We just had to play an away game. Arsenal are persecuted. It’s not just Kevin Friend or Mike Dean. But somehow the EPL forces us to play away. And then, to boot, to go up north where it can be slightly chilly with the home teams fans boo-ing us. It’s just not fair. It has to stop. Where is the UN Human Rights Council. How can this injustice persist?
Crap. And Boring. And poor team selection. Some was injury induced of course. No Kosclieny, Xhaka or Ramsey. But it’s hard to watch a team with Mustafa, Mickeytarrien and Elneny. We lost the game in the first half. And then lost it again in the second half. In many ways we were fortunate to only lose by one goal.
We had a few chances. Unfortunately, Cigarette was extinguished in front of goal today. The rest of his link-up and defensive play was excellent. But that breakaway in the first 10 minutes when he was unable to get a shot on target was the game-turning miss. But I also don’t understand how that was not a penalty by Zouma who came in like a freight-train on him. But given the multiple decisions we saw thereafter by Friend thereafter it was not too surprising.
There was no luck today. Of course, that was an illegal foul throw – but you can’t blame the ref for that – that’s the linesman job. However, you never see that called. Then they had the rub of the green as, after Jagielka won the header, it ricocheted back off Kolinsac to easily score.
We then had to put up with Friend awarding every free-kick to them and every yellow card to us. The one to Sokratis, who was excellent all day, was particularly painful as we won’t have him for our next two games. Having him in the center is key to our defense. He reads the game so well and is generally calm. Unlike the idiot to his right you could have been sent off in the second half when he clattered Clavert-Lewin into the boards. I don’t mind the foul itself. Anyone playing for Everton with a double-barrel name is deserving of that treatment. But he’d had ample time to just put the ball into touch. I don’t fancy Troy Deeney without Sokratis. It was a borderline foul for Sokratis but somehow warranted a yellow from Friend. And to think Dean was on the side-line as the fourth referee does not bare thinking about.
Elneny was way out of his depth today. As he normally is. Playing him was a mistake – recognized by our half-time changes. In fact, today Emery lost us the first half by his starting selection. Throughout the game Mickeytarrien was dire. He lost the ball too often and was too slow with his release. Combine that with the ineffectiveness of Maitlaind-Niles on the right and the languid Ozil meant that there was no movement or creativity in the first half. We made this too easy for Everton. But, before all this transpired Cigarette should have scored and/or had a penalty.
Th second half was better care of Ramsey but we could not take the few chances we had; at least we had more urgency. We could have played for another hour and I don’t think we’d have scored. When you see Cigarette slip in the box after a slick pass from the surprisingly effective Ob1 you know it’s not your day. And when Ramsey puts one off-target from just around the penalty spot you know you’re fucked. There were very few bright spots today. Guendouzi was industrious but picked up a dubious Friend yellow card which restricted his aggression. But he worked hard and tries to move forward. Paired alongside Elneny is tough on him though. Neither made themselves available for the outlet balls. And our wing-backs were both poor. It’s not often Kolinsac gets subbed at half time. But today he was shit.
But by that standard most of the team could have been replaced. They all seemed to be too weak in possession. Monreal had one of his worst games. He lost most of his duels and was always complaining and moaning but continued to allow himself to be out muscled. Of course, the few times he was strong Friend awarded fouls against him. He was beaten too many times today and added nothing going forward.
It’s just not reasonable for the Premier League to expect us to play so many away games. Maybe next year we can have two leagues. The Home BPL and the Away BPL. We would finally be champions. Then we could play in the Home Champions league. Though finding opponents to come and play us might be challenging.
Emery does not have the players or squad he needs. Elneny and Mickeytarrien and our retard German defender are not of the quality we need. Everyone knows this. Maitland-Niles is still unproven. A defense that had Kosclieny, Holding and Bellerin would have changed this game. But all teams have to withstand injuries. And that’s where our depth fails us.
But these wankey players does not quite speak to why we drop some many away points. It’s been pleasing to have been in 4th place (and we still are) and even 3rd place. But there is no doubt we are not a Champions League team. It’s great to beat Man United and draw against Sp*rs but you can’t lose these games. Not when you still have to go to Watford, Wolves Leicester and Burnley. Given we have not won one of our last nine away games the probability of us winning all these games is pretty much zero. Winning one would be a starting point. But beyond that it would be a miracle.
To win one away requires a different mental attitude. Not the one that was on display today. There has to be on-field leadership and physical strength. How different are these issues from AW days? Though it’s improved it’s still, at core, the same issue. That’s where a change in personnel comes in. And that’s where transfer money becomes a big factor.
I felt resigned as soon as that goal went in; resigned to another underperforming Arsenal away performance. The game was so predictable and dreary. We even managed to make them look like a good team. All the other teams around us have gone out of their way to drop important points. They have tried to wave us through into the Champions League. But it will still require us to win these remaining games. So, start planning for the HoHopeCup for next year.
Which leads us to Thursday. Which is at least at home. But we need Kosclieny back. And Torreira. And the atmosphere will help. We will surely get a reaction. But the pathway is difficult. Arguably tougher than Liverpools. Would you prefer Porto to Napoli? But there will be motivation and focus unlike what we saw today. This week could be the making or breaking of our season. It’s the pressure end of the season; it’s time for Emery to pull this team out of the shadow of AW and those most recent failures.