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Big summer spend is ON! Dennis Bergkamp will never manage Arsenal….

April 24, 2014

Morning all.

All the time Arsene Wenger’s future hangs in the balance, it’s inevitable that we Arsenal fans throw a few names around of managers who we’d like to see take his place.

Personally, I think Arsene Wenger will stay on for at least another two years and in any case, it won’t be too long before we find out as there’s just weeks left of this current football season..

The first name that came to me when I sat and thought about who’d I love to see pacing up and down the sidelines on match day was of course Dennis Bergkamp and I strongly suspect I am not the only one..

But, we can forget it, it’s not going to happen!

Why?

Because he doesn’t want to be a manager…

It has nothing to do with flying, and whilst talking about that, his fear has nothing to do with any kind of bomb hoax whilst high in the sky, it was all to do with travelling too many times on too smaller planes and experiencing horrid bumpy journeys…

In his book, Dennis says that as a player he wanted to be the best, he was never satisfied with his own performance and wanted to do better.

He said he’s like that now as a trainer and if one of his strikers misses a chance to score, straight away he thinks about what he can do to ensure that same player doesn’t miss next time. He wants to be so good at his job, he can teach a striker to avoid missing any chance on goal. He wants to be good at his job, he wants to be important but the one thing he doesn’t want is fame.

That’s why I have I no ambition to be a manager.

However, there’s no reason he couldn’t bring all his coaching skills and ambitions over to London is there? Maybe one day eh, when his days at Ajax are complete but lets hope he doesn’t go via Milan this time….

Another subject he talked about was the different styles of managers there are around. The quiet one, the shouter and the pace up and down the sideline barking orders one – I always think Arsene is too quiet during our matches and stays in his sit far too much but for Dennis, that’s the best way to be:

Wenger is more a teacher, and he’s who are out there for show, the guys who shout all the time. teaching the right stuff. I never like people. To me a leader is someone who affects people, who makes changes, who makes other players or people better. It’s the opposite  of someone doing it for the cameras.

So there you go, the next time I sit and question why our manager isn’t out of his seat barking orders at the players, I’ll know that it’s just not his way and his way is right…

The bit about making changes and making people and players better, well perhaps Dennis knows something we all don’t…..

Finally, here’s an extract from The Mirror:

Arsene Wenger will sign a new Arsenal contract, and is proving it by planning a huge spending spree in the summer transfer window.

Wenger has left Arsenal in no doubt that he is staying because he is lining up big transfer targets as he looks to strengthen his squad for a title challenge next season.

Gunners boss Wenger, 64, has kept fans guessing about his future because he has still not put pen to paper on a new deal despite telling the board months ago that he was staying.

But Wenger, who is still hoping to nail down a top four finish and win the FA Cup, has already been told he has got £70m-plus to spend this summer and is determined to spend big.

The Frenchman accepts his squad needs strengthening in several areas as he look to bring in a big name striker, new right back, midfield general, wide player and new keeper.

Season Ticket anybody???

Seriously though, if the club are looking to spend big and finally we do get the right players in the areas stated above, all will not be lost. 

That’s your lot for another day…….

 

 

 

 

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Goodnight Sweetheart. Hello Sailor.

April 23, 2014

Morning all.

Happy St Georges Day fellow English folk....

Happy St Georges Day fellow English folk….

Following on from my post about the Glazers actions yesterday, here’s a post from Adam with his views:

The fact that the hapless David Moyes has been sacked is not great for Arsenal. Though anything that brings a bit of turmoil to the Mancs is generally good news, this is not one of those occasions. The only surprise in the whole business is that they appointed him in the first place. We are told that Ferguson, the greatest hypocrite the world of football has ever known, recommended him and I think that we all realised why shortly after the appointment had been announced.

Ferguson was always a bully, a socialist working-class hardman with a chip on his shoulder from Glasgow who used every devious trick in the book to win and promote himself. He was bloody good at it too as Mike Riley and just about every referee in this country found out. He could send his team out with instructions to cheat their way through a game with incessant fouling and physical intimidation, knowing full well that no referee was ever going to lift their whistle to put a stop to it.

Nobody knows better than Arsenal supporters that this was true. Riley (Rilus Insipidus) of course was completely under his thumb and when Ferguson saw a rival, like Arsenal, getting too close he would tell Riley to put a stop to it through carefully selected referees instructed to favour certain sides and turn a blind eye to his own odious sub-plots on the pitch.

Moyes was never going to enjoy that level of complicity and the Manchester United players, led by Rooney and freed from the yoke of Ferguson’s tyranny were never going to give him any real support either.

Moyes may have believed he pulled off a personal master-stroke when he got Rooney to sign an enormous contract that would take him well into his portly 30′s for around £1.2 million a month, but I think he made himself look weak. It was as if Rooney had asked Moyes to come to his caravan, bend over his gold-plated calor-gas bottle while he, removed his trousers, pledging his undying commitment to the club, grannies and hair follicle replacement.

Still, never feel sorry for a bloke who walks away with million for doing not much. One can only hope that he goes on to fill the managerial role at Spurs next season and for several seasons to come.

The fact that we couldn’t beat Man Utd, even with Moyes in charge, really does us no credit at all and says something about where we currently are as a club. Because where we are is kind of where we were some time ago and all the talk from Arsene about us improving has left me with that ‘Arsenal’ feeling. You know the one where you sit perched on the fence wondering if fourth place is really the best we can hope for under the current regime and fretting about whether Wenger is the man for the job anymore. This subtlety changes complexion with every week’s results and is of course deliciously counterbalanced by the slightly unnerving feeling that at least we know where we are with Wenger, even if it’s not where we would ideally like to be. Then you factor in the usual spate of injuries and joyously imagine that, without them, we would be so much better off. Oh dear, oh dear. It’s an annual dilemma these days.

Finally you find yourself back at the beginning of the argument that you just had in your head and feeling brave you decide that, yes, we certainly need a change. It’s plain for all surely?

But wait, who could take over?

Klopp, Martinez, Simeone? It’s a nightmare really but somehow you know that, under Stan, no progress is the norm and is in fact the desired state of play. Plus there’s all that money sitting around that Wenger so hates to spend and you just know that Stan will take some soon for another ranch or thousand head of steers or perhaps to prop up another sports franchise that no Arsenal fan has either heard of or gives a toss about.

It’s business you see. Money, pure and simple. Ambition and love for your club is for wimps. Static inertia is where it’s at as long as the cash keeps rolling in and it certainly is rolling in. So with new sponsorship and TV deals in the immediate future, it seems exactly the right time to sting the fans for some more money. What Kroenke will realise one day is that you can’t buy loyalty but you can lose it once the fans realise you are taking the piss. He is firmly set on that course right now.

So, the future seems uncertain in so many ways, but we are told by the usual suspects that we must be careful what we wish for and that, quite simply, there is no life after Wenger. When he does leave, which might be in two months or two years, we are destined to employ a spate of managers, none of which will be any good. The crowds will dwindle, the football will be dire, the incessant injuries will continue, the wage bill will rise and everything will be bleak. We won’t know we are born (to quote a recent moron). It’s the Wenger way or no way.

Essentially, it is easier to stick with what you have. In the light of Moyes chronic failure it might appear that to wish is to dream, is to fail. The message coming out of Old Toilet is perhaps mixed. Once you lose the arch manipulator and are a club bursting with a rather sick sense of entitlement so rancid that the stench has engulfed football grounds around the country for years and years then you had better get another one in place straight away. Install a Moyes or a manager hand picked by someone like Ferguson and you will only make fans look back on the past with even rosier-tinted specs. This is of course why Ferguson recommended Moyes in the first place and it has worked a treat.

Weird men with strange shaped heads will currently be taking advice as where to go next. Ryan Giggs, a man who thought that a Man Utd legend like him was fully entitled to shag his brother’s wife for years, is in temporary charge and I imagine that somewhere in the cesspit of his seedy mind, he sees himself as the logical next manager. With his record of personal betrayal he certainly fits the bill.

Written by Adam


Glazers actions are not good for Arsenal fans!

April 22, 2014

Morning all.

There was little surprise to this mornings breaking news that David Moyes had been sacked, or has ‘left the club’ as the media like to say these days…

But, I’m actually quite surprised they haven’t given the man more time, especially when you consider whose boots he had to fill.

David Moyes signed a six year contract back in the summer, Fergie told the fans to get behind the new man and that was that.

But what Fergie also did was leave behind a group of players who were ageing and fading. He was clever, he walked at the right time and left someone else to pick up the pieces.

Fergie was I suspect, one of the main reasons some of that crop of players were at the club. Certainly RvP, well the little boy inside of him, made it clear that he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work under the guidance of a man who many wouldn’t disagree, was and still is one of the best managers in the business, if not the best.

What Fergie achieved during his career can only be envied by all others.

So how does this affect Arsenal?

This season (having read around the Arsenal forums) has seen a good number of staunch Arsene Wenger fans change their opinion of him, not in any kind of nasty cruel way but perhaps just realising that things on the pitch have gone quite stale and our transfer windows have become almost non-existent.

It’s not about the lack of trophies, that’s just a ‘press witch-hunt’  and a petty one too, in my own opinion, it’s about how we look before the season begins and of course the way we perform each week. Like most, I can accept defeat, but what I struggle with is the way in which we have suffered defeat at times, especially away from home against the sides around the top…..

After just ten months, the Glazers will reportedly have to pay £10 million after sacking David Moyes. Ouch, imagine what Stan Kroenke thinks about that?

They’ll now have to find a new manager, no doubt one with a much bigger name and who will want a vast salary for services! Ouch, imagine what Kroenke will be thinking about that?

Then of course, what if that goes wrong too, more money wasted, another payout after another sacking and slowly what funds they do have, are dwindling away….

What if the manager roller coaster, like we have seen at Chelsea, Manchester City and many other clubs further down the league table, gets going at Old Trafford?

Stan Kroenke won’t like the thought of any of that will he?

No, I don’t think so because he’d rather the safe option. Secure Champions League football each season, get his money in the bank and know he’s paying a manager who is willing to go along with his ideas.

But in my opinion, we don’t have a group of players who are on the decline, ok, we have a few who are getting older like Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Bacary Sagna but other than that, we have a squad full of internationals and a good few on the fringes or in the Academy who will be looking to push their way into the first team over the next couple of years. A group of players who may just benefit and blossom with a change of training and tactical ideas.

But the moral of my story is, although there maybe more fans thinking it’s time for us to change our manager, our owner may see this latest managerial change as being the perfect reason to stand by the devil you know…..

That’s your lot for today…..

 


Patience, Podolski, Ramsey and Ozil make the difference….

April 21, 2014

Arsenal: My View on yesterday’s performance.

First off, what a fantastic win by the mighty Gunners!

I really enjoyed the patience displayed by the boys, against the same opposition we face a month from now.

I am going to start with a minor worrying detail. Our BFG, Sagna and Kos have been rock solid in our defence this season. Our weakness is at left back. Gibbs is a fantastic left back who is still learning his trade and progressing at a rapid rate, yet the problem lies with his injury.

Vermaelen is the player I’d prefer to see play whilst Gibbs is injured, although yesterday our captain was out injured himself . I like Monreal, he’s Spains second choice left back after all, but I think the English league is a tad too physical for him and I think Vermaelen’s strength could see us benefit.

Now about our strengths.

1-0

1-0

First off,  it’s good to see Aaron Ramsey back on the pitch,  he is our energiser, our Duracell bunnie that we have been seriously missing since last December. He energizes the team and brings that positive attitude and fighting spirit our team desperately craved for during his time out injured.

It’s also good to see Mesut Ozil back and I thought he did ok in his first game for a while. He’ll only get better. Both his and Ramseys return should drive us on through our remaining games..

Ouch!!

Ouch!!

I was really happy with Arteta’s performance too. I have given him stick a few times this season because I believe with age no longer on his side he has lost some pace and strength. Same with Santi Cazorla,  the little Wizard’s feet have been working some magic lately and yesterday was no exception.

My wish in the midfield though is to see more of Oxlade-Chamberlain – you could see he was hungry when he came on from the bench.. I believe we could use his pace and strength against the lower teams who depend on rugby tactics to get their points.

Game over....

Game over….

Going forward I simply love Lukas Podolski who is making a statement right now that, feed him in the box and he’ll put the ball in the net and I think he’s the best striker at our club. Giroud did well too, he held the ball up and provided a physical presence up front.

I think with Ramsey and Ozil coming back,  Giroud may be a bit more clinical and start scoring more goals. I still think he needs to take his chances on a more consistent basis.

That being said, overall we started slow but when Ramsey turned his ignition on, the whole team woke up and together they got the job done.

We needed that positive result too as Everton are hot on our trails having won again yesterday.

Just three fixtures left in the league and we can’t afford to underestimate any one of the side we face, especially Norwich and West Brom who are still flirting around the relegation places.

We need that 4th spot, we may still have a chance to get 3rd place so long as we win our fixtures and City continue to wobble.

 

Written by Jude.

 


Ding Ding, Round One! Arsene Wenger IS staying put!

April 20, 2014

Morning all…

Happy Easter Sunday, a day to celebrate for many reasons. .

Nom Nom.....

Nom Nom…..

Here in the Uk,  we mark the occasion by wasting many pounds on chocolate eggs which if melted down would barely equal a couple of squares of a slab of Cadbury dairy Milk.

Value for money? Not in a million years……

Do we still buy them, oh yes we do….

Can’t imagine why that makes me think about a few players who Arsene Wenger has signed…. ;)

The odds are clearly stacked in our favour today but to be honest that means very little. After all, who would have thought that Chelsea would have been beaten at home yesterday by bottom of the league Sunderland.. A 77 match home winning record gone up in smoke, or should I say gone up in Sunderland…

Jose was livid after the game and mad his feelings clear about how the FA are the ones who have decided where this seasons Premier League trophy will end up and who can argue with his view. But this is just one season out of many where Mike Riley and his merry men have had a huge influence on the league winners.

And we have had too many things go against us over the years which suggest that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are clearly not one of Riley’s favourites. Stinks doesn’t it!

Enough. Back to today…

Three points today will take us very close to securing that 4th spot and although I know that in itself is no great feat, it’s huge for us when it comes to the summer and signing players…

Regardless of all of that, we are Gooners and we all want our boys to win and today is no exception to that rule!

Head-to-head

  • These sides have only met on 17 occasions in all competitions, Arsenal have won 11 of them (L3, D3).
  • The Gunners have also won four of the five Premier League meetings, including both of Hull’s home games.
  • Nicklas Bendtner’s first Arsenal goal since March 2011 helped them beat Hull 2-0 in the reverse fixture on 4 December.

A dress rehearsal for the FA Cup Final today and a game we must win.

Nacho Monreal is back fit and Mesut Ozil should join him, whether or not both will play is another matter as surely Arsene Wenger will stick with the players who did well against West Ham in the second half.

If w can emulate that kind of work ethic and finishing quality, we should come away with three points and a psychological advantage for the trip to Wembley in May.

I know it’s not the title we are fighting for, but I hope we can finish this season off by playing some good football, and getting maximum points.

And who knows, there might even be a trophy at the end of it…..

Finally, Arsene Wenger is staying beyond the summer according to the Mirror. He’s told the board/Kroenke a while ago that he’d extend his new contract and he intends to stand by that decision saying:

I never go back on it.

COYRRG’s, three points and keep Everton behind us….

 

 


Questioning Arsene Wenger’s future is baffling..

April 19, 2014

Morning all.

Arsene Wenger has been criticised by ‘some’ for signing Mesut Ozil. Those who question the signing suggest he was’t really needed, he’s a luxury in a midfield already full of talent, a waste of money as we don’t have the right kind of striker ahead of him. Those are just a few of the kind of comments associated with the signing of our £42 million man.

I actually think signing him was a master stroke, but I still maintain we need a bit of pace ahead of him and had Theo Walcott not picked up an injury, that point may well have been proved. In any case, Mesut himself picked up an injury and has been missing now for five weeks but that absence should come to an end tomorrow.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s fixture, Steve Bruce has given his view on Mesut Ozil:

It was great to see them signing someone like Ozil. Looking from afar, it seems they spent eight or nine years funding the new stadium and were not able to compete at the top level in the transfer market.

But paying all that money for Ozil was a statement that they are now ready to challenge the biggest clubs in Europe for any outstanding talent that becomes available. It sends out a real message, because he is a terrific player, a real danger to any team he comes up against. In fact, I just hope he is on the bench for a long, long time on Sunday.

That’s the kind of fear a player of Ozil’s class puts into an opposing manager, we just haven’t seen the best of him yet but I’m sure we will soon and once the club have finally addressed our transfer needs. If they ever do of course.

Mesut Ozil is not the only one who has had his fair share of criticism, our manager has had more than his fair share and again, Steve Bruce finds it all a bit hard to comprehend:

Arsene hasn’t spent on anything like the same scale as some of the big clubs, yet Arsenal are always competing in semi-finals and even finals in the Champions’ League, as well as for honours on the domestic front. How people can question him, when you look at his record, baffles me.

The guy has done an amazing job in 17 years at Highbury and The Emirates. Sixteen of those have ended with a top-four finish, and that is remarkable. I’ve huge respect for him, and I imagine those who employ him will be doing everything in their power to keep him at the club, because they know the tremendous job he’s done.

He has been a problem for English managers and coaches, because he was the first foreign one to come in and make his mark, and other clubs have looked at that and decided to go down the same route. They think they’ll find another Arsene Wenger, but there aren’t many like him.

He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he has proved to be one of the greats. He deserves everyone’s respect for what he has achieved, and I’m sure he has not finished yet.

One thing I think is true, Arsene Wenger is no longer everyone’s cup of tea!

But why is it that managers like Steve Bruce can see little wrong in all our manager is doing, yet many fans, me included, think he’s well past his sell by date and should gracefully walk away at he end of this season?

Is Bruce just being ‘nice’ ahead of tomorrows game?

Does he compare our continual top four achievements over the last seventeen years with what he as a manger would simply love to achieve at Hull City or any other club he’s managed?

Is he like Mourinho, Pellegrini and maybe even Rogers who don’t believe Arsenal are the threat that they used to be and he thinks he can beat us tomorrow?

Or does he honestly believe that Arsene Wenger is still doing a fantastic job and truly deserves to stay?

Questions which only he knows the answer to…….

I doubt Bruce has an axe to grind with Arsene Wenger so just maybe he really believes that Ozil was the start of something new and Arsene Wenger really isn’t done just yet…..

And that might not please everyone but then that’s because Arsene Wenger really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, not any more….

Finally, there was some dreadfully sad news yesterday. West Ham’s young striker Dylan Tombides has died following a three-year battle with testicular cancer.

The 20-year-old Australian, who made his Hammers first-team debut two years ago, passed away on Friday with his family at his bedside.

RIP young fella, you have been robbed of your life too early. Far too early……..

That’s it for another day…..


First summer signing close? Arteta talks of disappointment…..

April 18, 2014

Morning all.

Happy Good Friday folks, don’t go over eating now!

Nom Nom.....

Nom Nom…..

According to The Metro, we are very close to signing Eintracht Frankfurt’s defender Sebastian Jung after his agent admitted a summer move to the Gunners is on the cards. £7 million is the price quoted for this German international.

With Bacary Sagna’s future still hanging in the balance, Jung seems to be the player Arsene Wenger wants to replace him…

So, if true, it means all the chit chat about Lukasz Piszczek and Daryl Janmaat in the press has been nothing other than poppycock… Mind you, so is this I suspect as I still think Sagna will remain a loyal Gooner….

In other news, Mikel Arteta has been talking about his career with Arsenal and he’s not exactly overwhelmed…

That (playing Champions League football) I achieved what I wanted to achieve but with one particular regret — that I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I should have done.

And that”s because I always put too much pressure on myself, trying to improve things that are not going well, not just in my own game but other things around the players or the club.

I find it difficult to say ‘I love it’ because I’m constantly putting myself under pressure, there’s always a next target or a ‘we won but we didn’t do a certain thing well’ nagging away at you. And it’s always like that.

The fight to switch off gets harder and harder. I just can’t do it.

I have long discussions with my wife every time we have a bad result and I constantly think about what we can improve, what we did wrong, what happened in the game.

I wonder if Arsene Wenger goes through something similar?

Some good news is that Mesut Ozil could be back for Sunday’s trip to Hull City, the dress rehearsal for the FA Cup Final. Mathieu Flamini, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey should all be fit and raring to go too.

Arsene Wenger has been talking about Ozil:

He is a fantastic football player, and I would put him on the list to be player of the season next season.

The first season is the season in which you adapt, and then you know what happens and you get into it. I believe that he will know better his partners [in the team], he will know better the league and the potential is absolutely fantastic.

He is one of our main players offensively, and we are a team who is used to scoring goals, and recently away from home we haven’t scored so much, so it’s important we get our offensive potential back.

Go sign a pacey, deadly striker Arsene and your prediction might come true because as good as Ozil is, he needs some pace and movement ahead of him. Once that happens, we’ll start scoring a lot more goals than we have done this season, especially during the second half of this campaign. 

What to do with Kim Kallstrom though? He worked very hard for the team against West Ham and his defensive duties freed up Lukas Podolski to do what he does best, score goals.

If I was Arsene Wenger, I’d be tempted to stick with him against Hull, after all, it’s not like he’s going to be tired is it!

I watched some of the youth cup match against Chelsea last night, if that’s the best we have it will be a long time before we see many of the players who were on show making a step up…. Akpon and Vickers, despite his gaff for the goal, were the only stand outs…

That’s it for another day…..


Bacary Sagna Staying? Koscielny going? Arsene goes with Project ‘pensioner’!

April 17, 2014

Morning all.

Ok, it’s all media speculation but at least it’s positive. Bacary Sagna is set to sign a new contract and remain a Gooner which if true is great news. He’s been on fire this season and players like him need to stick around and pass on their experience down to the younger ones, and hopefully with an FA Cup medal in hand.

Talking of the younger players, it wasn’t that long ago when Arsene Wenger was being heavily criticised for signing young players, playing young players and when we lost matches and won nothing, ‘project youth’ was deemed a disaster.

It took a while I know but maybe some of that youth stuff was all about not having too many pennies to sign big named players, because they come with big hefty signing fees and a huge salary. We all know that when we moved from Highbury, we couldn’t afford either.

On Tuesday night, Arsene Wenger fielded at starting eleven which when averaged out, was aged at 29 years and 188 days old!

Eleven years ago and against Leeds, the average age of our starting eleven was 195 days older!

We had Keown, Kanu, Luzhny, Wiltord, Pires, Seaman, Henry, Gilberto, Bergkamp, Cole, Parlour……… to name a few and trust me, naming a few of those makes me think…….

Anyway, my point is that now Arsene Wenger has turned from youth to the mature and experienced players, he’s in the papers being questioned. Why??

Crazy isn’t it……

Every side needs a bit of experience otherwise and as said above, the younger players have no-one to learn from and despite the golden oldie starting eleven which faced West Ham, we still have a lot of them. Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Serge Gnabry to name just a few and then behind them are a number of very talented Academy/reserve players who will be looking for their chance real soon.

Finally, that 4th place in the Premier League is now back in our own hands after Everton were surprisingly beaten at home by Crystal Palace. Everton are now a point adrift and if we win all our remaining fixtures, Champions League football will be ours for another season. Well, as long as we win the play-off in August of course……

See, I always said I liked Tony Pulis. I wonder what he’d achieve with our current squad…

Transfer gossip:

According to Matt Law in The Telegraph, PSG, Monaco and Bayern Munich are all interested in signing Laurent Koscielny. No surprise really that clubs like those and no doubt others would be after him, he’s been in fantastic form all season. Law states that our Frenchman is earning just £50,000 a week right now which in today’s footballing world, is peanuts.

Best Arsenal hurry up and sort this one out before it’s too late…..

That’s it for today, have a good one…..

 


Where did that come from? Giroud stuns Arsenal!

April 16, 2014

I must admit that before kick off, I thought we were good to get one over the Hammers until I saw the team sheet, which I did not like one bit. All show and very little go in the midfield, to my eye.

Half way through the first period, I thought we were gonners…

We had nothing and the midfield was being over run well and truly, by bigger, stronger brutes….the kind we no doubt wish we had one or two of.

Early on, Diame was involved in a lovely move, and thank goodness our BFG stood strong, taking a body shot from the one time Arsenal target, which was probably goal bound.

Another few close calls followed and my concerns were heightened. It was all too easy for our opponents, and our back 4 were being placed under undue pressure due to our soft midfield.

This was the type of performance which has plagued us over the last few seasons.

I remember saying mid way through the first half that I hoped we could hold out until Ramsey came on, as embarrassing as that sounds against West Ham, but I was being honest, as we were showing nothing at that point and I felt Aaron would at least get something happening for us in the centre of the park.

We did create a few chances, but we were being outplayed, and luckily Diame is not a striker, as we could well have been 3 down by the half hour mark!

Next up was a touch of sportsmanship all too seldom seen in professional sports these days.

Hats off to Jarvis for keeping his feet when brushed, albeit very lightly, by Sagna. Suarez or Young would still be rolling around now asking for the penalty, but Jarvis kept up and chased the ball down as any footballer should do, but rarely, does these days.
Well played, sir.

Giroud has copped an incredible amount of criticism of late, and he did himself no favours when forgetting his right foot is not just to stop him falling over, and can be used to kick a football. What was he thinking? It was an abysmal attempt from a PL striker after he had done everything right to create space. A real shame to see a great move wasted.

Anyway, the inevitable eventually occurred, and the Hammers were in front.

How an attacker is allowed to stand alone 6-7 yards out is beyond me, but it happened, and we conceded after a scuffle in the box.
I guess it was a little case of poetic justice that Jarvis was the goal scorer, but there was nothing poetic about our “defending” on the lead up to the goal.

I am still not sure what happened over the next few minutes, although I remember Kallstrom getting away a decent shot on goal. I was in a daze, shaking my head, cursing and asking myself two questions. How did this happen, and how the hell were we going to turn things around, when suddenly we were level, thanks to the best left foot in world football, in my opinion, the one on the end of Podolski’s peg.

He has power and unerring accuracy when give just a little time and space, and when used the correct way is simply lethal.
Arsene, take note.

The goal also came at an important time, meaning we headed into the sheds all square.

Onto the second half, and, as if Wenger flicked a switch, we suddenly started playing football.

Our passing was fluent.

Players were energetic.

What had changed?

Who knows, but I am glad it did.

We were on top, and it seemed almost a done deal that we would go on to win the game, but even more so once we had gone ahead.
Momentum was on our side, and our class began to show-finally!

Our second goal was simply world class, and anyone disagreeing would surely be doing so only out of a dislike for the players involved :)

The ball from Vermaelen was amazing, and the first touch and finish from Giroud showed what he can, but seldom does….

It was pure class, and beautiful on the eye.

The crowd were now showing something as well…..all, ahem, 59,977 of them, give or take a few tens of thousands.

Santi, from distance, nearly finished a sensational move on the counter, with a beautifully struck shot that missed by inches.

Ramsey then came on to replace Rosicky, who had a terrific came, as usual, but we looked even better for the move.

The game was done when Giroud received the ball in space wide on the left, he found the head of Ramsey, whose ball to Podolski was a touch of brilliance, and again, that left foot had the ball past the keeper before he knew it had been struck.

A solid performance over all that, if repeated, will see us undefeated for the remainder of the season.

If we can see similar work rates from Podolski and Santi every week, it could only be a great thing for the club, and the earned their wage.

Arteta was fantastic as well, though his best work went unnoticed by most, and this is the type of game he is suited to.

Kallstrom worked his way into the game very well, and most definitely has quality which will be of use in the coming weeks.

A special mention to Vermaelen, who was absolutely superb last night, shutting down Carroll in the air on several occasions, and just brilliant in general.

I have said for a while that Aaron Ramsey has a very rare gift. He makes other players perform better when he is on the pitch, as well as being incredibly effective himself…… (Emma, you can borrow that one, but it is mine :) )

His work rate and positional sense means others can do what they do best, and when he plays, we simply play much better.

Our win/loss percentage when he plays this season shows just how important he is, and in my opinion, his injury was the single biggest reason we lost form. The kid could easily end up with his own statue at The Emirates one day.

One last comment.

Arsene, sign Diame!

Written by Scott from Oz


Arsene’s staying? Casemiro wanted & A night to blow away the bubbles…..

April 15, 2014

Morning all.

I’ll start with the transfer gossip and The Mirror report that as well as Morata, we are hoping to sign Casemiro, a Brazillian box-to-box midfielder. I’ll admit to knowing nothing about him but he’s being described as being the player who could take over from Mikel Arteta.

This is Jack Lang of The Mirrors view of him:

He has played a little deeper for Real, picking the ball up from the defence and starting attacks. While perhaps not a natural defender, he could perform a role similar to that of Arteta at Arsenal, anticipating danger rather than clattering into opposition players on a regular basis.

That made me chuckle…….

Seems like only hours ago that we were celebrating our penalty shoot-out victory in the FA Cup semi-final, maybe that’s because it was. Why this fixture has been scheduled for tonight goodness only knows, surely tomorrow would have been much more sensible.

Still, it is what it is and there’s nothing like playing again after what should be, a morale boosting victory…

We needed it too…..

Could do with these two on form tonight....

Could do with these two on form tonight….

Just like we need the return of a few players…

Team news from the manager:

We have plenty of uncertainties for muscular problems and fatigue. Who could be available who was not in the squad on Saturday? Maybe Rosicky and Koscielny – we’ll have to test him definitely today. There are plenty of uncertainties so I have to make up my mind late on.

The main uncertainties are Monreal who had to come off with a dead leg. Podolski had a little [muscle] problem but I think he will be alright. Then there is Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey (both muscle tightness). They are the main problems.

Koscielny will be tested today (yesterday) and I have to decide after training if I take the risk or not to start him tomorrow (today).

Well I hope Laurent Koscielny passes his fitness test with flying colours because we need to get our defensive stability back again.

Same goes for Aaron Ramsey but considering he is only just back from a long-term injury and after playing for such a long period of time on Saturday, maybe it would be wise to rest him for this one and let Kim Kallstrom make his full debut, after all, that’s what we signed him for. If Serge Gnabry is fit, then play him too and let Oxlade-Chamberlain have a breather as he too struggled towards the end of Saturday’s game.

We have a squad and we seriously need to use it tonight. Zelalem, Akpom and Eisfeld are all options too although it does seem that Arsene Wenger is reluctant to call upon any of them right now…..

Nicklas Bendtner and Abou Diaby were both training yesterday, who knows, we could see either, we might even see both!!

Head-to-head

  • Arsenal have won six successive league matches against West Ham and are unbeaten in the last 12 meetings in all competitions since a 1-0 home defeat in April 2007.
  • West Ham’s only goal in their last five visits to the Emirates Stadium was scored by Jack Collison in a 5-1 defeat last season.

Arsenal

  • The Gunners have only taken two points from their last four matches. They have not gone five league games without a win since registering five successive draws in January and February 2009.
  • Arsene Wenger’s side have gone 15 home games unbeaten in the league since the opening-day defeat by Aston Villa.
  • They have earned more points than any other side this season after opening the scoring: 55 from 20 games.

Big Sam will no doubt head to The Emirates rubbing his hands together with joy, he’ll know there is no better time to be playing us. Not only because of recent form but playing 120 minutes of football just a couple of days ago will have taken a lot out of our players. Well some!

We have just six games left of this seasons campaign, six matches in which certain players need to step up and start playing the way we all know they can, the way they did before Christmas, the kind of dogged football which saw us rise to the top of the league and not the kind which saw us fall away so rapidly.

Arsene Wenger on the future:

We do make plans for next season, we are really focused and working very hard. Every day we spend time on that.

It’s vital to me to make the top four. I want this club to play in the Champions League.

What will be an advantage is our desire to play in this competition because we love the Champions League and just to imagine how much we love it will help us to achieve it. I would like them rather to concentrate on the pleasure to be in it rather than the pain of not being in it.

It is vital for the young players as well. You learn more by playing against Bayern or Barcelona or Real Madrid than if you play in the Europa League, that is for sure.

You don’t go backwards, but you want to play with the top teams.

On the other hand for many years I had to convince you it was important we were in the top four.

Now it is in a reverse ­position, you say to me, ‘you realise how important it is for us’.

A sure sign he’s staying?

Arsene Wenger wants that top four place and there’s no doubting that will have been drummed into the players minds.

Enough to see a better performance and a much needed league victory?

I think so…..

COYRRG’s, go blow away the bubbles and give us something to be cheerful about……..

 

 

 

 

 


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