The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Mesut Bashing, Double Pivots And The Power Of The Chocolate Digestive.

“Booing Ozil?! Nice work, guys…”

Morning, folks.

There is a pep to my step brought about my the onset of warmer climes. Whilst Spring and Summer may not be upon us yet, the scent is in the air, wafting across the wind pleasantly like the sensation of passing a decent burger joint at 3 in the morning. I hate the cold, you see; I’m not built for it and become less-than-enamoured by the concept of moving from the warmth. Cold breeds indolence in me.

Warmer temperatures mean more time for blogging as I’ll be inclined to sleep less. Those of you that have stuck with this site throughout the winter should see some improvements and small changes across the upcoming months.

The news out there seems mostly focused on as much negative spin that can be put on Mesut Ozil’s current ‘plight’ – for want of a better word. I’m sure our German friend himself would admit that his form isn’t where he would like it to be and he’s had a few bad games recently. Hardly the end of the world when you look at it in the simplest of terms. I see it that way, I see no other way to view it. The media, those relentless merchants of skullduggery, like to find the smallest piece of negative information and send it spiralling out of control as it suits their agenda and enables units/clicks to double/triple. In short, bad news and misery sells, so perpetuate it ad nauseam.

The saddest thing for me is that all this dross has obviously found its way to Ozil’s door and prompted both him and his teammates to speak up. For what? A few bad games in a season that, statistically, has produced a lot of good and only very little reason for concern.

Lukas Podolski recently stated:

“I think Mesut is a fantastic player. He’s going to give a lot of joy to Arsenal and to Germany.

“He’s still young and a good friend of mine. He’s played many great games and he will play many more. I think some of the criticism was a bit exaggerated and unfair at times.”

Sums the whole thing up perfectly, doesn’t it. Too many Arsenal fans (not the majority, mercifully) want results quickly. Patience is certainly not a virtue possessed by the minority and their opinions get given greater exposure because they court controversy. In a environment as saturated as Arsenal’s online community it’s very easy to allow what appears popular to become what you assume is truth  - my friend Daniel Cowan wrote a very good piece on exactly this kind of thing – when, invariably, nothing has absolute clarification, just personal viewpoint.

Elsewhere, discussions have taken place about our ‘double pivot’ in the absence of Jack Wilshere. Both Aaron Ramsey and Kim Kallstrom are nearing availability, but neither is expected to be fully prepared to play for another week. With games at home to Everton and away in the Allianz Arena, the two central roles in front of the back four are an area of a little concern.

In my opinion, Flamini and Oxlade-Chamberlain are the two ideal candidates. The Flame will sit and do the dirty work whilst Th Ox can charge forward and get into the box. It’s almost impossible to predict what Arsene will do for the FA Cup fixture, but I’d hazard a guess it will be that and not the dreaded ‘Flamteta’ axis so many find disagreeable – incidentally, I hate that term. I hate like I would a mortal enemy.

That game against Everton approaches quickly, and I can’t say I’m not nervous. We all know that blunders in the Premiership mean a Cup is now our most likely avenue for glory. Whilst true, statements such as that add a little extra spice and pressure to proceedings. I’m nervous thinking about it now, but have the ideal coping mechanism: Chocolate Digestives.

I spoke about my love for those biscuits treats when I guested on the Suburban Gooners Podcast, and in that context they were talked of as a way of relieving glumness after a miserable defeat. Crunching your way through packet after packet when the chips are down might seem like a bit of a grotesque method of dealing with Arsenal and all their wonderful  dramas, but it is one I’d recommend fully.

I love ‘em, and will be expecting substantial sponsorship from McVitie’s in the not-so-distant future once my antics reach their head offices. At least that’s the plan, folks; global domination one packet of biscuits at a time.

I’m going to end things today on that note. The comments patiently await all your thoughts on the day’s subjects. Don’t be shy, drop me a line. Interacting with all you lovely people is fun, even when you call me names.

Tomorrow I’ll be back at the usual time with a preview of the big game. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Arsenal
  • LeBigMac says:

    Might I refer you back to the 1st of March when I replied with this stat:

    “Mesut Ozil has created more chances for team-mates (73) than any other player in the top five European leagues this season”

    How a guy that manages this kind of input gets the shocking bile and hatred from so called fans and Micky Mouse sensationalist reporters is beyond me.
    I think we can safely say the tail is wagging the dog as the papers print the bile and the idiot no opinion fan reads it and spews it back out.

    Give the guy a break.
    He will be amaze balls, just watch!

    March 7, 2014 at 9:12 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      @LeBigMac: Makes you wonder, doesn’t it; if he has those stats when he’s a flop, what are they going to be like if his form picks up

      March 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm
  • John Batty says:

    Back in the day, clubs had supporters. The antics of the – far too many – in constantly disparaging Özil (and others) online, hardly qualifies for that description.

    March 7, 2014 at 9:38 am
  • atid says:

    Ozil is basically in the team to create chances and he is doing that fantastically. I don’t want to see a 42m player defending and charging back.

    It is up to wenger to build his team around his most expensive signing ever. The players around him need to be more dynamic, with.pace and movement. I am afraid that static players like giroud bendtner sanogo and podolski are not what ozil needs. Neither are poorer carbon copies like cazorla and wilshire. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against those players, but it is why ozil works best with Walcott chamberlain Ramsey and rosicky. So the quicker Ramsey gets back the better. Quite who plays up front I don’t know, but I wouldn’t mind seeing cazorla play there ala Messi. I think seeing as most Cbs are 6ft plus, playing against a 5’6 low gravity striker would present new challenges. We could always bring on the big lumps if we are still chasing the game in the last 20, but I would start with 3 at the back and sagna gibbs as wing backs. This would peg back the threats that everton pose on the flanks in baines/pienaar and Coleman/miracles cut those off and lukaku has no supply. Cazorla chamberlain and rosicky darting onto those ozil through balls…. Simply breathtaking

    It’s just a shame we don’t have a suarez, sturridge, Ronaldo, Cavani, falcao.

    V everton (please)
    ………………Szczesney
    koscielny mertesacker vermaelen
    Sagna………Flamini………….gibbs
    Chamberlain… ozil…….rosicky
    ……………….cazorla

    Bench (from) fabianski Viviano Jenkinson Monreal zelalem kallstrom arteta podolski giroud sanogo bendtner gnabry ryo.

    I believe that formation would really work for us and if sagna leaves, getting a fluid attacking Rb in like an alves to teach Jenkinson and bellerin how to.play that way will really help. Walcott could replace cazorla with Ramsey right and chamberlain left.

    May be a bigger and better beast instead of Flamini and we are good to go. It won’t work every game but an excellent plan b based on the opponents weaknesses.

    March 7, 2014 at 10:46 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      @atid: Great comment. Thank you.

      3 at the back is interesting, but I’, not sure we’d need an extra defender in there.

      March 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm
  • Alex says:

    Great comments as always all and a supwe post. However, I find myself needing to Ask James a key question not directly related to the Özil debate: milk or Plain chocolate digestives?

    March 7, 2014 at 10:55 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      @Alex: That’s an important question and one I should have addressed. Milk chocolate, all the way.

      March 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm
  • fazjac_debra says:

    Loved you on Suburban Gooners, they’re a wonderful podcast. I wonder if all the negative press and all those arseholes giving him a hard time could affect him in a bad way or can players ignore it?

    March 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

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