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Friday, April 03, 2015

Analysis of Wenger's selection for the 11 vs Liverpool

By 1970's Gooner

The long term injured players are back in the squad along with the returning international players and Arsene Wenger has difficult decisions to make on a number of positions.

Lets start with the difficult ones.

Walcott or Welbeck or Ozil for the one remaining flank position as I would expect that Alexis will start on the other flank.

Walcott would have a good chance of starting because Welbeck has a problem with his knee picked up on international duty. Wenger said that Welbeck has a small chance to play. Really? A small chance or is he playing mind games with Rodgers?

In any case, let's reserve judgement until we eliminate Ozil from contesting a start on the flank. I believe that Wenger will start Ozil but he will loath to move him on the flank as the player's recent fine form has materialised when he was deployed through the middle as a number 10.

Which leaves the choice between Welbeck and Walcott. I believe that if Welbeck can start he will start. This is because Welbeck has been in very good form recently scoring goals against Man Utd and on international duty. Wenger will want his good form to continue. Additionally Walcott has lost confidence and has not convinced when he was given his chance by Wenger. 

This means that Ramsey will start on the bench. If he was fit I believe that Wenger will have rested Cazorla instead as Ramsey is picking up form and has also scored for Wales in Israel and for Arsenal at Monaco.

You do not disrupt such form when one of your key players is performing so well. However he did come off in Israel before the end of the game. Taking into account his recent injury problems I believe that he will not be risked by Wenger from the start.

The rest of the selections are straight forward aren't they?

Ospina

Bellerin   Gabriel  Koscienly  Monreal

Coquelin Cazorla

Ozil

Welbeck   Giroud   Sanchez 


Bench: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Flamini,Walcott

Prediction: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 2 (Walcott will score)


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Arsenal player ratings and analysis vs Newcastle

By 1970's Gooner

It could have been a walk in the park. We scored 2 goals in the first half and were dominating the game. Yet the Arsenal players acted as though the game was already finished at half time thinking that the Newcastle players changed their boots for flip flops in the dressing room.

We were slow, sleepy and unready to combat the tenacity with which the opponents turned up for the second part. Our marking was not as tight and the cover for players began to be overlooked. Once they scored it was game on. Something we could have done without taking into consideration that the players were tired from the CL game at Monaco.

Credit to the players though who fought hard and kept the result. Credit to Arsene Wenger for putting Bellerin on to help the underachieving Chambers (he is not a right back), Rosicky to help keep the ball more and Flamini to bolster the midfield (he should have kept Sanchez on though and taken Welbeck off).

Ospina

Had a good solid game again with some very good saves especially the point blank header and the deflected shot. 8

Chambers

Out of his depth IMO. He is too slow for a right back and lacks positioning sense. He was continually being overrun or out of position. 4

Koscienly

A strong performance and was a leader there at the back. Mistimed his interception in the box however which could have resulted in a penalty. 7

Gabriel

Made no mistakes, played it safe when he needed to and was strong in the air. The BFG is not getting his place back that's for sure. 7

Monreal

A reasonable performance and kept a good balance between defence and attack. His run of games in the early part of the season as a centre back has helped him regain form enormously. 6

Coquelin

Strong and solid until he got hurt again on his nose which made him loose concentration and give the ball away a few times. Overall THE defensive midfielder we have been looking for. 7

Cazorla

Had a quiet game today probably suffering the effects of the overexertion in the CL game. Made no significant runs forward nor did he control the midfield as per usual. 5

Ramsey

He disappointed me today. He was below par his usual high standards. He over kept the ball on occasion and only got in the box once when he should have scored. Was surprised that Wenger did not sub him. 5

Sanchez

He hasn't reached the heights of earlier in the season but he is still, through his work rate and ability to run forward with the ball, an important player for Arsenal. 6

Welbeck

I was disappointed with his performance today. He is quick but his decision making throughout was lacking. He went passed the defender in the second half in a quick counter attack as though he was not there. But inexplicably chose to shoot from a tight angle instead of passing to the unmarked Giroud or Ramsey who were ready to put the game out of reach. 5

Giroud

Had a wonderful MOTM performance, scored two quick goals and held the ball up very well when we needed to come out of defence in the second half. 9






Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The newspaper journalists are unfair on Arsenal

By 1970's Gooner

I am surprised at the negative way the British press is reporting Arsenal's failure to progress in the CL. They make it sound as though we were rubbish over the two legs, that we are an also run team and that we are not serious contenders for major honours.

Although there is an element of truth in this I feel they are missing the wood for the trees. They are forgetting the following:

- Arsenal have won 20 of their last 25 games! Inclusive of this win at Monaco who have not let a goal in in their last 14 home games.

- All these know it all journalists seem to forget that their PL champions elect, Chelsea, were knocked out of the CL at home, in the same round as Arsenal, by a team playing with 10 men since the 31st minute while they were 2 1 up!

Yet no one of this fine journalists dared to SERIOUSLY challenge the mental attitude of the Chelsea players, their apparent naivety at seeing the game through and come to that their ability to see this PL campaign through.

- Were it not for a run of a large number of injuries at the beginning of the season, a World Cup hangover and Wenger's stubborn refusal to buy defensive reinforcements during the summer, Arsenal would be above Chelsea at the moment in the PL.

- Even after all this I believe that we can mount a serious challenge for the PL THIS season. Chelsea are beginning to run out of steam while Arsenal are gathering a very strong momentum. There are still 9 games to go (Chelsea have 10) and all you need is for Chelsea to lose two and draw two... Ok you may feel that is stretching it a bit but is it really? They have to play us at the Emirates don't forget...

- And finally one must consider that Arsenal have only last season managed to bring the stadium debt to comfortable levels. This means that Wenger's astute management during the 9 lean years can now end and he can reinforce the team with high quality players. As he has been doing. 

But this cannot be done in time zero. You need time to build a title winning team just as Chelsea and Man City did. Wenger is in his first season of a three year project (contract). Believe me he will deliver. 

BECAUSE HE CAN SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TRESS 



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why did Ozil have to start? Why did 9 other players have to start?

By 1970's Gooner

It was a shocking performance from every one of them. There was no urgency, tactical awareness or a plan of how to break the opposition down. There was also no width which allowed Monaco to flood the middle of their defence and defend well.

Giroud missed three clear cut chances. A header, a cut back from Sanchez and skying the rebound from the goalkeeper after Walcott's shot was parried. If he had scored from only one of them the outcome would have been very different.

Sanchez was just a busy bee again. Welbeck tried but wasn't good enough.

Cazorla was ok in the first half but faded in the second. He played too deep and there was gap between him and the rest of the forwards. There was no urgency nor did he make enough of those surging runs.

All four defenders had a bad game. Mertesacker the worst. He was so much at fault for both their goals. The first one he could have moved his body out of the way. The second he sold himself  way beyond the half way line thus allowing them a clear run on goal outnumbering the rest of the remaining defenders i.e Koscienly!

Why oh why does Ozil have to start? He offered nothing tonight. He offers nothing in big games. He is dozy, shies away from the rough side of the game and gets so frustrated that he just gives up. Like last season we are playing almost with 10 men. Wenger has to own up that he made a dud buy.

Still why did he not sub him at half time? Why did he not sub him in the second half then? We would have had a better chance to come back.

We had a terrible night where nothing went right. They had a great night where everything went right for them. It will not be like that in the return leg.

We can turn it round at their place and run them close. We might even qualify....









Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adrian Durham anti Arsenal what an absolute clown!

By 1970's Gooner
 
I feel sorry for Adrian Durham.
 
It seems that he is and feels inadequate to be a smart, objective and penetrating journalist like so many journalists serving their profession. So he tries to make a living for himself by adopting the most distorted and extreme views on anything that is news.
 
He does this intentionally to rile and wind up the fans so that he gets the reaction and the readership that justifies his continual employment.
 
His latest tirade is against Arsenal for the Daily Mail. His take is that Arsenal fans intentionally talk up and elevate their players into heroes with fantastic ability compared to the top players in the world.
 
Here is what he wrote today:
 
They don’t win big trophies, so in order to try to keep themselves in the picture towards the top of the table, and keep up the image of a big club still up there with the big boys, they have to over-promote their players on a rotation basis beyond their true abilities.

If Arsenal were as good as their fans believe, they would top the Premier League and be favourites for the Champions League'.

Here is a summary of what he wrote:
  • Mesut Ozil cost £42million and was billed as Arsenal's world-class star
  • Aaron Ramsey was next big thing before attention went to Alexis Sanchez
  • Francis Coquelin was also supposed to be the next shiny superstar
  • The spotlight has turned to Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla
  • But few managers would sign him over Eden Hazard or David Silva
  • Arsenal fans keep themselves in the picture by over-promoting players

He compares Mertesacker to Kleberson!! He forgets that the BFG won the World Cup!
 
He concludes that Real without Ozil won the CL but with Arsenal only the FA Cup. He forgets that Germany with Ozil won the World Cup.
 
He says that no team will sign Cazorla ahead of David Silva or Hazard. Yet he accepts that Athletico Madrid might want to get him on board. Yes Athletico who have won La Liga ahead of both Real AND Barcelona.
 
And he goes on and on...
 
I borrowed a description that a Stoke fan used to describe him on Talksport radio: 
 
'What an absolute clown'
 
He ends his piece in the Mail with this:
 
'If these players really are as good as Arsenal fans want us to believe, the Gunners would be top of the Premier League table and favourites to win the Champions League.  But they’re not'.
 
And I ask him:
 
So therefore all the Manchester City players are crap because they are not top of the PL and are not favourites to win the CL!!!!
 
All Chelsea players are crap since they are not favourites to win the CL!!!
 
All PL teams are full of crap players because they are not top of the League and are not favourites to win the CL!!!!
 
Adrian Durham: What an absolute clown......
 
 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Five surprises in Arsenal's line up vs Leicester

By the Coach

Arsene Wenger is expected to make more changes than many pundits have dared to predict for tonight's game against Leicester. And most of the changes are intended to give a rest to some players who have been out with injury recently and not wishing to play them after only a three day rest.

In defence Gibbs is due to start instead of Monreal who has been a regular recently but who needs a rest. The rest of the defence remains the same.

In midfield Rosicky comes in for Ramsey who has been way below par recently. Cazorla keeps his place and is given the chance to prove that his abysmal performance at the Lane was just a blip.

The third change is the most surprising one as Flamini is due to be given a rare start in place of the awesome Coquelin who is also rested.

Remember most of these players played three days ago and Wenger may feel that his squad is big enough and strong enough to make rotation a viable option especially with regard to bringing that awful injury record down to reasonable proportions.

And the last changes in attack are Sanchez for Ozil and Walcott for Welbeck.


Ospina

Bellerin   Mertesacker  Koscienly  Gibbs

Flamini

Rosicky  Cazorla

Walcott  Giroud  Sanchez




Saturday, February 07, 2015

Wenger's wrong starting 11 and midfield let the team down

By 1970's Gooner

Yes we did get the goal albeit against the run of play. But we never kicked on. We carried playing defensive football but without having the men up front to go on the counter attack and thus relieve and give a breather to the rest of the team.

This was a mistake by Wenger in his selection for the starting 11 by leaving Walcott and Rosicky out. Both had the legs and the nous to help the rest of the team to manage the game.

Walcott would have been the perfect outlet for running at speed with the ball but more importantly Rosicky, as he amply proved when he belatedly came on, would have been ideal to keep the ball and play the simple pass to a colleague.

Something that Cazorla and Ramsey failed miserably!

Not once did they make a simple pass.

Not once did they hold onto the ball long enough.

Not once did they come out winners in the 50 50 balls.

As a result we lost the midfield battle and kept giving the ball away like imbecile novices.

As a result we were outrun and outfought.

As a result we eventually caved in. How much pressure can you take after all?

We were under pressure against Man City but at least we kept the ball and utilised Alexis for the counter attacks. Today we had nothing. Nothing.

And I blame Mr Wenger.

For not starting the brilliant Rosicky.

For not starting Walcott.

And for not substituting Cazorla and Ramsey much much earlier.

Noe we have a battle on our hands to finish 4th and we have given a leg up the Spuds.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Is Wenger logical? Surely it's time to recall Jenkinson

By 1970's Gooner

In my previous post I spelled out the 5 ways we can replace Debuchy. All of them were rearrangements of players positions from within the squad. None of them are satisfactory for me. We all know what Wenger will do. He will probably play Bellerin who I consider inexperienced and very green yet to perform in that position with the effectiveness and stature that is required.

If you want to consider the other options then this is the link: The 5 options for replacing Debuchy

But surely by far the best option is to recall Jenkinson from his loan to West Ham. SURELY!

Wenger recalled Coquelin from his loan to Charlton with great success as we have seen. Why not do the same with Jenkinson. He has already played more than 10 games as a first choice for big Sam and has performed with distinction.

There is some information that there is no recall clause in the loan agreement but what the hell, Arsenal are big enough to pay the necessary monetary penalty (as usually is stipulated in such agreements in the case one of the parties wanting out).

The alternative is for Wenger to buy that Central Defender he has been promising so long and hope that he will also be able to play RB!!!!!

But I ask you will AW buy a defender?

And if he actually buys one (which I doubt) will he buy him now or at the end of the window? By which time it may be too late.

And if he has not played in the PL before will he acclimatise almost immediately?

So you see logic dictates that Carl Jenkinson should start at RB against Man City.

But is Wenger logical?




Sunday, January 11, 2015

The five options for replacing Debuchy

By 1970's Gooner

It's a pity that Debuchy dislocated his shoulder. Arnautovic should have been booked. It was an excellent performance all round with Alexis Man of the Match of course.

 And I have to make a special mention of Coquelin who had another impressive game.  He is going to stay in the starting11 for a long time IMO, as I predicted right after his first appearence this season, much to the mock of some of the readers of this blog!

Still I am concerned about Man City away. We have to replace Debuchy and Wenger has some options available.

1. Play Chambers, I hope not!

2. Play Bellerin. Very likely as Wenger has opted for this option when he had to. I think this would be a risky decision as Man City have the players to put on Bellerin's side to really take advantage of his inexperience.

3. Play Monreal at right back and Gibbs at left. This could work.

4. Play Flamini. He has played at full back before but I am concerned about his lack of pace.

5. Here is the last but more interesting option. Play Koscienly at right back and either Chambers or Monreal at centre back. This would break the pairing of Kos and the BFG and I think this could prove risky.



Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Revealed: Inter's joke offer for Podolski and subsequent deal clincher

By 1970's Gooner

Wenger described Inter's original offer for taking Podolski on loan as not serious, a joke.

Well he was probably right because as I can reveal their offer which came from their Sporting Director, Piero Ausilio, was to take Podolski without any compensation whatsoever for Arsenal.

It is only when they came back with money that the deal was allowed to go through by Wenger giving the green light (yes he controls the money side of the transfers too).

The improved offer was indeed very much restructured:

Arsenal will get 600.000 euros ( about 470.000 pounds) up front with the loan agreement.
There will be another 400.000 euros ( 313.000 pounds) if Inter qualify for the Champions League.
In the event that Inter qualify for the Europa League then this drops to 250.000 euros (196.000 pounds).

Podolski himself will get a salary of 1.8m euros up to the end of June which converts to about 60.000 pounds per week. So Arsenal will only have to pay the rest of Podolski's contractual salary to make up the 75.000 pounds per week.

Sounds good to me!

From having a player who hardly played and obliged to pay him up to the end of June 1.8m pounds we now have received 470.000 pounds and additionally saved wages of 1.44m pounds. A total of nearly 2.0 m pounds plus additional moneys if Inter qualify for a European competition.

There is no clause in the loan agreement with regard to Inter having a first option to buy in the summer nor has a fee been agreed.