Showing posts with label Gunners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gunners. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 November 2017

10 things that have happened since Arsenal last won the league

The words that define Arsenal at this point of time are “mentally very jaded” and, if Arsène Wenger chose them with reference to his players , the truth is that phrase is applicable at Arsenal Football Club with a significantly broader brush. The dictionary definition of jaded feels piercingly critical: dulled or satiated by overindulgence; worn out or wearied; dissipated. The Gunners have not lifted a piece of silverware since their triumph in the competition back in 2005 and are desperate not to see their run extend to a decade.

Here are 10 things which have happened since Wenger and his players last won a trophy.


1.  The Global recession



The Lehmann brothers were famously jailed for the crime in what will probably go down as one of the biggest lies of the century. Back in 2009, Wenger being an expert in finance and economics did not hold back from having his say.

"It looks like football has not been hit by a recession but that is only due to exceptional circumstances, I still think that we will have to become more reasonable in the game, even if you have exceptional circumstances like Real Madrid and Man City.” Well, it really didn’t turn out that way and clubs are still breaking transfer records to this day. Arsenal are not one of those clubs!


2.  Breaking Bad aired and completed



There are very few people who wouldn’t recognize this brilliant work of art by Vince Gilligan. The series got rave reviews and was followed by several around the world. At one point, the show was rated as the highest ever in IMDB.

The actor who played Walter White,  Bryan Cranston won an Emmy award for his depiction of the protagonist. The show lasted for 5 seasons and ran from 2008 to 2013. This was the period Arsenal were supposedly in debt and were paying off their Stadium loans. Two things remained constant in these 6 years. Jesse kept saying B**** and Arsenal finished 4th.


3.  Juventus were relegated, regained promotion and won Serie A



Juventus have actually won Serie A 5 times since they regained promotion to the top tier of Italian football. The Calciopoli was a big scandal that took place in 2006.

Several big name Italian clubs were caught for match fixing and using biased referees during games.  Of the clubs that were involved Juventus were hit the hardest. Having won the title that year they were instantly condemned to Serie B and stripped of their title.But the club bounced back the very next season. It took them some time to recapture the league but once they achieved it they haven’t let go, and will probably continue to do so with the kind of team they are building.


4. Same-sex marriage made legal



The world made a huge step towards progress and humanity when the United States declared that same-sex marriages will be legal. It was a big step in human rights and it was celebrated with great fervor and panache.

All around the world, the occasion was celebrated and since then other countries have followed suit. Of Course, India still haven’t made that stride forward as of yet but everything takes time and the country will eventually get there. But unfortunately, while the world have moved forward, Arsenal have remained stationary. They might have managed to finish in the Champions League places but that’s not enough for a club of their stature.


5. MS Dhoni made his debut in Tests and retired from Tests



MS Dhoni is an icon and considered a hero by many Indian cricket fans. The man has achieved a lot in his time as captain of India and is still one of the country’s best batsman at the age of 35. Dhoni made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2005.

He became captain of the Test team in 2008 against Australia taking over from Anil Kumble. Under his leadership, India achieved new heights and climbed to the top of the ICC test rankings, something that had not been done before. Dhoni's captaincy and leadership are things the Gunners have lacked ever since the captain that won them the Premier League in 2004 moved on. Indeed, Patrick Vieira was one of a kind and a great of the Premier League and Arsenal could really do with someone of his personality.


6. Barack Obama was elected President of USA twice.



Barack Obama created American history by becoming the first ever black president. He took over during a period when the country was in recession and several citizens were either homeless or without a job.

His first term was very successful and his good work earned him a second term of presidency. The most notable achievement of the President was ridding the world of Osama Bin Laden. Obama’s second term had not been too successful but any leader would know that sacrifice is a part of the job.
Now he is coming to the end of his term and a new president will be elected next year. Hopefully, Donald Trump won’t be the one that eventually takes over.


7. Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi finally went off the air



So in case you’re wondering when the show ended it has been 8 years since it went off the air. This was no doubt one of the most iconic shows in Indian television, and also one of the most frustrating at times.

The show aired 1833 episodes in it’s eight years. It garnered a massive fan following and earned the highest TRP in the country in it’s last year of airing. The show has spawned a new set of aspiring directors trying to recreate it’s success. The show has also lead to several jokes and memes about Indian drama series because of it's longevity and intensity of dramatized scenes.

8. Twitter came into existence



Facebook might have been the breakthrough that elevated the popularity of social media but twitter has no doubt done it’s part. It gives us the ability to follow celebrities and learn what they are doing each and every day.

It’s also a great way to express your thoughts in a condensed fashion and one-liners have become aplenty since the platform has a word limit on a tweet. It is a unique tool that several organizations have taken advantage off. Arsenal are one of the most followed football clubs on twitter but unfortunately their digital media success has not been replicated on the pitch.

9. Paul Scholes won the Premier League retired, came back and won it again




Paul Scholes is one of the finest midfielders to have ever graced the Premier League. His skill and passing ability was almost unmatched, and he received praise from every corner of the footballing world.

Even Xavi Hernandez who is considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time paid homage to the Manchester United man. Scholes won everything with the Red Devils and retired in 2011. But with Sir Alex short of midfield options he asked the legend to come back for one last hurrah. He obliged and helped the club win one more title before he finally decided to hang up his boots.


10. The iPhone was invented



Apple have done something, not many in the history of technology have done before. They have managed to create their own niche market and differentiate themselves from every other technology maker. The company is regarded as the most innovative of the current generation and have taken great strides in the field of computers and smartphones. Steve Jobs’ last great invention before his passing was the iPhone

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Monday, 23 October 2017

LaPercy Review: Everton vs Arsenal


The matchday 9 ended with a big morale boosting 5-2 victory for Arsenal at Everton's home, Goodison Park. Among the goalscorers were Wayne Rooney, Nacho Monreal, Mesut Ozil, Alex Lacazzette, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez. This was a big win for the Gunners as they escaped with a difficult 1-0 win thanks to an amazing strike by Olivier Giroud in their last game in Austria as part of their Europa League campaign which is about to get a lot tougher in the Round of 32 than it's previous editions because of inclusion of Dortmund,Atletico and many other heavyweights because of their lacklustre showing in the Champions League group stage.
                The scoring started as Wayne Rooney put Everton in front in the 12th minute. Arsenal until then were completely in charge, but it was Everton who took the lead. Gueye dispossessed Xhaka high up the pitch with an excellent tackle that sent the ball into Rooney's path. Rooney took a touch and then bent one perfectly into the top corner. Wayne Rooney did the same 15 years in 2002 with Everton and he did his job again. Arsenal started like a lit rocket but since the goal they fizzled out. The home side were well on top and looked the more likely to grab the second goal. Jordan Pickford was brilliant when called upon so far. A trio of excellent early saves had kept Everton in this but Pickford could not save Monreal who hadn't scored since 2013 before this season from making the score even before the half time in the 40th minute as Arsenal's constant application of pressure bore fruit on the Everton defence as Monreal hammered home on the rebound after Xhaka's strike was saved. The Toffees were unable to stem the tide of attacks from the visitors and space opened up for Xhaka to strike. Pickford sent his effort away, but Monreal was the first to react and he hammered a low strike into the bottom corner, beating the reactions of the Everton keeper. It was all square at the break at Goodison Park. Wayne Rooney's strike from distance had put Everton ahead, but Nacho Monreal's effort five minutes before half-time brought Arsenal level. The Gunners have been the better side, but their frailties at the back were exposed by Idrissa Gueye and Rooney to take the lead. Arsene Wenger will be hopeful that his side can reaffirm their control of the match in the second half and avoid the critical mistakes but the man who was declared the criminal was Granit Xhaka. He wasn’t a popular man after last weekend’s defeat to Watford and things haven’t exactly got any better for Granit Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder failed to track Tom Cleverley for the goal that won the Hornets that game at Vicarage Road and he was at it again against Everton at Goodison Park

  But Arsenal did not choke this time as Ozil showed the world once again what he can do if he's 100% fit. Ozil put Arsenal ahead as he scored in the minute as Everton collapsed because of a quick counter down the left, which was finished by the German as he headed past Pickford from close range. Sanchez broke down the left and put in a pinpoint cross into the box for Ozil to attack. The midfielder drifted between Keane and Jagielka and simply guided the ball past Pickford, who had no chance of saving that shot. In the 74th minute, Arsenal scored their third because of a well deserved assist by Ozil as a clinical counter from the visitors on this occasion as Sanchez released Ozil down the right flank. He pulled the ball back to Lacazette unmarked in the box and the Frenchman finished in style striking the ball into the top corner. The game changed in favor of the Gunners in the 78th minute because of introduction of Jack Wilshere, who came on for Lacazette to make his first Arsenal appearance in the Premier League for 14 months. Ramsey who was equally important part in Arsenal's win alongside made it 4 in the 90th minute as he was awarded for ooking for a goal all game, and finally Ramsey was on the scoresheet. Wilshere did brilliantly to create the chance with a pin-point through ball, before Ramsey took a touch and passed the ball home at Pickford's near post. It was all over for Everton but Niasse saved some humiliation by scoring in the 93rd minute which was because of horrendous defending by Arsenal.  Monreal played his backpass short to Cech and Niasse closed down the keeper. The ball bounced favourably for the forward and he slotted it into an empty net. But Arsenal scored again in the 95th minute, courtesy of Alexis Sanchez's goal as Ramsey flicked the ball beautifully into Sanchez's pass, and the striker sidestepped his way past a few limp challenges before firing a brilliant low shot into the far corner.

Author's Comment: It was a great win for Arsenal as Arsene Wenger chose not to play his best eleven all season until his birthday. The man of the match was definitely Ozil as he entered Premier League's history books by becoming the 1st player to create 8 goal scoring chances in a single game which prompted Arsene Wenger to say that it was difficult for him to believe that Ozil talked about Arsenal's exit. It was a great day for the Gooners as Arsenal played how every football team's fan think they would play but Arsenal have to become more focussed as they need to keep this winning run going on for quite some time to have a chance at the title or a top 4 finish and Wenger has to find a solution for Xhaka as the time will come again when they have to pay dearly for Xhaka's error. 
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Sunday, 15 October 2017

LaPercy Review: Watford vs Arsenal


The matchday 8 between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage road ended in a shock 2-1 win for the home side as Tom Cleverley and Troy Deeney cancelled Per mertesacker's header as they once again shocked their opponents just like their previous  two matches which they saved in the dying moments. This was not the only shocking result and Chelsea were shocked by Crystal Palace, Juventus by Lazio and Borussia Dortmund by RB Leipzig all having the 2-1 result. 
            Arsenal were genuine title contenders before the season started and after a difficult start to the season they are back in the title race albeit barely as they trail Chelsea by 8 points with 16 games to go. Not the ideal situation for the gunners who also resume their Europa League campaign in couple of days time. As the games come thick and fast at this time of the year Arsenal need to dispose off teams like Watford if they were to retain their place in premier league top 4. Couple of good wins can get them back in the top half of the season and well clear of relegation zone which is the priority for the club. 
                The first goal for Arsenal came in the 40th minute. It all started via a great cross from Xhaka, bent in from the right with his left foot. Per met it with the meat of his forehead as he leapt like the proverbial oncorhynchus in the six yard box to meet it at the apex of his running jump and thunder it past Gomes. For the rest of the half Arsenal were not the passing team they used to be, a parody of a passing team at times. This season they have certainly moderated their style, varying it to include some longer passes and width from the wing-backs. It's a work in progress and in this XI they lacked a couple of genuinely outstanding players but it's been efficient, productive so far in the 1st half. Arsenal should have scored the second in the 70th minute as it was a superb break from Arsenal as Kolasinac plays it down the line to Iwobi, who charges infield and plays an angled pass to put Ozil clear on goal. He looked offside, wasn’t flagged and hit a low shot that was well saved down to his left by Gomes. It should have been 2-0. Wenger was livid and rightly so at the award of that penalty in the 72nd minute and was no different to the Welbeck/Holebas incident at the other end. Richarlison ran at Bellerin on the left side of the box and when the two bumped shoulders Richarlison went flying. That was a dive. Troy Deeney scored the leveller for Watford as he placed the penalty firmly to Cech's right having sent the keeper the wrong way who believes that the Spaniard’s long hair might have been the problem. Watford continued their amazing run of surprising teams right at the end as Cleverley who was at fault for Arsenal's opener as he rectified that mistake. The former Manchester United man lashed home in stoppage time after the visitors were unable to clear their lines to give the Hornets a first Premier League home win of the campaign and it started via a shoot from Holebas which was defected, Deeney went in with Cech and fell on top of him. The keeper sprung up to save the shot hit on the rebound. The ball fell near Cleverley who rammed his shot into the roof of the net. 
     It must be some consolation to the Gooners as Liverpool once again dropped points as they were held to a 0-0 draw which continued  their bad form since Alex Oxalade Chamberlain joined them in this transfer window. I think Alex is somewhat happy as he is now sitting in the middle of a 7 men bench and he's finally got that central role he was looking for after leaving the Gunners.

Author's Comment: Arsenal always turn things around when they have their backs to the wall but they are at their most vulnerable when coming into a game in rich form. Watford match might prove a banana skin for Arsenal but most of the players were fresh after international break and playing away at Vicarage had too much quality in their ranks to lose this game to Watford for the first time since 1987. I hope they can improve their game against their Europa League opponent Red Star Belgrade
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