The Ups and Downs of Arsenal

July 28, 2017

This is the time of the year when Arsenal, and every other club, seem to be caught in the footballing equivalent of the doldrums, once the bane of every sailing ship known to man, where a relatively calm period occurs out of nowhere, and during which time no wind has the temerity to stick its nose in, and indeed prefers to disappear like ice cream in a hot oven, trapping sailing ships for lengthy periods lasting days, weeks and sometimes months, where for what seemed an eternity to their crews – nothing happened.

The transfer window is the fans version of the fabled doldrums, where during a tedious and seemingly never-ending period, dozens of transfer rumours are offered up by the media and many blogsites, on a daily basis, and then roundly condemned and ridiculed as nonsense by the very same blogsites and sports media who started the stupid stories running in the first place.

Then just to give us a short break, these same rumour mongers announce stories, designed to add more click bait to bolster their media and blog site advertising revenues, they feed us cute stories which are hard to prove, or disprove, as falsehoods often are. The trick here is to base the rumours on stories with just a smidgeon of possible truths, and embellish them with wild abandon and make them into something far more juicy.

Instances of this are: Injured Cazorla out until February 2018 – Lucas disgusted with Wenger for pinching his #9 shirt and giving it to someone else – Wenger bids €100m for Mbappe – and then these gems are swiftly followed up by: Cazorla trains with team, back soon – Lucas to leave for more game time – Wenger denies making any bid for Mbappe – and away we go, with fans pointlessly arguing for or against whichever nonsense proposition catches their eye.

And still the transfer doldrums bear down, trying to suffocate us with their mediocrity.

But wait – from out of left field the clubs decide to join in and titivate our sensibilities by entering the spirit of this nonsense and allegedly willy-nilly start to offer kings’ ransoms for this player or that.

Not your boring common or garden £80m or £100m offers for a striker, or two, obviously, but €200m for Neymar or Mbappe (yes him again) and we all laugh holding our bellies, and scoffing at these crazy stories, until, in keeping with this cornucopia of scrumptious jelly and cream La La Land make believe, the reality squirts out from the asshole of the transfer window – Citeh sign Walker – yes that Walker – from the Spuds, for £55m – now that is both unbelievable and incredible, and shows reality can outshine even the most fanciful banality. Yee Gods.

Any sense of reality just evaporates with that news – but hold on, one of the blogsites today insists that Wenger is still in the hunt for Mbappe. Who could credit that? Tomorrow – Wenger denies bid for Mbappe – and off we go again.

I am on record in saying the transfer window should start after the season ends, and finishes on the 31st July – but I am not so sure. Much as I am consecutively annoyed, intrigued, baffled or sneer at these farcical stories, they do actually give me something to fill the doldrums betwixt the ending of one season and the start of the new one – so let the good times roll.

What say you? 😂

Written by Zee

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Southampton Pre-Match. Expected team. Lucas Perez?

November 30, 2016

Our 4th home game in an unbeaten November, can we finish with a win?

Back in September we beat Forest 4-0 on a very enjoyable evening, the mixture of youth and experience delivered top entertainment. A repeat would be great.

But Southampton have real quality amongst their youth set-up, it has been so for almost a decade. How they do it is a mystery – Theo, Ox, Chambers, Lallana, Clyne, Luke Shaw, Bale etc etc.

That said, there are few clubs who have brought through as many youth team players as Arsenal, and the Notts Forest game introduced us to a couple more: Jeff, Akpom and Maitland-Jones started the game with Willok, Bielik and Zelalem coming on as subs. There are more in the pipeline.

Tonight may be a golden opportunity for Lucas to show why we paid big money for what (IMO) is a Welbeck substitute. there is a rumour he could play.

His name is Lucas Perez Martinez, why isn’t he known as Martinez? Why was he Perez when we signed him and now is called Lucas? Perhaps it is because of Emiliano?

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The most likely starters are those who did not play on Sunday and are likely to ride the pine at The London Olympic Stadium.

My Team:

Martinez

Maitland-Niles (Cons)    Holding     Gabriel    Gibbs

Ramsey   Coquelin   Iwobi

Jeff     Perez     Ox

 

In an ideal world this would be an opportunity to give Jenkinson a few minutes, the elevation of Debuchy to the first team must have damaged The Corporal’s confidence;  he is a sure starter at West Ham and we cannot risk him.

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For those lucky enough to be going, enjoy the game. For us screen watchers the game is not being shown on UK TV, streams are few and far between (unless you live in Africa). Some links pre-game would be helpful.

A semi-Final against Hull (we can hope!) would be great.

COYRRG


Reading: Player Ratings and Analysis

October 26, 2016

Well, that was fun wasn’t it?

Reading were no pushovers but not good enough to really threaten, that said, Martinez made a couple of fine saves which highlighted our abundance of quality keepers.

At 24, Martinez was one of the oldest Arsenal players, he is older than Ox! Fortunately for him GK’s have a longer shelf life.

And what of the Young Pretenders? Iwobi shone as one would expect. He could be the Real Deal, a future superstar. Up there with Messi and DB10. He has amazing dribbling ability, great balance, a good eye for a pass, he can shoot, tackle (?) and has stamina. I hope AW allows him to develop slowly and not overplay him, thankfully Ramsey is about to return and perhaps Iwobi will get some rest.

Jeff, and Niles found it hard to get into the game but showed flashes of their potential. Both typical Wenger youths; inventive, fast and confident.

Once again, Holding was impressive. Alongside Gabriel we looked solid in the centre of defence. Gibbs showed why he is good enough to play for England but not good enough to start for Arsenal, in other words the best FB on the pitch.

Jenkinson must have been delighted to start again for the club he loves. As one would expect his performance was full of energy but The Corporal has the problem of always being second fiddle to the best RB in the PL.

Elneny held the midfield and did his work efficiently and without too much drama.

Upfront we continually chose or misplaced the wrong final ball. Perez was busy as was Ox but we really should have  put more pressure on the Reading goalkeeper. I cannot recall Perez having a shot on target however it is easy to see why Mr Wenger has such confidence in him, Perez needs Ozil and Sanchez to flourish.

Ox. I love this bloke. I love his energy and his passion. I love his intelligence. But …. he should be progressing faster than he is if he wants to stay at Arsenal. Danish TV had Ox as the Man of the Match . Yes, he scored twice but his passing, especially this crossing, was wayward (I say this without the benefit of stats!). Against a young Reading side in a game with little pressure Ox was the best player on the pitch but I expect more.

The subs did well. Zelalem and  Willock both got a taster but the best news for Gooners was the return of the mighty Giroud. He looked fit and strong , bringing out a marvellous save from Al-Habsi (who had a great game.)

Overall, Arsenal played some wonderful, dynamic passing football making for a really enjoyable evening.

Player Ratings:

Martinez     7

Jens               6.5

Gabriel         7

Holding        8

Gibbs            7

Iwobi            8

Elneny          7

Maitland-Niles       6

Jeff                6.5

Perez            7

Ox                 8

Written by Big Raddy


Hungry Perez Can Do A Wrighty

September 6, 2016

Cast your mind back to September of 1991. George Graham had just lashed out a club record £2.5 million to sign 28 year old Ian Wright from Crystal Palace.

Here we are in September 2016, and Arsene has just signed 28 year old Lucas Perez (well, he will be 28 in 4 days’ time) for £17 million.

LPPerez has had to work hard to get where he is. Born in Coruña Spain, he travelled Europe with stints in Ukraine and Greece before returning to play for his beloved hometown team, Deportivo. There, he helped his club avoid relegation by way of goals, heart and fight.

While all International breaks are a pain in the arse, the first one hurts especially as after the footballing vacuum of summer, it’s sprung on us after only three games. However, the first one usually gives us the opportunity to review new signings and do some tactics bollocks about new formations shit and how things will pan out as a result.

Sadly, while we’ve seen exceedingly promising performances from Xhaka and Holding, we’ve yet to see Mustafi or Perez. For now, however, Mustafi doesn’t matter because we’re discussing Perez.

Like many, youtubing clips are the sum of my knowledge regarding Perez, and while we know the stats, that was Deportivo in Spain, and this is Arsenal. Here, he plays with Mesut.

At this point I must lob in a cautionary note. During the height of the summer’s transfer fever, I scanned newsnow. “A source” had said we’d bid for Vardy, and also explained one of the reasons he had decided to stay in “over land and sea and Leicester” was that he’d had a conversation with Arsene, and he hadn’t liked what he’d heard about his proposed role at Arsenal. To me this implies either he wouldn’t have been guaranteed first choice striker, or far more worryingly, it’d been suggested he play wide.

I’m hoping Perez had no such conversation, and cannot wait to see him play. Then, next international break, we can do tactics and formation bollocks and talk about the New Wrighty.

MickyDidIt89