Arsenal 2-2 Man City. Hasa Diga Eebowai

by .

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

349 Responses to “Arsenal 2-2 Man City. Hasa Diga Eebowai”

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  1. MidwestGun

    Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless are considered two of the most ignorant pundits of all times. Also, they don’t comment on one specific sport, so why are they being talked about? Their whole schtick is to take opposite views and say something controversial. I thought you were talking about Ex players or managers? Stephen A Smith has been suspended for being a stooge. They are ex columnists for newspapers.
    Jim Rome too. Bad examples of pundits. As neither one is an in studio analyst for any one particular sport. They are purely for entertainment, some would say comedy.

  2. Dissenter

    London Gunner,
    You’re right.
    My argument about the Armani suit was weak.

    But I also said that “Maybe some ex-players still talk ghetto because they aren’t able to adapt to what’s expected”
    The actual studio commentary is very formal. What you call trash, I’m afraid is English laced with ghetto-Ebonics. Most NFL players are players of color from deprived communities with lots of poverty. They’ve somehow succeeded in using their stardom to elevate the bad English to the mainstream

  3. MidwestGun

    Ex – players, imo make some of the worst analysts because they bring personal bias into everything they say be it the position they played or the teams they played for. They do tend to grow out of it over time. The difference is in the NFL almost all the announcers acknowledge this bias in their commentary. Whereas in football/soccer they try to pretend they are completely impartial. This is why I prefer Managers or long time Ex players who played for multiple Clubs. For instance, Roberto Martinez was excellent at the WC as a commenter in the studio. Altho, apparently AW was not. But in general I think NBC does a good job of covering the Premier L. Most certainly better than Fox who used to have it.

    Just my biased American/Gooner opinion on the media bias.

  4. Dissenter

    Midwest,
    The Steve A Smith and Jim Rome appear to be non-ex players that try to hard to prove their points.
    Steve A Smith in particular is the kind of guy I wouldn’t bye a used car from. He’ll talk too much crap for me.

    I think what people call trash talking is a cultural speaking style that’s prevalent in certain parts of our community, if you know what I’m saying.

  5. Dissenter

    It’s Amazing.
    Wayne Rooney just equalled Henry’s premier league scoring record.

    Whatever you think of him. That’s a big feat for that grannie-f**king Liverpudlian
    I always laugh when I hear English fans doubting whether Rooney is world class.

  6. Keyser

    Midwest/Dissenter – I feel that the more established American sports have slightly more reserved commentators, tv revenue and the market is already esetablished, but in comparison, football because it’s still a fledgling sport in terms of maybe viewership they tend to either invite or get commentators to sensationalise the action.

    Over here as Sky and BT’s tv presence grows I think we’re seeing something similar, pandering to a global audience who might not all be regular viewers.

    Just wondering really. I think Dissenter has a point about the formality.

    That’s different to the Adrian Durham types.

  7. MidwestGun

    We mainly get, Lee Dixon, Danny Mills, Tony Gale, Davie Provan, Barry Horne, Ray Houghton, Dean Sturridge, Trevor Francis, Graeme Le Saux as in game commenters.

    and in studio is Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, and Kyle Martino. They have some bias but I don’t think it’s that sensationalist. It sounds much worse over in UK the coverage.

  8. WrightIsGod

    @Dissenter

    Rooney has played in the Premiership his whole career. He plays for Man U. If he get 15-20 a season of course he’ll do the record.

    Rooney is still a massive let down internationally (outside the easier qualifier games).

  9. WrightIsGod

    Andy Cole sits second in that table. I don’t hear many screaming out that’s he’s world class. (Massively underrated player mind you)

    Rooney has so much game time.

    Honestly.

  10. andy1886

    “Funny you ask Keyser cos I’m rarely out of the cockpit ”

    There’s a joke about lowering your flaps in there somewhere.

  11. Dissenter

    WrightIs God,
    You’ll have to try harder to whittle away at a genuine achievement.

    Rooney’s been at United his entire career?, and so what!
    You forget that he had to play second fiddle to Ronaldo for a while and then to Van Pwrsie. He’s done this when he’s hasn’t been played consistently as the main striker.

    He’s world class, the England team is another story.

  12. Dissenter

    Phil,
    ” The loons are out……raise the draw bridge”
    We’re you looking into the mirror when you wrote this.

    Brilliant moment of self reflection 😉
    Hahahaha

  13. Bobby

    Phil has a point.

    Rooney is your classic “he can do a job” player, plenty of goals but a bit of a flat track bully in the Utd glory years hence his scoring record, but when push comes to shove he is found wanting. Or pushing and shoving up against a geriatric.

    World class? Maybe, but not as a footballer.

  14. Dissenter

    Bobby,
    Seems you’re applying the “doesn’t do a job in the England shirt” to Rooney.

    The England team has always been an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Good players who’ll never play well together.

    If Rooney is not world class based on his 11-12 year history of consistency how can anyone call players
    like Ozil world class?
    Everything you used to knock down Rooney can also be used (easily) against the likes of Ozil.

    This non English man and gooner just begs to differ.

  15. Wengerites be damned!

    I was so busy lately that I couldn’t watch or read anything about Arsenal. Then, I saw Danny Welbeck in an Arsenal jersey ??? I was really surprised. I hope I can follow Arsenal games and news from now on even if I am busy.

  16. Bobby

    Nope, sorry Dissenter, that’s not my point at all so don’t put words in my mouth.

    I’m merely saying that, in the pantheon of ” World Class” footballers, within his generation or beyond it, Rooney doesn’t fit the bill. Yes, by pretty much all the metrics he is a very good club footballer, but that’s as far as it goes. The record demonstrates this for all to see. Let’s not get carried away by the Sky Sports hype, it’s nonsense.

    I wasn’t even debating Özil, world class or otherwise.

  17. Dissenter

    Bobby,
    The remarks about England were in reference to Phil’s earlier comments, which you agreed with. I wasn’t putting words in your mouth.

    If you are setting the bar for world class as high as your “pantheons” ( whatever that means) then maybe Rooneyisnt world class.
    World class is hard to define, I’ll grant you that.

    Cheers.

  18. Nick

    Are these comments about yesterday’s games. Yes, NBC coverage in USA maddeningly anti-Arsenal. Otherwise, yeah Flamini didn’t track the best CF in England for goal 1. But Nacho was in the opponent’s box when this was all going on. We have basically no shape going forward, and with Ozil all over the place Nacho is allowed to shoot forward on the wing all the time, of course leaving our whole left side vulnerable to counterattack by best outside right wide man in England all day– exactly how we got rolled in all our big losses last year. put ozil in middle at least Alexis will cover the right side defensively.

    If we are going to play Ozil at all play him where he wants to be, because he sucks when he plays anywhere else. I would much rather bench Ozil and play Campbell on the left if Ozil keeps up like this. I know Arsene is not much of a motivator, but this is ridiculous.

  19. peanuts&monkeys

    I hadn’t watched the first half. Not aware which position Ozil was playing. But the last 25 minutes he was playing in the position he SHOULD play. And i think he had started creating moves from there: the REAL playmaker. That’s his position. Dare the WengerArse shifts him from that position! I hope the nutcase will pay heed to more people who are suggesting that and blindly have faith on those people’s advices, than trying to apply his football-juiceless brain on Ozil’s position.

  20. peanuts&monkeys

    And regarding Ozil’s lack of drive to go for tackles and headers, I am sure that’s again Uncle Nutcase’s strict guidelines. I can guarantee you Ozil’s natural instinct is to fight it out physically than let it pass like what ArseBastard wants him to do.

  21. peanuts&monkeys

    The special manager of EPL, Jose Mourinho is truly special. the way he is making Costa instantly successful shows his deep understanding of the way the game is being played in England. Hats off to Jose!

  22. Jeff

    Peanuts,

    You’re right of course it is sad because the club has so much potential, so much pedigree and yet it has landed in the hands of a complete philistine who doesn’t know what to do with it and a manager who just wants to stay in the job; using her as a pet project to do as he pleases.

    It’s like a beautiful object in the hands of a tramp that carries it around not knowing or caring for its true value and how much more it can be.

    The worst part of it is the inordinate number of brain-washed supporters and pundits who think we can’t do any better and that there is a grand plan unfolding; that it is good and we should all embrace it. But if you don’t you’re not a true fan and you are too negative. What a joke.

  23. Wallace

    tunny

    “I am however very pissed off with our lack of a top quality midfielder who relishes defending. As you know I’m always a glass half full kind of guy. Our attack when it gels will be really exciting and vibrant. Just gutted with our lack of numbers in defence.”

    yeah, same here. once Ozil’s back in the groove and Welbeck’s settled i think we’ll be scary in attack. which makes it all the more frustrating we’re going to be scrambling around at the back for the next 3mths.

  24. Wallace

    “Welbeck may not have scored or assisted directly either of Arsenal’s two goals. He may have looked short on precision near goal at times. But alongside the excellent Alexis Sánchez who is – never mind the score, the opposition or the time of the day – always up for a fight, he played a full part in the high-pressing aggression with which Arsenal wrenched their way back into this match.”

    – Barney Ronay

  25. Emiratesstroller

    I find it staggering that a club of Arsenal’s status continue to neglect its defence. That is not only apparent in the cavalier way that we play, but in the recruitment of resources.

    Currently we have just 6 specialist defenders in our first team squad which is down from 9 two years ago and 7 last season. Debuchy is likely to be out for between 2-3 months and we know that Koscielny has been also struggling with
    an achilles injury. We are probably one injury away from a potential major
    crisis.

    No team in the history of English Football has managed to win the League Title without a solid defence. Under Wenger the back division has in my assessment been always neglected since the era of Dixon,Adams,Keown,Bould and
    Winterburn. None of these players were recruited by the Manager.

  26. Dark Hei

    I am cool with playing City with a 4-1-4-1 and shoving Ozil to the flanks. The 4-1-4-1 is a more conservative formation and less vulnerable to the counter. Hey we conceded just 1 off a counter.

    I would love to see a return to the 4-2-3-1 and Ozil returning to the hole, but that will mean either Ramsey or Wilshire losing out.

    Would have loved for a win but a 2-2 draw isn’t too bad.

  27. goonpharm

    The Curious Case of Ozil..

    My thoughts are this. Of all our midfielders, and we bloody have a few, Ozil is the most out of form. The reason for this out of form is a confidence issue as opposed to a physical issue. If it was a physical issue Wenger would rest him more, that’s obvious.

    Wenger is simply trying to get Ozil back in the groove by constantly playing him. Think about it what would it do his confidence if he ass dropped at this stage with all the negative feedback form media and fans?

    Whether you agree or disagree with Wenger it seems he’s not giving up on the players. He played Ramsey constantly through some poor patches and the same for Wilshere. They both came good and so will Ozil.
    .

  28. Dark Hei

    Stroller

    Thank you for the history lesson that has been dished out, like, a million times. Let’s move on.

    As for your point about the current situation in defence, I agree. Unless Hayden and Bellerin are ready to be title contenders, I guess I will be sweating through games and shoving down fish oil to ensure the ticker continues to run smooth.

    Arsenal should start considering buying medical insurance for fans. They are culpable for my irregular heart rhythm that only sets off when games approaches. Give me the halcyon days of last season’s start anytime!

  29. goonpharm

    Dark Hei – 4-3-3 for me. Play flat 3 of Wilshere – Rosicky – Ramsey in the middle and up top,
    Sanchez – Welbeck – Ozil.

    Those three in the middle have the energy and legs to dovetail. Two sit and one supplements the attack or One sits and the other two attack. Depending on who we’re playing.

    Ozil has a free role. He doesn’t need to stick out there on the left he can drift in or swap wings with Sanchez.

    For this to work both fill backs need to be disciplined. Only one at a time can go for forward.

  30. goonpharm

    This whole we are down to 6 defenders is funny. I remember the season we we lost all four of our fullbacks through injury and ended having to play fucking Djourou at RB.

  31. Wallace

    goonpharm

    agree re Ozil. with Jack now we’re seeing what a run of consecutive games can do for confidence and fitness. don’t think it’ll take much to get Ozil back to his best. also think you have to factor in he won the world cup 8weeks ago. wouldn’t be human if it didn’t take a little while to find your appetite for the daily grind again.

  32. Emiratesstroller

    Dark Hei

    Sometimes you need to learn from history. Scoring a lot of goals or having 70% possession is not a recipe for success if your defence leaks like a sieve.

    Let’s analyse our performance in the 4 league games sofar played this season.

    v Crystal Palace. We were losing for most of this game. Managed to win it in
    last minute against one of the weakest teams in EPL.

    v Everton. Conceded two goals in first half in typical fashion. Managed to equalise right at end of game. Game we should have lost.

    v Leicester City. Again conceded silly goals and could have lost game.

    v Manchester City. Conceded goals in usual fashion i.e. set piece and counterattack. Again could have lost this game through poor defending.

    In 4 games [approx 375 minutes] we have been in lead for probably less than
    8 minutes.

  33. Dark Hei

    4-3-3 for me. Play flat 3 of Wilshere – Rosicky – Ramsey in the middle and up top,
    Sanchez – Welbeck – Ozil.

    I agree that will work. Rosicky, is a pressing machine and we can play a very high backline. Though we can’t play this week in week out as Rosicky is getting in with his age.

    We will get hit on the counter but forcing turnovers in the opposition half should get the old “score more goals that the other team and you win”.

  34. Dark Hei

    “Under Wenger the back division has in my assessment been always neglected since the era of Dixon,Adams,Keown,Bould and
    Winterburn. None of these players were recruited by the Manager.”

    I was referring to this history lesson. Analysing the 4 league games thus far is hardly what you can define as history!

    We have a slow start, but I think that it isn’t due to poor defending in particular. I think the entire team lacks cohesion in passing. That is the killer. Wenger hasn’t been able to get his team to do those quick passing killer job post Cesc Fabregas.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    Personally I think that 4-4-2 is the best set up at moment and more or less how we played on Saturday.

    Sanchez is well suited to play as a ‘roaming’ forward as he played most of time on Saturday and Welbeck was allowed to play more centrally.

    Arsenal need in my assessment to play 4 in midfield because we are so vulnerable along the flanks and in particular on left side if we play the likes of Ozil,
    Cazorla or Podolski in front of Monreal. All are poor defenders.

  36. Emiratesstroller

    Dark Hei

    You are right that the ‘whole team’ have not played particularly well in first 4 games.

    However, the problem at the moment is that every team in EPL knows how to play us now and our achilles heel continues to be the lack of a decent cdm +
    defensive fragility along flanks and of course how we defend set pieces.

    Our team may be difficulty to defeat, but we struggle also to win. We have played 6 games in EPL and CL Qualifiers and won only two. Both were a struggle.

    Personally I am far less concerned about our offensive play than our defence at moment.

  37. Dark Hei

    Stroller

    I like your concept, ALOT! Particularly because I am not a big fan of Flamini, who is very disciplined in positioning and not much else.

    Ramsey and Wilshire in the middle with OX and Rosicky out wide will give the full backs a lot of protection and enough muscle to offset the lack of a dedicated DM.

    While the 4 mids are very narrow as they all like to drift in, Welbeck and Sanchez can provide the width by moving out wide to receive the ball. Only possible as both strikers are fast with good technique.

  38. kapslock

    I went to the game and the fans were right behind the team even when 1-0 down. No moaning, just got behind them. The atmosphere has improved a lot over the last season at the Grove, I’m enjoying it.
    Thought we played well and definitely deserved a point but we do lack that beast holding midfielder. We are one injury away to one of our CB’s from a crisis. Shocking really, considering Vermaelen left us in early August and we have £60m sat in the back. That’s disgraceful and complete negligence. I said we had a good summer in terms of the personnel we signed but going into the season with 2 established centre backs is ridiculous. Hopefully Debuchy’s injury not too bad.

  39. PieAFC

    We didn’t play as bad as some people make out.

    4 games into the season, new players getting used to one another, won’t click just like that. Chelsea and costa, maybe an exception.

    If after 10-15 games its the same old rinse repeat we’re see. So far for the bad I’m seeing, i’m seeing things I like in the team and certain individuals.

    As for Jack on saturday fair play to the fella, big game and he stood out massively.

    Lets keep it moving, for every game we play and we will get better.

    Btw, after nearly 2.9years away. Back to blighty for Xmas.

    SOUTH SOUTH SOUTH LONDON!! HAHAHA.