Friday , 19 October 2018
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Cannon Fodder : Back to the Drawing Board

Ah, the ignominy and depression that accompany defeat are hard things to wipe from one’s mind, aren’t they? Especially, when they come at the cruel hands of another member of the elite big four five whatever. A few drops of ethanol does help though. For some odd reason, the game between the two Londonian (if Keats can make up Grecian, Londonian is perfectly fine) clubs reminded me of a brawl between two fat kids; one bloke trying very hard to beat the flab the ‘right’ way by exercise, lettuce and celery while the other beefs up by relying on steroids, dubious vitamin shakes and a bottle of Cartman’s Beefcake. The fight doesn’t go too well for the conscientious kid trying to do things the ‘right way’ and he gets pummeled, but he remains smug in the fact that he can take the puritanical high road and can cock a snook at those who rely on external factors to win rather than doing things ‘the right way’.

It doesn’t change the fact that he got thumped and received a wedgie to boot. I hope the allusions are not lost on the lot of you.

The defending against Chelsea was not woeful as most of the football following world has immediately labelled it. It’s just simple mathematics; the law of averages relating to the number of Arsenal’s defensive brain fades in a season has merely caught up with us. Nothing to fret about, it does not negate the progress that has been made by the defense so far.

Wenger was faced with the tough decision when it came to the line up of the defense and he opted to drop Per Mert. I had my money of the German making an appearance and was taken aback when the manager opted to play Vermalen and Koscielny as the pair at the back. But dumping the blame on Wenger’s doorstep is folly, he went with a pairing of his two most talented defenders gambling on their individual abilities rather than considering the ‘form’ Mert was in or the understanding he has with both Verm and Kos. As most bad decisions do, it came back inevitably to bite us in our collective arses. I buy into the theory that the Frenchman and the Belgian are far too similar to make good partners, at least not naturally. I’m not declaring that they will never form a successful CB pair; just that some partnerships occur seamlessly with little effort but some take some others demand a bit of effort from all parties involved to be turned into a success.

The Forehead’s smart goal will not cover up for the woeful game he had, his touch was off colour and he squandered numerous chances(if I hear ‘Van Persie’ being mumbled under your breaths, there will be hell to pay!). But he is a winger, not a natural striker, expecting him to score off every chance is rather unreasonable. The real death knell for the game against Chelsea was not Forehead’s awful finishing or Kos’s defensive screamer, those were merely the final nails in the coffin. The imbalance created once Diaby left the field was never sorted out. The befuddled Ox arrived to replace him but was unsure of the role he was expected to play. The confusion caused him to drift out wide to the familiar territory of the wings. This created an imbalance in the midfield which resulted in Arteta being the lone defensive minded midfielder. Chelsea’s midfielders were allowed enormous room to play through the middle due to the absence of a box-to-box player which the formation demanded. After that….

From the looks of things Arteta (I’m starting to believe his hair is made of a titanium and carbon nano-tube hybrid) seems to be one of the few midfielders who takes his defensive duties seriously, he would need to be an almost permanent fixture. The ex-Evertonian has impressed pundit and fan alike in his role as the mainstay DM but to expect him to play every game is ridiculous. His ankle injury has been labelled mild and it’s high time a viable stand-in needs to be molded (Coq maybe?). It’s no secret that I’m rather taken in by what I’ve seen of the Coq (that sounded better in my head, honest) although a DM by nature, he seems to have a creative verve as well and this can go a long way as we witnessed last season. October’s fixtures are the perfect time to bring in a new player and wean him into the side.

Our opponents in the upcoming fixtures are clubs that we should look to dispatch with not just victories but also a series of sound thrashings. I think I can safely say that Olympiacos, West Ham and Norwich are no world beaters and the squad should look to win every game. It is crucial that this month be used to consolidate our positions in the Premier League as well as the Champion’s League. Victories in the upcoming games will leave the squad with an air of confidence which will be important when kicking off November amid a horde of baying Mancunians clad in red and cheering on their referee.

Now coming to the central creative midfielder role; Rosicky and Wilshere are expected back in the fold of first team action and they should provide our new diminutive Spanish play-maker and the Irish Captain with some much needed competition.

Most of you might know that have no very little faith in Diaby and I’d rather he take up punditry than play for Arsenal. A single good game maketh a player not. This makes it vital that Coq (Please Arsene!) to slot into the midfield. I’m going to nip off for a bit and pretend to do something productive. Hope they are broadcasting the game tonight!



About Varun Chand

Full time nothing doer and part-time Engineer (supposedly). I really hate the Arsenal and that's why I spend so much of time writing/talking/discussing/debating about them. I enjoy mocking YOU because it's fun.

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