Tag Archives: Chelsea

The Top 6: Who is still left from 2012/13?

With the transfer window slamming shut, Arsenal’s activity has left them with just 2 members of the squad who have been with the club since the 2012/13 season. Nacho Monreal and Damián Martinez.

This summer we have seen Carl Jenkinson and Laurent Koscileny both leave. They were the only two remaining players from the 2012/13 squad picture, with Monreal joined us in the January transfer window.

It feels like a huge squad turnover, that out of the 35 players to have pulled on an Arsenal shirt during that season, just 2 remains.

How does this compare with the rest of the top 6?

Liverpool – 1

Just Jordan Henderson remains from Liverpool’s 2012/13 squad. They have the highest turnover over all of the top 6. Not a surprise considering they finished 7th that season.

Chelsea – 1

following David Luiz joining Arsenak, just 1 member of the Chelsea squad of 2012/13 remain. Club captain César Azpilicueta.

Arsenal – 2

The aforementioned Nacho Monreal is still at the club having signed a 1 year extension a month or so ago. Damián Martinez played twice in the League Cup that year.

Manchester City – 2

David Silva and Sergio Aguero are the only 2 players left from a Manchester City team that finished the 2012/13 season behind their big rivals Manchester United

Manchester United – 4

The 2012/13 league champions have kept hold of Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and David de Gea. Although many Manchester United fans will question how the 1st 3 are still at the club, and David de Gea probably wonders how he has not yet secured a move away.

Tottenham – 4

Harry Kane played just 4 minutes in the 2012/13 season. Jan Vertonghen, Hugo Lloris and Danny Rose are also still with the club.

Keenos

Just 20 left – never to be repeated

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The Final Countdown

European finals do not come around often for The Arsenal.

If there is one part of our trophy laden history that is disappointing, it is success on the continent. Still yet to win a European Cup, we have only been in 6 European finals in our history – winning just two.

That is why, regardless of whether it is a Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Cup of European Cup Winners Cup final, it is something to be treasured.

It is also why the decision by UEFA to host the final in Baku is such a frustrating one.

Baku is simply an unsuitable venue. From it’s airport, the lack of flights and lack of hotels, it was always going to be unable to take thousands of travelling supporters no matter which 2 teams qualified. You have to wonder how exactly they won the bid to host the final.

UEFA will celebrate that hosting the final in Baku has enabled fans from around the globe who usually would have been unable to go to such a game attend. They will say that the decision has to host in Baku is justified as it is football for all.

The issue with hosting it in Baku has meant that fans who go week in, week out are unable to go. Finals are the reward for fans who go every week, maybe for years, without seeing success. That is why Arsenal prioritise season ticket holders when it comes to the allocation of tickets.

In future, UEFA need to ensure that host cities are accessible from throughout Europe regardless of which country they are travelling from. They must have an airport to cope with the capacity of thousands of travelling fans, have enough hotels and not restrict people from certain nations.

Even in UEFA’s own bid documents, they admitted that Baku was an unsuitable venue

But the decision has been made, and fans are making their way to Baku as we speak. Whether it be direct flights, via Riga, Istanbul or Tbilisi, there are a few thousand making their way out there. Fair play to them all.

For those going out there, our friends Arsenal Azerbaijan Supporters Club have put together a guide to Baku.

Anyone looking to watch the final in Islington, we have put together a comprehensive pub guide. Our advice; aim to wherever you want to watch it early and be prepared for your 1st choice pub to already be full.

We have lost our last 3 European finals in a row. Hopefully tomorrow night we put an end to that run and finish the season on a high.

Keenos

Defeat to Wolves not as damaging as Crystal Palace loss

That target of 75 points seems impossible now.

With just 3 games to go, Arsenal sit on 66 points; meaning we need to win 3 from 3 to reach the 75.

The Wolves defeat was disappointing, but should not have been surprising. They are a good side who have performed well against the top 6 this season.

Whilst they are a newly promoted side, they won the championship with a team of Premier League players. Experienced internationals who were clearly playing at a level below where they should have been.

Ruben Neves is a perfect example of this.

He was Porto’s captain as a teenager, playing in the Champions League. He should never have been playing in the Championship. The owners links with certain agents enabled them to sign players who would not have joined any other Championship team.

Now in the Premier League, they are exactly where they should be. 7th.

I have seen some say that Nuno Espírito Santo should be manager of the season. But when you look at the players he has, 7th or 8th is probably Wolves par. They have just as good squad of players as the likes of Everton and Leicester City.

Wolves have done brilliant against top 6 sides this season. It is the performances against the sides at the bottom end of the table that has stopped them challenging for a top 6 place.

This season Wolves have beaten Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal at home, and Tottenham away. They have lost just 3 games against top 6 sides – away to Manchester City &  and at home to Spurs & Liverpool. They are unbeaten against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal

Meanwhile, against the bottom 6 they have lost 6 games.

Beaten twice by Huddersfield,  as well as defeats to Cardiff, Brighton, Southampton and Burnley. They have failed to beat both Huddersfield and Brighton either home or away this season.

A few weeks ago I wrote how we needed 75 points to finish top 4. We needed to win both home games and 2 out of 4 away.

Things started well beating 10-man Watford. That left us with needing to beat Palace & Brighton at home and 1 of Burnley, Leicester & Wolves away. more than achievable.

But then we collapsed at home to Crystal Palace. The defeat killed us.

Losing away to Wolves was always slated in, was always predicted. Their form against top 6 sides and our form away from home. Arsenal were always going to do well to get 3 points from the Molineux

The Palace loss killed us.

There used to be a time when playing safe, mid-table team towards the end of the season was what you wanted. Their minds would be on the beach, not scrapping to remain in the division or for a Champions League place.

Hats off to Wolves, Watford, Palace, Everton and Leicester who have remained motivated, even if it is to our detriment.

Such is the performance by Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in recent weeks that, despite suffering 3 defeats in the last 4 games, Arsenal could find themselves beck in the top 4 come Sunday.

In the lunchtime kick off, Arsenal face Leicester. Like Wolves, it will not be an easy game, but following the loss to Crystal Palace, Arsenal must win.

A few hours later, Chelsea kick off at Old Trafford against Manchester United.

Following the weekend games, Chelsea host Watford and then visit Leicester on the last day of the season, whilst Arsenal play Brighton in London before visiting Burnley on the final game.

Manchester United have the easiest last 2 games – away to Huddersfield and then home to Cardiff.

If Man U beat Chelsea at the weekend, and Arsenal fail to beat Leicester, they are surely favourites for that final Champions League spot.

If Chelsea win and Arsenal lose, it will be Chelsea who would become favourites.

The best result for Arsenal is a draw – meaning that even if they lose to Leicester they would be still be just 2 points off of 4th.

Of course, we need to target a win against Leicester. Put the pressure on the other two by securing the 3 points before they have kicked off.

We do that and it ensures no matter what the result is between Man U and Chelsea, we are in with a shout. We would, at worst, be going into the last 2 games of the season 1 point behind.

If we win and Chelsea and Man U draw, it would leave Arsenal 4th and 2 points ahead of Chelsea in 5th. Man U would be 4 points behind, and surely out of the running.

We need to shake ourselves down, and secure that 3 points against Leicester on Sunday.

Keenos