28 March 2013
As we all know, Arsenal is battling for their Champion League lives as they are currently
5th in the Premier League. While there is still time and hope that the club qualifies
for the League next year, the team is making plans in the event that the team does not.
However, those plans seem somewhat counterproductive to me.
For those that may not follow the business side of the club, Arsene Wenger has been
approved by the Arsenal board to spend £70 Million of the club's sponsorship money
to strengthen the team, including money from the deal that made Betsson the Arsenal's
official betting partner. That amount will be spent with the condition that Arsenal
qualifies for the league. However, if they miss out on qualification, that amount will be
The question we must ask is why? Why give Arsene less money if they miss out on the
Champions League? Some of you will naturally say that the team should not spend the
extra money when the chances of winning trophies are reduced, and while that is a valid
point, that is a very short-term view.
If you look at other teams in the EPL and at other major sports, teams have to spend
money in order to improve their team. Reducing spending sends out one signal to fans
and the other teams in the league. That message is that the team does not think that they
are capable of winning trophies.
Is that the message that Arsenal intends to send? Obviously not, but reducing your
spending just because you do not make the Champions League makes one question
your resolve to get back to the League. If the club does not make it, spend the money
to strengthen the club and make a run at the EPL title for next year. A legit run would
surely land us in the top four regardless of whether the trophy was won and the team
would be back on track. You need to spend money to make money, or in this case win
28 January 2013
Saturday I woke up with that 'oh shit' feeling. Although I was confident of a win that that little seed of "Oh Shit" was on my mind, and I think if you are honest with yourself you did too. Going to Brighton was not going to be a easy challenge. They're playing well in the Championship and beat France in the last round was a nice little warning. Arsene did what I thought he would by resting many players who have over the past few weeks put in good shifts when on the pitch.
It was a rather scrappy first ten minutes, with Brighton doing all the running and having the first few chances. Once again we didn't get out of first gear quick enough and it showed.
So then the changes came, Wilshere and Walcott came on and straight away you could see with the pace from Walcott and the drive of Jack a winner coming. It arrived in the 83rd minute with Walcott reacting to a clearance that he knocked back into the box which took a deflection and looped into the net. Yes quite lucky but they all count and we set up a 5th Round home tie with Blackburn Rovers.
After game Arsene said that he was impressed with the determination shown by his players to get the result. I have to agree, although sometimes things just didnt want to happen for us, The boys stuck to the task and got the job the done. In recent weeks I feel that there has been a lack of that. They played as a team and played for each other which is great to see.
Next up Liverpool, its hard to say what wounds they will have coming down to the Emirates, but after watching them against Oldham if the boys stick to playing football and doing what they have shown against France and West Ham, I would be confident of picking up the points for this one.
So I'm off to light the fire and drink too much tea for the day. I'll be covering the match against Liverpool in the next post. Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Sing For The Arsenal
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13 January 2013
Players left, players came in, formation changed…Arsenal changed.
The change in formation from a successful 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 was necessary at the time to fit our players we brought in to replace the invincibles. But with Walcott demanding a place in the centre and Giroud offering us some physicality surely it’s time to give 4-4-2 a chance?
Our current formation is one that allows us to fit in Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla in the same team, which can only be a good thing, but with Walcott playing in the middle alone he can go missing as he doesn’t have the same physicality of Giroud or RvP. However with Giroud it gives the defence something else to worry so Walcott wouldn’t struggle as much when trying to make a run the defence haven’t read. Also, we have seen already that Giroud is very good in the air and his flick ons could cause havoc for oppositions if Walcott was playing alongside him in a 4-4-2.
So why are we yet to give 4-4-2 a chance?
I believe there are a number of reasons the current side hasn’t moved to a 4-4-2 and the first one is stubbornness.
As you know I am a fan of Wenger. But like every great man, he is stubborn. He refuses to give up on players, which in the past has had great consequences but also left us with a number of poor players on our books we can’t move on. The example of this used most often is Denilson. The next Brazilian wonder kid. Oh, how I wish…
But this wonder kid tag never materialised, he was never good enough, but Wenger refused to give upon him. He even used Denilson as an excuse for not signing a midfielder when we were in need of one. The old “A new signing will slow Denilson’s progress”
And this refusal to give up is holding back any chance of us playing 4-4-2 any time soon, as he sees 4-2-3-1 as the formation he brought the to the premier league and wants it to work more than anything.
Also, you sense Wenger isn’t confident our midfield would be right to play four straight across the midfield. Which is understandable, as Podolski would go from striker, to winger to a left sided midfielder which isn’t what he is. But, he is beginning to build a good relationship with Gibbs and learning his role and his responsibility when the side is defending. So… why not give it a chance? Were not saying use it every game for ever. Just to give it a go, if it doesn’t work out, well at least we know…
Sagna Per Vermaelen Gibbs
Cazorla Arteta/Diaby Wilshere Podolski
I would love to see this team given a shot at 4-4-2 with Rosicky on the bench with the ability to play anywhere across the midfield.
5 January 2013
Hello all to you all. I got a new iPad for my birthday which was last Saturday and I must say I'm rather impressed with word processing on it. I actually prefer it to my laptop. I hope you all had a great Christmas and wish you all the best for the coming year.
As I scroll through my twitter feed all I see is a lot of Arsenal fans getting very annoyed at the fact that after 4 days of the market being open that no one has arrived at the Emirates yet. To you people I must say, you are going to give yourself grey hair if you carry on getting as stressed out as you are coming across. If you believe all the shit that we hear and read then that's your choice. My advice to you would to be patient and wait for official announcements from Arsenal.com.
If you sit down and think about it, we have let 2 centre halves go, and also a striker. Now this leaves us very short of cover. So I will hope that because these players have been allowed to go out on loan that Arsene has something up his sleeve. He has never done business at the start of any January transfer window and the deals he has done have always come late, so please for the sake of your hair, relax.
The news today that Lewis Holtby has to Sp*rs didn't really bother me. If he was that good then he would have been snapped up a long time ago, and the fact that he has been allowed to leave for free says a whole lot about how his current side feel about him. When you look at it closely where does he fit into our midfield? He doesn't, I remember when Sahin decided to join Liverpool instead of us, Wenger got that right didn't he.
If we are in to sign David Villa, then yes of course it is an exciting prospect of having three Spanish players in the side. If he comes here I have no doubt that he make immediate impact as he will want to show Barca that he should have never been left out in the cold. But once again we just have to wait and see what develops. But yes it excites me no end to think about Arteta, Cazorla and Villa all in Arsenal shirts. The players that have left on on loan I would like to wish them all the best. I was a bit disappointed to see all the hate for Chamakh on my Twitter feed the past few days. Lets not forget that when RVP was injured he did a great job for us. It was only RVP becoming fit again that forced him out of the side and on to the bench. I have placed various bets with people that he scores goals when he goes to West Ham.
But the thing that must happen before all this is that Theo has to sign a new contract. Love him or hate him, he really does deserve his chance playing down the middle and I personally believe that he could be the next striker to carry this club to the success it deserves and what us as the fans deserve.
So as I ready myself for some shut eye, less of the stressing out and keep supporting the players that wear our badge. They are playing for Arsenal.
Keep singing for the Arsenal
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26 December 2012
Although this kind of got me thinking towards January and that Transfer Window. Boxing Day and the January transfer window are very much alike for us, simply in the fact that we're not involved.
Its safe to say we've probably not met expectations but that said on Christmas Day we were 4th in the league and as I write this we're currently 6th with a game in hand (could go 7th if the Spuds draw or beat the the Villa).
Apart from the fact it would have been nice to play today, it was also a good opportunity to continue the little run were starting to develop, we will of course now have to wait till Saturday when we face the Toon, who showed themselves today against Man U that they wont be a push over.
The other interesting thing about the upcoming Newcastle game is that fact we've been linked with their top striker Demba Ba.
Its well reported that Ba has some stupid clause in his contract that come January he can be brought for 7.5-8million. Recent reports have suggested that if he were to leave he'd want in region of 90-100k a week in wages.
I'm pleased with our Striker options as is at the moment (Giroud and Theo, providing we keep Theo) but we could also do with another one, and one of quality. The January window can be tricky for numerous reasons. One of the obvious is who do you buy and where from as if its from outside England you have the added hassle of them settling in. Of course some players do this quicker than other but January onwards is the real business end of the season and you often cant afford to wait for a player to start firing on all cylinders. Another challenge is of course for a team like The Arsenal we have to consider the Champions League and being cup tied, and theres the EPL chase and the FA Cup.
It pains me to say that the Champions League shouldnt even be a consideration, for this season. I dont think we have a strong enough team to win it and I cant honestly think of any non cuptied front man that would benefit us in that en-devour. The other two on the other hand should be considered.
The FA Cup is yet to have been played and with the right player(s) we could at least push the two teams from Manchester while easily getting third.
This is where Demba Ba comes in. He is a proven EPL striker. Since joining the EPL hes scored an impressive 34 goals in 65 games, which is nearly one every two games. Hes shown he has strength, a bit of vision and isn't that slow. The style that The Arsenal play for me would suit him to a tee, and he'd be a good partner for the likes of Giroud and Theo. It would give us attacking options which would make a nice change. Of course theres possible doubts over his fitness. He failed a medical at Stoke which is why he ended up in the East End over at West Ham on a pay as you play contract, but to be fair to him hes never looked back.
If he were to come to The Arsenal I think he'd relish the chance for playing for a "big" team and I think he'd lap up the service from the likes of Cazorla, Wilshere and Arteta.
If The Arsenal are serious about winning trophies then for me, Ba is a no brainer. And don't leave it late. The Window opens January the 1st, the day we play Southampton. The FA Cup is on the 6th. Theres no reason we couldnt have the deal done and dusted by then which is of course a tricky away tie at Swansea.
Im hoping this January wont be the usual looking in from the outside for us fans and watching everyone else do business while we just bob along. And that is why I also hope we sign Ba. To show some purpose at the very least, and at 7.5million, he really could be a BA-rgain.
Keep the Flag Flying High and the Canon Loaded