Tag Archives: Arsenal FC

Where do Arsenal need to strengthen in January?

We have to be realistic when it comes to the January transfer window.

History shows that not much business is done in January. That sides will not go out and buy 5 it 6 players. Arsenal have notoriously done little business in January, and I do not expect that to change.

I would be surprised if Arsene Wenger signed kore than a single player.

So what should we buy in January?

Central Defender

After 3 clean sheets in a row in the Premier League, Arsenal conceded 3 against Manchester United.

This follows conceding 3 against Manchester City and 4 against Liverpool.

Whilst we got clean sheets against Chelsea and Tottenham, we have conceded 19 goals in the league this season. That is 10 more than Manchester United and Manchester City. It is more goals conceded than bottom of the table Swansea.

We have conceded 25 goals in 23 games in all competitions. A statistic which is simply not good enough.

With Shrokdan Mustafi limping off against Manchester United, he looks set for a spell on the sidelines for the second time this season.

More worrying is Laurent Koscielny.

The senior centre back made key errors against Manchester United and looked off the pace.

At 32, he has been managing a long term Achilles problem, and playing 3 times in a week looked to be a step too far for him. Maybe he is on the wain?

A commanding centre back will take the pressure of Koscielny to play every game, and improve a problematic area of the pitch.

Defensive Midfielder

How long have we needed a commanding defensive midfielder for?

We have not had a world class player in this position since Gilberto Silva left in 2008. And not had a specialist in that position since the first incarnation of Matthieu Flamini at Arsenal.

2 seasons ago we had the straight choice between Granit Xhaka and N’Golo Kante. At the time we picked Xhaka due to his superior passing. It looks like a massive mistake.

Back then, I thought Xhaka was an inspired signing. He had the grit and aggression, but could also play a bit.

In hindsight – and Football is very easy in hindsight – we went for the wrong man.

Xhaka has not settled in the Premier League, and looks slow and ponderous on the ball. Signed for his Ball playing ability, he gives it away too much and has been at fault for many goals due to his poor passing.

He is clearly not suited to the deep lying position in the Premier League and is struggling with the pace.

I imagine in Spain or Italy, where you get more time on the ball, he would shine. He should also potentially play higher up the field, like he did for Borussia Monchengladbach and for Switzerland.

Out poor defensive performance this season is not just down to the defence, but also down to the midfield.

Xhaka does not give the defence enough cover, and his sloppy play has led to many goals conceded. He is not the solution to our defensive midfield problem.

Sanchez / Ozil Replacement

Both will leave us this summer.

Sanchez has been awful recently.

Getting one replacement in January reduces the pressure in the summer and means one player has been at the club, in English Football, for 6 months.

Not much else to say on this one as we all know both need replacing.

So which position do you think we need to strengthen in January?



When Arsenal’s anger turns to apathy

The morning after the night before. Another morning after another night before. We’ve been here a few times in recent years but something is different.

The anger is subsiding and the apathy is creeping in. I’ve noticed it all season, Liverpool was a great example. Another humiliating display of football and very little reaction from the travelling supporters. We trudged out of Anfield as we did Stoke with no real feeling.  

Friday morning I woke up to various social media statuses that were simply accepting. Few rants, but no real feeling behind it. Let’s face it, it was another very typical Arsenal performance. I’ve said it so many times, it really doesn’t matter who our starting 11 are we, we are average, boring and predictable. We are playing football Wengers way. Loads of possession, poor finishing, dubious defending……it’s now just the norm.

To get us to this level has cost millions in investment to the training facilities and academies, we were told they were amongst the best in the world.

What we saw Thursday was supposed to be our future. Let that sink in. That is our future. That was a result of all that investment. That is solely on Wengers shoulders, not the board, Wengers.

We had one player in the under 17’s World Cup squad. How? What’s happening to these promising youngsters with big hopes and dreams? 

But this was all predicted by many years ago. Be careful what you wish for. We were, that’s why we fought against it. That’s why we held banners and protested. 

In my last article I wrote about the fans. I liken what is happening to the grief cycle. First the denial, some are still there. ‘He’s the greatest manager we’ve ever had’, ‘he revolutionised football’. Then the anger kicks in, ‘This can’t be happening, let’s fight against it’. We will protest, we will sing, we will hold banners. Problem is no one listened and too few of us did it.

Then we get into bargaining, if only we had different personnel things may be different. Then the depression follows, we are nearly there, nearly ready to accept the inevitable and finally the acceptance. This is where we are now. The apathy is at every game, on every social media group and page. The ground is full of no feeling at all. 

Thursday night saw another low attendance. People aren’t staying away because it’s too expensive, they are staying away because the football is absolutely diabolical. 

It may be different if we had something to look forward to. We were all getting a little bit more excited at the prospect of young Eddie coming through and the return of Jack. But we are putting a robin reliant engine into a Porsche shell. I feel I can confidently say that young Eddie will either not be at the club in two years or he will be a shadow of the player that we have seen so far. None of us will have to look back too far to give examples of this being the norm for us. 

When we have a manger who is as silent as his boss upstairs it’s no surprise really is it? He sits there looking as disinterested as us. No passion, no leadership, no class. Slowly this has been creeping into the seats where we sit, where we used to sing and we used to support. Every so often we are thrown a crumb. 1 decent performance in 6 and a little hope is restored.

What we have now, and have had for a long time, is a club in crisis. Even Ivan said when the manager has lost the fans there is no going back. We have no football strategy from what I can see. We fall into each season sticking a few plasters on, plugging a few gaps, only to spring a leak somewhere else. 

I don’t think Wenger could tell you where he sees the club in two years. I am very confident that he couldn’t tell you how he was going to get there. 

Sunday sees us travelling to Manchester.

I asked my son if he wanted to come. He didn’t have to think about it, he’s going to watch Leatherhead v Billericay instead. He will have a great day whatever the outcome, be amongst fans with hope and belief and pride. I will be in Manchester, I suspect having the same conversations with the same people that I have had over ten years or more. 

One final word, should we be given another crumb on Sunday, remember it is a crumb, another token gesture, it’s all part of the successful brainwashing that is taking place from within the walls of Wengers castle. 

Poor regular football is one thing, accepting it is far worse. Making excuses and blaming those who don’t pick and motivate the team is extraordinary.  

Ignore FAKE Kieran Gibbs News

So there is a voice it’s doing the rounds of someone pretending to be Kieran Gibbs’s brother Jaydon, who gives intimate knowledge of what is going on at Arsenal and what happened with his “brother” in the FA Cup Final.
Ignore it. It is fake. 

1. He continually calls His “brother” GIBBS – Why would he not call him Kieran, or be a nickname. They are twins after all. 

2. Towards the end of the clip, he says “he called up Jaydon”. If it is Jaydon speaking, why doesn’t he say “he called up me” 

3. He states that Gibbs was sensationally dropped for the FA Cup Final and that he was supposed to play having started “the last 3 games of the FA Cup” – Gibbs didn’t play the semi final against City. Nor against Sutton in the 5th round. Or Preston in the 3rd round. He played just 2 of the 6 FA Cup games

So let’s not spread fake news. We have enough problems going on to bother listening to what some kid on his school holidays is making up for attention