What Now For Theo??

September 6, 2010

After spending a few relaxing weeks in the sun, I’m still struggling to get up to date with all things Arsenal. Although it’s still early days, the main two things that have caught my attention are the failure to purchase a new goalkeeper this summer, as well as the recent re-emergence of Theo Walcott..

I’m going to say no more about the GK situation for now..I’m feeling the need for a positive post today so im going to share my thoughts with you over young Mr Walcott..

To be honest I’ve never been impressed with Theo and I’m still yet to be convinced. Over the past few years the lad has failed to live up to any potential.. I find him irritating in that he has so much pace, yet doesn’t know how yet to use it.. Recurring errors in his final ball and his shockingly poor ball control make him look out of his depth in the Arsenal squad.. He’s not a Wengerball player and he struggles to fit the system.

His main problem to me is that he puts his head down and runs anywhere he can. This attribute tends to lead him into a lot of blind alleys and he more often than not ends up giving the ball away cheaply. A player of his pace should be terrorising the defences not giving them the ball back every time he gets it..

After a few seasons of me saying he couldn’t beat an egg and he couldn’t finish his dinner he has stood up to be counted after a difficult and distracting summer for the club as a whole and has left me impressed with the way he has responded. 4 goals already is a fantastic return and if anyone has an issue with the about the club at the minute I don’t think there’s one person out there that would say their issue is Theo. He has been one of the shining lights at the start of this season and credit where credit is due.

To be honest I don’t think anything about Theos game has really changed.. He’s still got more flaws than a tower block but he’s finally found what he’s good at.

Finishing..

Theo has got more selfish and instead of running down the wings he’s started to come inside like Freddie used to and have a run at goal.  He’s not tried the dribbling, passing and the crossing as much and it helps because he’s not that type of player. He’s too fast, there’s no point in running down the wing to try to pick a pass to a team-mate because nobody can keep up with him and there’s no point trying to dribble because he just leaves the ball behind.

He’s not a play maker. He’s not a creator. He’s stopped trying to be the trigger and I think he’s starting to realise he’s the bullet..

Keep doing what you’re doing Theo. Keep coming inside and having pops at goal. Just kick it and chase it and shoot..Keep your game simple and you’ll score goals for fun in this team..Let the others do the tricks and flicks you just head for those sticks..

His pace is too much to deal with and if he can keep that direct selfish streak and stay fit he could win us the league. Theo needs to forget about his team mates. He leaves them in his dust and the only thing that should be on his mind is to shoot.

Sometimes I’m over critical of Theo. I’ve even had a dig at him for writing a children’s book, but listening to his interviews he seems to be a nice polite lad. I’d rather a player who writes books for kids than a player who cheats on his pregnant wife, wouldn’t you?

After whats been a bad summer for English football in general Theo has done the nation and the club proud by doing his talking on the pitch.

Cheers Fabio. Dropping Theo was the best decision you made all summer..

What now for Theo. The PL Golden Boot..

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Wengers Squad Looks Strong, But Is It Strong Enough??

August 14, 2010

So here it is..

The new season is about to start and I think we would all agree that no matter what our take is on the strength and depth of certain areas of our squad, we are all grateful and excited that kick off is just around the corner..

We have a fantastic team with some world-class individuals and I for one can’t wait to see the lads run out onto the pitch on Sunday..It’s a new season..It’s a fresh start and if we can miraculously keep the core of our key players fit for the majority of the season it would be silly to suggest we cant lift some kind silverware with this squad..You can never rule Arsenal out.. Fergie will tell you that!!

Arsene has been criticised for his transfer activity (or lack of)  this summer, but nobody can deny that if any other team in the PL had just signed the likes of Frimpong, JET, Jack and Gibbs, they would have been happy with their summer purchases..

The attacking options Arsene has at his disposal are mouth-watering and the promotion of the ‘next generation’ of Wengerball’s finest is food for thought for any media hack who dares to say we wont be a force to be reckoned with..

Arsene’s much criticised policy has never seen us drop out of the top four. I don’t expect that to change this year. 

That being said, I do see the problems that Arsenal will face this season. I’m a firm believer that we didn’t last the pace last term because the non stop clangers our ‘keepers kept making and have been making for the past few years, caught up with us and we also ran out of top quality CB’s…

We are currently going into the new season with the same clanger filled Goalkeeping options and even less CB’s than before…I see this as a major cause for concern.

Going forward we are a match for anyone but our shockingly apparent Achilles heel at the back is there for all to see once again and I’m astonished how much of the transfer window has passed without so much of an effort being made to rectify these problems..

I don’t buy into the fact that transfers are hard to complete nowadays due to factors such as – Does the player want to leave and do the club want to sell him even if he does??? For certain, these are key factors, but do people really think that with all our scouts and with all the players in all the leagues in all the world, Koscienly was the only player we could find to replace the 4 Cb’s we lost in the summer??? Arsenal are a massive club. A top 4 English club and a top 8 European club. I  don’t believe for one minute players don’t want to join us and  dont believe for one minute we couldn’t find anyone suitable for the position ability wise for the right price..

I know there’s a few weeks left of the window but not signing another CB before the dealine could lead to serious problems..There are no excuses for not reinforcing this area of the team..The problem is obvious and has been for the last few seasons. Even more so now we’ve lost so many players for that position over the summer..

It’s not that we don’t have any good players at the back because we do. The problem is we don’t have enough of them. Going into a new PL season with only 3 recognised CB’s is a massive risk..We have strength and depth in abundance in all other areas of the pitch so why are we so unbalanced at the back and why has it been allowed to get to this stage?

If a club is between transfer windows and they have been left with only 3 CB’s then it’s a problem that’s part of football..Your running out of CB’s and there’s not much you can do about it but put square pegs in round holes and try to adapt..Fair enough.

The difference with Arsenal is that we’ve had 2 months of transfer window to solve this problem and we are still going into the opening game of the season short of CB’s.. I’m struggling to understand the reason why are we handicapping ourselves before the season has even started.. We couldn’t even keep 6 CB’s fit last season so what makes Wenger think 3 will do the trick this time..An injury to Tommy V would leave us without any CB with any real PL experience under his belt. That pretty much puts the CB position at Arsenal in the same bracket as Blackpool’s…

Add to that the fact that AW doesn’t know who his number 1 is and it would be fair to suggest we are just not learning from anything the last 5 years have shown us and its hugely frustrating..

This Arsenal side is beginning to remind me a little of Keegan’s Newcastle.. Plenty of flair going forward and not much at the back. It’s not easy to win the best league in the world if your philosophy is –  lets just have a playground kick about and hope we outscore the opposition 38 games of the season..

We really need to learn how to defend better this season and a good start would be to have a few more defensive players to choose from..

We’ve got the players to win us the big games.

Chamakh looks the real deal. RvP has slowly risen to the ranks of Arsenal icon over the past few years..Before his injury last term its fair to say that he was in the world-class bracket..Cesc is world-class and he wants to win trophies whoever he plays for – he’ll be top drawer again this season.. Nasri looks pissed off hungry and he’s going to be one to watch this year. I think the lad showed in pre season why we paid 12 mil for him and if he finds consistency to the quality of talent he has, he will tear the PL to bits..

We are better equipped this season than any of our rivals in terms of attacking power..If we can strengthen at the back and keep our defence tight we will clear up…

Have a good weekend guys..I’m off to the bookies and I’m doing my first footy coupon of the season..Im so excited..Lets hope for some good football today, a 6-0 win tomorrow and a couple of new signings on monday..


A Message To Arsene Wenger.

July 30, 2010

I am very confident [we’ll do better than last season],” he said. “We know in England that the Premier League is the biggest league in the world and everybody invests a lot of money.
 
“We invest in our work, in our beliefs, in the quality of our behaviour and I am confident that will pay off.

I don’t want to sound like I’m interfering Mr Wenger, but after studying your recent comments it seems as though you are seriously thinking about not signing anyone else to strengthen our squad this window.

If so, I seriously recommend you think twice about this. You are treading a very thin line and your once large numbers of loyal followers are dwindling year by year. After all the ‘noise’ YOU made about strengthening the squad for the up coming season I expect YOU to stand by your word and do your job. If not expect those numbers to drop even lower..

Do you really think the fans have forgotten last years dreadful performances by the same players that give dreadful performances every season. Do you really think the fans have forgotten the dreadful form of games where we won 2 in 10?? Do you really think the fans are going to accept another year of lies and complete poppycock that you seem to become so used to spinning us???

The bottom line is, you keep taking our money, silly money at that and you are not doing anything with it.. Why aren’t the profits you are so proud of making every season being put back into the team??.. I for one don’t class giving average players new contracts for doing crap as putting the fans money back into the team..If anything its wasting it..

If I fork out for a £300 quid Paul Smith jacket, I don’t want to get it home – only to wear it once and find all the buttons have fallen off and all the stitching has come loose. I don’t want to take it back to the store, only to be told by the store manager that I can’t have my money back, or indeed a better quality jacket. I don’t want to be fed the crap that even though the jacket has its flaws, it is a young jacket with great potential and if i invest another £300 on it we will work hard with the jacket and take pride when it fixes itself…

I want value for my money..

It’s the same in any field of business and if you want to treat the fans like customers instead of family then expect a lot of back lash..

The fans ‘noise’ is getting louder and louder every year and I think you’ll find it’s not in agreement with the way you are running things..Talks of a demonstration last year were quickly gathering pace..Nobody wants to demonstrate against you Mr Wenger but nobody wants to see Almunia or Fabianski in goal for the start of next season either. If either appear at the Emirates Cup then you can expect a few raised eyebrows and tut tut’s on the day..

We desperately need another CB.. Another top class one..It doesn’t matter how you spin it or how many youngsters we have coming through, the majority of fans will not be happy if we go into the season with what we’ve got..

You said after last year we had more money than ever and you were intent on strengthening the squad in the areas needed.. You’ve done sod all (again) only lose more players than you buy (again) and we are almost done with pre season (again)..

It is NOT your money. It’s the clubs money. It’s Arsenals money. It’s OUR money..Spend it and reinforce that team because we are weaker than last year and you know it…

You destroyed a perfectly good team. A strong team that had another 2-3 years in it and we’ve won nothing since. At one point we were the best. We had the best players and you let them all go. Top teams don’t let their best players go, they keep them and build on them and after 5 years I thought it would have been obvious to you where we were going wrong but I guess not.

You might be the best manager Arsenal have had but your starting to live off past glories. The club is bigger than you and if you take us into one more year of the same soap opera, filled with false promises and lies then don’t bother renewing your contract..Take a seat upstairs where your book-keeping is more useful and let someone else take over who’s hungry and doesn’t throw real trophies or see 3rd or 4th place as the best we can do…

I still think you’re a legend and what I’ve said doesn’t mean to come across too harsh. After all you’ve done for us I’m more than happy to let you see out your contract. After all, there was a time when you were clearing up and every top club was after you, but you stayed loyal to us.. For that I thank you. I also thank you for guiding the club through a difficult period and keeping our heads above water. Youve done an amazing job, but I think its time someone stuck a rocket up your arse and told you to get back in touch with the fans…If the board wont do it then believe me the fans will…

We have high ambitions for this club. Ambitions fed to us by you. If you want my opinion, if you want to achieve those ambitions you need to sort this squad out and quick.

I know you want that Champions League and I don’t think your going to get it, continuing to do as you are..

I have voiced my concerns and have given you my judgement, but I will stand by and support yours whatever you chose to do, but only for this one last time..Arsenal are the team I love. Arsenal are the team I support and I want them to do well. You are the manager of Arsenal and at the end of the day it’s only your opinion that counts. I just hope you know what you are doing in what could possibly be your last year.. Not just for your sake, but for Arsenals sake..

I don’t for one minute think that when you came up with the blueprints for this ‘project’ of yours, the fairy tale ending was to go 6 years without a single trophy and seeing your contract run out..Just keep that in mind before you put that dusty cheque book back into your sky….


Arsenalisation, Signings and (zzzzz) Cesc.

July 25, 2010

It’s good to hear that the North Bank and the Clock End with clock included, will be back next season as the Arsenalisation machine continues..I think the club realised last season that 60,000 scarfs placed on seats at a cost of pittance was a bit of a shitty way to get the fans giddy, so they’ve invested some more money into bringing back some of the old memories.. Since the move to the The Emirates the club has lost its identity a little. This is a good way of getting it back and the fans will have a proper feel good vibe about the place. Hopefully it will spread into the squad and the club as a whole..I think its a good move I just hope it’s not coming out of the transfer kitty..

I really hope these are the first steps in creating a better atmosphere around the place. The North Bank and Clock End are a good idea but that was Highbury and Highburylisation isn’t the answer..It’s not a substitute for success. The Emirates needs its own identity and the way to do that is trophies. They are the best kind of memories. Nobody will be sat in the pub in 5 years time and say to their mates with pride;

“remember that game in 2011 when we had 99% possession but lost 3-0 and Denilson had the best stats”

What a boring, unambitious and downbeat way to talk about the team you love. It should be more like;

“remember that game in 2011 when Denilson hit a 30 yard screamer into the top corner in the 93rd minute? Won us the game and the league and 60,000 of us sat and watched the presentation of the best league trophy in the world at the best stadium in the world. What a day for the arsenal”

The Emirates needs that kind of memory. The only way to kick-start our ambitions and prove we are actually going for the title and not some fingers crossed, half arsed attempt like we are usually do is the need to sign players of quality, good enough to improve the squad because we obviously aren’t developing them as quickly as Wenger expected..

We are doing ok at the moment but we are spending nothing and every time we face a big opponent we get schooled. We aren’t as good as them but imagine how good we’d be with a few more quality players?

The important thing to remember here, is that Wenger said he’s got the money. He said that the financial shackles had been lifted and he had the money to compete with Chelsea. Although we obviously can’t afford to compete with them on wages, transfer fee wise we could sign anyone we wanted. The wage package Chelsea could offer players would make them a bigger attraction for a target, but they can’t sign everybody can they? Which Wenger also pointed out..

Even Fizsmann has gone on record saying that if Wenger wanted £30mil to spend on players he could have it.. That was back in 2008 so imagine how much we have now?

Whether Wenger will spend it or not is a mystery..Everyone seems to think this will be the season Wenger must see he has to spend. He has no choice. We aren’t good enough to win the two (not four) trophies we aim for and we need to stop making excuses and start producing. Recent trends however,over transfer windows past suggest we don’t seem to do too well in the window and the trend seems to be continuing this year.

Chamakh excites me a little but he was free and I’m not that thrilled with Kos if I’m honest. We need more. We need about 3 more…

If we add to these signings and get another solid, take no prisoners CB, a keeper who has the ability and agile niftyness of a chimpanzee and a midfielder with the mental strength and winning mentality of the incredible hulk I’ll be over the moon.

I’m not saying let’s go out and spend £150 mil but £40 – £50mil should do the trick. With today’s market prices if we want good players we have to spend big. No messing about. If we can really compete with Chelsea then lets put our money where our mouths are. Stop talking about it and just do it. This is what we moved to The Emirates for, so we could compete for the best trophies with the ultimate opponents..

By the way I’ve got my new arsenal away kit for this season and yes I have got Cesc4 on the back. I’m not too happy about whats happened and I’m sure Cesc wasn’t innocent in the whole saga but he’s class and if he stays which i think he now will, I’ll support him…I just don’t want to see no badge kissing when he scores because its bollocks..


Cesc… You Signed on the Dotted Line.

July 24, 2010

I have admired Cesc ever since he pulled on the red and white way back in 2003 he has in abundance something Theo seems to struggle with, “Awareness”. He either has a third eye or a memory that can judge 20 players positions at the blink of an eyelid and pinpoint the positions where they are going to be before they get there.

But this transfer saga is getting me down now, for years Cesc has said all the right things up until this summer, now there is an eerie silence. Until today when it is reported that Cesc wouldn’t want to hand in a transfer request in case he upsets the Arsenal fans. Or more likely if Barca don’t come up with the asking price and cannot match Arsenals valuation his future at the Emirates next season would be a tad uncomfortable to say the least, as soon as anything goes wrong he would be the scapegoat (although he probably will be anyway if the season goes wrong).

If it is true that Cesc wants to go home to the club that wouldn’t have given him half a dozen first team games.

Why the badge kissing last year?

Why the quotes like this one from last November “ Barcelona rumours don’t affect me- I may even stay at Arsenal forever”?  and more to the point.. Why sign an EIGHT year deal? Of course the answer is money £100k ish a week. Poor old Flamini gets a caning for leaving when his contact ran out, probably a quarter of the salary that Cesc was on. Where was his contact extensions?   Flamini got treated like shit and left, Cesc is treated with kid gloves and gets everything Arsenal can give him yet he is ‘showing’ a desire to leave. In my opinion Cesc is showing us less respect than the Flamster who I would take back at the drop of a hat.

If I was Arsene I would look at the long-term future of the club, another half-hearted season out of Cesc may not be the best thing for us, having him as club captain may not be the best thing either, Just having him around sends messages to our younger players to be disloyal. Or are Arsenal cosmopolitan and professional enough to let these things not affect them?
We seriously and not just us, look at how we set up the player contracts, In Spain when Barca signed Hleb they put a buy out clause in his deal, If any club comes in for him they must pay 90 million euro’s, then he can go. I mean players like Chamakh wouldn’t turn down the chance of playing for us with that minor line in the contract would he? But if he turns out like billy big boots Adebayor and forgets how much he initially wanted to play for us we then have an insurance policy against his agent whoring him around Europe because it wouldn’t be worth it.

The other day our beloved Dudu left us pastures new,  he said all the right things in his final speech, I never rated him as the greatest player Arsenal ever had, but what a true gentleman and professional, a credit to football, best wishes.

Have a good day fellow Roadsters.


It all begins just how it ended!!

July 17, 2010

Well shiver me old timbers, the new season kicks off today and I’m really disappointed that both Almunia and Fabianski are the two goal keepers travelling to Barnet!

I think I speak for every fan here when I say I’d much rather seen Chesney and Mannone in the twenty-two man squad….

What can be made of that, is it last chance saloon for both Almunia and Fabianski? Is it their own sudden death penalty shootout to see who stays with us next season as number 2, or is it going to be same old fight between the two of them to play each week??

There have been plenty of rumours surrounding Arsenal and goal keepers which is a good sign, so we could still see a new No1 this coming season. I sure as heck don’t want us to start the new season with either of those muppets in goal!!

The Daily Express have picked up on the Handanovic reports, as have Wikipedia. The latter suggest he is due to sign after a medical. 

Still just 25, the Udinese No1 is Slovenia’s undisputed first-choice keeper. That status has been earned over several years, but most notably during a South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign that witnessed Handanovic marshal, arguably, the meanest defence in the entire European Zone.  He conceded just three goals in eight group matches, which included an all-important clean sheet in a decisive victory over Russia.

Gianluigi Buffon has hailed him as “one of the best goalkeepers in Italy”, while Slovenian fans consider him to be among the finest in the world…

Did he impress enough at the World Cup to convince you that he is better than what we have already??

Here he is in action…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r19o0bBdUV4

Could this man be our next new signing??

On to today, here’s the squad in full for the Barnet game..

Manuel Almunia (GK)
Andrey Arshavin
Nacer Barazite
Marouane Chamakh
Johan Djourou
Craig Eastmond
Eduardo
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
Emmanuel Frimpong
Kieran Gibbs
Conor Henderson
Laurent Koscielny
Henri Lansbury
Ignasi Miquel
Samir Nasri
Havard Nordtveit
Tomas Rosicky
Armand Traore
Thomas Vermaelen
Theo Walcott
Jack Wilshere

I’ve paid my £3, and I really hope I and all fans get to see the two new boys and the likes of Lansbury, Nordtveit, Wilshere, Frimpong and Djourou play – I still believe they have a role to perform this coming season, especially if the cheque book stays closed….

Oh well, that’s about it, enjoy the game, the good thing is that football and Arsenal are back for another long and no doubt painful season ahead…

Finally, Arsene Wenger needs to step up in his chase for a new defender but we all know that. Now though it seems that Vidic is desperate to leave Manchester United and move to Real Madrid. Should that move take place, you can bet your bottom dollar and rumour is we have a few, that Fergie won’t hang around in the transfer market to find his replacement. So come on Arsene, if you really want Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka, best you get on with it!


Arsene out – ‘Jogi’ in? Mancs spend again, we don’t, yet…..

July 16, 2010

Firstly, before anyone even thinks that I am suggesting that Arsene Wenger be sacked, I’M NOT!!

What I have been thinking about is, come next summer our current boss has a dilemma. Does he sign a new contract or will he think he’s had enough and either move upstairs to the boardroom, or will he head off to new sunny shores? Maybe he’ll chance his luck in the MLS, seems the popular place to go 😉

What if chooses to leave? Over the last few seasons fans in the blog world have called for his head, suggesting he be replaced with one of Martin O’Neil, Bilic, Bould, Adams, Bergkamp to name just a few, but I’ve a different name to bring into the mix…

Joachim “Jogi” Löw – how many of us raved about the way Germany played? How many of us thought he used his substitutes at just the right time?

Funny enough, Jogi’s contract with Germany has expired according to Sky Sport, so maybe its time for the Arsenal Board to find out exactly what Wengers intentions are. If there is a hint of him leaving Arsenal, would it not be a good idea to go and head hunt this manager and secure his signature now, ready to take over when Wenger leaves???

Joachim “Jogi” Löw is clearly a believer in the style of football we currently and I reckon he could be the perfect replacement for our current boss. He’s an ex attacking midfield player from the German League who then went into club management following retirement. He managed clubs that don’t jump out at you but Germany didn’t take long to get him involved in their national set up, so he must have been pretty good in their eyes.

In fact Löw surprisingly became assistant coach of Germany under Jürgen Klinsmann on 1 August 2004. Klinsmann and Löw had known each other for years, having met at a coaching school – When Klinsmann was appointed as the German manager, the first thing he did was call up Löw to work by his side. Klinsmann saw Löw as a ‘talented tactician and wanted him to bring in his fresh ideas.

Klinsmann and Löw formed a formidable team and got Germany back to winning ways, they reached the semi-final of the Confederations Cup before losing to Brazil 3–2 in the best match of the tournament. Germany then defeated Portugal 3-1 in the third place match.

In 2006, Klinsmann stood down and Löw took over the managers position.

This last World Cup showed us what a good manager he is, could he cut it at a top club like ours? Would life be as easy without having the players he currently has at his disposal??

Under Jogi, Germany have lost only 9 times in 55 Games, not bad, eh?

As long as Jogi changed a few habits and stopped picking his whatnot, I wouldn’t be too disappointed if he were our manager one day, would you??

This is disgusting, so don’t watch it if you are fragile 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocT4O27onec

Of course, my first choice would be that Arsene Wenger stay and see his Youth Project bare great fruit….

Talking of Youth Project, The Mirror reports that we are in a battle with the Spuds for Connor Wickham. He would cost around £8M which is a lot for a seventeen year old striker, but as he’s English, what do we expect. Knowing Wenger, this rumour could be true, Theo Walcott is a good example of him paying big money for an Englishman.

Citeh have added another player to their squad, so best Arsene get a move on in the transfer market, it’s going to be a whole different Premier League next season and we don’t want to fall behind early….

Have a good day all, tomorrow we play again, hoorah 🙂