CREDIT: Arsenal Instagram
Arsenal kicked off their Europa League campaign in less than sexy fashion. If that game were a human being up in the cluuuuub, it’d be the ugly guy that pulls at the end of the night, picking up someone crying in the corner because they’ve messed their pants.
It’s difficult to knock a win, but as wins go, this was another you’d put on the unimpressive list. Now, you have to caveat that the Europa League is not the competition young kids dream of growing up. It’s a form of punishment. It’s detention for elite clubs. We shouldn’t be there, the players know it, and that clearly impacts motivation on some level. Factor in that a chunk of that starting 11 was fringe, here on a favour, or we attempted to sell them this summer as well.
Well, yesterday marked yet another tumultuous day of back and forth over the most boring saga in football. Mesut Özil dropped a statement in the morning and played up that he felt hurt, betrayed, and sad. All fair comments, no professional footballer wants to be cut from the team, especially not a World Cup winner playing in a drossy team that barely makes the Europa League qualification places.
It was starting to look like Arsenal had lost control of the narrative. The bit in Özil‘s statement when he mentioned ‘humanitarian work’ was designed to whip up his base into assuming that the fix was in… Arsenal loved Chinese Yen and Vinai was a union buster that dealt out punishment to non-pay-cut-taking-slags.
So, what shall we talk about today? Oh… squad lists.
Mesut Özil has been bombed from our Premier League squad list until February at the very least, but the chances are, that’s him finished forever at Arsenal FC.
It’s always a shame to watch someone push the self-destruct button on their career, and let’s be clear, that’s exactly what Mesut Özil has done to himself.
Most of his downfall is related to one thing… a lack of application. This is not an ability problem, he’s one of the most capable footballers to have lived. No, the issue is he simply doesn’t want to apply himself in 2020.
Sportklub Rapid Wien… formerly known as Rapid Vienna? Or known as both? What? The true Englishman coming out there. I’m sorry. But don’t make it confusing. One or the other, please.
That’s all I really have on that subject.
Well, I felt pretty terrible about life waking up yesterday morning, but then the mighty Spurs brightened up my day when they gave up a 3-0 lead inside 18 minutes after the second coming of Gareth Bale.
Beautiful stuff. That killed off ‘THEY’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE’ talk pretty fast. Spurs will be up there this season, but contending the title? Have my doubts people.
Even better than that, Emi Martinez kept another clean sheet and Ross Barkley fired the impressive Aston Villa to another win against Leicester.
Arsenal took a defeat away at the Etihad in the first game back after the international break. There are no two ways about it, the result was disappointing, but probably not the disaster performance many are trying to paint.
Our truth right now is very similar to what it was last season under Mikel Arteta. We are well organized, we are resolute, and we’re tough to beat. We are… good at defending. Arteta wants to build a side based on strong foundations. He’s not far off cracking that code. Before yesterday, under Arteta, we were top 4 for total points since he took over. This is our best start in the league for 7 years.
… we are, however, a little bit shit going forward.
Here we are, back together, ready to indulge in some peak-Barclays viewing today.
So what can we expect away at Manchester City?
A tough game. Sorry to be very obvious here, but Manchester City are hurting at the moment and they really need to impose themselves back on the league.