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So it’s sealed. An Arsenal vs Aston Villa cup final. The mighty Tim Sherwood showed what a loving arm around the shoulder can do as his confident side powered past a pretty flat Liverpool side.

Ideally, based on the last 3 FA Cup games we’ve played at Wembley, I’d have preferred to play Liverpool. It’d be pure focus all the way and the occasion would have felt bigger. Villa should be a fairly standard win based on form this season, but Sherwood has them ticking over nicely and his turbo-charged style of management is perfect for a cup final.

Yesterday they played with a very impressive tempo and energy. Benteke looked every inch the player most knew he was, Delph was brilliant And their young boy Grealish, was very impressive on the ball… like Jack Wilshere but 4 stone lighter with tiny shin pads.

It’ll be a fun day out regardless. One to look forward to, no doubt.

Fun and games in the press in Germany with suggestions in Kicker that we’re going to take Klopp this summer. I can’t for a minute believe that. He’s a very good manager, but he’s not a ‘drop everyone’ type of guy. Wenger is on a roll, there’s no way he’d move upstairs at this stage. Especially for a manager who bombed so badly this season. There’s talk of Liverpool taking him on. Again, can’t help but think they’d be replacing like for like there.

We’ve got Arsene until the very last day of his deal. At least it looks like changes have happened and they’ll continue to so we have a smooth transition when the new manager comes in.

Interesting that Dortmund took exMainz manager Tomas Tuchel. He’s a very impressive character and from the same club Klopp came from.

Next up is another cup final of sorts for us. Chelsea on Sunday is a huge game for us. Arsene has never beaten Mourinho, he’s been constantly taunted by him and this weekend sets the tone for next season. Chelsea nicked the game 1-0 at United in another joy-sapping set up. I think their side look very tired at the moment, so it feels like they could be there for the taking.

Winning this weekend really would cap off an exceptional second half of the season. Form is on our side, I think we have the players fit and firing to make an impact and we’ve rested some of our key players over the weekend. I’m a bit concerned we played 120mins, but we have a full week off to recover, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

It’s also the last major game in the sun before the season finishes. It’s when it gets to this part of the year, you start to panic that the summer has no football.

Then you get sad.

Then you start wondering about other sports?

Then you start wondering if you need to get a wife?

It all gets pretty messy. Football hasn’t gone yet. Still plenty more action to go.

Right, that’s your lot. Have a fabulous day.

P.S. Forgot to mention it, but one of the tweets people dig up about my past is something I wrote about Ashley Young years ago when he was a very good player. Well, interestingly, it hasn’t been brought up in a while because he’s keeping Di Maria out the side.

Now, point here isn’t that I am right. The point is that players are good, then they play badly under a certain style of manager, then they can come good again. Same with managers.

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  1. tunnygriffboy

    Qna

    Agree would be great. Problem is even if we match the bid then as a general rule Barca and Madrid get the player. It boils down to where the player wants to play

    Re scavenging, I would mind scavenging the likes of Isco from the big two. We’ve all ready had Ozil and Alexis.

  2. tunnygriffboy

    Qna

    I wasn’t saying Dragovic should and will be bought. Was just noting we’re being linked to CB. Laporte is mentioned today as well. He is a good player. We have a lot of money and need to spend some of it, other clubs will. We have a good squad but we need to bring to quality players in who are starters. This improves competition, raises standards and will improve the squad. It’ll be very interesting.

  3. Wallace

    tunny

    i think Gnabry & Akpom will get pre-season to impress. i think both are ready to contribute, although maybe a short term loan for at least one of them might be useful at this stage.

  4. tunnygriffboy

    Wallace

    Where would you buy and who should be let go ?

    I think Santi has had a great season though he’s been a bit subdued the last couple of games. I’m not sure long term him playing CM is ideal particularly against the big powerful sides. Not sure about Ramsey on the right either. That issue needs sorting and Wenger needs to bite the bullet and make a decision about the pair and Ozil. I understand why Santi is playing there but as I say it’s not a long term option. Chelsea’s power will test it on Sunday

  5. qna

    TGB: Hell yeah. Give me Isco any day. That would be an awesome Summer. I agree with you about Reus possibly wanting to Choose us. But I have not felt like this for many years, but I actually think we are a pretty good option. Madrid: Have a narcissistic Ronaldo making life unpleasant for all the other players. Is it just me, or do that team really not look like they enjoy football anymore. I think a lot of players will be put off going to Madrid. Barca have an extra 6 months on their ban, so they may not be able to do much. They could buy him and loan him back for 6 months. But they do not really need him for the forseeable future. Would Reus want to be a bench player? PSG could come in. Bayern would be attractive, but will Dortmund sell to them now? United are about the same level as us football wise – its a tough choice. If we choose to match their offer salary wise, we are a pretty good chance. City might blow us out of the water, but they have a really interesting job to do. I hope City try to make us an offer we cant refuse on Wilshere instead.

    I also think Arsenal are the perfect fit for Reus. He will be a starter and one of the main men. We have a strong German link now too.

  6. qna

    Right now our biggest dangers to failure will come from within. If we re-sign Arteta it will be a massive blow if he ever has to see the field again, not to mention the wasted salary. Diaby on a pay=per-play will be a distraction to us moving forward. But the biggest danger is Podolski. If we even think about trying to bring him back into the team it will be a massive step backward. I think we have to flog him back to Germany or Turkey and offer to pay part of his salary. We cant really expect other teams to suffer from our mistakes.

  7. tunnygriffboy

    Qna

    Yeah I think 3 or 4 need to be told ‘ thank you for your efforts but times to move on ‘. I would move Podolski on even if it mean’t paying his wages.

    I’m optimistic that if we get in 2 or 3 top class players, with the squad we’ve got and improved fitness record we could do something

    Losing so many players to injury again at beginning of season plus not buying a CB in the summer cost us a crack at the title this season. We will also have a pre season together for next year and hopefully no CL qualifier ( by no means a given yet )

  8. tunnygriffboy

    Juve willing to sell Pogba. Could we put all our eggs in one basket and go for him ? Chelsea and man u interested. Chelsea have bargaing chip of Ramires to Juve.

    Wenger loves Pogba and said he’s got everything and will win balon do’r at some point. Could he be the new PV4 ?

  9. qna

    TGB: Arteta, Diaby and Rosicky earn a combined £230k/week. Do you think that would be enough for Pogba? We have Beliek for depth in numbers.

  10. tunnygriffboy

    Qna

    230k a week would get him. He’s on low wages comparatively in Italy. I don’t think we’d break our wage structure to get him but we could offer him 5x his current salary to join and still be in our structure

    He’d be the ideal signing. Player alongside Coquelin. Power and mobility and skill. I reckon we’d take anyone on. Oh well I know I’m a delusional fool 🙂 🙂

  11. Wallace

    tunny

    who to buy is a tough one. i like Gündogan a lot, but with Cazorla, Ramsey & Wilshere all battling for that starting spot alongside Coquelin, you’d think at least one will be sold if we do sign another midfielder this summer. all 3 are very talented, but all 3 have question marks against them.

    we’ll have to replace Szcz if he leaves, which i think he will. but if Theo goes i’d be happy with Gnabry stepping up.

    outside of that i can’t see any of the players currently out on loan making it. so sell them, release Flamini and Diaby. fine with Arteta hanging around for another year. he won’t be starting more than a handful of games, but his experience would be useful.

  12. qna

    TGB. I dont think we have a wage structure anymore. I think we have broken it, like tearing down the Berlin wall. It was a complete failure and we are only now starting to see success since we have added players that break that structure.

    We also have cash reserves enough to buy Pogba. And due to his age, we will get good value for him as well. After 5 years, he will still be in his prime and we could still sell him for mega bucks, or hopefully resign him and build our team around him.

    If we could add Pogba and Reus then we would be one hell of a team next season. If Isco is available for £30m we should do that too, even if that means the end for one of my favorites this season – Santi.

    How could we afford all that you ask? Well we would have to sell Theo, Wilshere as well as guys like Jenkinson, Campbell, Welington, Podolski and dip into our cash reserves. I would also love us to sell Welbeck, who would fetch a lot more than we paid for him, but can’t see that happening after just one season with us.

    With those three superstars, not only would we win the PL IMO, we would be fierce in the CL and should at least see the semi’s again. But our owners are not ambitious enough to even contemplate that. I doubt Wenger would want the pressure of having such big players for big money either.

  13. tunnygriffboy

    Wallace

    I think we need back up/competition for Coquelin. Arteta could play in a few games but should Coquelin get a long term injury we have no one with his energy and strength to play his role which has balanced the side really well

    I think we’ll bring in a top class signing. We have to get as many players like Alexis and Ozil as we can even if it’s one a year. Current squad members will then have to raise their game to provide competition for places

    I’d be so disappointed if he goes with what we’ve got next season. Now is the time to build on what we’re doing, we have the chance to be competitive in all competitions if we get the right signings in.

  14. tunnygriffboy

    I know Jack is a bit marmite on here and some would be ok with leaving.

    However take a minute to think. We could be building our team around Jordan Henderson who is signing a 5 year deal at lpool for 100k a week.

  15. Bamford10

    While Welbeck can play CF, he isn’t very effective there, as was evident this weekend. Thus to me he is a wide player, which gives us four wide players at the moment (Sanchez, Ox, Welbeck, Walcott).

    If we sell Walcott — which I personally think we should do — then we would need another wide player. Otherwise I say we need a CF more than another wide player. I would look at Benteke, Lacazette and Dybala.

    Then we need another CDM. Schneiderlin fits the bill well, as he is solid, technical and EPL-tested.

    Would be nice to have a powerful, young CM but with Ramsey, Jack and Santi, I don’t see this happening.

    I also don’t see a new CB, as we have Gabriel, Kosc, Mert and Chambers.

    That leaves GK, where we can still improve. Cech can go wherever he likes, and he would be a very good signing.

    That’s how I sees it.

  16. tunnygriffboy

    Bamford

    We’re being linked with CB’s, Cm’s and strikers. Just wonder if we’re looking at all three ?

    If Walcott signs then Wenger would be happy. I don’t think we’ll be looking to force him out.

    I think we’ll get another top class player like Alexis and Ozil. We have to do it and build a squad that can compete in any competition

    Agree Benteke playing well at moment as is Lacazzette. The later can play along the front three. Feel a bit for Welbeck, he wasn’t great on the weekend but we had no width at all and didn’t stretch their defence. Also he hasn’t played centrally since Christmas. Ironically he could have done with Welbeck playing wide to stretch the defence. Ramsey on the right didn’t work but also weren’t helped by Debuchy being very reserved and not overlapping like he does normally