Meet The New Boss … Same as the Old Boss

August 25, 2018

We are fortunate to have another of West Ham Bob’s posts about this fixture. Thank you Bob.

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It all changed one Saturday afternoon in March. Burnley were the visitors to the London Stadium and there was a palpable sense of anger and frustration just waiting to boil over. Sure enough, all it took was a goal from Chris Wood to put the men from Lancashire 2 up and the game was up in so many ways. A well known supporter, affectionately known as Bubbles, strode onto the pitch and planted a corner flag into the centre circle, recalling a famous protest from the bad old days of the bond scheme. And the rest as they say is history.

The Dildo brothers, as they were affectionately labelled by the president of Sporting Lisbon, realised that two years of zero investment had to come to an end if they were to have any chance of holding together what was left of the club’s historical and loyal support.

Unbeknown to the fans, they had already agreed a deal with ‘that charming gentleman’, Manuel Pellegrini behind David Moyes back. If Moyes could keep the team up, Pellegrini would be in his place by the start of the 2018/19 season and he would be given wonga like no West Ham manager has had before.

And that is how we now find ourselves facing our first relegation six pointer of the season. It’s a little like Norway facing Norway in Eurovision. Nil Points for the Hammers and the Gunners.

Now I’m not going to be so bold as to suggest what’s gone wrong with the Arsenal. I’m sure Big Raddy and co are filling pages of this esteemed fan site discussing the teams failings (albeit against two top 4 teams). No, what I do intend to talk about, is why we have been so bloody awful.

You see, Moyes and the previously departed Bilic failed to solve our most pressing problem and sure enough. Pell has fallen into the same trap. Our midfield and defence is absolute gash. Our fullbacks are either lightning quick but unable to defend (Fredericks and Masuaku) or slow and laborious (Cresswell and Zaballeta). Our centre backs lack positional sense and are guaranteed to make 2 or 3 mistakes a game. We’ve spent £30 million in this area and have ended up with a South American who can’t defend (Balbuena) and a young prospect who is not deemed ready for the Premiership (Diop for £22 million).

One of the problems for our defence is a total lack of midfield protection. In our last match, our central midfield comprised Mark Noble and Jack Wiltshire. Now it’s all well and good investing huge sums on wide players, but when you’re getting overrun for 90 minutes, they tend to do good Stevie Wonder impressions – they never see the poxy ball.

Of course, after only 2 games it’s a little early and harsh to knock Jack and I’m sure he’ll be wanting to show Dick Emery what he’s missing, but I’m prepared to lay an extraordinarily large bet that he won’t be playing in a two with Nobes come November. The balance is just all wrong and Pell had better wake up and smell the coffee quickly.

Felipe Anderson and Yarmolenko cost £50 million between them. Once again early days but they both look like ‘luxury players’, and not necessarily built for the rigours of the Premiership.

Up front, Pellegrini has either played Arnautovic as a 1 or Arnautovic and Hernandez (where Arnautovic also seems to play as a 1!!). There’s a reason why Little Pea has never held down a regular place in the Premiership.

So how are we likely to line up at The Emirates?  In goal will be ex-gooner, Lucas Fabianski.  I expect Cresswell and Zabaleta to fill the full back positions and Ogbonna to get a new centre back partner in either Declan Rice or Issa Diop.

With Arnie up front, I think we will pack 5 into our midfield with Jack playing as a number 10.  Expect Carlos Sanchez and Pedro Obiang to sit, leaving 2 of Lucas Perez, Yarmalenko and Felipe Anderson to provide the pace and aimless balls up to Arnie who within 10 minutes will have a right proper face on.  That’s right gooners – your first three points are a coming.

written by WH Bob

A new feature will be the history of fixtures against our opposition compiled by our resident stat expert GN5.

Arsenal v West Ham United

Our first game against West Ham was an FA Cup game played at Woolwich Arsenal on January 13, 1906 it ended in a 1-1 draw, five days later we lost the replay 2-1.

We first met West Ham United in League Division 1 on August 27, 1923 in an away game that we lost 0-1.

So our history goes back 112 years overall and 95 years in League play.

Record in Division 1.

Record in the Premier League.

Our last 18 games. 

Based on our past record our home game against West Ham is very winnable and may be just the tonic the team needs.

GunnerN5


Theo or Yarmo ….. Arsenal need width

April 23, 2015

The silly season is fast approaching with the rumour mill beginning to engage its cogs and whirly things in an effort to ratchet up the intensity of the potential player offerings and to make the driest mouth salivate as if sucking a lemon.

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Your correspondent in recent times has had a particular interest in a tall, tricky and speedy winger named Yarmolenko, who might well be a replacement for Theo, should his imminent contract talks fail to ignite his desire for more dosh to count when next he is injured.

Some of you may think I have a personal agenda or that it is wishful thinking on my part as I have mentioned, once or twice or perhaps many times, that I think it may suit both Arsenal and Theo best if he moves on – but my agenda, if it exists, interests no one but myself.

No! I do not have a ‘thing’ about Theo, he is a nice guy. The sort who you would not mind your daughter bringing home to meet you, if you had a daughter, and Theo was not already married.

The fact is that Theo has been with the Gunners for about 9 years now, and, it seems, is always prevented from reaching the level his early career potential promised, mainly because of injuries or, lately, an inability to find a place in the team.

A new club, a new team, a new manager elsewhere in the Premier League, or Europe, may be the solution and could well re-charge his batteries and give him the impetus he needs to show the world what he can do.

Of course it would be naive to ignore the fact that there are, and will continue to be, many other fans who will disagree with that opinion – but so be it.

I recently read that another tasty, fleet footed winger, who I really rate, has also appeared on the rumour grapevine, well they all do, eventually, and he is someone who has allegedly turned down other offers at the moment, including one from the Spuds, as he hopes to achieve his own ‘dream’ or ambition of playing for Arsenal, and his name is Konoplyanka from Dnipro.

A rough count of the rumoured interest in players by Arsenal, or interest in Arsenal by players has reached about 30, so far, and the only disappointment I have is that Matuidi has not declared his annual love for Wenger and Arsenal yet.

But enough of my idol musings, what rumours excite you? Do they make any sense?

It is also counter-rumoured that Wenger will not buy anyone this summer. The logic being that he has said that he does not want anyone to go in the transfer window. Le Coq has impressed him enough for him not to want to pursue Kondogbia or Gonalons.

But what about back-up you squeal in unison? Well the youngster Bielik is being groomed to become the new midfield enforcer, and if Arteta and the pay as you play Diaby are also available there is a certain logic to that.

We may need a new top notch Keeper, maybe Cech, but Wenger has made it clear that Ospina has replaced Chezzer as the new No.1 , and if he buzzes off, Martinez will move up to be the No.2.

The midfield is already swamped with an over-supply of assorted players, and with Welbeck, Sanchez, Podolski, Sanogo and Giroud it would appear we are swamped with Forwards too.

However, this theory could be pooh, if Sanogo, Podolski, Walcott, Rosicky, Flamini, Diaby and even Cazorla all up sticks and depart for pastures new.

Which way do you lean? 🙂

Written by RA