What is happening to Arsenal? It may not seem like too much since we’ve gone from 17th to 5th throughout the season, but we’ve lost 6 games this year and 5 of them away! The team we once knew is gone and fans have had to adjust to a new look team with a giant in back, a Fabregas look a like (not play alike) in midfield and a little bit of laziness all around.
Fans are growing more and more frustrated with Arsenal and especially Arsene Wenger as this year progresses. Yes we’ve moved up the table, but we’re so inconsistent it’s just sad. We have no idea which Arsenal will turn up anymore and as I look at responses throughout twitter when they see the line up many expect the worst when they see the names Arshavin and Chamakh, or even Rosicky and Benayoun.
Much of this frustration started in the summer when Arsene had much work to do and then waited until the last 3 or 4 days to really even try and by then all of the players he should have been going for the whole time, were now unavailable.
After the window closes we continued to be linked with players as everyone knew this team wasn’t good enough to win us the title and we still know that this team needs to strengthened, but there is absolutely NO sign of that happening in the near future.
There has been depression among the Arsenal fans who have realized it resigning that Arsenal is no longer a big club anymore. It seems to be getting more and more true with the way this club is being run. They tell us we are better financially, and in the long run we will be better but when we miss out on Champions League we lose a lot of money, and what big players are going to want to come to Arsenal? Hugo Rodallega….awesome.
Things have gotten worse between many of the fans and Arsene Wenger when recently he was asked about whether he was looking to sign Yoann Gourcuff, a playmaker that’s career could really be revitalized at Arsenal. Arsene in a nutshell said…”well if I bring Gourcuff when will Diaby get game-time?” Well he’s gotten what? 13 minutes so far? No sign of him coming back anytime soon and yet still nothing is done.
Those who have stuck by Arsene Wenger take stick, and continue to support him for all he’s done in the past and how he leads the club, but it’s hard to tell their conviction when they speak up for him. I honestly don’t think anyone could do the job Wenger has at this club…except for in the transfer market.
There has begun…okay this ship has sailed, but with how many chances Wenger is will to give to players who really don’t deserve it. Everytime Arshavin scores or makes an assist Wenger seems to go completely bonkers on how Arshavin still has the quality. Chamakh doesn’t really have much competition for the number 2 spot but I’m sure we could find someone in the reserves who could give him a run for his money.
So why haven’t we utilized our young talent like we have in the past? We all know that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryo Miyaichi are our future attack and most see Benik Afobe as the successor to Robin Van Persie. We received a special talent visa for Ryo, and paid 15 million for the Ox, why aren’t we putting it to good use? What’s the worst that could happen, their back-ups have proved time and time again that they aren’t up for the job.
Many will say it’s because Arsene has more pressure on him to deliver this year, so he’s played a more experienced side…unfortunately that turns us into Chelsea I’m sad to say. I’ve always seen Chelsea as the most boring team in the EPL and they’ve always had a very experienced side who many times got the job done, but did it putting people to sleep more than playing good football. Is that what we’ve become? Arsenal need to blend the young in with the experienced to make the right formula for a devastating attack.
If Ox and Ryo are the future of this club, how is letting them sit on the bench and play in the reserves helping their progress? Both are desparate to play their part in the first team and jump up to that level, where as some of the players aren’t willing to give everything, or take their chance when they do get on the field!
Another tough game looms for Arsenal and with another loss would Arsene look to the market to try and bring in a player that could change things for his struggling side? Well in his opinion there shouldn’t even be a January window so I highly doubt it. It makes me quite nervous for the rest of the season, and sadly for our Champions League tie against A.C. Milan, which in my opinion we should always have a better team than A.C. Milan because I hate Italian Football.
So in conclusion I think we’ve seen more and more people jump on the Wenger out bandwagon and unfortunately Arsene has brought it upon himself so what will happen if Arsenal finish outside the top 4 this year? Would AW leave on his own? Or Quit? Would he bring out the money? Either way he needs to find a way to appease the fans. Although I am not in this bandwagon that does not support our manager, the frustration has crept inside me as well and am worried for the future of this glorious club.
A game of pretty high unimportance for Arsenal tomorrow but of significance to the Greek Champions who will want to be playing on Thursday nights at least now that the Group stages are just about over.
We should see almost all 11 players that started against Wigan getting some rest and I wouldn’t be surprise if you see the same team that gave Money Bags City a real run for their money.
For a few of these players it may be their last chance before they go out on loan, or possibly even sold! If rumors are to be believed we could see the end of Chamakh, Arshavin, and a few others before January 31st.
Both Coquelin and Frimpong will be looking to put in a good performance tomorrow as well with both vying for a spot as Alex Song’s backup. Both players are fully capable of fulfilling that but it looks like Coquelin will be the one taking that spot while Frimpong is sent out.
Frimpong could benefit from moving to one of the lower teams in the EPL as he would really strengthen any midfield he went to.
Another Midfielder who really didn’t get time in the Carling Cup is Oguzhan Ozyakup. The midfielder made a few small appearances in the Carling Cup but really didn’t get a fair run out with both Coquelin and Frimpong ahead of him. We should see him going out on loan to a Championship side, or possibly a team in France of Holland might be on the cards.
The talented midfielder recently signed a new contract and will be hoping to have a future with the club, and for that to happen he will need to go out on loan, gain experience and be quite successful. Coming back next year he will have even more to compete with Lansbury returning, along with Coquelin and Frimpong with an added year of experience.
My hope is that we’ll even see him get some time against Olympiacos tomorrow but I don’t think we will.
With all that in mind, the transfer window is fast approaching and while Wenger doesn’t seem to want to buy players with his large squad, the board, and Ivan Gazidis may want to splash a little bit of money to get us back into the top 4.
Wenger was very quick to quash the rumors of Mexican Midfielder Marco Fabian saying it was an agent starting a rumor, while the press is saying it’s from a family member. It could be possible it’s one in the same, maybe Wenger is hiding something. Most likely it’s absolutely nothing!
Interesting rumors going around that Arsenal is in preliminary negotiations with AC Milan for Alexandre Pato. In return AC Milan would receive a large sum of money and the person we’ve paid the most amount of money for ever! To me he’s a fantastic player with great ability, great pace, and could really bring something to this Arsenal team…but, I think he’s overpriced.
Now if this happened I would not complain for a second, but with Lukas Podolski wanting out of Cologne, and a smaller price tag he may be a better option. The 26 year old comes vastly experienced with the German National Team and is a real goal scorer.
As exciting as all the rumors will make you, my gut tells me we will go through January and see absolutely 0 incoming players unless we have injury problems. There is also still the possibility of Henry rejoining the club.
Now it’s the third game of Champions League, and losing doesn’t mean we’re out, but this is an extremely important game for Arsenal. After a big game at the weekend and the fighting for confidence in the Arsenal camp it will be a very hard, but important win for the Gunners. Marseilles brings an extremely tough test though, having already disposed of Borussia Dortmund with ease while Arsenal could only draw.
Marseilles have had a tough time in Ligue 1 with only 1 win in 10 games so far, but have had success so far in Europe. This could be the perfect test for Arsenal playing a strong team with up and down form while Arsenal seem to be the same way. Arsenal will have to deal with some difficult attacking threats such as Valbuena, Ayew, and Loic Remy to say the least and it will be a big test for the Arsenal back four.
A win versus Sunderland on Sunday hopefully marked the turn of a corner for Arsenal and the confidence boost that is gained from a win against Marseilles would be massive! Although the boys have had limited rest having played on Sunday they will be raring to go for this one and we may even see a few players rotated.
Our starting 11 will probably stay much the same with Santos filling in for Gibbs, and Jenkinson getting the start based on the fact that Arsene won’t risk his only backup center back to put Koscielny out at right back. This could expose Arsenal with both Marseilles wingers being very fast and very good.
I’d like to see RvP put back in the attacking midfield spot and I think he would be more influential in the game if he moved further into the midfield. I also think it’s time to move Theo Walcott into the center as he’s become quite invisible over on the wings. Theo has a problem of not being able to run at defenders, he has a strength of running past them and timing his runs well. So why not let him play in the middle where Van Persie and Arteta and supply him the through balls he needs to be effective!
So here is my ideal line up for Arsenal tomorrow night!
Kos Mertesacker Djourou Santos
Gervinho Walcott Arshavin
I’m a wishful thinker I know! I do think we will see Arshavin get the start, and will see Chamakh tomorrow at some point. I also think Ramsey will be in the squad being rested on Saturday and Rosicky will go back to the bench having a very good game on Saturday. Honestly with the squad Arsenal has named, any of the players named could be started especially ahead of a big game against Stoke which Arsenal often struggle against.
So pray hard tonight for a good tomorrow!
After taking my night of work and thinking about the game I was able to come to some opinionated conclusions that I think many will agree with me on. I was able to think about the game and come up with a couple of positives about the game and a couple of major negatives that I think need to be addressed for Arsenal to be successful this year.
There were some great performances today by Frimpong, Wilshere, Gervinho and a few others. The combination play between Van Persie and Gervinho was quite brilliant and it seems they are very much in sync! The team had some good fitness and we were even able to see some the places we need to improve on as a team.
Many are saying that we need to buy a center back pronto to deal with our set pieces. There are 15-16 guys in the box, maybe 1 will help but it won’t fix the problem. Bringing Samba will cause more problems than fix as well with him not really fitting into the Arsenal style center back it will hurt us more than help us in the run of play. Our problem is our team defense and the guys not giving everything they have to put their head on the ball. It’s like at the other end when we get a cross in, who is willing to sacrifice everything to get that ball in the net…usually nobody which is why we’re always going for the perfect goal! Our guys can’t hand that responsibility off to someone else and its weird to say but on defensive corners, Adebayor was always a beast!
Our quality in depth is not much better than last year. Many of the players that are leaving aren’t being replaced and it will hurt us in the long run. Frimpong as a back up is fabulous and will give Song some much needed rest during the year, and will have a big role to play when the African Cup of Nations comes up. We will also have Coquelin to help out there as well. Our mids, we have Wilshere, Nasri (maybe) Ramsey, Rosicky, Fabregas (maybe), Diaby if he’s ever healthy, and Lansbury if he gets his chance. We already need to strengthen there as Rosicky hasn’t been able to get back to his best, Diaby is always hurt and we still have question marks over Nasri and Fabregas. Wenger says he likes Mata but he really needs to buy before someone comes in and takes him away…Spurs don’t have a chance but other teams may.
Our forwards we have Arshavin, Gervinho, Van Persie, Chamakh, Vela, Walcott, possibly Miyaichi, and Afobe is in the squad for now. There’s a need to buy with Arshavin not always at his best, Gervinho will be at AFN Vela and Chamakh aren’t top quality and Miyaichi may not get a permit. If we do buy Mata he may come in and play winger more than attacking midfielder but our depth isn’t great especially when Walcott is hurt now, we don’t know how long Van Persie will make it and if we lose those two we could be in trouble.
Finally the back line…well we saw today what our starting Center backs will be at the beginning of the season. Kos and Verm look great together and Kos now has a year under his belt to work with. I’m hoping Wenger will start tomorrow with Vermaelen and Bartley but not counting on it. So with Squillaci and Djourou we have two average defenders when we need above average to great defenders. Bartley needs to be given a chance as Squillaci has failed time and time again. If Vermaelen gets hurt again we cannot go another year with those three running things. Squillaci is a liability as he not only plays bad, but also makes his partner look worse than they are as well. Not sure why we’re going for Jagielka though…
Finally, two things I was very disappointed about at the game today was:
1. Giving Samir Nasri the armband: You said it yourself after the game Arsene, you need to make sure both Fabregas and Nasri is committed to the cause. If you can’t tell that Nasri isn’t committed I don’t really understand, because we can all tell he isn’t and you even get to speak with him, we just watch! He looks like a completely new and lackluster player. He doesn’t fight for the ball, he doesn’t have that spark any more. I felt like it was more of an attempt to get him to be committed or sign a new contract by handing him the armband. Sell him and bring in someone who cares!
2. The substitutions Wenger made were poor and maybe they were because of tomorrow but two I’m quite unhappy about are Squillaci and Eboue. Last year at the end of the year I saw Wenger pull of Squillaci two games in a row half way through the game. Wenger only subs his center backs in EPL when they are hurt but he obviously lost his faith in him…what restored it. You know what your going to get with Squillaci so why not give the Young Gun a chance to prove himself. He’s already played in the Europa League against tough competition, he can handle it.
Second was Eboue…why? he was completely invisible the entire time he was on for one thing and secondly…you’ve told him he can leave! Why are you playing him?! Afobe is a player for the future but yet your not going to let him play, or give him the opportunity to play in a situation like this!? Bothers the crap out of me that you sub in a player you’ve given permission to leave.
Either way, we’ll look to see a better outing tomorrow against the New York Red Bulls and Thierry Henry! Here’s my hopeful lineup for tomorrow!
Sagna Bartley Verm Gibbs
Gervinho RvP Juan Mata (jk) Lansbury!
Unfortunately, little money has been spent so far and season ticket prices have hiked up the wazoo! With the 6.5% increase in the season ticket prices most fans were expecting to see a few more signings coming in the door and a few more old faces out. Now almost halfway through July and 6-7 weeks of the transfer window left we have seen Carl Jenkinson and Gervinho come through the door.
Recently, we have seen news all over of the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. We all expected Cesc to leave this summer but Samir Nasri is a bit of a complicated issue. Nasri’s contract expires in 12 months and he has rejected the new ones thrown at him. Some say he’s waiting for more signings, others say he’s looking for another team and Arsene Wenger says, “he stays!” If he indeed wants to leave as reported, then what good will it do to keep him? He will have little ambition to play for the club and will essentially walk out on the club for NOTHING!
Once he leaves next summer for free, what money will we have to replace him? How can we possibly stay competitive and grow as a team if we have no money to replace a player that will take us hostage! If he is just waiting for more signings then great, but if he plans on just leaving at the end of his contract, we need to sell and replace him with the money that has come in.
Which brings me to my next point! Arsenal must spend money if they want to make any money at all! With their huge price increase how can they expect fans to continue buying and continue showing up to every game when they aren’t using the money to reinvest in team? They must be a bit short of number of season ticket holders this year but whether they realize it’s their fault is to be seen. Gazidis and Wenger have said they have been busy day and night and I trust that they are, but when will we see that? The very last week of the transfer period?
How can we expect to make a serious title challenge plus Champions league if we’re just bringing in players when we’ve already started? Now I just posted a couple of days ago about how it is right for Wenger to wait on signings because their is unknowns still in the squad, but after the next week and a half most of these unknowns should be cleared up and it’s important that they move swiftly and get their players in as quickly as possible. We have to spend money, otherwise City, Chelsea, Man U will all move beyond us and it could hurt us financially quite a bit.
This year fans will be on Wenger quickly and ferociously and it is up to him to make us believe in his abilities as a coach again because the trust in many fans has already been lost.
We’re still waiting…and waiting, for confirmation on ANY new transfers in what Ivan Gazidas promised to be a busy summer. Well we’re supposedly close to Gervinho, we were supposedly to get Alvarez which keeps looking more and more unlikely and with rumors of Cahill coming, its been reported we’ve made no bids!
Fear not though, we have 8 weeks until the transfer window closes and its enough time to get in what we need. Wenger is taking his time and it’s better that he doesn’t rush into things. While it would have been nice to get all of our transfer business done early so the new players could be integrated properly, we must wait and try and find ourselves the right players. You would have hoped we would have a plan before the season was over.
The man with a plan doesn’t really like to spend the money the other team wants. When it comes to Ricky Alvarez who Arsenal have been scouting for 3 years, we are short on their valuation but less than 2 million and instead we will lose out to Inter Milan. Sadly a prospect will go waste his talent in the Serie A with their crap football. I have no doubt that Wenger has other prospects in mind with many rumors floating around. Most of these being JUST rumors and have little validity to them.
One place I do hope Arsene is shopping is in the Bundesliga, they have some real talent up and coming. Every year it seems there is a few more players that are good enough for the National Team. In the World Cup we saw the breakthrough of Thomas Muller Fussbal Got! Mesut Ozil, and Sami Khedira. Last year we see a few Dortmund players with Gotze, Bender, and Hummels. Now this year there are some good young players in there like Draxler, and Leitner along with the experienced talent that have been in Germany.
Arsenal have been linked with two players, neither really German but Arturo Vidal and Diego. Both players with immense skill although Diego has struggled the last few seasons. I could really see Vidal and Wilshere playing quite well together in the midfield and if we do have the eventual departure of Cesc, Diego would be the kind of replacement that could fill his shoes…minus the attitude. Diego is a fantastic passer, much like Cesc, and better at set pieces.
It was nice to see all the players back in training and it relieved a bit of stress i was feeling. When I looked at the pictures on Arsenal.com I was a bit more relaxed and thinking clearly…we aren’t screwed! We didn’t see Nasri, or Fabregas, or Clichy in those pictures, but we did see players like Wilshere and Miyaichi, and most importantly…EBOUE with his sports bra! What a nut! Good to see Vermaelen healthy as well. Seeing Miyaichi in Arsenal apparel made me hope so badly that we can get a special talent Visa for the Japanese winger. I do believe he could force his way into the first team this year.
So have faith that we will get a few studs in this summer still along with Gervinho and realize we AREN’T in crisis. The media wants us to believe we are but the only confirmed player to leave is Gael Clichy.
Lots of rumors still going on today and while I’d love to talk about it, you can just look at my last couple posts and it will basically cover it. Gervinho in London, Alvarez wants Arsenal move, Cesc wants Barca move and may get it and we might get Cahill…done. New news is City want Clichy…so lets hike the price up to 25 mil 😉
This post I wanted to talk about our defense a little bit and with the potential signing of Cahill we will have quite a few Center Backs. Some have suggested that we put Vermaelen as our left back for our departing Clichy. I for one am very opposed to that, why you might ask?
1. He’s a center back, just because you have a left foot and play defense doesn’t mean your cut out for the left back spot. Example would be Holger Badstuber of Bayern Munich. He’s a Center Back who has played Left back for both Bayern and Germany. In the World Cup he was benched for his pathetic performance and didn’t see much action the rest of the time.
2. Arsenal would be wasting his talent putting him on the left because of the attacking threat he poses. He doesn’t pose that threat from the sides, but through the middle. All of his shooting goals are from the middle and we haven’t even seen him cross a ball (although he can’t be much worse than Clichy or Sagna).
3. Vermaelen’s speed, height, and physicality is all designed for a center back. As a left back he would be as clumsy and out of place as Paul Robinson of Bolton.
4. Our best defender should not be deployed on the outside, he’s the heart of the defense and is a leader for this team. If Van Persie isn’t playing, he will be captain and needs to lead from the middle.
5. Because of the high line we play, his tactical maturity, anticipation, and basically his mentality in general makes him one of the best defenders in England. Watching the last few games of the year I watched how much we really missed him and the way he can handle the balls over the top while Kos really struggles with them.
So in review, lets just BUY a left back…easier said than done I know but still…Vermaelen is not an option for me and I don’t think it is for Wenger either.
The Spanish Play maker has had much speculation about his future with Valencia being in debt, and Liverpool making much of the noise. Lately though Arsenal have stirred things with interest of an 18 million pound bid. Whether that is true or not is irrelevant. What is big is what Mata’s Father has said today.
“I know Arsenal is a big club, a very important club in England, always in the Champions League, but it’s up to any club to pay the required amount to Valencia. Then we can look at the proposals,”
“I don’t know if Valencia have received a proposal from Arsenal or any other club. We will wait to hear from them.”
Hopefully Arsenal is listening to this as well and saying , “we need to put the money down for this guy” regardless of Fabregas staying or going. Mata is still young, has experience, and already is a top talent. He is a player that Arsenal needs to get and not lolly gag while other teams take their shot at him as well.
It is believed that Mata has a 20 million euro release clause so if we can hit that, then he’s as good as ours. It is a necessary transfer too especially with the form or Arshavin, and the possibility of Nasri and Fabregas leaving. Mata can play in the middle but I see Wenger putting him out on the wing. Now while Mata has distanced himself a bit from leaving Valencia this year, they will have to look at every offer they get for him as they are in such debt.
With the possible departure of Fabregas we will see some deflated Arsenal fans especially with the lack of transfer activity already! Juan Mata would inject everyone with a little excitement for the new season.
Also quick is that Diego is rumored to be coming to the EPL a few days after I posted that Arsenal should get him. Will he be coming to Arsenal? Seems like a Wenger signing, cheap and talented. Lets just hope he leaves his attitude at Wolfsburg.
Anyways, some big names linked recently and lets hope we have a few announcements in the next few days of arrivals. Nothing else new really today…kind of boring and disappointing.
Pretty busy Sunday starting with news from Saturday in Cesc Fabregas could be taking a pay cut in order to get to Barcelona. Fabregas will receive 15% of whatever transfer fee comes for him and he could be willing to give that up to Arsenal in order to make the move happen. It’s also rumored he may take a pay cut, as well as no signing on fee so that it doesn’t put too much stress on the wage budget for Barcelona. If he does give that up, Arsenal still only receive 33 million which still isn’t enough.
Barcelona will need to do a little better than that, but the Daily Mail is reporting that we already have a replacement lined up and that we’ve tabled an offer. Now the likelihood of that is very little as the papers report we’ve tabled an official bid for many players and the teams will come out and say, “we haven’t received an offer from anyone.”
Alvarez is already being labeled the “new” Cesc Fabregas and he hasn’t even been signed up yet. There is interest and we are still working with Velez to secure that signing, but Inter seem to be interested and what to get into a bidding war apparently. It would be sad to see Alvarez throw away his career in the Italian league but it would be hard to secure him if Inter are involved. Lets hope he has his heart set on Arsenal.
Alvarez though, is not the new Cesc Fabregas as he will need some adjusting to the Premier League and I’m not sure Wenger will even play him in the middle, he may go on the left and if Nasri stays, put him in the middle. Who knows, we may even see a formationd change!. Alvarez though doesn’t have the experience and skill yet of Fabregas although he will be a good signing
We’ve been linked with another replacement in Juan Mata. It was only a couple months ago in which we were linked with him and a few reliable sources said we were in talks with Valencia. So…it could be true. Liverpool seem to have some pretty serious interest in him as well but I would love to see him in an Arsenal shirt. I’ve always been a big fan and think he is what we need for our left wing. He’s said to be a cushion for Fabregas departure. He’s quick, talented, experienced for his age, and would be a great signing in my opinion
So it appears that it will be quite a busy week and I’m hoping we get the ball rolling quickly with a few announcements today. Preseason starts very soon so we need to be seeing the signings coming through the door this week and next week. The likes of Gervinho, the Ox, and Alvarez could all be seen coming through, and who knows who else. We’ll hopefully be seeing the back of some players as well with Denilson leaving soon and Arsenal seem to be looking to do player + cash deals involving Denilson. Bendtner needs to find a new team quickly as well. Anyways, check out potential Arsenal target Juan Mata!
So in the last week we’ve been linked once again with French Midfielder Blaise Matuidi. The defensive midfielder has been on the Arsenal radar for sometime and I’ve seen the quotes from Matuidi over the last week a few times. Each time the headline is that Matuidi wants to move to Arsenal…I’m still wondering how they got that from this…
“I am flattered by the interest from clubs abroad and I have always loved the Premier League. It is the best league in the world, so exciting. I really want to be part of that.”
One of them even said, Blaise Matuidi has told Arsene Wenger he wants to sign for Arsenal with this comment…where did he say it? He said he wants to come to the Premier League, but there are like 3 other teams besides Arsenal linked with him.
Now I would love for Arsenal to grab him as I think he would do well for us, but I have to say it may be a long shot for us getting a defensive midfielder at all! Matuidi had a great season with St. Eti…um…Ettiene?? I don’t know, anyways, he was rated the best tackler in Ligue 1 and could prove very useful especially around the time Song is in Africa in January.
Newcastle, Everton and Liverpool have also been linked, not sure why Newcastle though…I think they have enough midfielders to get playing time as it is. Anyways, Arsene Wenger SHOULD be kicking himself because Matuidi would have cost us between 7-10 million last year and now his price tag has gone up to 15…(we could have really used him last year!)
With the arrival of Alvarez imminent along with Gervinho, possibly Chamberlain as well that could deplete us of much of our transfer budget to even get Matuidi. We still have a must signing in the defender department.
Unfortunately, there’s no youtube videos of Blaise except for one left footed shot so we hear all these good things about him but most of us haven’t even seen him play much. I watched him play for France last month and he looked good but would he fit in at Arsenal? Well he’s French…so probably! Anymore info you have on the Blaise please do tell!