Tag Archives: Manchester City

Arsenal’s Messy Numbers, Cristiano Ronaldo & Riyad Mahrez, and Jean Michael Seri

Messy Numbers

Lucas Torreira finally joined Arsenal yesterday and took the number 11 shirt. This caused a lot of fuss from traditionalists who dream of the days when players wore 1-11.

11 was always associated with a winger. We then have Bernd Leno, our number 1 for next season set to wear number 19.

Mohamed Elneny, who is unlikely to start, has the number 4 shirt, whilst Granit Xhaka, who is likely to start, wears 34.

And the less said about Joe Willock wearing 69 the better. Grow up son.

I guess at least it is not William Gallas wearing the sacred number 10. That is now on the shoulder of Mesut Ozil.

And we have a proper full back wearing number 2 in Hector Bellerin. It always looked odd with Aboue Diaby in that shift.

If Cech go’s, maybe Leno will move to number 1?

I just do not like it.

Cristiano Ronaldo & Riyad Mahrez

Yesterday Juventus sign Real Madrid forward for Cristiano Ronaldo for £99.2m.

Prior to the deal, the record transfer fee for a 33 year old was when Manchester City spent £16m on Claudio Bravo.

I can see why Ronaldo has moved; he is guaranteed winning the Serie A at least once with Juventus which will put him into an exclusive group of players who have won the league in England, Italy and Spain.

With his recent tax case, Ronaldo is set for a huge windfall in the later end of his career. €120,000,000 over 4 Years is the reported salary.

Some will say that he will earn that back for Juventus in shirt sales, but that is a fallacy as Juventus do not get a percentage of global shirt sales – they only profit o nwhat they sell in their own shop.

It just seems odd for Juventus to be spending that much on a 33 year old.

As for Riyad Mahrez, whilst the £60m is not a huge sum in this day and age – and he is probably worth it – it is incredible that Manchester City have spent the same on one player as Arsenal have on 4

What is even more incredible is that Manchester City already have Raheem Sterling (£44m), Bernard Silva (£43m) and Leroy Sane (£37m) in their squad. They have broken their transfer record on a player who probably will not start week in week out for them.

The signing also continues Pep Guardiola’s incredible spending since joining Manchester City.

Jean Michael Seri

The deal taking Jean Michael Seri from Nice to Fulham is an odd one.

After being linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea for the last 24 months for over £30m, to then join Fulham for reportedly half that just feels strange.

It reminds me of in days gone past when Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez joined West Ham out of no-where.

Why was he so cheap and why did he join Fulham?

My guess is that the interest from Arsenal and Chelsea disappeared. Neither club wanting to spend on a soon-too-be 27 year old whose hype is perhaps well above his ability.

Seri has been compared a lot to N’Golo Kante, but the feeling was always that this was because he was short, African and played in France; rather than him actually being similar to the Frenchman . Kante was also just 24 when he came to the Premier League.

You have to think his agent has forced through the move, knowing that time is running down for his client to make a big money move to the Premier League. That he had to go now to secure that big signing on percentage.

It will be interesting to see if Seri lives up to the hype in England, or if he justifies why Arsenal and Chelsea decided not to go for him.

Keenos

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Great time to play Man City – PL fixtures announced

Manchester City at home

Chelsea away

Welcome to the Premier League Unai Emery.

Whilst a lot of people have winced at Arsenal’s tough start to the Premier League season, I prefer to look at it another way.

The beginning of the season is a great time to play both sides due to the World Cup.

Arsenal have just 8 players at the World Cup – Granit Xhaka, Mesut Özil, David Ospina, Nacho Monreal, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck & new boy Stephan Lichtsteiner.

Only really Ozil, Monreal and Xhaka start in our strongest XI.

This means for the opening day of the season, we could line up the following line up:

Cech

Bellerin Mustafi Sokratis Kolasinac

Wilshere* AMN Ramsey

Mkhitaryan

Aubameyang Lacazette

*If he signs

The only place we are looking lightweight is in midfield, as both Xhaka and Elneny are in Russia, and likely new signing Lucas Torreira will also be out there.

Manchester City, meanwhile, have 16 players at the World Cup.

The likes of Kyle Walker, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Nicolas Otamendi, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne strut their stuff around Russia

John Stones, Vincent Kompany, Ederson, Danilo, Fernandinho, Fabian Delph, Benjamin Mendy, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and David Silva will also be out there.

Looking at their squad, you struggle to make a competitive XI out of those players who have not gone.

If they rush some players who will be knocked it early – the likes of Stones and Walker – they might be able to put out a decent XI; but an XI who would not have had much of a pre season.

Chelsea also have a lot of players at the World Cup. 14 in total.

Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and loan man Michy Batshuayi. Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Olivier Giroud N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Willian, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Willy Caballero.

Kenneth Omeruo and Victor Moses will be playing for Nigeria.

Going into the first few games of the season, they will be without a senior goal keeper and have just senior CB – David Luiz – to choose from.

Emery has a chance of starting the season off with a bang. Two wins against two top 6 sides.

Other fixtures to look out for are:

Spurs (a): March 2nd

Spurs (h): December 1st

Boxing Day: Brighton (a)

New Years Eve: Liverpool (a)

New Years Day: Fulham (h)

Last game: Burnley (h)

The post-Europa league games are also friendly. They will all get moved to Sunday and for away supporters, we have avoided any long trips:

Everton (h)

Fulham (a)

Crystal Palace (a)

Wolves (h)

Tottenham (h)

Southampton (a)

Two of the post Europa League away days in London and the furthest to travel is Southampton. Not bad.

With the transfer window closing on the eve of the Premier Leaghe starting, clubs have to get a move on with any business they have to do.

Arsenal have fairly nice fixtures in the last 8 games of the season. If we start well, we could be in with a shout towards the end.

Up the Arsenal

Keenos

Only The Arsenal matter

Yesterday Liverpool proved that they are the greatest team of all time, with the greatest manager of all time. In Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain they have the most improved player of all time. The hyperbole from the media and fans was almost as cringe as Spurs appealing for a goal to be given to Harry Kane.

Fair play to Liverpool though. They were under dogs against Manchester City and performed well to knock them out – even though they got a huge slice of luck from the referee with a goal disallowed that would have made it 3-2 on aggregate.

Despite running away with the Premier League, Manchester City have now suffered 3 defeats in a row. 4 losses in 6 games, and 3 home losses on the trot.

It is not a massive surprise about Manchester City’s recent stumble.

At Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola’s side always seemed to struggle in the last quarter of the season

In 2013/14, Munich messed up a chance of an unbeaten season when they drew 1, lost 2 on the spin. In April they were also defeated by Real Madrid in the Champions League. A year later, they lost 3 on the spin in the Bundesliga and were once more knocked out of the Champions league at the semi-final stage.

Whilst in both seasons, the defeats happened after the title was sown up, it still highlights a fall off in performance at the later end of the season.

Pep Guardiola is so intense, his training sessions, the way he deals with players, etc, that it is only natural that they get burn out. We are maybe now seeing the same with Manchester City.

A defeat to Spurs at the weekend could see Man City not securing the league title until May. It will be a case of limping over the line for a team that was considered one of the greatest in history (after the current Liverpool side).

Anyway, I did not watch the Champions League game. I have no real interest.

Instead I watched The Island with Bear Grylls. Great TV viewing if you are not already on it. Hopefully in the next episode, whalers will come along and harpoon the 3 poor people. Workshy, lazy, overweight wastes of oxygen. They are a disgrace to working class folk who grind 10 hours a day to put food on the table.

All I care about is Thursday. The Europa League.

At 4-1, you would think Arsenal are comfortable. But last night Barcelona went to Rome with a 4-1 lead from the home leg. They lost 3-0 and went out on away goals.

This result could be good for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger should make players watch the game on the flight to Moscow, to avoid complacency.

To those going out there, enjoy the game, stay safe.

A final thought of the day…

Up the Arsenal.

Keenos