Sanchez Return to Fire the Gunners

August 16, 2015

Now I don’t like Me-rinho but I do have a grudging admiration for him and one cannot deny that he knows his football;. Last week he gave an interview about his expectations for the season stating it would be the hardest league to win ever – his reasons? The huge revenues from the upcoming TV rights which have improved the ability of mid-to-low table PL clubs to sign international quality foreigners, thus making talent differentials between the Top 4 and the rest less apparent. For example, Ayew given a 5m signing on fee by Swansea, Shaqiri choosing Stoke instead of a host of clubs throughout Europe and worst for us today – Cabaye moving from the riches and attractions of PSG to ply his trade at Palace.

Just think – Crystal Palace – a club with a ground capacity of just 26k attracting Cabaye plus a front line of Zaha, Bolassie, Bamford, Wickham and our good friend Chamakh! That alone is a massive wage bill.

When asked if he had tried to sign Cabaye Mr Wenger said “No, we have enough in that area”. I don’t believe him. Cabaye is quality and certainly better than the players we had in midfield a few years ago. He will cause us problems this afternoon.

Unknown

Pulls did wonders at Palace last season and will be looking to push forward this, a Top 10 finish must be his target.

And what about Arsenal? The less said about last Sunday the better and I would like to thank WH Bob for not getting in touch this week :-)  Can we expect better this afternoon?

We have to. This is a very, very good squad and the best we have had for many a year, we all know they could and should beat teams like CP, but ……. sadly, football is not about should’s, is it?

Debuchy looked rusty last week and Bellerin’s pace added to that of The Ox will be important given the pace of CP’s wingers.  Our pace upfront will test the ageing CP centre backs and as such I hope for Theo to start in place of OG, the pointless crossing into a packed box creates nothing against a team defending in depth which is what we can expect this afternoon.

A fit and raring to go Sanchez is a major boon, I expect him to score our first goal of the season.

We won 2-1 twice last season a similar result would be very welcome today

p.s. There are two ex-Arsenal players in CP’s Best Ever Team. Who are they?

COYRRG


How safe is the Best Manager in the world‏

August 14, 2015

Morning all,

The career of a premier league Manager comes with lots of up’s and down’s, one minute a hero the next anything but. Not so long ago, supporters were filling the streets with banners and the wearing of a black scarf, signifying some Arsenal supporters views on the current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. A few seasons of what they considered to be bad results, the lack of spending was also seen as bad management.

Today those same supporters seem quieter, we seldom see black scarves and banners expressing ‘Wenger Out’. It’s not impossible to understand how some supporters do not need too many bad results before turning against players or managers. On some occasion’s, even the owners are pointed out for ridicule, yes, even though they have spent many millions of their own money to buy the said club.

Arsenal is not the only  club out of the twenty Premier League clubs to have had similar problems from supposedly loyal supporter’s, Newcastle, Liverpool Manchester United and their neighbours City have all had problems. When you look at the numbers of managers these clubs have had over the years you wonder why anyone would want to be a Football Manager.

Premier League Management is a high profile job in which the pressure exists every week throughout the playing season. Managers are expected to face the press and answer questions that are often meant to embarrass the person in front of the camera. The Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, is flavour of the moment.  After a slow pre season and only a draw for their opening game, the press are looking for headline news. Selling goalkeeper Petr Cech to Arsenal was another story they could twist and turn.

It has to be said that most Premier Managers do not like to sell good players to their immediate rivals, why strengthen another club, but in certain circumstances it has to happen. Premier league players want to play for premier clubs, should they not be happy at a certain club then they have a right to move on, A bit like a skilled man in the engineering  business, who moves to another firm for more money or better opportunities, well within his rights to do so, the only difference is contracts, and whether that worker has fulfilled what he signed on for.

As for Mourinho, he has just publicly criticised his on field doctor for rushing on the pitch to treat an injured player.  Chelsea were already playing with ten men after their goalkeeper had been sent off, and Mourinho realised like most Managers would that when a player is treated on the field of play he has to leave the field before play starts again thus leaving his side with nine players against eleven. Mourinho had the hump, and he showed that on the pitch, the press have, of course, had a field day and now they are writing in their daily’s that Mourinho may not last the season.

Its only last week, that I heard Alan Shearer, a television pundit, ex England player asked to name the club prior to this seasons start who he felt would lift the League Title this season. Shearer stated that he felt any team with Mourinho as their manager, would win the league as he felt he was the best manager, I wonder what he feels about that statement now.

Lets have a look at another Manager, LVG at Manchester United. He had, what could be described as a bad season last season, I would expect that should he have a run of bad results this season he could also be gone before the seasons end. The Manchester City Manager Pelegrini has also stated that not winning the league this season will also end his City career.  Our own Arsene Wenger has not won the premier league in an age so what are his chances of finishing the season still in a job should the league not be won by us. I would be willing to bet that he is still here next season, but who knows, with many owners who demand success.

Premier league Managers can earn fortunes with the right club, is it right that they can be discarded, even with a contract, when 20 other clubs compete for just one premier league trophy, What’s your view?

Written by Steve Palmer


A look at Arsenal heroes – Charlie George

August 13, 2015

I thought I would take a look back at a few of our Arsenal Heroes and I’m starting off with a local player that you will all recognize and admire – Charles Frederick “Charlie” George

Charlie George 1

Charlie was born 10 October 1950 in Islington, North London.

Brought up deep in Arsenal territory, Charlie was just a nipper when he made his first trip to Highbury to see the Gunners play. His fiery nature showed up early in his life when he was expelled from a local school. As a young boy he played for Islington Schoolboys before he realised his dream when in May 1966 he signed as an apprentice at Arsenal and turned professional eighteen months later. In a short period of three to four years he had progressed from standing on the terraces watching his heroes to actually playing among them.

He made his debut against Everton in the opening game of the 1969/70 season and scored his first goal against West Bromwich Albion two games later. Unfortunately, ill-discipline marred his initial season and as a result he spent three months in the reserves. He was reinstated in the spring and as a19-year-old he helped the Gunners to European Fairs Cup glory. He brought a swagger previously unseen in a Bertie Mee side, and his impact meant he attracted much of the pre-season hype in the summer of 1970. It wasn’t a case of if he would be good but more a case of just how good he would become. Disaster lurked just around the corner when after scoring at Goodison Park on the opening day of the League season; Charlie suffered a broken ankle which kept him out until the New Year. During his absence he was replaced up front by Ray Kennedy. His skills and creativity allowed him to thrive in his new role as an attacking midfielder and from there he gave the team an added dimension that would prove to pay the ultimate dividend on a historic day at Wembley in May 1971.

Arsenal had wrapped up the league title at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane on the Monday when Ray Kennedy headed home a cross from George Armstrong – now just a short few days later they had to face Bill Shankley’s Liverpool in the FA Cup final. After 90 minutes the game was goalless but just two minutes into extra time Liverpool were ahead through Steve Heighway. Nine minutes later Eddie Kelly started what would be a remarkable Arsenal comeback. With eight minutes to go the game looked destined for a draw with both sets of players dead on their feet until George, Arsenal’s long-haired talisman, stepped up. John Radford squared the ball just outside the box and George took a touch to steady himself before lashing a thunderbolt of a shot past Ray Clemence into the Liverpool goal.

The game commentator described the goal as follows –
Radford to George – George –

HE SCORES!
GEORGE HAS DONE IT!
GEORGE HAS DONE IT!

His celebration is almost as famous as the goal itself as he dropped to the floor in exhaustion and lay flat on his back as his team-mates celebrated. It remains one of the most rousing and lasting images in Arsenal’s history as well as the history of the FA Cup.

 

charlie george 4

With the FA Cup win Arsenal completed their first League and Cup double.

Charlie George 5
He played four more seasons at Highbury, however the latter stages of his career with Arsenal were hampered with injuries and his rebellious streak which created issues with the club’s management; during the 1971–72 season he was disciplined by the club twice, first after head butting Liverpool’s Kevin Keegan, and then for flicking a V-sign at Derby County’s fans after scoring away at the Baseball Ground. He scored eleven goals in both 1971–72 and 1972–73 but his form declined and he only scored five times in 28 matches in 1973–74 and once again ill discipline caused a problem and he was dropped from the first team in 1974–75 after falling out with manager Bertie Mee. By Christmas 1974 he had been transfer listed, and he moved to Derby County in July 1975 for £100,000.

He spent three and a half years at Derby but, predictably, he fell out with coach Don Revie after being substituted and he was never picked again. He also had a loan spell at St George’s Budapest in Australia. After Derby, he went on to play for the Minnesota Kicks in the North American Soccer League, where he made 18 appearances in the1978 season. He then returned to England with Southampton and then he had a short period on loan to Nottingham Forest in 1980, he could not agree an extension to his loan at Forest and returned to Southampton, playing his last league game for them on 14 March 1981. In the summer of 1981 he left the club to move to Bulova in Hong Kong. A year later he returned to England to have short spells with Bournemouth and Derby County for a second time, and had a short time with Scottish side Dundee United before retiring in 1983.

Always a controversial figure, Charlie had his run-ins with the game’s authorities, but his supporters loved him no less for it. Sadly for him he never got the chance to fulfil his potential on the international stage and the hour he played for England against the Republic of Ireland in 1976 was to be his only cap. A disagreement with then boss Don Revie led to his substitution and a falling out with the England set-up.
After retiring from football he moved to New Milton, Hampshire to run a pub. For some years he had joint ownership in a garage business now he is back at Arsenal where he conducts “Legends” tours, and also acts as a match day host.

charlie george 3

GunnerN5


Do Arsenal REALLY need a star striker?

August 12, 2015

2 games, 2 goals, that’s the record of two Arsenal youngsters currently playing their football in the Championship. One of them is now an ex player in Benik Afobe, the other is very much an Arsenal player in the making in the shape of Chuba Akpom, but will either of these talented young players ever be given an opportunity to perform at a big club?

Over the last few years we have seen a massive shift in the way modern strikers play. Previously, they would work in tandem, usually with a big lump and a speedster seen as the ideal pair. Now, however, the striker position is one of the loneliest on the field, with many clubs, especially the big ones, preferring to play with a lone front man. I believe this is a massive reason as to why there are a lack of quality young strikers available on the market, and why someone like Benik Afobe didn’t get a chance at Arsenal.

If you look back at the debuts of some talented young strikers who went on to make it at big clubs, you will see an obvious pattern. The likes of Owen, Anelka and Rooney all started young, and all made their debuts playing as one of a pair alongside a more experienced striker. These days though it’s almost impossible for a young player to get an opportunity when there is only 1 striker position available.

What we see now are the likes of Sturridge, Welbeck and Morata having to play in a wider role to try and prove their worth. All these players were eventually moved on by their giant clubs as they opted for more experienced and trusted options to lead the line.

There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, such as Kane, Berahino and Ings, but these breakthroughs tend to be at smaller clubs like Tottenham and West Brom, and only after star signings such as Soldado, Adebayor and Ideye have failed.

With Arsenal constantly being linked to the likes of Benzema, Cavani and Lewandowski, my questions for you are how do you think the signing of one of these star strikers effects the chances of Akpom? Do you ever see a situation where a huge club, like Arsenal, can put their trust in a young player to lead the line when the demand for results is at an all time high?

Also, if it’s not formation, what do you think, if anything, is to blame for the lack of quality young striking talent in Europe?

Written by FatGingerGooner


Old habits die hard

August 10, 2015

How long does it take for the dust to settle on a loss that included even the Boss saying that no-one had been convincing?

I was there and sadly my team looked unable to mount a convincing attack. This comment from GoonerB eloquently suggests that the tactics of the team selection were to blame.

Raddy your earlier comment about lobbing balls into the box. I feel the presence of Giroud invites us to attack in this way. It seems the support cast all want to play a different way but at the last minute dont see the opportunity so resort to this more basic final ball. I dont think a big less mobile forward really suits us, whoever it is, and the natural way we want to attack breaks down on this.

Micky, your question answers the other main problem for me. Ozil just starting to look the deal at number 10 so lets put him on the left mostly? Cazorla forming a good partnership with le coq so lets put ramsey there instead,who is not as good bringing the ball out from deep, and push cazorla into more Ozils role? Winning games with the quicker striker so lets change to the slower striker?

Aaaahhhh. With Ranieri back do we now have 2 tinker men in the epl? I dont care if its in room 101 but….square pegs in round holes….it is deja vu to early last season when we did the same thing and were looking disjointed.

Square pegs in round holes again!!!

I love AW but he’s going to have his work cut out for himself this week.

There were times yesterday when shots at goal were taken and there was a better option. I love it that we’re taking shots again instead of always trying to walk the ball into the back of the net but ………… can we expect to go back to 30 passes before someone shoots?

If only a couple of those chances had gone in in the first half it would have been a different story.

Maybe Benzema will come and AW can fine tune the balance and learn to use his squad instead of squeezing them all in ;)

Written by peaches


A look at Arsenal Heroes ….. Charlie George

August 10, 2015

I thought I would take a look back at a few of our Arsenal Heroes and I’m starting off with a local player that you will all recognize and admire – Charles Frederick “Charlie” George

Charlie George 1

Charlie was born 10 October 1950 in Islington, North London.

Brought up deep in Arsenal territory, Charlie was just a nipper when he made his first trip to Highbury to see the Gunners play. His fiery nature showed up early in his life when he was expelled from a local school. As a young boy he played for Islington Schoolboys before he realised his dream when in May 1966 he signed as an apprentice at Arsenal and turned professional eighteen months later. In a short period of three to four years he had progressed from standing on the terraces watching his heroes to actually playing among them.

He made his debut against Everton in the opening game of the 1969/70 season and scored his first goal against West Bromwich Albion two games later. Unfortunately, ill-discipline marred his initial season and as a result he spent three months in the reserves. He was reinstated in the spring and as a19-year-old he helped the Gunners to European Fairs Cup glory. He brought a swagger previously unseen in a Bertie Mee side, and his impact meant he attracted much of the pre-season hype in the summer of 1970. It wasn’t a case of if he would be good but more a case of just how good he would become. Disaster lurked just around the corner when after scoring at Goodison Park on the opening day of the League season; Charlie suffered a broken ankle which kept him out until the New Year. During his absence he was replaced up front by Ray Kennedy. His skills and creativity allowed him to thrive in his new role as an attacking midfielder and from there he gave the team an added dimension that would prove to pay the ultimate dividend on a historic day at Wembley in May 1971.

Arsenal had wrapped up the league title at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane on the Monday when Ray Kennedy headed home a cross from George Armstrong – now just a short few days later they had to face Bill Shankley’s Liverpool in the FA Cup final. After 90 minutes the game was goalless but just two minutes into extra time Liverpool were ahead through Steve Heighway. Nine minutes later Eddie Kelly started what would be a remarkable Arsenal comeback. With eight minutes to go the game looked destined for a draw with both sets of players dead on their feet until George, Arsenal’s long-haired talisman, stepped up. John Radford squared the ball just outside the box and George took a touch to steady himself before lashing a thunderbolt of a shot past Ray Clemence into the Liverpool goal.

The game commentator described the goal as follows –
Radford to George – George –

HE SCORES!
GEORGE HAS DONE IT!
GEORGE HAS DONE IT!

His celebration is almost as famous as the goal itself as he dropped to the floor in exhaustion and lay flat on his back as his team-mates celebrated. It remains one of the most rousing and lasting images in Arsenal’s history as well as the history of the FA Cup.

 

charlie george 4

With the FA Cup win Arsenal completed their first League and Cup double.

Charlie George 5
He played four more seasons at Highbury, however the latter stages of his career with Arsenal were hampered with injuries and his rebellious streak which created issues with the club’s management; during the 1971–72 season he was disciplined by the club twice, first after head butting Liverpool’s Kevin Keegan, and then for flicking a V-sign at Derby County’s fans after scoring away at the Baseball Ground. He scored eleven goals in both 1971–72 and 1972–73 but his form declined and he only scored five times in 28 matches in 1973–74 and once again ill discipline caused a problem and he was dropped from the first team in 1974–75 after falling out with manager Bertie Mee. By Christmas 1974 he had been transfer listed, and he moved to Derby County in July 1975 for £100,000.

He spent three and a half years at Derby but, predictably, he fell out with coach Don Revie after being substituted and he was never picked again. He also had a loan spell at St George’s Budapest in Australia. After Derby, he went on to play for the Minnesota Kicks in the North American Soccer League, where he made 18 appearances in the1978 season. He then returned to England with Southampton and then he had a short period on loan to Nottingham Forest in 1980, he could not agree an extension to his loan at Forest and returned to Southampton, playing his last league game for them on 14 March 1981. In the summer of 1981 he left the club to move to Bulova in Hong Kong. A year later he returned to England to have short spells with Bournemouth and Derby County for a second time, and had a short time with Scottish side Dundee United before retiring in 1983.

Always a controversial figure, Charlie had his run-ins with the game’s authorities, but his supporters loved him no less for it. Sadly for him he never got the chance to fulfil his potential on the international stage and the hour he played for England against the Republic of Ireland in 1976 was to be his only cap. A disagreement with then boss Don Revie led to his substitution and a falling out with the England set-up.
After retiring from football he moved to New Milton, Hampshire to run a pub. For some years he had joint ownership in a garage business now he is back at Arsenal where he conducts “Legends” tours, and also acts as a match day host.

charlie george 3

GunnerN5


Theo & Ox to Star

August 9, 2015

We have a treat as our season opening Pre-Match-, Young Bob has written another post. I hope you enjoy his analysis of today’s opposition ……

Big Raddy and I sat in a bar/restaurant in the Malmo sunshine last Wednesday eagerly anticipating Mission Impossible II (Malmo needing to win by three clear goals vs Red Bull Salzburg) and our thoughts turned to the season opener back in blighty where the mighty hammers are due to arrive at the Emirates as cannon fodder for the 2015/16 Gooners.

Following my article last year when I described 10 memorable Arsenal vs West Ham clashes, Raddy posed the question as to what I might like to write about this time.  “How about a look at players who have played for both clubs” I replied.  We then sat and named at least 10 players who had worn the finest silks of North and East London clubs (can you?).  And interestingly we couldn’t think of a single player who moved from East to North!  Anyway on my return home I decided to do a little more research and found some other smart arse had already written said article.  See link below.

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2871/special/2010/03/19/1839103/premier-league-special-any-old-iron-the-arsenal-players-west-ham-

So, as an alternative, I thought it might be interesting to preview the game from the perspective of a die hard hammer.

The Hammers arrive at the Emirates with a new manager – ‘Honest Slaven Bilic’ (just ask Laurent Blanc) and the promise of a return to The West Ham way, something Big Fat Sam decided didn’t exist.  And the pre-season signs have been promising with build ups from the back and short passing through midfield.

At the back will be a debutant by the name of Angelo Agbonna, signed from Juventus for approx £6,000,000.  The jury is out as he’s looked a little ropey in pre-season, but an Italian defender can’t be all bad can they?  Joining Angelo at the back will be Arron Creswell (great going forward and average at the back) Joey O’Brien (just cack at everything he does) and one of James Collins, Winston Reid or James Tomkins with Reid being the pick of the three.

Our midfield is expected to feature two holding players in Mark Noble and Cheik Kayoute and three more forward thinking players in Mario Zarate, Matt Jarvis and Dimitri Payet.  Up front, ploughing a lonely furrow will be Diafra Sakho.

Noble will look like a decent player for 30 minutes or so, but for all his positive attributes, he’s incredibly one paced and chasing Arsenal’s quick moving passing game around the Emirates will end up with him looking like Hattie Jaques chasing Benny Hills Angels around a hospital car park.  Kayoute is an excellent player with leg’s longer than Jerry Hall’s.  I expect him to move on to better things within the year.

Moving on to the attacking prowess of the rip roaring hammers.

Jarvis used to be one of the best crossers of a football since Georgie Armstrong.  Now he just runs down blind alleys and the end product is non-existent.  Zarate could be anything, but most likely shit!  Signed by the porn brothers, discarded on-loan to QPR by BFS at the beginning of January, he was deemed unfit by Rangers, and nearly sent back to West Ham before the end of January.  Loves to pass, mostly to himself.  Payet however looks to be different gravy.  Top of the assists stats in France, he looks more like a Gooner than a Hammer, but if he sees enough of the ball, may just cause your lot a few problems.

And up front will be our outstanding success of last season.  Sakho could of course turn out to be a one season wonder, but I’ve got a feeling he’ll score another decent number of goals, ably assisted by Payet.

So, to my prediction.  Unfortunately I think Walcott and The Ox are likely to rip us a new one and I expect Arsenal to win by 3 clear goals.  However, in the spirit of last Wednesday when Malmo beat Red Bull 3-0 to progress to the next round of CL qualifying – you just never know!!

written by West Ham Bob

As to Big Raddy – well my initial focus this afternoon will be the team selection. Mr.Wenger has the “luxury”(?) of JW and Sanchez being unavailable, however when all are fit how will he arrange the team? Will we play with a front line of Walcott up top and Ozil, Sanchez and Ox zipping about behind him. Or will it be OG who is the fulcrum with Theo terrifying the opposition FB’s? Personally, I would pick The Ox as our right sided forward as I think he is about to develop into a true world-class player which will bring our complement up to 4 (Kos, Ozil, Sanchez or 7 if you include Santi, Cech and Aaron)

This is Cech first PL game as an Gooner, a fine signing and a top player. I wish him well.

Whomever lines up in the famous shirt will be expected to start the season in style and with 3 points. We need to win games like today and not give our rivals a head start as we did last season.

My hope and expectation that Bob is right ….. Theo and Ox will rip them a new one (but I expect OG to start)

BTW Can you think of any players who have moved from West Ham to Arsenal, we couldn’t!

COYRRG


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