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Ozil is the Star as Arsenal Trash Newcastle

In this podcast yours truly Shotta and Blackburn George express our enjoyment as Arsenal trash Newcastle 4:0 in the EPL. We both agree that Mesut Ozil was Man-of-the-Match, once again making a mockery of his critics. But we are both cautiously optimistic about the future.

Remember to  Like and Subscribe to our podcasts wherever you listen and spread the word about our belief in free-flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class, the Arsenal-Way .

This podcast is available at Spreaker, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcast and Google Podcast by searching for Uncensored Arsenal.

Click on the link below and enjoy our no-nonsense point of view.

25 Comments

Artetaball Makes An Appearance.

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I’m tempted to say something like that was a game of two halves,but I wont because that would be pathetic, so i’ll say it was a game of one third and two thirds. The first half an hour was none too impressive, but after that, we were well on top.

Arteta set the team up, with his selections, to best combat the deep block in a disjointed game, and it worked. With Xhaka and Dani in the midfield it allowed Ozil to do his Ozil thingamabobs, drifting into space, with a good chance the ball would reach him. And it did. Xhaka did what we have seen him do recently, and played in a hybrid CM/CB/wingback/fullback position, which allows Saka to bomb on and gave Dani more time and space. Xhaka will not get many plaudits, but he had a huge effect on the game.

I keep banging the drum that Ozil has not regressed, and he just needs the team to find him in space, i think that was exactly what happened today. He had a great game.

Ceballos also had a fine game, his passing both penetrative  and accurate. I hope this is the start of a nice little cameo from him that lasts until the end of the season.

I would be mean to not mention Saka, what a talent he is, but as I mentioned, he should say thanks to Xhaka for allowing him the freedom that he took advantage of.

Another player that had a fine game, was Mustafi. He is an exceptional defensive header of the ball. In fact he has been good consistently under Mikel, it’s a shame that he gets no recognition because……. well because he’s Mustafi.

Oh what joy it is to have our Arsenal back. Ok , I know, but it feels like a corner has been turned.

76 Comments

Hope Returns, We Hope.Arsenal v Newcastle

Empty Emirates
After sharing the spoils in each of their last four Premier League outings, Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon. Both clubs are level on 31 points in the league standings; 11th and 12th-place respectively.
Having our feet stuck in the midtable mud is far from ideal for a club of Arsenal’s stature but to be fair to Mikel Arteta, a lot of what went wrong this campaign precedes his arrival and what he is trying to achieve is something that lasts beyond a quick-fix.
A positive thus far is our defence being more structured, without being setup to defend from deep. In recent weeks the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi particularly has come a long way, playing some of his best football. He’s a smart guy though and will know that even with Arteta having only good things to say about him, he still has some way to go before winning over a fanbase that are very reluctant to give him his dues.
A cause for concern now is our misfiring attack, and it’s not like they’re short of goal scoring opportunities but just lacking confidence. Be that as it may, hopefully their time out in the desert was just the right tonic. There’s already two-thirds of the season gone, so if we want to keep hope alive of a top-six finish they have to get their mojo back because we simply have to beat the Geordies.
Newcastle will be making this trip to North London with ideas of their own, which does not include being pushovers. They’re on a current eight-match unbeaten run across all competitions, with an excellent 1-0 win over Chelsea the highlight in that run.
Steve Bruce do seem to have a certain blueprint when coming up against “the better sides”. It’s one of those where instead of going for a win, he just set his team up to be very hard to break down and on the odd occasion even gets a smash-and-grab. It’s a formula with varied success but against the top-six sides they’ll take what they can.
The Geordies got their issues but their fans can be relatively pleased at this stage of the season, enjoying a seven-point cushion over the bottom-three. A further nine points from their last 13 games should be enough to ensure survival and give them something to build on.
Arsenal have a good head-to-head record versus Newcastle, winning 13 of the last 14 encounters. That includes seven straight home wins in which we outscored them 20 goals to five. Hopefully we extend on that.
Team news
Sead Kolasinac is expected to return to the lineup after his recovery from injury. Reiss Nelson is also back and could make the bench.
With Arsenal short of goals Arteta may consider bringing Nicolas Pépé back in, to likely replace Alexandre Lacazette who hasn’t scored a goal in his last eight starts.
New signings Cédric Soares is still nursing a knee injury, while Pablo Mari may have to wait till later in the week to make his debut with our Europa League trip to  Olympiakos.
As for Newcastle, they got quite a long injury list but we might get to see a familiar face with Danny Rose expected to make his debut at left-back.
Prediction
In games following a break teams usually struggle for fluency, over hitting passes and the timing of runs not quite there; and this afternoon may be no different. So with Bruce well aware of his sides miserable record against the Gunners he may just opt to keep things tight for as long as he can, hoping to catch us against the run of play.
However, the Arsenal could grow stronger as the game goes on with their class eventually coming through in the latter stages to just do enough to keep all three points at the Emirates. Therefore, I foresee a home win, yet low scoring affair. COYG!
— @LaboGoon
47 Comments

The Rise Of Stupid Aggressive Fans.

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Twitter, blogs, podcasts and “click bait” presenters have changed the face of football support. The more extreme your opinions are, the more aggressive your delivery is, the more successful you will be if your goal is to profit from your supposed support of a football team. Being heard is more important than being informed to many of the new-age fans.

AFTV is both the most unpopular example of this and also the most successful. It doesn’t mater how repulsive the “stars” are, how ridiculous their opinions are, how much damage they do to the club, it’s reputation and standing, as long as enough people subscribe to and follow them, it’s job done. We saw Hector Bellerin point out that it was wrong, for so called fans, to profit from negativity, and what happened? They faked a recording of him slagging off the club, attacked him remorselessly and attempted to turn the fans against him. Their ploy was exposed, but did it matter? No it did not, more people listened , followed and subscribed. Again, job done.

You might think we would have learned, but no, hell no! We then saw the most moronic of them set up their own Youtube channels , some even broadcasting live from the front seat of their cars, they then get a huge following and make even more profit.

As if that isn’t bad enough, but we regularly see TalkSport radio, the biggest sports radio station in the world, going to these most uninformed and objectionable profiteers, for their opinion on matters they are hugely unqualified to give, it’s a joke.

Think about every “famous” blogger, podcaster and Youtuber ,then think of why they became well known. Almost every one of them are negative extremists. Are they known for their understanding of Arsenal, it’s business model, the players or the tactics? No, they are known for their attacks on almost all things Arsenal. Some are just outright rude and aggressive while others hide behind humour and snide analysis, but all have one common thread, they prey on negative feelings.

The question is, are these people driven by popular opinion, or do they drive popular opinion towards a place where they become the stars of the prevailing opinion? Let us not forget that popular opinion had us improving if we could just get rid of Arsene Wenger, it had Emery doing a great job and Raul was “the Don” ! Make no mistake, these people are looking for ways to attract attention and make a profit, the profit might be in direct £ or a surge in their own profile, but looking they are.

Recently, while having a discussion abut Mesut Ozil, I used names like Arteta, Wenger, Pep and Jose, to back up my opinion, the rebuttal expert witness they drew upon to counter me was “Clive from Arsenal Vision” , the justification for using this colossus of football knowledge was that because people paid to listen to him, he must have a valid opinion. This is where we are.

Currently , most people are behind Arteta, but make no mistake, as soon as some of these “fans” see a profit in turning against him, they will. The problem is that those of us that are still on board will give them the oxygen they desire by highlighting their negativity on social media. We have seen the backlash against AFTV and they have recognised the problem by pretending to be positive. But it won’t last because all the profit is in negativity.

 

 

23 Comments

Don’t Be A Dick, Arsenal Fans

In this podcast yours truly and Blackburn George, the Arseblagger, react to the disappointment most fans have expressed after another draw in the Premier League, this time at Burnley. After seeing and hearing Sean Dyche continually abuse referee Chris Kavanagh during the game we decided his advise to  Chis was appropriate for some Arsenal fans:

“Don’t be an effing dick head”

Remember to  Like and Subscribe to our podcasts wherever you listen and spread the word about our belief in free-flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class, the Arsenal-Way .

This podcast is available at Spreaker, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcast and Google Podcast by searching for Uncensored Arsenal.

25 Comments

Optimism Or Pessimism , It’s Your Choice Now.

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Good day everyone.

There is no getting away from it, that was a disappointing result and a disappointing performance, we can almost taste the collective disappointment in the air.

Since Mikel rocked up there has been a swell of optimism running  through the club, from management to players to fans. The results haven’t been great but most can see an improvement in performances both individually and collectively from the players. So we went to Burnley and we expected a win and a good performance. Our disappointment comes from the levels of expectation we ourselves created. Had Emery still been in charged we would not have had the same levels of expectation, so the disappointment would be less. As Andrey Arshavin once famously said “Your expectations are your problems”. 

The problem with putting forward excuses, is that people dismiss them even when they are valid mitigation.Well for me there were good excuses why we didn’t play very well.  I say”very well” because in fact we did not play badly, actually for periods we were reasonably good, given the conditions. So lets look at the conditions for a moment.

The pitch was left with the grass long which clearly favours a less technical team. Therefore immediately we have to accept the technical side of the game will take a knock. And before people start shouting “it’s the same for both” it’s not, the more technical side loses more advantage because they have more to lose.

I felt that Arteta picked Guendouzi over Torreira partly because of the conditions and that Burnley mostly bypass the midfield, so he wanted a ball carrier rather than a shield. Unfortunately young Matteo had a game that he didn’t carry the ball well or progress it well with his passing. The problem was then made worse when Xhaka had to move from midfield to leftback, leaving us with Guendouzi and Torreira in the centre, a combination that has never worked.

One of the tactics seemed to be for Aubameyang to move more central allowing space for Saka to run into, a tactic that was working well until Saka literally got smashed out of the game. We lost our best CM ,who moved to LB and our best wide attacking threat. A double whammy.

The loss of Xhaka in CM immediately means Ozil becomes less effective  because he doesn’t receive the ball as often and in as good positions. More on Ozil latter.

Move up front and we had Lacazette, badly out of form, Aubameyang not at his best on the day and Martinelli playing on the side that suits him less. Their collective hold up play was poor. Perhaps on reflection Mikel will feel he got the selection wrong, but no one was complaining when the team was announced, it looked to most that it was the right starting three.

There has been a lot of moaning about Ozil’s performance, something that I seriously can’t understand. “Mesut Özil made the most ball recoveries, created the most chances, completed the most final third passes, succeeded the most dribbles and made the most interceptions of any Arsenal player when he was on the pitch.” I don’t know what more people want from him, he can’t pass the ball to himself so he is relying on the other players to either give it  back to him or do something decent with it, well on the whole they didn’t. He doesn’t have a playstation controller so he can move the others into good space and he cant make them pass the ball better. Ozil is definitely not the problem in this team.

On the bright side we look much better defensively, Mustafi didn’t put a foot wrong and play really well, Luiz looks a good player again and Hector is looking better with every minute he gets under his belt.

I have always said that we need a balanced MF, and I feel that the best one is Xhaka, Torreira and Ozil, but if circumstanced dictate that this trio is unavailable we struggle. Well circumstances did just that yesterday.

Nothing is going to stop me from being optimistic about our future under Arteta, the only question is how distant is that future and what levels of performance are we going to be happy with, because for sure, there will not be the levels of investment that will make us contenders for the league. We simply have to curtail our expectations or else we will be in a constant state of disappointment and anger.

 

71 Comments

Arsenal v Burnley

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Arsenal travel to Turf Moor this afternoon for their Premier League match against Burnley. As the Gunners look to end a run of three straight league draws, the Clarets will aim to make it three league wins on the bounce.

Good day all. Despite Arsenal still not having lost a league game since the turn of year, the improved performances and positive change in attitude, there’s still this sense that the Mikel Arteta era hasn’t really taken off yet.

I suppose this comes from us being closer to the bottom-three than top-four. It sure doesn’t help that we got our feet stuck in the mid-table mud. Still, this season is no write-off.

Going into this weekends fixtures, we were four points off both Man United and Spurs in 5th and 6th-place respectively. With them having a few tricky games coming up in the next game weeks, this is a good chance for us to reel them in, but we have to start turning draws, which are our main source of dropped points, into wins in order to move up the table.

It goes without saying Mikel started his tenure at a very awkward stage, smack in the middle of a very congested festive run, but things will now start to ease off a bit. With today’s trip followed by three straight home matches against Newcastle, Everton and West Ham, the Spaniard will be well aware that a result at Turf Moor could be key to generate momentum heading into last few months of this campaign.

Look, this team is in a really good place and that performance at Chelsea… followed by the young ones blowing Bournemouth away with a laudable first half display at the Vitality… we have grown in stature of late. And with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang now back in the side things can only get better. Who knows, if we string together a few wins in this next few weeks even 4th-placed Chelsea might start to look over their shoulder.

Burnley won’t roll over though. They had a dismal time since Boxing Day with four straight defeats, and heading into back-to-back matches against Leicester, Man United and Arsenal, there were real concerns they could get sucked into the relegation scrap. But boy didn’t they make some look silly; first they came from behind to beat the Foxes at home, before a 2-0 victory over the Red Devils at Old Trafford. With those games now chalked off, Sean Dyche will feel cocksure that his team can make it three league wins in a row.

I doubt it will even matter that they come into this game on the back of a disappointing FA Cup defeat against Norwich. Because for Dyche the silver lining will be that he can put all his focus on trying to get his side finishing this campaign as high as possible.

Despite some nearly moments the Clarets don’t have the best record against the Gunners though. Our 2-1 win in the reverse fixture back in August was the 11th eleventh straight one over them – a run stretching back to start of the last decade. They sure will be hopeful of beating Arsenal for the first time since 2008.

Team news

Arsenal made defensive additions of Pablo Mari and Cédric Soares this past week and there’s no doubt they should only help our cause, however, we should see them after the winter break.

We are also able to call upon the services of Auba and David Luiz, following their suspensions, with Shkodran Mustafi (ankle) and Sead Kolasinac (thigh) being assessed ahead of the game.

Prediction

Burnley got their season back on track with some promising recent results, but Arsenal are showing a different side to them under Arteta. Also Auba will be eager to get back in the goals, ergo we are favourites to grind out a result to get back in the race for a top-six spot.

As always, we need to remain switched on and got to make the most of our chances. Good luck all. COYG!

@LaboGoon