Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This quality will be decisive against Soton

By 1970's Gooner

There is one quality that has transpired in the most recent games. It was certainly lacking in that dreadful game at Stoke.

The spirit within the team, the togetherness and the resolute attitude of the players to get through the game with victory in the bag was exemplary.

What has helped of course was the return to action of two key players in defence. Koscienly and Debuchy. This has given a new belief to the rest of the players that no mater what we will score the goals (we always do don't we?) and the defence is now capable of  keeping them out.

I expect that this will repeat itself on New Years Day.

A Happy New Year to all of you!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Coquelin set for a run in the team

By 1970's Gooner

I don't want to be an I told You So but Francis Coquelin had an excellent performance against West Ham.

I am not surprised, I expected that he will get his chance and that he will probably solve our search for that elusive defensive midfielder we have been looking for. Has Arsene discovered the defensive midfielder we have been looking for?

His defensive and combative display in front of the back four is exactly what Arsenal have been missing. A defensive midfielder who would put his foot in when needed, go for the headers using his body as well as his head and distribute the ball simply and effectively.

Here is what Wenger said about him:

"He played very well, especially in the first half. He was very influential and then in the second half he fatigued a bit in the last 20 minutes, but he had a very good performance not only defensively but he also passed quickly, sharply and through the lines. Overall he had a convincing performance."

I would put him ahead of Flamini certainly now and it is up to Wenger to decide whether he would play with two protective midfielders or not.

I would.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Player ratings Vs Liverpool

By 1970's Gooner

Szczesny: Almost did not put a foot wrong. 8

Chambers: Getting tired. The weak link in defence in recent games. Had a poor game. 3

BFG: Hesitant display. 5

Debuchy: The best defender. Positive and forceful. He is surprisingly a very good central defender. Scored a vital goal. 8

Gibbs: Had a steady if unspectacular game. Was not targeted by Liverpool as their attention was on Chambers. 5

The Ox: A weak performance. Kept giving the ball away and over keeping it. 4

Flamini: Ineffective display. 4

Cazorla: Not as effective as in recent games. Was efficiently smothered by Liverpool's midfielders but did get through to make that assist that nearly won us the game. 5

Sanchez: One of his most ineffective displays. Could not win the ball back, pass it accurately or create anything of note. 4

Welbeck: A below par performance. Did well when Giroud was substituted. 5

Giroud: Had a bad first half where he could not head the ball or hold it for more than 2 or 3 seconds. Second half he improved and scored a good goal. 6

Coquelin: Was very good when he got to play in the end. 8

Arsene discovers the defensive midfielder Arsenal longed for

By 1970's Gooner

What a dreadful performance. All over the pitch (except Szczesny). No one could hold the ball, pass it to an Arsenal player let alone create anything of note except once when we scored a second undeserved goal.

This performance ranks as one of three worst performances this season so far. The first was away in Dortmund, the second away at Stoke and now away at Anfield.

Today Liverpool's three at the back meant they had one more player in midfield.

They would have dominated even if they had one less than us! It was so bad really.

Overall they were hungrier and quicker than us and combined with Flamini's and Ox's ineffective display in central midfield outrun us in this very sensitive area of the pitch.

Add the fact that Chambers is getting worse and worse with every game and you have a recipe for disaster.

The guy needs a rest but of course Wenger's inability to buy a central defender means that he has to play.

Achieving 4th place is now in serious jeopardy. Maybe we should finish outside the top four to shake up Wenger and those at the Board to do something about it.

I mean we surrendered the title chase in the first 8 games of the season!!!!!! This can't be right....

In any case the one positive thing to come out of this game (except that of getting a very undeserved draw) is that Coquelin's display albeit for 10 or so minutes was a breath of fresh air.

Here was a true defensive midfielder. One who would jump for a header and get it! One who would put his foot in and come out with the ball. One who, after winning the ball, would pass it to a fellow player in a simple way. Without trying to make a through pass or dribble past players.

I predict that Coquelin will become the natural first team choice for Arsenal in this position and save stingy Wenger some money so that he could buy a descent central defender to challenge the established two.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Will Coquelin go straight into the starting 11?

By 1970’s Gooner

At last Wenger realised that he is short of defensive minded players!

Better late than never.

Chambers is suspended, Koscienly has a calf problem (which may be related to his Achilles), Monreal is injured and Arteta who could have played in midfield, thus allowing Flamini to switch to RB, is also out!


Is there a secret agreement that Jenkinson will stay at West Ham for the whole season (with no recall clause) with a view to making the deal permanent after that? Is this the reason that Arsenal didn't break the loan?
In any case all this means that Debuchy will almost certainly move to centre back alongside the BFG. I have no problem with that other than he is just come back from a 3 month layoff with only one competitive game under his belt!

Why oh why does Wenger take such big gambles by keeping his squad so short in defenders and too long on attackers?
The next question is who will play in central midfield with Flamini. Ramsey is out so Wenger has two options. He can play The Ox or indeed draft Coquelin in.

The Ox is more than capable of carrying that role and could play in a similar box to box fashion like Ramsey does and could well get the vote.

On the other hand Coquelin is not so good going forward but he is more solid defensively.

If The Ox is moved into Ramsey’s position then this will allow Wenger to play all three of his forward players. That is Giroud, Sanchez and Welbeck.

My guess is that this is what he will choose to do. If this is so then for the right back position he can choose to keep Bellerin there or indeed play Coquelin. My guess is that he will choose Bellerin and keep Coquelin on the bench.


Bellerin  Debuchy BFG Gibbs

Flamini  Ox


Welbeck Giroud Sanchez

Prediction: 3  1

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wenger will not buy a defender in the next window

By 1970's Gooner

You may think this is unacceptable and if it happens you will start organising a protest march outside the Emirates.

But consider the following.

Wenger does not like spending Arsenal's money unless he really, really has to.

Wenger likes to give youth a chance and

Debucee is back!

What does this mean? It means that he now can field his favourite back four of Debucee, Koscienly, BFG and Gibbs.

But he also now has a ready made back up in Chambers who can deputise if one of the central defenders gets injured or indeed if the right back becomes unavailable. Monreal with a lot of first team games under his belt will be a good enough back up for Gibbs.

Chambers can also deputise as a central midfielder if need be although in Wenger's eyes this may not arise since he will consider the likelihood of both Arteta and Flamini becoming unavailable as not so high!

So Debucee's return releases Chambers and hey presto he becomes the joker of the pack.

And with Wenger so reluctant to buy players he will feel that he can rely on Chambers who is a player already assimilated in the squad and well versed into his way of thinking and playing.

So there you have it. No significant defensive additions in the window.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Wenger trigered with the formation and paid for it

By 1970's Gooner

Yes you can say we were winning 3 0 and should have kept it. And I would agree. All Arsene had to do was reign in some of the attacking players instincts, flood the midfield and play possession football.

But three things did not happen:

Firstly Arteta had to go off injured. He would have had the nous to organise the players.

Secondly Wenger's substitutions were offensively minded. Both Podolski and Rosicky are not necessarily defensively minded.

What he should have done was to keep Podolski on the bench and The Ox on the pitch. The Ox could have droped back into midfield alongside Rosicky and Flamini. Sanchez also could have been asked to drop back just a little bit. Finally he should have taken Welbeck off and stuck Walcott on to scare them with his pace.

Wenger did none of the above. Worse of all he failed to instruct his players to adopt a more cautious approach and play possession football. Instead his substitutions gave the exact opposite message to his players!

Yes the defensive performance was awful as he indicated in his post match interviews.

But he again I am afraid is to blame. He is the one who overbalanced the team with too many forward minded players and stubbornly refused to buy DEFENDERS.....

And he is the one that triggered with the formation breaking the Arteta and Flamini partnership in order to bring in the very disappointing Ramsey!

The Arteta and Flamini partnership is vital for Arsenal at the moment because, as I wrote so many times before, they provide a disciplined shield in front of a fragile defence which at the moment contains a left back playing as a centre back a rookie 19 year old as a right back.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Arsene's new formation is more cautious but more exciting than the usual 4 3 3

By 1970's Gooner

I have long been advocating that Arteta and Flamini should be starting games for Arsenal. They provide a more efficient shield of the back four (especially when Konscienly and Debucee are absent) than when one of them along with a more forward thinking midfielder are fielded.

This is because the 'other' midfielder is more attacking minded and /or not disciplined enough to stick to his position. The result is an unbalanced formation which lends itself vulnerable to counter attacks.

Wenger says that we played a 4 4 2 formation against Burnley. Well it was more of a 4 4 1 1 formation.

This formation, apart from playing two solid defensive midfielders, allows Wenger to bring Sanchez away from the flank and alongside or around Welbeck.

Sanchez does not stick to a particular position for too long and his desire to track back and fight for the ball enables him to be an extra player in midfield. This is especially important when we don't have the ball and the opponents are due to start an attack or worse start a counter attack.

Overall this is a more balanced formation than before which allows for a more solid defensive cover but at the same time does not curtail the offensive nature of the team.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Arsenal Vs Burnley. Score prediction, who will score and line up

By 1970's Gooner


I don't see Arsenal conceding. The important factors to consider are the following:

- Gibbs starts
- more importantly Monreal is now gelling well with the BFG and
- Burnley's poor goal scoring record

I can see Arsenal scoring more than once. And with the team clicking into gear I expect that a 3-0 score line or more is quite possible.

Who will score?

Considering that Burnley will most probably adopt a more cautious and defensive approach then a penalty may have a bigger probability of being awarded. Who takes Arsenal's penalties? Arteta to get on the score sheet then.

I also expect Welbeck to get a goal and Ramsey.

Line up

The big and very interesting question is whether Wenger persists with both Arteta and Flamini. They played very well together at Sunderland and shielded a makeshift defence well.

I think he may continue with this at least until Koscienly returns and then make a decision according to how we are doing by then.

I also think that Cazorla has not been at his best. Rosicky should be given a start. But Wenger tends to prefer Cazorla. Lets hope he picks up his game.


Chambers  BFG  Monreal  Gibbs

Arteta  Flamini


Cazorla  Welbeck Sanchez

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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

News on Manolas medical filtering out

By 1970's Gooner

The press in England had the deal all wrapped up. Manolas is reportedly having a medical at London Colney the Independent reported. And all the other press as well as the blogs regurgitated this exciting news.

Well I have news for you. Manolas was and has been spotted yesterday and today at Olympiakos training ground at "Renti" in Athens! Furthermore he has no plans to travel to London in the immediate future.

So just where did the Independent find this news is beyond me!

What is for sure is that the player will be leaving Olympiakos for pastures new. Juventous have been in the picture too it is reported in Greece.

Arsenal remain the favourites for his signature but while the player will receive a substantial increase in his wages there remain two obstacles:

Firstly Olympiakos are holding out for at least 11m euros whereas stingy Wenger (and Arsenal) want to get the player on the cheap offering 6m euros!

The second is that the player is concerned that his playing time at Arsenal will be limited as he sees himself fourth in line behind the BFG, Kos and Chambers. He considers that his chances for first team appearances are much higher if he goes to Italy.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Manolas agrees personal terms with Arsenal

By 1970's Gooner

It seems that the recent rumours with regard to Kostas Manolas' transfer to Arsenal are more than that.

It was recently reported that he was in London undergoing a medical. This is not verified by the Greek media but what I understand is coming out of Greece is that Olympiakos has agreed to the transfer to Arsenal for €11m (about 9.5 m pounds).

The player had assured the Olympiakos president that he would go to the team that offered the best deal for the good of the club. His preferred destination was Juventous but alas for him this does not look like happening now.

It is also reported that he has agreed personal terms with Arsenal though. His remuneration will be a €1.5 a year for a four year contract.

There might an Arsenal player going the other way though. This might be either Sanogo or Campell.

Monday, August 04, 2014

No wonder Carvalho is due in London for a medical

By 1970's Gooner,

Have a look at this video showing William's attributes and highlights during this past season. I expected to see skills, dribbling, setting up play and goals scored. As well as of course tackling.

The latter is all you see! Nice simple interceptions and passing the ball to those that can do more damage to the opponent.

Reminds me of Gilberto Silva....

The Spanish press are reporting that negotiations have began with Sporting Lisbon for his transfer to Arsenal.

You remember the trophies we won with the Gilberto in the side.

We will win them again.

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?


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


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?


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:



Debuchy   Mertesacker  Coscienly   Gibbs
                   Khedira Ramsey

               Sanchez    Ozil    Cazorla


 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.


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


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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Akers stood obediently next to Wenger waiting. What happened next?

By 1970’s Gooner

Firstly well done Arsenal.

We showed in those first 15 minutes that we were more than a match against the best team on the planet. We were running them scared. It was a magnificent start to the game and in my opinion if Ozil had scored the penalty we would have run out winners and the whole world would be heralding the new fantastic Arsenal.

Also if the ref had kept Szczesny on the pitch I am convinced Arsenal would not have lost the game.

But alas dopey Ozil missed his third penalty in a row and the rest is history.

Yet we handed the game to them by making a series of errors both from the players themselves and from Mr Wenger.

First mistake: Why was Ozil chosen to take the penalty? Cazorla or Flamini or Sagna or hell anybody else would have scored it, surely!

Second mistake: Why oh why did Koscienly stay up field in the dying minutes of the game?!!!!

Third mistake: Why did Wilshere not play the free kick, that Koscienly won, short to a player near him in order to gain more time?!!!!!!!

Third mistake WHY OH WHY did Mr Wenger not bring terrible Ozil off at half time even?!!!! It was obvious his head had dropped but more importantly he was refusing to track back!!!!!!!!!! When we were playing with 10 men for Pete’s sake.
The man is an idiot. He is a 43m waste of money. He has been underperforming for a long time but the efficiency of the rest of the players was masking it to an extent.
Vic Akers was standing obediently next to Wenger holding the papers ready to hand to the fourth official the substitution players’ numbers when Szczesny was sent off.

Wenger acknowledged Akers’s presence and thought hard for a few seconds.

Then he turned to Vic and passed on his decision.


Cazorla would have done a more decent job than Ozil. And we suffered for it…

Fourth mistake: WHY OH WHY did Mr Wenger keep Ozil on when Rosicky was brought on for the OX?!!!!!!!!

Ozil is not a sacred cow.

Ozil is not above the rest of the players.

Surely when a player is off his game then he should be dropped or subed.

What would the rest of the players think? That there is one law for us and another for the teacher’s pet Ozil?!!!!!

Vital we bounce back against Sunderland.

I think Sanogo will start.

And so will Ozil.