I hate Man Utd

by & filed under News Review.

Hi all, Alex here back again for a second day running.

So it happened. A draw with the bastards of bastardry. Anyone who has followed Arsenal these last 15 years will know that Chelsea, Tottenham and Stoke are an irrelevance when it comes to football rivalry. Man Utd are the real enemy.

So many years of pain playing them when they were, frankly too good. The abiding memory was the defeat to end our unbeaten run or as it’s also known ‘the most rigged game in the history of the premier league’. It finished Reyes’s career with us, triggered the start of Arsenal’s ‘top 4 years’ and ensured Mike Riley – to this day – still gets called a wanker by any Arsenal fan that sees his stupid gimpy face. How he was ever allowed to referee again after that game is a conspiracy mystery.

Much like that game, United needed dodgy refereeing decisions and a blatant Rooney dive to win last night. Except this time they were playing Preston North End. An indicator of how far they have fallen despite the talent in their squad.

However to say we have a hoodoo against them would be a massive understatement. In the last two seasons when they have been nothing less than absolute pony, we have still failed to rack up a win or even a half decent performance. This is a failure I lay at Arsene’s door and is one of the main reasons why I don’t think he can cut it at the top anymore.

For years Fergie knew the gameplan to beat Arsenal. Sit back, let them prance around for a bit then destroy them on the counter. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. It’s what led to our humiliation in the Champions League semi final in 2008. And it was so ingrained in the United players’ psyches that even after the red nosed one left, they were still able to put it into effect with startling ease.

The fact Arsene never thought or wanted to counteract this tactic is one of his biggest failings and is why we have consistently failed to win against big teams.

This season might be different however. We have beaten City away, using a different, smarter gameplan. We have the best squad we have had in 10 years littered with match winning superstars. This could be our year.

So let’s look forward to this cup tie and imagine that we are finally going to overcome our United hoodoo and best them at Old Trafford. We will see Robin get subbed off on 55 mins, Wayne crying into Rafael’s shoulder and Rio Ferdinand tweet some utter pish about baseball caps for men going through midlife crises.

I have seen the promised land. And Darren Fletcher doesn’t live there.

You can follow me on Twitter @aldo_doel

Arsenal 2-0 Middlesborough. Carzözilanchez roasts the Teessiders

by & filed under News Review.

via Instagram @Arsenal

You da best bae

Morning all happy Mondays!! It’s Alex here, blogging to you from the Northern line. The horrible, claustrophobic Northern line.

So I was promised – through a friend of a friend – a seat in the diamond club for yesterday’s game. All week I had been prepping myself for it; conserving my appetite for oysters and gold plated hotdogs, dreaming up witty anecdotes that I would regale to Bobby and Thierry over our vienettas, and relentlessly practicing my smug face for when I took AN ACTUAL ESCALATOR to my seat.

So imagine my horror when I arrived at l’Emirates to discover that rather than the Director’s box, I would be in the away end with a thousand tanked-up Geordies (are they Geordies or Macam or Teesidees?)

To say I was nervous was a slight understatement, especially when I went to use the toilet and found every one of the sinks being used as a urinal. Who would have thought football fans could behave in such a boorish way?

Sitting in the away end did give me a different perspective on the game however. The Borough fans, who were all actually really nice and good fun, REALLY rate Alexis. All their chants are pretty much identical to ours (apparently we aren’t the only fans who think we have by far the greatest team in the world).

However what else I realised is how totally and utterly dominant Arsenal were. You have to feel sorry for Borough. They are a good team, but their current league position means they have no way near the resources to deal with a threat as potent as Alexis, Cazorla and Ozil.

Those guys were on another planet yesterday, almost unplayable. Apparently Ozil created 7 goal scoring chances. Meanwhile Alexis just didn’t stop running and Santi ran the show – his pass to Gibbs for the first goal was something else. In fact the movement from the whole team for that goal was pretty f***ing spectacular.

I like that there is talk of Santi getting player of the year. After a strong debut season he kind of faded away last year and there was even talk of selling him by controversial bloggers like Le Grove. It’s great that he’s now showing exactly how good he is and how wrong Le Grove was. God I hate Le Grove.

Other honourable mentions go to Olivier – who did what a striker needs to do – get in the right place and put the ball in the net. The second finish in particular, was not as easy as he made it look. I do love Oli. He prances around a lot and is quite slow but there’s something very honest about the way he plays. He’s like a friendly shire horse. Or the big gangly kid in your school team who looks rubbish but always ends up top scorer without anyone knowing how or why.

Despite bringing the handsome quotient of our team down quite hard, Gabriel looked very assured, even his booking was probably the smart move. He also slotted in well alongside Kos which is great for the run in.

Dishonourable mention goes to Flamini. I didn’t really get what everyone’s beef was with him, but after watching Coquelin’s recent performance you realise he is NEVER where he needs to be. That’s usually because he is pointing at others telling them where they need to be. It’s great to have a leader on the pitch and all that but you have to kind of lead by example as well. Just pointing at where others should be running rather than running yourself is the ultimate pub footballer move.

FA Cup gonna mess you up
Anyway onwards and upwards. Though I did say earlier you have to feel for Borough, it’s worth remembering they did knock out City in the last round so the fact we roasted them like a Bolivian peanut is nothing to be sniffed at. This feels like our year again (for the Cup). Let’s hope Liverpool and United draw each other in the next round and they both lose.

Player Ratings

Szcz – 7 – played fine, didnt have much to do

Chambers – 7 – defensively solid and made some great runs forward

Gibbs – 7.5 – likewise but created a goal

Kos – 7 – solid

Paul -7 – likewise

Flam – 5 – chill with the pointing fam

Cazorla – 9 – Holly Willoughby

Ozil – 8 – I love you

Alexis – 8 – Dont ever leave

Welbz – 7 – Loves to run

Giroud – 8.5 – Loves to score

Walcott – 7 – had a great opportunity (his reception of the ball WAS world class), but scuffed the finish

Rosicky – 7 – worked his nuts off as usual

Chuba – 6 – fine

That’s your lot from me. Follow me at @aldo_doel

Love you x