Elneny was brought in to replace Ramsey

February 1, 2016

Iwobi and new signing Elneny both impressed against Burnley with many crediting Iwobi with the Man of the Match performance. His composure, control and understanding of the game are way beyond his years. We should be careful not to burden him with too much expectation, but we can be excited about what is undoubtedly another midfield talent Arsene has produced.

The player I want to focus on today is Elneny. There has been much discussion of his intended role in the midfield, and the role he played in Saturday’s game.

It was assumed he was back-up/competition for Coquelin, but lo and behold, Arsene played them both. Surely Arsene would never put out a team with two holding midfielders … and he didn’t.

No, Elneny didn’t play HM, he covered every blade of grass and was the epitome of a box-to-box midfielder. If you look at M.E.s performances for Basel and read what Arsene has said of the player, it is clear that he has a lot more to his game than just breaking play up and keeping it simple.

So if Elneny wasn’t brought in as another ‘Coquelin’ then where does he fit into our midfield. Sadly Cazorla’s latest injury together with his advancing years means that he may never be a first choice midfielder for Arsenal again. Who knows whether Wilshere will ever be able to remain injury free long enough to establish himself as first choice in our midfield?

This got me thinking. Every well managed team has a production line of players coming through and strives for a quality back-up for every position.

Arsene likes Ramsey – a lot! I’m pretty sure that along with Ozil, Sanchez and Koscielny, Ramsey is always one of the first names on the team sheet. The best players need to be protected and rested on occasion, and are the ones that the big spending clubs try to pluck from our midst. There are rumours that Barcelona have shown an interest in Ramsey. From what I can see, Ramsey and Elneny have a lot in common. A superb engine, a good range of passing and an eye for goal.

So there you have it – my conclusion is that Elneny was brought in to bolster our midfield options in the short term, and to offer an alternative to Ramsey in the long term. What do you think?

Rasp

 


Loving The Alien

January 30, 2016

There is a chance we may have an exciting team taking the field in red and white. The BBC are expecting Tommy Rosicky to get a kick!

I recall speaking to Kelsey about Tomas a few years ago and we both agreed his time as a PL player was over, yet here he is making a Lazarus-like resurrection (somewhat appropriate with Lent around the corner). I am delighted. Top bloke, top player and a man whom, if he lasts a few games, will add much to our run in.

There is another rumour … apparently someone purporting to be Danny Welbeck is in training and could be available for selection. Now this I cannot believe. I am easily led and extraordinarily gullible but this is a step too far.

And Coquelin!! The boss said 6 weeks and here is Le Coq back within AW’s 6 week time frame which as everyone knows is 3 months in human time. Do you think that AW lives in a different time dimension to us? He is a remarkable man and who knows, perhaps he is not of this earth? An alien. This may explain his eyesight problems, his lack of understanding the need for a 40 goal a season striker and his strange sense of time.

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Mr. Wenger’s Father (and Mother)

Our opponents: I have written of Burnley in the past, of my affection for a proper old fashioned club, of Bob Lord, of claret and blue. Of Hovis adverts, coal mining and cotton. In my research about Burnley F.C  I discovered they had once been managed by a chap named Albert Pickles. Fair play to them.

Burnley are a decent team who will cause us problems but hopefully not too many. They sit a handy 3rd in the Championship and could easily face us in the PL next season. No mugs and in Sean Dyche have one of the best young managers around. We have won our last 5 FA Cup games against them with an aggregate score of 16-1.

Another exciting prospect for Gooners is the almost certain first appearance of Elneny, our first Egyptian player to play in the first team (Rami Shabaan had Egyptian parents and we had a chap called Fathy who played a couple of reserve games in 2004). I have a good feeling about this bloke.

I would like to see Theo given a start at CF today and OG on the bench. The big man needs a break and Theo is more likely to score and gain some confidence at home against C’ship opposition. The same can be said of The Ox who will surely be given Ramsey’s role again.

Another chap I would like to see rested is Koscielny. The man has become a masterful CB but like many could use a break, this would allow us to see our future CB pairing – GAbriel and Chambers. The more practice they have together the better the chances of them becoming a solid partnership.

Gibbs ahead of Monreal and Bellerin on the other flank thanks to our lack of a back-up LB. And Ospina in goal (if fit).

Sanchez, Walcott and Campbell up top with perhaps Ozil behind depending upon how his foot/leg has responded to treatment.

There is a chance we could win a hatrick of FA Cups. History making. Mr. Wenger deserves it. He could be the manager who went through a season unbetaen and one who won 3 on the trot.

Let it be so…

COYRRG

 


Major Tom to Ground Control

January 17, 2016

What a strange season it has been. Who would have thought that the ultra-defensive, park the bus mindset of so many PL managers would change so quickly into the exciting football we have seen in 2015/16. 3-3 draws have become the new 1-0’s. Long may it continue.

Or is it poor defending? 😀

Take today’s opponents, Stoke. Managed by one the the meanest, most defence obsessed, get in their faces, kick their best players out the game, route one obsessed men in the Premiership they have turned into a club who play proper football. What has happened to Sparky?

What changed?  What made the miscreant Hughes buy Shaqiri, Krkic and Affelay?

Whatever the reasons, I am delighted. However, Stoke still have their share of thugs with both Debuchy and Ramsey having bad memories of strong-arm Stoke-isms.

There are exciting developments at Arsenal.The arrival of El Nino and the possible return of Duracell Boy; I don’t expect either to start but both could get some pitch time. Our results suggest that we have not missed Sanchez but there can be little doubt we are better with him on the pitch. If Theo doesn’t put in a decent performance this afternoon the bench awaits. Flamini has done a sterling job but needs a rest –  would you blood El Nino against Stoke or Chelsea? I wouldn’t. A couple of sub appearances are most likely.

I expect the same 11 to start as at Liverpool.

We have lost 5 of the last 8 games at the Britannia. Not good and hard to fathom. We have always finished the season above them and despite the aggressive grunts emanating from the cavemen who grimace bare-chested in the stands, we should do better.

My dream scenario would be an easy Arsenal victory with Aaron Ramsey scoring a hatrick, Flamini giving Shawcross a sly kicking and Kos flattening the cowardly, cheating basket named Arnautovic. But I would take a scrappy , plucky, lucky 3 points.

As always at the Britannia we will need a strong referee who is not influenced by Stoke’s baying boneheads. The incumbent is Craig Pawson; don’t know much about this chap but we must hope for the best.

I am still hurting from the stupid equaliser at Anfield, a win today would set us up nicely for the Chelsea game and to some extent negate that pain. A draw and we go back to TotL.

My youth was spent living for football and music. The first time I saw one of my Heroes was at the Finsbury Park Rainbow. I queued for hours and got tickets to see Bowie. He came on stage an hour late and proceeded to do a 45 minute mime act with Lindsay Kemp and then left the stage. To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement. But … I didn’t give up and was fortunate to see him on many occasions including some of the most exciting and spine tingling musical moments of my life. Words cannot express my thanks to Mr David Bowie.

We can be Heroes …. Just for one day.

COYRRG


A warm wind of change blows through Arsenal’s midfield

January 16, 2016

Will Mohamed Elneny or El Niño as Big Raddy has appropriately tagged him, breathe a warm wind of change through Arsenal’s midfield?

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He is a player of whom Arsene Wenger has high hopes.

Make no mistake, Elneny has not been brought in to warm the bench despite what some may describe as being a bit on the  ‘cheap’ side. His ability to defend and bring the ball forward together with his tenacity in the tackle and accurate distribution mean that Elneny will be serious competition to Coquelin when he returns to full fitness.

Arsene has already stated that because he has played in Europe Elneny should be ready for the EPL and we expect to see him on the bench against Stoke – or he may even start?

Is this because Flamini is running out of steam, or because time has caught up with Arteta? My guess is yes.

Arsene loves to attack, Elneny always look to pass the ball forward, he is an archetypal Wenger signing. No one had high expectations of Koscielny when he arrived, he is now arguably the best centre back in the EPL.

So expect great things from our new signing. Expect him to impress from the off and to be an ever present influence in our quest for the title.

Rasp