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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bookies slash odds on Mahrez joining Arsenal

By 1970's Gooner

It's not a surprise that as soon as Higuaín finished a medical pending his move to Juventus Arsenal have moved at lightning speed to bring Mahrez to the Emirates. It seems that Wenger has been waiting to see the outcome of the Higuaín saga and then reassess his options.

We have looked at the original source of the Mahrez rumour, Eurosport France, and all they say about their source is ' according to our information'. Now does this carry the same weight of authenticity as say 'Sky Sports understands'? 

Or is it another attempt by Mahrez's agent to extract a better contract from Leicester. Just as Vardy did with Arsenal....

Eurosport France do say that they contacted Mahrez's agent who was at Arsenal's friendly at Lens last night but he declined to comment....

In any case Ladbrokes has slashed the odds on this deal going through from evens to 8/13.

I am a skeptic with these rumours appearing in the press without any real authenticity behind them.





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Juventus distance themselves from Higuain transfer

By 1970's Gooner

It's beginning to feel like one of those rare occasions that Arsenal are closing in on a huge transfer. It now looks as though Juventus, who had supposedly entered the race for Higuaín's signature, are now ruling themselves out of it.

The Sporting Director of Juve, Fabio Paratici, has been commenting on the issue and said:

'Higuain for us is a distant thing.  I hear that Naples likes most of our players but I guarantee that at the moment there are no requests and there are no negotiations.... But the thing about Higuain I see it far away. "

This comes after it transpired that Napoli is not willing to let one of their best players strengthen their biggest rival. They would rather sell him outside Serie A.

And this leaves the field open for Arsenal and Wenger to zoom in on the negotiating table and finally agree a reasonable price for the player.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Napoli paper narrows it down to two obstacles for Higuain transfer

By 1970's Gooner

Local Napoli newspaper Il Matino is reporting that Higuaín will take stock of the situation re Arsenal's offer after his holidays along with his father Jorge and brother Nicolas.

However the paper puts it down to two things being satisfied if the deal is to go ahead. The first of course is the asking price. The release clause, which has now expired, is put at 94m euros. However De Laurentiis, the owner, is not budging from it. I think that it is expected that since this is his asking price he is bound to negotiate downwards. If he is willing to negotiate that is.

Because there is another issue which hasn't been picked up yet and Il Matino is highlighting. Napoli has to replace such a prolific goal scorer and finding someone who can come close to scoring 36 goals in 35 games is not really easy. And takes time of course.

This transfer has a long way to go obviously. But let's hope Wenger sticks to it and carries it through for this is the player Arsenal needs TO WIN THE LEAGUE.




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It seems the national papers are taking notice of this blog!

By 1970's Gooner

It was a whole week ago that we here at 'Arsenal Analysis' published a list of all the Arsenal squad players involved in the Euro and Copa America. We also calculated their likely return dates for preseason taking into account the holiday time that Wenger normally gives to his players after such events.

Have a look here: http://arsenalanalysis.blogspot.com.cy/2016/07/key-players-already-out-of-first-league.html This article was published a whole week ago but only now have the national papers began publishing similar conclusions as ours.

It was clear form the analysis that at least Arsenal's major players like Ozil, Giroud, Koscienly and Ramsey will be out for the first game against Liverpool.

The national papers are sensationalising of course when they suggest that Apkom will be the only available striker for this game.

He has been told that he will not go out on loan in August but as you will realise Walcott will be fit and available.

Not a satisfactory state of affairs but hopefully Higuaín may be on board by then!





Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wenger's pursuit of Higuain moving fast according to RaiSport

By 1970's Gooner

At last Arsene Wenger is getting his finger out. He has realised that he will soon be left behind by the new coaches/managers in the PL.

They have already started recruiting for key positions which will make them far stronger than last season. And if Arsenal are left behind then he runs the risk of leaving the club in shatters in his last season and thus tarnishing his legacy.

At least I hope that this is what he is thinking as the apparent generous offer for the transfer of Higuaín to Arsenal indicates so.

Arsenal are offering £42.2m plus Olivier Giroud to the Serie A side, but they are willing to go as high as £50m without the Frenchman. This is what journalist Ciro Venerato said at RaiSport. Higuain's  salary will be £6.8m-a-year for a four year contract. 

And Wenger has asked for a meeting next Thursday with Napoli to finalise the transfer... Things are indeed moving fast.

If this deal is concluded then it will be a major major statement by Arsene Wenger. He will have brought to the club a prolific goal scorer in a position that we were clearly proved weak. He has scored 36 goals in 35 League appearances for Napoli last season, a one to one ratio!

And the title challenge for the coming season will be the strongest in the last decade.







Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Key players already out of first League game (Vs Liverpool)

By 1970's Gooner

If we take a look at the Arsenal players involved in the Euro we quickly surmise that Arsenal's key players in defence, midfield and attack will definitely be missing from the opening game against Liverpool (currently set for August 13).

Players such as Ozil, Koscienly, Ramsey, Giroud, Sanchez, and Xhaka are likely to be missing from the starting line up.

And we all know that a winning start to a League campaign is so important for what is to follow.

We have here at 'Arsenal Analysis' looked at the Arsenal players that have been involved or are currently involved in the Euro at France and Coppa America. We have then given to most of them a four week holiday as is the norm under these circumstances as Wenger has done in the past.

Here is a list of the players and the date each departed or is likely to depart from the relevant competition. We then looked at if they can make it to the first team squad and make themselves available for the game on 13th of August.

The first item is the date of last game played. The second the date they return to Arsenal and the third the time left for preseason prior to 1st game.


                       Date of last game     Return to Arsenal     Time left for preseason prior to 1st game

Ospina                   23.6.2016               23.7.2016                    3 wks               Will be ok

Cech                      21.6.2016                21.7.2016                   3 wks 2 days    Wenger may play him

Bellerin                  27.6.2016                27.7.2016                   2 wks 3days    Did not start a game

Koscienly               7.7.2016                  7.8.2016                     3 days!!!         If France lose semi!

Xhaka                     25.6.2016                25.7.2016                   2wks 5 days    Unlikely to be risked?

Ramsey                   7.7.2016                  7.8.2016                     3 days!!!          If Wales lose semi!

Wilshere                  27.6.2016               27.7.2016                   2 wks 3days    Will not be risked?

Sanchez                   26.6.2016                26.7.2016                   2wks 4 days   Will not be risked?

Ozil                          7.7.2016                  7.8.2016                     3 days!!!         If Germany lose semi!

Giroud                      7.7.2016                  7.8.2016                     3 days!!!         If France lose semi!

Campell                   11.6.2016                 11.7.2016                  4 wks 5 days    Will be ok


Other players not involved in tournaments:

Debuchy :Is he coming back?
Jenkinson: Still injured
Monreal: Available
Gibbs:Available
Chambers:Available
BFG:Available
Gabriel:Available
Hayden:Available
Cazorla:Available
Coquelin:Available
Ox: Now back training from long term injury but unlikely to be risked by Wenger
Elneny:Available
Welbeck: Long term injury
Gnarby: Theoretically available. Was very sharp for the Under 21s last season
Walcott:Available
Iwobi: Dissuaded from playing in the Olympic tournament (no wonder)
Apkom:Available
Sanogo: Available?

So there you have it. The key players who are likely to be missing from the first game are Koscienly, Xhaka, Ozil, Giroud, Wilshere, Ramsey and Sanchez.

Koscienly, Ozil, Giroud and Ramsey are definitely out. Even if they lose their respective semis and assuming a 4 week holiday they will only have 3 days of training before the first game.

Worse still they will only return in early September!! Can you imagine a line up for the first month of the new league that will be missing these key players?

Surely Wenger will give them a 4 week holiday so as to avoid injuries and burn out later on in the season.

If Wenger fails to sign a new forward then expect Walcott to be our main striker! Surely Wenger will not let it come to that.

Sanchez will have had 2 weeks and 4 days of pre season. But looking at what happened to his hamstring last season when he returned from the Coppa Wenger is unlikely to make the same mistake and rush him back. 

The same applies for Wilshere for obvious reasons. Wenger will take it easy with him.

Xhaka with a 2 weeks and 5 days of preseason will pose a dilemma for Wenger, but I think he will not risk him, not for the first game.

The players that featured with their national teams but are likely to start are Cech and Bellerin.

So here is the probable line up against Liverpool assuming of course that any new signings (if there will be any) will not be ready by the 13th of August.

Cech

Bellerin  Gabriel  BFG  Monreal

Elneny Coquelin

Campel Cazorla Iwobi

Walcott


It looks really weak to me which makes it imperative for Wenger to sign that forward and defender as soon as possible so that they can be utilised during this early period in the league when most needed.

Otherwise we may be playing catch up form as early as August!!!








Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wenger and Arsenal fall for the same tranfer trick again

By 1970's Gooner

It was obvious to me that something very fishy and smelly was going on. When Arsenal tabled a bid for 20m triggering Vardy's release clause I had this feeling that this transfer didn't sound right.

Just like the famous 40m plus one pound offer for Liverpool's Suarez. And we ended up being humiliated with the player staying at Liverpool and getting a substantial rise in wages in the process. Maybe that's why Suarez's agent alerted Wenger to the release clause after all.

Well Wenger has been duped again. It is obvious that the whole Vardy saga was well staged by the player's agent so that Leicester would up Vardy's wages from the 80,000 per week agreed a few months ago to 100,000.

Vardy had probably no intention of joining Arsenal. He has just won the PL with Leicester, will play in the CL with Leicester, is the hero of Leicester and it was profoundly obvious he would never leave Leicester.

Apparently the only person that was not aware of it was Arsene Wenger.

He makes a habit for falling for such tricks.

Or did he? Surely he will not use it as an excuse to show that he tried but couldn't find a top top player to join us.




Thursday, June 02, 2016

Arsene can steal a march on Guardiola et al

By 1970's Gooner

This is Arsene's last season on his three year contract. He needs to win something big if he is to either retire in glory (like Sir Alec) or indeed win a new contract. What ever his aim is there is ample motivation for him to pull out all the stops to ensure success. I expect him to do so.

And the fact that he has signed Xhaka who is a midfielder to add to the already existing Coquelin,  Elneny, Ramsey, Wilshere and Cazorla is proof that he wants the best he can get in these positions. Previously he would have made do with the existing midfielders and see the season out finishing in the top four. But this season he knows that he has to be more competitive.

Following the same reasoning I expect him to sign a big name centre forward and probably another centre back who will be groomed to replace Mertesacker when he leaves next season.

Arsene will also be readying himself to take advantage of the tentativeness that is bound to engulf the new big name coaches due to arrive in the PL.

Guardiola will only be arriving in July, is new to the PL and has a mini rebuilding job on his hands. I expect him to need half the season to bed himself and the new arrivals in. By that time Wenger will be planning to be ahead by a number of points.

The same goes for Conte at Chelsea. New to the PL, rebuilding job and will probably be exhausted managing the expectations of the whole of Italy in the Euro.

Klopp is not new to the PL but he has to buy new players and bed them in. I expect Liverpool to fare a little bit better than Chelsea and Man City but not better than Arsenal.

The more dangerous of the lot is Mourinho. He knows the PL well and will probably manage the Man Utd fan expectations satisfactorily. He does however need to surgically rebuild the team with a lot of new additions. He will therefore need time to bed them in ( some will need to get used to the PL) and more importantly to get them to play his way.

The only team that is almost ready to go compared to this lot is Arsenal.




Saturday, April 23, 2016

Arsenal make contact for Benfica striker

By 1970's Gooner

Image result for mitroglou benfica


Kostas Mitroglou is going through a terrific season on loan to Benfica. He has certainly been amongst the goals scoring 19 in only 28 appearances. That's 0.7 goals per game which is considered high.

The player belongs to Fulham having signed a lucrative contract back in January 2014. He has since been loaned back to his old club in Greece, Olympiakos and at the start of this season he went to Benfica where it seems has found form again having overcome several niggly injuries.

According to the Greek press Arsenal are showing interest. They have already contacted Fulham to begin the process of negotiating the player's transfer. It is believed that Fulham are asking for a minimum of 6m euros (4.7m pounds).


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Is the unthinkable happening?

By 1970's Gooner

At this stage of the season I was expecting to write about Arsenal's run in for the battle to the League title, the first in the post Highbury era. I would have been predicting the results of the remaining games for both contenders and we would have been coming out on top by winning at home our final game against an already relegated Aston Villa.

But now not only this is definitely not happening we are locked in a battle for fourth place with Man City, Man Utd and West Ham!

In fact the nightmare scenario is beginning to unfold.

Leicester drop further points now that Vardy is out and their confidence begins to diminish.

Spurs gain momentum winning all their remaining games.

They also gain the press's favour which influences referee decisions with adverse effects on Leicester.

Spurs sprint over the finishing line winning the title.

Man City with newfound confidence from the win against PSG and Chelsea continue their good form. They easily finish third and reach the finals of the CL (they get thrashed by Bayern in the final).

Meantime Arsenal stumble over the line like a drunken sailor trying to return to his ship without getting noticed.

But so spectacular is their lack of form they fail to beat Villa at the Emirates in the final game of the season in front of a half full Emirates.

Manchester United continue their good form and spectacularly gain fourth spot from Arsenal.

This proves to be the last straw for the much maligned Arsenal supporters who stage a demonstration outside the Emirates on the last match day of the season venting their anger with unprecedented venomous ferocity.

The Board is shaken but not stirred. They stick by Wenger and he sticks by them. He always sees his contracts out.

In the meantime Liverpool reach the final of the Europa League and under the invigorating tutelage of Klopp win the final on penalties (against Sevilla).

Preseason arrives and Wenger announces that he will be signing outfield players this summer if the right top top top players become available who will be better than what we've already got (England do well in the Euros going out in the Semi Finals on penalties against the Germans).

In the meantime Ospina is sold back to Lyon and Szczesny stays at Roma. Martinez is brought back from Wolves and promoted to second choice goalkeeper behind the ageing Cech (who repeatedly fails to get across his goal to stop shots from outside the box).

In order to bolster his central defensive options and to offer an alternative to the fast ageing Mertesacker Wenger opts to promote Bielik rather than buy. The supporters are getting really worried now.

Higuaín becomes available at 80m and Wenger balks at the asking price biding his time hoping to reduce the price to what he considers as reasonable, judging by the player's age.

In the meantime Benzema wants out of Real but is till embroiled in his dispute with the law.

In early August Wenger and Arsenal announce at last the signing of a player. He is another midfielder in the 20m bracket.

Apart from releasing Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini as their contracts run out Wenger lets Gibbs and Walcott leave the club.

As the first day of the season arrives Wenger announces that we are still looking for that top top top striker and if he becomes available we have the funds to push it through.

I will leave you to write or imagine the rest.....