Dortmund post mortem, West Brom preview, injuries and transfers

by & filed under Match report, Transfer Gossip.

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Morning good morning one and all. Alex writing the post that was supposed to go up yesterday.

Huge apologies for that by the way, I know you guys need your daily hit of football analysis, bantz and bad spelling and I let you down. Hard. Let me buy you some flowers and milk tray to make up for it. Better yet, lets pretend today is Friday and this post is on time. Enjoy work!

So lots to cover today; Dortmund match report, West Brom preview, injury crises and transfer gossip.

Dortmund
The game on Wednesday was a great result and probably the best 90 minutes we have played this season. It was also refreshing that, for the first time this season, Alexis wasn’t by far our best player – a solid team performance.

The controversial decision before the game was to start former postman, Yaya Sanogo, up top instead of Podolski or indeed Sanchez. To be fair to the lad he acquitted himself quite well and looked slightly less like a guy recovering from major leg surgery.

His hold up play from the throw in for his goal was excellent. His first touch was quite heavy but he slotted it away well. He did fluff his lines a few moments later when he was put through by Ramsey, trying a fancy trick when shooting would have been the better option. Composure son, composure. Hopefully this will help him kick on as a player because his recent performances have been pretty toilet.

Other honourable mentions go to Martinez who wasn’t very busy, but looked composed and kicked a lot better than SZCZ; Ox who was on turbo cheat mode again; Cazorla who looked classier than a bubble bath with Mila Kunis; and Arteta who put in the kind of calm authoritative DM performance that this team desperately needs, but now means he is injured for three months. Sweet. More on that in a bit.

Credit to the manager where it’s due, these are his players, he signed and trains them and they comfortably turned over a big European team. I do wish he had made some substitutions earlier on to rest some of our key players. Maybe he was worried about an Arsenal collapse, but if he cant trust any of his players outside of the 11 he has on the pitch to hold a lead, then that his kind of his fault.

Oh and just as an aside, how bad were Dortmund? Almost unrecognisable from the team we played even a few weeks ago, nervous, slow and about as threatening as Theo Walcott in a pub brawl.

West Brom preview
West Brom is a small town in the West Midlands. Its main exports are Slade and Coal and it has a population of 700. The best thing about West Bromwich Albion is the Albion pub in Broadway Market in Hackney (I’ve never been to West Bromwich).

They have been struggling in the league and their best player, Berahino, has been a naughty boy of late. Will it affect his game? Who knows. What’s important for me is that the team builds on a strong mid-week performance and the manager rotates/rests some players to avoid injury and fatigue – which he obviously won’t do.

Sounding like a broken record is something I good at, but surely SURELY Joel Campbell and Rosicky have to get some game time soon? Were Joel Campbell’s world cup performances any worse than Oxlade-Chamberlain’s?

The good news is we will have Giroud back in for Yaya. Bad news it that Sir Pointsalot, Flamini, starts for the injured Arteta. We need a better performance from him and Ramsey than we saw against Swansea, no doubt. If those two can put in a solid midfield display, we should have enough to win today.

Injuries
Currently out for Arsenal are Arteta, Wilshere, Theo, Ozil, Debuchy, Szczesny, Ospina, Welbz, Diaby and Yaya.

As far as I’m aware, Wilshere, Debuchy, SZCZ’s injuries are the result of collisions, which means the rest are due to strains. I don’t think its possible to prevent every muscle strain from occurring in professional football, but clearly we still have an issue here. Arteta’s injury is particularly frustrating because you could see it coming – Pedro even called it in his match preview.

The guy can’t play two games in a week. Its not because two games in a week is over strenuous, it’s because in between those two games he is getting beasted in training sessions every day. Maybe when you have a player of Arteta’s age, you don’t need to train him so intensively? Maybe you need to give him a break over Christmas? Or maybe you need to have a capable deputy who can fill in for him in some games?

Transfer Gossip
Like Santa Claus come early, Arsene has not even waited until December to start boiling piss with his quotes about possible January signings:

“I would like to remind you that to buy football players is not to go into a supermarket and just say: ‘I want to buy a right-back or a centre-back’… It’s to find the right quality. If you go out tomorrow, you will see that everybody looks for the same positions everywhere. It’s not as simple as it looks.

“In January, it is even more difficult because players are even less available than in June or July. But we will try to be creative and have one or two good ideas.”

You’ve got to admire his commitment to this narrative. If you are making excuses before the race has even started, then you’ve already lost. To dare is to dream etc etc.

We desperately need a DM and a CB for cover. There are so many quality possibilities at DM – Cabaye, Schniederlin, Carvalho, Kondgobia, Bender, Khedira, McCarthy. As for CB, well we don’t need a world class signing, just someone who can do a job. Like Squillaci. Jokes!

Hopefully there’s some pressure on him from the top to make it happen because for the first time in about 10 years we really are only two signings away from having a complete squad.

If we end up with another Kallstrom-esque loan signing, however, then I might have to burn my Arsenal shirt in protest. Well maybe not that, but I’ll certainly burn my Arsenal branded washbag.

Who would you be looking at in January? Do we need to strengthen in any other positions? Let me know below, but please, keep it clean.

You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel for more amazing insight. Have a great day and UTA x


‘What can you do about it?’ says a man paid £8m a year to know

by & filed under News Review.

Happy afternoon. Why’s the post late? Because I drank all the beer last night and ate all the chicken. Posh chicken from Bird Restaurant. It’s a scene there… like the inner workings of a morbidly obese persons dream… fried chicken everywhere… amazing.

Anyway,  back into football… and this weeks addition of ‘Say what?’

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‘Szczesny hasn’t trained, Mikel Arteta is out and Yaya Sanogo has problems.’

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Those cracks look good and papered…

by & filed under News Review.

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I’m up. Struggling to sleep, so I’m going to pen a pre-match report before Alex wakes up for the full monty a bit. Just some topline thoughts before I leave for work.

Performance:

We put in a shift, no doubt. I thought we overran the Dortmund team. We played with style, we passed with more crispness than I’ve seen for a while and we looked genuinely exciting moving forward. I thought Chamberlain was excellent. I read a report on him being firmly under the radar for such a talent. My view is the reason that is mainly centres around his lack of impact in games. He’s starting to show that he can be that player, he hit the bar with a looping half volley which crashed against the bar. Really impressed with his explosive pace around the pitch. He’s one to watch.

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