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Wenger’s Lies, Toothless Board & Another Missed Opportunity…

September 2, 2014

Morning all.

‘If Thomas Vermaelen leaves, I will replace him’ were the words muttered by the Arsenal manager just a few weeks ago. Thomas left, yet no-one to replace him arrived…

What he did do though was to allow the only other senior defender who could have been that fourth choice player to leave as Ignasi Miquel moved to Norwich City on a permanent deal. I’m not suggesting that the player had has suddenly become the next Tony Adams but when we have so few defenders, surely they’d be certain games in which the young player could have been used.

Well I guess that means either Isaac Hayden or Semi Ajayi, both 19 years old and both well over six foot are seen to be close to making the step up.

He didn’t sign the midfielder we were all crying out for either. Again, Hayden can play in the holding midfield position, but then so can Francis Coquelin who somehow escaped the exit door this summer…

Well, we did sign a striker and not the one I expected either, not until yesterday afternoon when having been linked to Tottenham for the last couple of days, in jumped Arsenal and snapped up Danny Welbeck and the story goes that he was willing to move to Tottenham, until he heard of our interest and then he made it clear it was Arsenal he wanted to join, and on a permanent deal….

Now there’s a reason to get behind the guy if you needed one… lol

He got what he wanted and we got our striker. Clearly he’s not a Cavani, Falcao or Costa but if he plays week in week out, he’ll only get better. Daniel Sturridge didn’t really do much a Chelsea but once he moved and played each week, his game improved so very much. Something similar could happen with Welbeck.

He’s tall and quick and throw him in with Alexis, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Campbell, we are already stronger up front imo. Fingers crossed this will see Sanogo relegated to the bench at best and with Arsene Wenger refusing to allow Campbell to move on deadline day, I hope we see more of our Costa Rican too. There is no way in this world Sanogo should be considered ahead of him. There’s still time to send the Frenchman on loan and I really hope we do.

So our final summer signings are:

Alexis Sanchez

David Ospina

Mathieu Debuchy

Callum Chambers

Danny Welbeck

All very very good deals in my opinion but they would have been a lot better had three of them not been just like for like as others departed so in affect, this summer has seen us sign just two additions to our frail squad.

Where is the young physical quick defensive midfielder that we have needed for years and where of course as said is the new centre back…….

Amazingly, Arsenal are pro-active in putting up season ticket prices and getting what they can from the fans pockets yet they are hopeless when it comes to addressing our needs in the transfer market. We have bucket loads of cash left and yet we have a squad lacking in certain areas yet again. We get told no players are available of quality, yet clubs who finished above us have made quality signings so why haven’t we? Who or what is the problem?

We again talk the talk of a big club but let the fans down as we act like a middle of the road club when failing to finally buy what we need. two players short again, how often have we said that over the past years.

Is that the best that the money from Puma and The Emirates could do? No, it’s the best that Arsene Wenger could do and it’s appalling.

All the spin about this summer being the one in which we were going to spend big and really take advantage of FFP rules was just that, spin!

The manager who having been rewarded with a new contract has shown no signs of being a changed man. Yet again this campaign will be one in which we have 11/13 players who can be relied on and after that, it’s scraping the barrel and it will no doubt cost us dear against the ‘big’ clubs.

And behind the manager is a board clearly full of toothless tigers who are happy to let Wenger continue to be so frugal and so very average. And behind them is a majority shareholder who clearly knows so little about football and that winning trophies is what this game is all about.

If he did, surely he’d have done something about this mess a long time ago, but I guess Arsene Wenger tells him that he knows what he’s doing just like he does the rest of us and Kroenke falls for it…..

Try and have a good day guys…..

 

 

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Wenger has a lazy day off….. Another wasted transfer window..?

September 1, 2014

Wenger doing his bit on deadline day… Don’t get to excited… Wenger is in Rome to ref a charity game…. Oh how active of you Arsene……

Well after watching us huff and puff and fail to blow Leicester away yesterday it seems pretty obvious to everyone apart from Arsene of course that we are still a few players short of having a really good competitive team/squad.

We have a striker starting games who to be fair to him is getting tons of criticism but in all honesty he should not be playing so why is the manager not getting moaned at for picking someone who clearly at the moment isn’t good enough to lead the line for Arsenal. Why are we as usual discussing the same old things….

Would Sanogo get in the starting line up at Man City, Chelsea or Liverpool…? No he wouldn’t so why is a club of Arsenal’s stature starting with him up front…?

Why do we still not have a defensive midfielder signed up and then there’s the centre back scenario, yes the very position Arsene said would be filled if Thomas Vermaelen left…. Didn’t he know TV was leaving in May…? Why waituntil deadline day to try and replace him… Should of been done months ago.

The team yesterday lacked pace up front, we played lovely tippy tappy football in front of the Leicester defence but there was as usual very little end product.

Fans are crying out for a new striker but it seems that we have failed yet again ( so far ) to buy the defender we need and the central midfielder we have needed for years…! Wenger bought well at the start of the transfer window but will this be yet another transfer window we will look back on and think that we have failed yet again to address what we really need…?

Until 11:01pm tonight we won’t know that answer but if as it seems we get no one else in I think it’s going to be a long hard season and Arsene, after all the bravado about buying early and having funds, is going to be under a lot of pressure to deliver.

It’s a shame the board and the club are not far more pro-active in making sure the fans get the players the club should be buying when they are so quick and active to put up ticket prices and tell us how well run they are…!

Lets hope for some good news later today…… I’m not very confident…!

 


No chance Arsene! Tricky fixture up today….

August 31, 2014

Morning all.

Arsene Wenger is reported to have jumped into the race to sign Loic Remy. Somehow I am not sure this would be true as if it’s between us and Chelsea and the player wants big bucks each week, there’s only going to be one winner. In any case, Wenger has said:

If we buy somebody, somebody will go because we have too many players. We have too many strikers.

There are just two days left in this transfer window to sign three players and I just can’t see it happening. Maybe Wenger will stun us all….

Match day today and a tricky trip to Leicester. Well, it shouldn’t be a tricky trip should it, fixtures like these should be a forgone conclusion but as we saw yesterday, both Manchester sides stumbled against ‘lesser’ sides and dropped points that one would have expected them to win, well City certainly.

Nothing is guaranteed in this game, especially when a side is lacking in a few positions and players are expected to perform miracles in an unfamiliar role but maybe that will change today. Perhaps Arsene Wenger will have watched Leicester in action and he’s ready to exploit any weakness they might have and nullify any strengths which offer a threat and he may just play with pace, with Ozil in the middle pulling the strings…

Ok, let’s just hope the boys dig in deep and get a victory…

Head-to-head

  • Arsene Wenger has never lost a Premier League game against Leicester. However, he was in charge when the Gunners exited in the FA Cup fourth round in 2000 after a penalty shoot-out defeat to the Foxes.
  • Leicester have won just one of 16 Premier League games against Arsenal (W1, D5, L10). Their sole victory was 2-1 at Filbert Street on 23 November 1994.
  • Arsenal’s last match against Leicester was their 38th and final game of the 2003-04 league season, when the Gunners’ “Invincibles” ended the campaign unbeaten.

That invincible year was a long time ago wasn’t it and boy couldn’t we brag about the quality in our side back then. They really were a joy to watch. Pace, strength, passion, clinical and ruthless in front of goal so often.

A bit like today’s side really. Seriously, I mean that. We have some super players in our squad, including a few world class ones too who other managers would love to be selecting each week but they are ours and if Arsene Wenger can get the best out of all of them, we could achieve many things this season. Yes we have a few duffers as well but if Arsene Wenger can get three key players before 11pm tomorrow night, those duffers will remain squad players and even back in 2003/04, we had a few of those in our squad.

I’m not going to guess who will start today, I’ll leave that to the manager.

None of our injured return for this fixture, although Arteta, Gibbs and Ospina are not far away from doing so. Aaron Ramsey is back though after missing out in midweek.

Games like this are there to be won, but we’ll have to work hard and play well to do so…

COYRRG’s….

Have a good day all.

 


Cavani In, Campbell Out? Wenger confirms he will be making signings on deadline day….

August 30, 2014

Morning all.

Did you know that on this day back in 1919, Arsenal FC began their unbroken run in the Top Division of English football? Yes, of course you did.

Portuguese newspaper Record reports that Arsenal are still working on trying to sign Cavani and we can agree a deal for him, Joel Campbell will be allowed to move to Benfica, who have made an offer. Hmmm!

Arsene Wenger held his usual press conference yesterday and of course, everyone wanted to know if he’d be heading off to Lidil with his basket in hand….

It’s harder to buy top, top, top players, yes. Many clubs are on the market and everybody knows each other.

The last few days are poker games. There’s a lot of lies there in the few days, everybody is interested in the same player even if you’re the only one who wants the player. [When you are experienced] you can call it a bluff when it is a bluff.

What on earth is he on about?

Then of course came the big question about about whether of not he’ll be signing a striker after Olivier Giroud has been confirmed to be out until 2015:

You have decided that I have to buy strikers – I have not necessarily decided that! I promise you that if we sign somebody, we’ll inform you.

I will be actively involved but on the last day of the window. I will of course be on alert until the last minute of the transfer deadline.

Heard it all before Arsene.

Our best striker is out and yes, Olivier Giroud is our best striker until Alexis truly finds his feet and the only way to deal with that loss is by signing another striker. Forget all the stuff about Podolski, Walcott, Campbell and Sanogo because he’s barely played some, and he’s hardly played any of them up front so to think they’ll suddenly will be our saviour would be naive and simply stupid!

I don’t know if Podolski was truly on the verge of leaving but from what the player has been posting on the social media networks, it certainly appeared that way, now though those plans have been scuppered. This is another Bendtner situation isn’t it, a player not deemed good enough by the manager who was keen to sell him and then at the last minute he pulled the plug because he lost out on Ba.. Not that I’m suggesting Bendtner is on the same playing level as Podolski, he’s not. I feel sorry for Lukas Podolski, he wants to play football but despite Wenger insisting that he’s staying, I seriously doubt he’ll play much.

Both Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil have been on the end of some cruel stuff in the media for a while now. Wilshere in the summer for his smoking and Ozil because, well I’m not really sure why but perhaps it’s because he cost the club £42 million and this couch potato experts think he should be doing better. Perhaps it’s just because he’s world class and those buffoons don’t like Arsenal having such gifted players!

Robbie Savage came out in defence of Jack Wilshere after the Besiktas match:

Suddenly, it has become the easiest game in town to jump on the bandwagon, pick holes in Wilshere’s performances for Arsenal and hammer him for every mistake.

Sorry. I’m not having that.

I thought he was magnificent in the two games against Besiktas – although Sanchez took the headlines for scoring the all-important goal, it was Wilshere’s persistence that set it up. I hope Wilshere’s most vocal critics will lay off him. I will not be criticising him just to conform with other people’s opinions. I am not going to be a negative pundit for the sake of it.

If Arsenal reach the later stages of the Champions League this season, I’m sure their knowledgeable fans will remember Wilshere’s role in getting them past first base.

Good on you Robbie, perhaps a few Arsenal fans could follow suit, yes, including me..

Yesterday, Arsene Wenger defended Mesut Ozil:

People are very harsh with Ozil because he’s a player who’s always very easy on his play but when you watch the game again after, the next day, you see what a player he is. Everything he does is intelligent. The timing of everything he does is absolutely perfect. You never catch him giving the ball too late.

The number of players you catch giving the ball too late is unbelievable. You never get that with Ozil. The timing, he’s like a guy who plays the music, the timing of what he does is perfect, you don’t get many players like that.

He is not getting enough praise. He came back as a World Cup winner. He played all seven games [during the tournament] and he played some good games.

Play the guy central, stick a top striker ahead of him and I’m sure the whole world will agree but all the time he is played out of position and not able to do what he does best, the world will forever be on his back. We all know Mesut Ozil is a world class player, just as Alexis Sanchez is but they can create all the chances they like but who can guarantee that one of Joel Campbell or Yaya Sanogo will take them?

I guess we’ll just have to carry on hoping that Aaron Ramsey is lurking in the box…..

Mesut himself is full of confidence:

It is important to remember that we won the FA Cup and that’s given us a lot of confidence. Arsenal can win the Premier League.

I doubt it Mesut, not with this squad………..

That’s it for another day….

 

 


Falcao chance gone. Defender bid in & Chambers call up…..

August 29, 2014

Morning all.

Congratulations to Calum Chambers for being called up to the new look England side, I’m sure he’s chuffed to bits. I’m not. Just 3/4 steady appearances so far this season and Roy Hodgson wants to put more pressure on the young lads body. Why did Arsene Wenger just tell him he needs one more season to mature…

So the Champions League draw for the group stage saw us paired up with Borussia Dortmund yet again! Added to them is the ghastly Galatasaray and Belgium’s Anderlecht. Not the best three teams to be drawn against, but it could have been a lot worse and the biggest threat is Dortmund but I’m not sure they are as strong as they were when we last met. Mind you, are we?

Travelling to Turkey is never ideal, the fans there are quite hostile to say the least but the short trip to Belgium will be a much more gentle affair. Not suggesting for one minute that they are an easy opponent, not at all, I just believe the whole atmosphere will be more calm…. Well, I hope…

Many fans would love to see us win this big competition but I see it as a hindrance to our domestic campaign and always have done. If Wenger wants to win the CL, then go and build a squad deep and strong enough to do so. The same can be said for the Premier League, the one I’d really love us to win.

However, we all know that the further we go in the CL, the more money the club will bring into the club and Arsene likes money, even more so than Albert Arkwright! That bloke was tight too!!

Anyway, four days left now!

Gossip:

There a lot of talk about Sokratis Papastathopoulos, another big Greek defender. We are supposed to have held talks with his agent about a move and we are reported to have made a £10.9 million bid for the versatile Greek international yesterday. Funny enough, that amount is short of Dortmund’s asking price but we are still in there trying to reach an agreement.

The same is supposed to be happening with Adrien Rabiot, PSG and us according to TalkSport.

Not long left now though….

The under 21’s continued their good form last night with a 4-2 victory over West Brom. Diaby managed 45 minutes, Campbell and Coquelin had a run out too but the star of the show was Chuba Akpom with a hat-trick.

Surely it won’t be too long before we see him on the subs bench, especially if Arsene Wenger doesn’t sign up a striker….

On that positive note, I’ll sign off..

Have a great day all, keep those fingers and toes crossed we soon get some good news…

 

 


Arsene, you must, even if you don’t want to! Alexis makes his mark…..

August 28, 2014

Morning all.

You have to love Paul Merson sometimes:

Man Utd have one bad season & they’re out of the Champions League. Arsenal have had a couple and still qualify every year!

We did, but phew, that was tough eh!

Besiktas came to The Emirates and at times, played like the home side and to be honest, what else did we expect? Slaven Bilic, up in the stands last night for his naughtiness during the first tie has been saying all week that his side weren’t heading to London on a sightseeing trip, they were going for a win and his side nearly did just that.

We had a couple of good chances through the game, but then so did they, especially towards the end when Ba headed into side netting and with just a slender 1-0 lead at the time, had that gone in, we would have been out. That’s how close it was.

We weren’t helped by Mathieu Debuchy receiving a second yellow card with fifteen minutes left on the clock either but what came out of that was a truly superb defensive shift put in by Santi Cazorla who I thought had a good game. Jack Wilshere too. He’s had a bit of stick lately but last night he showed glimpses of the player will all know is inside his body, it was a shame his shot went wide, he deserved a goal. Cazorla, Alexis and Oxlade-Chamberlain missed further opportunities to score, the best fell to the latter of the three players and really, he should have done better.

Our only goal came from Alexis and what a night to pop up with it. Debuchy had made a run up the right and fired in a low cross which looked like it was all for nothing but Wilshere had other ideas. He played a one-two with Ozil and as the ball fell for Alexis, Jack left him to it. Talking of Alexis, those legs of his never give up do they, his work rate is immense. Monreal was another who stood out and another who has been criticised by many all too often…

Chile Night in August....

Chile Night in August….

That was enough! Our players ran their legs into the ground last night, well most of them so their commitment can’t really be called into question but, it was very clear that the squad is lacking in a number of areas but then we have being saying that for a while.

Hope of further signings has been hanging on last nights match because without Champions League qualification, Arsene Wenger would no doubt be tempted to carry on through this season with the bare essentials. Well we have now qualified and if he really wants to win this big trophy, or the Premier League, then he really has to secure three signings between now and 11pm on the 1st September.

A big ask in just five, but not an unreasonable one as football is all about winning, not about merely surviving and if we carry on through the season with the squad we have now, we will seriously struggle.

Yesterday we drew Southampton in the Capital One Cup, thankfully it’s a home fixture but regardless, it’ll be tricky.

Who will we get...

Who will we get…

This afternoon we’ll find out who we’ll face in the group stages of the Champions League, the draw takes place at 4.30pm.

Then of course, it’s a trip to Leicester on Sunday followed by an International break….

Come on then Arsene, go and show some intent during the last few days of the transfer window!

You may not want to but you know you have to!

That’s it for another day…..

 


Zigic flying in for medical? Pace Arsene, go for Pace!

August 27, 2014

Morning all.

Transfer gossip:

And according to reports in Serbia free agent striker Nikola Zigic has emerged as a shock contender to join us. The paper, Zurnal, suggest that the 33-year-old former Birmingham striker is scheduled for a medical as early as today.

What a load of poppycock… Isn’t it?

Danny Wellbeck is another name in the papers, some of which suggest we have made contact with Utd already about him and the Edison Cavani stories rumble on…..

There has been a lot of discussion on here lately about how many players Arsene Wenger could sign, if he really wanted to show a bit of ambition. Should we beat Besiktas tonight and progress to the group stage of the Champions League, we will have to submit to UEFA a list of players for the competition on the 2nd September. That is list A.

List A

No club may have more than 25 players on this list and two of them must be goalkeepers, and these players must be over 21.

The number of foreign players permitted is 17 and the remaining 8 places are reserved for club trained players or home produced players.

Where a club is unable to produce 8 C/T or H/P players the squad size is reduced . I E. If a club has only 4 C/T or H/P players the the Squad is reduced to 21 they cannot make up the shortfall by increasing the number of foreign players.

List B

Each club is entitled to register an unlimited number of players during the season on this list and it must be submitted no later than 24 hours before the match in question.

Player Eligibility – Players who are 21 or over on 1st Jan 2014 must be included and registered in the 25 man squad for the 2014-2015 season.

Players under the age of 21 on the 1st Jan 2014 do not have to be registered for the 25 man squad and can play in the C/L for the 2014-2015 season as a list B player.

Sanogo was 21 on 27th January 2014 and Oxlade-Chamberlain was 21 on 15th August but as they were under 21 on 1st Jan they do not take up a place in the 25 squad.

We have 24 players over 21 on our books and of these only 21 can expect to be in our squad after 2nd sept.

There are 6 C/T H/P players namely Szczesny, Martinez, Gibbs,  Wilshere, Ramsey and Walcott.

There are 15 foreign players, namely Ospinia, Debuchy, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Rosicky, Cazorla, Arteta, Flamini, Diaby, Ozil, Podolski, Giroud, Campbell and Sanchez.

The future of Ryo, Coquelin and Miquel is still unclear and should all three depart over the next few days as expected that will leave further places in the squad to be filled.

Arsene is in the position to bring in 2 foreign players and 2 home produced players if he can find them.

Will he do it? Foreign players I still think he will, the home produced, no, I don’t think he will.

That was from Rick.

Of course, we have to qualify for the group stage first and that can be done tonight if we can find a way to beat Besiktas. If we don’t, it’s Thursday/Sunday night football for us and we really really don’t want or need that!

We have no Ramsey, Giroud (no ‘d’ Carragher!) Arteta and Walcott. Not good but we do have exciting, gifted and world class players amongst the rest. We have Ozil, Alexis, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Debuchy, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla and Chambers to name a few who could win this match for us tonight.

There’s plenty of pace there and add Joel Campbell into the mix, we have players who are prepared to get back and fight for the cause if we need to. We have Sanogo too……

As much as a couple of key players are missing, we have enough as long as Arsene Wenger picks the right players for the task ahead. Hit them with pace and hit them hard, none of this hogging the ball but doing nothing with it because Besiktas will be up for this game, they’ll want our scalp and they’ll fight tooth and nail to get it.

It’s up to Arsene Wenger and the players now and if they want to progress, they all need to step up their game and make it happen…

Arsene Wenger has said he won’t panic buy after injuries have hit us early this season. My answer to that is it’s not panic buying, it’s about addressing the needs of the squad, it’s about being ambitious and showing some intent this summer.

It’s about wanting to win the league and having a squad capable of doing so…..

COYRRG’s, get the job done tonight!

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

 


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