West Brom 2 – 1 Arsenal: Captain’s Contributions & Post-International Break Syndrome

arteta west brom arsenal 2015 meme

BPL Season 15/16: West Bromwich Albion 2 – 1 Arsenal

Match review and rants by a Malaysian Gooner

Ah, finally, club football is back after a week-long international break. Unfortunately, the Gunners were disappointing, more so this time as they lost a match they should’ve fucking won. West Brom had the worst record at home in goal conceded and yet we couldn’t score more than Olivier Giroud’s open header Mesut Ozil’s free kick, and conceded two. The only bright side from this is that Ozil has broke the league’s record for supplying assists in seven consecutive matches.

Plenty of shit went wrong in this game despite the 70% ball possession we had. Firstly, le boss Arsene Wenger didn’t get the line-up right and it’s proven that Kieran Gibb’s equalising goal against the Spurs in the previous match may well have been a lucky substitution decision by Wenger. Gibbs was started instead of Joel Campbell and shifted Alexis Sanchez over to the right wing, which was quite ineffective. But to be fair, with so many on the injured list (like every season), there wasn’t much choice for Wenger.

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Within just minutes into the game, Francis Coquelin got injured too while he was doing his thing tackling but crashed his knee badly against the opposing player’s shin or something. And then came the horror. Wenger chose to put in Mikel Arteta, our obsolete and slow captain, over Matthieu Flamini. This, Wenger got wrong. Arteta couldn’t do half the job that Coquelin was doing, conceded the free kick that led to West Brom’s equalising goal which he didn’t defend well, scored West Brom’s winning goal by handballing a cross, and got injured himself too, which then only featured Flamini who came in for him and did a way better job in overall as though he plays more like a box-to-box these days with plenty of runs forward. I’ve got two suggestions for Wenger — Flamini over Arteta, and give the captaincy to someone else please. We had the lead against one of the worst clubs in the league and we ended up losing the game almost solely because of Arteta’s presence within a half.

Probably thanks to the international break, some players looked fresher while some lost the form they had. Alexis who wasn’t himself in previous games seemed to have regained his sharpness and workrate but was ganged up by defenders. Ozil’s passing was off at the beginning and it took him a long time before he started to show signs of the form he had before the international break. He had a good low shot attempt which was unfortunately saved by the far post. Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny were faultless defensively. Other than that, no one was doing particularly well. We created some chances during desperate times in the second half, but the players were wasteful, especially Campbell who missed an open goal and Santi Cazorla’s slip when taking penalty kick. Giroud went missing in the second half and all the balls were floating to Campbell which he hardly won in the air.

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It’s only one game, but Manchester United and Leicester City have gone above up on the table. We need to regain form quick and hopefully the injured ones would come back sooner before we play against Manchester City on December 21st. Next up, it’s back to the Champions League against Dinamo Zagreb which I won’t bother watching as we should win this one if Wenger doesn’t decide to “rest anyone who’d only be reported injured after the game is lost”. Then on Sunday the team will be at Norwich City. I’m gonna give the club the third and final chance to take my money — if Arsenal are in the top two on the table before New Year, I’ll buy a new jersey.

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