Everything, Everything - August 2013

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Saturday 31st August, 2013 15:13
My Twitter timeline is all about football and politics. Did the Core Text rendering bug stop all the hackers and researchers for a few days?
Thursday 29th August, 2013 19:41
"@LlewAFC: Julian Draxler's release clause at Schalke 04 is €45.5 million." Sounds plausible and very interesting. http://t.co/bPhfEtt1IH
Monday 26th August, 2013 10:58
SimCity still pissing me off. Gift payments are dodgy (500k becomes 200k?) and Great Work not showing in all cities! http://t.co/FZHw8B6n6F
Friday 23rd August, 2013 11:20
On the plus side the BT Sport Android app works fine on my Nexus 4 (JWR66Y) even when it's been rooted :D http://t.co/sdn9ShJCXl
Friday 23rd August, 2013 11:08
http://t.co/gqdFiKKgRn Looks like @BTSport doesn't support linked/sub accounts. Forced to share primary account password. Nice design (NOT)!
Sunday 18th August, 2013 13:59
Football's Back http://t.co/saKbnBlVfB
Football's Back
Sunday 18th August, 2013 00:35
Apologies to pretty much everyone following me on Twitter, but the Barclays Premier League started on Saturday. This means another season of tweets and blog entries by me about Arsenal Football Club.

I didn't get to watch the match as I was dragged to a racecourse on a miserable day to watch everyone else lose their money on the horses before Meat Loaf tried his best at singing his old hits. However, that was probably a good thing. I still hope to watch the full game, but Twitter and highlights suggest that it's painful viewing.

Firstly, it sounds like the referee was terrible. I've read that he made several dubious and inconsistent decisions.

Secondly, the team didn't play very well. This isn't a surprise as the line up suggested a Ramsey-Wilshere double pivot. This has failed spectacularly every time we've tried it. With Arteta out and no suitable alternative, this puts considerable pressure on our defenders. It's no surprise that Koscielny (as the quickest CB) was forced into making a few challenges that he wouldn't normally need to make. With the increased pressure on the defence it's also no surprise that some attacks put the goalkeeper under pressure, highlighting his flaws (autocorrect suggested class). Some people have suggested we looked tired, which might be down to the international friendlies.

Thirdly, we were probably unlucky to get so many injuries during one match (not sure why, sometimes shit happens), but without any depth to our squad (and I've been crying out for depth for such a long time now) we were forced to play people out of position yet again. This presumably contributed to our poor performance and may explain one or two injuries. I really wish we'd activated Fellaini's release clause or bid higher for a couple of other decent DMs (Gustavo?).

Right now it looks like Arsenal only has 2 fit defenders (ideally we need at least 4), Per Mertesacker and Carl Jenkinson. Both are decent players, but neither is perfect (Mertesacker is slow and Sagna just about has the edge over Jenkinson). Sagna apparently hurt his neck, but might be able to play on Wednesday otherwise I have no idea who will play as left back if Gibbs isn't okay (EDIT: he had stitches so maybe he'll be able to start?). I also don't know who would play centre back alongside Mertesacker (EDIT: Sagna may have whiplash, but could possibly play there if Gibbs can start. EDIT2: Kos isn't suspended on Wednesday as his and Cazorla's CL bans are void at start of new CL season). Ramsey played there today after Kos was sent off. Ramsey is versatile, but I'd prefer a proper defender when these qualification matches could make our break our chances of signing top players. I can't see us changing to a 352 (or 3232) formation either.

Arsene says he only wants to buy world class players, but in reality they don't want to play for us. Clubs won't sell to us if we don't pay enough either. But there are plenty of good players out there that are better than our current ones and could offer us depth. I'd take a decent player over not having someone at all thanks to injury/suspension. In addition to Fellaini (or an equivalent DM for about the same price, £20-25M), I'd like a decent goalkeeper to challenge Szczesny. If we'd been prepared to pay enough we probably could have picked up McCarthy from Reading, but I'd have happily taken Cesar, Reina, Mignolet or Begovic. I didn't think we needed another centre back, but with Miquel on loan and further injuries to our fullbacks it puts us in a poor position (Ashley Williams has been mentioned and might work alongside Koscielny). I think the best solution might be a decent right back (Micah Richards was mentioned yet again, although I'm not saying I'd want him) so we have options for the left and centre, but it really depends on what sort of cover a DM can provide, and we run the risk of alienating Sagna in what is probably his last season for Arsenal. If we have any money left, a decent striker would be nice (and necessary) as an alternative/backup for Giroud.

If Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for 3 months, as suggested on Twitter, albeit from an unreliable source, we're looking light up front too. The Ox was basically our depth in terms of experienced attacking midfielders.

Controversially, I think Jack Wilshere's inclusion in any 4231 formation will be detrimental for the foreseeable future. I think Ramsey is better right now and the double pivot needs someone capable of staying deep, seeing the danger, organising the team when required. I don't think Wilshere is good enough yet further up the field either.

Last season I was torn over whether Arsene was the right man for the job. This season I'm torn again, but this time I'm leaning closer to wanting him out. Until I know all the reasons why we're in this mess (covering for the board?) I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but most Arsenal fans can pick a decent line up from the fit players in the first team and it doesn't take much skill in buying nobody over the summer transfer window. If he reveals 2-4 great signings in the next few days I'll be happier, but I can't help wonder how many were already planned and how many are reactive after today's poor start.

Spend some fucking money. If we don't, we definitely won't have the depth to reach 4th place and we definitely won't win any trophies.
Saturday 10th August, 2013 13:58
Good job I'd already rooted my Nexus 10 so I could run "wm size 2560x1440" to get the HDMI output without black bars on the left and right!
Monday 5th August, 2013 22:20
You've got to try harder than that to fool me! http://t.co/IdIDDKUHjG
Monday 5th August, 2013 14:00
Malcolm Tucker as The Doctor #NSFW http://t.co/CE9HeM3Vs9
Saturday 3rd August, 2013 17:04
Koscielny, such a great player. Man of the match?
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