Loving The Alien

January 30, 2016

There is a chance we may have an exciting team taking the field in red and white. The BBC are expecting Tommy Rosicky to get a kick!

I recall speaking to Kelsey about Tomas a few years ago and we both agreed his time as a PL player was over, yet here he is making a Lazarus-like resurrection (somewhat appropriate with Lent around the corner). I am delighted. Top bloke, top player and a man whom, if he lasts a few games, will add much to our run in.

There is another rumour … apparently someone purporting to be Danny Welbeck is in training and could be available for selection. Now this I cannot believe. I am easily led and extraordinarily gullible but this is a step too far.

And Coquelin!! The boss said 6 weeks and here is Le Coq back within AW’s 6 week time frame which as everyone knows is 3 months in human time. Do you think that AW lives in a different time dimension to us? He is a remarkable man and who knows, perhaps he is not of this earth? An alien. This may explain his eyesight problems, his lack of understanding the need for a 40 goal a season striker and his strange sense of time.

images-1

Mr. Wenger’s Father (and Mother)

Our opponents: I have written of Burnley in the past, of my affection for a proper old fashioned club, of Bob Lord, of claret and blue. Of Hovis adverts, coal mining and cotton. In my research about Burnley F.C  I discovered they had once been managed by a chap named Albert Pickles. Fair play to them.

Burnley are a decent team who will cause us problems but hopefully not too many. They sit a handy 3rd in the Championship and could easily face us in the PL next season. No mugs and in Sean Dyche have one of the best young managers around. We have won our last 5 FA Cup games against them with an aggregate score of 16-1.

Another exciting prospect for Gooners is the almost certain first appearance of Elneny, our first Egyptian player to play in the first team (Rami Shabaan had Egyptian parents and we had a chap called Fathy who played a couple of reserve games in 2004). I have a good feeling about this bloke.

I would like to see Theo given a start at CF today and OG on the bench. The big man needs a break and Theo is more likely to score and gain some confidence at home against C’ship opposition. The same can be said of The Ox who will surely be given Ramsey’s role again.

Another chap I would like to see rested is Koscielny. The man has become a masterful CB but like many could use a break, this would allow us to see our future CB pairing – GAbriel and Chambers. The more practice they have together the better the chances of them becoming a solid partnership.

Gibbs ahead of Monreal and Bellerin on the other flank thanks to our lack of a back-up LB. And Ospina in goal (if fit).

Sanchez, Walcott and Campbell up top with perhaps Ozil behind depending upon how his foot/leg has responded to treatment.

There is a chance we could win a hatrick of FA Cups. History making. Mr. Wenger deserves it. He could be the manager who went through a season unbetaen and one who won 3 on the trot.

Let it be so…

COYRRG

 


Do Arsenal Really need another striker?

June 5, 2015

Well, do we?

There will be many posts through the summer which regurgitate what is trending regarding our FA Cup winners 😀  This is just the first ….

It is the same old argument about Arsenal’s front line but hopefully with a different slant because I do not think we should sign a striker – we have enough.

Let’s look at the menu …… Welbeck, Sanchez (or is it Alexis?), Giroud, Podolski, Sanogo, Walcott, Campbell, Akpom. That is 8 players vying for 2 or 3 places. We have the numbers but do we have the quality?

Podolski is a busted flush, the US League football beckons

Campbell is still young but has struggled at Villarreal – and if he struggles there then he has little chance of establishing himself as a force in the PL. If we can get a couple of mill for the lad, sell, sell, sell.

Akpom. An exciting prospect. Keep him at AFC until January and then loan him to whomever is at the top of the Championship.

Sanogo? I just don’t know. The chap has the physical attributes to be a target man but has he the skills; can he learn them? His loan at Palace was a qualified success, as in he got some pitch time and scored in the FA Cup but on the other hand he could not force himself in the first team. His scoring record for the France U-21’s indicates there is a decent striker in his lanky form. I would keep him and give Sanogo another loan at  – say, Norwich.

Which brings us to the 4 main strikers:

I don’t care what you say, OG is a fine striker and is in the world’s top 10 CF’s. Is he as good as Aguero – No. Suarez – No. But neither is Costa or Cavani or Falcao. It is an unfair comparison. Is he a 20+ goal a season man? Yes, he is. Does he create chances for others? Yes, his link-up play is comparable with anyone. If OG had been fit during that horrible start to the season we would have been closer to the Chavs, of that there can be little doubt.

Theo. We have to keep him. The prospect of a fluid and very pacy front 3 is exciting. Walcott’s injuries have stopped us seeing just how good his partnership with Ozil can be – IMO Ozil will make Theo into a 20 gaol a season man IF he can stay fit. I have always supported Theo and remain convinced he can become one of the PL’s very best players.

So that is already 40 goals

20 more from the Sensational Sanchez or the Amazing Alexis.

Welbeck is more puzzling. The man has so much and yet is lacking so much. He does it for England so can clearly find the back of the net but where and when does he play? As a stop gap whilst Sanchez rests? Can he actually play through the middle? Was Mr Wenger looking at the way Welbz cuts in from the left as a signifier he can become another TH? Perhaps he can. I love his workrate, his enthusiasm and his pace. But.

Let’s be realistic. We are not going to sign Higuain, Falcao, Yarmalenko, the German chap, or even at the French fellow. It is fun to speculate about them but we have some terrific strikers at the club and there are other areas where we can improve.

We have 3 strikers who, if fit, will score 60 goals+ between them. We have MF’s who will score at least 25 between them and defenders who can add another 10. That is close on 100 PL goals. We do not need to spend €50m on a striker (but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?)

 


Wilshere and Welbeck to start at Wembley?

April 18, 2015

Well, With Whom Would you Wish Wenger to Walk onto the Werdant Wilds of Wemberlee? Wilshere, Welbeck, Wojciech or Wamsey?

Enough of that nonsense.

Let’s be honest we should win today but in the world of Arsenal there is many a slip twixt cup and lip. In a lifetime of supporting Arsenal I have witnessed many an embarrassing hiccup so I take nothing for granted but we should beat Reading – shouldn’t we?

We have won our last two games at Wembley, our form is excellent, we have had a week of rest and Diaby is fit. Reading are a decent team but in very average from – last 6 league games, D3 L3.

Can anyone explain this to me? The bookies are offering 14/1 for a Reading win and yet 1 to 4 on for an AFC win. Seems strange but I am no mathematician.

Unknown

The Current FA Cup Holders

How many of the players should be rested today without taking away the fluency of the team? I would bring in Debuchy and Gibbs, rest Alexis and perhaps Ozil giving Theo and Welbz a Wembley run, and TPIG for Ospina. But would such wholesale changes be too damaging?

Mr Wenger is a conservative manager, as such he would not make the wholesale changes BR suggests.

Wilshire was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch in his recent U-21 appearance and must be in the manager’s thoughts.  So ….. in essence I have no idea who will start this afternoon but this is my stab at the starting 11 …

My Team:

Szczesny

Debuchy      BFG      Koscielny     Gibbs

Wilshere      Le Coq     Cazorla

Walcott      Giroud       Welbeck

This is the team I expect AW to pick – same back 5, then

Ramsey   Le Coq

  Cazorla    Ozil

OG   Welbz

I could play with this all morning as it is many a year since we had so many possible formations and players to pick from. The squad is as good as I can ever remember.

I haven’t mentioned Reading much, have I? There is a reason  for this …. I know SFA about them. They have a couple of lardy big lumps up front who will try to muscle their way past our CB’s. A Chav loanee in midfield, an Arsenal schoolboy, Kanu on the wings – Reading are no doubt a battling, enthusiastic team. They will try to make it a physical battle because Reading are doomed if they try to play an expansive game. If we score early the game is over. If they score early TPIG will be the only player in the Arsenal half for the remainder of the game.

images-1

Shape UP Man

Any game at Wembley is special. Being a traditionalist leftie hippy I prefer the old AV/MU grounds for the semi’s but who can deny Wigan/Reading/L’pool a Wembley day out. It is the highlight of their decade.

Last year’s FAC SF was one of the most gut-wrenching experiences of my life as a Gooner. We are prone to start slowly at Wembley – goodness knows why – and cannot this afternoon. Attack from the first, be aggressive, solid in defence with Le Coq holding the midfield. No stupid mistakes from the off-the-naughty-step Szczesny, some lethal finishing from our front men and another final awaits.

I am 74% confident.

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy


It’s a RIGHT old conundrum

April 16, 2015

There was one part of LB’s excellent post match report from the weekend that struck a chord with me when he made the following observation :

Ramsey on the right, really? This smacks of trying to maintain a political harmony rather than being ruthless in the team selection. Yes, he scored the winning goal and that should not be scoffed at but on the wing when we have Welbeck and Walcott on the bench and we were crying out for pace down that flank.

I felt that was a very interesting observation from LB and echoed thoughts that I have had for some time, and have also expressed on A.A before. I have previously taken a view that we potentially get a problem when trying to accommodate Ramsey, Santi and Ozil all in the same set up as one of them has to be a more designated wide player. Despite each of their varying great technical attributes they are all predominantly central midfielders and lack a crucial ingredient for a wide player, that being pace. I noticed that some of the comments on LB’s post indicated that many felt Ramsey on the right was the right call, and potentially also the right formation choice moving forwards.

Now it could of course be that for reasons unknown to us that Arsene identified some tactical area specific to a Burnley away game that was more suited to Ramsey playing this position, a type of horses for courses if you like. If not, however, then I am also slightly confused as to where this leaves both Welbeck and Walcott, if it is that Ramsey is considered a superior option to them in this role. I further seem to recall that on more than one occasion, earlier in the season, an available Ox was also overlooked for the Ramsey, Santi, Ozil trio with one of them taking up the wide right position rather than the more naturally pacy AOC.

Now I am not saying that this formation and combination can never work. There are many games in a season and it will likely be suited to some of them. The problem for me is that many of my recollections of games we were poor in had this trio in the starting line up, combined with Giroud up top, and with limited pace options from the wide areas.

Giroud actually becomes an important part of the consideration on this subject. I have always rated Ollie and have stated so, but have also stated that I felt we needed something even more world class if we were to compete in the final stages of the EPL and ECL. I still harbour some feelings in this direction but I will actually hold my hands up and state that my stance on this may have softened somewhat, such has been his recent performances, and I am potentially willing to change my mind on this with one particular proviso.

There is one point regarding Giroud that I still adhere to which is, that due to his lack of pace, he needs to have that natural pace either side of him that can run beyond him. Preferably these will be players that also have a decent eye for goal. This both enhances Giroud’s hold up and lay off skills and minimises exposing his one key weakness of a lack of pace.

We are all in a bit of Ollie heaven right now but I still cast my mind back to some earlier season performances where he was nullified and ineffective in certain games, and I strongly feel it was when we played slower but technical players behind and to the side of him rather than opting for wide pacy goal-scorers. My feeling is that we can get away with it when the opposition is not of the highest calibre but a better team uses that imbalance to take control of the game and nullify us.

In my view we have already seen this happen, even if not so recently so the question is, will it happen again to our cost, or have we now developed further as a team and it is no longer a relevant tactical consideration? Your great collective thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

Written by GoonerB


Surprise of the season so far

April 8, 2015

We have heard a lot over recent seasons of transitional year not just for us but several clubs around the top 4, Liverpool, ManUre and even Chelsea have gone through changes that the managers and existing players have to cope with, it seems we have been in transition for eternity, but in reality we were in a status quo, Arsene getting the most out of a competent if not great squad. Finally it feels like we are in real transition from PL consistency to challengers, hopefully with a good start to next season we have a real chance of adding the big prize to the trophy cabinet.

The thing that makes me confident in this are the players that have come to the fore and surprised us and upset the apple cart that was my perceived wisdom.

“Theo must have a place”

“Arteta allows us to play our way he is first name on the team sheet”

“Szczesny will be fine”

In Welbeck, Coquelin and Ospina three players (not star names) have come along and made us all reconsider. I’ll even add Bellerin in that group with Nacho. For seasons we have been told it is lack of spending that has held us back, but this season two players created by us, a bargain squad player from an overstocked competitor and two other minor signings have all become first team regulars. They have all taken their opportunities and the real success is that they made us forget the players they have replaced.

Even Santi in his deeper position could be seen as a surprise, who’d have thought he could join in the tackling back?

Last season when Arteta was out injured we missed him and badly, whilst he was out this season and Flamini replaced him we continued to miss him, but now Coquelin has brought a new dimension to the role (namely pace and aggression) it’s hard to see where Arteta fits in.

At right back a lot of fans were worried that we were taking a step backwards by allowing Bacary to leave and only bringing in Debuchy, if Debuchy’s early performances didn’t calm those worries, Bellerin’s outstanding performances have consigned memories of Sagna to the dustbin, we are better now in this position.

But neither of these are my biggest surprise that title goes to Welbeck, let’s be honest none of us rated him that highly in a United shirt, but he has come in and staked a claim for a regular place, early on he was asked to play up top with Ollie missing, and I guess most of us saw him as a stop gap in that position and out wide until Ollie and then Theo returned. But he is keeping Theo out of the side, when they are both on the bench it is Theo who remains getting splinters whilst Danny is called upon. I think mainly because he gets himself involved, he presses, he is strong and leaves it all on the park. He has better feet than I gave him credit for and is much stronger than I thought. The only criticism at the moment is he seems too eager to score himself when others are in a better position. He has made me think it’s time for Theo to move on, and the best thing about that if it happened we would be the ones deciding it was time for him to move on, £16m for Welly was a steal, anything over £20m for Theo will be good business.

So who has been your biggest surprise?

Gooner in Exile


Was Friday night a full moon as the Wolf came out to play

March 30, 2015

Morning all

England played Lithuania on Friday night at Wembley with an 80,000 odd crowd turning up to watch England win a rather one sided game 4-0.

England Captain Wayne Rooney came close to opening the scoring just after the start when he ran onto a through ball and tried to beat the keeper to his left hand side. Rooney had beaten him by a mile but the ball hit the inside of the upright and rebounded away to safety. Not long after that Danny Welbeck picked up a through ball from Fabian Delph and after a great run he tried to shoot past the keeper but hit him instead, the rebound was in the air and Rooney put his head on it and found the back of the net. 1-0.

Danny worked hard and he was to be rewarded early in the second half when he went down low to steer a header towards goal where it rebounded off a defender’s leg but he couldn’t keep it out. The evenings pundits couldn’t give it to Danny as it hit a defender but England were in complete control over what I thought was a really bad Lithuania eleven, as has been said, you can only play who is in front of you.

Joe Hart could have had a shampoo and set as he was idle for most of this match as the Lithuania attack was non existent.  The England supporters were comfortable and enjoying the game as the goals were coming along so no need to worry. Roy Hodgson  was clenching his fist and punching the air, he won’t manage many easier games than this one.

Raheem Sterling although nursing an injured toe had agreed to play this game as it was a qualifier. After the game, Roy Hodgson said that Stirling would now be able to have an injection in the toe and had already agreed that he wouldn’t play against the Italians this week. Raheem did get on the score sheet as he broke through the Lithuanian defence as easy as a hot knife through butter, he got onto the ball and steered it past the hapless keeper and that was 3-0.

Near the end our Danny was subbed.  He looked to have picked up a leg injury as he was limping as he trudged off. Hodgson also spoke about him after the game and said that he too would miss the next game.

Harry (Wolfie) Kane came on. The papers and media had had a field day praising this 21 year old player from the swamp. Harry was on for 80 seconds when a quite brilliant bit of trickery from Stirling down the left hand side culminating in a magnificent deep cross was excitingly headed in by Wolfie. The fans, pundits and players went mental, Wolfie on his début with an 80 second first touch had put the icing on the cake. 4-0.

Hodgeson tried to defuse the speculation on Harry (Wolfie) Kane as a  future saviour by saying that Harry needs to be brought along slowly and he would appreciate it if there was not too much pressure on the young lad so early on in his career.`I expect Wolfie will have been eager to buy up all the newspapers.

The England Captain Wayne Rooney also spoke after the game. As he nears Bobby Charlton’s record for goals for England was quick to praise the players for a fine performance. Wayne had a good game and was a handful as usual, but was quick to praise the other young strikers. It doesn’t seem that long ago when he broke onto the England scene and now as he approaches record breaking feats another hopeful burst on to the scene. Rooney has come a long way, England have had a few knocks as has Rooney but for captain and rookies the future looks considerably good, 4-0 to England and I feel the English support went home very happy.

Steve Palmer

 


Summer Signings. Balotelli, Lukaku or Costa?

March 27, 2015

Let’s take an early review of our summer business in 2014. How are Mr Wenger’s new boys faring?   They are rated like this: Balotelli – a poor signing, Lukaku – an OK signing but could do better, and Costa- a great addition to the team

1. Ospina: I am undecided. His goals against and shots saved stats are impressive and he is top of the PL for average goals conceded in games played but there is something missing. He just doesn’t inspire confidence. I like a keeper who dominates his box, controls his defence and is vocal – Ospina seems too “nice”. Szczesny is a loony – and as we all know the best keepers are nuts (Schmeichel/Seaman/Shilton/Kahn.)

BR’s Rating: Lukaku

2. Debuchy. We can only go on his contribution to this season’s campaign and thanks to injury it is minimal. On his rare appearances he seems all we we would wish for – pacy, a good crosser, good in the air and a fine tackler but 10 appearances is not good value.

BR Rating: Balotelli 

3. Chambers: The lad has had a strange season insomuch as he has been seen as a brilliant signing in his first few games and done less well of late. He is clearly a fine prospect as told by his considerable signing-on fee . I think he will become an Arsenal stalwart but right now he needs to find a settled position. As I wrote yesterday, Bellerin’s progress has not helped his season.

BR Rating: Lukaku

4. Alexis Sanchez. What a start to his AFC career the little fellow has had. Goals, excitement, energy, skill, entertainment, desire, determination, strength, speed, joy – he brings it all. It has to be said that he looks tired of late but nonetheless he is a marvellous addition to the team and at €32m was cheap

BR Rating: Costa.

5. Welbeck. Danny has yet to establish himself in the team. With a fully fit squad he is unlikely to start but we never have a fully fit squad so his input is important. To start with, he is fine value at €16m. Welbz brings enthusiasm, pace and hard work, what he doesn’t bring is a proper goal threat. To be a top striker goals are an essential and his finishing needs much work – 4 PL goals is not enough. That said, his overall contribution is considerable.

BR Rating: Lukaku

written by Big Raddy (inspiration from RC78)


Wembley! Wembley! We’re the famous Arsenal and we’re going to WEMBLEY!!!

March 10, 2015

Arsenal’s romance with the FA Cup continued last night after an epic quarter final win at Old Trafford to finally put an end to the hoodoo at the stadium which has cursed them in recent times.

image-venue
A journey with three friends and my nephew was very fun indeed and we were all in good spirits despite our concerns about our record at Old Trafford. I was also buoyed by Bangladesh’s win in the cricket World Cup! But football was the focal point now.

Little did I know at this point I would witness one of the best games and atmospheres (only the Arsenal end) I have attended. A quick mix grill and off we were to the “Theatre of back passes” a term used to malign the Manchester teams style of play this season.

image3
The game started with Arsenal giving away cheap possession and Fellaini putting his weight about much to the annoyance of the Arsenal supporters. In the East Stand where the Arsenal supporters were placed, there was a feeling of injustice when Hector Bellerin was booked for a foul on Ashley Young who seems to have been taking more diving lessons from British swimmer Tom Daley. This infuriated supporters with almost every Arsenal fan pondering why referee Michael Oliver booked the young Spaniard so early in the game for his first tackle.

image2
The fans though rallied behind the team and there was a feeling of togetherness between the travelling faithful constantly singing in tune. Then the other Spanish full back, Nacho Monreal, who has become an unsung hero, was played in by Alex Chamberlain after a fantastic run, and there was Nacho to finish emphatically beating De Gea at his near post.

The joy amongst the Arsenal fans was short lived. Only moments later Di Maria found Shrek with a cross whose header found the back of the net. The Arsenal fans were seething and the inquest began between supporters about why Shrek was left with so much room and venting their frustration at Koscielney and Mertesacker.

Chesney then kept out Di Maria’s effort saving with his legs and then half time came and Arsenal were able to re-group.

The Arsenal fans were in fantastic voice mocking the hosts and hurling constant abuse at Manchester United supporters. This stemmed from the rivalry between the clubs and supporters even took a trip down memory lane in the stands by talking about past encounters where Arsenal got stuck into the dirty Mancs, notably the infamous brawl in 1990 and Keown’s swipe at the cheating Ruud Van Nistelrooy in 2003.

Arsenal came out in the second half and stood firm and then in the 61st minute a moment which stunned the Manchester United supporters. A back pass by Valencia was seized upon by the tireless Danny Welbeck. The forward rounded the hapless De Gea and slotted home to send 9,000 Arsenal supporters into absolute raptures.

The fact Danny scored against his former employers made it so much sweeter for the Arsenal fans. A few supporters began the chant with everyone then taking part –

‘He left coz your sh*t! He left coz your sh******t! Danny Welbeck! He left coz your sh*t!’

Security officers and stewards were called into Block E233 by this point as a section of Arsenal fans were standing on seats and on top of walls, causing havoc, such was their delight. The stewards had a difficult job to contain them during this jamboree but who could blame them?

The Arsenal fans were really now enjoying themselves and constantly taunting the Manchester United supporters which would last until the final whistle and outside the ground. There was still over 30 mins left and Arsenal weathered the storm.

Di Maria was then sent off after putting his hands on the referee and then Arsenal absorbed many attacks, mainly long balls. Fellaini was up to his usual tricks of using hands and elbows and was finally booked, cue the sarcastic applause for Michael Oliver who finally brandished a yellow card to him. Arsenal then hit United on the break with Santi Cazorla drawing a fantastic save from compatriot De Gea, who then denied Alexis.

After 5 long minutes of injury time the final whistle came and the night belonged to the North Londoners. Arsenal booked another trip to Wembley but it was not over there..

Have that Fergie !

Have that Fergie !

This was one of the best results in recent years and despite there being a split fan base over the season there were no signs of it on this night. The Arsenal fans went mental, singing, mocking Manchester United fans, dancing in the stands and then outside the ground much to the anger of the police who could not usher the Arsenal fans away.

Nine thousand fans who made a long trip despite the fixture being on a Monday night causing chaos for people who had work, school and other commitments.  Miserable Manchester United fans walked past the dancing Arsenal fans singing “WEMBLEY” and the look on their face was priceless, knowing that Arsenal ended their season.

Maybe now these United fans were off to the supermarket to get those sour grapes before going home. Arsenal players, Manager and fans can be very proud after their performances on this night. Everyone associated with the club played their part.

Victoria, Concordia, Cresit.

Next stop.. WEMBLEY!

UTA!

by @SirAHussain


Arsenal Finally Find The Winning Combination.

December 15, 2014

Arsenal played what was probably the most complete ninety minutes of football this season in the EPL, beating Newcastle 4-1. But winning combination I hear you say with fingers hovering over the keyboard at the ready to disagree – are you sure? Irrespective of what a good job Debuchy did on the day or just how much more comfortable Bellerin now looks after a run of games — the defense was clearly make shift at best.

This alone will surely make some question the assertion that Arsenal have found the winning formula. And further, how could this statement be true when we had Oxlade-Chamberlain who might be winning support for his eventual role in the midfield but right now his repeated failure to complete simple passes, always leading to the loss of possession, tells me that he is still some way off making that role his own, yet again suggesting that the claim of having found the winning formula may be wide of the mark.

No, my dear Arsenal supporting chums, the winning formula is the attack and not all of the attack at that, not Sanchez, who I will come back to. The winning formula, the one that galvanizes the whole team, the one that fuses a stop gap backline and a makeshift midfield from brittle iron and carbon into hardened steel is quite simply the combination of Giroud and Welbeck on the field at the same time.

giroud and welbeck

This pairing is the answer; they both take the pressure off the other giving each a greater self confidence and the result is that this radiates throughout the team almost to the point where is doesn’t matter what the rest of the team is made up off.

Not convinced, well let’s look at the games since Giroud’s return? Although, before I do, I need to set the scene and remind you that the preceding game was the uncomfortable loss against Swansea 1-2.

Giroud’s first appearance was against Man U when again we lost 2-1; Welbeck was marked out of game. Big Ollie came on as a substitute and scored a cracking goal. The loss was bitter but most people saw Giroud’s return as the silver lining.

Next up, West Brom away: Giroud and Welbeck start, Danny Boy scores with a header to win the game 1-0.  It wasn’t high scoring but there was something different, Arsenal were playing with a far greater sense of confidence. I put that down to the pairing.

Next, Southampton: Welbeck starts with Giroud on the bench, Danny is largely anonymous. Giroud comes on after 65 minutes everything changes and we end up winning 1-0 with a late goal from Sanchez.

Then came Stoke: Giroud starts with Welbeck on the bench (no winning formula) the team fought back bravely but the Chambers red card made it a bridge too far. As for Giroud — he was awful.

Arnie wrote this yesterday: “By the way AAers and other fans that hounded Giro and welcomed Danny that was disgraceful.”  To which Rasp wrote: “Which AAers was that?”.

Arnie is completely right. Micky, Kelsey and I are all guilty of this, although, not quite in the way I think that Arnie is suggesting.

Giroud is not good enough; his first touch is poor, he is slow; in short, he will get us top four but we will never win the league with him as the sole striker. Wenger knows this which is why he brought Sanchez and Welbeck in the summer. Anyone who thinks Wenger is happy with fourth place really needs to think about what happened there a bit deeper.

Sanchez is obviously the most exciting player we have but he is so much the lone gun that he doesn’t make a good pairing with any one single player; there is always something missing when he and Welbeck play together up front but add Giroud and we have magic, and oh how we enjoyed the firework display on Saturday. Sanchez is pretty much allowed to do whatever he wants while Giroud and Welbeck can interchange at will, neither feeling pressured and both pulling defenders out of position allowing the other to find space. (Yes, GIE I did read your comment).

The upshot of all this is that I firmly believe that, amongst that incredibly talented squad, the illusive winning combination that we have been in search of all season has now been found. Ladies and gentleman please raise your glasses to Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and success.

Cheers

Written by LB

Read the rest of this entry »


4-1 to The Arsenal. Talking Points.

December 14, 2014

–   CB’s. In a week when Arsene spoke about The Transfer Market, CB’s and Koscielny, up pops Debuchy in the middle to join another RB , Chambers, to stake a claim as a multi-functional defender. Didn’t see this one coming, but memories of very accomplished performances at the heart of the defence by Bac sprung to mind.

–   Bellerin. “Oh Hector, you are a very good player, and aren’t you the one who can go faster than Theo?”. Watching him yesterday and a song popped into my head, and for the more mature reader, you’ll remember the “you’ll never beat Des Walker”. Speed is such a great asset.

–    Ollie and Danny. It’s effective, but I remain firmly in the either/or camp. I believe Danny will go on to become a really exceptional CF, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out once Mesut returns.

–   One Arsene Wenger. Doesn’t matter whether you think we need a new Manager or not, how nice to see the fans getting behind The Boss after the shit he received last week.

–   The Midfield.  Flamini The Anchor behind the aggressively creative drive of Santi and The Ox. This I like very much. Yes I reckon The DM is the one position more than any other where a “Worldy”  would be improve the side the most dramatically, but this formation had really nice balance.

–   The Ox. Always save the best for last. And exactly what did you think I was going to say about him? Me, blinkered? No, just right on the money J

–   The Match. Five goals, and four of them for us. The early goal to lift the crowd, end to end stuff, and some really nice speedy quality football. It was a good day at the office any way you look at it. We’re set up nicely for a Christmas Push.

Written by MickyDidIt89