Today I am delighted to welcome, what is a real coup, the most original and talented blogger on the Arsenal blogging scene, @PoznanInMyPants , as a guest blogger to North London Is Red. Paul usually blogs on his site PoznanInMyPants but I’ve managed to kidnap him and force him to write for NLIR under the threat of torture. He’s a bit sadistic so that didn’t work and I had to promise to torture him some more to get him to write for me. Take it away Paul…
Bayern Are Already Fucked and They Don’t Even Know It
I just listened to Arsene’s ArsenalPlayer interview on Bayern…and I think he’s right. Bayern ARE fucked.
We have them right where we want them, those poor bastards.
You know that bit in the movie where the cavalry chase down a group of Indians towards the river so that they trapped for the slaughter. Well that was the 1st leg at the Emirates.
Then as they come over the top of a hill they discover a massive army of Indians lying in wait to slaughter the cavalry. Well, that’s the 2nd leg at the Allianz with the away goals rule lying in wait. Read more
Has it really been over two weeks since my last post? I have been very busy what with me getting married in 8 weeks (sorry ladies) among many other things and I have neglected my blog a bit.
I have a number of blog topics swirling around my head and partly finished but I decided that I wanted to write another RVP related blog (Oh no! I hear you cry) but I also want to explore some related topics.
I was involved in a discussion recently about how easy it would be for Robin to force Arsenal to sell him this summer but before I get into that I want to talk about why we should keep him.
There will be a lot of people who completely disagree with my thoughts on this and that’s okay but I hope that once I have explained why I think we should keep Robin this summer no matter what I hope a few of them will be convinced or at least respect that there is a legitimate other side to the argument.
Keeping RVP this summer is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, he is the only “world-class” player we have at the club at the moment (even with the new signings). Secondly, we should not look to strengthen any of our league or European competitors in return for money we are not in dire need of. Thirdly, we need to send a message to our players and to other clubs that we are not pushovers. Lastly, we need his experience to afford new signings time to settle and to help us promote youth players into the first team set-up.
This is not to say I forgive him or forget his actions, far from it but I believe that keeping him is the best thing for Arsenal.
There are plenty of blogs covering the Euro’s at the moment and I don’t think there is anything I can add to the quality already out there so I won’t even try. I have a couple of serious posts in the pipeline but today’s blog is a playful look at transfers playground stylie. I hope you enjoy.
The rumour mill has been turning and one of the most popular rumours at the moment is the Chamakh plus cash swap for Giroud.
If indeed Giroud does come in then that will be two strikers bought which many believe will signal the end to RVP’s time with Arsenal. I believe that it could actually mean a change in formation as our current formation was built around Cesc and as we no longer have Cesc it would make sense to use a formation that suits our current players but I trust Wenger to make the right decision.
I wrote a post back in March detailing the reasons why I think Van Persie will stay and I stand by that however I am prepared for the worst. Last summer I buried my head in the sand and refused to believe that Nasri and Cesc would leave. I knew that Cesc would eventually leave but I thought that Barça had shot their load on Sánchez and wouldn’t be able to afford Cesc, little did I expect us to bend over and allow Barça to royally shaft us over Cesc’s fee (yes I am still bitter about that). I also believed that Nasri would sign a new contract especially after his “I prefer to win trophies with honour not cash” quotes but that is by the by now.
Now I want to look at what we could do with RVP if he decides not to sign a new contract. I am of the opinion that we should let him see out the last year because I honestly do not see the value in selling him especially when you consider what he would reasonably fetch.
That said I want to look at a different option that isn’t often used in modern football but one that I believe would be a better option that selling RVP for cash. Swapping.
After my post yesterday about do I still trust Wenger in the transfer market I predictably got a lot of responses, mainly on my twitter, naming Wenger’s dud buys. Every club buys players that don’t work out but no-one mentions Bebe or Shevchenko or Jo because it seems only Wenger buys bad players and every other club buys great players.
I don’t really like the term deadwood but I can’t think of another name. I want to explore the “deadwood” and give my thoughts on whether or not they are/were as bad as many of us, myself at times included, have made them out to be.
The so-called “deadwood” are Almunia, Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh, Denilson, Diaby, Park, Squillaci and Vela.
I remember a time when Arsenal fans were clamouring for him to play instead of Jens Lehmann…. how ironic that they all say Szczesny is our first decent keeper since Jens!
|Apps/Mins||98 / 8808||53 / 4770
|Average Goals Conceded Per Match||0.96||1.28
|Penalties Faced/Conceded||14 / 8||10 / 7
|Penalty Save Percentage||43%||30%
|Total Shots Faced||844||524
|Total Shots On Target Faced||359||200
As the table shows Szczesny, statistically, isn’t much better. He keeps fewer clean sheets on average and concedes more goals with a similar amount of shots on goal. However, what Szczesny has in abundance that Almunia always lacked is an unshakeable self-confidence that even if he makes a mistake he won’t make another. When Almunia dropped a clanger he looked completely crestfallen and was prone to making more errors.
Confidence aside I don’t really think anyone can call Almunia “deadwood”. He is a decent keeper, maybe not up to the standards of the great keepers we’ve had over the years but if he was earning 50% of what he has been earning I don’t think many people would have objected to him staying as 3rd choice keeper. Read more
It has taken 9 years and the best part of £1.1b of Abramovich’s cash but he finally has the Champions League trophy.
When Drogba scored the winning penalty I felt sick but now the bile has settled back down I’m actually quite ambivalent about Chelsea’s triumph.
Sure Chelsea parked the bus but so did Inter and I appreciate that sometimes the best team loses. I know Chelsea were “lucky” to get through against Barca courtesy of a Torres clincher who despite his lack of form since making his British transfer record move is still a quality player. Last season Arsenal may have had a similar route to the final if our last minute chance had fallen to a striker of Torres’ quality instead of Bendtner.
I’m not pleased that Chelsea won the Champions League but I’m far from devastated. They’re still 10 league titles and 4 FA cups away from being more successful than us.
The potential upside of their triumph is that Abramovich may now decide that he no longer wants to pump millions into the club. He has what he came for and he may feel that the team needs to improve far too much in order to challenge for the CL again next year and indeed make the top 4. I don’t think he will continue to spend the way he has been spending. Hopefully this is good news for Arsenal.
A while ago I mentioned the idea of maybe making a move for Drogba in the summer on a free and got a bit of stick for it as I did with my Owen suggestion. After last night maybe that idea doesn’t look so stupid now to some of you.
Chelsea over the years and City recently have proven that you can buy trophies (class is debatable) and United proved that you can compete against one of them but now that there are two money clubs winning trophies to contend with the question is how can Arsenal compete? Arsenal were clearly the better team in the league when compared with Chelsea and were clearly the better team in Europe when compared with City but how do we combine the two?
We can continue trying to do things in our self-sufficient manner and let the victories taste even sweeter when they happen or we can do what many fans believe we should do and sell our soul to a billionaire to try and buy success.
Although I prefer our current model I’d like to suggest a compromise that I believe will keep in with our self-sustaining model and still have billionaire backing.