Arsenal’s Greatest Premier League Team

November 20, 2014

Seaman – no question, surely?

spunk

Cole – vile human being who never seemed to ever have a bad game for Arsenal.

mobile

Campbell – immense in every sense of the word.

Gallas – couldn’t decide between Adams or Koscielny, so went for Gallas. J

Lauren – Dicko and Bacary in his prime were in with a shout but Ralphie wins because he was photogenic and did this.

Lauren2

 

Ljungberg – for his virtually goal a game run-in to the 2001/2 season. Stepped up when Bobby got injured.

Vieira – You just knew from the moment you saw him he was going to be an Arsenal great.

Fabregas – I can barely type his name without chundering but oozed class from every pore when wearing red and white (well for most of the time, anyway).

Pires – took a season to settle but once lift-off was achieved – Wow. Loved playing and scoring against the spuds. What more can an Arsenal fan want?!

Wright – imagine how many goals Wrighty could have scored if he’d been playing in the Arsenal team of 2001 – 2004?

Bergkamp – grace and elegance personified but with a devilish streak which made him a winner.

bergkamp

 

What do you think?

chas


Did Jack do it for you?

November 19, 2014

We’ve had lots of discussion about Jack Wilshere on this site. Some feel that he has slowed the teams progress down while he’s played himself back to match fitness and others have followed the ‘Jack’s a genius’ tag religiously in the hope (and expectation) that the player we saw with our own eyes all those months ago against Barcelona would return.

This season Jack has been awesome and annoying in equal measure. He’s still a target for rotational fouling by all teams and gets very little protection from the referees. But I wonder if after the recent displays for England – and last night, again, he ran the show in quite a stunning way – there will be a call to protect him. A silent call of course, we wouldn’t want any of our players to be namby pambies but it’s nice to think that Jack could just get on with his game rather than sitting on the turf.

JW

He played some beautiful passes last night and if he can be consistent I know that I’m going to love watching him. His ball for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal in last night’s game was sublime. It was good to hear The Ox saying how the manager had said that if the players can get into the positions Jack will find them.

Congratulations have to be given to The Ox as well for being in the right place at the right time.

Ball over the top, to feet, to back of the net. Lovely stuff. Can’t wait for Saturday.

I have to admit to heaping criticism on Jack’s young shoulders and I’m sorry to have doubted that he had a place in our team.

Lets have a Jack love-in. Did Jack do it for you?

Written by peachesgooner

 

 


Crocked crockery and nail-biting times!

November 18, 2014

This week I was knot ear, being locked away in a modern prison cell with no public internet access and a firewall that steadfastly refused to allow access to Arsenal Arsenal. For three days, 18 of us from 11 different countries stayed cloistered in a huddle trying to solve a few puzzles which probably mattered to no one. Except that it earned each of us our keep!

Topic enough for a rant no doubt, but it got me thinking. It was not bad, was it! Diverse cultures, languages and accents, ways of thinking, mannerisms, preferences in food, drink and attire. It must be a bit of the same in Arsenal. It is beautiful on the field as well, when it clicks.

Arsene was in the news this week talking about this diversity.

“Most of the time, yes [I can tell where they are from],” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “There’s specificity.

“In Spain they are good passers with good technique, in Germany they have good mobility and efficient technique and in England they have a good fighting spirit.

“The emphasis is on defending well in Italy – they are well known for defending well and doing a lot of tactical work at the youth level in training.

“I don’t know why goalkeepers are so good in Poland but usually these Eastern European countries do a lot of gymnastics at a young age to develop flexibility and awareness of your body. Maybe when they go into goalkeeping they benefit from it.”

All of this is fine, except that our beloved team is almost like a collection of crocked crockery, not much use in cooking a great game, but a beautiful sight on the display cabinet. Till only recently, it was a decent alternate team, and is not that bad even now.

Surprising then, but also a matter of great honour I am sure, that we have 15 players called up for their national sides for the international games over the fortnight long international break.

6 for England. Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere have been called up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia and their friendly in Scotland.

Joel Campbell completed 86 minutes in a friendly away to Costa Rica, setting up Bryan Ruiz for Costa Rica’s second goal in a 3-3 draw.

Yaya Sanogo captained France Under-21s in a 1-1 draw away to Italy Under-20s, and a game against England Under-21s awaits.

Wojciech Szczesny has retained his place in the Poland squad for their Euro 2016 qualifier in Georgia and their friendly against Switzerland.

Lukas Podolski played all the 90 minutes Germany’s 4-0 disaster against Gibraltar, and will likely feature in their friendly in Spain.

Aaron Ramsey has been named in the Wales squad that travels to Belgium for the next stage in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Alexis Sanchez is playing for Chile in their friendlies against Venezuela and Uruguay.

Santi Cazorla has been named in the Spain squad for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus and their friendly against Germany.

And finally, Tomas Rosicky has been called up to the Czech Republic squad for their friendly against Iceland.

OK, we all understand it is a great honour to play for your country. And sometimes international games can be entertaining nail biting affairs as recently witnessed in the World Cup.

But, why so many friendlies? It is probably fair that, with an injury situation as scary as ours, the only nails we Gooners are probably going to bite is in the hope that the break passes off in an uneventful manner.

Whither the spirit of national pride and the celebration of national heroes? Under the circumstances, perhaps a NO THANKS, then?

Arnie.


Danny Welbeck. How good?

November 17, 2014

There were mixed feelings when Arsenal signed Danny Welbeck, and why not, we needed a striker after Ollie’s injury, and to my mind at least, we signed a kind of utility forward with “potential”, but no proven record.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group D - Arsenal v Galatasaray - Emirates Stadium

Well, we’ve now seen him lead the line on a regular basis for both Arsenal and England, and he has been mighty impressive. At 23 years old, and finally given regular starting berths through the middle, my Question of The Day is: how good can he become.

He is fast. He is strong. I like his positional awareness and he has a terrific work rate and attitude. He does score some clinical goals when at speed and under pressure, although I still believe his finishing will improve, and if it does, boy will we have a player on our hands.

Final question then, when Ollie returns, will they be rotated in a “horses for courses” kind of way, or will one emerge as the natural “first choice”?

Written by mickydidit89


Get your therapy here …….

November 16, 2014

My big bruvver…

I’m going to have a rant about my big bruvver. He’s 10 years older and we are like chalk and cheese when it comes to the Arsenal. He’s the pessimist and I’m generally the optimist. We keep in  touch by phone, me in the warm sunshine of Provence, him in the damp and wet of Bedfordshire. He normally phones me to have a moan after a bad performance, using me as a telephonic punch-bag. I normally phone him after a good game, to try and get him to admit that he is wrong to be so negative.

Big bruvver isn’t a blogger, he uses me to vent his disappointment in Wenger and the boys. I sit at the end of the telephone, listening and doing the “ah yes buts,” and the “hold on a minutes”, trying to get a word in edgeways to balance the conversation. He recently admitted to me that he needs an outlet for his frustrations at the moment and I am it. So I suggested he search ‘Arsenal Blogs’ on the internet and he would have no end of supporters agreeing with him.

Not sure if he has done that because as usual, two minutes after the games against Anderlecht and Swansea, my phone rang……… I didn’t have to pick up to know who it was, so I didn’t answer. I just couldn’t face the negative diatribe that was going to hit me from 1000 kilometers away in a damp, cloudy and grim Bedfordshire. I’m going to wait to phone him after our next win so that I can put some positive vibes his way.

It makes me wonder if anyone else has the same experience in their own family. The moaning relative and the more positive opposite? I suppose Transplant and the Cockie man are the friendship equivalent.

Well that’s my rant about my big bruvver…. I look forward to our next telephone conversation after we thrash Man Utd next week.

Written by northbank1969


ARSENAL “SEX UP”

November 15, 2014

I pop out for a couple of days, and what happens? Arsenal sign Brooklyn Beckham. What utterly fabulous news.

bb arsenalThing is, I also noticed that in my absence, there has been much talk, and images, of delicious WAGS, and this got me thinking. You see, a few weeks ago I was talking with a chum who is heavily involved in Sports Marketing, and Football in particular, and he was banging on about how Manchester United’s marketing department is by far the slickest operation in world sports.

He also went on to explain how David Beckham is by far and away the best known Englishman the world over, and while I can’t see that Brooklyn has anything like the gorgeousness of his Old Man, I can see that The Arsenal Marketing Machine may be on the right track.

Sex Sells. Fact. So let’s get thinking.

There have been a series of “Questions of The Day” on here recently, so in line with that theme, I ask: “How can Arsenal Sex Up the club’s image?”

Signing footballers with WAGS that are easy on the eye really does have some mileage, but only if prudently exploited. Cameramen like nothing more than zooming in on eye candy, so the deployment of said WAGS need to be thought through. A WAG seating area, and strict dress code are obvious lines of thinking.

Now while in reality I am incredibly sexist, I see nothing wrong in having “one for the ladies”. Have you seen the state of some of the stewards, or the ball boys and girls. Wow, now there’s an opportunity. Could have something for everyone down there flaunting and taunting along the touchlines. Phewey, how about some Lady Boys for Gentleman who enjoy holidaying alone in Thailand? Why not?

Ever seen those ladies in boxing holding up the “time left” minute boards between rounds. Ever seen that bloke with the extra time board at The Ems. I know what I’m thinking.

Bar Staff in Club Level? The Burger sellers? The Door Men…. Perhaps one of those big muscle bound Right Said Fred types in hot pants for the homosexual supporter. Again, why not?

So, come on Arsenal, get thinking, and get the cash rolling in. We could really set down a marker here. Couldn’t half brighten up a gloomy winter’s day during a dull home 1-1 draw. Everyone’s a winner.

So come on readers, is there anything you can add to this sensational idea for improving the match day experience, and more importantly, ramping up television viewing figures. Let’s help make Arsenal THE footballing experience.

Written by MickyDidIt89


Has Rambo’s key role been diluted?

November 14, 2014

Aaron Ramsey was arguably our best player last season, so much so that you could feel the palpable angst whenever there was a possibility that he may be injured. That contrasted with the relief that everything would be fine as long as Rambo was available to play.

rambo

This season, however, has been almost a polar opposite to last, and Aaron does seem somewhat out of sorts. Admittedly there has been the usual injury spell and not all players find immediate form when they return. Is it just that simple though, is it just that Ramsey needs more time to rediscover his form or is there something else at play here?

What I have been asking myself is have the new arrivals altered the balance of how we play to his detriment? If there is any merit to this argument then I think it will come down to consideration of the following points :

1 What system / set-up are we currently playing?
2 What are Ramsey’s key strengths as a player?
3 On the back of the answers to 1 & 2, what is Ramsey’s best position in our set-up?

This is what I would like to discuss with you all. If you simply feel he is just temporarily out of form but will rediscover his form of last season then let us know. If you feel that there has been a shift in style and formation at the club this season that has reduced our need for what Ramsey brings to the table then tell us why you feel this way. You can use my pointers above or highlight others that you may feel are relevant.

Written by GoonerB


How do you feel about the use of technology?

November 13, 2014

They’ve done it in Formula 1, so how about doing it in the Premiership? Double points for the last game of the season!

Now before you all go bananas, think about it for a minute. It could add a bit of much needed spice to the final games of teams at both ends of the table. A lifeline, perhaps, for one of the bottom three? A late, late chance for a team to get into the top four, even the prospect of the Champions Elect falling at the final hurdle.

Can you imagine the look on the face of The Special One if his swanky team of millionaires got pipped at the post? Wouldn’t that be priceless?

Other changes could be made, we’ve all got opinions on the introduction of technology, some for, some against and, of course, some don’t know, so far I’ve been less than impressed by the changes made in the on pitch management of the game.

Two extra members of the FWWBU (Flag Wavers and Whistle Blowers Union) and the re-naming of Linesmen as “Assistant Referees” doesn’t seem to have done much to improve the standard of decision making, or lack of it in many cases. One thing I can’t quite understand is why the Assistant Referee and the extra one on the goal line are both on the same side of the pitch. Surely it would be better if they were on opposite sides so they would have different angles to watch for infringements.

Goal line technology was introduced at the start of the season, so far as I remember it’s been used just once so far in the Premiership, and that to only confirm what everybody already knew, the ball had crossed the line. A very big, and expensive, hammer to crack a fairly insignificant nut.

There are regular calls for the introduction of video replays to help the poor old ref get it right, oddly enough the very opposite is being demanded in Rugby Union, it seems that the TMO (Television Match Official) is becoming more and more involved, in more and more situations. In one case when asked simply if the ball had been grounded correctly, and a try could be awarded, the TMO took it upon himself to run back two or three passes in case one of them had been forward, he then advised the referee to disallow the try and award the opposing team a scrum.

Those opposed to the technology are convinced that the integrity of the referees is being called into question while the game is becoming disjointed, the players and the crowd are frequently bewildered by the shenanigans going on between the TMO, the television director and the ref. The sight of thirty sweat soaked blokes standing around in the cold and rain while the TMO studies videos from half a dozen cameras does little to enhance anyone’s enjoyment of the game.

There has been innovation throughout football’s long history, the introduction of shirt numbers, names on shirts, red and yellow cards, tinkering with the offside law, which still confuses some players and pundits alike, banning back-passes to the ‘keeper among others.

Oh! Just one more, a player who needs treatment for injury on the pitch, must go off and is not allowed to return until play has been resumed, except, in the case of a goalkeeper, now why is that? Why do ‘keepers get special treatment?

How do you feel about “technology”? Should we have a “Sin-bin” system? Video replays? Even more members of the FWWBU? Or should we just leave the ref to get on with the game?

Written by Norfolk Gooner.

 

 


Could/should Arsenal take a leaf out of Chelsea’s book?

November 11, 2014

I have noted with interest Shard’s views on Chelsea vs Arsenal spending and how Chelsea have gone about it.

With Chelsea it’s the reverse. They spent years hoarding all the talent they could find, and even used the loan market to manipulate the league as much as they could, precisely as a result of their high spending. The reason their wage bill is now lower is because they used those hoarded, bloated assets to finance their current assets.(with a little wink wink, nudge nudge from PSG too) Basically, Chelsea could not be where they are at this moment in time without their extraordinarily high spending. They did plan for FFP very well. All the same, they can’t do the same thing again if FFP works, which is good.

So yeah, say Arsenal have a higher wage bill than Chelsea’s, but it takes time to make the money count. It isn’t a situation unique to us either.

Mourinho has made some big decisions about losing certain big players (Mata and Luiz) to get the balance he wants in the side. He saw a surplus in certain areas and deficiencies in others and looked at what he could reclaim from selling off players in positions that they are already well covered in. It was smart business and basically funded Cesc and Costa.

My question is have we got surplus areas where we could secure extra funds to add to the transfer budget to get the world class players we need in other positions? I think on players like Podolski and Campbell and possibly even Santi. With the former 2 likely to leave anyway IMO I would also I would ask have we waited too long to get maximum value from said players? Was the summer the right time to sell some of these players to get maximal funds back?

Even with our new spending power I still don’t see us as a club that can lose significant transfer funds on player sales and I wonder if we have not played the market properly.

Written by GoonerB


Some gentle questioning ………….

November 10, 2014

Afternoon all

Putting ‘good’ before that seemed inappropriate!

Big question marks today about our last two performances. I thought our tactics would have changed dramatically yesterday after the capitulation on Tuesday. But no, after getting a brilliant goal and a chance to win the game, nothing was changed to secure the win.

What does AW see when he watches a match? Surely he and Bould must have seen our weakness down Chambers wing? Why wasn’t something said to the players down that side to protect him? Why wasn’t a early substitution made to bring Bellerin into RB and put Chambers centrally with the BFG?

Why were the full backs allowed to keep bombing forward and leaving gaps at the back? Why wasn’t AW at the edge of his technical area shouting instructions to the team to change their gung ho attitude?

The players have their responsibility on the pitch, but ultimately, it’s AW in control and he should be asserting his authority on the team. A young and fairly inexperienced manager made changes which won Swansea the match. He saw the gaps and weaknesses in our defence and capitalised on them.

My biggest gripe though is our set pieces, especially corners. Why do we continue to put balls into the area from a corner when the stats tell us that we have a higher than average fail rate of converting? Why does the BFG go up for corners when we know he’ll be hassled by the opposition and ultimately have no effect and then have to slowly plod back to his defensive position? Leaving the defence open to counter attack.

Question, questions…. it’s only natural isn’t it? I want my team to win but find myself at the moment always getting the feeling that we will lose. I don’t want to criticise the boys or our manager but often find myself doing so. My nerves are shot to pieces, my faith is diminishing, my cynicism is increasing and my heart is heavy. 😦

Written by Northbank1969