Top 4 and the “Who gives a fuck” cup

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It’s finally over.

At last, I can honestly say, we have done some good business. The huge gap in the team due to Sanchez leaving has been masked by Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into the side.

Credit to the club for being proper hagglers and getting the best amount from Dortmund. 55 million pounds for a striker of Aubeymayang’s character seems fine given that Lukaku is worth 100 million. Some may say cheap too, well to those rich bastards, fuck you.

I am eager to see what the team will look like – no doubt we shall still remain sub-standard because Arsene Wenger has zero(0) clue on tactics, yet I am intrigued, especially because now we can play a more balanced 3-4-3 and also a 4-3-3 that looks well rounded.

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I do not like the 3-4-3, especially because of the defence’s disgusting shape and the loop-holes of this formation but I am not managing Arsenal now am I?

My formation for those who care

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I feel this formation is better balanced and given how bad our defensive players coordinate coupled with our star-studded attack, instead of playing Mkhitaryan and Xhaka as CM’s, the former should be allowed to “float” and have the liberty to do what he wants…

In fact, I feel the floating responsibilities should fall to Ozil, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan and Ramsey – 4 players who have the potential to be at the top players for the team.

Tonight we face Swansea away and I am excited to see how Mkhitaryan will fit into the team. We may even start with a 4-5-1…

It is a new team and new dynamic for Arsene Wenger. I am eager, but NOT hopeful of what he is going to do since I have 0% faith in him, yet I have faith in talent and smart footballers many of whom are at Arsenal (Except Xhaka, he is useless)

We have to challenge for Top 4 since that is 1 of the 2 best ways to get into the champions league and maybe, just maybe, this team – which looks really good on paper can get us through.

I am even hopeful for the #whogivesafuck cup since we have Manchester City to beat in the final. My point being that despite it being an irrelevant cup we still will need to beat the best team in the premier league to win it (which if we do, I will get a shot of happiness and then it is going to go away, like a puddle evaporating on a hot summers day)

The post-Sanchez era starts here and I am looking forward to it, with a pinch of salt of course since it is Arsenal – can’t get too attached, my health matters!

Welcome to Arsenal FC – Mediocrity at it’s best

Roles as Fans/Twitter/"Bad habit" of Losing/Change in the Arsenal structure

If you are an Arsenal fan – I empathise with the depression. It’s not easy to see your team go down to mediocrity for the same reasons all the fucking time.

This sick mentality of ill-managing players is so biannual, yet, it has become a thing at Arsenal.

The problem with this mindset is that it’s a sure-shot recipe for failure.

I am sick and tired of this merry-go-round type of attitude where we sacrifice the long-term to get by the short-term.

Of course, Arsenal will go on either way. Tomorrow I can actually stop breathing and still, Arsenal will go on…that’s not the point.

The point is to make some cold much-needed decisions to make sure we are not part of this spiral called “lose your best players and cope, rinse and repeat”

Surely this cannot be the first time this has happened at Arsenal. We lost Van Persie, we got Sanchez. We lost Henry and we got Van Persie. We lost Flamini, Hleb in the trio we had to get Nasri and then we lost him too.

Take SAF’s United. The fundamental team remained the same – Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Rooney and to some point Ronaldo. Any top team needs to keep its top players, this isn’t college level sports, its fucking common sense.

Wenger knows this, as stated in all his press conferences etc. Still, nothing concrete is EVER DONE! 

If you set your ambition at the Carabao Cup, to 4th place, if your attitude is such that you only talk and talk but there is truly nothing to show for it, then that’s just cheap talk.

We can go on and on about the problems at Arsenal, but the real core issues are that we do not address those areas that we need to – and this talk about “We are searching every day” really does have a limit to it.

Is Arsenal FC the only club in the world to deploy scouts and search for top talent?

Why will the top talent come here if they don’t see the point in really uplifting their careers? Sure Arsene Wenger must be a great mentor and coach and one can learn so many things from him, but are the names Pep Guardiola, Mourinho and Antonio Conte less?

I will never forgive Wenger for letting Sanchez go to Manchester United. It is going to happen twice. Think for a moment, when Van Persie left us and won the league at United. He let him go to a direct rival. He let him go…

Now, he’s doing the same thing with Sanchez. I think Arsenal should keep Sanchez – let him run out of his contract at the club and then let him do what he wants. If he then goes to United/City or wherever, it will not matter.

I have been vocal about Wenger leaving for over 5 seasons now, yet somehow 4th place is rewarded, FA Cup victories just about cover the horrendous season and accountability is a fantasy belief that never-ever comes to anything – because it doesn’t matter.

Arsenal isn’t a top team anymore, it is a mere shadow of itself.

While others have gone miles ahead and made cold harsh decisions, Arsenal has voluntarily stayed behind because of ill management and laughable behaviour, except for the business side of things – we still have the most expensive tickets in England.

I am just disgusted to see that nothing has changed and now I am convinced that nothing will change in the future until the Godfather is removed from the club – something as probable as animals starting to talk…

Ah fuck it, I need to go to work…

Walcott…the legend

 

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If Theo Walcott can just be used right, he will be as good as Lionel Messi – the delusional guy who had 6 beers and is speaking rubbish

Hope all is going well in the Arsenal sphere this year – the below checklist should give us a good idea.

Sell Alexis in the summer because its inevitable he will leave – check

Why would someone want to stay at Arsenal anyway – a mediocre, mid-table team that can’t seem to sort it’s shit out despite the faults gaping at any neutral.

Not workout the ideal formation so that the defence can be as terrible as it was for 5 seasons ago – check

Chelsea, last season, used the 3-4-3 and conceded 33 goals. This season we have already conceded 28 and we have played 22 games. Even Burnley, who are 7th have let in 19.

Keep faith in Walcott so that he may turn into a star one day – like Drogba – check

Maybe Walcott is having a bad time because of the position he plays. In the newly adopted 3-4-3, a formation that deploys wing-backs as wingers to aid in attack Walcott will never-ever fit in. Why? Because he can’t defend.

So what do we do with him? May down the middle? – but Lacazette will not be happy and given that the french-man is miles ahead of Walcott, why would we engage in such a stupid decision?

Maybe Wenger is sadistic that way.

I just want to repost something I had written in on 5th January 2012 – 6 years back (post the QPR match)

I don’t know what to make of Theo Walcott because to be neutral I do not think he fits in at Arsenal. Yes, this is more criticism directed at the Englishman, but this time he deserves it. He was atrocious that day, and it makes me wonder why Wenger allows Theo to continue this way. If you think about it Walcott is a regular starter at Arsenal, and having a  player like him as a starter shows you how depleted the clubs ambitions are. Walcott is quick, but what good does it do if he cannot use his brain on a football field. Against QPR he was through 1 on 1 with the keeper only to send his scuffed toothless shot right of the post AFTER eyeing up the goal. Chamberlain will give him good competition but let’s face it the boy will not replace Theo this season. That Wenger will make sure of. He likes getting the player ready before putting them on the pitch. Theo was probably an experiment which has turned out very badly. Not only is he inconsistent but also dull when it comes to certain situations on the pitch. Surprisingly he is ‘gifted’ the same situations game after game and even then he fails to capitalise. When he does we feel he will improve but let us be real, we have been feeling that for quite some time now.

 

 

Haha…its gets better everytime.

Why bother with a post for the game that took place last night?

I mean…

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We played shit and the referee didn’t help. But the latter isn’t really an excuse we can use against a team like Nottingham Forest, can we?

It was a master-stroke for us to use the 3-4-3 against a team full of youngsters who have the pace to beat our defenders. Mertesacker was the worst victim, getting out-paced and out-run and out-witted by 20-year-olds…slow clap for Arsene Wenger.

Walcott has improved by leaps and bounds compared to how he was last year or for the last 5 years. If we offer him for sale in the market, we may have to shell out 20 million to the buying club (or maybe more)

Danny Welbeck should be renamed “Jello” after this game. The man cannot get his feet sorted out and get the ball under control even if he is the only player on the pitch.

I am not going to go into details about a match in which we let in 4 goals from a championship side currently sitting on 8th position. It is a disgrace.

The only positive about yesterdays game is that we have one less cup to play for this season. I cannot believe I thought we could WIN THE FA CUP. How can I be so stupid to expect so much from a premier league side facing a championship side which had nothing to play for?

I am going to leave you with the below meme :

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Cheers,

DKD

 

Masked by Morata’s crappy performance/ Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea

I saw the Chelsea game yesterday.

When I saw the starting line-up, I was pretty confused since it’s not always that one starts a novice against a team like Chelsea (credit to Wenger in trusting this young lad Niles – the boy had the game of his life)

The game in itself was one of the best games this season – proper playground football. Chelsea had better chances, and Morata could have had a hat-trick. Wenger really needs to analyse why he was given so much space, especially since we are facing Chelsea twice this month. The key areas to be addressed apart from Morata’s freedom should be :

  • The Space allowed to Fabregas – who if given time can pick out anyone.
  • Hazard’s movement from deep to attacking – runs and passes
  • Marcos Alonso’s movement from fullback to centre-forward
  • The high line played by our defence – that allowed Morata to get so much space.

Arsenal started with a 3-4-3 and the only good thing about this formation played was that it was against a team who also play the same way (because I feel 3-4-3 is a ticking time bomb)….like bitcoin.

In the 16th min, Sanchez came close to scoring when the ball hit both posts before NOT crossing the line – credit to Courtois for his touch on the ball. Chelsea too had their fair share of chances. Bakayoko forced a good save from Cech, Fabregas skied his shot after the goal was gaping at him and Morata well, missed a good chance – his first whammy of the night.

The second half, however, was even better. Maitland Niles needs a mention here – this man terrorized Moses and Conte, being classic Conte understood this as he brought on Zappacosta in the 56th min itself to counter the lad. The young man’s runs were amazing, both up and down the pitch and he supplemented Sanchez on the left, helping the Chilean whenever he needed someone to pass to. A little more work on looking up and passing will do the boy wonders as on a few occasions he could have played a better final ball.

Within 5 minutes of half-time, Chelsea had a good chance to make it 0-1 but Cech showed the world why he is one of the best with a fantastic save of Eden Hazard.

On 63, Jack Wilshere put Arsenal ahead with a thunderous volley beyond Courtois at the end of what was a classic Arsenal “touch-play”. 4 mins later, it was 1-1. A penalty which should not have been a penalty and while some may argue about my bias, neutrally speaking – it was not a penalty because there was minimal touch from Bellerin on Hazard whose dive would have made Drogba proud. Either way, the Belgian stepped up and slotted home….1-1.

Conte by now had made up his mind about the match. On 70, he took of Fabregas for Drinkwater, a tactical substitution that meant only one thing – “I am happy to take a 1-1 draw”

I love the way Chelsea handle themselves under the 3-4-3. This is a team who actually use this formation most effectively and this can be seen clearly when they defend – the 3-4-3 shifts to a 5-3-2 with Hazard and Morata the duo up front and everybody knows what they have to do. This approach may not allow 3-0’s or 4-0’s but it gets you the 1-2’s or the 0-2’s you need.

On 83, Marcos Alonso like a bug hitting a windshield (from Arsenal’s perspective) put Chelsea ahead. Conte’s sub – Zappacosta got passed Niles with ease and played a  delightful ball across the 6-yard box that had “touch me” written all over it. The defence was asleep for a second, but Marcos Alonso wasn’t. Classic Chelsea – solid at the back and taking their chances when presented to them, it was 1-2 with 6 minutes to play.

Credit to Arsenal post Alonso’s goal – the entire team gave everything to equalise. Bellerin had his shot blocked in the 86th min and Chelsea defended well to fight off wave after wave of Arsenal attacks, including the dolt Walcott who Wenger brought on for Chambers in the 88th min.

On 92, Bellerin brought the game to parity with a brilliant goal. I am very neutral when it comes to Bellerin. The man is unpredictable, like a different Jack in the box every time the box opens. But his goal was worth the watch. 1 minute later, however, Arsenal were saved from utter embarrassment courtesy of the ineptness that is Alvaro Morata – a superb 1 on 1 with Cech (who knows how he was allowed to get that far) and he messed it up, ZappaCosta on the rebound fired a shot off the cross-bar as the ref blew the final whistle seconds later.

Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea.

On clear chances, Chelsea should have won. On effort, the draw was well deserved.

Hopefully, the next time we face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, our defence is more awake because if the issues I cited on top are not addressed, we could have lost 3 points today.

Title gone/ Urge to reshape and reschedule expectations this season

Today is 14th December 2017 – a little less than 2 months ago, I had written a post “Cruel Expectations” citing the realistic goals for Arsenal this 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

Don’t you like December. A fresh smell of something similar which we feel in March seems to have come early this year.

As we stand today, this is the league table :

Table Dec 17.png

As I write this post, Arsenal has thrown away 2 games,  both of which they should have won. The first game was vs Southampton, a game in which Olivier Giroud saved the team from losing 3 points. Southampton is 11th on the table as it stands above, just to give you an idea of how poor we have been. The second game was vs West Ham. They are in the relegation zone.

Very funny thing vs West Ham – we actually started with 4 at the back. Wenger opts to change the formation from the usual 3-5-2 and to start Giroud. Iwobi also started and Lacazette was rested. Let us be objective here and assume that there was a good enough reason for this – Christmas period, squad rotation, penguins laughing whatever be the reason, let us give Wenger the benefit of the doubt.

Yet, when you know that you need to win this game. Your opponents are playing a 9-0-1 formation, clearly with little or no intent to score apart from a lucky break (if they get one) why wait until the 82nd minute to bring on Lacazette?

I guess it must be superstition.

A game of possession and sad at being clinical is the ideal way I can describe this match. In fact, Hernandez should have scored in the 90th min to seal it for the hammers after a whammy by Koscielny – who does not seem to have got his head straight since United.

But it was usual Arsenal, no plan A, no plan B, no plan C – only “let’s keep possession and play pass-pass to each other” – uninspiring and dull.

True qualities of a title-winning side, don’t you think?

Can you blame West Ham fans for shouting “Boring, Boring Arsenal ??”

The inability to actually break down teams and not figuring out what to do if you hit a brick wall is a clear sign that there something innately wrong with the tactics – and while I completely agree that you can choose to play and approach a game in a certain way but if you see things that are not going the way you want, one has to adapt and do things that are necessary. The initiative counts more than the result.

No matter what, whenever we are up against a team who defend properly and put every man behind the ball, its like we become clueless and rather just prefer to pass side-ways than to take an initiative to actually try and score.

The league is realistically gone. It is not in sight and if anyone thinks differently then they are kidding themselves or they have a delusional sense of humour. This is not FIFA and Manchester City look better and better with each game.

2 games thrown away. If we had won these 2 games we would be 4th with a thread of a chance to actually challenge for the title.

I hope Saturday is different.

Peace!

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!