“Yaya, what have I told you about leaning back before you strike the ball?!”
Apologies for the lateness of post again today. You may lay the blame at the door of my future wife this time. Truthfully, I’m glad of the extra time to write today’s entry. There’s a bewildering ocean of opinion out there and without a little time to think for yourself it would be easy to sink to the bottom.
Losing at Stoke is bad enough. Accusations of “roughing us up” and howls of derision aimed toward the dubious penalty award might be justified in some respects, but the bottom line is Arsenal didn’t play well, didn’t create chances and, on the whole, looked lethargic and disinterested. As much as I can understand the need to find an explanation that enables the blame to be put elsewhere, it is absolutely wrong. We can hold responsible no one other than the players that took to the field. Continue reading
Celebrating a magical third.
This may well be the briefest match review you’ll read. Don’t hold it against me; I’m suffering with an astonishing lack of sleep and instead of heading to bed where I should be, I’m taking a few moments to ensure my run of posting every day in 2014 stays intact.
I’ve managed to see as much of the game as possible. Yesterday I worked a 12-hour shift and missed everything of the match as it occurred live – checking Twitter and live scores services whilst serving wedding food is extraordinarily tricky. It also tend to go down rather poorly with those expecting you to actually be performing the tasks you’ve been assigned. You’d think it was obvious where my priorities lie…
In order to keep things short, here’s a handy bullet-point list of a few things I managed to glean whilst checking around for footage of the game:
Last night was a game of “what if?”.
What if Mesut Ozil scored the penalty? What even the referee had used a little lenience and shown Szczesny yellow instead of red? What if we’d been able to compete with Bayern Munich with an equal amount of players? What if Arjen Robben wasn’t such a monumental disgrace of a footballer?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to excuse our loss and claim that any of the above would have made a difference. I’d have simply preferred to see the manner in which the game played out if the aforementioned didn’t occur. Bayern were very worthy winners over 90 minutes. They have a team of exceptional players and looked very impressive in possession of the ball. You couldn’t help but be impressed – aside from Robben that is, who writhed around and irritated as he always does, and even appeared to spit on Bacary Sagna at one point. Continue reading
Having played Streetfighter 2, Olivier shared his love for M.Bison…
Geeezzz. That wasn’t the tonic I’d hoped for.
Moving forward, drawing against Manchester United isn’t catastrophic; the world won’t implode and the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse aren’t waiting atop a hill to charge at the unsuspecting. Things will move one from here. However, I can’t help but think it was all a touch anticlimactic.
With a resounding defeat haunting us, we went into the game with an air of nerves and unrest hanging over the team and the fans. It showed in the performance. I struggle to recall another game between the two teams where neither looked eager to press forward for the win. United came with a parked bus and the hope to sneak it on the counter. Arsenal looked more concerned with not making mistakes than taking a risk going forward. Continue reading
Matt Damon’s character in Elysium opens the scoring.
Where to start, huh?
Saying that things “didn’t exactly go as planned” might be the biggest understatement in recent times. With the well-documented run of tough fixtures heading our way, it was considered crucial to get things off to a good start; to lay down a marker of intent and strike fear into opponents, making even the most snide of media pundit finally sit up and take notice.
Arsenal did a fantastic job of taking that concept and doing the complete opposite. Even now as I’m typing, words are failing me. Knowing how to explain such a monumental failure is a tricky thing. There isn’t much you can put it down to other than an off day, which almost sounds like a cheap excuse. I know some are angry; some wish for heads to roll and those responsible to be subjected to horrendous tortures in very public places. Players have been singled out and mercilessly ripped to shreds by people with zero playing time as a professional footballer.
I find all that kind of stuff tiresome. All the factions have re-emerged, our fan group is bickering and abusing itself. Continue reading
The Ox wheels away in delight. Nice legs, Speroni…
Just what the Doctor ordered. A delicious, spirit-enriching victory was consumed by supporters yesterday and now all is right in the world. Birds sing, the sky is blue, children frolic in meadows. Happy days.
Perhaps that’s taken it a little too far. Drawing at Southampton was greeted with such incredible dismay that I just assume a routine, relatively formulaic victory at home would be received in the opposite manner. Can you imagine what will happen if we lose or win in a big game? The mind boggles.
Beating Crystal Palace yesterday was expected. Home fixtures against sides considerably lower down the league table invariably are. Continue reading
Giroud celebrates with Cazorla. I have no idea what he’s trying to do…
Before I get into my review of the game, I feel it’s best to start by complimenting our opponents. Arsenal were undeniably poor last night, but that shouldn’t be used as a way of describing the result when Southampton acquitted themselves admirably. From the kick-off, they hassled and pressured and imposed their own passing game on us once they gained possession.
In Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw they have 2 of the best prospects in the Premiership and they’ll do well to hold on to either. When the big boys come waving their cheque books, it’ll be a great shame to see such a good side dismantled, but such is the modern game. I genuinely believe Southampton could push for one or two honours if they can keep the nucleus of their squad intact.
In the first half, Arsenal were woefully abject. We’ve hardly fired on all cylinders at times this season, but have always shown enough in the important moments to rightfully get results. Yesterday evening we floundered and could quite easily have found ourselves trailing by a greater margin at the break were it not for fortune and some excellent defending from Koscielny. Continue reading
In case you missed the many ‘Emirates at Night’ pictures…
One of the perils working as a Chef is the frequency with which you’re required to handle very sharp utensils. Yesterday, whilst handling the aforementioned, I managed to slice through a couple of fingers on my right hand. Painful, and the side effect that I’m just realising is how difficult lacerated digits make it to type efficiently. It’s taken me nearly 4 times as long to write the first paragraph as it would normally.
With that utterly useless piece of information out of the way, let’s move on to discussing the Arsenal fortunes of yesterday. Having watched the game again – I suffer with insomnia – this morning, it was an altogether pleasing experience. As far as spectacles go, I doubt the we’ll be seeing any commemorative DVDs hitting the shelves any time soon, but we progressed to the 5th round scoring 4 goals and beating our opponents with minimal fuss. Continue reading
It was clear everyone wanted to be like Tomas Rosicky.
This isn’t going to be a particularly easy review for me to write. Ordinarily, I like to immerse myself in every aspect of the game – often watching again after the first live viewing. Today that’s going to be a little tricky. Having spent the vast majority of yesterday slaving over a hot stove, little or no time has been afforded to watch the 2-0 win over Fulham.
Since arriving home last night at 11.30pm, brief highlights scattered around the internet are the most I’ve been able to get my grubby paws on. From what I can muster, the performance was some distance from vintage, but the result was exactly what we wanted. Santi Cazorla appears to have rediscovered his shooting boots with a fine brace, and other than that there isn’t a whole lot to rave about. Continue reading
‘A’ is for, “A bloody painful last fifteen minutes”
Those nerves I mentioned yesterday, they came back. With a vengeance. During the last 15 minutes when we inexplicably allowed the worst Villa team I’ve seen in years back into the game, my poor innards were treated to a maelstrom of curious sounds and pained exhausts. Before the game I’d actually settled down and was prepared to enjoy a pleasant evening’s viewing. After that glorious 59 second period in which Giroud and Wilshere netted superb goals, any remnants of terror washed away absolutely. Or so I thought.
Oh, Arsenal, how you love to torment me.
When reviewing Arsenal, it’s often easy to point our certain areas where you believed improved could be made and end up sounding churlish. We came through an away fixture with three points and that’s all that matters. Continue reading