Category Archives: per mertesacker

Is Alexis Sanchez on the way out?

alexis

Arsenal Alexis SanchezAlexis Sanchez has been a hero to Arsenal fans for the last three years. It looks increasingly likely that the Chilean will quit the Gunners for a move elsewhere. What will hurt is if that he does move to Man City as opposed to Bayern Munich, Gunners’ fans will have to watch him come to the Emirates and likely tear us apart. I hope that as is being reported he will shun a move to link up with former manager Pep at City and move to Germany to partner his international buddy Arturo Vidal.
What is for sure is that the money is going to be reinvested in the team. With no shortage of activity on the transfer market, this is the year where players look to be available. Thomas Lemar would be for me the perfect signing now we already have Lacazette to replace Sanchez. But if Sanchez leaves, Arsenal need to do all they can to keep hold of the Ox and Mesut Ozil. Midfielders of that calibre are hard to come by and I have a feeling Ozil is going to have a fantastic season for us if we can keep him happy and fit. The Ox should be one for our future and we should also do all that we can to sign him up to a new deal.
Elsewhere Per Mertesacker has been brought in to manage the academy and will retire at the end of this season. Good move from Arsenal in my opinion. Jens Lehmann has already been brought in as a coach and it will be interesting to see how that goes down with Arsene Wenger’s team.
It’s nice to see that there is some movement behind the scenes with new coaches and I think the appointment of Lehmann is a very interesting one as he has never been one to mince his words.
Let’s see what the next couple of weeks brings on the transfer market, fingers crossed we see some more new faces.

Liverpool next – can Arsenal show their form?

Arsenal Palace

After a hard fought 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, now it is time for Arsenal to take on Liverpool this weekend. With two wins out of two, Brendan Rodgers’ team look good value for a top four spot this year. Benteke is proving to be dangerous and continues to prove why he is one of Europe’s best strikers. On the other hand, Arsenal’s defence has been weak so far this season despite the sterling efforts of Laurent Koscielny against Palace last week. If we are to reproduce the success of last season against Liverpool, we are going to need to be powerful going forward and strong at the back.

There’s not much news on the transfer market so far, you have to feel that with the signing of Petr Cech, Arsenal are pretty happy with their current squad of players. Arsene Wenger had been expected to spend big this season but with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil expected to do big things this year, you feel our boss won’t be spending much left for the remainder of the window, which finishes at the end of August.

The Telegraph says that we’ve had a bid for Karim Benzema accepted by Real Madrid, but I hear that there’s no truth in the rumours and Arsene has given up on his fellow countryman.

Meanwhile, Joel Campbell had been set for a move to Palermo, but it appears Arsene Wenger is looking for at least 7 million euros before he sells the Costa Rican striker.

That’s all for now, have a good one!

Important WBA win; we must buy a defensive midfielder

Danny Welbeck Olivier Giroud

That was a big win for us yesterday. WBA made it difficult for Arsenal at the end, but a goal from Welbz was enough to secure an important 3 points and push us a little further up the Premier League table. All in all, that was a pretty good week. A 2-0 home win against Borussia Dortmund was of course the highlight. However, we’ve had the additional setback of further injuries. Jack Wilshere had to have surgery and will miss three months of action. Mikel Arteta picked up a knock. Yesterday, Nacho Monreal had to come off for Gibbs and also it is possible the Ox might miss a game or two. I know many people are questioning our medical team and training, but I think it’s really bad luck. I think a lot of it is to do with the types of players Arsene Wenger recruits. Buying players like Yaya Sanogo, Thomas Eisfeld and Abou Diaby, young players with certain question marks over their fitness, shows Arsene Wenger tends to take a bit of a risk when purchasing players.
Anyway, we now move on to our next game. Six points from our last two games is a big boost for the team.
In terms of yesterday’s performance against West Brom, it was crucial having Laurent Koscielny back in the side. He and Per Mertesacker really complement each other well at the back and it’s good to have our two recognised players back at the heart of defence. I know people were asking why we sold Thomas Vermaelen, but I think it is obvious that Calum Chambers could end up being a centre back and the Belgian’s replacement. By the way, Vermaelen is out until April next year through injury and hasn’t yet played a game for Barca…
Aaron Ramsey is having a worrying spell of form recently. I know I’m not the only one who transferred him out of their fantasy team more than a month ago. Yesterday was the same. He’s not making his usua runs into the box and he doesn’t track back efficiently enough. Good performances on the whole came from Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud did his thing pretty well, Santi Cazorla got stuck in to continue his great performance after the Dortmund game and at the back pretty good too. Martinez seems a decent backup for us in goal, but I can’t imagine he’ll keep the number 1 jersey for long. I want to see Ospina in between the sticks as soon as possible.
On to the January transfer window. One thing I’ve noticed from all top European sides such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich is that their formation seems to all have a similar setup.
Take Bayern for example: Lewandowski up front, has three men behind him at all times. Robben, Ribery and Muller. Goetze can sit behind those four. Bayern then sit an anchorman behind those 5. Xabi Alonso. Or even Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Real Madrid have Benzema up top, Ronaldo playing loose behind him; Rodriguez and Bale on the flanks. Behind that, Toni Kroos sits in the middle of midfield. Behind him? an anchorman. Sami Khedira.

Let’s look at Arsenal’s formation. You can easily put Olivier Giroud up front and he’ll do a job. On the flanks, you can choose your pick between Welbeck, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski, Sanchez. Behind him, I’d like to see us play Ramsey in that Kroos/Goetze role. But where is our anchorman? We’re currently playing Arteta alongside a Ramsey/Wilshere combo. That’s not really doing the job. Arteta tries to play the water carrier alongside those players, but he’s not quick enough, not strong enough and not a defensive midfielder. I think in January Arsene Wenger needs to buy a central defensive midfielder. Who would I like to see? It’s difficult to say because I don’t know who is on the market. Who do I like? Well, Matic at Chelsea is the type of player I think we need. We could’ve had Luiz Gustavo, we turned him down. We chased Xabi Alonso for years, he’s at Bayern now. We’re apparently chasing Sami Khedira. Not sure he’ll join us, though.
Personally, I think Arturo Vidal is the best in the world. Maybe with the Chilean connection of Alexis Sanchez at the club, we have a chance?
In terms of market availability, it is clear there is one man who Arsenal should sign. He’s French, he plays at Southampton, with whom we have an excellent relationship… Morgan Schneiderlin.
But the price wouldn’t come cheap… but he did want to leave for Spurs last summer, so maybe we have a chance.

End of the road for Arsene Wenger?

Arsenal Swansea

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough. With Arsene Wenger effectively conceding the title to Chelsea yesterday, and after a shocking defensive display that saw Arsenal slump to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City; I think most Gunners’ fans’ patience has now been fully tested.

Watching the game was an absolute nightmare. Bar Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, we were awful. At the back Per Mertesacker had a shocker and Nacho Monreal IS NOT A CENTRE BACK. We had chances in the summer to buy a replacement for Vermaelen but failed. In midfield Aaron Ramsey played poorly and Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta were non-existent. When is Arsene going to learn that these players are not good enough for a championship challenging side?

The worst part about it all, was the fact that Arsenal went out with the most useless looking line up for a visit to Swansea. You have to attack these teams. You can break them with talent alone. Why on earth we are still not playing Podolski and Joel Campbell and prefer to bring Yaya Sanogo off of the bench is a complete mystery to me and just about every Arsenal fan.

Arsene Wenger has lost the plot. He is so powerful at the club, he is the decision maker from top to bottom. The problem is, he’s got too much power and calls the shots. If players like Campbell and Podolski want to leave, he doesn’t play them. He’s too much pride. It’s time for him to consider his future.

I’m pretty sure we’ll be up there at the end of the season. The only silver lining is that Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool are also useless this season. We’ve still got plenty of time to push our way into the top four, which as we all know, is like a trophy to our ageing coach.

Is it time for a change? Yes, it probably is…

Brutal Anderlecht comeback delays Arsenal qualification

Alexis Sanchez

Well, well well… that was not fun to watch. When all seemed to be going well, with Arsenal coasting to a 3-0 victory over Anderlecht, the Belgian minnows fought hard and came back to level up the scores at 3-3.
We’ve been used to seeing Arsenal score late goals this season, it’s not fun to see us on the other end of some late action.
Positives from last night; of course, yet again Alexis Sanchez. He scored a wonderful goal after an initial free kick rebounded off of the wall and then he had a second crack on the volley and the ball went past Silvio Proto into the corner of the net. That’s about it.
Negatives; the entire defence – I don’t know what has happened to Per Mertesacker but he is looking well off the pace since he won the World Cup. In addition, Nacho Monreal is not a decent centre half so should not being played there. Why oh why we didn’t sign another centre back when we had the chance is beyond me. I’d love to see Carl Jenkinson back at Arsenal sooner rather than later.
One other positive, we only need a point against a struggling Borussia Dortmund at home or a visit to Turkish side Galatasaray. I think we’re safe, but we’ve made a meal of it.
We now need to focus on our next game in the Premier League. Arsene Wenger has just a little under two months to find a centre back that he MUST sign in January otherwise it could be a trophyless season for us.
We can’t keep conceding goals like this, especially against average sides like Anderlecht.
That’s all for now.

Lack of preparation undoes Arsenal; Chelsea win 2-0

Gibbs Ivanovic

Arsenal yesterday slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea, to keep up Jose Mourinho’s impeccable run against Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman has still yet to win a game against a Mourinho side.

What was most disappointing about yesterday’s game, was the fact that when we had the ball, we seemed to just get lost in midfield everytime. Jack Wilshere was decent, but Ozil was weak and seemed to be confused as to how to play in this Arsenal side. Cazorla was equally as bad and I’m not sure why Wenger continues to play Ozil on the flank, in a less than favourite position. Fair enough, Chelsea were playing well at the back, to their credit. But Arsenal were toothless in attack. Welbeck lost the ball far too often, but I do not blame him; he barely had anyone around him supporting.

At the back, I thought we did OK. The goals to concede were both disappointing, of course, but I thought Calum Chambers put in an assured performance and Koscielny and Mertesacker still played pretty well together. Gibbs did make some OK runs forward, but everytime he was tracked by the impressive Ivanovic.

So what to make out of this mess? Well it’s still clearly obvious Arsene Wenger isn’t getting something right. I heard rumours that every other top team is now using top of the range technology to analyse games and Arsenal still do this stuff manually. That’s just ridiculous in my opinion. If we need to copy what the best are doing to win games, we just need to do it. Let’s get the people in to monitor and analyse performances.

Secondly, Wenger’s playing people out of position. When Cazorla came to Arsenal I thought he was a winger, and when Ozil came I thought he was a central midfielder. Why are we playing them both in each other’s positions? Similarly in the case of Chambers, why has he had a spell playing at centre back; we should have just played him in his preferred full back position. By the way, he’s had a call up to England to replace Stones, well done to him.

So, now we have a bit of a better run of games. Hull City at home next which is a good chance to fight back. We might be 9 points off the pace but it’s a long season and I’m still sure we can make something out of the 2014/15 title race.

 

Tricky Everton game coming up; mixed start to season

ArsenalBesiktas

Hello Gooners,

It’s been a topsy turvy start to the new season. With a last gasp 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on the back up a 3-0 win over City in the Shield, we traveled to Turkey on Tuesday night for the first leg of our Champions League qualifier with Besiktas. It wasn’t the best of performances and I felt we were lucky to come home with the draw. Despite that, we’re still in a good position to qualify and we need to be at our best at home to see of the Turkish club. Demba Ba looked particularly dangerous and we need to nullify that thread in the home return tie. Finally, with Aaron Ramsey missing after his red card, we need to bring Ozil back for the return leg. His creativity will be important going forward.

Now we move on to a big weekend game against Everton. I wonder if Per Mertesacker, Podolski and Ozil are ready for a return? Wenger will be tempted but Calum Chambers has been impeccable at the back and also of course Ramsey has been shifted further forward since Ozil has been left out of the side. I expect us to go for it. We need to be winning games away at the top clubs and Everton are in that bracket now. They are able to sign the likes of Lukaku on permanent deals, so they can back their progress last season with financial brevity as well.

I do fancy us to get three points this weekend. Martinez is a great manager. I really like him and I think he is a candidate for replacing Wenger eventually. But I think this is going to be a tricky season for him. What we need to do is attack right away from the off. Everton’s defence is older now and we have the pace to get stuck in.

In transfer news I hear that Sami Khedira has turned down a Real Madrid contract – this is big – we need to bring a defensive midfielder of that calibre before the transfer window shuts – god forbid Chelsea should sign him as well.

That’s all for now – thanks for visiting!

Penalty win over Wigan takes us to FA Cup final

Lukas Fabianski

Arsenal fans will breathe a sigh of relief after Wigan very nearly dumped us out of the FA Cup last night in the semi-final… my word how close it was.

The normally steady Per Mertesacker tripped down Callum McManaman in the Arsenal box after 57 minutes and then Spaniard Jordi Gomez stepped up to fire home. Surely not… Wigan on course to celebrate a second final two years running… it looked like it was going to happen.

Arsenal were fired up for it and knew that this would be the best chance of major silverware in 10 years and finally, Mertesacker redeemed himself in the 82nd minute as he headed up an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain strike.

With extra time beckoning, Arsene Wenger looked very concerned on the touchline. After 30 rough and tiring minutes, the Gunners then knew a penalty shoot out would be on the way. We normally and surprisingly have a decent run in shoot outs and that would continue as the massive Lukas Fabianski saved two spot kicks and Santi Cazorla fired home the winning penalty.

Now we must get our focus back onto the league to ensure that we can indeed retain the all important Champions League football that has governed Arsene Wenger’s tenure over the past ten odd years. We also now take a massive step closer to silverware for the first time in ten years. Onward and upward, here we go Gooners, we’re on our way to Wembley!

SW