Monthly Archives: April 2017

April 25th – Arsenal 1 Leicester 0

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That was a pleasant surprise. This had a nil nil draw written all over it. They did not come to play and we could not play too much.

Unfortunately I had to listen to the retard Tony Gail bleat all over the commentary. He is such a monumental wanker; so completely biased and negative to Arsenal. But worse than that he is a Neanderthal with regard to tactics. His thinking is the perfect example of the reason why England can’t produce a decent national team. He only knows how to get stuck in and then hit the big man up top via route 1. It’s amazing he played for West Ham (to be fair he was shit). If only we could put him and Michael Owen in a dingy and drop it off somewhere in the middle of the Pacific…

Back to the game. As I’ve long given up that we will qualify for the Champions League and I’m equally sure that AW will be with us next year, I continue to look for indications that we can Make Arsenal Great Again (“MAGA”). That is the lens through which I view each game – aside from the next one. Is there improvement and evolution? Are we developing? Even after 20 minutes it was clear this formation with the infamous 3 at the back is improving the level of our play. With the players we currently have and with the self-belief still mired in the dirt, this system suits us better. We pass out of the back more cleanly and also are less exposed defensively.

As the game progressed there were only rare chances for them but, unfortunately, less for us. Of course playing with just 10 men did not help. I don’t get why we’d only field a team of 10 players and allow a ball-boy to come in and take the number 14 jersey. That seems irresponsible to me. And very unfair to Theo. Someone must have locked him up in the dressing room and then hijacked his jersey. We need to send out a search party to find our caffined and tattooed winger. It’s inconceivable there could be any other reason for that performance because surely a player who’d not played for the last 2 games (or maybe more I can’t remember) would have been energized to have been in the starting eleven and have run around full of energy trying to prove to others he was worthy. Unfortunately the ball-boy proved to be wholly unworthy.

Unfortunately this formation also shows up the limitations of our Coq. As much as I adore this boy and love his fight he looks lost because he often finds himself upfield in positions requiring creativity. Of course, replacing him with the side-ways and back-wards AR8 does not exactly solve the issue.

But the formation does help our defense. Monreal has been a star in each of the last two games. Likewise BigEars. Bellend seemed slightly improved but then it must be tough having a ballboy play in front of you. That’s why all our progress came down our left.

Someone also has to go and find Alexis. Today nearly everything he tried suck so loud. Every touch was too heavy and every pass was to them. Just goes to show that shit happens even to the best of us. He will come back though it’s been a while now – Sunday would be nice. But I was happy to see him return to the center of the attack. Again, it did not help that the ballboy was off to the right. When Alexis would create and then look up to the static ballboy who’d not attack the box or the ball he must have wondered what team he was on. Let’s pray we get the Ox back on Sunday.

Xhaka was imperious again. This set up suits him. All good things ran through him. And he connected well with Ozil. The defense now look for Xhaka to release the ball to him. This helps our fluency.

Not that we were by any means great today. But we were a little better. Just a smidge. And we need to be better this Sunday. I’d easily settled for a point now. There is no way we can win there – if we do I’ll go out an by a ton of lotto tickets. That team is way better than us and they have a winning mentality. They will know we’re vulnerable. If they beat us then they are assured of finishing above us for the first time since electricity was invented. In addition they have the dual motivation of still striving for the title and also killing off our Champions League aspirations.

My only hope is that we are not embarrassed. We need to expect an onslaught and be ready for battle. The atmosphere will be intense and toxic. We can’t afford any weakness. They are a better team so we have to have the right mental attitude. More semi-final and less Crystal Palace. More backbone and less Watford. It will be a high tempo pressing game from them. we will need to find the best from Alexis and hope that the Ox returns. This is not a game for the ballboy. I’d also revert to Holding on the left. Basically it should be the Semi-final team without Giroud. Not that I’m in love with DW23 but he at least has some mobility.

Though I should be enjoying the warm glow of 3 points that we were fortunate to gain I’m more worried about how my weekend will go. I’ve been worrying about Sunday for too long. This could be painful.

– LB7

 

 

April 24th – Make Arsenal Great Again

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Apologies for my absence. I’ve been on a top secret scouting mission to South America and Eastern Europe. Thankfully as no-one reads this blog this information can still be considered confidential. I can reveal though that I’ve identified a midget double left-footed inside right back with a beard that is just 5 years old. I have it on good authority that my recommendation to AW to sign him is being taken under the most serious consideration. I believe it’s coming down to the details of what coloured smarties and m&m this child prodigy prefers.

Moving on, first a quick review of the F. A. Cup Semi-Final. Sp*rs Lost. Te He. And, not that it’s that important, we won.

Of course, with our new tactics of three at the back (whereas we used to have no-one at the back) we’re now more like a poor mans Chelsea – as will be seen in a month’s time. Essentially we parked the bus and waited out Shitty. In the first half we sucked but the refs and linesman were worse.

There’s no way there was a penalty against Our Ox. But they had a goal disallowed because it was believed it went out first. How stupid is the fucking FA? This is all about using technology. They can determine whether it or did not go over the goal-line for a goal but won’t use it for other instances where the ball does (or does not) cross the line. Of course, their little useless winger dragged down Alexis in the box and there was no way we’d get that call. But 1-1 on the penalty front.

As the game wore on we got more into it and started to resemble a football team. Albeit one which includes AR8. But you got to love Ox these last two games (yeh har – two whole games! – we have a superstar). He was outstanding yesterday – our own little Erickson with the way he crossed the ball.

And that defense (a.k.a the bus). How good was BigEars? Best I’ve seen him play. And Holding was very impressive. Koz held them all together. And behind them we can Cech moving around at the pace of a 90-year old but still managing to make the odd game rescuing save.

No sympathy for Shitty here. They have way too much money and way too little class. They had their chances to win but even with all that money they could not find a way to pick up apart a defense that has let in three goals to Crystal Palace, Liverpool and the Great West Brom.

Bolton and Burnley should be proud of us.

So, how do we change this? How do we Make Arsenal Great Again? I’ve been giving this an unhealthy amount of thought recently given our performances this calendar year. How do we rediscover our creativity and dominance? How do we recalibrate Arsenal to the first 10 years of AW? No simple question and no simple answer. But rest assured you will be disappointed. Anyone that’s read any commentary on this site will no that this is the place not to come to for logical answers or intelligent insight.

I’ll start to explore this profound concept in the balance of this article and, over the coming months and through the summer, I’ll continue to flesh out the details.

So let’s get started.

  1.  Change the Arsenal crest back to how it was in the 1990’s before this modern eye-sore was  introduced.
  2.  Re-Build Highbury and move back there.
  3.  Refuse support to Arsenal for anyone named Piers Morgan.
  4.  Increase the size of the opposition goal to 10 foot by 15 foot (in either dimension).
  5.  Go back in a time-machine and transport a young Viera, Henry and, of course, Bergkamp  into the present day.
  6.  Change the name of our stadium back to Highbury.
  7.  Hire Mike Dean as a sex therapist and snap some nasty pictures of Dean, Atkinson and  Taylor in a three way then sell the pictures to the papers and get all three banned for life.
  8.  Hack into the chip in the football and reprogram it to indicate a goal for us whenever the  ball passes the half-way line.
  9.  Hire Michael Owen as the manager for all opposition teams.
  10.  Borrow or steal Hazard, Kante, Silva, Kompany, Rashford, De Gea and Fernandinho on (free)  season long loans.

There, that should do it. Insightful and critical analysis at it’s best. And this is just the start. This will be sure to Make Arsenal Great Again (“MAGA”). I’m going to trademark, copywrite and tradecopy and markwrite this. So hands off. And some people say I’m a fool!

– LB7

 

 

 

 

 

April 10th – Crystal Palace 3 Arsenal 0

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Sorry.

OK, that’s it. Nothing more to say.

We were robbed. Three point stolen. Er, no.

We were so unlucky – hitting the post – coming up against a goalkeeper that played out of his skin. Er, no

We played with 10 men and the referee decided the game for them. Er, no.

We came up against a top team that on the day would have beaten anyone. Er, no.

We were shit. Ah, that would be it.

Every single player sucked (on our team of course). Yes. that would be true. Well, nearly. I thought Xhaka was the only player who actually played.

This is what it must have been like to have supported Sp*rs for the last 20 years. Decent players congenitally under-performing.

So, sorry to all my children. I have taken the best years of Arsenal for myself. To you I have bequeathed the barren years. The mediocre years. The years of being an under-performing, over promising and under delivering team. This is what lies ahead. Upheaval and Uncertainty. The big “U”s.

As Moses comes out of the desert we are about to enter it. Not for 40 years (I hope) but not for a weekend trip either.

Even after this abject non-appearance I’m sure AW will sign-up for a couple more years. The club is not set up for a manager transition. Maybe we can hire Christian Gross or AVB. Or how about Moyes. That will keep us locked into AW. Arguably he’s earned the right to fix this. 20 wonderful (or mostly) years and one horrible one. Though, with this team, I fear there are many more in our imminent future. Rather than witness a slow painful decay I think someone has speeded up the process. It’s now longer a linear decay but it’s exponential now. Maybe that’s better. We can find our low point quicker. But I know we’re not there yet.

After today there can be no more illusions that we can get into the top 4. So, now watch all those “people” who claimed and mocked Arsenal and AW that we treated 4th like a trophy (even though we’ve been 2nd and 3rd for the last two years) flame out with righteous indication that we’ve failed to make Europe. Exactly those people who claimed there was limited value in qualifying for the ECL will now be the most vocal that we won’t qualify.

Be that as it may though. I can’t cater to those wankers. They are demented retards. In many ways just like the bulk of our team. A perfect match for each other.

For today, it’s hard to know who was our worst player. Bellerin was awful in some many ways. Welbeck was ineffectual in many more. Theo had a perfect position from which, as a spectator, to watch the entire game. Ozil looks lost. Sanchez missed three chances in the first half and is wasted on the wing. Monreal was not so bad; nor was Gabriel. Mustafa only wasted a few passes but lost every header to Benteke. I could go on but what’s the point. Oh, I nearly forgot. When my favorite player, AR8 arrived on the pitch, he managed to miss tackles, passes and watch their second goal after missing two chances to win the ball. But there is no point in just picking on one player – as much fun as it is. We are sub-standard. We are not good enough. Losing to world-class teams like Watford, West Brom and Crystal Palace defines the limitations of this team. Liverpool go a goal down at Stoke and win. Sp*rs go a goal down at Hull and win. We goal goal down and contrive to give them more goals.

Funnily, it was not so hard to watch this game. There was no anger. Just tired acceptance that we’re not going anywhere. This team is disjointed. It’s lost tactically and quality-wise. It requires a complete re-build. I would retain Ox and Xhaka. Alexis will leave. As should Ozil. He can’t function in a weak team. I’d keep Koz. I’d not miss anyone else.

So, sorry to my children. I can wallow in the memories of the first 10 years and some of the memories of the last ten. I grew up in barren years so I’m built for this next phase of Arsenal live. I’ve seen the dreary Arsenal team of the 80’s. I saw the decay of the original double winning team in the 70’s. I know what it’s like to support a shit team. I was brought up watching a team swing between winning and boredom. So you though need to gear yourself for the wilderness. Thankfully you’ll have you tube and facebook to remind you of past glories.

-LB7

April 6th – Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

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Finally. A win. But why am I so angry? Why did I not enjoy that victory?

They are so rare these days. Because we had to watch the son of Dean ref this game. How fucking insanely shitty was Martin Atkinson? How is it people as retarded as this are allowed to ref professional games? How can one ref be so fucking useless? How can the standard of EPL football be so high but the referees so abject and absolutely incompetent. The only good news is that we’re unlikely to see him again this season – I pray.

Really, how could he not give us a penalty when Theo was pushed over in the first half? In all I think there was four clear penalty shouts for 4 clear penalties. Yet we got none of them. On another day against a better team they could have been game changing mistakes. What about when Monreal was so clearly fouled in the box in the second half? How could that not be given? Where is the accountability for outright incompetence? Throughout the game he continued to make an array of bad decisions. Calling fouls that weren’t and not given fouled that clearly were. What about in the first half when Ozil was clearly fouled. The list goes on. I’m not sure he was biased as I know we got some fouls called for us that weren’t but given that we had the vast majority of the possession we suffered most of his fucked up calls. So, the only question is who is a bigger, fucked up wanker. Atkinson or Dean? Hardly matters. Neither is capable of being a professional ref at this level. Idiots like this make Clattenburg and Oliver look like superstars.

Can we play West Ham each week please? Because they were shit. I was nervous with Carroll playing – naturally- but he was ineffective. To his credit Mustafi won every aerial dual today. I can’t remember Carroll winning a single header. Unfortunately, this was offset by the totally predictable pathetic distribution of Mustafi. I don’t get this. Why the fuck don’t we learn our lessons and make sure he does not get left with the ball at his feet. We should have midfielders screaming at him to receive the ball. I can remember four occasions today when Mustafi attempted long ball passes; two were intercepted within 30 yards and two were wildly over hit. But those first two could have led to (against a better team) to counterattacks. And, as with  ManCity, there were a few instances where he went charging forward to intercept the ball and left a gap behind him in defense. I like his aggressiveness but I don’t trust his judgement or distribution. He works hard but I’m not convinced be has the composure to be a long0term, effective center-half for us.

Alongside him Bellend had a torrid first half. I will never understand why the fastest, pacyest player on our team feels compelled, in a foot race on the half way line feels the need to rugby tackle their player thereby conceding both a free-kick and receiving a yellow card. Too often Bellend is getting beaten and making poor decisions. Maybe it’s the second year blues for him. But he’s not progressed this year. His judgement has not developed and he gets beaten too easily. Moving forward he’s improving and he nearly had a beautiful goal care of Alexis in the second half.

So though we won what turned out to be an easy victory I found myself bubbling over with anger – at least until we scored. The first half was slow and ponderous. Alexis had a chance care of Chaka. And then Theo had a chance that went into the side netting. We started slowly and gingerly found our way as we also realized that West Ham offered no threat. In the second half we played at a higher tempo. And we were the beneficiaries of an important Ozil goal that looked like it could have been offside against Alexis. And then Theo found a way to score again. He does have the instinct even if he does not have the talent.

Another disappointment today was Welbeck. I still can’t believe he missed the chance that Theo set up for him in the second half. In the first half he was anonymous – barely involved. And then to miss that chance as we were only 1-0 up was criminal. We’re stuck between a mobile, fast-paced center forward who can’t score and a lumbering, slow one that can. Giroud scored another classic left foot curler. But he can’t actually be part of our forward line as it takes him ½ an hour to get form the half-way line to their penalty area. He just does not fit. I had wished that we’d have played Welbeck on the left and Alexis in the middle. Alexis, in the first half, did not seem engaged. He improved in the second half but I still don’t’ feel like he’s fully onboard with this team. He seems unhappy. I’m sure he’s going to be on his way at season end. He does not have faith in this team.

Ozil worked his way into the game. Not his worst game. He came hunting for the ball more often and looked for movement ahead of him – of which there was little. But he scored and was involved in the second one as well. Overall an improved performance but you can see his confidence is low.

Moving to the more positive end of the spectrum Martinez was very solid in goal. Good distribution and a couple of important saves. In front of him Gabriel was solid and focused the entire game. Elneny was solid – not earth shattering but OK. He got out muscled a few times in defensive areas but overall he linked up well always looking for our man of the match. Our man who still deserves his name correctly spelt – Chaka. He ran the midfield today. No yellow card but physical. Stayed on his feet and most of the time was in the right position defensively. He was the fulcrum through which all our play started. Elneny defers to him and gets the ball to his feet. Chaka sprayed the ball well and moved the team forward. He’s still not found the right partner but today he was our best player.

Unfortunately, AR8 made his appearance again but that was offset by The Ox. A classic piece of attacking play created the Giroud goal. But AR8 just needs another injury. He just does not fit in this team. For some other team he could be an asset but not for us. I know I sound like a broken record but he’s too slow and he takes too many touches. We can just about carry Theo – because he does at least score. But we can’t also carry AR8 (along with Mustafa, Welbeck and many others).

But we won. Phew. Relief all round. Today – in the second half – was as close as we came to looking like a football team this calendar year. We are still way off our best. The balance is still wrong. We will struggle for the rest of the season for sure but we still have a chance of ending up in the top 4. I think it’s unlikely, but it’s possible. If the other teams can only screw up more than us we have a chance. I don’t believe we deserve it. We’re just not good enough. And we haven’t been all season. We were for a couple of months in September and October. But we’ve not got our balance and rhythm right for a long time. So today was a step in the right direction but we’ve still got to make many more steps in our journey to recovery. It’s like Arsenal Anonymous – the 12 step program to recovery. And we’re only two steps in.

-LB7