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Wenger wants Remy and Balotelli. Sagna dreams of big victory…..

June 8, 2014

Morning all.

Football fans, darn football fans!!

Every now and again some numptie pops on here and ridicules an opinion/suggestion, bes rude and then he/she is gone, never to appear again. What’s wrong with some folk eh…

Toothless twerps! Go and get your own Arsenal site up and running I say and see how you get on!!

Anyway, today is a new day…….

Actually, it might be a new day but there’s nothing new to report really. The same old stories and rumours are regurgitated by the newspapers and we Arsenal fans feed off of them day after day but all the time, fully aware of the fact it’s all made up.

Look at The Mail this morning, a reported for that newspaper writes that Lukas Podolski is leaving and in will come Remy and Balotelli.

Porto’s Danilo and Callum Chambers are two right backs linked to us in other newspapers.

Rumours eh!

Back to the official site today and despite Bacary Sagna being on the move away from us, he’s been talking about the World Cup:

I dreamt about winning the World Cup many times.

Many times I was thinking I would love to lift that cup and celebrate. Especially when France won it in 1998, it was madness. The country went crazy and I remember thinking about being one of those players. I am now.

I don’t really remember much about France winning in 1998 but I do recall them beating Italy in the final of the 2000 Euro’s. I was sat in a restaurant on holiday that night and the place seemed to be full of Italian supporters.

When Wiltord scored the equaliser for France and I was cheering. Strange really as I’m English through and though but and don’r really care for the French side, this was Wiltord……

The match went into extra time, the ‘sudden death golden goal’ would decide the victors.

The Italian goalkeeper made a brilliant save to prevent Robert Pires from grabbing glory for the French team but he remains a French hero for setting up Trezeguet for the winner.

A stunning left footed finish high and past Toldo.

France won but bearing in mind a few were Arsenal players back then, so much so, it felf like an Arsenal victory…

Maybe that’s why I was cheering for the French national side…..

Talking of national sides, it seems that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is winning his fitness battle for the World Cup, Roy Hodgson said he’ll be ready in two weeks time….

That’s your lot for Sunday, have a great day all….

 

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Bid rejected, Insigne & Casillas linked. We need ‘A Dribbler’….

June 6, 2014

Right after half time in the Last 16 stage of the 2005/2006 Champions League at the Bernabeu, Henry picked up the ball just inside the Real Madrid half, ghosted past several Madrid players before finishing at the far post leaving Casillas helpless…

In the 2007/2008 Champions League quarter finals at the Emirates we were facing Liverpool. The scoreline was 1-1 at this stage of the game. Liverpool seemed to have settled for a draw with about 15 or so minutes. Hleb picked the ball up outside the Liverpool 18 yard box facing several defenders.

He performed the skilful move known as La Croqueta in Spanish (Shuffling the ball quickly between the feet- Santi does it a lot) to beat 2 players and then he glided past 3 more before being brought down by Dirk Kuyt but the referee waved our penalty protests…

These two instances above all have one thing in common- The dribbler.

When we are faced by teams that park the bus, we end up just passing the ball in front of 2 banks of four hoping for an opening. No matter how much pace we have at that time it doesn’t help in such a case. Most of the time we end up over-committing more men forward only for us to get sucker-punched on the counter.

This past season exposed several deficiencies in our attack that have been well documented, from the lack of a clinical striker to lack of pace and movement…

In my opinion the lack of a proper speed dribbler(s) was also one of the reasons our attack faltered, especially when space is limited or when we are facing hard pressing teams like Southampton away for example.

In the 07/08 season we barely had problems with teams that parked the bus. This is because Hleb and Rosicky (the former moreso) would take the initiative and dribble past several players to create openings for the likes of Fabregas and Adebayor to latch into.

When that season ended, Hleb packed his bags for ‘greener’ pastures while Rosicky suffered from an injury that would keep him out for the best part of 2 years. We brought in Nasri that summer who only began to show consistency for us in his final season with us. He had the ability to play the ‘Hleb’ role especially when teams parked the bus against us. An example of this was that Fulham game when the commentator described Nasri’s 2nd goal as having ‘the touch of an angel…’.

We have been desperate for a while for such a player.

Last summer, the regulars here know I was desperate for Di Maria over Ozil because of this. I wanted him to come here and play as a no.10 as Ancelotti does with him at Madrid and its paying off for them.

This is not to say Mesut can’t dribble, Wenger last season said he is an excellent dribbler – even better than Zidane according to him. Wenger said Mesut needed to be selfish at times and take responsibility because he has the ability to do it. I can remember Southampton away when he took the ball just past the halfway line and made a 50 yard dash right through several defenders before taking a shot that was deflected onto the crossbar.

Santi can dribble quite easily but unfortunately he doesn’t have pace to make him even more dangerous. Wilshere can dribble very well but the issue with him is that he tends to over do it sometimes which leaves him susceptible to bad tackles. He needs to add some finesse to his dribbles like how Iniesta does, since it allows the player to be in more control of the ball. Jack I feel goes in all power which is not very wise at times in my opinion.

Ramsey is quite good actually but we shouldn’t have to rely on him to do it from such a deep midfield position, ditto Wilshere. This leaves us with the Ox. In my opinion if we are not going to buy such a player, I would fully back the Ox to be that player. In pre-season last year Wenger played him as the no.10 in some games where he impressed me with his dribbling ability. Having a player that can dribble at such pace and power from a central area of the pitch is invaluable especially considering how CMs are often the slowest players on the pitch.

At the Allianz Arena he completed 10 take ons he attempted. He was a nightmare for them in that match. I can still remember when he went past 4 of their players in 1 move. They had to hack him down at times to stop him.

Having such a player is invaluable. When Real Madrid faced Atletico Madrid in the CL final the latter often chose to sit very deep in their half. Bale and Ronaldo were very ineffective for most part since Atletico limited any space to run in behind. Real Madrid’s best player was Di Maria because he was able to beat several players in very tight spaces to create chances for his team-mates. He was excellent.

Wenger said we need to score more goals next season and addressing this issue will go a long way in helping us to achieve that.

The likes of Liverpool and City could carve apart even the best defences since they have players like Suarez and Aguero who can do it. Chelsea have Hazard, Madrid have Bale, Ronaldo and Di Maria, Bayern have Ribery, Robben and Gotze…and so on.

We need such a marquee player. Could Ozil be the man?…

In my opinion Alexis Sanchez would be the guy that I would pursue in the current market. However, I don’t make the decisions at the club but I hope Wenger shares my point of view.

Written by K-TR7

Transfer Gossip:

Laurent Koscielny has said we need at least four top signings this summer if we are to be competitive this coming season.

We allegedly had a bid for keeper David Marshall rejected by Cardiff.

Spanish newspaper AS is reporting Arsenal want to sign Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

According to the Metro, Arsenal will make a £17million bid for Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, should he impress at the World Cup.

According to John Cross in The Mirror, Arsene Wenger has spoken directly to Zinedine Zidane in an attempt to broker a deal for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

There you go, that’s it for this Friday….

 


Julian Draxler off to Munich? Togetherness is the key…

January 15, 2014

Morning all.

Togetherness!

I know it’s been said before but seeing as the players and manager keep talking about it, isn’t it about time we fans all jumped on the same ship.

Arsenal FC may employ the odd player or two who divide fans but what’s the point in just slating them game after game when they are out there busting a gut to win every match they play in. Walcott frustrates the heck out of me because I’ve seen enough flashes of brilliance from him to know there’s a very good player inside that body of his but his lack of consistency has always put him out there to be battered.

Lukas Podolski is another who gets his fair share of criticism, especially when he’s asked to play the role of a loan striker and it doesn’t quite work out but it’s not his fault he’s out of his comfort zone is it?

Jack Wilshere is another but after our match, he made it clear that he’s an attacking midfielder, a creator and a scorer of goals but he knows that sometimes he has to play wide on either side for the good of the team, yet when he does and he doesn’t have such good a game, yep, he’s criticised.

There are more but if I went on, this post would be 3000 or more words long and I’d be bored and far more than any of you would be…..

But what we fans have to say or think means very little to our group of players because they are all right by each others side and they really are together during this seasons challenge.

Mathieu Flamini said this after our victory against Aston Villa:

It was an important win and a good win because it came from everyone. We all worked very hard. It was a tough because they’re a good team and scored their first goal and pushed for the second, but we were strong defensively. That was important.

It is very positive because at the end of the season these games make the difference. We knew everyone was looking at us and maybe hoping that we would drop points, but we were very serious from the start until the end of the game.

It is important to have both sides, when I say that I mean playing great football like we did in the first half with quick passing, but when you play in the English game you have to fight as well.

Everyone worked very hard and defended together. It was a great team victory.

Flamini talks a lot of sense in many ways.

After Aston Villa scored, they raised their game a lot. Yes I mean a lot because before then, they didn’t trouble us at all in front of goal but the players dug in and held out for the victory.

Would they have been able to do the same this time last season?

I don’t think so and it’s not the first time we have witnessed that kind of application and determination during the last 15/20 minutes of a game this season.

Sometimes it’s all too easy to sit back and pick out individuals, the manager or even the entire team for their performance at certain stages of a game but the reality is we are winning and winning breeds confidence.

Confidence breeds belief and putting those ingredients together will do nothing other than keep this squad believing that they can win something this season.

Of course it would be lovely to see our club batter sides each week but the reality is, that won’t always happen because funny enough, the clubs we face want to win too…

The manager believes in his players and the players believe in each other…

Thank goodness for that eh……

The big story in the news today relates to Julian Draxler. Actually, he’s been in the newspapers for a while now but just like Chinese Whispers, this story gets a bit added each morning. Today it’s all about how he’s set to arrive this month and Arsene Wenger is ready to turn him into the ‘next RvP’.

However, Sportsmail have just reported that the 20 year old will be heading to Munich for treatment to a ruptured tendon, an injury which is expected to keep him out until March.

Would that be enough to stop Arsene going for him??

That’s it for another day…..


Wenger confirms Striker deal possible. No Morata but Good News on others…

January 10, 2014

Morning all.

Up front we lose Theo as a potential central forward and that’s maybe where we have to look outside. But we hopefully have Bendtner back in three weeks. We are there for the opportunities but it’s very difficult at the moment.

Hoorah, Arsene wants a striker. So Theo is a striker, so why does he play on the wing, ah, I know, he’s a winger! Anyway, if the manager is truthing, we can expect to see a striker signed. Then again, he’s got a lot of history of teasing us fans when it comes to transfers but for once, I think he’s…… Who knows…

Clearly he tried to sign Ba in the summer and we are worse off now than we were then, so maybe there really is a good chance someone will be in before the end of January.

Why it’s taking so long I just don’t know but knowing how many other clubs seem to dislike us for some reason, well maybe that’s why.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti insists that striker won’t be Alvaro Morata though having played ten minutes in the Copa del Rey.

We have not changed our idea at all. Morata stays here and he has not told us that he wants to leave.

We’ll see on that one…..

More good news as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a run out for the under 21′s last night and he’s back in the squad to face Aston Villa on Monday, the very same fixture in which he picked up his injury. Five months he’s been out. Where has that time gone eh?

More good news. Both Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs are very close to a return, in fact so close, both could be at least on the bench for the Villa game and Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil are back on Monday too, so all is looking quite positive…. …

Nicklas Bendtner though won’t be back in training for three weeks, but as much as it’s cruel for the player, his absence, together with Walcott’s should be enough to ensure we sign a striker…

Only 21 days left to make it happen….

That’s your lot for another day, have a good one.


It’s Carvalho, Rondon & Jackson today. Talking up the Team Spirit….

January 8, 2014

Morning all.

The rumour mill has stepped up a gear today:

Apparently we are looking at Sporting Lisbon’s  21 year old defensive midfielder William Carvalho, well, that’s according to Portuguese Daily Record and reprinted by The Mirror.

The Daily Mail believe that if we can’t agree a deal with Real Madrid for Morata, we are going to make a move for Jackson Martinez, thy player who has been telling the world he wants to sign for our manager.

They also suggest that Rubin Kazan forward Salomon Rondon is on the radar if all else fails…

The same paper believes we are heading the race for Belgian football’s next big thing Michy Batshuayi of Standard Liege. The 20-year-old is the latest Belgian talent to be making waves among Europe’s leading clubs.

I’m ignoring the Kalou stories….

For anyone who hasn’t seen, our FA Cup fixture against Coventry has been allocated to Friday 24th January and will be shown live on television. Why else would the FA come up with such a stupid date.

Friday night traffic and tube for the home fans is bad enough, spare a thought for the Coventry ones trying to get to The Emirates.

Ridiculous!

Anyway, moving away from all the transfer gossip, here’s Kev’s post…..

Rotation, fatigue, yes we’ve all been drawn into this rotation, rotation, rotation debate…

I confess, I am an advocate for rotation and I make no secret of that fact. And whilst we can talk/write about it, discuss it’s importance or lack of, the club cannot…

Notice how the likes of Walcott and Podolski talk up the squads spirit and the fact that Arsenal are very much in this title race, well that’s because talk of tiredness and fatigue can get into the players’ heads. That is where Arsene Wenger must, and does impress on his players the positives of our position…

It’s simple psychology, the kind that the Deluded One at Boring Chelsea practices, only he tries to emphasise the negative… But lets ignore that Portuguese idiot!

The fact that Giroud and Ramsey wanted to play every game before they were injured, should be lauded, not criticised. These players want to be successful, they want to be part of a successful team and they are determined to be so this season..

Mesut Ozil has been the target of some snide remarks in the Press/Media and from a section of fans but ignorant pundits ignore his work rate along with the chances he creates for his team mates and those same team mates know his value to the team. He is in my opinion, worth every penny Arsenal paid for him. He is a wonderful player, even I can see that so I ignore the negative spin the pundits put on his performances.

Continuing on the positives, how good has BFG and Kozzer been this season?!!!

BFG sails on serenely like a huge ocean liner, the glue that ties together our fantastic defence. Around him floats Koscielny, reading the game as if he has a Masters Degree in defending, making those rapier like interceptions we’ve become so used too.

Wilshere is coming into some form after a slow start, Rosicky still has the ability to change a game with his intelligent movement and passing. Cazorla is getting back to somewhere near his best form and Flamini and Arteta are all working very hard for the cause. Oxlade-Chamberlain is close to a recall and Vermaelen and Monreal are both putting themselves second, for the good of the club.

Never mind fatigue, what about the spirit and determination our players have within them to fight for the success we all want.

That’s team spirit, that’s a winning mentality, that’s Arsenal FC 2013-14.

Written by AllezKev.


Season over! Morata in this week? Arsene has to move now….

January 7, 2014

Morning all.

So the FA has seen sense at last and will not be issuing any kind of punishment to Theo Walcott for his little hand gesture to the Tottenham fans – although he has been warned of his future conduct.

In an official statement, here’s what the big wigs had to say:

The FA has contacted both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to seek their observations in relation to objects being thrown from both a home and away section of the crowd at different times during Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie.

The FA condemns any such acts and will liaise with both clubs and the Metropolitan Police to identify those responsible and support the strongest sanctions available, including life bans.

Meanwhile, in relation to the same fixture, The FA has contacted Arsenal’s Theo Walcott and reminded him of his responsibilities regarding a ‘score-line’ gesture he made in front of away supporters during the game. The FA will not be taking any further disciplinary action.

I hope they find the away fans who were responsible for throwing stuff at Theo and the medical staff and throw the book at them, those coins could have seriously harmed someone. I can’t imagine those home fans who threw scarves will face any action though, well, they shouldn’t that’s for sure.

From good news to seriously bad. No doubt you are all aware that yesterday the club confirmed that Walcott is out for at least six months having sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee. Every time the guys starts to show glimpses of the player we all know is in him somewhere, bang, injured! I’m absolutely gutted for him.

Many a headline talks about how his World Cup hopes are over well I’m far more saddened by the fact his season for Arsenal is over, bugger the World Cup!

So it seems likely that Serge Gnabry will have to step into his place and the young German has got Mikel Arteta’s backing:

I think he’s got a lot of quality. He’s got something not many players have in this team, which is pace and skill to go and beat people.

That’s why the manager played him – three up front is something that helps us be more incisive.

We want to go behind [the opponents] and get into one versus one situations. Gnabry is very good like that and I’m very pleased for him because I think he did really well.

Quite a compliment dished out there but Arteta is right, he has pace, skill and plenty of quality and he’s certainly not afraid to take on defenders either. Something we do lack and all too often. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t afraid to play in a similar way to Gnabry but not many others do.

But as good as they both are, let’s not forget Oxlade-Chamberlain has only just started training after suffering a nasty injury so he’s not going to be back yet, neither will solve our striker problem will they and with Walcott now out too, Arsene Wenger really has to make a move in this transfer window, and fast!

Newspaper gossip:

Daily Mail report that man could be Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as they believe we will step up the chase and get him in this week if we can.

The Mirror suggest Julian Draxler is on the radar after he’s been given a tour of the facilities at the club and was left very impressed.

And in other reports, the return of Eduardo could be on the cards…

That’s your lot for another day…..


Wenger set for Germany move & We don’t get a break unless we get knocked out of the CO Cup.. ..

September 7, 2013

Morning all.

For the first time in many years – I have not really taken too much interest in the upcoming fixtures, other than of course to see when we faced the neighbours for the first time. Maybe that was partly down to having an average time in the transfer window and I feared for our season ahead.

Yesterday I looked to see just what’s in store for us.

Our fixtures, which in theory kicked off last night, when pretty much all of our players were involved in international fixtures. Even the younger ones were off playing for their respective age group the night before…

There is second fixture next week, .

After that, it’s busy busy busy.

Saturday 14th September – Sunderland away

Wednesday 18th September –  Marseille away

Sunday 22nd September – Stoke City home

Wednesday 25th September – WBA away (co cup)

Saturday 28th September – Swansea away

Tuesday 1st October – Napoli home

Sunday 6th October – WBA away

Then it’s another international break, so two more fixtures for our players and after that, it doesn’t get any easier.

Saturday 19th October – Norwich home

Tuesday 22nd October Borussia Dortmund home

Saturday 26th October Crystal Palace home

Should we have lost to WBA back in September in the Capital One Cup, we’ll get a full weeks break after the Palace fixture as the 4th round is played on either 29th or 30th October but I fully expect us to be playing on either of those nights.

So that could be another another midweek fixture, followed by another run of non-stop fixtures:

Saturday 2 November – Liverpool home

Wednesday 6th November – Borussia Dortmund away

Sunday 10th November – Manchester United away

Saturday 23rd November – Southampton home

No doubt you can see where I am coming from so I won’t list any more but this pattern of fixtures doesn’t let up at all, in fact it gets worse over the festive period as we play three games in just six days.

It’s not until the 11th January 2014 that the players get a full week off to rest. Before then though, we enter the FA Cup…

No doubt you’ll be wondering why I have listed all the fixtures, well there are two reasons.

One is I’m just trying to highlight the fact that our fragile squad have a busy few months ahead and their bodies are certainly going to get tested to the maximum. I hope that whoever has the final say on their GPS reading, or whatever it’s called, makes sure that players are rested properly and are not risked, regardless of who we are due to face.

Two – there’s little else to write about and no, I didn’t watch Germany……

Talking of Germany, according to The Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger is set to raid the German League for his next signings.

Borussia Dortmund pair Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan is on his wish list together with Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender.

He’s also keeping tabs on Dortmund’s Poland right back Lukasz Piszczek, just in case Bacary Sagna decides to leave for free at the end of the season.

The Daily Mirror are running the same story…….

You couldn’t make it up could you

That’s it for another day.


Oxlaide-Chamberlain out for 3 months? Back for Bender & Michu! Did we expect anything else?

August 18, 2013

Morning all and it’s not a good one…..

Yesterday, what many feared, played out in front of our eyes.

We started quite well though and within six minutes we’d registered our first goal of the new Premier League campaign.

Oxlade-Chamberlain broke down the left and then cut the perfect ball back across the six-yard box to Giroud who slotted the ball into the far corner. The perfect start…..

On the 22 minute mark, Villa drew level through a penalty. The referee, who was awful from start to finish, awarded a spot kick after he believed Agbonlahor had been brought down  by Szczesny. Having appeared to play the advantage as the ball dropped nicely for Weimann, after the Villa player fluffed his shot, Taylor rewound and went back to the original offence.

Not sure that was the right thing to do on the day, I’m not 100% sure on the footballing law regarding that.

Szczesny was shown a yellow card for his involvement and Benteke stepped up to take the penalty. Our big Pole made a good save but the ball popped back into the penalty area where Benteke was nicely positioned to head home.

Arsenal players seemed stunned!

The tempo upped a bit from then on, not so much with the level of the game but the tackles were thick and fast from both sides, only ours appeared to be noticed by the referee…..

Gibbs took a wack to the head and suffered a nasty cut above his eye resulting in him going off, Villa captain Ron Vlaar and Jack Wilshere had handbags on half-way line resulting in a booking for both.

Szczesny then had a moment of madness dashing out of his goal and trying to defend like Koscielny but just in time, he managed to get his butt back where he should have been and  to produce a save which prevented Ashley Westwood’s long range shot from finding the back of the net…

As the second half got under-away, Tomas Rosicky had the first real chance to grab us the lead but he fired over the bar. The interchange with Giroud deserved a better finish.

Villa were then denied taking the lead by the inside of the post. Apparently the new goal decision system, GDS, came was used to make sure the ball hadn’t crossed the line….. Didn’t even notice that…

Then came a big moment of controversy. At the time, I thought the referee had got the penalty decision right but replays clearly show that Lauren Koscielny made contact with the ball, albeit slight – but as we know, Agbonlahor likes to impersonate Tom Daley and he did so very well.

He conned referee Taylor and up stepped Benteke. 2-1…….

Just before 70 minutes struck on the clock, Koscielny received his second yellow of the game after a coming together with Villas Weimann. A player as good and wise as Koscielny should have been more careful.

Down to ten but we gave our all to get a second goal and try and earn a point – Rosicky and Cazorla were both denied by Brad Guzan. But the more we pressed forward in search of a goal, we were left exposed at the back and with around five minutes of regular time left on the clock, Villa hit us on the break with Luna making sure all three points went to the visitors…

It was a truly awful opening day of the season for the club we all love and support. Not only the result but the injuries to both Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who both had to be replaced. Sagna took a battering too and to be honest, a few players look a way off being at the top of their game.

Koscielny will now miss the next league fixture which is away at Fulham and I suspect Gibbs and Ox will be at least out Wednesdays clash in Turkey. Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain is suspected to have suffered a serious injury and could be out for three months at least according to The Mirror. He left the ground on crutches and the damage is suspected to be to his ligaments. He’s going to be a huge miss if this is true.

Of course Wenger and his many supporters will immediately point to the ref but haven’t we been doing that for too many seasons now?

Shouldn’t we be better than that, shouldn’t we be able to beat sides like Aston Villa at home  quite comfortably? We would if we had the squad but we clearly haven’t….

What happens now?

Well that’s anyones guess.

Will this result force Arsene Wenger into action in the transfer window? It should.

Will the players who looked so lost and forlorn yesterday, be able to pick themselves up for the CL qualifier against Fenerbache on Wednesday? I doubt it.

Will Arsene Wenger have the right words to pick their chins up of off the ground? I doubt that too.

We can blame who we like but ultimately it’s one man’ responsibility to make sure we have a strong enough squad to start the season and a deep enough squad to see us through the season.

Yesterday we had neither, today we even less, I suspect tomorrow ill be just the same…..

Nothing will change until Wenger changes…….

Gossip: The Daily Mirror reckon we are going back to make a better bid for Lars Bender and £25 million will get us Michu.

It’s all getting a bit boring now isn’t it….

Have a good day all……

PS – Don’t forget the HH Fantasy Football League which is set up on the official Premier League website.

Join in….

1 – Click the link HERE.

2 – Sign up for an account and select your team.

3 – Click onto Leagues or if you get lost, follow the link HERE.

4 – Select Highbury House and enter our league code which is: 2047837-437358


Two transfer requests going in this week? We’re a Top Three Side now…

August 5, 2013

Morning all,

Didier Drogba robbed us again of a victory, after a shot/cross from Theo Walcott gave us a well deserved lead in the first half, the Chelsea old boy came off of the bench to deprive us of a trophy.

Ignasi Miquel was adjudged to be the guilty man who “bundled” Drogba over and referee Jon Moss was quick to award the penalty. Up stepped the cheat to make it 1-1 and before the final whistle the same player latched onto a super through ball played by Wesley Sneijder to make it 2-1.

The big cup was theirs. We, well we came 3rd! Better than 4th eh!

The excuses came out after the game – tiredness already a factor says the manager, our trip to Asia taking some of the blame for that.

Crikey, what will the players be like at Christmas if they are already tired?

Did he play players for too long and too many times in Asia?

Anyway, that’s history, as is The Emirates Cup for another year but what did we learn from the competition?

Here’s devilgunner’s view:

There were some positives and negatives.

Szczesny didn’t have much to do but what he had to do he did well.

I liked Jenks. He is becoming more composed. He covered well and also managed to roast the opposing left back a number of times. He showed a few deft touches which took him past opponents which shows that he does not only rely on speed.

Sagna was also a plus in the centre of defence. He covers the space well and imo would be better suited there than at right back and as a result, Wenger should sign a right back rather than a central player.

Gibbs was solid throughout his time on the pitch.

Mertesacker organises well but he’s slow. He was not overpowered by Drogba but was slow compared to our nemesis.

Miguel……..he is not a left back. Full-stop. Drogba saw Senderos in him and attacked him from the second he stepped on the pitch.

Arteta is good in possession and has a brain but he is getting slower and is not strong enough to be dominant once he is pressed by the opposition.

Aaron Ramsey – I enjoyed watching him play. Those who suggest he should be just a squad player either need their eyes tested or should go to a school of football to learn the importance of Aaron Ramsey to the balance of our midfield.

Cazorla had good game but he’s still finding his way back in the team. Wenger should go a bit slow with him at the moment as he needs a proper rest.

Theo Walcott is coming more to the fore as a team player. Today was a day when I enjoyed watching him play. His pace helped Jenkinson a lot when the full back was overlapping.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of our best players on the pitch with his direct running and should have been given awarded a penalty.

Yaya Sanogo. He is the twit we had a few years ago but with intelligence and a good first touch. He started slowly but  got more lively as the game went on. Yes I like him.

Giroud. He is much better as a team player then the little boy was.

So there you have one fans view, no doubt we’ll all give our own in the comments.

Finally, some of the newspapers report that both Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney are going to do all they can to push themselves out of their current club this week. Surely that means that transfer requests will be submitted.

So that could mean two of the PL best strikers will definitely be up for grabs.

Wonder if we will sign either……

That’s it for another day, have a good one all…


DM signing imminent. Will The Emirates Cup determine who Wenger signs?

August 2, 2013

Morning all,

I am sure that fans will be blown away by the news that Atletico Nacional’s Sebastián Pérez  begins his trail with us on Monday. The defensive/box to box midfielder, who is 20 years old would cost around £5 million and should his trial be a success, we are expected to meet that valuation.

Ok, onto The Emirates Cup which kicks off tomorrow:

Last season we saw a significant change in midfield from the previous year with Arsene opting to deploy Arteta permanently at the base of our midfield with Santi playing as our most advanced playmaker. At the beginning of the season Diaby was deployed in the box to box role and was fantastic until he got injured.

We struggled to replace him in that role until towards the end of the season when Ramsey really grew into this role. We were fine with that midfield for the majority of our games but against top sides we really struggled which quite evident when you look into our record against the top sides.

I’ll take into consideration 3 games we played last season:

Bayern munich home, Chelsea home and Man utd away.

In all these games their no.10s in Kroos, Oscar and Rooney were instructed by their managers to intensively press Arteta who is our primary playmaker. Arteta as we all know is quite slow and isn’t agile enough to deal with that sort of pressing and as a result our midfield was rendered ineffective. We ended up playing hopeful long balls up front or passing the ball to marked players.

Bayern Munich at home we were the same, especially in the first half when faced wave after wave of attack. It was painful to watch as an Arsenal fan.

When Arteta gets shut down we really can’t seem to play. It’s king of similar to how Jurgen Klopp dealt with Madrid in the CL semis last season by shutting down Alonso. However, we really need to find a solution to this problem.

When Pirlo/Schweinsteiger get pressed intensively, they resort to dropping even deeper between their CBs to give them room to play. Italy even resort to playing 3 men at the back to give Pirlo an extra passing option when faced by such pressing teams. Dortmund deal with it quite well as Gundogan is quite skilful with the ball and can beat his man to proceed with the attack.

How do we deal with it?

When we last played Barca at home Jack Wilshere was our deepest midfielder and no matter how hard they tried to press him he always seemed to find a way out. This was clearly seen in the build up to AA’s magical winner. Oxlade-Chamberlain was excellent against Milan in the same role and as a result we were able to build our attacks from deep in midfield. I think deep down Wenger knows Arteta’s mobility is becoming quite an issue in the big matches and we need to find a solution be it internal or external.

In our pre-season games he has tried a double pivot of Ramsey/Oxlade-Chamberlain which has looked good in patches. This gives you a hint that we need mobility in there against high pressing sides and Arsene is looking at it. Jack may still be in the frame for one of those 2 roles when he gets fit.

Am hoping to see how a pivot of any of Jack/Ramsey/Oxlade-Chamberlain will work out during The Emirates Cup and maybe we will see how good it is against decent opposition. I believe Arsene wants to see if he can solve the problem internally first before buying.

We have been linked with Lars Bender and Fellaini so it is clear he knows we need a change in that zone especially against top opposition. I hope after the Emirates Cup it will become clearer how well we are shaping up in midfield.

Lastly i’d like to talk about Gustavo. He is an out an out DM.

Bar the odd long range shot he contributes very little in attack and that’s why they shelled out all that cash for Martinez. He isn’t very mobile although he is versatile. I think that is quite an issue to Wenger and as a result I can’t see us going in for him. Wenger likes universal players who can contribute both in attack and defence. Gustavo is quite limited in my opinion and I don’t think Wenger wants a specialist in the heart of midfield.

Arrigo Sacchi who built one of the greatest sides in Milan was quoted as saying:

“I see kids who are 14 or 15 years old who are already specialists. But football is not a sport of specialist. I was watching the under-15s the other day – 14 year –old boys – and the central defenders arrived and all they did was mark their man. They took themselves out of the game. This is suffering, this is not joy, this is not football. If someone does just one thing over and over, they will get better at that thing. But is football just one thing?”…

I bet you £1 that Wenger feels the same way…..

Written by K-TR7


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