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

Advertisements

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.

images-2.jpeg

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.

Unknown.jpeg

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.

Unknown.jpeg

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


Happy Holidays?

January 3, 2017

Bournemouth is known as the English Riviera (or it is in my family!!).  We used to holiday there in the days before I was allowed to travel on my own. When I passed my driving test Bournemouth became a weekend destination because there were language schools full of Scandigirls who had weekend discos ( a portent for my future!) …. you can guess the rest!

As such Bournemouth raises happy memories in BR’s ageing head, let’s hope I feel the same way at game’s end today.

Unknown.jpeg

Eddie Howe has done an amazing job . Not only keeping a small club in the PL but doing so by playing attacking football. They almost gave us a shock at the Emirates where a 90th minute goal from Sanchez sealed the points. We won 3-1 in an absorbing game with Bournemouth missing many chances. It was the game of Debuchy’s brief return.

Rotation will the keyword today. I expect AW to rest a few and perhaps finally experiment with the Ramsey/Xhaka combo.

My Team:

Cesc

Bellerin    Mustafi     Koscielny    Monreal

Ramsey    Xhaka      Coquelin

Perez       Giroud     Sanchez

Has AW the courage to rest Sanchez given that Ozil is out again? If so, it would be intersting to see Ox start on the right with Perez on the left. Or Iwobi.

I cannot recall a run of games when the whole of the top 6 win so consistently, Spurs, L’pool, MU and Chelsea have stepped up a gear and we need to do the same.  A win today is important, a draw is simply not enough. Winning under this kind of pressure is what makes Champions, and we will see how the team responds.

I still maintain that we were unfortunate in both losses in December and that it affected the fans more than the team – time will tell.

We are unbeaten in 2017, let’s keep it that way

COYRRG

 


Rest Sanchez?

October 2, 2016

Back on the road after a couple of lovely games at The Emirates and where do we go? You guessed it, Up North.

I have never been to Burnley, perhaps in the future I will be fortunate enough to visit the historic town but given my aversion to any UK trip North of Barnet, it seems unlikely.

In my youth Burnley were a massive club; unlike our opponents last weekend, they have history. 150 years ago Burnley was the largest cotton cloth producer in the world! Can you imagine? And in the 50’s/60’s their football club was their pride – a town of under 60k inhabitants had a team which won the League, the FA Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup.

Things have changed as the clubs from the large metropoles control the top of the leagues – Manchester, London, Barcelona, Munich, Paris, Madrid. Only Leicester have been able to break the monopoly.

Burnley’s ambitions this season will be survival in the Prem and to take a couple of big scalps. Beating us would be huge so, as always, our chaps should expect a battle.

My main concern is the pitch. Arsenal play fast-flowing, passing football which depends upon a decent playing surface – if I were the opposition manager the first thing I would tell the groundsman to do is make the pitch as bumpy as possible, especially if you play hoof-ball like Burnley or Chelsea. Big chaps like Grey and Vokes are more used to a Hackney Marshes than the Emirates.

For that reason, if fit, I would start Giroud, if not then Perez. I would also look to the Elneny/Xhaka axis and give Santi a rest.

My Team:

Cech

Bellerin    Mustafi     Kos    Gibbs

Xhaka    Elneny    Iwobi

Walcott   Perez    Ozil

I would prefer AW to continue with the starting 11 which marmelised the Chavs and Basel but what is the point of a large squad if we do not rest some players?

I would even be tempted to drop Ozil for Santi or Theo for Ox. This is not under-estimating Burnley but we have important games ahead and over-playing chaps who have not had full summer breaks results in a Ramsey situation.

Given the unpleasant manner in which the title contenders have started their seasons a win is important today and, of course, this is an anniversary weekend. Chapeau Arsene.

Let it be so

COYRRG