Everybody needs to take a deep breath, and relax a bit. You would have thought that Arsenal lost by five goals against Everton, scored three own goals, got two red cards, and Arsene Wenger managed to zip his coat on the first try. It’s really not as bad as some people are making it out to be, so how about we de-escalate the situation and talk about it, shall we?
A busy beginning of the week at work made it difficult for me to really stay up to date with what was going on at the club. Something that doesn’t happen often because I always make time for footy. This time, I really needed to focus on a few of my tasks.
With that said, I was able to DVR the match and watch it. So instead of talking about the tactics, positioning, and everything else that Arsenal supporters are talking about, how about we discuss the reality of it all.
The World Isn’t Ending
If you thought Arsenal was going to cruise through the entire Premier League season without dropping points, you’re clearly delusional. Sure, in a perfect world we’d hope to do that, but it’s not realistic. After the opening day defeat against Liverpool, Gooners laid into the club, the players and of course, Le Prof himself.
You’d think that they supported a club who has never lost a match. Give me a break, it’s footy, anything can happen, especially in the Premier League.
Just because you have players who are making large sums of money, doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to always beat the weaker teams. Sure, Arsenal should be beating Everton given their current form, but again, it’s the Premier League. On any given day, a club in the relegation zone can beat a club at the top. It’s the reality of things, and that’s the reason why so much money is pumped into the league.
The scale is a lot more balanced, and while home fixtures may give you more of an advantage, things are slightly different when traveling.
Everton has been in absolute sh*t form the last two months. But, did you expect them to lay down and not have a go at Arsenal?
After taking the lead, Arsenal should have kept it going, and could very well have scored a few other times. Ozil missed a few chances, Iwobi’s chance was cleared off the line, and there should have been a penalty at the end. But, at the end of the day, I mentioned in my preview of the December fixture list that this was a potential banana skin, and it turned out to be.
It’s ok, there’s plenty of footy to be played. Everyone is going to drop points from now until the last match of the season. What’s important is being able to limit those dropped points.
Mesut Ozil & Alexis Sanchez Are Their Own Person, So Keep It That Way
We all know they are two of the best players within the squad, that’s obvious. But, we also know that they are human, and not robots. They are going to have great performances, and others that are frustrating to watch.
For Ozil, his frustrating performances are more obvious. While Alexis could be having an off-day, he continues to work harder than anyone on and off the ball. Therefore, the tolerance for him is higher than for Ozil.
When the German is not playing well, his body language is terrible. Looks uninterested, you can tell he’s frustrated, and lacks that fight. We all saw that at Goodison Park.
Things just weren’t going well for him, and it was clearly affecting him mentally.
One problem I see very often is that Arsenal supporters are expecting the same from Ozil as they do from Alexis. They are two very different players. So when you see Alexis chasing the ball tirelessly, Ozil isn’t going to do that, even on his best day. That’s just not who he is. We need to learn to accept that.
Now, in terms of his performance against Everton, yes, he should have had at least one goal. Yes, his defensive duties on that second goal were deplorable. But, to see people saying all sorts of sh*t about him on social media is embarrassing. He’s not a defender for starters, therefore, Ozil should not be one of the guys closest to Ashley Williams on a set piece.
And then to say he doesn’t show up for big matches. Well, if you’re playing for Arsenal FC, every match is a big match, regardless of who you play.
Against Ludogorets, on paper, that’s far from a big match. After going down 2-0, it turned into a very big match, and guess who scored the winner when everyone was very much content with a draw? Mesut Ozil! At that point, everyone wanted to have his babies, now, they’d give him away for free.
Just a few days ago, his header against Stoke made him the greatest thing ever. Now, everyone hates him. Interesting to say the least.
If you were to give me the option to keep only one (Alexis or Mesut), I’d say Alexis 100 out of 100 times. Why? Because he’s a more complete player. He works on and off the ball. But, that doesn’t mean that Ozil isn’t a very important asset to the club and the team.
So how about we take a step back, and not cry ourselves to sleep over one or two sub-par performances. We all know if he comes back with a gem against City, everyone will be back on the We Love You Mesut bus.
Why All The Abuse For Iwobi
I’ll be honest, I was very surprised by all the abuse I saw on Twitter directed at Alex Iwobi. What the hell did he do? He got a chance in stoppage time, ball bounced, caught it on the volley and put it on target. In that moment, you don’t have much time to think. Therefore, his execution was perfect, and the only thing that kept us from having a completely different conversation right now was Baines’ fortune of being in the right place, at the right time.
There’s nothing more to discuss here. Not sure why Arsenal supporters are all up in arms, or shall I say, some Arsenal supporters. It’s not like he stopped the ball and lost it without getting a shot off. Not like he tried to pass it instead of shooting. Or did he try a cheeky rabona instead of putting his foot through it? The answer is no. So why the hell are people giving him a hard time.
Just to recap the entire play, after the Everton keeper knocks the ball away, Iwobi plays a cross back into the box. For a player his age, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him let the emotions get to him and try to unleash a shot. His cross was cleared away to Xhaka, who played it back to the Nigerian. Again, cool as the other side of the pillow, he controls it knowing the game is almost over, and plays a pass to Alexis, who sends in another cross.
Then, one shot is blocked, and then on the bounce, with Baines in the goal and surrounded by Everton players, he unleashes a strike which is headed for the bottom left corner of the goal. So, please tell me where he went wrong, and why he deserves all the abuse?
My question here is had that been Alexis, would the reaction be similar? They’d be talking about how unlucky he was, and how his execution was fantastic, etc.. Grow up people. It was cleared off the line. He didn’t send the ball into orbit!
And had it been Ozil, well, I don’t even want to imagine what the reaction would have been.
The moral of the story is that while Arsenal lost, and yes it’s frustrating as a supporter, it’s not as big a deal as people are making it out to be. Yes, they could have gone even on points with Chelsea, but again, it’s a long season. Who knows, maybe Chelsea will drop points today. And if they do, those same supporters will come out and moan even more, about how those points at Goodison were even more important.
Get over it. This is footy, every club is going to drop points. It happens. Carry on with your lives, and continue to support the club. Don’t praise them when results are going well, and then one negative result, all of a sudden they are a complete embarrassment. In victory or defeat!