0-2 : Man City Vs Arsenal Match Report. Francis Coquelin – New leader emerges

Arsenal began the game from where they left off against Stoke city. Arsenal played a high intensity game against a better team in terms of quality. Stoke were nasty and there were some high intense tackles flew around, but the match against Manchester city was more about the technical quality of Arsenal team, they combined it with their energy. It was clearly evident from the starting line up and the way Arsenal started the match that Arsenal badly wanted a win just like they did against Stoke city FC.

Arsenal record against top four teams were really embarrassing. Although Arsenal started this season with a win against MCFC 3-0 in the Community Shield, but lost 2-0 lead in the EPL match at Emirates and ended the game at 2-2. Arsenal had lot at stake but Abu Dhabi club has the danger of drifting away from their Russian rivals in the EPL race. Weekend football results were least favorable for Arsenal. Every possible result went against Arsenal.

Thank god. Just only one DM

Thank god. Just only one DM

Surprisingly Arsenal started a team identical to that of team that started against Stoke. Bellerin replaced the injured Debuchy and Aaron Ramsey replaced Thomas Rosicky in the starting line up. Thankfully there was no Flamini in the starting line up. Coquelin and Ospina deservedly kept their place in the starting line up. Arsenal has wealth of midfielder in their squad but it was always puzzling when they start the match with Flamini and Arteta.

First Half

Koscielny picked up an early yellow but Arsenal started the match brightly. Arsenal Midfield was full of energy and played a high intensity game. Arsenal team took the fight to Etihad. There was no holding back. Sanchez was threatening, Giroud came close but he could not make it count. The neat passing between Sanchez, Ramsey, Monreal and Giroud made Vincent Kompany to make his usual rugy tackle on Nacho. Manuel pellegini thought it was a dive in his post match interview. WTF Manuel, it was a stone wall penalty, but with Arsenal’s luck with referee decisions fans were surprised that the referee gave us the penalty. Santi stepped up and scored. The joyful Arsenal fans had to go through some nervous moments during the final few minutes of the first half. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was clearly not in the level of Ramsey, Santi, Coquelin and sanchez, he kept losing the ball putting the team under pressure.

Second Half

History suggest that Arsenal fans can never rest, even when they were leading 4-0 at the end of first half, but this team was not nervous, they continued their dominance. Man City made some changes replacing the underrated James Milner. The Ox was replaced as expected. Though he had his moments but kept losing the balls putting the team under pressure. Hard working Sanchez was fouled by Jovetic. Awesome Santi stepped up again to deliver the dead ball into the box. Man city were known for their defense, but there was some chaos in organizing the defense for the free kick, Giroud took full advantage of it and headed the ball in. The goal made the fans go wild, but his celebrations would have made the day for the ladies. Kompany stayed on the pitch in spite of his tackle on Alexis. Flamini could have made it 3-0, but at the end it was a good win for Arsenal with a clean sheet.

The players were really knackered. Ramsey was visibly tired at 85th minute. Everyone’s hard work paid off.

Players

Santi dance

Man of the Match : Santi Cazorla. He did everything in style.

Flop of the Match : Alex oxlade-Chamberlain

It was not a good day for Ox. Bellerin and Ospina played well. The attacking threat of Bellerin will increase in multiple folds when Arsenal players starts to trust him little more. Coquelin was a real leader on the pitch. He continued his fine form and he is going to keep his place in the starting line up. His passion and awareness was really good. The 23 year old was instructing, shouting, tackling, intercepting but most importantly kept his cool.

Well done lads.

Plan A always works for Arsenal. Why Cheick Tiote will be a good addition to Arsenal?

FA Cup Round 3 -Arsenal vs Hull – 04 Jan 2015

After the disappointing start to the 2015, it seems Arsenal are back again to the winning ways. Arsenal are a team to watch when Plan A works perfectly. Everything goes south when Plan A does not work. Arsenal played some beautiful football against Hull. Though the score is only 2-0 it does not say the complete story. Arsenal could have scored 3-4 goals in the first half alone. The artistic and beautiful flow of football was visible during the first half of the match.

Match Summary

Arsenal Started the match with a strongest possible 11. Though there were couple of changes no surprise inclusions or omissions. Joel Campbell, Walcott and Coquelin were the only non-regular starters included in the starting 11. The team looked very strong with youngsters sitting on the bench. Traditionally Arsene wenger used to field few of those youngsters but luckily Arsene is quite serious about retaining the FA cup. We fielded a strong and started brightly unlike our opponents.

We started the match well. Joel Campbell made some intelligent runs. Coquelin kept things neat and tidy. Ospina was really solid when called upon. The Plan A of Arsenal style of Play really worked against Hull. Arsenal enjoyed lots of possession and always threatening to score goals in the first half. Sanchez, Cazorla and Rosicky really combined well. Run from Rosicky made our midfield very fluid and instantly triggered our attack once the ball reached his feat. Team really looked good and almost everyone were doing their job. The game looked much simpler.

Midfield

Sanchez was our man, he was everywhere. He kept the Midfield together. He was the all action star of the Arsenal team. His work rate never keeps him away from midfield, defense and attack. Arsenal team always plays through the middle. He was the key through the middle. He is a defender, midfielder and centre forward packed into one player. Its like having an additional player on the pitch. His work rate is mind blowing. We also need to rest him sometime. Hopefully the trio of Ozil, Walcott and Giroud will step up.

Wings

Monreal and Bellerin played well. Bellerin is an exciting player, he is really brave, fast and technical too. If he improves on his defensive side then we will have one hell of a player for years. Joel and Walcott had some wonderful chances. They also made some interesting runs into the box. The understanding between the wingers and full backs were lacking during the attack. The exchange of passes were not so great or may be it was completely overshadowed by our centre midfield. Wing play was completely ignored and there was no one in the box to receive the crosses from our exciting right back. The wingers understood their role and were always trying to cut inside and exchange places.

Defense

The Defense looked solid. Ospina looked assured. Hopefully he will start next few games and prove to be our number one. Chambers, Mertesacker, Bellerin and Monreal were good. Chambers, BFG and Coq were really solid. Apart from few misplaced passes Coquelin looked very assured. Hopefully his confidence will increase with this clean sheet performance and improve him as a defensive midfield player.

Goals

Some of the amazing chances did not produce any end product in the first half. Mertesacker headed home for our first from a corner. The man of the match Sanchez turned and fired the second goal to send us through to the next round.

Transfer Window

Arsenal fans were always ambitious when it comes to the transfer window. They fall for every rumour and feel disappointed at the end of the transfer window. Though Arsenal did well during the summer transfer window, their shortcomings were clearly visible. Does the Arsenal squad needs any replacement. After watching the Hull Match it might feel like we may not need anyone. At least one position requires a top quality player. Arsenal team would benefit from a really solid and strong DM player.

Role of CDM at Arsenal

The match against Hull was the perfect example why Arsene does not fancy a traditional strong Defensive Midfielder? Its also a match where the Plan A worked completely. Arsenal Struggle only against big teams who over run our midfield with pace and power. Coquelin did well against Hull. He was good in the match. In the overall match the role of coquelin/CDM was quite limited. There was hardly any counter attacking from Hull which made Coquelin look like an Arteta replacement rather than a Defensive midfield Player. Role of Arteta is underrated, he is the organizer and passer coordinating between the defense and attacking midfield. So, as per Arsenal style of play we do not need a Defensive minded midfield player. We only need a very good leader with passing skills.

Why Arsenal needs a Destroyer?

One Stone can cause a ripple effect.

One Stone can cause a ripple effect.

Arsenal will continue to struggle against teams that gets little physical. Too many nice and soft players are already in our team. Arsenal definitely needs a destroyer who can put their body on the line to test the physicality of our opponents. Currently Flamini does that role for Arsenal, but does he have the legs to do it during counter attack?

Our flow of football can be easily disturbed by pushing one midfielder into the ground. Physical teams does it every single time. Big teams hurt us with counter attacking. Jose Mourinho has a text book method to defeat Arsenal easily. BBC MOTD highlighted this year how chelsea players kicked Arsenal players every now and then to disturb our flow of play. Once our flow is disturbed then its easy to win games against Arsenal. The easier way to win against Arsenal is to disturb the flow of football.

Whole Arsenal team and squad is prepared to play the football in only one way, the Arsenal way.  Too many similar players. Does it really hurt to have a midfield destroyer with limited technical ability. I strongly believe one midfield destroyer can become vital to our squad. A world class DM would be really good but realistically I do not believe Arsene is planning to replace the club captain. A DM can help us against bigger teams and smaller physical teams. DM can also be handy in protecting the lead during the final few minutes. Its not surprising to see that we cannot defend our lead consistently. It would not hurt Arsenal to have someone like Cheik Tiote in our squad.

Cheick Tiote Bargain deal – The Real Arsene Way 🙂

Arsene Wars : The FORCE AWAKENS. Time to Order the Statue for Arsene Wenger

Arsenal Vs Stoke City 2-3

There is nothing to talk about the game. Its the same case for several years.

1. We start well

2. Concede goals

3. Chase the game

4. Score few goals

5. Lose the Game fighting.

In the game against stoke there was only one difference. We skipped the point one and started with point two. After that its the same story.

Everyone knew Arsenal team is a very good team in Europe. Only Arsenal fans will argue that its one of the top teams in the world football right now. The facts, opinions, FFP, financial argument, big spending etc.. are slowly fading away. The poker game of Arsene wenger is coming to an end. Sad times but its true. The Fans and pundits were proven right again and again. Arsene wenger is not changing anything to prove them wrong. There is no need for him to change his style. He has got too much powers. We always defend our beloved manager for what he has done to this club. He is simply the greatest manager of Arsenal. I can only hope he does not damage his own legacy.

If not for this single Incident. Arsenal would have won the match easily,

If not for this single Incident. Arsenal would have won the match easily,

Arsenal is a Mid Table Team

The usual case of shambolic defending pops up every now and then. This is the not the first time we are leaking goals in every direction. The pathetic display of our performance will be forgotten once we have couple of wins in next few matches and crawl our way towards top four. I am huge Arsenal Fan, few years ago I was arguing hours defending wenger and slating players like Fabregas, RVP etc… I am running out of excuses. I am not winning any argument. The will to defend my own club is fading. We were bullied throughout the pitch. Big teams hurt us with their quality and strike power. Small teams hurt us by playing dirty. We are not strong enough to defend against smaller teams and also we are not good enough to win against big teams. We are a mid table team with a good manager. He used to be great.

How to be a Happy Gunner?

I developed a formula to be a Happy Gunner. Its Arsene’s Guide to a Happy Gunner

1. Always live in the past

2. Be deluded and think the squad is best. Be happy when other teams lose.

3. Blame the referee and rest of the world for the defeat

4. Always talk about FFP, Big spending Clubs, greedy players and young future stars.

5. Celebrate Fourth Place Trophy

Anybody in their right might will not question the Loyalty and contribution of Arsene Wenger to this football club. He brought most supporters into this club. Its sad that many of those supporters are turning against him.

Statue for Arsene Wenger

Its time to order that Bronze statue for the man who transformed Arsenal football club into one of the greatest club in the world. I don’t he will even achieve the level of his past success at this club. Its time to say good bye to our classy manager. He should have moved upstairs after the FA cup glory. I hope he wins another trophy this season. I wanna see this man have a great farewell. There is no way he is going to be sacked. Either he retires or moves upstairs paying way for some other manager to take the team forward. He deserves a better farewell. Keep your Arseneout banners out  of Emirates stadium.

One Less competition to worry about. Drain First team players and demotivate young players.

Why would you play young players if you have the ambition to win the cup?

Why would you play your established players if you have no intention to win the match?

Capital one Cup

Capital One Cup or League cup is the least ranked cup in a season. Arsenal always uses this competition to field young players. Its understandable that young players needs some competition to showcase their talents. Though there are other youth competitions the league cup is generally viewed by the big teams as a training tournament for youngsters. Arsene even tried to field first team out of desperation to win a cup in recent years, but it back fired. We never won this cup even with first team players.

afobeRight place to showcase young talent

Having won the FA cup last year, the pressure to win a trophy was reduced. The expectation to win the league cup was not there at all. We need a bigger squad and quality young players to compete for all four titles. Though winning is a habit, its not sensible to use the first team resources for a lesser important cup.

Arsenal Squad

To win all four competitions the squad needs to be big enough, not just in terms of numbers but in quality. Arsenal squad is always thin in terms of quality. Arsenal starting 11 would win matches against the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelone etc.. but the team with squad players will lose against the likes of Bradford, Blackburn, Birmingham etc… There is a minimal gap between Arsenal first team squad players and youth players. There is a huge gap between Arsenal Starting 11 and youth players. Arsenal has been trying to win all with a thin squad. SAF has won the league with a team of average players by concentrating only on the Premier league.

I still remember the comments from Ivan Gazidis during 2011-2012 season.

Gazidis – “We’re in three competitions this year. Manchester City would love to be in three competitions,”

We ended the season without any trophy and finished 19 points behind the eventual EPL champions Manchester city. We managed to finish above tottenham with a point difference. This win all attitude cost us lots of points in the EPL league. We often finished fourth in a two horse race.

Sanchez and Chambers

Though there were several first team players in today’s match against southampton, I was really surprised to see Sanchez and Chambers in the starting line up. Both these players cost around 51million pounds. They were not bought to play in a capital one cup match. They have an important role to play in our EPL title run.Chambers is key part of our first team defensive unit which is already bleeding in every position even at this stage of the season. Sanchez needs to play an important role for us to have any chance to win the EPL league.

North London Derby

This week Arsenal will be playing one of their prestigious match against the local rivals. Though Arsenal do not play a big team this weekend still its an important match for the fans. Three points against the team which generally finishes below Arsenal is very important. We could have saved few players for that match.

Capital One cup : Motivation or De-motivation

Winning habit will make the team stronger. Players recover fasts physically after winning a game. Today Arsene has de-motivated his young players and drained some of his first team resources. They could have been fresh for the North London Derby. Arsenal and Arsene needs to plan realistically. They need to focus on EPL and FA cup. There is no point trying to win all with a thin squad.

There is no point mixing first team and youth players. Either go with a full strength team or just stick to experimentation. There were several players who excelled at these league games have left Arsenal for lower leagues. I strongly believe League cup is not a place to show case the youth talent. The loan system already has a place for them to showcase their talents.

Well done Benik Afobe for continuing the fine goal scoring form. Where was Chuba Akpom by the way?

Is Arsenal Squad really thin or its just an Unbalanced Team? Arteta is no Bastian Schweinsteiger :(

Often Arsene is being criticized for having a very thin squad. Our complete team gets exposed when one key player gets injured for some time. Last year our title charge was halted once Walcott and Ramsey were injured. Does Arsenal really have a thin squad?

Its a generally accepted view that every position should have at least two players for the whole season. 22 quality players are required. Few additional versatile and young players are also required to manage at difficult times and to adjust for various tactics. English Premier league has a squad restriction that does not allow any team to have unlimited number of players. Almost every team in EPL has similar number of players. Only quality determines the champions.

A balaced team always deserves to be champions. A balanced team always wins titles. Balance is required in Quality, Quantity and Play.

Thin Squad or Mediocre Players

First Team

Arsenal is an offensive team. There is no surprise that there are so many midfielder and forwards. Looking at the numbers, we can clearly say our squad is not thin. We had adequate number of players to challenge for all the titles. We always have adequate number of players in recent years. We have not won enough. There can be only one reason to that. We are simply not good enough.

Our squad is totally unbalanced. We have 20 players to cover 6 positions in the offensive section. We have merely 6 players to cover 4 positions. There is no way this can be justified as a balanced team. Our team is totally unbalanced.

Tracking Back

We can argue that Arsenal tend to defend as a team. That is actually not working. The need for Sanchez and Ozil tracking back is not good for the team when they are in the attack mode. Their defensive duties should help the team when we defend a slender lead in final few minutes. There is no point for Ozil to track back during the first few minutes of the game. Defenders should be strong enough to deal with those attacks. This is another reason for our ineffective counter attack. Sanchez tracking back nullifies an attacking threat, this unbalances our team. We have been playing this unbalanced team for several seasons.

Physical Unbalance

Arsenal team is Physically unbalanced compared to most teams in Europe. Arsenal Invincibles were no midgets, they were giants and cannot be bullied by any opponents. A team cannot be made of tall giants. Most technically gifted players were not big. Having a team full of midgets is not going to help us either. Physically and technically strong team is needed. Easily Man city defenders bullied our attackers. We should at least have few more stronger & taller players in our defense to help us during set pieces and counter attacks.

Out of Position

Having versatile players in the squad is really good, but its important to have specialist players. Special players will always excel in their position. Playing Ozil in wings and expecting him to track back is simply a total waste of talent. Why not have a proper winger like Podolski or buy real winger? The Ox played too was often played as a winger, but he just vanishes  from the line and moves to the middle. This allows space for the opponents to attack through wings. Though players are aware of their playing positions sometimes they fail in their unnatural positions.

Balancing the Team

Is every team in the world balanced? Does everyone plays best players in their positions? The answer is no. Even if the team is balanced in every aspect you still need someone to keep the team balanced throughout the 90 periods. The game is not one dimensional. It changes every second. The tactics has to be changed based on the opponents and players strengths. Only one man in football has that responsibility. Only a Manager can keep the team balanced. This is the reason the manager is very important in football than any other game. Many coaches like Pep stands on the touch line and always shouts at players to keep the shape of the team. They keep on instructing players to keep their shape in attack and defense. Leaders on pitch too organizes the team.

Worldcup

Germany was a totally unbalanced team. France had better strikers, wingers and defenders. They had betters players in each position. Germany took a lead and stole the game away from them slowly. Germany game changed during the course of the tournament. Ozil was played out of position. Howedes was played as Full back. They played with static full back since Lahm was playing in the middle. Lahm changed position for the final. As a team they were organised. They covered for each others weakness. Bastian Schweinsteiger was a real steel and leader on the pitch. He played a key role in keeping team organised. Unbalanced teams can win title if they keep evolving.

Managers and Leaders on pitch wins titles. Arsene is not going to shout from the touch line, Someone else has to do it for Arsenal on the pitch.

Will Laurent Koscielny be the next player to leave Arsenal?

We are in the champions league for the 17th consecutive time. Well done Arsene to keep our team in the champions league during the rough patch. We are suppose to be out of our financial shackles this season, but looking at our defensive section it does not feel so. We are facing a familiar foe. We are grouped with Dortmund for the third time in last four seasons. Our record against BvB is really good. It may not be a huge challenge. I will be happy with a draw provided none of our players are injured.

Jurgen Klopp always have nice things to say about Arsenal and Arsene. He praised our summer deals as the best. Many Arsenal fans fancies him to takeover from Arsene. His record against Arsenal is not that exciting. Though I would have liked him to be at Arsenal now, I hope Arsene retires with an EPL or UEFA champions Title.

Thin Squad

“In defence we are….the Debuchy injury has put us in a position where we don’t want more injuries,” Wenger said. No Arsene you are wrong. Its your fault. You should have been proactive in the transfer market. Everyone knew we need a CB/DM once Vermaelen was sold. Even you came out and admitted of buying a replacement. Inaction not injuries to be blamed.

50% Defenders Injured

Debuchy and Monreal injured. Chambers is 50/50 for the game. Gibbs is coming back from injury. What is the point of having a whole bunch of midfielders if you cannot have sufficient backup for defenders?. There is a clear difference between hoping to win and planning to win. Arsene did not have any plan to win. He hopes to win with a thin squad. There is no actual plan. This is not the first time our squad is like that in the past 10 years. Its like reading the same book again and again. Every time we hope there is a positive ending but we often forget we are reading the same book. We are extremely lucky to win the FA cup. Thank god for that.

Offensive Arsenal

New Formation to suit our team.

Laurent Koscielny

Koscielny comments during the transfer window:

We’ll need a goalkeeper, a right back, a midfielder and a striker. It’s important to have a minimum of these four players so that we’ll be better able to challenge over the course of a whole season against teams like Man City, Chelsea or (Manchester) United. […]

We need to recruit a very, very good striker, because it’s important for us, for competition for places, because Olivier needs that to become even better. Having a striker who scores more than 30 goals a season can help us win the Premier League. Compared to the squads like Manchester City, even United, Chelsea, you can see there’s a certain difference.

Its not just the fans and pundits that feel our squad is thin. The players too knew about weakness and lack of transfer activity. Out of respect for Arsene and Arsenal the players keep their thoughts among themselves. Laurent Koscielny comments was direct and clear. Laurent Koscielny was an unknown when he came to Arsenal. He was one of the reason we won the FA cup. He has established himself as a key Arsenal player.

How long will he stay? What is next for a player like Koscielny? Will he end his career at Arsenal? Will we question his loyalty if he leaves us?

Like every professional, players wants to move forward. Sagna, Clichy, Nasri, RVP, Cesc etc.. always said one truth before leaving Arsenal i.e. we are not active in the market. We might dislike these players but we cannot ignore the fact that they have taken a step forward (At least they thought they were taking a forward step). Currently Arsenal is not a destination for winning Titles. Unless we win trophies consistently we will continue to lose our players to clubs like Man City, Real, Barca, Bayern etc..

Goodluck Bellerin.

Is Ozil the new Arshavin? The best number 10 in the world on Wings…

Arsene’s Admission

Arsenal are not a strong physical team. The need for a strong physical presence in our midfield was well established. If Arsene believes the same like everyone else then he must have addressed it during the transfer window. Once transfer window was closed I was under the assumption that Arsene is thinking differently to fans and media. He made us believe a physical presence is not needed at the end of the transfer window, I never thought he would admit the weakness

Arsene Wenger’s Admission

” I think it’s good recruitment, we took Debuchy to replace Sagna and three young players, including Chambers, promising, Welbeck and Sanchez.

On the whole I am very satisfied. We might be able to do a little more, people say that we lack a physical presence in midfield, one profile at a Vieira or Petit, it’s true that this is what we need “

Why would you not address the weakness? If you have a plan to win the league then how come you ignore the weakness? Unless your ambition is something else.

Is ozil the New Arshavin?

LineupOzil on Arshavin’s Position

Arshavin had an immediate impact when he arrived at Arsenal. He was heavily featured on the wings. His best position was on the middle. We shifted him to the left as part of team formation or just to accommodate both Fabregas and Arshavin in the same team. We always played a play maker on the wings. This has worked for Arsenal. We did manage to play well with players like Nasri, Gervinho, Arshavin etc.. on the wings. Where are these players now?

We managed to win games with play maker on the wings. We won the FA cup with a play maker on the wings, but we have a unhappy player on the LW. All the players played in that position were unhappy. The fans turn their back on them and soon they leave the club.

I do not want to think that Ozil might leave this club. He made an immense effect on our team. We won our first trophy in his first season after so many years. He was undoubtedly one of the best number 10 in the world. Now we have shifted him to LW to accommodate both wilshere and Ramsey in the middle. Though Jack Wilshere made a huge impact from the middle, I still believe its waste of having ozil on the wings. He did not have much effect on the game. The fans are already started to blame him.

If our plan is to play the both Ramsey and Jack in the middle why not have someone like Joel & Podolski on the wings? I love ozil but will rather have someone like Podolski/Joel play on the wings rather than him.

Podoski and Joel Campell

Its clear that Arsene wenger does not trust this pair. They both did not feature in the match against Manchester City. I believer either or both would leave the club in January. I would love to have these players in our squad and use them.

Debuchy

Injuries cannot be an excuse for several years. Every year we end up blaming the bad luck. Our squad is too thin. Arsene always have a thin squad and blame on the injury to key players. He always hopes to win matches with starting 11. To win the league you need a strong squad not just 11. We are always short of 2-3 players. Hope it does not hurt us badly. Come back soon Debuchy.