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Thoughts on the Potential Dortmund Reunion at the Emirates

Image result for aubameyang mkhitaryan

So have you heard about the intricacies involving the mega deal taking Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United?

  • £117m in wages to the Chilean forward
  • £35m would be given to Arsenal
  • £10m would be splashed out to his agent
  • £20m signing on fee for the chap

The best part of this deal is that we would also be getting an Armenian midfield maestro wrapped and stuffed in a shiny box. This chap was in prolific form in his final season at the Bundesliga, scoring 25 goals and providing 26 assists for his teammates. We were linked with the lad that had a year left on his deal but Manchester United, being the bullies they are, shoved us away and got him, only to throw his career down the drain. For some reason, he struggled to make an impact there and was ostracized by Jose Mourinho.

He had a resurgence at the start of the new campaign, scoring a couple of goals in preseason, and that prompted me to select him in my Fantasy team at the start of the 2017/18 season. Five assists in his first four games got everyone buzzing then Man Utd lost Paul Pogba to injury and it seemed to affect him or something because nothing just worked for him. His manager didn’t help his cause either and continued to freeze him out of the first team.

Without Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal has looked bang average with Danny Welbeck and the out-of-sorts Alex Iwobi making fools of themselves behind an Alexandre Lacazette that had no service to the extent he decided to drop deep to get a glimpse of the ball. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a very creative midfielder and I’d prefer to have him on our ranks and playing attacking midfielder rather than the aforementioned duo of Iwelbeck. 

I’m hearing that the club is having issues with wages for Mkhitaryan and I’m just here being hopeful that we would seal the deal. Alexis has wanted out since the summer and his play this season has clearly showed that his heart was no longer at the Emirates. Unlike the Robin van Persie move that kinda hurt a lot when it happened, I’m not even batting an eyelid on Alexis moving to that lot. The sooner this swap happens, the better for everyone involved. Mkhitaryan will get a new lease of life and the freedom he requires to do his thing like them Dortmund and Shakhtar days I hope, while we will no longer remove the hair from our heads for another time Alexis gets dispossessed.

Elsewhere, things are quite intense at Borussia with their star striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, submitting a transfer request to leave the club. Arsenal is believed to be interested in the lad and the papers also say we have agreed personal terms with the Gabonese international. Since his move from St. Etienne to Borussia Dortmund in 2013, PEA’s rise in the team has been meteoric. Shunted out to the right wing to accommodate Robert Lewandowski allowed the lad to hone his attacking skills but when Lewa moved to Bayern, the center forward role was Auba’s for keeps and he made it his in grand style.

He has smashed 16, 25, 39 and 40 goals in his first four seasons with the club and he picked up where he left off, scoring 21 goals in 23 games for Dortmund this season. Arsenal has lacked goals in recent weeks, and bringing in a forward as lightning quick as Aubameyang will be an awesome move for the club.

Aubameyang also forged an extremely good understanding with Mkhitaryan in his Dortmund days and having that reunion at the Emirates is a sign of good things to come. I can wait for both lads to put pen to paper as we aim to salvage what’s left of the season. Qualification for the top four is a long shot at the moment with other teams in good form but we can challenge for the Carabao Cup and the Europa League, two trophies Arsene Wenger has never won with the club.

Sayonara.

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Arsenal’s Terrible Away Form Continues with a Loss at Bournemouth

Image result for ibe goal arsenal

News of Alexis Sanchez’s potential move out of the club dominated the back pages but there was the business of football to handle on the pitch as the Gunners traveled to the south coast to play a Bournemouth side struggling to find any form. When I saw the lineup and read that Sanchez didn’t travel with the rest of the squad, it was evident that a move was imminent.

With Mesut Ozil still having niggling issues with his knee, Arsene Wenger more or less featured the same squad that earned a draw a draw against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semifinal. The first half was a dour affair and we certainly hoped for a better second 45 minutes as the Gunners struggled to find any rhythm whatsoever but we thought it was going to be a better outing for the Gunners when Hector Bellerin crept in behind the defense and fired a shot straight at Asmir Begovic that passed through him and bounced into the goal. So the Gunners were ahead and all was well in the world, but as you’d expect from Arsenal, they found a way to cock things up in grand style.

The fans have been buzzing about the emergence of Ainsley Maitland-Niles at the left back, even to the point it cost Sead Kolasinac his place on the team, but it’s high time the boss ends that experiment, as AMN is no left back. He’s skillful on the ball and has decent technique but he has been culpable for a lot of chances created from the opposition as he lacks that positional awareness to play as a full back. It was no surprise when Ryan Fraser coasted past Maitland-Niles and swung in a cross into Arsenal’s danger area with the hope of a teammate latching onto the ball to do some damage. Yes, the cross was dangerous and there was some potential for a Bournemouth player to get it, but when Petr Cech dashed off his line to anticipate the ball, only to miss it to Callum Wilson, it showed how frail Arsenal’s defending was. To add insult to injury, Jordon Ibe, a player that had not scored a goal since he joined the club fired it past the Arsenal goalie to make it two.

Classic Arsenal, capitulating in grand style. The introductions of Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott did nothing to improve the Gunners’ attacking threat but at the end, it was another defeat to add to the Gunners terrible away form. It’s really sad to see how things are panning for the team and with Liverpool’s win over Manchester City, Arsenal is now eight points behind a Champions League place.

Without Sanchez and Ozil, this Arsenal side looks like a mid-table team at best, and it’s really shameful seeing the likes of Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck not doing anything to justify their places in the starting XI. I dunno whether it’s the 3-4-3 setup or not, but a massive shake up is needed at the club, and Arsene Wenger has to go. I mean, he’s the one that prepares the squad and their performances are the reflection of his ability.

Crystal Palace visit the Emirates before the Carabao Cup second leg, and I’m pretty sure that Sanchez will have new employers before then. Only the good Lord knows the replacements he will bring, but some injection of freshness, like Andrei Arshavin, is needed at the club.

Till then.

Sayonara

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Arsenal’s Best Ever Premier League Midfielders

Arsenal has had some special midfield players in the Premier League and we look at the cream of the crop.

Arsenal supporters might not be too delighted with the team’s performances or results at the moment, although the Gunners are still among the best teams in England and they won their 13th FA Cup in May 2017 to become the most successful club in that competition.

In this article, we look at some of the best midfield players to don the red and white during the Premier League era, with the supporters being royally treated to a high caliber in this position over the years.

  1. Mesut Ozil

We start with a modern day player and Ozil has largely shone for Arsenal since arriving in 2013 from Real Madrid, with the German helping the Gunners win three FA Cups, while he was also the Premier League’s top assist provider during the 2015-16 campaign. That was an exemplary campaign for the German maestro as he provided assist after assist with each passing game, while playing some mesmerizing football.

The 29-year-old generally operates as an advanced playmaker who is comfortable playing on either flank or in a central position, with his trickery making him one of the most skillful players to ever wear an Arsenal shirt.

  1. Paul Merson

Younger football fans might only be familiar with Merson through his work with Sky Sports, although this was a player who made a grand total of 327 appearances for the Gunners and he managed to score 78 times between 1985-1997. Merson could play in a variety of roles across the midfield area, with the Londoner originally playing in a right-wing position although George Graham started to play him in a more advanced and central position as his career continued.

  1. Cesc Fabregas

While it rankles with Arsenal supporters to see the Spaniard now operating for Chelsea, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Fabregas was a real breakthrough star with the Gunners, making his debut at the tender age of seventeen (sparking the chant “he’s only seventeen, he’s better than Roy Keane”). The departure of Patrick Vieira saw Fabregas given the number four shirt and he quickly became the team’s midfield general. The lad had everything in his locker and controlled countless games as a box-to-box midfielder.

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Fabregas became Arsenal captain during the 2008 / 09 season and should really have won more silverware with the club than a solitary FA Cup in 2005.

  1. Robert Pires

Pires spent six happy seasons at Arsenal and was part of the Invincibles team that went unbeaten in the Premier League during the 2003 / 04 campaign. The Frenchman was a fast attacking player who was especially noted for his link-up play with Thierry Henry, often forming a telepathic understanding.

Between 2002 to 2004, Pires was included in the PFA Team of the Year, with the midfielder having the knack of scoring spectacular goals as well as brilliant technical skill to beat opponents.

  1. Patrick Vieira

Vieira can lay claim to being the best ever Premier League player of all time. Between 1996-2005, he made 279 appearances for the Gunners and was the driving force behind them winning multiple trophies during this time.

Like Pires, the Frenchman was instrumental in Arsenal going unbeaten during 2003-4, with the team captain proving to be combative in midfield where he was able to win the ball back and distribute accordingly to more skilful team-mates.

Vieira had a long loping gait and one of the Premier League’s most iconic images is the player roving forward with the ball at his feet after dispossessing the opposing team.

 

We’d like to offer a big shout out to the football tipsters at Sportsgambler.com for contributing this article.

Sayonara.

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