Tag Archives: Wojciech Szczęsny

Wojciech Szczesny, Attendances & Tottenham breach advertising rules

Wojciech Szczesny

Last night against Manchester United, we saw why Arsenal were happy to let him go a few years back – firstly on loan to Roma and then on a permanent move to Juventus.

Capable of unbelievable saves, Szczesny will retire with a magnificent highlights reel. However he has a bloopers reel to match.

A lot was made on him being signed for Juventus to replace the legendary Gianluigi Buffon, but he was actually signed as his number 2.

Since Buffon left over the summer, he has been promoted to number 1.

Playing for Juventus, his flaws are not often exposed. 10 wins and a draw from the 11 games this season, the Old Lady dominate Serie A to the point that I could be in goal and they would still be top.

Every time he pulls out a World Class save, you get Arsenal fans commenting that he is “one that got away”, but as the errors against Manchester United showed, he is still a very flawed keeper.

As Paul Scholes said last night, has he really improved that much since leaving Arsenal?

Attendances

Every time Arsenal get a sub-50,000 attendance at the Emirates it makes national news.

A lot of fuss was made in 2011 “when only 46,539 fans rocked up to the Emirates” for a League Cup game against Shrewsbury. The lowest attendance at a game at the new ground was then “broken” when 44,064 tickets were sold for another League Cup tie – this time against Doncaster in 2017.

This year we have seen stories about 48,168 and 49,586 going to games against Brentford and Blackpool respectively.

For this reason I am surprised why Tottenham’s attendance against PSV this week has failed to make the news.

Some will say that the capacity for games at Wembley has been capped by Brent Council. However Tottenham announced that all three group stage Champions League matches and the game against Manchester City were to be full capacity.

Their attendances this season make you wonder why they are building a 62,000 seater stadium.

Tottenham breach advertising rules

Whilst I am on about Tottenham, a little bit of humorous news for us all.

We all remember the advertisement campaign that they had running over the summer in Underground stations, trolling fans of Arsenal and Chelsea by declaring that their new ground would be “the only place to watch UEFA Champions League in London”. Well it seems that advert is about to come back and bite them.

Well this has now come to the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who have concluded that “the ad was likely to have breached advertising rules”.

Up the Arsenal

Keenos

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What happened to Arsenal’s 2015 FA Cup winners?

Three years ago today, Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0.

It was certainly not as stressful as what happened at Wembley 12 months previous – when Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down with Kieran Gibbs heading off the line – but it was equally as satisfying.

Arsenal were in complete control from the first minute against relegated Aston Villa – who did not have a shot on target.

What struck me was the goal scorers that day. Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud. Who would have thought all four would have departed just 3 years later.

That day Santi Cazorla was named Man of the Match. He joins the goal scorers by leaving Arsenal this summer.

These little snippets then made me look at the entire match day squad from 2015, and investigate “where are they now?”

 

For Wojciech Szczęsny, the FA Cup Final would be the last time he would be seen in an Arsenal shirt. what followed was a 2 year loan to Roma before he joined Juventus as the eventual replacement for Gianluigi Buffon.

Captaining Arsenal that day was Per Mertesacker. He retires this summer. Also leaving the club this summer on a free is Santi Cazorla.

In January, we saw a quadruple of exits. Francis Coquelin went to Valencia, where he joined Gabriel Paulista  who returned to Spain in the summer of 2017.

Three of the goal scorers that day also left in January. Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea in a massive merry-go-round of players and Theo Walcott went to Everton. Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United,

Kieran Gibbs, who saved the day with a goal line clearance the season before which would have seen Arsenal go 3-0 down, went to WBA where he got relegated.

Thinking the grass was greener, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went to Liverpool in a big money move in the summer of 2017. Inconsistent performances and injury showed that sometimes it is the player, not the manager.

Finally, Mathieu Flamini Went to Crystal Palace and became a billionaire.

With the futures of Hector Bellerin, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina and Aaron Ramsey in the balance this summer, Arsenal could be in a situation where just 3 players remain from that victorious team 3 years ago.

Keenos

Stop putting average players on a pedestal

The current trend at Arsenal seems to be a childish hyping up and rating of players who are set to leave us. The only explanation I can think of is because it is Arsene Wenger no longer fancies the players, so suddenly certain fans start rating him highly. After all, they can not bring themselves to agree with Arsene Wenger.

In the polar opposite direction, and a good place to start this blog, is deadwood.

For years we have moaned about certain players being deadwood. Surplus to requirements. Not fit to wear the shirt. Confused as to why Wenger signed them. More confused as to why they were kept and played so often. And in many of the cases, the criticism was justifiable.

But it seems as soon as we come to decide to move on these players, people start moaning. They never got their chance they complain, even though they were also moaning every time they got their chance.

I have always called it The Michael Carrick Affect – a syndrome caused by rating a player because he is not playing, and the less he plays, the better he gets. Both for England and Manchester United, Carrick got better when he was not playing, to the point where during one absence, people were labelling the average midfielder as world class.

A first example of this happening at Arsenal was with Joel Campbell, and the infamous get out whilst you can Joel at an away game against Swansea.

At the time, Joel Campbell was the poster boy for those that hate everything about Wenger. He was not getting game time, and they demanded that he should. By not playing, he was getting better. They were ignoring the fact that he was average, they felt he should be in the first team.

A few years on from that, people are still saying Campbell never got his chance at Arsenal. Yet in 2015, he played 30 games for the club, scoring 4 goals, and proved that he was not good enough. Interestingly, in the same season, Theo Walcott, a man fans love to have, scored 7 goals in 21 games. Always baffles me when fans rate a player above another player just to suit an agenda.

Even now, people are calling for Joel Campbell to return to Arsenal. This is a player who started just 7 games for Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese League.

Joel Campbell is not good enough.

Lukas Podolski is another who many labelled as not good enough but as soon as he was loaned out to Inter Milan, the tide of opinion changed. He is now in Japanese football and people are still moaning that he should be at Arsenal.

Labelled as deadwood for many years, Wojciech Szczesny suddenly became everyone’s favourite goal keeper when he joined Juventus as their number 2. Suddenly everyone loved the Pole, who they had spent the last 4 years criticising.

I really did not understand the love in with Wojciech Szczesny.

Lucas Perez is another whose stock has risen dramatically purely because he is not fancied. I see people saying he was not given a chance last season. Yet he was simply not as good as players who started ahead of him.

People act like Lucas Perez was a superstar because he scored a hat trick against Basel, a brace against Nottingham Forest and miss hit a cross which went in against Sutton. OK, he scored a great goal against Bournemouth, but that is one goal, in 21 games.

The joke with Perez is when we signed him, we were competing with the likes of West Ham and Everton for his signature. People commented if he was any good, other top sides would be chasing him. 12 months on, he is being linked with a move away from Arsenal to either Everton or West Ham, and everyone is saying how great a player he is – even though other big sides are not interested.

Another is Calum chambers. 12 months ago it was he has been a flop, we would be lucky to get back half of what we paid for him. Now that we are attracting bids for more than what we paid for him, people are saying we are crazy to sell him.

I have even seen people complain that the very average Mohamad Elneny has not been given a chance.

This situation just highlights the agenda driven opinion of some fans. Arsene Wenger could go and buy Lee Trundle, and those fans would moan we were signing an old, overweight player who is clearly not good enough. But in a year, after he plays just 4 games and we sell him, they would say he was a great player who was never given his chance.

Be consistent in your opinion. Players we are clearing out this summer are just not good enough. Question why we signed them in the first place – criticise Wenger for wasting money on them – but do not question why we are selling them, just as a stick to beat Wenger with.

Keenos