Mesut Ozil, My Hero Or Your Villain ?



Mesut Ozil, like any modern footballer, is a regular poster on social media. In the recent past he’s put up photos of him in training, has declared himself fit, has congratulated the team on winning a game he played no part in, been supportive in defeat, and then…He dropped a bombshell! A post so despicable in its cynicism, so patently damaging not just to the team, but also our club’s esteemed values. Like his insensitivity in accepting wages worthy of being the best No10 in the world when the club had no choice, his attempt to blackmail the club by declaring open war on Emery surely suggests that the club need to sort him out. The club can’t back down to this naked display of player power or else it will be anarchy.

He’s got a history of this sort of thing. Instead of knowing his place in the football world, he dared to openly challenge racist attacks on him for taking a photo with a person who is no longer the favourite of the Western world (not that they don’t do business with him, mind) Rather than accept he has to atone and prove his Germanness (Germanity?) again, and apologise for the disruption he caused in the team, he chose to highlight the unfairness, ridiculousness and subtle racism for what it is. But that was Germany, so what do we care.

Of course even with Arsenal he disrespected our legends. Pointing out how they go on national TV and betray the club with their negativity. This sort of unfiltered truth telling does no good to our reputation. The club is now trying to limit the damage by having a love in with media personality and pundit extraordinaire Ian Wright. You can blame Ozil for the fact that we are now subjected to images of Wrighty flying a dragon, or kissing a wall with the badge painted on it. These painfully cynical social media posts are the result of Ozil’s reckless behaviour.

And then we have the football. When it’s clear that we’re having an injury crisis in defense. When our first choice right back, who we don’t know if we’re supposed to like or not because of his pathetically honest views on AFTV but we’ll forgive him for now. Yeah so when this guy we’re ambivalent about gets injured and our whole attack falls apart, what is Mr Ozil doing? He’s not grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck. He’s not even grabbing the coach by the scruff of the neck to tell him to play him. No. Why? Because he’s lazy. He put a gun to the club’s head and forced them to sign a deal at fair market value, and now he’s satisfied with that and no longer feels the need to play.

So instead of accepting that the club no longer panders to his pathetically high ambitions of winning and playing well, and just jumping ship like the honourable players of the past such as RVP, Cesc and Nasri, this player has the gall to post this…this vile.. subversive message to his millions of followers on social media. Ozil has committed blasphemy. He invoked God, and used that to send out the message that he has found his home at Arsenal. Such insurrection against this club cannot be tolerated. You know our club motto which says Victory through self-harming. Or the glorious statement of remember who you are, what you represent, and know your place. No player is bigger than the private corporate club. It won’t help our valuatio…errrr.. values.

Henceforth, only officially sanctioned communications vetted by our esteemed blog commissars will be allowed to be posted by Ozil. By order of King Raul the First.

Shard @ShardGooner


Did We Master Bate?

I sat down at 5.55 PM , with my chilli and chips on my knee, are readied myself to watch what was a very strong Arsenal 11 about to play a very poor team from somewhere far off towards the east that hadn’t played a game for two months, I expected an efficient display and perhaps some scintillating stuff, perhaps even a large dose swash and some buckle.

Needless to say what was served up was about as far away from that as can be imagined. The first 10 minutes or so it looked like the mismatch it should have been, the following 84 odd minutes were rather a disappointment, to say the very least.

If you saw the game then there is no point me dissecting it, and if you missed it I will save you the pain.

The worst of it is that I wasn’t at all surprised. We have lost 7 of our last 14 games, and no one could say we have deserved better.

We might have beaten them 6-0 last season on the Emirates carpet? So we should see them off in the second leg. If we go through then I suppose that will be all that matters to many, but to me it does matter. There is something wrong. I will leave at that as this is not the platform for me to open up with a broadside.



A Game Brings Sweet Relief.

Good morning all.

Later this afternoon we play Bate in a far flung freezing land. Perhaps not the most skillful of opponents, but certainly testing conditions. It will be something of a shock if we don’t return to London with three points in the bag.

After the result pulled off by our nearest, but far from dearest, neighbours last night ,against stellar opponents it would be nice if we impressed ourselves. This competition is Mr. Emery’s specialist subject, so there is zero chance of him allowing complacency.

Quite what sort of a team we will go with is beyond my powers of deduction, but I would guess it will be fairly strong. Of course we wont see Ozil or Ramsey, but we are used to that now and after the weekend I think we can be confident that Iwobi and Mkhitaryan won’t let anyone down.

I would expect Papastathopoulos (I had to google that spelling) to get some sort of a run out but whether that means starting is less certain.

This competition is our last hope of silverware this season and although it may be very much a second tier competition, it would be great to win it. Especially as I feel it is also our best hope of Champions League qualification.

So come on Unai and the boys. we are all behind you. Give us a treat.



The Hypocritical Fan.



When Arsene announced he would be stepping down I felt a little sad but mainly relieved. The infighting and media hounding had worn me down, I was glad it was over. However much I thought of him as a man and a manager I felt the time was right.

I thought we had a great squad of players and an outstanding first eleven when fit,  Ozil, Ramsey, King Koss, Santi, Hector, Lacazette, Xhaka, Monreal were all, for me, top quality and some of them exceptional. There were areas that needed to be strengthened and when Leno, Torreira and Papa tipped up it seemed to me we had done just that, and in fairness to them they have improved our strength in their positions, so we should be better.

Ivan was in the driver’s seat, Sven was going to unearth diamonds for us and we had new experts in contracts and negotiations. The future looked very bright,

Emery was appointed and immediately impressed. He said all the right things and his supreme efforts to master English endeared him to us further.

I was fully onboard with him and everything going on, Arsene had gone and we were set to build and improve.

Personally I felt I had supported Arsene to the end, through thick and thin,and I fully expected to carry on and do the same for Emery. At that moment I believed I would be as much behind Emery as I had been behind Wenger.

Here is where the problem starts, because now I don’t. I find myself questioning everything he and the club is doing and has done since the Summer. Quite frankly, I find myself up the moral shit-creek with without a paddle.

I certainly don’t want to be critical, but that’s where I find myself. I am now on the horns of a dilemma, do I feign faux positivity, or do I speak my mind? Do I risk being an enormous hypocrite or am I honest about my current feelings?

I listen to all the reasons why we should be patient,accept the logic of them and yet find myself drawing negative conclusions about the direction the club is going in.

We were told that Emey would build on what we had, not dismantle it and start afresh.

We were told the team would be built around Ramsey and Ozil, this couldn’t have been farther from the truth,

We were told we would play attacking adventurous football. How is that working out?

We were told we would play out from the back and dominate games! Is that right?

Ivan has gone and Sven right behind him. We now have a bunch of strangers running the club. Which is fine, if they had given reasons to think they were on a par with what went before,but they have not. Well, at least to me they have not.

I feel there are many like me that want to be fully supportive and positive but can’t reconcile that with how they actually feel.

Now I find myself making the choice of being a massive hypocrite or being honest. So I’m afraid I have to bite the bullet and accept that I can’t do that which I boldly claimed I would do, namely back every manager through thick and thin.

The next question is where now for this blog? It was set up as an oasis for people wanting to avoid negative people, so I certainly don’t want to be the captain that steers us into those troubled waters. So it’s up to the readers and the people who comment to set the tone. Ultimately you will be the ones in control of the conversation and direction.

I honestly feel I have let people down now. I’m sorry I feel this way and I don’t like it one little bit. Unfortunately that is where I am.


A Win Is A Win.

Well we won, 3 points away from home. That keeps our interest in the top 4 for now.

I thought Lacazette played well and Mkhitaryan did well to say he has just missed 10 games. Iwobi was dangerous going forward but very disappointing once he got near the box. Koscielny was also very good and Monreal did little wrong.

Given our long injury list and those that we are told have been struck down with a bug I suppose a win is all that matters!

Or is it?

I mean seriously, is it really?

I’m sorry, but the football was horrid.

Let’s make on bones about it, Huddersfield are rooted at the bottom for a very good reason, they are a very poor PL team. Yet the had more shots. more shots on target and more possession. The only time we looked half decent was when the front three were breaking from our own half, with ball at feet. Our passing and decision making was woeful. I’ve not seen anyone mention it, but I thought Guendouzi had an absolute mare. AMN went from being a danger to them, to a danger to us at times.

Seriously, is a backs against the wall performance against Huddersfield where we are at now? Even taking all the absentees into account? Perhaps it is and I am just a curmudgeon.

The words of Jack Nicholson keep coming to me “what if this is as good as it gets?”

But hey, we won ! Imagine what I would be like if we had played like that and lost?




Huddersfield Vs The Arsenal.

Arsenal are in Yorkshire this afternoon to take on strugglers Huddersfield at the John Smith Stadium.
Good day one and all…
There’s not much to say about our hosts except that with 13 games left to play it already look as if the 2018/19 Premier League season has defeated them. They’re rock bottom since Boxing Day with only two wins in 25 games, haven’t won a game since the 25th November, haven’t scored a goal since 2nd January, are on a 12-match winless streak, conceded a staggering 48 goals (second most after Fulham) and scored a mere 13 goals.
I can imagine for them the end of the season can’t come quick enough so they can just close the doors, shut the blinds and switch off the lights to put an end to this dog’s misery.
But till then…
Last weekend’s defeat to Mancity was disappointing, not wholly unexpected if we are honest, and saw us slipped down to sixth on the table, but with just three points off of top-four there’s still hope of a return to Champions League football next season if we can put a good run together, starting today.
We have been lacking a bit of our early season spark of late but all signs still point to this game being more routine, yet intriguing. The Terriers can’t score a goal to save their season, we aren’t good travellers and are currently sitting on a six-game winless away run. There’s also the caveat that our hosts could have the “new manager bounce”, with this only Jan Siewert’s second game (check Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl second game for reference), but with his appointment coming at a difficult time and the first two games against Chelsea and now Arsenal, it would require something incredibly special for him to turn things around. That being said we could expect their players to leave their hearts out on the field as some of them will be playing for their futures.
In the pre-game presser Unai Emery said Koscielny and Auba was down with illness this week but are expected available, along with Mkhitaryan, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Xhaka will be subject to late fitness tests.
We got a game in Belarus on Thursday so it will be interesting to see if Emery start both Auba and Lacazette, that doesn’t mean they won’t be licking their chops going up against one of the leagues poorest defenses to get themselves and the team back on track.
In the previous meeting between these two sides it took us nearly 90 minutes to find a winner and we got a rare clean sheet. Hopefully we won’t wait that long to open the scoring today but given our shaky defense there’s a good chance they may nick a goal. However I do feel our attacking impetus may prove too much for them to handle.
*Ed, It seems Aubameyang has not traveled*

Manchester City vs Arsenal Is A Big Test

There is never an ideal time for any team to play Manchester City, whether home or away, but here we are.
Good day one and all…
It’s going to be the battle of the Spanish managers this afternoon as Unai Emery take his Arsenal side to the Etihad to take on compatriot Pep Guardiola’s Mancity. It was another of their countrymen though that outwitted the latter using vintage Rafa-ball midweek.
Before their unexpected 2-1 defeat to Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle the Citizens has been on a rampage, scoring 33 goals to just two in an eight-game winning streak. Following the SJP lack of inspiration Pep will demand a very strong reaction, so we can expect them to fight tooth and nail to not only put that disappointment behind them but to also reduce Liverpool’s lead in the log standings.
Arsenal have a different agenda though as we just want to ensure we stay in the fight for a 4th spot which is up for grabs between ourselves, Chelsea and Manutd – at this point still very much in our own hands.
Games against Mancity haven’t been easy for us in recent history and being down to the bare bones at defense was certainly the last thing needed in preparation for this trip. Mancity have scored 11 goals to one in the last four matches between these two sides, we also lost seven times in our last 11 visits there.
Given that record what Arsenal probably need to do is play from the back and hope to break on the counter but Emery said he will take Mancity on at their own game. To be  honest I like it. Pep is not going to let that type of complacency at SJP happen at the Etihad and will pick an ultra-attacking lineup. so we might as well just go for it than to allow them to relentlessly build attacking wave after wave without getting a look in.
Going that route is going to be one enormous task but for the last six weeks all we as fans asked for, begged for, is for the team to get out of their shell and display the type of bravery that saw us going on that amazing unbeaten streak, and if that is something Emery want to go back to I think we should applaud it.
Attacking teams’ defense rarely get tested and if we can get both Aubameyang and Lacazette to run at them who knows, we may just win our first away game against a top-six side following a 20 winless streak.
With almost two thirds of the season done and dusted, it’s time that we put the foot on the accelerator. A must-win for both sides which could either be a thrilling contest or quite a long afternoon for us… but because I respect bravery I will definitely be rooting for the former.