Football has often been ridiculed, by those that don’t get it, as a silly game where 22 men chase one ball. Some players, and occasionally, a team, could raise the game to new heights though, and take everyone along with them. That collective gasp of breath drawn in amazement, that roar at having seen something that would never be forgotten is what football fans always had to aspire. Now it seems to be merely about 22 men chasing around a ball and keeping score.
So maybe the problem isn’t just Arsenal. It certainly isn’t just Ozil. But something of the joy that I felt in supporting this club has been lost. Maybe this is what they call growing up.
Well, nothing better than getting back on that horse and going fox hunting eh ol’ chap?* So I guess that’s what we’ll do. It helps, however, to take lots of shots. Which has been somewhat of a problem. Not all of it is systemic. Some players seem to hesitate, looking to be too precise. But the lack of shots finds Arsenal 19th in that metric. Sandwiched between West Brom and Burnley.
Still we are on the same number of points as Leicester, and playing them at home. Maybe the empty stadium will prove a hindrance but Leicester haven’t won at our home in the last 27 meetings in all competitions and are coming off of 2 consecutive away defeats. A win would see us climb into the top 4. With teams like ManCity, Chelsea and ManU dropping points, Arsenal need to make sure they can take advantage.
Our chances could be boosted by the fact that the sly roundhouse kicker is a doubt. Soyuncu, Ndidi, and Pereira are out. But the American President is likely to be involved.
Leicester will be an attacking threat, as they have the best conversion rate in the league. That’s despite not scoring from any of their last 15 shots though. Considering they’ve only taken 49 shots, that’s pretty remarkable. Let’s hope their attack doesn’t just suddenly find its bite.
Rob Holding suffered an injury in the warm-up to the last match and is out for 3 weeks. Willian is a doubt too, but Ceballos will be available. One of the brightest of sparks from the midweek game was the new addition, Thomas Partey. A lot of folks jumping the gun, so to speak, to compare him to Vieira and that’s just silly. But he does look like a player who would add something to our game. If there’s one thing I’m looking forward to, is seeing a Xhaka-Partey partnership in midfield flourish and provide a balance of defensive solidity and creativity to unlock our attacking talent. I need something to believe in.
If Partey was the foundation, Bellerin and Aubameyang provided the spark that brought us to life. The speed and movement they bring will be crucial to this game, especially if we are looking to catch the Foxes on the break.
This is a weird season. Kind of like the one that saw Leicester, painfully, win the league. While we are not in contention for the league title, top 4 should be our minimum target, and a win today gets us back in there. Behind Everton, Liverpool and Aston Villa, and just ahead of Leeds. Well, maybe football does have some surprises still left to offer. Let’s hope it’s not as heartbreaking as 5 years ago.
*Please ban actual fox hunting. It’s barbaric.
Written by Shard aka @shardgooner
Hey Shard: Which American president is playing for Leicester?
I didn’t know that Soyuncu and Ndidi are out injured; that’s their best defender and DM respectively. Surely Arteta will allow his team to have a go at them. Am not holding my breath though.
Gone are the days I used to wait to watch Arsenal matches under AW. Even used to sit late in the night to see the free flowing Wengerball.Unfortunately it’s not the same under Arteta. When you don’t play your most creative player you are killing the entertainment football can bring to you. Arsenal maybe stronger in defence with Thomas Partey but clearly lack the attacking threat they used to be for the opponents with Ozil in the side.
I am sure Arsenal.has lost the appeal for a goo number of fans since AW left.
I guess the board will be watching Arsenal audience falling. But do they care?
The idiot fans may enjoy 1 nil to the Arsenal.
Aah, the “idiot fans.” Unfortunately the Arsenal fan base is not immune to stupidity and manipulation by scoundrels with hidden agendas. Its been evident over the past 15 years.
It began with the Wenger-out campaign after the club moved to the Emirates and could no longer compete for the title. This became even harder when 1st Chelsea and later City became the vanity projects of deep-pocketed oligarchs, unfairly outspending every EPL club including that financial behemoth Manchester United. But despite Wenger consistently making top-4 and even coming close to the title at least twice, despite being in the Champions League more straight years than any English club, a certain minority in the fanbase who thrive on negativity, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, convinced the majority of fans that Wenger was past it once he came 5th and 6th.
Now this negative minority is doing their best to keep quiet and not admit that they share responsibility for the current state of affairs. Initially they covered up for Emery and his godfather Don Raul. When the club fell to 14th place in the League, even they were screaming for Emery’s head. This time they are covering up for Arteta and the Kroenkes.
Unlike them, a few of us refused to go along with the abysmal football and the perverse transfers and selections of Emery and Don Raul. It was clear then and clearer now they were doing every thing to get Wenger’s players off the books. A similar policy is now being perpetuated by Arteta and the Kroenkes. The victimization and banning of Ozil from the squad, our most creative player, is a clear example. The football is ugly. I don’t expect it to get better. Most fans are in the middle still listening to the big bloggers, podcasters and You Tubers.
How can it get better when there is little or no creativity in the current Arsenal team playing a regimented, structured style under Arteta? We may defend better but we are not going to consistenly break down any decent defence. To expect any better is, to quote you, being “idiotic”.
Top comment Shotta.
You expressed my thoughts about the events of the last decade so eloquently with perfection.
The hidden scoundrels promting negativity around the club supported by the idiot fan base hyped by the media outlets have taken over the core values of the club and we are seeing the club falling into disgrace.
May God help us.