Back at London Colney ……..

September 18, 2015

Morning Gooners

Here we are, a couple of days after what I consider a bad result, our players are back and the mood must be a bit glum. They won’t see The Emirates until our next home game so will have entered our training ground facility, seen the faces of the staff there and will know what they are thinking.

Yes its as clear as mud really, no one has to say anything to them as they know this was a game that should have been won quite easily. We should in all honesty be back with 3 points under our belt, a clear conscience and in a frame of mind to go to Stamford Bridge and battle for a London Derby.

The staff at London Colney would have shown dismay on their faces, every travelling player would have been ashamed, whether they played or not they would also be ashamed of themselves as a group. Not many would have said too much to Mr Wenger, of course he would walk in the door with his usual smile ‘Morning Miss’ ‘morning all’ and off he would have trotted to his office where he probably had an inbox of things he has to do.

Yes Mr Wenger, to all the staff at Colney, is Mr Arsenal, he is not a man they would question to his face or ask him why he picked the team he did, they would carry on as if nothing has happened and the day would have started like any other.  The day for the players would have started with a gathering of the players, the conference room would have been filled and the door would have been shut. The staff of course would be discussing among themselves, medical people and trainers physio’s and secretaries would be silently saying to one another, they looked a little glum didn’t they.

Inside the room would be silence, the manager would be out in front of the players with Mr Bould standing by his side. The Manager would start with a smile to put the players minds at rest, he would have a pile of papers stacked up in front of him  but Mr Wenger would just say, We will chat later, but for now we will just have a light training session, anyone carrying knocks please report to the medical centre, any other questions, no, lets begin.

Another day will start at London Colney, Wenger will not dwell on this defeat, he doesn’t feel negative vibes will help these wounded players, he would want them out running up and down and kicking balls, later he will start his build up of the weekend.

Friday is the day he faces the press, so the morning is busy for him, he will now know who is available for the next match, and it will be down in his notebook.  His words to the press will be about the injured and who is available but the team he has picked is still inside his jacket. He will be quizzed about his tactics and there will be many O’s and funny sounds but not too much info.

Saturday morning will start early for the players and wherever they have stayed overnight Wenger will have a room where he will announce his team for the day. He will run through his tactics and where he sees Chelsea’s weaknesses and strengths , this meeting will go on for an hour or so, and then breakfast. Players have set routines and Wenger will not upset that routine. The day will start out military fashion and the players will all know the routine.

They will arrive at Stamford bridge with time to change and warm up, Bouldy will run them through the orders, Wenger will have his suit on looking the bee’s knee’s and he will be interviewed. There will be a few mumbles and smiles for the cameras and the team will line up in the tunnel. Nervous tension will be prevalent, they will look at the Chelsea line up and imagine the game they will have. The word goes out that they can enter the fray and they grab a mascots hand and out they walk. The crowd go mad and the handshakes begin, 2 minutes later they take their positions, many will look up to the heavens and beg their God to stand by them, many will cross themselves and others will back slap their buddies, and then the whistle blows. Just another game in a very long season. In ninety minutes time the players will walk off and supporters will go home, who will be happy and who will be sad is any ones guess, but one more game will have been played, points shared won or lost will all become clear after the 90 minutes, lets hope they are ours.

Steve Palmer

 

 

 


Arsenal Zagreb. Bad Feelings.

September 17, 2015

I risk my bloody life for Arsenal, and come to think of it, countless other innocent road users as well.

Picture this, and it’s an ugly scene. 1:28 yesterday afternoon, and as I’m driving home I log on to this site and read the word “breather” apparently used by Arsène.

I boiled. The legs became stiff. Car swerved. The Bad Feelings had begun.

Used in any context at all, this word oozes arrogance and complacency. Then, later, I saw the team selection. Okay, it’s at this point in my little story that our paths could diverge. The reason being that you may be a cretin, whereas I am not.

Thing is Arsenal should strive to go as far as they can in the Champions League, whereas a Cretin might think it’s pointless because we’re not going to win it. Utter tosh. Wrong attitude, and never under estimate the opposition.

As for the game, you saw it, so I don’t need to bother with trivial details.

However, as a general point, I do think understanding between players is vital, and none more so than between CB’s and The Keeper. So why rest Cech? Midfield: Coquelin every time, unless that is, you bothered to go out and buy CL Level quality cover. Up top: don’t ask me, ask Mesut and Alexis.

Right, so we are where we are, so let’s just deal with it and no blubbing. CL just got a bit tougher, but we can do it, and we have the very pleasant prospect of beating Chelsea on Saturday.

Written by mickydidit89


Theo or Giroud? Yet again!

September 16, 2015

Zagreb. Champions League. Away game in delightful Croatia. Winnable? Why not?

This is why we celebrate finishing in the Top 4 and yet there seems to be a bit of “so what” about this game. You know what I mean – I bet you are thinking “well, it is great to have an Arsenal game on the tele tonight, but win, lose or draw we are going out in the next round so does it really matter?” Come on …. you know you think that way!! Another viewpoint might be  – and we have already seen comments confirming this – that the game at the weekend is more important as such we should play a weakened team full of (quality) squad members.

And yet, as I said before, this is what we strive for – a mid-week night game against a League winning team (unbeaten in 42 games), so let’s celebrate and remember we could be playing on Spursday 🙂

I know nothing about Dynamo Zagreb. A little research shows the club have won the Croatian League 10 years running, that they have a 35k capacity ground, that they have produced some fine players including Corluka, Modric, Dejan Lovren, Mario Mandvukic and the much loved ex-AFC player and Crozillian, Eduardo. They managed just one point in the CL group stages last season with a minus 13 goal difference.

The players focus may be diverted by the fact that DZ’s manager and CEO are out on bail having been accused of embezzling €11m from the club and tax-man!

Eduardo is still in the squad and could play tonight.

On paper we should win this tie, DZ’s highest paid player earns less in a year than Ozil does in 3 weeks (true!) but it doesn’t work like that does it? Hard work, a partisan and passionate crowd and an opportunity to impress managers in the Big Leagues will drive the Zagreb players – we need to be careful.

Unknown

What of our team? Who should play? Well, I have absolutely no idea. I cannot even say with any certainty that Cech will start ahead of Ospina (who is a fine deputy). Ramsey, BFG and Bellerin are out, I expect Kos and Gabriel to be our CB’s. Ozil and Sanchez could get 70 minutes but beyond them …… ???

Monreal or Gibbs? Gibbs has done nothing wrong and deserves a start, should it be here or at Stamford Bridge? Same goes for Debuchy, Arteta, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, even Flamini.

Perhaps AW will give Joel Campbell a run though  it would preclude him being sold to any club remaining in the CL in January. Given Theo’s start last Saturday and the expectation that he will play centrally at Stamford Bridge I believe Giroud will start tonight.

Here is my punt:

Cech

Debuchy    Gabriel    Koscielny    Gibbs

Ox   Coquelin   Cazorla

  Ozil

Giroud     Sanchez

Wouldn’t put LB’s sofa on it though.

We should win this game, we are better all over the pitch and we are good away from home.

I am 71% confident.

COYRRG


Who’s been Arsenal’s best player in the Premier League era?

September 15, 2015

Arsenal’s best player?

While watching the game against Stoke at the weekend I got to thinking about who was Arsenal’s best player, not in that particular game but in the Premiership era.

I wasn’t concerned with who scored the most goals, who provided the most assists or who put in the most miles on the pitch, no none of that statistical bollix.

Who got your blood racing when they were on the ball? Who got you on your feet when they were lining up a shot on goal? Who entertained you?

There’s a whole host of players to choose from.

The back line that Arsene inherited from George Graham were awesome but watching the choreographed raising of the right arm to signal an off-side to the ref didn’t raise my pulse rate, except when the ref got the decision wrong and our opponents scored, that is.

Smiffy, Wrighty and Merse excited but Dickov?

The incomparable Dennis Bergkamp.  What can I say?

Patrick Vieira, in his pomp, striding imperiously about the pitch always gave me a lift.

Nicholas Anelka?  For a while.

Marc Overmars and Manu Petit wonderful, Isiaiah Rankin hmm.

Freddie Lundberg’s runs behind the defence and Kanu scoring from an “impossible” angle.

Davor Suker’s silky skills and of course Thierry Henry.

Sylvan Wiltord and Bobby Pires, Gilberto and Andre Arshavin, four goals against Liverpuddle, who can forget.

I could go on but will only add a few more up to date names, Santi, Alexis, Mesut, Theo and Ollie.

These are all players that I could watch and enjoy forever.  Over the years these are the players who have entertained me.

How about you AAers,  which players have put a smile on your faces?  What was your favourite moment?

Written by Norfolk Gooner

 


Giroud has the last laugh

September 13, 2015

Arsenal secured their first win at home this season against a lacklustre Stoke City although they should have been out of sight within the opening minutes.

A lovely sunny day in London gave a feel for optimism as surely it was unthinkable for Arsenal to lose their first 3 homes games on the bounce. The last time that happened was 56 years ago. The day began with Arsenal supporters abusing the coaches taking the Stoke fans to the game. The looks of bewilderment on their faces was priceless as supporters were sticking up the two fingers and the verbals followed.

As the teams were announced there was much cheer that Theo Walcott was starting up front and the move had paid off. The Gunners started in blistering fashion bombarding their opponents. Theo went close as did Alexis hitting the upright as Jack Butland was a beaten man. Koscielny then had a spectacular 30 yard shot tipped over by the impressive Butland.

Then on 31 mins a sublime lofted ball from Mesut Ozil set Theo away and the touch and finish was both exquisite. The fans in Block 3 were left purring at the replay on the big screen. The fans really appreciated an assist and finish which was of the most highest order and Ozil was in his groove. There was a general consensus in the stands that Arsenal should have been at least 3 goals to the good which reflected their dominance.

The second half was a similar pattern where Arsenal dictated the play and more opportunities went begging with Theo and Ozil squandering chances. A lovely moment occurred when a young fan in the first row asked for Arteta’s shirt as he was warming up. The Spaniard and club captain then looked back with laughter and said “Haha I can’t give it to you now I might need it to play!” A lovely moment which shows footballers do have a sense of humour and can interact with fans.

Olivier Giroud was then introduced to the Arsenal faithful and his body language was questioned by some of the hardcore fans. It was evident to see he was low in confidence following the international break. This was epitomised in a chance which he fluffed which left Arsenal fans screaming blue murder and the fans were turning against him once again. It also raised the issue amongst the supporters in the lower tier about why the club did not invest in a world class forward a debate for another day.

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The Frenchman had the last laugh though as he met a Cazorla free kick to head home and earn Arsenal a fully deserved 3 points. The irony was the same fans who were chastising him only a few mins earlier were now singing his praises and chanting his name.

So Arsenal won at home again at last and the supporters now turned their attention to the big game next weekend in West London. Given the Chelski result earlier in the day there was hope amongst the fans that the Gunners can go to Stamford Bridge next weekend and get a result. Some fans stated that it would be a difficult game as they were heading for the exits but perhaps there is not a better chance to turn them over. Only time will tell how Arsenal build on this performance. It was also great to have a picture with Petr Cech and Gabriel! UTA!!

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Written by Sir Hussein


First home win of the season to Stoke Arsenal’s fire.

September 12, 2015

Morning Gooner’s.

Big Raddy’s PM’s  are what most of us look forward to, his insights and his odds has us all debating – the man’s a genius, but he has to have a break now and again, and somebody has to try and cover. Word went out or should I say plea, so to follow the great man’s PM views is asking quite a lot, but if this is used, here goes……..

Today’s game at home against a tough rival  Stoke City have seen many physical battles, Stoke have a reputation of tough tacklers and putting themselves about. Mark Hughes, Stoke City’s present Manager has brought a slightly different approach to their game as they can play some attractive football now. Hughes was known for his aggressive play when he was a player, the same mentality is now put into use as stokes Manager.

Stoke have had tough times at The Emirates, played seven, lost seven. Her’e a few comments from Hughes leading up to this fixture.

Mark Hughes believes his Stoke City side are better equipped to tackle Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium than ever before.

Despite enjoying a frustrating start to the 2015/16 campaign Hughes is optimistic ahead of Saturday’s fixture and has pin-pointed the attacking qualities of his side as potential game-changers in the capital.

“It is never an easy place to go to be perfectly honest with you, and in previous seasons we haven’t managed to cover ourselves in too much glory down there,” the Welshman told Stoke City Player ahead of the game.

“In fact there record against us at the Emirates in the Premier League is perfect – having taken maximum points from all of the games between the two sides up until now.

“I would like to think that we are better equipped than we have been in seasons past to go down there and deal with them given the quality of player we have inside the building now.

“We have been to other very difficult places and picked up good results; obviously Manchester City springs to mind, so we know we are able to take positive results from these games.

“Arsenal are one of those teams who are difficult to play against, especially on the road, and they have that upper hand over us, but that has to change at some point I would suggest.”

Hughes admits he has been unable to pin-point the factors between the Potters contrasting fortunes against the Gunners at home and away.

“It’s a difficult one to figure out really. I’m not sure what it is. I suppose they are one of the top teams in the league and in Europe to be fair to them and when you take on teams of that ilk it is difficult,” he added.

“We have been very good at home against them and performed exceptionally well for the best part, but away from home we have struggled somewhat.

“They are capable of hurting any team in the world on any given day, but we know that we have our own game-changers who can hurt them.

“It is all dependant on what happens on the day. If one or two things go for us and we play to our maximum capabilities and remain resolute then we have a real chance of picking up a positive result.”

Well those few words from Mark Hughes says to me that he feels today will be a tough game. Of course we still have to win at home this season, so Hughes must feel a little easier.

For ourselves of course there is bad news. Wilshere who was to make his comeback in this fixture has had a setback and won’t feature, Welbeck has also had a setback, and has undergone surgery, so he too is long term. Our Striker Oliver Giroud was boo’d off the park in his international match by his fellow Frenchmen, so his confidence has taken a knock.

Koshielney has had problems with his back, and was left on the bench while on international duty, where his fitness is now will soon be announced

On the positive side Theo scored twice for England so he could be a starter.The rest of the squad seem to be available but I wont be doing a Raddy and predicting a line up, as he I’m sure gets inside information.

I also wont be giving a percentage as is normal on Raddy’s post I leave you all to do that for yourselves. Arsenal have to kick start their season. I feel that our possession stat’s have been excellent, but we just seem to be lack that finishing touch. Get that sorted and I see another win on the cards. Seven wins on the trot at home, looks good on paper but Stoke can cause us problems. We have a few injury problems and after this hard fought game I expect a few to have bruises, hopefully just bruises. I predict a win, it has to come, and today I feel is the day.

Speaking on Friday, Wenger explained that many supporters were unhappy at the lack of signings in the transfer window. He did go on about the reasons but many have heard all that talk before so I won’t bore you with it, but he has asked supporters to get behind the team, he feels that the players deserve your support. Arsenal supporters always get behind the players, today will be no different, Perhaps Arsene feels guilty, I honestly don’t know why, Do you?

COYRRG’s

Steve Palmer

 


Herb, Oligarchs, Sheiks and Arsenal supporters

September 11, 2015

Morning all

Rant Friday again, don’t they come round fast. Herb’s post yesterday stirred a few and  emotions were let loose as many of the regulars on AA are ardent Wenger supporters. I felt agitated by Herbs Post, whether he meant it as a post or not is irrelevant, as what he wrote was for someone to read and it reflected the way he felt.

Herb is of course entitled to his opinion, what kind of supporters are we if we are not willing to listen to another side of the story. In the post Herb wanted to vent his concerns over the current transfer policy. I think he feels we need to spend vast amounts of money, he didn’t exactly say vast amounts of money, but when he showed dismay with Ozil and Sanchez I can only assume he wanted bigger and better players and they don’t come cheap.

Reading the post it struck me that Herb is the kind of supporter who would want a Bale or a Ronaldo or perhaps even the Holy Grail Messi so I assume he would want the board to spend obscene amounts of money. Its easy spending other peoples money when you’re a supporter. There are supporters who moan about the price of a packet of fags or the TV licence but when it comes to their very own club, they expect anything from 50 million. Many of this kind of supporter has out laid on an Arsenal scarf or pushed the boat out and brought a snide Arsenal shirt, some will even be season ticket holders. They can be the worst as they feel they have paid so much for their ticket and what’s 150 million to a club like Arsenal? They actually believe that the money they have out laid to be entertained should be spent to make their enjoyment even better.

Supporters come in all shapes and sizes. Some supporters are ardent Wenger supporters but others can be called Wenger haters and they are critical if we don’t buy or if we buy the wrong players according to them.  I feel we have to realise that perhaps the club do not always feel like many supporters do, that winning the League and Champions League is the only goal.

Looking at it from the owners side, a good season for Arsenal is when it makes more money than it has laid out. Usually supporters will look at the figures put out and assume the profit at the end is what we have to spend on players, well don’t make me laugh, that is the money that the owners and shareholders own, not the clubs money. Any money over is their profit for their investment, not for the clubs to spend on players.

We always look around us at what other clubs are doing and assume our club should be doing the same but what we should be doing is realising that Arsenal are making money and now and again the Manager is allowed  to use some of their money to replace with new stock. Again a further investment made by the owners money.

What you have at the other big spending clubs are owners who have always had huge amounts of money. These people have been used to having the best that money can buy for yachts, mansions, land and cars. They can afford to buy everything that you can think of and the ownership of a football club with no expense spared. Like all oligarchs and Sheiks the very best is a must have, our own Mr Usmanov would be the same, if only he could get his feet under the table. Many say he is a proper Arsenal supporter and wants to spend spend spend but apparently he has his rules before he does that and before that happens he will keep hold of his billions, whether we win or lose. A fine supporter, right!!!

Supporters ask for money to be spent, when it looks like we have weaknesses. This last transfer window seemed like one of those occasions, but it seems that the money holders felt that the last three signings were enough investment for the time being. Close on a hundred million, I make them right.

Steve Palmer

 


Is there a correlation between Arsenal’s resources and their performance?

September 10, 2015

Herb is a long time reader of AA and occasional author for the site. He is aware that his views are not shared by the majority and so emailed this response to GN5’s post which asked the question “Who is Arsenal’s greatest manager?” …….. Ed

Most of us know that during our early years as Dial Square and Woolwich Arsenal we struggled to establish ourselves, and would have ceased to exist had it not been for Glasgow Rangers buying some shares. And the time leading up to WWI was quite desperate. As you’re aware, in 1913 that perception was about to change. We moved to the other side of the Thames because Tottenham didn’t have anyone to teach them how to play football. Highbury,

The Home of Football became our spiritual home, and our growth as a club between the two world wars was phenomenal. And it was all driven by businessman (and Conservative MP for Fulham during WWI), Henry Norris. My argument is simply based on Norris’ ownership. The club grew more in his time as owner than at any other time in the club’s history. He wanted Arsenal to be bigger and better than anyone else, his ambition was there for all to see. Of course you need the right ingredients to make it happen but that comes down to intelligence.

Herbert Chapman won the club it’s first major trophy – the FA Cup – quickly followed by Arsenal’s first title. Chapman’s. Arsenal is the last to win back-to-back titles. George Allison rightly gets an honourable mention in dispatches, but he didn’t have to tinker too much with what he inherited from Chapman. Arsenal ‘The Bank of England’ Football Club, the biggest most powerful football force in the world. So strong was Arsenal’s position it was impossible for any new owners to fail (to make piles of money!).

So what happened to building on that philosophy and huge advantage we had over everyone else?

Well, obviously we can’t control external forces such as what other club’s do, but what happened to Arsenal was the Hill-Wood’s and Bracewell-Smith’s.

I think it’s fair to say that neither the Hill-Wood’s, Bracewell-Smiths, or Stan Kroenke have given their generation of Arsenl supporters anything like the same club that Norris, Chapman or Allison gave to their generation. And within that premise is the crux of the problem.The whole dynamic paradigm that Norris, Chapman and Allison brought to Arsenal disappeared out of sight under new ownership, and as a whole, the club have never recovered the ground they willingly conceded. But they’ve made shed-loads of cash so the only real losers are the long-suffering fans.

This is where you can help me to better understand, because we live in a culture of ready-made manufactured excuses which are tactically designed to dumb-down the general public and mask people’s flaws.

My perception of The Arsenal is that they are a super-wealthy football club owned by aristocratic Old Etonians related to the Royal family. They are very much part of The Establishment and it is with that in mind that I firmly believe Arsenal should be serial contenders for major trophies every year i.e. PL title and CL.

The whole philosophy and drive of the club changed after WWII. Where once Arsenal had the same burning ambition as Manchester United, now seen at City and Chelsea, now there is no urgency to be the best. The cautious safety-first model isn’t exciting, and has brought limited success since the war.

Arsene Wenger has been wasteful in keeping Arsenal 3rd but mostly fourth and out of CL at the Round of 16. He loves repeatedly reminding people of ordinary achievements like consistently qualifying for CL, which would be more welcome if he tried actually winning the competition. Some laud him even more for the two recent FA Cups, and the signings of Ozil, Sanchez and Cech, and claim he has changed.

He doesn’t care for the FA Cup as seen when he put a second-string out against Blackburn in the 5th Rnd a few years ago, because he was saving the first-team to get put out of the CL against Bayern Munich. After the 5-1 mauling at Anfield we had them a week later in the 5th Rnd at The Emirates, which came as redemption for Arsene Wenger.

The Ox blatantly fouled Suarez in the penalty-area when it was 2-1, but Arsenal got away with it. Once Wigan beat City in the QF, we were left with a SF line-up of Hull, Sheffield Utd, Wigan and Arsenal, and even though they tried not to win it, fate inevitably intervened. Same story for this year’s cup too, sure we won at OT in the QF, but I see that with the same relevance as beating Chelsea in the Community Shield. Arsene Wenger will never field a team capable of beating Utd 8-2 or Chelsea 6-0.

The Mesut Ozil signing fell into his lap. He was under pressure after losing the opening game 3-1 at home against Villa, and for his embarrassing attempt at buying Luis Suarez. Ozil wasn’t what we needed, but it was a big enough name to appease restless supporters. Real Madrid were in the process of up-grading to CL winners, Ozil was surplus to requirements, Arsenal were desperate for a big-name, bingo! The player yet to have a game-changing performance for Arsenal, and who Arsene Wenger said would be Footballer of the Year this year. Pretty similar story with Alexis Sanchez. Barca were up-grading and showing us that with the right ambition Luis Suarez really can be signed. They had Pedro as back-up, so again he was offered to Arsenal. He refused to entertain Liverpool (who wanted him as part of the Suarez deal), so it really couldn’t have been easier. Apparently it was Abramovic and Cech who did most to push his transfer through to Arsenal. Cech and his family are settled in London and he wasn’t that keen to move away.

Is that Arsenal’s transfer policy? To wait until players just under elite-level are offered at cut-price?

Arsene Wenger shows no aggressiveness in the transfer-market in the way that other super-powers do, nor does he have the urgency to make us any better. Winning the FA Cup in2014 was like a genuine ‘Men In Black’ moment, where people are zapped to have their memory erased. Rewind four months. We’d been to OT and The Etihad and were top of the league. Arsene Wenger surrendered the PL title in the January TW with £150m* sitting in the bank, so the FA Cup isn’t really much in the way of compensation. Nice that he can pick and choose when to take the FA Cup seriously – especially if it massages his ego and puts him in the Record books.

I appreciate the huge cost of the stadium move – that rankles with supporters too – Arsenal wouldn’t have gone into such a project without examining all financial pit-falls and worse-case scenario’s. They needn’t have worried. It’s a proper cash-cow with a license to print money, and they don’t have to offer anything in return. When people say they want ‘their Arsenal’ back, they’re talking about the Arsenal that were at Highbury, the original crest with the cannon facing inwards, the siege mentality of us against the world. It has been replaced by a shiny new Corporate Arsenal that has no accountability, exists for the primary reason of making money, and are as far away from their supporters as they’ve ever been. And they’re just not that exciting anymore.

I’m not particularly intelligent, I just want to know why Arsenal refuse to compete at the highest level. It can only be down to the club structure, the administration, or the ability of the manager. I bet Carlo Ancelotti would win us the PL and CL.

It just seems (to me) that there is no correlation between Arsenal’s resources and their performance. This isn’t just a failing of Arsene Wenger, managers such as Billy Wright, Terry Neill and Don Howe should all have done a lot better. If you think I am being stupid/dumb or a bit mis-guided, please don’t hold back. I have no grudge or axe to grind with any other Arsenal fans, I just think some are very narrow and refuse to acknowledge the bigger picture which reveal a lot of the reasons for why Arsenal are where they are. If more people were aware of our history and where Arsenal originate from, I’m sure there would be a lot more understanding and fewer arguments.

Herb


Arsenal’s Top 5 Managers

September 7, 2015

Throughout our history Arsenal has seen 19 different managers. I’m going to give a brief outline of my personal top five.

 

First up is Herbert Chapman (1925-1934)

 

Herbert Chapman

 

 

In the 1925 close season Sir Henry Norris placed the following advertisement in the Athletic News.

“Arsenal Football Club is open to receive applications for the position of Team Manager. He must possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exorbitant transfer fees need not apply.”

He became our manager shortly after and remained as such for a short 8.5 seasons before his untimely death from pneumonia on January 6th 1934

He championed major innovations in football including floodlighting, numbered shirts and European competitions. He along with Charles Buchan created the famous WM formation which helped to transform Arsenal into one of the greats of English football.

Under his guidance we won our first major trophy, the 1930 FA Cup.

A bronze bust of Herbert Chapman is on proud display outside of the Emirates Stadium.

 

Herbert Chapman’s league record –

Games 336, Won 157, Drawn 84, Lost 95,

Goals for 736, Goals against 541,

Goals for per game 2.19, Goals against per game 1.61

Points won 59.3%

Average League Position 6.25

Total # of trophies won – 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 3 Charity Shields.

 

Second we have George Allison (1934-1947)

 

George Allison

 

During WW1 he worked for the War Office and the Admiralty, producing propaganda, and later joined the Royal Fling Corps (later renamed the Royal air Force). After the war he moved into broadcasting, joining the BBC and becoming the first person to commentate on the radio on events such as The Derby and the Grand National, as well as the annual England v.Scotland international, and the 1927 FA Cup Final. By this time, he had already formed a strong association with Arsenal and he became the club’s programme editor, becoming a member of the board of directors soon after the end of the WW1; he was first club secretary and then managing director.

After the sudden death of Herbert Chapman in January 1934, he was appointed Chapman’s full-time successor, in the summer of that year. Arsenal had already won the League Championship twice in a row (1932-33 and 1933-34), and he made it a hat-trick, winning a third successive title in 1934-35.

He famously appeared in a 1939 movie that was set at Highbury, “The Arsenal Stadium Mystery”, where he had a speaking part as himself. Amongst his lines included one uttered at half time: “It’s one-nil to the Arsenal. That’s the way we like It.”, a line which had resonance with the team’s penchant for 1-0 score lines many decades later.

He passed away in 1957 after several years of illness.

George Allison’s league record –

Games 294, Won 137, Drawn 80, Lost 77,

Goals for 552, Goals against 345,

Goals for per game 1.88, Goals against per game 1.17

Points won 60.2%.

Average League Position 4.29

Total # of trophies won – 3 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 Charity Shields.

 

Thirdly we have Tom Whittaker (1947-1956)

 

Tom Whittaker

 

In 1919, after serving his country in World War I, he joined Arsenal, under manager Leslie Knighton. He first played as centre-forward then as wing-half, signing as a professional in January 1920 and making his debut in a 1–0 defeat away to West Bromwich Albion.

He toured Australia as part of the FA side in 1925, but during the tour, in a match in Wollongong he broke his knee cap and was forced to retire from playing. Following his injury he joined Arsenal’s coaching staff and also studied to become a physiotherapist. He became Arsenal’s first team trainer under Herbert Chapman in 1927, at the time, he was younger than many of the players. He assisted Chapman in transforming the training and physiotherapy regime at the club, and played a major part in the club’s successes during the 1930s.

After Herbert Chapman passed away in 1934, he continued to serve under his successor, George Allison while also becoming a trainer for the English National Team. With the advent of WW11 he began to work as an ARP warden, before becoming a pilot in the Royal Air Force where he achieved the rank of Squadron Leader. For his service in missions on D-Day, he was awarded an MBE.

When George Allison retired in 1947, he became the club’s new manager; after winning the League in 1947-48 and 1952-53 and the FA Cup in 1949-50, the club’s success waned. He tried, in vain, to attract major stars to the club, one being Stanley Matthews who said later – “I felt there was nothing to be gained by moving south, however I was very happy and politely turned down the offer”. “Such an approach was against the rules at the time and, consequently, I couldn’t tell anyone about it, and I never have until now.”

Sadly Tom passed away from a heart attack in 1956, aged 58.

Tom Whittaker’s league record –

Games 378, Won 171, Drawn 101, Lost 106,

Goals for 677, Goals against 509,

Goals for per game 1.79, Goals against per game 1.35

Points won 58.6%.

Average League Position 5.22

Total # of trophies won – 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 Charity Shields.

 

Our Fourth manager is George Graham (1986-1995)

 

GeorgeGraham_Double Trophy's

 

Arsenal, who had not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 1978–79, appointed him as their new manager in May 1986. Arsenal finished fourth in his first season in charge, and then went on to win the 1987 League Cup. His sides featured tight defensive discipline, embodied by Tony Adams, who along with Lee Dixon, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn, formed the basis of Arsenal’s famous defence for over a decade. However, his teams were not only about defence as he had more than capable midfielders such as David Rocastle, Michael Thomas and Paul Merson, plus striker Alan Smith, who regularly scored 20 plus goals per season. In (1988–89), Arsenal won their first League title since 1971.

In the final game of the season against Liverpool at Anfield; Arsenal needed to win by two goals to take the title; Alan Smith scored for Arsenal early in the second half to make it 1–0 and with only seconds to go Michael Thomas surging through the Liverpool defence and lifting the ball over Bruce Grobbelaar and into the net.

The 1994 Cup Winners’ Cup was his last trophy at the club; the following February he was sacked after nearly nine years in charge, after it was discovered he had accepted an illegal £425,000 payment from Norwegian agent Rune Hauge following Arsenal’s 1992 acquisition of John Jensen and Pål Lydersen, two of Hauge’s clients. George was eventually banned for a year by the Football Association for his involvement in the scandal, after he admitted he had received an “unsolicited gift” from Hauge.

George Graham’s league record –

Games 364, Won 167, Drawn 108, Lost 89,

Goals for 543, Goals against 327,

Goals for per game 1.49, Goals against per game .90

Points won = 55.6%.

Average League Position 5.11

Total # of trophies won – 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cups, 1 Cup Winners Cup.

 

Finally we have our current manager Arsene Wenger (1996 – Present)

 

gun__1358326620_wenger_double1998

 

Arsene was born in Strasbourg, France and raised in Duttlenheim. He was introduced to football by his father, the manager of the local village team, however his playing career mostly as an amateur, was very modest.

In 1996, Arsene was appointed as the manager of Arsenal and two years later the club completed a league and FA Cup double. He led Arsenal to appearances in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final and 2001 FA Cup Final, and a second league and cup double in 2002. Arsenal retained the FA Cup in 2003 and a year later regained the league title, becoming the first club to go through an entire league season undefeated since Preston North End, 115 years previously. The team later eclipsed Nottingham Forest’s record of 42 league matches unbeaten and went seven more matches before losing in October 2004. Arsenal made their first appearance in a Champions League final in 2006, though they lost to Barcelona. During his tenure, Arsenal has moved to a new training centre and after 93 years at Highbury they relocated to the Emirates Stadium.

In February 1999, Arsene offered Sheffield United a replay of their FA Cup fifth round match immediately after the match had finished, due to the controversial circumstances in which it was won. The decisive goal was scored by Overmars after Kanu failed to return the ball to the opposition when it had been kicked into touch to allow Sheffield United’s Lee Morris to receive treatment for an injury, Arsenal went on to win the replay.

Under Arsene Wenger Arsenal hold the current British record for the most consecutive appearances in the Champions League with 2015-16 being their 20th consecutive, Man U held the previous record with 21 consecutive which stopped in 2013-14

In 2002 he was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Légion d’Honneur and was in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2003. He has also received an honorary OBE for his service to football and was then inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006. A commissioned bronze bust of Arsene was unveiled as a tribute to him at the club’s annual general meeting on 18 October 2007. An Arsenal fan and astronomer, Ian Griffin, named an asteroid, 33179 Arsènewenger. In January 2011, he was voted “World Coach of the Decade” by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.

A bronze statue of Arsene Wenger is proudly displayed outside of the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger’s Premier league record –

Games 718, Won 416, Drawn 178, Lost 124,

Goals for 1348, Goals against 681,

Goals for per game 1.88, Goals against per game .95

Points won = 66.2%,

Average League Position 3.01,

Total # of trophies won – 3 League titles, 6 FA Cup, 6 Charity Shields.

Top 5 Managers

These are the records of my Top 5 Arsenal Mangers. If it were possible who would you choose to manage Arsenal today? (My choice will be a (well known) secret)

GunnerN5


Arsenal’s Nightmare Schedule.

September 3, 2015

Well here we go our first schedule pile up of the season, over a 23 day period we have 7 very important games which is a game every 3.29 days.

Here is the schedule –

Nightmare Schedule

Now I recognize that we have a big squad but is it realistic to expect our team to play a game every 3 days?

Let’s take a closer look at the individual games. The game against Stoke at home in the Premier league comes after a 14 day international break, which in itself sounds good but the majority of our players will be away on international duty which means they will have no rest and there is always the risk of them returning injured.

Now we face the unenviable task of playing 4 consecutive away games. 4 days after the game against Stoke we play our first Champions League group game away against Dinamo Zagreb in Crotia, these games are never easy and the travel time there and back is very tiring.

I’m unaware of our travel arrangements back from Croatia but with only 2 days in between the games we then have to play Chelsea away in the Premier League. Chelsea meantime play Maccabi Tel Aviv at home on the 16th – so they have the benefit of not having to travel – that may appear to be a petty statement but these type of games are won and lost on small details.

Next up with only 3 days between the games we have Tottenham away in the Tea Cup, now personally I hate losing to them at anytime but this will not be a good time to put too many of our 1st team squad on display and I could easily forget their euphoria if we lose and protect our squad for bigger and better things. I would really enjoy it if we beat them with our kids as that will give us endless bragging rights.

The nightmare continues as with only 2 days between games we have to travel to Leicester in another PL game and they are proving to be a very difficult side to play against.

At least the next two games are at home – after only another 2 days between we play Olympiacos in the CL, our home record against them is good as on the two occasions we have played them we have won 2-1 and 3-1 – strangely enough they have won both away game by the same scores.

Lastly after playing 6 games in 18 days we play Manchester United at home, I wonder just what shape both physically and mentally our squad will be in after all of this?

Arsene puffing cheeks

Your guess is as good as mine but frankly after our first 4 games it’s hard to be positive about our nightmare of a schedule.

GunnerN5