Did Arsenal bid for Barton?

January 22, 2017

Seems ages since we last played. Imagine how it is for teams that don’t have European football like Chelsea and Liverpool.

But … does this really give them an advantage.? Well, it is said, justifiably, that the table does not lie.

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We have two home games ahead of the Chavs away, Burnley and Watford. You would think an automatic 6 points but it never is, is it? We know what to expect – 10 men behind the ball, an aggressive (read violent) midfield, and our boys reduced to ticky-tacky.

I quite understand why Burnley will play this way, their away form is terrible with just 3 goals scored in 9 games and but one point. Why would they take the risk of attacking us and getting hammered?

Yet Burnley sit 10th in the PL. One hell of an achievement considering the size  of Burnley which has a population roughly equivalent to todays attendance at The Emirates.

Thinking of Burnley’s midfield …  Joey Barton.  Here is a fine example of the genetic aberrations which result from Northern family inbreeding. Can you recall Gervinho’s first game for us in which he received a red card after being attacked by Barton? I loved AW’s rebuttal of Barton’s claims that we tried to sign him – hilarious. What a preposterous idea that just because Barton wanted to join AFC that Mr. Wenger would let him!!

My Team:

Cech

Bellerin    Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Ramsey    Xhaka     Iwobi

Ozil     Giroud   Sanchez.

We will need some height and strength upfront because Burnley are sure to sit deep.

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A few long-distance shots today, please. And an early goal would be delightful. As would a first half with all 11 players awake (unlike our last few games).

We have to win this one, I think we will

Let it be So.

COYRRG


3-5-2. What’s that all about, then?

January 18, 2017

Quite apart from the fact that it’s all the rage, we go to Chelsea in a few weeks, and we know this is how they will set up.

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What is considered the best formation to counter the 3-5-2?

Do managers build a team around a formation, or a formation around the players they have?

Is the classic No10 role redundant?

After all these years, how come there isn’t a definitive formation?

What happened to the Libero, remember him?

pitch

What the hell was wrong with 2-3-5?

Ps this would be my Arsenal XI under the new pattern:

 

………..Sanchez  Welbeck

Gibbs Santi Coq Mesut Bellerin

………Holding Kos Gabriel

………………Cech

 

Written by mickydidit89


Swansea 0 Arsenal 4……..A fan’s view and player ratings.

January 15, 2017

There is never anything wrong with winning four nil and that, as you know, is exactly what we got and it sure made a pleasant change from going behind and having to claw our way back all the while with stress levels climbing to unhealthy heights before Giroud scores his customary late equaliser or winner. No, not this time Giroud got his goal early on and the valium remained untouched.

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Swansea started as expected, new manager and all; he certainly watched the Bournemouth game and clearly believed that rather than park the bus his new charges best chance of getting something was to take the game to us. Well that would have been my guess anyway as they came out full of beans and full of belief but the new manager momentum soon wore off and after twenty minutes and we took control of the game.

The first goal coming from the lumbersexual as I said above but he seemed to hurt himself in the process. Half time came and went and surprisingly to me we came out after the break looking very determined indeed. So often we are guilty of going ahead and then taking the foot off the pedal allowing the opposition to get back into the game. Not this time, the sheer force of numbers as we pushed forward was impressive.

The second came from Iwobi who in an attempt to fire the ball low across the six yard line had the good fortune to hit a leg of one of the Swansea players which looped the ball up over the helpless Fabianski.

When things are going against you they really do go against you and that is what was happening to Swansea. It seemed as though we got all the breaks, not that I mind that but it would have been nice to have saved some of that luck for the forth coming Chelsea game. Iwobi yet again tried to send a low cross into the danger area only this time it hit an ex-spud and ricocheted into the net to make it three nil.

The good fortune continued when the ball bounced up kindly to the waiting Sanchez who simply steered it home to make it four nil and put the game well and truly beyond Swansea.

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With such a lead it gave us a chance to give Perez another outing and Welbeck a few more precious minutes, there is an elegance to the way he glides over the ground, a thing of real beauty. I stuck my neck out a long time ago by saying that he will become the best striker in the league, I haven’t changed my mind.

Player ratings

Cech: few doubts creeping in recently to the point where some where suggesting Ospina might be given more playing time but then the helmeted one goes and puts in commanding performance like that, including a series of fine saves and you go nah, if the clock works. 8

Easter: as much as we love Hector the reality is that he is more of an attacker than a defender, the opposite, of course, is true of Gabriel and for that reason he unsurprisingly gives the defence a more solid feel; he is particularly effective being able to cover Mustafi when he goes walk about. 7

Mustafi: hay, you know the rule, when the German plays and we don’t lose, what’s not to like about that? Basks in Koscielny’s glow a lot but then Kos seems to look more effective when Skod is playing next to him so it balances up a bit. I like him. 7

Koscielny: good to have him back, makes a huge difference commanding performance, if Easter’s house is made of straw and Mustafi’s house is made of wood then Kos’s house is made of bricks. 8

Monreal: they really tried to kick the Spaniard off the park in the first half; poor man spent most of it rolling around the floor holding one part or his body in pain or another, a usual Nacho performance although not responsible for conceding a goal this week. 7

Xhaka: getting better or at least that is what it seemed to me from my tv. I always feel that with Granit you have to be at the game to really access what he brought to the table as in the position he plays in it is just as much about what you do off the ball as much as it is about what you do on the ball and his off ball movement is not shown on telly. Still, there didn’t seem too much wrong with his performance. 7

Ramsey: a perfectly acceptable performance; adds an important defensive element to the attacking part of the midfield and augments the attack in the 18 yard box extremely effectively. 8

Özil: slow start but got better as the game went on, another player that you have to see live to really access his performance. Some may remember, earlier on, especially after his goal against Ludogrets, I started wondering if he had indeed started to breathe the same rarefied air as Dennis Bergkamp? Chas put a few Bergkamp show reels up and my perspective returned. Nevertheless, I remain a massive Mesut fan and right now, we’ve got Özil, Mesut Özil, I just don’t think you understand you know the rest. 7

Iwobi: gave just that little bit more than expected, more drive, more goal threat, more chasing back, more all round really and for that reason I make him my MOTM. 9

Giroud: clearly disorientated, obviously lost all sense of time, well he must have as he scored in the first half rather than saving our bacon close to the end, still wouldn’t start in my team though. 7

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Sanchez: I have no idea what he was doing after he had been subbed, I mean it’s understandable that he wants to play and being reassured that he will always be picked if fit has got to have been one of the biggest deciding factors in his choice to come to THOF; well it has to be doesn’t it, can you imagine him at a club spending large amounts of time on the bench? Happened at Barcelona; he must have gone nuts, another excellent performance with a goal to boot. 8

An LB offering.


Who will play at Deepdale?

January 7, 2017

Preston? Never been there. Deepdale?  Never been there.  North End?  Same.  Did I ever see Tom Finney play? No. Have I ever heard of any of PNE’s players? No. Their manager, Simon Grayson …. well, I did see him play for Blackburn.

Unknown.jpeg Preston’s Finest

In other words I have no qualifications to write this pre-match other than my love for their opposition.

I love the FA Cup, always have. I love that we won it twice in the past 3 years. That said, some of my most painful memories are attached to the FAC (Wrexham 😦 ++). Is there anything as painful as losing in a Cup Final? Perhaps a kick in the crown jewels but not much else.

A loss today could be equally painful and it is not beyond the realms of possibility. Play like we did for the first 70 minutes at B’mouth and we are in peril.

Positives: Welbeck is on the bench and ready to establish himself as an Arsenal great. Nigeria didn’t qualify for the ACN so Iwobi is available for selection. Bellerin cannot play so poorly twice in a row. OG is in fine scoring form.

 

Not so Great:  We only have two fit and available MF’s. We only have Jenkinson should AW decide to give Hector a rest, though this is the level where he excels. Sanchez will be rested. Ozil is sick. Santi is out for the next few notes. Koscielny limped off at the Cherries. BFG isn’t fit yet.

I am hoping Holding gets another chance today, he is a fine prospect.  With Chambers doing very well at struggling Boro, we have two fine young CBs for the future.

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My Team:

Ospina

Bellerin    Holding    Gabriel    Monreal

Ramsey    Xhaka     Iwobi

Ox   OG   Perez

Actually it is not true that I know none of Preston’s players, they have Dane in the team – the 6´7″ Simon Makienok who is a central striker. He used to play for Brondby which is a major black mark.

We can expect hoof ball from PNE. We can also expect a dreadful pitch designed to negate our silky skills. It will be a hard physical battle and let’s just hope we can leave Deepdale with a victory and no injuries.

Let it be so.

COYRRG


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.

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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.

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Is it just me or should we be concerned?

GunnerN5


The Great Uncertainty.

December 18, 2016

How is this season going? In some ways very well and yet there are big question marks remaining about the team. On paper we all agreed this is the best squad for some time, we felt there is the depth of quality to get a few more points than last season and win the title instead of being runners-up.

Somehow this confidence is slipping away; not amongst the team but in the stands. Losing at Everton whilst every one of our rivals won was painful, yesterday’s results didn’t help. Going to a very strong Man City will be a litmus test.

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Don’t be fooled by MC lacking 3 big players, Fernando (or it that a Madonna song) may be out but his replacement is Yaya Toure. City have a fine squad, which they should have given the ridiculous amount of money they spend.

Guardiola: Given the man’s pedigree how can anyone question his ability? I guess it is the short-termism of modern life that anything other than immediate success is looked upon as failure. What happened to working towards success?

My Team:

Cech

Bellerin    Gabriel    Koscielny    Monreal

Xhaka     Coquelin    Iwobi

Walcott    Sanchez    Ozil

I may be tempted to play Perez in place of Theo given his anonymous performance midweek. In his defence the ball has to be passed to Theo for him to be effective! The same can be said for Ox.

Our record at The Etihad is OK. We have a good team. We need a win. Mr. Wenger has been talking about attacking intent. It should be a good game.

COYRRG


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?

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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