Sunday , 21 April 2019
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Cannon Fodder: Toffee time!

Greetings all…

It’s been a rough few weeks at the Fortress of Solitude (incidentally I have a red and yellow ‘S’ emblazoned on my boxers & a scarlet cape) so I apologize for the irregular blogging schedule and I hope haven’t disappointed my throng of fans (har har!). Fortunately, my worries have nothing to do with our beloved club as we float serenely at the top of the table with a pleasant cushion of 4 points.

Our last game was fun enough to watch as we gambolled around the pitch sending the tigers on a merry song and dance as they pointlessly chased shadows, desperately praying for a glimpse of the ball. We were calm in possession, assured in our passing and accelerated & decelerated the game’s pace at will. Overall Steve’s Tigers were brushed aside by the gun wielding Frenchman.

I really can’t gloss over the match without uttering a few kind words on our Great-Dane: Nicky B. He managed to get the ball in net within the second minute and kudos to him for that. He also managed be slightly less awful than usual exalted standards, for which we are ALL eternally grateful.
We promise to sacrifice a virgin and a slice of pizza at your sacred volcano if you continue to NOT stink at your job (that you are paid to do?!!). Our undying gratitude, oh lord Bendtner!!

All hail the golden chonmage!!!

The weeks following our humbling at Manchester have taken the semblance of a second honeymoon period or a dwell period for the engineers and petrol heads among you. We couldn’t have asked for a better response… Three cool victories later, it’s almost as if the unpleasantness of Van Persie’s bulging veins, psychotic expressions and mad-cap celebrations never happened.

In the past being an Arsenal supporter meant that you’d approach every match with a sense of fear and caution irrespective of the opposition. Fear that the team’s penchant for reckless errors would be our undoing even against the meanest opposition. How many times have we tossed away imminently winnable games? Blackburn? Birmingham?
This season has been different, the flaws have been gradually ironed out, a stable centre-back pairing has been established and players who had looked like precocious boys lollygagging at the men’s table are now growing in confidence and coming to the forefront with solid performances. Winnable games are being won and small clubs are being put down with ruthless efficiency. Wenger must be feeling truly vindicated indeed. But we are still a long way off from the finish line.
The ability to win games irrespective of the circumstances is the chief hallmark of a “big” club, just ask United, a club who have been playing their dull brand of football yet have a sacksful of trophies.

I hate to be the guy who pisses in the batter, but it will do us well to remember that our recent wins have come against relatively inferior opposition. Granted, Cardiff and Hull were fresh from superb performances against MU and L’pool respectively and Pochettino may have whipped the Saints into something more than relegation fodder but all these sides are a far cry from the likes of Chelsea, City and other sides who will be vying for top honours. Will we be able to put similarly convincing performances against the big boys? The stability is great, and the quality of football is obvious, but what’s going to happen when we meet sterner opposition?

The answer will certainly unfold over the next few weeks, Will the Ramsey, Ozil and the rest of the midfield continue to bamboozle their counterparts and unlock defences?

Realistically speaking, a win and a couple of draws should help us weather the storm. The champ’s league should be a breeze as long as we draw with Napoli (even a minor loss wouldn’t do much damage). The Toffees are up in a few short hours and I can’t say that I’m not a little scared…

It’s not fear, at least not the conventional sense of “fear”, it’s that little prick of feeling you feel just before you board a roller coaster…. that sprinkle of fear with touch of excitement. You know full well that the roller coaster is far from dangerous, but yet there is an ineffable sense of bad-assery. It’s not “fright” per se… just a heightened sense of feeling!

Moyes’s successor at the toffee’s compound has galvanized Everton into more than just a boring yet functional mid table side that Davey had cautiously crafted. Martinez has added a dash of his style and panache into their game, turning them into a far more lethal force. Chelsea’s Lukaku and Barca’s latest wunderkind may only be loanees, but at present they are a potent threat as any. You know a manager is talented when he can the even the likes of Seasmus Coleman to play decent football. Their last few games have been more than impressive, they managed to hold off L’Pool with relative ease in the Merseyside derby, punished Stoke for their piss poor football before shattering dreams at the theatre of some old thing.

They have lost but once this season, and to put that in perspective, we have lost twice yet we lounge at the top while they are still a ways behind. They are a markedly improved side. Martinez’s influence is evident in the rapid improvements in their stats (possession up from 53% to 56.5% & pass completion up from 79.4% to 83.3%) and their centre back partnership has really come into it’s own, especially Sylvian Distin who has upped his game by a notch this season. Under Martinez they have dared to take on even the more successful teams in attacking encounters. They are going to make fantastically entertaining opponents…

After the Toffees we’re up against Napoli, Chelsea and the blue Mancs…. A solid performance tonight would be a welcome shot in the arm, acting like a launch pad for the team’s confidence before the choppy water ahead.

The next few weeks are going to be great times for the gunners…

Here’s to chewing up those toffees (hic)!!!!

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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