Arsenal need Agüero

April 19, 2016

Everyone and their dog knows that we need Agüero, I know it, you know it and above all Wenger knows it.

Really — is there someone reading this who thinks that Arsene Wenger doesn’t realise that we need an Agüero? Well, in that case, I accuse you of being more naive than Sniffer our resident troll and that takes some doing.

Furthermore, it is not just us who want one of those low centre of gravity players with great close control who seem to effortlessly score twenty goals plus per season; no it is not: Manchester United want one, Chelsea want one, PSG want one and I suspect that Real Madrid would swap Benzema for one. That is a lot of Agüeros needed.

The obvious problem is that there are only four Agüeros on this planet and Barcelona have three of them; the genuine article being safely under contract for the foreseeable future at Manchester City.

With such a shortage of Agüeros what was Wenger supposed to do? The one thing he shouldn’t have done was do nothing and he didn’t; he tried to find a solution: Giroud was his first attempt and Welbeck was his second.

So, once again I say to all those who were whining at the beginning of the season about Wenger having the money and not spending it that all the Agüeros were taken. I am obviously using Sergio Agüero as a metaphor for the dearth of available strikers and I point to the amount of clubs that I name above who were equally on the hunt but were equally unsuccessful.

I suspect that one of the principal divides between Arsenal supporters is that there are those who believe that Wenger would spend 60mil if an Agüero became available and, all importantly, wanted to come to THOF and there are those who believe that for some bizarre reason he wouldn’t spend the money. I say bizarre because it makes no sense for him not to; no manager in Europe has a greater backing of the board, the money was and is there for him to do just that; so of course he is going to want to improve the team if he could, who wouldn’t for crying out loud?

Let me say this slowly: there weren’t any other strikers available at the beginning of the season that is why Wenger didn’t buy one, maybe there was another Giroud but why would we have wanted another one of those.

Am I surprised we haven’t won the league? No, not really, not with the team we have. Giroud is not as bad as some make out; he uses what he has very well but as I have said several times before, he does not have the skill set to win the league. I don’t blame Wenger for buying him; I mean, with the shortage of Agüeros he had to do something.

Walcott is of course another anchor holding us back; the cries of sell him miss a very important point – who out there is dumb enough to buy him? No one is the answer and because of which Walcott isn’t going anywhere. If you cast your mind back to the last contract negotiations which seemed to take an eternity there were people on this site who were saying things like: Walcott is holding the club to ransom by taking as long as he can to agree terms. I said at the time that it was not Theo who was stalling, it was the club who were dragging their feet in the hope that another club would come in for him.

WWWWW The five double-Us

We won’t Win With Walcott. Bit harsh but I got a bit bored watching the Watford game and it came to mind and I have wanted to use it ever since. But thinking about it, is it too harsh, can you imagine winning the league with Walcott? I can’t. When he does eventually leave which will almost only be when his contract is up I suspect we will end up referring to long period we went without a league title as the “Walcott Years”.

Quite a bit of negativity there, some may ask why do you still support Wenger if you are unhappy with two of the key players that he brought to the club? The answer is simple my friends, I do not believe that there is anyone else out there who is more capable of finding an Agüero and bringing him to the home of football than our very own Arsene Wenger.

And there you have it folks, I have tied myself to the mast and if this ship sinks I am going down with it.

Written by LB

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Snatching a Draw from the Jaws of Victory

April 18, 2016

Arsenal 1 – 1 Palace

Possession %

71.6 – 28.4

Total Shots

21 – 7

On Target

6 – 2

Off Target

8 – 4

Corners

10 – 5

 

Press Conference:-

on the result…
I’m very disappointed. It is one of those days where you don’t like to do a press conference after because it is not pleasant. I felt that we had possession 70 per cent of the time and we lacked a bit of accuracy with our final ball, a change of pace or have enough men forward. In the end, we got caught by a unique shot on goal by Crystal Palace. They played deep and defended well. They got us on the break and that is the story of the game. It is very frustrating.
on leadership…
I don’t believe that today was about leadership. It was about scoring the second goal and stopping a goal that we gave away as it was avoidable. That was the regret of the day. We knew we couldn’t get frustrated and make a defensive mistake. In the end, I must say they have the players that can take advantage of every counter attack. They are quick and powerful. When it was 1-0 they never came out really.
on whether he is concerned about Arsenal not taking their chances…
Yes. There is a difference. Usually we have a high number of goal chances, but I agree with you today that despite the high level of possession we had, we did not create enough chances. I think we lacked a bit of sharpness on the day and as well we had a bit of free confidence in our head after the result against West Ham where we felt we had absolutely to do a job today. In the end, we did not play with enough pace in the final third.
on the title race…
After today I’m not in that kind of mood to dream about the Premier League title. I’m more in a mood to repair the mental damage and prepare for the next game. It is much more about that and looking behind us because we need to play well and win games. For us, we need to fight until the end to get the place in the top four. If we can do more, we will do more but lets not dream and focus on the next game.
on not killing teams off…
It is to do with the Premier League as well. Like today, sometimes you have to win 1-0 and today was one of those days.
on players lacking confidence…
We are a team who likes to take the initiative and with the initiative you expect goals. We accept the risk of taking the game to the opponent but I think what you expect is what we are told before, that we should have more goals.
on trying to do better than top four…
As long as you don’t win every game, you want to add what is needed. I’m responsible for the result and I think I’m the first person who is frustrated. I can say that at the moment, we will make complete balance at the end of the season and see where we stand. At the moment it is about being together and giving our best until the end of the season.

 

Man of the Match:- Alexis Sanchez

Player Ratings taken from the Daily Mail

Cech 5

Bellerin 6

Koscielny 6

Paulista 5

Monreal 5

Coquelin 5

Elneny 6

Iwobi 6

Welbeck 6

Sanchez 7.5

Özil 7

 

Stats compiled by fgg


Coquelin to Conquer Crystal Palace?

April 17, 2016

The season is getting exciting, which is not what I expected. I thought we were strolling to a Top 4 position, probably 2nd or 3rd but instead the Manchester clubs are finding some form, progressing to semi-finals and steadily picking up points.

Which makes this afternoon an important fixture. Under normal circumstances I would welcome Palace and wish them well, after all we usually beat them (don’t we?), instead I want them to get at least two players sent off and succumb pre-match to a series of nasty , short-term, debilitating disease.

We need a win.

One would have thought that to go to WHU  and return with a point would be heralded with joy, but instead it felt like a defeat. With hindsight, Getting out of Upton (could be a title for an album),  where WHU have been in superb form was a decent performance with many positives. Means nothing today though …

Unknown.jpeg

One reason we need to beat CP is Alan Pardew. Being a hippy I don’t hate anyone (apart from the obvious) but I have an active dislike of Pardew. He is one of those blokes who hides his vicious personality behind an expensive haircut and clothes. How anyone can employ him given his CV is surprising and once again Pardew’s team is falling down the league after a decent start.

Another reason to beat CP is the return of that oddity Adebayor. Rarely has a man been blessed with so much talent and yet been hated at every club he has joined. I don’t care how many he scored for us I can never forgive him for the run towards the away fans at the Emptihad. Hope he gets Coquelinned.

An absolute must for today … Cech has to start. I like Ospina but IMO Cech would have won us another 2 points at the Boleyn. If he is fit enough for the bench then he is fit enough to play.

It will be interesting to see whether Mr Wenger picks Ramsey and if he does who gets dropped. The two possibilities are Iwobi and Elneny, who are just bedding into the team. Unfortunately for Ramsey they have been our standout players in recent weeks. Thankfully, this is not my problem.

Whomever plays, they have to give 100%. Pardew has stated that anyone who shirks will not be playing at Wembley in their upcoming FAC semi-final (It should have been Us – another song title?), we should expect the same endeavour from our chaps..

We have to win. Let it be so.

COYRRG


A Last Minute Goal at Anfield!

April 15, 2016

Last night’s events at Anfield had me reminiscing about those glorious moments in football when everything falls into place for an almighty crescendo.

Kanu 1999 v Chelsea at the bridge.

Two nil down with 15 minutes to go, Nwankwo wrote his name into the Arsenal legends book with a hat trick to die for including one of the best goals you’ll ever see. Take it away Martin Tyler….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyjeVOTzRbA

Welbeck v Leicester 2016

It was Danny’s comeback game and what a way to crown it. Definitely one of my home highlights of the season…..

Gary lineker quote

danny

Alan Sunderland v Man U FA cup final 1979

I can remember sinking to my knees on the Wembley terraces after Manyoo’s spawny equaliser only to stand up just in time to witness one of the those ‘hair standing up on the back of your neck’ moments never to be forgotten……

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEZMErRVRf8

Henry v Sunderland 2012

We were at Lingfield racecourse for my nephew’s stag do and were suitably miffed when news came through of Mclean’s goal in the 70th minute. We were hopeful when Rambo scored off both posts to equalise and positively ecstatic as Thierry rose like a kung fu master to stab the ball home in injury time…….

Thierry+Henry+Sunderland

Kennedy v spuds 1971

50,000 in the ground, 50,000 left outside, Shite Hart Lane was red and white for the night in May 1971. My old man and older bro tried to take my younger brother and me to the Lane that night. We only got to the end of the Paxton Road before they decided it was too dangerous to continue. This would definitely be my older brother’s main Arsenal regret, as it was such a terrible disappointment to miss the first time we would win the League at SHL. At least it wasn’t the last…….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdALY2fLvq4

Vermaelen v Newcastle 2012                             

The poetic justice of this goal being scored near the end of the time added on for Tim Krul’s persistent time-wasting makes this my favourite last minute goal of recent times……..

tommy v

(photo courtesy of Stuart MacFarlane)

 

Henry v Man U 2007

To my mind this goal was the first big moment to happen at the Emirates. A goal of such beauty and Ferguson’s reaction to the goal at the end of this makes me laugh every time I see it….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIKL2yJ_Nx8

Thomas v Liverpool 1989

A last minute goal at Anfield – who would have thought?

Presumably this would be most Gunners’ favourite last-minute, spine-tingling goal because there was so much riding on it………..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFo1eyWbTtc

What’s your favourite last-minute Arsenal goal?

Written by chas


Cazorla a huge miss.

April 14, 2016

Once again our season has been blighted by injuries; almost every player has been out of the side for chunks of time but whose injury has had the most influence?

I would say without doubt it is Cazorla.

We all love our little Spanish genius but it is not just his smile we have missed it is also his ability. Just watch the video below

 

When Mr Wenger started the season with Santi alongside Coquelin as our defensive shield my (and many others) reaction was bewilderment – how could this attacking midget act as DM? He answered us by playing his exuberant shimmy-shammy skills closer to his own gaol and setting up the attacking play from deeper. He was a revelation and we looked as though the title was ours for the taking.

With Santi and Cazorla in tandem we gained 23 points from 11 games, without them 36 from 22 –  a potential loss of 10 points. Our goal ratio has also plummeted.

Perhaps we were not as tight at the back, though the goals against since his injury may tell a different story.

In my opinion, the midfield of Ramsey, Cazorla and Coquelin remains our best trio (though Elneny looks the nuts). Had all three played the full season we would be Champions, wouldn’t we?

written by Big Raddy


Leicester and Spurs benefiting from small club status

April 13, 2016

Has to be said anyone who lost consciousness in August 2015 and waking in April 2016 must be scratching their heads looking at the league table and wondering what the hell happened.

Well Leicester have been on an unbelievable journey, the miscreants from N17 are having their “best season ever” (but still may not finish above us) and everyone else has struggled for consistency.

It is well documented that there is an increase in money due next year to all EPL clubs and that to preserve their status they have all spent before they have banked it on a vast array of talented solid Europa and Champions League players complementing their existing squads.

In doing so they have attracted players who are keen on the money but also used to European football. Many of them I suspect have used it as a stepping stone to the holy grail of EPL clubs the top four/five teams who have dominated for so long. Bring themselves to the EPL and show what they can do week in week out and specifically to the big boys.

No disrespect meant to Leicester but plenty intended towards the swamp dwellers this talented bunch of players are not going to enjoy the benefits and add ons that come from playing at the likes of Chelsea, City, Liverpool, United and yes even Arsenal. So when they get to play against these clubs it’s inevitable that they will raise their game to put themselves in the shop window. What self respecting mercenary really wants to turn out in N17 week in week out?

We haven’t lost to either of those above us, how many others can say that, we have struggled elsewhere as have the other super powers of EPL, both Leicester and Spurs have benefited from being small clubs where in reality no one really wants to play….

Gooner in Exile

(Tongue firmly in cheek)


What Happened Up at WHU?

April 12, 2016

It was as strange game; Arsenal scoring 3 goals away and yet taking only one point is unusual, as is a player scoring a hat-trick against us (when was the last time?).

We started with the team everyone wanted apart from the odd omission of Cech which IMO was massive. Cech dominates his area in a manner which Ospina cannot  and I am sure he would have stopped at least one of the goals.

Midfield: We were lauding our new defensively aware pairing of Coqeny, yet we were over-run for much of the game – how did that happen?

CB’s? Can’t really complain because they played as well as expected. Perhaps they could have got closer to Caroll for his second but it was a well taken goal.

And we were punished by Bilic’s tactic of attacking the space behind our full backs, WHU cleverly made sure that Caroll was challenging our wimpy Spanish fullbacks. Couldn’t see Lauren getting bullied like Bellerin was! Fortunately there are no teams in the PL who have such an aerially dominant CF.

Upfront: No complaints. We scored three, made other chances and Mr Wenger made attacking substitutions to try and win the game.

Referee: Bottled it. Our boys were continually hammered. A few more yellows, a straight red for Caroll was the least he could have done, but well-played the linesman who refused WHU a legitimate opener.

Looking at the stats, we dominated possession yet had fewer shots and less corners which indicates we were a bit too tippy-tippy and on a pitch which quite frankly was more suited to the Grand National than a football match we were always going to struggle.

Another way of looking at the game was that we took a point from a tough away fixture, played a part in an exciting 6 goal thriller and came back from a losing position