Happy Wednesday to you all! Thought I’d drop this nice and early for you, because, you know, I’m damn good to you and all that.
So… what a Monday eh? I landed my first taste of super hardcore fandom when I watched the United game in Sydney. Waking up at 6am to hang with the Arsenal Sydney Supporters club… in a Casino. Pretty grim, but loads of fun. They told me they landed 700 Gooners for the cup final. Even on a Tuesday morning before work they had about 20 down.
The game was good viewing… on a cinema screen. Obviously, loaded up with the harshest morning beers ever (4 before 9am, the scenes, the scenes).
I’m not going to give you a >match review<, James did an excellent rundown of that yesterday. Just a few points worth throwing out there.
Look at Wenger, throwing a curveball selection out there… putting Welbeck through the middle over Giroud. That will have thrown LVG, firstly because WELBZ has pace (and Giroud doesn’t) and secondly because I think LVG said he was surprised. I said before the game we had to go with a plan of our own, and that looked to be it.
PLANNING < Can’t argue the merits. When we do it, we do better (generally).
Danny didn’t play well, I don’t think anyone can testify to the move being a masterstroke performance wise, but as was said in the match report yesterday, strikers are judged in goals, when Danny was threaded through by Valencia, he knocked it past the keeper and held his composure to slot into the empty net. Again, as was said in the match report… nothing say ‘YEEEEEESSSSSSSS I LOVE THIS MOMENT’ quite like celebrating against a club who fu*cked you off for being shite compared to RVP and Falcao.
He still has a lot to do career wise, but he showed yesterday he has the mental strength to power through bad touches and ineffectiveness to be decisive. Adebayor, when he was chasing a contract, used to be like that. Nothing would get him down. He needs a bit of that in his game. A great way to kick on for the rest of the year.
I wasn’t really too sure what went on there, but I saw him warm up then get sent back down to the bench. Amazing how quickly the tide has turned on the young Englishman. Wenger literally spent 5 seasons beasting him in the first team as a very average winger, now he’s come good, and don’t mess about, Theo is a frightening winger despite not being technically perfect… Wenger doesn’t love him.
I’m not sure whether it’s the contract issue, whether it’s his weakness on the fitness front (which is unfair when you consider he’s been given the Colbert treatment for year) or whether Theo waltzed into training in a vintage Marseille shirt smoking a Dr Dre sized blunt and called the managed a fraud of an intellect. Whatever happened… he’s not part of the managers thoughts at the moment. If he goes, I hope the manager has someone very fast, very technical and very interested in hugging that wide spot in mind. I tend to agree with the comments Alex made the other day. We build a bit of a squad, then we’re all desperate to see non-starters go. Theo is a very good player, why ship him on? I’ve heard he’s incredibly career focused, a really nice lad and he works harder than most to be as good as he can be.
Oh my, that ref had an absolute blinder eh? It was exactly the sort of performance someone needed to put in up there. He literally took no shit off anyone. To book Di Maria for diving was perfect, to send him off for touching him whilst shouting ‘no, no, no, no’ was even more perfect. Then he booked Adnam Janajizz for an even worse dive. Well, just brilliant. Not enough is done to showcase how bad that United team are at cheating. Michael Oliver, take a bow son, you just pushed yourself into the elite of refereeing. I still think it showcases the absolute necessity to help the refs out… some of the fastest most athletic players on the planet going out of their way to fool you. You need help.
Probably the only real negatives of the night. He didn’t shower himself in glory. I just don’t think he has the mental toughness to come into the side and do a job. He put everyone on edge when he tried to turn one of their players. His kicking isn’t very powerful, accurate or smart. He’s just not the full ticket. Even for the United goal, he doesn’t dive. Sure the header was strong, but shouldn’t our keeper be making an attempt at it… how many shots does he literally get nowhere near? Then look at De Gea, Lloris, Forster and Courtois. Some of their shot stopping is out of this world.
At the start of the season, I had many predictions. Most wrong. Two that I’m quite pleased with are that the keeper would lose his number one shirt and that Nacho is by far the better left back to Gibbs. Well, I think he’s consistently shown more fight, better positioning and more impressive team play in defence. Monday night, he capped a pretty sensational turnaround with a stunning goal. Beating De Gea inside post is incredible for a defender who was being branded the worst in our side at the start of the season. I really rate him, he’s fully deserving of all the plaudits.
I mean, this was clearly a negative. But another soft tissue injury to a player who is constantly suffering soft tissue injuries really doesn’t bode well for our fitness evolution. We’re getting to the phase where our fit players have been back for 3 months and usually start picking up injuries. It’s not good news. If you can’t keep your best players on the pitch, you can’t make a serious assault on the league.
FA Cup and ramifications:
Another prediction I made against the grain was that LVG would be a disaster. I’ve maintained that and now it looks like it’s coming to fruition. His excuses are embarrassing, his game plans are weak and he’s looking about as smart as Moyes at the moment. I think that loss could see him come unstuck. Psychologically, we’ve dealt them a hammer blow as they head into games with Spurs, Liverpool away, Villa, City, Chelsea then Everton… we’re there like, two weeks later. This could be an incredible undoing.
Arsenal on the other hand have a very tantalising semi final against weaker opposition. The only thing that worries me about the final is getting a ticket… and playing Liverpool when all the build up will be a w*nkfest about Stevie G leaving on a high.
Get out of my face with that nonsense…
So, happy, happy days for Arsenal. Super impressive result. The Manchester Hoodoo has been finished and we’ve not set the benchmark for expectations.
I’m over the moon. You should be. Let’s keep up the goodness against West Ham, where, I’m reliably informed, Alex Song is starting to, well, you know, play like the Alex Song we know!