It’s been a while, but not much has changed since I wrote my last blog on November 9. Chelsea are still winning, Utd are still one-paced, City are still struggling to adapt to Guardiola’s tactics, Liverpool are still conceding too many goals, Spurs still aren’t scoring enough and there’s no point talking about Arsenal until March or April – only then will we discover if Wenger has grown a pair of bollocks.
I suspect not, but I’m a glass-half-empty kind of guy - a realist pessimist; it’s been beaten into me. These days, I usually forget Arsenal are even playing, which makes me an increasingly inadequate blogger. I suppose some would say I’ve always been inadequate, but let’s not got there.
Being drawn against Bayern Munich in the Champions League doesn’t exactly bode well though does it? I just read a hilarious article claiming how Arsenal should not be afraid, because Bayern are drivel right now – even though they’ve only lost 1 domestic game this season, scored more and conceded less than every other Bundesliga team and the game doesn’t take place for another two months.
At the moment, there’s only one Arsenal story worth talking about, the elephant in the room with the big trunk blowing chunks of scepticism everywhere – Ozil and Sanchez’ unsigned contracts. As I stated in a previous blog, Arsenal have royally screwed themselves by allowing 15 contracts to enter into the final 18 months. That means big pay increases across the board would result in a points deduction if the amounts involved fall foul of the FA’s newly adopted Short Term Cost Controls.
Ironic isn’t it? Gazidis and Wenger pissed and moaned for so long about financial disparity and the need for regulation, now they’re going to be hoisted by their own petard. That’s assuming either player even wants to stay. If I was a betting man, I’d say Arsenal have no chance in the CL, will bugger up the title and Sanchez will go to Juve or Man City while Ozil heads to Mourinho’s soft bosom.
Wenger claims Arsenal will allow both players contract to run out (stifles laugh).
Finally, I’ve been meaning to say this for some time, but bloggers and commenters, please shut up about pass completion stats – it’s fecking embarrassing. Getting sick of reading about Coquelin or Elneny’s 90% pass completion rate, when all they do is sit in front of the back four, rarely venturing beyond the half way line, playing against teams who play one up front with 10 men behind the ball.
Where else are they going to pass it, other than backwards, sideways, to Ozil or the wide men, who all have 50 yards of space ahead of them and need binoculars to get a clear view of the keeper? Basically, if those players don’t have a 98% pass completion rate, it’s a disgrace (I’m allowing for 2 long ball passes going astray per 90 minutes).
Pass completion stats are only really meaningful if a player has less than 10%, in which case they’re about as much use as a chocolate dildo whatever way you look at it. Leicester won the league with the lowest pass completion rate of any team in the PL last season, which demonstrates how utterly meaningless pass completion stats are. I guess they’d mean a lot to a laptop dunce like Arsene Wenger, but he’d make Ian Dowie look like a tactical genius.
Even for attacking players they’re pretty meaningless if the players in question are not attempting creative or incisive forward passes. Basically, you can’t just look at stats. You have to have to watch the games and see everything through the prism of a side’s tactical set up, the opponent on any given day and exactly where those passes are going.
Please do your duty and pass this blog to everyone you know so we can stamp out this analytical incompetence, and while you’re at it throw into the mix anyone that ever again mentions that horribly overused phrase: Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Yes, we know it still applies to Wenger, but it’s time to find more imaginative ways to ridicule him.
Big week for Arsenal, with two away games at Everton and Man City, who will be without Sergio Aguero after his savage death kick on David Luiz. Remember, all great players have a bit of the Jason Voorhees in them – including Dennis Bergkamp.
Note: Arsenal Truth is now on Twitter @TruthArsenal.
Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be unread and binned.