Good morning Arsenal fans! Not much in the way of opposition results yesterday to raise the spirits, although the impending match against Manchester City should at least refocus the fans and the team for the coming week. We lost to QPR, it was a sh*te result, but we can’t afford to get down in the dumps about it. The City game is at the Emirates, we need to tear the roof off the place that game because they are in a world of trouble at the moment and we can most certainly beat them if we turn up and play like 3rd place means something.
I caught the extended highlights of the City / Sunderland game at the weekend. They were lucky to pull the game back to 3-3. Their defending was shambolic at times. If Nik Bendtner can make you look stupid, Chamberlain, Theo and Robin should have no problems. The big question is whether we have the mental belief to go out and take the victory. Arsene Wenger teams are notoriously weak when it comes to bouncing back from disappointment. We have no injuries of note, so for me, we have no excuses. We have to take the game to City, we have to try and play around them and we have to make sure the whole back 4 is focused.
People wondered why I didn’t include Chesney in my ‘Not Robin’ awards, the answer to that is that I don’t think he’s been that amazing this year. I know he’s a massive improvement on what we’ve had over the last 4 years, but 1) that shouldn’t hide the fact he’s made some massive errors this year and he’s cost us at least 9 points 2) Emile Heskey would be an improvement on Chamakh, it wouldn’t lead you to believe he was world class though.
Even at the weekend it would be hard not to pin part of the blame for the second goal on his indecision that lead to Koscielny clearing the ball for a throw in (which lead to the second goal). He has the potential to be one of the best in the world. Of that I’m sure. However, he’s not been world class this season. His distribution needs addressing and I’d say his shot stopping is far from perfect. What I love about him is his command of his area. If you can deal with crosses, I’d say that’s 60% of being a great premiership goalkeeper. He just needs to look at the the other 40%, particularly his focus.
Wenger has taken time out to be brutally honest about the situation, which is actually quite refreshing.
“We have to go back to basics; that means to win football games and win your fights first.
“We have to play like we do. It is disappointing to lose a big run in the way that we did it here. At the end of the day the result does not lie. The focus was missing a little bit and the way we conceded the goals [was disappointing]. I felt that we lacked something, I do not deny that.
“We have been consistent recently and you have to give credit to the team. But in this game we were poor and we were not good enough.”
It’s not often the coach calls the team poor. He’s right though. My QPR mate couldn’t believe how lack lustre our performance was. He did note that Chamberlain clapped the home fans after despite getting some stick. He’s a class act that boy.
In transfer news, Yann M’Vila has heard about the lack of fun at the Arsenal training ground since Eboue left last summer and he reckons he’s the man to bring the back the fancy dress good times.
‘Inter, Arsenal, Real … I will take the fun everywhere!’
Exciting stuff. The man reckons he’s fun. I always worry when people describe themselves as fun. Generally, if you describe yourself as fun, you’re not fun. I’m not sure I’m comfortable about this signing now. He’s not fun is he? He’s a boring player… like Graeme Le Saux.
‘If the coach calls you and tells you he wants you to make you play, especially a French coach, it changes everything’
Still, I suppose he is an excellent player and I’m pretty sure Arsene Wenger is a French coach, so perhaps I’ll ease up on the personality stuff. It would be great to have a defensive midfielder who actually thrived on being defensive. We’ve missed a Gilberto, Flamini, Petit like player for a number of years now. Let’s hope we make a swift move before Madrid decide they need a 19th defensive midfielder.
Duncan Castles reckons we’ve been offered the chance to sign Jan Vertonghen for €13 million this summer. He also reckons we’re in for Oliver Giroud, which would be a massive improvement on Chamakh and Park Chu-nooo. I have to tell you, off the record, my Sunday league team are in quite advanced talks with Chamakh, there’s still questions over his ability to settle into the pace of the league, but it’s a risk worth taking. £50 a game we’ve got him on, he still has to pay subs though.
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I must say, I hate this time of the year when it comes to Newsnow. There’s always a new website set up purely to entice you with nonsense. You know which ones, don’t click the links, you’ll ultimately be disappointed and you’ll actually be feeding their revenue streams. Don’t get me wrong, I love a transfer story, but not when it comes from a site purposefully set up to dupe Arsenal fans into clicking through to their ad covered pages.