Arteta has already done in less than one season what Arsene Wenger couldnt do for a decade and that is stiffen up Arsenal’s spine.
ManU is admitted a dumpster fire right now, but arsenal controlled the match for vast swaths of the time. Thomas Partey is the box to box midfielder they always wanted Aaron Ramsey to be. He and Mo Elneny (!) had Pogba and Fernandes in their pocket all match. Completely dominated the midfield. Ironically, despite having a ton of money invested in the attack, Arsenal is struggling to make chances in the final third.
I think they have a real chance in the Europa league and a top 4 finish
After leaving Chelsea for dead (or at least 8th place) just 3 weeks ago...........it's amazing what a central backbone does for a team and its players. Thiago Silva and Mendy. God bless em. Silva even has Zouma playing well. Turns out, Reece James is twice the player when he isn't having to pick up the pieces left by Christensen, and has cover to get forward, where he's a machine. And Mendy. The dude came in vocal and confident. That's what age and experience mean to a keeper. All the stuff Kepa wasn't. Amazing how a team absolutely cannot play out of the back one week, and then looks so smooth doing it when the right pieces are in place. Of course, they've been playing some below average competition, but that never stopped them from crapping the bed before.
I don't even care where they finish (I mean, I do, but not stressing it). They are 10x more enjoyable to watch. Of course, having Ziyech helps. It's almost a shame he wasted the last couple years at Ajax where none of us could watch him regularly. Is it me, or is Ziyech a much better version of Almiron? Same game, same smile on their faces. And since we're here, am I the only one who thinks Almiron crushes it if surrounded by better players?
Still business to do to catch the league leaders in talent. I like where we are sitting in the attack. I like it alot. Pulisic, Timo, Tammy, Hudson-Odoi. That's quality, that's youth, that's the right number to rotate. Having Giroud is just a bonus. I like where we are sitting in midfield if it includes Ziyech, Havertz, Mount and Kante. After that, there's where Chelsea doesn't have the depth to make a run. Jorginho sucks. Kovacic is nice, but he's not what wins leagues. Little Billy needs to play in La Liga, not the EPL, for a couple years. Need more here because they can push Mount and Ziyech up the pitch to fill for injured forwards if needed.
I like where we sit at outside back. Azpi backing up James and Chilwell.
Then we come to central defense. We probably get another year (maybe two?) of "quality Silva". Zouma is a spot starter, but not enough. Everyone else has proven they suck. If only we activated Ake's clause because I like him. Chelsea has one job to do either this winter or next summer. Find a world class center back. If they can add a serviceable #6, then that's job #2.
Time to find new homes for Jorginho, Emerson, Alonso, Christensen and Rudiger. We have guys on loan who can take all those spots or just need to move on from.
Yeah, I know it was Panama, and I know we shouldn't look too much into it, but c'mon, when was the last time we saw a USA team this young, with this many people to get excited for AND I KNOW I'll leave someone off...
Steffen; Manchester City...I know he rides the bench
Sargent; Werder Bremen
In the past we had a couple players playing but none getting the pitch time that we're seeing now, and making contributions for some big clubs....even more exciting for me is ALL of these guys are so young
As I watched the "experts" talk about the team after Wales and Panama I thought...are these guys jealous because they were never as talented as these kids, or maybe just being too hard on the team realizing they have maybe 2 weeks of practice and never played together. But again, as I looked at the above, it made me hopeful, hopeful we'll see the team turn a much awaited corner and step up to the level we expect for a team wearing a US Jersey in any sport to play.
I can finally get excited for USA Soccer again, after the man who will remain nameless nearly killed the team
I believe in soccer transparency. I think National Soccer Hall of Fame ballots ought to be public, and so I make it so. Same for the voting during MLS awards season – you can see my picks here and Best XI here. Ditto for the 25 Greatest presented by AT&T, which will determine and honor the 25 best