Tag Archives: community shield

Community Shield win highlights squad deficiencies

Sundays victory over Chelsea, whilst excellent, did highlight the current deficiencies in the squad.

The XI that played was the strongest we could put out. Bar perhaps new boy Saed Kolasinac playing at left wing back and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain moving across to right.

The victory on penalties has papered over some cracks. Cracks in the squad where we are weak.

With Aaron Ramsey out, it left us with Mohamed Elneny starting and, with Francis Coquelin also out, not a single central midfielder on the bench.

If Arsenal are to compete this season, we need 5 central midfielders. In the “squad” we currently have 6:


You can pretty much exclude the bottom two. Santi Cazorla is out till 2018 and Jack Wilshere is unreliable and on his way out. That leaves us with 4. One short.

What we need to buy in the middle of the park is not a player who can be back up – we have that in Elneny and Coquelin – but a player who can compete for a first team place alongside Ramsey or Xhaka.

The name on everyone’s lips at the moment is Jean-Michael Seri.

Another option Arsenal should seriously consider is Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches. Even if it is a loan deal.

With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil out due to lack of fitness, creativity was also a massive concern.

Playing Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck behind a striker will not drive fear into opponents this season.

Iwobi is a talent, but he should never be Arsenal’s main creative force on the pitch. He is too inconsistent and go’s missing a lot. However he is a good understudy for Mesut Ozil.

Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck is simply not a creative force he is a willing runner and will work hard, but he does not possess the creativity of Alexis Sanchez.

It is not news to anyone that Arsenal need to sign Thomas Lemar. Some might question how we can keep Lemar, Sanchez and Ozil happy, but with Arsenal set to play up to 60 games this season, there is enough to go around.

If Arsenal do get Lemar, and I am still sure they will, it will give them the option of resting players, especially after long trips on international duty, and give us real quality on the bench to change the game.

On a more positive note, we were able to compete with Chelsea’s strongest XI (bar Hazard) without Sanchez, Ozil, Ramsey, Koscielny and Mustafi.

Sunday was a good victory, but it just further highlighted that we are 2 players short of a real title challenge.


Arsenal win pre-season treble – after just 1 victory

Have to love pre-season. A chance to get fit. A chance for foreign fans to see there heroes depending on where the tour takes us. And a chance to win loads of weird and wonderful trophies that ultimately mean nothing.

Arsenal won their first trophy of pre-season after a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich. I do not know what the trophy was, or that we were even playing for one. I would imagine the players were even surprised when they were told there would be a trophy presentation.

The double was secured after Arsenal won their own tournament, the Emirates Cup. And this is why I love pre-season.

Despite Sevilla winning both games, they finished 2nd, whilst Arsenal, who lost to Sevilla, were eventual winners based on goals scored. Confused? I certainly was. But ultimately, it secured Arsenal the 2nd leg of a historic treble.

3 games played, 1 game won, 2 trophies secured.

Then we come to the glorified friendly of the Community Shield.

Arsenal drew against 10 man Chelsea, but lifted the trophy thanks to Swedish rock band ABBA.

Of course, we jest. All 3 trophies mean nothing and the real stuff starts Friday night against Leicester. Despite me falling out of love with football at the back end of last year, I am actually looking forward to the start of the season.

Beers with the mates, bit of football, more beers with my mates, as always, I will try to not let the football get in the way of a good day out at the football.


An idiots guide to Arsenal’s starting XI

So I see on social media the usual cat calls about our starting XI. 

“No Ozil and Sanchez”

“Ox playing at left wing back? Wenger putting square pegs in round holes. And can someone change my nappy?”

“No Ramsey #WengerOut”

“Why no Koscielny?”

Well here is your idiots guide:

1. It is the same back 3 as the FA Cup Final

2. Koscielny is not playing as he is suspended for the first two games of the season. Better to play the back 3 that’ll start v Leicester

3. It is also the same wing backs as what started against Chelsea in the cup final

4. Was Ox a square peg in a round hole then?

5. Kolasinac and Ox are fully fit. Playing Bellerin right back was about getting him match fit in a friendly

6. Ramsey has a niggle. How much would you have moaned if he played today and that niggle became an injury?

7. Ditto Ozil

8. I would rather both players be fully fit for Friday night, rather than play when not 100% today

9. As for Alexis Sanchez, he has only just returned to training

Today’s line up was arguably the strongest we could part out; bar Koscielny and Kolasinac.

The line up does show we are an attacking midfielder and a central midfielder short of a quality squad. Wenger needs to sort it out, and quickly. 

The comments shown by some over the line-up really highlight their lack of knowledge about football. 

We won. We completed the pre-season treble (I jest). Now stop finding any excuse to moan.