Wenger Loosens the French Connection.

February 1, 2018

Another Obituary. Strange Days.

Today we wish Giroud a fond farewell, and give a gentle wave to Debuchy. Two more lockers to be emptied.

Matthieu Debuchy. Signed from Newcastle for, what was then, big money. Started his AFC career in fine form and seemed another good buy, but sadly he got crocked by Arnautivic (off the ball in what should have been a straight red card incident). In his absence Hector grew into the player we see today. Had Debuchy not been injured would Hector have made such an impression? We will never know. What is for sure is that injuries have blighted Debuchy’s AFC career. I like his punk attitude; he has not been satisfied being a squad player and now has the chance to enjoy the last years of his playing time in France. Could have been a good servant, sadly through events beyond his control, wasn’t.

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Like so many others I would like to thank Olivier Giroud for his input – a proper Arsenal man who (from media reports) wanted to stay at The Emirates. When OG arrived we were excited, a French International with a good scoring record, good in the air and just the chap to take over from RvP, or so we thought. Unfortunately OG is not and never was at the level of the Dutch Traitor. He is a very good attacker with great vision and a delicate touch but he is not of the first rank. Much admired but everyone knows he is simply not good enough for Arsenal. A great back-up striker and Plan B. For a team which has historically relied upon pace, OG was perhaps not the right fit but he always gave his all and we can ask for no more.

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No more will his song be sung, shame as it is one of the few that everyone knows both the tune and words. We will remember a man who loved the club, was extraordinarily handsome and scored spectacular goals.

Thank you Mr. Giroud. We wish you well.

So … we come to the end of a thrilling January transfer window, out of breath and in shock. I predicted we would sign and sell no-one, so did almost all of you. How wrong could we be?

Exciting times ahead.

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Elneny in a Back 3 again?

November 23, 2017

A win in Kōln sees us top the group which will bring us an easier route through the tournament. Given they are bottom of the Bundesliga without a win it should be a formality but we know otherwise.

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Mr Wenger says he will pick a team full of PL experience indicating he may “rest” some of the youth players, I think this is a bit of kidology but we do have players returning to the squad from injury who need gametime.

Chambers is rumoured to be fit, I expect a bench role and 15 minutes for Calum (for whom I still hold great expectations).

My Team:

Ospina

   Elneny    BFG    Holding

  Debuchy  Wilshire  Coquelin   Maitland-Niles

Giroud    Welbeck    Iwobi

 Elneny can play RCB, where he played so well in a recent game , (I can’t remember which, can you without Googling?) this allows Debuchy to provide width upfront – he delivers excellent crosses and in OG/Welbz we are strong in the air.

I am still basking in the glory of the weekend’s victory and am finding it hard to get excited about tonight. Thinking of which … we may be happy to beat Spurs by 2, but Köln beat them 8-0 in 1995 🙂

Strange k.o. time (18.00GMT).

Given the chaos created by the German fans at The Emirates, it should be a good atmosphere tonight. Best way to quiet the crowd is to score early. Could we? Just for once?

COYRRG

 


Red Star Pre – Match

October 19, 2017

There are some names in football which have a ring to them, something romantic that takes us back to times past, Red Star Belgrade is one of those.

Before mass- televised football, before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of Yugoslavia, before drug testing etc Red Star were huge, Barcelona huge. They were Tito’s team, they played in Communist red and white with a red star. They were the team that Man Utd played before the awful Munich disaster. They had a ground which held 110,000 fans – more than Wembley, and they filled it for every game! In 1991 they won the  European Cup.

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Times have changed. After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the creation of Serbia, Red Star are no longer the powerhouse of East Europe. They remain the peoples team with almost 50% of Serbs supporting them.

The ground is called the Marakana, tonight is a 55k sellout and AFC can expect a hostile, intimidating welcome.

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Once again, I know nothing about the opposition squad. I expect them to be organised, hard working with a couple of tricky players and a big bloke upfront (much like us!)

My Team:

Cech

Debuchy   BFG    Monreal

Nelson     Elneny     Wilshire    Maitland-Niles

Iwobi

Walcott    Giroud

Debuchy is due to start his first game for almost a year. Apparently Mr Wenger tried to give him away in summer but received no offers, thanks to high wage demands. One has to feel for the Frenchman; injured early in his AFC career by a sly foul from some Stoke Orc. he has had the misfortune to see his place taken by a young, wonderful talent who, quite frankly, is in a different league to him. Given how much Debuchy cost, how in demand he was when at Newcastle, it must hurt not to be a first team choice and perhaps explains Debuchy’s less than compliant attitude.

Welbeck, Kos, Chambers, Sanchez, Ramsey and Mustafi are all out with different degrees of injury.

I expect Ramsey, Sanchez and Ozil to start at Evertion so Iwobi and Wilshere should be our creative hub tonight.

Not an easy game to predict as Red Star are a decent team, have home advantage and Arsenal will be putting out a second string team. It should be fun as we continue our Europa campaign.

 


The Case of the Disappearing Full Back.

November 16, 2016

I can’t speak for you but these are impoverished times for the Raddy family. Times are hard and despite taking Raddy Junior out of Eton and selling Mrs Raddy’s minks we struggle to maintain Raddy Towers. So how is it that Arsenal can afford to throw away cash on a blighter like Debuchy?

Where is he? Is he training with Arsenal? Is he working in the marketing department or helping Mr. Gazidiz buy his Xmas gifts? No, he is on loan at Bordeaux in lovely  France.

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We paid £12m for the chap,  we got 12 games out of him! Arsenal have paid the man’s wages for two years and no doubt we pay a percentage of his stipend at Bordeaux. Given that his wages are stand at £70k a week, his cost to AFC, so far, is almost 20 million of Her Majesty’s finest. That is over £1.5m a game!!

Madness.

One cannot blame Debuchy. It wasn’t his fault that he succumbed to a series of injuries at AFC (thigh, ankle, shoulder, hamstring and groin) nor was it his fault that Bellerin so brilliantly took his place in the side. No, the responsibility lies with whomever signed an injury-prone 29 y.o.and paid him so much money.

Arsenal offered him to all and sundry in the summer break but no-one would buy an understandably unhappy Debuchy because his wages make him unsellable, so we loaned him out. Again, why?

I know Corporal Jenks is a Gooner and gives everything to the cause but he is not as good a RB as Debuchy, so the only reason the Frenchman is on loan is because he was so unhappy at Arsenal – the team who over-pay his wages – that he was gifted to Bordeaux thanks to the “rotten apple” effect.

I realise it is difficult to know whether a player will bring value to a team (just look at MU’s recent buys 😄) and Arsenal’s record is above average but this was one they got horribly wrong.

written by Big Raddy

 


Major Tom to Ground Control

January 17, 2016

What a strange season it has been. Who would have thought that the ultra-defensive, park the bus mindset of so many PL managers would change so quickly into the exciting football we have seen in 2015/16. 3-3 draws have become the new 1-0’s. Long may it continue.

Or is it poor defending? 😀

Take today’s opponents, Stoke. Managed by one the the meanest, most defence obsessed, get in their faces, kick their best players out the game, route one obsessed men in the Premiership they have turned into a club who play proper football. What has happened to Sparky?

What changed?  What made the miscreant Hughes buy Shaqiri, Krkic and Affelay?

Whatever the reasons, I am delighted. However, Stoke still have their share of thugs with both Debuchy and Ramsey having bad memories of strong-arm Stoke-isms.

There are exciting developments at Arsenal.The arrival of El Nino and the possible return of Duracell Boy; I don’t expect either to start but both could get some pitch time. Our results suggest that we have not missed Sanchez but there can be little doubt we are better with him on the pitch. If Theo doesn’t put in a decent performance this afternoon the bench awaits. Flamini has done a sterling job but needs a rest –  would you blood El Nino against Stoke or Chelsea? I wouldn’t. A couple of sub appearances are most likely.

I expect the same 11 to start as at Liverpool.

We have lost 5 of the last 8 games at the Britannia. Not good and hard to fathom. We have always finished the season above them and despite the aggressive grunts emanating from the cavemen who grimace bare-chested in the stands, we should do better.

My dream scenario would be an easy Arsenal victory with Aaron Ramsey scoring a hatrick, Flamini giving Shawcross a sly kicking and Kos flattening the cowardly, cheating basket named Arnautovic. But I would take a scrappy , plucky, lucky 3 points.

As always at the Britannia we will need a strong referee who is not influenced by Stoke’s baying boneheads. The incumbent is Craig Pawson; don’t know much about this chap but we must hope for the best.

I am still hurting from the stupid equaliser at Anfield, a win today would set us up nicely for the Chelsea game and to some extent negate that pain. A draw and we go back to TotL.

My youth was spent living for football and music. The first time I saw one of my Heroes was at the Finsbury Park Rainbow. I queued for hours and got tickets to see Bowie. He came on stage an hour late and proceeded to do a 45 minute mime act with Lindsay Kemp and then left the stage. To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement. But … I didn’t give up and was fortunate to see him on many occasions including some of the most exciting and spine tingling musical moments of my life. Words cannot express my thanks to Mr David Bowie.

We can be Heroes …. Just for one day.

COYRRG


Are Arsenal’s fullbacks good enough?

August 28, 2015

The general perceived feeling on the forum is that we are doing fine on the full-back position as we have four reliable full-backs at our disposal:-Debuchy, Bellerin, Monreal and Gibbs.

I tend to agree that are “good full backs” but I am not convinced that they can take our club to the next level as they still suffer from defensive lapses, do not create enough assists or goals and worse, do not bring enough width to our game at times when we are stuck with fruitless possession in the opponent’s half…You look at Ivanovic, Alves, Rafinha, Lahm, Alaba, Alba and even Baines, Coleman or Clyne (he still needs to confirm though) and you realize that our FBs are not doing enough for our team…

What is your take on it?

Written by RC78


Keep the Corporal

June 22, 2015

It is my belief that we should be looking to retain the services of one Corporal Carl Jenkinson at THOF for the immediate future and I will state my case as to why.

What would be the reasons to let him go? Firstly some would argue he is not good enough. Others would say that we are well covered in his position and that there is no place for him when we have Bellerin, Debuchy and Chambers who can all play there.

Out of all our British players the corporal is still playing catch up. He doesn’t yet have the experience of being a regular senior international player and is arguably not yet able to put in performances at the highest level on a consistent basis, as you would expect from the likes of Jack, Ramsey, AOC, Gibbs.

That doesn’t mean though that he will not reach this level and, as with many of our youngsters, it is too early to say whether he will cut it at the top level or not. There have been glimpses that he has that level of performance in him. His recent performances at U21 level have seen him looking like one of the best of the young England players participating. The one game though that above others sticks in my mind was his performance against Bayern Munich in our 2-0 away victory. I believe it was Robben and Muller that were changing flanks to have a go at our young rookie, but he managed to keep both of them quiet for more or less the whole game, which is no easy feat. If that kind of performance is in there and can be replicated consistently then we have a player.

What about the competition?

Bellerin is a fine player and would currently get the nod as first choice but I have 2 things in my mind where this is concerned. Firstly it might be nice to have the option of playing Bellerin as a speedy right winger at times with Jenks behind him. Secondly is the dreaded Barca DNA. I would say there is a good chance that we will lose Bellerin to Spain at some point in the future, and also while he is still in his prime, if not at his peak. If Jenks has developed into that consistent top level player the impact will be lessened, rather than facing the situation scrambling around trying to recruit a new top level player who may need to bed in.

Debuchy? Well he is over 30 so has a limited period that he can provide us with top level cover in this role anyway. Debuchy’s ability to cover at CD and possibly even for Le Coq, (according to RC he played there for Lille which I found an interesting option), means for me that we can keep all 3 with Jenks easing into a more regular role as Debuchy fades / moves on. If Jenks is not as likely to get that playing time right now then I would suggest we get another loan season going while making sure we have him secured on a decent contract term. Chambers can also cover the role but my preference would be to develop him as a CD.

Finally, and perhaps the most important of the lot is the home grown quota rules. This consideration really extends beyond Jenks to all our quality young home grown players. The home grown quota rule may start to bite on some top teams as much as FFP. The team with the greatest amount of high quality home grown players could hold a significant advantage in the next few seasons to come, and we are, in my opinion, in one of the strongest (if not the strongest) positions in this sense relative to our top table rivals. For me it is a hands off to the Chavvies and Northern Oilers with Jenks, Jack, Aaron, Kieron, Calum e.t.c

As always over to you guys for your opinions.

Written by GoonerB