Will Sanchez leave during this transfer window?

January 5, 2017

Maybe it’s just me but I’m worried that Sanchez is seriously considering leaving, in the last few games he has shown signs of disinterest and stands around with his hands on his hips and looks disgusted with his team mate’s decision making.

sanchez-hands-on-hips

I first noticed this during our loss to Manchester City where he seemed to disappear from the game and for the last 20 minutes he seemed to become an extra mid fielder. I thought that he must have been nursing an injury and I was worried that we would be without him in the next game against West Brom – but that proved not to be the case.

I’m getting the impression that he thinks he’s wasting his time with us and is looking to move on to greener pastures.

sanchez-looking-unhappy

Is it just me or should we be concerned?

GunnerN5


Draxler to Arsenal.

December 16, 2016

January  transfer window coming up. even the busy time coming up let’s think about our squad and if it needs tweaking.

Keeoer. No. We are good.

RB. Bellerin , Boosh, Jens, and Gabriel. Perhaps we could use another backup but most probably an area to look at in summer.

CB’s. Fine. Never better.

LB. The same.

Defensive Midfield. Happy with our choices.

Attacking Midfield. Packed tighter than a Japanese metro in rush hour.

CF. Lovely. Top players can’t get a start. And Welbz to return

Wings. On paper, fine.

But —-

What if a world class player whom Mr Wenger has been trying to sign for three years becomes available. Do we buy him?

images-1.jpeg

Draxler is top quality. Potentially another Bobby Pires and German to boot. One could question his attitude as he tries to escape from Wolfsburg but AW is not a man to worry about signing “characters” (Wiltord, Ade etc).

Thing is, does Draxler improve the squad, and if so, do we sell one of our chaps, and if so, whom?

Or, heaven forbid, Sanchez may not be willing to extend his contract in which case we will need another Worldie.

So, Draxler. €40m. 23 y-o- German WC Winner. Mate of Mesut. Would you?

 

Written by Big Raddy


The November Curse – Real or Imaginary?

November 4, 2016

It now seems to be accepted fact that November is always a bogey month for Arsenal.

A calamitous November last season is still fresh in the memory. In the League we started with a drab 1-1 with the N17 miscreants. This was followed by a 2-1 away defeat to the Baggies (they had 1 shot on target); Le Coq was injured early on and Arteta, his replacement, put the ball in his own net before being replaced himself. Santi missed a penalty after some spot-tampering by Olsson. What could go wrong, did go wrong.

The final League game of November 2015 was a 1-1 draw with Norwich in which Santi was injured early in the 2nd half but played the whole game for some strange reason (causing him to miss most of the season) and Alexis was withdrawn with a hamstring after being shoved into a camera dug-out!

In the Champions League, the month had started with a 5-1 battering from Bayern with the only consolation, a 3-0 win over a poor Zagreb side.

alexis-dugout

On the basis of that evidence, it certainly seems as though November is cursed for us, but I wondered just how bad it had been over the past 10 years, so decided to take a gander.

The snapshot below shows both Prem and CL games won, lost and drawn and also details of any fixtures played against our next two League opponents. The bottom row shows our win, draw and loss percentages over the last 10 Novembers.

november

Arsene Wenger’s overall percentages are 57.5% wins, 23.2% draws and 19.3% losses. (Based on 1,136 total games including 653 victories, 264 draws and 219 defeats)

It immediately becomes clear that, in the League particularly, there is an 18% increase in defeats compared to the average. That is huge. In the Champions League the defeat percentage is about average and an increase in draws maybe due to the nature of the CL group stages.

What could be the cause of such a large anomaly in the League?

Injuries? Possibly.

An increase in snood and glove–wearing nambypambyism caused by colder weather? Doubtful.

Excrement happens? Maybe so, but why always in the same period of the season?

Has anyone got any theories?

On a more positive note, November has had some highlights and in some seasons has even been pretty good.

November 2008 saw us beating our November nemesis, the mancs, 2-1. This victory was easier than it sounds. Two goals by the FFBW, one a belter from a snake-like pass from Fabregas, were followed by the mancs getting a late consolation.

November 2012 included the second glorious 5-2 (in one calendar year) against the spuddies. Adebayor, both put them in the lead and then, in true secret agent style, revealed his Arsenal roots and deliberately got sent off a few minutes later.

November 2013 saw us win 3 of our 4 Prem games. A 2-0 win over Liverpool, including a stonker from Rambo, one of the highlights. We also won 2 out of 2 Champions League games that month; one of which, a 1-0 away win in Dortmund, is fondly remembered by two of our AAers and their Ford Focus.

rambodippers

November 2016 started with a fine, hard-fought CL win on Tuesday capped with a goal of rare beauty from our German maestro. Hopefully we can continue to build a head of steam with the NLD on Sunday and our visit to the Old Cowshed the following weekend.

The next two fixtures probably won’t make or break Arsenal’s season, but they could certainly go a long way to breaking the ‘bogey November’ idea and launch us forward into a successful winter.

We’ve recently broken the Swansea hoodoo, let’s continue with this theme and banish another skeleton from our closet.

Written by chas


Swansea hoodoo broken

October 16, 2016

Yesterday’s game had everything: excitement, drama and sex, yes sex, the third goal from Mesut was sex. One of the best games, excitement wise, I have seen at THOF in a while.

Here are some player ratings……….

Cech: will you stop hoofing the ball up field, almost always we lose possession, just roll it out, simples. 6

Bellerin: Hector can do no wrong. 8

Mustafi: Everyone’s favourite new player looks more and more like a bargain after every game he plays. 8

Koscielny: Captain Fantastic. 8

Monreal: OK, but got roasted a few too many times in the second half and was responsible for Swansea’s second goal. 5

Xhaka: did start off quietly commanding but he gave the ball away badly for Swansea’s first goal and it should be noted that that is the second time that he has done that. The red card should have been a yellow, just rugby tackle him if you want to make sure the player doesn’t go any further. 5

Cazorla: passing was a bit off today, not the best game but with his smile how can you not love him. 6

Ozil: this man is getting near to being the best player we have ever had, his winner was worthy of the great Dutchman himself; one of the great Arsenal goals of all time. 9

Iwobi: it is impressive that someone so young can hold his own in the ball control stakes with Ozil and Sanchez, in many ways he looks more comfortable playing with those two than Walcott does but the hyperbole has advanced quicker than the reality of where Alex is in his career. I am not suggesting that there isn’t an awful lot more to come from the player but right now Welbeck would and should walk straight back into that team. With maturity you get a confident selfishness as a striker, a determination and a self belief that you can always score. Welbeck has this Iwobi hasn’t — yet.

Sanchez: passing astray, trying too hard and then he crosses the ball for Ozil to score our third with such accuracy I wonder why I even bother thinking about a negative side at all. 7

Walcott: New Theo and Old Theo were on display today, New Theo scored two vital goals, Old Theo missed two sitters. 7

Good subs by the way, the Ox was impressive.

Written by LB


Match stats – discuss last night’s game

April 22, 2016

Arsenal 2 – 0 West Brom

Possession %

71.3 – 28.7

Total Shots

16 – 8

On Target

7 – 1

Off Target

6 – 4

Corners

2 – 6

 

Press Conference:

on the win…
I believe we dominated from the start to the last minute, in fact what we did against Crystal Palace. Overall I believe the quality of our game was very good. Maybe, we could have scored more goals. That is the only thing you could say tonight. We didn’t concede and couldn’t finish the game off the way we wanted.
on Iwobi…
He is improving game after game because he is just coming in. That is another positive from the season. He has shown quality game after game and he is surprising. His consistency is surprising, because he has only played youth football and suddenly he plays at that pace. I’m a bit cautious with him sometimes, but overall what he produces is a football player.
on Alexis…
He had a top quality first half and I think he dropped a bit in the second half physically. Overall, his contribution was vital today.

on the importance of the win…
You look at the time like us, every point is important at the moment. I think we are under permanent pressure in every single game so it is important to have the lead and focus on the way we want to play football.
on the early goal…
Ideally, you want to always score early goals but the Premier League is the Premier League and it is difficult for everyone at the top of the table. There are top, top teams behind us, and because Leicester City is in front, everyone thinks that we should have done it. Yes okay, you can see that for any other team. Leicester were bottom of the table last year, so all the 19 teams can say it.
on home matches at Emirates…
If you love football, you go out there and I think you see quality football. That’s what we try to give to our people. It was a special night as well, Thursday night, and I don’t know if you are intelligent enough, nor am I, to detect exactly why everybody that did not turn up tonight did not turn up.
on the game clashing with Masterchef…
That’s a good reason maybe [for the game not selling out]!
on if he’s looking over his shoulder or looking above…
We want to finish as high as possible. You never know what happens in front of you. There can still be twists and turns but we want to win our games. We came out of West Ham and Crystal Palace thinking we had produced the quality and didn’t get the points. If you look at our last five games, we won at Everton, we won against Watford, we had two draws and we won today. The regret we have is being in the lead against West Ham and being in the lead against Crystal Palace and not getting the points. I don’t know where we’ll finish but we have to give everything in every game. We go to Sunderland, Sunderland fight not to go down. That will be a battle and we have to prepare for that.
on Kieran Gibbs’ absence from the squad…
[He had] a back problem. It looks short term. He had a training session today.
on Giroud’s lack of goals…
Of course it’s affecting him. Tonight he hit the head of the keeper and at the moment he looks for a goal.
on Bellerin’s inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year…
He was like Iwobi last year, that means he came into the squad and continued to develop. For Iwobi that’s a good way to follow, to move even a step up next season. The positive of the season is that Hector has been consistent. He was outstanding in the first half as well.

Player Ratings taken from the Daily Mail

Cech 6.5

Bellerin 7

Koscielny 6.5

Mertersacker 6.5

Monreal 6.5

Ramsey 7.5

Elneny 7

Iwobi 7

Sanchez 8.5

Özil 7.5

Giroud 6

Stats compiled by fgg


Welbeck to Start.

February 28, 2016

Any trip to Old Trafford is cause for trepidation and despite MU’s poor recent form, this afternoon is no exception. It is 10 years since we won at their miserable, ugly, prawn-ridden stadium.

True, United no longer get sent out to kick two-colours out of our lads by the inspirational red-nosed alkie – instead they are inspired by Oliver & Hardy (LVG & Giggsy).

images-1.jpeg

LVG asking Giggs if he should sub Carrick

It has been an underwhelming season so far for MU, especially given their huge financial investment into the squad. 10 points behind us and 15 off the top is not what MU’s board would have hoped for.

BUT, the Mancs always raise their game against us. Just think back to the stand-out moments of recent seasons; the PV4/Keane battle, AW sent to the stands surrounded by bile-spewing muppets, Rooney’s dives, RvP’s goal off his shoulder (for MU), Fellaini. There always seems to be some misfortune which follows Arsenal at OT.

For example, De Gea returns from injury as does Smalling (wish AW had signed him), Martial and Rojo. This will not be the massively weakened MU we have seen over recent weeks.

There are concerns about our goal-scoring; almost 6 weeks since OG’s last goal, Sanchez playing way-below form, Theo ineffective, Ramsey not being able to hit a cow’s arse etc etc. However, in Ozil/Welbeck we have the keys to drive us to victory, not just today but in the title run-in.

I fervently wish for Welbeck to start today. Quite where he fits in I cannot fathom but we need his pace and strength. Where do you think he should play? He is naturally a left-sided attacker but that is where Sanchez plays and Alexis is undroppable.

We have succeeded in Manchester by parking the bus, playing a pressing game and attacking on the break. I think a similar plan would be effective this afternoon – it almost worked on Tuesday.

In an attempt not to repeat myself 🙂 I will not write of my admiration for Aaron Ramsey nor the need to remain vigilant for the excellent United wing play – Depay is starting to look like the world’s most expensive teenager again.

Nor will I mention Leicester or the need to keep pace with the excrement from N15. If we are to win the title a point today is the least we should hope for.

At this time in a post I often reflect upon my feelings about our opposition. For some reason I do not hate MU this season! Is it because of the humour and humanity of LVG, the awful run of injuries, the difficulty of changing from the SAF old guard to a new MU filled with exciting attacking intent (that is a joke) or just that it is an unpleasant trait to laugh at those who are going through tough times? Whatever the reason, I find I have some sympathy for our old rivals plight.

I still want to beat them though.

A repeat of the thrashing we gave United at the Emirates would be lovely

COYRRG

 

 

 


Coquelin and Sanchez the Difference?

February 2, 2016

4-0. Were we terrible or did Southampton get lucky or perform above their norm? We find out tonight.

It was typical Arsenal; there we were riding along on a wave of confidence and good form, the standard of play was at it’s pacy, intricate best, there was talk of title favourites then Wham (the noise not the wavy-haired boys from Essex) we get hammered by a team who were completely out of form. This is why I love the Arsenal 😀

The only additions to our squad which was beaten in December are Coquelin and Sanchez – will they make a difference? One would like to think so.

images

St. Francis Returns

Sean Long played a huge role in their win thanks to some awful refereeing and some weak defending. Today we must be stronger especially as S’ton are likely to give Charlie Austin his first game and that fellow is a nuisance.

Wanyama always does well against us, perhaps because it is his dream to play for the Gunners. My hope is that Coquelin is back to his best and manages to win the vital midfield battle.

My Team:

Cech

Bellerin    BFG   Koscielny     Monreal

Ramsey    Coquelin    Sanchez

Ozil

Walcott   Giroud

Nothing controversial here though perhaps you would pick Campbell ahead of Walcott given Theo’s poor form of late. I cannot see Elneny getting more than 20 minutes, can you?

The bench is becoming very competitive. Ospina, Gabriel, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Ox, Campbell. Iwobi deserves a place but who gives way?

S’ton are in a fine vein of form having won their last 3 games including beating MU at Old Trafford – a famous win. Can they continue this run? In my opinion … No. The above team is very nearly our first choice 11 (Welbeck?) and on paper should triumph.

I am saddened to read of Rosicky’s injury. Having lauded his return in my last PM he lasted 15 mins. Better than nothing and at least he got a heart warming reception from the fans. Something to remember in his retirement.

images

And what of the transfer window? Some are disappointed, in which case, I suggest they look at our recent transfer policy. Mr Wenger is clearly satisfied with his squad and well he might be – we have a terrific squad with players coming through the ranks, players on loan getting experience prior to their promotion the the first team squad and purchases where necessary (Elneny & Cech). There are concerns about right back should Bellerin get crocked but in Flamini, Gabriel and especially Chambers we have adequate cover.

Or did some of you believe we would spend €80m on a striker? 😀

Sanchez looked hungry on Saturday. The chances he and Ozil can create, not just for themselves but for others, should propel us to victory, but in this topsy-turvy season  I hesitate to make a prediction.  Even so, I fancy us for three points.

COYRRG