Arsenal vs Everton, Arsenal last chance.

The result is out, Arsenal can’t do anything much against mighty Barcelona, with Trio MSN really haunted Arsenal for both meeting in 1st and 2nd leg. What interestingly is Barcelona never look Arsenal as worthy opponents since day one as Daniel Alves told media that his teammates was happy to hear that Barcelona got Arsenal in draws. Sadly, Arsenal can’t deliver the upset, and the outing just adds Arsenal bad result from 8 last matches.

Looking the tight chance for winning any title sure gives so much depression for the fans. Arsenal poor finishing really quite damaging the chance to win, and its ancestry has been found since Southampton match in January and loss of Alexis because of injury in December. First, looks like losing one of prolific player in the squad when in the middle of fight really affected Arsenal title chance. Losing Arsenal last season top goalscorer would affect some of Arsenal’s player morale.

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AFC vs Hull City, the glimpse of hope for Wenger.

I’ve been looking and watching Arsenal fans on Twitter and YouTube for a several days since Arsenal poor runs hits on busy schedule. Since what happened in Leicester night, Arsenal looks buoyed by the win and forget what they’re come with every single match they play for. I mean look at the passion of the fans, they’re ready to support Arsenal in every game and singing the player’s name at Emirates. And it looks uneasy to admit that the fans lose the chance to taste the EPL title after a period of silence years. And then comes the main question for every single year that banging Arsenal fans eardrum, who’s put the blame?

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The Two Faces of Arsenal, one way to beat Barcelona.

Arsenal is had so much problem actually like the other teams when it comes the first choice player isn’t playing. In case for Arsenal, the main problem sometimes the finishing and ball deliveries. Arsenal tactics is very highly in focus on wings, creativity in middle and striker so if one of them is missing, the chance to win is deteriorate quickly. Arsenal is being demanded by fans to buy a world class striker, and he buy Alexis Sanchez to play as a winger. Because as a main striker, Arsene rather to choose Giroud, Walcott and Welbeck as three of them are potentially great as a striker in Premier League, it makes conclusion the quota is full and Arsene is very likely do what he wants, build his own striker.

The striker depth is good and performances are better now, Welbeck is back and do winning goal against Leicester, Walcott probably still find his form but when needed he is explosive and could play on wings, and Giroud is a fighter with the most goals in the squad right now. The wingers isn’t do much problem, Oxlade is not injured and great to drives in, Campbell is playing superbly and Alexis is back to form. Arsenal doesn’t do much problem when it comes to finishing,  what Arsene need is the right player to subs when it comes to dreadlock situation because everyone is ready and go. So the basic problem actually is in middle creativity, the Arsenal heart.

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AFC vs Hull City reloaded and story of selfie stick

FA Cup does exciting for Arsenal in this past year, and even Arsenal is in the middle of EPL title race, there is no sign of unbalanced force from Arsenal to face Hull City. They’ll face Barcelona in next fixtures which gives pressure for them and probably give a big distraction, but Arsene knew that FA Cup is much matter for him as FA cup is the one who related with him closest than ever.

Arsene has told media that Elneny will play in that match and give rotation for all player that playing for a whole week in last match against Leicester. As you see the line up by the Arsenal,

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Mertesacker  is back when Gabriel still in doubt and Chambers will take the duty of right back position. But Arsene grant Flamini back in middle to provide stability for midfield when Elneny play as roaming midfielder to produce counter attack and offer long shot to increase percentage of scoring. Iwobi acknowledged by Arsene to put the responsibility as creative midfielder and Welbeck surprisingly came out and put Theo on the side.

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Ready for the Hurdles?

Arsenal are in up and down form in late January, but Arsenal try to reprise the form after win against weak side Bournemouth at 2nd fixtures in February. The table speak for itself, Leicester City dominated the runs after shocking win against Manchester City which determine the title credential for them. Although the most furious moment for Arsenal fans right now is the moment when the One who Should not be Named got 2nd in Premier League Table after winning against Watford. Arsenal got punished after sluggish 4 games with no win in January, when Arsenal really need points and confidence to fight for the EPL title and defining moment of pride against Barcelona. I’ve been written about the condition that we will face in February-March fixtures when the schedule kicks up in the arse. And it turns out not well enough consider the Arsenal track form didn’t convincing enough with last 5 games, Arsenal just capable to gather 6 points out of 15. Was it the worst schedule for Arsenal? No. not yet. But Arsenal is in greater moments than last year, because everyone’s ready to comeback from injury with Ozil’s form is on fire and Alexis didn’t fulfill the potential for this season yet. Arsenal looks good on paper but will they Continue reading

Arsenal is not a “Clever” club?

Kicking out the bin outside the pub was your normal rage night against Chelsea. Swearing over your mum when she visited you and bothering when Chelsea match began was unconventional rage. It’s weird and got weirder when you said Chelsea playing not better than us. They are playing cleverly without getting any red card even they were play more aggressive than Arsenal. Provoking Arsenal or other team is one of the specialty of Diego Costa, the man who had no shame. Chelsea once again beat Arsenal in N5 soil with the same old nostalgic match. Red card, 10 man, suddenly no one who can attack properly, poorly defensive, that’s Arsenal do against Chelsea in the past Roman era. This is not happen just once, we already feeling this familiar atmosphere for every big match. Why?

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Thanks to Arsene Wenger, that this year is solely different after a lot of improvement in the last 5 years. We bought Ozil, Alexis and Cech which brings power and stability for Arsenal squad. Academy going get fruitful after several players coming through and backroom staff was replaced with another one. These differences were made Arsenal stronger than Arsenal do in the past 5 years, but why yet still lose? You didn’t came thrown out some money out there just for getting kicked out didn’t you? I think there’s few factors that makes it happened over and over again for Arsenal.

Arsenal is better when it comes on pressure to lose than to win

It’s funny because it’s true. You expect something better from Arsenal after several performances down or up before the big match. For any predictions and hopes you had before the match, countless times to read and analyze the opposition but it’s all depends on Arsene approach after all. Remember how Arsenal are supposed to kick out Bayern Munich last year in UCL group stage but it wasn’t happen.

After several wins in EPL, Arsenal supposed to be on form for Bayern Munich in second leg Group Stage to lead the group. And surprisingly Arsenal came to lose 5-1 and it makes harder to qualify for 16 best qualifiers. What is the differences from Arsenal win in first leg against Bayern? Arsenal not considered as favourites for UCL and playing with freedom than the last.

It’s all the same when Arsenal meet Chelsea in the first leg fixture against them this season. Record for not having any win against Chelsea in BPL also haunted Arsenal in that game. Considered as favourites, with more of Chelsea player got injured and Hazard is out of form makes the odds higher. The result is bitter with one red card and lose 2-0 with Diego Costa playing use provocative approach. How about last night? Well such as mixed reviews from a lot of pundits about how and who’s gonna win, but Arsenal slightly upfront with bigger chance in title race and Chelsea lost in someone pocket. The result?  We lose with one red card and 1 nil down, the nostalgic moment with the same outcome. Even you can see the spirit came in the last 20 minutes with Alexis came on the pitch but Arsenal can’t do nothing at the start of game even Ozil lead the squad. Why Arsenal always playing like this after 2 FA cups? Is it Arsenal still lack of title mentality?

Arsenal almost always got bad referee and bad judgement in big match. Is it true?

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Arsenal could choose Mike Dean as Arsenal worst boogeyman for every match he officiates. You could choose is it against Chelski, the shadows, or even Manchester United. The fans not favour him, and even the statistics for Arsenal not favour him. Statistically, Dean is Arsenal’s bogeyman in black. The Gunners have only won 33.3 per cent of their games that he has officiated since 2011/12. Andre Marriner as official in big match against Chelsea in 2014 also came as the worst choice for Arsenal, when Alex Oxlade Chamberlain got sent off instead Kieran Gibbs who did the foul. Bussacca as referee in UCL second leg against Barcelona to sent off RvP for kicking the ball after gotten offside also ridiculously funny judgment. Or Arsenal fans could choose Mark Clattenburg after last night Diego Costa “clever” play against Mertesacker tackle?

Whenever we play with those referee on the big match, Arsenal always on pressure tactics and got fouled several times in the first half. This is what happens when you fight in game determine which club to qualify, if it against any big team, you can name it. The terms of “clever” play out last night after Diego Costa manage to get Arsenal second red card in this season terms. What is clever play? Is it playing hard, not get justified when you fouled someone and get referee on your side with blabbering your reason? Is it clever play is an ugly play? Every single big team against Arsenal are doing it, Manchester United in the past 10 year, Barcelona with drama class, Real Madrid with Pepe as leader, and Chelsea with Diego Costa as player with no shame or you could name manager who love to play like these, Jose Mourinho.

Why Arsenal didn’t play like this? It’s working at least to beat them. Kicking opposition feet to the stand and provoking referee every single foul opposition made is quite good after all. Why Arsenal didn’t play “cleverly” than ever? Did Arsenal player couldn’t cope playing like this or even the play didn’t have any bravery at all? Or the key is on the managerial issue?

Arsene Wenger is not a fan of this play, he is love to play fine game in justice system. Whenever someone kick Arsenal player he defends them with moan the official, and if Arsenal players fouled opposition harshly, Arsene let the official to judge. Why? Why bother to play with judgement like that? Why not kick them up in the arse and get them lost from Emirates soil?

“Is the ugly way the best way? The most efficient way is to play good football and not to kick the ball into the stand, because there is no goal there, the goal is on the pitch.” Arsene Wenger.

That’s his principles to win like that, Arsene wanted to win like a man. But is the fans gonna like it? Are Arsenal fans the type whose gonna win no matter what the cost? Even become the devil? Or are Arsenal fans stay like these without any insurance that Arsenal got Justified better for their sacrifice? It’s still depends on Arsene but if Arsenal fans love the drama.. It’s up to them to change.

“Manners Maketh Men”

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

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