Tag Archives: Crystal Palace

5 things Arsenal need to change for Crystal Palace

Before I crack on with this blog, whenever I write this sort of thing, we get a lot of responses on the Facebook page saying The manager or Arsene Wenger. Yes, I want Wenger to leave, but lets be realistic, we will not change manager between you reading this blog and playing Crystal Palace this evening. So lets crack on with things realistically.

Drop Alex Iwobi

I want Alex Iwobi to succeed. He has been with the club since 2004, joining us as an 8 year old when in primary school. Yes, some idiots might point to him being born in Lagos and representing Nigeria, but he is home grown and Arsenal through and through.

But his recent performances have not been up to Arsenal standard.

When he first broke through into the first team squad in 2015, his natural talent was clear to be seen by all, but he needed games. At the end of the 2015/16 season, I felt he could have done with a season on loan at a Premier League club. A chance to get 38 games under his belt at Number 10 in a less pressurised environment.

He did not go on loan for 2016/17 and ended up playing 38 games in all competitions for Arsenal. This year he has appeared 15 times. But has he gone forward since he broke through in 2015? I feel not.

With Arsenal reverting back to 4 at the back, he neither has the ability to play on the wing, nor the enthusiasm to track back and cover his full back. It is stubborn of Wenger to keep playing Alex Iwobi whilst Theo Walcott, who scored 19 goals last season, sits on the bench.

Walcott might not be everyone’s cup of tie, but as a wideman, he is more of a threat than Alex Iwobi.

Alternatively, I would not mind seeing Reiss Nelson get a run out in his proper position as a right winger.

Central Defence

Nacho Monreal has been one of our more consistent performers this season on the left hand side of a defensive 3. But Arsenal have returned to a back four and whilst Wenger’s loyalty to a senior pro is admiral, Monreal needs to be dropped from the centre of the defence.

With Shkdoran Mustafi returning from injury, and Calum Chambers and Rob Holding in the wings, there is no logical reason to play a left back at centre back, bar being loyal to a player who has not really done much wrong this season.

Wenger needs to be clinical, think of the team rather than the individual, and play his strongest central defensive partnership. That means Monreal missing out.

(Note: Since writing this blog, Nacho Monreal has been ruled out with injury. That forces Wenger to make the change)

A left back at left back

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Whilst Monreal should be dropped from the centre, he should get an opportunity back in his natural left back position.

In recent games, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has performed admirably at left back, but he is not a left black.

Time for either Sead Kolasinac to come in from the cold, or Nacho Monreal to play left back.

(Note: Since writing this blog, Nacho Monreal has been ruled out with injury. That means Kolasinac should start)

Drop Hector Bellerin

Against Liverpool, Hector Bellerin did improve as the game went on, but his form this season has been horrible.

Bellerin is brilliant breaking forward from the right back position, but he does not have the ability going forward to play right wing back.

It might only be a slight tactical switch, but in a 3 at the back, the wing backs are the sole source of width. They must be able to beat an opponent like a winger and cross the ball. Bellerin can not beat a man when they have stood him up, and his crossing is poor.

The move back to 4 at the back should suit him, as it allows him to combine with a wide forward and make runs from deeper where his pace is devastating – but since the move to 4 at the back he has been poor.

I would not be too upset to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles move to right back against Crystal Palace.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right back, Reiss Nelson on the right wing. They would get instant backing from the fans.

Drop Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean has been awful this season, losing the ball, looking disinterested, unable to beat a man. He has been poor.

Reports are that he will leave us in January. If true, I do not want to see him on the pitch against Crystal Palace, West Brom, or anyone else.

Danny Welbeck might not be a brilliant replacement, but he is adequate and hass often impressed when playing left wing for England. His late runs from wide into the far post make him a threat.

Stick Welbeck on, and with Lacazette and Walcott/Nelson, Arsenal have a pacey front 3 that will make Mesut Ozil lick his lips.


Hopefully tonight go’s a lot better than last time we played at Selhurst Park, then it is on to the fun of West Brom on New Years Eve.


Spurs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Crystal Palace & More



P 14 W 3 L 8 D 3

Good record at Wembley guys!

And now we have their manager saying that they are too big to win the League Cup or the FA Cup.

1 League Cup in 18 years is what they have won. No FA Cup in 26 years. No league title in 56 years.

They are the laughing stock of English football. I always giggle to myself when they are classed as one of England’s biggest teams. When people talk about a top 6. Their manager has won nothing. They have won nothing of note for decades.

Small time club who have always thought they are more relevant than they are.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain


I won’t laugh too much as the first two results on that run were for Arsenal. But good to see his Liverpool career start so “well.”

The lad clearly had a high opinion of himself, but it was clear to see that his talent was never as big as his ego. He simply is not as good as he thinks he is.

Thierry Henry had it spot on when he said “I just do not know what he is good at. What he brings to the table.” He seemed to blame everyone for his stagnation at Arsenal, but he never seemed to blame himself.

When he joined Liverpool, he was playing week in week out for Arsenal at right wing-back. He left to play central midfield.

At the Scousers, he has found himself in the middle. In the middle of his bench that is.

Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench for his debut at half time. In the Champions League he came on in the 89th minute. Then at the weekend against Burnley he was introduced to play in the 79th minute.

57 minutes played over 3 games. Well done mate. Enjoy rotting. In 2 years you will be at Hull or Stoke. All because you think you are better than what you are.

Crystal Palace

10 games

3 managers

9 defeats

9 games without scoring

Look forward to their idiotic “ultras” crying as they go down.

Be careful what you wish for

Crystal Palace are bottom. Many wanted Frank de Boer to replace Arsene Wenger.

One place above Crystal Palace in the table are Bournemouth. It still baffles me why some fans wanted Eddie Howe at Arsenal.

Finishing off the relegation zone is Everton. The side many Arsenal fans said we should be emulating. The side a lot of fans said would finish above Arsenal. They have proved it is not about spending, but who you spend it on.

4th from bottom are West Ham. Remember when people wanted Slaven Bilic because he showed passion?

I have said time and again, I want Wenger replaced, but replaced with someone of superior quality. A lot of names often banded about are useless, and have since proved to be so. Be careful what you wish for.


4 failed Wenger replacements: Klopp, Moyes, Martinez & de Boer

I have to start this mornings blog with some chat about Frank de Boer, sacked as manager of Crystal Palace after just 77 days.

Roll the clock back to 2013 and de Boer was top of many fans list as next Arsenal manager, alongside the likes of Jurgen Klopp, David Moyes and Roberto Martinez.

It is interesting to see how all 4 have performed in the last 4 years.

Klopp got his big move to Liverpool, where he has impressed a lot of people. But the impressive performances are more his own performances off the pitch, the way he deals with the press, the passion he shows, rather than Liverpool’s performances on it. They finished 4th in his first season, and trophyless. Fairly average.

And they have not started this season in sparkling form. Just 7 points from the opening 10 games.

Due to his relationship with the media, he seems to be able to live an easy life. Liverpool lose, he makes a joke, everything is right in the world. It will be the same if Liverpool do not win anything. He is able to create an illusion of success when there is none. He actually has a worse record than the much derided Brendan Rodgers.

It is also worth noting that Klopp has not lead a team to a trophy since the 2012 German Cup, and in his last season with Borussia Dortmund, he led them to 7th.

It will be interesting to see the response if he delivers a 2nd trophyless season, as Liverpool close in on 30 years without a league title.

Like Klopp, David Moyes also got a chance on the big stage with Manchester United where he was sacked before completing his first full season.

I actually feel sorry a bit for David Moyes as it is almost like he was set up to fail. He joined the side on the recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson, who left him an ageing squad. They were champions in Fergie’s last year, but pretty much that summer the squad collapsed.

At the same time that Ferguson stepped down, Manchester United’s key negotiator in the transfer market – Chief Executive David Gill – also stood aside. This led Man U to have a new manager and new CEO in Ed Woodward.

A poor transfer window which saw the club miss out in a host of major targets, most famously Cesc Fabregas, Leighton Baines and Ander Herrera (who they signed the next year) and secure just one senior signing. Marouane Fellaini.

Moyes was sacked with a win percentage of 52.94%, which is favourable to the likes of Klopp (7001514000000000000♠51.4%) and Louis van Gaal (52.43%) and not too far of Jose Mourinho (57.97), who’s win %age is boosted through Europa League success.

Having been let go by Manchester United, Moyes tried his hand in Spain with Real Sociedad, before returning to England and being the man to finally get Sunderland relegated. You have to feel his reputation is now tarnished enough that he will struggle to get another Premier League job.

Replacing Moyes at Everton was Roberto Martinez. Another with a big reputation that was perhaps undeserved.

His reputation was built on playing free flowing football at Swansea City, and putting in a lot of the groundwork that saw Rodgers take them into the Premier League.

He then joined Wigan who he led to the FA Cup in 2013. Often praised for continually keeping Wigan in the Premier League against all odds, it was kind of forgotten that every time they found themselves 10 points adrift, he was manager. He was the arsonist who sets a fire and then puts it out so he can be praised as the hero.

A good first season at Everton saw them finish 5th. But they quickly slid down the table finishing 11th in the next two seasons and he was gone. It was not just the results but also the performances. Everton were trying to play like Barcelona with players who were more suited with being at Stoke.

Interestingly his replacement, Ronald Koeman has re-addressed the balance at Everton finished a solid 7uth last year.

Martinez is now manager of a very talented Belgium squad, who he has led to World Cup qualification – the first European side to be in the hat for Russia 2018 (bar the hosts). It will be interesting to see if he can complete his rehabilitation by taking Belgium’s Golden Generation all the way.

And lastly we get to Frank de Boer.

Many Arsenal fans wanted him when he was at Ajax. Partly to do with Dennis Bergkamp being involved as his assistant manager.

de Boer led Ajax to 4 consecutive Eredivisie titles, breaking a 7 year drought. Ajax have also failed to win the Dutch league title since he left. But it was a record in an inferior league. Like Brendan Rodgers in Scotland. Does it really count? Possibly not.

He went to Inter Milan in Italy, where he last 85 days before being sacked on 1st November 2016. At the time he claimed he “needed more time” in order to make a mark as manager.

A few months in the wilderness where he linked himself to many Premier League jobs, but ultimately failing to get beyond the interview stage, he eventually got himself a job at Crystal Palace.

His 85 days at Inter was beaten by his 77 days at Crystal Palace.

In hindsight, he was probably the wrong man for the Palace job.

They wanted him to change their style from a defensive, counter attacking to a possession based game. But the wish was to change tactics but without investment, using the same players who had been at the club for years. They wanted him to teach old dogs new tricks.

When Arsene Wenger came to Arsenal, he did not overly change the style of play of the club. It was still based on a solid defence, and pace upfront. It was not until his second generation of players, led by the likes of Theirry Henry and Robert Pires, when Arsenal started to play a more attacking style.

Palace seemed to demand change, but did not give him the resources for change.

He was further hampered by their two best players from last year – Sakho (unsigned) and Zaha 9injured) – being out.

After 4 games and 0 goals, Palace did the brave thing and realised that de Boer was the wrong appointment for them, Rather than battle through and risk being cut adrift before the clocks go back, de Boer was dumped.

In 2013, Arsenal had gone 8 years without a trophy. Arsene Wenger was entering the last year of his contract. Since that time, 4 of the names linked with replacing him have failed to win a trophy, have struggled at jobs big and small. In that time, Arsenal have added 3 FA Cups to the trophy cabinet.

Whilst Wenger’s time at the club is really up .The journeys of Klopp, Moyes, Martinez and de Boer over the last 4 years show just how hard it is to get your managerial appoint right.

Changing manager is no guarantee of success. And Arsenal fans need to realise that. The years of managers being in charge for 5 years, yet alone 25 years, have gone. When a man does come in to replace Wenger, it will feel like a breathe of fresh air. Until he loses that first game of the season.

I want a new manager at Arsenal .The majority of us do. But a change of manager will not guarantee a change of fortunes.

What started as a mini blog has ended up over 1,000 words as I babbled on. Sorry about that, and up The Arsenal.