I have 18 minutes until I have to take my daughter to school so here’s your 18 minute recap. Maybe I should change the byline for the site to “the web site for the apathetic Arsenal fan” or “the place to go when you’re trying to wean yourself off of Arsenal but still kinda care enough to post something.”
Man City are still winning the League. They have now broken the record for most wins with a thrilling.. eh.. win over Tottenham Hotspur. City literally dismantled Spurs, ripping off the narrative armor so carefully constructed over the years about how Spurs play with heart, how they are such a great team for the English national side, and how they put the pressure on. If Spurs are an example of English football, then English football is decades behind the continent.
Spurs naked were just a long ball team a long ball team making snide tackles and trying to break legs. Dele Alli went in hard on Kevin de Bruyne and stood on his tibia. The referee gave a yellow, a yellow for cowardice: both the ref’s and Alli’s. De Bruyne dusted himself off, collected the ball with a wince, and drove straight at Spurs, scoring a thumping goal straight through the arms of Lloris. It was my favorite goal of the weekend – you can’t even kick City off the pitch, it will only make them angry.
And Arsenal won too. Won one. One nil. To the Arsenal. I fell asleep. I was woken from my slumber when Xhaka turned the ball over a dozen (14) times in the second half. I tried to make out whether Newcastle were even pressing him, I guess so?
I have to admit I was wrong about Xhaka. Naveen (he used to write a tactics column here) was right, Xhaka is not really that good. I was so high on Arsenal buying him and he’s turned out to have all the flaws Naveen said he would. Maybe I’ve been spoilt on the Fabregases and Artetas and Denilsons but Xhaka is bad bad bad. I tweeted “he’s got all the defense of Denilson and half the passing ability” and you and I both know it’s true. He’s lumbering, he’s a liability with the ball and he can’t tackle. When he does play defense, he doesn’t know where to go or who to cover. It’s frightening because his replacement is Elneny. Elneny is better with the ball but worse at defending and he’s the only reason why Xhaka starts so often.
Wilshere looked good. I hope he stays healthy and re-signs for Arsenal. Why not? The one thing I will point out is that his dribbling doesn’t come off as well in the Premier League as it has in Europa. He’s not given the same amount of space and time. But I love the fact that he can and does get the ball in to the forwards with his close control.
Check out my By the Numbers piece on Arseblog news.
Be good to each other.