2017. How was it for You?

December 31, 2017

It’s been an odd 2017, hasn’t it?

Will he stay/should he go being one of the main talking points (AW/AS/MO/JW/HB etc). Team played some great football, some lamentable football, some boring football and some football which got you out of your seat marvelling at the sheer ingenuity of the interplay. Probably not enough of the latter.

We have seen Guardiola transform an average team into one of the best ever (but not THE Best ever). Pocchettino take the Miscreants to un-imagined heights, coaching The Plumber (Harry Kane) into one of the world’s top strikers. Merinho reducing United into an expensive Stoke. Klopp making Liverpool the best viewing in the PL. Chavs winning the PL by a huge margin yet remaining unconvincing.

Add in the fairytale seasons for Brighton and Huddersfield and we have a fine year of football.

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My highlight of 2017? Unquestionably Per Mertesacker’s performance in the FA Cup Final. Magnificent doesn’t do him justice.

Giroud’s wondergoal came a distant second.

What was yours?

Like countless others I am a regular listener to the Arseblog podcast (the man deserves to be knighted for his services to Arsenal). Arseblog talked recently about how he is not sure that he “likes” the current Arsenal team.  This got me thinking and I have to say I agree with him. Individually I enjoy watching Ozil, Ramsey, Sanchez etc but as a team? Do they compare in terms of enjoyable watching with other teams from the last few decades? Not in my opinion.

Why?

Where is the swagger, the humour or the spirit of other teams, whether it be Merson’s insanity, Adams determination, Wrighty’s enthusiasm, Thierry’s brilliance, PV4’s domination, Pires’ elegance or Santi’s humour which were the essence of those teams? There is none of that. We have become industrial; yes, Ozil is a wonderful player but will be remembered as a true Gooner in 15 years?  I want someone to make me smile.  I want goals, and Yes, I want us to win, but above all I want to be entertained.

Perhaps this is why we have such high ambitions for Wilshere.

This being my final PM of the year please give me some licence – I am not going to write about how we should beat the team rooted to the bottom of the table who haven’t scored twice at home since March, Nor will I do the team etc etc. You can fill in the gaps …

From an AA point of view it has also been a hard year. Fewer visitors, fewer bloggers, fewer people prepared to write posts and add flavour/variety to the opinions on the site. Will AA survive to see NYE in 2018? Who knows but we are here today and in my capacity as a long-term AA’er we wish all who read the blog a very Happy New Year.

And Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners

 

 

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Eagles downed

December 29, 2017

A very entertaining game last night and if I had to sum it up in one sentence I would say it as a determined performance with some worring lapses of concentration.

Slim sums it up humourously: “We are like a team of narcaleptics! We just doze off unexpectedly then suddenly we wake up and are back at it.”

Cech: did you know he keeps whippets?

Chambers: no coincidence that Southampton have 75mil burning a hole in their bank accounts and out of the blue Chambers gets a first team start. 4

Mustafi: I had do a double take when he scored our first, the precision of the ball going from foot to goal made me think that it must have been Ozil at the same time I thought: wow good goal with your right foot Mesut – but no, it was no other than Skhodran M. Top goal, as for the defending, mah. 7

Koscielny: was he responsible for Palace’s second? Maybe. We won so a little generosity. 6

Bellerin: Hector should have had a couple of goals and if he had we would not have to focus on the fact that Zaha bossed him and Chambers down the flank. 5

Kolasinac: I am guessing that he didn’t much like riding the pine and as such when he got his chance to start again he was not going to miss it; he was far more determined last night and the fact that Palace had little joy down his flank is testament to that. 7

The Wilshere pass although superb was expected, the thing that has been surprising me is why he hasn’t been able to do that more often for Lacazette? He is improving with every game. 7

Xhaka: now I am usually quite tough on our Julie but I thought he had one of his best games for the club to date. Very determined, very confident, I am guessing that his goal against Liverpool has lifted his confidence and importantly no schoolboy errors. If it weren’t for a resurgent Sanchez he would have got my man of the match. 8

Ozil: always my favourite so I have to tone these down a bit, quiet start but got into it as the game progressed, so close to another wonder goal from the Sanchez pass. 7

Lacazette: the ball seems as though it just won’t fall for him to be able to slam it home, still he has become an important piece of the attacking jigsaw and there seems little doubt the goals will flow again. 7

Sanchez: MOTM, got his mojo back nothing to do with the transfer window opening again today of course just a case of Alexis’ doing his thing and making a few more simple passes to team mates, funny how that can be so effective. Two great goals. 9

written by LB


A Festive Season Treat or Too Much Mead Hangover?

December 28, 2017

Last season we got hammered by Palace at Selhurst Park by a CP team in trouble. Today  we go there in questionable form and Palace are once again in trouble. Recipe for an embarrassing defeat? Let’s hope not.

Any club that employs Roy Hodgson has my respect, he seems like a top bloke and it takes courage to employ a manager committed to football to take a team out of the relegation zone. Most clubs go for the Hoofball merchants like Moyes, Allardyce etc. I hope they stay up and go on an extended run of good form in the New Year.

Palace spent big money and have some excellent players, players whom the press were linking Arsenal with  – Zaha, Townshend, Benteke and Cabaye. Defence is their problem and one we must exploit.

It is time Sanchez returned to the form we know and love. I do not believe it is lack of desire which is his problem, probably the opposite.

Monreal may be crocked, so is Ramsey. and OG.

My Team:

Cech

Mustafi      Koscielny     Kolasinac

Bellerin    Xhaka   Wilshere    Maitland- Niles

Ozil

Lacazette    Sanchez

Perhaps Iwobi will get a start in place of M-N or Holding could replace Monreal. Who knows except Mr Wenger?

Our form has been strange, consistency conspicuously lacking. One week we are very good in defeat and the next poor in victory.

We need a win and an improvement upon our terrible away form….

Let it start this afternoon.

COYRRG

 


Merry Christmas To All Gooners Everywhere

December 25, 2017

Thanks to everyone who has written posts, read posts and commented on posts throughout the year.

Merry festivities from all at Arsenal Arsenal.


Merry Christmas, Sanity is Over – Arsenal v Liverpool player ratings

December 23, 2017

Woo, that turned out better than I expected a good way into proceedings.

Slightly disappointed that we didn’t come away with all three points just to be able to rub their noses in it but hey ho, we could be feeling a whole lot worse over Christmas.

Cech must love playing for Arsenal there is always so much for him to do.

Bellerin: the great excitement was not knowing how far Hector could go, there was a moment when in the heady days of his upward trajectory that people thought if he added goals to his game he could be one of the all time greats — never gonna happen. Hector is what he is, a perfectly ok right wing back.

Koscielny, pre Sanchez goal, all over the place, post Sanchez goal a commited determined CB

Nacho, defensive player of the year, was replaced by Mustafi who was back from extreme bought of embarrassment which he suffered during the man u game.

Maitland-Niles pre Sanchez goal post Sanchez goal the young Tory was a joy to watch all game long.

What happened to Wilshere? He was bog standard average at two down, then Sanchez scored and then he turned into a super hero.

Xhaka’s game was something akin to a Wild West performance if there were such a thing, talk about the good the bad and the ugly.

Iwobi was a bit sub standard, I found myself actually wanting Walcott to come on and replace him; I never thought I would ever prefer Walcott over anyone ever again. Theeeo, Theeeo, Theeeo.

Sanchez, went from needing to be throttled to wanting to be carried around the ground on everyone’s shoulders in the space of ten minutes, but he is one of a small few who can change a game in a moment and that I suppose is the reason that he is always picked.

Ozil, there is television Ozil and live Ozil, the former is slow and not committed the latter is a regular genius, we had both today in that order.

Lacazette, got to say he was the only one who looked like it mattered to him that we were getting played off the park; it really was set up for him to grab a winner and all three points but as we know that was not to be. Maybe next time?

Written by LB


About time we turned over the Mickey Mousers

December 22, 2017

The first team will be back on show at the Emirates this evening after Tuesday’s exhilarating performance from the second stringers.

This game could set the tone for a very happy festive period. The players owe us a special win after their dismal away performance at Anfield.

Maybe Sanchez will realise he can boost his number of potential January suitors by putting in a decent show with some goals.

Will we revert to a back three now that Shkodran’s bruises have faded? Iwobi’s Mum will be disappointed if he doesn’t play as he adds much needed creativity and link play.

Presumably Lacazette will be back in the starting line up. Unless Sanchez is shoe-horned into the striker’s role.

Perhaps Xhaka needs a break to recapture (?) some form. Maybe Maitland-Niles (Con) could play DM as Micky saw him play there once against Reading.

Let’s hope we can start creating chances again and even better, take some of them.

My team

………..Petr

Kos …. Shkod… Nacho

Hector…Jack…Ainsley….The Beast

Mesut….Laca…..Sanchez

Up The Arsenal.


Welbz with a Christmas Cracker

December 20, 2017

The midfield was a little flat with two similar players in the centre.

The centre backs handled a strong forward line with ease and composure.

Welbz ran his heart out and was duly rewarded, Big Ollie tried a few flicks, Theo missed a sitter.

courtesy of @11tegen11

Aside from two good chances for the good guys in the five minutes before half time, there was very little goalmouth action. West Ham had 1 shot in the whole 90 minutes, with none of ‘those’ on target. 🙂