Is Wenger about to change his tactics?

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You’re a lucky bunch of fuckers…. here’s another post to chew on, as Cockie would say to Transplant!

I can see a change around the corner. In Saturdays game against Watford there seemed a lot less Tippy Tappy fucking about trying to walk the ball into the net and much quicker transitions from defence to attack. Has Mon sewer Wenger decided on  a change in the way we play? Will we see more quick counter attacking play once Perez enters the fray? Will Granit and Mezut start lofting accurate passes over opponents defences into the path of Alexis, Perez and Walcott?

I couldn’t tell you at the moment what Arsénes preferred formation is, and I don’t think he knows either! but I foresee him changing to a 4-4-2 this season…. the players we have now just look right for it. Xhaka, Elneny and Ozil all have long pass ability, Perez,Alexis and Theo can all get in behind defences quickly to receive passes. If that fails then get it to Giroud to hold up until he can get a pass to one of those three. Holding seems to like to get the ball forward quickly as well, his passing can be good. Ozil, Xhaka and Elneny are all extremely accurate with their passing and the prospect excites me…. like waiting for a date that I’m 100% sure will end with me getting a wet willy!

Obviously, there will be times that we have to play a more defensive line up, but even Coquelin and Wilshere can pass well. And we have Ramsey and Cazorla…. can you see where it can lead?

I think there is going to be an explosion of quick breaks and scintillating football on the Arsenal menu and it could win us the league. Teams will be setting up to expect our normal tippy tappy and ….. zap, a few quick breaks and we’re 3-0 up…………… I really hope I’m right  But whatever happens, at least we’re not West Brom fans!

What are your views on Wenger possibly changing from tippy tappy to quick and direct attacking football? Answers on a postcard please.

 

Arsenal get their first win…. and it’s a cracker

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A short trip up to Watford yesterday saw the Gunners play some enticing football in the first half and go in at half time 3-0 to the good. In the second half, Watford changed tactics and had a better game…. scoring a consolation goal but not really putting our boys under too much pressure.

It was good to see Santi back in the team and showing some of his past good form, he linked up well with Ozil at times and it was a joy to watch. Alexis also had a good game and I’m not sure if his goal was a fluke or a beautiful chip into the net, Ozils goal came after some lovely football and he seemed to know exactly what Alexis was going to do and ran onto the cross to score our third with…. his head.

Xzaka fitted in nicely and was quietly affective with his passing…. even better to come from him as the season progresses. Holding was solid and showed his potential as a sound and confident CB…. he seemed to work well alongside Kos, who nearly got the first goal for the Hornets until Cech brilliantly saved.

The Ox and Theo both had poor games, although Theo could have quite easily have got onto the scoresheet. Nacho was often tested down the left flank and had a bit of a nightmare game against the Watford winger…. don’t remember his name but he tormented Monreal throughout the game  until Nacho went off injured.

Wenger bizzarly  chose his post match interview to announce the signings of Mustafi and Perez…. erhaps he wanted to get in quick before the dissenters voiced their views on the lack of signings?

It will be a shame for Holding to now lose his place to Mustafi after having some solid games covering for the BFG…… I hope he’s given further opportunities but if Mustafi is the better CB then Holding will be a good back-up.

Overall, a positive performance and I can envisage some tasty scorelines after the International break…. with Giroud coming back, Perez in place of the Ox or Theo and a solid back four keeping some clean sheets. What a fucking time to have an International break…. hope it doesn’t upset our rhythm after such an emphatic win.

 

 

Pre Match… Watford v Arsenal

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It may be perverse but I find myself actually looking forward to the return to the starting eleven of Olivier Giroud for today’s away game at Watford.  It’s no secret that I, along with many others, have been calling for Wenger to buy a new striker if not to replace our French ace at least to play alongside him, or off him.

As the transfer window moves into it’s final few days the likelihood of Wenger obtaining the signature of a truly top class striker appears ever more remote. The closer we get to deadline day the more the price of those few forwards still on our manager’s wish list increase.  Lazacette has moved from €40 million to €60 million, meanwhile even Manchester City’s unwanted  striker Wilfried Bony is beginning to look attractive.

At least with the return of Giroud, Alexis can be excused duty up front, an experiment noticeable only for it’s abject failure, and can revert to his old position on the left.  Which will leave Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain to fight it out for the right wing spot.

Arsene Wenger has a predilection for attempting to cram square pegs into round holes, often it seems, in order to get his favoured players onto the pitch.  Ramsey on the right for instance or, in order to enhance the attacking options, Cazorla and Ozil together at the expense of a defensive midfielder.

Because of Holding’s lack of Premiership experience, and a bit of a doubt as to Koscielny’s fitness, I believe Wenger will go with two defensive midfielders playing in front of the back four.  If that is the case I can see our starting line-up looking something like…

Petr Cech

Bellerin…….Holding…………Koscielny…….Monreal

Elneny………..Xhaka

Ozil

Walcott………..Giroud……….Alexis

I think that with the players we have available at the moment this is our strongest line-up.

Up front, it gives us pace on the right with trickery and energy on the left.  A target man in the middle for Ozil to hit high passes to and a player on either wing for him to thread balls to along the ground.

Elneny has shown that he is ever ready to join in the attacks with long range pot-shots, while Xhaka drops back to cover for the counter-attack.

I’ve chosen Walcott in preference to the Ox as I think he gives the ball away a bit too often.  The one doubt that I have is Ozil over Cazorla, he’s a great player but I don’t think we get the best out of him in away games and Santi offers a bit more defensively but with two defensive midfielders we have that covered.

In writing this pre-match I’m assuming we don’t sign, and have ready to play, the new striker and centre back we all crave and the squad desperately need.

My prediction?  I’m not going to stick my neck out.  I just hope it’s a good game, the players do their best and the away support get behind them and have no call to start booing either the team or the manager.

Written by Norfolk Gooner

It gets toxic for Arséne!

 

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Morning shit faces,

Over the last ten years I have heard everything about our manager, you name it he has been blamed for it. Now I am not saying that he has not made mistakes, fuck me who hasn’t, but given the Information that is out there, is it all pukka. We are told that we are a wealthy club, we are told our transfer fund is massive, does that really ring true. Supporters in the know, wiz kids on the Internet will tell you our profits from the last ten years, they can even tell you everybody’s wages, in fact from the Internet they can find anything related to Arsenal,  but the one thing they cannot find out, is why we don’t spend like the big club we are supposed to be.
Well to start at the beginning, Are you an Arsenal supporter, if you answered that question with a yes,  then can you explain to me why our players are Boo’d off the field on the first game of the season. Actually Boo’d and Jeered our players off the park at what we call The Home of Football, Yes I say again our players at home in front of their own supporters were Boo’d.
After the game which I felt was a see saw game, a well fought game that produced 7 goals no less, yes, we actually lost the match and at one stage we were 4-1 down, but the lads got their heads down and scored 2 to make the end result 3-4 to Liverpool who I have to say scored 4 magnificent goals, which certainly matched our 3. Did they deserve that exit from the home support or what?
Now in all my years of following Arsenal, I have to say, that that display from the so called support at home, made me feel let down, disgusted is a better word completely, Many so called supporters when asked said it wasn’t the team, it was for the Manager, trying to disguise why he boo’d his own side at home in the first game of the season. I am sure the players realised that fact, Yeh really.
I can remember my first live game I was in my teens and went to Highbury, which seemed like miles away from me , I went there to see my boyhood idols although I cant remember any of their names, or who the Manager was. I remember the stand I was in was packed solid not a chair in sight, just bodies and lots of them jockeying for a good view, I can remember a staunching  that got in the way of my view which really pissed me off, but I was there and I watched my club play. We lost whoever it was we played, we lost. The supporters clapped and cheered the lads off, Rattles were rattling in my ears and as the crowd left, I was carried along with them.
In those Days Arsenal was just a football club, not a very successful side, as I remember, and we finished way down the league that year, and we didn’t look like ever winning anything soon, but I remember the clapping and the cheers alright, and those bloody rattles I can hear them still. The thing I remember most was supporters who were with Uncles Dads friends they were all cheering and that is what has stayed in my mind all these years, what I call proper supporters.
Of course all that happened a lifetime ago, and things have changed, the support has turned toxic and I assume all those supporters I heard cheer have all passed on, as they would never had boo’d the Arsenal, who does. Today’s so called supporter many who don’t even remember Highbury, Many who have never seen Arsenal finish lower than 4th as that has been the same for twenty years. They have not seen what I saw on the day I visited. We were way down the league with absolutely no chance of winning the league, They never heard those die hard Gunners, as that is what they called themselves in those days. Those supporters was Arsenal through and through, I would bet money, the ones who was there that day, died with Arsenal on their minds. They moulded me for a lifetimes support of Arsenal and anything to do with Arsenal. Boo my own club, never in a month of Sundays.
So what has changed at Arsenal for supporters to turn their backs and boo the club, Is it the Manager? is he so bad that they feel he deserves that kind of treatment, is it the players? the owner the tea lady as even she has come under fire of late, If it is her well what can I say,  If its the Players are they not putting in a shift, are they mugging us off, are they just not good enough, Now hang on a moment haven’t we just come through twenty years of finishing no lower than fourth, so it cant be that, can it.
Is it The owner, as he would be a good one to pick as he has not been in charge long, but he has invested vast sums of money and he saw us in our move to a new ground , He actually buys sporting clubs and I dont think any have packed up for lack of money, and the talk from the Wiz kids are that we are highly successful, as far as money goes, so it can’t be him, can it.
So who have we left, Yes of course Arsene Wenger our Manager for over twenty years. it must be him. Lets face it we haven’t won the Premiership for twelve years so it must be him, Wait a minute what other Manager has achieved top four for twenty years, no thats not fair is it, What other Manager has been at the same club for twenty years, Yeh i know that’s not fair either is it.
Who is the Manager out of the top half a dozen clubs, who has spent the less money, who has achieved a top place every time in the last ten years. Oh just Arsene Wenger, Who was called a loser before last seasons first match, thats an easy one Our Manager, who swiftly got us a second place. Who said that last season was our best chance in years to win the Premiership, sorry not Wenger. Who blames Wenger for us not winning the Premier, who thinks he should spend fortunes for a centre forward this season. Who says our tactics are wrong, who says our players are a makeshift side, who moans at every decision the Manager makes. Who dislikes the Manager, and who holds up posters, calling for him to go, who thinks they know better than a man who has won two doubles coached a invincible season, won  two FA cups in the last three years and got us into Champion s league every season for twenty years. Who  well the so called supporter thats who.
Yes that is what i said, the so called supporter, so called because no real supporter boo’s his own side in the first game of the season. How many times have these people ever coached a professional football club like Arsenal, and  actually won anything let alone found the consistency that Wenger alone has found. I suppose Managers in the past have done very well but they are long gone just like the old Arsenal supporter.
The next time you attend a match, remember that for any body to match what Wenger has achieved, we will have to wait twenty years and if he doesn’t leave at the end of this season it could be even longer, Will Wenger change for the cat calls he hears every game , of course  he won’t, and i for one doesn’t want him to. Is it him, or is it our twelth man. In my opinion they should put all their effort in Tottenham as they would be appreciated there, they could look forward to our clashes, and boo as much as they like, as those people are not Gunners.
Written by Steve Palmer

Wengers’ dilemma……

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Wenger’s defensive dilemma.

I think we are all aware of the problem facing Wenger in the immediate future, namely central defence.

Mertesacker out until next January at the earliest, Gabriel also with a prospective long term injury.  Koscielny only back in training on Monday, but probably carrying a knee problem aggravated in the Euros.

So, last seasons first choice centre back pairing is broken and will remain so for half the coming season at least and the regular back-up player unavailable for the time being.

Fortunately Wenger signed what seems on the evidence so far, to be a good prospect in Rob Holding, ready for regular starts in the Premiership?  I’m willing to bet that wasn’t in the manager’s mind at the time.

Of course we also have Calum Chambers, signed with great expectations on both sides, but has he matured into a reliable defender.  I’m not so sure, but it seems he’s likely to get some more games under his belt.

Bielik has been tried out in the pre-season games and again shows promise but ready to be thrown in at the deep end?

Now comes the Wenger dilemma,  cold eyed logic dictates that the club sign a ready made, experienced centre back who can come straight into the first eleven.  Doing so may well “kill” (Wenger’s word) the ambitions of the three young defenders Chambers, Holding and Bielik.  Yet logic also suggests that Mertesacker is figuratively, if not actually, on his last legs, a return to fitness in January and a final couple of months may presage his departure or at least his move to a back-up slot on the bench.

Other options are to play either Debuchy or Monreal as make shift centre backs, or to move Xhaka or Coquelin into the back four.  Frankly these are surely only to be considered in the worst case scenario of injury to even more central defenders.

So, what is Wenger to do?  Buy the readymade defender and chance being held to ransom?

Stick with what central defenders he has and hope for the best?

Or the makeshift option of attempting to fit square pegs in round holes?

One thing for sure, he can’t just sit on his hands until the end of the transfer window, failure to make some attempt at rectifying the situation will have a lot more fans calling for his head.

Written by Norfolk Gooner

Advantage Wenger……..

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After the Viking game I didn’t want to start getting optimistic so waited till t=last nights game against Man City before penning thins post. Overall it was a good game and we were certainly the better team. It looks as if our striker problem may be put on hold whilst we have Iwobi, Akpom and Walcott, if they can all find form at the same moment.

Elneny put in another solid performance and Cazorla managed more pitch time without mishap so midfield is looking good. Cech had a good game but I would say he was at fault for both goals although bad defensive mistakes in front of him led to the shots being attempted.

The one downer for the evening was the injury to Paul Easter which could have been avoided if he hadn’t decided to go into a tackle in injury time when we were leading and the seconds were counting down, totally unnecessary. Puts Wenger under pressure just a week before the EPL KO to get a new CB, although I read this morning that he’s stated he will not get one in, so it looks like it will be Holding and Chambers starting in the centre of defence for the start of the season.

Less than a week to go till our first game against Liverpool, I’m not worried. It was a good result against the new glamour manager of the Premier League.

2016/17 – Make or break for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?

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First a quote from Arsene Wenger…It’s a very important season for him, you know?  He has been out for a long, long time last year.  He has not gone to the European Championship with England like he should have done if he was fit.

There can be little doubt that a fully functioning “Ox” would have been a big improvement on some of the underperforming “stars” of the England squad.  Unfortunately for both Oxlade-Chamberlain and England injury ruled him out of contention, just as it had for much of last season.

Arsene Wenger…..That is why I am cautious with him.  I hope I can get him through to the start of the season because it is very important for him.  He gives us pace, power, penetration.  When you look at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it is difficult to find what he has not got.  That is why I would like him to get to wherever he can go.

We have all been aware of the undoubted talent of the Ox, it is just a pity that so many injuries have prevented him from displaying that talent to it’s best advantage.

Arsene Wenger….Maybe he doesn’t completely believe in himself how good he can be.  That is the final step for him.

Pre-season has, so far, been pretty good for the Ox, a couple of games and couple of goals.  We have two more friendlies to play before the season gets underway if he can get some more playing time in those without mishap his confidence will be given an important boost.  With others of the first team squad still holidaying, he will be in pole position to start against Liverpuddle in the opening game of the season.

One of the problems the Ox will face in the upcoming games is the likely signing of a new striker, will that force Wenger to release one or more forwards/midfielders, if so would he be one to sell or move out on loan?

At the age of just twenty-two, the Ox should be moving towards his prime, not yet assured of a regular start in the first team, he needs to step up in the early games, he needs to demonstrate those qualities that Wenger has recognised in him, he needs to play with flair not fear, he needs to develop the self confidence that may be low at present.

I firmly believe that if he can overcome the legacy of his previous injuries this could be his break through season.  This could be the Year of the Ox.

Written by Norfolk Gooner