Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Arsenal 2014-2015 - October

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 2:45PM EST Arsenal vs. Galatasaray Champions League Match Day 2

The new month kicks off with Champions League play as Arsenal host Galatasary at the Emirates. Having lost on match day one away to Dortmund, it is pretty much a must win for the Gunners.

Despite sitting 4th in the table and still undefeated in the league, the negative supporters are out in force whining about the manager, the players and whatever else they can complain about. A solid victory would be a good way to shut these idiots up...especially with Chelsea looming on the horizon.

Wow, what a match. The Arsenal team that we saw tonight put on a master class in how to play the game. With speed up front in the form of Sanchez, Chamberlain and Welbeck, the Gunners dismantled Galatasaray. The onslaught began in the 22nd minute when Welbeck put the ball in the back of the net. He did it again eight minutes later for a 2-0 lead. Sanchez added a third before the half and it looked like Arsenal could run up the score.

Welbeck finished his hat trick in the 52nd minute and the Emirates was rocking. 

Play was stopped at one point as some Galatasary fans thought it would be a good idea to throw flares and missiles on to the pitch. It took Wesley Sneijder pleading with the fans to stop the interruptions.

Unfortunately,Wojciech Szczesny was reckless once again and was sent off for an unnecessary foul which led to a penalty and a red card. I've always been unconvinced by Szczesny and I'm hoping that this turns out to be a blessing in disguise as Ospina was forced in to action and did very well. I'd love to see Ospina as the number one goalkeeper.

Arsenal defended their lead and the match finished 4-1. In addition to Welbeck and Sanchez, great perormances were put in by the Ox, Chambers, Gibbs, Kos and Cazorla. Hopefully Arsenal can carry this momentum and some confidence in to this weekend's match versus Chelsea.

Sunday, October 4, 2014 9AM EST Arsenal at Chelsea

Fear, trepidation, anxiety....these are just a few of the emotions that Arsenal fans are feeling today as we head to Chelsea. Stamford Bridge was the location of Arsenal's biggest humiliation last season, a 6-0 thrashing. Add to that the fact that Chelsea have looked unstoppable so far this season and that they are lead by the annoying, arrogant and pompous Jose Mourinho and it's an encounter that gives most Arsenal fans nightmares. Of course there's hope that Arsenal can hold their own against Chelsea and can actually win. Just like those days when Arsenal always had Chelsea's number back in those Claudio Ranieri days. Here's hoping.

The times have changed. When I first started following Arsenal, we always had Chelsea's number. No matter what, Arsenal always came out on top. Unfortunately, it appears to be the other way around this time.

The fact that a positive from the match is that we didn't get hammered 6-0 like last season is a sad statement. Feeling good that we lost by a respectable 2-0 margin is also a sad state of affairs. 

In what seems to be happening way too often, Arsenal had 53% of the possession and out shot Chelsea 10-5. In the past Arsenal would dominate possession and shots and win. Now it seems to be the opposite. It's obvious that Arsenal's defense is not strong enough (bring back Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon). We also need a beast in midfield a la Patrick Vieira.

The highlight of the match for Arsenal fans was Arsene Wenger pushing the "egotistical one" Jose Mourinho as the managers got in to a verbal spat.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 Arsenal vs. Hull 10AM EST

The first match in two weeks after an international break. Having gone in to the break with a painful 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, a visit by Hull should be just what Arsenal need. Arsenal's next run of games are all winnable so let's hope that today is the start of a good run.

The two week break didn't seem to do any good for Arsenal. Most fans and pundits expected Arsenal to roll to victory over Hull at home. Instead, it was another frustrating Arsenal performance where the team looked sluggish and uninspired.

It all started rather well as Alexis Sanchez's 13th minute goal gave Arsenal an early 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there.

Within four minutes Mohaned Diame fouled Mathieu Flamini as he ran in to the box. For whatever reason, the ref didn't seem to see anything wrong and allowed the play to continue. Of course Diame scored and Hull were level on a goal that should not have been allowed to be taken in the first place.

The rest of the match was typical Arsenal frustration. Within one minute of the second half, Hull's Abel Hern
andez was able to get by the Arsenal defense and score a header to give Hull the lead.

Arsenal dominated the play with 66% of the possession, 25 shots on goal to Hull's 4 and 10 corners to Hull's 0. Despite these overwhelming statistics, Arsenal had to fight until the 90th minute to salvage a point. Danny Welbeck scored in stoppage time and Arsenal kept pushing with 6 extra minutes on the clock. Unfortunately, a winner was not on the cards and Arsenal had to settle for yet another draw....their 5th draw in 8 matches. 

The frustration continues.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Arsenal at Anderlecht 2:45PM EST Champions League Group Match 3

There's a nervous air around Arsenal fans these days as the team has not looked sharp and list of players out injured seems to be growing day by day. With Sczesny banned, I was very excited to see David Ospina get a start (and hopefully displace the unreliable Scezsny). Unfortunately he joined the list of injured players and Arsenal are left fielding their relative unknown third choice goalkeeper Damian Martinez.

In terms of conidence, this game is a must win. In fact, it's a must win by a comfortable margin game. The real Arsenal need to show up and get the season back on track.

On the positive side, Liverpool are hosting Real Madrid tonight, so there is a lot less attention being paid to the Arsenal at Anderlecht match.

It's Wenger's birthday so let's hope the boss gets a birthday victory.

This was one of the most pathetic, deplorable and embarrassing Arsenal performances in recent memory...yet somehow, they won. There are no words to describe the change in emotion for fans. In the 88th minute I was disgusted, depressed and furious as an embarrassing defeat was in the cards.2 minutes later, joy and shock as an ugly defeat became a lucky victory. Considering how often Arsenal play great and lose, an ugly win might be just what this team needed.

Despite the win, Arsenal's overall play was HORRIBLE. The passing stunk, the defense was weak and the shot taking was non existent. Cazorla, Wilshere and Ramsey are all great players, but collectively they were all atrocious today. The only guy that was a standout for the entire match was the amazing Alexis Sanchez.

Dortmund lead the group by 3 points after 3 matches. Arsenal are really going to have to pull it together to top Group D. Onward and upward! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014 10AM EST Arsenal at Sunderland

After winning ugly at Anderlecht in mid week, Arsenal travel up north to meet a team that lost ugly last week. Sunderland were humiliated by Southampton 8-0 last time out and hopefully Arsenal can inflict some more pain on Sunderland. 

To say it's imperative that Arsenal truly show up and put in a solid performance would not be an overstatement. With just 11 points in 8 matches, Arsenal need to truly get their season going and start playing at the level that they are capable of. Sunderland should be easy pickings for the Gunners...but as we've seen so far this season, nothing is coming easy for this team yet.

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