Monday, 27 April 2015

BEING BORING

I’m not one for match reports: others do that much better than me, but what I will say about yesterday’s Arsenal v Chelsea game is that we looked physically combative and were not bullied by Mourinho’s mob and it’s been a while since I’ve seen that, our finishing and final ball let us down but let’s face it Chelsea are the best team in the league when it comes to not losing and a draw is decent in context. 
Given that it wasn’t the most exhilarating of games it was predictable that the press would prod a snide answer out of Mourinho (again). The chants of “boring boring Chelsea” seem to have ruffled the feathers of a club who frankly shouldn’t care less: they are going to be champions, and rightly so, therefore why even comment on a bit of chanting?
It is, as I say, predictable that the cloying sycophants of the media feel the need to elicit a cheap and petty sound bite from the self-anointed Special one.

These uncouth and snotty quips from Mourinho are a predictable facet of his character and his never-ending capacity to deliver them is extremely, predictable and therefore, ironically it makes him very, very boring.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

WE CAN BE HEROES


Good v Evil, Pride v Prejudice, Pragmatism v Idealism, History v New Money, there are so many headlines to tag onto Sunday’s fixture against Chelsea: the club with a corrupt owner (not alone in that), a despicable albeit successful manager, an offensive but effective captain and a fan base of racists (well some of them anyway). So in reality Chelsea is a bit of a Pantomime Villain and a team under Mourinho who have an annoying habit of not losing against us. To feel an emotion as strong as hatred towards Chelsea is a bit like hating Katie Hopkins: it’s easy but ultimately a waste of time.
On Sunday Chelsea are the enemy and yes there is much to dislike and certain demon's to be driven away, but there is only one thing to think about and that’s winning to tighten out grip on second place. Chelsea will inevitably win the league and that is by virtue of this season’s Premier League not being of a very good vintage and the fact that Chelsea strengthened that all important spine in the summer.
The Mourinho side show will be front and centre with those sycophants of his in the media and to an extent the presence of Chelsea’s number four will add to the hoop la. Fabregas used to play for the Arsenal and now he doesn’t and I for one don’t want our support to be seen as one that is hung up on ‘returning players’ it can get all a bit unseemly and comes across as bitterness. I remember when Manu Petit returned to Arsenal in a Chelsea shirt after his stint at Barcelona: the crowd’s reaction that day? Indifference towards the player, and that’s something that I would like to see more of.

I believe that we can out gun them on Sunday for the first time in quite a while and if we do, beating Chelsea would be another scalp in a season when we have had some pretty good results against the so called bigger teams and a chance to put some breathing space between us and the team in third place. Yes this is quite a measured post today but to let you into a little secret, in a football landscape where hero and villain status is designated easily Arsenal currently wear the white hat and Chelsea the black and I would enjoy seeing Mourinho’s balloon of pomposity pricked, and the heroes prevail even if only for one day.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES-Chinese curse


Interesting isn't it? after a run of eight successive wins everything seems fine and dandy at the Arsenal. Closing in on second place, a fully fit squad (almost) and a winnable Semi-final on the horizon. The collapse of Manchester City has helped as has the inevitable downward spiral of that lot up the road but is it a case of what could have been or just being positive that we have something to look forward to as opposed to a meaningless end of season?
Chelsea are closing in on an inevitable Championship, and perhaps rightly so as that arrogant manager of theirs had the funds and the where with all to strengthen their spine considerably during the summer. It has to be said though that Chelsea will be one of those Champions that no one really cares about or likes. Most Champions have an air of something special and a grudging respect for what it takes to achieve such a distinction but Chelsea, the club, the owner, the manager and a large percentage of the fans are eminently dislikable in their uncoothness (if there is such a word) but obviously they won't care.
So what of our destiny? should we finish second and win the FA Cup then we would have a team matching the achievements of the great Arsenal teams under Wenger: but that's conjecture, there is still a long way to go.
Had we started the season without Yaya Sanogo as an attacking option, had Coquelan been in contention, had Ozil and Giroud been fit, had Ospina been in goal... the questions are endless but one does wonder.
More to the point is the question of next season: our capitulation against Monaco or our victory at Old trafford, which will be repeated?
Let's not kid ourselves, this year's Premier League has been very underwhelming: as is evidenced by European exits, but to some extent the title was more 'up for grabs' than it has been in a long time and should we finish second to a club with a manager (albeit it an arrogant classless nerk) of considerable know how and deep pockets then that's not bad.
What I would like to see is a strong finish and real shot at a title campaign next season. That our club is in a good place at the moment is undeniable but the 'glass half empty' mindset will always raise doubts.
Arsene Wenger is going nowhere and should we retain players this summer and make some much needed aditions we may achieve what we want: to be real contenders I just have a nagging doubt in our manager's ability to add that extra percentage from the bench: team selection, tactical responses and above all motivation.
There can be no excuses in the 2015/16 season, we must reflect on how things may have been this time round and grab the glory that is there for the taking.
For now though, it's good times: we are in the mix and our season is not dead. That's not a bad place to be.

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