Per Got Lucky?

It became official that Arsenal took up the option in the German’s contract for a further year contract extension until 2018. It was a welcomed news for some Gooners-me inclusive, and a total thumbs down for others. Per has had some up and down during his stay so far at North London, but none  can deny his attitude and passion for the game and for Arsenal. He has his short comings which is mostly lack of pace. The world cup winner would have been the perfect central defender if he could chase down a player much quicker than he most often does. 

Many of our fans would rather Arsène let him go and use the extra cash taking him (and other dead woods; in their opinion:Ramsey, Jenkinson, Sanogo etc) off the wage bill would generate to give Alexis and Özil whatever they are asking for. For a lay man, it makes sense, bearing in mind that we have more than adequate cover in central defence; Mustafi, Koscielny, Gabriel and Holding. However, looking at it from Arsène’s point of view, Mertesacker is a world class defender whose positional and tactical reading of the game is second to none, hence should be a role model to the younger defenders and also lend his voice in the dressing room. For player whose pace my granny can match, to survive in EPL, playing for a top club like Arsenal; he must be doing other things apart that people are reluctant to see. His ball services from deep are some midfielders dream.

“My love for this club is authentic. I care a lot about team-mates, about fans, and I want people to identify with us. It’s very important to me now and it always has been. I feel like there’s always been a link between myself and Arsenal.”
– Per

These younger defenders need a great player with experience to learn from. He’s a fine role model and keeps other players grounded in the dressing room. So it’s no brainer that Arsène decided to keep him for another year.

Today we play Burnley at the Emirates stadium. It’s a good opportunity to catch up on other top teams. Liverpool lost at home to guess who? Swansea. That same Swansea that some pundits didn’t think they deserved to be in EPL because we cracked them inside their backyard. Shame on biased punditry. Manchester United dropped points too, so did Manchester city and Tottenham. What a weekend it’s going to be if we manage to nick all 3 points. Here is to a perfect weekend! Go get the points Arsenal! COYG!!

Fair Play Gooner.

Advertisements

Would They? 

We had what some pundits chose to call a “walk in the park win in which Arsenal did absolutely nothing to deserve” on Saturday last week at the liberty stadium against Swansea City football club. This match ended 4 goals to none for the Gunners. It made me think that punditry should not be for everyone, not even all players who had great careers; because punditry is about your impression of a football match with respect to available stats from the game. However what we have, most often than naught, are a bunch of people inside a studio with bias on their eyes the size of Wales. 

During this said match, an incident occurred just before half time that had the potential of altering the dynamics of the whole match; KI S.Y. was given a yellow card for incitation in what looked to be a penalty call against Arsenal at the onset. For up to 15 seconds, I thought “hell no not again”, cos we have been on the receiving end of dubious calls for a long time now that I gave my heart some allowance to accommodate one or two, however unwarranted they were, during any given Arsenal match. Thankfully, the call was against KI who trudged against Koscielny’s static foot in a bid to earn a penalty. Thankfully, Mike Jones who officiated the match was astute enough, albeit with some stroke of providence to us, to snife it out as incitation; and he was spot on. On another day, Mike Dean or some other bloke who shouldn’t have any business officiating an EPL match, would have awarded it a penalty to the host team. It’s little wonder he was demoted to the championship. Woe unto thee championship clubs…

       This man and his likes are killing EPL

Here is a nice read on some of the worst officiated games of our season so far.

At the end of last year, I came across news headline about FIFA introducing a video replay technology in football. I was very elated about it because the game was becoming increasingly annoying for passionate football fans  like me across the globe, especially in the English league, who commit a lot of emotions and most often are hurt by poor officiating by the likes of Mike Dean. Imagine millions of minds being troubled on account of a decision which would have been verified in 3 seconds with replay technology. The idea is for the match official to consult a video assistant before making certain decisions which will greatly and unfairly impact on the game if gotten wrong: Hand balls, penalty call, incitation, offside call, disallowed goals etc.

Just a few days ago, the FA were in the news, this time they were looking at introducing a retrospective ban for diving. Diving is just one of the vices plaguing the beautiful game. The match officials, consciously or unconsciously, are being increasingly in the wrong on decision calls for most of these vices. The frequency of which beggars disbelief. This can never be sustainable for the beautiful game. Don’t expect fans to take this nonsense forever. Italian league used to be the best league back in the day.. Introducing a retrospective ban will not bring back the lost points to a team who got cheated by a player’s diving antics. So how is that fair for competition? Oh it brings in a bit of revenue into the FA cofers? Let’s face it, the said player would end up paying a fine in addition to the “ban”. My questions are: why is the FA looking at introducing retrospective punishment as opposed to introducing video assistant which will detect a dive in real time? Is the FA secretly giving certain teams undue advantage over others using the PGMOL? Won’t the emergence of this diving punishment be the end of any talk of video assistant? Do you really think FA will implement this punishment and video assistant too? Your guess is as good as mine.

In other news, the team is doing well at the injury front because Bellerin is back in training. Per is rumoured to have signed a new one year contract extension worth around £70k/wk. Don’t know if its good news or bad news to Arsenal fans. Our opponent in the FA cup 4th round has been confirmed; Southampton, 28th Jan. 2017. Next up is our return to Emirate stadium to host Burnley in the PL. Let’s hope for a great weekend of football. COYG!