Freddie Ljungberg pulled off the ultimate power move last night, hiding a poor performance behind an election. Can’t knock that.
… and oh my, what an election. It was like watching Arsenal take a 7-2 spanking against United back in the day. Hide behind the couch type stuff. Aaron Ramsey crying into Alex Song’s nook on the team bus home. Just like Arsenal, the board were making decisions on the future of the head coach based on Twitter sentiment and an ‘Arsene knows’ tweet from Youthquake organizer, Stormzy. Labour kept the worst manager in their history on the books for another 2 seasons, the xG numbers were atrocious but the superfans on LFTV kept brushing them off as ‘hipster bullshit.’
The squad was packed full of antisemites, experts said it’d affect performance on the pitch, but no one had the balls to drop the perpetrators. The tactics were non-commital, the election needed a Gengenpress rebuttal of Brexit, but they ended up with Mesut Ozil leading the charge and it fell apart. Corbyn tried to save the terrible performance with an in-game adjustment, adopting a ‘run it into the corner’ approach with tactical voting led Hugh ‘Eboue’ Grant. It didn’t help, he was hooked on 88 after being brought on on 81. A total shambles. Some of the supporters are blaming the fans, some are blaming the media, but when all is said and done, you can’t look further than the disgrace in the dugout.
What a mess. Bourisinho just shithoused his way to Champions League glory without breaking a sweat. Owen Jones in pieces, but at least Corbyn will give him the foreword in his book.
I tried to make that as long as possible, because Arsenal really weren’t much to write home about. To be fair to Freddie, he made a lot of changes, but the same problems persisted. We’re just not much of a force over the course of 90minutes. Standard Liege operate to a very low standard of football, all of the various combinations in our squad should be putting them to the sword, but it didn’t happen.
The defending is still a bit of a mess. Maybe unfair to pin two deflected goals on the players, but the second one was a Willock error in the box. He’s really is struggling at the moment, but it’s to be expected with kids. So let’s not be too judgemental.
The comeback is really all that I care about, namely, because it was all about Saka, one of my favourite young players at the club right now. He delivered an absolute peach of a cross that found Lacazette for an easy finish. His second was a lovely one-two exchange with Martinelli and a low shot tucked into the bottom corner. The backlift was short, but the precision was deadly.
I love the idea of Saka and Martinelli flanking Aubamayang this weekend. I have my doubts Freddie will go with that much inexperience, but really, if you want to scare City, you have to get at their defenders with power and pace, those three certainly have the pace in abundance.
The game finished 2-2. Frankfurt blew their lines. We finished top of the group.
So here’s how the next round looks.
Ajax, Arsenal, Basel, Benfica, Braga, Celtic, Espanyol, Gent, Internazionale, İstanbul Başakşehir, LASK, Malmö, Manchester United, Porto, Salzburg, Sevilla
APOEL, AZ Alkmaar, Bayer Leverkusen, CFR Cluj, Club Brugge, Copenhagen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Getafe, Ludogorets, Olympiacos, Rangers, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sporting CP, Wolfsburg, Wolves
We’re seeded, but I’ve still highlighted the teams I’d like to avoid. Like last season, I think the biggest worries are the British sides. Inter are the hot foreign team I’d rather avoid, same with Shaktar just because they are a long plane ride, and Roma because I think Fonseca is a good coach.
Arsenal will have to work hard to win it this year, so let’s hope we hire in a great coach to guide us there.
Right, see you in the comments.