Mesut’s Master Class

November 30, 2017

A stroll in Drayton Park, Mind the Gap, there are so many possible headlines but homage to Özil seemed the most appropriate. The maestro conducted the orchestra from start to finish; his silky skills being just that bit more in focus when so easily being able to compare his recent absence against Burnley.

Arsenal hit the ground running scoring within five minutes with a superb left footed effort from Lacazette the only down side was that Arsenal changed from high alert to casual cruise mode and proceeded to make hard work of things up till half time.

Lacazette was swapped for Giroud after the break I can only hope this was done for rest reasons ahead of the United game. Still, Giroud was the man that opened the flood gates with a trade mark, near post effort delivered to him from Mesut of course.

Gushing moi? I have only just started, I now get to the Ozil goal, I should just do a long purr sound, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Sanchez, Ramsey and Giroud got on the score sheet with the latter getting a second but where was I, oh yes, back to Özil and Mesut gets my MOTM.

We’re ready for you Jose.

Cech: the clean sheets are adding up. 8

Bellerin: nothing wrong here. 7

Koscielny: professional as ever. 8

Mustafi: probably the next captain. 8

Monreal: another fine performance. 8

Kolasinac: got better as the game went on. 7

Ramsey: worked his socks off. 9

Xhaka: too mant sloppy passes in the first half. 6

Ozil: Man crush here. 10

Sanchez: he has had better games. 8

Lacazette: getting better and better. 9

Written by LB

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Home Run to Continue?

November 29, 2017

Huddersfield Town F.C. was where Herbert Chapman won Div 1 twice before arriving at Arsenal. We owe them but the debt should be paid by allowing them a few minutes of parity before scoring a a hatful.

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One of GN5 mates

A hatful is possible but unlikely because, as H’field showed against City, they are a very good, well-organised team. Scoring is a problem, as far as I can see, they have scored only 3 goals away from home all season and all three were in the same game! But, they have beaten Man Utd so this is unlikely to be a walkover.

Much is made of Wagner (the manager not the composer), and he does seem to be more than just Jurgen Klopp’s best friend.

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Expect PTB and loads of possession, something we witness so often at The Emirates.

My Team (the one I expect to play, not the one I would pick)

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey   Xhaka   Kolasinac

Wilshire

Lacazette    Sanchez

If it were my choice we would play 4-3-3 with Welbeck starting and resting  Kolasinac. I don’t see the need for the extra defender when playing a side who are certain to defend in depth and play on the break.

What would be your chosen team?

We need these 3 points and to continue our wonderful home form (well results rather than form). With a hige game on the weekend we need to maitain confidence and drive.

So, welcome to the Emirates Huddersfield, it is excellent when such a small club proves money is not the only driver in football. I really hope you have the opportunity to play here next season and get beaten again 😀

COYRRG


Goodfellas. Player Ratings

November 27, 2017

Arsenal passed their first test against serious opposition in recent weeks with flying colours. A game of two halves with Burnley having the better of the first; Sean Dyche has got his team playing well with committed, crisp interplay play that took all of Arsenal’s concentration to go into the break still on equal terms.

As much as the first half belonged to Burnley the second belonged to Arsenal; if this was Wenger’s game plan then I salute him because it worked; the cherry on the hard fought northern cake being Sanchez’ well taken penalty in the dying seconds.

Burney supporters would probably argue that it could have gone either way and possibly it could have; so much so, that I had the alternative headline written in my head ‘Nothing good ever comes of going to Burnley’ but this was unnecessary as Sanchez slotted home with aplomb to snatch all three points and take us up to forth in the table. Power shift? Pah.

Cech: Cool hand Luke. 9

Koscielny: The French Connection. 8

Mustafi: Das Boot. 8

Monreal: No Pasaran. 6

Bellerin. Bullet 7

Kosinac: Raging Bull. 7

Ramsey: Tiger Bay. 6

Xhaka: The Sound of Music. 7

Iwobi: Forrest Gump. 5

Lacazette: Breathless. 8

Sanchez: The Great Escape. 8


Up North Again.

November 26, 2017

Our away form is a worry and a trip to Burnley, which a couple of seasons ago would have been one filled with optimism, is now a concern.

Chapeau off to Burnley who have done remarkably; a team with little money, small crowds and limited resources, are not only keeping a place in the PL but currently in the in 7th, level on points with the Mighty Arsenal. It shows what hardwork, playying as a team and good tactics can do. Sean Dyche will undoubtedly go onto bigger clubs as he has ta touch of the George Graham about him – an ability to create a united club.

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As to Arsenal, how do we break this away hoodoo? The same way that Burnley do it – hard work, cohesive tactics and the odd piece of exceptional creativity. Just how we played last weekend.

We know what to expect, at least 65% AFC possession and Burnley looking for goals from the counter and set plays. We are used to games following this pattern.

Almost everyone is fit so there will be selection headaches for Mr Wenger but I expect the same team as entertained us so royally against the Miscreants.

My Team:

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette    Sanchez

This is our best starting 11 and with Welbeck, Giroud etc on the bench we have a damned good first team.

Weather today will be rubbish, cold and wet. Referee will need to be alert and consistent. Much has been written about how lucky we were with the decisions vs Spurs. Poppycock.  We won because we were the better team. More of the same today please.

COYRRG

 


Elneny in a Back 3 again?

November 23, 2017

A win in Kōln sees us top the group which will bring us an easier route through the tournament. Given they are bottom of the Bundesliga without a win it should be a formality but we know otherwise.

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Mr Wenger says he will pick a team full of PL experience indicating he may “rest” some of the youth players, I think this is a bit of kidology but we do have players returning to the squad from injury who need gametime.

Chambers is rumoured to be fit, I expect a bench role and 15 minutes for Calum (for whom I still hold great expectations).

My Team:

Ospina

   Elneny    BFG    Holding

  Debuchy  Wilshire  Coquelin   Maitland-Niles

Giroud    Welbeck    Iwobi

 Elneny can play RCB, where he played so well in a recent game , (I can’t remember which, can you without Googling?) this allows Debuchy to provide width upfront – he delivers excellent crosses and in OG/Welbz we are strong in the air.

I am still basking in the glory of the weekend’s victory and am finding it hard to get excited about tonight. Thinking of which … we may be happy to beat Spurs by 2, but Köln beat them 8-0 in 1995 🙂

Strange k.o. time (18.00GMT).

Given the chaos created by the German fans at The Emirates, it should be a good atmosphere tonight. Best way to quiet the crowd is to score early. Could we? Just for once?

COYRRG

 


Arsenal’s Top Seasons 1997-98 – Our 10th Best

November 21, 2017

This was Arsenal’s 100th season in competitive football and also Arsene Wenger’s first full season as our manager. In the transfer window, Arsenal purchased several players, including midfielders Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit and goalkeeper Alex Manninger.

Below are the comparisons of the 1997-98 season results for both Arsenal and Manchester United. The first ten games of the season saw Arsenal win 6 and draw 4 while Man U won 6 drew 3 and lost 1 leaving them a point behind Arsenal. Arsenal had victories over London rivals West Ham and Chelsea and drew with Tottenham.

Man U were a dominant team in the next ten games winning 8 drawing 1 and losing 1 while Arsenal only managed 3 wins 3 draws and suffered 4 losses – this left Arsenal trailing Man U by 12 points. After our away loss to Derby we were 4 points behind Man U and our next game was at home to them; a second successive defeat would have made it difficult for Arsenal to catch Manchester U, but not impossible. Striker Nicolas Anelka, standing in for Bergkamp, scored his first goal for Arsenal and Vieira added a second, leaving goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel rattled. Teddy Sheringham scored twice for Manchester United to level the score but midfielder David Platt headed into the far corner with seven minutes left of the match to score the winner for Arsenal.

Before our next game with Man U several of our games had to be rescheduled due to FA Cup replays. This meant that when we met United at Old Trafford in March, Arsenal still had 11 games left to play while United only had 8 games left.  After numerous attempts to break the deadlock in the match, Arsenal finally managed to score with 15 minutes left; Marc Overmars latched onto an Anelka header coming from a long ball and used his agility to flick it beyond goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel to give Arsenal the all important lead and win. This victory left us 6 points behind United with 10 games left to play (3 games in hand).

Arsenal then went on to win the next 8 games which completed an unbeaten run of 18 games. The unbeaten run culminated with a 4-0 victory over Everton at Highbury which clinched the title with 2 games to spare.

Arsenal’s season ended in double glory when we beat Newcastle 2-0 in the FA Cup Final to claim the second League and FA Cup double in our glorious history.  (The Port Vale tie was decided 4-3 on penalties, as was the West Ham 6th Round replay)

In recognition of the team’s achievement, Arsene Wenger was awarded the Carling Manager of the Year award and striker Dennis Bergkamp was given the accolade of PFA Players’ Player of the Year by his fellow peers and FWA Footballer of the Year by football writers.

Written by GunnerN5

 


5 things we learned from Saturday

November 20, 2017
  1. I will start with this because IMO it is the most important. We had a proper 12th man. The fans were wonderfully raucous from before kick off until well after games end. It makes a massive difference to the players. Just imagine you were on the pitch (a dream, I know), which would inspire you, The Library or Saturday’s passion? We need the same every week.
  2. We work best when we have our first choice 11. Obvious. How many times this season have we lined up with the same defensive 6? Once or twice? People write about how there are open spaces across our defence and we are too gung-ho/undisciplined/tactically naive etc etc. Simple matter is that when we have AW’s chosen men we play better.
  3. Hard work pays. Ramsey led the ranks as usual, but all the players ran tirelessly. Surprisingly Spurs ran more than us! The difference was that our players ran with purpose.
  4. We should have scored more. We totally dominated the last 15 minutes and a 4-0 would have been even more dispiriting to the WHL miscreants. Subbing off Lacazette for Le Coq was unnecessary given how dominant we were. Mr Wenger has developed this habit of securing the points rather than going for the jugular but given the quality of the top 6 teams goal difference could be very important.
  5. Despite rumours to the contrary, Spurs are and always have been … merdre

 

written by BR