Do you need 70 minutes to learn?

Madness. The word I used to say when something that doesn’t work but you still do it over and over again. I watched the game against Stoke yesterday and I am almost cringe for every minute wasted. Why Arsenal play so boring against low side when Manchester City and United win and Leicester have a tie? Yet we are still on top but we still have long way to go, and have a bit point to lead isn’t too evil. DUH.

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We are playing without Ozil as rumours have been told beforehand and Ozil have a slight “injury”. It’s still okay as we have been won before when Ozil not playing in middle. Yesterday we put the almost fastest paced formation we had with Theo, Ox and Campbell behind Giroud. Ramsey and Flamini in the middle when every Arsenal fans expect to see new debut of Elneny instead of that selection.

Many questions have been thrown from anywhere who will lead us in No.10, the playmaker. Is it Campbell, the Ox or Ramsey? Campbell is capable doing killer through ball but he is no playmaker, Ramsey is an OK guy but he already said he prefer playing box to box and at last, the Ox as no.10, who still unproven and yet still had lack of match in first team. Arsene choose the Ox in middle hoping that he turns into Barkley or Sterling soon.

But it actually didn’t work out, Arsenal is poorly passing the right way and brings out the finish. No one brought the verse to chorus, no bridge between it. Flamini is purely defensive type so no one can blame him, Ramsey really a great box to box but he can’t do vision better than Ozil. So the Ox got the job, he actually missed to give key passing in first half, it was bad actually remember how effectively Arsenal style of play in key chances.

Arseblog gives a clue about how actually the pitch affected about how a whole team plays. The Stoke pitch is more narrow than Emirates so it’s hard to open space and to catch a breath when you’re pressed in middle and on your own half. It is one factor why the tactic don’t works and this environment factor already didn’t work to our fast track player.

You knew when it didn’t work out maybe you’re trying to find the solution faster and yet Wenger didn’t see that chance. Walcott actually do some dribbling and drives in. He give glimpse of hope for Arsenal in the box but some fouls didn’t get justified.

The man got rusty after a few couple chance being blocked by Stoke tight defense. The Ox didn’t even do much after several shots from outside, he is really unlucky. You knew you can add someone who had better techniques in passing with subs. You got Iwobi and Arteta who capable at least for doing that and yet you still giving faith.


Arsenal attacking stats from 0-72th minutes against Stoke City.

Despite Arsenal got the possession but you actually can see how our pass has been blocked a lot of times. There’s no one who actually commands the pattern. When you don’t have it, don’t expect goals. 70 minutes later you put Iwobi to change Walcott, even Walcott looks mad but he already had a bad day and it’s enough. You out.


Arsenal attacking stats after Iwobi came in 72-90th(+3) minutes against Stoke City.

Iwobi came in and you can see how this unexperienced kid deliver something in the middle. Just couple of minutes he do slightly better than Ox in an hour. If you watch it than you knew, it’s not a matter of personal of view but it’s what happened. What makes me mad is how its take a long time to realize,  and we just got 20 minutes to do something.

We are losing 2 points already when we will meet Chelsea in the next fixture. Wenger can’t say we are lucky to get points and Wenger praise how good we fight. He told media,

“There’s a charisma in this team, a togetherness that comes out with a fighting attitude.[We are] people who really want to do well and that came out again today. I’m very proud of that and I think the club should be proud of that.” Arsene Wenger, 2016.

Arsenal already capable for doing that thing, it’s time to take the next step, to win when it’s possible and not waste any match. We have to act like how scary we are, act accordingly like that and you get the title. The confidence is strong to boost the morale if you meant to win.

It’s OK if you think that it’s all because the narrow pitch and cold air, or even it’s good thing that we managed to get out without injuries. But don’t forget Arsenal how badly was yesterday and Wenger do nothing for an hour. I’m quite stressful watching it and cringe as Wenger just stand there complain his player yesterday.

It’s OK to change someone monsieur, you are brave to dropped someone to another club but you can’t take out the chance on the title just because you wanted to wait a little bit. Maybe you just lack of tempo last match. Just maybe.

Anzala Ryanto as Author of this post, big Gooner and right now focused as freelance  sports journalist in Indonesia, USA and UK.


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