Ramsey Mishandled?

August 23, 2018

Both Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey are in the final year of their contracts; neither of them has indicated a willingness to stay nor have they responded to the improved deals on offer. It is rumoured that Ramsey has said he will sign in AFC double his , already inflated, wages (this is a man who lives in the most expensive house in Wales!)

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We have been here before and not so long ago. Alexis Sanchez forced his way out of Arsenal by refusing to sign a massively improved contract. Sold in January, his agent managed to persuade MU to give Sanchez a purported £380k a week, plus £71k per game appearance, plus £1m a season signing-on fee!! No wonder he left AFC. Brilliant business for the player but not for either club.

And then there was Ozil. Great player but worth over £300k a week? He and his agent hung on until AFC where forced into a corner, especially after losing Sanchez.

What did AFC and our new negotiating team learn from this? Well, it seems sweet FA.

Had they been sold in summer, Ramsey would have attracted offers above €35m, Welbeck as an established International, around €20m. Can the club afford to let them run down their contracts and leave for free next summer or swapped for an inferior player in January? €50+m would allow us to buy the new, young CB we are crying out for. It would not have been Sokratis we signed but (perhaps) a player of Varane quality, maybe even Godin (though he is a bit old).

 

And while we are on strange (read incomprehensible) decisions, why did they give Elneny an improved contract? Is it worth paying him a few mill a year just to get a few games in the Europa? I like Elneny wish him well but he is limited in his ability whereas Xhaka (who also got a new contract) has clear potential to become a fine player.

So what do you think? Do AFC give in to player power or get tough and sell players who do not sign contracts which are running down?

Not a simple decision.

written by Big Raddy

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What’s Going On?

March 21, 2018

I am going back to having a musical theme in my headlines (competition for chas’s excellent literary work).

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There has been an absence, neigh a void, of proper football since we smashed AC Milan, just some inconsequential FA Cup games and Liverpool steamrollering poor opposition at home.

But what of The Arsenal?

The Youth team drew 2-2 way to Blackpool in the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final. Goals from John-Jules and Amaechi (a 17 y.o. Nigerian-born English winger who has been earning rave reviews).

5 Arsenal players have been called up to Young England squads – Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Willock and DaSilva

Then there are the players out with their respective national teams: 10 of them. Mustafi has been dropped by Germany which must be a concern ahead of the summer World Cup.

Mo Elneny rejoins his Egytian team-mates. If there is one question I would ask of the dread-locked midfielder it would be “why the hell didn’t you persuade Mo Salah to join Arsenal instead of the Dippers?” Both Mo’s, both shaggy headed, both Egyptian, both liking a red shirt – it was an obvious signing for Arsenal, especially with the departure of Theo.

Not much else. Unless you know better …

Big Raddy

 


Should we sign a Forward?

January 7, 2018

FA Cup. It has been good to us in recent years having only lost once in 4 seasons, can this run continue?

Away at Forest is a potential banana skin, especially as Mr Wenger  is expected to rotate his squad. Xhaka, Ramsey, Giroud, Kolasinac, Koscielny and Monreal are all injured, so the potential for rotation is limited. Wilshere needs to be rested and with Xhaka out we will struggle to be creative. Should be interesting to see if Iwobi, Coquelin and Elneny can find space and provide the ammunition for the front men.

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I know nothing about the current NF team. Once Cloughie left and they dropped out of the PL I lost interest. Thankfully for the Forest owners, their fans have not and they average over 25k attendance at the new City Ground (more than 7 PL teams).

Forest have a caretaker manager having sacked the previous incumbent, (what a lovely word) Mr Warburton after 9 months of difficulty. This is often bad news for The Arsenal as players try to impress the new manager.

My Team:

Ospina

Debuchy   Chambers   Holding

Nelson  Coquelin      Elneny    Maitland-Niles

Iwobi

Welbeck   Walcott

Not sure about this attack as Mr Wenger must have a reason to freeze out Walcott,  if it is because Theo is leaving then he is unlikely to play. In which case we are struggling to find a fit forward. Could Nelson be played upfront or Akpom? Mr Wenger has stated we are not interested in signing Aubameyang.

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Both teams could use The Lord

Mr Wenger starts his 3 match touchline ban, punished for telling the truth. Referees have ruined our season which may cost Arsenal millions of pounds. Where is their accountability (a post in the making?)?

Can we continue AW’s astonishing run of never having lost in the FAC 3rd round?

Hope so.

COYRRG


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

 


Things We Learned from the last 6 days

October 25, 2017
  1. There is a vast gap in quality between the first team and the reserves
  2. JW may not be the solution to Xhaka’s inconsistencies
  3. The team which beat Everton is capable of great things.
  4. Neither Sanchez nor Ozil should be sold in January
  5. We have defensive frailties (nothing new).
  6. We still need a proper DM, Coquelin is not good enough.
  7. Elneny has less pace than BFG.
  8. We have “mental strength” despite rumours to the contrary.
  9. There is potential amongst the youth team but no-one is ready for the first team (where is The Jeff?)
  10. Dreams can come true. Has any debut in AFC history equalled that of Eddie?

There is much more but time forbids

written by Big Raddy


What is your best midfield?

January 17, 2017

The choices are Elneny, Cazorla, Ramsey, Xhaka, Coquelin.

Let’s make it more difficult and add in the attacking MF. So now we have to include Iwobi, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ozil.

If we have 3 attackers and 5 defenders (inc Gk) it leaves 3 or 4 places.

Ozil is a guaranteed starter but no-one else. So, it is 3 from 7

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Much as I love Santi, he requires a holding MF alongside him which has historically been Coquelin but I think both Elneny and Xhaka are better passing from deep.

This isn’t an exam so let’s not have any of that “it depends upon the game” lily-livered indecision.

And if we can’t make a concrete decision, imagine how hard it must be for Mr Wenger whose selection is scrutinísed by a million people a week.

written by Big Raddy


How to beat Palace. Turn Japanese

January 1, 2017

Bloody Fat Sam again. Pardew was bad but The Walrus? Didn’t the Palace directors ask WHU about him and his style of football? I am sure Cabaye will be thrilled.

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What can we expect from today’s game? You already know. FS will start his tenure at CP by  “shoring” up the defence, which is just another way of saying Park the Bus, 6 at the back and rough up the opposition. We need to score early otherwise this will be another yawn-fest.

Of course, I could be wrong and Mr Allardyce may send out his team  with a message full of attacking intent,  he has the talent available, Benteke, Cabaye, Zaha and Palace could play some great stuff under Pardew but sadly, it seems, AP lost both the dressing room and his job.

Shame. Palace are a fine club. Their fans do not deserve to go through what the Hammers suffered under Allardyce who turned the Academy into a joyless club.

The England job: It shows the remarkable stupidity of the FA that they chose FS, but if we are honest they do not have a recent history of inspired signings.

So … the game plan is obvious. Lightning fast attacks or Tora, Tora, Tora if you are Japanese).

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Mustafi is back so no need for two DM’s. Theo is out and Welbz isn’t ready yet. Ramsey is.

My Team:

Cesc

Bellerin    Mustafi   Kos    Monreal

Ramsey      Xhaka   Elneny

Perez    Sanchez    Ozil

Mr Wenger will disagree and not be so attacking. We are likely to see the Coquelin start as he always does when fit, but as Elneny is about to depart for the ACN, I would like to see him.

Given the worrying form of all our rivals we have to win today. We had almost 80% possession and 23 shots against WBA, it could be more this afternoon.

Happy New Year and let’s hope 2017 brings some silverware

written by Big Raddy