Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, December 19, 2016

It was interesting to practice 10 Vs 11 against City

By 1970's Gooner

It's not very often that a team gets the chance to practice, in real life conditions, a 10 against 11. It of course happens when a player is sent off and then the rest of the players have to play that extra hard and with determination to get a result.

Arsenal were indeed playing with 10 men against the 11 of City. But this was from the beginning of the match, for dozy Ozil was (not) at it again. He went missing as he often does in the big games. He doesn't fight, is not determined, does not mark, does not tackle and his passing is inaccurate.

Mezut Ozil is Arsenal's engine and like for every machinery if that engine is for whatever reason short circuited then the rest do not and cannot work.

This is what happens when Ozil is not at the races as the rest of the players are not that creative to take up that role. Xhaka and Coquelin are mainly defensive players. Walcott and Iwobi are wide players and Cazorla who would have offered some creativeness is of course missing.

He is missing because Wenger selected him to play against Ludogorets at the Emirates, a tie that we were odds on favourites to win. It was a mistake of course taking into account his injury record.

The other player that could have offered some creativity is Ramsey but he has been burnt out due to the curious decision by Wenger to start him in the first game of the season after his heroics in the Euros. For some reason he rested Koscienly and Giroud but not Ramsey....

The absence of Ozil in the City game meant that the only creative player left on the pitch was Sanchez who was finding himself coming back to play the role of playmaker.

Ozil has no divine right to start let alone not being substituted. He has been letting the team down more often than not this season and his attitude is unacceptable.

Wenger should have taken him off when he put the Ox on and kept Iwobi on. Iwobi could have moved in the number 10 role instead. He would have had a much bigger impact on the game for the remaining minutes than what Ozil offered for three quarters of the game.

But no, Ozil is irreplaceable! Well he isn't.

And if he doesn't want to sign a new contract then he can hop off to China.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The three improvements Wenger needs to bring about to win against Man City

By 1970's Gooner

Arsene Wenger did not rest the key players for the midweek game against Basle in the CL. The performance was very good and the result meant that we toped our group (which didn't help in the end).

However the team which was already showing signs of tiredness even before that game got even more jaded.

Almost the same players that played against West Ham on the Saturday traveled to Basle for the Tuesday game and then on to the home Saturday game against Stoke. Three days later those same players were lining up against Everton at Goodison Park.

The performances prior to the Everton game were beginning to show some tiredness and some slack play. Yet the results were of course as expected. The opponents were not after all that good as to worry us tremendously.

Everton away was a different game of course. Although we didn't play that well in the first 20 minutes we got a deflected goal. But we did not kick on from there and in my opinion tiredness coupled with overconfidence resulted in a below par performance.

Could Mustafi have prevented those two goals? Nobody knows. Wenger said it wasn't Gabriel's fault. Whose was it then? It was the whole team's because no one closed down the cross for the first goal and no one played that well to prevent Everton's overall drive in the second half.

Wenger had a bad game too. His substitutions were ineffective and inappropriate. He made two subs on 71, Iwobi and Giroud for Walcott and the Ox. He was going for the game but it was obvious the subs were not affecting the game enough and Everton were overrunning us in midfield.

His next substitution should have been a defensive one in order to safeguard a point. He should have taken dozy Ozil off and put Elneny on to make sure that 'if you can't win a game then at least do not loose it'.

He didn't.

Now he has to get his finger out as well as the players. He has to re energise them, give them belief and a game plan to beat City. A victory which will send a statement across the land that Arsenal are up for it and gunning for the title.

Otherwise let someone else take it on.