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Busacca’d!!! (Mid-Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk Podcast

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There were two English Premier League matches mid-week, but our main focus of attention was Champions League, where one North London club qualified for the quarterfinals while their rivals were sent home empty handed, jaw slacken. For the second year in a row, Arsenal’s Champions League met its end in Barcelona, but whereas it was Lionel Messi that eliminated him last year, many Gooners will content this year’s elimination falls at the feet of the official.

On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, myself, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna talk about the controversial manner by which Arsenal was escorted out of Champions League. We also talk about Spurs’ 1-0 (aggregate) win over Milan and the mid-week matches before shifting our focus to this weekend’s FA Cup quarterfinals.

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Busacca’d!!! (Mid-Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk Podcast

EPL Talk Podcast Logo draft 300x242 Busaccad!!! (Mid Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk PodcastThere were two English Premier League matches mid-week, but our main focus of attention was Champions League, where one North London club qualified for the quarterfinals while their rivals were sent home empty handed, jaw slacken. For the second year in a row, Arsenal’s Champions League met its end in Barcelona, but whereas it was Lionel Messi that eliminated him last year, many Gooners will content this year’s elimination falls at the feet of the official.

On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, myself, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna talk about the controversial manner by which Arsenal was escorted out of Champions League. We also talk about Spurs’ 1-0 (aggregate) win over Milan and the mid-week matches before shifting our focus to this weekend’s FA Cup quarterfinals.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Busacca’d!!! (Mid-Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk Podcast

  1. Danny G says:

    Great debate but everyone in it is clearly a gunner’s fan. Yes the red card on Van Persie was harsh but what did he do the first half that Arsenal missed some much? An in the beginning of this podcast you guys were talking about “unusal events” happening in the game, like the keeper getting hurt and the red card; but what about Busquets’ own goal? How is that not an “unusal event”. All I hear is how Arsenal got shafted because of the red card. I almost feel it gave them the excuse to put 10 men behind the ball and try and keep Barcelona from scoring again. I just can not see how people are arguing that Arsenal would have gone out if it wasn’t for the ref. I mean 76 – 24 possession and 0 attempts on goal makes that allogation comical. The Champions League’s purpose is to show who the best in Europe is. Teams need to play straight up and go toe-to-toe with each team they play. I know this isn’t realistic, but I wish it was the way it was. Instead of teams “parking the bus” in front of the net when they know there outclassed.

    • Laurence says:

      Hi Danny,

      Thanks for the feedback. The OG deserves recognition too. You make all good points in fact.

      Just for the record, no one on this pod is an Arsenal fan.

      Laurence

      • Steven says:

        Danny, football has nothing to do about possesion or shot son goal its what goes in that counts. If possesion and shot son goal counted Arsenal would always win the EPL, just ask how Arsenal feel when they dominate Chelsea and Man Utd and go home without the points. Same thing here first leg emirates Barca dominated and went home 2-1. That first leg Wenger knew his team can outlast Barca, Barca use a lot of energy creating overlaps and off the ball movement is a religion. But they have to increase the speed against EPL teams as the intensity in EPL is greater. At emirates second half Arsenal pretty much overran Barca in the last 20mintues. Arsenal was hoping to do the same thing at the nou camp, but when the ref is pro barca Arsenal never got the chance. Guardiola can talk all about possesion, Arsenal dominate EPL teams yet they dnt always win! RVP got a 1st yellow for slapping Dani Alves what about Eric Abidal grabbing RVP’s throat!! Feel sorry for the ref UEFA will defintaely ban him from major games.

    • Jim says:

      You would have said the same thing early in the first half of the first game as well. At the time Barca had dominated the game and were up 1-0. Arsenal ended up winning 2-1. In this game, Barca had dominated the game and it was 1-1, 3-2 on aggregate. If RVP had not gone out, there is a decent chance of the game ending 1-1 (Arsenal wins), Arsenal getting a second goal (Arsenal wins), or it ending 2-1 (extra time and potentially penalties). Having said that, I think the better team won. There is no question that Barca is the best team in Europe, but thanks to the own goal and Arsenal’s performance at The Emirates, I think you have to concede that there was at least a roughly 50% chance Arsenal pulls it out if they are at full strength (despite the wasted keeper substitution, Walcott and Song being out, and RVP and Fabregas not being 100%).

  2. Cody S says:

    Funny how things turned out, huh? Arsenal takes their away matches in Portugal and Ukraine for granted and fast forward to present time, Shakhtar’s off to the quarters and Arsenal goes down to Barca once again, only this time in the R-16.
    It’ll be interesting to see whether or not this helps them out in the league though, they have a golden opportunity now to focus on winning the Premier League, especially with United’s recent struggles. Here’s to an exciting league finish.

  3. Jim says:

    The “Tottenham Replacing / Surpassing Arsenal” conversation was just ridiculous.

    -Arsenal lost a League Cup final (a tournament that Spurs had exited multiple rounds earlier)
    -Arsenal lost to Barcelona (does anyone think that Tottenham would have beaten Barcelona?)
    -Tottenham beat Milan (would Arsenal not have? perhaps, but I think there’s a good chance they do)

    But the most ridiculous part of the statement that “The Spurs have a much better team than Arsenal, player for player” is that it ignores nearly 30 games in the Premier League against common competition in favor one round of the Champions League. Arsenal is in second place with a game in hand. Spurs are fifth…nine points back from Arsenal (with a game more played). Further, statistically goal difference is a much better indicator of quality than points (due to the ‘chuckiness’ of results). Arsenal have a GD of 30, Spurs 7. Finally, the way things are going with their potential fifth place finish, THE SPURS ARE LIKELY TO NOT EVEN BE IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AT ALL NEXT YEAR.

    I guess the only reason the Spurs lag in the table are all the injuries they’ve had this year…Almunia, Fabianski, RVP, Walcott, Song, Fabregas, Vermaelen…
    Oh, wait, that was Arsenal.

    How much does Arsenal need to lead the Spurs by in position, points, and goal difference over nearly 30 games against common opponents for them to “have the better team, player for player?”

    • Laurence says:

      Jim,

      I think what Kartik was referring to is that man for man Spurs squad is better on paper than Arsenal. This doesn’t always translate into wins, but it could explain the increasing fortunes for Spurs and their confidence as a set of fans. If you go through the squad then Spurs have a more apparent replacement for each position than Arsenal do. I’m not saying that is a good thing, but in simple footballing terms it would imply that you can swap people in and out without disrupting the play. *doesn’t really work that way.

      As for the conversation on “replacement”, it was more of a flippant use of the term. If anything, I think there was more of a discussion detailing paranoia that some Arsenal fans seem to be experiencing around the league.

      • Jim says:

        The Spurs depth and ability to swap players without disrupting play will serve them will in Europa next year.

      • Cillian says:

        Arsenal have one of the strongest attacking squads anywhere in the world when fit. They have 5 international standard strikers a plethora of midfielders, where they are lacking is quality Central Defensive Midfield replacements for Song. They also continue to play Rosicky when he is clearly past his prime.
        Why Wenger played an unfit Van Persie over a stronger holding striker, who has scored a number of goals last year in the Champions League Chamakh was silly.
        A central defensive midfielder who can pass and a STRONG left back like a Marcell Jansen is what Arsenal should go shopping for.

        • Laurence says:

          You’re right, Arsenal have a great squad but lack:

          GK, CB, DMF.

          I’m a fan of the Arsenal squad. The point was less of a slur on Arsenal and more of a compliment for Spurs.

          On the same pod the comments:

          “Great debate but everyone in it is clearly a gunner’s fan.”

          “The “Tottenham Replacing / Surpassing Arsenal” conversation was just ridiculous.”

          • Jim says:

            Arsenal needs defensive help where Tottenham does not.

            Except that Arsenal has 17 clean sheets this year in all competitions, Spurs have 10. Arsenal has allowed 27 goals (3rd least in the League) in the league this year, Spurs have allowed 34.

            There is a popular narrative about Arsenal’s defense, but it has been much improved, especially since Djourou replaced Squillaci and since Scensny’s come on.

            At some point facts mean something.

          • Laurence says:

            “Spurs squad is better on paper than Arsenal”

            To answer your defensive concerns:

            People have no confidence in Arsenal’s backline. I don’t have much faith in Spurs backline. Both have suspect players who all have the potential to improve.

            United are top of the league and have conceded more than Arsenal (that might change) yet we have more confidence in the United back line because of their GK, Vidic, Smalling.

            It’s not just goals that count. The defensive unit hasn’t been strong for Arsenal recently. When it comes down to those facts Arsenal’s style of play requires a better team at the back.

            Part of the reason it is most frustrating to watch is that I think they have the ability, we just don’t see the consistency in that ability. For me, that points towards mentality and perception of mentality is much more difficult to judge in the press.

            Don’t get me wrong. I see your point, but it’s not so black and white as just those facts.

  4. Earl Reed says:

    Glad to hear Kartik bring up a point (see below) that I believe should be hashed about in the mainstream press. And I think they don’t, because they believe that the only UCL final worth watching contains Barcelona (5Live actually says as much in their podcast today).

    * Why does it seem that, when Barcelona is facing prospects of elimination, they are gifted a man advantage on what have invariably been suspect (nay, unjust) red cards? *

    But I have yet to see this kind of question in the mainstream, and it ought to be highlighted over and over again to the point where the FIRST thing in a viewer’s mind when it happens the next time is, “Can this be yet ANOTHER coincidence?”

    Barcelona, for all of their splendid passing, has been shown to be fallible against teams who can organize. The difference between last year’s match and this year’s is A) Mourinho’s composure vs. Wenger’s composure, and B) Inter had actually built a 2 goal advantage at the San Siro.

    • jakobscalpel says:

      I root against Barcelona as much as any non-Barcelona fan does but there is a good reason why opposing teams get red cards against them and it does not contain the word conspiracy. They usually have overwhelming possession, superb skill on the ball at speed, and well timed dives. No other explanation is necessary.

      The red card on VP was ridiculous but VP has a temper and an attitude and the ref may have just been looking for an excuse after the hand to the face in the first half.

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