Today on NLIR I am pleased to introduce a new guest blogger Manas Saraswat (@ManasAFC) . Manas is an Engineering student from Delhi and has a deep love for everything Arsenal. Take it away Manas…..
Much has been made about Arsenal’s midfield this season. From general team balance, tactics and player positions we have seen a lot of different things being tried as Arsène Wenger tries to accommodate his players and build a solid squad capable of playing his brand of elegant and easy-on-the-eye football. If the last few weeks are any indication then we have finally recaptured that balance, mainly in midfield which has been the reason for our improved defensive solidarity over the last 10 games.
But as much as I’d like to dissect and analyse the mechanics of the Arsenal midfield, I’m not here to talk about tactics and formations as I’m sure you’ve read about a lot already. I’m here to talk about a player, whose improvement in recent weeks has gone rather unnoticed by many, to discuss his role in the team and the impact he’s had recently and also a possible relocation in the squad to where he might be a better fit. In recent weeks there have been suggestions from fans that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be better suited as playing in an attacking midfielder role in the centre of midfield and I am of a similar opinion. Read more
On NLIR today I am delighted to welcome Martijn Stolze (@hahostolze) . Martijn is a Dutch history student with a love for Britain and has been a Gooner since 1997. Martijn has written an extremely emotive piece and I’m sure you’re going to love it. Grab a beverage and strap in for an epic ride.Take it away Martijn…..
You can’t blame Arsène Wenger if over the last two or three seasons he has looked glum, burnt out and tired. You can’t blame him if he has felt despondent and absolutely lost. This is a man whose love for Arsenal FC is absolute and unequivocal. But also a man who has seen his hard work, on one of his finest generations, fail and falter at the last hurdle too many times, and seen the lure of money and glory rip apart the teams he set about to mould in his image. A man who was on par with the greatest manager in PL history when the influx of money set the PL alight. Yet during recent weeks Arsène Wenger seems a man repossessed. The fire in his belly that drove his incessant desire for perfection, for better, for prettier, seems to be roaring at its fullest again. And just when we needed it.
Very few things are as harsh on a person as their position in history. In the last few days the glory of Sir Alex Ferguson has been sung by all those who love him, need to suck up to him or those who respect the man’s achievements. Looking through the Guardian’s review of the titles he won it makes it very obvious that the only man who consistently got close to his all conquering teams was Arsène Wenger. But Arsène Wenger is not a man en vogue today. He is not popular. His legacy isn’t being remembered the way it should. Not even with some of the fans of the club he has helped into one of the biggest and most valuable in footballing history. That has got to sting. I know it stings me. Read more
Football is loved worldwide for a number of reasons but I think the biggest reason is its ability to evoke emotion. I usually feel a multitude of emotions when I watch Arsenal but for the past few weeks I have found that the dominant emotion has been anger.
Unlike some of my frothy-mouthed fellow supporters I haven’t been angry about team selection, tactics or the inclusion of Gervinho/Ramsey/Mertesacker or league position. No, I have been getting increasingly angry when watching Arsenal due to the commentary.
So-called experts, pundits, commentators and co-commentators seem to derive pleasure from criticising Arsenal at every given opportunity and are always looking for ways to fault Arsenal.
Of all the teams that are considered “big” Arsenal seem to be the only club that suffers from unrelenting criticism. I don’t classify all of these teams as “big” but the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all seem to garner praise from the press and TV pundits regardless of their actions whereas Arsenal it seems can do no right. Read more
I’ve been a blogger for a couple of years but it has only really been this year that my blog, North London Is Red, has taken off and grown in popularity.
I am extremely grateful for every reader that I have had this year and want to take a moment to say thank you to you all and wish you a most wonderful Christmas wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
This year has been a huge journey for me as a blogger from starting the year with 7 twitter followers and about 100 reads of my blog (on the old domain) in 8 months to having over 3600 followers and 300k+ reads of my blog on this domain since May.
I’ve had a really good year in the blogosphere and a lot of thanks has to go to many of my fellow bloggers and tweeters for helping me gain so many new readers and followers to interact with.
It’s not only been a journey of popularity, it has also been a journey of emotions as following Arsenal always is so I thought I’d use this opportunity to take a look back at my journey through 2012 in blogs. Read more
So the world didn’t end. I knew it wouldn’t for a number of reasons but the biggest one is that Tottenham are currently above us in the league and any deity that exists or the will of the universe would not allow the world to be destroyed and have the spirits of Spuds spend eternity claiming superiority based on league position at the time of Armageddon.
God is a Gooner
After the Bradford result you could have sworn that the world was ending though and it’s probably the main reason I haven’t blogged in a few weeks.
I had so much I wanted to say after that game. About our lack of fight, spirit, killer instinct, vision, unity, tactical awareness, mental strength and passion but it all seemed so pointless. I was angry for days and it took a lot for me not to pick up my keyboard and slag off the players, the manager and the board. After I had calmed down I still had some thoughts about the game in me and wanted to blog them but by then we were visiting family and were returning on the day of the Reading game so I thought I’d wait to see if we had learnt what I thought we needed to learn and in some ways we did. Read more