Happy New Year fellow BKers!
I was ‘at the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve street party’, so they told us, at the foot of the wonderful Edinburgh Castle – one of the world’s most beautiful city-settings, I am sure you’ll agree. Tickets at £75 a head, taxis double the price, buses triple the price and two cans of beer, a red wine and bottle of water an eye-watering £22… but it was totally worth it.
The Hogmanay party had two highlights: the fireworks which were simply godly and Franz Ferdinand’s 1.5 hour fabulous performance on stage. I didn’t expect too much from FF, but boy did they give a show on the night: true entertainers who live for the music, and, all together, performed ‘in the moment’! Going since 2002, so 16 years and counting, and they still love to be on stage; and that happiness gave us all a buzz on the night. Alex Kapranos, Lead Singer, kept asking us ‘Are you with me, Edinburgh?’, and yes we ‘were with him’ all the way.
It made me think again that what’s is so important in anything that is being done by humans, whether it is serving food in a restaurant, driving people from A to B, managing an organisational change process, operating on a patient, selling fish from a market stall, performing on stage, or indeed, manage a sports team, is threefold: focus, energy/joy, and team work. Talent/know-how help too, but most things can be learned through hard work, education/training and tenacity; and relying on talent alone will not get you far. Without focus, energy/joy and team work there will not be real success, it will not be very enjoyable and you will not be adding much, if anything. to the job at hand.
And that is what I would like to see at Arsenal – on all levels – in 2019: focus, passionate commitment and VCC.
Yes I like some new good players too, but let’s not believe too much in shop-therapy. Just look at Manure and you know we cannot just buy ourselves out of a ‘crisis’.
Despite some personal irritations about Unai’s team selection and handling of players, I have no doubt that Unai offers Arsenal all three aspects in abundance. He is focussed: knows his targets, knows how he wants to play and knows what needs doing to make progress. He has tons of energy and really, really enjoys managing our club: his energy is infectious and he lives for football. And he is also a real team player even though certain players do not seem to fit into his team for the future, which is natural when a manager takes over.
Fact is it is going to take time. But let’s not forget Unai beat the Spuds already, we drew at OT and got close to winning there, gave Pool a real game at the home of football and could have won that one too, and we had a 23-game unbeaten run and are just a handful of points behind the fourth-placed Chavs (who were a bit lucky to beat us in the second game of the season). These are all signs that Emery has what it takes to make our club great again… eventually.
As JW1 keeps reminding us perspective is required, and we, as considered yet passionate supporters, need to trust the club and Emery and be patient in 2019. I have been critical about some of Unai’s player choices and decision making until now but am also aware that he is leading the troops from the front, and I am not. It takes time to reach a true crescendo of fireworks, and let’s see where Emery will take us in (just) 12 months from now.
Line-up for today’s game?
Hard to predict but this is of course a must-win so I expect the strongest possible team out (with the exception of Ramsey who has his head turned by five ‘big’ clubs who have a space on the bench for him to keep warm apparently – the sooner he sods off the better).
My line-up would look like this:
Let’s get the job done in the first half/60 minutes. Play with the strongest team and aim to score three before half time. High tempo, crisp passing, good movement, Ozil as the conductor (aligned with composer Emery), Auba with focus, Laca to get the service he deserves, Iwobi to do the penetration, Xhaka-Torreira to boss the midfield again, and Nacho to bring back balance on the left side and in defence.
We got a kicking at Anfield and nobody likes to experience this. But real winners don’t doubt themselves too long and definitely don’t become all self-deprecating. No they get up again, lick their wounds and go and win the next game.
Hope 2019 will bring you health, happiness and joy/success at whatever you do.
33 thoughts on “How Franz Ferdinand Can Inspire Arsenal in 2019 |Line-Up v Fulham”
I like your selection which is probably the best available.
Sok – Mus – Koz
AMN – Guen – Xhaka – Kola
— Laca ——–Auba———-
Cheers Grandad for responding.
TA …. that must have been a special experience. Yeah passion can lead us much of the way. We have a passionate coach and I hope that sooner than later it would infect our squad fully.
The above line up should give us the 3pts. Auba/Laca works.
It’s a new year and we must begin anew, with a win. Fulham have adjusting to Ranieri’s method slowly, so we can’t ignore that bounce of the new man. They have some good players in Mitrovic and Schurrle while Seri blows hot and cold.
However, we do have the advantage of history and being at home.
Full teams’ sheet with subs:
ARSENAL: Leno, Papastathopoulos, Koscielny, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Subs: Cech, Elneny, Ramsey, Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Nketiah, Saka.
Fulham: Sergio Rico, Odoi, Le Marchand, Ream, Christie, Cairney, Cisse, Bryan, Schurrle, Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon.
Subs: Bettinelli, Johansen, Ayite, Vietto, Fosu-Mensah, Seri, Kamara.
Beautiful photos and attendant description TA!
Looks to be 3-4-1-2 with Iwobi pulling the strings?
Happy to see Torreira get a seat. There for the need if required.
Would like to see something special from our pair up front.
Couple of ‘held breath’ moments until this goal– but felt it was coming.
Iwobi with a dink pass to the middle for (of all people) Xhaka to instep it in!
1-0 to the Good Guys!
Mitrovic with a header save by Leno–
Papa with a good effort defending to keep the Fulham CF from getting more behind it.
Kola point-blank toe-poke from a scrum front-of-goal– straight at the keeper Rico.
We’ve grown into the game and deservedly one goal (if scored against the run of play, at the time). With chances created and blocks, we should be at least, 2 up.
We started the season with playing out from the back with the keeper being a key piece of this system, but increasingly, we are becoming a hoof ball side as Leno wouldn’t trust his defenders with a pass (rightly so); frustrating when you realize we hardly win the headers.
On the positive side, Koscielny has been stable, while Xhaka, Iwobi and Am-N have been instrumental to our play. We need a bit more luck with the bounces and perhaps, with shots on goal not getting blocked.
We just need to win, though. Those around us are doing so too.
Upon further review it was Xhaka– from Kola– on the toe-poke.
Seeing Xhaka in a CF-like position on several occasions that first half.
Iwobi has used the short lofted pass to middle from the left– with good effect on at least three occasions. Each creating danger. Like to see him do more of that.
Torreira on for Mustafi.
Thanks guys for coming out to play. 🙂
Listening to the radio – Arsenal.com – and it sounds like Unai has surprised Fulham by instructing Xhaka to run into the box and try to score. Successful already and he had another good chance apparently. We have the rare first half clean sheet and are winning, now let’s step it up and get the second goal asap. COYGs.
Dog demanded he go out– and Laca scored in that interim.
Just caught up on the DVR– and it was a brilliant string of a half-dozen unselfish passes in the box– allowing Laca to set and shoot from the 6– keeper out-of-position.
2-0 to the Good Guys!
Seri bodies Torreira off a pass releasing Fulham toward goal — with a grounded ball across goal evading everyone except the just subbed-on Kamara.
2-1. Need to tighten the laces Gunners.
Fine give-and go from kola to Guendouzi and back. Kola centers to Auba slides a shot off the post– falling directly onto Aaron Ramsey’s right foot– angling a lifted shot in near the far post!
3-1 to the Good Guys!
Iwobi off Saka debuts!
And finally. Following a few crazy bounces on a Xhaka corner– the hard-working Auba– just off of a point-blank miss a moment ago– fires a shot from the far side– with a deflection over Rico. Papa with the assist– and a keen one.
4-1 to the good guys!
Back to winning ways. M-Niles is a Brazillian. He d be something to behold as an as an attacking midfielder.
Happy New Year to everyone…
Great to see Saka get a run out, I’d love to see him start at Blackpool this weekend.
AMN has taken awhile to fully get over his broken leg I’m guessing PE, but now he’s hitting his straps, imagine him and Hector bombing down the right flank at some stage this season, AMN just ahead..?
Eris, I was judging Banega on what I saw in the World Cup and to me he seemed one of the most effective and talented players in the Argentina squad. His arrival would probably depend on persuading his family to move to England, and as they seem very settled in Spain that could prove problematic, and the possible sale of Mo Elneny to free up finance?
Red, fair enough, but maybe your view of Bellerin has been influenced by his erratic form prior to this season, I think he’s getting his rocks on again this term.
Finally, a 4-1 win is certainly the best way to put a nightmare visit to Merseyside behind us, well done Unai and the boys…
Happy with the win, which hopefully sets us up for another good run of form. Maitland-Niles has made a case for a role as winger/wing-back today, surely. But for injuries, he’ll probably be a more present force on the first team, by now. I feel there’s more to come from him; with Nelson, Nketiah, Iwobi and ESR showing good form, there is reason to be optimistic about where the club is going, as far as blooding youth is concerned.
It’s away to Blackpool, next, in the FA cup, so the first team gets a chance to get a ‘winter break’ of some sort. Hopefully, they return refreshed and ready to go again.
At least we can see Cech playing the next game, and the youngsters will get a chance to shine.
Watched the extended highlights and Laca and Auba were absolutely on the limit.. they were so relentless in attack and it finally paid off. What looked to me as a non-scoring game for Auba ended with his shot canon-ing off the defender and boy that was a good goal. Should have had a hat trick but oh boy that’s life.
The other lads were all out in attack and Fulham were providing us with so much space that we kept attacking.
Good 3 points to start the year. Hope for a clean sweep of points for 2019!
Almost to the half of the 6 matches today.
Just 3 goals total have been scored. Weird.
Just like that!
Four goals in 6 minutes BOU vs WAT — 3-3 at half.
It’s getting weirder and weirder JW
I am slightly frustrated with Belli Button, because he seemed to be the answer to our right back position a couple of seasons back, and then went awol in defence as he appeared to play as a winger, and to hell with defending.
Of course the way he played then may have been (and probably was) doing as he was told by AW, and that would change my view if it was true, together with you showing there is another way of looking at things.
Fingers crossed that you are correct and Belli comes good over the next few months. ✌️
N’Koulou seems to be the latest player [Torino CB] linked with the Gunners.
I hope this one is true — but probably not.
Total, my dearest old sausage!!
I have just read your ANNOUNCEMENT of your need for a break from blogging, and am both understanding and sad.
It does not seem that you have left a method for those of us who would like to say goodbye to you, and others BKers, so can I ask that you allow us to do that – either on this blog Post or on your announcement itself.
I am amazed that so many years ago you told me you were going to start Bergkampesque and I never imagined that you could single-handedly manage to carry it on for so long, because of the hardworking involved.
You are a good man Totes, and a break from the struggle to keep things going while also needing to provide for the family in the ‘real world’.
I am a great admirer of you and what you have achieved with BK — and will keep my fingers crossed that your break will not be for too long, but should this be the end, I would like to thank you for all you have done for us in a civilised and intelligent Blog.
All the Best, my Friend.
Ok TA, take it easy fella, thanks for all you do.
Eris, PE, 84, Retsub et al.., see you around the blogs.
Thank you both RA and Kev for your fine contributions over the years -comments and posts- and all the best. 🙂
Hey, TA. I hope this has nothing to do with Liverpool’s failure to threaten our “invincibles” gong. Just kidding. Whatever it is, having come to ‘know’ you, I believe it will be for good reason and can’t deny you your decision.
Thanks for keeping the platform as long as you have; forum was much appreciated, as a breath of fresh air from what we get to see largely.
Take care and all the very best, till…. who knows?
Thank you Eris, I reckon we were often aligned in our views and I liked your comments a lot. All the best buddy. 🙂