Can Wenger strategise a telegraphed game plan? + Mesut to sign on?

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LOVE THIS PIC

This post has been inspired by a Christmas Jazz playlist. I’m really in the mood for some festive spirit today. I took one on the chin with the West Ham game, now I’m warmed up, the hope is Wenger will turn it on against an increasingly crazed Jurgen Klopp.

If I were to have a major worry heading into this game, it’d be the early goals we’ve conceded against Manchester City and Manchester United. We know Liverpool are going to bring the thunder to the opening 20 minutes, then tire as the half wears on. Wenger needs to see this telegraphed strategy as an opportunity to counter, not to go toe-to-toe. We’ve conceded 3 or more in 3 of our last 4 against them. We need to be more buttoned up today.

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Tomas Rosicky has me pining for 2008 ‘nearly’ dreams

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Mobile telephonic devices are horrendous, I constantly feel compelled to respond to anything and everything. My life has been well served because of such behaviour, but I know it’s bad for your soul… it’s like a weird, really crappy comic book tale of good versus evil. I need the phone to survive, but it’s making me ill. I heard someone talking about a philosopher who wrote something like, ‘at the end of your life, when you look back at it, it’s just a collection of the things you paid attention to’… responding to work e-mails, and duelling with Twitter trolls isn’t what I want to be thinking about when I’m having a heart attack over Arsene Wenger finally leaving the club.

RIGHT, what do we have in football news?

Tomas Rosicky. He’s retired. To be honest, I didn’t realise he was still playing, but he was, and now he’s not.

I think everyone had a lot of love for the cheeky Czech. He came with much promise, a steal right out of the bargain bucket from Dortmund back in the day. He headed to us as the replacement for Robert Pires. He had quick feet, always moved the ball forward, and he had an eye for a screamer. In fact, I remember seeing him at the World Cup just before he joined us crash home from 30 yards.

So much expectation.

He didn’t really deliver on it though. If the first half of Wenger’s career was part highlighted by his ability to take crocks and make them fit (Kanu / Overmars), the backend was the point in which it all went to shite. I think Tomas was likely the most talented of the fitness failures, which has to be a consolation. I also think he was the most ruthless killer of all our players. Tell me another man, with a girlfriend, who can go out to the press with a ‘clear conscious’ after being caught in a hotel room with 6 hookers. Unreal.

Football wise, it never quite clicked for him. He spent so much time on Colin Lewin’s medical table, people started spreading rumours he was a massive coke addict and Wenger was just covering for him whilst he was in rehab.

The season that really got away, in fact, the team that really got away was that 07-08 year. We had a midfield of Cesc, Flamini with Hleb and Rosicky as the wide players. The Czech dropped a whopping 15 appearances in the league, landing 6 goals, before the whole team fell apart, notably, Eduardo losing his leg in that horror injury we’d all rather forget.

But damn, that side was so good. Adebayor on absolute FIRE. The year Jens handed over to the MIGHTY Almunia. The year Lord Bendtner banged in 5. Cesc Fabregas just being a hero. Flamini looking so good Milan signed him.

I miss nearly competing. What a time that was. Imagine, pining for 2008?!

Now we’re heading into our new reality, that is 2018:

The League Cup would be a really big deal for us. We play Chelsea in the semi-finals, and likely Manchester City in the final because United shit the bed against Bristol with a very good team. Absolutely hilarious. Are we once again seeing that Jose Mourinho has lost his spark? Sure he’s moved United on. But look, I could move United on if I had spent that sort of money.

We’re a point off the top 4. People are celebrating that like it’s progress. Which, sadly, it is. However, the real thing you need to be tracking is how well teams our size usually do in the absence of CL. We really haven’t taken advantage of the weekly one game routine like Liverpool, Chelsea and, errr, Leicester did in seasons past.

We’re struggling against top teams again. Beaten by United, City, Liverpool. We drew against Chelsea. However, we did take back our crown as NLD heroes with a lovely 2-0 win. If we want to push for top 4, we’re going to have to make a good go of our next 5 games to set up a cushion for when we revert back to 1 game a week. Liverpool tomorrow is a good place to start.

We have a new scout, and he’s recommending players that feel very Arsenal of old already. Abdou Diallo, the French U21 captain who plays at Mainz, is TOP of his list for bulking the defence. That’s a great piece of news. I like how the papers say he tipped off Arsenal. Do you tip off people who pay you £1.8m and have you under contract, or do you just instruct? One thing is for sure, 2018 is going to have to be an incredible power play from Sven and Raul. There are going to have to be rapid decisions made on players running down their deals, and there’s going to have to be a rapid signing spree to plug the holes left by the names leaving.

At worst, we’ll have an exciting summer, at best, we could see the new Arsenal reshape in front of our eyes!

Right, on that note, I’m ducking out to brave the Christmas shopping.

Don’t e-mail me, BECAUSE I won’t READ IT. xx


Carabao Cup semi finals look deadly + West Ham match review

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Well good bloody morning to you all!

Me and a pal had such a nightmare yesterday, that probably says a lot about how bland the AFC experience is at the moment. Firstly, I was offered a ticket to the West Ham game via Whatsapp that I accepted. Then we remembered there are no season tickets for the Carboot Cup. Next I went to the Tollington, but the game wasn’t showing on TV. Then I went to the ground to buy a ticket, and they were sold out.

HOWEVER, we managed to pick up two tickets in the disabled area for £5 each. So we made it in.  (more…)