Manchester United provided the post sex cigarette after our Shawshank Redemption style mauling against Liverpool, and oh my, how satisfying was it? Are you sure it was just tobacco? United over turned an unfair one goal deficit only to be hit with a Darren Bent sucker punch at the death. That’s like David Brent stealing in to nick your girlfriend at closing time. Hilariously bad defending from United matched by incredible scenes in the stands. Mick Hucknall was not pleased at all.
That makes our match against them on Wednesday even more important. We literally can’t lose against United. They’re flat out of luck, flat out of faith in their manager and on the verge of total implosion. We can either kill their season or we can reignite it for 2 games. We know how they’ll play… press us hard and whip the ball into the box (84 crosses against Fulham!). We have to be alert to that and I hope we’re practicing to combat this tactic.
I watched back the Liverpool game again last night; it was incredible to watch how lethargic our side was. Arteta was so out of his depth against a team who had set out to harass us from the start. I would imagine Moyes will do the same against us for the first 45. So we’ll need to be sharp. I mean, United don’t really have the legs to do what Liverpool did to us, but they will look at Arteta and know that he underperforms when he has to play back to back games. That’s why I’d be seriously looking at other options in the middle of the park. Could we ask Jack to play that defensive role with Thomas Rosicky? I mean, push comes to shove, could he try Vermaelen there? He’s powerful and he can move the ball around. How dangerous could it be moving a centre back into the holding role? Chelsea do it with Luiz who Mourinho insists is a centre back? Sometimes when desperate times are about, you must try those desperate measures. Surely whatever we do can’t be as bad as what we saw this weekend?
My big worry is that it’s clear that neither Chamberlain or Jack are up to speed fitness wise…
Another area we need to hope for improvement in is creativity. Ozil was a non-entity at the weekend, which isn’t acceptable. People have been telling me the German has always been a background player who just makes things tick. I’m sorry, but I have to totally disagree. I’ve seen Ozil command games on numerous occasions. He showed us earlier in the season against Everton what he can be, so there are no excuses. I totally get that he’d ideally like to be playing with forwards that make diagonal pacey runs into areas he can pick out… but hey… guess what? Arsene has chosen to ignore the striking position and we’re stuck with Giroud. Now, Ozil has been dubbed the best number 10 in the world by Mourinho, which is a great honour for any player… so look, I don’t think it’s beyond expectations to believe he has it in him to make this side tick over without Theo and Ramsey.
Players have to step up, players have to adapt… players have to show their mettle. I appreciate it’s his first season, but falling on your arse feeling sorry for yourself won’t cut it. We need more from him, we need more from Giroud and we need more from the collective unit.
I said yesterday in my Metro Article, Ozil is an incredible talent, he can become the new Bergkamp or he can slink off and be the new Andrey. I loved both, respected both for their immense talent… but only one of them has a statue (coming). It’s also worth noting that Pires was a bit of a background player until he found his inner monster, it’s well documented that he didn’t like the rough and tumble to begin with, but then he embraced it like Johan Djourou embraces £83,000 watches.
Still, it has to be said, it’s been well documented this season that our lack of rotation will kill us in the end and if Liverpool was anything to go by, it’s already well on its way. Trouble is, now we’re in panic mode, so there’s literally no chance of anyone half decent getting a rest over the next few games. We have to play a full team on Wednesday. We have to play a full team against Liverpool. We have to play a full team against Bayern. The reality of the situation is that now we’re in crunch time, our players are ruined because we didn’t rest during the easy runs…
Arsene will argue that you should always play your best team… I’d argue that you build a squad capable of deputising for your best players.
I’ve read the traditional, ‘Arsene was furious’ reports that have been dropped into the press by Arteta. I don’t care how mad Arsene was, I just want to see a reaction. United aren’t even a big game this year, they’re a shadow of what they used to be, we should be taking 3 points very easily, this shouldn’t be billed as anything other than a formality if form were the barometer.
In other news, Sanogo allegedly gave Per a black eye. Obviously one for the future eh? Apparently head-butting a senior member of the squad. Nice work. There’s also news that Fabianski has rejected a contract with us. So he’ll be leaving along with Viviano, who apparently doesn’t play because he’s utter garbage. Another hat tip to our incredible scouting network who last year managed to come up with the best number ten in the world, an ex-player who was on a free, a player who considered becoming a postman and a goal keeper so bad he can’t usurp Fabianski or an 18 year old. I mean honestly, what does Ivan say when he speaks to Stan on his weekly catch ups?
Right, rant over… back into positive mode tomorrow. We have a United side to destroy.