Category Archives: west brom

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.

I hate the interlull! Fingers crossed there’s no injuries

England

When you’re on good form, there’s nothing worse than an international break. There’s three reasons why it’s annoying, firstly we don’t get to see our beloved Arsenal in action in the first place. Secondly, we’re actually having a decent season so far – if there’s one club where you get back less players from duty than you actually sent, it’s Arsenal. Thirdly, it’s the injuries.

I read this morning that Cashley Cole has pulled out of the England squad for the games against Ukraine and Poland and Kieran Gibbs has gone to replace him. Sincerely hope that Gibbs comes back in one piece, he has been a rock at the back so far this year and the last thing we need is a defensive crisis to go with our midfield and attacking ones.

In terms of the England game itself, I really have less and less interest in the performance of the team every game that goes by. In my opinion, qualification should have been wrapped up already. When you rely on two wins against the mighty Montenegro and Poland, you know you’ve not done the job well enough already. Still, it’s in England’s hands, which isn’t all a bad thing. Until of course they fuck it up on the day.

Some positives of course is that for the players are that already injured, there will be more time to rest and heal. A couple of players that we expect to return after the international break include Santi Cazorla. I’m already frothing at the mouth thinking about the combination of Santi and Ozil in the same team. That’s true championship winning class.

So, at the weekend the famous 12th win in a row didn’t happen which was a bit of a bummer. But I liked the look and fight of the Arsenal side at the weekend. We gave it all we had despite having a patched up squad. Again Aaron Ramsey on the wing just doesn’t work. He needs to be playing through the middle. Jack Wilshere, despite smokegate, seemed to put in a decent enough performance even though he lost the ball far too often. For me, our best player was Mertesacker. Cool, calm and composed in the centre of defence. When the crosses come in I love knowing that the BFG is there in the middle of the box. Granted, their goal did come from a setpiece in typical Arsenal defensive fashion, but on the whole the German can be happy with his display. Laurent Koscielny was strangely anonymous for most of the game. I think that Flamini didn’t do so well covering, this is partially because WBA seemed to be playing a very attacking formation, Berahino and Anelka proved to be a constant threat. We were lucky to come away with the point, Anelka really should have put away that shot after all.

Elsewhere, not much else to report on in the world of Arsenal. We’ve been linked with a move for Alexander Milosevic¬†who is seemingly being tracked by every single Premier League club going. I don’t know much about him but having some more defensive cover would be nice.

That’s all for now, have a decent day Gooners!

Gunners looking for 3 points at Hawthorns to return to top of the table

Mikel Arteta WBA

So, yesterday Liverpool managed a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace. I have to say, I wasn’t that impressed with Liverpool. Sure they have a very gifted front duo in Sturridge and Suarez but the rest of the team looks a bit rough around the edges. The Liverpool fans who are already saying they are genuine title contenders need to take a good look at their squad and admit, a January departure for Suarez to Real Madrid or an injury to any other of their key players will do their challenge some serious damage. Their squad is weak and Brendan Rodgers has a habit of speaking a bit too much in front of reporters. Whenever I hear the Northern Irish manager on TV he’s always bleating on about how good his squad is or how he thinks his squad can stay in the race for the title. He reminds me a bit of Andre Villas-Boas a few years ago. Always in front of the camera, always speaking too much and not keeping mum when it comes to the future of his players. That’s what Wenger is incredibly good at. He keeps his transfer activity quiet and the future of any of his players will never be discussed in front of an audience. Villas-Boas has been a bit better at this in recent months to be fair, but Rodgers seems to make a habit of it.

So regarding today’s game, I really fancy us to get our record breaking 11th win. We’re on a good run and we have an international break coming up. I can’t work out if that’s a good or bad thing right now, but when we’ve got momentum we’d definitely want to keep the games coming fast. However, international breaks can do wonders for some players and also those who don’t get a chance to represent their country get a much needed rest. This will include the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Serge Gnabry and Kieran Gibbs; the rest will probably be getting game time. Anyway, fingers crossed there’s no injuries there. For the West Brom game, I heard that Jack Wilshere might play on the flank. I really hope there’s no truth in that. Sure he got caught having a ciggie outside of a nightclub, but he’s been made an example of and wrote on Twitter that he’s not a smoker, that should be it. But putting him on the wing sounds like a dodgy plan to me Arsene.

I’d like to see Rosicky play on the wing and let Jack and Aaron alongside Flamini and Ozil do the work in midfield. That’s quality in the middle and should be enough for us to win three points.

If we do win, I really do believe in our title credentials. What do you think the score will be today? I reckon we’re looking at a 3-1 victory with Ozil to grab his first Premier League goal.

Come on Arsenal – let’s break that record!

WBA victory would guarantee 11 wins in a row; Napoli win proof of Flamini’s importance

Arsenal Southampton

Happy Friday folks

A win against West Brom this weekend would not only re-assert our top placed position in the league, but there is also an extra twist to the tale. An 11th win on the spin would also break our consecutive winning streak of the “Invicibles” in 2003-2004. Back then, Arsenal went 10 games in a row without drawing or losing a game. A Premier League victory on Sunday would be our 11th in a row thus breaking our record.

I’m feeling pretty positive about it. Last season we traveled to the Hawthorns with a much weaker and less experienced side and battled away to earn three points, Tomas Rosicky grabbing both the goals and ultimately turning Champions League qualification in our favour. If I was Wenger, I’d be looking to play Rosicky again. He was tremendous last season against WBA and I’m sure putting him out on the field adds that bit of extra experience we are going to need for a tricky away game.

Ozil’s goal against Napoli and his general performance was simply outstanding. He’s really started to show that the 50 million odd Euros we spent on him wasn’t overpriced but a bargain. You don’t get quality like that for anything less than 50 million Euros these days. I’d expect to see the German take control of the game this weekend in the same fashion that he did against Napoli.

Whilst all the credit for the Napoli victory went to Ozil, nobody should ignore the quality performance that Mathieu Flamini put in. Charging after every ball, getting stuck in to tackles, giving the likes of Aaron Ramsey freedom to roam; this guy is what we’ve been missing for so long. Arsene Wenger, why’d it take you so long to re-sign him? I love the fact Flim Flam told reporters that he has unfinished business with Arsenal.

Elsewhere, last night Tottenham kept up their decent early season form with a 2-0 win away in Russia against Anzhi. Couple of things about that. I like the fact that they’ve had to make a tricky visit to Russia on a Thursday night, that’ll tire them out ahead of their game against the Hammers. Seeing them drop some more points would do some good for our early season progress.

Sunderland are also hosting Man Utd, you have to fancy David Moyes to throw the kitchen sink at the Black Cats; but Sunderland will need to get some points on the board at some point – this is going to be an interesting game and I predict goals aplenty.

Anyway, that’s all for now – come on you Arsenal!