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 🙂