Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Vela set to join ex manager in Spain
By 1970’s Gooner
Media reports in Mexico have shed more light in the mooted move of Carlos Vela away from Arsenal in the January transfer window.
He is set to join Real Saragoza in Spain who are currently managed by ex Mexico national side manager Javier Aguirre.
Aguirre knows Vela’s abilities very well selecting him in Mexico’s World Cup squad.
Real Saragoza are currently embroiled in a relegation fight and Aguirre has only been appointed their manager two weeks ago.
Apparently he has requested Zaragoza to enquire about the status of Vela at Arsenal.
It is reported that Vela has already told Arsene Wenger of his desire to leave the team in order to have more activity. It is expected that at first he would go out on loan with an option for Saragoza to buy.
Vela, 21, has a valid contract for three more seasons with Arsenal.
Posted by Arsenal Analysis at 6:48 PM
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Great work there Myles Palmer's b*stard spawn.
That's a random comment.
In a way I find it slightly embarrassing that we are chasing the Carling Cup 'trophy' after dismissing it as being 'Mickey Mouse' in recent years.
When the Spuds won it I laughed. It wasn't a 'real' trophy and we had better things to aim for. Watching them parade the Carling Cup had me pissing my knickers.
We were the mighty Arsenal and 'that' trophy was beneath us.
Even the FA Cup, a competition Arsene Wenger used to take seriously, took a backseat as we pursued the major honours in the game.
The Premiership title and Champions League were our targets. Especially Arsene Wenger's.
Now what? Finally the Carling Cup is being taken seriously because we haven't won a thing for nearly six years.
I don't buy it. How can I?
Sorry, I know it would be great to actually win something after so long (despite the longer periods of not winning things in our history) without silverware but for some reason I'd feel a bit hypocritical to celebrate winning the Carling Cup.
Of course I want Arsenal to win the damn thing. I want Arsenal to win everything but we usually 'dismiss' the Carling Cup as a youth exercise and that is down to Arsene Wenger.
Over the years Wenger has blooded his youngsters through this competition and now we have to win it, to keep the pressure off him, we are using stronger team-sheets and it all seems slightly fake to me.
I know the players are professionals and should aim to win every trophy but they would have noticed that Wenger in recent years has seen the Carling Cup as second-rate. A cup not really worth winning so why now?
I hate having a pop at Wenger, believe me I do, but how can we go from not caring about the Carling Cup to it suddenly becoming a major honour again?
By treating the Carling Cup (and FA Cup) as being not that 'important' to win Wenger has bred complacency in the squad. They are both more than winnable competitions and maybe if taken a little more seriously in the past, and not just now, we wouldn't have gone without a trophy since 2005.
On the positive side winning the Carling Cup could springboard this Arsenal squad onto future success. That would be brilliant and of course that is the view of a lot of Gooners these days.
I do understand that reasoning. I believe that could be the case too.
However I think raising the Carling Cup is more down to keeping people off Wenger's back. People have been banging on about us not winning things for a while now and Arsene is under-pressure, probably the most pressure in his Arsenal career, to win something.
I'm just finding it hard to get excited about the Carling Cup. I've spent so long not even considering it as a 'proper' trophy that I feel a bit embarrassed that now it is considered a priority.
Maybe I'm just being a mug and should be more grateful that we are in with a serious shout of winning something but its just the way I feel.
One of our readers wrote a comment which got me thinking. And I would like to thank him for giving me some inspiration. And please don’t see this as some kind of attack, as this is certainly not the case. It just was the starting point of doing some research.
He said: “Set-pieces are just killing arsenal’s defence. Don’t know why it happens but every time we concede a corner or free kick, its nerve wrecking, and most of our goals are going in thru set pieces.”
And at first I was nodding my head in agreement. And then I thought… is this really so?
So I went on a little investigation and so I took all the goals we conceded so far and I just give you the list of the goals we conceded so far this season and also how they happened. I took all the competitive goals we played so far this season and looked at all the goals we conceded.
So here comes a rather depressing list:
Liverpool : open play
Blackburn: open play
Bolton : open play
Sunderland: open play (after a corner had been hooked away and in extra extra time)
Tottenham : open play
WBA: open play
Partizan Belgrade: penalty
Chelsea: open play and direct free kick
Birmingham : open play
Shakhtar : open play
Shakhtar: free kick headed in own goal + open play
Newcastle: free kick headed in
Everton: corner bundled in
Tottenham : open play, penalty, free kick headed in
Braga: open play, open play
Aston Villa : open play, corner headed in
So what we have is goals from open play, penalties and corners and free kicks leading to a goal. But how many of them? Let us count.
OPEN PLAY: 14 (from 22 goals in total) or 63 %
PENALTY: 2 (from 22 goals in total) 9%
DIRECT FREE KICK: 1 (from 22 goals in total) 4,5%
CORNER/FREE KICK turned in to a goal : 5 (from 22 goals in total) 23%
I think we can leave the penalties and the direct free kicks out of this as they are more or less not directly to blame on something or someone.
But if we look at the goals we conceded from corners and free kicks they contain only 23% of the total we let in. So the assumption that we concede most of our goals from corners and free kicks is just totally wrong. Just every 5th goal we let in comes from such a standard situation.
And if we compare this with the games we played so far in total (which is 23 games) we can see that we let in less than one goal per game. For those who like numbers we concede 0,95 goals per game to be exact. And most of them in open play.
So in fact statistically it only is every fifth game we concede a goal from a corner/free kick that is somehow headed in or forced over the line. So our dear fan who is suffering from a nervous breakdown every corner or free kick we concede should just relax a bit more. It is not the end of the world when face a free kick or a corner.
And you will not hear me say that we don’t concede any goals from those situations, but as I have just shown there is a greater chance that we concede a goal in open play.
And I must say that after my little research I must admit that these numbers are even surprising to me. Even I have been a believer of the general football chatter that we cannot defend set pieces. Maybe this is another example of how we are developing our team. I really would be grateful if there is someone out there who knows how this has been going in the last seasons. To see if we could find if we are improving or if we are going backwards?
I have the feeling after seeing these numbers that we have improved, but then again it might just be that I just have a false image on this. Just as I believed, and our reader also believed, I think many of us had the wrong feeling about conceding goals.
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The past few seasons I've been getting more and more impatient with Mr. Wenger. While Chelsea and Liverpool overtook us and challenged Man Utd for the league, we spent our seasons looking over our shoulder as Villa, Spurs and Man City got better and better. I was tearing my hair as I watched the teams around us splashed money on big players while we sat on our hands and stuck with young, inexperienced players. Every season we'd qualify for the knock-out rounds of the ChampionsLeague and every season we'd get destroyed by the first big team we faced. The way things are now I have to admit that Arsene was right. Chelsea's success was down to Abrahamovic. Now they have stopped spending and their squad is getting older it is all falling to pieces. A few seasons ago they could have fielded a 2nd team that would beat most Prem teams, now they lose JT and Lamps for 5 games and drop 10points. Liverpool challenged for one season but again, the only players left from their "successful" spell are getting on, and are the best players in a weak squad. Arsene was building for long term success, like Utd have, and it's working. Our squad will only get stronger as it matures and I can't wait for the end of this season. We'll win trophies this season for sure!
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