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Youtube, don’t we have a keeping coach? Are we about to lose the wrong one?

April 14, 2014

Morning all.

Hero of the FA Cup semi-final, Lukasz Fabianski, has been talking about his superb penalty saves which secured us victory on Saturday:

To be honest with you I did some homework but none of them [the Wigan penalty takers] were on my list!

The guys who stepped up to take penalties [were different] so I was just guessing. It was more intuition rather than my homework that I’d done.

I was surprised that [Jordi] Gomez didn’t step up as the first one. Then I saw Caldwell and Collison taking the penalties, so I was just guessing.

I did look at YouTube and things like that, but I didn’t see anything of Collison or Caldwell on there.

Ok that’s quite a funny story really isn’t it, but what on earth is going on with our goalkeeping coaching?

Did they not do any homework on the Wigan players and the way they take penalties?

Why was it left to Lukasz Fabianski to scout around on Youtube for a bit of assistance?

Why wasn’t the keeping coach and our keepers and yes, both of them, sat down together going through everything so they had a heads up on where certain Wigan players usually place their spot-kicks?

Thankfully, in the end it didn’t matter because Lukasz got it spot on.

Talking of our older Pole, are the club about to make a huge mistake?

Szczesny has taken a bit of stick recently, especially for his performances at Anfield and Stamford Bridge when we conceded a glut of goals. Yet on the other hand, in every game Lukasz Fabianski has played for us in the FA Cup he has looked calm, assured and has seen us through to victory. Ok, he had a mad moment on Saturday but to his credit, he soon realised the error of his ways and got back into position quickly.

For sure, you could sense it in the crowd after we conceded the goal, there was a really stressful few minutes as we tried to get back in the game.

After we managed to score the equaliser you could sense the relief, and from the penalties you could see the crowd react. I think this is for the fans, I think they have been waiting a long time and they show up in every away game, win or lose they always follow.

It was a great atmosphere today as well so it’s great to do it for them.

Nice to see he cares about the fans…

It’s true of course, in the main the fans do continue to turn up and support the club regardless of what they have to endure but just how long they stay so faithful remains to be seen, especially if things at the top stay the same. By that I mean an owner who really doesn’t appear to care what the future of Arsenal FC is, as long as he is making money and doesn’t have to dig into his very deep pockets with his very short arms and spend some….

Back to Fabianski, The Daily Mail quote him as saying:

I’m very happy we managed to go through to the final, it’s a massive thing for us, especially after such a difficult game. 

But I don’t know if I’ll keep my place – it’s up to the boss. After my performance, I hope I can.

If I was Arsene Wenger, I’d leave Fabianski in goal now. Firstly, he deserves to be there and secondly the more he plays now, the more confident and focussed he’ll be for the final next month.

Another thing, I’d do all I could to keep him at the club because I truly believe that the Flappianski of old is long gone and Lukasz Fabianski is on the way to being a top top goalkeeper…

Just a shame he isn’t going to be ours. Ouch!!

Hull City will be our opponents in the FA Cup final in May but that day is a while off.

It’s back to the league challenge now, well the 4th place challenge which is now out of our hands. Up next is West Ham tomorrow night at The Emirates.

Are we going to have eleven players fit enough??

That’s it for another day…..

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Arsene Wenger got it right! FA Cup Final here we come…..

April 13, 2014
Wembley observes a minutes silence - 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

Wembley observes a minutes silence – 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

Morning all.

We had to wait 120 minutes for it to be right, but our order of penalty takers was spot on, as was the choice of players who were chosen to take them. Arsene got that all absolutely right, just as he did with standing by Lukasz Fabianski…

As for the rest of the match, well…………

We started well though and came out of the blocks with a bit of purpose. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular stood out, he was here, there and everywhere and getting forward either with or without the ball. 

Yaya Sanogo headed an Oxlade-Chamberlain cross against the legs of Carson within the first minutes – a foot either side of the keeper and we’d have taken the early lead we needed. Just before the half hour mark, Bacary Sagna fired a difficult chance high…

Sanogo had another chance soon after but that to went high and wide and then his inexperience shone through when he looked like going clear through on goal. His first touch was awful and Carson stopped any attack with ease.

I was one of a few who really wanted Yaya Sanogo to start, believing his pace and enthusiasm would give us something so different up front and to be fair it did. But his control and finishing was far from being good enough but to be fair to him, he didn’t stop, he didn’t sulk and as the game went on some of his passing was pretty good and he had one great shot which took a fine save from Carson to stop it finding the back of the net.

Despite all of the possession, we had slowly gone back to being that sideways, backwards and boring football side and it wasn’t pleasing on the eye….

Just before the hour mark, Per Mertesacker chopped down McManaman, penalty given, goal scored!

Get me a sofa to hide behind...

Get me a sofa to hide behind…

During the build up for the goal, Nacho Monreal suffered an injury (no doubt we will hear more from Arsene on that) and had to be replaced by Kieran Gibbs.

Just that change alone gave us far more impetus going forward….

What you thinking Arsene??

What you thinking Arsene??

Olivier Giroud was warming up and set to come on, I thought in place of Sanogo but no, Lukas Podolski was the man to make way. Strange one but we did look a little better playing 442.

Into the last 15 minutes of the match and it looked like it wasn’t going to be our day when Sagna saw his header hit the post and just after, Kieran Gibbs looked like he’d got the equaliser but somehow, Scott Carson made a superb save to push the ball wide….

82 minutes on the clock and all Gunners hearts were lifted.

Sanogo laid the ball off for Oxlade-Chamberlain, his shot bounced through to Mertesacker who was just wide of the far post and the big fella somehow managed to guide his header home..

The final whistle came and soon after, the start of extra time begun..

Sanogo had a good shot tipped over and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired a rasper which annoyingly rattled the crossbar.

That was pretty much it…

See what it means to them.....

See what it means to them…..

Penalties it was and Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom, who had come on for Aaron Ramsey,Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud all fired home their spot kicks.

Lukasz Fabianski was the hero as he saved both penalties from Caldwell and Collison.

Hero - Can't believe he's leaving....

Hero – Can’t believe he’s leaving….

That was enough to see us go through to our first FA Cup Final since 2005….

The performance left a lot to be desired that’s for sure, but we got there in the end and I for one am pleased as punch…

Many things have been going wrong for a while now, but let’s not be too hasty to forget all the good Arsene Wenger has done for our club. He brought us some great players, his arrival made sure Dennis Bergkamp stayed and he won trophies after suffering many barren years..

I haven’t a clue what the future holds for our manager but if he is planning to walk away at the end of this season, I truly hope it’s with the FA Cup held high because surely to goodness, he deserves it.

Finally, I want to wish Bob Wilson all the very best as he is set to undergo treatment for prostate cancer. Be strong big guy, you can fight it and win the battle……

That’s your lot for another day…..

Remember the last time? Go Grab it Arsenal!!

April 12, 2014

Morning all.

Three times we have met Wigan in the Domestic Cups, the last being the Carling Cup semi-final back in 2006.

It was a two-legged affair and not a good one!

Having lost at their place 1-0, we returned to Highbury needing just a victory by two clear goals to see us through.

We scored, taking the second leg into extra time and scored again to take a 2-1 advantage. All we had to do is hold on and we were into the final…

However, Jason Roberts struck with just seconds left and that was enough to send us packing by the away goal rule…

Funny enough, it was a defensive mix up which led to that winning goal, just as it was at Wembley in 2011……

Both sides are very different to what they were back then though and of course, Wigan were a Premier League side whereas now they are fighting hard in the Championship to try and regain that status. We, well things are pretty much the same, still fighting for that 4th spot and hoping our trophy drought will finally come to an end….

Today, we could take a huge step towards making that happen IF every person, player and coaches alike, give 100% from start to finish.

And we are going to have to because you can bet your bottom dollar, Wigan will!

Uwe Rosler has done his homework:

I watched the game last Sunday and it was another very impressive lesson from Roberto, tactically how Everton approached the game. 

Not a lot of people focused on how disciplined and how focused Everton Football Club operated in the first 20-25 minutes without the ball.

Everybody knows Roberto is focused on ball possession but how well the team worked against the ball at the beginning of game was very impressive.

There were good pictures for me to learn from and also take one or two things on board, like I did with Manchester City in the last round.

In the last round, Wigan went to the Etihad and withstood everything Manchester City threw at their goal, barring the one blip of course and they managed to do what only one other English club has managed to do all season and that’s come away with a win.

That’s the FA Cup for you, it’s all about one game on one day and giving your all, getting the right result and waiting for the next round, the next chance to pounce and get the unexpected result.

Not only have Wigan beaten Manchester City, they have also beaten PL sides, Cardiff and Crystal Palace in order to get to Wembley today.

So yes, respect what they have done, now let’s go and put an end to their great run!!

We have beaten Tottenham, Coventry City, Liverpool and Everton – all tough opponents and two of whom have battered us in the league.

League form goes out the window today, our poor league performances must go out the window, today is about 90 minutes, or 120 if that’s what it takes of non-stop 100% commitment, togetherness, organisation and passion.

It’s also about our manager having done his homework, he has to know what to expect from Rossler and his team and play in a way which will not only stop their threat but to know how to exploit any weaknesses the Championship side have.

Let’s not be another victim of of an FA Cup upset.

This is the best chance we have had in a long while to get to an FA Cup Final.

Go and grab it Arsenal!!





Show Wigan some respect! Arsene confirms he’s given up…… On the title!

April 11, 2014

Morning all.

Just one more sleep to go!

Ok I’m not going but I’m excited, our boys are off to Wembley!

But they won’t win if they don’t show the opposition some well deserved respect and that’s exactly what Arsene Wenger intends to do:

For us what is very important is to win the semi-final and it’s important we focus on that. 

After that we play against an opponent that has done well in this competition. They have beaten Man City at Man City so we want to focus on that and make sure we can go through. We respect highly for Wigan for what they have done and the best way to go to the final is to do that.

You win when you produce a quality performance. We have, in this competition, produced top quality performances so just let’s continue with that.

We have a team who has a lot of experience. We are in a competition where we have a great opportunity, we play against a good opponent but it’s a great challenge for us and of course we want to take the opportunity to go in the final.

Good, glad to hear it because I think that the last time we got to a cup final, everyone, including the manger and fans thought us winning was a forgone conclusion.

He also confirmed he’s given up all hope on the PL title:

We are back at Wembley and it’s great. It’s an important competition. You know we will not fight for the championship any more [this season], so it’s the only competition.

Maybe next year Arsene, we will finally have a squad which will see us still in the race for the PL at this stage of the season.

Who’s fit for tomorrow?

I cannot give you concrete team news because we have so many uncertainties about Chamberlain (groin), Gibbs (ankle), Rosicky (thigh). There will be last-minute decisions on those three players. They are all 50:50.

50/50 is not good, I hope the odds are a little better than that and all three are ready to play because they are crucial to our game and if they aren’t, who on earth will come in?

Ozil and Koscielny are still out. I think the earliest to come back for Koscielny could be Tuesday and for Ozil it could be next Saturday. That would be a boost because at the moment we have too many players out and it’s important we get them back. We know that at this period of the season, the number of players we had out is too many.

I’d hoped Laurent Koscielny would be back for this game, we are at our best when he partners Mertesacker at the back. He’s not, which means Thomas Vermaelen needs to be a bit more focused and on the ball than he was last Sunday.

Diaby is back to full training next week. He could be available soon, maybe in a couple of weeks.

The cynics amongst us would say that’s perfect timing for a World Cup call up, I say it’s perfect to help us get a Champions League, stay fit and then be sold.

On Ramsey.

He is ready to start and certainly I will decide to start him because Flamini is suspended.

On Fabianski.

Fabianski will play in goal. It’s not a difficult decision because it’s a decision that has been made for a long time.

On whether Fabianski would play in the final…

Let’s play on Saturday. You play football on your merit and your performance and he has turned up with top-level performances until now in every single game. He has done extremely well. He has been man of the match in the three games he has played.

On Wilshere…

It’s all going well but he has not started to run. I think that’s planned for next week. At the moment all is going well.

So there you have it. I’m not sure whoever was asking the questions needed to talk about the final, crikey, we haven’t even kicked off the semi yet so that is a long way away.

I recall in 2011 there was a similar situation when Arsene was asked whether or not Cesc Fabregas would collect the Cup even though he was out injured…

We all know what happened next……


Gibbs, Ox & Rosicky all doubts! Surprise Diaby return?

April 10, 2014

Morning all.

More Wembley woe to talk about as we are about to embark on what is these days, a surprising yet most welcome return to the big stadium in London. Not the best of course as we have that in The Emirates. Ok, I’m biased!

Personally I think it’s a great shame that the semi-finals are played at Wembley as it takes away the whole point of playing the final on the centre stage. For me, the days of playing at neutral grounds was far better.

As Kev said yesterday, our last trip to this stadium was back in 2011 and it was a day to forget for all Arsenal fans…..

It’s been 15 years since we came away from the London venue with the big jug held high as our fantastic 2-0 victory over Chelsea back in 2002 was at the Millennium Stadium. Two stunning strikes from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg stole the headlines that day and rightly so….

Will a couple of players step up and steal the headlines for us again this weekend? I hope so.

The last time we featured in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley was back in 2009 when we faced Chelsea. Theo Walcott struck the opening goal but Florent Malouda’s equaliser and Didier Drogba’s 84th-minute winner meant there would be no return for the big day.

Arsenal’s Road to Wembley

R3: Tottenham Hotspur (H) 2-0
R4: Coventry City (H) 4-0
R5: Liverpool (H) 2-1
R6: Everton (H) 4-1

That clearly means this is our first away match in the Cup this season and our away record of late has been simply dire!

In fact, apart from the victory at SHL, we have to go right back to January to find our last away win and that was against Aston Villa when players like Ozil, Wilshere and Gnabry were fit and playing. The young German should be fit for Wigan but the others remain on the sidelines.

This domestic cup was once great for us and under Wenger, we have won it three times, two as part of a double in 1997/98 and then again in 2001/02. The last of course was back in 2005 when a Manchester Utd side battered us for the entire game yet somehow we held on and nicked it on penalties.

But it didn’t matter did it, not once Patrick Vieria fired home our last spot kick and the players went mad. We had our hands on this famous trophy and no-one could take it away.

Over the latter years it would be fair to say that the focus by Arsene Wenger hasn’t always been on the domestic cups. The league cup was always seen as a chance to let the younger and less experienced players have their moment and once the play-offs have kicked off in the Champions League, the FA Cup has been pushed to one side.

But not this season, maybe drawing Bayern Munich out of the pot made Arsene Wenger take this competition a little more seriously and it’s paid off so far and considering who we have been drawn against so far, we have done well to get to this stage, especially with such a small squad and with the injuries suffered to key players.

But let’s not forget, just because we are going to Wembley, this Saturday’s fixture is only the semi-final.

There is a long way to go yet and Arsene Wenger has a lot of work to do to get us to the final.

I hope from somewhere deep down inside him, he can find the right words for the players, the right approach for the day and of course, the right result to see us revisit the grand stadium in May….

Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all doubts for Saturday according to Arsene Wenger in this mornings press conference and Fabianski will remain in goal as he has done throughout this competition and rightly so. Aaron Ramsey is fit, healthy and ready to start…

Finally, last weekend and before the Everton fixture, Arsene Wenger said that Abou Diaby was ‘back on the pitches’ which can only mean he’s back training. The player himself has said he hopes to return before the end of the season and this one is soon to come to an end.

Could he make a shock appearance on Saturday? I wonder……






Ganging up on Arsenal! Olivier Giroud – vote for your choice….

April 8, 2014

Morning all.

Every footballing pundit who said many months ago that our squad was too shallow to win the league are all jumping on the ‘I told you so’ bandwagon and even though I hate them for doing so, can you blame them?

We have been saying the same since firstly, the summer transfer window closed and then again in January when yet again, Arsene Wenger decided we didn’t need any additions, despite the losses to injury of Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott and both were known to be long term.

Jamie Carragher has really gone for it saying we are ‘weak, slow and lack mental strength’. Ouch, but he’s right!

Success this season is now all pinned on the FA Cup.

Arsenal v Wigan in the semi-final this weeke. Arsene Wenger v Uwe Rösler.

The old Frenchman against a young 45 year old German.

A man who took his Championship side to The Etihad Stadium and beat a strong Manchester City side in the last round. A man who 13 years ago, fought and beat lung cancer. A man whose managerial career is well and truly on the up.

Under Roberto Martinez, Wigan won the FA Cup last season, beating Manchester City in the final so they’ll be no strangers to this weekends grand occasion, but what about us?

Arsene Wenger believes that having suffered an awful result after an equally awful performance against Everton, the break away from the Premier League is just what is needed to get some kind of confidence:

Once you are in the semi-final you want to go through to the final. To play in a different competition will help us find confidence back and focus on our next game.

We have to acknowledge that we must go back to basics and come in much stronger in the challenges, much stronger in the way we win the ball back, before we start winning games.

The Arsenal players must wonder where and why it’s all gone so horribly wrong since Christmas just as we fans do, well most, there’s still an odd one or two who think we are in a good place!

Arsene Wenger might be right though, some of our best performances this season have been in the FA Cup.

We have beaten Tottenham, Liverpool, Coventry and Everton to get this far and we got lucky as each of those fixtures were drawn at home, giving us a slight advantage.That aside, we played very well in all of those games and we’ll need something like that again on Saturday if we are to beat Wigan.

But how does Arsene Wenger get some kind of confidence and self belief back into his players after what has been an awful few months in which the only real light was a victory at White Hart Lane?

How do the players individually and collectively pick their chins up off the floor and start putting a lot more effort into the task they get paid an awful lot of money to overcome?

Well if they are to beat Wigan at the weekend, they certainly need to dig deep and find something. Something that was there before the turn of the year and something which desperately needs to resurface.

Having Aaron Ramsey back may just be the lift they need, knowing Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere are not far from a return may also help lift them but between now and Saturday, it’s down to them. They all need to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask themselves ‘Am I doing the best I can for my club’?

The answer for many will surely be no, just as it would be for Arsene Wenger if he did the same…..

Four days for all them to buck their ideas up and go and fight for their lives at Wembley on Saturday evening…

If they can’t manage that, then they don’t deserve to be playing for such a great club like Arsenal FC…..

Finally, poor Olivier Giroud has been on the end of some stick and seeing as all the newspapers are asking for votes about all things Arsenal, here’s your chance.

Finally the transfer gossip:

Arsenal are ponding a bid of £17m in the summer for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, 21 (Metro).

The Gunners are also interested in Rubin Kazan striker Sardar Azmoun, 19 (Daily Star).

On that note…….






Dutch takeover at Arsenal. Good news as we close out the season….

April 4, 2014

Morning all.

Andries Jonker has not yet officially started in his new post at Arsenal but my goodness, he’s not sitting around on his butt waiting until the 1st July to get his sidekicks in place.

No, he’s already swooped in and made a few signings, one’s which he clearly believes will finally take our Academy to another level.

From July 1st, current under-18s coach Carl Laraman will join Steve Gatting to work with the club’s under-21 players.

The under-18s will be managed by new arrival Frans de Kat and former Arsenal player and current under-16 coach Kwame Ampadu.

The under-16s will be under the leadership of Jan van Loon.


Well, Dutchmen Frans de Kat and Jan van Loon bring with them a wealth of experience from previous roles at leading clubs and the national association in Dutch football. (According to afc.com)

Frans de Kat has vast coaching experience with the KNVB, (Royal Dutch Football Association) where he was a coach at both under-15 and under-16 levels. He has also held positions at Dutch clubs Willem II Tilburg, as head of scouting, and ADO Den Haag, as head of youth academy.

Jan van Loon joins Arsenal from the KNVB where he is currently a coach for his country’s national youth teams. He is a vastly experienced youth coach and, as well as representing the KNVB, has worked at Dutch clubs Willem II Tilburg and PSV Eindhoven.

Of course I nicked all of that from the official site because I have never heard of either but they are Dutch, come on, they have to be good! Don’t they?

Finally, Arsene Wenger has been giving an update on our injuries and returns:

Aaron Ramsey…

Aaron and Nacho Monreal are back training with the squad, so that is good news. Hopefully they will be available for Sunday. Diaby is back on the pitches, so that is good news.

On the others…

At the moment that is all because the other injured players are not back, not Wilshere, not Ozil. Everybody else is alright.

Laurent Koscielny…

He is still out. The earliest [he will be back] is next week, the latest is the week after.

Wilshere and Walcott…

They are alright, they are doing well. It is still early for them, of course for Theo the season is finished and Jack is progressing well.

Mesut Ozil…

The FA Cup will be too soon for him, but he will hopefully be back soon after that.

Just six league fixtures are left of this seasons campaign, hopefully eight matches in total if we can secure a place in the FA Cup Final next weekend.

Barring Theo Walcott, we could just end the season with every player being fit…..

Yes, even Abou Diaby….

That’s it for another day….




First departure confirmed! Midfield man of the future loving life at Arsenal….

April 3, 2014

Morning all.

Serge Gnabry has been chatting to the official website:

I am very happy with how this season has gone. I am a very young player, so to be alongside all these top players, in a squad with massive potential, has been really good. I have been involved in most of the games so I am very happy.

[My life] has changed a lot. Obviously you get more attention from fans and get recognised more often. Also, as a player you feel confident when you are in and around a team of top players. I’m just trying to get to the next level now.

It makes you a better person. I have grown up a lot since I came from the youth team, and it is a good experience to be playing, training and learning from all the top players here.

It is very tough to play in the Premier League, you have to be at a constant level – both physically and mentally. You have to prepare for the games and be spot on in them, so really that is the biggest challenge for me.

It’s hard to believe that Gnabry is still just 18 years old, although he’s not the tallest of players, he’s built like a wall. Strong, compact and he looks pretty darn fit. Maybe being just eighteen is the reason he’s not played at much as many would have hoped but I’m sure that will all change next season and thankfully, he’s tied down to a long contract because sure as anything, it won’t be too long before clubs like Bayern Munich come sniffing around for his signature.

Mind you, he’s reported to be on £20,000 a week, a lot of money for a player still in his teens but if his footballing career continues in the way it’s started, that salary may need to be reviewed in the not to distant future.

What is especially nice though is hearing a young player like him express publicly how happy he is and as much as we all want to see a few top class signings, he believes in the ones already with us.

But then so do we don’t we?

Well I do, in most anyway, yes there is one or two who frustrate the heck out of me on playing days but once Arsene Wenger adds 3/4 top players this summer, those players will either pick their game up, or they’ll be part of a stronger bench.

Talking of top players, ours are on the return.

Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny are reportedly back in training today so fingers crossed no set-backs for either and Mesut Ozil is not far behind.

Maybe the Everton game will be a bit too soon for Ramsey and Koscielny but Wigan in the FA Cup semi final should be a certainty…

Ozil and maybe even Diaby could appear soon after our big day out at Wembley……

Finally, in case you missed the story, Johan Djourou has made his move to Hamburg a permanent one.

Good, that’s another few thousand pounds, (£50,000 reportedly) a week saved and more to be used in the summer…

That’s it for another day…..




Kalou & Kaboul in the summer? Is Project Youth on the return?

April 2, 2014

Morning all.

Younes Kaboul. According to many a headline, he’s about to follow in the path of Big Sol and switch from wearing a cockerel on his shirt to a black cat. Surely not….

If that didn’t make you laugh, this might, well you have to really otherwise, well slitting your wrists would be silly but shedding a tear might be nearer the point if any such story about Kalou became reality.

Kalou told the BBC World Service:

There has been a lot of talking about me going back to England. I had an amazing time with Chelsea and I always keep that good memory with me.

If I have the chance to go back, I would love to, because it’s the most exciting league in the world so I would like to try it again.

Whatever team comes for me after the World Cup, I can decide where I can develop as a player, where I can have an impact, because it’s important to go to a team who suit me and who give me the opportunity to excel.

If you happen to write for the London Evening Standard, those few sentences, although spoken in English, have somehow translated into a headline which suggests that Arsene Wenger is making plans to sign the Ivory Coast striker in the summer.


Kalou has been linked to us more times than Olivier Giroud has poked his tongue out this season after missing a chance to score!!

He hasn’t joined us yet has he and I’m quite confident he won’t in the summer. Let’s forget that silly story right now!

Anyway, Kalou is getting on a bit at 28 years old and Arsene Wenger has been talking about just how important it is to give the youth players a proper chance:

It’s one of the values of our club. We want to be very successful without neglecting the need to give a chance to people. 

I want it to be part of our tradition and I also want to develop a spirit inside the club that makes the young players be faithful to this club. They think the club has given them a chance so they want to give something back as well. It has to work in both ways but we want to be the ones who give a chance.

It’s a big mental test for the players because you see how they resist stress, how they can deal with the pressure and how they can be committed in a very demanding environment. These kinds of qualities you discover only when you play the players.

Of course it’s an early test that not everybody can take on. Some fail but the strong ones just feel they belong there. They are not at all surprised that you give them a chance. In fact they are more surprised that you did not do that earlier! 

You could take that one of two ways.

Either, project youth is on it’s way back and no more experienced players are going to be signed in the summer. No, Arsene wouldn’t do that would he, that’s not his style. (cough)

Or, he truly believes that one or two of the younger players are simply proving they deserve a chance to make the step up into the first team squad.

I don’t count the likes of Serge Gnabry, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain etc as they are already proving that they have what it takes, although strangely, our young German, who despite putting in a number of solid performances earlier in the season, is being overlooked these days.

We have a vast number of players out on loan, 13 I think it is in total – some like Park, Djourou and Coquelin are no doubt heading for the exit door but others, younger players like Aneke, Campbell, Wellington, Afobe, Boateng etc are no doubt waiting for the summer to arrive arrive and only then will their future be more clear.

Boateng has not long signed a new contract and Wenger has hinted that Joel Campbell could finally be part of the team next season but as for the others who are on loan, I’m not sure where their future is…

And let’s not forget, there are one or two in the Academy side who no doubt believe they are ready to join the big boys….

Not everyone will have what it takes, not everyone will make the step up but I strongly suspect that one or two will or at least be given the chance.

It’s been a long time since Jack Wilshere came through the youth set-up and surely we are long overdue seeing another young player follow in his footsteps…

That’s your lot for another day….



Gazidis confirms he and Wenger are off! Is it a ‘Tunnel Thing’?

April 1, 2014

Morning all.

Ivan Gazidis has confirmed he’s off to the USA with the club in the summer for our one and only pre-season fixture which will take place outside of Europe:

We are delighted to be visiting the United States for the first time in 25 years. We enjoy fantastic support there, and in particular in New York, so we are looking forward to providing our fans with an opportunity to watch the team play live.

The fact that Thierry is the New York Red Bulls club captain makes this a particularly special fixture, and everyone involved with the club is looking forward to it.

Arsene Wenger is off there too and he’s happy:

This will be a great chance to play in front of supporters who have not seen the team play before. The New York Red Bulls will be midway through their season, so they will provide a good test. Obviously it will be good to play against Thierry. He is a very special player in our club’s history and I know the players and the supporters will enjoy this very much.

Bad wasn't it??

Bad wasn’t it??

Did you really think Ivan and Arsene were about to up sticks and leave the club?

I was watching Sky Sports yesterday morning and Tottenham were being battered for the way they approached their game against Liverpool. Paul Wash I think it was who said the Tottenham players looked like they were waiting to catch a bus rather than getting pumped up for an important football match.

The cameras then went onto Vincent Kompany at The Emirates and showed him psyching his players up for the game against us.

What caught my eye though was the Man City team were out and lined up yet there was Tomas Vermaelen, stood on his own whilst our players came out at their leisure.

Where was our urgency and passion? Why weren’t our boys out there together, ready to face the battle ahead?

Back in the days of Tony Adam and Patrick Vieira, there was none of this ‘hugging’ players in the opposition line up, they were pumped up, fired up for what was to happen next and to be honest, they didn’t often draw let alone lose, not on their own turf, not at their home of football. Not all too often away from home either, especially under Arsene Wenger….

So what’s happened, why has our approach to the game changed so much?

I still believe that the only reason we lost the Carling Cup Final against Birmingham was all down to the way we approached the game. Players wandered off the team bus with headphones and tracksuits on and they wore the same attire onto the Wembley turf.

Whereas Birmingham turned up all suited and booted as a team, they already had their ‘collective team spirit’ in abundance yet there we were looking like a bunch of individuals who thought they merely had to turn up to get their hands on a trophy.

We need a leader in the camp!

Liverpool have Gerrard, Chelsea have Terry, City have Kompany, yet we have a captain who half the time isn’t playing because he’s not deemed good enough to start ahead of Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker.

We need a man who will put fire in the bellies of the players, a man who will get every member of the squad up and ready to battle for the red and white which is Arsenal FC……

Do we have that player in the squad?

I don’t think so……

That’s it for another day……



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