Superb performance, balanced side …. and without Ozil?

September 18, 2017

What you are about to read may be considered sacrilege by many. I don’t want to cast any negatives after such a good result yesterday ….. but I’m just going to put something out there.

I only saw highlights of the game, but from that and the comments of respected bloggers, I think we all agree that the team performance was excellent with special mention for Monreal, Iwobi, Ramsey and Bellerin … and all that without Mesut Ozil.

Many of us would make Ozil the first name on the team sheet. His technical ability is on a different level, and contrary to popular opinion he works very hard and covers a lot of ground … but there is a growing belief that he and Ramsey (and Iwobi, his understudy) cannot function effectively in the same side. Moreover in playing them both, the team becomes unbalanced and gaps appear in our midfield.

I’m a self confessed Ozil fan. I’m also a big fan of the Ramsey we saw in yesterday’s game. He’s a much more potent attacking force when he’s not having to share territory with Ozil. There doesn’t seem to be the same problem when he plays with Iwobi. I don’t know the answer. They’re both great players. Ironically, I think that more clubs would be interested in signing Ramsey than Ozil.

Arsene clearly loves having Ozil in the side. He hasn’t signed a new contract and may leave on a free in the summer …. would that be a huge loss if we can get the best out of Ramsey and Iwobi continues to improve?

I don’t want this topic to be hijacked by ‘fans’ who don’t have the perception to appreciate what a brilliant player Ozil is … he’s class … the only question I ask is …. is he always the best man for the balance of the team?

Rasp

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1-0 Down, 3-1 Up.  MOTM: Arsene Wenger.

September 15, 2017

Here are some brief “feelings” on the back of last night’s game, pulled together from my own thoughts as well as picking through the excellent comments on here from genuine experts.

  1. Back three/four. I think it’s wrong to judge a system by the personnel. Throw Koscielny and Mustafi into yesterday’s starting XI and I’m sure things would have looked different.
  2. However, perhaps we looked better second half BECAUSE of the switch. Thoughts?
  3. I’ve stated my concerns over our midfield pairing of Xhaka and Ramsey. Chief amongst my concerns is the lack of back-up, and now heavily underlined by the injury to Coquelin. Has anything from last night changed the thinking here? I always have liked Elneny’s quiet, unfussy, business like approach to the game. I thought he was excellent.
  4. Maitland-Niles moved more central, and we also saw the welcome return of Jack. I reckon we saw enough to think we have real quality in depth waiting in the wings.
  5. Sanchez, oh Sanchez. How would he react to the boos on Saturday and even having to start last night? My answer, he plays against Chelsea.
  6. Alex Iwobi. Love the guy, but I think his role lies further up field as back-up to Mesut, rather than in the deeper Ramsey role.
  7. Arsene Wenger played a superb 15 minutes at the break. A rare half time substitution, a change in formation, together with a considerably upped tempo from the boys from the first minute of the second period means he gets my MOTM.

Thoroughly enjoyable game. We saw many exciting things. Bring on Chelsea. Cannot wait.

MickyDidIt89


Arsenal – arrivals and exits, final hours.

August 31, 2017

Here is where we are in a nutshell ………

Ox is off to Liverpool

Gibbs has gone to West Brom

Mustafi is still here ……. Milan have given up wanting him

Today will be about whether Dick Law’s team actually know what they’re doing and can earn their wages.

Rumour has it, talks are ongoing to get Sanchez to Man City but we won’t allow the deal to happen unless we bring someone in. Sounds fair to me, only that could have happened a month ago …………. thanks Alexis.

My hope is for Draxler, he and Ozil know how to play together but Mahrez is on the horizon too.

Lots of talk of ‘no money’ out there ……. again no money!!!! To say this window is a mess is so far from an understatement it’s now comical.

But gooner friends, it does give us a large dollop of excitement for the final hours. Will our inept backstage team get a player over the line so that our Chilean can move on ………. 15 hours to go, buckle up we’re almost there.

 Written by peachesgooner


THE LATE DASH FOR THE ARSENAL EXIT DOOR

August 30, 2017

A little over 36 hours to the close of the window, and wow, it’s all happening at Arsenal.

Incredible really. Last season closed with ripples of optimism. The fabulous Cup win and the sexy new system. Add the three players down spine we needed, keep our best players, sell the obvious to clear the decks and free up wages and at least we’d have improved the on-field side of things 😊

The window began well. Now at August 30. What a bloody shambles. Sanchez, and Ox want out. We’re two CB’s down with Gabs away and Mustafi half way through the exit door

Let’s be realistic, it will be impossible to replace/upgrade all of those before tomorrow night, so we are in big time damage limitation. This means that any well thought out club transfer strategy is out of the window. This is by far and away the least professionally managed period I can remember in Arsenal history.

I won’t touch on names of possible recruits or exiters, but like many, I do wonder how this mess all came about so bloody late in the day. Something triggered the late dash for the exit as otherwise, for their own sakes, why didn’t these guys get their own careers sorted out earlier?

Written by mickydid89


Arsenal window Time Bomb

August 21, 2017

No idea how many days in August, so let’s pretend the window remains open for ten’ish days. That is not long at all, although I suspect a great deal more business will be done across Europe. I imagine Barca will be very active, and this will have the inevitable knock-on effect as to who goes where.

As we entered the summer, my only comment regarding The Arsenal summer activity concerned the importance of resigning Sanchez. One, he is our best player, and two, it would send out the right signals to both current players as well as transfer targets.

Here is/was my hit list:

  1. Sign up players entering final year of contracts. Essentials being Sanchez, Mesut and Ox.
  2. Sign Ian Wright….or similar
  3. Sign Patrick Vieira….or similar
  4. Sign Tony Adams….or similar

Additional to those players’ footballing abilities was that two of them were Leaders.

Ok, now the bad news. We’ve done just one of the above, in Lacazette. Yes, I’m very pleased with The Bosnian Beast, but that signing was cake icing.

So, here we are, ten’ish days remaining. I do not believe all the above will be done, so damage limitation could be the order of the day. I was staggered to learn about the sale of Gabriel, not because I believe he was an especially good defender, but because we’re thin, to put it mildly, in experienced CB’s.

Based on that sale, my money would be on a defender arriving as the most likely.

Sanchez leaving would be a complete disaster, and even having him stay on with a thicker weekly envelope fills me with awful memories of how Henry performed with 200k a week in his tight trousers.

What would you like from the last ten’ish days, because damn sure, not all your dreams will come true? I predict a disaster.

Written by mickydidit89

 


Now we play Stoke City in the Potteries

August 17, 2017

This is my least favourite away game of the season; we play the ever repugnant Stoke City. My thoughts are always dominated by the FA Cup semi final games in 1971 and 1972, both semis went to replays and we won them both. The circumstances involved in those losses caused Stoke fans to have an everlasting dislike/hatred for the Arsenal.

The most infamous away game was seven seasons back on May 10th 2010 when Ryan Shawcross got a red card for breaking Aaron Ramsey’s leg. One of the headlines that sticks in my head was –

“Spare us the sanctimony about Ryan Shawcross being a nice lad”

Poor Arsene Wenger always suffers terribly at the torrents of abuse cascading down from their “fans” but he handles it all like a true gentleman.

Anyway  – our away record against them is as abysmal as they are – we have only won two away games in the Premier League era and to make matters even worse their manager is the equally obnoxious – Leslie Mark Hughes.

Historically we have only managed to get 33.3% of the points in our away games against them so based on the past we should not be too optimistic – but the past is the past and we are the ARSENAL.

 Here is our complete league record against Stoke City.

Written by GunnerN5


Friday Night Football at the Emirates

August 9, 2017

For the first time in the Premier League history the season will kick off on Friday August 11th when Arsenal will host Leicester City at the Emirates with the game starting at 19:45.

We played our first game against Leicester 125 years ago on January 7th 1895 – back then the teams were known as Leicester Fosse and Woolwich Arsenal, we lost the game 3-1. Overall we have played 124 league games against each other with Arsenal having an overall record of – W58, D38, L28, GF247, GA169.

Woolwich Arsenal 1895 – courtesy Arsenal.com

We have not lost a league game against them for 23 years when Leicester beat us 2-1 at their ground on November 23rd 1994.

Our starting line up then was:

Goalkeeper David Seaman

Defender/Right back Lee Dixon

Defender Steve Bould

Centre back Martin Keown

Centre back Andy Linighan

Left back Nigel Winterburn

Midfielder Jimmy Carter

Midfielder Stefan Schwarz

Midfielder Ian Selley

Forward Paul Dickov

Forward Ian Wright

Ian Wright scored from a penalty in the 19th minute while Leicester’s goals came from Andy Linighan 16′ (og) and David Lowe 28′.

Here is our league record against Leicester for the past 40 seasons.

After our performance against Chelsea in the Community Shield I’m feeling very confident that we will win our opening game to set us on the right track for the season ahead.

Written by GunnerN5

(Ed – other notable Friday night Arsenal fixtures….)

Friday May 26th 1989

Friday April 16th 2004