Tag Archives: Premier League

Things about to get a lot easier for The Arsenal

Unai Emery was handed a horrendous start to Arsenal’s new dawn the Premier League fixtures were drawn.

Manchester City and Chelsea. The last two champions. Winners of 4 of the last 5 Premier League seasons.

It was always going to be a thought start, and Arsenal have ended up with the results that many expected.

Two defeats from the opening two games.

Prior to the opening day game of the season, Arsenal had beaten Manchester City just once one 7 games – that FA Cup Semi-final.

Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 2011 – when Robin van Persie scored a hat trick.

So anyone expecting 6 points from the opening games was deluded.

There was hope.

City and Chelsea both had a lot of players at the World Cup, and Chelsea had a crisis summer with a new manager coming in late. But the hope did not materialise as Arsenal lost both games.

Against City, Arsenal struggled; but every side is going to struggle versus the Champions.

The Chelsea game had a lot more positives about it.

Whilst we were still shaky at the back; we were electric upfront and could have scored 4 or 5 if the players realised it was not rugby and you have to put the ball under the bar.

Matteo Guendouzi continued his fine start to an Arsenal shirt. A physical presence in the midfield, he shows nice passing to get alongside defensive prowess.

The same old faces were the ones to late us down again.

Petr Cech could have done more with two of their goals. Hector Bellerin ran out of steam on the right, and Granit Xhaka was poor in the middle. The game passes Mesut Ozil by.

It is time to make a decision on Cech. He has had a rough first two games and does not look comfortable playing out of the back. With new signing Bernd Leno waiting in the wings, it is probably time for a swap.

As for Bellerin, I feel sorry for him a bit.

On another day, if the finishing was better, he would’ve come away from the game with a hat trick of assists. Instead he was horribly exposed towards the end, with Chelsea’s winner coming from his flank.

The problem is under Emery’s system he does not have the cover of a winger. He is expect to defend and attack, and it is draining.

Mauricio Pochettino up the road uses his full backs in a similar way, but he rotated them almost every game.

If Emery is to ask his full backs to bet up and down the wing every game, he is going to have to expect them to run out of gas.

In Stephan Lichsteiner Arsenal have an experienced, dependable right back who surely needs to come in for Bellerin, even if it is just for one game.

The middle of the park is a bit of a concern.

Xhaka was horrendous, but Emery played down taking him off at half time by saying:

‘It was a tactical decision because he has the yellow card also.

‘I think we don’t take risks with this yellow card and also to give the chance to another player in the match.’

On came summer signing Lucas Torreira and alongside 19-year old Guendouzi they looked an ok partnership.

The concern when playing that pair is neither is a good a passer as Xhaka, and you feel we might have trouble transitioning the ball from defence through the midfield.

I would like to see Xhaka alongside Torreira, but also think Guendouzi has done little wrong to lose his place.

It is a conundrum and it might take a few games to work out where our best pairing is.

8 of the next 9 fixtures are a lot more comfortable than the 2 we started the season with. These will go a long way to showing the progress Emery has made with this time.

I am not too concerned with the start we have made.

The truth is Man City and Chelsea was always going to be a tough first 2 games.

Had Arsenal played the likes of Fulham and Newcastle, we’d probably be top

Plenty of positives to take. Still expect us to be top 4.

Keenos

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Arsenal set to complete £65m triple transfer “within 2 weeks”

A huge criticism of the last 10 years of the Arsene Wenger era was the dithering over transfers – with the club often waiting until the last week of the transfer window to complete deals.

The new era lead by Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat has heralded a new policy on transfers.

Not only were we happy to deal with a super agent when we signed Henrik Mkhitaryan, and got through a complex deal which saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang join the club in January, we are not concluding our transfer dealings earlier.

We have already seen Stephan Lichtsteiner join the club on a free transfer, and it is becoming increasingly likely that he will be joined by 3 more new signings.

We already know that the deal of Sokratis Papastathopoulos will go through at the beginning July. The Greek centre back joining Arsenal for £16m.

The Gunners are closing in on the £26m signing of Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira.

Arsenal are discussing personal terms with representatives of Uruguay midfielder Torreira and a deal for the 22-year-old who came off the bench on Friday to help Uruguay beat Egypt 1-0.

A £26m fee has been agreed between the two clubs. Over his release clause but allows Arsenal to spread payments out.

Unai Emery is also keen to sign a goalkeeper and Arsenal have made contact with Leverkusen over a move for Bernd Leno. The 26-year-old will replace Petr Cech as the Gunners No1.

Reports are they have approached Bayer Leverkusen over a £23m deal for German goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who recently liked an Instagram post concerning the transfer speculation.

As Leno was left out of Germany’s World Cup squad, there are unlikely to be too many delays in completing the deal.

With all 3 set to be completed in the next two weeks, it will leave the club plenty of time and money to complete a “special” signing before the window shuts on the eve of the transfer window.

Keenos

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