Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cazorla going through a patchy period

By 1970's Gooner

Santi Cazorla has not been at his best recently. His average performances culminated in a below par display against Anderlecht followed by another similar display at Sunderland.

In the absence of Ozil (in the occasions when he plays as a number 10) the team is crying out for a creative more advanced player who can play behind the number 9 and link play between the midfield and the attack. Sadly Santi has not stepped up the plate.

Wenger now has a decision to make. Does he persist with him or does he bring in someone else.

In my opinion Tomas Rosicky should be given a starting birth. He is fit, combative and very direct always looking for the forward pass. And more importantly he can score goals!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Arteta and Flamini may now become regular starters together

By 1970's Gooner

It was about time Wenger realised that his team selection was a little unbalanced. He has always in recent times selected only one defensive midfielder (either Arteta or Flamini) and played a more forward minded Ramsey (or Wilshere) in central midfield. The rest of the team barring the four at the back are all forwards. In fact the two full backs become wingers when we go forward!

Don't tell me that this is an unbalanced team formation. And of course slightly clever teams with fast wingers and explosive midfielders are set up to defend compactly and break forward with speed. They have managed to get rewards up to now. Especially when you consider that the back four are now a makeshift defence with Monreal at centre back and Chambers at right back.

It was no surprise therefore that for the away game at Sunderland Wenger having seen how disjointed and exposed the back four and midfield were in Belgium decided to offer more protection by leaving Ramsey out of the line up and started with Arteta and Flamini in central midfield (without wishing to brag about it I suggested prior to the Sunderland game that the line up should indeed contain Arteta and Flamini).

Indeed this formation of 4 2 1 3 should now become more common for the difficult away games and against our competitors for the top 4 spots. It will provide a more solid and compact defensive formation and the springboard for the more creative players to inflict the damage that they are so capable of at the other end.

N.A Monreal's performance at Sunderland was very good and he is improving with every game.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rosicky the surprise starter against Sunderland

By 1970's Gooner

The horrid display at Anderlecht made obvious two major weaknesses that need to be addressed for the Sunderland game and the ones that will follow.

The defence is already weak and needs to be protected.

Monreal is playing out of position and looks it. He is not up to it. Chambers can do so much and he is bound to start having average games. That is why in midfield we have to offer them protection at least.

Flamini over Arteta for me for this reason but on their own will prove not enough. You can't have Ramsey and Wilshere playing there because they both roam forward leaving the rest exposed. This has to be addressed by playing both Arteta and Flamini with say Ramsey box to box. Until Koscienly comes back at least.

Cazorla is having a bad run of form. Keep him out.

In my opinion it's time to give Rosicky a run. It will be a surprise but a much needed change. He is much more direct than Cazorla and can defend well when needed (adding more defensive nous in the team). Cazorla remember was very near but not near enough for the first goals we conceded against Chelsea AND Hull!

The team against Sunderland should thus be as follows in a 4 2 1 3 formation:

Zscsesny, Chambers, Monreal, BFG, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Sanchez, Rosicky, Welbeck .

The Ox, Podolski and Campell could come on if we need to get something out of the game.

Jenkinson to be recalled?

By 1970's Gooner

Wenger has only himself to blame. He overloaded on attacking midfielders during the recent transfer windows and neglected the dire need to get in competent, not necessarily technically gifted defensive midfielders and central defenders.

He let Vermaelen AND Jenkinson go and intentionally took a chance that his first choice defenders will not get injured. Hell they didn't. Even  a 5 year old knows that injuries do happen in football. But no he had to take a chance. Why didn't he at least keep Jenkinson... He can recall him now. That's the mature decision to take. Will he do it?

No chance.

This type of reckless behaviour is characteristic of a manager who is not under any pressure to win anything. Can you imagine Mourinho, Pellegrini or any other manager who WANTS to win the league leave his defensive cover so exposed?

They will get the sack if they do not win anything. But Wenger knows that the Arsenal Board are eating out of his hands because he gets the team in the CL places! Because the aim my dear fellows is to make profits for the shareholders not to please the fans necessarily.

Have you heard a top team in any league declare that finishing 4th is a trophy in itself?

Ok maybe it was when we were paying for the loan to build the stadium. But now? What's the excuse Mr Wenger?

You know what? Wenger cannot get out of the 'finishing 4th is good enough mode' I tell you.

It allows him to indulge in his biasedness of developing young talent into stars, playing an overbalanced attacking football (which renders his teams vulnerable to counter attacks from tactically more astute teams and managers) and recruits small technically gifted players at the expense of sturdy, tall and robust midfielders and defenders.

That's why, by the way, we get more injuries than any other team in the PL. You don't need an in depth study to find out why we get so many injuries!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Maybe Arsenal's bench is not so strong

By 1970's Gooner

What a terrible performance against Soton. A terrible performance from the experienced and hungry for games older players. Rosicky was all over the place and Podolski was not in any place.

Rosicky, whom I rate highly, was more often than not passing to the opponents. He gave a totally unnecessary penalty which brought them back into the game. He did not take the game by the scruff of its neck like he tends to, or used to...

Podolski was uninterested. I was surprised to realise that he was still on the pitch deep into the second half! He was nowhere. What a pathetic performance...

Wilshere was average, again...

At least Diaby got through 60 or so minutes.

Campell I expected more from. He didn't provide it. He didn't go past his marker not even once...

Sanchez tends to get lost when he plays through the middle. I don't think he will be that effective there. But he can continue to take the free kicks...

Hayden and Bellerin had decent games

The youngsters were youngsters. They tried their best but they were let down by the older players.

Everything will be forgotten when we thump the spuds next Saturday!

And we will.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My almost weekly rant at Mr Wenger

By 1970's Gooner

It's becoming an almost weekly criticism come rant from me. And its not aimed only on the players. Its almost always against Mr Wenger.

I was mesmerised of his non management of the lead we had so triumphantly acquired last Saturday against Man City. He did not make a defensive substitution to hold on to the lead nor did he take off Ozil in order to remove his non performance...

But last night against Dortmund was diabolical....

- He played with only one holding player who is way past his best (Arteta).

- He failed to sign a DM in the window going instead for even more attacking midfielders in Ozil and Sanchez.

- Ozil is a massive failure and Wenger cannot admit it. So he has to play him come what may. But no team in the world not even Barca or Real can play with 10 men.

- Give him a chance as a real number 10 if you want and when you again discover that he cannot cut it (as its bound to happen) be a man Mr Wenger and have the balls to drop him. Otherwise you can kiss the season goodbye.

- Everyone agreed with Wenger that another centre back was an absolute minimum. He did nothing. Now we are heavily exposed.

- He let Jenkinson go on loan. Last night we played with a 19 year old rookie....

- Ramsey has been a shadow of himself this season. Either change the formation and play with two holding players and then allow him to be a box to box midfielder OR drop him......

-Where's our width. Where's our pace. Why the hell don't you give the Ox a chance or even Campel? But I forgot you can't drop dopey Ozil.

Mr Wenger is not threatened with the sack. Not like Mourinho or Pellegrini. They have to deliver or they will be out. But Mr Wenger knows that no such pressure exists.

That's why he takes chances that players will not get injured. That's why he gambles.

That's why we will not win the League again.


Monday, September 15, 2014

The real reason why an equaliser was conceded

By 1970's Gooner

Mr Wenger was baffled as to why the Arsenal players could not see the game out after netting in the 74th minute to make it 2 1 with that wonderful goal by Sanchez.

Was it Debuchy's injury he wondered?

Hell it was Debuchy's injury.

Mr Wenger has only himself to blame.

He really does and it has taken me the rest of Saturday, the whole of Sunday and the best part of today to get over it.

I couldn't believe how inept Wenger's management of the game proved to be after we scored what should have been the winner.

It was evident right after we scored the second goal that Man City were pushing forward to get the equaliser. Our players were having difficulty to gain possession of the ball and thus gain valuable time.

Ozil was having another average game and was beginning to tire.

Given these circumstances that were so obvious to everyone watching the game Mr Wenger did not make any substitutions until he was forced to.

Remember the goal was scored on 74!

The first sub was Chambers for Debuchy on 81!!!!!! 7 minutes after the goal.
The second sub was The Ox for Welbeck on....89!!!! 4 minutes ATER their equaliser (not before as it should have been)
And the third was Arteta for Flamini on.....90!!!!

What he should have done much much earlier was to take out Ozil who can't defend for his life and who was tiring and either put Arteta on to bolster the defensive line in front of the defence or if he is loath to change the balance of the team put The Ox on.

The Ox would have run them rugged on the flank keeping their defenders pinned back and he is not bad at defending either.

What an earth Ozil was doing on the pitch when the referee blew the final whistle is beyond me.

Wenger should have INTERVENED. He should have managed the game. He should have helped his players manage the game....

I am sorry but he didn't.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Who Wenger will choose against Man City and who should really start

By 1970's Gooner

This what I expect Arsene Wenger will choose as his starting 11 for the forthcoming match against Man City Saturday week.

I have assumed that all players are fit and raring to go as there are some doubts about Ozil and Koncienly who have dropped out of their respective national squads due to injury as well as Gibbs who has been out since the first game of the season.

I assume they will be back in contention.


Debuchy   Mertesacker Koscienly Gibbs

       Arteta   Ramsey


   Sanchez Welbeck  Ozil

Subs: Ospina, Flamini, Chambers, Ox, Rosicky, Podolski, Wilshere,

My starting 11 would be slightly different:


Debuchy   Mertesacker Koscienly Gibbs

         Arteta   Flamini


      Sanchez  Welbeck  Ox

I believe that the second line up offers a much better balance between attack and defence. Arteta and Flamini will provide a protective wall in front of the back four while Ramsey will be  able to play his box to box role.

In attack Welbeck will get his debut flanked by The Ox and Sanchez.

I have omitted Ozil as I do not think his takes his defensive duties seriously and would probably be a liability in such a game. I doubt however if Wenger will dare drop him...

Sanchez and the Ox will be able to provide speed and penetration on the wings thus helping to keep City's wide players and full backs hemmed back in their half. More importantly both Arsenal players are very good at tracking back and defending.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Respected Italian journalist reveals Arsenal in talks for Dortmund Greek defender

By 1970's Gooner

Italian journalist Jianlouka Di Marjio has revealed today that Arsenal have made a bid for Socratis Papastathopoulos the Greek defender who now plays for Borrusia Dortmund.

Arsenal have offered 15m euros (about 12.9m pounds) but Dortmund have said they want 25m euros. It is expected that Wenger will up his bid closer to 20m euros in order to come closer to Dortmund's valuation.

And the player is worth it. He is at a good age for a central defender (26) and excelled for Greece at the World Cup alongside Arsenal's ex target Manolas. Remember that it was at this site that was first revealed, long before any other paper in England got hold of the story, that Arsenal lost out on Manolas to Roma.

Papastathopoulos is much more experienced however having played for AEK Athens, AC Milan, Genoa, Bremen and Dortmund.

He can also play as a right back as well as in the middle of the defence.

But hold your horses. The chances of the deal going through are however rated as 50 50 at the moment.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hot hot news out of Greece re Manolas and Arsenal

By 1970s Gooner

News just out of Athens media are reporting that Arsenal have failed to land Kostas Manolas.

Instead it is Roma that he has signed for today. It appears that they have paid 15m euros which is about 3m more than what stingy Arsenal and Wenger were prepared to dish out.

I now doubt if we are going to buy any more players.