We need to talk about David Ospina

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Morning Gooners – James here with some Tuesday morning cheer to help your corn flakes down. Summery Monday evenings are fantastic, aren’t they? I met some friends for drinks and food at the Duchess of Kent, which I would heartily recommend. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll in the sun, full of optimism and relative calm. Ahhh – idyllic. To now be sat at home five hours later (I’m writing this last night – serious time travel shiz) and be as happy as someone who got served dog poo in a bap, is mightily irritating.

Firstly, I don’t think we were THAT bad. Defensively we were completely untroubled all evening and a lot of our build up play was fine. It was the final third where we were found wanting and it brought into stark focus the gaps in our squad. When the line-ups came out I was somewhat surprised to see an unchanged team, as I felt this was a good opportunity to get some game time for the likes of Wilshere, whilst giving some well-earned rest to Alexis, for instance. I get the importance of momentum, but with the impending visit to Old Trafford on Sunday, some rotation wouldn’t have gone amiss.

The first half was pretty turgid stuff, with Swansea showing no ambition to do anything aside from kick our players and sit very, very deep. I can’t recall Fabianski being called into any meaningful action during the first 45 minutes, but my feeling was that Swansea wouldn’t be able to retain their intensity levels for the whole game. At half time I was left feeling slightly aghast at their approach, which may be slightly obtuse given that they won the

At half time I was left feeling slightly aghast at their approach, which may be slightly obtuse given that they won the game, but given they don’t have too much to play for, I’d have thought they would view the game as a free hit and really go for it. As an aside I wish referees would take positive action to prevent systematic fouling by teams against us. Alexis got hacked three or four times in the first half when he was trying to launch attacks without so much as a stern word from the referee in reprise. It’s infuriating as a fan as it’s so blatantly cynical and kills the spectacle of the game. Jim Friend was appalling all night and it was up there with the worst refereeing performances I have seen this season, which is really going some.

Fortunately, the second half really opened up, which created far more openings, without us forcing Fabianski into any real saves. Wenger withdrew Giroud after 70 minutes, which has been met by some derision online. Personally I felt he was having a poor game, he looked shattered and had taken a clattering – no issues withdrawing him for me (there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere, but I’ll leave that to you). Theo came on to get some game time in his coveted centre forward position and he was utter turd. His hold up play is, frankly, non-existent and he’s incapable of linking play sufficiently to command a central role. He missed a decent chance from close range, failing to get a proper connection with the ball, but his miss with around 10 minutes left on the clock was criminal. With space in the box and Fabianski grounded, he had the simple task of slotting home, but he erred and shot tamely at the ex-Arsenal man. Whilst there are those who will argue Theo is suffering from rustiness and a lack of game time, that doesn’t butter too many parsnips with me brethren. He’s a player who trades in goals, and goals alone, as that really is all he has to offer. His movement, for a player of his pace, isn’t up to scratch; so when his finishing deserts him he is a complete irrelevance. I’ve been saying for months the writing is on the wall for Theo and I won’t be sad to see him go, assuming of course he is replaced.

Theo came on to get some game time in his coveted centre forward position and he was utter turd. His hold up play is, frankly, non-existent and he’s incapable of linking play sufficiently to command a central role. He missed a decent chance from close range, failing to get a proper connection with the ball, but his miss with around 10 minutes left on the clock was criminal. With space in the box and Fabianski grounded, he had the simple task of slotting home, but he erred and shot tamely at the ex-Arsenal man. Whilst there are those who will argue Theo is suffering from rustiness and a lack of game time, that doesn’t butter too many parsnips with me brethren. He’s a player who trades in goals, and goals alone, as that really is all he has to offer. His movement, for a player of his pace, isn’t up to scratch; so when his finishing deserts him he is a complete irrelevance. I’ve been saying for months the writing is on the wall for Theo and I won’t be sad to see him go, assuming of course he is replaced.

Whilst there are those who will argue Theo is suffering from rustiness and a lack of game time, that doesn’t butter too many parsnips with me brethren. He’s a player who trades in goals, and goals alone, as that really is all he has to offer. His movement, for a player of his pace, isn’t up to scratch; so when his finishing deserts him he is a complete irrelevance. I’ve been saying for months the writing is on the wall for Theo and I won’t be sad to see him go, assuming of course he is replaced.

Theo leaving would present a real opportunity for Wenger to add a player for the right side of the team, with last night and the Chelsea game highlighting the need for greater potency from that flank. Ramsey does well out there and his infield runs off the ball are very good indeed, as we saw against Hull, but clearly his long-term future is in the middle. Ox is fantastic and we miss him when he’s unavailable, which sadly is far too often. Saying that, he doesn’t yet offer enough of a consistent goal scoring threat to warrant Wenger not adding a player for the position. Welbeck is a funny one. He’s a useful squad player and can cover a number of positions, but I feel that’s all he is. There’s nothing wrong with that and all successful teams need players like him, but I fear he will never be potent enough to break down the best sides.

Ox is fantastic and we miss him when he’s unavailable, which sadly is far too often. Saying that, he doesn’t yet offer enough of a consistent goal scoring threat to warrant Wenger not adding a player for the position. Welbeck is a funny one. He’s a useful squad player and can cover a number of positions, but I feel that’s all he is. There’s nothing wrong with that and all successful teams need players like him, but I fear he will never be potent enough to break down the best sides.

My feeling is Wenger will look to add someone with more playmaking ability than Theo, for instance, this summer to take that position and take some of the burden from Alexis and Ozil. Who that is is anyone’s guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Reus was high on our list.

Apologies – I digress – back to the game. As the game wore on and we went in search of a winner, we got utterly sucker punched. Montero – who is becoming our arch tormenter – got passed Bellerin too easily and delivered to Gomis who rose above Monreal. His header appeared to be palmed away by Ospina, but much to our dismay a goal was awarded. There were actually people sat around me debating the award of the goal – I get it’s frustrating, but how thick can you be?

I don’t want to dissect the goal too much, but will touch on a couple of points. Monreal got some stick for getting beaten at the back post – Gomis also rose above him to head home Swansea’s winner at the Liberty Stadium in the winter – but sometimes if you’re isolated against a man with a massive height advantage, there’s not much you can do. I thought Nacho had another excellent game – he was incisive going forwards and showed fantastic aggression in defence. If I were naming our five players of the season, he’d be on the list for consistency of performance alone – his improvement has been very pleasing indeed.

Unfortunately, the real felon in the goal was Ospina. I’ve been banging the drum for months, but he just isn’t good enough to be the Arsenal keeper if we have aspirations of challenging for the title.

Seeing how De Gea performed for Utd on Saturday at Palace brings Ospina’s deficiencies into stark focus – he wins them points and I’d struggle to think of a single match where I’ve felt our keeper ‘won’ us points. If Chesney had let that goal in, rightly, he’d get absolutely panned and it’s a position that requires urgent attention this summer. If we can get Cech in, that’d be a transformative signing – a true winner whose won it all and still has another five good years in him. Ospina cost us last night and that card’s been marked for a long time – he has been an accident waiting to happen and those horrible chickens have come home to roost.

Overall, it’s hard to get too furious about this game – sometimes, these games happen and this season we have generally done well at breaking down teams at home that sit behind the ball. What is important is how we respond.

We have a massive game on Sunday at Old Trafford and a win would be very welcome. Whilst our finishing above Utd isn’t contingent on Sunday’s result, rubbing salt into their infected, puss-ridden wounds would be delicious. Building momentum ahead of the cup final is also absolutely essential – it would be a travesty to let the Premier League campaign end in a damp squib. There isn’t a lot we can do in terms of personnel changes for the game, but I’d be inclined to give Wilshere a start – he looks sharp and hungry and could hurt a porous Utd midfield.

I’d like to end by commenting on the farce that is the FA Cup final ticketing fiasco. Whilst I have gripes about Arsenal’s apportionment of tickets, the real enemy is the Fucking Abhorrent, who really have a lot to answer for. I saw Eastleigh FC advertising a competition to win five tickets for the final on Twitter last week – what a shit-show.

The cup final is a special day for fans – it’s one you take your kids to, it’s the game they can fall in love with the club and the game; and the FA are missing a trick. Why the ‘football family’ tickets can’t be distributed for the Charity Shield, I don’t know. On the tube home from the game, I spoke to an old boy who lives in Preston and hasn’t missed a game in nigh on forty years, travelling down for every game. He didn’t get a ticket. I guess some would say he’s no more deserving than any other – we all pay our money and take the chance – but what a shambles when this scenario is created, purely by incompetence and a lack of understanding from the governing body about what is really important in football.

On that sombre note, I’ll let you enjoy the rest of your day.

Until next time x

Give me a follow @James_Willson2

540 Responses to “We need to talk about David Ospina”

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  1. daz

    “AKBs look at this level of football then think about how we play, thats the difference we are miles offthe pace.”

    Yeah mate hats off to Luis Enrique for building this team

  2. MidwestGun

    Thomas –
    Depends…. sometimes Vegas on line site. We have a local sportsbook casino near me too associated with Harrah’s. Casino. And I check Ladbrokes… sometimes they will match odds. Gambling is legal in my state. Lucky for me.

  3. carts

    “Agreed if this was us most of you would slaughter Wenger for this, wonder how you feel about your chosen one pep?”

    I’ll leave the slaughtering to the Bild. Isn’t rocket science that any team who defends in that fashion and gets punished deserves the stick they get.

    I rate Pep, not sure if he’s the chosen one though

  4. carts

    Fair play to Munich, salvaged some pride, first leg somewhat flattered Barcelona, imho.

    I suppose when you look at it, Jupp Huynckes [sp] proved how good he really was. Pep seems to overcomplicate certain area of how Bayern perform

  5. MidwestGun

    Carts –
    It’s taxed pretty heavily and they use the tax for the education fund. (Its for the kids, lol) plus our state is broke so they tax pretty much everything considered fun. Hahaha.

  6. TitsMcGee

    FC Barcelona ‏@FCBarcelona 60s60 seconds ago
    “We don’t have to be satisfied just to make it; we have to try and win it. Titles are what matter,” says Iniesta #HalloBerlin #FCBFCB #UCL

  7. TitsMcGee

    “I suppose when you look at it, Jupp Huynckes [sp] proved how good he really was. Pep seems to overcomplicate certain area of how Bayern perform”

    I think he needs to adjust somewhat but just tinker.

    He’s come up short in the two years in the UCL at Bayern but exited at the hands of Champions Madrid and probable Champions Barca.

    How much is complicating things and how much is losing to two really good teams?

    I get what you mean though and some Bayern fans feel the same way however two league titles and a “German FA CUp” is a pretty good CV for your first 2 years at a club.

  8. MidwestGun

    “For me 3-2 to Bayern but the amazing front 3 will score a couple to put Barca through.”
    _________
    Earlier from GS88….. start calling him Nostradamus.

  9. carts

    Tits

    No shame in losing to the champions (elect), I guess. The drubbing last season was dire. At times Real looked like how the German looked when they ran riot against Brazil.

    Third time lucky next season maybe, especially with the fact that Barcelona won’t be able to add any additions in the summer and I highly doubt they will in January 2016.

    Real on the other hand look like a new manager will be at the helm if they don’t win La Liga or the CL

  10. Bamford10

    “The question doesn’t articulate the problem, there is no finite solution, it’s unlikely we’ll be efficient enough to win titles without additions, it’s equally, maybe more so, unlikely, that we’ll win titles just through buying players.”

    Classic Keyser sophistry. This is a false choice. As if we can only do one thing or the other — sign better players OR develop better “efficiency” — but not both.

    Of course we need to do BOTH things in order to compete, and the only people arguing against doing one of these two things are Keyser, Wenger and other assorted idiots.

    And by the way, Keyser can run away from it now, but when Midwest asked whether he thought we would compete for the title next season without signing better players, he said “yes”. (See above for evidence.)

    So he does in fact believe the current squad, without additions, will compete for the title next season. What a joke.

  11. Cesc Appeal

    Does anyone think Munich might shed a few players this summer? Players like Gotze, Martinez maybe…got a lot of players in that middle area and I think they are lacking a bit in the pure forward department especially considering Robben and Ribery’s ages.

  12. MadeToLoveMagic

    Yeah cesc , perhaps they’ll buy Le coq to replace alonso?

    Nah I can definitely see them spending big on someone, I think you’re right. Pogba perhaps could be a cheeky one. They are one of the few teams who could afford him and I’m sure Pep will be thinking about that Dm position.

    Could you see Pep making a little bid for Walcott? I think like you say that they need someone (“need” someone is definitely a relative term here!) on the wide attacking front. As an impact player I know Pep rates him and we would probably have to sell for around 15 million.. haha you never know!

  13. Keyser

    Bamford10 – This is the question asked of me.

    “So we don’t really need to add better players as is the status quo on this blog?”

    I said the question doesn’t articulate the problem, I gave two parameters we can try to work between, not a choice.

    – On our own, with no additions, how likely is it we’ll win the title ? Unlikely.
    – Can we win the title then simply by delving into the transfer market ? It’s as unlikely, if not more so.

    I could go into more detail, but it’s pointless really because the overlying problem is that the odds are stacked against us no matter what we do.

    So what do we actually do ? We pick and choose players who we think not only improve the efficiency of the team but as individuals who fight against the market trend and could actually improve on their own worth.

    Hence I added this bit :

    “Why ? Because the teams above us aren’t efficient, to beat them we have to explore areas they aren’t.”

    If you want examples, please ask.

    Other than that you’ve posted another pretty poor and sophistic reply. At best it shows your ignorance, at worst you’re calculated in your dishonesty.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    MTLM

    I’m not Walcott’s biggest fan, so I’m probably a little biased here, but I think there’s more chance of Wenger and Mourinho going out for a beer sometime than there is Munich having the slightest interest in Walcott.

    If they are in that market, more likely Reus, Bale sort of territory than the Walcott.

    Walcott is a pretty limited footballer, can’t see him surviving a Guardiola team, the commentators were saying at the end perhaps Guardiola constantly changing his tactics and asking them to play different roles is too much…can you see Walcott lasting in that environment? If he goes it will be Liverpool.

    Sterling might be an interesting one this summer, maybe Chelsea, maybe us, but maybe he will make an obscure sort of move to somewhere like Munich and leave us all stunned.

    Certainly though, if Munich are thinking of selling players like Martinez or Gotze I would be all over that.

  15. MadeToLoveMagic

    “So he does in fact believe the current squad, without additions, will compete for the title next season. What a joke”

    A bit stretched maybe but hardly a joke mate… On the fitness front we are massively improving and that has always been our problem post 2007.. That imo has been what has majorly fucked us up, as well as needing extra quality in places.

    If we added nobody we would in my opinion stand a way better chance of competing next season than we did this year based on that alone. We started so badly had SO many injuries this year. If shad can continue his good work then we can be very excited.

    Not saying I dont think we need a Dm to replace either Flamini or Arteta, and a striker maybe but its hardly a joke to consider that we may be successful next year with out new additions.

    Arsenal have definitely found a new way of playing this year to so i believe we are seeing change on a few fronts. Tech wise too

  16. Keyser

    That really was tedious, I honestly couldn’t care less about either team, but people seem completely oblivious to what they’ve posted on here over time.

    At what point or for what period of time did people actually think ‘This is a good tie, a meeting of minds, a real contest, a test of philosophies, of style’, for maybe 20-30 minutes of the first leg ?

  17. Keyser

    MTLM – I don’t think we’ve especially improved on the fitness front, as of now we simply have a deeper squad, you could cite luck in how well Bellerin and Coquelin have done, but that remains to be seen.

    The point was that the only reason, people think/ or that it’s portrayed by whatever group, that we don’t stand a chance is because of what we’re up against, these overwhelming teams who are deeply inefficient.

  18. MadeToLoveMagic

    Cesc , yeah you are probably right, buy probably i mean at least 99 percent right! Its just I got this sneeky feeling that Pep has a little soft spot for Theo. I know a lot of it was banter and mind games but i remember what Pep kept talking about in 2011, was theo.

    remember messi saying this? , “I can only speak from experience but he was one of the most dangerous players I have ever played against,” said Messi. “Barcelona players are not scared easily but I can tell you that when we played Arsenal last season he truly worried us.”,

    Anyway pure fantasy on my part..

    Hypothetically if he did go there its hard to predict how he would react to peps tactics. Regardless of what people often say about walcott i think he is a very smart guy and that his apparent lack of “football brain” is down to a lack of technique. But he remains a very dangerous player and when on form is a great player to have as an impact sub which would suit robben and ribery.

    Anyway pure fantasy on my part

    If we did shift Walcott on quickly this year then i think we should go pretty balls out for sterling. Him Sanch and Ox would be fantastic wide options. I still have hopes for Gnabry too.

    Drxler would also be a perfect replacement for wally as he can play wide but he is seen as a future striker which again would suit us right now.. I worry about Draxler’s body though, shame…

    i was so sad we didn’t sign Gotze when we had the chance, and yes i agree he would be a great addition if not a vital one for next season

  19. MadeToLoveMagic

    Keyser , yes you could site luck the Coq and Bell (pretty good pub name right there) emergence I agree but I would cite the fact that our first team squad trained in its entirety for the first time in a decade as proof things are changing on the fitness front, i guess it could be co-incidence, but its unlikely in my view. Our whole team look much fresher than what we are use to by this point in the season. Its all about shad in my opinion.

    in what ways are the teams that we are up against inefficient?

  20. Keyser

    MTLM – We’ve had no career threatening injuries for a few seasons now, that has helped, overall I think it’s far too early to judge, for the last two years we haven’t really moved anyone on and we’re actively adding to the squad, look at the conversation regarding Walcott, the last time he signed a contract, he was our only real option, this time around ?

    The 2011-12 season we had no full-backs, we went something like 9 players deep trying to see out the season, this year we’ve got 4 right-backs alone. In 2011 we spent a million on the medical facilities, we started the GPS around then ? This year we’re adding to the training ground again and I think the major difference is the depth of the squad, we’ll see how we see out the season, and how we do in pre-season.

  21. Redtruth

    No alternative, just go back to the old rule where a player in an offside position is deemed offside regardless of whether the player receives the ball or not.

  22. MadeToLoveMagic

    Yes Keyser I agree that it is to early to judge but for me the arrival of Shad and the whole squad training together can’t be a coincidence ( well obs it can but its unlikely.

    Everything you list shows that slowly but surly we are doing the things we need to do, that we are progressing.. Wengers even admitted the team are using tapes so that has changed too.

    I believe Wenger has had a bit of an Epiphany reagarding his style of management and if he has then fair play to him. I may be vastly wrong but I think that this next two years are going to see even more imrpovement on every front, and by the time Wenger leaves he will leave us a very very good side, with a sound financial model and a legacy of expansive attractive football.

  23. MadeToLoveMagic

    Hmmm red

    not sure

    Imagine someone pinging a ball out to the left and someone on the right being offside and the game having to stop, nah bullshit….

    The phase of play system works fine as a rule i think

  24. Keyser

    MTLM – I don’t think he’s had a epiphany, I think we’re just in a more comfortable position, Wengers used tapes since the 80’s, read Djorkaeff talking about how meticulous he is/was, I think it’s Djorkaeff.

    We’re supposedly spending millions on training ground renovation, that money has to come from somewhere, or we would’ve done it sooner.

    – Arsenal have revealed on their official website the plans for a redevelopment of the club’s London Colney training ground as well as their Hale End youth academy.

    Plans for the training base were recently given the go ahead by Hertsmere Borough Council, with work set to begin shortly.

    The club hope to wrap up the works in time for the start of the 2017/18 season.

    The work will oversee the construction of a new player performance centre, whilst a new gym, a 40-metre running track, ice baths, spa, cryotherapy chamber, state-of-the-art data analysis and scouting suites and player meeting rooms will all be added.

    Gunners chief executive Ivan Gazidis said:

    “These are significant investments to ensure we provide our players with the best possible facilities at every age group within the club.

    “These developments, together with the recruitment of specialists in player preparation, injury prevention and recovery, analytics, coaching and scouting, will ensure we stay at the forefront of the latest thinking within the game and are an important part of our ambition to keep improving and developing on and off the pitch.”

  25. Bennydevito

    Evening Grovers,

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed a glitch in the post. Has Pedro sacked the proof reader or is there a server problem? Alex’s last post had bad repetition too.

    Evening Grovers,

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed a glitch in the post. Has Pedro sacked the proof reader or is there a server problem? Alex’s last post had bad repetition too.

    MadeToLoveMagic 12 May 2015 15.26:

    If Arsene Wenger was going to bring out his own brand of perfume, what should it be called? I’d go for
    “Delusion”

    LOL!

    Where’s the follow up guys?

    “Ineptitude” … “Short back lift” … “Delusion” … “Arsene Wenger” …

    With a picture of him on the bottle in Brazil on the beach in his speedos!!!

    C’mon! Surely?

  26. Bennydevito

    yes!

    “Hand brake” … “Ze Mental Strength” … “Delusion” … “Arsene Wenger”..

    Yes!

    Hilarious.

  27. Bennydevito

    MTLM,

    It’s fucking fantastic mate, it’s the funniest thing in ages. I could go at this all night!

    “Financial Doping” … “50,000 substitutions” … “Delusion” … “Arsene Wenger” …

    Somebody stop me!

  28. Bennydevito

    Redtruth May 12, 2015 22:45:02

    No alternative, just go back to the old rule where a player in an offside position is deemed offside regardless of whether the player receives the ball or not.

    Well shit in my salad. Another good post from old red. Where’s the abuse?

    Seriously, this is something I would like to see. I hate the current offside rule and all this interfering with play or not – if you’re on the pitch you’re interfering with play.

    Where’s N5 lately? Not seen him about in a while.

  29. MidwestGun

    Hahaha All I know is it has to be priced……… £40 + £1.

    Benny –
    N5 was around a couple days ago, he had some family stuff with broken bones and doctors.

  30. Bennydevito

    oh dear, quick recovery N5.

    Midwest, definitely £40+1, brilliant.

    MTLM, he could have a line: Delusion, Red Zone, AKB. That was good fun.

    Re the offside rule, I know what you mean but it can be so ambiguous in certain situations I think ultimately one day the players and the ball will have little gps chips and you’ll have computer refs and it’ll all be synced with the tv cameras etc. and have lights going off signalling an offside or other dubious decisions.

  31. MadeToLoveMagic

    Benny

    I don’t know if they could ever make a workable system for having tech decide offsides. I cant see how it would work, even in the future, way to many variables, The only feasible thing they could do is refer back to tech mid game to check a decision but that as we know would be bullshit, i’m personally massively anti any stoppage of the game, to check decisions. One of the things that makes football so unique is the flowing nature of it, and its simple rules. Im all for tech improving and helping refereeing but as long as the essence of the game isn’t changed too much by it.

    The more I think about it though I can see some potential advantages to going back to the old ways with offsidel but i presume that method had its problems as well otherwise they would have never changed it.

    Most probably for the reasons i stated , that it is frustrating and disrupts the flow of the game when the ref is always blowing for offside , even when the offenders are not even involved in play. There is not much worse to watch in football than constant offsides

  32. Bennydevito

    MTLM,

    How about some sort of system where the players have a chip/sensor on their person as well as in their boots? Each team would have a unique gps i.d. The football would have a chip in it that knows which team touched the ball last and can sync with the players’ chips and sensors on the pitch to determine an offside. Big screens linked to the computer and cameras can show it almost simultaneously . Obviously there’s variables like headers and deflections but maybe the kit and the players wear an al-in-one or something that can detect when the ball has struck. I’m not a scientist or engineer. I’m the ideas guy.

    You all read it here first Grovers. My idea!
    Seriously though, I reckon that will be the future.

  33. Bennydevito

    Regarding today’s post, and yesterday, a few points:

    In my opinion our Theo of sign da ting or sling your thing fame hasn’t really been given a fair crack of the whip up through the middle. His hat trick for England is what I think he could possibly become but without an Alex Song amount of time up front free of injury, I don’t think we’ll ever know. I think if there’s any chance of snaring Sterling and using Walcott as a sweetener, we should take it.

    On the goal keeper front, I don’t think Ospina was majorly at fault for the goal and since he’s been here I don’t think he’s dropped many clangers and is better than Scz, Flappy, Almunia and Mannone. However I would agree he’s no Lloris, De Gea or Courtois either. I’d say he is as good as Jens was, who incidentally I never rated at all and hated him when he took over from the great still to be replaced Seaman. I would say in terms of GK’s in my Arsenal era Seaman > Lukic > Ospina > Lehman > Schz > Mannone > Flappy > Wright and also you could argue that a taller top class keeper may have read the flight of the ball better and commanded his area better and pre-empted the header?

    Maybe.

    If Lloris has got a release clause we should get him. Good mates with Gertrude as well apparently.

  34. Bennydevito

    I forgot Spanish waiter after sczh but before Mannone etc.

    See y’all for the 1sts in the morning.

  35. Dark Hei

    Benny

    Disagree with your post on GKs. Lehman was tremendous for that 1 season. He was unbeatable, Oliver Khan style. Just like Sczh was last season. You just feel that the GK can stop anything that gets past the defence.

    But a big shout for your post on technology. What you described is 100% workable and not really expensive to implement.

  36. Wallace

    Bamford

    “So he does in fact believe the current squad, without additions, will compete for the title next season. What a joke.”

    why wouldn’t it? i expect to see a couple of genuine quality additions in the summer, but since our injury list went from insane to manageable we’ve been the best team in the league(in terms of pts gained). why is it a joke to think the same players can’t replicate this form in 3ths time?

  37. Bamford10

    Wallace

    First, let’s be clear about this: the current squad did not compete for the title this season. At no point were we ever legitimate contenders. Never.

    Secondly, Chelsea and United will spend this summer and improve. There is no question about that. Chelsea will improve in central midfield and will add another CF so as to give better cover for Costa. United have already added Depay and are sure to add other quality players. On top of this it will be LVG’s second year and there’ll be fewer transition issues. And they had a ton of injury issues this year, as many as if not more than we did.

    To say that injuries were the only thing that prevented us from competing this year is stupid. Did injuries keep us from beating Swansea on Monday night? No. From beating Chelsea or United at home? No. Did they cause us to lose to Spurs at WHL? To lose to Monaco 3-1 at home? No.

    We lack class and athleticism at certain positions, especially relative to Chelsea. This is why we didn’t compete for the title this year. Giroud is not a good enough CF, nor is Cazorla a good enough CM (though he is good). Coquelin has been excellent, but whether he is good enough to get us to the next level is an open question. And as solid as he has been, Ospina is no Courtois or De Gea.

    We also lack tactical nous. While Wenger has been better this year, this has been down to his listening to his players. It was THEIR idea to play defensively against City. And one can still point to the Anderlecht and Monaco debacles and ask: who the fuck instructs this squad?

    We need 3-4 better players in order to compete for the title, and we will not compete for said title without these additions. This is as certain as day.

    But don’t take my word for it: ask Thierry Henry — or anyone else with any sense, for that matter. This squad is decent, but it is not as good as Chelsea’s, nor will it likely be as good as United’s after the summer window. We must spend.

  38. carts

    “Does anyone think Munich might shed a few players this summer? Players like Gotze, Martinez maybe…got a lot of players in that middle area and I think they are lacking a bit in the pure forward department especially considering Robben and Ribery’s ages.”

    Never been a big fan of Gotze, felt he was very overrated by many. WC winning goal saved his hide as he was shite in the WC. Had better moments at BVB.

    But yeah, I see them getting rid of a few to add more pace. Robben & Ribery are only getting older and there’s a small chance they’ll ‘improve’ physically. With that said, unless a tasty bid come in for either, they’ll both be retained for another season.

    Out:

    Pizarro
    Rafina
    Martinez/Shweini
    Ribery/Robben(??)

    In:

    Draxler/Sterling
    RB
    Striker

  39. Gregg

    Carts

    Spot on, said as much last week. Bayern have relied on their wide outlets, it’s fundamental to their game and they will certainly need to add at least two players in these positions as Robben/Ribery are spent.

    Martinez would be a dream signing for us but boy would I like to see it.

  40. Gregg

    Various comments re Walcott on here, some I agree with ad some not. I do find it unfair to criticise him for something that he is not nor ever will be. Hugging the touchline isn’t his game, in fact in modern football where teams play a front three, who does hug the touchline ? no one.

    It’s about making central runs from a wide starting position. Overmars made a career out of it almost 20 years ago. Couldn’t cross a ball, had little skill or football ability but like Walcott the timing of his runs are his strength. Walcott was always going to be a replica of Overmars and never Henry.

  41. TheBayingMob

    “Overmars made a career out of it almost 20 years ago. Couldn’t cross a ball, had little skill or football ability”

    I find these comments amazing really; Overmars had ‘little skill or football ability’ … Really? These guys play at a level you could only dream about; the chances of making it are unfeasibly slim but yet people think that someone with ‘little skill or football ability’ could make it at the very highest level of the game. It’s hilarious.

    Problem with Walcott has been injuries; he just hasn’t been able to hone his skills; it’s unfortunate but he’s certainly showed flashes of what he can do; but he never progressed out wide and he is no way a centre forward in the way this team works; he’s always looked lost up top whenever he’s been played there.

    I made a point years ago in another forum that Walcott is a good Championship player; give him sh1t football and journeyman defences to run in behind he’ll score boatloads of goals with what he’s good at; powering through a finishing; you can see that his entire youth career was built around his blistering pace; but put him against a decent defence then he, 8 of 10 times, evaporates pretty quickly.

    The problem is contract negotiations now; he can stay but I reckon only if he accepts an extension at his current rate or a very modest increase to spend a season proving his fitness; if he’s after another bumper pay day which he held the club to ransom over last time round, then he could find himself asking around for who wants to pay that kind of money for an injury prone speed merchant.

    The answer will be Liverpool mind, but I’m not sure anyone else would pay up?? He is English and homegrown though so a City or United might but him just to balance the squad out … Like Van Persie though I think Walcott could prove devastating if he can stay fit; but therein lies the problem.

  42. Dark Hei

    Bamford10

    Firstly, lets be clear. Wallace clearly stated that he expects a couple of good signings, with couple being 2.

    Your second point is however very interesting. Personally I think that Giroud is good but not amazing. But amazing is what you need to win the league. A lot will have to do with what happens to Walcott. I am calling Wenger’s bluff and that all that bigging up of Walcott is just to sell him. As far as Wenger is concern, the next budding talent tag has moved on to Welbeck, who is English and far more complete as a player. So we might be looking at a striker or inside forward. Not sure who is out there though. Jackson Martinez perhaps?

    Secondly your comment about Carzola is interesting. But he is not in the middle as a permanent fixture, though he is doing an excellent job. He is needed there to compensate for Coquelin’s lack of distribution. The main guy in the middle is Ramsey. But if you are going to put Ramsey there, you need a pass master who can also defend in the middle as Ramsey likes to get forward. In our current dynamics, Ramsey is better off out wide to accommodate Coquelin in the middle.

    I think it is not a coincidence that we are reported to be interested in Schneiderin.

    Perhaps where I differ with Wallace will be GK. I think we need a super duper one. Where we find that one is up in the air.

    So for me, it is 3. I can see what you mean by 4, with the 4th being a replacement for big Per, but I think that is kind of extreme. Per hasn’t been in top form but it still isn’t shabby. Besides he has a good partnership with Kos. Don’t break what’s not broken.

  43. MadeToLoveMagic

    Sorry I missed your post last night Benny

    If you could design a system or even logically come up with an idea that engineers could design that would allow for offsides to be decided in game by tech , then you should dedicate as much time as you can to it, patent it and make your fortune! 😀

  44. Gregg

    N5
    He was tremendous at what he did. But lets be honest he never beat a man through skill, was always pure pace, his crossing wasn’t great either but then my whole point was he wasn’t a winger. he had a great football brain and timed his inside runs to perfection and nearly always finished off well.

  45. Carts

    Gregg

    Their wide outlets are integral to their style of play, both under LVG, Jupp and Pep.

    I’m unsure what real formation they were playing yeterday was, but Goal.com had it down as a 4-4-2 with Lahm and Thiago as the wide outlets, although I higly doubt they were expected to get up and down the flanks, nor do I honestly believe that was the formation.

    They’re very centre-heavy and someone like Di Maria going there, whether it be on an initial loan deal or premanently, is feasible.

    I guess some of it hinges on wheat happen at Liverpoo and Utd, respectively. Utd have just signed Depay. Nani and Januzaj will leave, and Young has found good form. Would letting Di Maria go so soon be wise?

    Liverpool look like they’ll lose Sterling, and word has it that Ibe’s head has also been turned. But th chances of wanting to leave Liverpool for Germany doesn’t quite resonate with me as I’d guess Sterling would rather head south of England, as opposed to west of Europe.

  46. TheBayingMob

    A few interesting comments through the section yesterday; I’d like to take up some points on a few of them.

    Offside and GPS

    A few people made the comment about using chips in players and balls to call offside using GPS.

    I’m not sure if Global Positioning Systems are really what was meant, but I would say that however good your car, smartphone, smartwatch or golf gizmo are today I would probably argue that the technology is not suitable for split second decisions that could involve centimetre if not milimetre differences.

    I’m not sure of the latest spec, and it depends on the receiver, but most are rated to be accurate to within 3 to 15 metres 95% of time (assuming clear view of the sky). So there’s another issue, getting access to satellites from within a football stadium. Anyone ever had trouble with their phone data access when in a stadium? Exactly, it can be a very busy data hotspot. A last consideration is the rapid movement of the both the ball and players; the ball can move from stationary to 50-60mph in milliseconds. Not sure any satellite service could really cope with that?? someone with more understanding of the comms protocols would have to say …

    So GPS as it stands I don’t think gets us there; if you’re talking about a bespoke or AN Other in statdium system for judging offsides and just using GPS as a ‘catch all’ phrase then that’s fair enough; right now I think the best system you could have for challenged offsides is a very quick TV review system. I’m all for review systems perrsonally, both in match and post match to counter diving and feigning; on that note, Barca last night, what a cheating butch of c-nuts they are! That kills the game for me at that level, all that cheating is just stomach churning and over the years has genuinely turned me off watching the game.

    Anyway, for those who are interested and a bit geeky for the maths side of things, check out the difference between assisted and differential GPS. Quite interesting, if you like that sort of thing, if you can drag yourself away from x h @mster for long enough 😉

    Offisde Rule

    Interesting to hear people talk about the old offside rule; for me this sits well within the realms of people who think that the Victorian age was golden and we should all go back to it while watching Downton Abbey or some other garbage wrttien by Jane Austin; I mean who wants to go back to a time of rampant syphylis or massively high birth mortality rates?! A golden time indeed!!

    While even today there are questions over the phase of play, interference, etc., I think todays offside rule far outweights the old one in benefits. I mean, who would go back to allowing back passes to the keeper? I know Liverpool would, maybe they’d win another League Title then, but think about that for a second. The reason it changed was because teams used it to kill games off (Arsenal included). While it certainly has it’s flaws I think it promotes a faster and more fluent game; we already have Jose C**t-ron-yo killing the game any which he can, let’s not argue to bring back the biggest single weapon you could give him to suck the last living breath of air out of every game!!

  47. adisince81

    You will only write long when there is top top news/opinion to share just like Wenger will only sign a player when there is top top quality available.