Why, oh why, did we sign Bishcoff?

June 11, 2009

The answer is very simple; you have to speculate to accumulate. As a very young man, Bischoff was a highly rated talent, something that Wenger was well aware of. Shortly after signing for Werder Bremen he received a career threatening injury and the club didn’t know what to do with him. Wenger leapt on the opportunity to pick up such a potential talent for free. Upon signing him, he, very honestly in my opinion, announced in a press statement that the signing was a gamble. A gamble that, as far as I can see, had three possible outcomes:

1  The most ideal would have been that Bischoff turned out to be a very good player and a valuable asset to the squad.

2  Next in order of importance, he could have been good enough to sell at a healthy profit. It is easily forgotten that Arsenal view their youth system as an important income stream and any profit made continues to finance the system.

3  And this seems to me to be what is happening, having not made the grade Arsenal are helping him get another club more suitable to his level.

You may ask, what was the point? To which, my guess would be this: many potentially great players get unfortunate injuries at a young age and are discarded by their clubs. By helping Bischoff, Arsenal sent a message to all the fathers of these unfortunate players that Arsenal is a club that will do the right thing if they take a risk with one of them. Bischoff has turned out to be a waste of time but the next one might be a Maradonna, ridiculous I hear you cry to which I would say once again:

You have to speculate to accumulate.

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Defenders in…..defenders out, does he ever learn!!!!!

June 10, 2009

 

What happened towards the end of last season……….did we or did we not have a serious problem with defenders going missing through injury?

Surely if we are buying a defender its to ensure we don’t have the same problem again. I don’t think we can count Senderos as he wasn’t here. Why is there talk of a defender leaving just because we are buying one? Were we so unlucky that our back-line was decimated……….this won’t ever happen again?????

I think we should keep Gallas in the knowledge that he is older and will be even more injury prone but he is a proven winner and a great defender and is experienced.

Kolo Toure is the last ‘invincible’ – we need to hold on to him just for the history for as long as we can. He loves Arsenal and I don’t want to see him in anyone elses shirt – much too upsetting.

So thankyou Arsene for buying a new defender but could you keep hold of the others so that we don’t have another scary situation at any time this season.


Everyone try and get on now!!!!!

June 7, 2009

Some of us have had difficulty getting on in the last 24hours so this is just an experiment to see if everyone can get on a new post.


The summer rebuild..A fans perspective..Midfield

June 6, 2009

Before I start this post I’d like to say this was a hard one…At first I thought it was going to be the easiest aspect of our team to discuss but when it came to it I found myself writing things down and coming to a dead end time and time again….After 3 attempts of trying to write a post everyone could understand and not just me, I ended up scrapping every one of them and left scratching my head…I’ll be honest..this is the first time its happened to me..when I write a post it normally comes straight out of my head and on to the draft and after a few tweaks here and there its ready in 30 minutes…but no, not this one…

So I took some time out and gave ‘me old mate’ Avenell a ring to see how he was…after a couple of hours putting Arsenal to rights, I was left with a huge light bulb above my head glowing brightly…So credit must go to the main man for this one…he was my inspiration…

Let me start by elaborating on what I meant when I said this was a hard one….

The Arsenal midfield was decimated last season due to injuries to key players, and departures in the close season of other key players….the midfielders who had the most appearances this season were;

Denilson..51 appearances

Song..48 appearances

Nasri..44 appearances

Eboue..44 appearances

Diaby…36 appearances

Theo..35 appearances

Cesc…33 appearances

Now, I don’t count Eboue as a midfielder and the same can be said for Diaby…Both these players can be sold. So that leaves the rest…and Cesc is the oldest!!!!!!! He’s still a young man…the oldest midfielder in our team last season was 22…and he was out for three months!!!!! Although I would like to rip the midfield to bits for some of the performances this season, I simply can’t…they don’t deserve it…

We weren’t good enough in midfield….but its not their fault so I wont be castrating them….

Unlike the defence…which I said yesterday was top drawer on paper…the midfield isn’t….when you see a midfield of Nasri, Cesc, Denilson/Song, Walcott…. you just see inexperience….players who are still learning…but these players need someone to learn from…learning for themselves just leads to mistakes…

Something else i’ve also noticed is a severe lack of balance…by that I mean

1…we have no left footers

2…we are top heavy with playmakers and attacking mids….. we don’t have enough mids who can defend as well as attack and its fair to say this coincides with the fact our defence has looked weak at times this season…

If we take a look at our first team midfielders for next season we have;

Cesc, Nasri, Denilson, Rosicky, Arshavin, Diaby, Walcott, Song

They are all either playmakers or attack minded..except for Song…this is what I mean by unbalanced…there’s nothing wrong with having a midfield full of playmakers and attackers, but they have to be good enough to keep the ball…so they don’t have to defend as much…Diaby, Nasri, Denilson, Song, Walcott aren’t good enough to do that yet…In Diaby’s case..never will be…

I don’t class Eboue as a midfielder…Ramsey and Jacky aren’t in there either because I don’t feel they are ready yet…they are banging on the door but they are not the answer nor the missing pieces in the midfield jigsaw…so who is??? Where do we improve????

I feel the wide areas are well covered…something we missed from the start of the season and in another players case, all season, were Arshavin and Rosicky…and in Nasri and Theo we have good cover so I feel we don’t need anybody else coming in…although I’d like to see another left footed wide player…but I don’t see it as a priority…unless Rosicky is never coming back….

What I do see as a priority is the central midfield…Cesc has to start….Cesc is one of the best players in the world…his reading of the game and passing is second to none…he might not have had a great season but that’s because without Rosicky and Arshavin he had nobody in the midfield to play with…Cescs game is all about pass and move and pull the opposition all over the place but it didn’t work with the likes of Denilson et al because they aren’t of the same standard…they don’t see the game the way players like Cesc, Rosicky and Arshavin do so Cesc was being left to do all the work for long periods of the season…and he isn’t that type of player…When Song and Denilson were the mainstay of our midfield they did well, but you could see the lack of creativity in the team…alot of sideways and backwards passing….it meant teams could park the bus and make it look easy…

I’d like to also add I don’t want to see Cesc being played out of position next season either…that didn’t help matters…

So basically we are looking for a partner for Cesc…this could be one of two type of player…either we get a midfield enforcer who can defend or we get another player similar to Cesc who can pass and move and we defend by keeping the ball….

The choice for the enforcer for alot of Gooners would be Yaya….he’s done the job playing alongside a pygmy midfield at Barca…so he could do the job for us…he can also play CB…so between him and Song we have our enforcers…

The choice for the possession player would be Alonso…he’s a proven winner on the international and domestic stage and he is perfect for Cesc to play with…Cesc and Alonso would run rings round any midfield in the world…and more importantly…they will keep the ball….possession football relieves your defence…I don’t see any team scoring when they are stuck defending in their own half for 70% of the game….

So Alonso would be my choice….

The only problem is with these players is availability and price….if for either of these reasons we cant get one of these players then my choice would be Veloso…

He’s slightly older than Cesc but he has won medals in Portugal and has played CL football…he’s the best player in the Sporting side and above all else he has a sweet left foot…and I’d like to see the right foot left foot combo in midfield again..like we used to have with Manny and Paddy…

So…next season the 1st choice midfield could be; Rosicky, Cesc, Yaya/Alonso/Veloso, Arshavin

Possession football would return…Wenger ball would be back…We would see plenty of passing plenty of interchanging and plenty of goals, which had been missing from the midfield…and when you look at that midfield it’s hard to find a weakness….

With a backup choice of; Walcott, Denilson, Song, Nasri…which basically has time on their side and still managed to get us to 4th in the league and 4th in Europe…

Looks a bit tasty that doesn’t it????


The summer rebuild…A fans perspective..Defence.

June 5, 2009

Now then boys and girls, today we get to put our Tony Adams thinking caps on!!

The Arsenal defence at the minute seems to be a bit of a weak spot in our team..and Sir Wenger Obe Cbe AFC would seem to agree…

The Arsenal defence conceeded 37 goals in 38 PL games….breaking that down further to 16 at home and 21 away…For a top four side challenging for the PL title that is simply not good enough..as the PL table suggests…

Manutd conceeded 24, Liverpool 27 and Chelsea 24…

A successful team not only has to be good with the ball, but without the ball too…If we want to catch our rivals next season these figures have to improve in our favour…in simple terms..we need to tighten up…

Personally…i cant understand why…if we break our 1st choice back four down..we have two fullbacks who were both in the PL team of the year 2007-08… we have an experienced French international whos won many trophies with Chelsea and on his day is probably one of the best CB’s in the world…and we have Kolo…Arsenal through and through and was part of the invincible defence….

On paper we have probably one of the best defences in the world…even Carlsberg would do well to better that defence…

My opinion is that we have too main problems with our defence….

1…No quality arial presence..

2…No quality backup for injuries…

So what do we do???

If we look at our defence next season and break it down we have…

LB…Clichy, Gibbs, Troare.

RB…Sagna, Eboue

CB..Gallas, Kolo, JD, Song, Senderbramble, Fishhead.

Gallas and fishead can play LB and Kolo can play RB (not very well)…Its fair to say Gallas is the only one who can adapt to the FB position…

We have too many average CB’s, we have too many players that cover the LB position and not enough quality at RB

We dont need Troare..Clichy is the first choice and Gibbs has impressed as an able deputy..Troare is surplus to requirements…Senderos has proved that he isnt quick enough to handle the PL..and he is mentally weak and has moments of madness so hes out of the door too…Fishead is over the hill..he isnt of top 4 quality anymore..either 1st choice or backup…thats why Fergie got rid and thats why we should too…Eboue has pushed the fans to the limit this season…time and again we have been subjected to some woeful performances and he should be sold…

So thats Troare, Senderos, Fishead and Eboue….That looks like an awful lot of players but we are still left with the first choice defence…

So who do we bring in???

Sagna will need cover at RB…so how about Glen Johnson??? Or Micah Richards…with Richards we get a gooner and a RB/CB all in one go so maybe hes the best option??? Or both..we could use Troare as a makeweight for Johnson????

The CB positions are still pretty strong with Gallas, Kolo, JD and Song…but we still need a ball winner and my shout is Lescott…strong, quick and good in the air and the mainstay of Evertons impressive defence in recent seasons…then Wenger gets his wish of last season of a dominant CB who’s left footed!!!!!!

That leaves us with a defence of

RB…Sagna, Johnson, Richards

LB..Clichy, Gibbs, Lescott

CB..Gallas, Lescott, Kolo, Song, JD, Richards

Now we have a more balanced stronger, quicker defence with arial presence and quality backup for places…

Over to you Roadsters…or Roasters…Or Roosters…depending on what part of the country your from!!!!


The summer rebuild…A fans perspective..Goalkeeper.

June 4, 2009

After watching the Premier League and Champions League evolve over the past few years its fair to say the role of the goalkeeper has also evolved…

Gone are the days where you judged a good goalkeeper on how mental he was or if he had grave digger hands…due to the speed of todays game and certain rule changes regarding the pass back, which was introduced a few years ago its fair to say that to-days goalie has to be good with the ball at his feet too…

The way we play requires and insists not only on a commanding, agile figure as our number 1, but also on quick , pin point distribution….so we need a cross between Dave Seaman and Cesc Fabregas between our sticks…and I don’t think a player like that is too easy to find….

What we do currently have is two very good goalies in the shape of Almunia and Fabianski…

Almunia has shown alot of loyalty to our club…he came to us when Lehmann was our number one…and Lehmann was our invincible keeper so it wasn’t likely that Almunia was going to dislodge him too quickly..but he bid-ed his time, worked hard in training and has achieved his target…so fair play..

Almunia isn’t too commanding…I’d say his one weakness is his reluctance to come for the high ball..leaving the defence to deal with it…this obviously has lead to certain problems as our defenders aren’t the greatest at heading…also his positioning at certain times is questionable…so its fair to say he isn’t the perfect all round keeper…he’s not what you call a ‘presense’… which alot of successful teams have…

On the other hand Almunia is a great shot stopper with quick reflexes and he is very agile…his distribution is also very good..he doesn’t just hoof it down the pitch..he picks out a free player and finds him….

There’s a certain argument that some Gooners use that Almunia isn’t a good keeper because he’s never played for Spain…hes the wrong side of thirty and he hasn’t gained a single cap…if he was that good he would of been recognised by now..but Spain’s list of quality Goalkeepers is endless and has been for a few years now…they have Casillas, Valdes, Reina all above him in the pecking order so hes not likely to get a look in…

Fabianski is classed as our number 2 keeper at the moment…at 24 he’s still very young for a keeper and has earned rave reviews from several quarters…

Unlike Almunia, Fabianski is a commanding figure in the box..he comes for everything…which is what a good keeper does…it eases the defences nerves and gives them more confidence if they know they’ve got someone behind them who will deal with the high ball…Fabianskis problem is that he isn’t mature enough yet to judge what balls he will win or lose when he does come…like what happened in the ill fated game against Chelsea when his mistake let Drogba in for an open goal…this decision making will come with experience though I feel so I don’t believe it will still be a problem as he gets older…

He is also, like Almunia a good shot stopper, and his distribution is also quite good…he looks for the early ball abit too much though…once again down to decision making…again I don’t see it as a permanent problem as he gets older…

Between the two of them I feel we have two keepers who are more than average…they both have their disadvantages but they both suit the way we play and they both have safe hands….I don’t feel uncomfortable with either of these two between the sticks, although I’d like to see Fabianski cement a first team place…

World-class keepers do not grow on trees…and if one becomes available it wont be cheap…so I think we should stick with what we’ve got for next season…

Alot of fans believe we missed the boat with Given, including me at the time…but Given was a good keeper in a shit team…still is….any keeper that gets 15 shots a game at him season after season is going to look good…I don’t think Given, although a good keeper, is any better than what we’ve got in Almunia..and what we could have in Fabianski…

What do you guys think???


Grrrrr

June 3, 2009

Morning Roadsters

I have only done this because comments took so long to appear – I think it was due to the video show which made us all chuckle – just what the Dr ordered..