PSG 1-1 Arsenal. By the skin of our teeth

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wenger-bday

Morning all, Alex here with a post after a WTAF night in Paris.

Arsenal’s performance last night was reminiscent of a scene from the movie Spinal Tap. Down on their luck and missing one of their frontmen, their new manager (the pushy wife of the other frontman) secures the once famous rock band a daytime gig at Themeland Amusement Park California, in the slot before the puppet show. Realising they can’t perform their repertoire without both frontmen, the bassist pushes for them to perform a free-form jazz odyssey set. Not all the band are keen. As one remarks this type of performance is “just a series of mistakes without the ‘oops'”.

For 70 minutes last night Arsenal were an unwatchable jazz odyssey, only saved by a 20 minute reprieve where the band broke out the classics and reminded people they knew how to rock.

I got coated off quite badly last time I was on here for suggesting Coquelin is not a good footballer and his continued selection over the far superior Xhaka and Elneny is hurting the team.

And perhaps I was a little unfair on France’s answer to Scott Parker. It’s not entirely his fault, he’s just the sum total of Arsene Wenger’s continuing failure to build either attacking or defensive structure into his most complete team in a decade.

It’s been retweeted to death, but the article Pete shared yesterday exploring the issue really is worth a read. It makes the point that Arsene’s commitment to giving players freedom on the pitch is a hindrance when so many other team’s are profiting from prioritising structure and position. The difference between flying a Boeing 747 with the latest flight control system, and flying it on instinct.

Still you have to admire Arsene’s commitment to playing “free-form jazz exploration in front of a festival crowd”. Despite what the experts, the data and the results say, he’s going to do it his way.

This was borne out by his team selection where, inexplicably Coquelin was preferred again over our £34m summer signing and Alexis was started through the middle, where he has had zero impact thus far. Many, including myself, were critical of the decision to start Ospina over our number one Cech (nb Goalkeepers don’t need to be rested three weeks into the season). However the Columbian put in a man of the match performance. Nevertheless, while this may have vindicated his selection in hindsight, Ospina’s struggles in previous Champions League games meant it was a huge gamble by the manager.

I won’t cover the game in detail except to say the first half was dismal. We were destroyed by PSG and if it wasn’t for Cavani channelling his inner Chamakh it could have been 5 or 6. Aurier was superb for them, selling Monreal dreams all night. Note how no tactical changes were made to help Monreal who was clearly struggling.

Opsina, as mentioned, was our man of the match but that’s more a testament to how little cover we gave him. It wasn’t until Wenger brought on Giroud and Xhaka on the UEFA-mandated 70 minute mark that the team started to perform in any meaningful way.

And it was a good reaction. Iwobi who had been one of our better players, Ozil, Sanchez and Cazorla, suddenly found some fluidity. Alexis’s goal followed a great team move – something that has been noticeably lacking this season.

It gives you some hope for the future, because with that XI, our best XI we could be a match for most teams. What depresses me is thinking what the score might have been, had we started with that team. What worries me is that Wenger will revert to his cherished “Coqzorla” midfield, despite its head-bangingly obvious limitations.

Wenger reminded us again before the game that he had turned down an offer from PSG in order to stay at Arsenal, as if that’s something we should be thankful for. I expect he will point to this result and say a point away at the French champions is a good result. Unfortunately, the scoreline does not tell the whole story where, due to his stubborn team selection and tactical limitations, we survived by the skin of our teeth.

Sorry again for all the misery. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel for more of it.

Have a good day!

485 Responses to “PSG 1-1 Arsenal. By the skin of our teeth”

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  1. Champagne charlie

    MrJ
    “can’t see exactly what you said that troubles, after watching football for x amount of years – then therein lies the problem. And I’m at pains to have to explain it to you! All the responses to that comment should be more than an indicator.”

    Yep, definite answer in here….. You say nothing but ramble about how people arguing what I said should be answer enough. Which it isn’t, so have another go at answering why it’s wrong to say the point was satisfactory and that anyone expecting a win beforehand was foolish. I’ll wait, still.

    Won’t be answering any of those asinine questions though all are of no relevance to what I’ve said and in fact are just there as ever dense of your inability to comprehend what I’m asking if you and what I’ve actually said.

    Jeff
    You compared agueros 9 goals this season to our total of 8 and said it serves as a marker for how we won’t be competing. Well he’s scored equal or more than all other teams in the league so allow me to call you a fucking moron with absolute confidence for using that as any kind of genuine barometer of the season ahead.

  2. Batistuta

    Quick question…What exactly do some of you want

    Win-you moan
    Draw-you moan
    Lose-you moan

    Pretty much all of us agree Wenger is an old mad dictator bordering on needing to be remanded in a psychiatric home but how do some of you find the energy to be so negative all day, all year no matter the result, that has to take some special kinda power….i need someone to explain it to me

  3. Jeff

    Charlie you ibred ret@rd. Some of the “all the other teams” have won PLs, CLs – we haven’t. So fuck off back inside your mums vagina where you still want to be.

  4. Ughelligunner

    Cc fighting with the Js on this site. What’s the common factor among the Mr J, Joe, Jeff….might be the same person.

  5. Joe

    Never mind stats to tell us how shit we are

    All you have to do is watch every match we’ve played this season bar 30 m vs watford and we have been absolute shit

    And all the excuses are out already.

    – euros
    – international break
    – breaking players in slowly
    – players need to adapt.

    But it’s ok. According to Akbs the season starts now. The 5 dropped points don’t matter. Us playing shit don’t matter

    Because wenger can turn this around. Just look at the last 10 seasons at how wenger is at leading preparing motivating the team

    Don’t you remember all those times in the last decade we were leading the league or there abouts in Jan/feb and wenger led the men to the title and we didn’t collapse

    Oh wait.

    Shit.

    Idiots yhink this season is going to be any different.

    Only difference is he spent 90m and now will he show us a new way of how useless he is

    Rope a dope hahahaha

  6. Champagne charlie

    “Charlie you ibred ret@rd. Some of the “all the other teams” have won PLs, CLs – we haven’t. So fuck off back inside your mums vagina where you still want to be.”

    Haha so your original comment was shown up as utter bollocks and you resort to talking up past glories? I’m “ibred” though apparently….(assuming that’s the latest Apple device?) or your bumblefuck attempt to insult me.

    We’ve also won the league Jeff previously, so go ahead and do a U-turn on your latest stance because you love to angle at anything that aims to shit on us. Stick to your morals at least princess

  7. Jeff

    Ugli,

    Any abuse on my part is always a reciprocation. Charlie is logically, literately and surgically challenged, so he resorts to the words he knows best when he feels upset.

  8. Jeff

    “Haha so your original comment was shown up as utter bollocks and you resort to talking up past glories? I’m “ibred” though apparently….(assuming that’s the latest Apple device?) or your bumblefuck attempt to insult me. ”

    The fact that you are in any doubt leaves not doubt.

  9. kc

    Chumpagne Charlie and Trollexander Henry are nothing but Untold Trolls. They’re on here simply to try and recruit new cult followers. Their numbers are falling fast so their getting quite desperate.

  10. Jeff

    And all this because I dared to say Aguearo has scored more goals than we have. Well I’m glad it upset you. It should upset you but you’re taking it out on the wrong person. If you stopped praying to him once in a while inside that candle-lit shrine of yours you might see where this season is going AGAIN!

  11. Champagne charlie

    “this because I dared to say Aguearo has scored more goals than we have. Well I’m glad it upset you. It should upset you but you’re taking it out on the wrong person. If you stopped praying to him once in a while inside that candle-lit shrine of yours you might see where this season is going AGAIN!”

    Nobody argued the fact Aguero has 9 himself to our 8, that’s the bit you’re missing. I said what’s your point and you came back stating it means we won’t be competing this season…

    I have since presented the fact that Aguero has scored equal to or more than every other team in the league so your original nonsense aimed at Arsenal was entirely that….nonsense.

    Meaning none of what you said has any bearing on our abilities this season, but here you are now trying to deflect and suggest people are getting annoyed at facts regarding Aguero. We aren’t, just as usual having to spend time correcting your twisted logic that attempts to undermine Arsenal – as you pretend to be a fan. Hope you finally follow

  12. Joe

    Jeff

    Akbs hate stats that prove wenger is an idiot and a cunt

    CC was over the moon with xhaka signing and how we were title challengers

    Xhaka can’t get a match and we look as bad as we have in the last 10
    Seasons. Even in the years of denilson and betdner.

    But hey it’s only 5 matches in and aguero has more goals than all of the offensive genius wenger’s Arsenal

    Yeah it is only 5 matches in and we have been ahit in all 5 and we’ve played no one of note and even when we play a somewhat top
    Team we drop points.

  13. STV

    Peter Chech, Coquelin, Alexis,Lucas Perez, Chamberlain and Ozil should be dropped for the next game.

    Walcott Giroud Iwobi
    Xhaka Cazorla Elneny
    _______Back 4___
    ______ Ospina___

  14. STV

    CC instead of comparing that stat to some midtable or relegation fodder teams why don’t you compare our record to top 6 teams?. Are we scoring enough? Is Lucas Perez addition any helpful? How is Giroud Alexis or Iwobi performing?

    So far the answer is negative.

  15. Sam

    # Quick question…What exactly do some of you want

    Win-you moan
    Draw-you moan
    Lose-you moan #

    Ha ha ha!!
    They will answer that
    the right answer exposes their stupidity so your question will be ignored

  16. tunnygriffboy

    Joe

    Rope a dope is not a tactic per se you plum 🙂

    It means that you get something out of a game you probably don’t deserve to.

    As usual anyone tryi g to be a little bit objective and positive is greeted with your long diatribes of venom and sarcasm.

    Dissenter

    Giddiness ?

    What is giddy about saying the selection was wrong, we didn’t play well but I’m happy with the point ? That’s what I’ve been posting re Tuesday’s game.