Monthly Archives: August 2017

Just Three Games and We are in Full Crisis Mode

Image result for liverpool 4 arsenal 0

At full time on Sunday afternoon in Anfield, I had a sober reflection of what has befallen us this season. Three Premier League games, just three points with a terrible goal difference looming, it has become another terrible start to the Premier League. Just three games and we are in full crisis mode.

How did we get ourselves into this messy situation? One would have thought that finishing in fifth place would have spurred Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy to do everything in their power to go to greater strides with the team. The early capture of Alexandre Lacazette was nice and we the fans were hoping for the club to kick on from there with more signings, sorting out the messy contract issues and of course, improved performances on the pitch.

Let me start with the football – the curtain raiser against Leicester was enthralling and exhilarating but the writing was on the wall. Arsenal needed to sort out their defensive frailties and concentration lapses, as well as being more clinical in attack. The game against Stoke was an aberration to say the least. Wenger continued to feature some his players out of position and there was no cohesion in our play. Then there were the Danny Welbeck misses. One must wonder how this lad continues to feature consistently in the team, despite his glaring failings as a footballer. Liverpool drove the nail in the Arsenal coffin with such an attacking display of football, and as you’d expect from a spineless side like Arsenal, they had nothing to offer. The international break couldn’t come any sooner for these pathetic set of players.

Then there’s the contract sagas here and there. Sadly, Arsenal has a shitload of players with a year left on their contracts, and some efforts have been made to offload some of the deadwood. Kieran Gibbs has completed his move to West Brom after failing to agree personal terms with Watford, Carl Jenkinson was shipped out to Birmigham City and suffered an unfortunate injury on his debut and efforts are still ongoing to ship out Lucas Perez and Matt Debuchy. Then there’s the curious case of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a relatively unknown youngster that received full support and education from the club from when he was a kid but he had the effrontery to reject 180,000-per-week contract and made his intentions clear on leaving. If Wenger knew the Ox was done at Arsenal, why did he continue playing the lad, even to the point he played Hector Bellerin out of position to accommodate the Ox in the first team. Word on the street is that Ox has also turned down a chance to play for the defending champions, Chelsea, with Liverpool being his preferred destination. Let’s hope for a 40 million plus one pound bid from the Merseysiders.

I don’t want to go on about the Alexis Sanchez conundrum because that has lasted all summer. It seems Manchester City are coming with an improved offer that might include Raheem Sterling as part of the deal, but the Englishman certainly has no plans of joining Arsenal. Then there were whispers of Sanchez submitting a transfer request, which has since been denied.

What the hell happened to Skhodran Mustafi? 12 months into his Arsenal career and it seems he’s jumping ship to Internazionale on a proposed loan move with an option to buy. He was benched in the debacle at Anfield and it seems things have gone sour between him and the boss. I’d consider this a shame, bearing in mind that it took us forever to get this deal completed and the fans really liked Mustafi when he finally completed his move from Valencia. C’mon, didn’t you all enjoy ‘He has never lost a game for Arsenal’ memes? If we really let Mustafi go, I would expect us to go into the transfer market to purchase a new defender. Virgil van Dijk perhaps? He’s done at Southampton and he can certainly do a good job for a defense in dire need of real leadership.

We are currently in this situation because of Arsene Wenger and the Board, but he alone must do what is expected of him to salvage what’s left of this sinking ship, jettison the mutinous crew members that not willing to play for him and restore us back to steady waters. It’s evident that new signings will be required to galvanize the team, but when he keeps saying that he’s happy with the team, yet there are some members of the team that are certainly not happy at the club, something has to give.

Let’s see what happens in the coming days.

Sayonara.

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Is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Really Worth £180,000 Per Week?

Image result for oxlade-chamberlain liverpool

The transfer window is coming to a close and you’d expect some teams to spend some more money to improve their teams. With two games already played in the Premier League, many managers already have a clearer picture of the investments they need to make as well as those deadwoods they need to offload.

Arsenal is faced with such a dilemma with the manager recently conceding that he has ‘too many players’, which clearly means that Arsenal is on a campaign to let go of some of its dead weight. Yaya Sanogo and a couple of youngsters, Stefan O’Connor, Kostas Pileas, Kristopher da Graca, Dan Crowley and Chris Willock left on free transfers, while the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Gabriel Paulista, Ismael Bennacer and Jon Toral left for undisclosed fees.

Arsenal seems to be the only team Monaco can’t do business with, and Wenger has also confirmed that the move for Thomas Lemar is ‘dead’. With the manager also stating that he’s happy with his current squad, the chances of any other additions will be slim to none. This means that Wenger has to sort out the underlying issues in the squad, with the most pressing being the futures of some of the club’s star players, like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of the players with a couple of months left on his deal and it’s believed that he has made his intentions clear not to sign a new deal with the club. Wenger and Arsenal are desperate to keep him, and according to the Sun, Arsenal is offering the Ox a deal worth  £180,000 per week, in a desperate attempt to keep him,

 

 

Don’t You Just Love the English Premier League?

After a long hiatus, the Premier League graced our screens with a highly anticipated clash between Arsenal and Leicester City. Both clubs endured disastrous campaigns last season by their fair standards with the Gunners failing to qualify for the Champions League while Leicester’s defense of their triumphant EPL title was torrid to say the least.

All eyes were on Arsenal and their new club record signing, Alexandre Lacazette, and it took just 90 seconds for him to make his mark on his new club, adjusting his neck muscles to head home a lovely swung effort from Mohamed Elneny. His celebration was ice cold as well and we were very excited for the new signing scoring such an early but like we do every season, we just had to ‘Arsenal’ it. Captain of the night, Petr Cech, was caught in No Man’s Land as a Macguire header to the danger area from the back post was flicked home by Shinji Okazaki. Things went from bad to worse when Mark Albrighton’s cross was finished aplomb by Jamie Vardy.

What followed was a series of shocking football from the home team with the crowd voicing their frustrations on their side. Right at the stroke of half time, Sead Kolasinac found Danny Welbeck clean on goal and despite his best attempts to miscue the ball, it still crept into the net, leveling the contest at half time. Going into the break at a stalemate wasn’t bad and we were hoping for an improved performance from the side but when Vardy reacted quicker to Riyad Mahrez’s corner, Arsenal was down again, conceding yet another cheap goal that would have been averted.

We needed a response and we got it when the manager brought on Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey for Welbeck and Elneny. The visitors chose a defensive approach, bringing on Daniel Amartey to protect the rearguard but the incessant Arsenal pressure  paid off when Granit Xhaka, who was having a nightmare by the way, dinked one over to Ramsey that blasted the ball in at close range to make it 3-3.

We waited patiently and prayed earnestly to see if the Gunners would get a fourth and they obliged with that gorgeous bearded French bloke, Giroud, nodding what proved to be the winner and his 99th goal for the club. Say what you want about Giroud but he has been a massive player for the club since he joined the team from SC Montpellier in 2012.

Another Premier League season beginning with a roller coaster ride, as Arsenal took its fans through different emotions, starting with sheer delight and elation when Lacazette scored to a feeling of frustration when Leicester got their equalizer. Frustration switched to despair when the visitors extended their lead but that swiftly changed to relief as Welbeck leveled the tie. In the second half, we plunged from our relieved state to depression when they scored a third, and the curses on the time took center stage. I’m pretty sure I saw a few “#WengerOut’ responses but those fans nerved were calmed with Ramsey’s equalizer with the mindset that a draw would not have been a bad result while hoping for a win.

All it took was a Giroud late late goal to send us back to delirium and we danced long into the night celebrating three hard earned points!

Don’t you just love the Premier League?

Sayonara

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