Arsenal to Park The Bus?

February 15, 2017

I should be excited as we go to play one of the very best teams in one of the best stadiums  in the world, I’m not. Is this CL fatigue, Arsenal fatigue, same old same old or something deeper – perhaps a winter depression? Who knows, all I know is that I’m not as passionate about tonight as I should be.

Last night didn’t help; to see the best team of my lifetime, Barca, humbled by a team we drew with twice (luckily!!) was a sign not just of the inevitable atrophy of life but also the end of another era, and I have only a few more eras left! A depressing thought.

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Let’s be honest, the vast majority of us hope only that Arsenal can fight hard and return with the second leg being competitive. If we score then that must be possible and score we can.

Bayern Munich are not unbeatable and if we had a fully functioning first 11 in good form I would expect us to win. Instead we have to be pragmatic and this is where Micky’s BM line up will come to the fore. Coquelin is not good enough or strong enough to combat BM’s midfield, he will need help, a lot of it.

We have beaten City  and BD  playing conservative tactics, rope-a-dope works sometimes (thankfully not often). Will Mr Wenger PTB? Doubtful.

My Team:

Ospina

Bellerin       Mustafi      Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka     Elneny     Coquelin

Ozil

Welbeck     Sanchez

Of course AW will not play the above, he will start Theo ahead of Danny and almost certainly Iwobi ahead of Elneny, but we can hope.

Much has been written about Ozil, little of it good, but we all know that if there was a combined AFC/BM team only 2 or 3 of our lads would start and Ozil is one of them. He is German Player of the Year and has been  for 5 of the last 6 years. He is not a bottler, he is just a man out of form and we all know, form is temporary, class is permanent.

Arjen Robben may start tonight; what an objectionable cheating arse he is, for a man who has as much talent as any footballer on the planet, why does he have to be so objectionable? Hope he gets Xhaka’ed early..

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Thinking of which, if he starts this is a huge game for Xhaka. Get sent off tonight and his Arsenal career is deeply in doubt, we cannot play top teams with 10 men. Has he learned his lesson? Can he be as effective without a bit of spite? Vieira learned it and became a legend.

This could be Mr Wenger’s last CL campaign, he deserves a signature victory and tonight would certainly be one.

Can we win? Why not.

COYRRG

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Suarez, Sturridge, Robben. Do AFC need a Cheat?

March 18, 2014

Bear with me ….

Over the past week we have seen and been on the wrong end of some dreadful cheats. A quick think brings me to Sturridge’s appalling dive to get Vidic sent off, Robben’s dive to earn BM a penalty, Suarez theatrics (nothing new there) and the world renowned Gerrard Flop.

Furtherrmore, this season we have had Lewandowski at Dortmund flapping around like a beached trout and Ashley Young perfecting his double somersault with twist and pike.

Over at Stamford Bridge we have some wonderful diving talent – Hazard, Oscar and Torres trying successfully to do The Drogba (a master of the art). Man City rely on the collapsing talents of Silva, Dzeko and Nasri.

Spurs have lost Monkeyboy who is world class at cheating but he has joined a whole team well versed in the Dark Arts – Marcelo, Ronaldo and Pepe etc – all love a dive.

Barca have Busquets, Pique, the obnoxious Alves, Neymar and Adriano.

So, who are Arsenal’s divers and if we don’t have them  …. why not?

Diving pays. It may offend your finer sensibility but it works – time and time again. What is the cost if a dive gets spotted by the referee? A yellow card, hardly enough of a deterrent to stop a clever forward, after all the profit is a penalty and probably a goal. Yellow card or goal? Ask a defender whether they would take one for the team when an attacker is advancing on goal – we fans get angry when the defender prefers to allow the game to flow!! So why not use such a cost-free tactic?

The antics of Robben last week infuriated me but had Giroud the nous to cheat his way to a penalty in a similar manner would I really protest? Would you?

What the first few para’s show is that all the top sides have players who dive and do so on a regular basis. A dive can get your team not just a penalty but also in the case of Sturridge a valuable defender sent off.

I am trying to recall an Arsenal player diving for a penalty. It must have happened in the last few seasons but I cannot recall it. Eduardo was called for diving – and goodness me the media went mad – even though he was just avoiding an Orc trashing his damaged leg. Perhaps this has had a knock-on effect on the way we play. Eboue liked a dive but he was so hopeless at “simulation” it became laughable and embarrassing.  Oh, I just remembered Santi diving vs West Brom in 2012 and Arteta burying the pen.Since then ….. ?

I know, I know … it isn’t The Arsenal Way, we always take the moral high ground and I am proud of Wenger’s honesty and his belief in The Beautiful Game but just once couldn’t we ape our opposition and go for the reverse dive with tuck?

What do you think?

written Tongue-in-Cheek by Big Raddy