Tag Archives: She Wore Yellow Ribbon

Arsenal look to sell top scorer in January

A decision has been made by Arsenal to sell Theo Walcott in January.

With 107 goals, Walcott is the top Arsenal scorer goal scorer in the current squad. Having joined the club back in January 2006, he is also the clubs longest serving player.

I know I am in the minority, but for years I have been a fan of Theo Walcott.

Injuries aside, he is one of the most underrated players, not only at Arsenal, but in the Premier League.

His issue is that he is not a pretty player. There are no step overs, he does not make the highlights reel, he is a very basic player who relies on pace and finishing.

Over the years, I have seen people rate the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andros Townsend and Yannick Bolasie above Theo Walcott. These players are a lot better on the eye then Walcott, and someone like Bolasie shows more tricks in a single game than Walcott does in an entire season.

But then a trick, a bit of skill, is only worthwhile if it leads to a goal – whether it be a goal for the individual, or contributes to a team mate at the end. A bit of skill that leads to nothing is pointless. It is showing off. It is something for the highlight reel.

Take Bolasie. He shows incredible skill, step-overs, fakes, dummies, yet he has just 10 Premier League goals to his name in over 100 appearances. That is less than 1 goal in 10 games. What is the point of having that much ability if it leads to nothing?

Sadly, in the Banter Boys era of football, where fans get excited over a GIF of a player nut mugging an opponent, someone like Bolasie becomes vastly overatted, to the point sides are willing to spend £30million+ on a player who does not score, does not create, yet looks good on YouTube.

Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is not a player for YouTube, not a player for FIFA. He is much derided, called useless by many, and is currently struggling to make the England squad.

Walcott averaged 1 goal in 4 in the league, 1 in 3.5 in all competitions. These are statistics that very few wingers in the Premier League have battered in the last 10 years. Walcott has a better goals to games ratio than Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg.

Last year, Walcott scored 19 goals in 37 games. That was more than the likes of Raheem sterling, Marcus Rashford, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck and Jesse Lingard. Yet these players are often put above Walcott as being better, being more influential adimitedly Sterling has been awesome this season.

The problem for Walcott this season is he has struggled to break into the first team, and has struggled to make an impact when playing for the second string in Europe and the League Cup.

With Arsenal playing 1 up top, and a narrow two behind him, Walcott does not have the attributes to play in any of the current 3 attacking positions.

Despite early protests that he was a striker, Theo Walcott is not an out and out striker. Whilst he can be dangerous through the middle, he does not have the hold up play to be up top on his own.

The current holders of the two behind a single striker are Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Walcott is no where near as good as these players. And in that position, he is also behind the likes of Alex Iwobi, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.

Walcott does not have the technique, close control or passing ability to perform in the tight areas that Ozil and Sanchez thrive in.

He is at his best with a bit of space to run in to, off the shoulder of the last man. That means playing out wide, drifting in the space between the opponent full back and centre back. The current 3421 that Arsenal are playing does not allow for a player to site out wide, off the shoulder of the last man.

Against Norwich, playing behind Olivier Giroud, Walcott was awful. He only looked a threat when he drifted outside and found some space – leading to a few marginal offside calls.

But in the 3421 formation, you can not afford one of the 2 behind the striker to want to spend 90% of his time advanced, on the last line. You need them to get involved in the build up play. To drop deep and create. This is not using Walcott to the best of his ability.

A bit like shoehorning midfielders into the wrong position, playing Walcott in the position he did against Norwich felt like a case of having to give Walcott game time rather than playing your best available players in their best position. The likes of Joe Willock or Reiss Nelson would have done a much better job in behind Giroud. Or push Jack Wilshere alongside Alex Iwobi in that position.

Playing behind a striker is just no Walcott’s game.

None of this means Walcott is a bad player. 19 goals last seasons shows he is a good player. All this shows it Walcott has struggled to find a place in the current team, with 3421 set to be a long term formation, Walcott has become surplus to requirements.

Rumours are already doing the rounds that Everton have enquired for the Englishman.

With Arsenal actively looking to sell him Walcott, the likelihood is every Premier League side from Burnley in 7th, down, would be interested in him. A proven Premier League player, he would make an instant impact and be worth 10 goals in the 2nd half of the season. That would be enough to push a team from relegation threatened to the safety of mid table.

There will be no shortage of interested parties in Theo Walcott.




Which Premier League sides lack the cojones?

Last weekend, a big fuss was made over Arsenal losing to Watford. Convicted thug, Troy Deeney, went straight to the nearest television studio, in his best court suit, to declare that Arsenal simply did not have the cojones.

7 days on, and Watford let go a 1 goal lead to lose 4-2 to Watford. Deeney, who does not have the fitness to play 90 minutes, was taken off with 10 minutes to go and the scores at 2-2.

Did Deeney stand there in the changing room, lamenting his team mates, telling them how they had let themselves down, their family down, the bumblebee mascot down, and how they did not have the cojones? Probably not. He probably drove straight to Birmingham for a few beers with his mates before stamping on the head of a defenceless student.

Troy found out how quickly the earth spins round. It is easy boasting about how you smash an opponent as soon as you come on the field when you win, but how about all them times you lose Troy?

The weekend showed just how tough the Premier League is. Manchester City apart, every other top team as showed a lack of cojones at some point.

On Saturday, Manchester United lost against the then favourites-to-be-relegated Huddersfield. The Huddersfield players showed a lot more class than Troy Deeney, as none went on TV abusing their opponents. It was Manchester United’s first defeat of the season. But an unexpected one.

There was also tears in Liverpool as the Scourers lost away to Spurs.

It was not just losing, but it was the manor of the defeat. 4-1.

Liverpool remind me of Arsenal, when they lose against a top side, they lose heavily, 4 against Spurs, 5 against Manchester City.

They have also dropped points against Watford, Newcastle and Burnley, and sit 9th in the league. Jurgen Klopp’s crown has slipped with a drifting win percentage. Now under 50% with a worse record than the likes of Brendan Rodgers.

No mention of their players lacking the cojones though.

Then we have Chelsea. The current Champions.

They showed some cojones on Saturday to come back from 2-1 down to beat Watford. But then the weekend before they played Crystal Palace, with 0 goals and 0 points this season. They lost 2-1. Having already lost at home to Manchester City, and that opening day defeat to Burnley, they sit with an identical record to Arsenal.

Do their players lack the cojones? Or does it just show that bar Manchester City, every other side is a little bit average.

We then come to Arsenal, We know about Watford and Stoke, and that defeat to Liverpool. Lots made about the club in crisis, but we are level with Chelsea and ahead of Liverpool. A long way behind Manchester City though – and that is what is important.

Spurs got a good win against Liverpool to go level on points against Manchester United. But it was not too long ago that they were struggling to win at home – draws against Swansea and Burnley. They are in fine form at the minute, yet still they are closer to Arsenal 94 points ahead) then they are to Manchester City (5 points behind).

Very little talk about cojones when they failed to beat Burnley or Swansea.

Manchester City look awesome. But then Leyton Orient would look awesome if they spent over £500m in 3 summers, on top of the billion pounds they spent in the 6 or 7 years previous.

With what they have spent recently, Manchester City should be winning titles every year. There last success in the league was 4 years ago. And they have just a single League Cup since.

None of this justifies Arsenal’s predicament. No title in 12 years is not good enough. Not using your finances to their full capability is not good enough.

We are not giving ourselves the best chance of success. At least if you try, then fail, at least you have tried. In recent transfer windows, we have not tried.

This season, every side will drop points against teams they really should beat. It happens every season. It is why the bookies are rich and the punters poor.

The only side that looks infallible so far is Manchester City. But then we are only 9 games in.

An early prediction, Manchester City will further ahead of second, than second is ahead of 6th. The other 5 sides are all a similar level of averageness – even if the press like to paint one club in crisis and the other as brilliant.

It will be a rollercoaster of a season.


Arsene right to reject Arsenal legend

132Imagine Starting a job. You are not very experienced at the job. And you are in training. It is a part time role so you work a second job alongside it.

After your training, you are ready to move on to the next level. A promotion of sorts. Another 2 years of training. But this time you have to go full time.

You knock on your managers door, go in, ask him if you can remain part time, as you do not want to give up your second job. This despite your first job needing full time commitment. What will you boss say? Probably tell you to F off.

And that is what has happened with Thierry Henry.

He is in training to become a fully qualified coach. Arsenal and Arsene have supported him so far. But the next stage needed some commitment from Henry. It needed Henry to give up his job at Sky. To show that he was fully committed to the under 18 team and to be a full time coach.

Henry turned it down. He wanted to change the terms. And Wenger did the right thing not bowing down to his demands.

This morning the club will get a lot of criticism from fans who just do not really understand. They will read an inflammatory, borderline libellous article by The Telegraph.

I will come onto the article in a bit.

But I fully support Arsenal’s stance on the matter.

And that is what Henry is doing. Treating coaching like a hobby. Something to do with his spare time. Something to keep him relevant perhaps? Does he really want to become a coach? A manager? If he did, show the commitment, leave Sky. Take up a full time position.

Instead he wants to split the two.

So what happens on a mid week game? Or a Champions League game (do they still have the Champions League?) where Henry would be missing from training 2 days a week.

And what happens when a game clashes with his Sky duties. What takes precedent? Clearly he has indicated Sky does. So Henry does not turn up for the game. At the extreme, imagine if Arsene Wenger had a job with French TV, so was unable to be on the touchline for games?

Henry offered to be assistant to Kwame Ampadu. Again, the extreme, imagine if Steve Bould was unable to be on the touchline for Saturday evening games as he had to work his second job in a Weatherpoons in Stoke?

It happens at all levels of football.

One of my work colleagues daughter plays football (she is about 13). Her sides manager was relieved of his duties over the summer. The reason being was that his daughter had been recruited by a better club, and, understandably, he wants to watch her play. This meant he could not be there on the touchline on game day. He offered to coach the girls twice a week, mid-week, but on a Saturday he would not be anywhere to be seen.

This was deemed unacceptable by the parents of the other children. They did not want a part time coach. They did not want someone who was not fully committed to their girls. And he was told he would not be managing the girls next season.

As for The Telegraph article. It is a load of Bull. Where to start.

“Sources around Arsenal believe Wenger does not want anybody at the club’s London Colney training ground who may be prepared to challenge him or be seen as a possible threat to his position in the future.”

Who is your source? Where is your quote? Or is your source Twitter rumours?

Vieira was not allowed a senior role at Arsenal under Wenger even though he did not have any other commitments…Vieira accepted a youth development role at Manchester City.”

Again, another miss truth. Patrick Vieira was a Manchester City player when he was encouraged to retire with a year left on his contract. He took a job at Manchester City on the same terms as his player contract. Something that Arsenal would have been ludicrous to match.

“It is still a source of embarrassment to many people who work at Arsenal that Vieira has played a key role in City becoming a fierce rival of the Gunners.”

Is it really? Who is your source? Where is your quote? Or is your source Twitter rumours?

“Wenger stalled over how he could fit Arteta into his staff, allowing Guardiola to make him a first-team coach.”

This is the first I have heard of this. From what it looked like, Arteta had worked under Wenger for 5 years, and wanted to continue his development under a different manager, to make himself a more rounded coach.

It was only natural that Guardiola would be his choice. A great coach, like Wenger, and Guardiola needed someone in his set up who he has known for 2 decades and knows the English game. It was not a case of Arsenal rejecting Arteta, but Arteta moving to continue his development.

Bergkamp turned down an offer to scout.”

Anyone who has read Dennis Bergkamp’s autobiography will know that once his playing days were over, he planned to return to Ajax to coach. His beyond club whom he joined at 11 years old. To continue the work of his idol, Johan Cruyff. Are we really criticising Arsene Wenger or Arsenal for a player wanting to return home?

“…Overmars also went back to Holland.”

So another former Ajax player went home to coach Ajax. Overmars spent 5 years at the Dutch club. He spent 3 at Arsenal before forcing through a move to Barcelona. Did Overmars reject us? Did we reject him? Or was there simply no interest from either party?

It feels at this point they are trying to fill out an article by searching for players who are coaching at other clubs who were not offered a job by Arsene Wenger.

Steve Bruce never coached at Manchester United. Neither did Bryan Robson. Or Roy Keane. Or Paul Ince. Was an article ever written about Sir Alex Ferguson not giving a chance to former players?

Ryan Giggs and Manchester United have just parted ways. Where is the articles slamming Jose Mourinho for letting a club legend leave?

It is starting to feel like an agenda.

“Wenger has allowed a number of his old players back to Arsenal in temporary roles and working with the junior teams, but only former defender Steve Bould has managed to hold down a long-term position in his backroom staff.”

A great player does not make a great coach. That is fact. Look at Tony Adams as an example.

There are many former players currently in the club set up. One is Ryan Garry.

Garry is a former academy graduate who was forced to retire at 27 due to a knee injury. He is currently the clubs under-13 head coach. He is well thought of within the club. Working his way up. Showing commitment. Doing his badges.

Garry is a perfect example of a player who has had an average career, but could go on to be a top manager. And he is a former player.

Arsenal wanted commitment from Henry. Henry did not show that commitment to the club. Henry is not bigger than Arsenal, and he has now learnt that.

I will leave the last words to friend of the site @AFC_Glen: