XAGON SPEAKS SPORTS REVIEW | THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL & WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT THIS SEASON

Wall[a[er-san

Good afternoon ladies and gents. On this wet Florida night I decided to review the just finished UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United. Watching this game I took away many points that can help my team Arsenal out. Let’s get to it.

MEN AGAINST BOYS

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This final, held in Stockholm, was the most fascinating match I have what watched in a while. Manchester United absorbed so much pressure and pressing from Ajax it was unique to see from a side other than Barcelona and the old Arsenal. United took their chances, as gritty as they were. Pogba with a deflected shot and Henrik with the touch of hamster to score the second. They were on the back-foot the entire match but their maturity killed Ajax off. Ajax did the flair moves, the 1-touch passing, and the high intensity that saw them succeed on stats, but the game ultimately ends 2-0. Though they attacked United all over the field, United has the experience over Ajax with the average of 22. So youth, though looked impressive, didn’t have the mental strength to come back when the game was virtually lot.

POSSESSION & PRESSING

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Ajax have earned my most unwitting respect. The effort I saw this team put into this game was unbelievable, but my focus is on two areas Possession & Pressing. From the word go they were all over United. Confident passing from ground to air, and the movement to create space. It a wonder while I was watching this I thought about Barcelona’s tiki-taka passing. The pressing was reminiscent of Bayern Munich against Arsenal in the Champions League. United had so little space the make their minds up, which I give props to the young guns of the Ajax squad. Hard working all over so congrats on that.

NAIVETY

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Their youth and vigor ultimately became their downfall. United used the experience they had to take each attack Ajax had for them. For each 1-touch pass there was a solid line of defense to clear the lines. Ajax, like I said, displayed great effort but lacked the maturity. The young energy wa there but a Plan B was non-existent. If passing and pressing doesn’t work for the first 70 minutes in a game that is massive and you have no other method for penetration, I feel you have massive issue. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting the same results, so what was Ajax’s mentality then?

FOR MY TEAM

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My team can take a page out of both these teams, but I want Arsenal to focus on Ajax’s system. GO BACK TO A 4-3-3 PLEASE! Sorry about that but it has to be said. The 4-2-3-1 formation and the 3-4-3 recent conversion are good formations for certain teams, but it’s not working. The 4-3-3 is the formation we need to go back to. When we had Fabregas and Song that was our formation. It worked but when you buy Ozil and Sanchez some sacrifices had to be made. But if we do keep these guys and they sign new contracts we need to revert back to it. Ajax implemented teamwork, pressing, and MAN MARKING. Not this contain crap I have een teams do. Man marking while not in possession is what I want to see. Effort, movement, and true grit.

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Being in the Europa League may be a step down for most but to me it’s what we deserve. Failed to assemble a good team at the start of the season in August, ending Wilshere and Joel out on loan, and placing so much attention on one man in Sanchez. I understand he is the club’s “Best Player” but people understand he is one player. You need a team to win games. He is good and you should build a team around him, but why must he BE the team. This season I watched a grown man have temper tantrums and act like a bitch while people defend him saying he has passion. Point is he is human and he craps like we do. So we need to asemble a team to try again next year.

ARSENE WENGER

This one is for the current manager, Arsene Wenger. Jose said he is a specialist in failure and for years I wondered what he was talking about. Took until the 2012-13 season I saw this myself and the level of frustration was high in me. We got destroyed by United and from then on I analyzed him as a person. He is very reactive and selfish. Change is needed to progress in life but this man refuses to see it that way. Insanity and I had to take the embarrassment of seeing the best players we had gone to different teams and win, while we go in a decline. Like I said in a previous article, after seeing Arsenal win 4 trophies I don’t have to be emotionally invested as I used to or extremely upset while watching the team play and lose. I became numb and not care because I achieved a goal of seeing this man win something.

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Now is time for you to go. I honestly want to see a new man take over and try to fully rejuvenate this team and the fan base. I appreciate what you have done for the team since the late 90s, but it’s time for a fresh start and a new approach. Being in the Europa League to me I a chance to start a new page. Bring a new manager in and let him build a team in his vision. You are an employee Mr. Wenger and you can’t hold the club to ransom. I want to see the red and white of my club’s colors shine like Ajax’s hone in glimpses tonight. I want teams to fear us and show our brand of football. That’s what I want. I took a season off to suffer you garbage coaching and attitude, but enough is enough. Go to France and win something there, or retire and play golf man. The game ha left you behind and I a fan want to see my club be among the bet. So please with all due respect, Leave!

 

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