Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Debuchy is going nowhere

By 1970's Gooner

Arsene Wenger was until today ready to release Debuchy to go out on loan. This was so that he could get the necessary games and fitness levels required to maximise his chances of being selected for the Euro 2016 tournament. The possible destinations were Aston Villa and recently Sunderland.

Now with the sad news that Jenkinson has suffered a significant, possibly a season ending, injury during West Ham's game against Man City, this loan transfer for Debuchy is bound to be scrapped.

Surely Wenger will not take the chance and release Debuchy now he cannot use Jenkinson as a back up for the impressive Bellerin. The plan was that Debuchy would go to, most probably, Aston Villa and Jenkinson was to be recalled from West Ham.

The alternatives for Wenger will be Chambers, who is too slow, Gabriel who is a centre back and now needed in this position anyway as the BFG is out for 3 games and Flamini who has played in this position some years ago when he could run. Now he is not up to it.

Gibbs does not come into consideration as he is very left footed. Wenger could of course play Gibbs at left back and move Monreal at right back, if the need arises of course, but this would be placing square pegs in round holes. Unacceptable for a team chasing the title.

So Debuchy is going nowhere.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The reasons Wenger didn't play Elneny

By 1970's Gooner

There are three reasons Wenger didn't play Elneny against Chelsea.

The first is that he has just got together with the team only 10 days or so. He has not yet adapted to the way Arsenal play their football, what his position entails within the overall game plan and he has not yet got to know his fellow players.

Secondly Wenger got his man early this season because he knows that if he had waited for the summer then his price would have risen disproportionately. Why? because as everyone knows the much increased PL money for next season is bound to create large inflation in transfer prices adhering to the age old theory of too much money chasing the too few good players around.

And thirdly Elneny is going to be like Gabriel. Wenger will treat him the same. He will hold him back if he has Coquelin fit. Just like Gabriel is considered by Wenger to be an understudy to Mertesacker.

He is wrong of course. The BFG is on his last legs. he has no pace and no distribution capabilities. He has experience and is good in the air but these attributes are not enough in the PL.

As for the game against Chelsea Wenger was wrong to start with the BFG. He has been wrong starting him all season. I have said this in previous posts. His lack of pace cost us the game. The BFG should not have attempted the tackle thus would have kept himself and the team alive.

Ramsey had one of his worse games. He kept passing the ball to the opponents most of the time. Ozil gave up after we let the goal in. He didn't rise to the occasion, didn't lead the team. He became peripheral. The team as a whole became peripheral. They did not have any belief that they could come back which does not augur well for the run in.

Koscienly was as much at fault for the goal as the BFG imo. He is supposed to stay behind the BFG so as to cover for his lack of pace. On this occasion he was square. WHY?

Wenger got the tactics wrong again. We started slowly and gave them space to play about. WRONG. We should have blitzed them like we did Man Utd.

Nobody picked Cesc and Willian up in those first 15 minutes. They were free to run the game. WHAT WAS FLAMINI AND RAMSEY DOING?

The two positives were: When we finally decided to have a go in the second half we were decent which shows to me that we would have won the game if we had 11 players on the pitch.

The return of Sanchez was invigorating. He can advance with the ball leaving opponents behind and out of the game. He lifted the whole team up. He reminded us how we will be demoralising teams in the coming games. He will take the place of Walcott who is much below his best.

And when Coquelin comes back (which will be soon) and Cazorla too we will be real challengers again.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Victory at Anfield a doddle if not for these mistakes. Analysis

By 1970's Gooner

I call it as I see it and what I saw was a team capable of winning this game easily but I am afraid Wenger's tactics and crucially his substitutions conspired to allow Liverpool to score three goals against us and snatch 2 crucial points away.

Firstly it was obvious that Klopp would have adopted the same tactics employed recently when they faced the bigger teams. High tempo and hard pressing from the front and especially the opponent's key players in midfield thus cutting the supply to the front men. That is how they knocked four against Man City and three against Chelsea (both away).

Wenger and the Arsenal players seemed unprepared to counter this tactic. Mertesacker was continually harassed and forced to make hasty clearances. More importantly Ozil was closed down immediately by at least two, sometimes three men, as soon as he came anywhere near the ball.

This meant that there was no significant ball possession resulting in reacting to the moves of the Liverpool players rather than dictating the game.

This absence of a player like Ozil capable of putting his foot on the ball and calming things down meant that there was no real outlet when the ball was cleared from the defence.

Ramsey partly but inadequately compensated for this by making those box to box runs which did bring the equaliser. But this forward thinking approach resulted in the game becoming an end to end affair rather than Ramsey playing the role of the stabilising player that could calm things down and help keep possession.

That is why I knew then that even if we did equalise their first goal we could not keep it up.

Secondly once we got ahead in the second half (around the 55 mark) we surrendered even more possession. Wenger then made two mistakes.

The first was failing to restrict Ramsey from continuing to play box to box. Ramsey kept going forward all the time, even in the last five minutes he was doing this. This meant that when we lost possession we had one less player defending in the midfield areas. And with Ozil running out of gas we were desperately short in that area. This put undue pressure on our defence.

The second had to do with the substitutions.

Wenger brought on Gibbs and The Ox for Cambpell and  Walcott at the 75 mark. However Cambpell should have been kept on, he was very diligent and reliable in his defending.

The Ox was, as it was proven, not. He predictably kept giving the ball away and with Ozil nowhere and Ramsey too often far up the field meant that we were desperately short of numbers defending the resulting attack.

It was Ozil that should also have been substituted at that juncture and not Cambpell! Ozil cannot defend in situations like these, it's obvious.  And Chambers was the man to bring on not the Ox!

These two substitutions (Gibbs and Chambers for Walcott and Ozil) would have made us more solid especially since the opponents were not really attacking with any particular plan or method and their passing  and crosses were imprecise.

And in the closing stages Wenger could have brought Gabriel on and not Arteta as he did on 87. This may have prevented Benteke's header on 90 .....

If we had won the game the confidence levels would have been sky high going into the Stoke game. Still we didn't lose and we nearly snatched it with City also failing to capitalise (although Leicester did).

There is still a long way to go yet but this title race is crying out for a contender to grab the bull by the horns and lead a forceful charge with confidence. The worrying aspect of this is that whenever we are presented with a chance of proving our credentials (to everybody including ourselves) we fail to do so.

Hopefully Sanchez may return against Stoke. He will add more thrust and fervour in our attacks which will be needed.

If he does start (which I doubt) it will be for Walcott.