I need a new Cigarette; someone extinguished the one we had. I love the man but today, in that first attack, he found a way to entirely miss the target. Someone has stolen his scoring boots and without them it’s painful to watch him suffer.
That first 25 minutes should have enabled us to put the game well out of reach. We started with possession, movement and chances to score. Burnley were nowhere. In fact, there are nowhere. Anyone know where this place is? I bet no-one could find it on a map. They are the latter-day Bolton and Stoke City. Physical and bullying. With a crowd that wines whenever any of our players go down and with a manager who is a moaning old tosser. They are the anti-football of the EPL. And for the first half of the first half we run them in circles. We had our chances to grab the lead. Between Cigarette and Aubameyang, we could have been three nill up.
And then Burnley, with their free-kicks and corners, put of defense under strain. We looked like we’d concede as we got out muscled. As the second half of the first half developed we started to lose our way. All the movement and possession gave way to pressure from them. This was more like a game of one quarter for Arsenal. Thereafter it was a grind it out game. And the turning point was losing Saka. Our 18 year-old maestro; our new talisman. The majority of our attacks came down that left hand side. But once he went off and we also then lost the balance of Xhaka from midfield we lost our ability to control and create.
We also lost Martinelli to the right hand side. There he was unable to combine with Bellerin. And Aubameyang was not able as effectively with Saka. We saw today that the selection cried out for Aubameyang through the middle with Martinelli on the left and Pepe on the right. And Cigarette in the stands.
Amazingly we kept a clean sheet. Amazingly Mustafi did not give us his per game bonehead mistake. Playing against a physical team suits him. Especially when they lack subtlety and quick thinking. That’s not to say that McNeil does not look like a decent player. From the second half onwards it looked like only Burnley would win this game. They controlled more of the game and the introduction of Torreira did not help our overall balance. We were incapable of linking up our players and pushing forward. Only when Ozil was replaced by Willock were we able to pick up the tempo of the game. From that point it seemed like we were more comfortable even if Willock was pretty anonymous. This was one of those games where once we got past that dominant 25 minutes Ozil disappeared.
I love goal line technology. How did Rodriguez manage to hit the bar and not score? I saw my life flash in front of me. Another away day lose against the over balance of play. Three more points lost. Yet someone the ball did not go it. Luck finally looked on us fondly. Given the chances we had it seemed only fair for the Burnley Bullies to miss their chances.
In truth Leno only had a couple of saves to make. Their biggest threat remain dead-ball plays. However, this is Burnley away. In the past we’ve collected 3 points. However, I’d still consider this a point gained rather than 2 lost. Again we showed some defensive backbone. Some defensive organization. This Arteta team is so much more fun to watch. And, for the first time since we lost the great AW, I feel optimistic. Not based on today. But based on the fact that we actually have the potential of a real manager. The tactics are superior and the balance of the team is better. We have a manager that demands more from the players. Of course, we don’t have all the players we need. But, finally, we’re pointed in the right direction.
We still though remain closer to the relegation zone than Europe. Soon we’ll need to start collecting 3 points. Today was not going to be one of those days. And certainly not after the first 25 minutes. We were fortunate to get two solid performances out of Mustafi and the child born of David Luiz and Mustafi. Though Guendouzi’s distribution was erratic, he did not jeopardize the team today. And he did not commit any needless fouls. But I don’t see any chemistry between him and Torreira. That’s why we need Xhaka there instead.
I know Bellerin needs more games to shake off the rust. But at some point we also need to be able to create down the right hand side of the pitch. I’m sure Arteta was nervous of playing Pepe against the bully-boys but we missed his creativity today.
We ground out a point. And I’m sure Arteta learned a little more about his players. This is a marathon not a sprint. My aspirations still only go as far as avoiding relegation. We’re not as good as the top 6 teams. So we need time to get there. This six months will help. Along with a proper transfer window and pre-season. Arteta needs 18 months to fix the Emery world he inherited. In that 18 months we’ll see Ozil move on and a completely new center-back pairing. And most likely the departure of our of our forwards. He needs time. And this club will give it to him because the fans can see something developing here.
Unquestionably we’re going to hit some tough patches. When we play against each of the top two teams we will be exposed. And we have to play the wankers at their revamped shithole. There will be tough games. But, I believe that Arteta has the intellect and understanding to see and start to resolve our issues. It’s not quite a rebuild that’s required as much as a jolt back to the level that’s required.
Thankfully today we did not suffer a VAR intervention. Unlike the wankers v Man City. How City did not win that game is beyond me. They were so superior as to be a joke. Yet they found more ways to not score and then suffered the consequences. It felt like we were Mini City today and that’s way I’m grateful for that point.
Now that England is finally out of Europe people will now start to realize the consequences for the EPL. The premier league is unquestionably the best league in the world – dare one say, the premier league in the world. And there’s a reason for that. All the best players in the world want to play here. And the best managers want to manage here. It’s no coincidence that the TV stations want to pay the largest sums of money exactly because of this.
Yet, for some archaic reason, the game in England us run by retards. In pretty much the way the world game is run by the corrupt retards at FIFA and EUFA. In England we have the FA. And these morons, because of Brexit, want to now limit the number of overseas players on a club. Why? Who asked them? Leave our game along and let the EPL dominate. Take your money and go and sit in your prehistoric gentlemen’s clubs. Please leave our game alone. It’s bad enough that Brexit will restrict us from signing a Fabregas or Bellerin because we now have to wait until they hit 18 years of age. But to further compound the problem by forcing us to have mediocrity win out based on a passport is beyond stupid. We are seeing the first generation of England players that have grown up in this multi-language, multicultural league. And this England squad – not that I give two shits – looks better than any team in the last 20 years. So where is the argument that all these younger foreign players inhibits the growth of young English players and the development of the English national team. It’s yet just more nationalism. Just more racism. And just more Xenophobia. And worse than that, it’s just plain wrong. Yet, these retards are going to try and force this through. Hopefully the self-interests of the EPL clubs will have them resist if not decide they don’t need the FA to dictate the rules of the game. It’s as simple as, if you’re good enough to play in the EPL you’re passport is irrelevant. This league has grown exactly because the retards at the FA have not been involved. Let’s give them some sherry and whiskey and return them to some dark room somewhere and throw away the keys. The quality of football in the EPL has dramatically increased in the last 5 years. We have less Stokes, Boltons, and (hopefully) Burnleys and more Wolves and Sheffield United’s. The EPL is more of a meritocracy than it’s ever been. It’s more entertaining and more unpredictable. When AW ruled the world he only need worry about 1 or 2 other teams. Now there are 6+ teams who are capable of getting into the Champions League.
When I watch a movie I don’t first require that there be a minimum number of English actors. Nor, when I got the theater do I demand to see the passports of the actors (not that I go to the theater). I don’t understand what dick comes up with these specious ideas. They should be fired for even proposing this.
In the meantime, we have two weeks in which Arteta can now further indoctrinate his squad. Finally, he’ll be able to spend time of the training ground getting his ideas across. It will be fascinating to see how this team comes back. Of course, this is true of all other teams. Except, aside from the wankers, most managers had a pre-season (and prior) to get their message across. I don’t expect miracles I just expect progress. Something we did not see under Emery. But, under Arteta, I am a believer. Finally, we can roll out again AKB; Arteta knows best. Well, at least better than Emery; who’s now telling the media that it was the players and the fans that derailed his program – not his inconsistent tactics, strategy and lack of personality and leadership. So, Mikeal, please enjoy your two weeks with the team and come back ready to entertain us again. And know that we won’t have to wander off to the unknown outpost of the Burnley bullies for another year.