I wake up, mixed messages of good and bad all over the place.
As it’s 1500 your time, we might as well crack into groundhog day news…
I mean, come on, someone give us a helping hand here?
I feel like we’re either playing them, or playing Bayern Munich. It’s really depressing in the most spectacular way.
They are beyond outrageous this season. Messi, Neymar and Suarez are so dominant it’s scary to watch… can anyone beat them?
Well, actually, yes… yes they can. Being an absolute dominant beast rarely results in you winning the Champions League. Bayern should have trounced it last season. Barca should have won it every year under Pep Guardiola. Arsenal should have won it at least once with some of the crazy good teams we’ve had.
… and look, I sat in San Mamés and watched Bilbao beat them fairly easily at the start of the season. They were pony then.
Having an air of invincibility is a weakness. Arsenal have to work out a smart way of countering all the good bits they do. How do we stifle their game? How do we track the movement of the most fluid front line in the game? How do we use our pace? How do we hustle them psychologically? How does Per Mertesacker fit here?
It’s an exciting match up. It’s one we deserve after our horrendous opening run of CL games. It’s one that we need to deliver on. We can’t keep on making excuses that there are better teams than us, because we have the resource to be as good as any team in Europe but we chose not to.
A big night for Petr Cech…
In other news, we played Aston Villa yesterday and beat them pretty easily. As expected, the Villains lost a goal early on to a Giroud penalty and it was pretty garbage from there on in.
Arsenal didn’t play particularly well if I’m honest. I mean, we contained and controlled them. I think we played in second gear because we were invited to. There’s no need to play at 500mph if you’re not required to.
There were some positive performances from our boys. I thought Aaron Ramsey had a good game. He broke up play in our box and sprinted the length of the pitch to score! It was pretty spectacular. I mean, always layer it over the context that the attack went 4 on 4 and ended up 4 on 1 after a collection of Villa players gave up.
Giroud also had another very good game. There was one piece of control that was beyond beautiful, a ball over the shoulder on the left hand side of the pitch was stunned with Messi like precision. He looks up for it. His goal record is something else at the moment and he’s certainly not getting the Vardy like credit he deserves. Not even from most of his own fans (sorry babe).
If there was a concern from a victory to be had, my first would be that WENGER LEAVES ON OZIL WHEN THE GAME IS WON. My second is that fans then say, ‘but we have a 8 day rest’… the rest means nothing if he gets injured. Like Sanchez, Coquelin, Santi.
Anyway, it’s irrelevant because he didn’t get injured. But I do pray we preserve him, especially as there’s been injury scares with him recently. He is very key to the Barcelona game.
The in-game concern was that though Villa were terrible, there were a few times when their deflated players managed to steam through the middle of our team unchallenged. We’ve had two relatively easy games in a row, my concern is that our victories, though impressive given the context of pressure, are slightly masking how depleted our squad us.
A false sense of confidence going into City might be a good thing, it might be a bad thing. We can only beat who is put in front of us. City will expose those lapses in discipline way more clinically than Villa or Olympiacos.
Still, what we’re doing that’s magic is we’re surviving. We’re surviving comfortably as well. Sure the opposition has been favourable, but who cares. We’ve not been resolute in seasons past when we’ve had a crisis.
I mean, even if we lose to City, I’m still confident we can compete this year. I’m unsure as to whether we can win the title… but it’s looking positive right now. So no need to worry too hard.
Right, that’s me done… OVER TO YOU IN THE COMMENTS.