01 January 2014

Deduction = Dichotomy

By Dr3

In 2014 Arsenal should change their strip. Black and white. No grey whatsoever.

Incapable of explaining how a perennial underachieving team is no longer doing so, a collective mind-f@$k has been going on ever since the advent of Ozil and his bedroom-peepers. Arsenal? Genuine title-challengers? I won't accept that. 

Somehow, somewhere, it has been lost on us all that Arsenal are actually not a rubbish-team. More pointedly, they are actually a quite-good one. By being nearly-men for so long people have forgotten what it actually means to be pretenders. They're almost the best, has somehow become the worst. Inept. Bloody terrible. A season-opening loss brings Fellaini look-alikes to tears; further proof of them being an abysmal team, in yet another doomed season. A fiasco. Every victory is only as good as the next loss or even draw. Sure they're first and beating the teams they had regularly dropped points to in seasons before, but the real test is next week. A fortnight and two victories later, the real test has now been changed; redefined to injuries and squad depth. Nothing Arsenal does serves as vindication. Anything they supposedly don't, is the affirmation; same old Arsenal. We've cast them as the boy who cried wolf. 

Of course, this has served to galvanize an indignant Arsenal fan-base lacking in imagination. Ozil is Zidane (thanks Real Madrid). Ramsey is better than Bale (thanks Real Madrid). Wait until Theo is back, he'll score more than Nistelrooy (at Real Madrid). Arsenal columnists are even talking about getting Diego Costa, in January, in earnest, like a sober Megyn Kelley

It's all sordid, and all weird. 

The truth is that Arsenal have not missed a Champions League in the 10+ years that I've watched football with mature eyes. The truth is that Arsenal are the only BPL 'big team' to not change managers, rosters or alter stylistically this season. The truth is that Arsenal, like Barcelona, have not strengthened the area that has seemed their weakness; defense. What can this all mean? Arsenal will most likely not win the league. Arsenal are not the strongest squad or team in the league. The truth is however that Arsenal are a great team. If it takes Manchester City maintaining a 100% home record, Chelsea spending enough to buy some private islands on Willian, and Suarez being Romario reincarnated, to prevent Arsenal winning the league, then Arsenal are not 'pretenders'. They are contenders.

Go buy a colored TV, or at the very least, stop letting former players do your deducing for you. 

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21 August 2013

Bizarro Club

By Dr3
Like the underwater black Superman, Real Madrid exist in a different world. Left-footed players play on the right, Center-backs score goals, and French players speak Spanish to their Spanish-speaking teammates. The madness is palpable.

Players manage coaches, for whom winning provides no refuge. Player acquisitions are more about political intent than footablling philosophy. It's also a world in which Iker Casillas has to play. 

The more I look/think at that situation, suppositionally, is the more that I am forced to believe that it cannot be the world that I live in. A manager is not allowed to 'manage' a workforce, even when using criteria that is agreeable to his/her detractors or even established best-practice? No one has feigned that Diego Lopez usurped Casillas; his performances have merited selection, unanimously. Yet even as that bastard Fergie brandished wry anecdotes about which goalkeeper wouldn't have saved what, ominously there was still that chorus; play Casillas

At first I dismissed it as the inherent hatred that comes along with the toxicity of anything stamped Jose. It's unfortunate that embattled media personnel wax lyrical about flops/failures of a man's; albeit pernicious, ultimately impressive tenure in the face of then-Barcelona. But this? Even on the backdrop of internal bickering, should Mourinho's vengeful but injury-driven purchase perform not just as some sort of envoy, but as white Black Lightning in Madrid-world, why would there be an uproar? 

And then, a sordid plot twist. Mourinho was banished; in itself ushering in the good times. He was replaced too; by a peacemaker they said. A lovable rogue. A man not encumbered by pride and the like. He was innocuous, defusing; but nonetheless, apparently deaf. He hadn't heard the chorus. 

In keeping with the contrarian approach to everything at the club, Real produced another. In hiring Ancelotti, they have a man it seems, that dares to select his teams on meritocracy. It's farcical. Madness, Jerry! Madness.  

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