A Fond Farewell.

January 13, 2018

So, Mr Coquelin leaves the squad.

A player who resurrected a failing career in a manner which will inspire other players. He is proof that endeavour pays and his reward is a fat contract with a top Spanish club. Well done, Francis.

I cannot say that I have been a fan of Mr Coquelin, in fact to me he represents all that has been wrong at Arsenal over the past decade – a reliance upon players who simply are not good enough to propel my club forward. Neither good enough in defence nor attack, his skills lie in hard work, hard tackling and playing simple balls to more creative players. This may be harsh as we have had the occasional glimpse of a player who has great skill and can distribute accurately from midfield to attack, sadly, it was a rare glimpse.

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Squad players are necessary. We have many of them. It must be galling to be either on the bench or not even there week after week. To spend all that energy in training trying to impress the manager but rarely having a first team appearance. Knowing that only if a couple of players are injured you will have a chance.

Of course €30+k a week is a decent recompense for such trials.

Coquelin is only 26 y.o., played over 100 games for us, won 2 FA Cups, a Charity shield and became a multi-millionaire. Not bad for a man who was on loan at Lorient, Freiburg and Charlton in a career that seemed to have stalled.

Upon his return from Charlton Le Coq was a revelation in his DM role resulting in Mr Wenger calling him “the long-term solution”, it wasn’t to be .

Will he play first team football at Valencia? I guess so though Valencia currently sit 3rd in La Liga, 5 points ahead of Real Madrid, which must mean they have a settled team.

Valencia must be happy with AFC,having sold us Mustafi for €40m and used just €12m to buy a decent midfielder.

Thank you Francis Coquelin, Goonerdom wishes you well in your future.

written by Big Raddy

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Coquelin: World Class?

March 2, 2016

There seems to be an assumption that tonight is an automatic 3 points to the good guys (well, there is here in Copenhagen!). Given our current form this is optimistic.

It feels an age ago but it was only last season that Swansea beat us home and away plus they have not lost in their last 3 visits to the Emirates (W2 D1)

Right, time to get positive …

Mr Wenger is angered by the negative response from the fans to our recent defeats, he believes the team and the fans should show “togetherness and solidarity”. I agree with him and will join his cause.

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Swansea  were unlucky not to get a point at WHL. Our old friend, Flapianski is in terrific form and will be looking to show, once again, that his sale was a mistake. However, they have lost their last two games.

The Icelandic chap (can’t be bothered to find out how to spell his name but it must have a sson at the end of it) is very good at free-kicks so we must be wary of conceding within striking distance of our goal. Ayew is pacy, other than that we have little to fear and much too prove.

Midfield is our main concern; any team would suffer having so many injuries in one area of the pitch – Wilshire, Rosicky, Cazorla, Arteta and Oxlade Chamberlain –  all good enough for a regular first team place. Their injuries have put excessive pressure on those who remain and it is having a negative effect.

Ramsey is a shadow of the player he can be, Flamini looks Kerry’d, and then there is Coquelin.

Before his injury Coquelin  was statistically  the best DM in Europe, which once again proves that stats can be used to prove anything. The problem is that Coq is a good player but not good enough to carry a team to the Title (IMO). He needs assistance and he is not getting it. The injuries to the MF’s have resulted in the wingers taking defensive duties – wouldn’t it be great if they could be freed from that task like the Barca front 3?

Making the reasonable assumption that the N15 fools will roll over WHU this becomes a must win game (aren’t they all?).

I would certainly revert to our best front 3 – Sanchez, OG and Welbeck. How they work as a unit is not my concern. They are our three most talented front players.

I expect Swansea to sit deep (PTB) and look to score from set pieces or breakaways. BFG or Paul Easter? BFG for me in every home game. Ramsey could use a rest but he has to find his form if we are to push on to the title. I would like to see El Nino get a start in what will be a clogged midfield.

Can we win? Of course.

Let it be so …

COYRRG

 

 

 


Must Do Better.

February 29, 2016

That was the worst performance for a long time. And just to rub salt in the wounds, they scored two goals.

I’ve exhausted most of my anger already, but I thought our lack of intensity/focus was disgraceful. Our finishing got a bit better, but our application was gone. Look at Ramsey stroll around for their third goal. Time and again Coquelin and Ramsey simply let players run off them. Our midfield was so non existent all ManU had to do was pick up the ball and run and suddenly they’d be in our box.

Is Mertesacker so important to us? Gabriel was terrible and for a while now Kos hasn’t been as good as we’re used to seeing. Despite having the potential to be caught out perhaps Per’s organisation and passing is important to us. Without Santi in there, and with Ramsey only focused on getting on the end of things rather than making them happen, we need someone to be able to pick out the right pass, and Gabriel just looks lost with the ball at his feet.

Theo Walcott needs to be benched. Play Jeff and at least it’ll be like playing with 11 men.

Alexis isn’t contributing anything positive, but maybe it’s time to play him at CF with Welbeck and Campbell on the flanks to support him. Keeps him from having to track back, and I think a lot of the problem with him comes from tiredness.

The title is not gone, but maybe it’s better we think it is. We’ve been playing with such a burden on our shoulders, perhaps it’s better we just concede the title and go out and play football the way we want to. Win, lose or draw, at least entertain us Arsenal. Usually, the results will follow the performance.

The refereeing was very good yesterday. Including the decision to not send off Aaron Ramsey who only pushed Herrera’s (?) hands away, and he decided to go down like he was shot. Good call to book them both.

This performance should really draw a sharp reaction from the manager. Drop Ramsey for doing the Denilson jog, drop Walcott for being a liability, and take Gabriel off and bring in Chambers if Per was dropped for the Chelsea red card. Play the kids if you have to. At least they’ll bring some enthusiasm. Though Iwobi looked shockingly unprepared yesterday in the short time he was on. Which is weird because he’s looked good before.

written (as a comment) by Shard


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.

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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.

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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


Wish You Were Here (JW/AR/AOC/FC etc)

November 24, 2015

A MWG or a MLG or even a MDG? If Olympiakos get a point in Munich it doesn’t matter anyway.

My opinion is that we should give it the full beans, attack from the first, if we are two up by half-time bring on the kids and look forward to a trip to Greece. If we start slowly, go in even at half-time then fight out a tough 1-0 whilst picking up an injury or two would it be considered a successful evening.

I am sure Mr Wenger will go all out to win this game and expect to get a result in Athens, he is focussed upon the CL and rightly so. The CL is the source of our European reputation (such as it is) and AW has a wonderful record of getting our club into the last 16.

Why is it important? Money and seeding.

There have been times this season when I thought it would be better if we gave up on the CL , finished 4th and concentrated upon the PL, but that is not how AFC work – the club philosophy is to try and win every game; tonight will be no exception.

Who plays?

Same as Saturday. Flamini replaces Le Coq. We do not risk Ramsey who has only had one day of full training. We have a 5 day break before the Norwich game.

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Tonight I will don the full kit, turn the TV out towards the terrace, settle into the padded teak Steamer and enjoy a Pretendies. Thanks to the freezing conditions I will be armed with a full bottle of warming fluids (single malt), an Arsene Wenger down coat, a Steve Bould woolly hat, Eduardo gloves and a Chamakh snood. If there is no sign of BR in the morrow then send out the St. Bernards.

We are a much better team than Zagreb and should win tonight.

COYRRG


 Out but not Down – Match Review

September 24, 2014

I had a very hazy view of the game but here goes.

Ospina….. Made a few excellent stops. He looked a bit short in the team photo and Clyne’s worldie sailed over his head, but this was partly down to the swerve on a brilliantly hit ball. The goal reminded me of one Thierry scored against Roy Carrol in front of the North Bank.

Bellerin….. Looked composed on the ball and particularly good when making recovery tackles. Must be that lightning speed.

Chambers….. What a buy!

Hayden….. Stepping up and didn’t look out of place. 4th choice CB, maybe?

Coquelin….. A few positional errors but largely a super performance at an unfamiliar left back. As LB says, perhaps we have more cover at left back than we thought.

Diaby….. Great to see the big man back, purring like a Rolls Royce. Fingers crossed.

Wilshere….. Jack never stopped driving the team forward. Unlucky to be on the losing team.

Rosicky….. From what I could make out Tomas is unsurprisingly a little ring-rusty. Tried a lot of stuff which didn’t quite come off. His challenge to get the Saints back in the game was stupidity itself.

Podolski….. Did very little to stake a claim for a first team place. I would have thought he’d be champing at the bit to impress, not just biding his time riding the pine.

Campbell….. I really liked what I could make out, especially in the second half. Needs game time also, but I’m not sure where he’s going to get it now we’re out of the Mickey Mouse Cup.

Sanchez….. Man, what a player we have. He never stops running and has as many tricks as Paul Daniels. His free kick was amazing. Perhaps the GK thought it was sailing over the bar as he helplessly watched it dip from outer space just under the crossbar. Stunning.

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Admittedly the Saints had a few good chances on the break but our rookie defence could not be blamed for either of the goals.

The midfield looked good. If Rosicky had been sharper, Jack and Abou’s good work might have brought more reward.

The only thing the performance lacked was more goals.

What did you think? Especially if you were lucky enough to be at the Emirates.

chas