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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New number 10 and 11, New 9?? New rules….

July 21, 2010

The boys are in Austria training hard in preparation for tonights friendly. Robin, our new number 10 is yet to join up with the squad, as is our captain. Also missing is Eduardo, our  number 9 who it appears has left us for pastures new. I really hope his career kicks off again and he gets somewhere near back to his best.  Another player who has changed his squad number is Carlos Vela, he will now wear number 11. That just about puts to bed any suggestion that Vela is on the move, good!

But what to make of the now vacant number 9 shirt, will Wenger promote from within, maybe Jay Simpson, Sunu or someone else, will Chamakh or Nikki B now change their squad numbers, OR will we all be stunned by the signing of a new centre forward to fill the shirt?.

Talking of players, Red Arse has kindly provided an idiots guide to the new rules….

From next season the Premier League are introducing the new HGP rules restricting the numbers of players permitted in a first team squad and setting a maximum number of “foreign players” who can be included in the squad. More about the numbers game later.

What’s that all about, you may ask?

O.K. let’s have a look at the background to see how we arrived at these new rules.

Good old Sepp Blatterbum, several years ago, tried to introduce worldwide rule to help protect and develop “Home Grown” football talent. His “big idea”, was, in fact, based on the very understandable desire to protect youngsters from Africa and South America, in particular, being lured by European clubs and then being dumped far from home, if they weren’t good enough.
In addition, he wanted to encourage the opportunities for the development of each nation’s own young players, and reduce the mass movement of other countries’ youngsters.

He and Michel Platinum tried to force clubs into accepting a 6 + 5 rule. This meant each team would have to have 6 home grown players and 5 foreign players in it. Unfortunately for them, this proposal was not acceptable under European Law and was thrown out. Now the Premier League mandarins have proposed their own version of Blatter’s idea, probably to prevent future hassle from FIFA and UEFA.
So what are the numbers then?
Each Premier League club can have a maximum of 25 players over the age of 21 in their first team squad.
There will be a maximum of 17 foreign players over the age of 21.
Therefore clubs can have 8 “home grown players” in their squads.
Each club can also have an unlimited number of players, of any nationality, under the age of 21.

So there it is; Foreign players 17
Home Grown players 8
Maximum Squad size 25

Simples!

What is the definition of a “home-grown” player?

A home-grown player is one who has been developed by an English or Welsh club for at least three years before reaching the age of 21. The obvious effect of this is that there will be an even greater premium put on the market price of any English player. It will also eventually, it is hoped, improve the quality of the England team, though this is debatable. To give an example of “home-grown” players, over the age of 21, in the current Arsenal squad, would be; Clichy, Mannone, Denilson,Fabregas and Djourou.

Examples of foreign players over 21, would include; Arshavin, Diaby, Nasri and so on. I estimate that Arsenal have 14 or 15 foreign players in the squad at the time of writing. This may change if Arsene buys another one or two players.

When does this new rule take effect?

At 5 p.m. on the last day of the transfer window, each club must supply a list of its first team squad and its composition. The squad can be amended during each of the following transfer windows.
So now you know. What is your view on the possible benefits or problems arising from these rules. Will they cause Arsenal problems? Are they a restriction on clubs’ autonomy, designed to see a “levelling down” in the quality of the top teams?

Interesting?

Have a good day all, enjoy the game later 🙂


Arsene talks the talk, Jay walks the walk, Almunia finished?

July 18, 2010

I’m going to start at the end and share what Arsene Wenger said after the game when questioned about Fabregas.

There was a lot of unneeded talk, It is not pleasant to read this every day. Now, the story has to stop.

Cesc is our captain, he is so important to us and we want to keep him, that is why we were not listening to any offers.

It was not a problem of money, just the desire to keep him at the club.

We can only influence our own behaviour, and I believe things have now gone straight again with Sandro Rosell. We always had a consistent attitude and were always reluctant to talk about Cesc’s departure.

It is very important we give the impression that because somebody wants a player from us, we don’t just give in on.

We have shown our love and care for Cesc since the start. I believe Cesc loves the club, has shown his attachment to the club many times and I am very confident the story will end there. We want Cesc to be part of our club next year, and that is it.

What we want is to build a team for the future, to develop our team and are not in any talks for next year or the year after – we want our players to be focused on the targets we have at the Club.

So it seems Cesc is here to stay, well, for another season anyway, but be prepared to go through all this again each transfer window until Barca finally get their man! That is of course, unless Wenger sorts this current squad out and turns it into a winning side! Do that and the player may just want to stay on, especially if Jose turns the screw on Pep this season.

Was it just my stream or everyone’s who signed up for the £3 deal with afc.com?? There I was, 2.55pm having bought some fancy lead so I could watch the match from my laptop on the television but after ten minutes I thought I was going to have a seizure, no offence intended… Shocking coverage, just shocking!!

Yesterday’s game really was a ‘game of two halves’ – the second half saw a whole new eleven turn out.

Arsenal starting XI: Fabianski, Nordtveit, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Traore, Frimpong, Rosicky, Wilshere, Arshavin, Simpson, Emmanuel-Thomas..

First half I thought, Simpson, Frimpong and Wilshire shone from the ‘non regulars’ Arshavin and Tomas looked cool calm and fresh, ready for a season of hard work ahead..

 Simpson (2) and Arshavin (1) were the goal scorers.

If it were up to me, Jay Simpson would stay, yes it was Barnet, yes it was a friendly BUT the biggest yes is, Yes, he scores and he seems to know where the goal is…

Why oh why has this lad been told to find another club? He loves Arsenal, I think many fans already love him too, he really could be ‘the next Ian Wright’!

Not suggesting for one minute he’d be the first striker on the team sheet, but he has power pace and an eye for goal, is that not the qualities of a decent striker, a player who could come off the bench and gets us a goal??

Arsenal’s second-half XI: Mannone, Eastmond, Djourou, Miquel, Gibbs, Lansbury, Henderson, Nasri, Barazite, Walcott, Chamakh

Second half was dull, Walcott did ok, Chamakh didn’t have a fantastic half, but who cares, first game in an Arsenal shirt, I’m sure as the games get going and become more serious, so will he. Same for Djourou, finally got to see him back and without a bandage heavily strapped around his knee, he looked fit and comfortable on the ball, seems promising…

Nasri finished off after a hand out from the Barnet defence, 4-0 to us.

83 mins on the clock and the fans sing… Arsene Arsene give us a wave, me, I’d be asking him to give us more than a wave, a player or two would be better greeted than a bloomin wave… 😉

Difficult game for all three goal keepers, they had very little to do, in fact I’m not sure Chesney even touched the ball? Or did I just blink and miss it?

Talking of keepers, what about Almunia then, having been named in the 22 man squad for the Barnet game, he’s suddenly missing – my thought is he’s off and he knows it – instead of being at Barnet, he’s sorting out his future and that future is no longer with us… Why would Chesney be wearing the number 1 shirt otherwise, or is that me just hoping 🙂

But for Almunia I think its over, nice chap but average keeper, all the best Big Al….

On to rumours, Everton have turned down a £14M offer from us for Phil Jagielka but it’s suspected that Wenger will up his offer this coming week. Good!! Also, if we want the kid from Ipswich it will cost us £10M, surely that £10M would be better spent elsewhere?

Have a good day all, not long to wait for the next game 🙂


Striker signed and given the No9 shirt!! Jack set for stay, Papa speaks…

July 14, 2010

Why can’t Arsene Wenger announce a player with this girls kind of statistics??

Arsenal Ladies Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of striker Ellen White from Leeds Carnegie.

Ellen White has been signed from Leeds Carnegie, she’s twenty-one years old, made 31 appearances last season and scored 23 goals. Pre Leeds she played for Chelsea and just like in the mens game, Chelsea and Arsenal are bitter rivals, so this is a great signing for the ladies side…

Ellen has represented England at all levels and made her senior debut in March this year..

On signing Ellen White said:

“This is a pretty massive deal for me. Obviously Arsenal Ladies are the biggest women’s football team in the country and Europe and pretty much all over the world, so it is a massive move for me. I’m delighted and really excited to get started.”

Vic Akers has assured all fans of the ladies side that two more signings and good ones too will be secured by the beginning of their new season.

Mmme, wonder if he is a tad more honest about signings than old Arsene 🙂

Some good news yesterday about Jack Wilshere, reports are he’s not off on loan to Bolton but instead he’s staying put and will be a part of the first team next season. Does this spell the end of the Joe Cole rumours about him joining us? I would think so but according to The Daily Star, we are overwhelming favourites to sign him. We should know by the end of the week.

Other news is Wenger has dismissed any suggestion that Eduardo is to be offloaded, he has said that big things are expected of our No9 this coming season…

Good to see the photos of the big boys back in training, here they all are in case you haven’t seen them yet..

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/33472/pre-season-training-exclusive-pictures

Papa Cesc has had this to say’ about that gaff’ …

“It was a day of celebration and anything goes. If anyone misinterprets it, they have to see that it was part of a celebration,” Francesc Fabregas told COM Radio.

“Cesc has it very clear what Arsenal has been and is for him. He is super grateful to them and it has never crossed his mind to do something wrong towards them.

“Cesc said what he wanted to do (sign for Barca) the day after the end of the league so that Arsenal had time to react.

“It would have been nasty to say it today, when they are almost on the verge of starting the pre-season.

“But he always did so thinking about Arsenal. It remains to be seen how everything turns out.”

So, if you believe Papa, Cesc has asked to leave……

Reports this morning are that Cesc has also spoken saying pretty much the same as his Papa. He asks that all the talk about him and Barca be cooled and ‘what will be, will be’……

Interpret from that what you choose……

Have a good day all….


Is Nikki B turning into another RVP?

July 6, 2010

 I’m no huge fan of Nicklas Bendtner, never have been and possibly never will be. Just like many footballers these days, he tells the world and its friend how good he is, but has he really made the step up the way many thought he would or hoped he would?

Nikki came to us in 2005, went out on loan, then in 2007 after signing a new five-year contract he declined the opportunity go out on loan again, preferring to strut his stuff for the team he signed for..

2007/08 (from wikki)

40 Appearances = 9 Goals, 4 Assists 

2008/09

50 Appearances = 15 Goals, 4 Assists

2009/10

31 Appearances = 12  Goals, 7 Assists

Not that stats of a prolific centre forward really are they? Yes, I know this last season Nikki has been played on the right in a front three formation but it doesn’t mean he has to stay there does it? What happened to common sense, cutting in getting goals? Theo Walcott gets lambasted for not doing that, why does Nikki not?

Even Martin Keown believes he needs to buck up… He had this to say about our not so Great Dane

I think we’re getting more to the stage now where we want to see that talent coming through.

Like Bendtner, for instance – I think he needs to become more aggressive and more dominant and it’s time for him to wake up and realise that his career could pass him by if he doesn’t start doing it on the pitch.

He’s got to start bullying central defenders and realise that there’s no time to lose. That kind of attitude has to come in from some of those players.

Neither Robin van Persie or Nicklas Bendtner seem to be able to score 20 plus goals a season, neither can they stay fit for a whole season either – they have so much in common 😉

Right now it seems that having missed a chunk of last season,they are both going to miss the start of the new season too.  Robin will need a rest after being crowned World Cup winner hopefully but Nikki is crocked!

In an interview he is quoted as saying:

I still feel quite bad in my groin. Sadly it hasn’t been better during my holiday, like I expected it to giving it nothing but rest.
And that worries me a lot. I had hoped and counted on that a total break from football and training would heal the injury but it hasn’t happened.
I have spoken to Arsenal throughout the holiday and I am having a big scan when I return this week.
My whole body must be scanned to find out where the groin problem really comes from.
I still feel pain and it is very frustrating. I don’t know where I am in relation to playing football.

Forgive me but if this is true, why is he waiting to return to Arsenal before having a scan, why has this scan not already been done? It’s not like he’s having to wait for an NHS Appointment is it? 😉

Didn’t he pick up this groin injury in October last year and had an operation the following month?

Why did he go to South Africa IF he knew he was not 100% fit??

More concerning, could this be the beginning of a new injury prone and fragile player, who every season suffers some kind of set back?

Is Nikki Bendtner really that good? Good enough to keep and risk wasting wages on what could very well be another ‘part-time player??

Surely we can’t accommodate him and Robin van Persie. Just imagine if they are both out for half a season, the same half!

I hope Chamakh is ready to hit the ground running as right now he looks like the only striker we will have fit and ready to start the new season. Still, maybe it’s time for Carlos Vela and Theo Walcott to step up and seize their chance….


Wenger unfair to the youth, how can that be?

June 29, 2010

Now let’s get this clear. I am not attempting to disrespect Arsene Wenger’s brilliance as a manager, in this article! What I am trying to do, is to understand the logic of how he sees certain youth players, and the way he treats them from a first team perspective.
Arsene has long held a justified reputation for his careful, studied treatment of young players and for allowing them to develop their careers in what is recognised as one of the best club structures in the world. But what is the actualite?

Well, over the past number of years, Le Prof has successfully put out “youthful” teams in the Carling Cup and to a lesser extent in the early rounds of the FA Cup. So, what do we define as “successful”? Well from 2003/4 to 2009/10 these youthful teams have, in the League Cup, reached 3 quarter-final rounds; 3 semi-final rounds and 1 final. Many clubs putting out their first team squads would be proud of this achievement.

So far, so good for the youth development system, it seems. But what has happened to the kids who have played in these teams, as regards their first team opportunities? Go on, tell me, how many have gone on to be included regularly in the first team squad, let alone play in the first team? Their names do not exactly flow off the tongue, do they?

Well, you could say that the youthful Cesc, Song and Denilson could fall into the successful category, but they were really “bought in” players, recruited from other teams’ youth development systems. There have also been many others included in the “bought in” category, including Merida, Barazite etc, who haven’t made it, as of today.

O.K. so, what of the British kids who have successfully come thru the Arsenal youth system and, via the League Cup, made it as first team regulars? How about Hoyte, Lansbury, Randall, Bentley, Sanchez-Watt to mention a few? Well none of these!
We have high hopes for the future success of young Jack Wilshire and perhaps Kyle Bartley, but so many others look doomed to make a living with lower league clubs.

There is undoubtedly a great new crop of youngster coming thru the system such as Zak Ansah, Chuks Aneke, Beni Afobe and Jay Emmanuelle-Thomas. I wish all of them a successful future for themselves and Arsenal.
But is Arsene, on the strength of the current situation, deserving of his reputation as a great developer of youthful talent for the Arsenal first team?

Well what do you think?

Written by Red Arse

The future of England 🙂

 


A Sad Reality…..

June 28, 2010

 

mikeB left this comment on Avenell Road last night, it was later in the evening and most of us had gone. The comment deserves more than to be lost on a days before post,  it deserves debate, so here it is today…….

It is a sad reality of our media dominated game that we will never function as a successful national team until we take away the fear.
We see it with the players. Household names that are revered the world over fail to live up to club form… why? Because they play with fear.

A manager with the noblest record starts his England career with freedom and verve. Two years later he is so frightened that he leaves behind his most gifted impact player, and instead plays the same tried and tested format that his failed predecessor used… why? Because he was scared to do anything else.

Success for England is sadly unattainable in our current frenetic, Z-list celebrity crazed, and media dominated game. This has been true since the 1970 World Cup, when a media feeding-frenzy took the England Captain, one of the finest and most decent men ever to grace the game, and accused him of being a shoplifter.

Ever since then the media has been digging up dirt, besmirching reputations, and generally interfering in the psychological well-being of our national team and its many coaches.

I am not asking our trusted guardians of the ‘fourth estate’ not to do their jobs. What I am asking for is that they do their jobs responsibly. Until we take away the fickle interference of the British tabloid press, and the capricious and vested interests of other media outlets (Sky Sports take a bow) England will continue to fail, because they are too terrified to do anything else.

The inconsistency of a venomous media is quite shocking. England’s hero, from the qualifiers, suddenly became an untalented spoilt brat; unable to run with the ball, unable to cross a ball, unable to create space, and without an iota of ‘footballing brain’. According to the suddenly hate-filled tabloids, he was a man doing nothing for our great England cause; and why…? Because certain vacuous individuals, with axes to grind, and vested interests in their own self-promotion, were given platforms in the tabloid press, and told us it was so. For an already fragile England team it was cancerous, mendacious, and debilitating.

Great players don’t become bad players overnight. A great manager doesn’t become a poor manager overnight. Not unless they are hounded by the press until they are afraid to function.

That is what we saw against Germany… A team of fine individual players, led by a great manager, unable to pass, unable to shoot, unable to cross a ball, unable to express themselves, unable to make decisions, unable to function, unable to win… and why…? Because they were too terrified of failure.

This isn’t just about Theo Walcott; he is merely a symptom of a greater and more malignant disease, but if he and Jack Wilshere and co. go on to play for the national team they will fail too… The so-called pundits, and the rest of the rabid media in this country, with their vacuous opinions and feast and famine approach to football, won’t allow them to do anything else… Not if there’s a headline to write, and a quick buck to be made.

Written by mikeB