We have a predictions league we run on our site and every Arsenal game folks on the league visit the site to predict the score of the game and they earn points weekly based on the real life results. You can check it here, CanonCrested Arsenal Prediction League;For the game against Chelsea we had 26 predictions, 20 of players predicted an Arsenal win and even though their views might be hugely blinded by their love for the club but a more incisive look at the predictions and one would see that all the scorelines predicted where close. No one expected the mauling we received and mauling is for lack of a better adjective.

How Arsenal can make a 90 minute game a mountain to climb after just 10 minutes beats any form of reasoning. I don’t think it’s possible for the human brain to comprehend how we do it. Please if you find any writing that can explain it please point me in that direction so I can read and learn. It’s just sad that one spends a whole week waiting for a game. You think about it, play it in your head over and over again, tweet about it, listen to podcasts talk about it, engage in banter all week with the opposing fans, follow the managers press conference for any injury news, for bloggers we blog about it, My God!! It’s hard and then the team collapses in 10minutes and is 4 goals down by half time and you can’t even see effort. It’s hard to take I tell you, its bloddy hard to take.

Same Script

You do the same thing every time; you can’t expect a different result. Hate Mou as much as we want but I am pretty certain he is the best with setting up his team to get a result he wants to get. Immediately I saw Matic and Luiz in the middle against our Oxlade, Cazorla and Arteta it looked a lost midfield battle to me already. The effect of that setup was very easy to see immediately the game began and we could not keep the ball for up to 60secs. They put instant pressure on us and Gibbs and Oxlade kept giving the ball away and by ten minutes we were 2 goals down.

Any team missing players with the quality of Ramsey and Ozil in its midfield would suffer but the onus lies with the manager to pick a team that can get a result per game. Wenger might change personnel but he won’t change the set up of his team with respect to his opponent. We are not going to boss everyone, we are not going to keep the ball against every team and force them to play our way, we can do that against small teams and get away with it but when we come up against teams that have quality we will be exposed and we have been severally this season.

Wenger is a huge believer in his opinions and that has its positives and negatives but he has to admit that this perpetual 4-5-1 set up or 4-2-3-1 variant that we play always makes him predictable and easy to plan against. So we start a game with his preferred 4-5-1 and he sees it’s not working at what point does he change. That is the hallmark of Fergie, the man was perfect with reacting to how the game was moving. I struggle to remember Wenger ever change the system of play during a game except when he is throwing in defenders to keep a lead at end of a game. When was the last time we started a game with two strikers? Or even had 2 strikers on the pitch at the same time; Last I can remember was when Bendtner came in against United and Giroud was still on I presume. Huge fan of Arteta but I expected Flamini to start this game because of the intensity that we all know Chelsea can bring, I wouldn’t have minded a ‘Flamteta’ arrangement for once at least to contain Chelsea until we decide to chase the game much later.

Same Cast

Injury meant the number of players available for selection was limited and we have already talked about the Flamini-Arteta angle but the side Wenger put out there had no right to collapse the way they did. I don’t believe anyone that was on that pitch yesterday didn’t want to win in their hearts but they did not translate that to any form of action on the pitch.

Gibbs was awful before he was wrongly sent off and I think his performance yesterday has really ruled him out of any England call up soon with Baines and Luke Shaw far ahead of him. Then again you can’t trust the English after all Cleverly is in that team. Oxlade couldn’t find any form of rhythm, Arteta provided no shield, the defending was shambolic and our line so high Chelsea were nearly clean on goal twice before they got their first goal.

The first goal came from a swift counter attack after a Giroud miss. Giroud, Giroud, Giroud ….would the game have been a different encounter if he had put in his chance early on? Definitely, at least Chelsea would have been kicking off from the centre circle with all our players back instead of them running back chasing a counter attack. I have been a strong supporter of Giroud as I feel the burden on him to perform week in week out due largely to the fact that he is the only striker the club is huge but he has really broken my elastic limit now. He hardly got any support yesterday which meant he had to be clinical with the few that fell to him. Sadly that’s an adjective that doesn’t describe Giroud……’CLINICAL’.

No need moaning about the transfer window now, we have all of June and July to do that.

Same Result

 

I really don’t want to think there is something wrong with how we prepare for lunch time kick offs against big sides but the stats seems to indicate otherwise. If Wenger keeps setting up his team in this one dimensional manner that makes it easy for opposing managers of quality teams to plan against I fear we are in for more of this.  Happens once , it can be a one off, twice a bloody coincidence but three times, cam on something is wrong and it’s his job to figure that out.

The only good thing is that we have a game on really soon and a good performance against Swansea on Tuesday would help make forgetting this mauling easier. Imagine you get beat 6-0 and you take that into an international break, now that is pain. As much as it hurts we all forget very quickly in football and an even better performance against City is still possible and should we get maximum points from our next three games the tide can very well swing back into Wengers favour.

You can read here how I usually spend my week with football a huge part of it I am not addicted to football, but I guess this week would be a good week to just stay clear from any sporting related subject. Hope you have  a great week after all football is just a game or is it?

Keep the Canons in your hearts.

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