“If a soldier does not see the logic he will not perform as well or be as obedient. A soldier must be convinced, otherwise discipline is a problem.”
A quote there from Bernard ‘Monty’ Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, one of the British Army’s finest military tacticians. I could not help but summon this quote to mind last week-end as The Arsenal took on once again the Premier League’s vulgar neophytes, FC Chelsea 2003.
The quote in this case does not seemingly apply yet to whatever Mr. Emery is calling his special and unpredictable blend of bespoke Gipuzkoan tactical approaches (Revolutionary Mystery Meat 3-5-2? Fireworks Obstacle Explosion 4-3-3? Grandma’s Knickers Possibility 4- Diamond-2? Mauritanian Refrigerator Superintendent 4-2-2-2?) but to that of Mr. Sarri, and his modestly named style, ‘Sarri-Ball’.
Indeed, Mr. Sarri’s early success made Monty’s “logic” seem crystal clear to the blue-shirted gentlemen of the night. He transformed the Fulham Dilettantes’ shape and style, kicking off with an eleven match unbeaten start. We could all see what he was doing at the Blue Parvenus: A 4-3-3 relying on distribution from their Brazilian Jorge Filho and burst Chesterfield sofa David Luiz. Their teammates spread out ahead of them like a Japanese sensu. My gardener and fellow Arsenal fan Old Tom calls this “a load of fannies fanning out,” although I would never utter something so coarse. This system relied on the movements of Belgian Bun Eden Hazard.
The problem now, potentially alleviated by the arrival of Gordon Higginbotham, is that they have no recognised striker to speak of. Mr. Goring-Hildred, much-loved by the Arsenal faithful, has retired there, but is specialising in being a non-scoring forward. Mr. Sarri has not adapted his style to his circumstance with the result that the system is predictable and nullifiable by the venomous and relentless pressing we saw from the chaps on Saturday. We also sent considerably more overhead ordnance toward the Chelsea goal – if not quite Route 1 itself then certainly an ‘A’ road just off Route 1.
The victory over the Blue Arrivistes has caused much consternation. I have included a few choice extracts from posts on ‘The Shed’ Chelsea blog:
CARN’T BELIVE THIS, IN ALL MY SIX YEARS OF GOING TO SEE CHELS THIS IS EMBARRASSSING, SARRI OUT
WOT WAS THAT S**T, NO IDEAS, NO STRIKER, NO CLU, BRING THAT BEARDED ARSENAL C**T OFF THE BENCH WTF IS GOING ON SARRI SORT IT OUT
I’VE HAD IT NOW. STARTED SUPPORTING CHESLEA RIGHT FRO THE BEGINNING, 2003, BUT I WILL GO BAK TO SUPPORTING MAN UNITED IF THIS CONTINUES. ABSILUTE F*****G S**T.
I’m sure you will agree that these messages warm the cockles, but not as much as beating Manchester United this evening would do. Has the sickening warmth show to that cheating little shit? We all remember him taking a dive when Sol made minimal contact with him in a 2- 2 draw in 2003.
Have you seen the picture of that teenager in the United States smirking at a Native American? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is that smirking red-hatted twerp in football form. He was the absolute worst, a total bounder, and in a side containing arch-cheat Ruud van Nistelrooy that is really saying something.
Let us wipe that smirk off his face tonight.