Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Arsenal vs Coventry video highlights

By 1970's Gooner

There are many of you who couldn't attend the match against Coventry.

Here are the highlights.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Szczeny out for four weeks

By 1970's Gooner

Wojciech Szczeny has got into injury mode just like his compatriot Fabianski. 

He missed the first two games of the season with a rib injury, came back for the game against Southampton and dropped a clanger handing them their only goal. A mistake for which his rib injury was probably a contributing factor.

Now it seems that his has picked up an ankle and foot injury and is out for at least four weeks. Fabianski is also out for an indefinite period due to an injury picked up in training on international duty for Poland which hands Vito Mannone an excellent chance to stake his claim as Arsenal's number one.

However it leaves Arsenal rather dangerously short in case Vito suffers an injury with young Argentinean keeper Damian Martinez continuing as his understudy.

We all wanted to play the number 9 when kids too Theo

By 1970's Gooner

Don’t get me wrong. I have promoted the idea of Theo being given a chance to prove himself in the middle of Arsenal’s attack just before the season started when it was obvious that RVP was departing for pastures new.

I still think that Theo should be given his chance as he has the qualities to succeed in this position. He is of course fast (thus he can get behind the opposing defence just like Ljumberg and Nicolas Anelka used to). He has shown that he can finish and I think with more exposure in this role he could get goals. He is a much better finisher than Gervinho in my opinion and at the moment much better than Giroud!

Arsene Wenger must have his own reasons why he has decided to opt for Gervinho rather than Wallcot and one of them may have to do with his maturity and decision making.

So AW may want to give him more exposure on the flanks before bringing him in the middle as he has done with others in the past. Fabregas and Diaby were first exposed on the wing for a few seasons before he was convinced to trust them by playing them in the middle where the responsibilities are far greater. He did the same with RVP although his injuries may have played a part in this.

Where Theo has got it wrong is in his attitude. Instead of signing a new deal and putting his head down trying to prove AW wrong he has decided to force the issue by not only demanding more money than his current contract but like a spoilt child wanting reassurances that he will be Arsenal’s centre forward!

Since when did Arsenal’s football players dictate in which position they play?

Theo Walcott looks to have overestimated his current abilities. He has not been near the consistent level of performances that he needs to put in so that he can convince Wenger to trust Arsenal’s goal scoring duties to him. Maybe in a year or so, but not now.

And Arsenal have made a mistake in not forcing Theo to either sign up or get out. Now the club has tactically lost a major bargaining position which will ultimately result, in the case where Walcott is moved on, in a reduced transfer fee of at least a few million pounds.

And if Wenger insists in not playing him until he signs up then Walcott will get frustrated and want out anyway, most probably at the end of his contract, in which case Arsenal will get nothing!

Theo too should have known better but to demand that he plays in the middle.

It reminds me when we were kids and we all wanted to play the number 9 (and nobody played in goal).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arsenal’s Next Gen have to learn to play like a team

By 1970’s Gooner

I watched the whole of Arsenal’s Next Gen game away to Olympiakos. Arsenal’s players were more technically gifted and more accomplished player for player when compared to the Greeks. You could see the skills flowing through them.

However they were a bunch of individual players that looked to have been put together in a hastily fashion in order to compete in this version of the youth Champions League.

They looked like a team that didn’t know each other which meant that passes were more often than not going astray or being intercepted by the opposition. More significantly the players were playing more individually than as a unit.

There were occasions when Akpom playing up front and Jeffrey on the right wing were guilty of not passing the ball in the area for a better placed colleague. Instead they were choosing to go through on their own. Kids staff really…

But Olympiakos were not guilty of this type of play. They were more compact knowing each other’s movement and playing as a much more cohesive unit. And even though their first goal was off side they scored it because their winger passed it beautifully across the area to the unmarked forward.

For some unfathomable reason the officials were Greek!

The Arsenal players that stood out for me were Ebecilio (central midfielder in the Diaby mould and style) and the central defender Hajrovic.

Yennaris was played out of position in central midfield and was generally ineffective, Gnarby, who is tipped to be upgraded to the first team squad should Walcott leave, did not impress either. 

Lets hope Terry Burton gets his act together for the next game. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Player analysis and ratings Vs Liverpool

By 1970’s Gooner


I like Vito. He is brave, has a massive built which fills the goal and is a good shot stopper. He showed all these qualities today and made good saves late in the game. He needs to improve his approach to the high balls which troubled him today on two occasions. His loan spell at Hull helped him a lot. 7


I felt that in the first half he along with Mertersacker and Giroud were our weakest links. Young Sterling was having the better of him and also his distribution across the Arsenal back line instead of passing it forward gave the opponents some early possession in unwanted areas. Improved in the second half and looked assured from then on. He seems to stay back when we go forward and I think it is a planned move making sure that we are not exposed when we attack by having both full backs bombing forward as well as two of our three midfielders supporting the attack, as we used to do the season before. Bould’s influence? All I can say is why did we wait so many years to appoint Bouldy to the first team coaching staff? 6


Unlike Jenkinson he has the license to go forward and he is improving with every game. He was caught out of position on occasion but Podolski’s excellent defensive display helped him out masking his weakness in this area. He needs to guide his crosses onto Giroud’s head. More work is needed on the training ground in correcting this. 6


Looked uneasy against Suarez getting a yellow card when the Liverpool player slipped past him early on. But overall he played well using his experienced head to position himself correctly cutting out the through passes. He does look clumsy though when facing players with a low centre of gravity. 6


He is a real captain. Strong, decisive and a leader. Got to a lot of high balls from the many corners that Liverpool swung in. Defending balls from dead ball situations is another improvement in Arsenal’s defensive display. Reacted well when Mannone spilled a shot late in the game to get there first and clear away. 7


A magnificent display from Arsenal’s best player on the pitch. He was immense, doing everything, winning the ball, going forward, making incisive passes and when needed to slow the game down passing early and simply. He is Arsenal’s best transfer this season and he cost nothing. May he keep out of injury…. 9


He had a brilliant game. Never wasted a pass, kept the ball well and capped a fantastic performance by a goal he richly deserved. He is not like Fabregas, he is a different type of playmaker who uses his skill to make telling passes and more importantly is always looking to score. 8


An all round excellent display capped by a beautiful goal he helped create himself. He received the ball from defence passed it to Cazorla and run on to receive the return pass and slot it across Reina in the back of the net. I am impressed though by his defensive abilities. An excellent signing who after this psychologically boosting display will now improve by leaps and bounds. 8


Carried his defensive duties with diligence and maturity. Covered back, especially for Gibbs when he went forward. Never put a foot wrong the whole game. 8

The Ox

He is a far better player than Walcott. Wenger should have let Walcott go as this boy has the lot. Dribbling, tackling, tracking back. Above all he is a fighter. His presence offers a much better balance to the Arsenal shape than Walcott who is better than the Ox only in the speeds stakes. And that is not good enough. 7


He lacks pace. He is obviously a box player and a good header of the ball. So Wenger needs to get the rest of the Arsenal players to play up to his strenths. Missed another sitter today (he should have passed it to Gibbs who was in a far better position to score). Once he gets that goal however he will improve. 5