Who is more likely to succeed: Oxlaide-Chamberlain or Joel Campbell?

November 2, 2015

A political hierarchy exists at Arsenal as it does at most clubs. Players with a greater potential long term value will get priority over those who may be as good but are not seen as being as big an asset in the future.

This has driven me to distraction on occasions. Many times I have thought that Walcott got picked over someone better suited, most infuriatingly during 2007/2008 season, the one in which Eduardo broke his leg. Theo was being selected for no other reason, as far as I am concerned, than the price we paid for him and his perceived future value to the club. Remember when everyone used to call out Theeeeoooo, Theeeeoooo, honestly, more often than not he was so ineffectual it was like playing with ten men. I remain convinced that Walcott’s continuous selection was the core reason we failed to win the league that season.

Being selected when better options are available also applies to Wilshere. At the beginning of last season Wilshere was being picked ahead of the outstanding Cazorla which made no sense to me. Looking ahead though, now that Santi has moved further back it is easier to see where Jack’s future lies, subject to injury, there will eventually be a straight swap. Wilshere will play deep midfield — not attacking midfield.

I digress, back to the point.

To a similar degree the same is true of Oxlaide-Chamberlain’s selection over Joel Campbell. The Ox is not obviously better but he has a far higher sell on value than Campbell does and so, in the past, has been chosen ahead of him; to be clear, I am not suggesting that the club have plans to sell OC but they wouldn’t want him to get too unhappy or he might start thinking about moving himself, this applies to an even greater extent with Ramsey who himself has been shoe horned into the right wing. Now, with Oxlaide-Chamberlain injured Wenger no longer has to inadvertently take future importance into consideration.

If you think about it, the last time we saw Campbell surrounded by decent players for a length of time was in the World Cup and he was impressive. Campbell’s goal against Swansea will do him the world of good; he should now be able to relax and give us a bit more of what we saw of him on that global platform.

As for who is most likely to succeed out of the two, I think the Ox may edge it, but Campbell could keep him out for most of this season if he continues scoring.

LB


Arsenal show their class

October 5, 2015

First and foremost – excellent win :-)

Second – what a scintillating first half – not only because of the goals and the chances and the fluid play but because for the first time in years (2004), I have seen a team of hungry players ready to fight from beginning to the end to get a result.

Third – Although it is hard to admit, Ramsey is proving to be our best player on the right flank despite the fact that he is even better in the centre of the pitch.

Fourth – Sanchez is back and Walcott is having a good time playing up front.

Fifth – When Coquelin and Cazorla step up their game defensively, our team just oozes confidence and flair.

Sixth – Ozil can be a real class act for us if he plays like yesterday day in day out.

Seventh – LVG got it all wrong tactially. I mean – why would he leave Schnederlin (his best DM) on the bench?

Eighth – Cech has again done us favours thanks to his saves :)

Ox and Giroud are good to come from the bench when we lead because they add steel and also Ox, when given space, is just outstanding.

Now – let us not get over excited and let us not talk about EPL title because we are far from being a consitantly good team…However, given the fact that City, Chelsea, Utd, Liverpool are struggling to keep form as well, this may be a good year to step up our game…

COYG!

Written by RC78


Arsenal v Hull. Match Feelings.

May 5, 2015

Last nights’ Arsenal performance against Hull came two days after Chelsea’s title winning performance against Crystal Palace. Of course Trophies matter, but to win the League the supporter will have to pay to watch seventeen home league games. You see where I’m going with this.

Can you imagine the satisfaction if Arsene could go on to win the title next season playing this type of football. Fans of Football last night had smiles on their faces, but the players played with smiles as well. It was a celebration of why the beautiful game was invented in the first place.

Right. Match Talkies.

–        Mesut, Santi, Aaron and Alexis. Understanding, movement, flicks, defence splitters, vision, goals. You work it out J

–        Aaron on the right. I have been critical, but only because I think he’s an excellent box to boxer, and more effective central. I do, however, see the problem. Santi is undroppable.

–        Aaron goes off. Theo does not come on!

–        Jack. What do you reckon? Not the finesse of yer Aarons and Santis, but certainly energy and thrust in abundance. Charged the length of the pitch, brushed aside some Hullers, smashed into a defender and won a free kick on the edge of their box. Didn’t get injured. Gave away a ball in midfield setting up a Northern attack. Did lots of other great work. He has Arsenal DNA. He’s still only 23.

–        Theo. Didn’t start again. Didn’t come on for Aaron. Did play as striker when he did eventually appear. On a completely separate note, I’d like a fast, mobile striker. Does Arsene? He did once say that Sanchez would move central as soon as Theo was fit. Would love to know what The Boss is thinking on this one.

–        Always a mention for Francis Coquelin. He’s the catalyst that makes it all possible.

Well, I think that just about wraps up my feelings.

Ok, all together now: “It’s happened again, it’s happened again, Tott…………”

Written by MickyDidIt89


Is Cazorla better than Fabregas?

February 24, 2015

It is pointless to write long paragraphs about the two best Spanish midfielders Arsenal fans were lucky to claim as their own. This comparison has been made many times before and at times Arsenal fans were accused of trying to justify not resigning Cesc. 

Admittedly there is a grain of truth in that, Cesc has never been replaced and only too often the gaping hole in the middle of the field was only too obvious.

Cazorla has hit top form this season and we won all the games he orchestrated. 

Santi is a match winner and a great free kick taker – someone badly needed in our squad for a long time.

His presence has been immense, but the same can be said about Fabregas’s at Chelsea.

Fabregas relies on the team being build around him, whereas Cazorla blends in with the team.

The list of differences is long, but do the similarities end on the physical attributes of these 2 short Spanish midfielders?

Stats below are from whoscored.com. 

 

Santi Cazorla:

Tournament

Apps

Mins

Goals

Assists

Yel

Red

SpG

PS%

AerialsWon

MotM

Rating

Premier League

21(3)

1930

6

6

4

2.6

88

0.1

4

7.65

UEFA Champions League

4(1)

388

2

1.8

83.5

0.2

7.36

FA Cup

2

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

League Cup

0(1)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total / Average

29

2318

6

8

4

0

2.4

87.2

0.1

4

7.60

 

Cesc Fabregas:

Tournament

Apps

Mins

Goals

Assists

Yel

Red

SpG

PS%

AerialsWon

MotM

Rating

Premier League

21(1)

1871

2

15

8

1.4

86.9

0.7

2

7.83

UEFA Champions League

7

574

2

3

2

0.7

86.6

0.6

7.80

FA Cup

0(1)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total / Average

29

2445

4

18

10

0

1.2

86.8

0.7

2

7.82

SpG: Shots per game

PS%: Pass success percentage

MotM: Man of the match

 

Discuss!

 

PS  Although my gravatar is a photo of Santi, whom I adore I have to admit to still having Cesc’s photo on the wall, I find it hard to part with it

written by Eddie


Arsenal Player Ratings and match report

February 22, 2015

It was tense wasn’t it? Even when we scored the second there was a nagging feeling that if Palace scored we would be under pressure and so it proved. How can it be that at two up the team doesn’t relax?

Let’s start with the pitch. It was awful and clearly designed to upset our ball-players and assist the long-ball game. It was uneven and the grass hadn’t been cut since Wright and Bright were banging them in at Selhurst. Perhaps Pardew recognised our difficulties playing on the ploughed field at Stoke and instructed his groundsmen. It is often said that it is the same for both teams but have you ever heard anyone complain about on the magnificent Emirates pitch? Is it unfair to long-ball teams and Man Utd that we have a billiard table to play on?

I was surprised how clean a game it was. I expected Pardew to send out his men to kick our chaps but that didn’t happen, what happened was that CP pressed us from the first, not allowing any player time on the ball. The pundits say this is the best way to play Arsenal and perhaps it is but this should result in Arsenal having more space in the final minutes as an exhausted opponent slows down – it didn’t happen yesterday, in fact the opposite happened – we hung on for the win. Why?

Tactics? Substitutions? CP wanting it more? Fear? You tell me

Pardew identified the wings as the place to attack us. Monreal grew into the game, Chambers didn’t. I like Chambers and am fully aware he is a very young man but is he really a Full Back? A modern FB needs speed, lots of it and this is not an asset Chambers has. In time he is sure to be a fine CB but against the very speedy Gayle and Bolasie he struggled.

So far I have looked at the negative but we won the game, picked up the points, and sit in 3rd place. This is a Happy Gooner.

In midfield Santi surprised me at how well he linked with Coquelin; Palace were unable to play through the middle. Ozil floated through the game finding space and played a wonderful pass to Alexis at the beginning of the second half to Alexis – who should have looked for Giroud for the tap-in.

Ultimately, the result is all that matters.

Player Ratings:

Ospina:  Made some decent saves, distribution good but could have cost us the game with a touch of the Flapianski’s in the last minute    7

Chambers:  A difficult afternoon and a yellow card. 5

BFG: CP poured crosses into the box and BFG did well until the final 5 minutes    7

Koscielny: Our best defender …. again   8

Monreal: Thank goodness Zaha has no final ball. Nacho struggled. 6

Coquelin: Good game for him to show his battling qualities. High energy and focus.    7

Cazorla: Worked so hard on a pitch which was designed to stifle his skills. Lovely pass to Welbz to set up OG. Scored the pen.  8

Ozil: Quietly sets up the team but this wasn’t his sort of game or pitch    6

Alexis:  Not his day. Some lovely runs but no end product    6

Welbeck:  I am yet to be convinced of his partnership with OG. Drew the penalty. Assisted for the OG goal   7

Giroud: Scored. Led the line.  Did his job    7

 

written by Big Raddy

 

 

 

 


Mesut, Santi, Sanchez. You sort it out

December 30, 2014

At one end of the scale you have a Manager like ‘Arry. He likes to change eleven players from one game to the next, and at the other end, you have Maureen, who will pretty much pick the same eleven, and play them in the same order.

At Arsenal, we really don’t know as Arsene has not had the luxury of choice this season due to injuries, but many of us armchair experts like nothing more than playing Manager, and I am the leader of this particular gang. I do “Best XI’s” all the time, and with our injury list seemingly easing, this is becoming increasingly difficult, and nowhere more challenging than the No10 role.

Now before all the real experts leap up and down saying we don’t play with one, and that we have stealth this and false that, it’s my post and my rules, so let’s not get bogged down with facts and details, ok.

So, for the sake of today’s little chit chat, I’m making some assumptions. Staggeringly, I’m opting for a Goalkeeper as well as four defenders. Also, in front of that lot, two defensivey types, and if you want to refer to one of them as a box-to-boxer, then rock on if that’s your bag.

Finally, we will play with at least one of Ollie and Danny, so that leaves, at best, three vacancies.

So, we need someone to orchestrate. Another thing I’ve factored into my thinking, is that we simply aren’t creating enough chances when we dominate possession, so we need the eye-of-the-needle-threading-passers very badly. Best of these are Mesut, Santi and Sanchez.

Over to you. One, two or all of them, and where?

Written by MickyDidIt89


Arsenal sink Eastenders

December 28, 2014

A pulsating London Derby resulted in Arsenal taking the spoils in the East End.

Entrance to the Boleyn Ground

Entrance to the Boleyn Ground

An hour long journey for me from North West London to East London was very eventful to say the least. Throughout the train journey there were lots of Hammers fancying their chances in this game given Arsenal’s recent defensive frailties and the return of the ‘woman beating'(allegedly) Andy Carroll who can of course throw his weight around.

As the team sheets filtered through there were many raised eyebrows at the inclusion of young French midfielder Francis Coquelin having recently returned from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic. However, Coquelin would have the last laugh as many Arsenal fans were left pleasantly surprised come the final whistle at Upton Park.

View from the away end

View from the away end

As the Arsenal fans roared into the ground the game got underway and from the start, West Ham applied pressure and hearts were in the mouths as Alex Song’s strike was ruled out for offside much to the relief of the travelling Arsenal faithful. It was evident that being a London derby this was going to be a feisty affair and it lived up to that expectation as there were many tackles all across the pitch. West Ham by this time were trying to exert pressure but the Arsenal defence stood firm.

Then the turning point. The magician Santi Cazorla’s quick feet bamboozled the West Ham centre backs resulting in reported Arsenal target Winston Reid clipping him to the floor and conceding the penalty. The Spaniard dusted himself down to tuck away the penalty himself sending his compatriot Adrian the wrong way.

santi

The opening goal seemed to give Arsenal a morale boost and it was soon followed up by a burst from the Ox who supplied a low cross for Danny Welbeck to score a second and put the Gunners in a commanding position at half time.

Arsenal could hardly believe their luck but there were still concerns in the stands given the aerial threat which the West Ham posed. Per Mertesacker saved a certain goal and then that threat came to fruition as nine minutes into the second half Arsenal failed to clear their lines and Kouyate gave the Hammers a glimmer of hope. Arsenal lived dangerously throughout the second half despite having the chance to kill the game off with Adrian making two great saves from Cazorla and then Chamberlain’s diving header.

There were lots of disgruntled fans however as Arsene Wenger did not bring substitutions on until the closing stages, a time when Chamberlain was tiring. As the closing moments approached the Arsenal’s goal was under siege; the game became scrappy and another headed effort deep into injury time fortunately landed on the roof of the net.

The final whistle blew and a vital three points were going back to North London which Arsenal can build on heading into the New Year’s Day fixture.

Arsenal now climb above their London rivals and with the transfer window only round the corner, there is a fresh wave of optimism and this result can provide an injection of life into Arsenal’s season.

UTA!!

By @SirAHussain14


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