A Sinking Ship? Player Ratings

February 26, 2018

Are we a sinking ship or just a side in transition which is completely out of form?

Yesterday’s trouncing hurt. I don’t agree that there was  lack of effort or fight, in my opinion (and I know it is not some of yours) it was a lack of quality. We simply got outplayed and out-thought. Both the players and the management.

Not one AA’er thought we would win, some may have hoped but none honestly believed we would leave with the Cup. What we all hoped for was that Arsenal would compete and for much of the first half we did, in fact had PEA not missed a sitter (or was it a superb tackle) we could have been even at 45 mins. What happened next was a shock. What changed? We just couldn’t get the ball, our passes when we had the ball were wayward, our attackers had no chances. Ozil and PEA were passengers. Was it AFC who got worse or City who put on a masterclass of movement and possession football?

Whatever it was, we were embarrassing for 30 minutes, especially after the second goal. We rallied towards the end but created only a single opportunity (PEA for Iwobi)

Player Ratings:

Ospina. Second time in 4 days he was beaten by a cross shot.  5

Chambers. Battled hard  5

Mustafi  Terrible for the first goal. A flaky defender who needs to find consistency  3

Koscielny. Had a decent game. My MotM   6

Bellerin.  Managed to keep Sane relatively quiet but could not get forward   5

Ramsey. Clearly unfit.  4

Wilshere. Plenty of drive and action, not enough creativity.   5

Xhaka. Poor performance. Worked hard but simply not good enough   3

Monreal/Kolasinac. Thank goodness Sterling was injured.    4

Ozil. Anonymous. 3

PEA. Tried hard but got no service. Missed our only real chance.  4

Wenger. Looks lost and must be sitting at home dazed. We got tonked and it seems as though his final season (hopefully) will be his worst.   4 (one extra for looking so smart at kick-off)

Looking at the above, I am surprised that I gave the defence higher marks, but it was not their fault there was a tidal wave of City attacks., for the most part they defended well, though Mustafi’s weakness for the first was very poor.

Still … onwards and upwards. Let’s beat them on Thursday.

wriiten by BR

 

 

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Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners

February 25, 2018

4th Wembley Final in 5 years. It is a home game and we must approach it as a though we own the ground.

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My first attendance at a League Cup Final was as a youngster and I am still scarred by the event. Don Rogers scoring in the mud as lowly Swindon beat my heroes in a David and Goliath victory. The year before I watched the highlights of Dirty Leeds in black and white – I should point out that this was 7 years after Spurs last won the League 🙂

Today: Our away form is so disastrous that if Mr Wenger sets up his team to be conservative we are bolloxed; quite frankly this Arsenal defence is not good enough to halt the City attack. So, the answer is to be on the front foot from kick-off.

Sadly, we have a history of starting games slowly, feeling our way into the match, assessing the opposition and then trying to step up a gear. I expect the same today.

We have a plethora of attacking talent, if they fire as a unit, we could be kushtie. Ozil and PEA will cause any team problems … IF.

And what of Manchester City? From top down the Northern Oilers have created a powerful organisation. The inevitable, financially driven, ascendancy took time but today MC are clearly a cut above the opposition on a season long basis, same as PSG and BM (and the Chavs , until the Russian lost interest). But on a one-off game they can be beaten, Wigan did it.

Evidence of the financial doping? Mr Weger has spent£349m in his 21 years as AC manager. Guardiola has spent £371m in his 21 months at MCFC. This sums up all we need to know about why AFC are not competeing for the title.

How can we win? A couple of sending-offs would help –  preferably Sterling and Stones. A lucky goal or two from Hector and Nacho. A few thrilling saves from Ospina and defensive meltdown by the City defence. It is possible..

My Team:

Ospina

Koscielny    Mustafi   Monreal

Bellerin  Ramsey   Xhaka   Elneny

Wilshire   Ozil

PEA

The above team has little potency and it will require a goal or two from midfield.

The Number 5.

We have lost more League/EFL/Rumbelows Finals than any other team, 5

We have only scored 5 goals on the way to the final.

There will be 5 goals in the final, let’s hope they are in our favour.

COYRRG

 


Up for the Cup?

February 24, 2018

Excited about tomorrow? I mean really excited? You know – butterflies, dreams, stomach-clenching anticipation?

I can’t speak for you but I feel none of the above. Looking forward to it? Certainly. Aquiver? No.

We are about to play a Wembley Final against a wonderful team and potential Champions. Surely this is enough to get the blood coursing?

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Why am I not exhilarated?

Could be any of the following or most probably a blend of all:-

  1. It’s not a proper Cup. Can you name who won it two seasons ago? I think MU won it last year. Apparently Spurs won it 10 years ago and even they don’t mention it as sliverware. On the other hand, it would look fine in the trophy cabinet.
  2. The continual change of name. This year it is the Carabao (ridiculous). It was the League Cup when it meant something. Littlewoods, Milk, Carling , Rumbelows, Coca Cola, Capital One, Worthington etc etc. takes some of the shine off.
  3. Wembley has lost it’s sparkle. Started with the FAC semi-finals being played there. Now it is The Miscreants home ground. The great stadium has sold it’s soul.
  4. The PL clubs play their reserves until the semi-finals which gives an indication as to how highly even Stoke value it.
  5. This is The Big One for me. The final is too early in the season. Finals are for sunny, warm days not a ball-shrivelling February Sunday afternoon. It is not May.

Come kick-off time BR will have his loins girded (writing the PM will help),  be totally involved and I guess, so will you.

written by BR


Solid at the Bridge – Player Ratings

January 11, 2018

Serial Diver

Went down only when he’d lost his balance

Ratings

Ospina – Lazarus got in the way when it mattered ….8

Chambers – WWE slam on Azpilicueta my personal highlight ….8

Mustafi – No unnecessary lunging tonight, except to block shots ….9

Holding – Looked more comfortable against Morata than Brereton  ….8

Bellerin – 100% focused – all thoughts of what to wear after the game on the back burner  ….6

Xhaka – The Hills are Alive with the sound of crunching tackles while on a yellow ….7

Wilshere – Buzzing – luckily the bang is on his “good” ankle ….8

Maitland-Niles – The young Tory oozed class and a complete disdain for Marxian economics ….8

Iwobi  – Magnificent Maradona-esque dribbles followed by powder puff shooting ….8

Welbeck – Magnificent tackle on the snake for which Alan Smith tried to award a penalty ….7

Lacazette – not the day to be an Arsenal striker – best chance half-volleyed into the stands ….7

Elneny – Booked for a foul on Morata ….6

Sanchez – Lively in his pursuit of a transfer ….6

Big Weng – gave the members of the press box something to watch ….8


Wembley on the Horizon

January 10, 2018

Chelsea away. Injuries all over the shop. Porous defence. Lack of confidence. Fans less than enthusiastic.

Doesn’t bode well.

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Last game was a cracker; full of excitement and top quality attacking allied to dreadful defending from The Arsenal, diving and awful finishing from Chelsea. I expect much of the same tonight and would be thrilled with a similar result.

Sanchez: According to the media we have received a €20m offer from City. How will that affect both the player and the manager? Would you sell him or let him go for nothing in summer? Is €20m enough?

VAR: Exciting and interesting development which will/could change the way football at the highest level will function. It works in other sports but can it work in football? Would Hazard’s clear dive be a penalty or not? Depends upon one’s viewpoint which is exactly the point!

Given that Chelsea and MC remain in the Carabao, was AW decision, to prioritise tonight over the FA Cup, pragmatism or stupidity?

We shall see.

There is no doubt in my mind that if Arsenal play well, particularly if we take the chances in attack, we can win. The question is – does the team share my faith?

COYRRG

 


Is there a game on?

December 19, 2017

Apparently there’s a Carabao carnival of soccer ball in North London this evening.

The “happy” Hammers come to the Emirates hoping for another glorious bore draw and penalties. Either that or the shackles will be off with the fear of losing Premier League revenue removed and we could be in for an attacking goal fest.

Arsenal’s second string could feature more youngsters than have been playing in the last few Europey matches. So maybe the heated seat brigade will get a chance to see Nelson and Willock once more. Maitland-Niles may get a breather after his promotion to the first team.

Welbz could do with a few goals and Jack needs protecting as Aaron’s in the sick bay.

Is it on telly? Who knows.

Up The Arsenal

 

 


What is a Carabao?

October 24, 2017

Does anyone know?

Norwich. A home game – seems ages – and another chance to see the second string. Are Norwich better than Red Star? We shall see.

The Canaries are on a fine run of form, unbeaten in 9, and hopeful of a return to the PL. Can’t quite see that but I expect them to make the play-offs.

We have lost just once in 10 games! Wonderful win at Goodison playing some marvellous football, there must be a wave of confidence at Arsenal (if not amongst the fickle fans).

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I think Mr Wenger will start just one player (Cech) of those who thrashed Everton and only because Ospina is injured  – such is the strength of this squad and why I think that the longer the season goes on the higher the table we will climb.

Look at this team:

Cech

Debuchy    Elneny    Holding

Nelson    Coquelin   Wilshere   Maitland-Niles

Walcott    Giroud    Iwobi

8 full Internationals and none are first choice players –  without Welbz, Santi, Shokran, Chambers and Ospina.

Has our squad ever had so much depth?

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The match is not being shown on UK TV so we will have to find some dodgy streams, if you find a good one, please post the link in thee comments.

Mr Wenger has never won the Carabao Cup, he doesn’t seem to value it. Do you? No? Nor do I 😀

But it would be great to keep this run going and for us to win our third game in 6 days.

(written in haste by BR)

COYRRG