Happy Tuesday morning to you all. I’m up at 430 with a severe bout of insomnia. Clearly just too damn excited about an Arsene Wenger press conference.
We have Leicester tomorrow to start a potentially damaging death spiral of fixtures. Arsenal took down Manchester City with an excellent performance at the weekend. Wenger, limping out of the trenches, taking on a troop of machine gunners head on decided to go full on Rambo with a 3 at the back and it’s working out. He had this to say on the switch:
‘I believe it gave the players something to focus on and forget their anxiety and uncertainty. Sometimes, when the team doesn’t do well just to focus on something different helps. It’s possible [to play same system against Leicester.] The system is adaptable, it is not a strict three at the back.’
I really think it’s amusing to read around, especially with anti-Wenger people, and see how unadaptable they are to changing scenarios. Wenger has been accused of being a Luddite for 5 years, in an absolute panic he changed up his system to a more modern 3 at the back. He did it against Middlesborough to practice for City and he pulled wins out the bag for both games.
Say what you want, but that was tactics and what he did at Wembley was out think Pep G on multiple levels. He absorbed their pressure, waited for them to tire, fouled high up the pitch like vintage Gilberto Silva days, and took them into extra time and won the game. We can’t be praising Conte doing a similar hatchet job as genius, then say Wenger fluked it.
I don’t think this change means we’re Champions League contenders. I don’t think it means we’ll make top 4. But in isolation, if you’re a fan of Arsenal, you should be very happy we’re in an FA Cup final and that we dumped the best coach in the world out of the most prestigious domestic cup competition. All the managers wanted that trophy this year, regardless of whether it’s elite in comparison to the big ones.
Don’t let your Wenger politics get in the way of joy and the chance of a Wembley party. That’s why we love football, for the big days out. Let’s have some focus out there.
Wenger appears to have done an about turn on superstar Alexis Sanchez.
‘He has been remarkably efficient. He had a very good spell when he played up front. When he plays on the flank he is more of a provider. He can always turn up with something special. He has the individual quality to make the difference.’
That must be awkward for some of the in-house mainstream press who have hammered him thinking he’d leave this summer. Wenger seems to think he’s going to stay on next year and see out his final year. I’d be very surprised if he did that. That’s a huge financial hit if you could literally double your salary elsewhere, but power to Wenger if he thinks he can make that happen without disrupting the team next year.
The Leicester game is a massive threat to our season. They have had 8 days off since their last game. That’s a huge amount of recovery time compared to us, who had to endure extra time on Sunday. Really unfair how the fixtures have panned out here. I kind of think tactically we should take a similar approach to City. Let them come and play against us, don’t stretch ourselves physically and don’t play into their traps if we have less energy. Make them play ball and counter them at pace.
They are in title winning form at the minute, a loss here will make Sunday against Spurs very delicate. A win will make for a tantalising opportunity. Spurs will be deflated after taking a bit of a pummelling against Chelsea. We saw last season what happens to Spurs when they flop, it all goes very Spursy. Wouldn’t it be great to kill their title challenge at the Lane? It would.
Again, word to people who don’t quite get what it is to be an Arsenal fan. If I read one more time that wanting Spurs to fail is a poor mentality, I’m gonna lose my damn mind. We have a special day dedicated to celebrating them failing. Our whole rivalry is built on their failure. If you don’t take pleasure from killing Spurs dreams, you need to go and engross yourself in some Arsenal history books and take some lessons about what it is to hate a rival. Or just hang out with a true Spurs fan for 20minutes or so, I have a friend called Dave who will make you see the light. Awful man.
Seriously. The joy suckers are getting to me. I’m not one to talk, but fundamentally, regardless of my issues with Arsene, I still love my club and hate my rivals. What would be the point otherwise? I’d just go and follow an NFL franchise or something.
Right, that’s all I have time for… I’m off to send some e-mails to senior people at my company. I’ll look super diligent at this hour.
SEE YOU IN THE COMMENTS!
P.S. Geoff (The bear), had this to say about Spurs.