Tag Archives: Belgium


Arsenal v. Aston Villa: just win the game

We can talk about different styles of play, we can talk about which lineups we want to see, we can fantasize over which players we would like Arsenal to buy this summer, we can moan about referee selection, but the reality is that all that stuff is irrelevant because we just need Arsenal to win this game.

I don’t care if Wenger lines up with a 4-4-2. I don’t care if he sticks to the 4-3-3. I don’t mind if he plays a 4-5-1 or if he goes balls out and plays a 2-4-4. Just win the game.

I don’t care if Arsene starts Andrei Arshavin in the center forward role. I don’t care if he plays Ramsey out of position on the right. I don’t mind if Monreal starts or if Vermaelen is dropped. I don’t care if Mertesacker is played to deal with Benteke. Just win the game.

I don’t care that Arsenal have only won 2 of their last 6 encounters with Villa. I don’t care that Villa is a hoofballl team, third in aerial duels won per game. Or that Villa play 72% of their game down the wings yet are dead last in crosses per game. I don’t care how old Arsenal are, how old Villa is, or whether there is some kind of stat about anything that someone thinks matters. Just win the game.

I don’t care that Edinson Cavani is a dreamboat, that Etienne Capoue is a man of steel, or that Christian Benteke is everyone’s fourth favorite Belgian (Kompany, Hazard, Fellaini, Benteke?). I don’t care if Arsenal have £200m to spend this summer, that they will or they wont spend it or that Wenger will or won’t retire. Just win the game.

And I don’t care that Martin Atkinson hasn’t awarded Arsenal a penalty since 2010 or that he has awarded Aston Villa more penalties than any other team (11 in 26 matches refereed). I don’t care that Atkinson has only ever given Villa one red card while he has given the opposition four and that he’s awarded Arsenal more red cards than any other team he has refereed (5). I don’t care that Jack Wilshere is the fourth most fouled player in the League and that Benteke is the 9th most fouling player in the League. Just win the game.

Tomorrow morning at 7am none of that stuff is relevant. It doesn’t matter if Arsenal tackle more, intercept more, head the ball away more, get into better scoring positions, play more direct, play vertically, play like a footballing crab, play an insanely high line, play deep, get fucked on the calls by Atkinson, get all the breaks, get lucky, deflect a goal in off a player in an offside position, make an error that leads to a goal, flap at a corner, fluff their lines, shoot from distance, don’t shoot, dribble, get wide, put in crosses, hold the ball up well, or finally get a single corner kick into a dangerous area. Just win the game.