Time for The New Age Arsenal Resolution

This year has been amazing, if i could say. In May, we win the consecutive FA Cup back to back and breaking English Football Association records, as the most successful club in UK to win FA Cup since 1871. We won it against clubs in the best league in the world with total 756 clubs in England. Many young players, has been emerging through reserves and youth to amaze everyone that Arsenal academy really contribute for English Premier League.

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Arsenal celebrating goals, 2015

Now, the new year is waiting and Arsenal have to prepare for next year, Newcastle’s Steve Mclaren will become the test after New Year’s Eve. Arsenal tipped as English Premier League title champions this year, but can Arsenal cope with it? This is not Arsenal first time for being tipped as EPL champions, the close time when Arsenal topped EPL in 2013/2014 campaign as winter champions but finished 4th when campaign ends. Arsenal have to throw away their cracking mentality and playing fearless against any big teams to realise their chances this year.

Before we see what Arsenal resolution for next year, lets see what Arsenal has been through in 2015, what is their main problem and what Arsenal achieved.

Arsenal – the 2015 year

We bought the devil from Villareal in January 2015, Gabriel Paulista after the emptiness seat who left by Thomas Vermaelen. Gabriel strong performances in his aggressive and control ball really imitate how Koscielny playing. But Per-Koscielny partnership still being Arsene favorites and Gabriel still adapting into Premier League plays. We started new year with loss against Southampton, but retake the moral by winning against Hull City, repeated FA Cup match in 2014.

We have new emerging Francis Coquelin who became berserk against Manchester City. His theme of playing is unique as defensive midfielder, he didn’t control the ball like Arteta or strong discipline like Flamini but he is very aggresive, marking tightly, he tackle like no one else ever doing in Arsenal past 10 years. He knew Arsenal lack of stability in midfield and he gives Arsenal new choice as DM. He became one of the best defensive midfield in Europe after high tackle and cutting possessions statistics. He became Arsenal’s fans new favourites, and i loved how Arsene always trust his luck for believing in Coq despite all Arsenal fans wants to buy someone.

Another we have our Bellerin who established himself, i love how fast he runs back and forth tireless, when we need him to cross he is there, when we don’t have anyone in back four, he came. What a perfect player as wing back, a modern wing back, thanks to Steve Bould who build his fundamental about how to defends. Ospina also coming in after Sczeczny made mistake and conceding a lot of goals. We lost consistency in opening season and Ospina gives us stability for the rest of season.

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Coquelin and Bellerin, 2014.

We won the second FA Cup thanks to our biggest buy Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona who instantly playing beautiful like when he still in Udinese. He really drives Arsenal through a new class again, he really became one of the best for us and playing consistent until the season finished. First we have Mesut Ozil quality who brings hope for Arsenal as Wilshere said he didn’t believe Ozil signed for Arsenal first. And the next, Alexis Sanchez, his spirits and his non-stop training really motivated Arsenal to became stronger. You knew you will became champions when everyone all around you are act like champions. That’s what Arsenal lack of, that’s the thing what missed since 2005, we lost Henry, Viera, Cesc, RvP  when we didn’t have any as example.

New season 2015/2016 began and we bring Petr Cech after released by Chelsea. It was a big mistake, as you see right now (We love you Roman) when John Terry told that Petr Cech worth 10 points for us. He is right, this is the first time after his being truthful about Bridge’s scandal and right now he is telling us the truth again. Petr Cech gives us stability as world class goalkeeper which Arsenal really lack of since Wojciech given us hope a little bit. Petr is really in different class and what bring us to here, topped the table (since i wrote this post).

But the injuries haunted us again, usually it would haunted in middle January or in February as busy schedule and deciding moments for Arsenal to achieve something. We lost Rosicky, Cazorla, Welbeck, Wilshere, Coquelin, Walcott, The Ox, Sanchez and Bellerin in December. Hit us heavily ho and brought us down a little bit, but Giroud and Ozil playing really important role for Arsenal. Campbell being first choose after Walcott and the Ox gone in Capital One Cup, and he really great back up player.

But despite Arsenal injuries, Arsenal managed to win against Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and all really giving us confidence. But in December the loss of Alexis Sanchez, Coquelin and Cazorla are really being felt in long term for Arsenal right now. In Manchester City, we won, but the next match why we lose in Southampton? we lose because we lose in the physical situation and Arsenal lack of control of the ball. And the result.. 4-0, Arsenal lose at the moment.

And last night, at last we have won our last home match for this year against Bournemouth with Gabriel Paulista and Mesut Ozil goals respectively.We playing really slow after 4 fresh players coming in, Kieran Gibbs for Monreal, Gabriel for Kos, Ox for Campbell and the key is Chambers in for Flamini. Chambers rarely get the ball because he is still adapted in the games as this is the first time he is in starting line up. Walcott and Giroud missing a lot of chances, but thanks for Gabriel goal Arsenal came back playing comfortably.

We won it, thanks all because Mesut Ozil really drives Arsenal to win this time, he package Arsenal both goals with his 16th assists in EPL, involved in 21 goals for Arsenal this season. Mesut Ozil has been proven and told us that class is permanent, his flawless passing time, his seer vision , dictating and communicate for Arsenal attack formation which built all around him. Arsene always told us that Mesut are the players who always playing the perfect note. And last night he involved for almost Arsenal key passing and goals.

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Mesut Ozil passes against Bournemouth, 2015, by Opta. (Green : pass. Blue : Assist, Yellow : Key passing).

After we got Cazorla and Wilshere not in the squad, we hoping someone who comfortably control the ball. Ozil usually if Cazorla are in midfield, his role is playing deadly finishing passes and drive in to crossing. And last night he had a different role, his playing back and forth to keeping the ball, control it, finish it. He really became Arsenal ace after almost 3 years adapting Arsenal plays and Arsenal player’s method playing. Arsenal really have a reborn Bergkamp in their squad, Mesut fitted in that role, he truly amazing.

But slowly start for Arsenal really bad for next match, Southampton match really affect Arsenal as Arsenal weakest link are against physical tactics and pressure. Arsenal 4 players who replacing a lot of players which being playing a lot is good refresh for the squad. And i hope this will bring Arsenal fresh tactics for the next match. But Debuchy not coming in, dissapointed me, he really deserved playing in Bournemouth. He is not injured, he wants to prove, and Arsene knew he could be the next Monreal if we could give him a chance too.

We knew we will lost it when a lot of mistake happens, Per Mertesacker became the weakest link last two match. We missed the control, we lose, we missed the concentration, we lose, that’s Arsenal weakest link. We lost Alexis Sanchez , Coquelin and Cazorla as i believe this three are one of the main fundamental for Arsenal. So, we really want all of them coming back soon to fights what we lacks of.

Arsenal : the new age Resolution

We truly are the new Arsenal, 3 world class player really give boost for Arsenal confidence and mentality as whole team. Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez changing Arsenal attacking development and defense stability. But the nostalgic problem emerging in Southampton, and we really didn’t want it came when we will meet Barcelona in February and the rest of fixtures.

This January is the chance for Arsenal to buy new players in midfield as Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta and Cazorla are not in their prime age. If i could choose players for the replacement, i would bring Lars Bender, William Carvalho and Mohamed Elneny. Bender are good in controlling the ball like Arteta, William Carvalho is very good as Coquelin i believe and Elneny would given us choice if we want him play as midfielder or on the wing. Or Arsene could bring Isco or another big name for giving boost in middle race for champions.

We could see Coquelin and Bellerin developed as first team player and sidelined senior player such as Debuchy and Arteta. We had Bielik, Kamara, Gedion and Crowley as the next midfielder for Arsenal in future. Iwobi, Campbell , Jeff Rene-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom would answer challenge upfront which dominating by Walcott, Sanchez and Giroud. And waiting Walcott developed as Thierry Henry replacement really could happen next year. Who knew?

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Dan Crowley, Arsenal, Getty Images, 2015

As Arsenal fans, we really waiting the chance to see us winning the premier league after 2003 as the last EPL title. We are waiting for a long time and this year could be the year and must be this year for win it. Arsenal are forward in new future path as champions, we wanted this season as an answer for all the mocking Arsenal had. We had to win it, we must win it. And win pass through quarter final in UCL to established Arsenal as one of fearsome club in Europe. Arsenal vision are brings Arsenal to that highest level in Europe and bring answer for every single rivals out there, that this is the fearless new Arsenal. The New Age of Arsenal.

Anzala Ryanto is author of this post and right now focused as freelance  sports journo on Indonesia, USA and UK. @anzalariveris

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How to Bounce Back and Why Arsenal will get the benefit : Race of the Peak

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal look dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

As you know, i am an Indonesian Gooners fans, so every single Arsenal match in UK timezone affected my activities for a whole day. Do you believe how much i suffer from our lose against Southampton last night. I have to wait at 2.45 A.M for the kick off and analysis pre-prediction. Arsenal are looking great for present after winning several big match against Olypiakos and Manchester City. Thou Lord please saves my day, we lose 4-0 and it was hurting my eyes not puts insomniac night and several drinks. It hurts me when it just a little bit step for kicking Leicester before January transfer. And All of Arsenal fans mostly asking, why stupidly we lose?

And yeah, why we lose so much badly? (i try to swear,dude, really)

Arsenal is afraid

Yeah, you must be asking why? why i told you that Arsenal was afraid last night? Nonsense? No. It was the fact. I was looking several keys and moment whenever we attack Southampton in first half and that adjective verbs are flashing through my mind when i see how we are playing. Arsenal is playing defensively and cautiously playing their ball and lack of physical performance from every side of pitch from Arsenal. Southampton playing very well to pressure and tackle us, and get every single chance on every single mistake Arsenal was made.

Here an analysis from Opta which based on Arsenal heat movements (both starter and subs),

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Arsenal vs Southampton Movements, Dec 2015. based on Opta.

If you could see that Southampton space a little bit wider and it means preventing Arsenal counter attack and pressure, also makes controlling ball easier because the space has been made. Southampton’s Bertrand has been overlapping and Long has been effectively breaking offside trap many times.

But what we could see in Arsenal movements, Bellerin and Campbell (also with Ox) are in almost the same position and almost of them are in middle field. This is why i told you that Arsenal is afraid, Campbell always looking for Ramsey, Flamini and waiting Bellerin overlapping. But he rarely drives in and making crosses again, too busy defending and playing safe is bad factor for striker too. Walcott also didn’t make any impact with his runs again, rarely pass, and often make mistake which is rare reminding how badly he became world class striker.

Giroud also playing hard and physical, but he always miss his target and didn’t running enough. He oftens gave up for every long crossing from Ozil, Ramsey and Koscielny. Petr Cech also playing bad actually if you mind, i don’t wanna defend him this time, sometimes he lacks of courage. What i give an exception are Monreal and Ozil, Monreal playing very well cover left side, although Mane challenge our left and right side. Ozil actually so active, he gives a lot of pass through and lob passing with diverse a little bit cross in right or left side of the pitch. Ozil also loved pressure opposition player this time, i give him 8 in 10 scale.

But my focus is how poor our defence, this time Per Mertesacker shows how rusty he is. Koscielny and Mertesacker are having bad day, they are slow even in steady mentality but often do mistakes. looks in this stats which show how poor our defence.

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Southampton recovery ball (Arsenal on right side), Dec 2015. By Opta.

As you can see above, there is a lot of ball recoveries by Southampton and there is a lot too in Arsenal area. There are 15 ball recoveries by Southampton in third opposition area, not mention on bad passing from Mertesacker and Koscielny, Flamini and Monreal wrong judgement and etc. This is one of fact which lead us to abomination in boxing day. Crazy let down performances by Arsenal.

Chambers coming in midfield also didn’t make any differential between formation and defence. He didn’t cover Wanyama a lot of times, and Wanyama have a chance to see Long up front, when Mertesacker didn’t have the pace for chasing Shane Long. Typical BFG..

Arsenal arguably afraid to playing this time, after physical disturb and many of failed attempt on pass through, short pass,  and crossing. This is how beat “Arsenal”, if you remember Sir Alex when asked about the recipe killing Arsenal in his reign. And yet that is true, every single English premier League club which known by their physical tactics, are having good stats against Arsenal. And every time we fought this kind of team the result are, red card, injuries and loss.

But don’t mind, we really do collect 4 losses in half of season, while Leicester just have 2, which makes they really have a big chance to winning EPL too. We stay in 2nd when City trailing with 1 margin point and Leicester still on 2 margin points. We are in status quo, didn’t do any and didn’t have impact on race, we choose to stay and lose. Are there any messages nor positives build up for Arsenal after this match?

Yes, we really have.

Arsenal are the team who learnt from pressure

This is Arsenal main mentality power from past decades, while Arsenal have struggle to win or achieve something, this situation always give Arsenal became underdogs or no favourites from bookmaster. And this give Arsenal plays fearless and playing original attacking style based on possesion. This mentality has describing our season in the last 4-5 years before.

Like whenever we playing against Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Bayern Munich we are no favourites, but despite all of that, we won it. Well, sometimes it works for this side, that this psychological situation gives Arsenal new spirit and togetherness again but even no guaranteed it would be succesful. The main point is, Arsenal always cope from this situation and really do give an attention for their rivals for not giving a single chance for Arsenal to rise up.

Now how we are gonna do for rise up in the rest of season? look our rival first, Forever in Our Shadow a little bit giving challenge in 4th position, Crystal Palace and Watford suprisingly in 6-7th position respectively, and Manchester United are crumbling like pastries. Even Ed Sheeran started training for replacing Paul Scholes right now. Ginger for another Ginger… Never works!

Manchester City rising with Yaya Toure and Aguero now, Leicester became more solid and solid for every single match. If you read my assesment about our title chances in ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE : ODDS ARE NOTHING, you knew that humble pie better on our side than any dinner table out there. If i giving situation, dropping some of key players like Per, Petr Cech, and Bellerin for giving chance Gibbo, Gabriel, Chambers, Debuchy and Ospina are sometimes better fresh solution. Giving us another psychology for players their position are meant to fighting for.

Whenever they realized it, lads would be know if they stepped on the pitch there is no reason for lose since they would lose their place. Well. i am just looking in psychological situation, remember Chambers, Gibbo, Ospina and Debuchy are all quality player and deserved their place too. But what happen in Arsene mind still secret for his own. I hope when 3 days after this slump, we will ready to win against Bournemouth. Because we have to win it. No matter what.

P.S

I have been off writing this 2 days off because of Christmas day, and this post a little bit my 1st person of view as Gooners and a little bit personal, i hope you enjoyed it too. And later i will writing focused about one of our player also with preparation assesment against Bournemouth. So keep the traffic.

Anzala Ryanto is author of this post and right now focused as freelance  sports journo on Indonesia, USA and UK. @anzalariveris

English Premier League : Odds are Nothing

Before getting any presents for any Christmas tradition, i have to ensure that i have to behave very well, and if i do, it doen’t have any meaning that i would get any present too. That is the tradition that bring us lesson and make sure that lesson was learned through history. Everyone knew that everyone wanted that and but it all based on Christmas spirit.

Analogically, we are seeing that what happens with Arsenal right now. Arsenal really do well in big competition such as Premier League and UCL. And we are put our position strong in premier league in 2nd position between Leicester City and Manchester City. After we are winning against Manchester City a couple days ago, every single bookie master put us on top to winning the title. But this kind of things sometimes lead us to another pitfall, so every step that Arsenal taken next must be carefully and must heavily thoughtful.

What Arsenal must wary about?

I am always amazed about every single Arsenal player who did every interview and press conference this day, everyone praised each other and communicate very well on the pitch too. Every time on the pitch, always ready and asking the ball, ready take initiative. We do winning with big teams right now, we do sent messages about how we fight together. Makes everyone in Premier League and in Europe must be thinking about us that this is not ‘Arsenal’ Arsenal but we are coming back to Arsenal that when everyone knew about true meaning of ‘Arsenal’.

Arsenal who became Invincibles, who win Double, who playing attractive football, who came to beat big clubs in Europe, who gonna be the greatest club in the world. This season, many Arsenal players are mature and experienced with 3-4 world class player between them, a lot of international players too and every single academy player try developed through first team very well. This year really exceptional, really means something, the players knew what are they doing and to win is the most important. its proven with going through 16 qualifier and wins against Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Manchester City. Everything really went good for Arsenal don’t cha?

Everyone said calm before the storm calling, but Arsenal really do have theirs first. Ox, Walcott, Cazorla, and Coquelin even Sanchez are out before Christmas. Have death match in UCL before going through in group stages. And have 3 losses after just half of season must be hard. And know even we have 2nd position, Arsene knew it doesn’t meant anything. Arsene  told media that,

“It is much too early to say who will win the . We are only halfway.” Arsene, 2015.

That is Arsenal must wary about, we are still halfway and we didn’t even come first. We still have Champions League which will giving us a little burden and pressure for playing every single week in week out. Sip a little beer, we are not really done yet. And remember Arsenal recipe for injuries? we always down in February-March, because it was the busy and tough fixtures for us.

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Tough week Arsenal Fixtures 2016

As you can see we had Southampton in first fixtures, and then Bournemouth who beat Chelsea last week. We had UCL fixtures in Barcelona and 2 big defining moments for the title against Leicester City and Manchester United. Tough week as you can see. And in March we had Swansea who beat us, Forever in Our Shadow in Saturday also with 2nd leg in Camp Nou with Everton waiting 3 days later. We really do need another player to back up anyone whowill be  playing in those two months.

We also have to wary about Football is never being on static value and always dynamic, unpredictable as the power has been sharing evenly between every single English Premier League club. Arsenal set pieces who gives us problem alot of years ago, hopefully didn’t haunt us this year. And Arsenal also have to training their Penalty Kicks remember we had been missed two PKs and didn’t good when important kicks come in. The conclusion are we have to aware about injuries, dynamic tactics and disciplined defence. I believe this three keys could give us an answer for all future challenges.

What then must Arsenal do?

I am no Football expert tactician such as Michael Cox nor Adrian Clarke as player and pundit in Arsenal assesment. Either Thierry Henry pundit in Sky Sports and Ian Wright at Bein Sports, but my perspective are just coming through my view from every single game and my analysis that out from those above my list. So first what Arsenal must have to do?

Arsenal really have reinforcements in January with Wilshere, Sanchez and Welbeck coming through with Cazorla and Coquelin a lot bit long in late February. Well it doesn’t mean we are save, i belive even we have Bielik, Kamara and Dan Crowley waiting their talent get presentation but we need something fast-produce player and it was loan someone out there. Arsene really rarely loan someone if he didn’t need it, as he wants someone who developed well under his wings, he just wanted to own them.

Look who he had as loanee this past year, if not Yossi Benayoun, Emiliano Viviano and Kim Kallstrom. Two of them didn’t get so many chance so much in first team, but Yossi Benayoun given so much impact and he really plays very well. But considering his age, Arsene didn’t see his future in Arsenal and just let him go. Seeing this squad this year, buying someone or star really didn’t play well for Arsene as he seeing young player emerge and many player who need development in squad.

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Yossi Benayoun scoring against Norwich, 2010.

Shad Forsythe as Fitness backroom staff, he must have a lot critic strike through his ear. No offense, he really didn’t prove consistent improvement, as we can see as Sanchez going through his fitness and medical doctor in Chile despite we have the best in Arsenal. But I believe in Shad, and what he did to Ozil and Walcott has being fruitful so… its need time though.

Arsene talked in press conference as i was written this post, he is told that winning isn’t easy anymore, football in EPL is more dynamic, statistic can cheat you, but the most important is,

“Possession is not rewarded like it was before. It doesn’t give you the win as much.” Wenger, 2015.

That was the fact, Arsenal win against such big team such as Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Manchester City with just posessions in range between 10%-30%. We are playing a lot of counter break this year and that’s perfect with Theo and Oxlade Chamberlain. So keeping defence as tight as possible is important in Arsene new play and after that voila, the magic begins. Steve Bould coaching are really given Arsenal improvement and thanks to that we have Hector Bellerin.

I counted Arsene to give the best for the rest of season before meet February with keeping togetherness and fitness until that day. And proving the plan works with win against Barcelona and going through final.. win the EPL.. get FA Cup.. Too much? No. If he can, i back him with his new contract next year! Lol. But i am gonna ask you Gooners.. do you feel so much tempting this year? that Pep Guardiola, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Viera, Tony Adams or Arsene choose his legacy as the choosen one are Arsenal’s manager contender for next year or 2 years more. It was great isn’t it. Lol.

Author is Indonesia Journo in sports. Arsenal fans. And sports viewer expert in 2 decades.

Anzala Ryanto. @anzalariveris

Arsenal Early Christmas Spirits jingle Manchester City

Tough night for Manchester City and Arsenal last night, both of teams playing very well although Arsenal claimed the prize for trailing Leicester City by 2 points and left Manchester City for 4 points. A lot of points in that match which made Arsenal pivotal winning against Manchester City would by my focus in this post. Here is my match assesment.

Arsenal are very disciplined and showing true spirits

After winning the death match against Olympiakos, and clean sheet at Aston Villa. Ozil and friends are high determined to taking any points as much as they can. Manchester City is the best club for testing their mental and  uplift the spirit for the rest of season.

If you see my post and prediction before the match in ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER CITY : PACE OF CHAMPIONS , i was right about the score (a merely lucky i guess) but for Arsenal win it and keeping the score till the end was great. Per Mertesacker lead the lads but Alexis Sanchez still out which means Arsene prefer not risk him for saving the next part of season. Teenager Alex Iwobi and Jeff Rene-Adeleide makes it to the bench instead of Mat Debuchy who are not being seen on the list (the rumour about him leave is strong here).

Manchester City line up is so much different from my prediction, after Fabian Delph good performance in the past appearances, he get it on the list with Jesus Navas being on the bench. Sagna and Kolarov as wing back, Mangala and Otamendi as central pair, and Sergio Aguero has been picked than Raheem Sterling who has been playing well in UCL.

The match starting and in the first half Arsenal playing fast and cutting up Manchester City possesions ball. Although Manchester City could play any kinds of attacking form and breaking defence with Kevin de Bruyne and Silva but Arsenal spirit comes up with Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey who cuts up the pass to build possesions.

Last night Laurent koscielny playing a lot in opposition area and it indicates that Arsenal are enjoying and control the game. Every pass which has been cutting by Aaron Ramsey also giving Arsenal momentum for builds their counter attack. Per Mertesacker are in easy position for reading the game and command the defence from behind.

Hector Bellerin playing forward-go back with never intended to stop breathing. With combining Joel Campbell, Aaron Ramsey  and Hector Bellerin focused Arsenal playing on right and it makes a lot of space for Ozil, Walcott and Giroud breaking through on the left. Intensely after 4-5 fast break, in 33th minutes, Arsenal made first goal with Walcott from the left side. Ozil passing through Monreal, but Walcott take the initiative to take it and shoot past Joe Hart and Eliquem Mangala  beautifully.

It means Walcott 13 goals after 17 past appearances with Arsenal which proving him as one of the strikers who developed beautiful in his 26 age. Thierry Henry must be proud with his legacy in his shirt right now. Walcott goal is giving Arsenal uplift and if you watch Arsenal against Manchester United counter attack whose reproduce 3 goals means Arsenal always loose their handbrakes after scoring one goal in first half.

And it just went right, Arsenal picking up the ball again after Aguero beautiful back pass to Kevin de Bruyne which almost made a goal in few centimeters. Walcott passing from the left to Ozil who looks Giroud movement, with good timing Ozil passed it and Giroud runs it past Otamendi with one smooth shoot, he kills Joe Hart between the legs. Giroud record goal in 12 goals in 14th appearances  makes Arsenal looks good in Premier League right now. Arsenal made it 2-0 in first half, impressively well for all around.

Second half starts, and Manchester City playing well with a lot pressure for making a goal, but Campbell almost made a goal through Flamini crossing on the left but his shot is far up too high. Kolarov free kick with Aguero header is very threatening Arsenal but beautifully Cech cluctches it in his hands. Arsenal is safe once more. Raheem Sterling solo effort too is stopped by Monreal and Per Mertesacker cut the crossing immediately.

But in 81 minutes, with passing by Raheem Sterling.. Yaya Toure jingle it past Petr Cech and beautifully in, Yaya Toure playing very well all around the game and the impact for Manchester City is high. In the last few minutes both clubs counter attack each other but the score doesn’t change. Arsenal beautifully defends and makes Sergio Aguero and David Silva disappear on field.

Manager reaction, Analysis, and What Next?

Arsene Wenger has told media the result didn’t send any message to any premier league but giving a picture about Arsenal togetherness, stature and disciplined play instead. And he told about the chance of winning the title still not decided and this match is important to proving Arsenal are here to fight. He praised Ozil for being class and exceptional player on the pitch. and about the game he said,

“We are more mature to defend. We have moments. Today we turned between playing very high and very deep. When we were playing very deep we were not too much in trouble. They have players who can tuck in like De Bruyne and Silva who you do not want to get on the ball in the last 30 yards and overall we did that tactically well.” Wenger , 2015.

And Manchester City manager, Pellegrini disappointed about the result despite telling media that the boys is playing well and better than Arsenal. He told BBC here,

“You could see that there is exceptional life in this team and when we did not have the legs anymore, we relied on spirit and that got us through in the end.

We did better than Arsenal but we didn’t win and that is all that matters. We didn’t deserve to lose the game.” Pellegrini on BBC,2015.

Well. Kevin de Bruyne and Yaya Toure are playing very well, which Yaya Toure manage to get 1 beautifully goal, but Mangala and Silva is gone and didn’t have any impact. David Silva get a yellow card and frustated against Ozil and Ramsey, Mangala is off when he must keeping Campbell and Campbell almost made 1-2 goals out there. And his partnership with Otamendi didn’t fruitful, it gives a fact that Manchester City really need their captain back for stability performance.

Man of the match : Mesut Ozil

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Mesut Ozil between City Player, 2015

For me, Manchester City need to give Raheem Sterling a lot of ball like what he did in Liverpool because he is a dribbler. David Silva can find space with Yaya Toure and playing easy without a lot of movements, Kevin de Bruyne is good attacking midfielder which makes Manchester City attacking option are invincible. If they can do it, Manchester City could make their performance back and it would be threat.

Arsenal are playing very good right now, despite many first team player out and injured. And winning it like this does mean Arsenal still have trump card for the rest of season so it would be exciting for the rest of season and Southampton Boxing Day match would be another good test for Arsenal for keeping their chances in Premier League title.

Christmas are close and i would like giving you Christmas jingle by Arsenal!

Merry Christmas every Gooners!

Author is Indonesia Journo who put his view in Arsenal and Football for around 2 decades.

Anzala Ryanto. @anzalariveris

Arsenal vs Manchester City : Pace of Champions

Chelsea down by Bournemouth, plus Mou got sacked. Liverpool got it tie, Manchester United lost against Norwich, the Philosopher got booed and odds for him to go is high.  The past big four is no more, what left is everyone in EPL have a chance to win everything. Who thought Leicester would be on the pole right now?

Arsene said the title race is very exciting this season, many of results from the matches are  unpredictable. A lots of underdogs, every club in EPL has bought and developed class player that makes the odds even. And after 16 match in EPL, there is so much club in which had keepin the pace for EPL title.

This week Leicester win against Everton last night, there is no chance for Arsenal to put their name on the top. Manchester City are mean to come back on their track of winning. But it doesn’t mean the match isn’t so much important. Points has been critical whenever the title race is evenly same and close altogether.

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Giroud and Zabaleta, 2015

Here is the assesment for Arsenal vs Manchester City for starting line ups, tactics, and prediction for the match.

Manager and line ups

Arsenal

After almost a week Arsenal last match againat Asron Villa, Arsene told media that everyone who available last week is all the same for Manchester City, no injured news and no good news for player who come back from injury. Sanchez is ready but i believe better no risk it.

Giroud and Walcott will be upfront like what happens in Aston Villa. Both of them are in form for Arsenal. Giroud scoring 11 from 13 games, Walcott wanted to proving back again after loss in injury. Campbell is the better option for right wing reminds of his work rate than Ox.

Midfield would be fill up by Ozil, Ramsey and Flamini again, no change. Ozil said Arsenal are converting his pass right now which is good for his play. Ramsey are unbeliveable dynamo box to box player. Both of them are key of this match to win against City. What is it in the back four would be Bellerin, Koscielny, Per and Monreal. Cech still on between the post.

Prediction Line :

Starting : Petr Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Walcott, Campbell, Giroud.

Subs : Ospina, Debuchy, Gabriel, Gibbs, Chambers, Oxlade Chamberlain, Alexis.

Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini must been thinking hard for Manchester City getting past Arsenal to keeping up with Leicester and save their position to 2nd. After succesful in UCL group qualification, Pellegrini would like to put his fresh player while Belgium defender Kompany injured.

Joe hart still on between post to put Willy on the bench. He praise Eliqium Mangala on central back and Nicolas Otamendi performance in recent weeks. Fernandinho and in form Yaya Toure are excellent addition, Kevin de Bruyne in middle, Raheem has filling headlines to put Arsenal outside.

David Silva needs to improve his playing right now, Sergio Aguero who came back would be threat but the risk for getting injured early is still there.

Prediction line :

Starting : Joe Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy, Yaya, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Silva, Jesus, Raheem Sterling.

Subs : Willy, Kolarov, Fernando, Delph, ,Bony ,Kelechi, Aguero.

Tactics of The Team

Arsenal

Arsene would like dominate the possesion as Wenger stated if he put Olivier Giroud upfront you are meant to keep the ball. Reminds that City are having a lot talented class midfielder and big central defender so it would be hard fights in opposition area.

Ramsey box to box would dominate midfield, Ozil task is looking Giroud, Campbell and giving Bellerin and Walcott pass through. Flamini might be the weak area but if he keep playing safe it would good for the day. Arsenal passion is higher to win the task tonight.

Manchester City

Pellegrini is having Aguero back and it is tempting to playing fast and attacking option. Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva are crazy to put pressure against Flamini and back four of Arsenal defence. Fernandinho and Yaya Toure are hoping to stop Ozil like he just came first time to Premier League.

But the key is Raheem Sterling in form for City. Manchester City attack are always strong after Aguero being sidelined thats thanks because of Sterling. Raheem are exceptional player  and capable to fight Koscielny and banished Per Mertesacker but its all based on Pellegrini tactics.

Prediction Result

The last time this giant meeting are in January 2015 which Arsenal win 2-0 as Giroud and Cazorla on target in Etihad. But different time and players make it exciting, now based on assesment it would be fair to see what is the result.

Arsenal are winning this as Alan Smith said in Sky Sport. I agreed. Arsenal are in their track and beat Manchester City is the fundamental for that.

Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City

Author is Indonesian Journo and started writing after being Sports viewer almost 2 decades.

Anzala Ryanto. @anzalariveris

Jamie Vardy’s Rising Tale, Arsenal have their own?

We all know how Jamie Vardy has come became sensational star of Premier League and starting his career club which comes from the team far far away. What makes it more impossible is Jamie Vardy’s age and experience in big league who he didn’t have. And what have we look right now is an emerging player who first career coming through small club in low tier and right he made explosive performance in Premier League!

Jamie Vardy came from Sheffield Wednesday academy and joining Stocksbridge Park Steels in 2007 and get 107 apps with 66 goals in all competition for 3 years. Joining Halifax Town in 2010 and he get 27 goals after 37 apps and makes Fleetwood Town FC interested after a season there. He manage 36 apps and 31 goals which so impressive and makes Leicester grabbed him out with 1,7 million pounds.

Lives in Leicester in Championship doesn’t suit him fast, he didn’t manage to get grip his past form and prompting criticism from some City supporters on social media, he even considered leaving football until manager Nigel Pearson and assistant manager Craig convinced him to continue with the club. But situation different when this season with Claudio Ranieri takes the seat, Vardy and co. has found their togetherness and since the post has been written they are 1st in EPL. Amazing Tale isn’t it? Cinderella of EPL.

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Jamie Vardy broke Van Nistelrooy records for 10 consecutive goals, 2015

But wait, who says Arsenal didn’t have any tales like that? Someone whos starts off from nowhere and become one of guy? Seems like Arsenal had a lot. Here is a little best list for you to see the tales of impossible.

1. LAURENT KOSCIELNY

Kos the Boss, every single Arsenal fans knew about this guy. Strong, quick, and his consistency are his key and strength of his game. He established himself as first choice central defender in the past years and Arsene favorite choice. But do you know his ‘Cinderella tales’ that makes him one of the best defender in the world?

Starting his professional career in low third tier in France, Guingamp as a right back (the secret about his quicky traits) in 2003. He developing himself in defense art and becoming major player at there. After 4 years he moved on and getting chance for being promoted to Ligue 2 with Tours. At this place, Laurent wanted to become central defender and learnt everything from zero again. But in just a year he got himself named as one of Ligue 2 Team of the season which is incredible adaptation.

Left in 2009, newly promoted Ligue 1 Lorient bought him for almost 1,7 million pounds. Snap, and he already becoming starter member, fans favourite and makes history for taking Lorient to their highest position at that season, 7th! Arsene looking this rare gem and secretly makes him come to training with reserve squad. After just a year, Arsene bought him in 2010 and he told Arsenal about his transfer :

It took me four years to go from the bench of Ligue 2 to Arsenal so it is a great achievement. I have been on the crest of a wave for the last few years. But it is just the beginning; I haven’t proved anything yet. Arsenal is a reference for football.” Koscielny, 2010.

It is true, EPL is another big dimension, and Arsenal is a big club, the competition must been doubled for any player who signs at first. Koscielny finds it hard for playing in his first season and get red card twice. In 2011, he knew how Arsenal play and his partnership with Thomas Vermaelen has been fruitful. He makes himself one of first choice in Arsene squad. In 2012 he saved Arsenal 4th place for getting UCL because of his goal against Newcastle.

2013, he getting himself paired with Per Mertesaceker, the BFG (yeah we know) and putting back Arsenal best partnership since the era of Tony Adams and Sol Campbell. He helping Arsenal to gain first FA Cup title with his second goal ( the tie ones) since 2005. And in 2014, he established as one the best defender in EPL with his consistency and makes Arsenal winning their second FA Cup back to back. Amazing isn’t it?

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Koscielny tie goal against Hull City in FA cup Final, 2014

This is the tale of Kos the Boss, who became undisputed Arsenal best defender throughout years. Hope he winning us another title again this year.

2. OLIVIER GIROUD

Yes, this guy coming through after achieving big hurdle in his career before he came to Arsenal. Olivier Giroud was born in Chambèry, France and started his youth career in Froges and after that he is taking another development in Grenoble. He is aware that he can make it as professional player after Grenoble youth manager told him that he had something special quality at Giroud (Not his face).

In 2005 season, he promoted through reserves rank and playing in 5th tier French Ligue while he manage 15 goals in 15 apps. Thierry Goudet as manager Grenoble in French Ligue 2 looked at him and take him to first team chance, as stated Thierry told media that Giroud ability is exception upfront. Giroud managed to get his first pro goals as striker against Le Havre in 2007.

But unfortunately, he is being loaned to Istres in 3rd tier French League in 2008 and developing again as striker there. After succesful loan stint with 14 goals, Giroud hoping get first team chances or manage get to Ligue 1 (the highest tier in French Football). But Mehmed, the new manager of Grenoble told media that Giroud “did not have the level to play among the elite” and listed him for being transferred. 2011, Giroud told press while being interviewed about that :

“I am neither resentful nor vengeful. I am just disappointed with what happened to Grenoble when there was great potential” Giroud, 2011.

Giroud transferred to Tours in Ligue 2, while meeting his soon future friends again, Laurent Koscielny in 2008. Giroud managed to make succesful 2 season with Tours with 67 apps and 36 goals but failed to get promotion to Ligue 1 after loss in pre eliminary.

But in that season Giroud capable to get Montpellier bought him and winning Ligue 2 Player of the Year. In 2011, Giroud and co. brought Montpellier through Ligue 1 title as Ligue 1 Top Scorer and his team play was the one which makes Montpellier success. Giroud exceptional success has not left Wenger eyes and bought him to replacing Robin van Persie in 2012.

Replacing Arsenal best striker and best player at the moment must be a burden for any player in the world. Even Giroud didn’t made any impact after almost 5 match with the club. Even he is being one of the player who scores, but not so-regularly and his slow speed (he is faster than Per Mertesacker) as striker made every Arsenal fans mad and criticize him a lot.

But his strength, huge mentality, and exceptional first touch link play are his exceptional unique stats that made him perfect to play with Arsenal. The next season he helped Arsenal with winning the first FA Cup title since 2005 with back pass assist to Aaron Ramsey against Hull City for comeback goal.

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Giroud winning his first Community Shield at Arsenal, 2014

He established himself as first choice at Arsenal and his rivalry with Walcott this season is firing Arsenal a new developed tactics. Arsene told media that Giroud huge mentality and his exceptional stats make him unique striker which fits Arsenal perfectly. Giroud right now is the 7th player in Arsenal who capable get 50 goals in Premier League.

3. KOLO TOURE

I saved this for the best, the beautiful tale of exceptional legend at Arsenal. if you knew Toure’s brother Yaya who has been exceptional player at Barcelona and Manchester City, but his older brother Kolo Toure has made his name famous at Arsenal before his brother coming through big ranks at Manchester City.

He was born in Ivory Coast while player from such a country still not unlikely play in big clubs and in Premier League. Kolo playing his youth career ASEC in Abidjan since 1994. Kolo is one of  player who didn’t have any chance to privilege life to focus on his future. He stated that he must playing football while looking money such as sold newspaper.

‘I’ve done things that no other player has done. I have sold newspapers by the side of the road and cleaned the shoes of people for less than a pound.

‘I was 12 at the time. I had to do it in order to eat because my family was really poor. But I’ve always been someone who has wanted to fight and to scrap for every penny I could to help my family and my mother. For me it is very important.’

As stated as above, playing in Europe or even in Ivory Coast big clubs was hardest thing ever managed from him. Kolo have 4 brothers and 2 sisters so he should protect them from any harm and sent money back home. He playing his chance in regular first team in ASEC before Arsenal scout coming in Ivory Coast and looked at him.

Arsene has been told there is player in Ivory Coast that worth to try, and Arsene pay 150K for bring Kolo for trial. And he did came and playing with such Arsenal Legends like Thierry Henry, Bergkamp and Ray Parlour. As being told by Ray Parlour the trial has been succesful for Kolo.

Kolo playing his full strength against first team while Arsenal are preparing for next season. He tackled Henry with two foot that Ray Parlour said it must been red! After that he tackled Bergkamp! And Arsene scream at him ‘Kolo, what are you doing? Don’t tackle, don’t tackle!’.

‘UNBELIEVEABLE’ said Parlour, he must been crazy or somewhat. And while playing still on, the ball is moved towards Arsene and Kolo tackle him hard that makes his ankle swollen. Kolo told that he is sad, depressed and said that his career is finished in England just like that.

But Arsene looked upon him that Kolo desire in second to no one. Arsenal signed him in 2002 as he is the first Ivory Coast player ever who came play for Arsenal. Arsene didn’t play him until next season, and he makes his debut for Arsenal against Liverpool in Community Shield. He gets his first FA cup title in that season as subtitute.

Next season is more exceptional for him, his partnership with Sol Campbell are so formidable and strong which makes him one of the best in Premier League. Every pundit said that this player from nowhere has coming through ranks in Arsene squad and the impact was fully succesful. Arsenal winning 2003-2004 season unbeateable, called every single player with The Invincibles nicknames.

Kolo Toure established himself in central defender with another player such as Senderos, Sol Campbell, and bring another FA cup in 2005 with his goal in semi final we getting through UCL final in 2006. He is junior Vice Captain for Arsenal behind Gilberto Silva and Henry.

Kolo leaving Arsenal after becoming one of the longest serving player in Arsenal history after a little bust up with his partner in defence, William Gallas. He has been great and leaving for Manchester City for almost 15 million pounds.

In his tenure as high profile players at City he also manage get City their first FA Cup title and EPL title after almost 40 years respectively. Everyone talked and Gunners fans also stated that his moving to Eastland was for money. Which he stated that :

“I believe I deserve what I earn, I have been in this country seven years now and everyone knows that when I played for Arsenal I didn’t just give 100 per cent, I gave 200 per cent. Now that is the case with Manchester City.

‘We are not here for the money. It’s about more than that. But when you work hard you deserve something.”

And i respect that. Kolo is one of the greatest tales and players that have been amazing for Arsenal. His unbeliveable talent and great career has put his ink in history. His brother coming through the ranks with Barcelona and met Kolo, his older brother at City which looks like Disney stories.

He famous quote is,

‘Our family, our whole village, is really proud of what me and my brother have achieved in football. People who have known me since before I became a footballer know I deserve what I have because I’ve worked so hard in my life.

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Kolo Toure at Arsenal career, 2007

These 3 tales from Arsenal tells us that we also have another Great stories and talent like Vardy did in Leicester. And that is why stories like this makes football beautiful. Its real stories and struggle in life. Put his mark in history and not unforgotable for years to come.

Writer is Indonesia Journo for sports and pundit viewer in football for almost 2 decades.

Anzala Ryanto. @anzalariveris

Aftermath : Chelsea

I have been shocked by Chelsea public announcement yesterday that they are sacked Jose Mourinho! Neither he is the least manager who annoyed any single gunners fans in the world, but from everything that he said after he came back to Chelsea, it still shocked everyone after all.

Mourinho ever said that this second reign of him at Chelsea is all about stature, balance and consistency (for becoming one of the longest serving manager.). Although his third season (again) he has been under performed and filling bad vibe and headlines around FA and news but still Mourinho wanted to become one of Chelsea longest serving manager and his spirit is no doubt.

What makes him become like this and why he didn’t made it at Chelsea. And what happens after math at Chelsea will become my assesment in this post.

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