Madrid, Milan, Inter, well we got Barca…

March 31, 2010

 

Oh Boy!

It doesn’t get much bigger than this does it?

If you can’t get excited about the occasion, you are at the wrong place – European nights are always such a special occasion but tonight is about getting one big toe in the semi final of the Champions League.

As Arsene Wenger pointed out, we have so many things in common with Barca, the breeding of young players, playing beautiful football which is why there is so much hype around the game. Guardiola has said he won’t sacrifice his attacking football, neither will Wenger, setting up a fantastic scenario for football fans all over the globe. I hope we shall not be dissappointed.

Lets talk tactics

 I’ve been saying here on Avenell Road that Barca are a formidable opponent, they are the European and World Champions after winning a commendable six trophies last term by brushing aside the likes of chavs, mancs and bayern so you should expect a tough match. Last term they played in a 4-3-3 system with Henry, Eto’o and Messi destroying defences left, right and centre. However Pep admitted that teams have figured them out hence he needed to change tactics to keep opponents guessing.

This term barca are playing in a 4-2-1-1-1-1 formation.Their two CB’s are mainly Puyol and Pique with Milito and Marquez as cover. They have two fullbacks in Alves and Maxwell/Abidal.

Alves is the most dangerous FB going forward since he is quick and has superb delivery. Maxwell doesn’t push as far to prevent counter attacks. Their CB’s are good ball players and will push forward when Barca are dominating, acting as extra midfielders.

Talking of which, in midfield they play with a holding player, (Toure/Sergio) a deep-lying creative man in Xavi and ahead of them is Iniesta/Keita to the left,  playing  the attacking role, linking play from the left wing just like Rosicky does for us.

Ahead of the attacking midfield man is Messi towards the right and Henry/Pedro towards the left and Ibra up top. Ibra has most shots on target in the Champions League(17),  it would be suicidal to give him space, he has three goals in three games, he’s a player on form.

When barca are dominating, Alves patrolls the right flank giving Messi the freedom to cut inside. Messi will then run at the defence which will retreat deeper. This leads to plenty of space behind Messi for Xavi and Iniesta to dominate the midfield.

Henry/Pedro will use the left flank to pin the winger and full back to prevent Maxwell from being exposed in defence. Pedro is so underrated, he scores in the big games. Once Barca get you into this position it becomes a matter of damage control. The Chavs and Mancs can absorb pressure all day long but in truth we can’t do it. If a team shows the slightest of fear Barca will tear you apart, so how do you stop them?

The Chavs used a right back to stop Messi from cutting in since he will always attack a defender’s weaker foot. If Messi got past Bosingwa he would meet Essien stationed in front of the back four, because of that, Messi was invincible for 180 minutes.

To do that, the Chavs maintained a high level of discipline which i don’t think we have yet. For us we will have to battle them in midfield. Iniesta is a very good passer of the ball and is a good dribbler hence he can craft space in the meanest of defences but he won’t be available. This will probably mean Keita will start, he is a more physical player and he carries that extra goal threat Iniesta lacks.

Cesc will have to dominate the middle, Song will have to stay in front of the defence since they will try to expose Sol against Messi. Diaby will have to hustle the ball all over the pitch, his moments of brilliance will be needed if we are to score, his runs from deep will be vital since Cesc will get all the attention. Diaby and Song will have to relish the physical battle against Toure and Keita and come out winners.

I think Sagna will start due to his defensive nous, Clichy will have his hands full with Messi and Alves attacking him, he will need all the help he can get. AA will have to come alive in this match, push back Alves to deny Messi a free role in this match.

This is where I feel the game will be won or lost, Barca’s orchestra starts here.

AA has been woeful in front of goal but he is our ace in the pack, if he isn’t fired up for this he better not show up in the stadium. Nasri/Rosicky will have to help Cesc patrol the midfield. Nasri ,AA and Diaby should dribble when necessary. Nasri can take care of Maxwell all day long.

Eboue for me,  is our trump card. He combines pace with strength with feints and dummies which baffle defenders, his diagonal runs are usually very effective as he draws defenders and creates panic in defences.Whether he will start is up to Wenger.

Shooting should be encouraged since Valdez flaps at well hit shots. TR7/Sol/Cesc/AA/Gallas experiences in such matches will be vital if we are to emerge victorious. We need to kill them off with our chances, the killer instinct will have to be on display tonight, right from the start!!

Barca maintain possession for about 48 minutes per match and with Mmessi surrounded by good ball holders he becomes the shark in the sea receiving balls at all angles. Man marking him will end in disaster since he will create space for Keita who scores goals from midfield, unlike Iniesta who doesn’t get into the box often.

We will have to chase them down everywhere, the fans will have to shout the loudest, make themselves heard above eveything else in London.

Barca would love to win it at the Bernabeu to insult the Madristas, we will have to want it more, we will have to show the necessary character to win the tie. As much as we fear Messi – Pep will fear our attack too.

Give Henry an ovation that will make the legend feel humbled, after all he has given us perfomances we will cherish for the rest of our lives, he deserves it.

After that it’s about us!!

Barca don’t concede a lot since teams are too intimidated to attack, their centre backs are vulnerable from quick forwards making runs and this is where Walcott and Eboue’s diagonal runs can hurt them the most. Long balls to Nik will also unsettle them.  Fans should let them know that they may rule europe but not this part of North London, we are in charge here, this is our night….

Finally, we did it in Milan when Kaka was meant to tear us a new one, we did it in Madrid, tonight we will do it in London!!

Lets do for Arsenal, lets do it tonight for David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle – he’d have loved to be playing in this game, make him proud….

Written by KTR-7


Today is a very special day….

March 31, 2010

Intro by rico

Wednesday March 31st 2010

Today marks a very very special day in the Arsenal calendar. It’s a day for true Arsenal fans to give a thought to one of our own…….. Raise a glass, remember a goal, remember a special piece of magic….. and there were many….!

Most of all though remember the man himself  – Mr David Rocastle.

Rocky has been gone nine years today….!. I bet most of you will know where you were and what you were doing when on that fateful day we heard the news that Rocky had passed away…………! I was devastated……….. How, why……………. so young……….. I felt an emptyness and I think I still do, why exactly, well because the man was proper Arsenal, he was one of us, a down to earth Arsenal fan, he lived the dream he was also a true legend, an Arsenal great…!.

What we saw on the pitch with Rocky we could all relate to.  He was Arsenal, cut him open and he was red and white inside just like us. He had passion for the club for the team for the shirt and for the fans, you knew he was upset when we lost like we were, he was overjoyed when we won just like we were and he fought for every ball, ran until the last second of the game and he gave it all for the club he loved because it was his club and our club.

Name one player now who would cry when told that they were being sold ? The only reason they would cry now is the thought of earning less money maybe. Rocky cried because he was torn apart, torn apart because Arsenal, his club, were selling him.

Following written by resident blogger RSD

So Just who is David Rocastle?

Rocastle was born at Lewisham on 2 May 1967. In the summer of 1983 he joined Arsenal as an apprentice and spent two years in the youth team before signing a professional contract just before the start of the 1985-86 season.

Rocastle, or ‘Rocky’ as he became known, made his Arsenal debut in a goalless draw against Newcastle on 28 September 1985 and soon became a regular member of the first team.
In 1987, just before his 20th birthday, he helped Arsenal to a famous League Cup Final victory over Liverpool, their first trophy in 8 years.
This was followed up by another League Cup Final appearance a year later, but this time Arsenal surrendered a 2-1 lead to lose 3-2 to a last minute Luton Town winner.
Despite that defeat, Arsenal were on the up and, along with other starlets like Tony Adams, Paul Merson and Michael Thomas, Rocky was part of a young Arsenal team that were destined for greatness.

When did Rocky win his first league medal?

In 1989, Rocky and his teammates tasted major glory, winning the clubs first League Championship since 1971 and in dramatic fashion with a goal in the last minute of the last game of the season and against their nearest rivals Liverpool.

To this day, it remains the most exciting finish to a league season ever and will probably never be matched.

This success was followed up 2 years later when Arsenal once again were crowned champions, this time in even more convincing fashion, losing just one game all season. Unfortunately, injury meant that Rocky’s contribution was limited to 18 appearances during that time.

 International Debut

By the age of 24, Rocky had been an integral part of a team that had picked up 3 trophies in 4 years.
His huge contributions were well documented and on 14th September 1988, Rocky was selected to play for England for the first time, in a 1-0 victory over Denmark, which also provided debuts for England greats Paul Gascoigne and Des Walker.

Then what happened?

Rocky was destined for a long and successful career on both the domestic and international stages. However, in the early 1990s, he suffered a series of injuries which began to hamper his game and in 1992 he was transferred to Leeds, much to the dismay of all Arsenal fans, by whom he was adored.

Life for Rocky after Arsenal?

After leaving Arsenal, Rocky played for a number of other clubs, including Leeds, Manchester City and Chelsea, however, the fans of these clubs only saw the Rocky magic in fits and starts as his career continued to be blighted by injury.
In 1999, after further short term spells at Norwich City, Hull City and Malaysian outfit Sabah, Rocky succumbed to his injuries and was forced to retire.

 Rocky and Arsenal

In all Rocky made 14 appearances for his country, a staggeringly low total for a man with his talent!

Despite leaving Arsenal in 1992, Rocky forever remained a part of the Arsenal family. The fans loved him not only because of his brilliance on the pitch, but because he played the game with a smile on face and his heart on his sleeve, more than that, he always conducted himself as a gentleman.

Rocky’s illness?

In February 2001, Rocky announced that he was suffering from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the immune system.
He underwent a course of chemotherapy and thousands of fans prayed for his recovery. This was a battle that was too much, even for David Rocastle.

Rocky passed away on 31st March 2001, aged just 33.

What did David Rocastle represent?

David Rocastle represented everything that was good about football. Honesty, passion, teamwork, commitment, and of course, sheer brilliance, we believe that this is why he remains in the hearts and minds of all Gooners who were privileged to see him play and who continue to sing his name, even today.

Nine years have flown by and we all know he would of walked into this current side, can you imagine that….? what a sight that would of been…!.

RIP Rocky, gone but never forgotten and today of all days it would be rather fitting if the team gave us a perfomance that Rocky would also be proud of..!

 

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJdEPdUxQN0

 

A Pre match post will be up around 3pm, but right now today belongs to David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle and his family – may peace be with you all – rico


The day before the big day….

March 30, 2010

.

 Here’s your New Post  🙂

Welcome to England Barcelona but you will fall!!!

We don’t play until tomorrow but already my stomach is in knots just thinking about Arsenal v’s Barcelona,
The Champions League quarter final, Round 1!!

Will Arshavin be fit? Will Diaby be fit? Will the little man who captains our side be fit??

I think it’s important all three are, but then we all think that don’t we…

We need to have a strong eleven available, Vermaelen is back, Song should slot back into the middle alongside Cesc which should mean….. a proper midfield, not a Denilson in sight!

Arsene has been talking about Cesc, about how he came to steal him away from his boyhood club…

Back in 2003, the Arsenal manager travelled to Finland for the Under-17s World Cup in order to run the rule over, among others, a blossoming young midfielder in the Spanish team.

Fabregas had Barcelona in his blood and was rising rapidly through the ranks at the Nou Camp alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.

Spain did not lift the trophy that year but Fabregas came home with the individual honours. He won the Golden Boot as top scorer and was voted Player of the Tournament for his overall contribution.

Twelve days after losing to Brazil in the Final, the 16-year-old signed for Arsenal.

Ahead of Barcelona’s visit to Emirates Stadium for the Champions League Quarter-Final first leg, Wenger recalled that first impression.

“I couldn’t go to watch a youth team game at Barcelona because they would not have welcomed me,” he said before the weekend trip to Birmingham. “So I could only watch him in the Under-17 national team.

“You could see straight away that his vision of the game was exceptional. He was physically a little bit weak at the time but he could score goals.

“I do not know if there were other teams in for him. We were just first and players want to join us because they feel they have a chance to play. Many young players want to join us because of that.”

Yep, that whole chit chat from our boss was solen from the afc website 🙂

Great news we have all heard is about though is Cesc Fabregas, this week he has said he is not going anywhere in the summer. This same man will be all  for showing Barcelona just why they should never let him go. Its also about letting them know just how happy he is at Arsenal…. Maybe then Barcelona will finally get the message!!

Tomorrow’s a big day, a very big day – and in more ways than one…..


Where are you now then?????

March 29, 2010

I’m still so so peed off after Saturday …..

Why is it so many fans see one good display and think that’s enough??? That’s enough to secure that players place in the side for the rest of time?

Well, I don’t and most don’t but sadly a few do, when they do they like to make sure we all get to hear about it, no doubt those people were gloating at the time of making clear their own views…

Last week ond of the regular posting here on Avenell Road took the time out of his day to day life to write a post about what to do in the summer, should we buy, do we need to by, do we sell to buy or just stay the same….

In that same post the author mentioned Denilson and how average he has been, me, I would say poor! He also mentioned the need for a new goal keeper.

The day before the article was posted Arsenal played, Denilson scored a great goal and had one of his best games in a long long while, Almunia saved a penalty and the team won!

Well shiver me old timbers, two of the worst performers of the season chose to have a great day and on the same day, how spooky! Jeepers Creepers, it was well overdue in my opinion.

Becuause of that though, the post here on Avenell Road attracted a few, thankfully not many contributors who laughed in the face of the author – one actually made reference to the post must have been written prior to the game because of their performances…… Well, one swallow does not make a summer!!

For me, it wouldn’t have mattered, I don’t think it would have made any difference to the thoughts, opinions of the author. It’s his view and he has the right to share it.

As it turns out, not that most of us needed convincing, Erick was spot on in what he wrote. We have a dreadful goal keeper who on Saturday,  not only cost us not only two points but possibly the league and a midfielder called Denilson who unless he has the rock of Song alongside him, continues to look very average!!

Where are those same fans today then??

I bet you one thing though, none of those who took the piss the day that post went up come back an apologise?? For sure they won’t, after all  both Denilson and Almunia wear an Arsenal shirt, they have to be good don’t they…… regardless!!!

Well, I am sorry, come the summer, that should cease!!

Top it all, last night I had a call from a friend of mine, known her for 35 years and she is a big Football Fan. She hates the Chavs and has to follow the Mancs as one of her two sons suuports them. Deep down though she holds a soft spot for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and the way we play football. She asked one thing having watched Bolton  – ‘How the hell can Wilshere be allowed to go on loan when players like Denilson are in the first team?……..

Well…….??


Wenger gets it wrong as Brum do it again..

March 28, 2010

Before the start of the game I was confident we’d take the points from this one. Confidence within the team was high on the back of 6 wins on the spin and Birmingham had lost their last two.. Although Brum have played some good stuff this season they have lost their way in recent weeks and if we ever had a better chance to beat them on their own patch it was now..

This was not to be the case..We’ve all pretty much said in the build up to this one that it was a potential banana skin for us. Even with a massive match against Barca looming in the CL we had to stay focused and concentrate on the PL…One game at a time was the key but judging by Wenger’s line up you could tell he was looking too far forward.. Brum are a difficult side and we are in a situation where we need to win pretty much every match. As soon as I saw the line up I thought to myself this is risky and that confidence I had was a little dented..

To be honest I was shocked..The team was already down 3 key players due to suspension and injury.. The loss of Gallas, Tommmy V and RVP was already a big burden to bear, but to leave Nasri and Arshavin on the bench was suicidal. We are in a title run in. We were playing away from home against a decent side and we were 5 key players short.. Wenger’s line up was like he’d picked a side for the Emirates. Walcott and Denilson don’t fill me with confidence anyway.

Then I found out who the ref was and then I see the state of the pitch and I didn’t really want to say it at the time but for some reason I knew we were dropping points..

The first half was a scrappy affair. The pitch obviously wasn’t helping and neither were the scandalous decisions of Mr.Manchester UTD himself. We failed to take a hold of the midfield which wasn’t a surprise with Song pushed back to CB and Brum controlled the possession and it dwindled out into a nothing half.

The second half wasn’t much better and we didn’t manage to take a hold of the game until Wenger made his substitutions and threw the players on he should have started with..

I thought we’d broke the deadlock when Diaby made a perfectly legal shoulder barge and won the ball in the Brum box..Webb procceeded to let him smash it into the net before blowing his whistle..You diptsick.

Even Perry groves said on Sky Sports last night that Webb has made some ridiculous decisions recently and its little decisions like that which determine who’s going to be champions..

Nasri then showed us what we had been missing as he picked up the ball 35 yards out and ran towards goal. He made it to the edge of the box and blasted it past the helplesS Hart.. Get in.. It took a long while coming but it had and all we needed to do was hold on but then the unbelievable happened..

Nasri had the chance to make it 2-0 as he ran in one on one with Hart but he fluffed his lines, in the space of 30 seconds Brum went up the other end of the pitch and scored an equalizer from nothing with practically the last kick of the match..We’d done it to ourselves again. Phillips hit a nothing shot and Almunia made his customary mother of all cock ups and the ball slipped throw his fingers and he practically threw the ball into his own net..

Bollox..Points dropped at the wrong time and a result that feels like a defeat in such the manner the Brum goal was conceeded..Momentum has taken a set back and the Barca game will be even harder now.

Ratings

ALMUNIA..5..Can you believe this guy? Why doesn’t it ever surprise me. He’s capable of pulling off some great saves but his clangers are too much to bear..He loses us more points then he wins us and surely its time to replace him next year.. Manutd were under the cosh against Bolton for long periods of the first half yesterday and VDS pulled off two world class saves..Manure went on to win the game..A top goalie is required and Almunia is nothing better than a decent number 2..

CLICHY, SAGNA, BIG SOL, SONG..8…I’m going to give them a joint score because i thought they were immence..Solid and strong and it would have been 1-0 to the Arsenal if it wasn’t for Captain Clanger between the sticks..

Denilson..5..This game wasnt for him..without the help of Song he struggles by himself and yesterday was no different..Failed to protect his defence and failed to take control of the middle as Song does so well

Cesc..6..poor by his own standards

Diaby..6..not a good game, but not a bad one..his goal should have stood

Rosicky..6..quiet, but he needs to play in midfield not up front

Theo..5..i’m not even going to get started on Theo. was he even playing??

Nikki..6..quiet really..but not getting enough service doesn’t help

SUBs

Nasri..7..almost won us the game..good goal

AA..5..not going through one of his best months but he’s still dangerous..needs to start every game really..

Wenger..6..got his lineup wrong..had one eye on Barca and it showed and it backfired..We need to play our strongest 11 every game Arsene…

It was a very disappointing result..once again it showed that we have passengers in this side who are not good enough to be counted on week in week out..We are sitting in third, which isn’t a bad thing but if we had those couple of extra players we needed in key positions we could be flying high at the top of the league and had it wrapped up by now.

The biggest disappointment for me is that it is now out of our hands..We are playing catch up..I always believed that the others would drop points too at some stage so we could afford a draw somewhere..Well there it is.

we now need to win every game.. the fixtures are still in our favour but its roll up our sleeves time and fight to the end..We’ve had a good season no matter what happens, but we need some silverware this year.  5 years is too long..


Do or Don’t for Dudu?

March 27, 2010

Eduardo Da Silva, fondly known by Arsenal football fans as Dudu was born in Brazil in February 1983.
Despite growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Dudu chose to represent Croatia in International Football. His international football
holds little interest for me, its Arsenal so lets stick to talking about his career with us. As so many have said recently,
we pay the players wages, not the country they play for.

The ‘stand out’ club he played for in his youth days was Dinamo Zagreb, the same club he stayed with right up until he signed for us
in 2007. Whilst at Zagreb he had a season loan 2002-03, and suffered a few niggly injuries. (that’s what probably clinched his move to us)  😉

When he arrived at Arsenal he bought with him a pretty good career record – named the best player of the Croatian league in 2004 as well as in 2006 and 2007, he had been one of the key players in Dinamo Zagreb’s team that won two consecutive titles in the Croatian league as well as one title in the Croatian Cup. In 2006, he also helped Dinamo winning the Croatian Supercup, scoring two goals in their 4–1 victory over Rijeka. Funny enough he was the footballer that scored the first European goal at The Emirates – it was the only goal that night for him and his team, they got whooped 5-1 by his soon to be new team!

During the 2006-2007 season, which was to be his last at Zagreb also turned into his best season at the club, no doubt it was this that caught the eye of Arsene Wenger and his scouts. Eduardo played 18 games before the winter break, scoring 18 goals along the way. Not bad eh? By the end of the same season he had totalled 32 goals in 32 appearances, breaking a thirteen year old record previously held by Goran Vlaović. Dudu also became the first player to a hat-rick for Zagreb against local rivals Hajduk Split – when I say local rivals, what I really mean is those three goals he scored were a bit like scoring three for us against the Spuds…

My thinking is that was the season he was being watched by us, and what a season to play like he did, he had more than convinced Arsenal he was a top striker and the following season, having had a work permit granted following an appeal, he squeezed his big bum into a pair of Arsenal Shorts, along with the shorts he was given the No9 shirt to wear. We had our fox in the box, our centre forward we craved for…. Didn’t we???

Eduardo made his Premier League debut on 19 August 2007, a 1-1 draw with Blackburn, ten days later we faced Sparta Prague in a Champions League qualifier. Dudu scored his first goal in a 3-0 win, he went on to score another in the group stages against Seville. He was fighting to gain a regular place in the first team in the league, but continued to show his goalscoring abilities in the Carling Cup, scoring a couple of goals in two consecutive matches against Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.

Soon is chance came, Robin van Persie picked up an injury which kept him out for a long while, Dudu then slotted in alongside a tall striker, a bit of a lazy git whose name I can’t remember!!  😉

HOWEVER…

In the February of 2008, still in his first season with us, Martin Taylor of Birminham ensured we wouldn’t get to see Eduardo in action for a long long time…. After a late crunching tackle made by Taylor, Eduardo suffered a broken left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle.

In my humble opinion, not only did this tackle ruin his season, to this day it seems as if may very well have ruined his career!

We all know what happened during that game,  that game had a massive impact on all of the team,  we fell away in our hunt for the title……

In January 2009, Eduardo told afc.com he was ready to return, ready for first team football, in February he made that comeback for Arsenal, scoring two goalsin a 4-0 victory over Cardiff.
But since then, each time he plays he seems to suffer a set back, he doesn’t look sharp and his shooting boots seem to be very far away from his feet. We have seen him miss easy chances to score, miss chances that the old Eduardo would have taken as easy as nicking candy from a baby.

This weekend the club take a trip back to the ground that haunted them during the 2007/08 season when we were looking so strong. It is also the first time that Eduardo returns to face a side that nearly ended his career.

We are up against a side who’s own form has taken a dip, they sit 9th in the table right now so the game won’t be a walk over. This game, like the same fixture in 2008 will have a big say in our season, win it and we will build the momentum, lose and it could all be over. The latter though I don’t expect to happen, even without our two first choice CH’s, I think we will win comfortably.

So, you are Arsene Wenger – Do you start Eduardo or Don’t you????

I am unsure what I would do, but I would involve him in the game at some stage, it may just maybe that on Saturday, Eduardo Da Silva can finally bury the ghosts that seem to be currently haunting his football career….


Ian Wright – Legend or Bellend??

March 26, 2010

Every now and then ex-players at our club seem to be a target of abuse from certain sections of the support..Old or young, new fan or old, these sections have a common theme to their outbursts and it normally concentrates on their hatred of the media..Any ex-player or legend who dares to voice an opinion about our club is labelled in the all too familiar category as ‘doomer’ and it appears that barring Bob Wilson, who is just a yes man to the Arsenal media machine, nobody is safe.

From Adams to Merson. From Parlour to the one and only Ian Wright, they are all constantly mocked. Hung drawn and quartered and every word they speak is regarded as utter garbage. It doesn’t stop there though. Their name gets dragged through the mud by the same people who at one point or another sang their name with pride, had their poster on their wall or had their name printed on their shirt…We loved these players…none moreso than Ian Edward Wright..

Wrighty was a showman..Regarded as one of the darlings of Highbury. This was a man who was a master not only of banging is 25-30 goals a season, but he was a master of winding up the opposition-fans and players alike. He was the king of practical jokes. The ultimate character and everyone associated with Arsenal adored him..

Wrighty was and still is a legend. This was a man who was voted as 4th in the list of Arsenal greats.. His sublime skill and finishing amassed him a grand total of 185 goals in only seven years…A landmark only surpassed by someone very special..But Wrighty didn’t have players like Pires and Vieira behind him..He had the likes of Morrow and Hillier, which makes his achievement even more remarkable..

Wrighty was one of the players who helped put Arsenal on the map..He was arrogant and cocky..A force of nature on and off the pitch. He was outspoken and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind…

Many believe that the real reason Rioch was sacked was because Wrighty issued a ‘him or me’ ultimatum.. Wrighty was one of those uncontrollable players..It was rumoured that when George Graham was going through tactics and training regimes, everyone else had a particular role and had to follow it strictly, but Wrighty was allowed to do what he wanted. It was the only way GG could handle him.. Rioch had a different approach and Wrighty handed in a transfer request..it was later retracted and Rioch lost his job… Enter Arsene Wenger..So thanks Wrighty..

Lets not forget Wrighty’s work out of football..He was awarded an MBE for his services to charity and he is the patron of the African-Caribbean Leukemia Trust..Which is something not always remembered such is his ‘Jack The Lad’ personality…

He’s a top bloke..Yet he is still very outspoken in issues regarding Arsenal..

Yes he says a lot of things that many of us don’t agree with and I understand why some people get wound up, but he doesn’t deserve the abuse he sometimes gets..To be honest I  just laugh, he cracks me up still to this day..

Nothing has changed about him..The Wrighty we see and hear now is the same Wrighty we saw and heard then. He’s only speaking his mind as we all do every day on the blogs.

But Wrighty has that certain advantage..Which is that he’s done more to put Arsenal where they are than any of us could ever dream of.. Who are we to tell Wrighty his opinion isn’t wanted or he’s a ‘doomer’..What right do we have to tell one of the Arsenal greats of all time that he should sit down and shut up and do what we say and do..

Wrighty’s rebellious..Its what made him who he was..If you don’t like what he has to say then don’t listen..its that simple..

He’s passionate, he wears his heart on his sleeve and to be honest, judging by the noise in the Emirates we could do with some Wrighty’s in the ground on matchdays. Instead of the sit down nicely and clap politely type..The ‘yes man’ type that make it seem like a morgue..

I think the problem certain fans have with ex players such as Wrighty, is that they are that obsessed by the media that they forget certain aspects of the football club..They are that caught up in Wenger’s vision for the future they believe in it more than Wenger does himself and it seems to blank their memories of the past. Tradition is so important to a football club..No matter how you look at it the past is what makes us what we are today. Wrighty’s part of that tradition..He may annoy us with his remarks sometimes but its to be expected from him..Thats just Wrighty..No matter how you abuse him or drag his name through the mud you will never take away the fact he’ll always be a legend..His status doesn’t give him the right to say what he feels..But nor does what he says give you the right to tell him he’s wrong or vilify him..Its just his opinion..

Stand up Ian Wright.. Top footballer, top bloke, funny as hell…LEGEND…

Buts thats just my opinion..Whats yours??