Left back… COULD WE GET A LEFT BACK PLEASE

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Happy good morning to you!

Things I missed last week. Terry Burton taking potshots at Ivan Gazidis. As reported here, Joncker, the Dutchman, was an Ivan appointment. That led to Burton leaving.

‘He told Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal’s chief executive, that he had made “a big mistake”, informed Arsène Wenger – who said he was not involved in the decision’

Then this is the bit in football that makes me sick. You’ll notice that pundits all seem to say they wouldn’t move Arsene on, then they list through the list of issues he has which amount naivety at best, negligence at work. That’s because they’re all looking out for themselves. Looking out for their next job.

“For me, he is the boss. I think I can look most football people in the eye – not physically but metaphorically – but with Arsène I see him as someone who has done things that no one else has done. To me, he will always be the best. He’s done an unbelievable job at Arsenal over a long period of time.”

I appreciate you can’t lambast your ex-manager, but how can anyone who works in the game say the above with a straight face?

Well, it’s quite easy when you’re working at West Brom and you know all the young players. Say the right thing, there’s no doubt Wenger will look favourably on the request to bring in Chuba Akpom this January.

You see what I mean? Journo’s get interviews for favourable press, players get jobs, managers get players, bloggers get jobs… you’re never getting it straight in soccerball.

It’s a sorry state of affairs…

Anyway! How about Thierry Henry moving back to the UK? Exciting, eh?

He’s quit the Redbulls, we love him. So let’s make him the King of Arsenal and the ruler of us all. I’d be game. You?

Just jokes. I don’t want him back playing for the first team. He’s well past it now and it’d be a big distraction. I’d be happy for him to train, I just don’t want this winter to become the Thierry show. He left us years ago, won it all, earned it all… I’d be cool with him coming back in some capacity. Like PV04. Trouble is, I don’t think he’s the same character as PV04, so I’m not sure leading U21 teams is going to be him. He doesn’t exactly earn rave reviews in any of the books I’ve read on him. You can’t be selfish as a manager, you need to be personable, you need to be selfless and you need to be able to work with people.

Not saying he can’t do that. I’d just be interested to see what the club have in store for him. I think the likelihood is that he’ll go and work for Sky. He’s an absolute encyclopedia when it comes to football. Apparently, when he was staying in a hotel here when he first started, he asked for an additional screen to be put into his room so he could watch two games at once. He has value, I just wonder where.

You have to look at all decisions with a clear head. Sure, the fans would love him wherever, but that’s not how you’ll get the most out him.

Talking of clear head decisions. Amazing to read that the Dortmund fans are turning on their charismatic leader. He’s in a relegation fight. He’s in a tailspin. Can he turn it around? A few people have questioned how opinion can turn on him so quickly. Like it’s beyond the realms of possibility that variables can change and so can opinions. Facts are, the problems with Klopp haven’t come in the last three months, they’ve been building for two years. His injury record has been poor, his pressing game has slowly been identified as a burden on the players and his tactics have been rumbled.

You don’t pop for the manager in a relegation battle with Dortmund. He’s still a consideration, totally. He’s been fired before. You’d just have to question a club that bins off Wenger for a manager doing a far worse job. It’s the same with Brendan Rogers on a smaller scale. He’s not a shite manager all of a sudden, but he’s made bad decisions. He didn’t prepare properly for the impact Champions League would have on his squad. It’s also been written that the manager failed to upgrade his backroom team to prepare. Putting faith in inexperience. He also made bad decisions with players. Should he be sacked? No. He should be given a chance to rectify the issues? If he can’t, then he’s proved he’s not as adaptable as we first thought.

Managers that are interesting at the moment are Pep, because he’ll be at breaking point at Bayern by the time Arsene leaves. Diego Simeone, because he has a huge amount of experience and success. He’s also a major personality in the same way Klopp is. Then there’s Garcia, a bit older, but would continue the French zest we’ve had at the club for twenty years.

SANOGO is back tomorrow night. Take that in before we get to the bad news…

Gibbs, Oz, Monreal are not about. Injured or busy.

Debuchy and Chez are back next week.

Ospina back for the next world cup.

The great news is Southampton took a bit of a spanking, they’ll be down in the dumps, we’ll be at the top of the dumps… so it should be a good game. Southampton will have a plan to exploit our defence, it’s in a bit of a state. They’ll be a challenge, but I think we’ll have too much for them.

Well, that’s what I hope happens… more on that tomorrow!

275 Responses to “Left back… COULD WE GET A LEFT BACK PLEASE”

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  1. Romford Pele

    Pedro, think AW said he’s hoping for one of Gibbs/Monreal to be fit tomorrow. Ospina and Debuchy return next week. No news on Szcz, Ox and Sanogo ok for tomorrow.

  2. Romford Pele

    Ermmmmm, so can someone tell me why Chuba Akpon’s contract expires in the summer and there’s been no talk of an extension?! Dude bagged another hattrick last night. A recently-turned 19 year-old with 28 in 38 since stepping up to U21 level. Rumours that City, Everton and Liverpool are all circling. I’d be so upset if we let him go.

  3. Romford Pele

    Henry returning to Arsenal as a player?! Hell no! As a coach? Maybe in some capacity. Get him to work with the likes of Welbz and Chuba.

  4. Romford Pele

    GINY,

    I’ve always maintained that Sanogo would be a block for Akpom. Hard to know how Akpom gets in when there are so many ahead of him. A loan is probably best for sure, but you fear for him long-term with the presence of Sanogo. Hope he makes it. He’s a Gooner too.

  5. GoonerInNY

    @Romford

    Agreed. Based on resume and performance, it is really hard to understand why Wenger thinks Sanogo is a first team player (based on game performance, he clearly isn’t) and better than Akpom.

  6. Zementalstrength

    “Henry returning to Arsenal as a player?! Hell no!”

    Romford : to me Henry is still better than L’Oreal, better than Sanogoal, and better than Dat Guy Welbz.

  7. Romford Pele

    I’m sure Klopp will get it right eventually, but their form is ever so dismal. Say what you want about Arsene but he’s never really left/got into a position like Klopp has currently. I remember Pedro taking abuse a few weeks ago RE his stance on Klopp but I think his points are valid. With his teams, it does look like there’s only one way, the same criticism levelled at Wenger. When we beat Dortmund last week we matched them for energy and workrate. Ramsey ran more than any of their players. Once you do that, what’s their response? Didn’t look like they had much of one. Factor in that the PL is more intense and competitive and you’re left scratching head. All that said, I would still take Klopp if he became available.

  8. Romford Pele

    “Romford : to me Henry is still better than L’Oreal, better than Sanogoal, and better than Dat Guy Welbz.”

    Have you been watching him recently? Henry can barely run. He’s been semi-retired for the past three seasons. When he came back for that loan stint a few seasons back, he’d be blowing his load after 15/20 mins. Bringing Henry back as a player is nothing but a sentimental decsion.

  9. Zementalstrength

    Rumor about TH14’s futur, from one of his close friends tony parker : tv consulting or… well, you know what. 😉

  10. Ashwin Gunner

    “Agreed. Based on resume and performance, it is really hard to understand why Wenger thinks Sanogo is a first team player (based on game performance, he clearly isn’t) and better than Akpom.”

    GoonerInNY

    I think Wenger likes to have forwards who are physically strong. like Giroud

    Sanogo is also strong physically and can keep the ball. Akpom is more of a dribble and shoot kind of player and Sanogo is more of Link up play and shoot if possible kind of player. Wenger tends to like the latter.

  11. Zementalstrength

    Sanogo and Akpom, 2 players who have nothing to do in a great club like Arsenal.

    But le specialist in senility knows best…

  12. Masterstroke

    Tony Atwood’s on the same page as Pedro over Henry. Is that a first?
    If he plans to go into coaching he has to take the tickets, so a punditry position with Sky is most likely. Trouble with that is, he speaks so quickly I can hardly understand a word he says, but I’m sure it’s a quite logical.

  13. TitsMcgee

    I’m sure Klopp will get it right eventually, but their form is ever so dismal.”

    They are dead last in the Bundesliga and “only” 10 points off of 4th spot. I’d be surprised if they didn’t make a push towards the top 5 eventually.

  14. Dan T

    I think you may be underestimating Southampton a bit.

    They had an off day at the back against City, but they still created a lot of chances. On another day they could have had 3 goals themselves. I think we will have to be clinical to take all 3 points. We can’t go spurning all our chances like we usually do.

  15. Romford Pele

    Yeah tomorrow will no doubt be tough. Can’t afford to be spurning chances like we have done this season. Our conversion rate compared to last season is abysmal.

    Fitness permitting, I think we see this

    Martinez
    Chambers Mert Kos Gibbs/Nacho
    Flamini Ramsey
    Alexis Santi Welbz
    L’Oreal

    Don’t think we’ll see much in the way of rotation. Wenger wants to build momentum so will probably keep it familiar. Naturally i’d always start Ox, but it is what it is. Southampton have some big players so Welbz and L’Oreal will be good from set-pieces

  16. Romford Pele

    Tits, yeah I’d still expect Dortmund to get top 4 though they’ll have to step it up sharpish. Definitely feel like they’ll get raided again in the summer. Hummels, Reus and Gundogan all going.

  17. Dan T

    I would start Ox and drop L’Oreal to the bench. We could use his intensity in this game. Giroud shouldn’t be starting 2 games in 4 days after such a long layoff imo.

  18. Romford Pele

    Dan T, me too. Use L’Oreal as an impact sub if we’re chasing the game/need a late winner but shouldn’t really be hampering Ox’s development. I guess the good thing with L’Oreal is that he’s able to occupy two CBs, thus creating space for others, but outside of that his static nature just generally annoys me. I do think he’ll be in the team to combat Saints’ physical nature though.

  19. Romford Pele

    Just an aside, fair play to Benik Afobe. Obviously it is League One but 18 goals in 23 games so far is pretty impressive.

  20. Dan T

    Yeh, I’ve been keeping track of him this season. He’s scored some great goals. Like you say, only league 1 but you can only beat what’s in front of you. He did get those 2 against Man U too.

    Glad he got 3 last night. He had gone 2 games without scoring before that, i think that was his longest drought of the season!

  21. Dan T

    Goondawg

    Schneiderlin being out is a massive bonus for us. City got their 3 goals after he went off at the weekend.

  22. Romford Pele

    Dan T -Yeah i’m pretty sure Afobe’s time has passed. He’s 21 now and spent too much time out with injury. But it’s good to see him fit and doing well. MK Dons are in the play-offs atm so if they do go up, a permanent move to them in the Championship would be good for Afobe next summer.

    Akpom has a lot more to work with. Hopefully we send him on loan to the Championship next season too because it looks like he’s pretty much outgrown U21s, though people were saying the same thing last season. Had a hattrick last night but surprisingly was quite wasteful, could’ve had 5. We rejected a loan from Millwall for him last month, wonder why…

  23. Goondawg

    Exactly he is their best player, the fulcrum of their team.

    I will be shocked if we dont offer Chuba Akpom a contract. He has so much potential and our only youth product I look forward to developing

  24. alexanderhenry

    Nice to see a bit of positivity from you pedro regarding tomorrow’s game. I agree with you that the amount of injuries we get is baffling. I still think it’s more bad luck than anything else though.

  25. Romford Pele

    “I agree with you that the amount of injuries we get is baffling. I still think it’s more bad luck than anything else though.”

    One season, sure. Two seasons, maybe… But when this has been a recurring theme for 5/6 years, it most definitely isn’t luck.

  26. Goondawg

    * Or I should say the youth product whose development I look forward to the most. Obv I want all the youths to come along nicely lol

  27. Goondawg

    Peter Hill-Wood on the banner: “Thoroughly ignorant people seem to have a say nowadays. It is a few hotheads jumping up and down thinking they are being clever.” (dailystar.co.uk)

    Pedro man tell your gramps to pipe down

  28. Bamford13

    I think it more likely that Wenger continues to trot Sanogo out until he can fetch a decent transfer fee for him. Imagine Sanogo scores a few more goals and stays healthy, Wenger may be able to turn a tidy profit on him.

    Wenger loves this kind of thing. Far more important to him than, say, competing for a title, which clearly he doesn’t give a f*** about.

  29. Dan T

    Romford – I haven’t seen too much of Akpom to be honest. I know people who have seen him seem to rate him highly. Hopefully we will keep him on and he will get the chance to prove himself on loan next year.

    As for Afobe – I still hold hope for him. I think a lot of the goals he scores would be transferable to a higher league. His run timing has been really good this season too. Because of his injuries he’s still very young in footballing terms. He’s probably closer to 18 in footballing experience so I think we should see how he does next season, hopefully in the Championship – If the Dons win their games in hand they will be top of the league.

  30. Zementalstrength

    Anyone heard about the rumor about van pussy ?? Yoonited might want to get rid of him next summer ??
    Hope that it’s true lol

  31. Goondawg

    Ward-Prowse is also out, and Wanyama is supposedly a doubt, but Cork is fit.
    I think their midfield trio will be Alderweireld, Cork and Davis, which is not particularly strong.

    On saturday when Alderweireld moved to the centre, he didnt look comfortable in possession and Wanyama likes to drive forward yet he isnt too quick to track back. We can exploit this. Tadic and Pele looked off-beat as well.

    Perfect time to play Southampton.

  32. Dan T

    Goondawg – Dan Crowley is one to watch. Of the few youth games I’ve seen this season he has been the stand out performer.

  33. Romford Pele

    Glad to see Peter Hill-Wood has recovered from his illness. Be great if he can keep his mouth shut though. Never forget this quote: “Thanks for taking interest in our affairs”. – The blooming arrogance. Shows you how out of touch the people at boardroom level are and why AW will never ever get sacked.

  34. goonpharm

    Hello all.

    Just skimmed over the last few posts from Pedro and there wasn’t a game report from Saturday? Or was I looking in the wrong place?

    Thought we looked decent up top where for the first time we actually played 3 genuine attackers in the front three. Of course defensively we were still brittle and could have dropped 2 points with them hitting the crossbar.

    Romford – you’re usually on point with tactics so what did you think of our front three interchanging all game? Personally haven’t seen that fluidity up top all season.

    As much as it pains me to say it but having L’Oréal back seems to make us more slick with the quick passing and moving. Plus Ramsey looked a lot better whilst Giroud was there.

    All of a sudden we have options going forward as can we potentially field,

    Sanchez_ L’Oréal_ Welbz

    Or

    Theo_Sanogo_Oxo

    If Santiago can maintain his form until ‘Ol Crazy Eyes come back then we have 2 very could CAMs to supply the ammunition.

    At the back it looks like Wenger may get away with his ineptitude in the summer as we have Debuchy back and Kos.

    Debuchy can slot into RB while Chambers can alternate with Kos and Per – the reason he was bought!!! LB is okay – injuries permitting.

    If only we had that powerhouse in the middle.

  35. Romford Pele

    Dan T – seen both of them and would definitely say Akpom is the more exciting with a higher ceiling. Afobe has definitely made a few people take notice this season though. Generally speaking, he’s a big lad, pretty quick and a decent finisher but his first touch can be a bit clunky and his link-up play leaves a lot to be desired. A lot to work with but reminds me of a young Darren Bent. Akpom, however, is a completely differ animal. Plays very similarly to TH14, rapid pace, beats players for fun, loves to hang on the last man, incredibly skillful. Probably still has a bit of growing to do though he’s a decent size already. Just don’t think he’ll get the opportunities and with PL clubs circling, he may choose to leave. Hope not obviously.

  36. Romford Pele

    Dan T – Crowley is a baller man. For someone who is two feet tall, seems to be able to beat players for fun, great vision and seems to be developing a knack of scoring FKs.

  37. Romford Pele

    Goonpharm, thought we were ok mate but I’ve seen us play better tbh this season. L’Oreal is definitely a good reference point to play from, most are familiar with him and he’s a stable base. However, i’m still of the opinion that we need to evolve from his style and I maintain that. Ramsey likes Giroud as his presence allows him to get further forward. Personally still a much bigger fan of Welbeck though Guroud’s presence does mean that the likes of Welbz and Alexis can ghost into spaces unmarked. Add that Giroud also gives us better protection ( see the amount of headers we win at corners when he’s there). Probably keep the same team for tomorrow but when Ozil comes back, I think, and hope, AW will go with him just behind Welbz.

    For me, our best front 4 looks like this:

    Ox – Ozil – Alexis
    Welbz

    I’m sure others will disagree though.

  38. goonpharm

    Banging then in for the U21 means nothing to me. Bendtner and Lupoli are two players that have made me ignore the youth teams.

    They had something like 50 goals between them one season and we’re heralded as the next best thing. Akpom may look the bees knees but I’m sceptical about it.

    As for Sanogo – he has potential and seems to well for Led Blues but again at U21 level. Both should be on loan and we should have one decent back up striker instead of two unproven kids.

    I know he’s not everyone’s cup of chai but Balotelli would have been ideal the way we play. At Pool Rodgers is trying to play him in Suarez’s mould but he’s probably closer to Giroud in style than Suarez.

  39. Goondawg

    Dan T – Its true that Southampton fell apart after schneiderlin went off injured. But its one thing to adjust mid match and another to have two days to account for it

    It will be a stern test no doubt, but our depleted midfield is also suffering. Thank god Cazorla finding some form. Just need rambo back on the wagon

    Yh Ive heard good things about Crowley, hes the next wilshere I hear. Not big fan on small technical players though lol. Much prefer a pogba

  40. alex cutter

    “Anyone heard about the rumor about van pussy ?”

    Are you still butt-hurt about him leaving?

    Even though due to Wenger’s incompetence, his decision looks smarter with every day that passes?

  41. Goondawg

    Lol balotelli would have been worse than podolski. At least his instagram posts just offends Spurs not jews in general

  42. Romford Pele

    “I know he’s not everyone’s cup of chai but Balotelli would have been ideal the way we play. At Pool Rodgers is trying to play him in Suarez’s mould but he’s probably closer to Giroud in style than Suarez.”

    I’m not sure anymore, mate. Used to be so big on him but the last 12 months have definitely made me revise my opinion. He’s on record as saying that he doesn’t like playing as a loan striker because he prefers to drift wide rather than hold up the ball. I think he’ll work well in a partnership with Sturridge but I much much prefer what Welbz brings to us, just needs to continue to develop that ruthless edge and i’m sure he will.

  43. Bamford13

    PHW’s remarks are, first, arrogant and anti-democratic, reflecting his and Arsene’s aristocratic view that ordinary folk are too “ignorant” to have an informed opinion on the state of the squad and club.

    Further, he should have a word with his aristocratic colleague, Sir Chips, who recently revealed two important things: one, that Wenger, at times, has no plan; and two, at those times when Wenger has no plan, the board says “nothing”.

    Well, PHW, we fans aren’t being paid handsomely to say nothing when Wenger is failing. We are tired of the mediocrity, stagnation, mismanagement and rot. And no arrogant and aristocratic pronouncements from on high are going to silence us.

    As I’ve said before, the cake these Antoinettes would have us eat should be thrown at Wenger’s face.

    The only ignorant folk here are those who have been watching Arsenal the past ten years and cannot see how poor a manager Wenger is.

  44. goonpharm

    For me, our best front 4 looks like this:
    Ox – Ozil – Alexis
    Welbz

    I’m sure others will disagree though.

    Personally I’d tweak it a bit and have;

    Sanchez_Ozil_Welbeck
    _______Giroud

    Like you say Giroud seems to create the space where Welbeck and Sanchez can drift into. Also he seems to have a decent rapport with Ozil.

    It’s saying something that both our best attacking front don’t include Theo. Interesting…

  45. Dan T

    “Crowley is a baller man. For someone who is two feet tall”

    Haha. Yeh I’m sure he won’t score too many headers, but does look technically great from the small amount I’ve seen.

    Hope you’re right with regards to Akpom, sounds very promising. Did someone mention he’s a gooner? That might persuade him to stay and wait for an opportunity. Hopefully we will sign him up again – the homegrown aspect might help too.

  46. Romford Pele

    What does everyone think of James McCarthy from Everton? Sure the Irish guys on here (Eagle, Jim Lahey) could give us an accurate report.

  47. N5

    PHW is so out of touch with the fanbase. It’s not the first time he’s been rude about the supporters! didn’t he badmouth a load at the AGM forgetting his mic was on?

  48. Romford Pele

    “It’s saying something that both our best attacking front don’t include Theo. Interesting…”

    Yeah my stance on him is that while he has good stats, I still think his limitations are exposed at the highest level. I think part of the adoration for him is his searing pace at a time when we had no pace, but now we have loads of other quick players so his absence isn’t really a hindrance like it previously was. I said last week that I expect Ox to pass him in due course, still maintain that.

  49. Dan T

    Goondawg – Fair point on the Southampton preparation. Ramsey has looked a lot better to me in the last 2 games. Hopefully he’s coming back into form. It was pretty much down to his form that we were at the top for so long last year.

    As for small technical players. I’ve always rated them, but perhaps that’s from my own footballing days when I really couldn’t work out how to defend against them. The low centre of gravity made it so much harder to take them down!

  50. Bamford13

    Romford

    I think McCarthy would a good second CDM. A properly-managed Arsenal would have a Krychowiak or Bender as the number one and a McCarthy as a number two — rather than the pathetic Arteta/Flamini combo.

  51. Dan T

    I think I may be in the minority round here but I really rate Theo now. He’s one of our most effective players. I know he has his limitations but he’s great at what he does. He plays to his strengths a lot more now and is brilliantly direct at times. If we could get him and Ozil fit together for a time I could see them developing a great understanding. Assuming Arsene has the sense to play Ozil as a number 10.

  52. Bamford13

    Agree that Ramsey has been sharper and tidier in last few games. Let’s hope this continues.

    Smaller attacking players are fine provided they are (1) quick and powerful and (2) balanced with bigger, more athletic, more physical players.

    When Arsenal have suffered from midgets, it has been down to problems with one or both of the above.

  53. N5

    “I said last week that I expect Ox to pass him in due course, still maintain that.”

    Fully agree. Ox has serious potential, he’s young and niave, but man is he strong, fast, confident and full of skill.

    I’m not sure what they have down there in Southamptons academy, but I wish we had some of it.

  54. Romford Pele

    Bamford, yeah I agree. I like McCarthy but he would be a bit of a way down on my list. Plus side is that he’s a decent age and has PL experience although the fact he’s British means his price will naturally be inflated. I think Everton bought him for like £16m so who knows what they’d charge. I prefer your aforementioned two though.

  55. N5

    Dan T, with the greatest respect, what do you mean now? he hasn’t played in a while and he’s still currently out isn’t he?

    Wally is an efficent player, we’ve had that thrown up quite a lot recently, but I fully agree with Romford, he was much more an important fixture when we lacked pace.

  56. Romford Pele

    “Smaller attacking players are fine provided they are (1) quick and powerful and (2) balanced with bigger, more athletic, more physical players.”

    Yeah agreed.

    Our main issue is that we have too many. An Ozil needs to be complimented with a Khedira for example. Bayern have the likes of Alaba, Thiago, Gotze, Ribery, Lahm etc but have powerful players like Lewa, Boateng, Martinez, Schweini, Rode

  57. Rhys Jaggar

    AS usual, you are trying to get your readers riled Pedro. Ah well, I guess that’s blogging for you!

    A gem of a little column in today’s Times, which should be clinically dissected by all Grovers before expressing a certain amused disdain somewhere in the general direction of Ivan Gazidis. I quote:

    ‘Arsene Wenger has concluded that his squad CONTAINS TOO MANY STRIKERS……but it is short of numbers in DEFENCE AND CENTRAL MIDFIELD’…

    No salary is too high for such timely, penetrating and unique insights, after all.

    I concluded the above on September 1st (or whenever the morning after the window closed was). I wrote down the squad on an A4 paper positioning them on a metaphorical pitch. You didn’t need to be Einstein to see the lopsided nature of the squad. Hundreds of bloggers here have said the same, not just this season but in others too.

    The time to have concluded thus was about August 1st, preferably last February, since it was obvious then that Vermaelen was leaving and so was Sagna (his then makeshift cover at centre back). It was obvious he needed to buy two central defenders, not one in the summer. And it was equally obvious that, even without Sanchez and Welbeck, he had Podolski, Campbell, Sanogo, Giroud and Walcott wishing to play central striker.

    The assumption must be that Podolski couldn’t be offloaded (too expensive), Sanogo would not attract a fee. No explanation for not selling Campbell then not playing him exists. He was in the eye of the media after a good world cup and would have got a reasonable fee.

    The more obvious question is why he didn’t shift two of Rosicky, Diaby, Coquelin, Gnabry or Zelalem. They clearly aren’t going to get many opportunities this season, given how Wenger is using his squad.

    As for Akpom vs Sanogo, we all know that the passport issue prevails. If what people say is true, Akpom’s representatives should make it quite clear to Wenger that his is looking for first team football in the same way that Gareth Bale got it (firstly at Southampton and then at Spurs – choose two appropriate sides that get him 200 first team appearances by 25 and his career will blossom far better than at Arsenal).

    If Wenger uses mafia tactics to stop people thriving away from Arsenal, whilst not letting them play at Arsenal, then the sooner he’s gone the better. That is career fixing just as much as money changing hands to fix matches, in fact it is worse. It is saying that you will destroy someone else’s career if they behave like a decent, go-getting person who respects your decision but expect you to respect theirs as a result. Once you have decided a player has no future at your club, you have no rights to determine their future. If you say that you do, the sooner you are put in prison the better.

    As for Henry, if he wants to coach, he has to understand viscerally that he is no longer the main man. He is a helper, an enabler, a person whose role is allowing those coming after him their shot at what he had in his prime as a player. You can be demanding, insightful, innovative and firm doing that. But you can’t expect people to bow down before you and admire you, because if they do that on the training pitch, they’ll likely do it on the field of play as well. You usually lose if you have that attitude.

    My view is he should start out doing two things:
    1. Coaching strikers at first team level for a top club (Arsenal comes to mind).
    2. Developing the video analysis group at a top club.

    The latter will make him learn to interact with techie boffins who can write computer code. He will put his brain to work deciding what analyses he wants, discussing how that can be achieved, bidding for budgets to commission them, project manage those boffins to develop the products and interact with club staff to test the products, modifying and optimising as a result.

    It would give him two clear areas of responsibility in matters which are clearly amenable to performance evaluation, one where he is expected to work as a global expert, the other where he expects a bit of hand holding from Arsene Wenger, Ivan Gazidis and maybe others within the club.

    I”ve no doubt he would be used in an ambassadorial role as well.

    What is not acceptable is him assuming that he has the god-given right to be the manager/head coach of Arsenal, just because he is Thierry Henry. Bobby Charlton was England’s finest for many years, but was a hopeless manager (probably as he had to manage those who should have cleaned his boots, rather than played with him). His brother Jack, less of a player, a far better football manager. He may well become a great manager, but he has no track record, no experience and hardly a track record as captain of Arsenal to suggest that he inspired rather than put fear into his colleagues.

    The very last reason he should be hired by Arsenal is because he is black. He is a great footballer at the end of his career, his skin colour is irrelevant.

    He needs a route into the football after-life and, whilst having high ambition is a worthy attribute, it must be tempered with the realism that there is still a lot to learn and a requirement to develop a track record akin to scoring 30 goals a season for 4 years, which he achieved as a player.

    He needs to find out which kinds of players he can coach well, where he needs to hire colleagues to do the coaching he can’t do. He needs to prove he understands football finances, how to budget effectively and how to manage squad evolution financially. He needs to show he has guile in the transfer market and he needs to show he can manage the media.

    Currently he is somewhat behind Vieira and Bergkamp in the development stakes, although Bergkamp needs some hypnotherapy to remove fear of flying if he ever wants to be top dog.

    But if he wants a shot at managing Arsenal down the track, I guess it is now time for him to take his first steps.

  58. Goondawg

    PHW is overreacting with his crass comments. First of all, the banner was the most respectful “Wenger Out” banner I have ever seen. Secondly, everyone is entitled to their opinion, especially if you are forking out thousands every year to see Flamini and Arteta being managed by one of the world’s highest paid managers to annually secure a spot in a competition we will never win (except this year, I really feel it, I had a dream). PHW should thank the heavens we arent gala fans, who would have started chucking flares at Wenger by now

  59. Goondawg

    Our main issue is that we have too many. An Ozil needs to be complimented with a Khedira for example. Bayern have the likes of Alaba, Thiago, Gotze, Ribery, Lahm etc but have powerful players like Lewa, Boateng, Martinez, Schweini, Rode

    Yes RP. It breaks my heart when I see grovers say that we should sell Ozil. Like wtf. He is a world class player, who has won titles, helped us to a cup last year, and won the biggest trophy this summer. He excels when he has a competent defensive midfielder alongside him, providing him with the security he needs to play with freedom

    So many fucking rumours and transfer stories regarding his best mate Khedira, we should have just got him to make Ozil happy. We havent seen the best from ozil because 1) our manager plays him out of position 2) we dont have the defensive players to provide a safe foundation for him to be at his best

    We built a team around fabregas. We should at least give Ozil the same chance before writing him off. Or at least wait to see how Ozil performs with a solid defence and DM

  60. Dan T

    N5 – I mean the last 2 seasons or so. I just meant I didn’t rate him early on in his Arsenal career. I think he had pace but did absolutely nothing with it – now, when fit, he’s very effective.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Ox too and because of his close control and ability on the ball he does have the potential to surpass Theo, but right now i would be starting Theo over the Ox (if we’re assuming they’re going to be competing for the same position).

  61. Romford Pele

    Goondawg, couldn’t agree more my friend. Balance has been the problem for a long-time and until we address that, we’ll always come up short.

  62. kwik fit

    Bild say that Klopp is dealing with pressure by taking his mongrel dog Emma for walks

    The wife is always useful in times of pressure 😉

  63. N5

    Dan T, that’s a fair comment mate. I’m nervous about how the injury is going to effect Wally though. We’ve seen what it did too Ramsey and JW, so lets hope he gets back to his best ASAP.

  64. N5

    Zementalstrength are you ever going to acknowledge why you called me a deadhead AKB the other day? I’ve asked you what made you consider me an AKB and to suddenly turn when I’ve only ever been polite to you and you didn’t reply.

  65. Dan T

    Yeh, hopefully he will be straight back at it. When he came back in last season he looked very good immediately. Pity we overplayed him after his injury and crocked him again. Fingers crossed he will be eased back in this time.

  66. Romford Pele

    Debuchy coming back next weekend is probably the biggest plus after Kos, Calum could definitely do with a couple weeks’ rest.

  67. N5

    Dan T, that’s right. I forgot he had some game time and you’re right he did look good. Bloody mind is going in my older age 🙁

  68. Dev_gooner

    Debuchy will be like a new signing folks…. I had completely forgotten we had signed him in the summer!

    BTW can anyone confirm if Paulo Dybala from Palermo is really that good? He’s apparently tipped to be like the next messi/ronaldo from what I read. Doesn’t look like a good buy if we have indeed agreed a fee of £31m. That sort of funds could be used to buy a sodding DM or some decent defenders who can actually stay fit for once!

    Another point I found interesting on twitter yesterday was regarding Ozil. All this talk of letting him go for £30-£35m, sounds good to be honest. Would hate to see him go, but lets face it, Wenger has not covered himself in glory when if comes to no.10 in our squad. Arshavin was a prime example. His first 4 months, breathtaking because he was played in that hole, his favoured position. then he gets shifted out on the wings, because Arsene wants to play Ramsey/Wilshere in that position, and we all know what happened next. Same with Cazorla and Ozil. Ozil would be far better off under a different manager. he’s 26 still has the best years ahead of him, I just don’t want him to waste away because some ego maniac does not use him properly. So sad really.

    Any decent manager would’ve made his club record signing the main man and build a team around him. I’m no football manager but I would’ve stuck Ozil in that hole, gone out and bought a Benzema up front, stick Alexis on the left, Theo/Ox on the right, a combo of Ramsey/Wilshere and a decent DM in the midfield. With Welbz/Giroud as backup and other midfield options. We look much stronger unit than we already do right now. Back that up with a decent defence and we can easily challenge for the title. but what do i know? We have a man in charge who thinks he is right and everyone else in the world is wrong!

    rant over. #WengerOUT

  69. duenthegooner

    I really don’t understand why every article has to have a negative tone to it. It’s like your readers demand it Pedro and you have to keep feeding them. We win – don’t make the mistake in thinking we have turned a corner. We lose- Wenger is shite and the result exposes him. At what point are you allowed to smile a little? Too much of everything is indeed a bad thing.

  70. Le Prof

    Goondawg

    ‘PHW is overreacting with his crass comments’

    Not really. He’s right. I’ve never been more embarrassed to be an Arsenal supporter, clapping the team at the end (3 points away after CL) only for some dickheads to unfurl a banner.

    Got good media coverage but only succeeded in making the Arsenal support look like a bunch a cocks.

  71. N5

    duenthegooner, I agree that we should take acknowledge the positives with the negatives, but I think the issue here is we’ve been around and around so many times like this, it’s becomes a bit like groundhog day.

    It’ll be even harder this year to put a smile on faces after the worst start in 32 years, but I’m just happy we’ve picked up some points recently.

  72. duenthegooner

    Pedro is the Rush Limbaugh of blogs. Yes things aren’t good, but things also aren’t as bad as you make them to be. We all want the same thing- to see Arsenal win more trophies. The board won’t sack Arsene. He isn’t as bad as everyone makes him out to be and because of that, every good thing he does isn’t appreciated for fear that it would be an endorsement of him but no one is 100% a certain way. People are complex. You look at Chelsea team. They have, since the beginning of the season, more or less played the same team. Arsene is criticized for a lack of rotation while Pedro ignores this fact. Now, Klopps pressing game is to blame for Dortmunds injuries? The same pressing game that got a lot of people on this site excited? You then go on to suggest Pep- who’s Barca team where masters at the same pressing game. If you can’t see the irony in that, you either have an agenda or you’re a hypocrite. I think Pedro is none of those. In there is probably someone who realizes what his audience wants and gives it to them- evidenced by rants about Cleverly coming to Arsenal and how Arsene has lost it. Rant all you want but give credit when it’s due- even if it’s to a man well ‘past it’.

  73. Cesc Appeal

    I see time off hasn’t altered the ignoramus that is Peter Hill Wood. What a total berk that bloke is and evidence of the attitude at Arsenal toward the fans.

    You either blindly follow us or go f**k yourself.

  74. duenthegooner

    @N5 I get angry when we lose. I am a fan of Arsene. I have always bought into the whole building a stadium so we have to take austerity measures while everyone around us won stuff and yes, i was okay with us only qualifying for the UCL during those years and thought we were a bit unlucky not to have won a couple of trophies during those times.
    Call it sentimentality but I feel Wenger has earned the right to spend some of the money the club has generated with the signing of the new deals. I felt He blew it by not signing in January last season. I’ve been really pissed at our performances but the one time I wanted Wenger out was when we won at Anderlect. I was so disappointed with the way we played.
    That said, I am always happy when we win. I can’t help it. It doesn’t matter how bad we have been or our league position. I can understand the rants when we lose, but when we win? How can Arsenal winning not make you happy? Sure you want the manager out, but can’t you want him out and still celebrate Arsenal wins?

  75. N5

    duen, yes you can mate. Regardless of position on Wenger we should all be able to smile at a win, regardless of making hard work of it etc.

    I could never join the supporter that wish us to lose in the hope it will get Wenger sacked as A) I can’t see Wenger leaving before his contract ends and B) it goes against every fibre in my body. I do understand where people are coming from, but I think it’s wasted energy that could be better used cheering on the boys! regardless of missed transfers it’s not their fault.

  76. Cesc Appeal

    “Sure you want the manager out, but can’t you want him out and still celebrate Arsenal wins?”

    Sure.

    But I think you have to be sensitive to the fact that A LOT of Arsenal fans out there have seen these problems that the more general fan base are now picking up on for years. So a win in the grand scheme of fourth place trophy doesn’t mean a lot.

    Also you’re going to get the Arsene FC supporters coming out after a win spouting rubbish with a feel of vindication amazingly! Yet they’ll all run and hide during bad form.

    I’ve wanted Wenger gone since January 2011, rather pointedly because his failures in January 2011 are the same criticisms levelled at him now! I still hate to see Arsenal lose knowing the stick I’ll get and the articles that will be posted. I enjoy seeing us win but not as much as I use to, because the wins don’t matter and we never beat the big boys; those are the victories you REALLY enjoy.

    We’ve become somewhat of an irrelevance in football, we’re a source of mockery and jibes for our repeated failures in the same areas. No defence, no commanding presence, no steel in the side, wasteful in front of goal, tactically incompetent, can’t handle the big games, can’t beat the big boys, everyone is always injured, frugal to their detriment whilst all at once having a massively bloated wage bill due to fat contracts for sub par players.

    If you take a victory in isolation you can enjoy it. Taking it with the whole and it becomes as irrelevant as Arsenal have slowly become.

    That’s my opinion anyway.

  77. N5

    PS How cool a name is Rush? what is it short for?

    It reminds me of Friends, where Joey asks what Ross is short for because he thought it was Rossell 😀

    *that one’s for you Live by the River, I know you’re Nazi about what we can and can’t discuss on here.

  78. N5

    “If you take a victory in isolation you can enjoy it. Taking it with the whole and it becomes as irrelevant as Arsenal have slowly become.”

    I think that’s the nail hit squarely on the head Cesc. This is what I was trying to say in my original comment in my Neanderthilic way!

  79. Cesc Appeal

    N5

    Neanderthilic…great word.

    Use it in a sentence:

    The Neanderthilic Spurs’ fan hurled his own faecal matter at the TV, such is the way they express their displeasure in all matters of life

  80. Carts

    Dan T – ferckin heck!

    So Wenger is going to take his time while this young lad continues to run defender ragged. I don’t think Wenger took half this long to dish out new deals to Diaby. Didn’t the man give Djourou a new deal then loan him out the following year or some shit like that?!

    If I were Akpom, I’d seriously consider my option. I would’nt waste my time entertaining Chelsea or City. I might, just might listen to what Liverpool would offer. But in reality, it’s about progression and opportunity. Thus, I’d be looking towards the likes of Soton, Everton, West Ham and Swansea.

  81. N5

    Lol Cesc, I’m not sure it’s a real word, but it sounded right.

    “The sloped head of a Neanderthilic Spud makes it difficult for him to wear a hat”.

  82. Cesc Appeal

    Carts

    Ha! Just that gif made me chuckle!

    N5

    Isn’t it just the sort of thing you can see happening, Sanogo get’s chance after chance yet we’ll show Akpom the back door. I know I bang on but last year in the Asia Tour it was Akpom, Ramsey and Oxlade who were most impressive for me.

    Ramsey had a break out year following it, Oxlade seems (fingers crossed) to be doing that now…Akpom still hasn’t been given a chance.

  83. N5

    I fully agree Cesc, Akpom is getting to that age where he should be getting game time. He could of been started in the league cup and replaced if need be. But not using him at all is silly.

    I know Sanogo scored the other night, but fudging hell he took his time about it, and even then I’m not convinced the goal didn’t have a little bit of luck on it (Not Alexis contribution). Akpom almost certainly would be getting goals, he’s looked great in the reserves, albeit a weaker opposition.

  84. Romford Pele

    I quite like Em Martinez. Seems quite placid as an individual, polar opposite to Szcz in that regard. Only played a couple games so unfair to judge him fully but hopefully he can force his way in.

  85. Cesc Appeal

    N5

    I agree. But again another failing of Wenger’s agenda and misplaced loyalty. That coupled with his planet sized ego make him oblivious to matters like this.

    RP

    Agreed.

    I said after BvB that Martinez reminds me of Courtois or Forster in that he’s tall but bulky as well. If only we had a good GK coach who was allowed to coach.

    Really hope we get something out of him, I’ve always liked Schez and I remember talking about him before his break out year as this big 6ft 5 18 year old we’ve got on loan who looks a bit special – but he’s regressed (shock horror) lately. No coaching and huge ego…

  86. Romford Pele

    Lol the Bundesliga highlights are worth watching each weekend just to see the madness that Neuer gets up too! That dude wants to be an outfield player so badly!

    CA,
    Agreed, doesn’t make me fret like Almunia or Mannone did. His calm presence must surely radiate to those in front of him. Very big lad at 6ft4. What’s Seaman doing?! Get him in!

    Szcz is a good GK but his ego is massive and then he has these massive concentration lapses which drive you up the wall. Annoying because he’s had games where he’s literally kept us in it single-handedly. I think back to the game away to Liverpool in 2012 where he saved a pen and denied Suarez a few times. Also his performance against Germany for Poland last month was described as the best ever GK performance by a Polish keeper. Makes you wonder…

  87. Romford Pele

    Main worry tomorrow is Wanyama just eating our central midfield alive. He could literally just bulldoze his way through Flamini.

  88. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Yeah agreed.

    But it’s so often the case at Arsenal, again it’s our internal structuring, you can see the effort to drag us kicking and screaming in the 21st Century, but it’s only any good if our beloved leader utilises it, or allows people to do their jobs without sticking his nose in.

    Flamteta has to be the worst options for a CDM of anyone. I’d honestly take Cattermole in a heartbeat over those two.

    Someone posted an article earlier from the Times I think saying Wenger had said he has too many forward and not enough in defensive and central midfield. Either he’s so insulated from the views of the fans he doesn’t know what a berk he sounds saying that, or he’s having a laugh, or he’s going round the twist.

    Either way it’s worrying.

  89. Ozy

    Pedro likes to say variables and opinions change to justify his incredibly poor record of getting it wrong. Repeatedly, embarrassingly-so.

    Moving on, we always take teams on when they’re “down on the dumps” and get rocked. We’re the team other teams seem to always get back on form against so not looking forward to Southampton.

  90. Romford Pele

    “Someone posted an article earlier from the Times I think saying Wenger had said he has too many forward and not enough in defensive and central midfield”

    Lol, just lol if he said this. Dude is definitely going round the twist. Moans about criticisms but doesn’t help himself with statements like this, his internal planning and the fact we’ve been without our RB for 3 months and Kos for 2 months. Thank God for Kos though!

  91. Romford Pele

    CA,

    ‘Morgan’s not ready for Wednesday because he needs a scan on his adductor, in his right leg,’ said Koeman.

    ‘Then we have to wait about the result of the scan.

    ‘For sure he isn’t available for this Wednesday, but he’ll have scans to find out exactly what happened. It’s too soon to know whether it’s serious.’

  92. Jim Lahey

    Actually going to be in London tomorrow! But unfortunatly not for the game :(. Although I could just “miss” my flight back..

    Is Arteta back for tomorrow, really is the lesser of two evils when it comes to that DM role for us at the moment.

  93. Romford Pele

    Jim,
    I’d get the flight back, mate! I’m going but it’s actually so so cold in London right now, will only be worse standing about in 90 minutes of Arsenal-filled angst!

  94. N5

    You won’t pick up a ticket for less than a ton tomorrow Jim and that will probably be behind a man with a bigger head than John Merrick.

  95. Ozy

    How can Burton say we’re behind Chelsea in youth development? What youth development do they have? They just buy every single good young player in Europe and loan them out. There’s no emphasis on youth at that club..

  96. N5

    Jim, a friend of mine has been working for the Hilton Hotel for years and his higher up boss pursuaded the company to get a club class corporate box at the Emirates to entertain guests in and 9 out of 10 matches, it goes empty so he and a few others take turns in it.

    You should attempt that.

    PS be careful though, he’s only ever taken his boy into the boxes, so his son assumes all football matches begin with a starter!!

    Good luck down in Millwall

  97. MidwestGun

    Meh… the your not jubilant enough nazi’s bore me with their neanderthalic ways. (See what i did there) 😀
    Jumping up and down joyous with emotion over a win versus W. Brom after the worst start in 30 years seems out of place to me. But maybe it’s just me.
    I will be truly joyous when we start beating Man U., Chelsea, or City.
    I’m always happy when we win but I just don’t get the your only a fan if your positive crowd. If your looking for false positivity there are blogs for that.

    Anyhow, good afternoon y’all!!! So happy to be alive, the birds are chirping and the sun is out. And we are one injury away anywhere in our back 6 (back 4, cdm, gk) from a disaster.
    Lol.

  98. alexanderhenry

    On injuries being caused by ‘bad luck’. Exactly how can you legislate for debuchy falling on his ankle, the horror tackle on wilshire, kos returning from the world cup with a messed up achilles and giroud’s broken foot?