Author Archives: keenosafc

Liverpool game will show Arsenal fans what to expect this season

After two relatively straight forward wins over Burnley and Newcastle, Arsenal face their first big test of the season when they travel to Liverpool on Saturday.

Victories over Burnley and Newcastle saw the club win its opening 2 games of the season for the first time since 2009/10.

Despite gaining 6 points from the first 2 games, Arsenal have not exactly been putting in exceptional performances.

Victory over Newcastle was a game of one chance, whilst Burnley was a hard fought win.

Liverpool meanwhile trounced Norwich 4-1 on the opening day and looked comfortable against Southampton – although the last minute howler from Adrian made the score line a lot closer than the game was.

Against Liverpool, Arsenal should match fire with fire.

Go with a front 3 of Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Power and pace.

Behind them the hard working Dani Ceballos deserves his chance following a good home debut against Burnley. His energy will enable Arsenal to press high.

Arsenal then need to go a little more defensive in the midfield to offset the attacking power of the front 3. Granit Xhaka (if fit) and Lucas Torreira need to start.

Then it is the same back 4 as against Burnley – Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz & Nacho Monreal.

The game against Liverpool will show exactly where Arsenal are at the moment. Could we be title challengers? Or are we committing to be “best of the rest” behind Manchester City and Liverpool.

It is going to be an open game…



Eddie scores again

With 13 minutes to go and the score at 0-0, Leeds manger Marcelo Bielsa beckoned over his young striker on loan from Arsenal.

“Go win us the match Eddie” he probably said. 3 minutes later he did that scoring the only goal against Brentford to send Leeds top of the league.

That made it 2 from 2 for the England U21 international, who scored on his debut against Salford City in the EFL Cup.

This loan move to Leeds is going to be important for his development.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him, Nketiah would not have seen much game time at The Arsenal had he stayed this year.

His only starts would have been in the EFL Cup and Europa League. He would not have even been guaranteed a place on the bench in Premier League games.

Arsenal reportedly made clubs looking to loan Nketiah do a presentation to the player and club. A lesson learnt following Serge Gnabry’s disastrous move to WBA a few years ago.

At Leeds, Nketiah has found himself behind Patrick Bamford.

Whilst this might be frustrating for Arsenal fans, and Nketiah himself, it will be good for him to have to battle to get into the 1st team.

Bamford scored a brace against Wigan at the weekend and, with 3 goals in 4 league games this season, deserves to be starting ahead of Nketiah.

Competing for a 1st team spot will push Nketiah even more, and I am confident sooner rather than later the 20-year-old will be starting regularly for Leeds.

The Championship is a tough league. From day one you are pretty much playing twice a week. Add in the cups and that is over 50 games a season.

Top end Premier League clubs regularly play 50 games a season, but they have the squads to cope. Down in the Championship sides have to continually shuffle the pack; and that leads to game time.

Nketiah will end up with 30+ starts for Leeds this season across all competition, and will play over 40 games. It would not be a surprise to see him get close to 30 goals in all competitions.

That is important development game time that he would not have got at Arsenal.

Nketiah will return to the club in a year fitter, stronger and hungrier, ready to compete.

Taking into account the age of Aubameyang and Lacazette, he has a future at Arsenal.


Racism is society and social media’s problem; not an English football problem

Another weekend has gone by; another weekend of racist abuse towards black footballers on social media.

This time it was Manchester United’s Paul Pogba being abused following his penalty miss against Wolves.

Racists in football has, for so long, been stereotyped as some like myself. White, English, bald, overweight. But the racism we now see in football is different.

It is no longer fans abusing players on the pitch. That behaviour is nearly completely eradicated, with there only being a handful of incidents a year, if that.

The modern day racism in football happens elsewhere. It happens on twitter. On Facebook. On YouTube.

For a long time social media is a cesspit of abuse. A place where people think they can abuse others based on their race, gender, sexuality. And it is not just footballers getting the abuse. I remember years ago scrolling through YouTube comments and the abuse thrown between commenter’s was disgusting.

You had a commenter racially abusing other commentators despite not know what they looked like, where they lived, who they were. It was disgusting. YouTube did not do enough to stop it and we are now seeing the same on Twitter.

Abuse on Twitter is not a new thing. It has existed since Twitter begun. It is only recently that the media has decided to report on the abuse.

Instead of Twitter being a place where players can become closer to fans, it reinforces why players distance themselves.

The abuse of players is shocking.

Social media has been brilliant for the world. It has made it a smaller place. It has given people hope, given people friendship. How often do you talk to someone from another city? Another country? Another continent whom you would now have previously spoken too? It has opened the world.

But what it has also done is make you realise how bigoted the world is.

The world is not a nice place. Many countries do not have the freedom of religion, of gender, of sexuality that the UK has.

Many counties have laws that do discriminate. Where homosexuality is illegal, and where following a different religion is against the law. Where people of a different race, or from a different country, are second class citizens. In many countries across the world, discrimination is the norm. And we see that on Twitter.

I am proud to live in the United Kingdom. One of the most diverse and most “tolerant” countries in the world.

Yes, we have our problems – I am of the opinion there will never be a time when a society has zero discrimination – but we are so much more advanced than the majority other countries in the world. A recent study by Frontiers in Sociology found that only Sweden and Denmark are “less prejudice to people of a different race” than the UK within the EU. This despite the apparent rise of abuse following Brexit.

Another study found that 5% of people in the UK don’t want neighbours of another race. That might seem high but in Libya it is 54%, Palestine 44% and India 43.6%. 31.3% of people in Malaysia would not want a neighbour of another race, 29.6% of South Koreans and 21% of Nigeria.

The problem is social media brings counties who have less tolerance, where discrimination is legal, where men and women, Christians and Muslims, Black and White are unequal, together. People’s whose views we would not usually here, living in the UK, and suddenly broadcast around the world.

Who are football clubs, the Premier League, the FA or the British authorities supposed to act when much of the abuse towards players is not coming from with the United Kingdom?

Twitter also gives bigots anonymity to hide behind and abuse from.

Children, adults, idiots, who say comments that they would not say at work or in the local boozer. Yet put a mobile phone in their hand and they think it is “banter” to abuse something.

And it is not just footballers that are abused.

I am personally not a fan of Owen Jones, but he receives homosexual abuse on a daily basis. Dianne Abbott racial abuse. Stella Creasy, a white female MP is often abused based on her gender.

Under the anonymity of Twitter, Facebook or YouTube they think they can spout their rubbish. Their vile. They think its banter. That it is a joke. It is not.

I grew up in Walthamstow. Race was not an issue. We were kids playing football, cricket and basketball. It was a tough upbringing but a good upbringing. Everyone was equal, everyone’s religion respected.

Sadly it seems others have not had a similar upbringing. They still race as some to abuse. Something to banter. And they aim their frustrations at footballers. But it is not footballs problem.

Racism in English football, on the terraces, is nearly non-existent. Clubs and the authorities have worked hard to eradicate it. The problem lies with social media companies; with society beyond these shores.

Go on Paul Pogba’s timeline following the missed penalty against Wolves and you can see the cross section of people abusing him.

It is not just your white, overweight, British skin head. It is Indians having a go, Africans and Arabs. It is every race, from many different countries. You are getting black people racially abusing a black football. All because he missed a penalty.

Recently Iwobi was racially abused by an Indian actress who was an Ambassador for Arsenal. The actress in question is far removed from the stereotypical football racist from the 70s. But her comments were as vile as those who used to scream it from the terraces. Has she been given a football banning order?

Racism is a huge issue across the world. It is a problem English football faces but it is not English footballs problem. It is not like fans in the ground are unveiling banners protesting the club for buying black players.

Football clubs, the Premier League, the FA, Kick It Out, can only do so much. But they can not stop a 14-year-old boy from Devon Tweeting abuse. They can not stop a man from Nigeria tweeting abuse, or an actress from India putting something on her Instagram or Snapchat.

Social media shows that many places across the globe are less developed mentally than the likes of the UK. Countries where discrimination is the norm, even enshrined in law.

The comments and abuse say a lot more about the individual than they do about the team they follow.

Until the likes of twitter have zero tolerance on racism; it will continue.

Racism is not English footballs problem. It is bigger than that.