The Arsenal Dilemma …. summed up in 4 lines …..

April 11, 2017

Whatever is going on behind the scenes, it cannot be in the best interests of the club or the team to maintain this radio silence. Apart from those at the top in the know, everyone else needs clarification.

With 12 players entering the last 18 months of their contracts, and the likely loss of millions from dropping out of The Champion’s League, there is also a looming financial problem to address.

The calls for the manager to go have reached an all-time high, but still there is no decisive action from the club. Could it be that our management structure has disintegrated? No-one knows who’s in charge?

From the perspective of a mere supporter reliant on the media for information, this is how I would sum up the situation:

Arsene has too much power?
Gazidis has too little power?
The Board haven’t got a clue what to do?
The owner isn’t bothered?

This is not the time for supporters to turn on one another.

We need to know ‘what’ we are supporting … is it a team that has no heart? … a club that has lost its direction? …. a manager who cannot let go?

Your considered and respectful thoughts are welcome ….

Rasp


Giroud deserves a Start.

April 10, 2017

We have a difficult run-in and two  tough games in the FAC. Should be exciting. Tonight is one of our best possibilities for 3 points.

However, Palace have won 4 out of their last 5 games including a win at Chelsea and will expect to get points tonight, but we need to win in order to keep open the possibility of Top 4 (sorry, this is obvious but I am tired, it is early and I have people to see!)

My Team:

Martinez

Bellerin     Gabriel       Mustafi     Monreal

Elneny      Xhaka      Ozil

Walcott     Giroud     Sanchez

Giroud deserves a start after his excellent goal midweek. Otherwise, why change a winning  team? Sure, we have some great players on the bench who are going to be unhappy at not starting, but that is why we have a quality squad.

As you will know, I am no fan of the Palace manager, his manner, his football philosophy and his looks are all unpleasant. The bloke is sure to tell his team to kick our soft overpaid Jessies , and Benteke to bully our CB’s. Normal Fat Sam tactics.

Score early and we should win but I write that in every game.

COYRRG


Why an Arsenal surge to 4th matters. Or does it?

April 7, 2017

In the red corner, and missing out on European places altogether, we have the advantage of fewer games next season, and consequently, a better chance of going for the League. See Leicester and Chelsea for evidence.

In the other corner, we have the surge and a CL place. For me, this is the one. A surge would clearly mean winning games, and that is good for everyone. Bi-products of the surge could see us beating a Maureen Utd and depriving them of CL football which would be fun, as well as the nice warm gooey feeling of beating Spurs at the lane and putting the final nail in their title dreams, for dreams they are.

Also, a surge inevitably means a return to form, and the not insignificant matter of the FA Cup. It is of course quite possible that two victories at Wembley could see us again heap misery on our loathsome  neighbours. Again, more fun

Before I complete the surge category, a quick word on the Champions League and the “what’s the point” thinking. As I’ve said before, I want to see Arsenal lift Ol Big Ears before I snuff it, and following the small issue of the Bayern defeat, we do appear as far away as ever. Well, when I say ever, not as far away as not being in it. You know the saying.

Winning it is a very long shot, and to my mind we have no right to get even as far as the last eight, barring a good draw, let alone winning the thing. Europe has eight clubs financially bigger than us. Still, one could apply the “what’s the point” thinking to about 67 football league clubs who have no chance of winning the League, barring the Leicester (League) and Porto (CL) freak result type of chance.

There’s also a middle corner, where we have a Europa spot. Surely we have a better chance of winning this baby than the one for grown ups. Me? No thanks to this one.

Apols to all, had to rush the post before deadline.

Let’s see a show of hands. Vote, you wish for Top four, Europa, or 6th

Ed: Micky has asked me to add a poll … I hope the choice of options are in line with his thinking.

MickyDidIt89

 


Bubbles, Bilic and Betrayal

April 5, 2017

In recent fixtures West Ham Bob has written the pre-match for this London derby, giving us a view on things Hammery, sadly he is otherwise engaged so you will have to ….

My early recollections of WHU are not good and perhaps influenced my attitude towards our East London neighbours.

In the Days of Black and White, when Spurs had recently won the League, I was a North Bank regular. Every week there was violent competition to “take” the home end at away grounds. At WHU it was the Chicken Run, at Chelsea , the Shed etc etc and at Arsenal away fans tried to “take” the North Bank.

Being a peace-loving long-haired hippy, this violence was not particularly attractive and on Derby Days i would leave my regular spot (towards the back, left side of the goal) and go down the front with the other gentle folk.

The Hammers came to Highbury with fans dressed to kill (literally), a Young Hammer standing by me, pulled out a knife and moved towards me, thankfully an older lady pushed in front of me and told him to desist (in somewhat different language), and called the police to remove the future assassin. He was frog-marched out much to the delight and derision of the North Bank, but I was mentally scarred and have disliked WHU ever since.

The violence both inside and outside Highbury in those Dark Days was terrible to behold – the vitriol shown in yesterday’s post was nothing compared to those days.

Onto tonight’s game: Bilic seems a decent chap and wants to play good passing football in the Academy fashion, sadly he is let down by his players. The Payet saga was awful to watch, imagine how it would have been as a Hammer, to see a man turn from hero to hate figure in less than a season was yet another indication of how morally bankrupt some players are.The WHU fans joy at the removal of Fat Sam is starting to fade as they struggle to get results. What impact will this have on tonight? They will PTB, play hoofball and be dangerous at set plays. The midfield will become a battlefield with  the usual rotational fouling. Andy Carroll.

We have to fight in a different way, move the ball quickly, avoid the physical threat, play smart. Unfortunately we seem to have forgotten how.

I would start with the same team as Sunday, perhaps giving Iwobi or Ox a start as we lacked creativity and urgency vs MC.

My Team:

Ospina

Bellerin      BFG    Mustafi     Monreal

Ox      Xhaka     Ozil

Walcott      Giroud     Sanchez

Giroud adds heights at set plays, especially in defence. Welbeck may be best off the bench. Given Coquelin’s fine performance it may be harsh to drop him, especially in what will be a physical game, but Ox offers more.

BFG? I don’t understand why he is not getting games. Club captain, a fine, experienced player especially at set plays which seem to be both a  major weakness and WHU’s main attacking weapon. Mertesacker has not had games in the youth teams like Welbeck etc. Why not? Mr Wenger says he is fit and in the squad but needs game-time. Tonight may well be a opportunity to give him that.

A clean sheet seems to be beyond us this season, so goals for are essential, WHU have more points playing away from home. Arsenal are struggling for fluency and confidence. Should be a good night.

We need 3 points and have the team to take them.

Let it be So

written by Big Raddy

 


Opposing views about Arsene Wenger erupt in violence

April 4, 2017

I’ve been watching in dismay videos of fights between various factions of Arsenal supporters both during and after the Manchester City game. I guess it was only a matter of time before the different groups clashed but as a long time supporter I found it to be very sad. It’s a long time since I attended games on a regular basis but when I did I never witnessed a fight between Arsenal fans – that was always reserved for the opposition and not our own.

The fight in the stand appeared to be between those that had hung up a pro Wenger sign and those that felt it did not support their opinion. Outside the ground it was near the guy holding Arsenal Fan TV interviews and again it was between those with opposing views on Arsene.

Those involved appeared to be in their twenties and thirties and their main comparison would obviously be Arsene’s early years when we winning on a consistent basis. The feeling is shared by people in all age groups but hopefully the older generations would only verbalize their thoughts and not resort to violence.

My opinion is that both sides of those involved in the fights should be identified and banned for life from attending any Arsenal games.

I have several questions that I would like to some opinions on.

  1. Is it mainly the younger fans that would resort to violence?
  2. Is a lifetime ban appropriate?
  3. Do the Arsenal Fan TV post game interviews stir up emotions unnecessarily?
  4. When should Arsene announce the decision on his future?
  5. Should Arsenal ban the use of signage in the ground?
  6. Is fighting amongst Arsenal fans commonplace?

Written by GunnerN5


Arsenal. Player Ratings.

April 3, 2017

In the absence of both our post game analysts, I will try to fill in.

I have ambivalence – happy with a point given our current malaise but disappointed that having equalised we didn’t push on and attack a fragile defence.

How many clear cut chances did we created? Hopw many did we allow? Was it a penalty with the Monreal “handball”?

Perhaps it would be easier to do this by player assessments.

Ospina. Could have done better for the Aguero goal. Beaten with a cross shot. Cech may have saved it but Ospina made some good saves and was secure   6

Bellerin. One of his worst games. Where is the wonderful player of last season? Awful defending for the first goal. Poor passing throughout the game. He made Sane look a good player  4

Mustafi. Fine goal. Good in the middle of the area and made some good passes out of defence. He tried to lead the team after Kos’s substitution   7

Koscielny. Let’s hope his achilles is short-term. Quality player who is let down by his colleagues.   7

Monreal. Very good going forward and consistently gave Sanchez an outlet. Some decent crosses and stopped attacks down the right..  8

Xhaka.  Another yellow thanks to a dive fro a MC cheat. Combatative and won the midfield battle in the second half.   6

Coquelin. His best game for some time against a strong MC midfield.  7

Ozil. I expect more. He is world class and today had a chance to influence the game. He didn’t. Appears to to lacking in confidence  5

Sanchez. Busy, as ever. City always double teamed him and reduced his effectiveness.    6

Welbeck. Anonymous. Worked hard but didn’t get any service.  5

Walcott. Scored. Unhappy to be subbed which is not an issue. Worked hard but was a bit of a passenger. Extra point for the goal.  6

Subs:

Gabriel. A good half and one must wonder why he isn’t starting. 7

Giroud. Hardly touched the ball and didn’t receive a single cross.   5

Iwobi. We had more impetus when he came on. Could have scored.  7

Team: As a whole it was obvious the team lacked confidence. They worked hard but lacked the lovely intricate pass and move of earlier in the season. It was a workmanlike performance. Once again our defence looked porous.

I was concerned (as were others) about spirit of the team, they seemed very fragmented and this raises concerns about the common good. Walcott’s petulance, the lack of excitement when Walcott scored  but perhaps they just don’t like Theo!

Overall, a point against City was acceptable given the circumstances but if we were to achieve Top 4 a win was essential, and it is worrying that the team did not push on after Mustafi’s goal, if anything City looked more likely to take the 3 points.

written by Big Raddy


Sanchez or Aguero?

April 2, 2017

It is difficult to emphasise how important this afternoon is, for the club and the fans.

For the players, it is just another game and should they lose this and all the games to season’s end, they will still be millionaires and be in demand throughout the world. There is the rub.

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In my youth Man City were my second team, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Franny Lee etc were exciting to watch and won the title; the current MC team remind me of that fine team. Capable of wonderful flowing football but also able to grind out a result. And like that old team they have a colourful manager, though Malcolm Allison was more of a nutter than Guardiola!

Would you say that City are doing worse than us this season? I think so. They have spent hundreds of millions and brought in the most lauded manager in world football. Have they more chance of winning the title or the CL than us? Massive under-achievement for the investment.

Player for player I would say that we are not far apart. I wish we had bought De Bruyne but understand why we didn’t, given his absence this afternoon the player we have to marshal is the wonderful David Silva. I love the way this man plays. Close him out and we will win (make that Silva, Sterling and Aguero!)

Who would you prefer leading the line for Arsenal, Sanchez or Aguero? Both marvellously talented, hard workers. When I was young the idea that players of this standard would play in England was mind-boggling. Imagine Pele or Maradonna playing in the PL. Today we accept it as normal.

Arsenal: Where to start? We were just rubbish at WBA, yet are likely to start almost the same team. Hopefully Sanchez will play through the middle and change position with Welbeck. Our problems at set pieces are alarming but fairly easily solved (practice, concentration and application), and the defence will prefer the pace of MC’s attack.

Our Team:

Ospina

Bellerin    Mustafi     Koscielny     Monreal

Ox    Xhaka     Coquelin

Walcott    Sanchez     Welbeck

Ramsey or Coquelin? Sorry Aaron, you have struggled this season and we need the security of Coquelin with the threat of Silva.

The fans? It is so important  they back the side even if they struggle, it will be horrible to hear (or not) the Emirates return to the vitriol of recent times.

If we can score early I think we can win.

Can our boys halt the downward spiral of recent weeks? Let us hope so.

COYRRG