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Monday, February 06, 2017

Wenger's succession turning into a sorry mess

By 1970s Gooner

Can you tell me if you know of any club which has allowed their manager's contract to run into its last year without having announced who his successor will be?

Can you tell me if you know of any club which is waiting into the dying embers of a manger's contract to find out if HE has decided to carry on or not?

You know the answer of course.

The fact that Wenger is not letting anyone know what he will do until the end of the season is bound to end up in disaster.

Image result for Arsene Wenger

What if he decides to leave, as it increasingly looks like judging by the recent awful performances and results?

The Board will then have a month or so to find a successor!!! Gross negligence and incompetence of course.

You can say that surely they are not sitting with their hands tied. They must have identified and began talks with a few possible successors, surely.

Don't be so sure.

I tell you they are not likely to find any successors at this juncture as the future successors themselves are not sure if indeed Wenger is actually leaving the Arsenal! So why allow themselves to be dragged along a merry go round and end up with nothing in the end.

We all know that the Board are begging Wenger to stay. But this policy is highly risky. Results may turn even more sour, 4th place not accomplished with the fans demonstrating outside the Emirates wanting Wenger Out.

Wenger may then decide to walk. What will those impeciles at the Board do then?

This indecision is affecting the players too. Ozil and I think Sanchez are waiting to see if Wenger will stay before they decide to sign an extension to their contracts. New players to be signed may also want to know who the manager will be.

Of course Wenger may decide to stay.

That may be a disaster too.....










Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Arsenal's tiredness to be dealt with and transition counter attacking the new way

By 1970's Gooner

I was very pleased and encouraged by the Arsenal players' performance against Crystal Palace. They moved the ball about very quickly, hunted the opponents all over the pitch and counter attacked with pace and venom (hence the scorpion kick...).

The urgency shown was something that was distinctly missing from previous recent performances with the known negative results.

However this will be difficult to replicate against Bournemouth as this game comes only 50  hours since the final whistle of the Palace game.

I watched the Sunderland vs Liverpool game and it was obvious that Liverpool looked tired and off the pace which allowed Sunderland to gain a good foothold in the game.

Consider the following:

The Arsenal players looked tired against Everton on the Tuesday after having played Stoke three days before on a Saturday (a game which came four days after the away Basle game).

They again looked even more tired, especially in the second half against Man City, a game played five days later on a Sunday.

Taking this into account I would expect that for a game coming after about a day and a half since the last one that jadedness will be a major factor affecting the players performance.

Arsene Wenger will therefore have to introduce fresh legs but at the same time keeping the core important players so as to avoid disrupting the rhythm of the team.

Lets start with the undroppables.

In defence Cech, Koscienly, Monreal (as Gibbs is injured and not ready yet) and Bellerin.

The major decision here is whether to keep Gabriel or bring Mustafi in. I think Wenger will play Gabriel so as to keep the same defence, who have not conceded in 2 games, together but also to make sure that Mustafi is fully recovered from his hamstring.

In midfield Xhaka with his excellent performance against Palace should keep his place. Elneny is away and I fully expect that Coquelin will come in.

Iwobi will definitely keep his place as Ozil is still ill but also because he was instrumental in moving the ball in transition quickly and accurately to the on running forward players. He also scored. Funny that I am not worried about Ozil's absence....

On the wing I don't see Walcott making a comeback as he has been out for a few weeks and in any case I don't think he has been declared fit yet.

Sanchez is undroppable full stop and so is Giroud. There is therefore only one other place left and this will be between Ramsey, the Ox and Perez. The latter two have a better chance to start as they are faster and more fit than Ramsey who is only coming back from an injury.

The boss will want to select a pacy winger as our counter attacking has been a feature that has worked well recently. Perez did well vs Palace but he is very one footed and since he cannot play on the left, as Sanchez operates so well from there, I can't see him starting. The Ox will also bring fresh legs in the team.

This is the probable starting 11:

Cech

Bellerin  Koscienly  Gabriel  Monreal

Coquelin  Xhaka

Ox Iwobi  Sanchez

Giroud


Prediction: Bournemouth 0  Arsenal 1
















Arsenal 18 year old set to leave for transfer abroad

By 1970's Gooner

Usually it's the 30 and over players that are more willing to try their fortunes abroad but on this occasion Arsenal Academy youngster Ben Sheaf is set to move to Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus.





It is not yet clear if this is going to be on loan terms or an outright acquisition by the Cypriot club who currently sit 5th 10 points behind the leaders. The most probable will be a loan deal.

Omonia's manager is none other than John Carver the ex Newcastle coach and manager who managed to keep the North East club up in his last season.

And the Director of Football is Nicos Dabizas, yes the defender Dennis Bergkamp waltzed round to score THAT GOAL (which I consider much better than Giroud's scorpion kick).

The deal is not yet done so we will keep you informed.



Monday, December 19, 2016

It was interesting to practice 10 Vs 11 against City

By 1970's Gooner

It's not very often that a team gets the chance to practice, in real life conditions, a 10 against 11. It of course happens when a player is sent off and then the rest of the players have to play that extra hard and with determination to get a result.

Arsenal were indeed playing with 10 men against the 11 of City. But this was from the beginning of the match, for dozy Ozil was (not) at it again. He went missing as he often does in the big games. He doesn't fight, is not determined, does not mark, does not tackle and his passing is inaccurate.

Mezut Ozil is Arsenal's engine and like for every machinery if that engine is for whatever reason short circuited then the rest do not and cannot work.

This is what happens when Ozil is not at the races as the rest of the players are not that creative to take up that role. Xhaka and Coquelin are mainly defensive players. Walcott and Iwobi are wide players and Cazorla who would have offered some creativeness is of course missing.

He is missing because Wenger selected him to play against Ludogorets at the Emirates, a tie that we were odds on favourites to win. It was a mistake of course taking into account his injury record.

The other player that could have offered some creativity is Ramsey but he has been burnt out due to the curious decision by Wenger to start him in the first game of the season after his heroics in the Euros. For some reason he rested Koscienly and Giroud but not Ramsey....

The absence of Ozil in the City game meant that the only creative player left on the pitch was Sanchez who was finding himself coming back to play the role of playmaker.

Ozil has no divine right to start let alone not being substituted. He has been letting the team down more often than not this season and his attitude is unacceptable.

Wenger should have taken him off when he put the Ox on and kept Iwobi on. Iwobi could have moved in the number 10 role instead. He would have had a much bigger impact on the game for the remaining minutes than what Ozil offered for three quarters of the game.

But no, Ozil is irreplaceable! Well he isn't.

And if he doesn't want to sign a new contract then he can hop off to China.









Thursday, December 15, 2016

The three improvements Wenger needs to bring about to win against Man City

By 1970's Gooner

Arsene Wenger did not rest the key players for the midweek game against Basle in the CL. The performance was very good and the result meant that we toped our group (which didn't help in the end).

However the team which was already showing signs of tiredness even before that game got even more jaded.

Almost the same players that played against West Ham on the Saturday traveled to Basle for the Tuesday game and then on to the home Saturday game against Stoke. Three days later those same players were lining up against Everton at Goodison Park.

The performances prior to the Everton game were beginning to show some tiredness and some slack play. Yet the results were of course as expected. The opponents were not after all that good as to worry us tremendously.

Everton away was a different game of course. Although we didn't play that well in the first 20 minutes we got a deflected goal. But we did not kick on from there and in my opinion tiredness coupled with overconfidence resulted in a below par performance.

Could Mustafi have prevented those two goals? Nobody knows. Wenger said it wasn't Gabriel's fault. Whose was it then? It was the whole team's because no one closed down the cross for the first goal and no one played that well to prevent Everton's overall drive in the second half.

Wenger had a bad game too. His substitutions were ineffective and inappropriate. He made two subs on 71, Iwobi and Giroud for Walcott and the Ox. He was going for the game but it was obvious the subs were not affecting the game enough and Everton were overrunning us in midfield.

His next substitution should have been a defensive one in order to safeguard a point. He should have taken dozy Ozil off and put Elneny on to make sure that 'if you can't win a game then at least do not loose it'.

He didn't.

Now he has to get his finger out as well as the players. He has to re energise them, give them belief and a game plan to beat City. A victory which will send a statement across the land that Arsenal are up for it and gunning for the title.

Otherwise let someone else take it on.







Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Sanchez drags his luggage from the plane. Forget him for at least 2 weeks

By 1970's Gooner

Alexis Sanchez ever the optimist considers that the injury he has suffered during training with the Chile national squad is a minor one and will only keep him out of the game against Colombia. He expects to play next Tuesday against Uruguay.

Sanchez was driven from the clinic straight to the airport where he literally had to drag his luggage out of the plane because he was advised to stay behind and begin treatment. 

The ultrasound was performed immediately after Sanchez felt the pain and the doctors said that, although it is a mild strain, in this type of lesions, you have to wait 24 hours to determine the recovery time, because the tear evolves.

It is not clear how long this tear takes to heal but it could take at least 2 maybe 3 weeks. This is the view of the more conservative doctors that passed their opinion on his injury in Chile who maintain that if he does play next Tuesday then there is the possibility of aggravating the injury further.

Arsene Wenger will be hoping that Sanchez sits out both games but even if this advice is followed I doubt if he will risk him in the upcoming games against United and PSG. 

Wenger will remember last season prior to the Norwich game that he was considering not starting him as he was in the grey zone. He did start him and of course picked up a strain which kept him out for a very long time.

He will not want to repeat the same mistake.

So even if Sanchez does not play for Chile it looks as though he will not be risked when he returns.










Sanchez drags his luggage from the plane. Forget him for at least 2 weeks

By 1970's Gooner

Alexis Sanchez ever the optimist considers that the injury he has suffered during training with the Chile national squad is a minor one and will only keep him out of the game against Colombia. He expects to play next Tuesday against Uruguay.


Sanchez was driven from the clinic straight to the airport where he literally had to drag his luggage out of the plane because he was advised to stay behind and begin treatment. 

The ultrasound was performed immediately after Sanchez felt the pain and the doctors said that, although it is a mild strain, in this type of lesions, you have to wait 24 hours to determine the recovery time, because the tear evolves.

It is not clear how long this tear takes to heal but it could take at least 2 maybe 3 weeks. This is the view of the more conservative doctors that passed their opinion on his injury in Chile who maintain that if he does play next Tuesday then there is the possibility of aggravating the injury further.

Arsene Wenger will be hoping that Sanchez sits out both games but even if this advice is followed I doubt if he will risk him in the upcoming games against United and PSG. 

Wenger will remember last season prior to the Norwich game that he was considering not starting him as he was in the grey zone. He did start him and of course picked up a strain which kept him out for a very long time.

He will not want to repeat the same mistake.

So even if Sanchez does not play for Chile it looks as though he will not be risked when he returns.










Monday, November 07, 2016

And I thought Arsenal had the more mature team

By 1970's Gooner

Arsene Wenger has been telling us for a long time now that he has a more mature team these days. Certainly the average age of the Arsenal players is a few years more than that of Spurs who by the way is considered to be the youngest team in the Premier League.

And you would have expected that maturity would bring calmness, non anxiety and methodical play. Yet we did not witness this during the North London derby.

In fact it was the Spurs players who played without fear and calmness. They passed the ball accurately and were disciplined enough to hold their positions and carry out their game plan even with a 3 5 2 formation they were trying for the first time.

In contrast the Arsenal players were misplacing their passes and did not have the patience to carry out their attacks calmly. They were anxious and nervous.

I am afraid to say so but we have seen this kind of performance before, especially last season where whenever we needed to win a game to go top of the League we failed miserably. When the pressure was off we would revert to our more scintillating nature.

This is the biggest obstacle that has to be overcome if we are to actually WIN the title.

And I expect Wenger to put this right.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Arsene gets selection and substitutions wrong and teams have sussed Monreal out

By 1970's Gooner

The unexpected draw against Boro could have been very different if it weren't for the wrong team selection and the unhelpful substitutions.

It was obvious from the start that a midfield consisting of two defensively minded midfielders would be desperately short of imagination, creativity and forward passing.

Elneny and Coquelin are fine central midfielders that you would use in tandem if you didn't want to lose a game. But, I believe, it was wrong to start with these two.

It shows that Wenger himself underestimated the opponents and gave also the message to the rest of the team that this game is going to be relatively easy.

As the game was progressing it was becoming obvious that Monreal was becoming targeted as Gray was continuously getting the better of him. At the same time it was also obvious that Iwobi has not yet learned that he has to track back as speedily and effectively as Walcott.

The obvious substitution should have been to take Elneny off, move Iwobi in the middle next to Coquelin and bring the Ox on the left wing who would have added more dynamism and forward thrust.

Importantly he would have been fast and wily enough to track back and offer Monreal help and Iwobi would have added some much needed creativity in the middle.

Instead Wenger waited and waited and then brought on 67 Perez for Iwobi and on 74 the Ox in the middle for Elneny with no real effect.

The most worrying issue to come to the fore in the last few games is Monreal's lack of pace. This was heavily exposed in the game against Swansea where Barrow ran rings around him and almost single handedly brought his team back into the game from 3 1 down.

Just as Brendan Rodgers showed everyone how to play against Man City by pressing from the front so have Swansea's tactics showed how to get the better of Arsenal.

It seems that now teams facing Arsenal have sussed this out and will be placing their fast wingers on the left trying to get at Arsenal on the break. Boro had 25% possession but had 7 attempts on target!

Solving this problem however will be difficult. Firstly it is not sure that Monreal has lost pace or that simply he is tired. If it is the former however then Iwobi's presence on the left wing does not help.

The obvious and first solution is for Iwobi to shape up and improve his tracking back and defending significantly.

Other solutions will eventually include using Gibbs there and/or utilizing the Ox on the wing. Walcott is much more effective on the right so that cannot be a solution.

Similarly Burnley played the pressing game from the front against Arsenal at Turf Moor with much success. Arsenal had no outlet with Sanchez not that good when the ball is played high from the back.

Thankfully Giroud's return will offer Wenger a way out of this problem.






Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Revealed: Photo of the contents inside the package offered to Wenger

By 1970's Gooner



Everyone at the City Ground is perplexed as to why the Forest fan invaded the pitch and offered the  Styrofoam container containing food to Wenger.



On this only the fan himself knows.

But what was inside the container?

Here is the photo that shows.




Looks like a shepherd's pie?