He’s Got No Hair.

May 31, 2019

I am still bruised and angry.

No point whatsoever looking at a one-off game and reaching conclusions about the future of certain players and whether they were responsible for that shitfest. Ozil was crap but he is one of 10 (Cech is excluded). It wasn’t lack of effort that cost us, it very rarely is, so what is it?

There is a simple answer …. look at our goals against record. I cannot recall a season when the defence was so porous. Goals conceded in the PL were 51!! Well over a goal a game. 13 conceded in the EL and we really only played 3 decent teams.

Is the personnel? I can’t say it is. Monreal may be a little slower but he remains a quality player. Kos and Sokratis are both experienced International defenders. Mustafi had a poor season but came good in the last couple of months. We have good young back-up in Mavro and Holding. AMN and Bellerin are both fine players with AMN doing well in a position which doesn’t suit his skills. Our GK’s made few mistakes.

Is this a new situation? Not really, we have been getting progressively more porous. 51 in the PL last season, 44 the year before and 36 the season before that.

Mr. Wenger was never a defensive minded coach and left a problem for Emery.  The problem seems to be that we do not have a viable defensive coach which considering who is our assistant manager is bizarre.

Steve Bould has been marvelous as a player and loyal as a member of the management team. One would expect him to be the man with the ability to create the defensive cohesion which is so clearly lacking. Why can’t he?  Is he not allowed to work on tactics? I cannot believe it. As a member of Arsenal best ever defence he has the knowledge and the experience, surely the defensive unity is his remit.

If we are to progress next season, the defence and especially the ability for the midfield to shield the CB’s has to improve. We may sign a defender or two but most of the players will still be at Arsenal in August …

Steve Bould may not.

written by BR

 

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Emery Knows

May 29, 2019

I woke up yesterday morning thinking I was remarkably calm considering we have a European Final on Wednesday. This morning I awoke with a nervous energy not felt for many a moon. The hours until kick off  going to be very long. I have bought a 9 pack of Tuborg Green (we Danes are hard drinkers and 6 packs are rare!) and a couple of bottles of a cheeky Italian Dolcetto to make the time go faster and numb my pre-match nerves.

Baku is awash with intrepid Gooners, people who have sacrificed much to support their team. Can the Arsenal give them the victory they deserve?

My first emotion when we made the Final against the Shed Boys was a cloud of negativity – “Chelsea are too good”, “Hazard’s last game”, Chavs have more experience and Big Game players” etc etc. I am sure many of you will have shared those thoughts. But I find today I am far more positive – this is a winnable game. All we need to do is perform as we did earlier in the season when we annihilated the Chavs at the Emirates. That’s all.

Can we? Of course we can.

Now I know there is many a slip twixt cup and lip and Arsenal have royally effed up many big games in recent time (Brighton/Palace etc etc) but Emery Knows 😀

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The media are expecting a Chelsea win and the betting odds are against us but how can anyone gamble against a side with our front two? They are special and above all they are winners.

Do you think Mr Emery will pick Mesut to start? I don’t know either. I dither, changing my mind on a hourly basis. Had Mhki been available then No, but given his absence Yes, I would start Ozil. However by the time I finish writing this PM, I may well have changed my opinion.

Cech or Leno? We had a poll and Leno won but we all know Cech will start. The man has been great for AFC. I recall when he signed how excited I was that we had a safe and secure GK after the two flaky Poles (both of whom have developed in top GK’s). I wish him well in his final game.

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And what of Iwobi? Will Mr E. choose a more defensive model and leave Alex on the bench?

Who is sure to start? Cech, Koscielny, Sokratis, Kolasinac,  Xhaka, PEA and Laca. The rest remain in doubt, even Nacho.

If we play 3 at the back then, given his recent form, I would trust Mustafi but Nacho is so reliable and so experienced.

Could AMN start? We will need pace to counter Hazard, Willian, Pedro etc.

And in midfield, will Douzi be picked ahead of Terrier? I hope not though a midfield of Xhaka, Terrier, Douzi and Kolasinac is quite likely.

Cech

Mustafi    Kos   Sokratis

AMN   Terrier   Xhaka   Kolasinac

Ozil

PEA    Laca

My concern with this side is the reliance upon AMN and Wardrobe to get forward thereby allowing space  behind for fast counter attack by the excellent Chelsea wide players. As always, midfield discipline must be maintained.

For Chelsea, well mostly I don’t care but I will be very upset if  OG scores. Very. Hopefully Kante will be injured as he is a wonderful player.

VAR will be used tonight; much discussed, I believe VAR assists the game though some decisions remain open to interpretation. Referee is Rocchi, an Italian with much experience, we must hope he hasn’t been gifted a house or two by Chelsea’s owner

Last night I was over in Malmo Sweden  alongside West Ham Bob watching another Malmo victory. He sat on the fence but hoped for an AFC win. Like many his head says Chelsea but his heart is Gooner. For us it is simple – Death or Glory. If we are to lose I do not want to look at any AFC player and think they could have worked harder – mistakes will be made, they are human, but to win tonight will require 100% effort and concentration.

A European Final as the final game is way beyond my season expectation. Win or lose the team have had a successful campaign but how wonderful would it be to lift the trophy?

Come on boys, you can do it.

COYRRG

 

 

 


Who Wants it?

April 28, 2019

Is there a single Gooner who is confident of a victory this lunchtime?

Given the circumstances would you take a point?

Do you want MU or Chavs to win this afternoon?

Do ants sleep?

It was inevitable that Rodgers would rejuvenate Leicester, they have some fine players who just needed a new leader. And sadly, players today can get rid of an unpopular manager. Claude Puel’s win % of 34% was never going to be enough for the team which performed miracles just 2 and a bit years ago.

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Brendon Wagner chose to leave a cushy job at Celtic to improve LCFC – I could have improved them, so could you. They have excellent players; Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi Schmeichel and Tielemans  could all get into the AFC first team. Chilwell and Ndidi are both young enough to be summer transfer targets for Mr Emery.

Had we beaten either CP or Wolves, we could rest players ahead of the Valencia semi-final, instead this becomes a very important match. Does Mr. Emery dare use Elneny, Douzi etc again? A difficult decision but this is why he earns the Big Bucks.

The injury to Ramsey and the loss of form of Mhki has been costly. As is the worrying condition of Ozil. Ozil is one of our most experienced players – he has won everything, yet he appears incapable of raising his game for an away fixture. I love the chap but at present he seems to be a very expensive luxury. If our creative players do not give chances to our strikers nor assist in a defensive role, then I would prefer to see a midfield with Xhaka, Douzi, Terrier, Kolasinac and Iwobi, as a point today could be vital.

We must hope PEA has recovered from his nose job, if only to be on the bench.

Spurs loss, MU’s dreadful form, the Chavs inability to put a run together, means that despite our poor recent PL results we remain in with a chance of Top 4. It is worth fighting for, so please lads, whoever pulls on the shirt, remember that you carry the hopes of millions of Gooners. Another lackadaisical performance will not be acceptable.

COYRRG


Bournemouth Preview

February 27, 2019

Micky summed up Bournemouth in  a few words yesterday – Language Schools and David Wagner.

Let’s start with language schools. The moment I passed my driving test at the age of 17 my mates insisted we spent each post-season weekend down in Bournemouth. Why? Because the language schools were full of ladies from Scandinavia with, what we assumed, were looser morals than our North London girlfriends.. We would rent a few rooms in the local B&B’s and go to the school’s discos with the hope of some horizontal exercise. Were the rumours of  degenerate behaviour correct? A gentlemen couldn’t possibly say.

David Wagner: His managerial record at a club whose ground capacity is under 12k is astonishing. Wagner’s first season in 2009 saw him take over a bankrupt club. Winning promotion in his first season he has transformed Bournemouth and brought unimagined glory to the PL smallest club.  I expect him to go to Spurs when the Podgy Argie leaves for Spain.

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They have some decent players, in particular, the midfielder David Brooks who scored against us at Dean Park earlier in the season. He has a bright future. Begovic always excels at the Emirates and both King and Wilson are dangerous on the break.

Arsenal: Our home record is impressive and despite a growing long-term injury list we are over-performing this transition season, Win today and we can be either 4 points from Spurs in 3rd (if Spurs lose) or 6 points ahead of the Chavs (if they lose).

Would love to see Ozil start but expect the same starting 11 as the weekend with perhaps Koscielny in for Mustafi and AMG replacing Lichtsteiner should be not be fit.

And what of Auba? Too good for the bench but we play better with one up top (IMO),. Does Emery rotate on a weekly basis? He seems to prefer the industry of Lacazette over the mercurial PEA.

B’mouth have conceded 48 PL goals and I expect us to help them reach the half century. They have lost their last 7 away fixtures.

Trouble is …. as we often discovered with those young Scandigirls that there is many a slip twix’t the cup and the lip:-D

An important game ahead of two very difficult and possibly season defining fixtures

COYRRG


Don’t Look Back in Anger

February 3, 2019

Today we enter the Lion’s Den, the Roman Coliseum. Those lions will hungry after the defeat to the Barcodes etc etc.  NO. It is just a football game with 3 paltry points on offer. Win or lose, we will still finish in the Top 6.

Here’s a question … Many state that Pep Wagner is the best manager in world football. Certainly his wages reflect his reputation. I ask this – If Pep managed Huddersfield would they be any better? My answer is No.

Pep is considered a genius because he works with the very best players. Silk purse out of a sow’s ear comes to mind.. Ask Pep to manage Huddersfield and he MAY do better than the real Mr. Wagner but I doubt it.

And that is why City go into the game as such firm favourites – they have better players than us in almost every position (I rate our front 2 higher), of course they are favourites.

I could write extensively about the damage caused by Abramovich and the Oilers, but this is not the time. The fact remains however, that unlike MC, we cannot afford to spend €50m+ p.p. on a our reserves. They can and do.

Just imagine having the luxury of 3 wingers at the standard of Sterling, Mane and Mahrez. We haven’t even got a winger!

We have to look at Licht or Jenks as our RB back up and that says it all.

But it is not all gloom and doom, we have some fine players and we can beat quality teams, sadly not away from home though we would have beaten the Chavs at the Bridge but for wayward finishing. A couple of lethal strikes today could see us win this afternoon (unlikely as it seems).

Ozil starting? Hardly likely. I expect Mr. Emery to PTB and hope our lightning fast strike force can score on the counter; for this reason, I would use Iwobi. Back 3. Ramsey, Wardrobe, AMN.

Suarez? Possibly a bench place. More likely a start at Bate. in the EL.

As a child I was a committed Subbuteo player, even played in a local league and when not playing as Arsenal I had Man City as my second team. I guess it was the Mercer connection or perhaps it was my fave player, Colin Bell

This is sacrilegious so please excuse me – I would take losing 3 points at Maine Road in order to help City beat the Scouse to the title. Or heaven forbid, Spurs 😱😱

COYRRG

 


Chelsea Preview.

January 19, 2019

Much of this morning’s speculation will revolve, once again, about Mr. Ozil. This being the case I think we can gloss over that and discuss something else. No, not Brexit or a Wall or even the heat in Australia. Not even the worrying statement from Emery about our economy.

How about we cheer ourselves up in the knowledge that the squad is returning to good health with only Welbz and Holding on the long-term injured list. Emery can pick a solid defence – or as good as he can with the tools available, not that I wish to call Mustafi a tool, but if the cap fits …

My opinion:

The back 3 doesn’t work, one only has to look at our goals against to confirm this, so we have to go back to a more solid 4 and abandon the idea of FB’s as wing-backs, especially with AMN and the Wardrobe. The return of Hector and Nacho should add some backbone.

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Some AA’ers doubt Belllerin’s defensive ability, you may be right, but IMO he is amongst our best players.

Quite why Mr. Emery abandoned the deep Xhaka/Terrier combo by sending the little chap further forward is a mystery. Against Spurs they were the key to our victory, surely he will operate the same system this afternoon?

Also, a return to playing one upfront. It appears great mates do not make a great striking partnership. It worked well when we could bring on PEA in the final 20 minutes, his pace terrifying tiring defenders. Why was this tactic abandoned?

Not sure if Mhiki is fit, but we need him back to provide something positive ahead of Bellerin, yet there is no space in the team for both Iwobi and Mhiki if Ozil plays, and Ozil MUST play.

What of Chelsea?. Their manager, David Wagner, is a strange but likeable chap who appears to be doing a very good job with a team depending upon the genius of Hazard allied to the tenacity of the marvelous Kante. The goalkeeper shows the difference between a €60m and a €25m signing, ugly bugger though, our boy is no oil painting but at least he looks human. The midget microphone, Willian always does well against us, hopefully he is crocked.

World Cup winner OG returns to his real home where he should get a rousing reception, thanking him for some unforgettable moments including this …

Look for OG’s pass early in the move

When I lived in London most of my friends were Chelsea or closet Spurs. We always beat them. Always. Who can forget Winterburn’s screamer at the Bridge? As GN5 showed yesterday, those days are well in the past.

Play like we did against West Ham and we will get hammered again, play like we did against Spurs and the points are ours.

Let it Be So

COYRRG

 


Time for Change?

January 15, 2018

There has been mis-management at our club for the last few years and it is not all down to Wenger. However I feel he has hugely contributed to where we currently are in spite of who might be responsible for things right now.

Personally I think the real issue started in that summer TW when we got Cech and we famously were the only club in all the leagues not to bring in any outfield player. Arsene kept coming out with this “we only want super talented players” line and “there is nothing out there available that is better than what I already have”. I thought it was a load of crap then and feel that even more now. I think it started to prove then that his insight and vision had become flawed at the highest level.

None of us can know what happens behind the scene, but I feel fairly convinced that he was backed if he wanted someone and he was making the decision not to move for players.

I also have a gut feeling he has not moved on players we really needed if they slightly strayed over the price he deemed as being good value, and I feel his economic outlook when it comes to football transfers has also proven flawed.

I don’t believe that Sanchez and Ozil initially refrained from signing extensions purely to wind down their contracts. I think possibly in that summer they both thought WTF this doesn’t feel right and held back until they witnessed some positive signs of ambition and development of the side to one that could challenge for the big stuff. I think our current situation has not been manufactured in the here and now and can be traced back to the summer of 2015 and Arsene is hugely complicit in this.

Think on this. A few years ago Luis Suarez wanted to leave Liverpool and come to us because he looked at us as the club that was on the up and that was embarking on an exciting new period. The project has failed and quite frankly I think the perception of Liverpool and Arsenal then has been reversed in the eyes of the worlds top players.

At least with a new manager our club could once again be viewed as a top club that is embarking on something new and exciting.

written by Gooner B