We start this mornings blog with some unfortunate news. It has been confirmed by the club that former Arsenal player, coach and assistant manager Pat Rice is currently in hospital receiving cancer treatment. Where the cancer lies, how far along it has developed or what his current condition is can’t be said but I think I speak for everybody when I saw we wish him a speedy recovery.
The man dedicated a remarkable 44 years to the club and in my opinion justifies a statue outside the ground just as much as Henry, Adams and soon enough Bergkamp have. There have been many heroes and legends over the years that in some way, shape or form justify a statue however have any of them served the club as lengthy, professionally and admirably as Pat? I don’t think so.
All the best Pat at this difficult time and regards to his family, friends and loved ones!
Going back to Arsenal there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of actual news going around. There seems to be a lot of focus on Ozil though. At the beginning of the season it was praise, love and affection, a few games of reduced quality later and it’s turned into criticism, bitchiness and dramatisation between fans and pundits.
It’s absolutely ridiculous that people can ever criticise the guy. He’s absolutely world class and is without doubt the most talented player in our team. He has been ill for the past three weeks with the flu and research shows that full fitness and energy levels don’t return for between 2-4 weeks after. It’s no wonder he’s less effective right now – he’s probably still feeling the effects. He missed a penalty, so fucking what? Everybody has missed them, it happens. Get up and get on with it.
I’m not the only one defending the German playmaker though. It seems as though his fellow countryman and bodyguard Per Mertesacker has come out and said we’ll see even more from the man. He said
We are very delighted with him, especially in the transition from defence to offence. He is the one who always goes deep all of the time.
He gets himself into good positions so the goals will come for sure. He moves well between the lines so it is always difficult to defend against him. When the centre back comes out with him, there is always space for others to move into.
He helps us create more chances.
And I’m delighted with him. Three goals and six assists in 14 appearances isn’t shocking form for a 25-year-old is it? I mean everybody is in agreement he’s looking a little off right now, but isn’t that to be expected? It’s his first season in the Premier League, every single player openly admits how hard of a struggle it is, yet a small section of the fan base that are clearly brain dead seem to get on the players backs every single time anyway. Mertesacker is a great example of people slagging him off whilst he adapts before licking his arse a season later.
We’re supporters, can we stop criticising and abusing and start… supporting? I know for some people that is quite hard to comprehend but seriously, it’s just becoming silly.
Jack Wilshere is another example of a player that is in the same situation. He’s not been himself since his injury (which is quite understandable) and for most of this season people have been on his back. He’s not good enough. He’s lost his focus. He’s not the player he was. For fuck sake we have a prime example in Aaron Ramsey of players having injuries and taking a while to become good – but with patience it will happen eventually. Jack scores two against Marseille and people are starting to have faith again? Why did that faith ever disappear?
Some people love to complain just for the sake of complaining. We’re top of the league, top of our Champions League group, we have our team playing the best football in years, the strongest side we’ve had in ages too and a stability, focus and mental strength that’s been missing since the incincibles. Yet people are still fucking moaning. I’m moaning right now – but it’s justified because I’m fed up of having to defend our own players against our own bloody fans.
Speaking of Jacky boy, he was also on Ozil’s side when it comes to the criticism. He made a very good point in highlighting how unselfish he was for the second goal, saying
[For the second goal] it was really unselfish from Mesut. Sometimes after a [missed] penalty you feel like you have to score. But the player he is, he’s been in that situation before and he’s unselfishly passed it across the goal and it was an easy tap-in for me.
That’s one thing that was brilliant about the second goal. Ozil is world class and the majority of world class players would be looking to score in that position – especially after a penalty miss. He didn’t, he opted for an assist instead. Beautifully unselfish play from a guy that really shouldn’t be receiving the criticism some people have been giving him.
Anyway, I’ll leave the blog there for the day. If you fancy some bonus reading check out this fantastic article about how Szczesny is one of the best goalkeepers in Europe this season. It really addresses some interesting points and uses facts and figures to back them up, too.
Thanks for reading, more tomorrow.