My first thoughts about this game are based upon Mr Wenger’s vs Mr Koeman’s football philosophies.
Both played as central defenders, though Koeman’s was more a defensive shield type player with the ability to score. However the Dutchman was by far the better player and during his long career played in the Barcelona Dream Team managed by Cruyff which went on to win 4 La Liga’s in a row. Koeman still holds the record for penalty goals in LA Liga. He spent much of his Dutch International career playing alongside DB10. In other words – this bloke has gravitas.
Mr Wenger is probably the most attack minded manager in PL history, his philosophy has always been to play entertaining football with less focus upon the defence (though this is open to argument). Koeman seems to have a more pragmatic approach and this brings me to my point … why are Wanyama and Schneiderlin at Southampton and not at Arsenal? How can it be that a small South coast club has a better pair of DM’s than the 7th richest club in the world? It is a matter of opinion but I believe Wanyama is more effective than Flamini and Schneiderlin a better DM than Arteta. Do you disagree?
Tottenham lost one big player and fell to pieces the following season, Southampton lost a host of important players and are doing better. Why? Who cares 😀
The Saints have already beaten us once this season and tonight will be a stern test of our fragile but burgeoning confidence. Injuries abound; how can it be that suddenly Left Back has become a problem area? Or midfield? Or GK’s? We have two fine LB’s, we have a mass of excellent MF’s, we have two quality International GK’s yet we are down to the bare bones!
The win at WBA suggests a more pragmatic approach with Flamini sitting back and allowing Ramsey his customary freedom; it worked. As did the OG/Welbz combo (to a certain extent). The much criticised advances of our CB’s seemed to be more measured. More of the same tonight please.
The potential loss of The Ox who has been our Player of the Month is unfortunate, let us hope reports are exaggerated. If not Campbell has to start – assuming Theo is still out.
Martinez has done well so far but he has hardly been under any pressure, tonight could see him tested to a greater extent. He appears to have what it takes to become an excellent GK. Time will tell though perhaps, given the signing of Ospina and the youth of TPIG, he will not have to patience to stay at Arsenal.
On non-football issues.
Let me tell you a bit about King Edward VII. Son of the austere Queen Victoria, he became known as the Playboy Prince. A big fellow he enjoyed a drink,a gamble, a smoke and attracted a posse of lady friends wherever he went. His mother was embarrassed by her pleasure seeking son and regularly sent him overseas to try and halt the scandal which followed his behaviour. Forced to marry, he chose the attractive but innocent Princess Alexandra of Denmark (and I can tell you a thing or two about her!!) however he continued to enjoy himself, in fact he was a regular at Paris brothels, one of which had a special bath made for him which was filled with champagne and was set up so he could have enjoy more than one lady at a time.
He eventually became King in 1901 and was a hard working conscientious monarch. In 1909 King Edward V11 dissolved the British Govt and suspended all taxation on alcohol and tobacco (there were extenuating circumstances). Clearly a man of the people he was hugely popular. He died of “bronchitis” (probably lung-cancer) caused by a 20 cigarette and 12 cigar a day habit. Top Bloke.
So….. will we win tonight? Who will start for a diminished Arsenal? Will we continue to be more defensively organised? Can we beat a Top 4 side? Let’s hope so.
written by Big Raddy