“I like blogs”
I realize it is a mundane enough statement, no frills, no fancy twirls, no linguistic gymnastics. Just stating a simple fact, a truth. I could have replaced it with: “I like beer” or “I’m fond of pepperoni pizzas” or “I like scantily clad super-models covered in chocolate ice-cream” But none of those would have made for a very relevant start to an article, a more interesting one some would argue (especially the last one) but an irrelevant one nonetheless. I enjoy reading blogs, ones about football in general and Arsenal in particular, they can vary from mildly informative to wildly hilarious. Their very nature of being a pure representation of a person’s true opinions makes it far more fascinating than reading an article ground out by a writer who is supposedly “neutral” (fat chance of that). Their opinions & prejudices tend to spew out through a mask of neutrality making for a very unsavory reading experience. My question is: Why even try? Unless you truly are a neutral…which, is quiet unlikely as most people tend to favor a certain side after following the beautiful game for a few years. I know I did. But enough aimless rambling about my likes….
Down to business
The game against the vicious Trolls of Stoke City, while not a success has been branded as an “unfailure” by my fellow denizens of the internet. But I choose to disagree…. Why is it we consider a solitary point and a no significant injuries a success? Yes, in recent times, the sheer brutality of the bespectacled troll king’s (sometimes called Tony Pulis) vile henchmen have seemed to render the brave gunners impotent but a different style of football is something a professional football team should be able to overcome. Their long ball tactics seemed to disturb the usually solid partnership of Koscielny & Vermalen. The first (and only) hole that they managed to punch through our defense came in the usual Stoke fashion, a long ball lofted over the field in search for the Human Tooth pick that is Peter Crouch. The lanky hitman made no mistake in slotting home, but there is a lingering feeling that the young Pole at the goal could have timed his dive a little better. But in the grand scheme of things, his performance has been nothing short of impressive. Whitehead’s violent skull drudgery under the disguise of football was particularly distasteful but there was nothing one but gnash teeth and befoul the air with swear-words and oaths as the referee registered another shambolic performance.
Rosicky continued his resurgence and seemed to be the only man awake in the Arsenal engine room, his movement and passing was a cut above the rest of Arsenal’s almost listless midfield. Ramsey’s woes seemed to continue, but to write off the youngster after a single bad(ish) season is folly. Aaron has immense potential and would be asset to any midfield (bar FCB perhaps), his latent potential and maturity should definitely earn him another season before anyone even considers uttering the word “sell” in conjunction with his name. Over the course of this season, we have witnessed flashes of brilliance sandwiched between layers of confusion & mediocrity from the young Wales captain. Arsene Wenger has experimented with his position in the midfield, playing him on the wing, while this has elicited puzzled response from the Arsenal faithful, I am firmly of the notion that astute Wenger was looking to develop Ramsey’s positional awareness. It is common for the coach to rotate central midfielders to various positions on the field, the reason is that once the midfielder plays a certain position (albeit badly in Aaron’s case) he gets a clearer picture as to what sort of pass directed to the player in the said position would prove most fruitful while he himself were pulling string in the midfield. This is almost exclusively used as a training exercise but I assume Wenger tried it in real-time so that the experience would get seared in the youngster’s memory. This then begs the question of why the gaffer has never bothered experimenting with Park up front or even playing him in faux striker role. The Korean seems firmly rooted to the bench. Now all this could just prove to be a load of horse feather as we will probably never know how the cogs really turn within Arsene Wenger’s noggin.
Next on the menu is the signing of the German maestro: Lukas Podolski.
Am I happy that we now have a player to play upfront with the tiring Van Persie? Yes
Am I happy that we chose to sign a player with immense experience and talent rather than latent potential? Fuck Yes
But that the thing that pleases me the most is that we now inherit the rights to sing a particular song (In fact I have been humming the chorus all morning)…. You know the one, well if you don’t here’s how it goes:
(In retrospect, maybe the wordings need a bit of tweaking, language-wise I mean)
I’m quiet relieved that this particular transfer saga came to a close as it was almost as bad as FCB’s wooing of our yesteryear Captain. I remember dying a little every time an article was run on Cesc’s want away attitude or watching his lackadaisical play on the green as he casually handed the ball to our opponents. I can thoroughly sympathize with the fans of Köln whose loss far outstrips our own. Lukas was far more valuable to Köln than Cesc ever was to us. True, the whole affair was far less odious and our players and club-officials refrained from openly commenting on Lukas and Wenger tried to maintain a dignified silence whenever possible but the media vultures and the news mongers picked that carcass dry.
It’s nice to have a quality player on board (it makes the upcoming season all the more excitable) and it’s even better that Wenger looks intent on making his signing before the Euros. Better to complete our business before the Euro cup which would invariably leave prices of “talented” players’ sky high and firmly out of our already limited reach. But remember a signing maketh a player not. Podolski has much to prove, is he any good or merely a big fish in a tiny pond…only time will tell
All this talk of transfers, new signing gave me a rather weird notion: With a squad that boasts of both Song and Coquelin….Why would AFC be linked to defensive midfielders?
Brace yourself for another of my hare-brained theories based firmly on wild guesses and even wilder suppositions.
Cue 1: Songs game play.
Song is a mid fielder par talent, that much would be obvious, even to a blind man (a.k.a a Manchester United Supporter). But he would never fall into the category of DM, not firmly at least, yes he’s fond of hard tackles and loves breaking up the opposition’s rhythm down the middle, but often tends to drift forward with the ball, looking for the odd assist or game changing pass but more often than not (read, in the absence of Arteta) this leaves our defense shaky and vulnerable to a counter-attack.
Cue 2: Wenger’s Stand
Instead of stifling this particular trait, Wenger has encouraged Song to venture forward with increasing frequency and has sured up the midfield with Arteta who knows a thing or two (He played the role of a “Pivot” in his younger days at La Masia, it’s a position that has unfortunately gone out of vogue) about protecting our back-line.
Cue 3: Wenger’s (supposed) transfer targets
M’Villa a DM who has been heralded as the Viera of his generation. Vertonghen, a player who is primarily a central defender, but is comfortable playing as a DM.
Wenger is looking to hand Song a more free-flowing creative/defensive role in the mid-field, playing co-pilot to Ramsey, Wilshere or Rosicky. The rear end of the central four would feature Arteta & our ‘yet-to-be-signed’ DM who could provide cover and dictate the pace of the game.
What this would mean for our wingers (Theo & Gervinho) is a question I haven’t mulled over……..as yet
But all this could be wild theorizing and psycho babble…A mere brainchild of my boredom at work….
It’s do or die for Arsenal when it comes to the last two games this season….it could end with us waltzing into the Champion’s league next season or a nightmare scenario, with an out-raged Arsene gearing up for the Europa league….. Lets load those Cannons and fire until there is nothing left of ‘Canaries’ but a puff of yellow feathers in the air!!!!!!!