It is at that point in the season now where the games are coming thick and fast as we prepare for tomorrow nights crucial clash at home to Olympiacos. The win at Leicester, more specifically the manner of the win at Leicester, should see the team full of confidence; there are no two ways about it we need the 3 points. Our recent home record in Europe doesn't make for great reading seen as we have only won 6 of our last 12 ties at the Emirates, which is extremely disappointing for a club such as Arsenal's. Wenger has had his say, via The Guardian;
“You have to win home games if you want to qualify, it is as simple as that,We cannot afford to drop points against anybody at home.”
“We are now in a position where we do not want to talk too much about the statistics, we just want to win our games and I’m confident we will,”
On the injury front things aren't looking too good for the match, with doubts over a few key players, particularly in the defensive midfield position, from Arsenal.com;
On Coquelin returning to training…
"He has been back since yesterday and I will have to see how he responds to two days of training, but he looks alright".
On Flamini and Arteta…
"Both have slight muscular problems, but I think Flamini has a scan today and Arteta certainly as well"
On Gabriel back but no Giroud due to suspension…
On whether Flamini or Arteta are serious injuries…
"No, they are not big injuries. It is a question of days".
If I was the manager I wouldn't risk Coquelin for tomorrow nights match as we have that huge game against United at the weekend, as he really has become a pivotal member of the team. You would be hard pressed to go back and find a game in which the Frenchman was poor; he always works hard and the rest takes care of itself.
As the manager said above getting the win is crucial, but especially given the fact that we then face two games against Bayern Munich, which will obviously be very difficult to get much out of. If we don't win tomorrow the pressure going into both those matches would be overwhelming, so let's hope the team can get the win we need and produce another performance akin to Saturdays display of attacking, fluid football. Read my piece on the Leicester game here.
Right that will do for now, have a good one!
Follow on twitter @__CosmicKid.
Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.
Gary Neville has written a little piece in the Telegraph about how the only thing that Arsenal need to change in order to win the league is their preparation before a match.ReplyDelete
As is the way with the modern Telegraph article it is a piece full of pictures (because we all know football supporters are not very good with words what with us all being thick dumbos) but towards the end the text does flow a little as he gets to his main point, which is that he is a pretty nifty mindreader.
Now I must be quite fair here, because Mr Neville starts the final section of his piece with the phrase, “I may be wrong” and for that I give him the fullest commendation. How many newspaper articles do we read in which the journalist starts, “I may be wrong”? No more than two a year I suspect. Add in “and of course this is just my opinion” and you might get up to four a year.
So good on Mr Neville – a good preamble before his telepathic powers are revealed.
“I sense,” (he says), “that Arsenal players go into training on Friday morning thinking about how they’ll pass the ball, score with a bicycle kick, how much fun they are going to have. On the Saturday morning they still might not be switched on. Sunday morning is too late. It’s fatal to think like that before a big game.”
Now again, saying “I sense” is to be commended. Most people who claim telepathic powers in football tend to tell us all for a fact what we are thinking: we are annoyed, frustrated, angry etc.
What is so curious however is that with all the blogettas and their allies in the national press, on radio and on TV, are actually so utterly bad at telling me what I am thinking. “Arsenal fans were outraged by…” I am told, but no, I wasn’t, and as far as I know Blacksheep and Walter weren’t either. Nor were a lot of people who kindly give up some of their spare time to reading this blog, as far as I can tell.
Mr Neville continues, “My idea was that by the time you went to bed the night before that game you had played The game and imagined it in your head. You had played every pass and made every movement.” (An interesting capitalisation in “played The game” – not sure what it means unless The game is now a deity. Maybe.)
“Over these past three or four years I don’t believe Arsenal have prepared mentally for the biggest games.”
Again, a spot of honesty with “I don’t believe”. But in the end it is a piece of pure and total supposition. He’s not at the training camp, he doesn’t seem to have talked to any Arsenal players, he certainly never played for Arsenal. It’s pure supposition and attempted telepathy. Honest supposition but nothing more.
How different the world would be if we had a newspaper that engaged in evidence based football reporting. Not wild supposition, not mind reading, not interviews with players and managers who can’t be guaranteed to tell you the truth, but actual analysis of what happened.
Of course I know that people don’t like it, because the sort of things it comes up with is that Coquelin is one of the top defensive midfielders in Europe, that last season Ospina was one of the top goalkeepers (no one denies he has slipped a bit this season, but I can’t find a goalkeeper who never slipped – hell I can remember Pat Jennings being highly criticised by Arsenal fans after a poor match with multiple references to his Tiny Tott past.) Oh yes and that Ozil puts through more passes leading to goal scoring opportunities than any other player in the Premier League.
So by and large evidence is out, because it is awkward.
Good observations! He was heartbroken in the commentary box...couldn't believe what he was saying....Nice to see you back Suresh!ReplyDelete