was the cherry on the cake as he reunited with his former club after 13 long years at Manchester United. He came for free.

  • The wretched run 

Before Arsenal’s final nail in the coffin, Everton’s run of form is really worth noticing.

2017–18_Everton_F.C._season

They beat Stoke – season opener, so it was expected given the amount spent. Drew with City away – which is commendable given the fact that City seems to devour every team that they face at the Etihad and then the downtrend starts…

3 losses, back to back. 9 goals conceded in 3 games without even scoring. But it would be unfair if we didn’t note the teams they faced. All 3 clubs are in the champions league and 2 out of 3 were away games. Harsh ?

A little I think.

  • The run continues…

Then came Bournemouth, whom they just managed to beat. However, any shred of hope for a level of consistency was put to bed as they lost to Burnley a week later.

Brighton drew with them a fortnight later before they were taught a footballing lesson on Wenger’s birthday.

So, to sum it all up.

They should have won at least 2 games before the Arsenal game, but instead, they drew one and lose the other. The rest of the 7 games were relatively hard as 5 of them were against teams in the top 6 (except Liverpool). They lost 5 and won 2.

These are of course just statistics, quite conclusive statistics but they do not paint the whole picture. If Arsenal had a run going like this, people would be frustrated over the club and Wenger, but he would never be sacked.

But Koeman isn’t Wenger. He is not the Godfather of Everton and if you are not the Godfather, you are disposable. His odds as a manager did not look good anyway and this Monday the same manager who was linked to FC Barcelona last summer was sacked.

Football is a funny game. One time you could be flying up high and the other time you could be so low, you literally hang on to your job on a match-to-match basis. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but for 99% of the managers out there – this is the rule. Show the club results and performances and you get to keep your job.

I was relieved to see Arsenal’s performance this Sunday. The Cohones comment seemed to work as the away team took the game to the toffees from the 1st minute. By the 10th minute, we should have been 2-0 up and all Rooney did do on hindsight was act like a sleeping policeman (“speed breakers” for those who have no idea what I am talking about) as he wrecked the momentum the team built up with a grade-A finish beyond Petr Cech.

Arsenal, however, retaliated in the best way possible as they did not step down a gear (apart from the 5 minutes post goal reconsolidation phase) as Monreal was alert enough to slot in a rebound in the 40th min.

Post-halftime (actually pre also) Ozil ran the show, one of the few times (really hope to see more) he showed us his true German self. His runs into the box are something we do not see him do often and Sunday was a delight to watch him frolick and terrorise defenders. Lacazette grows in confidence each time he plays and its good to see Lacazette, Sanchez and Ozil team up to run the show the way they did.

Arsenal’s passing and movement was impeccable and as the 90th min drew to a close it was one of those games which I did not want to end, just by sheer display of it. Oh yes, we did have a “Just for laughs – gags” moment that Monreal and Cech will probably laugh over when they retire, but the dip in mood was well compensated by Alexis Sanchez who became a right-footed Messi as he took the ball past 5 players with an exquisite run and finish.

People will talk about turning points, but this game was a no-show from Everton as they were out-classed from minute 1.

We face Norwich next game in the “Who Cares” cup, Swansea at home in the League and Red Star Brigade in the UEL. If we win these 3 games convincingly it’s going to be a huge confidence boost for us as we head into the Etihad Stadium to face the premier league leaders.

Beat City and then I post about turning points…till then…

I am just going to zip it.

Cruel Expectations..

They said they would start at 3:00 pm !You see this guy on the right?

I was like him on sunday. The only addition was that I had a peg of Jack Daniels beside me…

Every Arsenal fan has an expectation bar related to the club. If you consider the last few years, the season’s have been quite heart-wrenching. I personally know 2 of my friends who are fellow Gooners who take annual pledges (may start from October or even December) not to watch Arsenal games for a given time period, and post that “having the option” to watch them based on how the team is performing. They don’t do this because they are plastic fans. These guys have been supporting Arsenal for well over a decade, but sometimes it’s more important to look out for yourself over giving a shit about what the world thinks…

In the financial world, we use a term called “hedging” (it’s basically protecting your money from any financial harm) – well, in football and especially relevant to this context that is what Arsenal fans do. They hedge, by staying clear – against the heartbreak, the frustration, the repetitiveness, by moving themselves out of the equation.

A perfectly acceptable coping mechanism.

You will notice that I have not used the words “disappointment” while describing the typical Gooners sentiment to Arsenal. That is because it’s absolutely fine to be disappointed or embarrassed by a performance. This is football and its quite probable that if you face a world-class team, you can get thrashed OR you could be tactically outclassed or even wrongfully set up to ship in goals.

But there is a fine difference between getting disappointed and getting frustrated. The latter is toxic because it implies that the reason to get frustrated has occurred more than once over a given period of time.

Most Arsenal fans are frustrated since we have expectations at the club. For eg. 2 years ago when Leicester won the league, we expected Arsenal to challenge and win the league.

Did we come close to having our expectation fulfilled?

No. We finished 10 points of Leicester at 71 and 1 point ahead of Spurs.

Is it wrong to expect from your team ? Especially when you have a team that is worth in terms of transfer fees 335 million pounds (approximately) – I don’t think so.

As this season progresses, I cannot help but get a feeling that we have a long way to go ahead. We are in 4 competitions this year. But we are actually challenging for 2 and hoping for a top 4 finish. Thus, I have set up my expectations for Arsenal from the 2017-18 season.

The old me would say :

Win the premier league | Win the Europa League | Win the FA Cup.

But now, it’s slightly different. For starters, I am not drunk. Hence, my revised expectations are:

Top 4 finish | Europa League – semi-final | Win the FA Cup

We have the Europa League, we have the premier league and we have the FA Cup. 3 competitions we are focusing and fighting for – The premier league has 38 games, add to that 14 in the Europa League (if we reach the final) and another 6 games or so in the FA Cup. That’s about 58 games. I have not included the Carabao Cup because I don’t even consider it as a cup, but if you do, it’s safe to add another 5 games.

We are not secure defensively and we have not found our goal scoring form yet. Our last game vs Watford was a superb spectacle of my point above. Tak about holding it together for a bit and free-falling like a pack of cards. After Deeney put his spot-kick away one couldn’t help but feel Tom Petty’s free-falling playing in the background as this pathetic team sang to its tune. There are the 2 Manchester clubs which are looking better and better as each game progresses and the more time we lose in finding our rhythm the more likely we are to fall behind.

There are the 2 Manchester clubs which are looking better and better as each game progresses and the more time we lose in finding our rhythm the more likely we are to fall behind. United have conceded 2 goals in their first 8 games and City just shipped 7 past Stoke. Arsenal, on the other hand, can’t seem to get a grip on things.

A few weeks back we came off a world-class performance at Stamford Bridge and then Doncaster did an “Arsenal” on us as we struggled to ship in goals in a match where your first scoreline to bet would be 3-0 to the home side. Then we win a few games against sides which are playing shit themselves (no offence, we still needed to get the job done) – but these teams did not challenge Arsenal at all – West Brom, BATE and Brighton. 2 weeks later, we lose again.

It really is difficult for someone to assess how Arsenal is going to fare this season. But certain things are very clear – players are on the edge. There is no leader on the field that can communicate to these players to close the game, the manager is what he is and when shit hits the fan the players play like headless chickens i.e we have no clue how to react to adversity.

A true mark of champions. 

Before I finish this post, I just want to add what Wenger said after the Watford game :

‘Everybody’s shocked in the dressing room,’

no Shit Sherlock…

Add the word “world” instead of “dressing room” to that sentence and you would still be right…