What a scare yesterday was for my boys. Thank god Agger, Sakho, Enrique, and Johnson (although you could argue Flanagan has done a better job at RB this year than Johnson) are all making their way back over the next few weeks, as the Liverpool back line appears to be the difference between top 4 and a legit title chance. Kolo, who started his Anfield career on a good foot, has become a liability. For anyone outside of the LFC fan base, he's a joke to watch. Curious to see the squad Rogers puts out against Arsenal this weekend, and whether he'll give any of the front 6 a break or keep riding that gravy train.
Speaking of Arsenal, what a bore that Man U game was. Not a great start to their 12 game gauntlet. Has their decline that everyone has expected finally started?
Big game for Adebayor and Tottenham as well, although I've yet to consider them real challengers for the top 4. Let's see how Sherwood and his boys do after their Chelsea-Arsenal-Southhampton-Liverpool stretch in March.
It was important to get our defensive stability back after shipping 4 in 20 min at the weekend, and last night's result now makes 11 clean sheets in 12 home games. What was so immensely frustrating about last night's game, though, was how we couldn't beat the most ordinary United side anyone has seen in a very long time. Our offense is looking tired and stagnated, and with our main "runners" our via injury (Theo and Aaron) we become too predictable. It's also been one of the big reason for Ozil's slight decline in the last few months - he gets the ball and drives forward only to look up and see everyone either standing still or behind him. The season has really been too weird to say that we're out of the title race now, but let's just say I'd be very surprised if we do.
If we do, in fact, flame out again this year I have to admit that it is nobody's fault but Wenger's - not landing a second striker, and not replacing Theo's pace and goals in the team, was criminal. It has been obvious that the team is desperate for a lift, he had the chance to do it in January but instead decided to sign a player for midfield cover who is injured until March and could conceivably not even kick a ball for us!
Well, at least you aren't Newcastle...
Yikes. They are currently in their worst form since 1987. How Pardew can survive this latest stretch is beyond me. Any other team would have sacked the Manager by now. Not entirely blaming him; when you sell your best player, don't replace him, and the front office shows ZERO ambition...players tend to shut down. I do feel Pards has been surviving just by sheer luck sometimes. His tactics, sub patterns, team choices can leave even a novice fan scratching their head.
then again, why would any sane Manager with any skill take that position?
I'm super excited for City v Barca today; hopefully it will be an open and entertaining match, but first legs of knockout games are usually pretty cagey. I'm going to predict 2-1 to Barca.
Our win Sunday against Liverpool, as well as the fact that we rested some key players, should give us a good boost for tomorrow's game against Bayern. I'm under no illusion that we'll win the tie, but I think we're in a much better place now than when we played them last season and the team can really play with no pressure so who knows what will happen.
2-0 spected more from city.. Well hopefully Arsenal wins tomorrow.
So it looks like because of Oli's recent extra-marital problems young Yaya gets a start tonight; he had a wonderful game against Liverpool so let's hope he can keep it going. His song is fantastic too:
"Wake me up
You know he's better than cunt from Togo"
Come On You Gunners!
Better than the Wilshere goal v Norwich?
EDIT - after seeing the match report I'm terribly disappointed my dv-r decided NOT to record Liverpool v Swansea today; what a wild match!
Last edited by nosurprises12; 02-23-2014 at 09:16 AM.
it wasn't better than the norwich goal, but nice goal all the same. Too bad arsenal can't unleash that kind of quality against the top sides. loved seeing rosisky get some play and ozil have a break, he deserved it.
yeah Liverpool are out to entertain. I still am confused as to why that back line is so awful…
That's awesome! What part of the stadium were you in? Take any pics? Jealous you got to see that Rosicky goal in the flesh!
Julian fucking Green.
Great day for US Soccer.
Indeed. It is nice to see players with dual citizenship choosing the US instead of elsewhere.
It's been one step forward/two steps back this season - just when I genuinely feel we're making some headway it all goes out the window in 8 minutes. There's no shame in losing at The Bridge, but the players should feel embarrassed for the lackluster performance and Wenger needs to think long and hard about how he sends us out away from home against these top teams. I still think we'll finish in the Top 4, and if we don't bottle the FA Cup we could very well end our trophy drought, but ugh...what a shitty day. I even got up to watch it live :/
Yeah, we've been quite good this season about avoiding those individual mistakes but man did that come back with a vengeance Saturday. What I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around is that we played, and got beat, in almost the exact same way against City, Liverpool, and now Chelsea, and to me that suggests two things: the players just don't know how to cope when the pressure is actually on, and Wenger isn't making the right kinds of pragmatic team and tactical selections for these kinds of games.
It was easier at the end of the 1990s/start of the 2000s for Arsenal to just play our game against other top teams because we had top quality players who could do so, but with the limited squad we have now - one which is certainly better than in recent years but missing almost all it's "startdust" against Chelsea Saturday (i.e. no Ozil, Theo, Ramsey, Jack) - I just can't understand why he doesn't say "Right, let's play within ourselves for the first 20 minutes by soaking up some pressure, see where we're at at the half, and then look to catch them on the counter in the second." Instead, we get player bombing forward from the first whistle, leaving an immobile Arteta and Kos-BFG isolated at the back and boom - a 6-0 drubbing.
The team has done well to bounce back from various setbacks/disappointing results this season, so hopefully we can put in a positive performance against Swansea tomorrow and get some momentum going for City at the weekend.
Moyes was put in a no win situation, to be fair. Replacing a living legend, being handed a good, but rapidly aging team, and making very few moves in the off season doesn't bode well.
I agree with you 100%, and actually feel a little bad for the guy. He deserves at least the summer window before he gets nixed. Personally, I'd love for him to stay, just for his record against Liverpool alone. The rest of Man U's struggles are just an added bonus.
How does everyone see this title race ending? After dropping out of the CL and FA cup, I don't see City having that hard of a time wrapping up the league. As fun as this Liverpool run is, they still need City to lose points outside of Anfield, on top if winning another 7 straight, in order to take the crown. Possible, but not plausible. Should be an exciting two months.
I think Liverpool will do okay from those tough fixtures because they are all at home, and you've just been blowing teams away there lately, but I still see City and Chelsea pulling away and City taking it in the end. Their form is just too good atm (they absolutely blew United away Tuesday) and they don't have any other competitions to worry about. Chelsea have to play PSG twice, a tie I think they have a decent chance of winning, and perhaps the added strain of the CL games will cause them to drop a few points allowing City to just (2, maybe 3 points) beat them to it. I'm hopeful we'll stay in 4th, but it's looking like it really all comes down to the Everton game next week - we lose that, and I think Everton could very well finish 4th.
I'm just praying for a good performance from Arsenal Saturday, fuck the result because we'll probably lose or eek out a draw somehow. With all of our key players out (I doubt Ramsey or Ozil play another game this season, Jack maybe 1 or 2) and the attack looking jaded and out of ideas, we just need to get back to the attitude from the end of last season by staying solid defensively and then trying to grab something on the break. It's not been a nice few weeks here in Gunner-land, to say the least. I hope they don't manage to find a way to fuck up the FA Cup, but at this point I wouldn't put it past it happening either in the semi (which happens to be on Saturday of Week 1) or in the final.
I picked Chelsea at the beginning of the season, so I will stick with that. Will be a fun finish to watch between them and City. I am going out on a limb, and taking Everton over Arsenal for 4th place (sorry Gunner fans). They are still a game short of Arsenal, and 6 points back. Everton are in good form, healthy, and we are all aware of Arsenal's recent struggles.
Hoping we leapfrog Arsenal, but we have a tricky run in. Our remaining home games include both Manchester clubs and Arsenal. May all depend on their visit to Goodison. Going to be a big game. 4th at this point is probably the best Arsenal can hope for unless those above them seriously mess up.
You going to any of those matches, Chris?