Tag Archives: Manchester City

Moaning Manchester City fans and Spurs still in Arsenal’s shadow

So I have finally sobered after this weekends shenanigans and golly gosh, what a weekend of results it was. And how the fall out has been hilarious.

Arsenal got through. Some will say ‘somehow got through’. Well we outscored Manchester City. We were fitter than Manchester City, and we had better options on our bench. Has Pep Guardiola been found out? Trophyless for the 1st time in his career. He has never had to build a team. Never not been in charge of the best side in the league. He is struggling. But that is a blog for another day.

The response of Manchester City fans to their defeat to Arsenal has made me smile. They have blamed the referee for their defeat. They have blamed Emirates Airlines. If Danny Murphy was commentating, they would have blamed the grass length and death of Ugo Ehiogh for their defeat too.

Arsenal have won a record 12 FA Cups in their history. NONE of which have been won since Emirates became the headline sponsor. This is just the 2nd season of Emirates sponsoring the FA Cup. In their first season, Manchester United lifted the trophy.

Of course, I do not expect a new club like Manchester City Blues to understand the concept of history, afterall, the majority of their fans have only followed the club for less than a decade. Dry your eyes lads.

Then we move onto Tottenham. The gift that keeps on giving. They are apparently planning to rename themselves WonNothing Hotspurs. Because once again, they are set to win nothing. 7 FA Cup semi final defeats in a row.

Over half a century without a league title. More than quarter of a century without an FA Cup. A decade without a trophy. It is laughable.

Their fans keep going on about a ‘power shift’ from one end of the Seven Sisters Road to the other. The fact is in Arsenal’s worst season in 21 years, they are in an FA Cup Final. Spurs best season in 2 decades will see them trophyless.

What I have found hilarious about Spurs fans is they are basically Arsenal fans of 10 years ago:

  • Constantly talking about project youth highlighting their young talented players, to justify lack of success
  • Blaming the stadium move for their failure
  • Top 4 is their everything
  • Bashing on about net spends and lower wages bills

Arsenal fans made these excuses 10 years ago. We were still making the same excuses 5 years ago. 2 FA Cup wins and another final coming up and Arsenal fans are still unhappy. Still looking bigger. Meanwhile Spurs are delighted with an FA Cup Semi Final and finishing 2nd in the league.

The fact is, Arsene Wenger has won more titles in England than Tottenham. He won one of them on Spurs ground. That was 13 years ago today. There will not even be a sniff of a power shift until Spurs start winning things. Talk of ‘top young English talent’ and ‘a new stadium’ means nothing if your trophy cabinet is empty.

After Dele Alli won PFA Young Player of the year for the 2nd season in the row, Spurs fans boasted about how their players had won 5 of the last 6 awards. But individual awards mean nothing if the team wins nothing. Like Gareth Bale, it will not be too long before the likes of Alli, Harry Kane, et al realise that they will never win anything at Won Nothing Hotspur and look for a move elsewhere.

This weekend we play Spurs away. Spurs are going to finish above Arsenal for the 1st time in 22 years. Arsenal have an FA Cup Final to look forward too.

Moaning Manchester City fans and Spurs still in Arsenal’s shadow.

Keenos

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Arsenal’s “humiliating” TV rescheduling, Semi Final Tickets, Thomas Tuchel & Leicester Fans

“Humiliating” TV rescheduling

I had to laugh yesterday when The Sun created a story about Sky TV changing their TV choice for a load of rearranged games. Dropping Arsenal v Leicester for Crystal Palace.

Let’s be honest, it is agenda drivel BS which no real Arsenal fan would take seriously. Those who use it to form any sort of Wenger Out / Arsenal in Crisis are clearly a little bit thick.

Having a TV game switched is no a “humiliation”. Anyone with half a brain would realise that Palace v Spurs would be a more attractable game then Arsenal v Leicester.

In recent weeks, Palace have beaten Chelsea and Arsenal. They are currently in a relegation scrap. The potential for a story is much bigger than Leicester.

At the time of TV scheduling, Leicester were still in trouble. Champions on the verge of relegation. The media would have loved that story and wanted to be there every step of the way. In recent weeks they have got themselves to mid table. They are safe. No longer a threat to relegation. There is no story there.

Palace is now a bigger story to tell than Leicester. And Sky want to tell that story.

This season 70% of Arsenal games have been on tv. That is 70% too many for a match going fan fed up with games continually being rescheduled for a TV audience. We play Middlesbrough on Monday night. Easter Monday. A bank holiday. A disgrace of scheduling.

I would rather be “humiliated” and have Middlesbrough v Arsenal on Saturday 3pm so I can actually go, then have it as a TV pick.

Sky have showed so little interest in showing Arsenal for the rest of the season that in the latest set of TV games, they decided to pick Stoke v Arsenal. A pointless game. A pointless rescheduling. The rest of the Premier League should be humiliated that this is the best offering Sky could pick for this slot.

Arsenal would have been on 17 out of a possible 20 times since the turn of the year up until Leicester and 3 of the next 4 after Leicester will be shown on TV.

We have had jut 1 Saturday 3pm kick off this calendar year. And just 7 all season. 7 of 38 games on at 3pm Saturday.

TV companies do not humiliate football clubs by changing the TV scheduling. They disregard fans by scheduling games without thinking about those who actually go to games.

It is not humiliating. It is an agenda.

Semi Final tickets

Another example of “using a story to suit an agenda” is with semi final tickets. Arsenal have yet to sell out and tickets today (I think) go on sale to fans who have been to at least 10 games and held a red membership over at least the last 2 seasons.

“It shows fans apathy. That they are fed up” has been the main narrative wheeled out by many.

The fact is all 4 clubs have struggled to sell out their FA Cup Semi Final tickets.

Chelsea had to go down to fans who have been to 5+ games to sell their allocation. They are top of the league. Spurs tickets went on sale to bronze members (their equivalent of red members) who had “148 loyalty points”.

Spurs loyalty points system is similar to Arsenal’s away credit, but with a few big differences. It includes home games, they give a different weight to different games, and it includes the last 4 seasons and the current campaign (Arsenal’s is last 2 season + current campaign, away games only, 1 point per game).

Now Spurs even give you loyalty points for just renewing their membership. A bronze member gets 15 loyalty points. So if a bronze member has held their membership for the last 5 seasons 9including the current one), they would have 75 loyalty points without even going to a game. Almost half the points needed for an FA Cup Semi Final ticket. Incredible.

They give out 1 point per Category A game, 3 per Category C and 5 points per Category C game. You can use your own brain to work out which sides fall into which Category.

So if you had renewed your membership every year for 5 years, you would have had to have gone to on average, 3 Category C games a season over that time to be over the 148 points.

So Arsenal are getting hammered for tickets being on sale to 10+ games over the last 2 season, whilst Spurs fans would have had to have gone to just 15 games over the last 5 seasons. Chelsea just 5+ games (I have not researched over how many seasons).

Of course, both these clubs are considerably smaller than Arsenal. Have small grounds and smaller fan bases. So it is only natural that their fans would have to have been to less games than Arsenal (although both sides sell more tickets each week than the 32,000 they have sold for the FA Cup Semi Final).

Then we come to Manchester City.

Manchester City have put their tickets on General Sale. That means any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy one. You do not even have to be a member. Or a Manchester City fan. You could be a Leyton Orient fan, do the Marathon, then head to Wembley.

So all 4 clubs, no matter if they are having a great season or an awful season, are struggling to sell out Wembley. This shows there are deeper rooted issues surrounding tickets and poor sales than “Arsenal fans showing their anger”

  • Tickets are too expensive – Whilst tickets priced at £30 – £60 does not seem unreasonable, the pattern will always be the cheapest tickets go first. The majority of last tickets on sale will be the £60 ones. Fans might be unwilling to pay this much for a single game.
  • Wembley Apathy – I am a big believer, like many, that FA Cup semi finals should not be held at Wembley. I would much rather have 20,000 Arsenal fans & 20,000 City fans at Villa Park. The most loyal of fans. Rather than 32,000 fans, watered down by day trippers and ‘friends of the FA’ at Wembley. Some fans just do not want to go to Wembley unless it is for a final.
  • Wembley Apathy II – This will be the 7th time in 3 years that Arsenal have visited Wembley. Football fans get bored quickly. A trip to Wembley, for many, is not as exciting now as it was in 2014. It is like shagging Kelly Brook. Great to begin with, but after a while she gets boring. It’s why so many blokes end up getting rid of her.

Should Arsenal have sold out by now? I would have expected so, yes. But Arsenal have struggled no more than the other 3 clubs still left in the competition.

What it highlights more than everything is that there is just how fragile clubs membership lists are. Clubs have 100,000+ members, but less than a third of that seem to be willing to buy tickets on a regular basis.

homas Tuchel

One of the names banded about a lot as a potential Arsene Wenger replacement is Thomas Tuchel of Borussia Dortmund.

Now I am all for getting Wenger replaced, but the replacement has to be a manager who can take us forward. Someone like the excellent Max Allegri at Juventus or Simeone from Atletico Madrid. What I will not accept is a sub-par manager. Someone who is not superior to Wenger. I want the best players at Arsenal Football Club. I want the best managers.

When I have previously seen the likes of Owen Coyle, Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes, Gary Monk, Michael Laudrup and Eddie Howe linked with the Arsenal job, it is laughable. It actually strengthens Wenger’s position as it makes it appear that there are no better options out there. People are willing to call for any manger to replace Wenger, as to them it is not about how comes in, but who leaves. More interested in Wenger going then who his replacement is.

Thomas Tuchel is another one who can go into the bin. For me he is one of the most overrated managers in Europe.

The sole reason he is on anyone’s radar is because he was at Mainz 05 and then moved to Dortmund. The identical journey as Jurgen Klopp. They label him “the new Klopp”. But having a similar background to Klopp does not mean he is good enough.

A bit like when Bruno Cheryou, French with Algerian descent, was labelled the next Zinedine Zidane, French with Algerian descent, due to him being French with Algerian descent.

Or those that labelled Abou Disney the next Patrick Vieira because he was tall, black, born in Senegal but grew up in France. Or the countless “diminutive playmakers” from Argentina who get labelled the “next Maradona” or more recently the “Next Messi”.

You need to judge someone on what their own achievements are, not on the achievements of someone who shares similar characteristics. And so far Thomas Tuchel has achieved nothing.

Last night Dortmund were taken apart at home against Monaco. Losing 3-2.

They currently sit 18 points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. It has to be said Bayern are an awesomely strong team so being 18 behind should not be seen as a negative for a manager. But sitting 4th in the league is more damning.

On top of this, Dortmund spent around £100m last summer. Much of which wasted on a lot of unknown youngsters.

So Dortmund spent a lot of money, hide failure behind having a team of kids, sit 4th in the league and are on the brink of going out in Europe. Maybe Tuchel is the perfect replacement for Wenger. If you want to keep mediocrity and the status quo.

Leicester Fans

Talk of Leicester fans disgracing themselves in Spain. Some Arsenal fans have commented on the matter calling them a disgrace.

Let’s be honest, at some point, almost every football fan has travelled abroad, stood in a square topless, drank too much beer, sang some naughty songs and ended up being charged by the police.

It happened in Milan. In Munich. In Lille for the Euro’s. European police do not like us and look for any reason to give us a smack.

The songs about Gibraltar were spot on. Gibraltar is ours and Spain can F Off. It reminds me of being in the square in Lille with England (and Welsh) fans last summer singing “we all voted out, we all voted out, F Off Europe, we all voted out”. We got charged, smacked and gassed by the French police that night.

If you have said, tweeted or commented that Leicester fans embarrassed themselves and England yesterday, please get over yourself. Get off your high horse. You are probably someone who on a Euro away spends all day taking selfies infront of the Eifel Tower. You probably do even more embarrassing things at games then have a beer and a sing song.

Euro aways are the best experience. Beers abroad with your pals. Sadly it seems some fans are so concerned over how they wish to portray themselves on social media that they forget their own behaviour abroad.

What Leicester fans did was no different to what Arsenal, Chelsea or Spurs fans have done abroad. And it was great.

Have a good Easter!

Keenos

Vincent Kompany explains Arsenal’s injury problems

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For a long time I have been of the opinion that there was nothing wrong with Arsenal’s training, medical team, pitch, or forcing players to return early, when it came to our injury issues over the years.

I had a much more basic reasoning for Arsenal’s injury problems. That we had too many players who were naturally injury prone.

The recent problems of Vincent Kompany has supported my opinion further.

The Belgium international has now picked up his 35th injury since joining Manchester City. And incredible amount. Despite many different managers, many different training programmes, one thing has remained a constant, Kompany being injured.

It is not just the amount of injuries he has had, but the length of time it takes him to return from injuries. 9 weeks for a ‘slight thigh strain’, 6 weeks for a minor calf strain. Not only does Kompany pick up a lot of injuries, he also takes an age to recover from them.

In 2015/16, he suffered 5 injuries, seeing him out injured for 283 days our of 365.

He reminds of the likes of Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby. It takes an age for him to get fit, and when rumours start rumbling that he is fit once more, or he actually steps on a football pitch, he breaks down again. Another month+ out.

Daniel Sturridge is another one. Always out injured. Takes forever for him to return, and he is only a slight ankle twist from being out for another 6 months.

sturridge-injury

The likes of Daniel Sturridge & Vincent Kompany picking up so many injuries when others around them seem immortal can not be a coincidence. It will be due to the physical make up of their bodies.

We are all unique. Some of us put on weight just by looking at a Krespy Kreme, others can eat for 6 and never put on weight. Some take a dozen days a year off work with colds, headaches and other alignments, others haven’t taken a day off work in 12 years. It is all to do with our genetic code.

And it is the same as with muscles and joints. Some of us are built strong. We would have never have picked up an injury. When we fell out the tree as a kid, we bounced, got back up, and climbed back up. Others are built weak. Always turning an ankle on a kerb. Always in and out of hospital as a child due to breaking arms just falling over.

We are all made differently.

When it comes to Arsenal, the biggest reason we suffered so many injury problems over the years was simple. We had too many players who were naturally injury prone.

Robin van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen, Samir Nasir, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and, of course, Abou Diaby. The majority had injury issues when they joined us, injury issues whilst playing for us, and injury issues after leaving us.1551

You could perhaps carry one or two injury prone players. Talented guys who when fit, were
worthwhile keeping around. Arsenal did this when they had both Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie. The effect of the Dutchman being out was felt less due to having decent back up.

The trick is simple. Do not have too many injury prone players in your squad at one time. And if you do have one who often breaks down, ensure the back up players are of sufficient quality.

There is no point keeping someone like Abou Diaby around if his cover is Jack Wilshere. Then Jack Wilshere’s cover is Aaron Ramsey. The odds are all 3 players will be out at the same time. And then you are screwed. This happened more than once at Arsenal.

This year, however, feels different. We do not seem to be carrying as many naturally injury prone players in our squad as yesteryear.

The likes of Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta have left us. Jack Wilshere out on loan. Last year these 3 players scored 303 Premier League appearances between them. With Jack Wilshere making the only start.

But offloading all three, Arsenal have basically taken 3 guys out of the treatment room, off the PhysioRoom.com Premier League Injury Table, and instantly made Arsenal’s injury problems less problematic.

No changes in training, no changes in pitch, no horse placenta. Just getting rid of injury prone players has given us a fitter squad.

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Of the 6 players currently out injured, none of them would be described as injury prone.

Santi Cazorla is borderline. It is his 2nd long injury in 12 months, and how long it it taking him to get back fit is mystifying, nearly to Tomas Rosicky levels. Danny Welbeck is similar, But neither are yet at the level of the likes of Diaby, Rosicky, or Arteta.

The others out injured are not a worry.

Now by getting rid of those who are historically always out, it has meant that we have felt the impact of injuries less.

Santi Cazorla is out. in previous years, we would also have Arteta, Wilshere and Rosicky out. Which would have left us with just Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin in the middle of the park. Ramsey would then pick up an injury for being over played – and he has only just returned from 3 months out – and we would be screwed.

But Arteta, Wilshere and Rosicky have been replaced with Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka. Two players with good injury records. And what that has left us with is options, even when a couple of key players are out injured.

Per Mertesacker is another one. The Arsenal captain’s absence has not been felt as Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel has remained fit. Koscielny’s long term achilles and back issues seem to have cleared up.

So there is no genius reason why Arsenal have not suffered the injury problems this season that we have previous. It is just that we have less injury prone players.

Arguably just Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott.

The likes of Vincent Kompany, Daniel Sturridge, Andy Carroll & Jack Wilshere highlight that injuries are often more to do with the players own individual make up, rather than anything more serious than that.

Think of history. Arjen Robben, Darren Anderton, Jamie Redknapp, and many, many more. Players who were always injured. Whilst team mates barely missed a game.

For me, Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck are in last chance saloon. Both have now missed a lot of game time over 12 months injured. If they can not get fit, and stay fit, then they should be shipped out, replaced with players who can stay fit.

Chelsea won the league a few years back using hardly any players. They kept everyone fit. The same with Leicester last year. Spurs only fell away when they started to lose players in the last 10 games. Fitness is key in the Premier League. You need to keep your players fit.

And to keep your players fit, you need to recruit fit players.

It does not matter how talented you are, if you can not stay fit, you are useless.

Keenos

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