10 Reasons why we will beat And Leicester + My starting 11

1)  A bit of pressure is off the squad now we are in the Champs League  group stages.

2) Jack had his best game so far this season mid week, Ramsey is back but the big question is can they play together ?

3) Chesney, Can’t really fault him so far this season, been steady and hes controlling the box well. With age comes experience.

4) Debuchy was very unlucky to get 2 yellows mid week, I’d say that not only has he been a seamless replacement for Sagna but also an improvement. His crossing is defiantly better, a shame we don’t get the same width down the left.

5) Santi, like Jack, also looked good mid-week and he will confuse and baffle And Leicester today.

6) Podolski is back and traveled with the squad, even if he don’t play he will be head cheer leader.

7) We haven’t lost there in the League since 1994, but out last game there was the final game in the Invincible Season.

8)  And Leicester had a great home record last season in the Championship, but they will have to have a blinder to keep us out today.

9) With Giroud out for sometime and the club dragging its heels to buy a replacement for RVP still its likely Alexis (who works hes F’ing socks off) will start again down the middle.

10) Wenger Knows, this is the kind of game that can be frustrating at times and the home crowd who haven’t had many big boys visit in the last 10 years will be well up for it, but this is the kind of away game that sorts out the Prem winners to those in 4th place.

 

My Starting 11 – Chesney, Deb, Kos, BFG, Monreal, Flamini, Jack, Ramsey, Ozil, Santi, Alexis.

 

COME ON THE ARSENAL !!

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Could failure to get out of group benefit Arsenal?

So the Champions League draw is done, and once more Arsenal have a tricky group. Once more drawn against Borussia Dortmund, “Welcome2Hell Part II” with another trip to Turkey, this time facing Galatasaray, and trickier then it might seem games against Belgium champions Anderlecht.

Here is a controversial theory for you, would Arsenal actually benefit more by finishing 3rd and dropping into the Europa League? Hear me out.

Trophies

It is a well used statistic since Wednesday’s win over Besiktas that Arsenal have now qualified for the Champions League 17 seasons in a row. In that 17 years, we have made the final just once. We have only got past the 1st knockout stage 6 times. Just 35%. Without being defeatist, we will not win the competition.

Our record of having not beaten a top side in England also stretches to Europe. As soon as we have faced a bigger side (Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United) we have been knocked out.

So what will happen this season? We will finish 2nd to Dortmund in the group, get drawn against one of Europe’s Elite in the 1st knockout stage, and get knocked out. We have little chance of winning the trophy.

Rather than finish 2nd, would it not be better to finish 3rd? Drop into the Europa League, take it seriously, and compete for a trophy we have more chance of winning? The only time in the last 17 years that we dropped into the Europa League (or UEFA Cup), we made the final, and lost a game we should have one.

It might seem a crazy idea to want to get knocked out, but ask yourself the question, would you rather:

a) Be knocked out in the 1st knockout round
b) Have a trip to Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw to look forward to in May?

Money

The Champions League is a massive money making machine. Last year, in making the 1st knockout round, Arsenal €27,232,000 in prize money and TV money.

Using last year’s figures, just by qualifying for the Champions League, Arsenal will get:

  • €8,600,000 for participating
  • €11,132,000 in TV money
  • €1,000,000 for every group game win
  • €500,000 for every group game draw

So if Arsenal finish 3rd in the group, and get knocked out (with, say, 2 wins and 2 draws), they will pocket €22,732,000. That would be just €5,000,000 less than the previous year. This can easily be made up by progression in the Europa League. Juventus received an additional €2,000,000 in prize money for making the semi-finals of the Europa League last year and an additional €5,025,115 in TV money. A similar performance by Arsenal generating a similar amount of money would see Arsenal earn €29,757,115 from European football. So making the semi final of the Europa League would generate more €€€€ than making the 1st knockout stage of the Champions League.

A final point to take into consideration is gate receipts. Arsenal would have made circa €4,000,000 in gate receipts from the game against Bayern Munich. A semi-final Europa League game would mean four extra games. That would generate €16,000,000 in additional revenue.

So were Arsenal to get knocked out at the group stages, and then make the semi final of the Europa League, the club would make an additional €14.5million in revenue.

Winning the Europa League would add another €5,000,000 in prize money! Not bad for ‘failure.’

Coefficient Points

Coefficient points are a calculation that UEFA uses to rank club sides for seeding in future competitions. Due to Arsenal being continually knocked out at the 1st knockout stage of the Champions League, our coefficient points have wained, resulting in us currently sitting in 10th. Luckily, due to Manchester United and Valencia not making the Champions League, we remained top seeds. However, with the likes of Burussia Dortmund and PSG hot on our heels, another early Champions League exit would see us slip behind them, and into pot 2 next season.

Best case scenario? Arsenal finish 3rd, rather than 2nd, and cash in on the extra coefficient points available in the Europa League. 5 of the 9 sides currently above Arsenal have played Europa League football in the last 4 seasons.

Last season, Juventus, in failing to make the Champions League knockout stages, got 5 more coefficient points than Arsenal. Benfica, by failing in the Champions League, but winning the Europa League, they gained 10 more coefficient points.

Infact, Benfica highlight how more beneficial it could be to get knocked out. In the 4 completed season’s that UEFA are using for their coefficient calculation for next years competition, Benfica were knocked out of the Champions League group stages 3 times. In all 3 of those seasons, they went on to gain more coefficient points than Arsenal, despite Arsenal making the knockout stages each year. This has resulted them in being over 20 points above Arsenal. Despite failing in Europe’s premier competition.

To secure Arsenal’s place as a top seed next season, Arsenal would be better off being knocked out at the group stage and having a run in the Europa League, than being knocked out at the 1st knockout stage of the Champions League.

 

Odd as it might be, there is plenty to gain from finishing 3rd rather than 2nd in the group stage. Better chance of winning a trophy, greater chance to earn more money, and increased coefficient points.

Keenos

 

Besiktas, Champions League Draw, Calum Chambers, New Signings

Besiktas

So we are through. We did it The Arsenal way – the hard way. But we are through. We survived the hell that is Turkey, an awful refereeing performance and a below par Arsenal performance. But the most important thing is we are through.

Alexis Sanchez showed selfless running, challenging for every ball reminiscent of Luis Suarez. Jack Wilshere had his best game since he was a teenager. Santi Cazorla worked hard. Matheiu Flamini did not get booked. Matheiu Debuchy looked an improvement on Sagna.

Some say we should have cruised through, that Beskitas’ season has not yet started, but lets remember, they have played 4 competitive games this season (2 qualifiers v Feyernoord, 2 v Arsenal). That is the same amount of competitive games as Arsenal. They also had an entire week to prepare for us. We had a couple of days.

A battling performance which showed great mental strength.

Champions League Draw

So we are through (have I said that yet?). Now to look forward to the draw, which will be this afternoon at 16.45. Arsenal are in pot one. But who can we face?

Pot One: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Porto.

Pot Two: Schalke, Dortmund, Juventus, Paris St-Germain, Basle, Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Zenit.

Pot Three: Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiakos, CSKA Moscow, Ajax, Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon, Galatasaray, Athletic Bilbao

Pot Four: Anderlecht, Roma, Apoel Nicosia, Bate Borisov, Ludogorets, Maribor, Monaco, Malmo

Dream draw: Arsenal, Basle, Sporting, Maribor
Nightmare draw: Arsenal, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco

Calum Chambers

Omitted last night, many people criticised the decision, wondering what he had done wrong. But the fact was, it was the right decision. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are better individually, and better as a partnership. You play your best players, and Chambers is the 3rd best centre back at the club.

At 19, he is extremely talented, but it is important that he does not get over hyped, with too much pressure put on the lad. There is talk of him getting an England call up for next weekend’s International’s. I would rather he stayed with the under 21’s, out of the limelight. Remember, this is a guy who has played just 3 competitive games at centre back.

His talent is not in question, but his game is still error prone. His slip against Demba Ba in the away leg. Playing the world onside for Everton’s 1st goal, diving in for Everton’s 2nd. He also has a problem under the high ball, often misjudging his jump.

Let him develop in his own time and he will become World Class.

New Signings

So we are through (I said it again). We have banked around £25m. There are now no excuses. We can offer the money, we can offer the success, we can offer top level football. We now need to go out and buy, and buy big.

With Olivier Giroud out till January, we need a striker. Even if the big name’s of Cavani or Falcao are not available, we need to add to the forward line. Go out and get Loic Remy – a proven Premier League striker – who can do the job until Giroud is back. Or Mattia Destro – Maybe not World Class, but Roma’s top scorer last season.

On the other side, I hope we do not waste big money on someone like Jackson Martinez or Danny Welbeck.

We also need to add in midfield and defence. Likely to be a dual player, someone who can be 1st choice defensive midfield, 4th choice centre back, we need someone. Let’s spend big and get in the right man.

Sadly, I would not be surprised if we bought no one. And this could cost us success this season.

Enjoy the draw.

Keenos