Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On the Spot: Ed on Spurs, Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp and More

Ed's on the spot with some timely commentary on Spurs vs Sunderland, Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund:

As you all know, Spurs tied Sunderland this weekend 2 to 2.  That's three two's if you're counting. But despite the let down in the score, Spurs were dominant.  Dembele got his first start of the season with Benteleb just returning from international duty -- or at least that's what was said.  In my opinion, Dembele is the better of the two, but Benteleb certainly deserves considerable time this year in the middle.
Erikson also seems improved; in fact, he seems a step faster.  And Lamela and Chadli (Chadli!) both continue to impress.   
In some ways Spurs coughed up this game, giving up a cheap goal quickly after their first, and choking one past in the end.  But they were also unlucky; a cross bar and a post were squarely hit after good attempts, and they dominated possession and the game.  One might say Sunderland Manager Gus Poyat was just looking to score on counters such as this, but the reality is he had no choice.  His team could only win if they took advantage of the very few opportunities they were given, which of course is exactly what happened.  All in all, a good day for Spurs as they look a team headed in the right direction.  And all in all, a Premeir League that's still looking a bit of a mess at the top.
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Is this man the best coach in Europe?  

It seems to me he's in the running.  Dortmund not only ran Arsenal out of the building, they looked man for man to be the far better team.  Examining the enormous changeover at Dortmund and the loss to injury of many of their starters, it's amazing how the team hasn't missed a beat.  It would seem that no one does more with less than this guy year after year.  Again, it's strange that he has less imitators -- though I'd say that Pochettino's style is similar.

I've always gotten the impression that Arsene Wenger wasn't much of a tactics manager so much as he is a style manager.  That and bringing in personnel that trend towards that style.  However, Klopp seemed more than ready to pressure Ramsey and Wilshere into looking very ordinary, and he was happy to turn Alexi Sanchez into trouble repeatedly.  Klopp's style depends upon overloads that trap ball carriers, and fast attacks on offense.  Arsenal never seemed ready; not at the beginning nor at the 89th minute.  

Miguel Arteta was also exploited by Dortmund.  The midfielder looked a very good fit for the Championship Division or less, as it seemed he was running in sand the entire evening.  Arteta and the position of holder remains Arsenal's weakness.  Arsenal needs Flamini, because he's the best they have at a position that demands a player with speed and strength.  

And what of Danny Welbeck?  He seemed to make Van Gaal's point for him, as he failed to finish 2 if not 3 very good opportunities.  Will this become mental for Welbeck?  Does he have the equivalent of the golfer's yips?  

Finally, how did Mezut Ozil get so bad?  The announcers at their weekend game said it was like Arsenal were playing with ten men he was so bad.  It was hard to disagree.  And in this one at Dortmund he continued his utter mediocrity.  Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves to play far more than this guy regardless of how much they paid to get him.

This is farlieonfootie for September 17.

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