Tomorrow we line up against Manchester United at Old Trafford and many pundits see us departing Manchester defeated and to be fair there are many reasons to believe them but I think we can and will leave as victors.
COC against Reading aside Arsenal have struggled for goals and chances of late and some say this will make it unlikely for us to score against United.
Some say that our last visit to Old Trafford was so torrid that it will affect us tomorrow.
Some say that van Persie was the only player we had that could cause United problems and now he is their player.
Some say defeat is inevitable…. I say these people are wrong, here’s why.
When we last travelled to Old Trafford we were injury depleted and this was our line-up:
Problem number one was full-backs. Jenkinson has come on leaps and bounds since that defeat and although I confess to being a fan from his first touch of the ball in an Arsenal shirt and have championed him ever since (and am glad to see a large number of converted this season) I will not pretend that he was anything other than out of his depth in this game. Things just got worse as his (and the teams) confidence dropped and United’s soared. Read more
It’s been a while since my last post and this is only a short one so please forgive me if you had planned for one of my epics. I had planned to come back with a really big piece but whilst doing my research I found that I was completely wrong and the blog was a duffer.
I had planned to do a piece in the run up to the West Ham game as we would be facing a Sam Allardyce team that looked at the size of the Arsenal team. It was going to be titled “Are Arsenal Big Enough To Win The League?”. I have seen Arsenal lean towards smaller and more technical players over the past 10 years and was convinced that our average squad height was significantly below the average height for the eventual champions. Our title-winning squads under Wenger were built on a mixture of strength, power, flair, technical superiority and physical dominance. We were a big team and our natural athleticism aided us in overpowering other teams with ease. I spent a while researching the squads of every Arsenal team and the eventual champions since 2002 and calculating the height of every player that would qualify for a league medal (using as many references as possible as different sites have different heights for players) and coming out with a squad average height and an average height for outfield players and I was a little surprised to see that Arsenal have been getting a little shorter over the years but have kept in line with the champions of those years. I thought we had been smaller for years and this year was different as we have a few more “big” players and was building up to saying we could win the league because we have the mixture of the past including the height now but it seems we’ve always had the mixture but maybe it just was with poorer quality ingredients?
I thought we were getting shorter….
However that piece kind of led me onto this piece as there has been a lot made by some bloggers and some journalists about Arteta’s brilliance in his new role and how the “DM” (I prefer holding midfielder) role has changed and destroyers are no longer a necessity if you have intelligent players in those positions. Whilst looking at Arteta for Arsenal for the past year and especially more so since he moved back a bit I have formed an opinion and that is the topic of today’s blog.
I’d like to have a squad full of Arteta’s.
The most protracted contract negotiation ever has finally been sorted and I’m not talking about Theo. I’m now 11 days into married life and after being engaged for 6 years I’m sure pretty much everyone who knows me was shocked to see me sign the marriage contract.
It was a lovely day and I must admit that my wedding enforced twitter and blogging hiatus was refreshing but I’m glad to be “back” and hopefully with a fitting return piece for you to enjoy.
Theo seems to be the news at the moment and his recent comments about wanting to stay have split the camp as much as his contribution does.
For what it is worth I believe Theo when he says he wants to stay and that it’s not about money. When Theo signed in 2009 he and the boss announced that he was going to play more as a striker but that never happened and that is understandably frustrating for the lad. Some will say that he has no business deciding for himself what his best position is and should leave it to the boss but these are the same people who said that they’d prefer two midfielders at right back over Jenkinson so maybe it’s not the boss who decides what position players are best suited to? Read more
There has been a lot of attacking of Arsenal by Gooners on twitter recently and the stagnant air of negativity has even driven some very well liked tweeters into hibernation as they cannot stand to read the streams of abuse hurled towards the club and its players.
Instead of exasperating me to the point of quitting twitter it has, for want of a better word, inspired me to adapt my post. This piece was originally going to be entirely about the defence and, ironically, defending them and I’ll still do that but now the piece is going to be a bit longer and will be about defending the club as well. I suggest getting a cuppa as this is a long one but I really hope you’ll stay to the end because I think the message is worth hearing.
I’m as desperate for success as the next Gooner however I do not think we have a divine right to trophies nor do I think we have a divine right to challenge for trophies and I most certainly do not think that we should buy a sense of entitlement by selling out to the sugar daddies of the world.
That said I do believe that we should be challenging. Not because we are The Arsenal but because we have one of the best managers in the world, a world-class stadium full of supporters, world-class training facilities, top coaching staff, an enviable youth set-up, the best pitch in the world and a group of very talented players to take to it. I see no reason why we should not compete moving forward but understand fully why we have not challenged for the league in recent years even if I don’t like the fact we haven’t especially given the players we’ve had.
And now I want to dispel a few myths that kept cropping up in a twitter conversation last night and are used fervently by some as the reason Arsenal are not winning trophies.
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.