Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hahaha... Injuries! Oh, seriously?

Dear all,
This was going to be my post theorising around our troubles in winning the big games, including a passionate defence of Mr Mesut. Seems a bit redundant now as he's joined our crocked list so I'll leave it for next time.

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       We'll keep the medics busy!
Why does it seem that while everyone else is playing football, Arsenal are fighting, and losing, some sort of horrendous war?

I am finding this genuinely quite upsetting on a few levels. None more prescient than the human. Following Arsenal is as close to taking an interest in celebrity as I will get. Cheesy as it feels to admit, these guys are something like heroes to me and I want them to do well for them and for me.

It's obviously upsetting because it adds to our troublingly long injury list. Injuries have always been a problem for us but never to this degree, surely? With this number of important players out.

Our medical team, for all the flack they get, surely need a holiday. When was the last time they had a rest? Maybe fatigue in the medical team correlates with fatigue and injury in our players!

The last thing that upsets me is how almost immediately, the loss of Mesut has given idiots appropriate vindication of their blind belief that we should have signed Fabregas in the summer and therefore Wenger is at fault again.

Regardless of our poor injury record, Wenger couldn't have predicted this. And it is not reasonable that Wenger should have signed Fabregas just in case there was a severe injury to Ozil. Get real. I wanted Fabregas to come back to Arsenal as much as anyone but it's perfectly reasonable that he wasn't signed with Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Chamberlain and Rosicky all looking for game time.

Another sadness. Chelsea aside, it felt like Ozil's form was stirring with stellar performances at Villa and Galatasaray and I was looking forward to a possible purple patch from him which we now have to wait longer for. This will hurt no one as much as Ozil himself and I for one feel he needs and deserves a patch of form.

However, in his absence it does allow us to see how we work without him. This is by no means a blessing in disguise, but Wilshere, who is coming into form, has a great opportunity to grab the number 10 position with both hands and make it his. It's up to Wilshere now to really show us what he can do. It opens up a bit more space for the Ox to come in too, with Ramsey out. If that's the case Wenger may be forced to play Sanchez a bit more often which frankly I would like to see. Some of the unsettled fringe such as Rosicky should get a few more games too, so hopefully the players who remain fit, for however long they remain fit, can bring us sun through the clouds.

That's all from TheArseAndAll.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Que Sera Sera

Dear all,

I shall endeavour to bring a little joy in what promises to be a miserable international break for Arsenal fans. It may be joy shrouded in rye bitterness and sarcasm but genuine joy can be found in many a place.

I'm a twat.

I know it's been a while since my last blog post but I shan't make a thing of it as I am not keen to make it a recurring theme in my blog openings. I'm also aware this paragraph counters that very sentiment, so all sporadic blog posts in the future will never feature this acknowledgement again!

So, Sunday. Sunday Sunday Sunday... And not in the American, excited, superbowl sort of SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY. More of a morose and mournful Sunday... uttered in place of restrained weeps. I had the pleasure of sharing a train home with some drunken yokel Arsenal fans who were full of rage and insight as to Arsenal's short comings. As I listened to their ranting and raving I realised I was sit opposite a man hiding his Chelsea shirt under a black polo shirt. For a moment I felt a little ashamed that the presence of aggressive Arsenal fans may be the reason he felt the need to hide his colours but then I remembered he was a Chelsea fan and therefore a cunt.

Alluding to a previous blog of mine, being a Chelsea fan is like being a fan of Nazis. Yeah, Chelsea have some good ideas, never mind they're pure evil. Say what you like about Jose. He has the trains running on time (incidently, Hitler never did).

He should be ashamed of his colours regardless of how moronic those Gooners may have been, and besides they weren't outwardly aggressive. Just moronically obnoxious in their debate about Arsenal. Apparently, passing is shit. One of them declared that they hate passing. The same guy also asserted that he was as good as Cazorla. I may be judging on appearances alone which is not cool, nevertheless, I doubt it. However, I credit him with this analogy which I totally get. He said Arsenal's passing was like offering to and then withholding sweets from children (paraphrasing). It really is against any decent opposition. They knock it around in the opponents half. Like fools, we expect something to happen, and it rarely materialises.

It makes me long for this time last season. We were on a ridiculous hot streak and went on to rack up convincing wins against Liverpool and Napoli and we snatched a great win at Borussia Dortmund. Regardless of what the pundits say. We have won big games, and in recent enough memory.

This may not bring much consolation to some, but we were beaten by a very good Chelsea side. It's horrid to accept they're better than us at the moment, but they're better than everyone right now. They are in the zone we were in this time last year.

Nevertheless, it's time for Arsenal to establish themselves again. In the wake of Sunday, I for the first time found myself considering Wenger's rule as best for our club since his first full season. I'm aware a lot of people have had doubts over Wenger before, but I had never been shaken. Now, for me, he needs to have this team playing like winners by the end of the season or it's time for us to find an upgrade. - It has to be a Klopp-esque upgrade. For so long we've had the excuse of resources and money to fall back on. Player quality. Not anymore. We have Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey, Cazorla, Mertesacker, Koscielny... These are players who should be achieving almost by right. We have Wilshere, Welbeck, Gibbs, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain... Players who are on the edge of world class and need to push themselves over the line. Beyond those names we have a wealth of depth and experience. Resources and finances are no longer an issue for us. We have great players. A team of individuals with quality to rival Chelsea. We weren't beaten by a team of superior talent. We were beaten by a better, more confident team... of cunts.

I hope there were a few nuggets of amusement to be found in here. I'll have a blog with my thoughts on what our players need to do up in the coming days (lolz - maybeez! Don't hold your breath)

That's all from theArseAndAll.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Silver linings

Dear all,

For all the insistence yesterday that I couldn't give a monkey's aunt's husband about the result yesterday, the performance certainly delivered something of a knock. I didn't have super high expectations from our cobbled together defence but it was our more senior players who left us wanting the most.

We Love it here! The bench has comfy seats.

Of course, I always want to see Arsenal win but you can't help but be a bit disappointed with the performances from the likes of Campbell and Podolski. They're on the fringes of the first team for a reason and that doesn't look likely to change any time soon. It didn't seem like they mind either. Podolski has proven quality and I imagine Campbell probably thinks his quality is proven as well with his European experience but it should be clear that they have very talented and hard-working players ahead of them and they need to work hard for a place. Maybe they feel the task is too great. If that's the case, they both need to be moved on ASAP.

Encouragingly, our defensive line probably contained our best performers. As I alluded to yesterday, we needed the whole team working defensively to protect our cobbled defence and that didn't happen. But the signs of three youngsters and le Coq, yep even Arsene's Coq, getting his first outing for over a year, were promising enough.

Nevertheless, I'd feel a lot more comfortable if we don't need to use Hayden and Bellerin as starters in any important games this year, as promising as they might be, so this is not the titular silver lining.

The saving grace of our exit takes a series of unnecessary fixtures out of the schedule that our top heavy squad probably can't cope with. It means there are less minutes to go around for our plethora of midfielders and attackers but based on last night's performance, that's no big loss.

Let's treat this like the friendly it might as well have been, sweep it under the rug, push it in front of a bus even, and get on with smashing Tottenham with our newly rejuvenated (not premature at all after one good game) Ozil pulling the strings.

That's all from TheArseAndAll.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Forgotten ones take on the Saints...

Hi all,

Thought I'd get a blog in this evening as we have a game coming up and people are more likely to read my indulgent drivel when it's loosely tied to something they care about.

Perhaps I'm being a bit too honest.

Anyways, my thoughts on this evening. I concur with most and see this as a golden opportunity to rotate. I expect our defence to be very young and cobbled together with Bellerin and Hayden getting starts, probably Chambers too in the centre, then someone like Coquelin at leftback. As for the rest of the team I'd expect to see coming in: Ospina, Diaby, Podolski, Rosicky, Campbell, Flamini and maybe someone like Gnabry. that team actually could be pretty strong going forward on paper. A front three of Podolski, Campbell and Gnabry certainly could offer a lot. I'd bring in Sanogo if he isn't actually injured anymore too. and I'd be pretty comfortable with a central three of Flamini, Diaby and Rosicky if they are all fit and good to go against a lot of teams. It speaks volumes for our depth. Shame about the lack there of in the back.

I'm looking forward to seeing these players get their chance to prove they have something tangible to offer in a side of already high quality because you have to think if they can't perform tonight they're unlikely to get much of a look in in the important games. Unlike previous Carling Cups, youth will be fielded out of necessity rather than luxury in the back four but we have so many experienced players not getting minutes they have to be getting those minutes in these games.

What's more, this encounter is quite a tasty one for me because I genuinely could not careless if we crash out of the cup at this stage. Given the choice, of course a win is preferred, but having won the FA cup last season, I am not so desperate for silverware that I want to see our strongest team really go for the League Cup as I might have done in recent seasons. As long as our players go out their to do their best and impress I'll be content. The Saints are on a roll this season. Having said that, if our team can stay organised defensively to cover for the inexperienced back four, we definitely have enough going forward to hurt them and I'd say we're favourites going into this game.

Hopefully, unlike last Tuesday *cough* you won't read from me again this evening because all went swimmingly. My foot did not taste nice.

That's all from TheArseAndAll.

Monday, 22 September 2014

What a difference a game makes...

Hi dear reader. I know it's been about a week but I didn't much fancy blogging a lot after last Tuesday. What's more, weekends are out of bounds for me so here's your latest lot.

I think it's been pretty well covered but what's the point in blogging if you can't indulge in the joy resulting from a comfortable 3 nil win.
Three minutes of Ozilicious Welbeckness plus some lovely finishing from Cissokho (lolz!!) sealed three points for us, and a gleeful 60 minutes of monotony for the remainder of the match. I perhaps enjoyed the final hour as much as that fantastic three minutes. What's more, I would be remiss not to mention the other great things that happened this weekend. So I shall simply list the things that I loved:

Ozil's goal - cool finish. Great to see. Hopefully this marks the beginning of a long period of confidence for our fragile artist.

Ozil's celebration - as much as I loved his goal, I loved how f**king pleased he looked about it. It went against peoples' impression that he doesn't look bothered in games. He always looks like he works hard to me and he runs a lot but it might not be as obviously gut busting as the likes of someone like Sanchez.

Welbeck getting off the mark - I've been impressed with Mr Welbeck since his arrival and this can only do him good.

Ozil and Welbeck linking up deliciously - a little promise of something synergetic between them. Very exciting.

Arsenal bossing the game, especially after the goals - We had some rocky moments before our goals but after that Villa had no chance. Don't listen to illness excuses. They are as warranted as us being tired after the city game last Tuesday. I know it doesn't compare but I've played football when I've been under the weather and the adrenalin carries you a long way. They might well have felt it after the game but not during as much as people would have you believe.

Lampard's equaliser - You couldn't make it up. I never thought I'd be so pleased to see Fatface Lumpard succeed. It was hilarious that he was applauded by Chelsea fans, only to make them swallow such a bitter pill but 5 minutes later.

5-3 down from 3-1 up, that is how to f**k it up! - need I say more? It never gets less funny when united lose. Part of me suspects Giggs is intentionally giving Van Gaal bad advice so he can get the job he so desperately wants. I wouldn't touch the utd job with a barge pole. Tell you what team I would happily manage, though? Celtic... Guaranteed success. Neil Lennon probably quit because he was bored of all the half days and casual Fridays. That and the abuse, of course.

Spurs losing at home - LOL

Everton and Liverpool both losing - Just, lovely stuff. Everton was a massive shock. I did fancy The Hammers for that game though. Liverpool will definitely miss Luis Suarez. When Liverpool are on their game they can definitely still beat anyone but when they're not they've got no one to rescue them anymore.

Everything I wanted to happen happened. Well almost everything. I wanted a City Chelsea draw but they didn't kick lumps out of each other as I had hoped. But you never know. Maybe they'll be struck down by the VillaVirus.

This was a fun blog.

That's all from the ArseAndAll...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bugger off Borussia

Dear all,

Watching the game from behind a pile of unmarked English books, I was almost thankful that I had my student's written words to wash the taste of my own out of my mouth.

Ah the wide eyed naïve optimism of 7:15. What a young fool I was.

I want this blog to be about positive things, but this is difficult when there is nothing positive to blog about. Nevertheless, I want to give my 2 cents.

I will never be someone who calls for the managers head or the execution of our best players for poor performances, etc. Arsenal is what it is. We have good players. They're not performing consistently. Hopefully that will change soon. If it doesn't, I'll just recede into my bubble and ignore the more professional blogs out there.

Allow me to indulge you with my tactical knowledge, or lack their of. Arsenal's problem tonight can be boiled down to 2 key issues:

1. None of our players played as well as we expect our team to play.

2. Our tactics/formation is top-heavy.

Starting with the first point, I know that Ozil will continue to come under great criticism in the wake of tonight's performance, and indeed a measure of criticism is justified. He hasn't been playing well. That trend continued tonight. Let's put tonight alone at least into perspective. Our arguably most consistent players: Koscielny and Mertesacker were awful tonight; Szczesny was also pretty shocking; Arteta had a howler and we can almost always count on him to at least have a 90% pass completion; Ramsey has, through out this season, performed about as well as Ozil has, albeit with a few goals to his name which gets him a bit of leeway. This was a poor performance in a lot of areas.

Secondly, in parallel with our unbalanced, attacked-heavy squad, our formation, or at least the implementation of it, is not balanced enough. I would surmise that tonight, Wilshere and Ramsey were so eager to get in and make a difference they didn't negotiate well who should hold back a bit and be ready to cover.
Regarding the tactics, I believe last years Arsenal would have faired much better. This is not a consequence of our new signings but a consequence of our approach. We were away from home to a very good European side. I don't like to use the word respect but we should have at least adopted a more cautious approach and tried to find our feet. This should have been the default response when it became apparent we couldn't string 3 passes together. Settle down, take a bit of stock and pounce when the opportunity might arise. We did it so well last year, and the ability to do that is present in all successful teams. Chelsea did it to Liverpool in that crucial game last season, Man City did it to us in the early stages of our game on Saturday, the invincibles would frequently bide their time to strike on the counter attack when they were not clicking as irresistibly as we might like them to.

I hope this changes, less and less for my own joy of Arsenal. I love Arsenal and I enjoy reading about them but the misery on offer when things go wrong is not fun to read. It feels that the team we thought might be ready to have a real go at winning things, have actually taken a mental step backwards. That's not simply based on tonight but our start to the season. The promising display at Man City now feels like a false dawn. It doesn't seem to be from want of trying, even tonight, but the performance tonight was amateur. Not because the performance was poor, but the failure to recognise that things were hard and to change our approach to suit the situation and ride out the storm...

I digress. Last season we responded fantastically to setbacks, so I look forward to us smashing Villa to bits next Saturday.

For the second time this evening,

That's all from TheArseAndAll

Bring on Borussia

Dear readers,

It's been a while. I blame my work load. It's heavy. I really shouldn't have started this blog around the time I started teaching.

Nevertheless, where there is something for me to say, however pointless or redundant because it's been covered by x amount of other more known and read blogs, I shall be here to say it!

I have something to say. I am thoroughly looking forward to the Borussia Dortmund game. Do I think it will be easy? Absolutely not. Do I think we're in with a good chance? I have to think so. I think after Saturday's performance we're building to a good run. Okay, Saturday was not without it's flaws and, yes, there are certainly a great number of issues that we face. An ever mounting injury list for one.

We've had so many significant injuries this season already that I think we've got enough stamps on our card with the physios that we should be due a free robot leg or something.

This has led to the probability that Hector Bellerin will be promoted sooner than expected. I feel this is compounded by's latest offering

The cynic in me would suggest are attempting to get people used to the idea that we're playing a right back with little to no competitive experience in very important games. Let's face it, when we signed Chambers we would have baulked at the prospect of him playing in that position but now it seems much more favourable than Bellerin.

Nevertheless, I hope Bellerin comes good. From what I've seen he's got a lot of potential so let's hold on the criticism.

OH this just in, Bellerin starts. Good stuff. Besides, while we certainly lack in defenders, even if we had got the CB we all realise we needed, we lost both of our right backs in the space of a week and I think Bellerin would have played tonight anyway even with an extra CB.

Anyway, we've met Dortmund before, 4 times in the past 3 years as has been well documented. We've generally come out favourably. They have good players but they no longer have Lewandowski. We are a lot stronger going forward than we were last year and we were excellent at times on Saturday. We're due a good performance coupled with a good result. And we're undefeated so far although our points total isn't all that. Let's keep marching on!

That's all from TheArseAndAll