What type of Manager would suit Arsenal for the Future?

February 28, 2018

Is it true that the general consensus seems to be that it’s time for a new Manager? It does appear so.

So considering our dressing room current state what do we need? Our main competitors have taken varying routes from employing the best coaches (with a history of trophies) or pinching potentially good managers from smaller clubs when they have PL experience.

The former seems to work well for one or two seasons, especially when it’s just a case of a settled squad that won things recently needing fresh impetus (City, Chavs etc). The latter has worked well for Spuds most recent, but not so great for Liverpool (Rodgers), United (Moyes), and in all the years Fergie was at United and Arsene at Arsenal none have proven successful long term until the last couple of seasons.

Still the chances of Klopp or Poch getting a trophy this season are slim.

So when Arsene leaves, be it summer 2018 or 2019, what are we looking for? I’ve seen TH14 and PV4 names mentioned which is frankly ridiculous, Ancelotti and friends of that generation are not going to take us anywhere new and are best at organising a well paid squad, (Maureen is probably in this bracket too).

So the only option to me is next big thing out of Europe (have no idea) or take one of the smaller teams managers that we like Howe, Pellegrini, Puel, Wagner.

For me, only Wagner would bring enough status to satisfy the likes of Ozil. And that maybe where we have to accept something, if we are going to take an up and coming Manager, we have to accept that there is going to be quite a bit of readjustment.

Written by a Gooner In Exile


Where Do We Go from Here?

February 27, 2018

So, the dust has finally settled on the Mickey Mouse Cup Final – a Final none of us really thought we had much chance of winning, regardless of what the optimists amongst us, like GoonerB say. Playing against the best team in the country, it would have taken them to play relatively poorly and us to have a real dream day.

They’ve won 10 games more than us in the League and we’ve both played only 27 matches. Their goal difference is 44 better than ours and it’s so pleasing they have that 1 entry in the defeat column, courtesy of the dippers.

Luckily the game is all a bit of a blur for me. We were outclassed, of that there can be no doubt. However having seen clips of the goals, I still don’t understand why Aguero shoving Mustafi under the ball for the first goal wasn’t penalised (even if Mustafi was naive). Clever play, I’d imagine would be Shearer’s assessment.

Also why was Sane not deemed to be offside when Kompany’s deflection virtually rolled over his toe. Then again, the offside rule is a complete mystery to me these days, so please forgive my ignorance. It was so much better when flags were raised when someone was in an offside position and judgements were then made as to whether they were ‘interfering with play’. At least we knew were we stood.

‘If he’s not interfering with play, what is he doing on the pitch?’ (credit either Bill Nick, Cloughie or Shanks, can’t remember which).

Anyway, onwards to Thursday. What on Earth must be being said in the Arsenal camp for the next few days. Chastisement, I doubt it. Head-scratching, probably. Formulating a plan to turn the tables and blow them out of the water – this is my preferred option. Pre-match lasagne anyone?

The press are uncovering fabricated shortlists for the next Arsenal manager to take over in the summer. We all know that Arsene always sees his contracts through to their end and that he would never be removed from office, so I doubt there’s anything in it. A tweeter made me laugh when he said he’d prefer Buck Rogers to Brendan.

So after City, we have Brighton away on Sunday, quickly followed by the Milan ties sandwiching Watford at home before the blessed relief of another interlull.

Roll on May and the Europa Cup Final!

chas

 

 


A Sinking Ship? Player Ratings

February 26, 2018

Are we a sinking ship or just a side in transition which is completely out of form?

Yesterday’s trouncing hurt. I don’t agree that there was  lack of effort or fight, in my opinion (and I know it is not some of yours) it was a lack of quality. We simply got outplayed and out-thought. Both the players and the management.

Not one AA’er thought we would win, some may have hoped but none honestly believed we would leave with the Cup. What we all hoped for was that Arsenal would compete and for much of the first half we did, in fact had PEA not missed a sitter (or was it a superb tackle) we could have been even at 45 mins. What happened next was a shock. What changed? We just couldn’t get the ball, our passes when we had the ball were wayward, our attackers had no chances. Ozil and PEA were passengers. Was it AFC who got worse or City who put on a masterclass of movement and possession football?

Whatever it was, we were embarrassing for 30 minutes, especially after the second goal. We rallied towards the end but created only a single opportunity (PEA for Iwobi)

Player Ratings:

Ospina. Second time in 4 days he was beaten by a cross shot.  5

Chambers. Battled hard  5

Mustafi  Terrible for the first goal. A flaky defender who needs to find consistency  3

Koscielny. Had a decent game. My MotM   6

Bellerin.  Managed to keep Sane relatively quiet but could not get forward   5

Ramsey. Clearly unfit.  4

Wilshere. Plenty of drive and action, not enough creativity.   5

Xhaka. Poor performance. Worked hard but simply not good enough   3

Monreal/Kolasinac. Thank goodness Sterling was injured.    4

Ozil. Anonymous. 3

PEA. Tried hard but got no service. Missed our only real chance.  4

Wenger. Looks lost and must be sitting at home dazed. We got tonked and it seems as though his final season (hopefully) will be his worst.   4 (one extra for looking so smart at kick-off)

Looking at the above, I am surprised that I gave the defence higher marks, but it was not their fault there was a tidal wave of City attacks., for the most part they defended well, though Mustafi’s weakness for the first was very poor.

Still … onwards and upwards. Let’s beat them on Thursday.

wriiten by BR

 

 


Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners

February 25, 2018

4th Wembley Final in 5 years. It is a home game and we must approach it as a though we own the ground.

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My first attendance at a League Cup Final was as a youngster and I am still scarred by the event. Don Rogers scoring in the mud as lowly Swindon beat my heroes in a David and Goliath victory. The year before I watched the highlights of Dirty Leeds in black and white – I should point out that this was 7 years after Spurs last won the League 🙂

Today: Our away form is so disastrous that if Mr Wenger sets up his team to be conservative we are bolloxed; quite frankly this Arsenal defence is not good enough to halt the City attack. So, the answer is to be on the front foot from kick-off.

Sadly, we have a history of starting games slowly, feeling our way into the match, assessing the opposition and then trying to step up a gear. I expect the same today.

We have a plethora of attacking talent, if they fire as a unit, we could be kushtie. Ozil and PEA will cause any team problems … IF.

And what of Manchester City? From top down the Northern Oilers have created a powerful organisation. The inevitable, financially driven, ascendancy took time but today MC are clearly a cut above the opposition on a season long basis, same as PSG and BM (and the Chavs , until the Russian lost interest). But on a one-off game they can be beaten, Wigan did it.

Evidence of the financial doping? Mr Weger has spent£349m in his 21 years as AC manager. Guardiola has spent £371m in his 21 months at MCFC. This sums up all we need to know about why AFC are not competeing for the title.

How can we win? A couple of sending-offs would help –  preferably Sterling and Stones. A lucky goal or two from Hector and Nacho. A few thrilling saves from Ospina and defensive meltdown by the City defence. It is possible..

My Team:

Ospina

Koscielny    Mustafi   Monreal

Bellerin  Ramsey   Xhaka   Elneny

Wilshire   Ozil

PEA

The above team has little potency and it will require a goal or two from midfield.

The Number 5.

We have lost more League/EFL/Rumbelows Finals than any other team, 5

We have only scored 5 goals on the way to the final.

There will be 5 goals in the final, let’s hope they are in our favour.

COYRRG

 


Up for the Cup?

February 24, 2018

Excited about tomorrow? I mean really excited? You know – butterflies, dreams, stomach-clenching anticipation?

I can’t speak for you but I feel none of the above. Looking forward to it? Certainly. Aquiver? No.

We are about to play a Wembley Final against a wonderful team and potential Champions. Surely this is enough to get the blood coursing?

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Why am I not exhilarated?

Could be any of the following or most probably a blend of all:-

  1. It’s not a proper Cup. Can you name who won it two seasons ago? I think MU won it last year. Apparently Spurs won it 10 years ago and even they don’t mention it as sliverware. On the other hand, it would look fine in the trophy cabinet.
  2. The continual change of name. This year it is the Carabao (ridiculous). It was the League Cup when it meant something. Littlewoods, Milk, Carling , Rumbelows, Coca Cola, Capital One, Worthington etc etc. takes some of the shine off.
  3. Wembley has lost it’s sparkle. Started with the FAC semi-finals being played there. Now it is The Miscreants home ground. The great stadium has sold it’s soul.
  4. The PL clubs play their reserves until the semi-finals which gives an indication as to how highly even Stoke value it.
  5. This is The Big One for me. The final is too early in the season. Finals are for sunny, warm days not a ball-shrivelling February Sunday afternoon. It is not May.

Come kick-off time BR will have his loins girded (writing the PM will help),  be totally involved and I guess, so will you.

written by BR


Östersunds – Skating on Thin Ice – Player Ratings

February 23, 2018

Well we can take heart from the knowledge that we are still capable of beating a fourth division team from the north of Sweden. (Over two legs, that is)

There was quite a bit of moaning on the blog, I have no sympathy for you lucky few watching it in front of your warm tellies, being there was a far worse torture, the only crumb of comfort I took from the first half was that at least I didn’t have to watch Walcott anymore.

We are through, job done, this game will be forgotten in a nano second.

Ratings

Ospina: seemed good enough, better than Cech? Well yes I suppose so. 5

Bellerin: I guess he played because he has no back up, did ok. 6

Chambers: dumb 2

Holding: dumber. 3

Kolasinac: the thing about Sead is that when scoring needs to be done, he scores, that’s it, simple as. 5

Maitland-Niles: well there have been people like me chomping at the bit for him to start in the EPL ahead of Xhaka, well I was put in my place tonight, still a lot to learn but obviously very young, gets a pass. 4

Wilshere: the thing about Jack is that when scoring needs to be done he scores, no he doesn’t, he is all over the place. And you lot are gagging for him to sign an extension? I don’t get it, another average performance. 3

Elneny: you get what it says on the tin, a lot of running but not too much shine. 4

Iwobi: I am trying to work out who the Forrest Gump award should go to for tonight’s performance. 3

Welbeck: who is the other contender for the Forrest Gump award.
Run Forrest, Run. 2

Mkhitaryan: this is the first time that I have seen him play in the flesh so it is all still new and exciting, there is a lot a class there, working with the rest of that shower must be difficult. 6

Written by LB

 


Ready for a Viking Invasion?

February 22, 2018

It was a strange game in Sweden and evidence that Mr. Potter’s unusual coaching style had little effect in the first 30 minutes. Rarely have I seen such a poorly organised team.

What of tonight?

Ostersunds players must be excited. A couple of days in London with it’s bright lights, shopping, theatre, museums and gay bars. An eye-opener after the frozen wasteland of central Sweden.

We saw in the second half that Ostersunds can play and I expect them to give a good account of themselves. They played against a very strong Arsenal team in their home leg and the opposition is likely to give them more encouragement tonight.

Given this is the biggest game in Ostersunds history, we can expect to see Viking hordes  full of mead and schnapps sail up the Thames, rampage though Holloway Road, occupy the terraces, primed to take on allcomers and abuse our womenfolk. If approached take the only sensible action …. Run Away.

As to Arsenal, it is a chance for the reserves to get a kick about. Maybe for Welbeck to show why he deserves a contract extension. Another opportunity for the sparse crowd to give the “Eddie” chant another rendition.

It would be risky for Mr Wenger to play anyone whom he wants to start at Wembley and, in recent years, Mr Wenger is not a risk-taker. As such he could select a very unusual 11.

My Team:

Ospina

Chambers    Holding    Kolasinac

Nelson   Elneny   Willock   M-N

Miki   Welbz   Eddie

This may be a little too risky for AW! JW could start especially if Ramsey is likely to be fit for Sunday.

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I am finding it hard to be enthusiastic about tonight. The opposition are poor, we have already won the tie, The Emirates will be half empty, no stars playing. Will I watch? Of course I will but most probably with my mind elsewhere.

We should win this tie whichever Arsenal players are on the pitch.

COYRRG

 

 


Should Gooners support English Teams in the CL?

February 21, 2018

If an English team in the Champions League is facing oppostion from across the water, do you want them to do well and progress or see a defeat of momentous proportions?

Last night one of our illustrious commenters said this…

Anyone gutted Chelsea drew today, I was so rooting for OG?

Now the big Frenchman was a fine servant for the Arsenal, but wanting the chavs to do well so that you can see a big smile on Olly’s face – hmm, not sure about that.

Earlier in the day, I’d seen this tweet from Danny Baker and again I couldn’t quite see how it was a hard and fast rule that all football followers would think the same.

The Round of 16 draw meant that English teams couldn’t face one another. At present 2 are almost guaranteed progression to the quarters, one achieved a good draw away from home, one a knife-edge draw at home and the red mancs are still to play. Does the prospect of seeing 5 English clubs in the last eight fill you with dread or make you proud of the success of the Premier League?

I suppose the further English teams get in the competition the better our UEFA coefficient, but watching Champions League football has to be more interesting if you’re seeing teams that you don’t see play every week?

One benefit of having all-English quarter finals would be the opportunity to see two of the five clubs above us, kicking great lumps out of each other.

Personally my dislike of the spuds, chavs and red mancs is too strong to ever want to see them win any game in Europe. For some reason, Liverpool and Man City don’t stir the same feelings of loathing. Having said that, I’ll still smile when either get knocked out.

How is it even possible for anyone outside red Manchester to want this fella to win a game? Even if he took over at the Home of Football, I’d struggle. 🙂

Anyway, what do you think? Do you agree with Danny Baker that proper English football fans would never support other English clubs in Europe?

Or maybe you feel some pride in Tottenham and Chelsea beating top European opposition?

Then again, you may have the opinion that you want to see the best possible football, so it makes sense to want to see the best teams progress?

Alexander Pushkin 


Oil Money FC losing to Wigan – Good, Bad or Irrelevant to The Arsenal?

February 20, 2018

So, the quadruple is off. What effect might that have on Sunday’s game at Wembley?

Good

Seeds of doubt sown.

Shows that anything is possible in a one-off game – even when you have only 17% possesion.

Aguero might be banned for throwing a punch at a supporter.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Delph is banned?

City look less effective without De Bruyne.

Bad

They could be after revenge against the footballing gods and take it out on us.

Mancs, spuds and chavs path to the trophy got easier.

De Bruyne will be playing.

They can’t be as bad as in last season’s semi.

Irrelevant

What happens in a different competition six days prior to a Final has no bearing whatsoever.

In a one-off game even the BFG can play in Beckenbauer fashion.

Auba will be playing.

Good, bad or not relevant to Sunday? What do you think?

Mink DeVille 

 


Giving Up Football for Lent – Flat as a Pancake

February 19, 2018

How dull are FA Cup weekends when you get knocked out in the 3rd Round?

February has been let down so far. It started so well with plenty of goals in the demolition of Everton, accompanied by the really positive introduction of the new boys. The NLD at Wembley was a huge disappointment – optimistic going into it and resigned to mediocrity afterwards. Ostersunds away turned out to be more straightforward than playing a 3rd Division side in the FA Cup, more like a training game in parts – did it stir the blood? Nope.

Next up we have the Ostersunds return leg at home on Thursday when, presumably, a large chunk of the First team will be rested or riding the pine, just in case of an emergency. Rested so that they’re ultra-fresh for the Caribou Cup Final on Sunday playing the Champions elect.

Man City have the week off after tonight’s FA cup game, so they’ll be even more rested than us. What are your expectations for Sunday? Can we match last season’s performances against City and the chavs at Wembley en route to our 13th success?

At present, March is shaping up to be busy at the start but quiet and tedious for its second half. Man City at home on March 1st (subject to them getting past Wigan first time), Brighton away on the 4th, then followed by two legs of the Europa round of 16 (hopefully), sandwiching Watford at home.

The Leicester game scheduled for the weekend of the 17th and 18th has been postponed because of their FA Cup involvement. Then follows a god-forsaken international break. What a peculiar season it’s been! I’ve oscillated between extreme boredom (sometimes on weekends when we’ve been playing!) and a feeling of pure anxiety at the prospect of finding out the numerous other ways we can find to self-destruct.

In other news, the FA Cup quarters were as predictable as a Spurs player diving to win a penalty. At least Rochdale will get a Wembley pay day. What I’d like to know is how do you practise diving during training? Perhaps use a mannequin with leg outstretched? Or maybe a first aid dummy prostrate on the floor, mimicking a keeper who’s dived, then repeat over and over that crucial timing required to leave a toe initiating contact as you’re already on the way down.

Protective headwear is required at Enfield when practising certain game scenarios.

The FA Cup draw wasn’t fixed but still managed to avoid pairing any of the big boys together. Tedious.

Anyway we should all be looking forward to Sunday’s game, even if the kick off is so late, it’ll clash with Songs of Praise. So, upwards and onwards, the season’s not over yet by any stretch.