Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Say it loud, say it clear Mr Wenger: “Fabregas is going nowhere”

By 1970’s Gooner

Fabregas’s departure, if it materialises, would be the final nail in the coffin of Arsene Wenger’s football model of development.

As reiterated on this blog on many occasions in the past this model of football development needs two vital ingredients to stay firmly cemented in place if it is to succeed.

The first is to strike and then keep in place the right blend between talented and technically gifted youth alongside experienced and hardened professionals.

In this way the team can be competitive against the more hardened teams at the top of the League, win trophies and at the same time bring on the youngsters under the guidance of the more experienced players to full football fruition.

A bit like Manchester United.

This Wenger has failed to do. He let or was not able to keep through stinginess and probably stubbornness (in not granting more than one year extensions to players over 30) experienced players who could have provided such a balance.

Players like Pires, Flamini and Hleb from the recent past. And if you want to go back a few years, remember Edu?

He left because Wenger and Dein tried to play hard when his contract extension was up for renewal. If he had stayed I have no doubt we would have won the league again at that time…

The second element is the need to keep the stars of the team while releasing the more aged players who have had their best years at the club, often at remunerative transfer fees.

Players like Vieira and Henry left leaving behind their best football years fetching about 15m each.

This policy keeps the finances in a healthy position ready to buy the next bunch of stars of the future. Players like Ramsey, Wilshere will be and like Fabregas once was.

Vieira, Henry, Overmars and Petit all, of course wanted out – but they were either 30 or approaching 30.

Which brings us to Cesc. If he leaves he will be leaving just at the time when he will be reaching his prime. He is only 24 and will be the youngest star to want out.

This past season has been Fabregas’s best.

Wenger pushed him just in front of two holding midfielders and granted him the freedom to roam in support of a main central striker. And he has excelled, providing more assists than any other player in the Premier League and scoring 19 goals!

Fabregas’s departure would give the message that Arsenal will for ever be a work in progress, getting near but not near enough, often clobbered by more street wise hardened opponents.

If you want to win titles and glory then don’t go to Arsenal….

In this coming season we are likely to see a physically and mentally more mature Fabregas ready to become a truly world star.

But will we? Is Wenger going to stand up to Barcelona, the money men, the Board and more importantly the player himself and say it loud and clear:


Monday, May 10, 2010

The Arsenal fans demand a new keeper

By 1970’s Gooner,

Arsene Wenger made an extraordinary statement in his weekly letter to the Arsenal fans. I get it on my e mail but I almost always ignore it as it usually reiterates an amalgam of his post match comments.

This time it attracted my attention as it was very direct and a little bit angry.

He asked the Arsenal fans to leave the transfer policy to him and we will see the results…

Is he getting fed up with everyone telling him to buy and buy and buy?

You bet he is.

But I am with the majority of the fans who are desperate and fed up to watch year after year talented youngsters play attractive football but get slaughtered by the big guns when the business part of the season arrives.

And there is one transfer that simply has to happen if we are to have a cat’s chance in hell to win anything next season and that is buying a new first team keeper capable to pull out those performances that will win you those points that Almunia and Fabianski certainly failed to do.

Van de Sar has been doing it season after season with Manchester United. Funnily enough Wenger passed on the chance to make that call that Van de Sar was expecting from him when leaving Fulham!

Shay Given, one of the best keepers in the League, was similarly available but again Wenger passed…

Petr Cech has been a top class keeper with Chelsea during those title winning years inclusive of this season of course.

Even Spurs have a better keeper than us. Gomez singlehandedly destroyed our chances to win the title.

I need not go on and on.

In fact the vast majority (82%) of nearly 2000 Arsenal fans that voted on our poll (see above) are clear that if Wenger does not sign a new keeper our chances of winning the title next season will evaporate EVEN if we buy all the outfield players that we need!

That is a strong message indeed.

There are numerous goalkeepers out there who are infinitely better than our lot.

David James may be old but so is Van de Sar. Joe Hart or even Shay Given at Manchester City, Gordon at Sunderland, Green at West Ham, Schwarzer at Fulham.

The list is endless and there are many, many keepers abroad which I am sure if Wenger puts his mind to it can come up with a decent choice.

But will he bother?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Tributes for Chamakh: “For me he is one of the best strikers in Europe and number one in France"

By Aries

The Bordeaux club’s people have begun to pay homage to Marwan Chamakh, who they consider a terrific footballer and person.

It seems that Arsenal will gain not only a very good footballer but someone with a very pleasant, kind and enthusiastic personality. Attributes that Wenger always considers important.

Patrick Battiston, Director of Bordeaux ‘s Training Centre, is sad to lose him but wonders if it is the right time for him to move:

“Well, obviously I would have liked him to stay a little longer. But that's life, that's football. The bird leaves the nest.

Whether it's the right time for him ... I do not know, you never know. Some are happy while staying in the same club, others want to discover new horizons, to learn other things”.

“Chamakh certainly earned the right to leave. But of course, emotionally, seeing a boy like him, especially when he is so nice it is always very emotional. It is even a little sad.

We had fun working with him. He has gradually taken large steps, while remaining the same, kind and enthusiastic. So yes, we will regret it. He has been a symbol to us”

Elie Baup who the Girondins coach between 1997-2003 considers Chamakh as the number one in France and one of the best strikers in Europe!

"Marwan was one of the most gifted players of his generation. He was rapidly improving every season and became one of the best strikers in Europe”.

“He's a player every coach would like to have in their team, for his generosity, altruism and the quality of his game head. For me, he is number one in France.

At Arsenal, he will continue to grow, because he will find himself in a supportive environment alongside players such as Nasri”.

Has Wenger unearthed another gem? Watch the video above...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Arsenal’s goalkeepers are a joke

By 1970’s Gooner

When Arsene Wenger said that due to Almunia’s wrist injury he would give a chance to Fabianski to prove himself I smiled. Wenger is up to his old tricks I thought as Almunia has probably been dropped.

On the other hand how can Fabianski prove himself in only three or so games? Surely you need more games than that to decide whether a keeper is good enough to win you the Premier League?

In fact the only decisive conclusion that could come out of this short run of games with Fabianski in goal could only be on the negative side i.e significant errors being made ruling the poor guy out of the reckoning.

And this eventuality has surely materialised. Or at least I hope that Wenger has now realised this!

Fabianski is not good enough to take that goalkeeper’s jersey. He should at best be loaned out so that he can learn on someone else’s back.

Nor is Almunia good enough and that is in my opinion quite obvious too. He has been given chance after chance, season after season but also failed miserably to convince.

It’s time to get the cheque book out Mr Wenger.

No team with real aspirations to win the title can do it with a goalkeeper, of at best, average quality.

Please go out and get a top class goalkeeper. And spend the money you say you have and give this very promising team the backbone it richly deserves.

A backbone consisting of the goalkeeper, a central defender (of an age below 30) and another strong defensively minded midfielder.

That’s all.