Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What a shambles (and there is only one person to blame)

By 1970’s Gooner

I used the same title after the defeat by Liverpool. And of course the same arguments made then in this blog came to haunt us.

The most important is Wenger’s inability to buy during the summer window ESPECIALLY when he knew that both Cesc and Nasri will leave. A big mistake, a very big mistake.

Now we are out of the title race and even if we make signings in these last few days it is probably too late to win anything this year.

Who would want to come and join this Arsenal side? A side which has no ambition, is stuffed by very young players and gets stuffed for eight at Manchester United.

This is Wenger’s biggest mistake. Not strengthening in the key positions that everyone can see we need help.

Central defenders, midfielders (defensive and play making) as well as another striker.

He is actually taking us for a ride I think.

He never has the title as his major objective. It is fairly obvious by now. If he had he would have paid a few quid over the odds and taken those players we needed.

But no he has to buy cheap and young and develop his own players.

As I said before, this model may be economically viable but is not sustainable as far as us the fans are concerned.

Next year RVP will want off and after that Wilshere and a few others as they realize like Cesc did and Nasri that by staying they will be wasting their time and their careers.

I am sorry Mr Wenger but we want to win something and that is certainly not the Banker’s nor the new owner’s approval.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What a shambles

By 1970’s Gooner

The whole squad is in shambles. We are reduced to fielding in the starting 11 kids who have never played a league game before.

The kids on the bench did not have to get permission from their parents to turn up at the Emirates as it was a lunch time kick off. We would have had trouble fielding the substitutes if the kick off was in the evening.

And all this because Mr Wenger, knowing all along that Fabregas AND Nasri would be off this season failed to firstly get rid of them as early as June and secondly failed to bring in equivalent replacements BEFORE the season kicked off.

Ferguson didn’t hang around did he? All the business was done in June…

Song gets himself sent off at Newcastle and Frimpong (who had a great game against Liverpool) gets himself sent off too!

Who the hell will play the defensive midfielder role against Man Utd? Lansbury? Ramsey? Come on….

Diaby’s erratic form is well documented and of course out of action for a few weeks now due to an operation (with another 6 weeks to go).

Shouldn’t Wenger have bought a defensive midfielder in the summer?

Koscienly went off with a bad back. Who replaces him? Young Miguel who greatly assists Ramsey for his own goal.

Djourou is out with a hamstring and Squillaci was not even on the bench against Liverpool. Arsenal’s central defensive problems were well documented last season.

Shouldn’t Wenger have bought a central defender in the summer?

Ramsey was abysmal, couldn’t get hold of the ball and couldn’t pass straight. He is too young to start. He cannot replace Fabregas that’s for sure.

Shouldn’t Wenger have bought a midfield schemer in the summer?

And when the inevitable happens and RVP gets injured Chamach will prove inadequate again…

The whole squad is a shambles.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A big positive for Arsenal emerged against Udinese

By 1970’s Gooner

Yes we did not dominate as much as we used to against teams like Udinese. They had more shots on target and really looked threatening whenever they went forward.

I blame the midfield and Chamach.

Rosicky is gone past his best a few years ago. He could not cope with the pace on a few occasions, did not dictate play and failed miserably in his defensive duties.

Ramsey was god going forward but he also faded out of the game especially in the second half. His offensive play is his forte I think but defensively, like Rosicky, he failed to deliver.

Song was trying to do two jobs at the same time. Destroy and set up. This is not on. I would have preferred Frimpong to have started than see our midfield being overrun time and time again.

Chamach had a miserable night. What is wrong with him? Is he this bad or does he need a run of games to find his form? I hope it’s the latter though I doubt it.

He could not get hold of the ball, couldn’t get into the box early enough and generally was below the pace. It meant that the ball was coming back into the midfield far too often and even then Rosicky and Ramsey were put under even more pressure.

The one positive aspect to emerge from last night and also from the Newcastle game is the defensive performance of the team. Vermaelen has made all the difference I believe. He is very good in the air, on the ground and has the experience and nous to snuff out danger.

Sczesney is acting like a 30 year old goalkeeper. He was supreme.

Even with the absence of Gibbs and Djourou and young Jenkinson playing out of position we managed a “shut out”.

I was impressed and if it carries on we will do much better this season than a lot of people think.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Donetsk’s president ready to negotiate Jadson’s transfer to Arsenal

By 1970’s Gooner

It is a fact that Arsenal have contacted Jadson’s club Shakhtar Donetsk in order to acquire the player’s services. However Brazilian newspaper reports that Arsenal’s interest had initially been flatly refused by the Ukrainian club.

This didn’t stop the player’s agent, Marcelo Robalinho, from traveling to London and holding talks with Arsenal. He has now returned to the Ukraine on a mission to convince the club’s hierarchy to let Jadson go.

The club believe that Jadson will be pivotal in their pursuit of local titles but more importantly in the Champions League, where his value could soar if he continues to improve at the same rate as he has recently.

However speaking to the Ukrainian press today, Shakhtar’s Director Sergey Palkyn, said that he had not received Arsenal’s offer and that the most important factor to consider was the player’s wishes.

"There are no proposals for Jadson and I have not heard anything about the fact that representatives of Arsenal came to Donetsk to negotiate a transfer of our football player"

- Are we ready to let him go? I do not see any problem if we and the football player will be satisfied with the proposal. The main thing is the desire of the player. If it is present, then we are ready to negotiate with any club. "

Jadson himself is keen to come to Arsenal. He said on his tweeter page that fans could expect news on the transfer by the beginning of next week.

What I want to know is why have Arsenal waited for so long to begin negotiations for a transfer when it was so obvious that Cesc was leaving some time ago.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hughton reveals why he put Scott Dann on the bench. Arsenal bid made.

By 1970’s Gooner

Chris Hughton is insisting that his decision not to start the season with Scott Dann was down to footballing reasons.

Dann had missed the previous two warm-up matches because of a tight calf and Curtis Davies and Steven Caldwell started three of the four pre-season friendlies together as the centre-back pairing.

However it was quite obvious that with Dann likely to be sold before the transfer window deadline, there was real reason why Hughton chose to promote new boy Caldwell, who will obviously be around for the duration of the campaign.

But Hughton said it was not a case of overlooking someone to ‘protect’ a saleable asset.

“Any player at this moment who is contracted to Birmingham City Football Club is available,” stated Hughton to ‘Birmingham Mail’

The real reason of course, as it transpires, is that a host of clubs have been looking at Dann seriously including Stoke who put in a joint bid for Dann and Jerome for 10m.

They have now dropped out of the race realising that Dann is out of reach and look favourites to sign Jerome for 6m.

Arsenal have put in a bid for 6m, according to local papers, after Pat Rice and chief scout Steve Rowley watched Dann in a training ground friendly against Tottenham on Tuesday.

The transfer looks like it will go ahead.

Wenger, after making the decision to get rid of Cesc and Nasri can now feel free to concentrate on strengthening the defence.

Also Dann has two other characteristics that Wenger looks for (apart from football ability).

He is young (24) and therefore has resale value and his price tag is relatively cheap which means that there is potentially a profit to be made in the future.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

At last positive news on the transfer front

By 1970’s Gooner

What the hell am I talking about you may wonder.

It looks very likely that Cesc’s transfer to Barca is now definitely on as reports from Spain indicate that the two sides have been in talks thrashing out a deal, which could be finalised as early as Friday.

And Arsenal are now resigned to the sensible (financially speaking) decision to off load want away Nasri to Man City for what is very likely to be for an exorbitant amount of money for a player with only one year left on his contract.

I consider the above very good news.

Firstly, if both players had stayed they would have been reluctant players finding it difficult to raise themselves up for the on coming campaign. Proof of this was the slump in both players form during the second half of the season.

They would have unavoidably infected the rest of the dressing room too with very predictable negative consequences on the performance of the team on the pitch.

Secondly, a significant amount of money, around 55 to 60 million would find its way into the Arsenal coffers which may mean that Arsene can now, if he so wishes, go on to put significant bids for new players. And this may explain the reason why he has been somewhat inactive so far.

The question is will he?

It is now too late to get new players in to replace these two in time for the Champions League games against Udinese.

So, and this is likely, will he and the Board decide to keep the money to tidy things over just in case of Champions League elimination….

Monday, August 08, 2011

Congratulations Mr Wenger

By 1970’s Gooner

It’s only four days to go for the start of the Premier League campaign 2011/2012 and Arsene Wenger has failed to strengthen the squad in the key areas of central defence and central midfield.

Firstly the on going saga of Nasri’s and Cesc’s possible transfers have taken so much time and effort by Wenger and his few aids that the most obvious area for strengthening the squad has been ignored. And there are only a few days left for the start of the season.

You could say that the window does not close until the end of August. But we all know that most if not all English clubs will not part with their key defenders three weeks into the season will they?

Nor will Mr Wenger want to have a new defender who has not come on board for the preseason, acclimatized and bonded with the rest of the players ready for the start of the League.

Which brings me onto what I have been fearing all along.

Mr Wenger WILL NOT buy another defender this season. He did not intend to buy one in any case. Or put another way he is not willing to pay what he considers the exorbitant English transfer fees. Especially for a defender…

He bought two central defenders last season (Konscienly and Squillaci) to add to the two we already have (Djourou and Vermaelen). He is not about to admit that he bought wrong is he? He will hope that their initial year in the Premier League will make them much better defenders this season.

So the end result is that we have our two best players disgruntled and pissed off while they have not “really” kicked a ball in the whole of the pre season. Certainly not ready to start a League game (in 4 days time).

And if one of them (or both) eventually get their wish this season then who will replace them?

Add to this the fact that we have only strengthened in the attacking positions with only one player who could be classified as experienced and ready to start. Chamberlain and Jenkinson certainly aren’t.

My God what a shambles.

But why do I still feel that we will surprise a lot of people this season?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Clichy does it again

By 1970’s Gooner

I was surprised to see Clichy on the bench for Man City in the Community Shield. I thought that it would look really silly from him having demanded a move from Arsenal to, in the end, forgo the first team choice status he had enjoyed at the Emirates.

And then I realised what we will be missing this season.

His indecisiveness and bad positioning! Did you notice, on the build up for Utd’s winning goal, how he stepped back from the ball beckoning Kompany to deal with it?

He was the nearest to the ball that Rooney had hacked clear from his penalty box. Yet he opted to shy away from it forcing Kompany, who was further away from it, to unsuccessfully come for it.

Bad positioning bad decision making. Two weaknesses which cost Arsenal dearly over and over again during his time with us.

A prime example of this was the needless last minute penalty he gave away during that ill fated match at Birmingham where Eduardo was horribly injured and we tossed away two very valuable points in our challenge for the League title.

Good luck Gael.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Fabregas before Mata, Cahill or Jagielka, Samba waiting

By 1970’s Gooner

I must say that Wenger has got hold of Arsenal’s transfer tactics this season by the horns and has reversed the general idea that was building up regarding the disintegration of the squad and its star players.

Fitstly and most importantly he robustly told Nasri he is going nowhere and certainly not to a Premier League rival. That shut Nasri, Man Utd and Man City up right away. They realised that the Arsenal Board would back Wenger’s stand of loosing the player for nothing next year.

This needed to be done to send a message to all the lurking suitors to back off not only from Nasri but from Fabregas too.

Indeed it told Barca that if Arsenal were prepared to forgo 20m on Nasri’s sale who had only a year left on his contract then for Fabregas who had a few more years still left they will stick it out even more resolutely. Until the right price for Cesc was offered.

When you think of it Cesc is only 24 with the experience of a 27 year old having played so many games at a high level and one of the best midfield players in the world. He is worth at least 40m.

That is what Barca would have demanded if he was moving the other way. They have to cough up and that is the message that Arsenal are sending and Wenger shows that he means it. That’s good tactics.

Mata’s transfer negotiations are advanced in case Barca do cough up. But it will only be pushed through if Cesc goes. It is also good tactics not to do it before because Barca’s offer for Cesc will inevitably be lowered.

And at last Wenger has realised not that he needs central defenders (he bought two central defenders last season remember) but that he needs British or central defenders brought up in the British way of defending.

However Jagielka who is first choice does not look like he will be the one. Everton will drag it till the end and demand exorbitant money for a 29 year old. Wenger will never buy a 29 year old for 15 m or more. This is not on.

He will however consider Cahill for the same money who is a lot younger and thus has a resale value. His club want to sell him as they need the cash. He is also a good defender.

So is Samba who is at the right age (27), is a no nonsense defender and wants to come to Arsenal. He is also a lot cheaper.