Key players for our last 8 games…

April 13, 2023

24 points to take…Back-to-back games against City, Chelsea, Newcastle and Brighton between 26 April and 14 May…

What an exciting and yet stressful end of the season…Our team will be tested and all our team will be needed and as a team, we will need to perform at a high standard…Yet, some players will probably be more critical than others…Pick your top 5 players that need to be at their very best for us to have a chance to win this EPL, including one GK and one defender at least…

Here is my Top 5

  • Ramsdale – not always the most reasssuring of all GK but he has been good for us this season and helped us secure points multiple times this season. We need him at his best.
  • White – often underrated this season and not always great at RB, he has come up with some good performances this season and scored us a few critical goals. We need him to be decisive in both boxes.
  • Partey – our shield and heartbeat in midfield. We can’t afford to lose him or to have him drop his level of performance.
  • Martinelli – we need him to create goals and score goals while also working defensively. At his best, he allows to stretch the opposing teams and to not play too high against us…
  • Trossard – an impact player. He can’t have a dip in performance – whether he is a sub or a starter. He can be a catalyst for goals on our front line and he never whines about defensive duties…

Again, we will of course need Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Xhaka, Ode, Saka and Jesus to be at their best too but choices had to be made…What is your top 5 and why?


A Gooner in exile’s perspective after the draw at Anfield

April 12, 2023

Well that was a disappointing end to my weekend, but hey ho, we go again.

Last season none of us would have been disappointed with a draw at Anfield? I know Liverpool have not been firing but they still have the players to hurt anyone on their day. Its a testament to how far this young side has come.

Ramsdale must be sniffing an England start soon, not quite as calming as Safe Hands, with a bit more Lehmann in his demeanour but a top keeper nonetheless and pulled off two amazing saves. And what I like about him is he doesn’t seem to get upset when he has to make a save, it’s his job and he gets on with it (albeit with a little self congratulation).

I’m sure we are all now working out how we do it from here.

I’ve just been through remaining fixtures, and by my maths, we can draw at City and Newcastle, win the rest and have 93 points on the board. Taking 2 off City means even if they win their remaining they can only get 25 and a total of 92. League won!

Lose to City and obviously we need to run in the goals and win all the remaining games (or at least match City results).

Do we really expect to go unbeaten in the last 8 games, do we really expect City to win 9 on the bounce with Champions League and FA Cup fixtures around them?

If we push them to need to do that, we would have had a good season, and although it will be disappointing not to win the league, we have so much to look forward to with the current direction of the club on the pitch and behind the scenes.

Thanks GiE!

A bright team vs a team of stars…The story of Arsenal and PSG so far this season

April 3, 2023

As you all know, I am a fan of both these teams despite their obvious differences in business models…

Arsenal’s season thus far is one of team work and collective effort. Players applying a game plan and fighting for each other. Jesus defending, Ben White scoring, Zinchenko creating, Trossard running up and down, Odegaard intercepting… – just a few examples. There is a team spirit and cohesion and while everything can be improved, at least, there is a sense of unit and game playm

PSG’s season prior to the World Cup was one of team work and collective effort too and after the World Cup, the team is back to being a star-studded line up with no cohesion in attack or in defense. PSG had the league won before the X-Mas break and after it, they lost 8 times…mostly they are beaten by teams that are more aggressive and with players that are ready to work for each other. Injuries are decimating the defense but the issue is not injuries but work ethics and team set-up. The first part of the season we played 343 and 433 and now it s a bit fluctuating…no one really knows…lol…The coach won’t be kept and names like Zidane, Conte…are being linked with PSG again…I am not a huge fan of his but I think Conte for 2 years will do well at PSG. I also think that PSG need to get rid of Donnarumma, Navas, Dagba, Ramos, Bernat, Kurzawa, Michut, Verratti, Paredes, Wijnaldum, Soler, Draxler, Messi, Icardi and loan out players like Pembele, Gharbi…Basically, the team should be built around Mbappe and you need to play in a 4231 or 433 for him…

MESLIER OR LAFONT – Hakimi, SKRINIAR, Marquinhos, N. MENDES – , D. Perreira, RABIOT – BOWEN OR MOUNT, Neymar, Mbappe – KOLO MUANI (Or Goncalo Ramos or Marcus Thuram)

Rico – Badshiabu, Kimpembe, Diallo – Mukiele, F. Ruiz, Vitinha, Zaire-Emery, Truffert – Ekitike, MUNETSI

In the end, having the right coach with the right plan makes a huge difference. PSG wasted time with Emery and Pochetinno and now with Galtier. The only good goach we had since Laurent Blanc was Tuchel and we was unfairly sacked…now we are paying the price of this sacking since…So we need to adress this lack of team cohesion and game plan, for that, you need a coach with a big voice and personna and history of success. Conte fits that bill and he won’t be scared of the owners or star players. He can clean up the team and its surroundings for 2 years before getting the usual sack…I am a big fan of Gasperini and Jorge Jesus too but we need more vocals on the bench at PSG…

Anyways…back to AFC, we need to keep fit, focused and effective in both boxes. There is no space for a slip up because City won’t drop points…We have 4 very tough games: Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Newcastle, 2 tough games with West Ham and Brighton and then 2 easier games with Wolves and Forest although they ll be fighiting hard for survival…We would need ideally 22 points but I am thinking 18 points may be reachable so 90 points on the card but we really need 22 to win this EPL…So let us see if we can keep the momentum, our focus and our nerves…COYG!