About these ads
 

RvP Injured? Van Persie hints at new strike partner, Podolski wants to be the first in & Gazidis, well what is he on??

February 29, 2012

According to a couple of newspapers this morning, Robin van Persie suffered a slight groin injury during the Tottenham victory at the weekend and failed to complete a training session with Holland yesterday as he was in pain. I’m not sure I believe this story, if our captain was injured there is no way he would have been released by us to compete in a silly friendly for Holland..

What this space I guess….

Talking about our captain, he’s been speaking about Benik Afobe:

I was delighted to see Benik come back in the Reserves last week, scoring against Norwich, six months is a long time out at his age, especially when he did really well with the first-team over pre-season and was making fast progress.He has returned impressively though – I watched him in training last week while I was doing my warm-down and he looked really strong and quick, a proper English striker who holds the ball up well and works very hard.

When you are young you just want to be playing, improving your game and making your career, and he was denied that for a long time. To come back as he has done is tremendous – he is a fantastic lad, a really good character to have in the squad and a player I genuinely rate, so I’m really proud of him.

He absolutely loves his football and treats it very seriously. That is the main thing for a young footballer – if you really love the game like he does then you will make it, and he has everything to become a great player.

Wow, coming from a player like our captain, that is high praise indeed.

But isn’t it refreshing to hear things like that about Benik Afobe – ‘he treats football very seriously, he loves the game, he’s a fantastic lad who works hard and is a good character around the squad’

When did we last hear that about a London born, English reserve player who is a striker?

When was the last time we actually witnessed a player come through the ranks and work hard enough to earn a place up front?

When did we last have a reserve team striker who was actually good enough to break into the first team?

Wrighty? No, we bought him from Crystal Palace..

Jeffers? No, we bought him from Everton – sadly!

Alan Smith? No, we signed him from Leicester.

Reality is, we have to go a long way back don’t we (unless my grey matter is forgetting someone) but next season we could be in for a treat.

This season Daniel Sturridge is making his break through at Chelsea at 22 years old, Danny Wellbeck at Manchester United at 21 years old and if all continues to go well for Afobe, he could be finally making his break through next season with us, at just 19 years of age.

Who knows, he may yet get a chance this season, I think I’d rather see him on the bench than Chamakh……

Gazidis has hit the headlines again with a corker having been asked about the impact finishing outside the top four could have on our club:

In the past few years we have qualified for the Champions League and our best players have still left, so how can we expect to keep them if we aren’t in the Champions League? 

There are very few clubs in the world that you would go to ahead of Arsenal in terms of consistently being there. I don’t see that adversely impacting on our ability to attract players or retain the top players that we have.

Jeepers creepers, what does that say to our players??

We wonder why they cannot motivate themselves to win the PL, if the clubs Chief Executive doesn’t give a toss about where we finish, why should Wenger and the team?

Thankfully, Sunday showed us they do care where we finish and if were Stan, I’d either sellotape Gazidis mouth up or sack him, he’s a first class idiot!!

Finally, and according to The Telegraph, Lukas Podolski  hopes to become our first major signing of the summer! In fact, reports in Germany suggest that a provisional agreement has already been made for him to become an Arsenal player. This season alone, he has scored 15 goals and has four assists in 18 League appearances.

Not bad I guess.  ;)

That’s it folks, keep on smiling……

About these ads

Wenger to be denied summer funds? More of the same please Arsene…

February 28, 2012

After a beautiful Sunday and of course that euphoric feeling that Monday morning brought, I was pleased to be informed by a close friend that Arsene gets his morning off with a daily dose of HH before he does anything else.

Apparently the advice he gets off of all the comments makes him think things out clearly.

Suggestion is that Arsene logged in the other day read what fans were saying about the season ticket prices and decided to talk to the board about it and the next day a statement was released announcing that the club are to freeze ST prices for next year for gold members.

Arsene if you login today expand it to the others as well there’s a good man. ;)

Seriously, supporters do not realise how powerful their opinions are, opinions and actions can make a massive difference, for instance the Arsenal Library was in full voice this weekend and although Adebayor came back to visit, the fans kept it very friendly. Yes he got the odd  jeer but  not for racism, not for bad football either, it had nothing to do with any of that. It was  just because he left us and came back to haunt us and we don’t like that kind of thing at the Ems and now he knows it.

Arsene knew that as well, as he said when asked if he had plans to re-sign Ade he said,

Why would I let him go if I still wanted him.

Well said Arsene!

Whether Wenger actually reads or not is one thing and to be honest, we know he doesn’t but if he doesn’t listen to the thousands then he must be a fool.

Yes he got us fired up for that mob down the road and lets face it, it was a bit of a shock even for hardened supporters like us!

Don’t get me wrong I’m not moaning but that was a one-off game, a great result yes, but we have had this team all season and that has got to be the first time I have seen us play in such a way, the kind of football that used to be common place for us.

Even against Chelsea, we didn’t show that kind of form and I for one want to see that again, not just next year or the year after but in all of our remaining fixtures this season!

I’m a bit giddy after Sunday as I really find it hard to believe that these are the same players that played in the previous two fixtures against Milan and Sunderland.

Why is it that?

Arsene Wenger must demand commitment like we witnessed on Sunday, the doggedness, and above all the way they played as a team.

We have seen enough of that tippy tappy crap football  and we want/need more of the dynamic style, the surging forward with intent and the ‘no going back’ approach!

Yes Arsene, if your reading, you will know, all we ask for is more of the same we witnessed on Sunday, it was stunning!

This is what we have seen, we know they can do it and this is what we want.

They have the skill and now it’s your job to get the best out of them

We now know they can overturn teams and we now expect it every game, no that’s the wrong word we demand it and you need to deliver it.

Arsene me old mate, I have given you a fair bit of stick this season and I have asked for your head to be on a block, maybe I was a bit premature but I will be watching you and at this moment in time I apologise.

However,  now I have seen what this team can do, the chasing back, the committed tackles, the direct forward runs that throw defences into confusion and the way our own defence can attack as well as defend with gusto, so yes Arsene I want more of that!

I liked what I saw and now I expect it each fixture – I want to see the opposition walking off with their heads bowed, our players walking off with their heads held high! Yes Arsene that’s what I want, that’s what we want!

We have waited for some time for the kind of football we saw on Sunday and now we want that time and time again!

So Arsene, if you are reading today, don’t forget we’re watching.

Written by Steve Palmer 

Just a bit to add on in case you ddin’t see the clubs financial situation yesterday:

Group profit before tax was £49.5 million (2010 – loss of £6.1 million)

Profit on sale of player registrations amounted to £63.0 million (2010 – £4.0 million)

£74.7 million of investment in new players and extended contracts pushed amortisation charges up to £17.3 million (2010 – £10.1 million)

The resulting profit from player trading was £46.1 million (2010 – loss of £5.9 million)

Turnover from football rose to £113.5 million (2010 – £97.6 million) with increases from match-day (four additional games played) and commercial income streams

Operating profits (before depreciation and player trading) from football increased to £15.2 million (2010 – £9.4 million)

Period of minimal activity, as expected, in the property business with turnover of £3.2 million (2010 – £22.5 million) and operating profits of £0.5 million (2010 – £3.3 million)

Group has no short-term debt and continues to have a solid financial platform from cash reserves of £115.2 million (2010 – £110.4 million).

Ivan Gazidis:

The most important thing is how we do on the pitch. We have a healthy cash balance of £115m but not all that is available to invest in transfers. We have running costs, player salaries and so on. We also have to keep some in reserve in case things don’t go our way.

There is money available, we don’t talk about an exact figure because it would impact on our negotiating position. We do spend all of the money we generate. We do invest it in the squad.

Make of that what you wish but to me it sounds like Arsene Wenger won’t be having the kind of money available in the summer that we all hoped he would….


Best performance this season? DVD time after battering Tottenham?

February 27, 2012

Let’s get straight into the game, no faffing eh!

Totts kicked off and within two minutes the worst fear became reality when Saha put them ahead, thanks mainly to a huge deflection off Vermaelen. The defence was all over the place, Gibbs had let Saha run free to get on the end of an Adebayor pass… Thomas tried to get a tackle in but just helped the ball loop over Szczesny

Wake up call?

Soon after, we had a shout for a penalty as Gibbs was bundled over but no surprise when Mike Dean dismissed the call…

Another penalty shout by us followed as the ball appeared to hit Parkers hand but this time, Dean was right to deny us as it hit the chest of the Yid Tottenham man..

We may have been 1-0 down but the players heads were up, well up….

Robin had our first real chance but his shot went just wide, we had a lot of the ball and created a few half chances but Tottenham were always looking dangerous on the break, we had to be careful not to concede a second so early on..

Bale then got the better of Sagna down the left and whipped a cross into the far post which Kranjcar sent over the bar.

Round about the twenty-minute mark, a moment of magic by Robin, Sagna takes a throw-in, straight to our captain who turned and half volleyed a shot on goal which took deflection and went inches wide of the post.

A goal was coming, you could feel it….

Rosicky was the next to go close, so very close with a super glancing header from an RvP corner, great save from Friedel. Tottenham then went close on the counter attack through Walker but his shot went wide.

Modric was the first in the book, followed shortly after by Koscielny for a late one on Kranjcar and Scott Parker for a naughty tackle on RvP on the edge of the penalty area.

Then Mike Dean stole the show by awarding Tottenham a totally undeserved or justified penalty.

Bale decided to be the latest candidate for the GB Diving team by earning a spot kick. Szczesny was deemed to be the man guilty of tripping Bale over with his hand but no booking and no sending off, yet that was a clear goal scoring opportunity!

Replays clearly showed that no contact had been made and Dean made yet another major feck up in a game involving us…

Up stepped our old boy, 2-0 and thankfully no great celebration! He thought about it though….

How would we react was the question on every Gooners mind I am sure, would we sink or would we start swimming?

On thirty-five minutes, Theo headed a stray ball ahead of him, he ran on to it and the route ahead of him was clear to drive on into the penalty area but instead he panicked and tried to find RvP far too early and a great opportunity went by.

At this point, many shouts from fans were no doubt was about getting Theo off, get Chamberlain on, Theo is rubbish etc etc etc….

Justified? Maybe, Right, well you know the answer now….

Five minutes before half time, we started our comeback, RvP had a shot which hit the post and came back to Arteta, the latter crossed into the area and Sagna of all people headed home, great goal and 2-1.

Within minutes, RvP made it 2-2 with a beautiful curling shot which left Friedel stranded, having picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and losing his marker. Genius, pure genius!

We were swimming alright and we were in control, shame the half time whistle had to blow…

Before it did, Arteta found himself in Dean’s book for a late one on Modric!

Harry made a couple of changes for the second half; Van der Vaart came on for Kranjcar and Sandro for Saha.

Yossi had the first chance of the second half with a well placed shot towards the inside of the far post but Friedel made a good save. He didn’t miss his second chance though from another break which found Sagna on the right, he crossed along the ground where Tomas and Theo were lurking but the Czech got there first and flicked the ball over Friedel, a superb classy finish and we were 3-2 up…

He cares.....

Walcott was the next to have a chance but his shot went just wide of the far post.

Sandro goes in the book for a dreadfully late tackle on our captain!

Next of note was a moment that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. ;)

Rosicky had the ball, played if forward to RvP down the left, there was no-one one minute, the next there was Theo who had sprinted from the half way line into the penalty area, RvP played the ball into his path, a great first touch, followed by a suspect second but boy did he finish well?

So does he.....

4 – 2!

Just in case any fan thought Theo was lucky, within minutes Alex Song played the ball to Theo, who held his line well to beat the offside trap, and finished with pure class, stunning.

5-2 and back in 4th place.

With fifteen minutes to go, Jenkinson makes his PL return, with Gibbs going off, Rosicky played a wonderful one two with Theo but the latter saw his shot go wide, we’ll forgive him for that one as it was on his weaker foot. ;)

Just before eighty minutes, Theo made way for Chamberlain and Arry brought on Dawson for King..

The ‘olays’ were loud and clear as we just kept the ball, it was such a wonderful sight wasn’t it?

Just one last moment of magic to mention and that was of course form our captain as he jinked by three of the Totts players in the middle of the park and no matter what they tried, RvP came out with the ball – Happy feet!

And these two certainly do.....

Then a moment of madness by the already booked Scott Parker, a nasty tackle on Thomas Vermaelen saw him off for an early bath!

Actually, do swamp dwellers bath?? ;)

Gervinho then came on for Yossi.

Just before the final whistle went, Sagna wanted to make it 6-2 but his shot from miles out went flying over the bar.

Did he care, did you care? I know I didn’t….

Game over and we had beaten our not so loved ones down the road.

Ok, the first half, one man stood out for me and that was Theo Walcott. He was dire, nervous and totally out of depth but, his second half performance was darn good and his finishing was sublime.

He could play central when he finishes like that. ;)

Other than that and the moment of defensive madness for their first goal, we were stronger today, a lot stronger mentally in my opinion.

We were winning the defensive ariel battles, the midfield battles and we created chances, plenty of them and taking five against that lot was pretty special.

Just had to chuckle when Parker went off , many an Arsenal fan waved a red card at him, no doubt those were ready for Arsene Wenger had we lost – but we didn’t and that idea backfired.

Aren’t we all glad it did……..

Finally, we have all given Arsene Wenger a bit of a hard time over recent months but yesterday, credit has to be given where it’s due.

He started with Yossi and Rosicky as we needed experience and both had really good games, he took a bit of a risk on Gibbs who is only just back from injury and it worked but most of all, he didn’t panick after Theo had a shocking first half.

He stood by them all and they repaid him, and all of us fans!

Well done Arsene, you got it spot on yesterday, and so did the players you have faith in!

I’ll leave it to you all to rate the players, me, well I rate them all very highly after that result, in fact from the moment Sagna got our first goal, I’d say that was the best performance of the season.

Who thinks we should put together a DVD? (Just kidding of course)

Not Tottenham, that’s for sure…….

Have a good day all, I know I will……….


Massive!! If they can’t be up for today, they never will ……….

February 26, 2012

Massive game, just massive and it’s about time we stopped all this faffing around against that lot down the road and give them a good battering – get the pride back on our side of London!!

Get the pride back Arsene.....

So, 1.30pm today, home at the Emirates and a fixture that brings out the largest number of supporters from London – two clubs go head to head, both with a wealth of history…

The rivalry began in 1919 when Arsenal finished fifth in the then second division but rumoured skullduggery saw Arsenal promoted to the first division at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur who were relegated.

Tottenham’s club and supporters were up in arms but the footballing authorities were quite happy to have the better side in and Tottenham out. Tottenham’s supporters have always held that against us and the bitter rivalry started, rules were different in those days and their supporters have never forgiven or forgotten and nor have we – Shame eh!

It has to be recognised that Tottenham are having the best season they have had for quite a few years and right now they are leading us by 10 points!!

They are getting all the plaudits, some even suggest they are playing attractive football, maybe at times the best in the Premier League, causing problems for most of their opponents and that they deserve to be sat in third place.

Blimey!!

Harry Redknapp has transformed his team, he has managed to keep Luka Modric who was head-hunted and he also signed Scott Parker on a free transfer which has turned out to be a master stroke. Redknapp also negotiated a loan for our old centre forward Adebayor from Manchester City, another good piece of business in my view as he has scored his fair share of goals since his move.

The old wheeler-dealer has been in the news just lately in a court battle with the tax people but in the end he was adjudged to be innocent of all charges against him. Surprisingly, the same day he was found innocent, the current England Manager Fabio Cappello handed in his resignation. It could be suggested that the timing was perfect…..

Mr Redknapp had been a firm favourite of the FA to take over from Mr Cappello at the end of the Euro’s but he’s yet to be approached and in the meantime,  Stuart Pearce has been placed in charge and he’s told the FA that he would be prepared and honoured to take the job full-time…..

Maybe Mr Redknapps luck has finally run out!!

Tottenham drew first blood over us this season with a 2.1 win at White Hart Lane and the rivalry from both sets of supporters will be reaching fever pitch by the time kick off approaches.

Will we get our own back or will Tottenham do the double over us, 3 o’clock today will reveal all.

We are having one of those seasons that feels like groundhog day, fairly good until the pressure builds up and then we hit the self destruct button which is where we are now!

We still have injury problems which has been the case all season,  we have just gone through a transfer window and have not signed  any players, yet miraculously we are still fifth in the league.

This is a huge game for us, if ever there was a must win game this is it!

Captain Robin says:

What better way to set things straight again than to beat Spurs? I would rather be playing them now than on any other day, and we know that a win is absolutely vital.

Bloody right Robin…. Bloody right!!

Our last couple of games resulted in a 4-0 & 2-0 loss so we can only improve and it is against Yids!

Sorry I have tried for all I’m worth to try and be polite but its the Spuds, The Swampies, The Scum, The Filth and we must beat them, batter them, absolutely annihilate them!!

Will our boys need a team talk?

They shouldn’t need one should they, if our boys are not up for this game they should not be in the red and white that represents OUR club, our history and just what days like today mean to us!

Come on you gunners fight for your lives and give us the win we deserve.

Written by Steve Palmer


Arshavin gone! Clever, or just bitter and twisted? No,not Wenger….

February 25, 2012

What many Arsenal fans hoped for happened yesterday when Andrey Arshavin joined Zenit on loan for the rest of the season. I doubt he’ll return in the summer, his old club want him back for good and who can blame him for going either? I certainly don’t, I wish him well and hope his career kick starts again, no doubt it will under a coach who will play to his strengths…

Over the last few days, maybe even weeks we have seen our old favourite Emmanuel Petit take a pop at Arsenal and the players, but yesterday he dug deep and had a swipe at his old boss, Arsene Wenger.

Speaking to France Football:

There is obviously a crisis and I am deeply sad for Arsene. I watch their body language and I see players who have become disillusioned. Year after year, they have always struggled with the last step. I feel they are unmotivated. I even fear that some have lost their trust in Arsene.

He’s only saying what most of us have been at some stage of this current season but for him to come out with such words on a North London Derby weekend makes me think he’s being very clever!

I don’t doubt for one minute that he has the fears he talks about but what better way than to go public, do something to get into the minds of our players as maybe Arsene Wenger can’t.

None of us can tell the players how we feel, has Petit just done that for us?

Imagine if you were one of the squad in for the NLD and you read that about yourself and the man who manages you, would it not make you stop and think? Maybe even wake up a bit and think ‘F**K YOU, I’ll show you just how good I am’.

I know it would me!

If this group of players have anything about them, they should too and if they can’t do it for every game, just make sure they are prepared to do it for this one. This one matters, this one matters big time!

Petit never rolled over for anyone, he never shirked his duties when he wore an Arsenal shirt did he? Mind you, Paddy would have soon kicked him in the butt if he had, but reality is, paddy didn’t need to.

He went on to add:

Each player seems alone in his world. Nobody takes the lead in the field and that’s deadly. Arsene has always protected his players, but now he has to step back. These players are fragile, they can sink.

Football, it’s not a popularity contest on Twitter and Facebook, it’s self-discovery. There are peacocks in the middle of a farmyard.

Pull your fingers out of your a**** guys!

Amen to that Petit, Amen to that……!

Quite what peacocks have to do with football I don’t know but…..

Have a good day all, tomorrow the battle commences……


Barca in for striker! Stan in town but will we see him ‘creeping out’? Taxi for Nicklas…

February 24, 2012

Ivan Gazidis announced yesterday that 35,000 existing Gold Level season-ticket holders will see no price increase next season for our home fixtures, however, the Club Level season tickets, which are available to 7,000 fans and are different to GA season tickets as they cover all first-team home fixtures, will go up by an average of two per cent.

We understand the pressure fans are under in the current economic climate and hope this will go some way to helping them. Our season-ticket holders are the heart of our Club and we are recognising their loyalty by holding their ticket prices for next season.

Bizarre, why not just freeze the price on all the Season Tickets, make up for a few wrong doings this season? Still, 35,000 fans should be happier, that’s if they renew of course!

So, Stan is in town and as long as he doesn’t get lost in London, ( he’s hardly familiar with the place is he ) he’s going to be parking his butt at The Emirates on Sunday to watch his investment perform against the neighbours. Should the day go horribly wrong for our team, Stan could be in for a tough time, he’s the major shareholder, what goes on at the club is down to him.

If the score-line is not what we hope for around eighty-five minutes, wonder if he’ll try and sneak out early to avoid the abuse he could be in for.

Let’s hope not, this game is massive and we need the three points, we also need to put the neighbours back in their place and close the gap between us and them to just seven points and build from there.

Talking of building, something now of course which can only happen in the summer, Barcelona are reported to be in the running for our ‘long-term’ target Matias Suarez of Anderlecht. If we are to believe all that is written, we had talks with the player’s agent in January and all was going swimmingly well for a summer move but now that Spanish lot are showing an interest, things could change…..

We have a lot of ‘long-term’ targets don’t we, shame they don’t ever seem to be signed…

Whilst on the subject of summer signings, The Daily Telegraph have been running a poll, asking fans which area of our squad needs to be sorted out, 3 votes were permitted and this is how it materialised.

A new striker to support Robin van Persie  27.78%  (3,953 votes)

Wide players to replace Andrei Arshavin and Theo Walcott  19.07%  (2,714 votes)

Central midfield  25.54%  (3,635 votes)

Full backs to offer back up to Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos  10.08%  (1,434 votes)

Central defence  15.8%  (2,248 votes)

A more experienced goalkeeper than Wojciech Szczesny  1.73%  (246 votes)

14,230 votes were cast which doesn’t of course reflect Arsenal’s entire fan base, not even 1% of it but it’s always interesting to see what others think are our areas of weakness.

Do you agree with those you have voted?

Finally, it seems that no-one wants Nikki Bendtner – we have gone from asking £12 million for him, to offering him to Sunderland for just £4 million and they laughed at that too..

Taxi for Nicklas……..

That’s it for today, wonder if we will hear anything from Stan Kroenke…

Nah, I doubt it too……



Worst Arsenal side in the last ten years? Wenger could get £100 Million to spend & Arshavin could leave today….

February 23, 2012

Few titbits ahead of todays post:

Zenit have made an equiry about taking Arshavin on loan for the rest of the season, today is DD for the little Russian. No doubt if they are succesful today, this move would be made permenant in the summer. Talking of the summer, The Daily Telegraph report that Arsene Wenger will be give between £50 million and £100 million to finally sort the squad out. Hopefully it will be nearer the latter and the stubborn one spends every penny!

Onto todays post:

Last week on the eve of our game in Milan Arsene reacted angrily to journalists for questioning the ability of the current Arsenal team to go on and lift the coveted Champions League trophy.

‘I wouldn’t waste my time here if I thought it wasn’t possible, I’d rather sit at home then…’ he replied.

Arrigo Sacchi who led the greatest Milan side to date, some say it was the best ever team, to CL glory several times in the 80’s said this is the worst Arsenal team he had seen in 10 years. This view has been agreed upon by many other personalities in the game like Ancelotti, Roy Keane…to name quite a few.

Do they have a point ?

I know most of us would easily brush such criticisms of people who have no relation with Arsenal easily but you know something is seriously wrong when you hear the same thing being said by our ex-players like Keown, Bergkamp, Vieira, Winterburn, Petit among others.

This is what Bergkamp said when comparing today with his days at Arsenal:

I feel there are a lot of similar players there at the moment, It needs to be more diverse. You need a few strong characters who can get the team going, in training as well as matches. You also need a few players who can make a difference in terms of scoring goals. I don’t feel there are enough of them. You look at the midfield and compare it with ours.

We had Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Ray Parlour – when it wasn’t working for one of the big names, one of these could step up.

You can’t only depend on one or two players. When they’re having an off day, you need someone else.

He refers, in the main, to Robin van Persie, who has even surprised his compatriot by scoring so many goals as an out-and-out frontman.

To be honest, I would still prefer to see Robin play a bit deeper behind the main striker so that he could pick his moments the way I used to. I think he could be even better in that role, but the way he’s playing now you can hardly blame the coach for putting him there.

Yet not even Van Persie’s heroics have quelled the rumbling discontent.

Many supporters would probably nod in agreement at the following thoughts from the great man.

Sometimes you need more of a winning mentality than a passing mentality, I’m not sure Arsenal have enough of that in their players, when the attitude becomes more important than the ability just to pass the ball. I don’t know if the English mentality is missing a little bit. We had it with the back four, of course, who had the mentality of thinking, ‘OK, this game is ours now.’

Sometimes I see their games and it’s always the same way of playing, a bit too predictable. They are all fantastic players, that must be said, but sometimes you need a bit more of the other side.

Does he have a point?

Let us start from our goalkeepers. Szczesny’s breakthrough was nothing short of remarkable. We have waxed lyrical all about him. He has that presence that all great GKs do, he commands his area well and is great at shot stopping.

However his distribution leaves a lot to be desired. Against Milan we conceded the first goal due to this. He also started to become too big for his boots but I’ve heard he has taken time off twitter to focus on his game. If that is true then good; I’d rather they all stay off twitter. Also Szczesny seems to concede a lot of goals from long range shots and free kicks; he needs to work on that.

Fabianski in my opinion is our most talented senior GK in my opinion but he looks petrified every time he plays. He lacks presence and confidence to be our numero uno in between the sticks. The less said about Mannone and Almunia the better. Therefore, in the goalkeeping department we need a Sorensen/Friedel type of GK to promote healthy competition and provide advice to our youngsters.

Our defence has been our kryptonite for quite sometime. We tend to concede the softest goals in the league despite dominating most of our games. Examining our options at CB we have Vermaelen/Koscielny/Mertesacker/Squillaci/Djourou/Miquel/Barley. Miquel and Bartley are still young so the jury is out on them.

Squillaci and Djourou are in my opinion not good enough to play for us. For a successful CB partnership it has been proven that you need one sweeper and one Aggressive CB. Among the remaining CBs only Mertesacker can be classified as a sweeper. Despite looking slow there is a reason why he still plays for Germany when fit. He reads the game so well and that is why he and Koscielny worked so well. We need another sweeper like him since we already have 2 aggressive CBs.

When it comes to the fullbacks we have Sagna/Jenkinson/Gibbs/Santos. Sagna at his best is a rock at the back. What he lacks though is attacking quality to really make a difference in the final third that Alves/Lahm provide for their teams.

The jury is still out on Jenkinson. At LB we have Santos/Gibbs. Gibbs is a very frustrating player since he is always injured. How long do we have to persist with him?

Santos on the other hand is a very exciting player to watch. He may not be Maldini at the back but going forward he is excellent. He gives us that variety that Bergkamp was talking about. He can make diagonal runs inside or outside, can pass like a midfielder, can dribble and has lots of flair. He has what Sagna lacks. He could’ve been very useful against S’land.

According to my analysis we are well short at the back.

Ever since Arsene took over our club, the strongest area of our team has always been midfield. The invincibles had Vieira who was tank bossing games while Gilberto swept behind him. They were 2 very different players who complemented each other very well. They were also up for battle if necessary.

In 07/08 we had Flamini/Fabregas who complemented each other very well. Right now we have the likes of Arteta/Ramsey/Rosicky starting the same match when its clear as day they are very similar players. Where is the variety? Even Song is transforming his game to mirror that of the aforementioned trio. This is what Bergkamp was talking about. We as a result tend to have 70% possession but doing nothing with it.

That’s not beautiful football, its crab football. The only variety we have in midfield is jack/diaby who are both injured. We have missed their ability to drive with the ball and dribble past defenders to create space for our forwards. We lack that dynaminism in our play as a result.When the going gets tough do we have those players DB10 is talking about that can force the issue using power and grit to grind out a result? When passing doesn’t work we look clueless .

This needs sorting out ASAP.

Looking around Europe the best midfields have that variety; a ying yang if you may. At Barca Xavi dictates the game, Iniesta provides that dynaminism in the final third and Busquets mops up behind them. The same case applies with Oezil/Alonso/Khedira at Madrid. Cesc had Hleb/Nasri ahead of him to help him break down defences. We now neither have a Cesc nor a nasri; we are now left with Arteta/Ramsey/Rosicky passing to oblivion while running into each other, it’s painful to watch. A lot of work is needed to be done in midfield.

In attack we have Rvp/Oxo/AA/Theo/Gervinho/Park/Chamakh. Rvp has become a very clinical striker. Its amazing how good he has become. However, am I the only one who wishes we could see more of the skillful Rvp back?Could dropping him deeper as the iceman suggested be a good option and maybe buy a pacy and powerful striker to play ahead of him? In tight games like against S’land that part of his game would’ve been useful.

We seem to lack that X-factor in attack when everything else fails. Remember Bergkamp’s goal against newcastle? Don’t you wish we could have players that could do that? Fans loveto be wowed and such moments of genius will galvanize the crowd.

When RvP first joined he was absolutely amazing at dribbling, we miss that in our attack. AA used to but he too seems to have lost that side of his game. Gervinho is still adapting but we have seen flashes that he can but Theo can’t dribble past players. Oxo can but let us not heap too much pressure on him. Ryo is also showing promise but we need players for now. That x-factor component is severely lacking in our midfield/attack and it needs to be addressed.

When we need to play through the wings do we have a winger capable of swinging crosses into the area and a forward capable of heading it in? Theo tries his best there but he can only play well when there is space in behind and balls are played for him to run onto. We should develop varieties in attack and that is only possible if we have the right personell.

Variety is essential as Bergkamp pointed out. We need to mix and match to avoid being a predictable and one dimensional team that we are slowly transforming too. We have become very painful to watch as a result and as Bergkamp has pointed out, their team had all sorts of variety of players and that is why they were so good to watch.

When we were struggling DB10 would pull a rabbit out of the hat, or Henry would slalom past players to score like he did at the Bernabeu or someone like Pires would finesse the ball into the top corner from 30 yards…I miss that.

That was Wengerball at its best back then and I miss that. I would rather watch them than the current Barca team.

We have the cash, Arsene and Gazidis keep telling us so many times and our manager has even said that there are only 10
players in the world we can’t afford. They have to keep in mind quality has a price and you have to be ready to pay for it.

We are still an elite club but something has to be done to stop the rot we are in.

We have lots of work to be done on the team and as a fan one can only hope it will be done with or without Arsene.

Will it be done? …

Only time will tell.

Written by K-TR7


Season gets Shorter! Walcott to Chelsea in Sturridge swap? International Left Back linked…

February 22, 2012

I’ll start with the titbits:

Fellow struggling Chelsea are reported to have put Theo Walcott on their summer shopping list and one newspaper even suggests a deal could involve Daniel Sturridge coming to us. I think right now many would take that swap in a flash.

Ghana defender Daniel Opare who is 21 years old is also linked with us. He currently plays for Standard Liege and his position is either left or right back.

Park finally got a game last night, he featured for the reserves and it took him only six minutes to find the back of the net! Arshavin also nabbed himself a couple of goals with Afobe and Benayoun getting the other two in a 5-0 defeat of Norwich. Carl Jenkinson and Benik Afobe also made their return from injury. Chamakh stayed on the pitch for half an hour, but limped off after being tackled!!

Henri Lansbury featured for West Ham, on 53 minutes he replace goalkeeper Robert Green, yes, in goal and didn’t concede!

On to todays post…

Arsenal’s season seems to be ending earlier and earlier with each passing year under Arsene Wenger.

2011-2012 was effectively wraped up on the 18th February 2012, at The Stadium of Ploughed Field, amid much rancour from an increasingly bitter fan-base.

Another spineless performance and post Wenger-rant and a team devoid at the moment, of spirit, fight and the tactical nous to adapt to opposition tactics.

The players seemingly unable to think on their feet.

Whilst Wenger, unable to motivate his team and unable to come up with a tactical answer to Sunderland’s basic play, waved his arms in frustration at the referee.

Howard Webb was as anti-Arsenal as he always is, that is as unsurprising as O’Neill’s methodically uninventive tactics.

Was O’Shea’s tackle a penalty? Did he get a bit of Van Persie before he got the ball? Did all the Arsenal players go up in unison to try and influence the referee?

Or were the appeals half-hearted?

The team just collectively shrugged its drooping shoulders, meekly accepting their fate?

A lack of spirit maybe, not just a lack of fighting qualities from a squad that, on the surface, has gone soft….

Arsene Wenger doesn’t hide, nor does he inspire any confidence, and the Board’s bullshit concerning a reported £55m available to be spent in the summer just sounds like the usual lies, more lies and damned lies we’ve become accustomed to at this time of the season as it unravel’s.

What has happened to some of our players?

Aaron Ramsey is struggling with his form, but he doesn’t hide like some I could mention. Aaron works bloody hard, but nothing seems to be going for him.

Tomas Rosicky is a pale shadow of the exciting, attacking midfielder Arsenal signed from Borussia Dortmund in May 2006.
Gone are the surging runs, the powerful shooting, as with Arshavin, all that off-the-cuff exuberance has just melted away, or has it been coached out of him?

Maroune Chamakh arrived and gave us that aerial threat we’d all been wanting to see from our attack. Now all he looks to do is pass the ball,  or lay it off to a team-mate.

Has his attacking instincts also been coached out of him?

With all the injuries, lack of goals, suspect defending, confidence sapping results, we have the spectre of the noisy neighbours rolling into town, more confident of taking maximum points from their traditional superiors for the first time in some 30 years….

We are looking for some inspiration from above, that’s the Board but all absent Stan is interested in is his real estate ambitions, both in The States and over here.

There is no chance of Kroneke taking a hands-on approach, he’s not even interested in football, he’s a developer, a speculator, a profiteer.

We have the present Board to thank for his involvement.

Of course a top-four finish is still within the grasp of this team. Whether that is still a realistic hope will become clearer after the next four EPL games.

Europa League is not something we really want to consider, but by May 13th we might have to….

Sorry it’s all doom and gloom, but that’s how I feel.

Written by Allezkev

There are things which put our footballing moans and groans  into perspective.

Today Lee say’s goodbye to his Mum and I know I speak for all of us here on Highbury House when I say that our thoughts are with Lee and his family, I pray they find strength to get through this difficult day and the months ahead….

Strength be with you all Lee and may Peace be always with your Mum…..


Can we manage 90 Goals this Season??

February 21, 2012

Let’s do a comparison of Arsenal FC performance since the inception of English Premier League from 1992/93 season, our move to Emirates in 2006/07 season and of course, Arsenal FC during Arsene Wenger Era.

Table 1

Season

Finish

W

D

L

F

A

+/-

Pts

1992/93

10th

15

11

16

40

38

2

56

1993/94

4th

18

17

7

53

28

25

71

1994/95

12th

13

12

17

52

49

3

51

1995/96

5th

17

12

9

49

32

17

63

1996/97

3rd

19

11

8

73

40

33

68

1997/98

1st

23

9

6

78

33

45

78

1998/99

2nd

22

12

4

59

17

42

78

1999/00

2nd

22

7

9

73

43

30

73

2000/01

2nd

24

8

6

79

31

48

80

2001/02

1st

26

9

3

79

36

43

87

2002/03

2nd

23

9

6

85

42

43

78

2003/04

1st

26

12

0

73

26

47

90

2004/05

2nd

25

8

5

87

36

51

83

2005/06

4th

20

7

11

68

31

37

67

2006/07

4th

19

11

8

63

35

28

68

2007/08

3rd

24

11

3

74

31

43

83

2008/09

4th

20

12

6

68

37

31

72

2009/10

3rd

23

6

9

83

41

42

75

2010/11

4th

19

11

8

72

43

29

68

2011/12

??

13

4

8

48

35

13

43

From 1992/93 to 1994/95 season, there were 22 teams before it had been reduced to present day 20 teams. And we had managed 4th spot for 4 seasons only with points varying from 67 to 72 points.

Table 2: The Rebuilding based on Rinus Michels “Ajax Model of team Building”

Total Games Played   Games

W

D

L

Average Goal per game

 

CL

FA

CC

Played

 

 

 

Goals

Average

 

2005/06

13

2

5

58

32

12

14

95

1.64

2006/07

10

4

6

58

30

16

12

98

1.69

2007/08

12

3

5

58

36

15

7

113

1.95

2008/09

14

6

3

61

33

16

12

113

1.85

2009/10

12

2

3

55

33

8

14

116

2.11

2010/11

8

6

6

58

31

13

14

119

2.05

2011/12

9

2

3

40

22

6

12

67

1.68

After the end of the French Spine Era from 1996/97 to 2004/05, you can see that Arsene Wenger is still unsuccessful to build a title-winning team as we lost and drawn too many games. Our very best performance during this Rebuilding Stage was in 2007/08 season where again, the failure to strengthen the squad during 2008 January transfer Window resulted us snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory after than shameful collapse at BRUM.

Latest result on Feb 18, 2012:

FA Cup tie: Sunderland  2  0  Arsenal

We are going to have the most dreadful season under Arsene Wenger, playing the least number of matches per season (40 + 13 + 1) = 54 matches and going to score less than even 90 goals in all competitions.

And if Van Persie hits a blip pretty soon, who is going to step up and we may end up scoring less than 20 goals in the remaining 13 league games and one more CL Cup tie!

That is, 67 + 20 = 87 goals!

It is beyond belief as to how did Arsene Wenger end up with such an awful Strikeforce that can’t even score in a brothel even with a nubile nymphomaniac doing lap dance on their laps. Has it is not being Van Persie having a brilliant season that is solely carrying the team so far, we may very well be struggling in the relegation zone.

Basing on an attacking 4-3-3, with a Lone Striker in the box, the contribution of the team should be generally in the ratio of:

40% Strikeforce

50% Midfield

10% Defence and Own Goals

But it is not happening as again we have a bunch of midfielders that cannot even hit the barn door with a banjo, superb in scoring 3 points and skewing their shots wide off the post, and excellent marksmen in hitting bodies in the box with their shots.

Worse, after playing 40 games in this season, there is no sign that the team is gelling, developing an understanding between MIDFIELD and STRIKEFORCE, plus an integral DEFENCE that is measly with plenty of clean sheets.

And in attacking 4-3-3 with us playing a high line, there must be a “Vacuum Cleaner” to sweep that vast space between DEFENCE and MIDFIELD when all go attacking in the opponent’s half and parked near their box playing slow, short and deliberate passes around the box – known as Crab Football – against a 4-6-1 or 1-9-1 formation basing on swift counter-attacks to score goals against Arsenal.

None better shown by Sunderland 2nd goal when the attack broke down, a long racking pass to Sessegnon who just passed aside a “lightweight” Arteta, hold the play well and an on-rushing Larsson came in support with a decent goal scoring chance presented.

Our dreadful 2011/12 season can be summarised in 2 sentences:

The TEAM is not gelling and has no understand whatsoever in movement off the balls, and all plays and passes from MDIFIELD are so inaccurate, wildly crossed on a wing and a prayer, and so predictable that they literally telegraphed their intent to our opponents, easily anticipated, intercepted and cut-off.

Other than Van Persie, We have no goal scorer from our Strikeforce and Attacking Midfielders.

The Table below explains it all.

Table 3: 2011/12 Season Goal Scoring Prowess

Game Played =

     39

EPL

CL

FA

CC

 

Goal Scored =

     67

25

9

2

3

 

Game Won =

    22

13

5

2

2

Game Draw =

     6

4

2

0

0

Game Lost =

   11

8

2

0

1

 

 

 

 

2011/12

Total

EPL

CL

FA

CC

 

Squad

Goals

48

10

4

5

Van Persie

28

22

4

2

-

Walcott

6

3

2

1

-

Gervinho

4

4

-

-

-

Henry

3

2

-

1

-

Chamakh

1

1

-

-

-

Park CY

1

-

-

-

1

Afobe

0

-

-

-

-

Arteta

4

4

-

-

-

Chamberlain

4

2

1

-

1

Ramsey

3

2

1

-

-

Benayoun

3

1

1

-

1

Arshavin

2

1

-

-

1

Song

1

1

-

-

-

Van Persie

0

-

-

-

-

Rosicky

0

-

-

-

-

Diaby

0

-

-

-

-

Coquelin

0

-

-

-

-

Wilshere

0

-

-

-

-

Frimpong

0

-

-

-

-

Yennaris

0

-

-

-

-

Vermaelen

3

3

-

-

-

Santos

2

1

1

-

-

Gibbs

1

-

-

-

1

Koscielny

1

1

-

-

-

Sagna

0

-

-

-

-

Mertesacker

0

-

-

-

-

Jenkinson

0

-

-

-

-

Djourou

0

-

-

-

-

Miquel

0

-

-

-

-

“Own” goal

0

-

-

-

-

STRIKER :

64.18%

goals scored

43

goals

MIDFIELD :

25.37%

goals scored

17

goals

DEFENCE :

7.46%

goals scored

5

goals

Own & “Dubious” goal:

0.00%

goals scored

0

goals

First 7 games      = 7 points out of 21 points;

Next 8 games    = 22 points out of 24 points;

Next 7 games    = 7 points out of 21 points;

Last 3 games      = 7 points out of 9 points.

Maximum points achievable = 43 + 39 = 82 points.

Realistic Target of 7 wins 3 draws 3 losses = 24 points.

Minimum points for 4th spot = 43 + 24 = 67 points.

In consolation, we are still on track to fight for Top-4 status as long as do not lose more than 3 matched and get a result against S*CUMS, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Can we even score 90 goals and more for this season, with at least 23 goals in the remaining 14 games of our season?

Written by Merlin96


Unequivocal? More like Unbelievable!! £55M Transfer Kitty, just what would that get us…

February 20, 2012

So Wenger is going nowhere!

Going Nowhere.....

He has the unequivocal backing of Stan and his merry men for the foreseeable future!

Reports suggest that despite our battering by AC Milan and Sunderland, the Frenchman is safe in his role and when the summer transfer window opens he is to be given £55 million to spend of making our squad stronger.

I wonder if the board looked a little deeper into our crisis before telling the manager that he won’t be losing his £7 million for a while yet?

Obviously not, the continual defeats/draws with the neighbours, the regular hidings from the Mancs seems to not matter, let alone the dire displays that has seen us drop points to the sides fighting to stay in this league.

There we have it, the board see what Wenger is not doing to be fine and dandy which to me suggests they lack the passion we all hoped they had.

Back to the £55 million, is that really a huge amount of money? Is it enough to really make a difference?

Well, if names like Mario Goetze, Lukas Podolski, Eden Hazard and Matias Suarez are truly on Wengers shopping list and of course assuming this is all true, that kind of money won’t get many on his shopping list will it?

Does that amount include any funds the manager can raise by selling of some of the deadwood or will that be an addition to the sum quoted?

Will Wenger be ‘instructed’ to spend all the money available to him? If not, there is no guarantee he will change his ways and buy experienced players like the ones named is there?

Or is it all just spin in any case….

Meanwhile, old Gooner George Graham, the man who knew who not to concede goals has spoken out:

 Yes, Arsenal are in crisis. It has been slipping away for the last couple of years.

They’ve not been replacing those players who left four or five years ago.

They’re lacking leaders and the quality of the players they’re bringing in is just not up to the standard if you want to win the Premier League.

They’re playing Tottenham next week. Believe me if they lose that one, the fans will be upset.

Yes George, we will be upset, we already are!!

Next weekends fixture is massive, it always has been and always will be but this weekend it will matter more, we need to get ourselves back on track.

On track for what exactly you may think, well we have to get 4th place and we need to start winning again.

Would be a bit of a bonus if would could start on Sunday wouldn’t it?

Wenger when asked about the FA Cup & CL losses:

People are always asking the same question, but the first trophy is to finish in the top four and that is still possible for us, I believe that is vital for us, so let’s focus on that.

The financial trophy, and that’s exactly why Wenger has the ‘Unequivocal Backing’ of this current board…..

Unbelievable!!

Have a good day all…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 604 other followers