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

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Wembley on the Horizon

January 10, 2018

Chelsea away. Injuries all over the shop. Porous defence. Lack of confidence. Fans less than enthusiastic.

Doesn’t bode well.

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Last game was a cracker; full of excitement and top quality attacking allied to dreadful defending from The Arsenal, diving and awful finishing from Chelsea. I expect much of the same tonight and would be thrilled with a similar result.

Sanchez: According to the media we have received a €20m offer from City. How will that affect both the player and the manager? Would you sell him or let him go for nothing in summer? Is €20m enough?

VAR: Exciting and interesting development which will/could change the way football at the highest level will function. It works in other sports but can it work in football? Would Hazard’s clear dive be a penalty or not? Depends upon one’s viewpoint which is exactly the point!

Given that Chelsea and MC remain in the Carabao, was AW decision, to prioritise tonight over the FA Cup, pragmatism or stupidity?

We shall see.

There is no doubt in my mind that if Arsenal play well, particularly if we take the chances in attack, we can win. The question is – does the team share my faith?

COYRRG

 


What we learned from the Weekend.

September 11, 2017
  1. Lacazette is worth the money.
  2. We can win without Sanchez.
  3. Mr Wenger’s experiment of playing Bellerin on the left is over.
  4. Kolasinac needs PL experience but looks a fine addition.
  5. Welbeck can finish!
  6. Mustafi central with pacy CB’s outside him works against teams who have no attack
  7. Our midfield excel against teams lacking confidence and ability
  8. We are better without The Ox (but good luck to the chap).
  9. In Xhaka and Ozil we have two wonderful creative players who will propel Lacazette towards 25 goals this season
  10. Arsene will struggle to find game time for Walcott

And from elsewhere:

  1. MU are flat-track bullies and will struggle against better, more organised sides.
  2. Chelsea remain a quality team
  3. De Bruyne is a marvellous player and should be sold to Real Madrid – immediately.
  4. The same can be said for Harry Kane
  5. Liverpool played exceptionally well when beating us and were rubbish on Saturday
  6. West Ham are doomed.
  7. And this hurts to write …. Spurs are serious title contenders.

I also learned that it is not a good idea to go walking in torrential rain

written by Big Raddy


Is a Clean Sheet possible ?

September 9, 2017

Seems an age since we got hammered up at Anfield. Why? Not just the International break but also thanks to the poisonous atmosphere around the club. Let’s be honest, it has never really disappeared despite a decent end to last season and an encouraging win on the opening day. Sadly, it will be just below the surface until Mr Wenger leaves the club. Some people, especially the media want him out and will not be satisfied until he departs, all I can say is “you don’t know what you’ve lost ’til it’s gone”.

Enough of that …

The only way to silence the critics is by playing well and a win today is the start of the process.

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Are Bournemouth ready to be thrashed? I doubt it. They are compact, efficient and organised – they will be tough to beat. In particular Begovic is showing why he such a highly rated GK having left the Chelsea bench. Afobe will be trying to show the club that he should not have been sold. Defoe loves a goal against us.

We all know about Eddie Howe. Could he be the next AFC manager? The name certainly fits – we have had a Howe as manager in the past (Don) and he was an Arsenal legend.

Will Sanchez start after a depressing time with Chile and a long flight? It must be difficult to live under such scrutiny and it is starting to show.

And what of the Back 3 experiment? Like many I would go back to a back 4 which suits our squad but why buy Kolasinac if not to play him as a wing-back?

My Team:

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette     Welbeck

I would love to find a place for Iwobi but it will have to be a 20 minute sub appearance, same with Sanchez. We need to see Lacazette  take a more central and involved role, so far he has been peripheral and for 50+m I expect more. Bellerin has been pants and needs to get a grip or get dropped, though it may help the young Spaniard if he were played in his preferred position (are you reading AW?)

Defensively this has been a carcrash of a start. 8 goals conceded in 3 games. Not good enough. Solution? Play Mustafi on the right of the 3 with a RB in front of him – AW trying Holding and Ox was an unmitigated disaster and quite frankly was one of the most baffling decisions of his 20+ year reign at AFC.

We need a win – nothing else will suffice.

Let it be So

COYRRG


Sanchez or Aguero?

April 2, 2017

It is difficult to emphasise how important this afternoon is, for the club and the fans.

For the players, it is just another game and should they lose this and all the games to season’s end, they will still be millionaires and be in demand throughout the world. There is the rub.

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In my youth Man City were my second team, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Franny Lee etc were exciting to watch and won the title; the current MC team remind me of that fine team. Capable of wonderful flowing football but also able to grind out a result. And like that old team they have a colourful manager, though Malcolm Allison was more of a nutter than Guardiola!

Would you say that City are doing worse than us this season? I think so. They have spent hundreds of millions and brought in the most lauded manager in world football. Have they more chance of winning the title or the CL than us? Massive under-achievement for the investment.

Player for player I would say that we are not far apart. I wish we had bought De Bruyne but understand why we didn’t, given his absence this afternoon the player we have to marshal is the wonderful David Silva. I love the way this man plays. Close him out and we will win (make that Silva, Sterling and Aguero!)

Who would you prefer leading the line for Arsenal, Sanchez or Aguero? Both marvellously talented, hard workers. When I was young the idea that players of this standard would play in England was mind-boggling. Imagine Pele or Maradonna playing in the PL. Today we accept it as normal.

Arsenal: Where to start? We were just rubbish at WBA, yet are likely to start almost the same team. Hopefully Sanchez will play through the middle and change position with Welbeck. Our problems at set pieces are alarming but fairly easily solved (practice, concentration and application), and the defence will prefer the pace of MC’s attack.

Our Team:

Ospina

Bellerin    Mustafi     Koscielny     Monreal

Ox    Xhaka     Coquelin

Walcott    Sanchez     Welbeck

Ramsey or Coquelin? Sorry Aaron, you have struggled this season and we need the security of Coquelin with the threat of Silva.

The fans? It is so important  they back the side even if they struggle, it will be horrible to hear (or not) the Emirates return to the vitriol of recent times.

If we can score early I think we can win.

Can our boys halt the downward spiral of recent weeks? Let us hope so.

COYRRG


Big Decisions

February 28, 2017

This morning post is lifted from yesterdays comments ….

The point about contracts is an interesting one as there are quite a few players other than Özil and Sanchez who are in the same position as those 2 (contracts due to run out soon).

Szscesny
Cech
Jenkinson
Debuchy
Gibbs
Ox
Wilshere
Campbell

This is according to research by Arseblog so may not be 100%.

I think wether Wenger stays or goes there are some big decisions to be made at Arsenal. If he does go I think it would be interesting to see who’s contracts get renewed. I’m not sure if it’s a positive or a negative that he stays with regards to contract renewals. Whilst Özil has said he would prefer Wenger to stay, there may be some others who think otherwise. There is also the fact that Wenger has an attachment to these players and therefore he may renew contracts of players who a lot of us believe are no longer good enough to represent the club. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can see things that maybe the current manager will turn a blind eye to. Having someone new could result in quite a few of these players leaving the club.

Either way, it’s a massive window for Arsenal’s future.

written by FGG


Chelsea. With Hindsight.

February 10, 2017

Was it really that bad? Enough to launch a Wenger Out campaign? Enough to insist upon radical changes in our squad?

Let me start with a statement which IMO is clearly true. Had we played our best 11 at SB we would have taken the points. We couldn’t and didn’t but that is not all …

We lost thanks to a dreadful refereeing decision.

Chelsea’s first goal came from a violent foul which affected  not just the scoreline but the whole of AW’s plans. Bellerin was essential to our game at SB, Theo is pants without him, and we have no-one else with real pace to combat the Chavs attack.

A proper ref would have sent The Deviant Chav off and cancelled the goal. I was apoplectic that a cowardly elbow to the face should be rewarded with a gaol. It was not just crap refereeing, it was rewarding violent and dangerous play.

If it happened in the street it would have been ABH.

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So, at one stroke the Chavs have removed a vital member of our team, scored a goal and are cock-a-hoop. We on the other hand have Gabriel at LB against a world class frontline.

Furthermore, the loss of Xhaka and Ramsey forced AW to rely upon hardworking but ultimately ineffective midfield, which could have a long-term impact upon the career of both Ox and Coq.

There is no getting away from the negatives, we lost an important game in a manner which hurt (forgetting the idiotic refereeing decision), and it raises questions…

  1. Ozil. Can a player be considered world class if he disappears in Big Games?
  2. If Sanchez leaves, would we be a better team?
  3. Walcott. What was his role?. The lack of intelligence of our front 3 was worrying.
  4. Cech. Is it time to promote Ospina?
  5. Monreal is a lovely chap but we have needed better for two seasons (if we can find someone)
  6. Coquelin. It isn’t his fault that Santi, Elneney, Xhaka and Ramsey are out, all of whom would start ahead of Ox, but it was time for Coq to show he is the go-to DM in the Arsenal team. IMO he showed he is a squad player.
  7. Ox. Where to start? Watford and SB, an ideal setup for him. Watford to get into the role of CM and Chavs to mix it with the best. He has all the attributes and did OK but we need more. I worry for his future. He needs a big game on the weekend (if picked)

Let’s be honest, the League was lost with the Watford game. Chas called it – he said it was a MWG, and it was. AW recognised it – in his press conference, Arsene’s face was a grey as his hair and tracksuit, he looked like John Major post election defeat. He was spent.

We are not as good as we should be but we are certainly good enough to challenge for second. A win tomorrow will start the repair process.

written by Big Raddy