Giroud injury highlights massive oversight in squad prep

by & filed under News Review.

Capture

Sad thing about this stage of the window is that usually, you’re hoping for some sort of metaphorical prod to kick Wenger into action. Last season, that sadly was a loss to Villa and a stadium of booing fans. This season, the world class striker we’ve been crying out for for 5 windows looks more likely to occur because Olivier Giroud looks like he may have broken his ankle.

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German to leave | Striking options sorted by youth

by & filed under News Review.

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Hey there, you, yes you… wipe down that disappointment, we’ve a big game against Besiktas to worry about this Wednesday and there’s simply no time to sit here moping about the misery of knowing Arsene Wenger isn’t going to change.

We need to start ploughing through ideas to get this team ticking… I’d say ‘again’ but that would indicate we’ve been smashing it at some point in the last two months.

Right, the good news is that Giroud is apparently fit.

HOORAY

He was pretty handy when he came on the other day. I can’t deny him that. So in light of Wenger killing his 45min experiment with Ozil

… and let me put this to you…. felt like Wenger had been told to use pace by his backroom team, to use Sanchez centrally, not totally agreed, then took the first chance he could to yank him when it didn’t look 100%…

we have to consider what we do have going into the game. For me, you have to load that front line with pace again. If he’s insistent on having one speed demon and someone a bit more centre midfield-ish, he should go for a front line of Rosicky, Giroud and Sanchez. Midfield should be Jack, Ramsey with Ozil in at number 10. Defence is what defence is.

I think that should have more than enough to take down a very average side.

In other news, Wenger is very happy with his forwards and he sees Sanogo as important. Well, what can you say about that other than feel really disappointed. Wenger does it his way regardless of how perverse that might seem. He might be proved right in a few years and if he’s not, he’ll slip him out the back door like he did with Nik B.

There are rumours floating around about Winston Reid. Arsenal have looked at him and he fits the bill. Young, keen to make the jump and a leader with size and power behind him. He’s also in a contract dispute. I’d be happy with him coming in. Not as happy as I’d be having a superstar like Hummels, but hey, what can you do? It’d be unlike Arsene to recruit the best he could for his budget!

Lukas is no the way out, which I mentioned a month ago. In a similar situation to Santi, he doesn’t have it for the league physically and Lukas never really lived up to the bill technically. Great finisher, but not what we thought we were getting. Santi is another one, very talented player, but he’s losing it physically and he’s expensive. I’d imagine Lukas will be the last of our exits if he does opt to move.

Right, I’m back to work, have a marv day.

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Everton 2 – 2 Arsenal. We came, we saw, we drew

by & filed under Match report.

Do the Wenger...

Balls

Good morning all, Alex writing to you from hangover central. The last bus has just left and some strange man is looking at me intently with his hands in his pockets. I don’t like it here.

Yesterday I watched the game in a wanky east London pub, and had much of it ruined by a group of wanky east London hipsters who didn’t ask if they could share our table but sat down there anyway. Their ring leader was a primark version of Russell Brand who spent two hours talking loudly about how democracy was just a “scam” and people needed to “wake up”, before he proceeded to call his dealer. Stay classy hipsters.

Anyway onto the game, I’m afraid there wont be a thorough match report today, as I do not have highlights available to me, so lets review yesterday’s match through the medium of emotions:

I thought…

We would have a real challenge against Everton yesterday. They destroyed us last season using pace, power and smart tactics (ie putting the impressive Lukaku on Nacho Monreal – who has the appearance and mental fortitude of a man suffering from the nora virus). They also put the wiley Stephen Naismith up top who, despite having no discernible ability as a footballer, had an absolute worldy against us.

The team that turned us over last year was almost identical to the one we played yesterday. As such it really was going to take a reappraisal of how we lined up tactically if we were going to get anything from the game.

I hoped…

That this was the case when I saw the line up. The misfiring Giroud dropped and Sanchez given a berth in the centre forward role; supported by The OX on the right and Ozil on the left. I thought the pace in the line up would pin Everton back and give our midfield more options.

For the first 20 minutes we looked much better than in the same game last year. I actually thought Sanchez was effective in that position, and though he didn’t get any touches in the box, his movement and unpredictability were creating opportunities for us. I even tweeted “Already looking better”.

I realised…

I should never, ever make predictions about football because about five minutes later, Everton scored. Some proper defensive fannying around from us allowed Everton to whip in an easy ball under absolutely no pressure. Seamus Coleman had a free header which he tucked away nicely. No pressure on the ball from midfield, terrible offside trap, not tracking the runner. Onto which…

I began to lament…

The fact we did not resign Cesc. Aside from the fact he clearly feels appalling wearing a Chelsea shirt, if we are going to play the world’s best No10 (Ozil) on the left wing, where he cannot influence the game and doesn’t track runners, then why not play one of the world’s best playmakers in the No10 position?

I wept…

For the FA and its “friendly refereeing banter”. I’m not one to blame refs for our poor performances, and we were very poor yesterday, but there was a clear foul on Mertesacker in the build up to the second goal as well as an offside for Naismith. Coupled with the fact that practically everyone on our team who made a tackle was booked – its fair to say that the ref yesterday was proper rubs. That still doesn’t excuse Chambers’ Squillaci-esque attempt at a tackle on Lukaku in the build up to the second goal.

I bemoaned…

Arsene’s tactical naivety in substituting Alexis for Giroud at half time. Again I wisely tweeted that I hoped Alexis was injured as it made no sense as a tactical substitution (Disclaimer obviously I didn’t actually hope he was injured, I would never hope anyone is injured (except John Terry and then only with explosive diarrhea)).

So contrary to most people’s expectations, Giroud’s introduction to the game immediately improved us. We were improved again by the hooking of 2/5s of our British core for Santi and young Joel Campbell. It was Santi that nicely teed up Aaron for our first goal. Then in the 90th minute Nacho whipped in a delightful cross which Giroud dispatched, tying the game for us, gaining a point and proving all the haters wrong. Right? Well no wrong.

I, Claudius…

The erstwhile Roman emperor was underestimated at first but went on to do an ok job, despite being surrounded by backstabbing murderous arseholes. Unlike him we seem to be defying expectations in reverse. The optimism from the FA cup and Community Shield wins and the signings we have made thus far has been replaced by the cold hard fact that our performances have just not been good enough.

Im not going to write off Sanchez in a CF role just yet, I think it could work. But even if it does its clear we need a player in that position who combines the best of what Giroud and Sanchez offer. Yes that may be hard to find, but we have the money. We also desperately need a decent DM and another CB as its not fair to expect Chambers to cover for Per and Kos on his debut season.

Over the summer I commented that signing a world class fitness coach and a world class player was welcome but we would only see if things had changed if our tactics improved, if we lost some of our defensive naivety and anticipated how our opposition lined up. From what I’ve seen so far, it still feels like we are failing to do this, and that is perhaps the most frustrating part of it all.

I like the Champions League…

So I will be at the game on Wednesday evening, hopefully to see a much improved performance and to see us smash Besiktas.

Fingers cross until then. This is @aldo_doel wishing you a lovely bank holiday xx

P.S. Check out Pedro’s report from earlier HERE