Arsenal to sign up Thierry again? So, so predictable…

by & filed under Match Preview.

If there is one thing in life you can confidently predict, it’s that Arsene Wenger is predictable. No sooner had Henry left, is it now looking like he’ll be back again. We joked he’d probably be back and now, following the below gushing masterpiece on the Pravda website, it looks a near on certainty.

“Last year I did it because we lost Gervinho. It was a good connection. This year we lose Gervinho again as they are playing in the Africa Cup of Nations two years in a row.

“You know what he gives you. He gives you hope, especially when he comes on. That is the most important thing,”

“He is a communicator. An extrovert. Very intelligent. He can only give good advice to players because he was in their position when he arrived here.

Oh Arsene, why do you do it to yourself? Thierry is all those things. Without doubt. Gervinho is not and will never be. If you recognise those attributes in a striker long lost to the hands of time, why can’t your recognise them in a younger version?

The fact we’re calling on a veteran to rescue our season again after having the mirror issue last year smacks of poor management. Worst of all it smacks of penny pinching.

Still, I love Thierry, I’m sure he’ll slink in with a goal or two, but overall it’s a bad move for a club looking to progress. Mainly because he’ll have to leave after 6 weeks.

Wenger touched on the incumbent striker… particularly the reasons for his slow integration into goal scoring ways…

“There are many factors,”

“The first one is that I believe physically he worked very hard when he arrived here. The intensity of the games took a lot out of him.

“The second problem was a bit [to do with an] understanding with his partners.

“The third problem was level of confidence. When you come to a club like Arsenal, you’re surrounded by big names. It takes you a while to think ‘OK I belong in this world’ and he has shown that on that level he has gained a lot.”

Giroud is starting to look like a very good player. It’s a shame he doesn’t have bundles of pace, but actually, if you have that outwide, you’re not in the worst position. I think he’ll grow as the season powers on and in think he’s good for twenty goals if the team stays on track… and more importantly, he’s not run into the ground. He just has to work on getting a little more clinical. Overall though, I like his team ethic and the element of plan b he brings to our game.

There seems to be a lot of praise for Per happening on the site at the moment. Sure, I’ve always been a big fan, but the simple fact is, our defence is leaking goals at a frightening rate. We need to shut up shop before we start handing out lollipops and lambasting critics. If I were Arsene I’d be seriously looking at Rio Ferdinand next year. Someone needs to bring him back to London. He’d be a great 4th/5th choice for a year and maybe some of his success could rub off on the players. I also think we should give some serious thought to another top quality centre back this summer, if Thomas and Koscielny don’t buck up their ideas.

*Note: The difference between him and Thierry and Rio is he would sign for a full year and hasn’t been away in a lesser league.

Team news for the night is that Theo is out. A straight swap for Chambo sounds about right. Gibbs also finds himself back in the squad. His reintegration cannot happen soon enough!

We need a big game this evening. Some winning continuity is needed. Nothing bar 3 points will do. We can’t afford to be complacent especially after watching Chelsea lose last night. The wheels are really falling off over there eh?

Anyway, enjoy the match!


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Arsenal cave to Theo demands? | Would you have Darren Dein at the club? | Gibbs new deal? Hmmm…

by & filed under News Review.

So, word has hit the new lines that Arsenal have softened on the Theo Walcott contract front. We’re willing to go as high as £85k a week. That’s big money. Maybe not what he’s after, psychologically when I was renegotiating my deal with Le Grove, £100k a week just felt right. In the end I gave in…  Theo,£85k still buys you lots of love on the West London club scene and there’s no doubt you’ll be able to afford the finest rims money can buy… and a big TV, like, I’m talking easily 32 inches.

(more…)

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Theo Walcott to run down deal? | Giroud stats stand up | Spurs ripping Monday!

by & filed under News Review.

Did you catch that stench on the tube this morning? No, I’m not talking about the person in a suit standing next to you who has somehow managed to acquire a serious body odour problem 20 minutes after leaving his door. I’m talking about the sweet smell of Gooner smug polluting the airwaves across London and the globe!

Nothing beats a Monday morning in England after smashing the spuds. Their little beaten down faces are a joy to behold. In fact, sometimes it gets to a point where you think, ‘jeez, is this right? I’m actually upsetting them’, it’s at that point you have to turn it up a notch. Break out a little victory dance, perhaps just go and sit with them for a while without saying anything (a classic for me)… maybe graffiti their business cards when they go to lunch or put together a witty postit montage on their computer screen.

Don’t relent Gooners, because one day, the shoe will be on the other foot and they’ll show no mercy.

Anyway, the weekend panned out rather nicely didn’t it? Chelsea dropped points to West Brom which was super excellent, then United of all teams dropped points at Norwich. Which just goes to show how strong the league is this year. Anyway, I don’t think that does much for our primary aim of winning the league, it just means we’re within touching distance at Christmas. 7 points behind United and 9 behind Chelsea isn’t the worst by Arsenal standards.The results that sadly did matter were the ones which involved Everton and Newcastle losing. Hooray!

No? You don’t like celebrating those results?

On the Spurs game, I’m surprised at how many Gooners think Spurs would have taken the game had Adebayor not been sent off. Not sure how that works out as an argument. We didn’t just beat Spurs, we tore them a new back passage. They lost a striker, they didn’t lose three of their back 4. There is no excuse whatsoever for a team with Champions League aspirations to drop 5 goals because they’re one man down. That’s a disgrace and a sure sign that Spurs have defensive issues as bad as ours.

The dominant player issue we have at the moment is Theo Walcott. Wenger has now stated he’s not going to sell him in January regardless of how contract negotiations go. That’s a dangerous situation for Arsenal. He’ll continue to get better and better, the offers on the table will get larger and larger… and even if he is playing centrally by the end of the season, financially, it would be stupid for him to stay.

Still, at least that gives us a bit of time to work on a 17 year old replacement.

When Wenger was questioned on the crux of the Theo issue… which is position, he said this.

“He can play both positions, he can play up front, and he can play up front with [Olivier] Giroud as well. He has found a good mixture on the wing. It makes him difficult to stop. He finished as a centre forward [against Spurs] and he scored. With the midfield we have, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta, in any position they will find you if you move well.”

It’s an interesting point and one I think Wenger has been making for years. If you’re good enough on the wing, you’ll be good enough up front. The same can’t be said if things are the opposite way round. There are plenty of ok strikers who don’t have a well rounded edge to their game. Theo is playing well centrally, but it’s no coincidence that he’s also looking very tidy outwide. That’s what makes him so dangerous at the moment, outwide he has great delivery, centrally, he has great finishing. He’s looking a more complete player at the moment… which makes this contract issue a real shame. That’s £20million down the toilet…

Anyway, at least we know we’ll have his goal scoring form until the end of the season.

Jack Wilshere has been raving about Santi Cazorla, calling him Maradona. Is that because his training ground behaviour is reminicent of a gun totting, coke snorting Argentinian? Quite possibly, but I’ll put a big fat ‘I have no source to confirm this’ next to that one. It’s probably because of the Spaniards style of play. He rightly said the following…

 “His touch and his vision is just a joke. He is a dream to play with.

He never gives the ball away, he is creative and busy round the pitch. He is a joy to play with.

Playing down comparisons with Cesc Fabregas, he is a different player to Cesc. Cesc is more of a passer.

“With Santi, he can pick the ball up, he can beat people, he has got a great shot on him. He is just different class and he is great to play with.”

I’d agree with that. I said earlier in the season I prefer Cazorla as a player because of his turn of pace and lust for taking on players. He’s movement and first touch are out of this world. There was a particularly special moment over the weekend when he took a high ball down over his shoulder, stopping the ball dead, he then fired a long ball across the park to Podolski who also demonstrated great technique to bring the ball down.

His technique is so pure. My pals dad played for Arsenal for a few games back in the day… in the days when their leg work outs consisted of loading a man on your back and doing shuttle runs up and down the west stand at Highbury. I remember having a beer watching a game with him once and he said the most impressive  thing about foreign imports is how their first touch is always away from their body into space.

Cazorla and Cesc are masters of that. The main difference between the two is pace. Cesc only had one gear, Cazorla has two or three as demonstrated when he was tripped, picked himself up and powered into the box to set up Giroud over the weekend. He’s an absolute talent, we just have to be very careful with his fitness. He often looks exhausted. He’s integral to our system, without him, we’ll really struggle for ideas.

Up front, Giroud is starting to look value for money both on the pitch and off the pitch.

Played 11 Scored 7 Assisted 6

Not a bad return for a player many were calling the second coming of Chamakh. Not only can this man apportion a reasonable amount of hair product evenly round his head, he can also play the central striker role the way it’s supposed to be played when you have height and strength. He’s everything we wanted from Nik B and more.

By the way, did anyone read that pathetic come and get me plea the Dane made to Spurs over the weekend? Like someone said in the Le Grove comments, it’s easy to consider a move to Spurs when no one else wants you! I was also reliably informed by a source that he’s a poor tipper… I don’t know why that matters. I just felt that by telling you, it would some how give me more credibility. It didn’t did it?

In transfer news, there’s nothing of importance to report. So I’ll leave the match report there for today!

Have a good one!


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