Posts Tagged ‘Tony Pulis’

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Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Wenger?

May 9, 2011

Right…

If I am to be honest with you, I really don’t feel like writing this post, not only because it pains me to say the harsh words of criticism, but also because I have this old fashioned work ethic that does not allow me to feed you the undercooked piece and I am really struggling for motivation to do it properly. But hey, I am of the opinion that the way you approach moments like these is what separates the men from the boys and sometimes you just have to stand up and deliver, even when the circumstances combine in the way that you would rather be somewhere else. Preferably somewhere quiet, miles away from the place you are currently in and for an extended period of time.

OK, here goes: first and foremost, I would like to offer Stoke City FC my sincere apology for the tone of my match preview, as I have been proven seriously wrong on this occasion. The bitter truth is that we have been given a footballing lesson by them and this must have been the first time ever their supporters got to go ‘Ole’ when they simply toyed with us in the second half. As they say, pride comes before the fall and boy, how the mighty have fallen! Our Glorious Leader has now been beaten at his own game by Tony Pulis and they really did not need to resort to any nasty tactics, in fact, if you are to believe the game stats on BBC website, we have committed more fouls and got more bookings than them and that is saying something.

We have conceded three goals and each and every one of them was just the same old story: a set piece for the first, failure to close down the opponent for the second and conceding a goal straight after pulling one back for the third. Now, have we been there before or what? It really begs question what on earth is this team up to during training sessions, as sure as hell they don’t analyse the past errors and do their best to iron them out. The former two is the story of our undoing for the past few seasons and the latter seems to be the flavour of the current one, great, not only the flaws of old are not eradicated, but we also get a new weakness in the shape of being unable to hold onto the advantage to deal with. Could it have something to do with stripping the back four of experience and replacing it with two dudes who barely have two top flight seasons under their belts between them? Impossible, it must be my simplistic approach, characteristic for someone who did not work a single day in football talking!

I wonder...

I have decided that I will not be tearing into the players’ performances, because they are not even worth that. If any of you happens to be reading this bit, here is the deal: since none of you could be arsed to play for me, I can’t be arsed to write about you, there are only a few players that deserved better and these are Robin and Jack throughout the game, Shava who tried pretty hard to cover for clueless Gibbs (payrise? you are having a laugh) and Rambo who had to deal with the ‘classy’ treatment dished out by the home crowd. Both of the latter were subbed by Wenger to bring on two chocolate teapots in the shape of Bendtner and Chamakh with neither of them trying to make a nuisance of themselves in the box like they should. Szczesny and Koscielny also get away with just a bit of credit, but the rest can simply go forth and multiply! And if you have any ideas of apologising on Tw*tter, take my advice and just don’t…

Ever since I came back to writing, a month or so ago, it has become somewhat of a tradition not to write the actual match reports on this blog, as I prefer to offer you my overall opinion on things rather than go through the same motions everyone else does. Since I am not necessarily amongst the ‘biggest selling titles’, something tells me that you have gone through at least one of these before turning your attention to yours truly, so, as the title of today’s post would suggest, I will focus on the OGL’s reaction instead.

Doesn't it, Arsene?

Having read the brief summary of the post-match interview I can only laugh and say ‘No shit, Sherlock’. First thing you read is that you can lose everywhere if you don’t turn up with the same competitive spirit in every game. Really? And I thought it was enough for the ‘best squad ever’ to get out on the pitch, look down upon everyone else and then go through the tippy tappy motions for the oppositions to bow to their superior technical ability and let them through on goal while they are at it! How silly of me, eh? It just so happens that it’s exactly this approach that cost us, if I am calculating this right, enough points for us to be still celebrating the title, which we would have won last week, as even with today’s result we would still be nine points clear! Sp*ds, Magpies, WBA and Liverpool at home (11 points) coupled with WBA, Magpies and Bolton away (7 points) adds up to cool 18, which would see us sitting at the top of the table and laughing at the also rans rather than being the butt of jokes ourselves. So, mon cher Arsene, bollocks to your ‘team has done well overall this season’, because it most certainly has not, now stop being a spin doctor and start doing what you are paid to do, which (in case you have forgotten) is being a fucking football manager!

Der Führer has also acknowledged that conceding goals from set pieces is something that needs to be worked on. Now I am not a stats enthusiast, but OptaJoe’s tweet about us conceding the highest proportion (57%) of set piece goals in the entire league was enough to catch my eye and share it with you. Shocking? Given that it’s something that can be drilled into players in training relatively easily it most certainly is. As I said earlier, not exactly a new problem, is it? As I have noticed in one of my previous posts, it takes Arsene ridiculously long to figure out the fairly obvious stuff and that is really not good enough in my book.

There was also some mention of Vermaelen who spent the game on the bench with Djourou clearly struggling, having barely shaken off the injury sustained last week. This is another piece of evidence showing how true the saying about reaping what you sow is. We have been crying out for another big lump of a defender throughout the winter transfer window, reasonably priced options were available, but AW chose not to act. Big Johan certainly did not look that big amongst their players in the box and failed to mark Kenwyne Jones who scored the opener without knowing much about it. He also has to shoulder some blame for the second and was fully responsible for the third, yet, he completed 90 minutes. Something tells me that we would have done better with another giant to rotate with JD, some will say it’s hindsight, I say bollocks it is, and the evidence to the contrary is plentiful.

Just to wrap things up, let me remind you of this little gem:

Flying Spaghetti Monster help us all!

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Angry ramblings of a lunatic.

January 25, 2010

Well, it was certainly not what one would expect or hope to see on Sunday afternoon on the national TV, was it? It is really hard for me to draw positives from this game, as it left me with the sense of déjà vu – I mean, how many times did we see our players making plenty of misplaced passes, getting brushed off the ball all too easily and being unable to produce an answer to what a well organised, sturdy side had to offer on the day? How many times we witnessed the team caught sleeping and making it difficult for themselves? Yes, I do appreciate that it was practically our reserve side, but Our Glorious Leader promised to field a side that would have a good chance of winning the game and progressing to the next round, didn’t he?

Just one of these days, some will say. Others will blame the shit pitch, opposition set out to defend, trying to hit us on the break and the like. I will simply say that we were not good enough. You could excuse the debutants and youth players for being a little shaky, but how do you excuse another poor performance from the full internationals like Theo and Vela? ‘Oh, give Theo a break, he is just back from injury’ Yadda, yadda, yadda – he is paid more in a week than the majority of us in a year and you would think that his job description must include tasks like being able to do a little more than run at fullbacks just to bounce off them to land on his arse, misplace passes and show no footballing intelligence whatsoever. Young man, based on yesterday’s performance, surprisingly impressive Sol Campbell is closer to getting a place in the World Cup squad than you are and it is time for you to step up and produce, as long as you give a toss, that is. There were so many below par individual performances that I will just mention the three players that came away with any credit, namely the aforementioned Campbell, young Eastmond and Cesc. The rest should hang their heads in shame, then take a long, close look at the match video and proceed to work their nuts off in training to eradicate their own shortcomings.

I am absolutely livid – it’s ridiculous that we conceded the first goal just after 70 seconds as a result of one of these long throw-ins. Come on, did we really have to shoot ourselves in the foot like this? Questions must be asked about our No.2’s awareness in that situation – this was just so much like him, wasn’t it? Now don’t get me wrong: I really want him to do well, and he may become a great keeper, given enough time, but he has a long way to go and we should let him make these costly mistakes somewhere else. If I had any influence on the player purchases, he would never get anywhere near our club – I can only say that we have decided to loan out the wrong Pole and the Bees must be laughing. Someone said yesterday that funnily enough we have loaned out the only world-class keeper we have and kept the three that just don’t cut it for one reason or another. Strange that.

After producing precisely nothing, we equalised in the 41st minute, thanks to a cleverly played freekick – instead of having a pop, Cesc rolled the ball on the ground towards Denilson who duly dispatched the shot, which took a deflection or two and ended up in the net. We have gone off at the half time with the scores level and again, the scoreline probably saved our players from Le Hairdryer.

Both teams seemed to have gone out for the second half with intention to get it over and done with on the day – each team had own reasons for this: we needed another fixture like a hole in the head, while they must have been aware that it will be much tougher for them to get a result at THOF. Frankly, it was them who seemed more likely to nick it and we really looked like we were banging our heads against the wall. Cue the triple substitution with AA, Dudu and Ramsey replacing Coquelin, JET and the woeful Walcott. While the first two didn’t impress, they have been thrown to the lions by AW, honestly – tough away Cup tie in a practically reserve team is not where you want to bleed the youngsters with little or no first team experience, is it? And don’t get me started on Walcott, it should be enough to say that he was shocking – again!

Injection of talent resulted in us stretching their defence a little more and all was going reasonably well until Ramsey must have thought that it is better to go for the Hollywood pass rather than keep it simple. Needless to say, we have lost the ball, and Sidibe received a pass to run half the length of the pitch unchallenged by Denilson who just ran next to him, then backed off after seeing that he would not match his pace if he tried. The Malian ran and was allowed a pin point cross for Fuller to head in his second goal. I am sure Theo could do well with taking a leaf out of Sidibe’s book on this one: this is how you run, beat your man using your pace and cross the ball – not too hard, is it? I will not even go into the subject of Denilson not being the answer to our defensive midfield worries: it should be enough to say that if you cannot outrun or successfully challenge a player of Sidibe’s class, being the defensive midfielder, then you should not be at this club, period. Yes, Traore left acres of space, but since he wasn’t there, one would expect a player who is plugging the gap to do more than just have a little jog (yes, I know he tried to run, but he is so frustratingly slow that he makes Song look like Usain Bolt) and watch helplessly as the ball was crossed and headed in past the hapless Fabianski. Given how dire we looked until that moment, scoring two goals needed to progress in the time left was probably too much to ask. I mean, we managed two (yes, two) shots on target in the whole game. The third goal was just icing on their cake if you ask me. Tuncay’s handball spared us further blushes and the game couldn’t end soon enough. Stoke fans rubbed the salt into our travelling supporters’ wounds and no one can blame them, really.

Thank you for reading, I will be back tomorrow with my views on this squad’s deficiencies and our chances to get our hands on the silverware this season. Potters’ debacle leaves us with just two pots to compete for, the competition is as tough as it gets, we are short in a few areas and the final week of the transfer window should be put to a good use.

Grrrrrr…

Whoosah… Whoosah…

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Can we pot The Potters after we’ve trotted over The Trotters?

January 24, 2010

Today we play Stoke City in the 4th Round of the FA Cup.  As far as I am concerned, it is absolutely crucial to get a positive result in order to maintain momentum, which we managed to gather since that infamous Chelsea defeat when we found ourselves 11 points off the pace, the smug journos entered the ‘We told you so’ mode and no one gave us a chance in hell to mount a realistic challenge for the Premier League title or any other trophy for that matter. Some may say it should not make any difference whether we win or lose this game, but I beg to differ: in my humble opinion, there is more to it than just a game won or lost – if we lose, we will be out of contention for another trophy and the mentality of the entire squad may suffer big time. A draw is no good for us either, given that reverse fixture would have to be played sometime in between the big clashes just ahead of us, taking into the account that 5th round games are scheduled just three days after we play Liverpool at home.

Having just watched both the press conference and AW’s pre-Stoke exclusive on ATVO, I am none the wiser – classic Arsene: a lot of talk about putting out the team with a good chance of winning the game and the usual Wengerisms referring to quality and mental strength. This man really loves keeping cards close to his chest, doesn’t he? All we could find out from watching this is who will definitely not play due to injuries and being rested: Diaby, Sagna and Mérida are out of the equation, having suffered in the recent Shitkickers double header. On the positive side, we are to welcome back Wilshere and Ramsey is back in training as well as B52. While Jackie Boy is quite likely to feature, I wouldn’t hold too much hope for the other two, with the make or break period just around the corner.

Our Glorious Leader said he was going to use the squad and that means wholesale changes in layman’s terms: it’s not really hard to guess that Fabianski will take the position between the sticks for this one, but it will be quite interesting to see who will be played right ahead of him – my money is on Sol & Sly CB pairing, with the former possibly being replaced by Bartley later in the game, as I have my doubts if Sulzeer has enough in his tank to last the whole 90 minutes in the tough away cup tie. I would think Gael will get a runout in the left back position to allow him some game time to tune up a little bit. Right back and defensive midfielder positions will probably be shared between young Coquelin and Eastmond respectively. Further up the pitch, we should see JET to provide some physical presence partnered by Wilshere and the front three should consist of Vela, Eduardo and Theo. I am expecting a few big guns sitting on the bench, but introduced only if it is absolutely necessary, as I don’t think anyone would like to see them being risked, bearing in mind that we have a bigger fish to fry.

According to BBC Sport website, Tony Pulis has a whole different kind of selection headache, having everyone fit and available, Rory ‘Towel Boy’ Delap who is expected to recover from a knock alongside Faye included. Add this to the hostile atmosphere mentioned in yesterday’s post and it can be assumed that it will be far from easy, given that we are likely to field a side just slightly stronger than our usual Mickey Mouse Cup XI. AW pointed out to the fact that these kids have enough experience – fair enough, he fielded a similar side in the last Champions League group game and we looked the better team and should have won.

But hey, you just never know, do you? To quote the great late Kazimierz Górski: ‘The ball is round and there are two goals’ – these are the only two things certain in football and that is what makes it so entertaining. Just ask Spuds held to a draw yesterday by the might of Leeds – Beckford, you are an absolute legend! When the time comes, I will sit in front of my TV to cheer for whoever gets a runout for Good Old Arsenal…

Thank you for reading – COYRRNATG!!! 😆

P.S. Check out this article on the Daily Mail website, written by Gary Lineker of all people. Good read!