It’s not the players … it’s the tune

September 19, 2017

Following on from yesterday’s post, there was a degree of agreement that balance is a crucial factor in the way a team performs.

An extension to that theory would be that the best team may not necessarily comprise the best 11 players. Jeff Beck playing in Black Lace (showing my age 🙂 ) wouldn’t have appreciably improved the music.

Players in their best position and performing to their maximum, surrounded by other players all of who understand their role in the side, breeds confidence … and confidence combined with work rate and ability makes good teams great.

We have the potential with the players currently in the squad to win the league … I have no doubt about that …. we just need them all to be singing from the same song sheet.

Discuss …..

Rasp

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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


The Mesut/Alexis Conundrum

September 13, 2017

Question of the day from GoonerB

What do people feel we should do with Sanchez and Ozil? Options could include:

  1. Play them as 1st 11 choices all season and let them leave on a free in May.
  2. Show them the contract now and say sign or you go to the reserves, and we invest the playing time in our future players rather than you.
  3. Play them till January then look for the best deals we can get. If so should we look for player swap deals (but with which clubs?) or straight cash (but with which clubs?).

Obviously the best is still to come from Arsenal………

August 28, 2017

it has to be – as it cannot possibly get any worse than it was today.

I want to put this in perspective; now I’ve watched as a spectator or a viewer more games than anybody I know – over 2,500 and our performance (or lack of) against Liverpool ranks as the very worst that I have ever witnessed.

I’m neither a strategist nor a tactician I am just a simple supporter who supports the team of my choice and upbringing. As a kid I stood at the clock end in my short trousers in the rain and snow and froze my rear end off just to watch my team. I’ve seen games where we lost badly and I’ve experienced season after season where we started off and ended as no hopers but I was never deterred as in my heart of hearts I knew things would get better – and eventually they did. However I’d never seen an Arsenal team play without heart or desire – until today. I feel very sad and let down but I refuse to give up on my team and I will continue, as I have countless times before, to support my team with all my heart and soul.

I will not sink to the level of criticising our strategy, tactics, manager, players or staff as I have no knowledge or special skills in any of those disciplines. I am however an expert supporter and I was an expert business manager – so here are my views based on the things I am/was good at…..

courtesy of the Mirror

If an employee gave me notice that they were leaving then I would immediately realize that they no longer had the good of the company/club at heart then I would have them walked out of the door/sold so they could cause no further damage or disruption to the business/club.

If an employee who was trained/hired/bought to work in a certain discipline was found to be underperforming than he/she would receive coaching if this failed to achieve the right results then an alternative position would be considered – if in a new position they continued to under perform then due notice of termination/sale would be given.

If the overall business model was not giving the desired results then all areas of the business would be reviewed, including staffing, business strategy, competitors, employee compensation, techniques and decisions would be made that would create the results needed – maintaining status quo was never a consideration.

My hope is that during this convenient international break Arsenal conduct an overall business review that will bring about the changes that have become obvious to many of us supporters. In this supporter’s opinion, status quo is unacceptable and effective change, including player/staff departures, must take place before we play Bournemouth.

A loyal but deeply disappointed

Written by Gunner N5


Next up we travel to Anfield to play Liverpool

August 24, 2017

I always get a thrill when I hear the traditional names of the stadiums, well that’s not entirely true as I get a totally different feeling when I here White Hart Lane or Old Trafford but generally the names strike a very pleasing chord with me. As commercialism has taken over the names of yore are fast disappearing. Recently Mike Ashley was forced to change the name of the Newcastle ground back to St. James Park after the Geordie fans echoed their horror at their ground being called after his Sports Direct business.

Anyway I’ve always been a fan of Liverpool and their style of football especially with my in-laws being Liverpudlians, on each family visit they always managed to get me a ticket and their fans were just incredible just being among them when they sang the “Liverpool Anthem” used to give me goose bumps.

I managed to see one game against Arsenal and even though I was in with the Liverpool crowd they treated me exceptionally well – that is they didn’t aim their rolled up newspapers at me when they took a leak.

Overall Liverpool has the edge over us – but as you can see below after playing 182 league games against each other there is a difference of a mere 4 games.

W D L GF GA
Total Home Games 40 31 20 140 80
Total Away Games 24 19 48 105 175
Total Games 64 50

68

245 255

 

Now here is our complete league record (home first). –

Enjoy the game everybody and I hope the Arsenal strut their stuff and keep the Pool supporters in their seats.

Written by GunnerN5

 

 


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