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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Arsenal’s title chances hanging on a thread


By 1970’s Gooner

We all got very excited with the arrival of Sanchez and Debuchy. Wenger means business, he is addressing Arsenal’s deficiencies with high quality purchases we thought.
Next will be a goalkeeper and a central defender as it is imperative that these huge gaps be filled. And I expect that this will be addressed soon enough (the Ospina deal will probably be announced when the team return from the States).

But wait a minute. Wasn’t another centre forward a top priority? Was it not the major reason that the title bid crashed last season? Wasn’t Giroud a spent force in the second half of the campaign?

But what did Wenger do in the last January transfer window?

NOTHING

And what has he announced that he will do this transfer window?

NOTHING

No more forwards he said.

And I am not convinced that Sanchez will be the devastating forward that we all want. He is a great player but neither has he the experience of playing as a forward (in a false number 9 system) nor will he have the Premier League nous in his first season in a foreign to him League.

Remy would have been ideal for Arsenal. He is PL experienced and could play in the centre forward position no problem. He could play in the wide position too!

But no, his wage demands were too high for Mr Wenger. Well I can see him punishing us when we come up against Liverpool…

And if this is not enough the other reinforcement needed in this squad, in the defensive midfielder position, is yet to be filled.

Bids have been made for Khedira and for Carvalho.

Wenger will probably not buy anyone in this position. He has said so after the Boreham Wood game!

So a centre back (if Vermaelen goes) and a goalkeeper will be your lot.

In fact I believe that we need two centre backs to cover for injuries, suspensions and loss of form. This is because defenders along with the goalkeepers are the positions that get the most injuries and red cards. Last season Sagna was able to play this role. Who will be this season?

NO ONE

It looks like Wenger will be riding his luck again.

And jeopardise Arsenal’s chances for the title once again.
 
 
 

 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Khedira deal hot as two other events point in Arsenal's direction

By 1970's Gooner

Sami Khedira's move to Arsenal had looked really on when Wenger put in a bid which was accepted by Real Madrid.

The only matter that remained was the player's personal demands. But the salary requested would have broken Arsenal's wage structure.

We were all very excited of course. Some compromise would be found we thought.

But as usual that man, Jose Mourinho, decided to put a spanner in the works. He called Khedira up and tried to persuade him to join Chelsea. Mourinho did after all sign him up for Real in the first place.

But now the deal could be on again. For two reasons.


Firstly, that man has announced that he is done with bringing more players in for Chelsea. If he is to be believed this leaves the field open for Arsenal.

But secondly the player's club is about to sign the boy wonder James Rodrigues from Monaco for 63m and this requires funds, lots of them. And they need it fast as the deal for Rodrigues will be announced probably tomorrow, Monday 21st July.

And this is why Khedira's transfer to Arsenal is reported to be announced as soon as .... Monday....

Lets hope so.

The title is on I tell you.





Thursday, July 10, 2014

With these signings Arsene is really gunning for the title


By 1970’s Gooner

Arsene Wenger seems to have gone full circle and changed his transfer policy. Gone are the days when young promising kids and the odd grown up were the most we could hope for.
Last season it was Ozil the seasons before it was Cazorla, Podolski, and Mertesacker. Seasoned and mature players. As a result the FA Cup was at long last added to the trophy cabinet after a 9 year wait.

And this season Wenger is surely gunning for the title. The imminent capture of Sanchez, a marquee signing and of Debuchy (who was keeping Sagna out of the France national team) is a continuation of this policy.



Arsene’s intention is to add another striker to the squad who appears most likely to be Remy. This will address one of the gaps that appeared last season where Giroud could not be relied upon to carry us on his back for the whole term.

And if, as it appears, Khedira wants to join his German team mates at Arsenal, then Bob is your ankle the penny will drop!

For with the addition of a world class defensive midfielder, whoever that may be, to provide protection for the back four then I don’t think that there will be a team able to stop us from taking the Premier League by storm.

Add to these world class players the return of Walcott (probably in September, but Sanchez will be just as good on the wing in the meantime- he was good enough for Barcelona in this position), Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, etc and you have one the strongest squads in the Premier League.

Arsenal’s starting 11 for the game against Crystal Palace on the 16th August 2014 could well look like this:

 

                              Szczesny

Debuchy   Mertesacker  Coscienly   Gibbs
                    
                   Khedira Ramsey

           
               Sanchez    Ozil    Cazorla

                          Giroud

 Subs:  Choose from the following squad.

New goalkeeper, Jenkinson, Monreal, Vermaelen (he should not be allowed to leave), Wilshere, Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, Diaby, the Ox, Remy, Sanogo, Podolski, Gnarby, Campell
 

 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Arsenal’s exodus begins. These new players can bring the title


By 1970’s Gooner

I thought that the mass exodus of players at the end of a season witnessed in previous years had finished. Last season was an encouraging development as we kept our important players and added a 42m player. Unthinkable in recent seasons.

But it seems that we are likely to lose or have lost important players this season. And a player who is not a starter is just as important. As last season has shown it is your bench that wins you the trophies. Having a competitive first 11 is just not good enough.

And the list of players wanting out is growing by the minute.

Defenders

Sagna is already at Man City. This is a huge loss in my opinion as he was first and foremost an excellent right back who could balance defending and attacking in equal measure. But he was also a substitute centre back and a good one at that.

Added to this is the imminent departure of Vermaelen to Man Utd. Another central defender out. So we are now left with only TWO central defenders. Only TWO! And no real substitutes for them!!!

And we are left with only one right back, Jenkinson, with no back up!!!

Recommendation: Buy TWO central defenders and a new right back. Micah Richards can double as a right back and an auxiliary central defender. Aurier will be a good signing but he is young and needs to be more defensively minded.

Let’s carry on with the defence. It is reported that now Monreal wants out!

Recommendation: Convince him to stay otherwise sign Ashley Cole

Fabianski has already waived us goodbye. You need a goalkeeper who will be challenging Szczesny.

Recommendation: Don’t buy Casillas. Buy Swansea’s Vorm.

Midfielders we have a lot but Fabregas should have been brought in. It would have meant that Chelsea will not have strengthened. More importantly we would have had another high quality midfielder who is a leader and would drive everyone forward. Remember that we ran out of creative midfielders last season due to a glut of injuries. I also don’t trust that Ozil will have the stamina to last the season.

Central midfielders

 We do need another defensive midfielder though. Arteta is not up it anymore and having only Flamini will not be enough.

Recommendation: Buy defensive midfielder Bender from Dortmund

Wide midfielders

As far as wide players are concerned we do need another pacy winger, Walcott will not be ready for the opening games and we are vulnerable to his absences through injury. I feel that we lost the title last season when he was stretchered off against Spurs. Wenger may promote Ganrby this season and I wouldn’t disagree but why didn’t he do it last season?

Recommendation: Bring Joel Campell back

Cazorla now wants to return to Spain!

Recommendation: Convince him to stay

Forwards

Whatever you do Mr Wenger BUY a centre forward. We cannot rely on one player and a rookie substitute. This was so obvious last season and the biggest mistake that Wenger did was not strengthening in the January window.

Recommendation: DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AGAIN. Make a marquee signing in the 30m-40m bracket that would show to the rest of the players  (and us the fans) that WE MEAN BUSINESS.

Recommendation: Buy Balotteli


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Who is a master of failure now Mr Mourinho?

By 1970's Gooner

Although we made heavy weather out of it we came through in the end! At least we won a trophy. 

Mourinho failed in the PL finishing third,

Got knocked out of the FA Cup early on of course,

and was outplayed and thrown out of the CL by a vastly superior side in Athletico Madrid .

So who's a master of failure now?

And he's been parking the bus playing negative football to go with it. What a disgrace!

The relief on Wenger's face was so evident. The need for the players and us the supporters to finally celebrate a trophy was a long long time coming.

Wenger now needs to build on this success by BUYING the players that this exciting squad needs to push on and win the PL. This opportunity must not be missed.

He should finally buy at least a top class forward, a strong defensive midfielder and a new right back.

And he should make sure that the players do not freeze at the early stages of the big games. If he achieves that then we will win the PL again and again.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Arsenal's squad needs six new players

By 1970's Gooner

Lets start with the goalkeepers.

Fabiansky will not stick around to play the understudy to Szczesny. He will be off even if he plays in the Cup Final. There is no number 3 at the moment. It was a mistake to let Mannone go. He would have been a perfect number 2. Now Wenger has to buy a strong and secure new goalkeeper who may be in his twilight years but good enough to start in the PL.

Right back

Sagna will go but his departure means that we will also need another centre back. You can't stay with only 3 centre backs. Ideally the new right back could play at centre back but there are not many that could do that.

I hope that Wenger stops his stingy approach and buys a right back of top quality rather than promote Jenkinson who needs more time.

Central midfield

We need a new strong and authoritative holding midfielder. Arteta has failed in the big games. He is only good enough when we play the smaller teams who try and park the bus thus allowing us more space and time on the ball.

Wide midfielders

I consider Walcott and the Ox good enough for providing pace and widening the pitch. But recent experience has shown that both have been out injured at the same time. Walcott's injury for me sounded the end of Arsenal's challenge. We need another pacy winger if we are going to be serious challengers next season.

Center forward

Giroud has been much improved this season but he has been overplayed and his form has dipped. You can not rely on one centre forward. Wenger needs to splash the cash in this the most important position in football.

It goes without saying that the rest of the squad has to stay put. We can't afford to have more players leaving again this season.

So we do need a goalkeeper, right back, centre back, central defensive midfielder, a winger and a centre forward. Three first team players and three back ups. This a major overhaul but what a squad it will be.

But let's win the FA Cup first!





Sunday, April 06, 2014

What a bunch of ****ers


 
By 1970’s Gooner

I am sorry but the title represents exactly how I was describing the Arsenal players during the game. And it probably is pretty accurate.

Firstly Wenger got the tactics wrong. He decided not to add pace to the line up and stick with Podolsky. This resulted in not having players who could have gone beyond their defender and thus stretch the opponents.

Podolsky kept coming inside as he always does and to add insult to injury he kept ignoring Monreal when he was free on the left. In addition Podolsky kept shooting form outside the box, inaccurately of course. This was all in the first 15 minutes. After that he was nowhere!

And it took Wenger a whole 65 minutes to sub him! Wenger should have made the substitutions at half time not later. All three of them.

Podolsky should be got rid off in the summer.

Secondly Arteta and Flamini were all over the place today. They left huge gaps in the most sensitive area of the pitch and Everton’s quicker and more mobile midfielders took advantage.

Wenger needs to add in this area in the summer by bringing in at least one more robust and effective sitting midfielder.

Thirdly Giroud was awful. He neither held the ball nor did he bring other players in the game. He needs competition next season and rests.

Wenger’s biggest mistake this season was not buying another top striker in the January window. He should correct this mistake next time round.

And lastly the whole team looked tired, without ideas and lack of running.

If they keep on like this then you can kiss the FA Cup semi-final game against Wigan goodbye AND fourth place.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The reason for Arsenal’s capitulation


 
By 1970’s Gooner

The choice of midfield left a lot to be desired.

Playing Arteta along with the Ox was asking for it. Chelsea played two defensive midfielders in Matic and Luiz. They showed respect. Wenger didn’t.
They pressed us high up the pitch and our two midfielders couldn’t cope with it because they are not that adept nor do they have the muscle and tenacity to wriggle through.

Wenger should have abandoned his preference for playing one defensive midfielder and one more creative who will bomb forward. At least against the big teams.

He has the tendency to play the same way irrespective of the opponent. And not only does he field a weak midfield he instructs BOTH his full backs to go forward (Gibbs was near the opponent’s corner flag as they were scoring their early goals)! But this is like playing with fire. If it works then it’s great. But if doesn’t then its spectacular failure.

In all our away games against the other three competitors Wenger NEVER fielded Arteta alongside Flamini. It was always one of the two and another more creative player like Wilshere, The Ox or Ramsey. The results? 5 conceded against Liverpool, and 6 against City and Chelsea!

Mourinho on the other hand changes his team formation and players to suit the game in front of them. He did this at the start of the season when he played without a forward in the away gam at Man Utd and played not to get beat at the Emirates.

He got his draws, saved face and moved on. But Wenger no. He has to play the same way every game against any opponent. He would have done this even if he was fielding a second eleven I think.

Playing a high defensive line doesn’t help either. When you do this alongside a dodgy midfield and against top teams who have fast wingers and pressing midfielders then you are really asking for it.

And we got what we deserved.

The players also lack confidence. This is so obvious in the big games. They are afraid to play, lose concentration and cohesion. They do not believe that they can achieve a result against the big teams. And the result becomes a formality.

Arsene Wenger cannot dismiss this as a blip.

He cannot ignore it.

He has to, even at this late stage in the race for the title, learn from mistakes.

In life the biggest mistake you can make is not to learn from your mistakes. But will Wenger learn?


Thursday, March 13, 2014

And now for the title


By 1970’s Gooner

Every pundit has written us off. Everyone is talking up about Chelsea’s grasp of the trophy and how Man City’s challenge is coming off the rails.
They are all forgetting that there is still two teams who are very close to the other two. Liverpool and Arsenal.

Liverpool in fact have as good a record in the last five games as Chelsea! They have reached their peak at the right time. They have had no European games to worry about and now no FA Cup obligations. If they manage to carry their form further, as they are quite capable of doing, then they will get mighty close in my opinion.

They next have Man Utd away, Cardiff away and then Sunderland and Spurs home. All winnable.

And then there’s Arsenal. We have a very heavy schedule in the next four games. Spurs and Chelsea away and then Swansea and Man City home. Although difficult it gives us the opportunity to challenge our competitors face to face.

And if we win these games their chances for the title are knocked really back. And ours will rise no end.

Every game is vitally important but if we can come through this period and still be close then we have every chance of surprising everyone. Especially since the remaining fixtures are, on paper, easier.

And don’t be surprised if it is us and Liverpool fighting for first and second place by the end.

Let’s start with beating Spurs….

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Arsenal’s bit of luck to spark ascendancy for years to come


By 1970's Gooner

This is what we needed. A bit of luck.

Chelsea get drawn away to Man City for the FA Cup and we get Liverpool at home. City feel forced to play their first 11 and promptly dump Chelsea out of the Cup. We play Liverpool out of the park avenging the 5 1 thrashing at Anfield.

Then City get an easy home draw against a championship team which has to be played a few days before the return leg of the Champions League tie with Barca.

Arsenal get Everton and have to field a strong team as they can't take them lightly judging by their performance at the Emirates in the Leauge. We win convincingly.

Pellegrini, who is full of it having just won the League Cup, is however relatively new to the English game and certainly unaware of English grit, determination and the never say die attitude.

He gets drawn into a false sense of security and proceeds to underestimate the opponents, fields a weakened team and gets dumped out of the FA Cup in one of the major shocks of recent history.

Which leaves the door open for Arsene Wenger and his players with a real chance to win a title after a 9 year wait.

It’s a real chance which has to be taken this time unlike when we lost so dramatically to Birmingham in the final of the League Cup a few seasons ago.

And if we pull it off then we could be entering a period of ascendancy with the existing healthy financial model providing the resources for further reinforcements next season and the seasons to follow.

What Wenger has to do is avoid Pellegrini’s mistake.