Tag Archives: Arsenal

Teenage Arsenal star quickly becoming fans favourite

Just two games into his Arsenal career and Matteo Guendouzi is quickly establishing himself as a fan favourite.

It is easy to forget that the Frenchman only turned 19 in April, and last season was playing in the French second division.

If he was a young English lad, who had stepped up from the Championship to put in the performances he has done against Manchester City and Chelsea, the press would be going mad, saying a new star was born.

Instead (and luckily) he is French. Which means he will not be overhyped by the media too ear.y

In fact, the exact opposite has happened:

You have to question how and why Garth Crooks is still employed by the BBC, paid for by the British tax payer.

As a pundit he offers zero insight, and his “team of the week” are beyond parody.

This weeks contribution saw him pick a left back (Marcus Alonso) on the left wing, a left back (Benjamin Mendy) at centre back, and a central midfielder (Gilfi Sigurdsson) on the right wing.

I think we are safe to ignore anything that comes out of Crooks’ mouth.

Another BBC pundit, and Arsenal legend Ian Wright had a different view point

Guendouzi will make mistakes. He is certainly not the finished article, but the performances he has put in have been well beyond his age.

I saw one fan comment “it sums up how poor Arsenal are that Guendouzi has been our best central midfielder”.

Personally, I prefer to see it another way. The fact that he has been our best central midfielder shows how good he has been.

No one was complaining in 2004 when a 17-year old Cesc Fabregas was out performing Edu. It does not matter how old you are, if you are good enough; you are good enough.

What will also quickly connect him to fans is how he acts.

He was as disappointed as all of us when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed…

Guendouzi was also only one of three players to go across to the away fans and thank them for their incredible support. Only a small gesture, but will quickly get fans backing you.

He has probably already wrapped up Arsenal’s Player of the Month Award and should now start against West Ham on merit – and not because other players are not fully fit.

As long as he continues to work hard, stays fit and focused, and gets the luck every player needs, Guendouzi will develop into a top, top player.

Keenos

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Match Report: Chelsea 3 – 2 Arsenal

Chelsea (2) 3 Arsenal (2) 2
Premier League
Saturday, 18th August 2018

(4-2-3-1) Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Iwobi, Ozil, Mkhitaryan; Aubemeyang.

Substitutes: Elneny, Lacazette, Torreira, Ramsey, Lichtsteiner, Welbeck, Leno.

Scorers: Mkhitaryan, Iwobi

Referee: Martin Atkinson

When the fixture lists were released a little while ago, this match (hard on the heels of Manchester City) really left me cold. As we know, the boys have only been victorious in two Premier League visits to Walham Green since 2008, and meeting Kensington Spartak this early in the season doesn’t exactly fill my heart with joy, especially as we are now deep into a period of transition. Nowadays, an N5/SW6 match is more than just a derby, more than just bragging rights, it’s a true power struggle between the two leviathans of football in the capital; between us we have won everything worth winning in the professional game – nobody else in London’s fair city comes even close. No pressure then, chaps.

As far as we were concerned, the first half hour was complete and utter chaos. Time and time again the defence was found wanting with our opponents capitalising on the lack of positional sense and mobility from the centre backs, which found us 0-2 in deficit after just twenty-one minutes on the clock. Woe. Amazingly, somehow we saw a light at the end of the Spartak tunnel – it was actually on and through their channels and on to their flanks, as time and time again we encountered a weakness which the boys were able to act upon. Although our forwards squandered three clear goalscoring chances, it became evident that our time would come, and sure enough it did, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi redressing the balance within three minutes of each other just before half-time, which couldn’t come soon enough for Spartak, as our star was firmly on the ascendancy now.

Returning to the field of battle after the break, our chaps started to play with renewed confidence, much to the chagrin of the Spartak coach, who could be seen agitated and nonplussed at the spirit and skill of the Islington men. Defensive errors were abound on both sides, and after a crucial substitution from the home side, our boys started to flag a little; it was during a period of fatigue that a lapse of concentration occurred in the defence, and Spartak administered the fatal coup de grace with just nine minutes left of the match which meant that our brave chaps left Walham Green empty-handed.

All in all it was a truly thrilling match, and one that we certainly deserved something from. We can now see that there are major issues with the defence, which is slow, indecisive and cumbersome with no apparent communication skills between the players, which left our goalkeeper exposed on several occasions through the match. Mr. Emery needs to address this situation very quickly indeed as a matter of priority; after all, as a club, we have always prided ourselves on a rock solid back line and to see the defence as it is at the moment fills us all with dread. There are still issues with the middle of the park, which needs to be tinkered with, as a fluent midfield will always lead to a confident strike force. The lads generally played with fire in their bellies and an indominitable spirit at Stamford Bridge Grounds today, and had they played another side other than the professional and ruthless Spartak, we undoubtedly would have chalked up our first victory of the campaign. Early days, long way to go, although signs of success can be seen already; from tiny acorns mightly oaks do indeed grow, so remember everyone, get behind the team and the manager, as this is crucial for our future success. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

Things about to get a lot easier for The Arsenal

Unai Emery was handed a horrendous start to Arsenal’s new dawn the Premier League fixtures were drawn.

Manchester City and Chelsea. The last two champions. Winners of 4 of the last 5 Premier League seasons.

It was always going to be a thought start, and Arsenal have ended up with the results that many expected.

Two defeats from the opening two games.

Prior to the opening day game of the season, Arsenal had beaten Manchester City just once one 7 games – that FA Cup Semi-final.

Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 2011 – when Robin van Persie scored a hat trick.

So anyone expecting 6 points from the opening games was deluded.

There was hope.

City and Chelsea both had a lot of players at the World Cup, and Chelsea had a crisis summer with a new manager coming in late. But the hope did not materialise as Arsenal lost both games.

Against City, Arsenal struggled; but every side is going to struggle versus the Champions.

The Chelsea game had a lot more positives about it.

Whilst we were still shaky at the back; we were electric upfront and could have scored 4 or 5 if the players realised it was not rugby and you have to put the ball under the bar.

Matteo Guendouzi continued his fine start to an Arsenal shirt. A physical presence in the midfield, he shows nice passing to get alongside defensive prowess.

The same old faces were the ones to late us down again.

Petr Cech could have done more with two of their goals. Hector Bellerin ran out of steam on the right, and Granit Xhaka was poor in the middle. The game passes Mesut Ozil by.

It is time to make a decision on Cech. He has had a rough first two games and does not look comfortable playing out of the back. With new signing Bernd Leno waiting in the wings, it is probably time for a swap.

As for Bellerin, I feel sorry for him a bit.

On another day, if the finishing was better, he would’ve come away from the game with a hat trick of assists. Instead he was horribly exposed towards the end, with Chelsea’s winner coming from his flank.

The problem is under Emery’s system he does not have the cover of a winger. He is expect to defend and attack, and it is draining.

Mauricio Pochettino up the road uses his full backs in a similar way, but he rotated them almost every game.

If Emery is to ask his full backs to bet up and down the wing every game, he is going to have to expect them to run out of gas.

In Stephan Lichsteiner Arsenal have an experienced, dependable right back who surely needs to come in for Bellerin, even if it is just for one game.

The middle of the park is a bit of a concern.

Xhaka was horrendous, but Emery played down taking him off at half time by saying:

‘It was a tactical decision because he has the yellow card also.

‘I think we don’t take risks with this yellow card and also to give the chance to another player in the match.’

On came summer signing Lucas Torreira and alongside 19-year old Guendouzi they looked an ok partnership.

The concern when playing that pair is neither is a good a passer as Xhaka, and you feel we might have trouble transitioning the ball from defence through the midfield.

I would like to see Xhaka alongside Torreira, but also think Guendouzi has done little wrong to lose his place.

It is a conundrum and it might take a few games to work out where our best pairing is.

8 of the next 9 fixtures are a lot more comfortable than the 2 we started the season with. These will go a long way to showing the progress Emery has made with this time.

I am not too concerned with the start we have made.

The truth is Man City and Chelsea was always going to be a tough first 2 games.

Had Arsenal played the likes of Fulham and Newcastle, we’d probably be top

Plenty of positives to take. Still expect us to be top 4.

Keenos