Thanks for your support guys, it’s been a tough couple of weeks but as we all know, the world doesn’t stop just because you or I are hurting. Anyway, I’m back to bore you with with my moaning and waffle.
I’ve seen a bit of Arsenal’s last couple of games and as good as we were against Newcastle, we were as poor against Brighton. As was the officiating, but a bit like the pundits, they love an Arsenal loss. How anyone involved in football thinks it’s good that a club facing as many FFP charges as City are, winning the league again is a good thing I just don’t know. But I guess anything is better than seeing Arsenal win a PL trophy.
When one compares like for like, Arsenal are years behind City. Not in terms of football but finances, squad strength and depth and the big one, experience of getting a trophy push over the line.
I think Mikel Arteta will have learned more about his players than ever before. Possibly about himself too because I suspect he wishes he’d done things differently at times this season. More rotation during the first half of the season, might have helped keep key players fit for the run in but who’s to say we’d have won as many fixtures had the likes of Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Partey, Saliba etc been rested/rotated more. The little I’ve seen of Vieira has already convinced me that he’s not built for the rough and tumble of English football but then I once thought the same about Bobby Pires too. He might just flourish in his second season and I truly hope he does if he’s staying put.
Much speculation is already circling around a number of our players leaving. Xhaka, ESR, Tierney and Partey being the main ones. Lokonga, Tavares, Trusty, who is heavily linked with a move to Rangers, Holding, Patino and Balogun but I can’t see it happening. Not in the vast numbers being written in the back pages because every player from the first team squad which leaves will need replacing and with better players if we as a club are going to improve on this season.
Improvement can come in a number of ways. Better domestic cup runs, conceding less goals whilst scoring more, starting matches focused and sharp and when we have a lead, not only defend it but go on and score more. Somehow, Mikel Arteta has to instil more belief in the players both individually and as a group of players.
This season has been weird whilst being surprisingly better than expected. We’ve beaten every other club at least once barring Man City and Southampton. Four points dropped against a club which has been sat bottom of the league table for most of the season does not make good reading. Nor did either match make good viewing. Losing to Brighton 3-1 (League Cup) and 3-0 at The Emirates was not good, the performance in both, poor. The performance against Everton at Goodison Park was just as bad.
Going to The Etihad and having rings run round us was just awful, made worse by then watching the superb performance which saw us beat Newcastle.
It’s the latter I’m choosing to focus on as this season draws to a close. The defeats of the clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham as before this season, they were the ones we couldn’t defeat. Yes, they are likely to be better next season but then so will Arsenal.
Surely the whole idea of having a young squad is for them to grow and improve together with tweaks here and there each transfer window. I know we can’t miss those who’ve been on loan or who’ve yet to have a chance at playing for the first team but why sell Balogun when a striker with better scoring stats than him would probably cost double what we sell him for. If Xhaka goes, why sell ESR? If him not playing much this season has been solely about getting him 100% fit, surely his career is with us and not somewhere else? When he’s fit and firing he gives us directness in attack and goals.
Just my opinion but I think it’s the midfield and defence which needs focusing on this summer and finding a player who can allow Saka more rest. A player younger and fitter than both Jorginho and Partey but just as good, if not better. A left back as good as a fully fit Tierney if he leaves and more defensive than the roaming Zinchenko and a central defender who can do what come in for Saliba without having a negative impact on the way we play.
Mikel Arteta needs a 25 man squad and every single player needs to have his trust because otherwise there’s no point in them being at the club. On the flip side, if he is signing players who he doesn’t trust, then perhaps there’s a different kind of problem.
I think this summer has to be about now, signing players for now and not 2/3 years time because otherwise we’re unlikely to improve.
Catch up later…
Welcome back Rico, you have been sorely missed.
Doubts are being expressed about Tomiyasu, surgery on a knee injury could prevent him playing again before Christmas. Hence Arteta’s interest in City’s fullback Joao Cancello who has been on loan at Bayern Munich, but will return to Manchester at the season’s end. Also on the radar is Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda who we tried to sign in January.
Welcome back Rico. We’ve all missed you.
It’s all about next season now.
Are you ready and in good shape to go hiking?
Is anyone interested in Tierney?
Welcome back Rico.
You’ve hit the nail on the head today. As Adam says it’s all about next season now. In order to show progress has been made anywhere other than winning the EPL May be seen as the Arsenal underperforming, yet again the press will have a field day!
Let’s look forward to the future and positive development and progress.
Morning Rico and all.
Good to see you back Rico.
If I was in Arteta’s position, I would give the players he is thinking about selling a lot of game time over the next 2 matches and hope they perform really well and attract more interest from other clubs.
Thank goodness Wenger is no longer in charge this summer. We would sign another Fabio Vieira type for £30m and that would be it in terms of business. If Balogun goes then another striker is needed, preferably a target man type too. Toney would be ideal but now he is banned until Christmas. Any other names out there?
Morning guys, thank you for your kind words…
I too think it’s all about next season now and pushing on with ready made, experienced players.
I really hope we don’t go for City castoffs. We’ve seen why Guardiola was happy to sell us two players.
Personally, I hope we keep Balogun and ESR.
Welcome back Rico
I think Balogun is similar in stature to Toney, just younger and less experienced in the PL.
Arteta does seem to like getting players around him that he knows and a City cast off is no different to.one from Barca or anywhere else . At least they must have a certain quality but I hope it doesn’t mean that Mikel is still in Pep’s shadow and taking advice .
btw Welcome back Rico.
I suppose in an ideal world, we’d be after the players City go after rather than pick up those who are not considered right for them. I like Jesus and Zinchenko but they have their weaknesses imo.
Great to see you back rico, and a nice report highlighting what an important job the club has this summer. We say the same every year, but expectations have risen, so it is vitally important Edu and Arteta get it (mainly) right, both selling and buying. Havent a clue what’s going on with ESR, he hasnt exactly looked great when coming on, maybe its the little time afforded, or he’s lost something? Personally I’d like Tierney to stay, but his body language doesnt look the same anymore, maybe his mind is made up.
Thanks Andrew. Tierney has always looked a miserable old bugger though but I think he’s our best left back. I read that City and Newcastle are interested in him which says something.
Re ESR, I’m hoping it’s just a lack of playing time behind his rustiness and with a break and a full pre season, he’ll back to his best.
Hopefully we’ll soon hear that Saliba and Saka have signed new deals.
I see Brighton are about to make a second signing and the season hasn’t even finished yet.
Player of the Season nominations, Harry Kane anyone? 🙂
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane
Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford
Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka
Newcastle right-back Kieran Trippier
Andrew, of the players listed Haaland has had the greatest impact over the season, but other than his goals he contributes little to the team overall.
‘arry Kane? Yer avin a larf!
It’ll be Haaland I’m sure. Martinelli young player of the season perhaps..
Ramsdale has signed a contract extension..
Andrew I would Guess Haaland due to his goals and assist.
Good morning all, no Martinelli or Zinchenko today the obvious replacements are Trossard and Tierney. The rest of the starting eleven virtually picks itself. Ramsdale, White, Kiwior, Gabriel, Xhaka, Odegaard, Jorginho, Saka, Jesus.
A win today for Forest would guarantee them Premiership football next season, so we are in for a rough ride this evening.
I expect Arsenal to come flying out of the blocks and show that they have fully recovered from the mauling by Brighton. Three points will keep the pressure on City.
Morning Cicero, all.
I think it’ll be a tough one, Forest need three points.
Afternoon Rico and all.
I still don’t understand why any manager who is suspended from the pitch, is still allowed to be coaching via microphone like Klopp is doing today.
Going to be a hard match today, as they have everything to win for.
We have a very big tendency to play against clubs that change managers during the week before the game or that are eagerly in need of points.
Hi Geoff. New post up
Klopp wasn’t sent off though, just punished for his comments about the ref..