Saturday, June 30, 2007

Big Signings Don't Guarantee Success

I didn't really think Henry would leave, however now he's gone, will we buy a replacement? Who?

Tevez is Wenger type signing as he is versatile, he could play wide left, right or though the middle. However surely we won't buy Tevez at £20m +, Eto'o again would be big money and Martins strikes me as a bit volatile and possibly not technically good enough to play the way we do.

Possibly Anelka if the price is right (under £10m), that would be a sensible buy in my opinion as he would be good value for money and we know he can do the business in a side that plays our style of football.

Is it totally inconceivable that Reyes will return now that Henry has gone?

One thing that is for sure is that we will not be doing a Spurs and spending mega money to try and break into the top 4. If we spend big (ala Leeds) then we could be in big trouble financially if we don't make the Champions League because of the payments for the new stadium.

I wonder what the financial implications are for Spurs if they don't make the CL? How can they afford the £40m+ they have spent on Berbatov, Bent, Bale, Zokora in the last year or so?

One thing is for sure, this could be a very important season for the club in terms of the ling term future. However, the stats below prove that we are unlikely to break to bank in order to find an Henry replacement, interesting though they are;




Man. Utd:-------£26.0m


Arsenal:----------£0.8m profit




Man. Utd:-----£14.0m





Man. Utd:-----£4.0m

Arsenal:-------£4.0m profit

Total over last 3 seasons

Chelsea:-------£165.0m----(£55.0m per season)

Man. Utd:-------£44.0m----(£14.7m per season)+ £50m this season.

Liverpool:--------£33.0m----(£11.0m per season)

Arsenal:------------£5.2m------(£1.7m per season)- £16m this season.

So over the last 3 seasons our net transfer spending has been 16% of
Liverpool's, 12% of Manchester United's and 3% of Chelsea's. I'd be
interested to see the figures for earlier seasons too, as well as how our
spending compares with the rest of the teams in the Premiership - I wouldn't
be surprised if we're not even in the top 10 spenders.

So I'm not sure I will be holding my breath for big name signings however I think the decision to get rid of Henry could be a good one and allow the younger players such as RVP, Cesc, Clichy and Walcott to come from out of the shadows and prove they are good enough to take the extra responsibility.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Spanish media circus gets annoying after a while.. Retaliation anyone?!

Marca and AS the Barca and Real Madrid biased papers are going into overdrive with their unfounded speculation about Arsenal players.

Arsene Wenger is in Madrid attempting to offload Jose Antonio Reyes and possibly sign up a couple of the Barca youth team to go with Fabregas and Merida so he can create a total footballing side of Barcelona youth players.

However it is ACTUALLY because he is signing up for Madrid and taking Cesc with him and also selling Henry to Barcelona at the same time as swapping Hleb and Rosicky and Adebayor and Ljungberg for a couple of inbred lepers.

It is all such a load of bollocks and the accountability is zero. Make up a scandalous story, sell a paper and it's job done. Why the rest of the media re-circulate this crap is beyond me - surely you realise there is fuck all credibility in getting snippets from 2 year old interviews and attempting to use them as support for a story you have already decided to make up!

You cunts!

So I say that all the Arsenal blogs toe the line and attempt to start some shit about Eto'o or fucking Robinho and say that your brother's dog walkers yoga teachers bloody uncle said he knows someone that said it's a dead cert and we can all go along with it..

So I call on you Arseblogger, Goodplaya, East Lower, Gunnerblog et al and start stirring up some shit!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Why a shrewd summer signing can make us great again

Arsenal drew 0-0 with Pompey.. Match reports here, here and here.

Basically this game was our entire season compressed into 90 agonisingly wasteful minutes.

Julio Baptista was the main culprit and missed a penalty as well as a couple of free headers which you can't do if you want to compete for the title. Baptista has well and truly blown it and despite showing some improvement in recent weeks and a good attitude he is on his way back to Madrid.

I can't see Reyes coming back although he was pretty immense for Madrid the other night, but he is as Arseblogger says, a fairweather footballer for sure.

New faces is excatly what's needed and with Henry and Van Persie coming back and Bendtner and Walcott looking to fulfill their obvious potential we have all the firepower needed to convert our chances into goals.

We do however need more width and a genuinely classy wide player to offer more balance to the side when we play 4-4-2. That player could be Ribery or Babel or even Malouda but I don't think we will be bringing in more than one major signing. We might also sign an experienced squad player and a couple of 16 or 17 year old 'starlets'.

The sales of Ljungberg, Aliadiere, Flamini, Reyes and Almunia will raise £12 - £15m along with whatever the board deem fit in terms of a budget, which can be used for new faces.

Now is the time for the silly season and let's clear a few rumours up here and now;

Henry is staying.
Gilberto is staying.
Eto'o is not coming.
Huntelaar is not coming.

We will sign someone you have never heard of.

Overall the squad is not far off where we need it to be, we need a bit more balance and to start scoring first more but we are on the verge of getting it right. The return of key players and a shrewd summer signing can invigorate a squad which has all the potnential to make us a great side again.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Arsenal have improved since Christmas and last year

Last year we lost 11 games in the Premiership.

This year we have lost 8 (so far).

Last year we finished with 67 points and 4th.

This year we have 66 points with 2 games to play and the possibility of finishing 3rd.

Last year we had Henry firing and a fit squad (in midfield and up front at least).

This year we have had to move into a new stadium and have had a whole host of injuries to deal with.

Since Christmas Arsenal's League record looks like this;

P15 W9 D3 L3 Pts 30

That form would equate to 78pts next season - in 1997/98 we won the title with 78pts. That has largely been achieved without Henry (top scorer in every season he has had at the club and 3 times player of the year), Van Persie, Walcott, Rosicky and less so Gallas.

The fact that we have dominated most of thise matches (apart from Liverpool away) and missed a host of chances means that with a bit of luck and more clinical finishing which I am hopeful Henry and Van Persie or even Eto'o (I know dream on!) might bring we can take another step forward.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are heading in the right direction and when the injured players return we will be title contenders.

Whether that is next season or the season afer is the real question.

A timely reminder of the potential of the team is that Cesc Fabregas turned 20 on Friday. This team is very young and has definately improved over the course of the season - how much? We will have to wait and see.

Admittedly all in all we haven't hit the heights that we all hoped for at the start of the season and the European campaigns of Liverpool, Chelsea and more so Liverpool have left us feeling a bit sick. However we have a good chance to see how far we have come as we entertain Chelsea on Sunday.

Wenger has never beaten a Mourinho Chelsea side, now would be a great time to do it so we can go into next season with some real belief.

Come on you Gunners!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Periods of great quality and desire but poor defending and no luck in fornt of goal sums up our season

Champions League football has been pretty much guaranteed and there were plenty of positives to take from a game which we dominated after Fabregas' arrival. However despite all of the obvious optimism which is fully merited, there must also be some perspective on our resilience.

The main positives were that we played with spirit, huge quality and desire and our effort could not be faulted. In the second half we were extremely unlucky with a few chances and were very creative without being clinical enough.. But that just sums up our season doesn't it?!

Diaby was great in the middle of the park and he can be a big player for us, but he is not as important as Cesc who was conducting things very effectively. Eboue turned in a much improved performance as did Toure and Hleb. Adebayor worked hard and his 'stickability' as Stuart Pearce woudl say is second to none.

But we are still giving away cheap goals and letting the opposition score first too often (16th time this season we have been behind and come back to get something from the game). Can you imagine if we defended as well as Chelsea, I know the way they play means everyone in the team has to defend (which can make them look less dynamic and almost rigid at times) but their resilience cannot be knocked.

Another key question for Arsene is.. What is our best formation? We ended up playing a 4-5-1 with Cesc, Diaby and Gilberto in the middle of the park and it worked well with some good interlinking of positions and breaks at pace but when Henry and Van Persie are fit will we return to a 4-4-2? Are we defensively good enough away from home to play a 4-4-2?

Wenger still hasn't quite got the hang of substitutions yet and you have to wonder if Malbranque and Jenas would have played the one - two that lead to their equaliser if Hleb had been on the field, he certainly wouldn't have been waiting in the box for a cross that was never coming like Senderos!

All in all a cause for optimism with an excellent second half display but some deeper rooted problems in the defence and continuity in the team selection are key and if we can become a little more consitient then there's no reason to suggest we can't go up a level next year and mount a title challenge.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Diaby in for Ljungberg, 3rd Possible

It's been a while. I wish I could say I have been somewhere exotic or interesting but that is simply not the case! Just been working like a bastard..

Tonight's team news is that Diaby is back in the line up in what looks to be a 4-5-1 with Adebayor up front on his own.

Line up: Lehmann, Eboue, Clichy, Gallas, Toure, Hleb, Rosicky, Diaby, Gilberto, Cesc, Adebayor. Subs: Almunia, Senderos, Baptista, Denilson, Djourou

Rosicky, Diaby and Cesc will be charged with being creative and I fancy Diaby to make good his misses of the weekend by netting tonight. Arsene must see something in him in an attacking sense to keep putting him up there.

A win tonight will go a long way to securing 4th and possiby even sneaking 3rd which would be a very good result all in all. The fact our season started so early along with the new pitch has resulted in a long injury list and meant we have struggled as some of the youngsters have done very well, but shown some immaturity at big moments.

A warm summer evening will be just the job for Arsene's army and I am feeling pretty optimistic prior to the game.

Does anyone know a site where I can see a free live stream of the game tonight?

Up the Gunners!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Lack of experience and not lack of quality the answer, Hammers preview

It's strange that 2 weeks ago we were about to wrap up third with a win over Everton and move onto next season with a sense of optimism knowing that the younger players have shown improvement and that we have generally played well but lacked a cutting edge in certain games.

However a fit Henry and Van Persie and maybe a free scoring winger, who could even be Rosicky, would just about see us as title challengers again.

After the last minute defeat at Everton and drubbing by Liverpool all of a sudden we are in danger of being caught for 4th, Wenger has lost it and we need loads of big name world class signings.

It's funny how things can change isn't it!!

Some people lose all perspective when you are successful or not. I think that the gap between the top club and second for example is very small. Sometimes the luck isn't with you, as it has been with Utd this season and not so much with Chelsea.

We need experience, when we went unbeaten we had Campbell, Cole, Lauren, Vieira, Bergkamp, Pires who were all experienced internationals who had played together for a few years and knew that they could score at any minute. There were partnerships and a continuity to the side and there was belief in the system.

This season we have showed some immaturity in games but if AW isn't going to buy older players then the only thing that will allow us to gain that experience is games. We have been unlucky with injuries so the continuity hasn't been there, however, as pointed out by Goodplaya Fabregas, Adebayor, Van Persie, Walcott, Djourou, Clichy are all better than this time last year and so we are definitely heading in the right direction.

We lost 6-1 at Old Trafford and came back pretty strongly from that so I just can't understand this uproar.

Anyway, onto today's game.. Tevez must be the key man for the Hammers and they will be up for it given the run they have been on and are under pressure to stay with Charlton.

However with Rosicky to return to the starting line up and hopefully Ljungberg to start up front over Baptista I think we will be too good for them.

Expect a backlash from Anfield and a much improved performance. Adebayor to score at least one and us to be thinking optimistically by the end of the day again!

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