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Match Preview – Arsenal vs Fulham (Home – Match 11) (Post #19)

Hello. Some of you have asked as to why I had placed a very short Preview to Arsenal-United and why there was no post match analysis. Honestly after our emasculating display, I was considering just forgetting all about football let alone what has happened to our beloved club. But I’ve gathered myself because if you’ve been following a club for 12+ years, watching, playing and growing with the beautiful game and with one of its finest clubs, so it doesn’t go away that easily even if people running things are just taking from Arsenal and not giving back. I couldn’t get myself to sit and write this but now I have, it is a short rant and then hopefully after, we can resume to the Match Preview for Arsenal vs Fulham … God help the Gunner Nation.

My Diatribe:

1. RIP Arsenal-United:  Arsenal vs United has always been a heated event, with the whole world waiting to see what unfolds because it is this match that makes or breaks the season for either team. In that sense, it WAS much like, if not more significant than the El Classico. Gone are those days. Even Sir Alex said rightfully, this game has lost the spark that it used to have over the years. One sided game is a nice way of putting it, it was more like one side played the game.

2. Player reactions: Poor Wilshere was the only one showing some grit and manfully got a red card. You could see the pain etched on his face seeing his club being torn to shreds. Even Van Persie and most of Old Trafford seemed to cringe at our dignity being thrown down the gutter.

3. Fan reactions: As fans, watching it was even more painful. The fellow Arsenal fans I was watching with could hardly see each other and just kept their heads down because we knew what kind of an evening it was going to be at the 2:38 mark when RvP scored with his first touch, inevitably.

4. Legends’ reactions: And somewhere, our legends- Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams must have been left fuming at how the badge in the front of the jersey had been let down. Even the boss had his head down. When your leader had given up hope then well, what else is there to say? Heck, even Roy Keane would have been disappointed.

5. Foresight: Something tells me that if things don’t go well against Fulham, Tottenham in the coming weeks, then we may be looking at big changes come the end of season. I would not be shocked to see Cazorla join PSG, Podolski elsewhere where he would play more centrally and Theo is sadly already one foot out the door. To make it worse, we will still have Bendtner, Chamakh, Squillaci and the rest still eating up our wage structure without having to put one minute of effort wearing the Arsenal jersey. Heck, if they are getting paid £60,000 a week for just chilling around, where do I sign up??

6. Almost a decade of … (you decide):

Exhibit A: It was tough to swallow that we would never be the first London club to lift the Champions League. With all our potential and achievements, we haven’t reached Europe’s footballing pinnacle and it doesn’t look like we will get there anytime soon. I am hoping like millions of other Gunners that in our lifetime we will see the Arsenal pick up that trophy. #Wilshere4Captain. Besides, that is not the only thing we NEED to achieve, our trophy room has been filled with dust enough to start a museum of history or no-history rather at the Emirates Stadium. And don’t say the Emirates cup is a title piece. How I miss Highbury and the glory days!

Exhibit B: Feeder club – Losing key players who moved on to greener money bills, I mean pastures-  Ashley Cole, Samir Nasri, Adebayor, Robin Van Persie, Alex Hleb, Gael Clichy, William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas and even Thierry Henry. The last two, I can understandably agree that they give it their all for the Arsenal and we know they have Arsenal DNA in them.

Exhibit C: More worryingly, we have sold very important players and not secured them- examples are Vieira (who wanted to stay, how we missed him in our midfield then), Song (who wanted to stay, how we miss him in our midfield now), Flamini, Nasri, maybe Walcott. You will have to explain to me how it makes sense that if you build someone like Alex Song up for 7 years till he is 24 and he has enough experience and came for training that day, yet he is pulled out of training to be flown off for a medical at Barca, he just had enough time to bid adieu to his now former team mates.

Exhibit D: I sincerely wish Andre Santos all the best for his future at some other club and wish to never see him wear an Arsenal Jersey, in my opinion it would be highly disrespectful to the rest of us who have year in year out, bought the Arsenal jersey amongst other things (posters, calendars, scarves….). Seriously, I think Nike knows my order in advance even before I ask. You save up all year and you also wait for Christmas or Birthday gifts hoping for it to be the new Arsenal Jersey and you have someone collecting an arch-rival’s jersey as a souvenir like we had gone to Old Trafford for tourist purposes?! Blasphemy! It is not a cultural difference, it is just COMMON SENSE!

7. Silver lining or just rainy days? : Having seen Arsenal struggle for the past 8 years, we may see a change in our upper management. It would be saddening but not shocking to hear our Boss Wenger say that he is going to retire having let us down, he truly loves our club but he is just not as supported as he used to be by David Dein. Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis and Hill-Wood have done a smart business deal and I must say an economically viable plan by “self-sustaining” Arsenal and its finances. But the Glazers came in with heavy criticism at United, yet they spent £25-50million to get the likes of Tevez, Berbatov, RvP, etc etc and keep winning trophies and then rightfully earning some money by doing business… Even Liverpool have found money and gone about getting Torres for £40million, Suarez and the rest of them for good chunks of change. David Dein’s son has taken our stars rightfully (atleast for them) to where they would find more trophies and yes of course more money. Now this Wenger resignation could cause an uproar that would lead to the ousting of the current executive board and bring in the likes of Alisher Usmanov (who would give Roman Abrahamovich a run for his money) and David Dein, his now close associate at the Red and White Army. Trust me, next year’s AGM will be far from less hostile.

Still looking for Arsenal vs Fulham Preview: Yea, let’s get this over with, I’m going to wrap this up quick-

Possible line-up: Mannone (Italian boss), Vermaelen (NOT SANTOS), Koscielny (No more own goals), Per (German Machine), Sagna (Sigh could leave soon too), Arteta (Ever our Stalwart), Cazorla (Thinking of Man City or PSG?), Walcott (could be his last few games for the Arsenal), Ramsey (suddenly our midfield is out of options!), Giroud (hard worker, keep your head up and sulk less Gunner) and Podolski (play him centrally or lose him next summer too!).

Prediction: BETTER WIN THIS CONVINCINGLY!

There are a few things I enjoy in life and one of those is Arsenal FC, let us hope the players and the manager and hopefully the board step up and bring glory back to its home. CMON ARSENAL! CMON ARSENAL! CMON ARSENAL!

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Chelsea (Home – Match 6) (Post #12)

Sigh. Our first loss of the season and it all happened because of one event- Diaby’s injury. I mentioned that he has to play a massive role in this game. His injury and hence absence in this game changed the complexion of the game. How you ask? He is a box to box player. He can break a team’s attack and thrust forward to the other end and provide the final ball. Chambo did well but this match needed a Diaby. What hurts more is the open goal and I really feel bad for Laurent Koscielny. This isn’t the first time he has scored an own goal in an important match that has made us lose all three points. Anyways, this is going to be a short Post Match Analysis only because I am a bit peeved about the result. Here we go…

I apologize but I am just a tad bit annoyed to go on and write about our performance today but we’ll get there. It’s only because it was difficult to watch us keep attacking with Chelsea parking the bus and beat us without Drogba and that too in our own stadium! Here is the match breakdown:

GK: Mannone did well despite what happened. He still needs to be a bigger physical presence. I can see him taking over from Buffon in some years. But he needs to be tougher and must impose his will, be more vociferous. All the great goalkeepers marshal their defence by yelling and pushing them. Some of the greats who showed these characters are Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann, Gigi Buffon and of course David Seaman.

DEF: I think Arsenal as a team didn’t defend well today, which is why we saw Bould get angry for the first time this season. Clearly, he wasn’t happy. The Boss made sure of that as well. Maybe this is where Mertesacker should have stayed? I believe he needed a rest but now I am having a rethink because his rotation for this game was Koscielny who scored the own goal. Corp. Jenkinson however was immense on the right flank. Well done,  Bacary Sagna will have a tough time competing for that place.

MID: Once Diaby left the pitch and Chambo came on, there was an immediate recognition that we were significantly low in terms of physical presence on the pitch (especially with Per and Giroud on the bench). Then the game seemed like what we have witnessed for the past half-decade. An interesting point a fellow Gunner brought up during the game was this- “Maybe now if we had Alex Song as a defensive midfield option, we wouldn’t have conceived these set pieces that led to the goals”. Well that’s enough food for thought.

ATT: Podolski seems to be out of it a bit. Hopefully, he doesn’t do an Arshavin. Also, I hope Giroud like Koscielny will hopefully bounce back faster and produce positive results.

 

For people studying and working through the week-

Arsenal vs Olympiakos-

Prediction: 2-0 win

Wishlist: No more injuries (otherwise we know how this will end), Wilshere coming back soon, Giroud and Koscielny proving their worth again and finally a good subway sandwich to comfort the 1-2 loss. Good night folks!

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