Can Leaky Arsenal subdue Lethal Lukaku?

March 19, 2016

Goodson Park, not the best place to go given our form and the coming International break. In the unlikely event of a loss for the Arsenal the fans will have at least a week to ferment (or should that be foment?).

Have we reason to hope for victory? I would say that there are the green shoots of a return to The Arsenal that we know and love. On the other hand, we have won once in our last 8 games and that to Hull reserves.

Supporting Arsenal is not for the soft-hearted, it requires fortitude and an ability to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (see Rasp – even Shakespeare believed in luck ūüėÄ ). This season has tested us to the full, however a win today would be a major fillip.

Lukaku: We should have shouldn’t we? He appears to be an expensive bargain but before berating the ¬†Arsenal Purchasing Dept. I would also have had a punt on Benteke! Chelsea Directors must be shaking their heads at how The Unemployed One could have chosen to sell Lukaku yet keep Costa, Remy, and Falcao. I would break the bank to sign him.

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Barry and Mirallas are missing – is that a positive?

Everton are having a strange season, beating Chelsea with a superb performance last week yet throwing away a 2 goal advantage at home to West Ham the week before. If they are on form we will struggle.

Martinez is a man I thought could succeed Mr Wenger. I no longer believe he has the necessary vision. That said he has made some fine signings – Lukaku, Delafeu, etc

Enough of Everton. We need BFG to marshall what has become a leaky defence. Gone are the days of 1-0 TTA which given the quality of the individual defenders it is perplexing but that is also true of the other end of the pitch. We have to score more goals.

Is Welbeck strong enough to start twice in 5 days? I doubt Mr Wenger will start him.

My Team:

Ospina

Bellerin   BFG    Koscielny    Monreal

Elneny    Coquelin    Sanchez

Campbell    Giroud    Ozil

We will have a strong bench despite the succession of injuries to midfielders.

Does anyone know when we can celebrate the return of Wilshire? Mr Wenger has told Roy Hodgson to keep a place for Jack so it must be soon.

As always we must hope for a decent performance from the officials because Everton have a slew of divers and enforcers. Mark Clattenburg referees fresh from his CL trip to Madrid Рcould be worse.

I like Everton, like Arsenal they have history; when they play Liverpool I am a Toffee (why isn’t it a mint). This afternoon I hope Everton are three down at halftime.

COYRRG

 


Turn Turn Turn

March 1, 2015

“To everything – ¬†Turn, Turn Turn,

There is a season – Turn Turn, Turn

And a time for every purpose under heaven.

A time to build up, A time to break down,

A time to dance, a time to mourn,

A time to cast away stones

A time to gather stones together.”

Book of Ecclesiastes (with a re-write by Pete Seeger)

I¬†know what you are thinking – “what the hell has that got to do with Everton at home?” ¬†Not much but I have had it in mind since Black Wednesday and of course, today is the first day of Spring – a time of growth and the rising of sap.

Will our sap rise today? Who knows? This season has been like few others insomuch as the team is so unpredictable, and not just game to game but within a game. Last Sunday we were two up and coasting then had 10 minutes of complete panic, and it has happened repeatedly over the season. Why?

“Leadership” I hear you say. Do we miss Arteta so much, is BFG lacking,? More to the point – how do we get one?

Can we beat Everton this afternoon and get back to winning ways?

Everton have stuttered badly this season and the golden boy Roberto Martinez has started to lose his lustre.

Here’s a brilliant stat – last season Everton won more games between March 1st and April 12th than they have won this entire season! ¬† The massive expenditure on Lukaku has yet to bring full returns though 5 goals in his last 3 games is worrying. I wanted us to sign Eto’o who is one of my favourite players but Mr Wenger proved once again that he “knows best”.

As usual midfield will hold the key. Aaron Lemon is likely to be dropped for the return of the potent Mirallas. In Gibson, McCarthy and Barry Everton have battlers, they also have one of my most hated players, Stephen Naismith.

I could write a whole post on the little blond aggressor. Like Leeds’ Alan Smith and the awful Robbie Savage, Naismith kicks the player before the ball as a matter of course, hiding a lack of talent behind naked aggression. How he stayed on the pitch in our 1-1 draw at Goodison is known only to the referee Michael Oliver who was awful that day.

I like the John Stones and can only think Mr Wenger wouldn’t spend the transfer fee preferring to buy Gabriel for half the price. Baines is fit, as is Coleman.

Arsenal: I would start the same team as Wednesday to allow them to prove their worth but Mr Wenger will ring the changes. Expect to see Monreal start and possibly Gabriel for BFG  or Koscielny. And it is time to take TPIG off the naughty step Рin my opinion he is our best GK.

My Team:

Szczesny

Bellerin      Gabriel    Koscielny       Monreal

Coquelin     Cazorla

Alexis     Ozil

Walcott    Giroud

Unlike some, I like Santi playing deeper alongside Le Coq and until Ramsey, Arteta or Wilshere return it is a position he may well keep. (unless Rosicky takes that place!)

We have a strong bench with good coverage for any eventuality.

My main concern today lies within The Emirates crowd – the poisonous atmosphere which is created by a bias-led media is so close to the surface. If Arsenal are not at their fluent best and dominating from kick-off the disquiet will strengthen and the very chaps who booed our lads off the pitch will start complaining early. I hate it. Moan on the blogs, beat the dog, kick the cat, berate taxi drivers, do whatever you have to do but during the game SUPPORT your team.

What happens when the crowd groans at a misplaced pass which is made in the blink of the eye- a possibly defence splitting pass which carries risk? The player will take the secure option which is usually a short sideways or backwards pass. If we want to see a fast, intricate and beautiful display of passing football our players have to feel confident and supported – take that away and we become Stoke.

Live Long and Prosper

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy

 


Mesut to the Rescue

August 23, 2014

For a fanatical gooner this has been a difficult week. The results were acceptable but there has been disappointment in the manner of our play. And yet ….. today our Germans return.

Mr Wenger has stated that not all will play and I think he means Podolski. We miss a spark, we are too predictable, too slow on the counter as the final ball is ill-conceived. We need a will o’ the wisp and thankfully we have one.

By now you will have realised that I am putting my faith in our World Cup winner and most expensive signing. He must be rested, having spent the last few weeks bobbing about on a luxury yacht (or whatever young mega-rich chaps do). Am I being foolhardy to trust in Ozil? Can he step up to become the player around whom our forward line play? Is he as good as his reputation? This season will tell. Ozil must be hugely confident at present and desperate to get out on the pitch to enthral us and against Everton he will hopefully find the space to enjoy himself.

Everton gave us a lesson at Goodison last season and they were very good at The Emirates. They have maintained their squad and bought Lukaku (who could have foreseen Everton spending ÔŅ°28m on a player?). The long-term injury to Ross Barkley must have been a blow to Martinez – ¬†though Naismith is a decent replacement he is hardly of the same quality.

We know what to expect from a Martinez team, a commitment to hard work in midfield and to attack. He has the players and in Lukaku a player to ruin Monreal’s day as he did when Martinez played him on the left last season. However, I believe that a defence of Distin and Jagielka is vulnerable to pace and ingenuity.

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It is a shame Arteta will not play today, he retains much respect at Goodison where he spent so much of his career. We are ham-strung by ham-strings. Gibbs, Myachi and Sanogo are all out but otherwise we have a strong squad.

The most exciting thing about today will be to finally see how Sanchez can play with Ozil, and how Ramsey fits into this triumvirate of genius. Once Theo returns and possibly takes the central role he craves, we will be Kushti. Mark my word …. Kushti.

There is always the possibility that Mr Wenger will rest Sanchez who has played our last 3 games and could use a rest. I hope not but should he do so it opens the way for Rosicky.

It is a shame for young Chambers that he will be riding the pine for the foreseeable future (or until one of our CB’s gets crocked). I flag this up to herald the return of one of my very favourite players the BFG. I was delighted when Mertesacker signed a 2 year extension to his contract because this bloke is the fulcrum of the team. He may not be the best CB in the world but he is one of the best in the Premiership and his partnership with Koscielny is outstanding. Welcome back Big Man.

My Team;

Football Pitch 4

Hopefully Mr Wenger will be on better form than in Turkey where, in my opinion, he did not pick the best team nor react fast enough to enforce a win. We have such a strong bench that he can afford to tinker. Joel Campbell could well start on the left, it must be time to test him but I expect Joel to get his first appearance at the Emirates.

We have not beaten Everton for 4 games which is the longest run against any PL team (according to The Independent!) and to be honest I can see the run continuing. Everton played well but were held to draw at Leicester and will be looking to start their home campaign with a win over a direct rival. Martinez says the Top 4 is his target and one Everton could have achieved after the 3-0 win at Goodison had the Arsenal not won their last 5 games whilst the Toffees fell apart to finish 7 points behind.

An interesting game against one of my favourite opponents, I would take a point but prefer three ūüėÄ

As no-one (meaning Big Raddy) has come up with an interesting theme for the season (physicists was mooted but I know sweet FA about the sciences) I leave you with a picture of The Man…..

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Written by Big Raddy