February 20, 2014

Thank God For Flamini And Sisters

Perhaps it was fortunate that I wasn't able to sit down and give my full attention to the game yesterday. We got stranded in Chicago for a few hours due to train delays, and even though the train has WiFi, the station did not, so I relied completely on text updates from my sister, 4,000 miles away. 

I will say though, the blokes who do the text updates on BBC and Sky can't hold a candle to my sisters prompt, completely biased, outrageously entertaining and inappropriate updates. Quite possibly one of the biggest Gooners on the planet, her ability to describe an incident with only four-letter expletives is stunning and is something that would do wonders for the mundane coverage on the major sporting coverage sites. 

Between her sublime texts and some highlights after the game I got the general idea of what happened against Bayern on Wednesday. It seemed like Ozil was rather inconvenienced by having to play for Arsenal and would rather have been elsewhere at times. It also seemed that the referee liked Bayern Munich (like-liked them, creepy style). It seemed like Sanogo wasn't at all intimidated by the big stage and showed a little of the potential Wenger saw in him, let's just hope Diaby Sanogo stays healthy. And finally, it really did seem like Robben was a complete and utter knob end. No, he definitely was. 

Opinions are phenomenal things, and allow people to make themselves sounds like idiots, but that was never a red card. The ball gets lifted into the area, Robben goes for it, as does Szczesny (albeit a touch late) and once the Polish giant realised he wasn't going to get it, he pulled in his arms and legs, making every effort to avoid contact. A penalty? Yes, clearly. But certainly not a red card. 

It was reminiscent of the final against Barcelona back in 2006 when Jens Lehman got sent off early in that game, and although Arsenal put up a valiant efforts in both instances, neither times were you ever going to get the best from Arsenal. Shame really, that the referee has the power to single handedly alter games' quality and outcome so drastically. 

I've written about Mesut Ozil a few times lately, so I won't go on and on about him, but something has to be done about this dip in form he's going through. Mertesacker had similar problems in his first season, but perhaps wasn't talked about as much because of the smaller price tag. If Ozil takes the same steps as his German team mate and comes back with a stellar second season, then great! But for right now, making a quarter million quid a week, I think we should all expect a lot more from the fella. 

I read what Arsene Wenger said about Ozil being "hurt" by his penalty miss. Great. Thanks. That makes me feel so much better about his lackadaisical penalty attempt and his lethargic movement around the pitch.  Should he be dropped for a game or two to think about his performances? Should he be given more games so he can find his touch again and regain some sort of form? Who knows. Everyone will have their opinion, but in the end the only person who's opinion counts in the managers. With Sunderland at home in a couple of days, then a week long break I doubt the young German will see the bench, but if he has another poor performance against the Black Cats then the grumbling is going to get louder and louder from the fans.

Flamini, not one to hide his emotions of opinions, was seen letting Ozil know exactly how he was doing and I love it. Mattieu Flamini is more than just a workhorse of a defensive midfielder, he's the man to dish out the kicks in the arse players need when they make mistakes. A player Arsenal haven't really had since, well, Flamini. Mertesacker shouts a lot too, but there's something ferociously different about the little Frenchman. I'd ensure I wasn't making mistakes just so I didn't have to get an ear bashing from him. Keep it up Flamster.

While I'm not hugely disappointed or surprised that we lost 2-0 to quite possibly the best team in the World right now, I'm still keen to see a reaction from the lads this Saturday. A couple of strong performances from Stoke City (playing CIteh) and Everton (playing the Russian scum bags from Fulham) and a good result from The Gunners could see us back a top of the table. 

Come On You Gunners!