Arsenal’s Week/End

May 28, 2016

It was a great week for Gunners.

We had the signing of an expensive midfielder. Strong, leader, more powerful left foot than Lukas, young, International. Here’s some perspective. He cost at least three times what we spent on Elneny, who I had never heard of and is brilliant. I am very excited by this, and it’s what we’ve all been calling for. Great stuff Arsene. Could be an awesome platform with the pair of them.

xhaka (1)

We had May 26. Oh sigh. Happiest of happy days that was.

Jack played for England. I didn’t see the game. Was he good, where did he play and does it bode well for Arsenal?

Erik raised the point yesterday about Marc Overmars and a possible link to Everton. Mmm. He’s currently Sporting Director of a very successful Ajax side, with De Boer as Manager, and DB10 as coach. Wow, some good blood there. Could some or all of them be groomed for Arsenal?

 

WEEKEND SPYING

Today Switzerland play, and I’d love to watch Granit in action. Of course, I’ll be using these pre-Euro games eyeing targets for The Arsenal, while hoping to see many goals.

Help me out here. Where are the goals most likely to come from, and for which teams do any potential Gunners play for.

Teams in action include:

Today:  The Madrids, Swiss and Belgians

Tomorrow: Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal

 

Enjoy your weekends

Written by DidIt


Ramsey to join Mourinho?

May 25, 2016

We are at approaching the time of year when the Deadwood express drives at Arsenal station to pick up a few passengers. Early at the station were Flamini, Rosicky and Arteta but who else will be shipped out?

Today I will focus upon the midfield.

Given that we have signed Elneny and also (potentially) Granit Xhaka, some  midfield players must be going. Ramsey, Wilshere, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ox, Ozil, Iwobi, Gnabry, plus the returning  Toral is perhaps excessive and it is in midfield that we find the biggest puzzle……. What is going on with Coquelin?

Early in the season Coquelin would have been the first name on the team sheet, it was inconceivable that he wouldn’t start. It has to be said that I am not a big fan but reluctantly started to appreciate just how much he had improved, yet Francis is firmly on the naughty step as evidenced by the arrival (?) of Xhaka – you don’t spend €30m on a reserve.

The final unbeaten run of games saw Francis on the bench with AW not picking a sitting DM preferring to play Elneny alongside Ramsey as a double pivot (™️ TA).  I doubt anyone could have predicted Coquelin being dropped.

If we assume that Xhaka is signed and that Elneny has impressed Mr Wenger  tough to be considered a sin the starting X1, then a first team place is unlikely for Coquelin and he will become a squad player. Too good to sell? Probably and we will need him in case of injury/rotation.

That leaves 4 excellent players fighting for the single forward midfield role: Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla and Ox. All deserve to be starting PL players. All are committed to Arsenal but I expect one to be sold, the difficulty is who?

I really love watching them all. Ramsey is exceptional as his work for Wales displays. But … but. Other Gooners are not so impressed. It was not a great season for Aaron. Less goals, less assists, more mistakes; nonetheless he remains a seemingly integral part of Mr.Wenger’s plans.

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Cazorla? Brilliant player. Upon his return at season’s end we improved and once again looked like potential title winners. Had he stayed fit we would have won the title – maybe – but he is over 30, somewhat injury-prone and slowing down. Arsenal need his experience – I doubt he willl be sold.

Ox. Horrible season for him. Injuries destroyed what should have been his breakthrough season. Nonetheless, he has huge potential and most of his on-pitch problems are due to his determination to be better. He needs to relax. But can he do so at Arsenal?

Jack. Another who had his season ruined by injury and who separates fans. IMO he  cannot be allowed to leave. His energy, vision and eye for goal is exceptional but his injury history is such that we cannot rely upon JW to play 40+ games.

Can Arsenal afford to keep 11 midfield players? Can Mr Wenger keep them happy? More to the point – does he want to?

I would not be surprised to see Mr Wenger selling a big name player to finance his summer purchases. Man Utd were in the hunt to sign Aaron Ramsey prior to his making the obvious decision to join AFC; they are desperate for a Carrick replacement and Aaron is a similar player (but better). A goal-scoring midfielder with International experience and a mate of Monkeyboy (who must be a MU target) – he fits MU’s and Mourinho’s requirements exactly. Could/would AW sell him to MU?

written by BR

 


A Better Arsenal? A plan for the future

May 24, 2016

My personal opinion on a future Arsenal FC management structure:

(A) Board & senior management:

Chairman: Sir Chips Keswick
Chief Executive Officer (Executive & Supervisory Board): Ivan Gazidis
Director (Supervisory Board): Arsene Wenger (replacing Ken Friar)
Director (Supervisory Board): Lord Harris of Peckham
Director (Supervisory Board): Stan Kroenke
Director (Supervisory Board): Josh Kroenke
Chief Financial Officer (Executive Board): Stuart Wisely
Chief Commercial Officer (Executive Board): Vinai Venkatesham
Technical/Sports director (Executive Board): (Thierry Henry)
Secretary: David Miles

(B) Coaching staff:

Manager: (New guy)
Assistant manager (Defence): Steve Bould
Assistant manager (Attack): Dennis Bergkamp (replacing Boro Primorac)
First-team coach: Neil Canfield (Mikel Arteta understudies him at some point!)
Goalkeeping coach: Gerry Peyton
Head of athletic performance enhancement: Shad Forsythe
Fitness coach: Tony Colbert
Head of medical services: Colin Lewin
Club doctor: Gary O’Driscoll
Kit manager: Vic Akers
Head of player recruitment (youth to senior level): Steve Rowley
1st-team chief scout: (Neil Banfield – change of roles)
Academy manager: Andries Jonker
U-21s coach: Steve Gatting
U-21s assistant coach: Carl Laraman
U-18s coach: Frans de Kat
U-18s assistant coach: Kwame Ampadu
U-16s coach: Jan van Loon

(C) Arsenal Foundation (Ambassadors)

Arsene Wenger
Bob Wilson
Liam Brady
Martin Keown
Robert Pires
(Tomas Rosicky)

============

Key points:

(1) Arsene Wenger to eventually moves up to the club’s supervisory board, replacing Ken Friar. He can still contribute with his knowledge on improving Arsenal FC further and advice to the board on footballing matters.

(2) Thierry Henry to take up a new post as technical/sporting director in the club’s executive board. He would work alongside Gazidis(CEO), Wisely(CFO) and Venkatesham(CCO) on the business side of things; with the new manager and Rowley (head of player recruitment – youth & seniors) in negotiating of players recruitment and sales, contracts and bonuses etc. Henry to help bridge the needs and wants for both the club’s senior management and coaching staff. He has some business acumen with his numerous endorsements off-field, being the public face of PUMA and has a string of business and stock market investments. He has made contacts in US (when playing in MLS), Spain (when with Barcelona), France and England. He should have some influences on Gazidis and Kroenke when making decisions.
Thus, Thierry Henry is the best candidate: one of our ex-player sitting in an important role at executive board and administrative level (as spoken by Bergkamp in his interview with Keown).

(3) Dennis Bergkamp to come in as a new assistant manager/1st team coach, taking over from Primorac. Bould would be defending coach; Bergkamp would be attacking coach.

(4) Mikel Arteta to understudy Banfield and eventually take over (Banfield to move up to chief scout role – he has already been doing scouting for the club). Arteta has the football intelligence and temperament to be a good coach. Wenger hoped that Arteta becomes a coach; both Guardiola and Pochettino wanted Arteta to be part of their coaching staff.
Arteta is multilingual, speaking fluent Spanish, Basque, Catalan and English, and speaks some French, Italian and Portuguese. (which is ideal, given our multi-national mix of players). Helps to compensate the departure of Primorac – as chief interpreter in 1st team.

(this was written before MA left the club but there remains hope he will return)

(5) Neil Banfield to move to 1st-team chief scout role.

(6) Club legend Tomas Rosicky to become the latest and new ambassador with the Arsenal Foundation.

Lucky No. (7) The new manager –
(a) Rudi Garcia (Age: 52)
Currently free agent. French/Spanish speaking. Advocate attacking football as the best means to achieve results (plays 4-3-3 offence). Favourable achievements in Ligue 1 (Lille) and Serie A (Roma).

(b) Frank de Boer (Age: 45)
Currently Ajax’s manager (plays 4-3-3 offence). Would be available when contract ends in mid-2017 (similar time frame as Wenger – currently). Arsenal’s approach with Andries Jonker, Frans de Kat and Jan van Loon managing the club academy’s development system to a one familiar to Ajax’s.

written by JM 


Kiss My Arsenal

May 20, 2016

KISS is an acronym. It stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.

There is an awful lot of sense in this, and I often employ it to navigate me through what can appear, at first glance, to be tempestuous waters. We’ve all heard the “it’s not rocket science” term bounded about, but you know what, that’s not difficult either. Think about it. I just did.

Business plan for rocket mission. Raise loot. Employ scientist for the wiring and stuff. Find someone good at bending metal into cylinders and tall pointy cone shapes. Secure take off location free from great crested newts and butterflies. Box of matches.

So. Managing a football team.

Some may say coming second in the League is good news. Not me. I say there is much improvement needed on the back of a treble, let alone coming second. So what’s needed? Well, as always, best to look upwards, and there we find Leicester City. Ok, now what the hell did they do that was ten points better than us, and what can be done?

  1. Manager.
  2. Wow, what a job. Now this really is a cushy number. There must be 100 odd paid football managers in England, and I doubt fewer than a handful could string more than a couple words together. If my wife came to me and said “we’re going out to a dinner party and you’re sitting next to a football manager”, I’d be sick, stay at home, and watch Jeremy Kylie. What I’m getting at is Ranieri was pretty rubbish, arrives at Leicester, then wins the League with a bunch of farmers. No tactical genius at work here, that’s for sure.
  3. Footballers.
  4. Arsenal has better footballers than Leicester City, and more of them. Fact. So what happened? Leicester tried harder more often.
  5. Injuries.
  6. They kept their key players fit. We didn’t.

KISS : The Solution

  1. Motivation. Get a Leader and only players who have demonstrated fight
  2. Rotate. Unlikely we will win all four comps.
  3. Be ruthless. Cruel to be kind. You cannot keep everyone happy all the time. They need to deal with it and not sulk.
  4. Same as last summer. We need three First XI’ers. Make the money if you have to. Maureen did at Chelsea. Flogged Mata, bought Hazard. Won League.

Finally, remember the rocket analogy. Get one, and remind players where it will go if they don’t pull their weight for the full 90. Don’t forget the matches.

written by MickyDitIt89


Full Back Review

May 18, 2016
Bellerin – I think it is fair to say that we have by now all fallen in love with Hector’s pace and much improved defensive abilities. He has grown into a reliable and very promising full back so much so that he is the only AFC player in the EPL team of the year…He is definitely a keeper for a long time – glad he proved me wrong.
 hectornacho

Monreal – an ok season. Relatively solid he also had some horrible games and his lack of pace gets exposed regularly….and his attacking contribution to  our game has been lame oh so lame…

Gibbs – another season goes by and he still is not AFC’s starting left back. He is an ok player but he can be awkward defensively and his attacking inputs are also limited although much better than Monreal.
Jenkinson – was doing ok until his injury. Is he keeper?
Debuchy – not good enough since his injury. He s doing ok in Bordeaux.
Given the above and given the fact that FB have become key to attacks and defence, do we need upgrades?
Written by RC78

THAT Sums it All Up – It’s Happened Again.

May 16, 2016

 

Arsenal 4  Aston Villa 0

Giroud 5’

Giroud 78’

Giroud 80’

Arteta 90 +2’ (yes, I know it was strictly an OG)

villa stats

Mikel Arteta interview

on his emotions of the day…
It’s a day I will never forget, I can only thank everyone for how you have all behaved with me and my family in those magnificent five years. When you leave the club is when you see what you mean to people and how you feel about the club. My emotions and the way I feel about the people cannot be any better. I was very scared about this day because 99 per cent, that was my last game as a professional footballer. I can’t even talk. I feel very honoured to play for this club and captain this place. This club is class and once you are here you never forget it. It’s going to be hard for me to move on, but I really enjoyed today.

on whether he will claim the last goal…
I don’t know. I couldn’t write a better script probably. The boys have been absolutely magnificent with me in the last two days. The things I’ve experienced will stay with me for the rest of my life. I always tried to look after them, to do my best. Even if we had some difficult moments, but at least we got this club back to winning ways again. We won some trophies. Also a big to thank you to the manager and the staff, for giving me this opportunity to say goodbye to the football world as a player. The way the supporters and the fans behaved with me, it’s just how I feel. It’s a dream come true.

on the final whistle…
I love competing and I love this game. I wanted to decide when the time was to leave. I preferred to make that decision myself, and not the other away around. In my opinion, I’m leaving the best club in England for sure. I’m very happy because the people and the manager have been unbelievable for me these last few weeks. They have left the doors open for me at this club. That means a lot.

on his next step…
I have to take some time. I’m 99 per cent sure I will stop playing football. I have different options now to continue in relation to this magnificent sport. I need to sit down with my family and decide what is best for me and for football in general in the next chapter.

on clinching second…
I think as the last day it is very special, and very good as I know how important it was for the fans to finish above Spurs. We are disappointed, because this group of players have the ability to win the Premier League. We have not managed to do it and I have to say sorry as captain, not to be able to lead this club to what we wanted. But at the same time, I know the guts of this club and people can be very honoured and grateful for what people do inside, because it can’t get much better than that.

(courtesy AFC.com)

What a Cracking Day Out

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

The train from Nottingham was early with it being a Sunday. All seats were reserved due to Leicester fans visiting Stamford Bridge. We were quite looking forward to joining in with their onboard party. Little did we know that it was to turn into a day with a glorious party of our own.

The Leicester couple sat opposite us were intelligent, knowledgeable and interesting to talk to. They were part-time Darlington supporters as well, so had interesting tales to tell about watching non-league football. They were also very polite about sharing the table with umpteen beer bottles.

Arriving at St Pancras, the weather was absolutely stunning, reminding us of brilliant days out at Wembley when the sun shines down on the righteous.

Beers at the pub were enlivened by Villa fans determined to have one last good day out in the Prem. Many were in fancy dress adding to the colour and spectacle of the day. Ginger Spice and her mates  carried around by Teddy bears were absolutely plastered but happy.

villa2

villa1

The match would turn out to be one of my favourite games of all time. An early goal from Ollie’s super header got us off to a flyer. The second goal was a long time coming but The Toon made up for that with a string of goals to keep us entertained. The excited buzz around the stadium when Newcastle went 2 up was palpable. Could it be one of those amazing days when everything goes right? Were we not even going to need the intervention of some dodgy Lasagne?

Lamela getting one back for the spuds and Mitrovic’s dismissal dampened expectations for a few minutes, but then the whole Arsenal world was sent into a wonderful spin of goals and joy.

News of a 3rd goal for The Mags from a dubious pen followed by Giroud’s quickfire brace to secure his hat trick brought the whole stadium to a state of ecstatic fervour.

Mesut and Olivier going over to celebrate the 2nd goal with Tomas Rosicky was yet another moment of beauty in a day of extreme wonderfulness.

http://arsenalist.com/f/2015-16/arsenal-vs-aston-villa/goaal-olivier-giroud-2-0.html

By the time Newcastle completed the spuds’ humiliation with goals 4 and 5, the Emirates was a crazy jumping mass of delirious Goonerdom.

Mikel’s shot rebounded off the crossbar and into the net via the Villa keeper’s back and somehow the day was complete.

during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on May 15, 2016 in London, England.

In a way I was dreading the lap of appreciation in case the banner boys had something to moan about. But as it turned out, it ended up being a perfect opportunity to thank the players for giving us such a great day out at the football.

I love football, I love Arsenal and in a peculiar way, I love Tottenham for bringing us such unexpected heights of unconfined joy. That might just carry me all the way through the summer.

Did you enjoy your day? Let us know in the comments.

Written by chas


A Last Hurrah.

May 15, 2016

Final PM of the season and Your Foreign Correspondent is away on manoeuvres, but being a man with a sense of duty this post is being written before WHU (hopefully) beat MU .

Unknown-1.jpeg

Villa come to the Emirates after what must be their worst season in living memory. 3 managers , 3 wins all season, the draw with N’castle gave them their first point in 10 games. An angry fanbase, an owner who lives 5 thousand miles away and doesn’t appear to give a damn, players who are equally dispassionate, It is a shambles.

Could Villa win today?

They better not!!

I have no doubt Villa will be looking for a battling performance after all these are professional men playing for their careers. Some who are at the end of their contracts will be desperate to show they have value, others, like Lescott and Abangymethingy are already multi-millionaires and perhaps not so committed but this afternoon will not be an easy victory – we will have to play well to win.

Pressure. Can this Arsenal team respond to pressure? Well, we are on a unbeaten 9 game PL run, have shown character to come back from losing positions against MC, WHU and Spurs, so the answer should be Yes.

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The Last time we played AV on our Final game of the Season

A huge fillip is the return of our midfield, any team would struggle without such vital players. That said, as soon as a few come back a couple of England Internationals get long-term injuries!

We all know the value of 3 points today especially if The Miscreants fail up at St. James Pk. How funny would that be?  😀

The team: I would start the same chaps who got the draw at City with Ozil replacing Welbz.

Cech

Bellerin     Gabriel      Koscielny     Monreal

Ramsey      Elneny     Iwobi/Wilshere

Sanchez     Giroux     Ozil

Given how important Mr Wenger views the Euro’s I would not be surprised to see Wilshere start in place of Iwobi allowing Ramsey to play further forward.

Coquelin: Is he on the naughty step? He is fit so why isn’t he starting? He has gone from being one of the first names on the team sheet to riding the pine without any discernible reason.

I am sure Santi will get some pitch time in order for the fans to show their love. Rumours are that he is off in summer though my hope is that he continues to entertain us for a couple more seasons.

No excuses – we have to win this afternoon. The tough work was done up in Manchester now the lads have to finish their season in style.

Let it be so …

p.s. This being my final pre-match of an exciting campaign may I take this opportunity to thank all those who have read my views and contributed to the discussions.

COYRRG


What has happened to the love affair between Arsene and the Fans?

May 11, 2016

As with all great romances, the start of this special relationship was very sotto voce with an understated question ‘Arsene Who?’ which swiftly developed into the realisation that we were on the verge of a ‘new deal’ era managed by a footballing mastermind, and which was quickly symbolised by the long distance purchase of a footballing great, Patrick Vieira, before ever we had seen ‘The Professor’ in person.

A wonderful first seven years, or so, flew by, with Doubles, League titles and FA Cups. And then came the seemingly endless building of the Emirates, and with it the crunch of creative management cogs screeching to a juddering halt, and suddenly the trophies dried up!

That was then. Now, nearly 20 years on from the start of the Wenger dynasty, there is the most vitriolic, angry and abusive outpouring of hate filled demands for him to go, from some fans who should know better – with little thought for the joy and pride Arsene Wenger, one of the best ever managers in the history of Arsenal and indeed English football had given to us all.

So, what has gone wrong?

What is indisputable is that there has been a perceived 12 year period of gradual decline from the effortless winning of titles and the creation of the Invincibles team, caused, some will claim, by the sucking away from the football team of any available funds needed for the building of the new stadium, and the impact it had on the recruitment of quality players and the constant selling of the best Arsenal players, season after season, at a time when the oligarchs first showed their snotty noses and bags full of dollar notes to buy all the available talent in every transfer window.

But let’s stop for a moment and try to be objective about what football support is really all about, and how it can lend itself to the unpleasantness many of us will have witnessed.

Most will agree that the excitement, the energy and the anticipation of going to a football match, is hardly the same as that one would expect if going to sit discreetly watching tennis at ‘refined’ strawberry and champagne quaffing Wimbledon. [Just ask Ant and Duck who entertain us all so royally on the Vines’ magic match days!!] :-)

strawbs

We have all been to games, and have seen for ourselves fans, of both teams, raging at the ‘ridiculous’ decisions of the match officials, with gurning, puce faces screaming at the perceived ‘unfairness’ or ‘ridiculous’ fouls being called against their own team or demanding ‘red card’ dismissals for minor offences committed by the opposition. Much of this anger is engendered by a rank lack of knowledge of the laws of the game, it must be said. And, maybe, some of us (All?) may have even been personally involved in what is a decidedly de rigueur show of comradely brotherhood.

So, there we have it, the atmosphere at a football stadium can be tempestuous and lively, or downright villainous depending on your view of such matters. And that is the one-eyed, bias confirmation ethos under which all football managers work in public, including our own Arsene Wenger.

It is surely true, that many fans base their contentment, or otherwise, on winning games, no matter the manner by which it has been obtained, or the standard of the football on display, whereas others, perhaps more esoterically discerning, place much more store in the entertainment aspect of the games, while not eschewing a plumptious win.
In other words it would appeal more to this latter group, to draw a pulsating, entertaining and dramatic match, than to watch a dreadful, boring but victorious One-Nil to the Arsenal type of game.

So there it is! That is the core of the angry ‘for AW’ or ‘anti-AW’ split: because to some fans, football is enjoying an entertainment based on ‘let’s have a good day out, and cheer the boys on, come what may’ – while for others, they care only for the win, and to hell with how dull the game was.

Before having a look at how this affects the current situation of fans falling out over Wenger, it might help to recall that he is not the only manager who has fallen foul of some of his own club’s fans.

For example, it is often forgotten that old ‘Red Nose’ Ferguson, the longest serving manager in Premiership history, had a very similar experience to that now affecting Arsene.
When Manure lost their crown, and fell from the peak of their prowess by losing the Premiership to the Chavs in 2004/5, th bile of the Manure fans showed its ugly head the next season when they started to give him serious grief by claiming he was ‘deluded’, ‘past his sell by date’ etc, – and where else have we heard those words – he wrote, in his biography, that he was horrified by the anger and outright hostility that was directed at him, with snarling faces and obscene gestures evident in all parts of old Toilet, accompanied with yells of ‘Ferguson Out’.

Arsene_Wenger_and_Sir_Alex_Ferguson_PicGetty_188214616

So Arsene is not alone in having the fans, some of them at least, turning on him, no matter how successful he had previously been.

The last time I went to a game, courtesy of a spare ticket from a friend, we were seated not far from the dugout, and I was secretly delighted, not that I said so, as I had never been in that part of the ground before, or since.

The truth is that it is easier to see the manager and his reactions on TV rather than from where we were seated, but I was sickened and angered by the vile comments hurled at him, no matter that they were in the presence of women and children by supposedly rational adults, and it still sticks with me months later.

Ferguson being jeered by the Manure ‘faithful’ with his stunning record, is no different than AW with his own wonderful managerial record of Doubles, FA Cups and League titles, and he too has been subjected to a terrible and vicious campaign to oust him.

Yes, there have been other managers also subjected to their fans wrath, like the Wally with the Brolly, at Newcastle, and Fat Sam at West Ham both of whom have been subjected to the same vitriolic anger, but frankly, it goes without saying, that they have never been of the same managerial quality as Wenger, or had his quality of trophy achievements. Not that that excuses such personal diatribes – aimed at them, and others of that ilk.

The main charge against AW is that this was THE season when we would win the Premier League, especially with the Chavs sacking Moanhio, Van Gaal losing the plot at Manure, Liverpool switching managers, and Citeh — well …. Citeh were just being Citeh.

And then, damn it, at the turn of the year we were comfortably placed at, or near, the top of the table when suddenly Arsenal started slip-sliding away, while at the same time, little old, unfancied Leicester started a great run, which ultimately won them the Title.
It was a confluence of events that sealed the “Wenger Out’ tirade from those waiting for such an opportunity.

I am on record as saying that I felt Arsene should have retired 2 or 3 years ago, not from any acrimony on my part, but out of concern for his legacy and for him as a decent person, and an amazingly successful manager, as I feared what would happen once those bad boys started to motor, as even then the smouldering temper of the mob was sparking to life.
I wish he had gone then – head held high, and everyone lauding him and his achievements, and if he quietly raised his middle digit in salute who could blame him.

Sadly, although I wish it was otherwise, I think with the managerial changes at many other top clubs, and the promise of the oligarchs to spend big to recover from their much worse seasons than Arsenal have had, that things may well get worse for us next year, and therefore Arsene, too.

pep800-1430141381

With the new wave of upmarket managers coming to the premiership next season, such as Guardiola, Klopp, Conte, and probably Moanhio to freshen up their new clubs, and the managerial progression of Pocket Ino at the Spuds, and bearing in mind only one of them can win the Premier league, it is likely that Arsenal and Arsene will be under even more pressure from the fans — and the portents for the next season are not good.

Is the disgruntled reaction of the Gooner fans the fault of AW, at least in part?
Well the answer to that has to be yes.

To be objective, and certainly not condoning the behaviour of some fans, they do have a point, in that squad recruitment over a period of time has not been of the best quality, with one or two exceptions, and the ridiculous lack of outfield recruitment last summer did not convince anyone we could not improve or refresh the squad, and from the fans’ viewpoint, the medical treatment available for injured players has been unexpectedly poor, and all this has built up, and led to a general frustration and anger, especially as the lack of available players coming through the youth system has not given a safety valve, which although now apparently being addressed, seems to be a case of too little too late.

My feeling is that whatever success we manage to have during season 2016/17, the mob will be just waiting to pounce the minute that the results start to go against us, as inevitably they will, from time to time.

This is a no-win situation for Arsene, and I am quietly hoping, out of consideration for him, that he saves himself, and all the rest of us who admire and respect him as a brilliant manager, by biting the bullet and standing down this summer, so he does not have to suffer from the predictable and continuing trauma of being unfairly abused by irate and undeserving fans next season.

Written by RA

 


What’s going on with the Arsenal fanbase? …. Infighting, banners and disharmony …… or just a few hotheads?

May 10, 2016
The following post is based on a comment placed on AA yesterday. We are aware that many read the site without wishing to join us in comments. Once in a while, a blogger will bite the bullet when a topic that concerns them compels them to put something in writing …. this is one such occasion ……
Gooner Guest says:

Hello fellas,

Long time reader never poster. Was pleased with the fight we showed to get back in the game yesterday (Sunday), and thought Jack’s performance was very encouraging.

The reason why I’m posting is because both my sons were at the ground on Sunday and reported back to me some horrible things. I haven’t really been to many away games apart from the occasional ones, since the 90s (went a fair bit in the 80s). For Sunday’s match, Arsenal stewards were sent up to confiscate banners which called for the manager to go. Now I’m undecided on the manager. Gun to my head, I probably still think he’s the man for now, but that’s just not on. Can the club prevent fans from having an opinion away from home (or even at home for that matter!).

More disturbingly there was lots of fighting, in the away end, at the game. My boys who are both in their 20s, (to use the terminology, one is ‘Wenger In’ the other ‘Wenger out’) said the main perps of the violence were those in favour of Arsene staying. The reason why I’ve posted for the first time is that I’m asking whether you think the fanbase can ever be united again until we get a new manager?

I’ve followed and read this blog (sneakily while at work) for years in fact and I appreciate all of the regulars on here are old school Gooners who’ve dedicated time money and infinite amounts of love to the Arsenal. You’re all wonderful fans, I feel proud to support the same club as the posters on here, but what my boys told me yesterday makes me hate what Arsenal is becoming.

If you want to see what I’m talking about, have a look at Arsenal Fan TV. I think most of the regular guests on there are clowns, Claude in particular, but disturbingly he’s being shouted at and threatened by other Arsenal fans, even in the video… He’s a 60+ man, who for all his sins is a committed gooner.

As I said I haven’t been to away games regularly for a long time, but part of the joy was the feeling of togetherness and sense of being one. What my boys told me, made me feel very very sad.

Feel free to respond to GG’s (not George Graham) post by leaving a comment yourself ……. Ed

Post from a comment by Gooner Guest


Prawns in the Sun – No Thai Bride

May 9, 2016

Man City 2 – 2 Arsenal

mancitystats

Press conference

on the game…
It was a very intense game where we had a difficult start because Manchester City came out very strong. We suffered a little, but every time we went down we showed character and came back twice in the game. Overall, I think Manchester City had good intensity in the game and there were a few times when we were in trouble, but we delivered a very strong performance.

on finishing in third…
It is in our hands now but we have seen again today that we just want to finish the job with the result. That shows you that we have to focus and keep the focus. It is important to maintain that. We have had strong concentration in recent games and our character has been questioned a few times this season. We gave the right response today on the pitch, but you have to say if you look we have the best results against the top-four teams. That doesn’t come without character.

on Welbeck…
Danny Welbeck has a knee problem. I hope it is not too bad. We need to wait for a scan, I hope that it is not bad one and a meniscus. Danny is a strong boy, he is not a guy who moves out quickly. We tried to keep him on the pitch and straight away he tried to move on and he said it was impossible. At half time, I looked at him and he was very down so he must have pain. Let’s hope we have good news tomorrow from the scan.

on how bad it could be…
When I say good, that means he will not be out of the Euros. The bad news would be if he is out of the Euros, but I don’t know. I’m an optimist. I don’t know if it is a lateral meniscus. Let’s wait until we get the real diagnosis.

on Wilshere’s performance…
I felt that he showed he is well prepared physically. Overall, I believe that his performance was encouraging and that he will benefit from this kind of intensity in the game. He didn’t have too much time to think about it, but that is sometimes the best. His performance was positive.

(courtesy AFC.com)

A View from the Balcony

Arriving at Manchester Piccadilly, we had time for a swift couple in the Piccadilly Tap. Meeting up with our host in the bar upstairs at the station, we were greeted with Tequila shots, salt and lime. Everything else from that moment onwards is a bit of a blur!

We entered the stadium via the Platinum entrance with a large crowd waiting for the players to arrive. It was like being at the Oscars, but with a light blue carpet rather than a red one. The box was brilliant, waitress gorgeous and view from the seats just outside, stunning.

1

The salmon was lovely. The hard, dumplingy thing average.

3

The beef was extremely tasty. I could have done with half a dozen roasties. I can’t remember a Yorkie pud, though one was mentioned on the menu

4

Aerated mousse – hmmm, a double peanut butter Magnum would have been better.

5a

I don’t remember eating the cake.

2

News that the spuddies had choked at home came as a welcome pre-match boost. Aguero’s goal was excellent. Giroud’s magnificent. We both celebrated, it was far too difficult not to. I’m not sure anyone minded, not that I would have noticed.

Kevin de Brain’s goal was a fine strike, but he should have been brought down before. Big Ollie’s assist for the Alexis equaliser was truly stunning. We celebrated again. No cigars, though.

A magnificent day out even if I can’t remember half of it!

 

Written by chas