Transfers? Leave it to Arsene

August 23, 2016

Transfers? I leave it to Arsene to decide

We take Arsene for granted. The mans achievement to maintain a top four level of consistency is unparalleled and in the world of competitive football, simply extraordinary. To lift, maintain a harmony, and instil required motivation to a squad of players is incredible.

After 20 years in charge how well do we know Arsene?

I can guarantee every blogger on this site, you will never beat Arsene in mind games or any form of dispute. The man is razor sharp and his emotional intelligence second to none.

Let me give you an example. Your a player on the fringes and want to play. You become anxious, letting feelings get the better of you. Your options are to either go knocking on Wengers door and have it out or knuckle down in training and see were it gets you?

What is the correct answer? With some managers it can work either way but with Arsene?…..the answer is neither.

What ever you do Arsene will decide on whats best for the team. By the time he is finished with you there will be no resentment on your part. He will make you feel bad for questioning him. You will look back and actually admire and respect the man for his actions. This is why players that have left the club speak so fondly of the man.

In all the 20 years of Arsenes management I don’t recall an over reaction, over charged emotional outburst, melt down, or any profound loss of logic. Name me another manager that you can say that about?

What is the result of this amazing ability to remain calm, controlled, fair, and emotionally healthy? Consistency, that’s what.

The reason the club has prospered and maintained top four level is down to Wenger. Under the pressures of a stadium move, the emergence of sugar daddy owners, and the influx of money across the board he has achieved something which is nigh on impossible. I dont care who it is, no other manager could match that.

Yet some of our support deride him. Why? For the same reasons that has made the man admired by his peers and respected by those who work with him, they let themselves down by emotional over reaction, and in turn come over needy and weak.

I ask the critics this. Remove your selves for a minute from the highly charged emotion of supporting Arsenal, stand back and take a look at the mans 20 year career in its entirety, and reflect on what you see..

written by Terry Mancini’s Hair Transplant


Stale Arsenal leave fans fuming at full time whistle!

August 21, 2016

A new season, a new kit (3 in fact) and only a few new players so far. However the same problems seem to remain at Arsenal Football Club, one of English footballs grandest clubs. The team traveled to Leicester and left with 1 point but this maybe a watershed moment given the hostile chanting towards Mr Wenger, at the end of the match, by the away fans.

The journey to Leicester was filled with apprehension more than optimism given Arsenal’s poor record at the start of the season and the feeling of being “under-prepared” yet again. On arrival and walking to the Counting House pub, there was lots of talk about possible incoming transfers with most fans voicing their frustration at the lack of money being spent.

warmup

As fans got their last orders in, the teams were announced and there was huge relief to see the name Laurent Koscielney in the starting line up after he’d had a  busy summer with France at Euro 2016. By contrast there was disappointment that Giroud was on the bench leaving Alexis to lead the line one more time.

the ground

 

champs

Arsenal kicked off and set themselves under pressure from the off as new boy Granit Xhaka gave the ball away cheaply, which was played forward to Jamie Vardy, the man who rejected Arsenal’s attention over the summer. A chorus of boos and jeers from the travelling support greeted the Leicester forward as the danger was cleared.

The Gunners began to get in their stride with Cazorla trying to pull the strings in midfield and making Arsenal play. The flanks were proving to be Arsenal’s best option but there were numerous occasions when the final delivery was disappointing. The fans then slowly started to bemoan the lack of presence up front with Alexis playing as a makeshift forward.

play

Another Leicester man, Riyad Mahrez, who like Vardy, rejected Arsenal’s advances was next to be hounded by the away support every time he touched the ball with one man in the upper tier chanting “you could have played for a big club, played for a big club, you could have played for a big club!” Then on 24 minutes play was brought back as Francis Coquelin picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on the rattled Jamie Vardy who was sent sprawling to the floor.

Arsenal began to work through the gears with Hector Bellerin charging forward at every opportunity. The fans then began to turn on Theo Walcott who seemed to be non-existent and fans were getting angry at his lack of runs. Fans began to question his £120k salary per week, with one young fan screaming “you’ve done nothing in 10 years apart from grow a beard!”

Then Arsenal’s first attempted shot came from the lively Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which brought some to enthusiasm to the fans. Then the first contentious decision of the game. Cech came racing out of his goal to deny Leicester, Drinkwater want crashing to the ground. Mark Clattenburg waved away the penalty claims as Laurent Koscielny was deemed to have got a touch on the ball with his momentum taking Drinkwater down.

Half time and much of the talk in the concourse was about Arsenal’s lack of cutting edge with the play being too predictable and intricate.

grumps

The second half began and Leicester ramped up the pressure with Mahrez looking to unlock the Arsenal defence. The fans were warming to young Rob Holding who alongside Koscielny was delivering a very resolute performance winning his aerial duels and keeping Vardy in check.

The Arsenal fans began to turn on Mark Clattenburg as Mendy was forced to go off the pitch with the stretcher coming out but the player standing much to the displeasure of Arsenal fans who wanted the game to continue. One fan shouted “how is Clattenburg a World Cup referee!”

Again Arsenal were up to their usual tricks of trying to overcook the ball with Chamberlain being the culprit trying to play the perfect ball through leaving supporters fuming and Walcott again looking lost and low on confidence with supporters chanting for Mesut Ozil to appear. Bellerin then tried his luck from distance but his shot was easily saved. Walcott then had an effort ruled out for offside and Chamberlain faded as the game progressed. Vardy was then off target as his shot was too high with the ball landing in row z.

Arsenal fans were then pleading with Arsene Wenger to show more desire and stand on the touch line with supporters asking  “how the f**k can the players be inspired when all he does is f**king sit down!” In contrast his counterpart Mr Ranieri was in his technical area barking instructions at all times.

Finally some substitutions were made but fans were moaning about how late these changes came. Wilshere and Ozil came on for Xhaka and Cazorla and the difference was glaring. Ozil was a delight to watch as he forced the issue and was trying to make the team go forward in search of that elusive goal. Olivier Giroud shortly followed coming into the pitch after Walcott was through only for his take effort to be deflected wide. Then moments later Walcott was through on goal with Giroud free for what would have been a simple tap in but Walcott went for glory himself and missed and the this was the turning point for the fans who were fuming more towards the manager than the players. The chant “spend some f**king money” was ringing around the King Power Stadium with Leicester fans finding the whole episode rather amusing.

Ozil had a late chance but was denied and then a Leicester free kick late on never troubled Cech. Ahmed Musa was sent to the ground under Hector Bellerin with the young Spaniard very fortunate not to have given away a penalty in the dying moments of the game.

During the last 10 minutes the supporters were expressing their anger and the majority of the away support where chanting ‘Wenger out’. This is why it could be a watershed moment as the support for the manager is waning fast with perhaps it being 70-30 in the Wenger out camp. The chant was deafening and there was no denying that the atmosphere at the end was toxic amongst the away support. The game was over and it was a case of 2 points dropped rather than 1 point gained and the Arsenal fans were left pondering what might have been. Some pressing concerns for the supporters as the aggressive chants continued as fans headed for the exits.

the end2

Outside the ground there was fighting between Arsenal and Leicester fans and reports of missiles being thrown at the Arsenal supporters end which struck a child, a young Arsenal fan. This left Arsenal fans reeling resulting in clashes with Leicester supporters. Online reports claiming the fighting was between Arsenal fans was wide of the mark and nonsense.

Again a poor start to the season.. I ask myself why do we put ourselves through this every season. Maybe us fans should be in the dug out and on the pitch. Maybe then we will have a club who will show the desire to reach the top of English football once again.

We want our Arsenal back! UTA!!!

Written by Sir A


Two ‘L’ and Back

August 20, 2016

Could we lose twice in a week to teams beginning with L? Has it ever happened before?

Unknown-1.jpeg

Going away to a team who are the current Champions is always going to be difficult – I know they are “only” Leicester and we smashed them twice last season. Let’s be honest – we are under pressure. A potential loss would see us in a Spurs position after just two games.

But we won’t lose, will we?

I was delighted that both Ranieri and LCFC won the title, it lifted the spirits as one of the nice guys and a humble team consistency overcame the odds. It was brilliant and no shame to finish second by a mere 10 points.

This season will  be different or will it. The same media morons who predicted the Foxes would collapse under the pressure of leading from the front are predicting them finishing mid-table. Why? It is the same team bar one MF who has been replaced. They are a bloody good side.

We both lost last w/e and both need to kickstart the season, Leicester will view this game as winnable. Our defensive frailties against Vardy and Mahrez (does anyone think we really tried to sign Mahrez? Really?) could once again cost us dear.

I rarely make a prediction because I invariably put a bok on the team – so I won’t today but I am hopeful. Why? Because Arsenal have fantastic players. The injury to Ramsey gives space for the little Spanish genius and as we are away Xhaka is likely to start. They make an excellent midfield. As you know, I am not a Coquelin fan and hope Elneny gets the DM role alongside Xhaka. That is one powerful midfield, full of attacking possibilities.

We scored three last weekend and the attack appeared potent. Theo’s goal will do his confidence wonders – he took it brilliantly as did the Ox.

And what of the elephant in the room, the centre of defence? Well …. they just have to do better. If players want to have a career at one of the top clubs in the world they HAVE to step up. No excuses. We need young players to develop into future stars, they get few opportunities and therefore must make the most of them. Chambers must improve and the experienced players around him HAVE to help. Monreal was rubbish for 20 minutes last w/e, so was Coquelin; they cost us the game. No point looking at an inexperienced 21 y.o to blame.

And what of Cech.? I like him but others have major concerns. I felt he should have saved at least one of Liverpool’s goals.

Sanchez is SO important. In the absence of the Pass Master Ozil, his quality is paramount to our success. He looked hungry last week but understandably  faded. If he hits 30 minutes of form this afternoon, we can win.


Will the atmosphere at The Emirates become poisonous?

August 18, 2016

When I lived in England I estimate that I watched over 800 games live at Highbury. Back in the early days the crowd consisted mainly of working class men hardened by the events of WW2 – typically they wore heavy leather soled boots and cheese cutter hats. At 3:00pm on Saturdays there was only thing on my family’s mind and that was, of course, going to watch and support the Arsenal.

People squeezed into the ground and pushed and shoved to get into their regular spots, ours was at the clock end and as many as 30 of our family were usually in attendance.

There was only one thing on our minds and that was to cheer on our side and barrack the referee for every perceived injustice. There was no separation of supporters so we intermingled with the away supporters; that only caused an issue when we were playing Tottenham – but even then there was rarely any serious trouble.

Very few supporters had any deep football knowledge of the game and it was rare to hear talk of things like – tactics, formations, transfers or club ownership. Instead the talk surrounded the game we had just watched and the player’s individual contributions. Media coverage was limited to newspapers, radio and early TV.

During the 60’s media coverage got more intense and fans began to read, hear and see more details about their own team and football in general. We began to see interviews with players and managers and heard about potential transfers and started to learn more about transfers and tactic’s – all of which was positive.

Fast forwarding to the current situation and we have intense 24/7 world wide instant media coverage and are inundated with the “expert” opinions of pundits who are usually ex players who dissect every aspect of the game. In order for these media outlets to survive and prosper they have to attract and grow audiences – one method they use is to pull in readers/viewers by creating self fulfilling headlines and show previews. This has both positive and negative consequences; some see through the thin veneer of fact and form their own opinions while others believe it as though it were the gospel.

While I have not set foot inside the Emirates stadium I’ve watched every single game on TV and as the years without winning either the PL or CL has grown so has the chorus of discontent. Our away supporters continue to be behind our team and show an amazing level of support, while our home fans are far less accepting and they make their negative feelings known.

My headline is intended to invite open dialogue on the positive or negative influence that our home support has on our players and therefore our results?

GunnerN5


Are you ready for the 25th edition of the Premier League?

August 13, 2016

Looking ahead to our 25th season in the Premier League I’m filled with both anticipation and apprehension of what lies ahead for our team. In just a short few days our players will step on the field at the Emirates to play our 925th game in the PL to date our record is won 502, drawn 241 and lost 181 – which is the 2nd best all time PL record, shown below.

Pos- Team P W D L Pts
1- Man U- 924 586 194 144 1952
2- Arsenal – 924 502 241 181 1747
3- Chelsea – 924 486 238 200 1696
4- Pool – 924 456 233 235 1601
5- Spurs – 924 374 239 311 1361
6- Everton – 924 332 267 325 1263
7- Villa – 924 316 275 333 1223
8- Newcastle- 844 326 216 302 1194
9- Man C- 734 304 181 249 1093
10- Blackburn- 696 262 184 250 970
11- West Ham- 768 253 200 315 959
12- Saints- 658 210 177 271 807
13- Leeds- 468 189 125 154 692
14- Boro – 536 156 157 223 625
15- Sund’land- 570 147 153 270 594
16- Fulham- 494 150 136 208 586
17- Bolton- 494 149 128 217 575
18- Leicester- 384 118 110 156 464
19- Coventry- 354 99 112 143 409
20- Sheff W- 316 101 89 126 392
21- Dons – 316 99 94 123 391
22- WBA – 380 94 106 180 388
23- Stoke – 304 98 86 120 380
24- Charlton- 304 93 82 129 361
25- Norwich – 316 89 92 135 359
26- Wigan- 304 85 76 143 331
27- QPR – 278 81 65 132 308
28- Pompey- 266 79 65 122 302
29- B’ham- 266 73 82 111 301
30- CPR – 274 74 73 127 295
31- Derby – 266 68 70 128 274
32- Nottm F- 198 60 59 79 239
33- Swansea- 190 62 52 76 238
34- Ipswich- 202 57 53 92 224
35- Hull – 152 32 41 79 137
36- Wolves- 152 32 40 80 136
37- Sheff U- 122 32 36 54 132
38- Reading- 114 32 23 59 119
39- Watford- 114 23 28 63 97
40- Oldham- 84 22 23 39 89
41- Burnley- 76 15 18 43 63
42- Bradford- 76 14 20 42 62
43- B’mouth – 38 11 9 18 42
44- B’pool  – 38 10 9 19 39
45- Barnsley- 38 10 5 23 35
46- Swindon- 42 5 15 22 30
47- Cardiff – 38 7 9 22 30

 

We play Liverpool in what will be our 49th game against them in the PL where our home record is W9, D9, L6 and our away record is W6, D8, L10. Personally I am very nervous about our chances as with our makeshift defence Liverpool could easily turn us over.

My apprehension also surrounds our lack of a proven goal scorer; if we do not significantly improve in this area and are forced to compete with the same attacking force, I have strong doubts about our ability to win major trophies. We still have until the end of August to add a striker and another centre back but leaving it so late causes me great angst and reduces our chances of success.

My anticipation comes from the excitement of another season of watching the team I have grown old with; as odd as it may sound, I’m still like a young child waiting for the season to start (my 70th) and as usual I will be behind them 100%.

With the improvements in both management and players for Liverpool, Man U, Man C, Chelsea and Spurs, not to mention Leicester I feel that this will be one of the most exciting and competitive Premier League seasons on record.

Are you ready?  I am.

GunnerN5


Arsenal’s Precise Swiss Timepiece

August 4, 2016

I think it was Arsene Wenger who said that our Swiss recruit, Granit Xhaka, would “set the tempo” for Arsenal. Last night I watched a short youtube piece on his contribution in the MLS game, and I think see what Arsene was on about.

GXOver the last ten years or so, I’d say there are three players who I feel we missed out on big time, in that they were the rare type of player that would make a huge difference to OUR style of play. Top of that list is Alonso.

You can’t say that he is the best of anything, whether tackler, dribbler, passer, interceptor, leader, headerer (ok you get my drift), but he always was a superb “timepiece”. Everything he did was perfectly timed. Whether at Liverpool, Real Madrid or at Bayern, he would “set the tempo” of the whole side.

I think Granit has the same qualities. The movement into space, the pass, the tackle, everything perfectly synchronized to the needs of the team at any one precise moment. Cool and highly efficient.

As far back as Gilberto, we have lacked smooth lubricating oil at the heart of the machine.

The Chinese make cheap, shitty little timepieces that do the job but fall apart when asked the big questions. The Swiss make timeless quality pieces. I think Granit will make a massive contribution to the heartbeat of the side this season.

MickDidIt89


Pay Da Money …

July 27, 2016

From the last 10 year’s experience of Arsenal’s transfer activity, we know that this is how it works ….

Most of the stories linking us to players or claiming we are interested in a particular player are either from web sites/journalists trying to garner hits, or from agents trying to manipulate the market = lies.

Often, when we are actually interested in a player, it becomes quite obvious from an early stage =  Nasri, Holding, Xhaka.

Sometimes we do a last minute deal = Park, Ozil

I believe we made an offer for La Cazette about a month ago. West Ham subsequently offered more but reportedly (that word means probably a lie), La Caz wants CL football. He’s good, he’s an alternative to Giroud, he knows where the goal is, he’s French :)  …. what’s not to like?

‘Reportedly’ Lyon want £40m. So if that is the case, just pay the *&^%ing money and get on with finding us a top CB to fill the vacuum in our defence please Ivan/Arsene.

Don’t tell me it’s not that easy – I know it isn’t but other clubs are securing targets, we need to pull our fingers out and do the business.

Rasp ….. T In C


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