Transfer snuff and how to win the league next year

by & filed under News Review, Transfer Gossip.

Morning Grovers! Long-time no speak, its Alex here. I’ve been away for a while, focusing on other things but, like a long lost father, I’m back with presents and a hug to make it all better. Let’s enjoy this while it lasts because just like a long lost father, after a few minutes you’ll realise we have nothing in common and wish I was dead.

So the election was pretty good/shite right? Depends on who you voted for I guess. Personally I’d opt for shite and am not looking forward to another five years looking into the cold, dead eyes of a man whose only interaction with me in real life would be to order a bottle of veuve clicquot off me before making me clean the mud off his terrier’s hunting jacket. But then he did save the economy right?

Right that’s enough political bantz, let’s get on to the football bantz. So today’s Arsenal news is dominated by transfer ins and outs.

Walking pile of festering silage, Jose Mourinho, says he doesn’t want Cech to go to Arsenal but that it’s out of his hands. Interesting I guess, I’d love Cech at Arsenal, he’s miles above Szcz and David OOOOOOOOOspinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa in terms of quality. Does Jose really have no say over this though? I guess you have to take whatever he says with a pillar of salt on account of him being a massive wanker.

In other news Lukas Podolski (remember him) is open to a return to us. Well that’s great Lukas but you’re not exactly killing it in Seria A; where football goes to die. When he was with us, I was constantly banging the drum for him to get more game time but, if anything, his loan spell has exposed him as a true footballing fraud: good for scoring the odd screamer but not the kind of guy who’d run through walls to win a game.

Arsene also wants Walcott to stay. I’m torn on this one. I’ve a lot of time for Theo. We’ve invested in him, seen him grow, and on his day he is the deadliest finisher at the club. However, again in terms of work rate, he’s not on a par with Ox or Welbz so is a bit of a luxury we can’t afford. I also wonder with him what tactical instruction he’s given when he comes on as a sub. His off the ball movement is sometimes baffling and infuriates some of the punters around me. Is he being told to stick out on the right or to drift inside and support the striker? He often looks a bit out of sync with the rest of the team and so his contributions as a sub are a bit meh.

We face Swansea this Monday night at the Ems. Another scheduling masterstroke by Sky there – can imagine Swansea away fans will be savouring the trip back to Wales at 10pm. This game might feel like a bit of a dead rubber now that we are all but guaranteed CL football next year. Not for me, it’s absolutely vital we win our remaining games – especially against United – and finish as close to Chelsea as possible.

I wrote earlier in the season that this was a groundhog season, it was fourth place all the way. Oh god how I want to be proved wrong. We’ve overcome so many of our hoodoos this season – beating big teams away, managing fitness properly, using “tactics”. Second place (and an FA cup) would feel like real progress and make next season a really exciting prospect.

If we can finish second, the challenges for us next season will be fourfold:

• Overcome our remaining “hoodoos” – FINALLY beat a Mourinho team and progress beyond QF in the Champs League;
• Strengthen the squad – Cech, Schneiderlin, Sterling in; Szcz, Flamini out;
• Keep up the tactical work – good progress but more to be done;
• Keep up the fitness work – this season we had our first month with no injuries since 2005. That is not only completely insane but a real turning point. If we can keep key players fit for the entire campaign, we CAN win the league.

Right so that’s pretty straight forward – just do all that and we’ll win. I will be back again with some more garbage #insight before the end of the season. In the meantime, enjoy your weekends!

You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel


Arsenal, the long journey to elite

by & filed under News Review.

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FRIDAY.

I went out last night, had a proper respectable night out and found out my Uber rating is a pretty solid 4.7.

You can’t argue numbers like that.

How about the election?

I feel like Ed Milliband’s campaign was a bit like the time Spurs went out and spunked £100m on players and claimed they could win the title.

‘Oh, look at me, I’ve got Russell Brand backing me, aren’t I fancy’

Ed, my dear, you should know that the internet isn’t always the best platform for getting things done. Have the backing of Youtubers only works if you’re selling makeup or computer games!

I’ve no idea how a conservative Government affects football in this country, so I guess that’s where the chat on that subject stops!

Ok, so I’ve given you some politics… how about the biggest LOL since Spurs tried to sign Rivaldo?

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Can you imagine the banter?

Tony, rocking up, kicking Tom Fox out and demanding access rights to the social media accounts. It’d be hilarious. It’d make the farce at QPR look sensible.

‘Adams has approached City investors with the aim of raising funds to buy the Premier League club, which has been up for sale publicly for a year.’

Can you imagine the state of that presentation deck?

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What else do we have?

Well, Danny WELBZ is still not back in training though he is in the process of recovery.

Wenger gave the full story on Coquelin.

“I explained to him that what I liked most was his ball-winning potential rather than his playmaking potential, so I sent him out on loan to France for experience,” Wenger explained. “He played without being convincing in the box-to-box role.

“He then went to Charlton and I sent somebody to watch him. The reports were positive and I called him back after five weeks, and he wasn’t happy. I said to him, ‘why are you not happy?’ and he said, ‘I was playing regularly for Charlton and you called me back just to cover and not to play me’.

“We went into the first game and I didn’t start him. Then we went to West Ham United and I started him. He was surprised because we played at home against QPR and I didn’t play him, but I did away at West Ham.

This is my favourite part of the story.

“Since then, he has not moved out of the team because he sticks to what he is strong at – winning the ball and using it well. What is also surprising is that he’s very good in the air because he has a very good leap.”

Classic Wenger terminology there. Thomas Vermaelen also had a tremendous leap.

My favourite thing about Coquelin, bar him being a total star, is that he looked at the side, worked out where it was weak and plugged that gap.

He has no desire to be Ozil. He doesn’t have dreams of being a Steven Gerrard. He just sticks to his role and totally owns it. One of the best stories this season by an absolute mile. An inspiration to kids coming through.

Something that inspired me? The state of those Champions League semi-finals. Quite incredible how good the football was. Barcelona were just so unbelievably amazing. Pep playing it like Arsene, opting to push hard for the away goal and killed it for himself. The game was a tactical master class, the only shame of it was the injury list Bayern had.

English clubs have some way to go before they hit those heights. Trouble for our league is there’s so much competition. You can’t hoover up all the players here and you don’t have the luxury of very weak league to practice your craft week in week out.

Teams have to get better though. The bar was set so high this week. Inspirational stuff.

Right, I must crack on, have a great Friday!

 


Is the second coming of Arsene real?

by & filed under News Review.

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Bit of a guest post for you today from William Rance, who has been a long term poster in the comments section. Enjoy!

Praise be to Shad!

The finest of mornings to you fellow Arsenal aficionados! Hope you are all of a well and happy disposition. I’m Will and I’ll be your host for the next few paragraphs of your lives. If you don’t like what I have to say then in the words of Eminem, “Please don’t write anything nasty about me in the comments section, cyber hate is crime yo!”

Remember those words people, remember them.

Right that’s enough of my amusing banterings, let’s talk Arsenal things. Opinions are significantly polarized at the moment about whether we have shown any signs of genuine progress this season or not. Some fans do see improvements, some don’t. I wanted to have a look at both aspects of the argument as personally I feel there are justifiable reasons for both parties to feel they may be right, at least on the face of it. (more…)

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