Sunday, August 9, 2015

Arsenal 2015-2016 - August

Sunday August 9, 2015 Arsenal vs. West Ham 8:30AM EST

After a fantastic pre-season which saw Arsenal pick up three trophies, the season kicks off today at home to West Ham. With the signing of Petr Cech and Arsenal's late form last season, many pundits are predicting that Arsenal could win the title this season. The transfer window stays open for another few weeks and names like Karim Benzema continue to be mentioned in association with the team.

With a Sunday match, a number of other EPL teams played yesterday and there were some interesting results. As was the case often last season, Man United were gifted a win that they didn't deserved. The fact that it was against Tottenham makes it a bit easier to accept. Meanwhile, Moanrinho's Chelsea saw their goal keeper sent off and they hung on at home to draw with Swansea 2-2. Chelsea will now be without their number one keeper for several matches and isn't it ironic that the guy that would have filled in, Cech, is now in goal for us!

So here's to a successful and winning season. Come on you Gunners!

That sucked! What an abject, pathetic, uninspired, disappointing fiasco this was. 

Petr Cech had a shaky start to his Arsenal career while allowing two West Ham goals and despite 62% of the possession and close to three times as many shots on target Arsenal couldn't get on the score sheet.

Arsenal came in to the season opener with momentum riding very high and for whatever reason seemed to not show up. Whether they took their opposition too lightly or it was just one of those days, losing at home to a weaker opponent took away all the positive vibes surrounding the club prior to the match. 

This was one of those matches where a media and Twitter ban are immediately imposed. Let's just hope that this was a one off .

Sunday August 16, 2015 Arsenal at Crystal Palace 8:30AM EST

It's time to get this season going. The Gunner's opening day loss to West Ham has led to a week of media and fan abuse of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. Saner minds are looking at it as a one off blip. Meanwhile the media is kissing Alan Pardew's ass as the Crystal Palace manager had the audacity to claim that Palace player Yohan Cabaye would walk in to Arsenal's first team.

It's time to make things right!

Arsenal secured their first win of the season in a tough, but dominating contest versus Crystal Palace.

The Gunners had 59% of the possession and almost double the amount of shots on target. The final scoreline of 1-2 was a bit flattering to Palace as Arsenal were in control for most of the match.

Alexis Sanchez was in the starting lineup and the Arsenal midfield was a constant threat to the Palace goal.

Olivier Giroud scored a brilliant goal from a Mesut Ozil pass in the 16th minute to give Arsenal the 1-0 lead.

Joel Ward evened the score just 12 minutes later and the match went to the half even at 1-1.

While the winner was recorded as an own goal by Palace defender Damien Delaney, it was Sanchez that caused the confusion in the box resulting in the goal. On paper it was recorded as an own goal, but in reality it was all down to Sanchez.

Monday August 24, 2015 3PM EST Arsenal vs Liverpool

It's only the third week, but it is important that Arsenal make a statement about their title credentials with a convincing victory over Liverpool at home.

While Liverpool have traditionally been one of the top clubs in England, I hope that the Arsenal players truly look at the competition that they are up against as opposed to the name of the club they will face. This Liverpool side should not bring fear to anyone and if Arsenal don't overthink it, they should come out with a victory. The level of talent between the two sides is no comparison. It's time that this belief that we hear about among the Arsenal squad shows itself on the pitch.

Come on Arsenal.

Third match and third uninspired performance. Aaron Ramsey had a perfectly good goal disallowed and other than that Arsenal were unable to get on the score sheet. Add to that the fact that Chambers and Gabriel were standing in for Koscielny and Mertesacker.  In addition to some bad passes and giveaways, Arsenal's central defense looked shaky throughout the entire match.

0-0 was the final and it was Arsenal's second home match without getting on the score sheet.

All the talk has been about Benzema joining the club. At this point it's looking more and more like a bit more fire power is needed.

Then again, when Ox and Walcott are on the bench rather than on the pitch one has to wonder what the manager is thinking as his team struggles to break down an inferior club.

Saturday August 29, 2015 Arsenal at Newcastle 7:45AM EST

It's time to truly get this season started and it's a trip to the Northeast on the cards for today.

Wenger shakes up the lineup a bit with Theo Walcott getting a start and the Ox playing along side him in place of Ozil who has a bit of a knock. On defense Mertesacker is still out but thankfully Koscielny is back in central midfield to partner with Gabriel as Calum Chambers has still to convince in that position.

Here's hoping that the Arsenal team that we saw during the end of last season and pre-season is on display today and the Gunners walk away from Newcastle with all three points.

A win is a win, but this was not a vintage Arsenal performance by any means. When Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic saw red in the 16th minute, it should have been a cake walk for the Gunners. Instead, eleven man Arsenal slogged it out with ten man Newcastle and Arsenal's game deciding goal was credited to Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini.

A look at the statistics, however, tell a completely different story. Arsenal had 74% of the possession, 29 shots to Newcastle's 1 and 9 corners versus 0 for Newcastle. Arsenal fans are used to stats like these as there have been many frustrating matches where the Gunners have dominated but not put away the opposition. That was again the case here. The team needs to become more proficient at finishing and worry less about the pretty passing and touches. With players like Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey and Cazorla setting up the goals, Giroud, Walcott and the rest of the offense need to put the ball in the back of the net on a more consistent basis.

To be fair, despite the fact that Coloccini was credited with the own goal, it was the Ox that made that goal.

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