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

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Liverpool Preview

August 27, 2017

Yet again we go to Anfield as the underdogs , a strange circumstance as for so many years they were also rans. FairPlay to the LFC BoD for investing hundreds of millions into the playing staff and then signing such an in demand manager.

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It has to be said that most of the hundreds of millions have been wasted but if I were a Scouse, I wouldn’t give a monkeys as Liverpool have also signed a few gems; Mane, Coutinho, Firmino, Can, Lallana and Wijnaldum are all fine players. Sturridge, despite being a bit of a girl, is hugely talented and Salah is quality. They specialise in counter-attack and our defence will be tested.

Defensively they can be shaky but Klopp adheres to the Micky philosophy of football –  score more than the opposition.

Arsenal will be seething after losing a very winnable game last weekend; a stupid defensive error and a lack of composure in front of goal lost us 3 valuable points. Especially as the following two games are away to two Top 4 clubs.

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However, we have some fine men returning to the first team – Koscielny  and Sanchez are probably our two best players. We have missed them

The Mustafi business is odd and if he is really going to Italy then it would be a surprise to see him play today. I hope he stays but if we are to sign a better defender then Bye Bye Shkodran.

Team selection is not easy to predict, will AW stay with the Back 3 or play a little more safe and include more defensive wing-backs. I think he will

My Team;

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Xhaka     Ramsey    Kolisinac

Ozil

Lacazette     Sanchez

This is a tasty team. No Ox, no Theo, no Iwobi or OG, nor a Welbz, but when playing away from home against a team that knocked 7 passed us (in 2 games) it is balanced. We have a superb bench

Of course there is the YNWA factor but if we can keep them at bay for an hour Anfield can become as much a Library as the Emirates.

I have to be honest and say I would be delighted with a point,

COYRRG


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

 

 


The Opener.

August 14, 2016

It starts.

What an interesting couple of games to get us going – especially with our injury situation.  Two teams beginning with L. No idea what our record is agains teams beginning with different letters of the alphabet but I know we do well against T teams.

Strangely last season Liverpool struggled upfront despite having Origi, Benteke, Ings, Sturridge and Balotelli :-D. This is a massive investment into centre forwards but Klopp is so unsure about his attack that he has spent another bucket of money on the potentially excellent Mane (who would have fitted well into our squad).

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I noticed that they have signed an ex-Gooner in Alex Manninger. A pleasant and unexpected  addition to Alex’s pension fund.

If you look at Liverpool’s squad they are very strong in all positions, especially midfield. Klopp has strengthened an already promising team and in Coutinho they have a player who is almost Ozil-esque … almost.

But despite having a manager we coveted, a team which cost way more than AFC’s and a huge fanbase, they have consistently failed to get amongst the Big Boys. Why? In all honesty I do not know and more to the point I don’t care; this is an Arsenal blog!

So, what of our boys? Well, the Boyo is likely to start following his heroics in the Euro’s, so is our new boy, Xhaka, who is likely to have a major influence upon our season should he stay fit and strong.

Injury problems in defence will surely result in us playing with two DM’s to assist the youngsters. It will be interesting to see whether Coquelin or Elneny starts alongside our the Swiss chap. Midfield is going to be fascinating as we progress through to Xmas we have Cazorla, Ramsey, Iwobi, Wilshere, Ox and Ozil all vying for the attacking MF position.

My Team:

Cech

Bellerin    Holding   Chambers    Monreal

Xhaka   Coquelin

Ramsey

Ox     Walcott     Sanchez

It hurts to leave out Santi – he is such a wonderful player and perhaps he will take Ox or Ramsey’s place, more likely he will be a super-sub. Iwobi is a Wenger favourite, and rightly so, but I just cannot find a place for him although an alternative could be to play Ramsey on the left in place of Ox with Iwobi on the right of midfield

Walcott has to lead the line; he is a confidence player and should he score a goal we will benefit.My fear is that the Emirates faithful will scapegoat him should he endure a poor half and then we know that Theo will hide. Alongside Ox, Sanchez and Rambo we should have enough.

I don’t think we can judge how the season will unfurl from this afternoon – we lost to Villa a couple of season’s ago and our record over the past 5 seasons is W1 D3 L1, not too dusty.

A win today would be terrific, the bookies have us at 55% likely to win and Liverpool just 33% (the remainder is the draw).

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners

written by Big Raddy

 

 


Another 2-0?

January 13, 2016

I love Anfield night games for only one reason – I can mentally re-run the glorious events of 26 May 1989. A night never to be forgotten and as important to the development of mankind as the invention of the wheel, the conception of language, the development of steam engine and electricity, the invention of the spinning jenny and the birth of Dennis Bergkamp.

However, this evening , though important, has no dramatic finality; a win and we extend our time TotL,  a loss and we are still in a podium position with much of the season remaining.

Let’s start with Klopp. I have to admit I was hugely disappointed to see him at Anfield, my hope was that he would succeed Mr. Wenger and bring his charm to The Home Of Football. I am not convinced that his football philosophy is suited to Arsenal but there can be little doubt he would have challenged to likes of Gazidis to make the club more media-friendly. His public regard for Mr. Wenger says much about him.  He will do well at Anfield.

As to his current team; once again we have been duped by the Scouse loving media. All that guff about “ham-strung,” L’pool will start with a very strong team  and are probably better in central defence than when playing the bald thug bloke and the odd looking fellow they signed from S’ton. Having said that, Kolo’s last appearance at the Emirates was proof that he remains a Gooner – let us hope he repeats his performance tonight 😀

The new look Liverpool are a decent team and Arsenal will have to be much better than they have been in recent games. Fortunately Coutinho is hamstrung but they still have some fine attacking players.

As to Arsenal, the team almost picks itself. Many had a relaxing time riding the pine on Saturday and are fit for fight. As I am on a foreign computer I cannot do a team plan but you already know who will get a start.

Central midfield will be important. Lucas is a fine CM, better (IMO) than anyone we have at closing down the area in front of the defence. We have more skill, they have more power. I like to think skill wins.

Our forward line is a concern. OG is scoring but seems ill at ease, Theo has been anonymous and if he wants to maintain his place in the team when Sanchez returns he will have to influence the game far more than he has since his return.

Anfield is always a difficult fixture and L’pool are unpredictable – sometimes rubbish, sometimes very good. They played very well at The Emirates where we were outplayed for much of the game. I expect us to dominate possession and L’pool to try and use the power and pace of Benteke.

I would be satisfied with a point tonight.

COYRRG

 


Mixed Feelings ….. Arsenal v Liverpool

August 25, 2015

So Petr Cech has showed us we have have a world class keeper now. Happy with that. Again the footballing gods have betrayed us……a proper goal incorrectly ruled offside and Mignolet pulling out a couple of blinders (the only problem is so did Cech so that probably cancels itself out).

Well by my reckoning we should be at least 7 points from 9 after 3 games, and I say at least. So we sit on 4. It is easy to say that this is not so much a problem so early in the season with so many games left, but the EPL is so competitive these days that a top team like us, (capable of winning the EPL), could probably lose it in the first 5 games if they leave themselves too much to do.  I believe playing catch up is now far harder to do and you will not see the likes of our overhaul of Utd in the 1997-1998 season again.

I believe playing catch up is now far harder to do and you will not see the likes of our In the last 2 seasons we have either finished as the winners in the first half or second half of the season but have not put 2 great halves of the season together and won the title. Consistency I guess is the order of the day. We could probably argue that injuries have played a large part historically, and I couldn’t disagree with that. Not quite having those extra 1-2 quality players in the right positions could also be an argument. I couldn’t disagree with that also.

However, despite all this, and my personal feeling we still require 1-2 key top players to be an absolute certainty as a top team, we still have a squad with the potential to beat any team out there and win the top prizes. So it is my assertion that we are not making the most of what we have available to us.

Boring I know to mention it again, but I still feel Arsene has a blind spot when it comes to favouring playing the types of players that he likes most as opposed to playing the best balanced side.

Don’t get me wrong, Liverpool are not a bad outfit, but are a side in transition with a lot of new players and are not ready for a serious title charge. We did play parts of the game in the ascendency with some good spells but the sheer quality of the players on the pitch tends to guarantee that at times. One of the serious title challenging teams will expose Liverpool this season and the fact that we didn’t do this, and also win the game, potentially doesn’t bode well.

In a more general sense I would say that I can’t think of a modern successful team that doesn’t have an abundance of pace and penetration from 2-3 sources in attack. In this game we really only had Sanchez as a true pacey attacking player from the start of the game. When we did introduce the extra pace players was it too late to have the time to influence the game

I said before the game that my biggest worry this season was not in who we did or didn’t recruit but in how we used the squad we had available to us to get the most balanced and fluid of teams. Others may see our problem areas as different of course and I always enjoy a different perspective, this is just the main problem as I see it

Walcott and AOC left on the bench for more slow but technical ball players? Were they introduced too late in the game? Were we just unlucky? Is it too early to make a judgement on us this season? Are bad habits resurfacing that will see us fall just short when we didn’t need to

A draw with Liverpool need not be a source of concern under normal circumstances, but for me there were possible worrying signs that we haven’t learnt from the past and that would be a shame for a team that I feel could win the EPL with what it currently has. Aside from the injuries this reminds me of the start of last season when we had a great team on paper but looked out of sorts. Arsene needs to sort it out quickly or we may end up the EPL champions for the 2nd half of the season again, and unless I am wrong they don’t give you a trophy for that.

Written by GoonerB


Loopy Lovren to do a Kolo?

August 24, 2015

Liverpool at home is always an exciting prospect and the first home night game makes it even more so. Wish I was going 😦

Plus this is a big test against a team who have spent almost €200m in two seasons! Selling your best players doesn’t help but Rodgers has to prove his success of two seasons ago was not purely a result of having a brilliant striker in the form of his life.

AW has been there; selling your best players inevitably has an effect, fortunately the past two seasons has seen us keep our players and add to the quality of the squad – who knows who will be arriving at AFC over the next 7 days!

So …. Liverpool. Never liked them. Hate the awful dirge of YNWA. I think I would even go so far as to say it is worse than Yellow Submarine! Just think of the dorks who have worn their shirt…. Keegan, Owen, P.Thompson, Dalgleish, One Minute, Emlyn Hughes, Suarez – the list is endless … but they are a very good team when in full flow, always have been.

The question is, has Rodgers put together a winning team? The lack of a quality finisher (in the absence of Sturridge) hurt L’pool last season and the signing of the excellent Benteke gives them considerable attacking strength. Add in the wily Firmino and the excellent Coutinho and we can see why L’pool are confident of an improvement on last season’s disappointments.

We smacked them last season when Kolo repaid AW for bringing him to Highbury – I doubt dirty Skrtel or Loopy Lovren will do the same.

Arsenal-v-Liverpool-Premier-League

As to us, we have to improve. WHU – terrible, CP good for 45 mins, tonight – who knows? And that is what concerns me; we have the potential to be brilliant and very successful because this is the best squad for a very long time but as yet we continue to be unpredictable. Consistency is what wins titles and can you honestly say you are sure we will play well tonight?

Thankfully we have an almost fully-fit squad (apart from Abou Wilshire and Abou Rosicky). Mr Wenger “just” has to pick his best team. Not easy – my guess is that if we all put in our best 11 that there would be many different 11’s. Theo or Ox? Theo or OG? Ramsey on the flanks? Cazorla alongside Le Coq? Monreal or Gibbs? Czech or Ospina etc etc.

It is being suggested that pace will win this game for Arsenal thanks to L’pool’s static central defence – I agreee and would certainly start with Theo alongside OG in the middle. The problem with this is that it results in the Ox having to ride the pine. The Ox is one my favourite players and he needs to know he has the confidence of AW to be a central cog in this team – he is too good to be a bit-time player.

It should be a good game between two attack-minded teams with Arsenal edging it.

p.s. Hope Rodger’s master-signing Balotelli plays 🙂

I am 52% confident

COYRRG