Tag Archives: leicester

On the eve of the Premier League, Arsenal are undercooked again

So it is the eve of the start of the Premier League. Tomorrow will be Arsenal’s first game of the 2017/18 season, having been delightfully picked by whichever TV company to play on the Friday night, despite Arsenal being involved in semi-competitive action against Chelsea on Sunday. More of that later.

For the umpteenth year in a row, Arsenal begin the league campaign undercooked in terms of squad additions. At the time of writing, it is still just Alexandre Lacazette and Saed Kolasinac. No sign of Thomas Lemar, Jean-Michael Seri or Batman.

What started off as a terrific start to the window with two top signings is currently petering out to same old Arsenal, taking the piss (out of the fans).

Lacazette and Kolasinac are top signings. Ignore the idiots who say Lacazette only scored against French farmers, the same people demand to know why Arsenal are not signing Mbappe or Lemar, or missed out on Mahrez or Kante.

As for Kolasinac, he was named the best Bundesliga player of the year. And just because weirdo Paul who sits behind his laptop all day masturbating to One Direction doesn’t know who he is, does not mean he is not a top player.

But it still feels short. We do are still lacking a creative option up top, and another central midfielder is still desirable. The squad still has plenty of deficiencies.

I am also concerned by the lack of players leaving.

Of the 12 that I expected to leave this summer, only 3 have gone thus far. We still have plenty to ship out.

It is same old story for Arsenal on the eve of the Premier League, it will be the same old excuses coming from Arsene Wenger’s mouth if we fail to win once more, and it will be the same old silence from the board.

Whilst I think the TV companies could have been a little bit fairer to Arsenal with the Friday night slot, I do not actually mind it.

Last season, Arsenal got away with playing a game on a Friday night, despite almost every other side having a fixture. Every club will play, on average, one game on Friday, so at least we have got ours out the way early, and we are at home.

What it means is a trip to Islington straight from work, few beers before the game, watch us win, then stay in Islington till the last train home. Which means never going home since TFL introduced 24 hour weekend trains on the Victoria Line.

It also means still having the whole weekend. A bit of golf. Some gardening. Watch the athletics. Have a tug. It is not the worst scenario to be in.

A Friday night game is a lot better than a Monday night game – where you potentially have to take the whole of Monday off, before appearing at work on Tuesday hungover, having had 4 hours sleep.

Get a bad away draw on a Friday night and worst case scenario is a day off work, and a Friday night in a northern slum or Swansea. Not the worst way to spend a weekend.

So up The Arsenal. Come on your Reds. Support the team, not the regime.




Arsene Wenger was RIGHT about Leicester in the Champions League

Fake news seems to be the buzz word of 2017. Football fans have had to put up with it for decades. Journalists twisting words for hits, creating transfer stories to fill column inches.

After Leicester’s brilliant victory over Sevilla last night, many Arsenal fans have started regurgitating fake news with the sharing of the following Evening Standard headline:

But has anyone who has shared it, tweeted it, actually read what Arsene Wenger said?

“If you play at Barcelona on Wednesday night, you have to fight for every single ball and again on the Saturday in the Premier League then of course it will be difficult.

“I cannot predict what the future of Leicester is, but the only thing I can say is it’s much more difficult once you play in competitions like the Champions League.”

At no point did Arsene Wenger say Leicester will struggle in the Champions League.

Reading what he actually said, it is clear the point he was making. It is harder playing Wednesday Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday then it is playing just once a week. And Leicester’s struggles in the Premier League this season shows this.

There results in the Champions League have been brilliant this season, through to the Quarter Final beating a very good Sevilla team. But there Premier League form has dropped as a consequence.

Currently 15th in the league, they are 3 points off the relegation zone. From runaway league champions to relegation contenders in 12 months. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup a couple of days before the 1st leg tie against Sevilla.

Whilst being in the Champions League is not the only contributing factor, it has played a part. As Arsene Wenger says, playing mid week and then the weekend is not easy. Especially for a side like Leicester who relied on little possession, high work rate and have a small squad.

Further proof of Wenger’s point is seen in Chelsea. They have benefited from a lack of European football this season.

Whilst watching Chelsea v Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday night, the commentator said “this is Chelsea’s 35th game of the season, Manchester United have played 47”.

It is undeniable that Chelsea have been massively helped by only playing once a week. It reminds me of Liverpool a few years back when they mounted a title challenge. Leicester last season did not have European football.

I have actually seen many Arsenal fans, some of whom criticise Wenger all day, every day, say they would not mind not having Champions League football next year so that we can concentrate on the league. So why spread the fake news, when essentially you agree with what Wenger said? That it is harder when you are in the Champions League to perform on all fronts.

That’s right, you change the narrative to suit the agenda.

Dropping from 1st to 15th proves that being in the Champions League makes things more difficult.

So before you spread fake news, actually take the time to read what was said under the headline. You will probably actually agree.


Spurs, Leicester and the New TV Deal

So it is time to put Saturday’s defeat behind us. Yes, it was disappointing, but we can not dwell on it for too long. Luckily for Arsenal, we play Leicester tonight. After a defeat like what we had, it is good to have another game so quickly, to get 3 points on the board, to move on.

It is the oddity of the league this season that after our most disappointing result so far, we actually have an opportunity to be 3rd in the league – our highest position since the opening day.

With Manchester United and Southampton not playing until Wednesday, and Spurs away to Liverpool, a 3 goal victory for Arsenal will likely see us be 3rd on goal difference, even if it is just for 24 hours.

The race for the Champions League is tight. By the end of tonight, there could be just 3 points between third and seventh. And that is why it is important we move on from Saturday, and quickly.

But just to dwell on Saturday a bit (yes, I know I said not to dwell), we might have lost, and we have all probably taken a ribbing at work over the last day, but it is important to remember the following:

  • Saturday was only the 7th time Spurs have defeated Arsenal in the last 45 attempts
  • A Spurs fan aged 20 has never seen Spurs finish above Arsenal
  • Harry Kane has celebrated Arsenal winning the league more times than a 50 year old Spurs fanSPURS

Spurs are in our shadow, and it will take a lot more than one victory for them to come out.

3 points tonight is crucial, against a Leicester side bottom of the league. With the rumours surrounding Nigel Pearson’s future, you would think it will be an ideal situation for us to romp to a win. However, beware the wounded animal.

Pearson will be setting up Leicester to not lose. It will be 11 men behind the ball, defend for your lives. We will have to be patient to break them down, and when we do, take advantage of our chances. Get an early goal, we will go on to romp it.

Despite being bottom of the league, Leicester’s form in their last 8 games is not actually too bad – including the FA Cup (where they played 2 Premier League sides):

P 8 W 4 D 1 L 3 F 8 A 8

Get behind the team. Let’s not allow the disappointment of Saturday eek into both the fans and players minds.

In other matters, it is being reported that the Premier League are set to announce another record TV deal – this time worth £4.4bn. This would be a 45% increase on the current deal. This would see each individual club receive an additional £30-40 million a season, depending on where they finished.

The disgrace is we all know that whilst this will get shouted about as a brilliant success, all the additional money will go into the pockets of agents and players.

At the moment, clubs have to spend £200,000 of the current TV money on ‘the away fans experience.’ Arsenal do this by dropping prices for away fans by £2.50, and having a ‘Welcome xxxxx Football Club’ sign hanging above the away end. Other clubs put on coach travel, give bar staff shirts of the away club to wear, or put up pictures of the away clubs legends.

It sounds all well and good, but it is just £200,000. That is a drop in the ocean as to what clubs from the TV deal. The £200,000 would not even be enough to pay Wayne Rooney’s weekly wage!

With the new MEGA MONEY TV DEAL set to be signed, it is time the clubs gave back to the fans. The players do not need anymore money, nor do the agents.

Using my GCSE maths, £40,000,000, divided by 60,000, divided by 26 (how many games a season ticket holder gets) would equal £25.64 a ticket.

Or working back upwards, Arsenal could drop season ticket prices by £666 and still earn the same money that they are earning now.

Sadly, these are but a dream. Ticket prices would not be reduced, and all income will go out of the club to players and agents as quickly as it comes in. And at the same time, ticket prices will probably rise.

Up The Arsenal