Wooooaaaahhhh… did I wake up FRESH from the news. I could run a marathon. I could climb a mountain. My head is so clear now Mustafi is gone I think I’m going to apply for a job at SpaceX on the rocket science team.
The German World Cup winner held us back in life, now he’s gone. Good riddance. No sentimentality here. He was a terrible, terrible signing and I am here, with you, thanking the footballing gods for lifting him from the club.
I always thought he was just a nightmare center-back, but when the rumblings came my way that he was difficult behind the scenes, it was time to exit.
Thoughts and prayers for Schalke… Christian Gross as their new manager, Kolasinac as their captain, Mustafi as their defensive rock… could you imagine a worse film poster?
Well, that felt a little more like the sort of Arsenal/United match we’re used to. I mean, for a 0-0. 30 shots, a tactical joust, and some very good individual performances… it wasn’t bad.
We rode our luck at times, no doubt, but at the highest level, that’s how it goes. We could have lost 2-0, but equally, we could have taken the game 2-0.
I actually left the 0-0 frustrated, which is be progress considering where we’ve been. A few of our players weren’t firing at 100% and we squandered the chance to hit a United that felt there for the taking in the second half. (more…)
Well, today is huge. Everton were beaten by Newcastle giving Arsenal the opportunity to go level points with them AND Spurs in the table. Both teams have a game in hand, but let’s be clear, some sections of the Arsenal fanbase have been purring over both managers, dreaming of the alternative reality where we’d hired them. I’m not sure the extra £12m a year looks like good value at the moment.
Today is one of the dreamy opportunities to close that gap when those around us are flapping around like a seagull trapped in a Pot Noodle container. Having to do that against a team that has the attacking options of United is going to be tough. Today is basically our very good defence versus their very good attack.
The main difference between the sides since the last time we met is that Arsenal has found a bit of a formula when it comes to attack. Since the emergence of ESR in the side, we’ve gone from creating 10 shots a game to 16. That’s quite the jump. Outside the shots output, we’ve just looked more cohesive in general. We can play some nice football at times, especially when the runners are on the pitch.
Arsenal takes on United in a huge game that is going to go some way to deciding the fates of both teams this season.
If United win, they’re in the title race, and this will be a big moment for them after their dismal loss to Sheffield United in the week.
If Arsenal wins, it’ll cement us as contenders for Europe. Beating Southampton was massive, but it means very little without beating United. This match also sets the tone for a very rough run of games. Leeds, Wolves, Villa, Leicester and City will define if we make the top 6. I feel more confident than I did a few weeks ago, but let’s be real, this season has been very, very hard to predict, so who knows what is coming.
I’ve been writing for a few weeks that the two most important games of the month would be the Southampton game and the United one. Last night, we passed with flying colours, beating a top 8 contender in fairly convincing style.
Arsenal switched back to their strongest 11, bar Gabriel who was out for Luiz, Tierney who was deputised by Cedric, and Auba who continues to miss action for reasons unknown.
Things started badly, Lacazette missed a one-on-one after 50 seconds, two minutes later we were done by an outrageous corner, Nicolas Pepe dozing on the edge of the box, Armstrong smashing home with a first-time finish.