… Sunday night games eh? That’s the future right there. Coming to a stadium near you. Can’t see them catching on. Sunday is gods day. I’d be more at ease with a Friday night game. Not more chunking into your weekend time to suit international audiences.
So what have we to talk about?
Well, there were a few positives in the starting line up. We welcomed Theo back to the side 365 days after he picked up his injury. A sorry state of affairs for a player who is apparently incredibly dedicated to his career. Joel Campbell picked up a start, Coquelin continued, we saw more of Tomas, Bellerin at right back… Sanchez started.
It was a strong line up, mainly because it had to be.
We made it count though. We dominated play early on, Sanchez running riot as usual, Theo looked fast but rusty, Campbell didn’t do much wrong but certainly didn’t blossom… Santi was majestical like a gold plated unicorn writing poetry.
We opened the scoring from an unusual place.
1) A corner whipped into the 6 yard box (first one in three months to beat the front post)
2) Pers head. He didn’t really jump, he kind of walked into the ball.
We were one up, Hull were offering very little. They looked calm in their approach to being so bad. We didn’t exactly take advantage of their lack-lustre attitude but we didn’t cede control.
The second half for me was all about resting key players and sitting on the lead. We dominated even harder in the second half, but still no rest ideas from the bench. Wenger waited until 75 to take off Theo. He didn’t take Sanchez off until the death.
The Chilean scored with a low powered shot, we took the game 2-0 and progressed into the next round with an easy three points.
We have some seriously flawed thinking in the management team (Arsene) at Arsenal. All our players have picked up injuries this season, it’s damaged our title hopes, effectively killing them… yet we still persist with the brutalisation of players who, at the moment, seem immune to the physical pressures of all the games the club throw at them.
I don’t understand it. I really don’t. Apparently Sanchez asked to play. Well of course he would! A boxer, after taking a battering will always look to fight on! As a manager, you make big decisions to protect the long term. Too much living in the moment, not enough forward planning… Which is ironic considering Wenger had us all living 5 years ahead back in the day. It’s not just Sanchez, it’s Santi and Per as well.
Why do we have to wait until the worst happens? Why not put measures in place so we can prolong these key players seasons?
‘Wenger is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t’
This is such a stupid statement. He’s damned if his best players constantly pick up injuries. He’s damned in the sense that we’re no longer in the running for the league, in the main, because we don’t have a sensible approach to fitness. If Wenger had rested key players yesterday and we didn’t deliver against one of the worst teams in the country, sure there would have been critique, because we should have a squad capable of dealing with simple games like that one. We spend over £160m on wages. We’re supposed to have depth.
Point is, playing with fire when you’re covered in 3rd degree burns is never smart.
BACK IN THE GAME. Ok, so he shanked a few shots wide, the timing of his runs wasn’t perfect, but look, he is going be so important to our run in. Those duff shots will find the goal soon enough and he’ll add a whole bunch of pace to our front line. Imagine a forward three of him, Sanchez and Giroud / WELBZ.
It’d be damn scary…
A lot of people wonder why there’s so much interest in him, because generally, he hasn’t looked great. I think this is an interesting question, because I think most of the angst around his lack of inclusion centres around Sanogo being anywhere near the squad. For me, Campbell possesses many of the attributes you need in the Premier League. Good control, power, pace and an eye for goal. For me, if he wasn’t good enough for Wenger, he should have shipped him out to Olympiacos and swapped him in for centre back Manolas. If he’s not that good, why do we have him in the squad? Why is he blocking out a wage and a squad position?
Also, we’ve barely had the chance to make a judgement. Ramsey wasn’t good enough for 2 years yet we flogged him to death. Joel barely earns a touch. Which is fine if he’s just a bad player, but again, why is he there if he’s a bad player?
This is another player I’ve heard good things about behind the scenes. He cares about the game apparently and he’s very focused. I thought he had another strong game last night. He’s a bit nasty, he does the basics well and he has youth and energy on his side. I like him. He’s not the answer to our problems in the holding role, but he could certainly be this generations Giles Grimandi.
Chezzer and Ospina…
There are lots of rumours swirling around the web that Chezzer was dropped yesterday because he kicked off at the manager in a most unpleasant fashion post Southampton. I don’t know the veracity of the rumour (it comes from John Jensen who told Arsene Junior Hoilett was incredible), but the attitude issues isn’t new to me, it’s something I’ve heard before. Allegedly strong words were had between he and Vermaelen last season with regards to being last in first out at training. That’s why I said last year he’d go the way of Song by the end of the year. If he has said silly things to the manager, his performances certainly don’t merit any sort of stay of execution. We should move him on and see what Ospina is made of. From reading about him, he’s certainly a hard worker, someone who wants to learn, someone who wants to succeed at the highest level. It’ll also be interesting to see how the players adapt to playing with someone they like.
No, I’m not talking about the time I smoked blunts with Dr Dre. I’m talking about Stan Kroenke’s new stadium proposal for the Rams. Yah people, he’s talking about moving the St.Louis Rams over the Los Angeles and he’s building a stadium for them! Wouldn’t that be grand? The state won’t fund the move with tax dollars, so he’d have to do it himself… we all know what a ball ache it is building a new stadium, so could this be Stan’s chance to shift on Arsenal and pay for the move in America outright?
We can but dream…
Guy landed a move to Oldham. A lot of people still confused about what he did, or think it wasn’t rape should read horrendous detail here. I feel for Oldham fans. I’m all for second chances, but when it comes to football, when you’re representing a community, you do something as predatory and disgusting as that link reads. Well, it should be game over. Football needs a code of conduct, like they have in finance, or refereeing. Disgusting man. Disgusting Chairman. Disgusting situation football should be ashamed of.]
I’ve said it for a while, but I feel like the United surge up the table is a blip. They really were garbage against Yeovil yesterday. The only thing keeping them going is their exceptional finishing. They picked up another two injuries yesterday, Rafael and Luke Shaw hobbled off. This is another manager who refuses to adapt his offering. I think the wheels will come off there. If they sign Howedes and Hummels and we end up with Loic Perrin… I’ll be like, severely hacked off. We need to be showing major ambition this window, no messing around with bargain bucket players when United are pushing on for major names again.