Arsenal 2-2 Man City. Hasa Diga Eebowai

by & filed under Match report.

Well well good morning. Alex here, taking over from Pedro, to report to you following yesterday’s excitefest against champions Manchester City. I don’t have highlights available to me so apols for the startling lack of detail.

Let me start with a confession, and this may surprise those of you who are regular readers of Le Grove, but I was absolutely despairing at full time.

Maybe it was the contrast to the elation I felt after we came back from 1-0 down with two outstanding goals. Seeing that amazing comeback squandered with some shitshow defending on a corner really hurt.

Maybe it’s the sense that we seem to play for a draw against the big teams when at home. And look there’s no shame in playing for a draw. In fact I’d love to see us play for a draw in a lot of big away games, but if we have serious aspirations about winning the title we have to start beating our rivals at home; bringing on Arteta in the 90th minute is not an indication you are ‘throwing the kitchen sink’ at the game in order to get a result. We drew against City, Chelsea and United at home last season too. Thehow y know to come to the Emirates and frustrate us which is… frustrating.

However, more likely my despair stemmed from the fact that, just for once, I’d love us to grind out a completely undeserved victory against a rival in the way that City, United and Chelsea ALWAYS do against us. After we went ahead we rode our luck so much we looked like Dot Cotton on a bucking bronco. However, we are totally due some kind of bastardry like that – some completely unjust, unfair result that leaves Man City fans crying into their cornflakes.

In the cold light of day, however, I can see that 2-2 is a good result (no I’m not going to say I would have taken that result at the start of the game because people who say that are pricks) and a reflection that we still probably aren’t serious title contenders.

We were very impressive in the first 30 minutes and really pinned City back, while always looking vulnerable to a quick counteract. Newest signing Danny Welbz looked very good, combining the hold up play and touch of Giroud with the pace and mobility of Sanogo, without the ‘shank the ball into row z’ finishing of Giroud and Sanogo. I have to admit I was pretty underwhelmed when we signed him, especially when names like Falcao and Cavani were being bandied around on the absolute farce that is Sky Sports’ Transfer Deadline Day. However I’m growing to like the man from the north. His transfer annoyed United fans which is always welcome and he does look like he’s going to improve our play as a team. He was so unlucky not to open his account with an absolute gem of a goal, a dinked chip over the king of bad marketing choices, Joe Hart.

Unfortunately our other new signing, the young, pacey Defensive Midfielder had a bit of a mare. Oh no wait that was Flamini who lost Aguero at the near post for City’s opener. Twitter seemed to be going mad on Mathieu yesterday. Other than his horrible tracking for their first I didn’t notice that he was that bad. Nonetheless, I don’t know if it was down to his lack of mobility or awareness but that mistake was bloody awful.

For me it was Ozil who really stunk the place out yesterday, again. I hate to say it but I’m falling out of love with him. He avoids tackles and headers, he doesn’t track, most of our counterattacks broke down because of him and he had one pass so wayward yesterday that it killed a passing kestrel. Many more performances like this and he’ll become the new boo boy. I don’t know whether it is because he is being played out of position or he just can’t be arsed, but he improved markedly in the last 15 minutes when he moved inside. I really don’t think he should be left to find his form out on the left, just play him where his £42million arse can do something effective.

Contrast Mesut’s performance with Alexis, Wilshere and Koscielny. They dominated the game in their respective positions, working their proverbial bollocks off and the former two produced absolutely world class goals. That drag and dink from Jack. That volley from Alexis. Woof woof.

One final point from me – because I’m much too hungover to write anymore – Arsenal and Delaware have finally heeded my advice and binned off the atrocious ‘Gunners hot dog’ (it didn’t comply with FFP and is wanted for war crimes). They’ve replaced it with a Jerk Dog which, thank Christ, doesn’t have coleslaw on it. I didn’t get one yesterday but rest assured I will look to and report back to you because here at Le Grove we talk to you about THE THINGS THAT MATTER.

Have a lovely Sunday and follow me on twitter @aldo_doel I need to up my follower count x

Is Arteta an auto select when fit?

by & filed under News Review.

So here we are. By hook or crook, what you believe, what you don’t believe… none of it matters now. What matters is nothing can change. Our squad is what it is. Out manager is who he is. So let’s talk what might happen…

Big game tomorrow is Manchester City. It’s the start of a monster run of about 10 really tough games. The importance can’t be under estimated. A spanking tomorrow could land us in an AVB spiral of negativity. No one needs that.

Good news is we have shiny new signing euphoria. Danny Welbeck is a big smile in the dressing room and the players will have the same relief as us that he’s joining the party and we don’t have to deal with Sanogo. The added zest here is that LVG has dropped some pretty harsh comments about his ability or lack of it. Comparing him to RVPs level is a bit embarrassing. I remember robin as a kid and he wasn’t much craic for a while.

Anyway, point is, it’s a lovely bit of motivation. A lot of people are comparing Welbeck to Sturridge. For me, bar being English and a bit underrated, I don’t really see it. I’d be more inclined to offer up Adebayor as the comparison. Two languid strikers who needed to tighten up technique and finishing to make it. We’ve lacked an Ade since he left. Welbeck has perfect physique which will benefit from Shad strength & conditioning. For me, he’ll only get better and I very much doubt we’ll lose on him.

LVGs comments very much embody why I think it’ll eventually end in tears there. He’s a bit of an ass.

So tomorrow, a front line of WELBZ flanked by Chambo and Sanchez would be pretty lethal. We’ve not had that sort of threat for years. Those lot will ask questions. They’re all interchangeable and they’ll all be direct and they’ll ask question of pacey full backs. Tactically, this game differs from last year even if Wenger doesn’t prepare anything.

Midfield is going to be tricky if Aaron isn’t on call. I’d love to see Aaron and Jack sitting deep with Ozil in the hole. If the Welshman is injured… I’d imagine it’ll be Arteta. In fact come to think about it, Arteta being the captain… does that mean auto inclusion? That’d be bad news for me. I also think Santi is flavour of the hole.-

The most important thing is going to be the defence. Outside an exceptional performance to keep out the most individually talented team in the league we need to keep them all fit. To get anything out of this stretch of games, we’re going to need fully firing senior defenders. Luck is out for us at the moment and I worry about Laurent niggles.

Anyway, a home tie against a tough side could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Something needs to kick is into gear. We need to see a reaction from the players. I’d personally like to see a plan. I’d also like to see the big names come out to play… the real Aaron please.

The stage will be set…

In other news, I heard spurs nearly landed WELBZ. Missing out on him then being told by london there’s no home for them is pretty hilarious. An away day at MK Dons while their stadium is developed. What a shambles! To be honest, I’m shocked they’re even building a ground. I wonder if they’ll face the same struggles as us… Or do monster revenues counter what we struggled with?

Plenty to think about, plenty to get excited about. Predictions in the comments…