By 1970's Gooner
Arsene Wenger said he would try and buy a left back but I didn't believe he was being serious. But at last the penny has dropped and he seems to have realised that the 6m he paid for Santos was really a waste of money, space and time.
I was also expecting that being stingy as he is he would opt to play Vermaelen at left back and bring back Koscienly at centre back. Gibbs will be out for only three weeks after all. But again it seems that he may be thinking that Vermaelen and Koscienly are his safest centre back pairing and I would agree with that.
Reports from Spain's AS sports paper say that Cazorla's ex team mate at Malaga is actually in London today to finalise personal terms. The fee is 10m euros or 8.6m pounds.
He is 26 and has been called up in the last Spain squad. Monreal has nine caps and joined Malaga on a five-year deal from Osasuna in 2011.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
By 1970’s Gooner
It was so obvious that the trio in midfield prior to the Swansea game were slightly unbalanced. I had written about this not so long ago.
Wilshere was being asked to play a somewhat withdrawn role behind Cazorla and infront of Arteta. This however resulted in not utilising Wilshere at his best and most effective, which is to be up there just behind the front striker where he can go past people and create real scoring opportunities.
Cazorla is not able to do this as efficiently. He is better being deployed on the wing and come in when required to provide added weight in midfiled.
Wilshere’s move forward also means that another more proper defensive midfielder can be employed there providing a better shield of the defence, something which was evidently lacking so far.
Arsenal’s midfield trio should be Arteta and Diaby who will be more defensively minded (when they are fit of course) and Wilshere in the Fabregas role behind the striker. This is a balanced and solid midfield, as good as any in the Premier League.
It can provide the springboard for Arsenal to push on now. And if a proper striker is added to the squad then the sky is the limit.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
By 1970’s Gooner
This was an unexpected flat performance. After the thrashing of Newcastle one would have expected the Arsenal players to have a spring in their step.
Can you blame tiredness after playing only last Saturday? Not really. Southampton played a tough away game at Stoke and looked far more fit and raring to go. They fought for every ball and usually won it. So one reason is that the opponents were far more combat wise.
But the real reason is that Arsenal’s midfield have been below par. And this has been repeating itself in recent games. There is only Arteta who sits deeper and actually wins the ball. The other two are more inclined to want to play rather than fight for the ball and this was very evident tonight.
Wilshere was his usual combative and creative self for only a 15 minute spell in the first half. The rest of the time he was just passing sideways. He may need a rest as he has been out for the whole of last season and has been playing every game this time round. 5
Cazorla was worse. I was screaming for Wenger to sub him a long time before he did. He did not create anything of note nor did he pose a shooting threat. The game passed him by. 5
Ramsey came on as a substitute when it should have been Rosicky. I don’t understand Wenger’s insistence in playing him instead of Rosicky. Tomas would have run and chased and tried to create. Ramsey can not and did not do anything of the kind. 5
Szczeny did well overall apart from a save which he pushed in the middle of the area rather than away. 6
Sagna was very busy indeed both defending and attacking. He was uncharacteristically below par getting caught and closed in on the line and giving the ball away more often than not. Attacking wise he did not have much of an outlet as the Ox was also not his usual self. Nevertheless the few crosses he did get in were not up to standard. 5
Vermaelen was actually the best player for Arsenal. He competed well in the air and on the ground. 7
Koscienly similarly did well. He is the kind of player that needs a few games to reach his peak best. I think he will be even better in the next game. 7
Gibbs did well defensively but he did not attack as much as he usually does. This meant that we lost a lot of our penetration from the left wing that we usually have. The only occasion Gibbs went forward with purpose a real goal chance was created late in the game. 6
Arteta was his usual self. Performed what is expected of him at a high efficient level. Arsenal’s most consistent player. 7
Podolski was a disappointment. He neither penetrated enough nor tracked back with purpose. He is the kind of player who needs the whole team to be performing well. He is also not consistent enough in every game. He has one good game and then an average one. What gets him out of jail is his goal scoring. 4
The Ox was almost as bad for the whole game as he was in the first half against Newcastle. He needs a rest. 4
Walcott did not get the service and the balls behind the defence to run onto. His free kick did create the equaliser though. 5
Giroud came on but as with Walcott he did not get the service nor the support from the midfield and the wingers. 5
Gervinho was just awful. We should put him on the transfer list and promote Gnabry. 3