Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Transfer fee for Podolski shows Wenger’s intent to put things right

By 1970’s Gooner

Lukas Podolski has told FC Koln that he has decided to move to the Premier League and that his chosen team will be Arsenal.

Information coming out of Germany indicates that all that is left for the move to happen in the summer is for the two clubs to agree a transfer fee.

Podolski’s contact runs out in 2013 and apparently Arsenal are willing to pay 15.250 m a sum which is expected to satisfy his present club.

Apparently Wenger made a move for Podolski in May 2011 offering 17m and again in November for 19m! But FC Koln were not willing to sell and Lukas himself did not want to move in mid season.

In addition to the transfer fee Podolski’s wages are expected to reach around 82.000 per week or 4.3 m per year!

This indicates that Arsene Wenger is already planning for next season in an attempt to avoid the last minute transfer fiasco of last summer where two major players left and three players came in on deadline day.

It also indicates that he is seriously worried that RVP will be unwilling to stay unless Arsenal show real intent in challenging for honours next season by bringing in quality signings.

Better late than never.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Redknap fails tactically and Rosicky comes alive

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsenal’s thumping of Spurs was down to a fantastic team performance characterised by team spirit, work ethos and amazing accuracy in front of goal.

Two aspects stuck out with me most.

The first has to do with the tactics that Harry adopted. He chose to play with two front men in Saha and Adebayor. 

This meant that the midfield was manned by Modric who was more attack minded and Parker who was the defensive minded player. The result was that Spurs were outnumbered in this crucial area of the pitch as Arsenal played their normal 4 3 3 with Benayoun, Rosicky and Song  the three midfield players. 

Spurs would have been OK if their two wide men, Kranjkar and Bale tacked in to give a helping hand in midfield.

But this was where Spurs and Harry failed. For, on the occasions where their wide men failed to tack in, they were outplayed in midfield.

And when they did tack in they left acres of space on the flanks. Bale in particular was more exposed as when he vacated his line on the flank it was Walcott who benefited. And we all saw what he did to Spurs!

And Arsenal’s trio in the middle were brilliant. They chased and tackled all over the pitch especially in the opponents defensive line thus forcing their defenders into mistakes. When they won the ball they passed it to the forward players with precision.

A special mention has to go to Rosicky. He reminded us all of his best performances, now two years ago! What a player he was on Saturday. He did everything. He tackled, passed, hurried, and tackled again. He run and run and run. And he scored too!

The perfect performance.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Arsenal fans should boycott the Milan game

By 1970’s Gooner
It pains me to suggest it. It will hurt me when a lot of Arsenal fans may castigate me for turning against the club that I and all of you love.

But I have to call it as I see it. And it is pretty obvious to me that the Board are quite happy to see the team finish in the top four every season so that the CL money boosts the revenue that is needed to pay off the banks and raise the value of the shares they hold.

 Did you know that some Arsenal shares sold for 16.500 each last week! This means that the existing shareholders are making a killing. And this value will increase with every year that passes by.

We were told that constructing a new stadium will put us up there withy the big boys. Well I have news for you Arsenal Board members. It has done exactly the opposite!

We are starved of the cash to buy the quality players that we need to compete. And I don’t mean players of astronomical value but good players, players who can, with the correct management, contribute to success.

We are instead reduced to buying either very young or average players paying minimal fees or on a free transfers! Chamakh, Park, Miyachi, Denilson, Vela, Benayoun, Almunia, Squillaci, Jenkinson.

We are fed up year after year to hear the same things:

‘We need to give time to the young players to evolve’
‘We were so close we only need some twigging to get there’
‘Our development model is sustainable’

Well I have news for you:IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN

The team is now of average quality which is a result of the club’s stingy transfer policy.

 It will not win another trophy if it carries on like this.

The shining stars of the team will always leave when they reach 27 or 28 because they will realiSe that they will win trophies if they move away from Arsenal.

Seven years without a trophy. This is nothing mates. We are looking at another 7 years without a trophy.

If we had known about this eventuality we, the fans, would have been quite happy to have stayed at Highbury. There would have been far more funds available than what we are seeing now! 

Spurs are doing alright aren't they? And they haven't moved from White Hart Lane have they.

But no the shareholders are not concerned about our views. All they are concerned is to make money. And if that can be achieved without winning trophies then so much the better as it would not involve spending any serious money.

But they seem be to missing out on one thing. The Emirates has to fill its capacity in order for them to rake in the revenue. We the fans can have a say.

And I say we should boycott the Milan game as a warning of what is to come.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

You are deluded Mr Wenger

By 1970’s Gooner
What a joker Djourou is! And Squillaci! As soon these two jokers got together it was pretty obvious that we were going to get thumped. One bad mistake after another. One schoolboy error after another. Any high ball over the top and we were running for cover.

Djourou dithered on the ball, allowed the opponent to close him down and gave away the foul from which we conceded. He had a nightmare of a game. And he does this in every game. Yet he gets a new contract!

You can’t just play with a centre back who is League 2 standard. You will get punished. And we played with two centre backs who are League 2 standard!

And as for Ramsey I don’t really blame him for another inept performance. It’s Wenger that should take the blame for starting him. Why on earth doesn’t he trust Rosicky? When he came on we had more direct passes to our forwards and had a better shape.

Wenger is deluded. I am convinced. Do you know that he praised the players’ performance saying that they were tired and that we were unlucky!!!

You are deluded Mr Wenger, badly.

Is it the 7th season now without a trophy? How many more can we endure?

The trouble is that he will not walk away because his ambition is not necessarily to win trophies. It is to win them with the young players he develops.

Well it aint gona happen Mr Wenger.

He seems happy if we finish 4th every year. The Board seem happy if we finish 4th every year!

All that they are concerned about is making enough profits to pay off the debts to the banks and thus raise the value of the shares. So that when they do sell off they make a big killing.

They don’t give a shit about the fans.

The only way they will listen is when we fail to make 4th spot or if we stop buying the expensive season tickets.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Arsenal, a bad day at the office

By 1970’s Gooner
I call it as I see it and what I saw at the San Siro wasn’t pretty.

Every single player vastly underperformed. From the goalkeeper to the out and out striker.

Sczesny’s kicking was bad and resulted in the first goal.

Vermaelen had a shocker. I have never seen him play so bad. He was at fault for the first and the third goal.

Sagna was outrun by Ibrahimovic for their second.

Koscienly was marking no one when Robinho had a free header.

Arteta, Ramsey and Rosicky were non existent in midfield. Ramsey has a good game followed by a bad game. Arteta is average and Rosicky was played out of position.

This I think was Wenger’s fault in the sense that Rosicky instead of playing on the wing tended to come in field. This meant that Song was forced out of the central midfield role he is accustomed to. Thus there was no significant ball winner in midfield and as a result Milan run riot in this crucial area of the pitch.

I am not saying that we lost the game because of this but I do think it was a contributing factor.

Walcott was again non existent and the Ox for some reason didn’t start!

RVP tried his best but with no support he was rendered almost superfluous.

It was a team failure rather than due to specific reasons that you could say if they were corrected this defeat could have been avoided. Not even if the midfield positions were not messed about as I explained above.

This is why I am not so despondent after this failure nor am I jumping on the media bandwagon calling for a massive cull of 95 % of the players and Wenger’s head for good measure.

For just as there was an overall team under performance in Italy we could well witness a strong comeback against Sunderland in the FA Cup.

All that needs to happen is a good kick up the arse with the players raising their game to their usual level and lo and behold you could witness a backlash and a massive win shutting everyone’s mouths up!

And then everyone will be saying that the defeat at the San Siro was a bad day at the office!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hands up to Wenger and Arshavin

By 1970’s Gooner

We all crucified him. Some of us thought he was loosing the plot. He brought on Arshavin against Man Utd and we lost that game. 

But he brought on Arshavin today and the little Russian did in 15 or so minutes what he practically failed to do all season. He produced a wonderful cross in between the central defenders for Henry to knock in at ease!
We all crucified Arshavin before. And Wenger. Today we have to take our hats off to both of them.

Wenger made all the right substitutions. They were positive ones. All trying to win the game. First came Ramsey on with Song dropping back in defence.

He produced the first goal!

Then he brought Henry on. He got the winner!

He brought Arshavin on. He produced the cross for Henry!

Thank you Mr Wenger. Thank you Andrei. Thank you Thierry.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Denilson and Ramsey suffer Wenger’s obsession

By 1970’s Gooner

Don’t get me wrong. No way can Denilson be compared to Ramsey in terms of skill. The young Welsh midfielder is in my opinion an exciting talent. He has shown that he has those attributes to become a big player for Arsenal. I have a doubt if he will ever get to the level of Fabregas but then not many in the world will, but who knows?

Why am I mentioning Denilson in the same breath? The reason is that Wenger once thought that Denilson was a star in the making and he did what he is doing now with Ramsey. He kept playing him day in day out. Irrespective of the quality of his performances.

And Denilson had some good games but he had quite a lot more average games. 

But more importantly he failed to improve. 

His performances reached a level which was not up to the Arsenal and Premier League standard and no matter how many more games he played he couldn’t go beyond that barrier.

I am not saying that Ramsey will do the same. But what Wenger is doing obvious. He is doing a “Denilson” on Ramsey.

He is obsessed about playing Ramsey in nearly every game so that he could accelerate his development.

What Wenger is achieving though is nothing of the sort.

The boy cannot perform at this level in every game. It’s natural at this age to produce inconsistent performances and that is what we are getting at the moment. 

This however is happening at the expense of results. Results that are badly needed in our pursuit of …..fourth spot.

One has to wonder. Is Wenger doing this knowing that he could really jeopardise Arsenal’s CL aspirations? I think not at this juncture where we are facing the precipice as it were.

And that is why I expect that Ramsey will be rested/dropped for the game against Blackburn with Rosicky getting a deserved start.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Another tactical mess by Wenger results in lost points

By 1970’s Gooner

I call it as I see it and once again Wenger got things wrong, this time at Bolton.

Firstly, tempo

Bolton were there for the taking. Arsenal had the majority of possession but this was not concentrated in areas where we could hurt them. The reason was that we were playing at a slow pace allowing the opponents to put men behind the ball.

In parallel Arsenal’s players were not pressing high up the field nor were they pressing hard enough to make them make mistakes. If there was something to learn from the Villa victory it was the high tempo, pressuring and hunting them down in packs all over the pitch.

This was non existent against Bolton.

Secondly, wrong choice of starting eleven and tactical positioning of Song.

If there was another lesson to be learned from the Villa victory it is that Rosicky is back to form. His high tempo game, tenaciousness but much more importantly creativeness and running at their defence head on were badly missing at Bolton.

Ramsey who was wrongly selected ahead of Rosicky had nothing of the above. He is weak in defending, distribution and of course putting his chances away. Rosicky would have had us 2-0 up by half time if he was presented with those chances.

As a result of one mistake another is inadvertently made. As a result of wanting Ramsey to be the creative midfielder Wenger obviously instructed Song to sit back. Song sat back too much in my opinion. But this meant that he couldn’t share the creative part that was so sadly missing. And he has proved that he can do it.

Thirdly, Wenger got the substitutions wrong again.

Rosicky should have come on much much earlier than the 81st minute! The team was crying out for some creativity and sparkle but no, Wenger had to insist on keeping Ramsey on the pitch!

Instead of putting Rosicky on first he opted for Henry (in the 69th minute for the Ox). I said it before, Henry cannot cut it any more in the Premier League and it showed last night. He is slow, ponderous and added nothing to the team when he came on.

So there you have it. I call it as I see it. Who else can I blame?