Category Archives: Arsenal

Southampton Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups

Image result for welbeck goal arsenal southampton salt

This hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners in the past but in their bid to finish the campaign in the Champions League positions, they need to end their hoodoo and get all three points. I’m pretty sure that the netbet odds for the Gunners to finish in the top four would be very high. Arsene Wenger has mandated his team to win all their games after that terrible slump the team suffered that saw them win just six in 16 games in the manager’s worst ever run in the club.

Things got really toxic and many just couldn’t wait for the campaign to be over with the manager’s head on a plate but as it stands, Wenger’s future is the least of our problems. We have barely three weeks of football left which includes four league matches and one cup final, so the team has to show some consistency that has seen them win four in their last five games since the switch to three at the back.

The new-look Arsenal side is clearly not there yet in terms of the fluidity as it’s evident that the players are still getting used to the new tactical setup, but the results have been very good, especially with wins over both Manchester outfits in recent weeks. However, the Gunners would be itching for some revenge after their 4-0 drubbing in the hands of the Saints last season at St. Mary’s. This is one of the grounds the team tends not to flourish too well but the lads know that anything less than three points would end their quest for a Champions League berth. Arsenal’s last win in this ground was December 2003, and in the club’s last five matches at St. Mary’s, they have suffered two defeats and three draws. However, the Gunners smashed in five goals in the FA Cup fourth round against a rather weakened Southampton side

Team News

Southampton are set to welcome their star forward, Charlie Austin, back to the fray after he suffered a shoulder injury early in the campaign. The English forward played for the Under-23s on Friday night, alongside Matt Targett, that had been injured for a while too. Talismanic defender, Virgil van Dijk, and back up goalie, Alex McCarthy are still long-term absentees.

The Gunners on the other hand would be sweating on the fitness of Laurent Koscielny that picked up a knock in the win over Manchester United but Wenger would be hopeful to have Lucas Perez in the dugout to bolster his attacking options. It has been a very underwhelming season for the Spaniard and there is talk of the forward opting to leave the club this summer for regular football elsewhere. Granit Xhaka is another player that picked up a knock but I’d expect him to start tonight after he was substituted for Francis Coquelin in the remainder of the game. Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) and Santi Cazorla (achilles tendon) are still out.

Predicted Lineups 

Southampton (4-3-3)

Southampton 4-3-3 football formation

Arsenal (3-4-2-1)

Arsenal 3-4-2-1 football formation

Team Form

Southamptom Form

  • Last Five Games: W L L D D
  • Last Result: Liverpool 0-0 Southampton
  • Leading Goalscorer: Charlie Austin (9)

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: W W W L W
  • Last Result: Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd
  • Leading Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez (24)

 

Gooner Daily predicts a 3 – 1 Arsenal win.

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Betting Odds for Who Will Replace Wenger at Arsenal

Image result for Allegri

The talk about who will replace beleaguered Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is seemingly never ending. It is, of course, far from certain that Wenger will even leave the club in the summer. Whilst the thought of the Frenchman staying will send shivers down the spines of many a Gooner, others are keen to see him stay. Whatever side of the fence you sit on, the debate about who should – and indeed who will – replace Wenger is a fascinating one.

Here we take a look at the key candidates for the Arsenal hot seat when, finally, Wenger does leave the Emirates. If you fancy a bet on any of these men it is worth noting that the market for next Man United’s next manager ran for well over 10 years before Sir Alex Ferguson finally retired! Now that is something to really scare the “Wenger Out” crowd!

 

Massimiliano Allegri – Odds 5/1

Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri is the current favourite to be the next Arsenal boss. Priced at odds of 5/1 with BetVictor, the Italian could, perhaps, move to the Emirates with a Champions League success on his CV.

As a player he was something of a journeyman but his managerial credentials show him to have made steady progress. He replaced Antonio Conte at Juve in 2014 and is tactically adept. He has signed well and his defensive organisation would be much-welcomed at Arsenal. His calm style would be popular with players accustomed to Wenger’s management approach and a win record of almost 71% at Juventus suggests he could deliver silverware.

 

Diego Simeone – Odds 6/1

What Simeone has done at Atletico Madrid is quite remarkable. He is the 6/1 (Betfair) second favourite for the Arsenal job. He broke the Barca-Real duopoly in Spain to win the 2014 Liga title and could be about to guide his men to a third Champions League final in four years. Given he has sold a catalogue of superstars for huge profits and still thrived, he would be hugely popular with the Gunners’ money men.

Image result for diego simeone

However, much of his success has come through signing South American players who could struggle to get work permits in the UK. Moreover, his overly defensive style would not sit well with many of the fans.

 

An Outsider for Job?

Beyond the top two that dominate the betting to replace Wenger are a host of dark horses. Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Brendan Rodgers, Patrick Viera and Rafa Benitez are all priced at odds shorter than 20/1.

Strong cases can be made for all of those men, whilst Leonardo Jardim has impressed at Monaco and is available at 20/1. Ronald Koeman, doing a solid job at Everton, is available at the same price and may also tempt punters – and Arsenal supporters.

However, we think that the board will have learned from Man United’s errors. Howe has done a fantastic job at Bournemouth, likewise Rodgers at Celtic. However, replacing an icon such as Wenger is a nigh on impossible task. Only a proven, experienced and single-minded individual has any hope of success.

For that reason we feel that Benitez may be a decent option at huge odds. The Spaniard has won a huge range of honours, including leagues and cups in Spain, England and Italy. Two Europa Leagues and a Champions League are further highlights, whilst he can work at all levels as several promotions have also shown.

He has managed Real Madrid and Inter Milan and has been doing this job for almost 25 years. At 57 he is in the peak of his managerial career and odds of 20/1 look well worth a punt to us given the Newcastle board are yet to fully convince the Spaniard of their ambition.

 

Please note that the stats, facts, analysis and odds for this article were provided by  Football Betting Hub

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Thoughts on Thierry Henry and the Arsenal Managerial Post

Image result for wenger thierry henry

In recent weeks, a lot has been said about Arsene Wenger’s future and it has become a tiresome exercise for the manager, the players and to some certain degree, the fans. We don’t know what the manager’s long term plans are, until he reveals it and its pretty much evident that our board is absolutely clueless on his plans as well. These uncertainties puts everything in limbo and all we can do is speculate about who would be his successor after 21 wonderful years of service with the club.

The media outlets and pundits alike have wasted no time in making their proposed nominations with names like Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Max Allegri and even Diego Simeone touted as his potential replacements. Another faction has mentioned the club’s greatest ever player, Thierry Henry, as a potential replacement and I’m going to dwell on that a little.

First off, the Sky pundit / Belgium assistant manager shared his thoughts on the issue with an interview with Canal Plus,

“It doesn’t depend on me, there are things to be respected, it’s my club of heart but I do not have any right-wings. My name is quoted to succeed Wenger, I hear that. But it’s hard for me to talk about it I have a lot of respect for everything the coach has done.

“Am I ready? I don’t know and nobody knows, but I also need to learn my job. I will not be a consultant all my life, but coaching is not my aim.

“I have not fixed any goal in the head, I will love it [being a coach] and I will do everything for it. But, right now, I’m in learning mode.”

The ex-Gunner has taken a coy approach here, not ruling himself out from the job if its available and most importantly, admitting that he’s still on a learning curve in football management.

Which brings me to my bone of contention – is Thierry Henry capable of managing a massive club with lofty ambitions (lol) like Arsenal football club? Your guess is probably as good as mine – Yes, No, I don’t care? So I’m going to look at this from a holistic view, before reaching a conclusion on what my thoughts would be in this debate.

Yes Faction

This belongs to the faction that probably that Thierry Henry is the man for the job. Scoring 228 goals in 376 games for the club, he was an unbelievable attacking prowess and as a manager, he would instill that mentality on his players. He is very passionate about the club and takes time out to always visit the lads in the dressing room and the stands, so you can say that he has an influential presence on the team. He had a brief stint with the youth squad and knows some training regimes that can be applied to the first team if he gets the role.

Then there is the stuff he says on that his comfortable Sky Sports seat. From his analysis and tactical displays on the show, he seems like the guy that would have some sorta master plan for the team and he always expresses his views on Arsenal as ‘we’. If given a chance, he could exhibit those things he says, buy those players he believes should be at the club, shake things up the way he would like and bring the club back to its glory days but of course, this is all theoretical.

No Faction

This belongs to the faction that strongly believe that Henry should not even be considered at all for the role. To them, he is largely inexperienced and has not proven himself capable enough to hit the ground running in a club of Arsenal’s magnitude. They’d prefer him to start up small in a lower division side and prove his mettle before playing with the big boys. C’mon, there are other managers out there like Diego Simeone that has won one La Liga (13/14), one Copa Del Rey (12/13), one Spanish Super Cup (’14), one Europa League (11/12), one UEFA Super Cup (’12) and most impressively, two appearances in the UEFA Champions League finals.

Then there is the Gary Neville factor that proves that not all good pundits make good managers. Neville got a dream Valencia job in December 2016, managing 28 games for the club before getting the sack in March 2016. He had a terrible win rate of 35.71%, winning just 10 of the 28 games for the Mestalla based outfit. That 7-0 defeat against Barcelona was the nadir of Neville’s time in Spain. Who knows, Henry can be another Neville? Those kind of fears would be allayed.

I Don’t Care Faction

Of course, they don’t care.

What I think

If Arsene Wenger truly decides to leave the club in the summer and the board, in their infinite wisdom, approach Thierry Henry, for the position of the club’s manager, I would be extremely delighted. I regard Henry as my favorite player of all time, so it would be awesome seeing him manage the team. Like the ‘Yes’ faction, Henry is a guy that could make things work and I know many would highlight his inexperience as a major factor but these things are not cast in stone.

In the end, Arsenal football club made the decision and it’s our job as fans to support the new manager, irrespective of his background and other criteria we may want to use to judge him.

Lemme give you a chance to tell me what you think

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