Howdy?!!! Hope all you chaps (and chappettes, is that right?) had a better week than I did…. I’m not even sure if losing to QPR was the lowest point…. Yeah, that bad!!!
I’m not one to linger on bad memories or whine about bygones but the effort to keep from nit picking is killing me so I’ll go ahead and shoot the shit.
Rather than look at it as “Arsenal losing”, I’d rather look at as “QPR winning”, before you start pooh-poohing, allow me to explain myself. We were simply out-played by a team that wanted it more, and took advantage of our complacency. Our much talked about ‘7-game winning streak’ seemed to puff up the collective egos and allowed a sense of cockiness creep into the squad and we paid for it dearly. While I have no love for Hughes, full marks to him for picking his tactics to counter our brand of football to a point. The Rangers played a physical game, while not employing the outright brutality that Stoke are notorious for, their level of physical play was well in the rules while toeing the line occasionally. A certain bald Bobby piled on the pressure on our defense with his touch and deft nudges that seem to unsettle our central defenders more than it should have. To say that Vermalen had a bad day would be a gross understatement but it seems forgivable when put in context with the Belgian’s past contributions and his relatively recent return to the exalted berth of ‘squad regular’. There has been a subtle change in the Belgian I’ve noticed but I’ll address that a further on. Hughes had obviously walked in with a plan as his wards stuck to the plan and stayed deep soaking up pressure, letting the Gunners keep what I like to call “Pointless possession”, while I’m all for the much talked about Tiki taka style of football, all the possession in the world is meaningless against a side that’s content to sit back and watch us pass, confident in the knowledge that no gaps are going to be offered as no player is going to move forward to try and win possession. In that scenario, ideally you would expect to shift gears and try to mix up the attacking plays by distributing the ball down the flank and or look for an inspired pass through the centre. Unfortunately Song seems to have taken those last few words a little too literally, not his through balls attempts have been bad, far from it, but his situational sense left a little to be desired. Ramsey was instruct to operate down the left flank but the youngster went adrift in the midfield wandering aimlessly as he is wont do when employed in an unfamiliar position. There has been much criticism of Wenger’s tactic of deploying a central midfielder on the left but evidently the boss had something in mind or was trying to educate the youngster of a particular nuance of play that is evidently beyond my understanding, but there is most definitely some reason behind the seemingly strange strategy, of that I am sure, Wenger is not one to experiment without reason, though even he is prone to the occasional brain-fart.
Enough on the game, discussing it just depresses me. Let’s hope that the loss acts as a wakeup call to the squad before our acid test against the Manchester oil-barrel-toting oligarchs. Taking on the blues can’t be easy, even if they are going through what could be termed a ‘slump’ of sorts. With Silva’s dropping form and Nasri’s inability to ignore the riling he got at the Grove, there a good chance that the team visiting might just be lacking the creative impetus to make things happen. With city’s title challenge slowly crumbling, they cannot possibly try to sit deep and allow the Arsenal to keep possession, attacking and looking to score is the only option they possess if they don’t wish to be left behind by the bubble gum knight. Roberto Mancicni is not exactly famous for keeping a level head in a tense situation, the mild sense of panic is sure to trickle into his squad……I can just envision Narsi losing his footing to fall flat on his face while Ballotelli decides that it’s the right time to knock Yaya’s socks off. Fantasies apart, my point is that their eagerness to score could be their undoing and it should be where we look to capitalize.
I tried to promise myself that I would try not to talk about the clubs plans for the transfer window even though its seems to open eons from now, but like junkie looking for a fix I invariably find myself drawn to one of the myriad transfer columns on the internet during the morning meeting. Can you really blame me? It’s either that or listening to endless yammering about roof sheeting material, concrete quality and schedule management. Simple choice, really.
Hell, I hope my boss isn’t reading this…..
The once frequent rumors of ginormous bids for Robin no longer seem to be in vogue. That’s seems to be nice but no doubt that the rich twats will be lurking with their cheque books looking the slightest sign of Arsenal slipping. I found my mind wandering during one of those aforementioned meetings, I found myself considering a (nightmare) scenario of an Arsenal without Robin…… Before you start loading your hunting rifles and putting contracts on my head, let’s take a second to look at the facts……
Yes, Robin’s form has been the foundation upon which the season has been built on but history tells us that he IS susceptible to injuries albeit it has had more to do with bad luck rather than a single recurring injury. Van Persie is a natural secondary striker who is currently deployed as a central striker in a 4-3-3 formation, which is a breeze when you’re in the form that he has been in, but this hot streak is going to end eventually, and when it does, he will start drifting toward his core-competency which is not playing as a target man but as a striker who has a more creative & holding role up top, he will inevitably try to capitalize on his ability to drop in deep to help keep possession in the midfield. When old habits start to return we will end up with a 4-4-2 with two wingers and no target man who would supply the goals. Would it be so bad to sell a player who is undoubtedly in the twilight of his career and may have potentially peaked already? Considering the fact that retaining him would involve a giant pay package which would be a relatively expensive affair and a further burden on our already unjustifiably huge wage bill… I really don’t know what the right answer is, honestly! I’m just having fun playing the devil’s advocate.
Ideally (RvP stays on with a pay package with s sane number of zeroes), I would like Wenger to buy an out and out primary striker and revert to the traditional 4-4-2. Robin (if he stays) could play around the target-man who he could mentor and guide as he was once mentored by Dennis himself.
But most transfer gossip points ubiquitously to Lukas Pudolski who is currently camping in the medical facility if reports are tobe taken seriously. The FC Köln player pretty much a winger who is relatively comfortable playing as a striker. To me the German looks to be another Arshavin. The similarities are obvious: Their undoubted talent, the age (when they are most likely to be at the height of their careers) and their star status at their respective clubs. Can Lukas cope with being just another player at Arsenal rather than THE player at Köln (the Russian never could)? Where will he fit in IF (can’t stress enough on its GIANTNESS) he does sign on the dotted line? Is Wenger making another mistake or is he the final piece of the puzzle?
Maybe I’m reading too much into a situation that we might never encounter (it IS Wenger after all) Maybe I’m just like every other nutter with a keyboard and some space on the net……posing inane questions and spouting psychobabble.
In Arsene, we trust…… I think