Monthly Archives: December 2019

December 15th – Arsenal 0 Manchester City 3

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Dear Father Christmas, I’ve been such a good boy this year. I stopped picking my nose. I have stopped farting in public. And next year I promise to stop peeing in the street. I’ve been so good. So, pretty please, can I have a special Christmas present. Please Santa? Can I please have a proper manager? Can you get me Carlo? Even a temporary Carlo? Otherwise I’ll be crying into the next year.

Imagine, Arsenal managed to beat the rest of the country to Brexit. We didn’t need any votes; we just needed Emery and others to lead us into the desert.

Poor Freddie. What was he thinking? We are sinking quicker than the Labour party in England. We are like the titanic after we’ve hit the iceberg and have sunk. We are those remaining passengers in the life raft. And Freddie is the captain but with no oar.  All he can do is seemingly find the youngest players and put them into the team. If you’ve over 22 years of age then you’ll be consigned to the bench. Or worse. Freddies’ solution is to go young. Soon he’ll be playing embryo’s at left back.

Thank god for three points at West Ham. Today was always going to be a game too far. But with De Bruyne it was game over. That was about a complete a performance by an opposition player as I’ve ever seen at Arsenal (Highbury or otherwise). Both goals were brilliant. And if it were not for our spring-laden German goalie it would been a perfect hattrick.

It seems futile to go through the vacuous performances of each of the plyers. Aside from Leno and Martinelli there is nothing worthy of comment. Mistakes were all too evident. The midfield was a shambles and we barely wanted to move the ball forward.

Pep obviously decided to take his foot off the gas so as to not increase the pressure on Arsenal and thus hastened the departure of Arteta. But surely, after watching that performance Mikael, if he was sane and sensible, would want nothing to do with this club.  

You can’t blame the fans today. Even at the end, those remaining, were cheering for their club. This is what it must have looked like at Leeds or at Nottingham Forest or Aston Villa before they sank into oblivion. There is nothing but an empty shell left of this team. Freddie can’t fix it. Bring in Carlo and give him a chance. We need a proven manager with Premier League experience. We are in a relegation fight now. Forget Europe. Welcome Brexit. And now is not the time for the club to throw an inexperienced manager into the fray. I even catch myself wondering whether we should have, in fact, taken on Darth Vader. I feel like I’m losing my soul and my faith. To even consider that blasphemous idea speaks to the desperation of our plight.  

This is a club that is fucked. Up the Royal Arse. Now is not the time to go through a long and onerous interview process stretching out over many weeks. Now is the time when management should be implement a well thought out plan that they had in place before they fired Emery. Not, two or three weeks later, trying to figure out what to do next.

There are some players that should remain in our team. Most of the younger ones. But they need tactics and a sense of positioning. Guendouzi looks completely lost; he can’t be a defensive midfield player. Torreira was overrun as the one man defense. Maitland-Niles is not a full back. But then nor is Kolinsac. How sad was it to see poor Saka playing at left back. Our team was more reminiscent of one of our League Cup teams than a team to play last years Champions.

Not that there were any illusions that we might get anything from this game. But to not have learned anything yet, to have given away chances to them so easily. It’s a groundhog day nightmare. Even without the shinning brilliance of DeBruye, we weren’t even second best.  This team is broken and dysfunctional. No-one on the bench can resolve this. We need new management and we need it now. Not in another 3 weeks. Not after losing to Everton, Chelsea and Man United. That manager needs to come in now so they have a much time as possible. Let them observe the team during these critical games and start to figure out what needs to be done.

Would any intelligent, experienced manage want this job? Would you want to catch a falling knife?  The longer AFC fail to make a decision the harder it will be to bring in what we need. And we need Carlo. And we need him now. Before Chunukah and before Christmas. Before Everton. But, I can nearly promise, that AFC won’t pull the trigger. Instead they will spout the usual bullshit that they have an (imaginary) plan in place. Assuming that is that anyone from AFC makes themselves available to talk to the media. Rather they’ll leave Freddie to be the focus of all the questions. At some point the management of this club have to stand up and take responsibility – and he held accountable. They have to speak to the fans and provide some answers.

There is no backbone in this team. Next week, against Everton, it will be a six pointer. Two fallen teams searching for points and a manager. The only two teams never to have been relegated from the top division, both playing for their lives. And you can be sure – with madman Ferguson in charge – they will be up for it. Will Arsenal? Not if Ozil is playing. He’s talented and all that but not someone you want in this situation. It would be like bringing a Picasso along to a gunfight. Freddie can talk about confidence (or the lack thereof) but now is the time for backbone and fight. We need to eek our points. I doubt Freddie has ever been in this situation. Neither has this club. But now it’s time to accept Brexit and focus on survival. Maybe we need Allardyce or Pullis as a manager. That’s what a shambles we now have. We need someone to just stop the bleeding. I hope we don’t live to regret passing on Darth Vader.

Expect radio silence from the club and more desperation from the fans. I don’t understand what I witnessed today. When they had the ball all they had was empty spaces in front of them but when we had the ball there was a log jam of their players. We had minimal urgency and an interest in passing backwards only. I fear those 9 minutes at West Ham might have been the last burst of creativity for a long time. For sure Everton will work us off the park next week. This team has lost its heart. It’s lost it’s manager and now it’s in danger of losing it’s Permier League status.

So pretty please, kind, nice Father Christmas, please give me a manager – preferably Carlo – for my birthday, for my Christmas and for my sanity.

-LB7

December 1st – Norwich 2 Arsenal 2

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Lucky Arsenal. Jammy Arsenal. Another come from behind draw. Another 2 goals let in. Another 2 points dropped against the worst teams in the Premier league.

Freddie what are you doing? I thought we were done with Mustafi and Xhaka. It’s back to our failed past. No Torreira. No Holding. No Bellerin. And, of course, no defense. We are incapable of defending. We can’t put in tackles and can’t close players down.

It’s only one game but based on 90 minutes it cries out for a real manager with real organizational skills to come in. Go and kidnap Ancelotti now. Because if Freddie starts with this line-up and then brings on Saka and Martinelli before Pepe we’re in deeper shit than I realized. We’ve made progress with the removal of Emery. We had more energy today. If we had the Cigarette that played last week we’d have won this game. As brilliant as he was this week he was awful today. He passed when he should have shot. In fact, I don’t think he had a shot today. I’d have moved Aubameyang into the central position and pushed Cigarette our wide. Ozil was very quiet; Wilock was marginal. The movement of the ball was a little quicker but Cigarette missed our chances and both goals came from dead ball situations. Our creativity is still lacking but our defense is beyond woeful. Of course Mustafi was a disaster but so was everyone around him. David Luis backs off players and does not play offside. And neither will close down the player on the ball.

Leno was our best players today. Him and VAR. I’d be aggrieved if that penalty was against my team and then retaken. And beyond looking dangerous at corners we barely threatened their keeper. We dominated the first half but as soon as we scored our second equalizer we handed control of the game back to them. We gave the ball away and could not win any challenges. Guendouzi was weak today. He lost the ball and lost challenges. Xhaka, aside from the fact he can’t defend, was reasonable. But all too often both of these two are chasing back with the play ahead of them. This exposes our defenders and we know what that means.

We need organization. Freddie only had 48 hours. But we have to judge him on the team selection. And it was abysmal. Has he not been watching this year? Why would you select Mustafi? Even at the end of the game he slipped over to enable them to create one more chance that Torreira managed to block. It felt just like playing Southampton. On the break we looked as disorganized and vulnerable as ever. Someone, somewhere is surely capable of shaping this group of players into a team. It can’t be that hard. Surely.

For the first time in 9 months I’d been excited about an Arsenal game. Nervous and expectant. Until I saw the team selection. This should have been a relaunch. Instead it reaffirmed that the club need to look outside for a proven manager. It demonstrated that we need a fresh pair of eyes. Real change. Today made me less inclined to Arteta and more disposed to the Italian A’s.

There is talent in this squad but no organization. No notion of how to defend. We are fooling ourselves if we are thinking about Europe next year. We can’t even beat the worst three teams in our league. In each instance we’ve drawn them. Our point accumulation is at the rate of a relegation team. Once we start losing games to real teams then we’ll realize that we are delusional. Today we gave the ball away in our back 1/3rd of the field too much. As the game wore on we lost the ability to retain the ball. We let Norwich dominate us. That’s right. Fucking Norwich.  All season it’s been the same thing – no balance and no defense. And Freddie had a chance today to correct that. We had Brighton up next. Will his selection change? I fear it won’t. I was so optimistic today but feel now that we’re still continuing our journey in a dark tunnel and that light at the end has turned out to be an oncoming train.

Before we know it we will have to play ManCIty, Chelski and ManU. With the display like today, we are fucked. Sure there was more energy. But that was it. We need senior management to bring in a real manager. Make real change. If they have a plan that would be reassuring. But my money is on us stumbling along for a few more weeks. If Freddie continues to structure the team as he did today the results will remain the same and the pressure will build. If he, by some miracle, concludes that no Arsenal team should contain Mustafi and we put Torreira at the base of the midfield, we’ll gain some points but only paper over the lack to organization.

So, for Christmas, please give me a real manager. A grown up who’s done this job before. Someone who knows this league and has a track record of success. There are a few but we can’t wait until the end of the season. Because by then the fans would have turned on Freddie and we’ll be flirting with relegation. I know this sounds melodramatic. But this team is now officially dysfunctional. You can’t draw against a team like Norwich and conclude anything other than that. Sure we moved the ball a little quicker. We were a little more incisive. But until we understand how to defend, how not to be continuously exposed on the break. Until we understand how teams counter-attack, we will never score enough goals to overcome our porous defense. And that’s even with Leno in goal. The fact that he was our best player today speaks volumes.

The only good news is that we don’t have listen to Unai destroy the English language. But if this is the first day of the rest of our lives, I’d still like another life. We were lucky to come away with a point today. A penalty and a corner compared to numerous Norwich chances where everyone of our players backed-off. No-one can close down the player on the ball. And then, even when we got the ball back, we did not know how to control the game. Yes, it was marginally better than the performance against Southampton and Eintracht. But that’s no measure of where this club should be. All these teams are shit. But, unfortunately, I think we’ve demonstrated over the last couple of months that we are officially shit.

-LB7