The (Curious?) cases of Joel Campbell, Akpom and Sanogo

June 24, 2015

Here are three relatively young players that AW rates highly…

Joel Campbell had an outstanding WC2014 and then had some decent appearances but he was never really outstanding when playing for us or when going out on loan. Clearly, he is a talented player and he is highly viewed by many. The question is – what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Akpom has got the pace and a decent eye for goal. AW rates him and he has had a good career with your youth system like Afobe. Again what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Then comes the case (maybe the most curious) of Sanogo. A touted French striker that unfortunately suffered a horrific injury early on in his career…He then recovered and joined us on a free…He has again some potential but he is clearly not ready for Arsenal yet…So what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Looking forward to your answers

Written by RC78


So, Why Was Sanogo Even Playing?

August 18, 2014

I over heard this question no less than three times as I weaved my way through the throng of people drinking beer and chatting during the half time interval in an attempt to stretch my legs.

It was fairly easy to tell that had it not been for Koscielny’s equalising goal only some five minutes earlier these same people would have been asking the same question but with far greater ferocity.

Sanogo

They may have had a point: Arsenal played in the same frustrating way as they did last season against opposition who, as predictably as Sunday follows Saturday, were always going to park the bus and waste time whenever they possibly could. This is exactly what they did and I should add that part of Crystal Palace’s predictable plan would have been to try and nick a goal from a set piece and that again is also what they did.

The answer as to why Sanogo was playing was fairly obvious to me: our new system is simply not ready yet; the system I refer to is dependant on our new 40 million pound player named Alexis Sanchez.

Last season Wenger would have fielded pretty much the same team only with Sagna and Giroud. Sagna would have whipped in high crosses which Palace would have dealt with as easily as they did on Saturday when Debuchy sent in high crosses for Sanogo. The result being that Palace regained possession and we had to work harder than we needed in getting the ball back.

The other frustrating similarity to last season is that although we still have the players whose intricate passing is capable of producing the wonder goal that Jack Wilshere finished off against Norwich. This doesn’t happen enough and by that I mean that Barcelona do this on a weekly basis and so should we. We certainly didn’t look capable of producing such a goal against Palace and that, like last season, was down to Sanogo’s lack of close control which is equally as lacking as Giroud’s.

This brings me back to the new system I expect to see adopted in the coming weeks. In an attempt to explain I ask this: do you think that Ozil is going to be left out of that team? No, you do not. Now imagine Sanchez playing up front instead of Sanogo against Palace with Ozil on the right.

It this scenario it would have been totally pointless of Debuchy to send in high crosses; he would be forced to do something different. I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he can adapt quickly even through the brain washing he received at Newcastle to send in high crosses time after time must be deeply ingrained.

On a side note, did you ever ask yourself after noticing that Barcelona had just beaten some low league team 46 –nil or something equally ridiculous, why the opponents don’t park the bus and waste time in the same way as Palace did on Saturday? The answer is that their opponents do try — but they fail. The reason that Barcelona are able to find a way through is that everyone of their attack has exceptional close control. Well now for the first time since Henry, Bergkamp, and Pires played together — so do we.

The combination of Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez is as good as any other in Europe when it comes to close control and super quick passing. They would have found a way past that tall lumbering Palace defence in no time. In fact this is the new system that I refer to and expect to be deployed with great effect against every team whose predictable game plan is to simply park the bus.

The unavailability of Ozil goes some way to explaining why Sanogo was playing but to me there is more: just look at the fixture list in March; we could have Capital One Cup games, FA Cup games, Champions League Games and EPL games. We will need Sanogo to feel part of the squad, up to speed, ready to go and the only way that that can happen is if he plays now, while he can, before the new system comes into force.

Many would have preferred Giroud on Saturday but just look how he tired towards the end of last season only having Bendtner as back up and therefore having to play so many games.

Wenger made a judgement call on Saturday that Sanogo would offer enough offensively to get a result while enabling him to take one step closer to justifiably being picked as a first team starter and he was right.

I hope this makes sense, if not I refer you to a comment made on this site after the game which sums this all up far more succinctly than I could:

“I don’t give a monkey’s “rectum” how we played, we got the three points.”

Written by LB


Arsenal’s Top Gunner 2014-15

August 15, 2014

Only three ways to go upon arrival at my Uncle Earnests’ house.

Upstairs. Perfectly clear what his intentions are here. Might hurt, but pretty straight forward stuff. Downstairs into the basement, or what he refers to as his “private dressing room”. Yeah right. Good luck down there. Finally, sideways, down a long corridor and into his Incident Room.

The Incident Room overlooks a large expanse of Scottish sea loch, where Earnest keeps the odd lobster pot. Poachers frequent these wild and isolated open spaces. Earnest does not believe they have any “rights” whatsoever, and are themselves fair game. He had a plan, and it involved me.

My brother and I were lead to the Incident Room. We entered. Holy Crap. The enormous room had its vast French doors flung open. The aperture was filled with a large cannon retrieved from a Spanish Galleon. Ropes securing it some shrubs outside to prevent damaging recoil. Next to the beast was a brass monkey and a pyramid of 2” iron cannonballs.

Into my hands went a box of matches, and into my brothers a hideously dangerous looking mop with its head dripping in paraffin. Earnest stood safely outside with his telescope. “Ready. Light. Fire”.

I’ve been almost deaf in my left ear ever since. Anyhow, the thought of cannons makes me think of The Arsenal and Gunners.

Last season, the surprise package and Top Gunner was Aaron Ramsey. Who could emerge from the shadows during this campaign? Given injury free runs, I think the contenders are Jack, Abou, The Ox, Mesut, Ollie, Yaya, Joel and of course Sanchez.

The reason I’ve selected these boys is that I believe they could all progress to new heights. You will also notice how I have not included any defensive players. This is because they are boring, and are simply there to do a job, not entertain.

Earnest is an entertainer, but has peaked. Who at Arsenal is an entertainer that could fire us to new heights? My money is on The Ox.

Written by MickyDidIt89


Arsenal 5 Benfica 1- a great afternoon’s entertainment

August 3, 2014

Well, what a great afternoon’s entertainment that was?

Plenty of new players to see for the first time, confirmation that others are moving in the direction we hoped for — and goals!

Lot’s of goals. I know the expression goes “from the sublime to the ridiculous”, well somehow Sanogo has managed to go from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Once again he started the game with all the control of a puppy with a beach ball but somehow turned this around to bag himself four goals.

And what’s more we discovered that he is a good dancer, there were some great moves going on as he celebrated his goals; well, almost, all except the last goal when he ran to the fans to do his celebration dance and some how managed to trip over his feet. Everyone howled with laugher in the pub and the inevitable thought of “from the sublime to the ridiculous” returned.

Sanogo

The thing I like about him above all is how he always plays with a smile on his face; he is very, very confident, and yet somehow he manages to carry this off without a hint of arrogance. There never seems a moment when things start to get him down — miss a sitter, no probs I’ll get the next one. The only thing that was completely unexpected was that this time he did get the next one and the one after and the one after that, four times in all.

He seemed to have some kind of injury towards the end and to my absolute surprise I actually cared. Well done Yaya more of the same please.

Around this time in the pre-season I think that most of us usually have a good idea of what is going to happen as regards to players in and players out; well, normally but yesterday when the team was announced along with the subs I realised I still haven’t got a clue who will be with us at the start of the season. There still seem so many possibilities for players to be sold or go out on loan.

It was good to see Campbell in the glorious red and white at last, he took his goal well. The problem is that he, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez, Ox and Gnabry all play out on the right, I know it is possible to make the case that some of them can play in other positions as well but there is no hiding the fact that that position is a little over crowded and at least one must surely depart?

The other position around which we can surely expect change is the central defence: Monreal as a CB – really? Vermaelen is obviously shopping around, where was Diaby today and I for one will not rule out Khadira’s arrival until the shutters are firmly down on this transfer market. See what I mean there are still so many more possibilities for change.

I expect to see Callum Chambers on the bench or playing as much as Jenkinson did so last season. He had a very reassured debut and I certainly agree with GIE that he is CB in waiting, a position that requires far more skill and maturity than a right back.

Everyone else played their part well: Rosicky appeared sharp as did the Ox. And finally we got to see the player we had all been waiting for: Alexis Sanchez. While just sitting on the bench the man projected an image of being a “star in waiting” and the Chilean certainly didn’t disappoint when he came on; the man oozed class. But the stand out player of the afternoon was, of course, Ramsey, what a power house we have in the still young Welshman. Go Rambo.

A very happy afternoon, onwards and upwards.

Written by LB


Entertaining and Vital Arsenal Cup Win

February 17, 2014

I would not have been alone in having at least one eyebrow out of line after seeing the Team Sheet.

Liverpool were always going to field a strong side as they have no mid week European Games, and we all knew Arsene would have to make one or two changes. Talk about “who would be a Manager?”. Without doubt the biggest shock was the inclusion of Yaya Sanogo. I had thought Ollie would be rested, and this would have led to the inclusion of Nic, or the slim possibility of Lucas through the middle. When the Team was announced, all I could say about Yaya’s inclusion was that the Manager sees the Lads in training.

Poldi goal v Liverpool

This was a very big match indeed. We had to restore some belief and confidence, try and progress in this Tournament as well as leaving eleven men standing, fit and ready to meet the challenge coming from Bavaria in a few short days’ time.

I won’t dwell on the details of the game as you all saw it for yourselves. Certainly though, the returning Flamini helped to stabilize the defensive side of our midfield. The defence itself had a superb day with Fabianski producing a MOTM performance. The other two stand-in’s at the back, Jenks and Monreal, showed discipline and spirit.

Further up the field, Mesut was back to his best and orchestrated events in a way only he can with sublime timing and awareness.

For me, like many I suspect, Podolski is a total enigma. However, he is a goalscorer, and since the tragic loss of Theo and Aaron, these qualities are in short supply. He delivered.

Sanogo. Ok, I missed twenty minutes of the first half, and about ten of the second, but I really liked what I saw. Very impressive indeed, His performance highlighted the interchangeability of our squad, and this reflects on what is done on the training ground. It was very hard to believe that he had not played alongside Pod, Mesut and Ox on a regular basis.

Finally, The Ox. Always said he would be an Arsenal Great, and he will. Love everything about him, and his post match interview revealed his modest, mature and intelligent nature. A true professional with all the talent required to make it to the very top.

The Ox v Liverpool

A few short words on Liverpool. I really like the way they play the game. It was an enthralling and highly entertaining game, and it requires two teams to achieve this. Their “Three S’s Attack” is superbly mobile and fluid, and a joy to watch. I realize Suarez divides opinion, but as a footballer, he is terrific. I think we all know the Ox challenge was a clear penalty, but I think we also understand that had the victim been any other player, it would have been given. Never a clearer case of “What goes around”.

Overall, a memorable Cup game, a vital win for The Gunners, and we come away in great shape for Bayern. Back on track.

My MOTM: By a country mile, Arsene. That was some selection and tactical performance. Well played Sir.

Written by MickyDidIt89