Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Three major reasons why Arsenal failed against Fulham

By 1970”s Gooner

For the first reason I would agree with Wenger. The team did look jaded. Tiredness was very apparent to me especially in the second half where some of the players’ energy did begin to fail them.

One example was Song who was replaced in midfield by Diaby and also Ramsey who was not himself yesterday.

The second reason I blame on Wenger.

His team selection included Arshavin. He should never start a game again for Arsenal. He has lost his spark and with it his passing, goals coring but also his defending. He hardly tracks back leaving his defender always exposed. He should be sold in the January window.

When Gervinho came in we looked far more penetrative. He should have started and we would have won the game in my opinion.

Lastly, people are wrong to compare Arteta with Cesc. It’s Ramsey who has taken the Fabregas role but unfortunately he has his ups and downs.

He will eventually be a top player but at the moment he is lacking. And with this the team is lacking creativeness and that spark that Wilshere gives us. The team needed some creativeness to break the Fulham defence but he did not provide it.

Wilshere will when he returns and when that happens we will sweep the board.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Song is a contradiction. He is a box to box defensive midfielder

By 1970’s Gooner

I remember when I had the chance about four years ago to watch Alex Song play against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He was then on Loan at Charlton Athletic when they were in the Premier League.

I was astounded. I was extremely pleasantly surprised. Or rather than extremely pleasantly surprised its better to say ‘shocked’.

He was man of the match. He controlled and dominated the central midfield areas on his own against the Man Utd midfielders. At Old Trafford of all places. It was then that I realised that we had a gem there that nobody outside the club really new about.

I wrote as much in one of my blogs then and luckily I was not proved wrong.

He was immense in the second half last night against Dortmund, improving on his average, for his standards, first half. He completely dominated that central midfield area, defended effectively in front of his back four, won nearly all his tackles, distributed the ball with ease and of course went forward like a seasoned attacking midfielder.

He is often spoken as a defensive midfielder. He is nothing of the sort. He is a genuine box to box dynamo.

He can tackle, he can pass short and long, he can head the ball, he can dribble with ease, he can provide the goal assists and he can score. What else do you want?

He reminds me a lot of Bryan Robson the Manchester United midfielder who was one of England’s finest box to box midfielders.

Alex Song was bought from Bastia in France for 1m pounds in 2006 after spending one season on loan to Arsenal. He is now 24 and I think he is worth at least 30m.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Santos is the weakest link

By 1970’s Gooner

When I first saw Santos play for Arsenal, I, as everyone noticed, spotted his attacking capabilities but at the same time cringed every time he had to defend.

His attacking bias also takes him deep into the opponent’s half and if we loose the ball he is so exposed up the field that we have to defend that left side with either a centre back dragged out of position or Gervinho has to drop back. He is not that defensively minded player of course.

All these weaknesses became very apparent at Chelsea and of course at Norwich. A large percentage of their attacks were instigated from that side. And I am sure opponents will now plan to attack Arsenal from that side of the pitch.

With Sagna and Jenkinson out of action Konscienly had, in my opinion, a very good game against Norwich as a right back. He has improved no end recently and I do think that he will develop into a quality centre back for Arsenal.

In fact he could keep that right back position now which would mean that our defence will improve no end.

I have no doubt that Metesacker will get used to the PL but I am not sure about Santos.

He has to curb his attacking instincts if he is to do that.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Walcott is the real revelation

By 1970’s Gooner

Ok RVP deserves to get most of the plaudits for his all round performances and his goals. And well done Song for opting for RVP to pass the ball to instead of Gervinho who probably would have fluffed the chance, as he did with a few other chances against Norwich.

But the real revelation in the Arsenal ranks recently has been Theo Walcott for me. With RVP it has been top quality performances since last season really. But with Theo he has really come to life now.

He has managed to combine accuracy with his crosses along with his speed. He has also become more mature using his brain and his experience (he has after all played over 200 games so far).

You could see it materialising to great effect in the friendlies for England but also for Arsenal. He is unstoppable and when he gets past his defender he delivers accurate crosses waiting to be converted into goals.

He reminds me of Ronaldo when after a few years playing for Man Utd he suddenly started being accurate with his crosses and his goal assists shot through the roof. He then started scoring goals with ease.

This is what is happening with Theo now and I predict that soon we will see him scoring bag loads of goals.

And if RVP ever decides to leave then Theo will be ready to step up the plate.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nico Yennaris to decide who to play for

By 1970’s Gooner

Nico Yennaris had his first team debut for Arsenal only recently in the League Cup against Bolton. He played at right back and had a pretty good game.

But now that everyone has seen his potential he has a choice to make. Does he continue representing England in the U19s or does he opt to play for his parents countries. You see Nico has the “luxury” of being eligible to play for one of three countries.

He was born in Leytonstone 18 years ago. His father is Cypriot and his mother Chinese. He has played for England’s U17s, 18s and 19s but according to the rules since he hasn’t played for the national team proper he can still switch.

If he chooses to do so his chances for international cups will obviously increase as competition for the England national side is so much more intense.

The Cypriot FA are now considering making an approach to the player and his father to gauge his intentions.

If he is persuaded he is likely to be invited to join the Cypriot side as indeed another Cypriot Londoner who used to play for Leyton Orient, Jayson Demetriou, did a few years ago. He is now an established Cypriot international who played last week against Scotland in an international friendly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Arsenal starlet scores international goal

By 1970's Gooner

Write this name down. Joel Campbell. He will be a star and Arsene Wenger knows how to pick a youngster.

Watch the goal he scored in Costa Rica's 2-2 draw with Spain.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Arsenal will challenge for honours this season

By 1970’s Gooner

Everyone is still criticising Arsenal for their defensive frailties.

They say that Mertesacker is slow and looks dodgy. That Santos is a kamikaze defender. That Jenkinson is too inexperienced. That Koscienly is error prone. That Szczesny is good but still a baby.

Yes all those criticisms have of course a basis of fact.

But even with those weaknesses so apparent we have managed to win eight of our last ten games! We are top of our CL group and almost certain to qualify. We now lie seventh in the Premier League only a few points off the CL places.

And we turned Chelsea over away handing them five of the best.

So can you imagine what a tremendous team we will be when two things happen:

Firstly when we begin to correct those weaknesses.

When Mertesacker gets used to his team mates and the PL.

When Santos learns to restrict his attacking instincts.

When Koscienly, as he has already shown lately, begins to show his real quality.

When Jenkinson gets better the more he games he gets (and against Marseille he looked more accomplished to me).

And secondly when our top players return to first team duty:

When Vermaelen, as he has shown against Marseille, adds more quality and more solidity to our defense.

When Sagna returns. When Gibbs returns.

But more importantly when Wilshere returns to add more creativity in midfield.


Sagna Metersacker/(Koscienly) Vermaelen Gibbs

Ramsey/(Arteta) Song Wilshere

Walcott RVP Gervinho

We could even be challenging for top honours this season with this team.