Kind of blew my beans with the match review yesterday, but Wenger had some positive things to say about the team even though some of them were a bit, well, stretched.
There was a hat tip to the midfield doing a good job in winning the ball and making chances.
“I think we created chances, we won the ball high up, we won the ball well in the middle of the park as well. We gave them some chances it is true, but the major impact of their chances was basically on set-pieces and we know, since the start of the season, we have been strong on set-pieces.”
Some of the balls Xhaka played were out of this world, the guy knows how to pick out a long pass and he knows how to break up play, if this is him unsettled, I’m very excited to see what he can do when he finds his feet properly. A few people comparing him to Petit.
The question of our finishing was also brought up. 10 shots on target and 11 goals makes for fancy reading, but it also highlights we’re not hitting the target very often. I think it’s an issue across the top 6 at the moment, Manchester United had the most shots on target over the weekend landing a miserly 7. So we’re in good company. Wenger did have point of view.
“I believe that the quality of our finishing has been very strong, percentage-wise,” “But if you look, it is linked with the quality of the chances we create as well.
“But if you look, it is linked with the quality of the chances we create as well.
“You think, for example, the first goal from Alexis is a 100 per cent goal chance, even if you can miss. The goal chance of Walcott is a 100 per cent goal chance and the goal of Alexis at the end was a 100 per cent goal chance.”
I’m not sure how much I buy into creating 100% YES YES YES chances. Wenger failing to mention the own goals and deflections we’ve had… hardly expertly crafted accidents. Kind of feels like a Wenger wet dream. Back in the day we used to bemoan the managers teams for walking the ball into the net, I guess this is what Wenger is saying… the openings we’re creating are so damn good you can’t miss. That’s all well and good, but it’s not statistically sustainable. So we need to work on that part of our game.
Wenger also chatted about managing Southampton manager, Mr Puel and advising him Southampton was a good club. Like he’d not have heard about the team that produced Gareth Bale. Part of me likes that comment, part of me wonders if it’s wrapped in, ‘LOOK IVAN I KNOW GOOD MANAGERS TOO, CHECK OUT THIS GUY IN JAPAN I LIKE’, but maybe I’m just cynical.
Talking of managers, The Sun have linked us with Leipzig manager, Ralph Hasenhüttl. There’s no real basis for the story, other than this guy being a bit of an under the radar genius. He was a run of the mill striker in the lower leagues of Germany until he earned a chance late on in his career at Bayern Munich. His managerial career has been very interesting, he’s turned in miracles wherever he’s been. You can read more about his meteoric rise to prominence here.
His most recent club successes come at Ingolstadt, the German minnows he took from the from foot of Bundesliga 2, right into the big leagues… with a pretty sturdy defence. For those of you looking for an entertainer on the sidelines, this guy is referred to as the ‘Alpine Klopp.’ The Leipzig role / club is quite interesting for a number of reasons. Ralf Rangnick, hipster coach of the last decade hipster coach of the last decade, who led Hoffenheim to two promotions / the guy who reinvented the press in a blueprint many of the younger coaches now copy, is the Sporting Director of Leipzig and Redbull Salzburg.
Both clubs are run by the soft drinks giant. Anyway, remember a few seasons back I was banging on about Oli Bartlett, the Aussie who helped Klopp keep his team fit enough to keep that press going on all year? Well, he left Klopp to go to Salzburg where his fitness genius helped take them from 4th to 1st with basically the same players.
ANYWAY, back to Leipzig. Rangnick hired Hasenhüttl (who is no spring chicken at 49) off the back of his success with Ingostadt, he’s spent about £35m and he now has a very exciting compact team that are currently doing a bit of a Leicester. He’s no fluke, he’s intense, he’s tactically astute, he’s being overseen by a bit of a master, he’d be exactly the sort of under the radar manager I’d hope Arsenal would look for when Wenger eventually leaves. We need fresh ideas and a fresh energy at the club. I think this is the sort of guy who would bring a new philosophy to the club and he’d certainly take our ideas to the next level.
I’d be happy with him, a defensively minded coach, learning how to attack with the vigour of Ragnick above him… he looks to have good balance and most importantly, he’s not a monster name that Ivan could make a King. No more dictators dominating the club in a less than progressive way.
Quickly on tonights game…
I’m going with
Jenkinson Gabi Holding Gibbs
Jeff Perez Chambo
What you saying people? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!
See you in the comments.