Feels good people. Feels good to be penning a blog on my mobile phone again. Feels good to be writing about Arsenal as title contenders.
The afterglow is still white hot after our excellent win against Manchester City on Monday. Best part about that Mesut Ozil performance is he’d been sick all week… Cue joke about ‘sick performance bruv’… I like that he’s summoning a bit of Tony ‘run it off’ Adams. Not sure he was that guy when he came over from Madrid.
Now he’s fire, there’s talk about his next deal. You kind of feel the £180k on that table is quite weak considering he’s the best creative in the business. Wayne Rooney is rocking £300k pw for very little. Most top end players are over £200k pw. If I were his agent, I’d be pushing harder than the figure being proposed. You’re only in your prime once!
Great thing is this… He’s not going to go to Barca (pray) and he’s done Madrid. Bayern are a great club, but they’re not the same without Pep. Plus, that league is pretty uncompetitive. So unless City come in for him… and Mesut would hate Manchester… where’s he gonna go?
Especially if we pull our finger out and win the league!
… Per did chastise our title dreams in The Standard.
“We haven’t proven anything yet and we haven’t been that consistent that we can talk about that – that is my opinion,”
Bang on the money Per. There’s a lot of triumphant fans at the moment assuming 2nd now means 1st in May. Sorry people, but our position is lovely. Enjoy it by all means, but we are more than capable of back to back losses in our next two games. Remember, this Arsenal team lost to Sheffield Wednesday on a cold midweek night and they also took a tanking at Bayern (plus the other two losses in the CL). It’s game to game right now.
Per also elaborated on our tactical flexibility.
“We are capable of doing different things sometimes, and that is what makes it harder for the opponent,”
“Last season we played at City and we showed a different kind of game-plan. We go game by game, and concentrate on having a game-plan and trying to implement it. That has been our strength so far against the big teams, and it makes us stronger as a unit.”
“We aren’t looking for excuses, we need to find solutions,”
“That is how we approach things at the minute, how we approach the season and every single game.”
Playing the way we did against City is no longer new, we’re getting better at executing game plans now and I think the players are enjoying working as a unit. Tactical naivety isn’t an issue anymore. What is an issue is focus. We have all the ingredients to win the league this year (well, a DM and a mobile forward would be perfect), the main question for me is focus. Can Wenger instil desire and fight in February? When we lose our next game, how quick can he rally the troops? Who are the leaders?
Per sounds like a future manager to me, he’s really smart, he’s humble and he has World Cup winning desire.
Other leaders? Nacho Monreal. An absolute warrior of a player, he’s my underdog player of the season so far. Ozil has shown a lot of balls. Alexis has redefined what hard work is by leading through example. Same for Giroud.
… and obviously, Petr Cech. The absolute best signing we’ve made in 10 years. He has been everything and more. Taking a doubted legend was a master stroke. Wenger has been waxing…
“I don’t want to be detrimental to David Ospina because he was exceptional last year, but Petr Cech has done it all, so he is someone who gives you an aura, a charisma that is always important in the big games for the players.
“I met him before I signed him and we had a long discussion about the game and the job and his position, and I was deeply impressed by his knowledge, by his professionalism, by his detailed knowledge. So since I have not been surprised, because I got the whole package in one go.”
He then went on to talk about how important the keeper is, sharing a Casillas anecdote.
‘There is no history of teams winning big things without having a great goalkeeper,’
‘I’m 30 years in the job and what you learn over the years is that the goalkeeper is the most under-rated position in football, and maybe the most vital one to win things.’
‘You’ll always have in life the strikers being better paid than the goalkeeper, but are they more important than the goalkeepers?’
‘In the big games that the number of shots on target shrink. But the one save can be the difference in the end result.’
‘When Spain won the World Cup [in 2010] I came out thinking every game [Iker] Casillas saved a one against one at 0-0, or a decisive ball, even in the final against [Arjen] Robben. Instead of being 1-0 down you’re 0-0. At the end of the day he makes the difference.’
I know the issue is addressed now, but face palm me up here people. How can Wenger be so assertive about great keepers knowing his record of keepers is fucking dismal. Wenger has never pursued a ‘great’ keeper. He’s gone for cheap and average. In fact, I was told that we sought out a keeper with mid level stats so we could build them up when we bought that Italian chump (yeah, chump is a big word for 2016) who was so bad we couldn’t even put him on the bench!
We’ve missed out on some names as well… so many names. We’ve also stuck it out with some dross. Almunia for 4 seasons. Chezzer for 3. Both painfully average. No hopers. Amazing how many fans were fine with these guys as well. Still, rectified now. It just baffles me to read comments like that… devoid of reflection.
Anyway, a positive week for us. We have a big game against Southampton on Boxing Day, they’re struggling this year. The defence is a bit shite and they’ve lacked last seasons consistency. They can damage us though. This is the sort of banana skin game that wipes out any good you’ve dropped on a City 3 points. A drossy draw is exactly what we don’t need here!
If we can get through to new year maxing out points in December… how incredible would that be? AMAZING.
Right, I hope you enjoyed your mobile friendly news update. See you tomorrow.
LOVE BEING BACK IN LONDON. X
P.S. Check out my Arsenal DNA