Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The three reasons for that defeat at Southampton

By 1970's Gooner

It was a performance that nobody ever ever expected. Having comprehensively beaten Man City at the Emirates one would have expected that the huge confidence gained from that wonderful display would have carried them through against Southampton.

It didn't. And there are three main reasons for this which combined together may explain what happened.

Firstly the players AND management got too complacent. AGAIN. They thought that they were entitled to turn Soton over just because they beat Man City. WRONG.

This over complacency rears its ugly head after a great performance. Remember what happened after we beat Chelsea in the Charity Shield? We got thumped by West Ham the following Saturday in a kind of similar lack of energy display.

Complacency my friends. Complacency. Wenger gets complacent. Prior to the game he was busy talking about being vindicated having not bought any outfield players in the summer. He was basking in his success. He was in a way resting on his laurels...

Even Steve Bould on the bench at Southampton was clutching that tactics book of his which was all rolled up in his fist. It was kind of telling us 'I won't be needing this'. And when he did need it late on in the game he couldn't find the right page to show the Ox!!!! Shows you how ready he was for a fight.

Secondly the effort they put in for the win over Man City must have taken a lot out of the players. This usually would have been overcome mentally wise as the players AND management would have raised themselves up for the challenge ahead. BUT when tiredness is combined with overconfidence it invariably results in a non performance. And this is what we got. Too limp, tepid, lack of movement and an inability to bounce back once they got behind.

The third reason has to do with the performance of the Soton players. They were tactically spot on. They did three things right.

They stifled the space that Ozil usually occupies, double marked the space for our overlapping full backs and exploited Arsenal's static central defence by routing balls for the pacy and combative Long down the channels to chase.

Rest assured that Howe will be studying the tape of this game all day today and yesterday.

All we have to do is beat them tomorrow and go top of the League.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Flamini probably out of the Dinamo Zagreb game

By 1970's Gooner

What can go wrong will go wrong!

Is it a curse or is it something else? I won't go into that debate for now. But to have two players go off during the game with injuries is too much to accept. The same thing happened at Sheffield Wednesday remember?

The most important game is the next game they say. But not on this occasion for sure. Because now Wenger's team selection for next Tuesday will probably determine Arsenal's fate for the rest of the Premier League season.

If the best available 11 are selected for Tuesday then Wenger will be taking a hell of a chance. He will be risking further injury and fatigue for his players. His main aim should be to rest key players and keep them fresh for the next League game.

And first on the list of non starters should be Flamini. If he does play and gets injured then Wenger might as well resign for he will have made a major error in risking the only fit and available defensive midfielder left in the club.

In the same vein the 'returning players' such as The Ox and Ramsey should also be left out altogether so as to give them another week of recovery.

Sanchez really needs a rest and since we don't have any other fit forward then Giroud should also be protected but he will probably have to start.

What I am really saying is lets sacrifice the Champions League.


Debuchy Mertesacker Gabriel Monreal

Cazorla Chambers

Campbell Ozil Gibbs


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Injured players unlikely to return for next Saturday

By 1970's Gooner

All the Arsenal news in the media, including the sites specialising on fitness issues and likely return dates, have been giving us optimistic predictions of the likely return of the injured players.

But it seems that the probability of any one starting the match against West Brom has to be low.

Lets look at the most likely to return. The Ox has been posting videos of himself training saying that he is 80% to 90% close to full fitness. Well I am sorry to break the news to you but when a player says that he is close to fitness it really means that he is aiming to be at full fitness. It does not mean that he will get to full fitness.

In fact so desperate will the Ox be to get back, so as to get that run of games in the team now that others may not be around, that he is letting optimism get the better of him.

And even if he does achieve fitness Arsene Wenger will be reluctant to start him anyway in case there is a relapse considering his bad injury record. The best that can happen is that he is likely to start on the bench.

There has been no news at all coming out of Ramsey's 'camp'. Isn't this strange? One week away from the next game and no one is saying that Ramsey will be back. In fact it seems to me that Wenger will be announcing soon that Ramsey will take another week or two before he is ready.

That much has been revealed for Walcott already who is rumoured to be back at the beginning of December.

And as for Bellerin, for whom no news has come out yet, does Wenger risk him for next Saturday?

The point I am making is that Arsenal's injury record has deteriorated so much in recent weeks Wenger will be very reluctant to rush players back and risk jeopardising Arsenal's chances of putting a winning run during the Xmas period and indeed having these crucial players available and fit for the second crucial half of the season.

If he is going to rest players then it might as well be during the next few games as the opposition is 'relatively' not as strong.

Additionally their replacements (Campbell and Debuchy) after some dodgy performances are starting to settle in and Gibbs looked capable on the left wing against Spurs. The returns of Arteta and Flamini have also boosted the options available in midfield.

It seems to me that Wenger will take the conservative view and give these players another week to cement their fitness levels.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sanchez locks himself in his room

By 1970's Gooner

There is talk of Sanchez being rested by Arsene Wenger as he might be close to burn out. This is because he hardly had a rest after the Copa America, which Chile won. He was then thrown in at the deep end for the first game of the season against West Ham (coming on as substitute).

Sanchez is again back to his homeland for two crucial World Cup qualifiers beginning against Colombia.

Reports from their training camp in Chile indicate that although Sanchez's high energy approach has not deserted him, perhaps his recent tiredness has pushed him to seek a long enough recovery period between training sessions.

"Alexis I see an incredible moment. I see him so excited. If you move your energy to the game, Chile is very close to winning, "Sampaoli told a news conference.

However when the training was over Alexis retired to his room and locked himself in so as to not allow any distractions! The other players like Vidal and Vargas stayed behind signed autographs and generally lounged around watching the rest of the players, mostly subs, go through their training exercises.

The good thing is that Alexis appears to have realised that he needs to allow his body to recover. In this way he gives himself the best chance to come back without injury and a body rested enough so that performances leading to the Xmas period are not affected.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The five alternatives for replacing the Ox and Walcott

By 1970's Gooner

What a shambles it was last night. No fight, no midfield creativity and two muscle injuries to two important first team players.

The probable absence of the Ox and Walcott from the Swansea game and at Bayern threaten to actually derail the gigantic momentum that has been building up in this month.

Walcott's (and the Ox's) pace would have been pivotal in the counter attacking tactics that would have been employed away at Bayern.

And along with the injury to Ramsey it is again muscle injuries that threaten to destroy all the good work done on the pitch.

And who is to blame?

Firstly Ramsey was again overworked with Wenger admitting that he should have rested him against Watford. Of course what happens? He gets a bad hamstring during the game against Bayern.

Do you remember a similar confession by Wenger after Ramsey sustained a muscle injury away at West Ham a season or so ago? The medical staff warned Wenger that he was in the grey zone but he just went ahead and selected him!

Secondly the Ox last night obviously did not warm up properly before the game. Just how else can a player sustain a muscle injury in the first three minutes of a game?

And even more damning again, obviously Walcott did not warm up AT ALL before replacing the Ox! We saw it on the screens on the TV. Why didn't Wenger and the medical staff tell him to get warmed up and never mind if we play with 10 men for a few minutes more?

It was shambles I tell you. A shambles.

In my experience any muscle injury even the softest ones will need 10 to 14 days just to make sure.

So what options are now in front of Wenger for Saturday?

There are five alternatives none of which are ideal of course but I have included some that are not so obvious.

1. Play Gibbs as a left sided midfielder and move Sanchez on the right.

Not ideal I know as it would also involve moving Sanchez away from the area which he uses to move in and crank his venomous shots. Still Gibbs has shown that he is fit and more importantly battle worthy.

2. Play Debuchy right back and move Bellerin on the right side of midfield.

The same idea as above but I would favour this less as Debuchy has miserably failed to obtain the high standards he had reached before his injuries. Last night he looked like a rooky too. Bellerin of course would be a good enough right sided midfielder with his pace and nous which is a pity as I would have liked to have seen him in that position.

I consider Chambers too slow to start as a right back. Remember what a horrible time he had last season away at Swansea?

3. Campbell to start (on either wing)

This option could find favour with Wenger as Campbell is more street wise with the capability to stretch defenders and also be aware of his defensive duties. This he has shown on the few occasions he has started. The negative is that both him and Sanchez like to play on the left but Wenger may decide that beggars can't be choosers.

4. Play Flamini on the right side!

Well it may sound crazy but Flamini could provide a balance on the right. What I mean is that he will be efficient with the ball (i.e not give it away), he is experienced enough to make the right pass and track back and tack in when we are defending. He did score two goals against Spurs.

5 And finally move Cazorla on the right and play Flamini with Coquelin in central midfield.

This would mean that Cazorla will move away from the area he has been so terrific this season and could impair our creativity from this deep lying midfield position. 

He could of course do a Ramsey and come in from the right to take part in the built up but he will have to, as Ramsey did, track back and cover his full back. He has of course played this position before he was converted into a central midfielder.

This option maintains an overall balance in the team and may be favoured by Wenger.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Arsenal offer 15m for Olympiakos's Fortunis

By the Transfer Wizard

The Greek press are reporting today that Arsene Wenger was very impressed with Fortunis during the clash with Olympiakos at The Emirates and has been in contact with Olympiakos with finalising a deal for the January transfer window.

The offer is believed to be around 15m euros.

Ironically Fortunis is the player that took that corner with Ospina dropping the ball into his own net!

However Tottenham are also interested having watched the player last week in Greece. Their scout Peter Quick was there to watch him.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The after effects of Sanchez's particiption against Brazil

By 1970's Gooner

There were worries about Sanchez's groin strain just before Chile's game against Brazil. Important worries that even the Chile boss was considering resting Alexis.

"Alexis arrived not at his top of form, with pain in the adductor. He couldn't play at 100% but we thought that for us him not playing was to give too much advantage to our rivals because his presence in our team makes things difficult for our opponents."

So he played the full 90 minutes and scored in the 2 0 victory.

Now Chile play Peru on Tuesday and the question is whether Sanchez will be rested. I doubt it as he has taken part in the training session today and if he does not get worse then the Chile coach will use him.

What worries us gooners however is the likely negative aftereffects on Sanchez's groin of having to play two full competitive games in the space of five days.

We have to also take also into consideration that Alexis will travel back to London on a long haul transatlantic flight.

Arsenal play away to Watford next Saturday evening and then Bayern Munich next Tuesday at The Emirates.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

More news of Alexis Sanchez's injury coming out of Chile

By 1970's Gooner

Although yesterday Alexis did not train with the Chile national team the news is that he has returned to training just before the crucial match against Brazil, according to La Tercera newspaper.

It seems that yesterday's absence was merely precautionary taking into account that the player withdrew from Arsenal's match late on with a groin problem and that he travelled for many hours in a transatlantic flight.

His absence yesterday had worried the Chile coach that his groin could get worse but this event does not appear to have materialised. He is worried more about Vidal whose presence tomorrow is in doubt.

I wonder however if the news for Sanchez is really good. If he does play against Brazil there is the possibility that his groin may be aggravated.

Let's hope this isn't so...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Sanchez injury is not going away according to Chile coach

By 1970's Gooner

More news coming out of Chile with regard to Alexis Sanchez' s groin strain. La Tercera are reporting that the Chile coach, Sampaoli, considers both Vidal's and Sanchez's chances of starting against Brazil tomorrow are low.

This is what he said today:

'.....concerned about the situation of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, who come to experience discomfort in recent weeks playing for their clubs, "For neither can we say that is confirmed for the match against Brazil."

Their participation, at least in the first match is in doubt."

Let us hope that Arsene Wenger's initial diagnosis of only a 'slight' groin strain is proved wrong.

Will it?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Sanches misses training with Chile national team

By 1970's Gooner

The Chilean newspaper 'Latercera' has reported today that Alexis Sanchez has not taken part in the national team's first training session ahead of a vital qualifier against Brazil.

This may be as a precaution against the groin problem that forced him to ask to be substituted at the 80th minute in the game against Manchester United.

It seems however that the extend of the strain may be more serious than what Arsene Wenger and his medical people initially thought (as is usually the case)!

This is why, as it is reported, Arsenal have asked to be in constant contact with the Chile medical team so that they are regularly informed about the extent of the injury and if need be request that he is withdrawn from the squad.

Let's hope that his absence from the training session today is only precautionary.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

So this is why Arsene rejected Schneiderlin?

By 1970's Gooner

There are of course mitigating circumstances for that defeat in Zagreb.

Firstly, the number of changes Wenger made were to keep those players happy having been out of first team action for so long. He may have promised them that (especialy to Ospina). He was also resting key players for the Chelsea game.

As a result there was no homogeneity in the team and the players played as though they hardly knew each other.

Secondly the full backs were not really match fit. Debuchy allowed the scorer too much space (and the Ox failed to track back). And Gibbs was too tired to jump for that corner!!

Thirdly Giroud and the ref were too stupid. It meant that the chance to get back in the game was gone.

And lastly Arteta was non existent! How did Wenger think that he could be Coquelin's cover, in case he is absent at any point in time, is beyond me.

We simply had no defensive cover throughout the game. It reminded me when Arteta was first choice a couple of seasons ago and our midfield was like a sink riddled with holes where the water met no resistance going through.

It became so obvious that when Coquelin came on we suddenly started pressing hard in midfield, winning the ball and setting on the attacks again. And all this WITH TEN MEN. In fact we were better with 10 than 11!

Is this the reason Wenger rejected Schneiderlin? To keep Arteta as a cover for Coquelin?!!!!

Bad decision Mr Wenger.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Arsenal are title contenders

By 1970's Gooner

There are three important reasons why Arsenal are real challengers for the title.

Firstly Manchester City cannot improve further.

They have reached their peak too fast and too early. The only direction is downwards as they cannot keep up winning performances game after game. They have also finished with their transfer business so cannot improve the squad any further.

Secondly Arsenal are slowly but surely improving with every game and the room for improvement is very evident. Let's be more specific.

The team has improved their defensive performance with Cech reaching his best form and the back four, with Gabriel now installed at the heart of it, having only let in 3 goals in 5 games with none conceded in 3 of those.

This is a very important statistic that should not be overlooked. It means that instead of loosing a game we will be drawing it and instead of drawing a game we will be winning it.

Similarly in attack we have been creating chance after chance after chance and when the finishing begins to improve then we will be racking 3s and 4s per game.

That's why there is a lot of room for improvement because when our forwards find the form of last season then all of Arsenal's areas on the pitch will be as efficient as you can get.

And of course Arsenal have the cash and are willing to spend it, if needed, on a player who will be able to improve the team, like Ozil and Sanchez for example.

The third reason is that a major title contender, Chelsea, seem to be out of it already, leaving room for Man Utd and Arsenal to contest the title between themselves and City.

I consider Man Utd as capable to challenge if and only if Rooney finds form which is doubtful at the moment as he seems to be getting past it. They can of course rectify that in the next window but it may be too late for them by then.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Giroud and Gabriel to start against Stoke

By 1970's Gooner

Stoke are Arsenal's next opponents at the Emirates. They got a thorough thrashing last season and in fact they have not beaten us in London for a very very long time.

On the other hand Arsenal have not scored in their two games at the Emirates this season. Well in fact we did score and would have won comfortably against Liverpool had it not been wrongly ruled for offside.

I expect that on this occasion Arsenal's play will fall into place perfectly and we will give them another thrashing. I expect a high scoring game of as high as three goals for and none conceded.

Arsene Wenger has said that there are no new injury concerns and that Koscienly and the BFG are now fit.

So the only real decisions to be made are at centre back and centre forward.

 Mertesacker is now back in training but I expect that this game has come too early for him not allowing enough time to regain top fitness levels after illness. Wenger is very likely to continue giving Gabriel more games after he really impressed in his last two outings. In fact in my opinion Gabriel should now be the first choice centre back.

The second decision to be made is who to play up front. Walcott was given his chance against Newcastle but fluffed his lines failing to hold the ball as a centre forward should do and also to score when he had the whole goal at his mercy.

Which brings me to Giroud. He has also failed to impress this season but I think Arsene Wenger may make the decision to play Giroud in the home games simply because teams visiting the Emirates tend to play defensively without coming out too much. 

This will tend to squeeze the space not allowing Walcott to use his best attribute which is his speed. He will be better utilised in the away games when the home teams are likely to come out more.

Giroud on the other hand will offer you the option of being a real threat when crosses come in and also can use his physical strength to better use inside the opponents box.


Bellerin  Gabriel  Koscienly  Monreal

Coquelin  Cazorla

Ramsey  Ozil  Sanchez


Prediction: Arsenal 3 Stoke 0

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Alex Song back at Arsenal?

By 1970' Gooner

It has been reported that West Ham failed to reach an agreement with Alex Song over a permanent move. He is now back at Barca as he is still their player until he finds a new club to either go on loan or on a permanent basis.

Surely this is the time for Arsenal to step in and reach an agreement with Barca to bring him back to Arsenal.

This is a a real opportunity to provide a second option in this vital position in the central defensive midfield area with a player who has proved he has what it takes to perform at the highest level.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hot hot news. Media report Benzema deal signed and sealed!!!

By The Transfer Wizard

Its happening. All the roumours are true!  Talksport are reporting that the Benzema deal has been done.  More news to follow.

Real accept bid from Arsenal for Benzema

By The Transfer Wizard

It seems that this Benzema transfer saga will just not go away. And judging by the way Arsenal carry on their business, in absolute secrecy, I tend to give more credence to these kind of rumours which come out of people who are in the trade, as it were.

Do you believe Rodney Marsh?

This is what he tweeted:

Rodney Marsh @RodneyMarsh10 13 hours ago
>No, I said Real had accepted a bid from Arsenal - more to follow  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Real give the go ahead for Benzema transfer to Arsenal

By The Transfer Wizard

Reports are coming out of 'Metro' that the Benzema transfer is back on again. Reportedly Arsenal have now put in a bid of 46m and Real president, Perez, has finally sanctioned the move.

This can be tied in with what is being reported today in the press that Wenger has indeed been very active in the transfer market by reportedly bidding for both or either of Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich!

Can you imagine the impact and resonance such a transfer (of Benzema) will have on the Premier League, the Arsenal supporters but above all the Arsenal players who will now truly believe with substantially enhanced confidence that the title challenge is a very doable venture. 

However I do not really believe such talk because it does not stand to logic.

Firstly Real will be left with only Ronaldo as a central striker who however will have no real cover in case of any forced absence from the team.

Secondly Benitez will have an array of options to choose from in the front positions choosing any combination of Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema and James Rodriguez. He is not likely to forgo such riches.

Lastly even if Real want to sell they have to get in a new world class striker. So who will that be? The only two that can match their requirements are Ibrahimovic and Aguero.

So let's all cheer for Ibra to Real (because Aguero is highly unlikely to be released by City).

If this transfer happens expect Benzema to sign for Arsenal on the last day of the transfer window....

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Real reason Wenger hot in pursuit of Krychowiak

By 1970's Gooner

It is well known that Arsenal have sent their trusted scouts to assess the Polish international playing for Seville against Barcelona in their recent UEFA Super Cup final in Georgia.

He is first and foremost a very competent defensive midfielder who could provide equal competition and cover for Coquelin.

But for those who watched the game would have noticed that he played for 80 minutes as a centre back due to the unavailability of the first choice for that position.

Arsene apparently would value this dual role that the 25 year old could play just as Sagna or indeed Song used to provide.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Arsenal will bounce back and challenge for the title

By 1970's Gooner

Same old Arsenal you might say. Having won so well against Chelsea in the Community Shield every one jumped on the band wagon and tipped us to win the League. The problem was that the players started believing them too and unfortunately allowed it to go over their heads. This was the one of three major reasons that contributed to loosing the game against West Ham.

All players started the game with an approach that they were winners just by turning up for the game! They forgot that to win any game in the PL you have to work and toil hard, very hard.

Almost all the starting 11 were below par barring Koscienly and the Ox (who again though made the mistake of trying to take the ball out of the area rather than passing it away which resulted in their killer second goal).

Giroud was almost non existent. What's the matter with him? Is he affected by the talk of Benzema coming to Arsenal? Wenger has not managed that situation well enough IMO.

Ozil was made ineffective by a 16 year old! WAKE UP DOZEY OZIL.

Switching Cazorla and Ramsey does not work. You are making two mistakes in one move there. First Cazorla is playing out of position. In central midfield he has excelled all through last season and by playing him on the left wing weakened the team's offensive approach. And secondly Ramsey was not ready to take up the mantle in a competitive game (which the Community Shield is not) in central midfield.

The team also lacked creativeness in the offensive areas of the pitch. This was partly addressed by introducing Alexis but he was not yet fully match fit and it showed.

The second reason for the defeat was bad goalkeeping. Cech was palpable for both goals especially the second one. He was too slow to react to the shot which was from outside the area and not hit with any ferocity. However on both occasions the central defenders let him down.
For the first the marking was nowhere and the goal scorer had a free run in for his header. The second, bot the BFG and Koscienly just stood there and did not even go through the motions of closing down the scorer and the shot.

The third reason for the defeat was the strange change of tactics by Wenger, I assume. Why did, on every occasion that Arsenal went forward in the first half, they elected to swing in crosses for Giroud?! On almost every occasion. Surely playing against a team like West Ham who thrive on long balls do you elect to forego your passing superiority and go for the crosses? STRANGE.

A very bad day at the office all round. And one which the manager must take blame as it is his job to keep the players feet on the ground and focus them for the game in hand.

Maybe this defeat is a blessing in disguise. It's a kick up the arse. It will shake the players up and management alike from believing their own hype to get down to hard business working on the nitty gritty both on and off the pitch.

If they do this they have a good chance against a strong Crystal Palace away.

Remember when we lost the first game of two seasons ago against Aston Villa at home?

Remember the splendid second part of last season? We haven't suddenly lost our competitiveness. So if it's in the head that can be rectified. It has been rectified in the past and will be so again. Believe me.

We will go on very strong run again and challenge for the title....

Friday, June 26, 2015

Apart from Cech no new major signings for Arsenal

By 1970's Gooner

Cech is having a medical today. The sooner the better in case that man Mourinho puts a spanner in the works. It is also very important to go ahead as the security Cech will bring will have a disproportionately much larger effect on the efficiency of the whole team.

And indeed the net effect might well be 10 to 15 points. Now that is huge. Cech's impact in a problem position for Arsenal will be as so obviously substantial as the sudden and momentous impact that Coquelin had on the rest of the team just by performing in a position that was so obviously lying vacant for so long.

But apart from that it appears to me tha Cech's transfer will be our lot this season.

Lets look at each position in turn.

Goalkeepers now no need.

Right back, Bellerin and Debuchy more than good enough.

Left back, Monreal and Gibbs again more than good enough.

Centre back, here you have only three players in koscienly, The BFG and Gabriel. I believe we need another defender here but I think Wenger will, wrongly, ride his lack wishing no injuries happen to two of these three at the same time! He will be assuming that if need be Monreal and Debuchy can fill in if and when needed. He certainly will not buy an established starter as this will unsettle the other  players.

In midfield there is a plethora of creative midfielders in Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arteta. But he only has two defensive midfielders one of which is excellent, Coquelin and another whose efficiency has deteriorated, Flamini.

Here he needs to add another defensively minded midfielder to cover adequately for Coquelin. Again I do not see Wenger buying a first team starter as he would like to obviously continue with Coquelan who has been impressive. I rate him higher than Matic...

What Wenger might do is buy a young and promising defensive midfielder who could fill in when needed. Somehow however I do not see it. He will use Flamini and also Wilshere. Yes Wilshere, who in my opinion he will be ideal for this position. He has the aggression the physique and the technical quality. There are of course question marks over his ankles but if he has trully got over that problem then why not try him in that position if the need arises?

For the forward positions again we need a proven goal scorer but Wenger will look at the goals scored last season and see that the goals were shared throughout the team. So he will not want to rock the boat there. There is Giroud who scored 14 gols having missed 3 months early in the season. There is Welbeck and of course now there is Walcott (with the Ox ready to play on the wing if need be).

So there you are. We should be buying for three positions (cb, dm and cf) but Wenger is likely to look for solutions from within.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Arsene should tell Mourinho what to do

By 1970's Gooner

Arsene actually called Fergie an annoying man, if you remember. But Mourinho can be so annoying, really.

He cannot accept that a player of his has chosen to play for Arsenal. He fears us so much he refused us last season the loan deal for Demba Ba and now he tries to meddle with one of our younger stars in a kind of recriminatory retaliation asking for his transfer to Chelsea!

And that hack of his, Ray Wilikins, comes on Talksport without any time to waste and goes on about what a good addition to Chelsea's squad he will be.

Firstly we should tell him where to go. Arsene should tell him where to go.

There is no way that we are going to sell the Ox. We would rather stay with our current goalkeepers. Let's face it Ospina has been very reliable in this his first season and he is bound to improve as all foreign players do in their second season.

And secondly the Ox himself will not want to warm the bench like Salah and Cuadrado have done before him.

So you know what to do Mr Mourinho.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Cech likely to sign for Arsenal

By 1970's Gooner

It seems that Mourinho will be overruled by Abramovich and let Cech decide which team to continue his illustrious career. And Cech is likely to choose Arsenal over Manchester United as his family is settled in London; he will not want to force a change of school and city on his family.

The trouble is whether Arsene Wenger will want to bring Cech to Arsenal!

He has to take into consideration the existing three goalkeepers he already has on Arsenal's books. If Cech is to become the new Lehman, Wenger will have to let one of his goalkeepers go. And we all know how he loathes giving up on players he brought to the club and his commitment to them.

However Cech's impact on Arsenal will be extremely momentous. In two ways:

First he will bring the authority, presence and the top quality that Arsenal need to launch at last a title winning campaign.

But what is of equal importance is the lift it will give to the rest of the players who will feel that they have a world class goalkeeper to look after the nets.

Do not underestimate the impact on the fans too. We will feel that we are now (and Wenger) really, really serious about winning the title again.

In my opinion his transfer fee could be easily recouped by selling Szczesny and promoting the very promising Martinez.

The worse decision will be for Wenger to do nothing and keep the same keepers at the club.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Asrenal player analysis and ratings vs Chelsea

By 1970's Gooner

1. Chelsea's defence and overall team set up and organisation are slightly better than Arsenal's although Arsenal have improved a great deal this second half of the season

2. Ozil faded badly in the second half which was a major cause for the slowing down of the team and becoming much less penetrative

3. Arsenal's lack of width was a major weakness. All attacks were directed through the middle falling into Chelsea's trap. The full backs were not going forward too much and the wide players (Sanchez and Ramsey) were not really wide players. Walcott's introduction showed us what it might have been but alas it was too late

4. Giroud was ineffective

5. Coquelin is a much better defensive midfielder than Matic. He has more technical ability and vision.

6. Mertesacker has improved a lot when compared to the start of the season.

7. Arsenal are now up there with Chelsea in terms of competitiveness. If Arsene Wenger buys a quality keeper, Central defender and another Coquelin type of player we will win the League

Ospina 7

Bellerin: Was not going forward enough but was good defensively. Kept Hazard quiet. 6

Monreal: The left back of the Premier League. 7

Mertesacker: 7

Koscienly: Up there with the Terrys. 8

Coquelin: 8

Cazorla: Disappointing first half improved somewhat in the second. 5.5

Ramsey: Is wasted on the wing and came into his own when moved in the middle. 6

Ozil: Very good in the first half but very disappointing in the 2nd. Should have been substituted. 5.5

Giroud: 5

Sanchez: His effort cannot be disputed. The only one who went direct on them. 6.5

Friday, April 03, 2015

Analysis of Wenger's selection for the 11 vs Liverpool

By 1970's Gooner

The long term injured players are back in the squad along with the returning international players and Arsene Wenger has difficult decisions to make on a number of positions.

Lets start with the difficult ones.

Walcott or Welbeck or Ozil for the one remaining flank position as I would expect that Alexis will start on the other flank.

Walcott would have a good chance of starting because Welbeck has a problem with his knee picked up on international duty. Wenger said that Welbeck has a small chance to play. Really? A small chance or is he playing mind games with Rodgers?

In any case, let's reserve judgement until we eliminate Ozil from contesting a start on the flank. I believe that Wenger will start Ozil but he will loath to move him on the flank as the player's recent fine form has materialised when he was deployed through the middle as a number 10.

Which leaves the choice between Welbeck and Walcott. I believe that if Welbeck can start he will start. This is because Welbeck has been in very good form recently scoring goals against Man Utd and on international duty. Wenger will want his good form to continue. Additionally Walcott has lost confidence and has not convinced when he was given his chance by Wenger. 

This means that Ramsey will start on the bench. If he was fit I believe that Wenger will have rested Cazorla instead as Ramsey is picking up form and has also scored for Wales in Israel and for Arsenal at Monaco.

You do not disrupt such form when one of your key players is performing so well. However he did come off in Israel before the end of the game. Taking into account his recent injury problems I believe that he will not be risked by Wenger from the start.

The rest of the selections are straight forward aren't they?


Bellerin   Gabriel  Koscienly  Monreal

Coquelin Cazorla


Welbeck   Giroud   Sanchez 

Bench: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Flamini,Walcott

Prediction: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 2 (Walcott will score)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Arsenal player ratings and analysis vs Newcastle

By 1970's Gooner

It could have been a walk in the park. We scored 2 goals in the first half and were dominating the game. Yet the Arsenal players acted as though the game was already finished at half time thinking that the Newcastle players changed their boots for flip flops in the dressing room.

We were slow, sleepy and unready to combat the tenacity with which the opponents turned up for the second part. Our marking was not as tight and the cover for players began to be overlooked. Once they scored it was game on. Something we could have done without taking into consideration that the players were tired from the CL game at Monaco.

Credit to the players though who fought hard and kept the result. Credit to Arsene Wenger for putting Bellerin on to help the underachieving Chambers (he is not a right back), Rosicky to help keep the ball more and Flamini to bolster the midfield (he should have kept Sanchez on though and taken Welbeck off).


Had a good solid game again with some very good saves especially the point blank header and the deflected shot. 8


Out of his depth IMO. He is too slow for a right back and lacks positioning sense. He was continually being overrun or out of position. 4


A strong performance and was a leader there at the back. Mistimed his interception in the box however which could have resulted in a penalty. 7


Made no mistakes, played it safe when he needed to and was strong in the air. The BFG is not getting his place back that's for sure. 7


A reasonable performance and kept a good balance between defence and attack. His run of games in the early part of the season as a centre back has helped him regain form enormously. 6


Strong and solid until he got hurt again on his nose which made him loose concentration and give the ball away a few times. Overall THE defensive midfielder we have been looking for. 7


Had a quiet game today probably suffering the effects of the overexertion in the CL game. Made no significant runs forward nor did he control the midfield as per usual. 5


He disappointed me today. He was below par his usual high standards. He over kept the ball on occasion and only got in the box once when he should have scored. Was surprised that Wenger did not sub him. 5


He hasn't reached the heights of earlier in the season but he is still, through his work rate and ability to run forward with the ball, an important player for Arsenal. 6


I was disappointed with his performance today. He is quick but his decision making throughout was lacking. He went passed the defender in the second half in a quick counter attack as though he was not there. But inexplicably chose to shoot from a tight angle instead of passing to the unmarked Giroud or Ramsey who were ready to put the game out of reach. 5


Had a wonderful MOTM performance, scored two quick goals and held the ball up very well when we needed to come out of defence in the second half. 9

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The newspaper journalists are unfair on Arsenal

By 1970's Gooner

I am surprised at the negative way the British press is reporting Arsenal's failure to progress in the CL. They make it sound as though we were rubbish over the two legs, that we are an also run team and that we are not serious contenders for major honours.

Although there is an element of truth in this I feel they are missing the wood for the trees. They are forgetting the following:

- Arsenal have won 20 of their last 25 games! Inclusive of this win at Monaco who have not let a goal in in their last 14 home games.

- All these know it all journalists seem to forget that their PL champions elect, Chelsea, were knocked out of the CL at home, in the same round as Arsenal, by a team playing with 10 men since the 31st minute while they were 2 1 up!

Yet no one of this fine journalists dared to SERIOUSLY challenge the mental attitude of the Chelsea players, their apparent naivety at seeing the game through and come to that their ability to see this PL campaign through.

- Were it not for a run of a large number of injuries at the beginning of the season, a World Cup hangover and Wenger's stubborn refusal to buy defensive reinforcements during the summer, Arsenal would be above Chelsea at the moment in the PL.

- Even after all this I believe that we can mount a serious challenge for the PL THIS season. Chelsea are beginning to run out of steam while Arsenal are gathering a very strong momentum. There are still 9 games to go (Chelsea have 10) and all you need is for Chelsea to lose two and draw two... Ok you may feel that is stretching it a bit but is it really? They have to play us at the Emirates don't forget...

- And finally one must consider that Arsenal have only last season managed to bring the stadium debt to comfortable levels. This means that Wenger's astute management during the 9 lean years can now end and he can reinforce the team with high quality players. As he has been doing. 

But this cannot be done in time zero. You need time to build a title winning team just as Chelsea and Man City did. Wenger is in his first season of a three year project (contract). Believe me he will deliver. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why did Ozil have to start? Why did 9 other players have to start?

By 1970's Gooner

It was a shocking performance from every one of them. There was no urgency, tactical awareness or a plan of how to break the opposition down. There was also no width which allowed Monaco to flood the middle of their defence and defend well.

Giroud missed three clear cut chances. A header, a cut back from Sanchez and skying the rebound from the goalkeeper after Walcott's shot was parried. If he had scored from only one of them the outcome would have been very different.

Sanchez was just a busy bee again. Welbeck tried but wasn't good enough.

Cazorla was ok in the first half but faded in the second. He played too deep and there was gap between him and the rest of the forwards. There was no urgency nor did he make enough of those surging runs.

All four defenders had a bad game. Mertesacker the worst. He was so much at fault for both their goals. The first one he could have moved his body out of the way. The second he sold himself  way beyond the half way line thus allowing them a clear run on goal outnumbering the rest of the remaining defenders i.e Koscienly!

Why oh why does Ozil have to start? He offered nothing tonight. He offers nothing in big games. He is dozy, shies away from the rough side of the game and gets so frustrated that he just gives up. Like last season we are playing almost with 10 men. Wenger has to own up that he made a dud buy.

Still why did he not sub him at half time? Why did he not sub him in the second half then? We would have had a better chance to come back.

We had a terrible night where nothing went right. They had a great night where everything went right for them. It will not be like that in the return leg.

We can turn it round at their place and run them close. We might even qualify....

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adrian Durham anti Arsenal what an absolute clown!

By 1970's Gooner
I feel sorry for Adrian Durham.
It seems that he is and feels inadequate to be a smart, objective and penetrating journalist like so many journalists serving their profession. So he tries to make a living for himself by adopting the most distorted and extreme views on anything that is news.
He does this intentionally to rile and wind up the fans so that he gets the reaction and the readership that justifies his continual employment.
His latest tirade is against Arsenal for the Daily Mail. His take is that Arsenal fans intentionally talk up and elevate their players into heroes with fantastic ability compared to the top players in the world.
Here is what he wrote today:
They don’t win big trophies, so in order to try to keep themselves in the picture towards the top of the table, and keep up the image of a big club still up there with the big boys, they have to over-promote their players on a rotation basis beyond their true abilities.

If Arsenal were as good as their fans believe, they would top the Premier League and be favourites for the Champions League'.

Here is a summary of what he wrote:
  • Mesut Ozil cost £42million and was billed as Arsenal's world-class star
  • Aaron Ramsey was next big thing before attention went to Alexis Sanchez
  • Francis Coquelin was also supposed to be the next shiny superstar
  • The spotlight has turned to Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla
  • But few managers would sign him over Eden Hazard or David Silva
  • Arsenal fans keep themselves in the picture by over-promoting players

He compares Mertesacker to Kleberson!! He forgets that the BFG won the World Cup!
He concludes that Real without Ozil won the CL but with Arsenal only the FA Cup. He forgets that Germany with Ozil won the World Cup.
He says that no team will sign Cazorla ahead of David Silva or Hazard. Yet he accepts that Athletico Madrid might want to get him on board. Yes Athletico who have won La Liga ahead of both Real AND Barcelona.
And he goes on and on...
I borrowed a description that a Stoke fan used to describe him on Talksport radio: 
'What an absolute clown'
He ends his piece in the Mail with this:
'If these players really are as good as Arsenal fans want us to believe, the Gunners would be top of the Premier League table and favourites to win the Champions League.  But they’re not'.
And I ask him:
So therefore all the Manchester City players are crap because they are not top of the PL and are not favourites to win the CL!!!!
All Chelsea players are crap since they are not favourites to win the CL!!!
All PL teams are full of crap players because they are not top of the League and are not favourites to win the CL!!!!
Adrian Durham: What an absolute clown......

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Five surprises in Arsenal's line up vs Leicester

By the Coach

Arsene Wenger is expected to make more changes than many pundits have dared to predict for tonight's game against Leicester. And most of the changes are intended to give a rest to some players who have been out with injury recently and not wishing to play them after only a three day rest.

In defence Gibbs is due to start instead of Monreal who has been a regular recently but who needs a rest. The rest of the defence remains the same.

In midfield Rosicky comes in for Ramsey who has been way below par recently. Cazorla keeps his place and is given the chance to prove that his abysmal performance at the Lane was just a blip.

The third change is the most surprising one as Flamini is due to be given a rare start in place of the awesome Coquelin who is also rested.

Remember most of these players played three days ago and Wenger may feel that his squad is big enough and strong enough to make rotation a viable option especially with regard to bringing that awful injury record down to reasonable proportions.

And the last changes in attack are Sanchez for Ozil and Walcott for Welbeck.


Bellerin   Mertesacker  Koscienly  Gibbs


Rosicky  Cazorla

Walcott  Giroud  Sanchez

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Wenger's wrong starting 11 and midfield let the team down

By 1970's Gooner

Yes we did get the goal albeit against the run of play. But we never kicked on. We carried playing defensive football but without having the men up front to go on the counter attack and thus relieve and give a breather to the rest of the team.

This was a mistake by Wenger in his selection for the starting 11 by leaving Walcott and Rosicky out. Both had the legs and the nous to help the rest of the team to manage the game.

Walcott would have been the perfect outlet for running at speed with the ball but more importantly Rosicky, as he amply proved when he belatedly came on, would have been ideal to keep the ball and play the simple pass to a colleague.

Something that Cazorla and Ramsey failed miserably!

Not once did they make a simple pass.

Not once did they hold onto the ball long enough.

Not once did they come out winners in the 50 50 balls.

As a result we lost the midfield battle and kept giving the ball away like imbecile novices.

As a result we were outrun and outfought.

As a result we eventually caved in. How much pressure can you take after all?

We were under pressure against Man City but at least we kept the ball and utilised Alexis for the counter attacks. Today we had nothing. Nothing.

And I blame Mr Wenger.

For not starting the brilliant Rosicky.

For not starting Walcott.

And for not substituting Cazorla and Ramsey much much earlier.

Noe we have a battle on our hands to finish 4th and we have given a leg up the Spuds.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Is Wenger logical? Surely it's time to recall Jenkinson

By 1970's Gooner

In my previous post I spelled out the 5 ways we can replace Debuchy. All of them were rearrangements of players positions from within the squad. None of them are satisfactory for me. We all know what Wenger will do. He will probably play Bellerin who I consider inexperienced and very green yet to perform in that position with the effectiveness and stature that is required.

If you want to consider the other options then this is the link: The 5 options for replacing Debuchy

But surely by far the best option is to recall Jenkinson from his loan to West Ham. SURELY!

Wenger recalled Coquelin from his loan to Charlton with great success as we have seen. Why not do the same with Jenkinson. He has already played more than 10 games as a first choice for big Sam and has performed with distinction.

There is some information that there is no recall clause in the loan agreement but what the hell, Arsenal are big enough to pay the necessary monetary penalty (as usually is stipulated in such agreements in the case one of the parties wanting out).

The alternative is for Wenger to buy that Central Defender he has been promising so long and hope that he will also be able to play RB!!!!!

But I ask you will AW buy a defender?

And if he actually buys one (which I doubt) will he buy him now or at the end of the window? By which time it may be too late.

And if he has not played in the PL before will he acclimatise almost immediately?

So you see logic dictates that Carl Jenkinson should start at RB against Man City.

But is Wenger logical?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The five options for replacing Debuchy

By 1970's Gooner

It's a pity that Debuchy dislocated his shoulder. Arnautovic should have been booked. It was an excellent performance all round with Alexis Man of the Match of course.

 And I have to make a special mention of Coquelin who had another impressive game.  He is going to stay in the starting11 for a long time IMO, as I predicted right after his first appearence this season, much to the mock of some of the readers of this blog!

Still I am concerned about Man City away. We have to replace Debuchy and Wenger has some options available.

1. Play Chambers, I hope not!

2. Play Bellerin. Very likely as Wenger has opted for this option when he had to. I think this would be a risky decision as Man City have the players to put on Bellerin's side to really take advantage of his inexperience.

3. Play Monreal at right back and Gibbs at left. This could work.

4. Play Flamini. He has played at full back before but I am concerned about his lack of pace.

5. Here is the last but more interesting option. Play Koscienly at right back and either Chambers or Monreal at centre back. This would break the pairing of Kos and the BFG and I think this could prove risky.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Revealed: Inter's joke offer for Podolski and subsequent deal clincher

By 1970's Gooner

Wenger described Inter's original offer for taking Podolski on loan as not serious, a joke.

Well he was probably right because as I can reveal their offer which came from their Sporting Director, Piero Ausilio, was to take Podolski without any compensation whatsoever for Arsenal.

It is only when they came back with money that the deal was allowed to go through by Wenger giving the green light (yes he controls the money side of the transfers too).

The improved offer was indeed very much restructured:

Arsenal will get 600.000 euros ( about 470.000 pounds) up front with the loan agreement.
There will be another 400.000 euros ( 313.000 pounds) if Inter qualify for the Champions League.
In the event that Inter qualify for the Europa League then this drops to 250.000 euros (196.000 pounds).

Podolski himself will get a salary of 1.8m euros up to the end of June which converts to about 60.000 pounds per week. So Arsenal will only have to pay the rest of Podolski's contractual salary to make up the 75.000 pounds per week.

Sounds good to me!

From having a player who hardly played and obliged to pay him up to the end of June 1.8m pounds we now have received 470.000 pounds and additionally saved wages of 1.44m pounds. A total of nearly 2.0 m pounds plus additional moneys if Inter qualify for a European competition.

There is no clause in the loan agreement with regard to Inter having a first option to buy in the summer nor has a fee been agreed.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Fan on the pitch local from Hampshire

By 1970's Gooner

The fan ran with his arms outstretched in front Arsene Wenger as he sat in the dugout late on in the game at St Mary's.

Footage showed the man being bundled away down the tunnel by two stewards as Wenger and Bould held their arms out in apparent frustration at the intruder.
There is confusion as to whether he is an Arsenal or a Saints fan. It has been revealed that he is from Lymington, Hampshire and was being questioned last night by Hampshire Constabulary officers.

However staff at Saints were subsequently told that the fan was an Arsenal supporter, although Wenger was initially under the impression it was a home supporter.

Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of ''going into an area adjacent to the playing area contrary to the Football (Offences) Act 1991''.
A Hampshire police spokesman said: ''Police have arrested a 25-year-old man from Lymington following an incident on the pitch at St Mary's at the end of the Southampton versus Arsenal match. ''The man remains in police custody. Officers are investigating the circumstances to establish whether any criminal offences have been committed.''

Asked about the incident post-match, Wenger said: ''There was a young boy, yes. I think he was a Southampton fan. He was not aggressive at all. I don't think he said anything. Honestly, he was not aggressive at all.''