Arsenal v Hull. Match Feelings.

May 5, 2015

Last nights’ Arsenal performance against Hull came two days after Chelsea’s title winning performance against Crystal Palace. Of course Trophies matter, but to win the League the supporter will have to pay to watch seventeen home league games. You see where I’m going with this.

Can you imagine the satisfaction if Arsene could go on to win the title next season playing this type of football. Fans of Football last night had smiles on their faces, but the players played with smiles as well. It was a celebration of why the beautiful game was invented in the first place.

Right. Match Talkies.

–        Mesut, Santi, Aaron and Alexis. Understanding, movement, flicks, defence splitters, vision, goals. You work it out J

–        Aaron on the right. I have been critical, but only because I think he’s an excellent box to boxer, and more effective central. I do, however, see the problem. Santi is undroppable.

–        Aaron goes off. Theo does not come on!

–        Jack. What do you reckon? Not the finesse of yer Aarons and Santis, but certainly energy and thrust in abundance. Charged the length of the pitch, brushed aside some Hullers, smashed into a defender and won a free kick on the edge of their box. Didn’t get injured. Gave away a ball in midfield setting up a Northern attack. Did lots of other great work. He has Arsenal DNA. He’s still only 23.

–        Theo. Didn’t start again. Didn’t come on for Aaron. Did play as striker when he did eventually appear. On a completely separate note, I’d like a fast, mobile striker. Does Arsene? He did once say that Sanchez would move central as soon as Theo was fit. Would love to know what The Boss is thinking on this one.

–        Always a mention for Francis Coquelin. He’s the catalyst that makes it all possible.

Well, I think that just about wraps up my feelings.

Ok, all together now: “It’s happened again, it’s happened again, Tott…………”

Written by MickyDidIt89


Is Cazorla better than Fabregas?

February 24, 2015

It is pointless to write long paragraphs about the two best Spanish midfielders Arsenal fans were lucky to claim as their own. This comparison has been made many times before and at times Arsenal fans were accused of trying to justify not resigning Cesc. 

Admittedly there is a grain of truth in that, Cesc has never been replaced and only too often the gaping hole in the middle of the field was only too obvious.

Cazorla has hit top form this season and we won all the games he orchestrated. 

Santi is a match winner and a great free kick taker – someone badly needed in our squad for a long time.

His presence has been immense, but the same can be said about Fabregas’s at Chelsea.

Fabregas relies on the team being build around him, whereas Cazorla blends in with the team.

The list of differences is long, but do the similarities end on the physical attributes of these 2 short Spanish midfielders?

Stats below are from whoscored.com. 

 

Santi Cazorla:

Tournament

Apps

Mins

Goals

Assists

Yel

Red

SpG

PS%

AerialsWon

MotM

Rating

Premier League

21(3)

1930

6

6

4

2.6

88

0.1

4

7.65

UEFA Champions League

4(1)

388

2

1.8

83.5

0.2

7.36

FA Cup

2

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

League Cup

0(1)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total / Average

29

2318

6

8

4

0

2.4

87.2

0.1

4

7.60

 

Cesc Fabregas:

Tournament

Apps

Mins

Goals

Assists

Yel

Red

SpG

PS%

AerialsWon

MotM

Rating

Premier League

21(1)

1871

2

15

8

1.4

86.9

0.7

2

7.83

UEFA Champions League

7

574

2

3

2

0.7

86.6

0.6

7.80

FA Cup

0(1)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total / Average

29

2445

4

18

10

0

1.2

86.8

0.7

2

7.82

SpG: Shots per game

PS%: Pass success percentage

MotM: Man of the match

 

Discuss!

 

PS  Although my gravatar is a photo of Santi, whom I adore I have to admit to still having Cesc’s photo on the wall, I find it hard to part with it

written by Eddie


Arsenal Player Ratings and match report

February 22, 2015

It was tense wasn’t it? Even when we scored the second there was a nagging feeling that if Palace scored we would be under pressure and so it proved. How can it be that at two up the team doesn’t relax?

Let’s start with the pitch. It was awful and clearly designed to upset our ball-players and assist the long-ball game. It was uneven and the grass hadn’t been cut since Wright and Bright were banging them in at Selhurst. Perhaps Pardew recognised our difficulties playing on the ploughed field at Stoke and instructed his groundsmen. It is often said that it is the same for both teams but have you ever heard anyone complain about on the magnificent Emirates pitch? Is it unfair to long-ball teams and Man Utd that we have a billiard table to play on?

I was surprised how clean a game it was. I expected Pardew to send out his men to kick our chaps but that didn’t happen, what happened was that CP pressed us from the first, not allowing any player time on the ball. The pundits say this is the best way to play Arsenal and perhaps it is but this should result in Arsenal having more space in the final minutes as an exhausted opponent slows down – it didn’t happen yesterday, in fact the opposite happened – we hung on for the win. Why?

Tactics? Substitutions? CP wanting it more? Fear? You tell me

Pardew identified the wings as the place to attack us. Monreal grew into the game, Chambers didn’t. I like Chambers and am fully aware he is a very young man but is he really a Full Back? A modern FB needs speed, lots of it and this is not an asset Chambers has. In time he is sure to be a fine CB but against the very speedy Gayle and Bolasie he struggled.

So far I have looked at the negative but we won the game, picked up the points, and sit in 3rd place. This is a Happy Gooner.

In midfield Santi surprised me at how well he linked with Coquelin; Palace were unable to play through the middle. Ozil floated through the game finding space and played a wonderful pass to Alexis at the beginning of the second half to Alexis – who should have looked for Giroud for the tap-in.

Ultimately, the result is all that matters.

Player Ratings:

Ospina:  Made some decent saves, distribution good but could have cost us the game with a touch of the Flapianski’s in the last minute    7

Chambers:  A difficult afternoon and a yellow card. 5

BFG: CP poured crosses into the box and BFG did well until the final 5 minutes    7

Koscielny: Our best defender …. again   8

Monreal: Thank goodness Zaha has no final ball. Nacho struggled. 6

Coquelin: Good game for him to show his battling qualities. High energy and focus.    7

Cazorla: Worked so hard on a pitch which was designed to stifle his skills. Lovely pass to Welbz to set up OG. Scored the pen.  8

Ozil: Quietly sets up the team but this wasn’t his sort of game or pitch    6

Alexis:  Not his day. Some lovely runs but no end product    6

Welbeck:  I am yet to be convinced of his partnership with OG. Drew the penalty. Assisted for the OG goal   7

Giroud: Scored. Led the line.  Did his job    7

 

written by Big Raddy

 

 

 

 


Mesut, Santi, Sanchez. You sort it out

December 30, 2014

At one end of the scale you have a Manager like ‘Arry. He likes to change eleven players from one game to the next, and at the other end, you have Maureen, who will pretty much pick the same eleven, and play them in the same order.

At Arsenal, we really don’t know as Arsene has not had the luxury of choice this season due to injuries, but many of us armchair experts like nothing more than playing Manager, and I am the leader of this particular gang. I do “Best XI’s” all the time, and with our injury list seemingly easing, this is becoming increasingly difficult, and nowhere more challenging than the No10 role.

Now before all the real experts leap up and down saying we don’t play with one, and that we have stealth this and false that, it’s my post and my rules, so let’s not get bogged down with facts and details, ok.

So, for the sake of today’s little chit chat, I’m making some assumptions. Staggeringly, I’m opting for a Goalkeeper as well as four defenders. Also, in front of that lot, two defensivey types, and if you want to refer to one of them as a box-to-boxer, then rock on if that’s your bag.

Finally, we will play with at least one of Ollie and Danny, so that leaves, at best, three vacancies.

So, we need someone to orchestrate. Another thing I’ve factored into my thinking, is that we simply aren’t creating enough chances when we dominate possession, so we need the eye-of-the-needle-threading-passers very badly. Best of these are Mesut, Santi and Sanchez.

Over to you. One, two or all of them, and where?

Written by MickyDidIt89


Arsenal sink Eastenders

December 28, 2014

A pulsating London Derby resulted in Arsenal taking the spoils in the East End.

Entrance to the Boleyn Ground

Entrance to the Boleyn Ground

An hour long journey for me from North West London to East London was very eventful to say the least. Throughout the train journey there were lots of Hammers fancying their chances in this game given Arsenal’s recent defensive frailties and the return of the ‘woman beating'(allegedly) Andy Carroll who can of course throw his weight around.

As the team sheets filtered through there were many raised eyebrows at the inclusion of young French midfielder Francis Coquelin having recently returned from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic. However, Coquelin would have the last laugh as many Arsenal fans were left pleasantly surprised come the final whistle at Upton Park.

View from the away end

View from the away end

As the Arsenal fans roared into the ground the game got underway and from the start, West Ham applied pressure and hearts were in the mouths as Alex Song’s strike was ruled out for offside much to the relief of the travelling Arsenal faithful. It was evident that being a London derby this was going to be a feisty affair and it lived up to that expectation as there were many tackles all across the pitch. West Ham by this time were trying to exert pressure but the Arsenal defence stood firm.

Then the turning point. The magician Santi Cazorla’s quick feet bamboozled the West Ham centre backs resulting in reported Arsenal target Winston Reid clipping him to the floor and conceding the penalty. The Spaniard dusted himself down to tuck away the penalty himself sending his compatriot Adrian the wrong way.

santi

The opening goal seemed to give Arsenal a morale boost and it was soon followed up by a burst from the Ox who supplied a low cross for Danny Welbeck to score a second and put the Gunners in a commanding position at half time.

Arsenal could hardly believe their luck but there were still concerns in the stands given the aerial threat which the West Ham posed. Per Mertesacker saved a certain goal and then that threat came to fruition as nine minutes into the second half Arsenal failed to clear their lines and Kouyate gave the Hammers a glimmer of hope. Arsenal lived dangerously throughout the second half despite having the chance to kill the game off with Adrian making two great saves from Cazorla and then Chamberlain’s diving header.

There were lots of disgruntled fans however as Arsene Wenger did not bring substitutions on until the closing stages, a time when Chamberlain was tiring. As the closing moments approached the Arsenal’s goal was under siege; the game became scrappy and another headed effort deep into injury time fortunately landed on the roof of the net.

The final whistle blew and a vital three points were going back to North London which Arsenal can build on heading into the New Year’s Day fixture.

Arsenal now climb above their London rivals and with the transfer window only round the corner, there is a fresh wave of optimism and this result can provide an injection of life into Arsenal’s season.

UTA!!

By @SirAHussain14


4-1 to The Arsenal. Talking Points.

December 14, 2014

–   CB’s. In a week when Arsene spoke about The Transfer Market, CB’s and Koscielny, up pops Debuchy in the middle to join another RB , Chambers, to stake a claim as a multi-functional defender. Didn’t see this one coming, but memories of very accomplished performances at the heart of the defence by Bac sprung to mind.

–   Bellerin. “Oh Hector, you are a very good player, and aren’t you the one who can go faster than Theo?”. Watching him yesterday and a song popped into my head, and for the more mature reader, you’ll remember the “you’ll never beat Des Walker”. Speed is such a great asset.

–    Ollie and Danny. It’s effective, but I remain firmly in the either/or camp. I believe Danny will go on to become a really exceptional CF, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out once Mesut returns.

–   One Arsene Wenger. Doesn’t matter whether you think we need a new Manager or not, how nice to see the fans getting behind The Boss after the shit he received last week.

–   The Midfield.  Flamini The Anchor behind the aggressively creative drive of Santi and The Ox. This I like very much. Yes I reckon The DM is the one position more than any other where a “Worldy”  would be improve the side the most dramatically, but this formation had really nice balance.

–   The Ox. Always save the best for last. And exactly what did you think I was going to say about him? Me, blinkered? No, just right on the money J

–   The Match. Five goals, and four of them for us. The early goal to lift the crowd, end to end stuff, and some really nice speedy quality football. It was a good day at the office any way you look at it. We’re set up nicely for a Christmas Push.

Written by MickyDidIt89


Oh Santi Cazorla :)

November 30, 2014

It is no secret that I am a great admirer of Santi and though others had a good game, he really had an excellent game in all departments with his passes,dribbles,touches, shots (unlucky not to score) and of course setting up the goal for Welbeck, who leaped like a salmon to powerfully head the ball past Foster in the WBA goal. The guy is rejuvenated and Welbeck is tireless in contributing be it in attack or defence, his energy is awesome.

Arsenal celebrate after Danny Welbeck's goal at West Brom

Ramsey is still not at his best and yet again the goal he is crying out for was again just wide of the post. No doubt he is a talent, but perhaps needs to go back to basics and cut out the Hollywood passing for the time being.

To see Giroud back together with Sanchez and Welbeck was, I feel, an experiment, but will pay dividends as the season progresses. Sanchez needs a rest but we are so over reliant on him so far this season, it has to be timed carefully.

There is no doubt that Mertesacker plays far better with Koscienly besides him, and though not always pretty the defence locked far more solid, though improvement is still needed. There were times during the match where I looked back to the George Graham days.

Resting Gibbs was the right decision, but our injury curse struck once again in the shape of Monreal so Gibbs had to play the majority of the game, though he suffered a slight injury towards the end of the game, but that has yet to be assessed.

Martinez is growing with every game and his distribution is far better than OPIG and possibly will provide competition, which is no bad thing.

Wenger had this to say after the game.

“In the end our solidarity got us through when the legs went in the last 10 minutes. Maybe we were a fraction lucky on the crossbar, but overall it’s a well-deserved win. We had a clean sheet against Dortmund and we had one today. Defensively we were maybe a bit more stable.”

Which I think is a fair assessment.

One has to mention the banner.

Wenger said:

“I don’t want to comment on that. I try to do my best for this club that I love. We are very united with the players and staff around the team, that’s all you can do.

“It’s easier to deal with the upwards than the downwards, but you cannot be a manager and have only one side.” Diplomatic or what ?

He may not admit it, but there is a proportion of the fan base who are losing patience and of course the media take great pleasure in fueling their desire.

I have made my stance on the manager quite clear but to be fair this ever increasing injury list doesn’t help his cause to try and cement a unit that can play week in and week out with just the odd subtle change.

The midweek match against Southampton will be a far sterner test and then perhaps we can truly see if we are progressing.

kelsey


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