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Chelsea and Arsenal fans unite in disappointment

Not a classic match so not a classic mailbox. Mail us at   Too many Arsenal players are filling in a crap sandwich I chatted with a fellow Gooner earlier about that great intangible, character, and how much our beloved Arse are lacking in that particular department right now; personality, temperament, constitution… And of course, dear Arsene’s favourite, ‘Mentality’. My buddy reckoned that Wilshere is the only player currently displaying the requisite amount of character, which is a bit harsh maybe. But first, what really makes up ‘character’ in a Premier League team? Every team has a player with personality. Every team has someone with a calm head, and balls for the fight. Most will claim to have a boss instilling the winning, or at worst, battling, mentality required. But character can have two faces. We have, on one hand, Wilshere’s front-foot, head-up, drive, passion, and flair, and on the other, Sanchez’ hands-out, head-down, me-me-me, passion and flair. Each have their strong points, each are flawed. For an example of positive character, look no further than young Maitland-Niles. He’s just a few games into his first-team career, yet he oozes it as far as I’m concerned; confident on the ball, his head is always up, a cheeky grin when bested. He’s not without faults, but always plays positively. Kudos here to Özil, Mustafi, Monreal, Iwobi (just one final ball, ever, please?), Bellerin, Welbeck (another guy achingly lacking in end product). On the flip side, we see star man Alexis constantly berating teammates, seemingly no matter what they try, while freely giving the ball away himself. Lacazette doesn’t try hard enough, and drops his head come 60mins, though he potentially gets benefit of the doubt. Then we’ve got Ospina, our dearly departed Coq, Theo ‘for fecks’ sake’ Walcott, ‘No Pen’ Cech and, it pains me to say, Koscielny, overplaying it at any given opportunity. Falling somewhere in the middle are Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac, Giroud, Nelson, Elneny, Holding and all the rest… These guys are the water carriers, the ones who get drawn inexorably toward positive or negative, and the crucial players that form the core. Away from the bright lights and BIG money, these guys are the ones really affected by the character of this Arsenal team. They are the ones needing guidance and reassurance. They are the ones that can eventually make he difference to this failing squad. Without good leadership however, they’re just the filling in a particularly crap sandwich. And our beloved Arsenal is a woeful lunchtime snack at this very moment to be fair… Entertaining, with some character, but ultimately pointless. Maybe a little like this email? Wenger Out I suppose, nothing else for it at this stage, and that is a truly sad state of affairs. Nick, Gooner in Berlin   In praise of VAR… I won’t talk about the game overall, there isn’t much to say really, it was rubbish. However it did pinpoint the importance of VAR and how it can finally bring the consistency we all crave from our referees. Hazard vs Bellerin and Moses vs ANN were very very similar tackles. Both in the box, both very minimal contact, one penalty. Presumably, reviewing VAR strictly follows the rulebook with time to double check and you can then rightly assume the Hazard penalty was incorrect. I’m not blaming Hazard for making a meal of it, I don’t blame him at all as without VAR the referee has seconds to decide the impact of the contact, you want to win and you can help the referee make the “right” decision. With VAR, the correct decision was made and Arsenal didn’t get the pen. It’s still got a long way to go. While decisions were quick, the fans in the stadium need to be able to see replays to stop silence setting in. We also need to hear the referees during the decision making. While I would like refs to be hooked up to a mic the whole game, we need baby steps here as the outcry towards technology dies down slowly but surely as each team gets a positive decision from VAR. All in all, a small step on our referees getting the help they need. Rob A (penalty might have atl east got the game going…) AFC   …Loving VAR. I think it will raise the ref’s game and players will be less likely to dive for fear of looking like idiots by the VAR. However, there is one main issue. What happens when a team breaks away and scores in the time it takes to establish that there was in fact a penalty to the opposition at the other end? Clearly if the penalty had been awarded in regular play, the breakaway goal would not have been scored. So would that goal be disallowed before the penalty was taken? In my view it should be, but imagine the fallout? This needs to be addressed before it happens. Ally, London   Chelsea’s shape is a massive problem now Writing this mail after painfully watching our games from Goodison to Arsenal (twice) through Norwich (sic). – Antonio Conte for all his whinings about the board’s backing (which has some credence) has to take lion’s share of the blame for how he’s set our team up this season. – We are 16 points behind ity not because we lost to the top dogs, rather the points lost (which we comfortably won last season) against the bottom teams (Palace, West Ham, Everton, Burnley, etc.) – Last season, I had written saying a combination of the entire league taken by the tactical surprise of our back three along with Pep’s struggles with his ideas meant by the time everyone figured how to play us, the league was safe in the bag. – The only way for improvement this season was (a) same system, upgrade players or (b) more tactical innovations with/without same system. – The 3-5-2 is a welcome addition to our Arsenal, however our current implementation has some alarming issues. For starters, it places too much emphasis on Hazard and Morata to score goals which were otherwise spread across the entire team last season (Pedro for instance). While doing this, the system Antonio wants assumes 10-20 goals from midfield. This is precisely our biggest problem because Antonio does not have a peak Frank Lampard or Vidal to join late and score vital goals. – In addition to this, the midfield is a flat three. And players have been shoehorned into the roles. Contrary to popular belief,...


Published By: Fottball 365 - Thursday, 11 January

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