Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Flamini probably out of the Dinamo Zagreb game

By 1970's Gooner

What can go wrong will go wrong!

Is it a curse or is it something else? I won't go into that debate for now. But to have two players go off during the game with injuries is too much to accept. The same thing happened at Sheffield Wednesday remember?

The most important game is the next game they say. But not on this occasion for sure. Because now Wenger's team selection for next Tuesday will probably determine Arsenal's fate for the rest of the Premier League season.

If the best available 11 are selected for Tuesday then Wenger will be taking a hell of a chance. He will be risking further injury and fatigue for his players. His main aim should be to rest key players and keep them fresh for the next League game.

And first on the list of non starters should be Flamini. If he does play and gets injured then Wenger might as well resign for he will have made a major error in risking the only fit and available defensive midfielder left in the club.

In the same vein the 'returning players' such as The Ox and Ramsey should also be left out altogether so as to give them another week of recovery.

Sanchez really needs a rest and since we don't have any other fit forward then Giroud should also be protected but he will probably have to start.

What I am really saying is lets sacrifice the Champions League.


Debuchy Mertesacker Gabriel Monreal

Cazorla Chambers

Campbell Ozil Gibbs


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Injured players unlikely to return for next Saturday

By 1970's Gooner

All the Arsenal news in the media, including the sites specialising on fitness issues and likely return dates, have been giving us optimistic predictions of the likely return of the injured players.

But it seems that the probability of any one starting the match against West Brom has to be low.

Lets look at the most likely to return. The Ox has been posting videos of himself training saying that he is 80% to 90% close to full fitness. Well I am sorry to break the news to you but when a player says that he is close to fitness it really means that he is aiming to be at full fitness. It does not mean that he will get to full fitness.

In fact so desperate will the Ox be to get back, so as to get that run of games in the team now that others may not be around, that he is letting optimism get the better of him.

And even if he does achieve fitness Arsene Wenger will be reluctant to start him anyway in case there is a relapse considering his bad injury record. The best that can happen is that he is likely to start on the bench.

There has been no news at all coming out of Ramsey's 'camp'. Isn't this strange? One week away from the next game and no one is saying that Ramsey will be back. In fact it seems to me that Wenger will be announcing soon that Ramsey will take another week or two before he is ready.

That much has been revealed for Walcott already who is rumoured to be back at the beginning of December.

And as for Bellerin, for whom no news has come out yet, does Wenger risk him for next Saturday?

The point I am making is that Arsenal's injury record has deteriorated so much in recent weeks Wenger will be very reluctant to rush players back and risk jeopardising Arsenal's chances of putting a winning run during the Xmas period and indeed having these crucial players available and fit for the second crucial half of the season.

If he is going to rest players then it might as well be during the next few games as the opposition is 'relatively' not as strong.

Additionally their replacements (Campbell and Debuchy) after some dodgy performances are starting to settle in and Gibbs looked capable on the left wing against Spurs. The returns of Arteta and Flamini have also boosted the options available in midfield.

It seems to me that Wenger will take the conservative view and give these players another week to cement their fitness levels.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sanchez locks himself in his room

By 1970's Gooner

There is talk of Sanchez being rested by Arsene Wenger as he might be close to burn out. This is because he hardly had a rest after the Copa America, which Chile won. He was then thrown in at the deep end for the first game of the season against West Ham (coming on as substitute).

Sanchez is again back to his homeland for two crucial World Cup qualifiers beginning against Colombia.

Reports from their training camp in Chile indicate that although Sanchez's high energy approach has not deserted him, perhaps his recent tiredness has pushed him to seek a long enough recovery period between training sessions.

"Alexis I see an incredible moment. I see him so excited. If you move your energy to the game, Chile is very close to winning, "Sampaoli told a news conference.

However when the training was over Alexis retired to his room and locked himself in so as to not allow any distractions! The other players like Vidal and Vargas stayed behind signed autographs and generally lounged around watching the rest of the players, mostly subs, go through their training exercises.

The good thing is that Alexis appears to have realised that he needs to allow his body to recover. In this way he gives himself the best chance to come back without injury and a body rested enough so that performances leading to the Xmas period are not affected.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The five alternatives for replacing the Ox and Walcott

By 1970's Gooner

What a shambles it was last night. No fight, no midfield creativity and two muscle injuries to two important first team players.

The probable absence of the Ox and Walcott from the Swansea game and at Bayern threaten to actually derail the gigantic momentum that has been building up in this month.

Walcott's (and the Ox's) pace would have been pivotal in the counter attacking tactics that would have been employed away at Bayern.

And along with the injury to Ramsey it is again muscle injuries that threaten to destroy all the good work done on the pitch.

And who is to blame?

Firstly Ramsey was again overworked with Wenger admitting that he should have rested him against Watford. Of course what happens? He gets a bad hamstring during the game against Bayern.

Do you remember a similar confession by Wenger after Ramsey sustained a muscle injury away at West Ham a season or so ago? The medical staff warned Wenger that he was in the grey zone but he just went ahead and selected him!

Secondly the Ox last night obviously did not warm up properly before the game. Just how else can a player sustain a muscle injury in the first three minutes of a game?

And even more damning again, obviously Walcott did not warm up AT ALL before replacing the Ox! We saw it on the screens on the TV. Why didn't Wenger and the medical staff tell him to get warmed up and never mind if we play with 10 men for a few minutes more?

It was shambles I tell you. A shambles.

In my experience any muscle injury even the softest ones will need 10 to 14 days just to make sure.

So what options are now in front of Wenger for Saturday?

There are five alternatives none of which are ideal of course but I have included some that are not so obvious.

1. Play Gibbs as a left sided midfielder and move Sanchez on the right.

Not ideal I know as it would also involve moving Sanchez away from the area which he uses to move in and crank his venomous shots. Still Gibbs has shown that he is fit and more importantly battle worthy.

2. Play Debuchy right back and move Bellerin on the right side of midfield.

The same idea as above but I would favour this less as Debuchy has miserably failed to obtain the high standards he had reached before his injuries. Last night he looked like a rooky too. Bellerin of course would be a good enough right sided midfielder with his pace and nous which is a pity as I would have liked to have seen him in that position.

I consider Chambers too slow to start as a right back. Remember what a horrible time he had last season away at Swansea?

3. Campbell to start (on either wing)

This option could find favour with Wenger as Campbell is more street wise with the capability to stretch defenders and also be aware of his defensive duties. This he has shown on the few occasions he has started. The negative is that both him and Sanchez like to play on the left but Wenger may decide that beggars can't be choosers.

4. Play Flamini on the right side!

Well it may sound crazy but Flamini could provide a balance on the right. What I mean is that he will be efficient with the ball (i.e not give it away), he is experienced enough to make the right pass and track back and tack in when we are defending. He did score two goals against Spurs.

5 And finally move Cazorla on the right and play Flamini with Coquelin in central midfield.

This would mean that Cazorla will move away from the area he has been so terrific this season and could impair our creativity from this deep lying midfield position. 

He could of course do a Ramsey and come in from the right to take part in the built up but he will have to, as Ramsey did, track back and cover his full back. He has of course played this position before he was converted into a central midfielder.

This option maintains an overall balance in the team and may be favoured by Wenger.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Arsenal offer 15m for Olympiakos's Fortunis

By the Transfer Wizard

The Greek press are reporting today that Arsene Wenger was very impressed with Fortunis during the clash with Olympiakos at The Emirates and has been in contact with Olympiakos with finalising a deal for the January transfer window.

The offer is believed to be around 15m euros.

Ironically Fortunis is the player that took that corner with Ospina dropping the ball into his own net!

However Tottenham are also interested having watched the player last week in Greece. Their scout Peter Quick was there to watch him.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The after effects of Sanchez's particiption against Brazil

By 1970's Gooner

There were worries about Sanchez's groin strain just before Chile's game against Brazil. Important worries that even the Chile boss was considering resting Alexis.

"Alexis arrived not at his top of form, with pain in the adductor. He couldn't play at 100% but we thought that for us him not playing was to give too much advantage to our rivals because his presence in our team makes things difficult for our opponents."

So he played the full 90 minutes and scored in the 2 0 victory.

Now Chile play Peru on Tuesday and the question is whether Sanchez will be rested. I doubt it as he has taken part in the training session today and if he does not get worse then the Chile coach will use him.

What worries us gooners however is the likely negative aftereffects on Sanchez's groin of having to play two full competitive games in the space of five days.

We have to also take also into consideration that Alexis will travel back to London on a long haul transatlantic flight.

Arsenal play away to Watford next Saturday evening and then Bayern Munich next Tuesday at The Emirates.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

More news of Alexis Sanchez's injury coming out of Chile

By 1970's Gooner

Although yesterday Alexis did not train with the Chile national team the news is that he has returned to training just before the crucial match against Brazil, according to La Tercera newspaper.

It seems that yesterday's absence was merely precautionary taking into account that the player withdrew from Arsenal's match late on with a groin problem and that he travelled for many hours in a transatlantic flight.

His absence yesterday had worried the Chile coach that his groin could get worse but this event does not appear to have materialised. He is worried more about Vidal whose presence tomorrow is in doubt.

I wonder however if the news for Sanchez is really good. If he does play against Brazil there is the possibility that his groin may be aggravated.

Let's hope this isn't so...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Sanchez injury is not going away according to Chile coach

By 1970's Gooner

More news coming out of Chile with regard to Alexis Sanchez' s groin strain. La Tercera are reporting that the Chile coach, Sampaoli, considers both Vidal's and Sanchez's chances of starting against Brazil tomorrow are low.

This is what he said today:

'.....concerned about the situation of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, who come to experience discomfort in recent weeks playing for their clubs, "For neither can we say that is confirmed for the match against Brazil."

Their participation, at least in the first match is in doubt."

Let us hope that Arsene Wenger's initial diagnosis of only a 'slight' groin strain is proved wrong.

Will it?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Sanches misses training with Chile national team

By 1970's Gooner

The Chilean newspaper 'Latercera' has reported today that Alexis Sanchez has not taken part in the national team's first training session ahead of a vital qualifier against Brazil.

This may be as a precaution against the groin problem that forced him to ask to be substituted at the 80th minute in the game against Manchester United.

It seems however that the extend of the strain may be more serious than what Arsene Wenger and his medical people initially thought (as is usually the case)!

This is why, as it is reported, Arsenal have asked to be in constant contact with the Chile medical team so that they are regularly informed about the extent of the injury and if need be request that he is withdrawn from the squad.

Let's hope that his absence from the training session today is only precautionary.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

So this is why Arsene rejected Schneiderlin?

By 1970's Gooner

There are of course mitigating circumstances for that defeat in Zagreb.

Firstly, the number of changes Wenger made were to keep those players happy having been out of first team action for so long. He may have promised them that (especialy to Ospina). He was also resting key players for the Chelsea game.

As a result there was no homogeneity in the team and the players played as though they hardly knew each other.

Secondly the full backs were not really match fit. Debuchy allowed the scorer too much space (and the Ox failed to track back). And Gibbs was too tired to jump for that corner!!

Thirdly Giroud and the ref were too stupid. It meant that the chance to get back in the game was gone.

And lastly Arteta was non existent! How did Wenger think that he could be Coquelin's cover, in case he is absent at any point in time, is beyond me.

We simply had no defensive cover throughout the game. It reminded me when Arteta was first choice a couple of seasons ago and our midfield was like a sink riddled with holes where the water met no resistance going through.

It became so obvious that when Coquelin came on we suddenly started pressing hard in midfield, winning the ball and setting on the attacks again. And all this WITH TEN MEN. In fact we were better with 10 than 11!

Is this the reason Wenger rejected Schneiderlin? To keep Arteta as a cover for Coquelin?!!!!

Bad decision Mr Wenger.