Tag Archives: Freddie Ljungberg

How does Theo Walcott rank amongst Arsenal GREATS?

 

132

The man of the moment. The phoenix from the flames. Lazarus himself. Theo James Walcott.

He is in a superb being of form. Much has been written about it. Many have apologised. Although Lily Allen has yet to apologise to him on behalf of the entire country. He is back to the form of 2012/13 when he scored 21 goals in 43 games. The same season Gareth Bale had his glorious season for that lot up the road, scoring 26 in 44.

Then it went down hill. 2 years of injury followed by last year where he looked done, shot. Over. RIP Theo Walcott. Sleep with the fishes.

And then we come to this season. He has already hit 7 goals in just 9 games. He has hit 5 league goals in each of the last 3 seasons. He already has 5 this season after the first 5 games. In fact, this is already his 4th highest scoring Premier League campaign. And the clocks have not even gone back yet.

img_7553

Over 2 years ago, I wrote a blog about Theo Walcott. Would people love Theo Walcott if he had red hair?

Whilst the title was in jest, the comparison between Freddie Ljungberg was clear and obvious. A nice little table I did at the time highlighted how close they are in terms of out put.

untitled

Theo Walcott is just 7 goals off the century. 100 goals for Arsenal. He has currently scored 21 goals more than Freddie Ljungberg. He is just 6 short of Paul Merson (who frustratingly fell 1 short of being able to raise his bat to the pavilion).

So just how does Theo Walcott rank amongst the best and brightest of Arsenal goal scorers?

top-scorers

Walcott is currently Arsenal’s 20th highest all time top scorer. Scoring more than the likes of Alan Sunderland (92), Robert Pires (84), Charlie George (49), Ljungberg (72), George Armstrong (68), Liam Brady (59), Charlie Nicholas (54) and Kevin Campbell (59).

But he has played sooooo many games you all moan. Here’s another pretty table:

goals-to-games

Out of the 47 players who have scored over 50 goals for The Arsenal, Theo Walcott is 33rd on the list when it comes to games to goals.

The might seem lowly, but it does not take penalties, has rarely played as a striker, and his 1 goal every 3.8 games is still better than other wingers such as Merson (4.3) and Ljungberg (4.6).

So where does Theo Walcott rank?

The answer is a lot better than some would think. He is certainly not one of the worst players to have played in an Arsenal shirt that some make him out to be.

If he continues current form, there is no reason why he should not break into the Top 10 Arsenal goal scorers in the next 18 months. Could he possibly make Top 5? Potentially.

Enjoy Middlesbrough. It’s my first game in nearly a month due to circumstances within my control. Will be good to have a booze up in the usual haunts with my pals.

Have a good weekend.

Keenos

Arsenal Legends – What do they do now?

Arsenal-Legends-v-Milan-Glorie

A lot of fuss has been made recently over Arsenal not employing the likes of Thierry Henry, Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp. It got me thinking whilst watching the Arsenal Legends match…

What do the Arsenal Legends who played doing now?

Works at Arsenal

Freddie Ljungberg – Arsenal Under-16s coach.
Robert Pires – Arsenal Foundation Ambassador. Hangs about the training ground.
Gilles Grimandi – Arsenal scout.
Luis Boa Morte – Arsenal scout.

Works in Football (Not at Arsenal)

Gilberto Silva – Panathinaikos Technical Director
Pascal Cygan – Assistant coach at Belgian Second Division side KSV Roeselare.
Marc Overmars – Director of football at Ajax Amsterdam.

Still Plays

Kolo Toure – Still playing semi-professional football in the Scottish Premier League for Celtic.
Justin Hoyte – Let go by the Daggers over  the summer.

Charity

Nwankwo Kanu – Founded the Kanu Heart Foundation which helps young African children with heart defects. Kanu is also an ambassador for UNICEF. Founded his own soccer school based in Canada.

Media

Nigel Winterburn – Works as a freelance pundit and has provided analysis and comment on Sky Sports and talkSPORT as well as in print for publications such as the Daily Star.
Emmanuel Petit – Works  across many global stations, including ITV, as a pundit.
Ray Parlour – Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
Martin Keown – BBC Match of the Day pundit.
Jens Lehmann – Pundit across very networks including RTL & the BBC. Does a lot of work for The Willow Foundation which was set up by former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson.

Businessman

Anders Limpar – Currently co-owner of Swedish plastic box company Super Lock and he also works as a distributor for nutritional supplement company Kyäni.

Fishing

David Seaman – Fishing

Keenos

AIAFOG-Pre-Order-Signed-Copy

132

Would people love Theo Walcott if he had red hair?

We love you Freddie, cos you’ve got red hair
We love you Freddie, cos you’re everywhere.
We love you Freddie, cos you’re Arsenal through and through.

Nearly 15 years ago today (15 years + 1 week to be exact) Arsenal signed a Swedish 21 year old striker who went by the name of Karl Fredrik Ljungberg. To Arsenal fans he became known Freddie Ljungberg. As Sid Vicious. As a Super Swede. He was loved by the fans. And got cult status. Mainly due to his red hair, as per the song above. Although when his career finished with us, he had less hair then Steve Bould!

Freddie Ljungberg deserves his cult status. He was brilliant for Arsenal, scoring many crucial goals in his 9 seasons for Arsenal. Scoring on his debut against Manchester United in 1998, he was immediately a key member of the Arsenal first team, shooting himself from Day One into the hearts of Arsenal fans.

His career for Arsenal peaked in the 2001/02 season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions, and perhaps more importantly, scoring in 5 of the last 6 Premier League games of the season as Arsenal went on to win the double. The same season, he also scored in The FA Cup Final.

He was a played who scored his goal’s in bunches. When he was hot, he was scorching:

  • 2000/01 – 8 goals, inc 6 in 9
  • 2001/02 – 17 goals, inc 7 in 9 & 7 in 8
  • 2002/03 – 9 goals, inc 5 in 6
  • 2003/04 – 10 goals, inc 4 in 6
  • 2004/05 – 14 goals, inc 6 in 7

And this is where we come to the problem of Freddie Ljungberg, when he was not scoring, he was not doing much. In his Arsenal career, he only got 22 assists. He was not a great passer, could not cross and rarely tracked back. Yet he became an Arsenal great. Many fans, when making a ‘Wenger Era XI’ would have him right wing. And many more would have him in the starting line up of an All-Time Arsenal XI. In an Arsenal fans survey, he was rated as 11th greatest ever Gunner.

This ‘greatest’, for a man, who when he was not scoring, was not doing that much. The man reasoning behind this is he scored in many low scoring games, often popping up with crucial goals.

Now we come to Theo Walcott. A man who, despite looking like silencing his critics with a scintillating season last year, gets a lot of criticism still. Despite scoring an absolute peach of a goal to open the scoring in the tough away European Champions League game that was Marseille, he still gets criticised.

“He did nothing else”
“He did not track back”
“He was very quiet”
“He was not a threat”

Were some of the snippets from Twitter last night. Yet he scored. And that is the important thing. He once more came up with an important goal which saw Arsenal take 3 points away from home in Europe. 3 crucial points. And a crucial goal from Theo. So why did he get – and continue to get – criticism?

Let us look at some stats:

Ljungberg v Walcott

Freddie Ljungberg and Theo Walcott have an almost identical games per goal record. Whilst Freddie was deadlier, Theo Walcott creates a lot more than others. So this makes me wonder, why is Freddie Ljungberg an Arsenal great, whilst Theo Walcott is highly criticised by many?

The only difference I can see is Freddie Ljungberg had red hair.

Keenos