Posted by: 11Gunz | April 19, 2010

Arsenal Need A Few Tweaks Not A Massive Overhaul

I didn’t watch the game on sunday i just caught the highlights and there’s no need to rehash what happened.  But it’s disheartening that after a loss some fans are calling for the managers head. I don’t subscribe to that notion that after one bad game the manager is being questioned on his philosophy. The speed with which the media is attacking Arsene is just ridiculous. Granted he has been shortsighted when it comes to the issue of getting a number 1 to fill the sticks. But he has stated there is cash to reinforce so it should be an interesting summer. This squad needs a couple of players, we are not far away, 2 or 3 signings should do this summer.

Goalkeeper.
It’s no secret we need a new goalkeeper, Almunia is not a world-class number 1 just a reliable squad player. Wojciech Szczesny currently on loan at Brentford is putting in some fine performances, i don’t see why he couldn’t be our goalkeeper heading into next season. Yes he is 19, but Casillas was 18 when he took over the gloves at Madrid, simply put, if you are good enough you are old enough. It’s time to let him grow with the team since Almunia and Fabianksi have shown no desire to establish themselves.

Defence
We need at least 2 more centre-backs, Gallas is 32 has never really finished a season and with his age and current injury, he cannot be counted on to finish a full season. Senderos and Silvestre are both set to leave in the summer and Gallas could also follow should he decide he can get a longer contract elsewhere. That leaves Djorou as the only first team CB to partner Vermaelen and depending on who arsene decides to promote to the first team (Nordveidt or Bartley) we still need to purchase 2 new CB in the summer.

Midfield
Reports out of Spain suggest Fran Merida has decided it would be best to further his career away from the emirates, who can blame him he wants first team football and feels he can get it elsewhere.  Another DM to spell song would be nice. Wenger considered buying Blaise Matuidi but balked at the asking price, he could try again this summer. Aside from another DM we don’t really need any more bodies in this department because we have enough cover.

Strikers
It would be interesting to see if any of the current strikers are sold off or sent out on loan with the arrival of Chamakh. Chamakh is good in the air and should help with free kicks and corners, he’s also equally good with his feet. But considering our injury history, it would be wise to keep the extra bodies around.

A new medical team!!!
We need a new medical and physio team Arsene, because ever since Gary Lewin left for the national team our injury record has gone south. I wonder if players are being rushed back too early or if the injuries are being misdiagnosed.The sort of injuries are players are picking up is quite baffling.

‘Til Tomorrow.

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Posted by: 11Gunz | April 16, 2010

The Dawn Of Silly Season Is Upon Us

Every year, before the end of the premier league, rumors start to circulate about what player is moving where and what teams have secret deals with players and/or agents. The silly season as I like to call it, usually comes a week before the last game of the premier league then continues all summer, but it seems this year it has come earlier.

There have been reports of Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood making comments, about a secret meeting that took place between Barcelona and Arsenal over the future of Cesc Fabregas, with the Spanish club stating they would honor a gentleman’s agreement not to sign Cesc this summer.

However, Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain quickly hit back with comments about how Barcelona never said they would honor any such agreement, but instead would deal directly with Arsenal instead of Cesc’s agent, Joseba Diaz incidentally the same agent for Fran Merida. He also added that if Barcelona wanted Cesc, they would bid for Cesc to make their team better. Then came reports yesterday that chairman, Peter Hill-Wood had made comments about how Fabregas won’t even fit into Barcelona’s current set up. I tend to agree with him, i don’t see how they would utilize him with Iniesta and Xavi at their peak and the current crop of youngsters coming through. Fans of both clubs are divided on this issue.

Arsene Wenger held a press conference today and was asked about the secret meetings and chairman Hill-Wood’s comments and this is what he had to say.

Wenger said: “We have not been in touch with Barcelona over the future (of Fabregas). We have an official dinner before every European Cup game and of course there is a lot of talk but there is no official meeting about Cesc Fabregas.”

“There is no secret meeting because we do not want to sell our players and anyway I cannot see anybody who has a competitive edge going to Spain.”

“They have two good teams (Barcelona and Real Madrid), I confess that. The number three (Valencia) is 24 points behind. This weekend the players (planned to) go on strike because they are not paid.”

“It is a league that is in complete disarray. I don’t know why you want absolutely the best players who play in England to go to Spain. If you are really competitive, you stay in England.”

I have said before and I think every arsenal fan knows this, Cesc will go back to Spain one day, but I don’t foresee him leaving this year or the next either. Personally as good as la liga is, it is still a duopoly for me. A league that claims it’s that good shouldn’t have the first 2 teams 24 points over the 3rd place team. Where is the competition in that? Of course a lot of things are not better in England either, bad pitches, poor referees, but the competition in the league is very strong and no games are easy games.”

In the next few weeks and continuing through the summer, expect to hear transfer rumors, some credible some will make you scratch your head, but this story of Cesc to barca will not go away until Fabregas himself states publicly he is staying at Arsenal. So be prepared to hear “Cesc has secret meeting with Pep”, or “Cesc has purchased a house in Barcelona”, or “Cesc has Barca DNA” or…. I won’t continue because by now you get the point. What bothers me is the constant attempt of journalists to try to destabilize the player. If English journalists want to go on and on about how good the premier league is, why are they constantly trying to unsettle the best players by linking them away from their respective clubs?

So my fellow gooners, enjoy this silly season where every possible tom, dick or harry defender or goalkeeper would be linked to the club or vice-versa. Silly season is surely upon us now and I would do my best to follow it for it provides me with great amusement. As I end this post, mirror football is reporting Gael Clichy has been linked with Barcelona, enough said. Wigan preview to come tomorrow.

COYG!

Posted by: 11Gunz | April 14, 2010

Need A Miracle Now…

In a game we couldn’t afford to lose, we came up short leaving us six points behind the leaders with only four games left to play. If Arsenal are to win the league this year, a major miracle is needed, firstly we need chelsea to lose two games and secondly we need to win our remaining games. Sounds a bit cliché now but we cannot afford to lose or draw any more games, we simply are running out of games.

We started well keeping the lions share of possession until they scored that freak goal. Derby games always provide surprises and Danny Rose’s goal although well taken and spectacular, can be chalked off us one of those freakish things that happen in derby games. The second goal was just silly, we switched off in defense allowing gareth bale to beat the offside trap and slot the ball past almunia.

We created and probed but again were lacking in the final third until the introduction of Robin Van Persie who began asking questions of Gomes. Had it not been for Gomes, it would have ended 2-2 but credit to the spuds, they played well and you’d hope they would show the up for the game against chelsea. We now need our rivals to do us a favor on saturday.

Abou Diaby & Rosicky:
If there ever is any blame to be apportioned, it should go to these two, who for me seemed to let the manager down with their play. Rosicky was poor in midfield giving passes away cheaply and lacking any imagination. He seemed lost out there, a shell of the player he once was. Abou Diaby for me should be benched for the next four games, he seemed disinterested and was content arguing with his teammates than concentrating on playing. Makes you wonder if he’s checked out for the season and thinking of summer.

Robin Van Persie:
It was nice to see him back and playing after 5 months out with an ankle injury. We were a lot more purposeful in front of goal once he was introduced. It’s a shame he didn’t score but that was more to the goalkeeper’s heroics than Robin’s ability. How many points would we have if he had been fit all season, but now is not the time to cry over spilt milk, Wigan is up next and a win is required.

Changes are definitely needed and new players would be welcome, but that business should be left until after the season. Vermaelen is now facing 3 weeks on the sidelines after a calf strain, leaving us with Silvestre and Campbell as the only healthy centre-backs available to play at the moment.

Time to pick ourselves up and move on, it won’t be easy to lift the spirits of the players but we need to keep fighting till the end and you never know. Even if we don’t win the league (which is unlikely now), we have to finish ahead of United and guarantee us an automatic place in the champions league.

COYG.

Posted by: 11Gunz | April 12, 2010

Monday Roundup…

Arsenal make the short trip up seven sisters road on Wednesday to face Sp*rs in what could essentially decide our title chances. Every game from here on out is a cup final and a win is the only result that would suffice, a draw and we can kiss the title goodbye. We need to win all five games and even that doesn’t guarantee that we would win the league, that depends largely on how Chelsea fare in their final 5 games. They need to drop 4 points to give us a chance, but that’s only feasible if we win our remaining games.

Luckily for us, Portsmouth went the full distance against Tottenham this past weekend, so hopefully tired legs will play a part in the game. We are fully rested and hopefully over the loss to Barcelona, we can’t dwell on that any longer, that’s done and dusted. Surprisingly we do have a good record against the spuds, as Wenger hasn’t lost there since 1999 and would be looking to keep that run going. They do owe us a defeat but hopefully not on Tuesday night.

There is talk of Robin Van Persie featuring in this derby which would be a nice boost but no-one knows for sure how true that is. I suspect we’ll know more once Wenger gives his press conference.

Colin Lewin – the most famous name at the Grove these days – spoke to the website a few days ago to discuss our injury woes and why we seem to have a lot of long-term injuries as opposed to other “big 4 clubs”

Why do we seem to have so many injuries this year?
“There are lots of different reasons really. The number of games is always a contributor, although we do tend to play between 55 and 60 games every season. So if you compare this season to others for Arsenal then we are slightly up. But it has been a freak season for traumatic injuries. We would normally expect one, sometimes two fractures a year. This season we are on seven.”

Is this the worst season for injuries in your time at Arsenal?
“Yes, up until now it probably is the worst. We are slightly up on last season and the season before but not much has changed from other seasons except for the high level of traumatic injuries. By traumatic injuries I mean breaks and fractures from bad tackles. We are not blaming the other teams; this is just a freak season for traumatic injuries. Statistically we run the furthest in the Premier League. We also have the highest number of sprints compared to the other Premier League teams.”
Other teams seem to have fewer injuries. Why?
“You have to say that teams who play a similar number of games to us have got a similar injury record. You always see your own team as being worse because that is the team you support. Our players have around a 50 per cent increase in match exposure than players at some other Premier League clubs who might only play 40 games per season. The other contributing factor is that 90 per cent of our squad are international players. That again adds to the number of games and therefore the fatigue element is increased. The injury risk is far greater than in a squad with a far lower percentage of internationals. So when you compare us to teams who play a similar number of games, we are not that different.

“The other thing is when you have several long-term injuries your squad is depleted. That increases the demands on other players because there is less room for rotation.”

You can find the rest of the interview here. I am not sure if I buy all of what he’s saying, Chelsea and United play the same number of games we play counting champions league and cup competitions but seem to be able to deal with injuries better than we do. It begs the question are we rushing players back too soon when they are not fully recovered? Or is this medical team not good enough to deal with the demands of the squad we have. Either way it’s something that has to be investigated this summer and i suspect it will.

Howard Webb – England’s most “competent” referee – is in the news again after failing to send John Terry off for his agricultural tackle on James Milner. The chavs will now be with their skipper for Stoke, Bolton and Sp*rs when he should be watching from the sidelines. They entertain Bolton on Tuesday night and could be 6 points ahead of Arsenal by the time we kickoff. But as united found out, there are no easy games in the premier league. Asking Bolton to go to the bridge and get a result is a bit too much of a tall order but stranger things have happened.

I am not sure the game is on terrestrial TV here in the states, so watching it online would be your best bet. We really cannot afford to lose or draw this game. We need a win and i hope the lads are ready for it, we have no other competitions to fall back on. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for lasagna being the pre-game meal for the spuds.

‘Til Tomorrow COYG

Posted by: 11Gunz | April 1, 2010

Too Much Respect

After yesterday’s improbable comeback to earn a draw against Barcelona, you have to feel we were a little fortunate. We finally got a taste of our own medicine, so this is what premier league teams feel like when they play against Arsenal. I was surprised we were tied heading into half time. Alumina’s heroics kept us in the game but Ibrahimovic should have buried his sitter, how he missed I have no idea. We really should have been down 4 goals at the end of the first half.

Barcelona are a great team but i felt we gave them way too much respect and allowed them to play their kind of game. When we had the ball they crowded us out making it difficult to find passing lanes. We on the other hand stood around and watched as they pinged the ball back and forth. It was almost as if we were starstruck, almost as if we couldn’t believe we were on the same field with Barcelona. In fairness, it’s hard to play against Pep’s team, they barely give you the ball and work their socks off to get it back when they lose it.

Fast forward to the second half and again more of the same, Barcelona surely didn’t come to play for a draw and their persistence finally paid off after Song was caught out of position, allowing Xavi to weight a perfect pass to Ibrahimovic. Alumina decided to come for the ball thinking he could make the clearance but was caught in two minds, allowing the Swede to lob the ball over him for their first goal. It was reminiscent of Birmingham, a decent shot-stopper he is but a decision maker he is not. Cue up the second goal and this time it was Vermaelen who was caught out position, this time the Swede finished with power. The tie was surely dead and buried, time to make sure it was a respectable scoreline, or so we thought.

Someone forgot to tell Barcelona, football is played over 90 minutes and not 65, maybe it was the fact that their fitness levels were down after all that pressing they had been doing during the game. I felt they took off Ibrahimovic way too early. I know Pep was thinking of giving Henry his day in the sun, after all he is still an Arsenal legend, but that’s where i felt he made a tactical error. We had to sub out of necessity, Gallas and Arshavin both had to leave because of injuries leaving Wenger with just one substitution to make. Theo Walcott came on and was brilliant, one thing defenders don’t like is pace and that showed. The question with Theo is can he be consistent as a starter or is more effective coming off the bench?

Cesc Fabregas
What a warrior this guy is, all class if you ask me. It’s a shame he will miss the second leg but that is now moot because of a cracked fibula, rendering him unavailable for the rest of the premier league campaign. It’s a blow we are going to have to deal with, Nasri has shown he can fill that role, so going forward it’s imperative we keep him healthy.

Manuel Almunia
I think I’ve figured out how to solve Almunia’s decision-making problem. Put a dog collar on him so anytime he attempts to leave his 6 yard box it shocks him. I am only kidding but Almunia has proven himself to be a very good shot-stopper but poor when he has to make a decision. He kept us in the tie the first 45 minutes otherwise we could have been down 4, 5 or even 6 nil.

The Walcott
His pace clearly troubled the defenders and his goal early in the second half gave us hope that we could score against a team like Barca. Even he was sometimes caught admiring their play instead of closing them down, he said after the game.

“For me as a young player growing up and learning the game it was a fantastic experience just to watch some world-class players,” said Walcott.
“It was like someone was controlling them on a PS3 at times. It was fantastic to watch.”

Second Leg
We now have a punchers chance, assuming we can score and keep a clean sheet at Camp Nou, which will be very hard to do but this is football and stranger things have happened. They will be missing two center backs Pique and Puyol ( who i felt was harshly sent off). Given that Arshavin and Gallas would miss the second leg, we have to start Theo and Vela because we need pace on the wings.

Well I’m off to play some fifa, you should be cheering for Chelsea this weekend if you are an Arsenal fan. Time to keep our momentum going, Wolves are next on the fixture list, no easy game considering they have had a week’s rest but it’s at the emirates and we should be favored.

‘Til then Come On You Gunners!

Posted by: 11Gunz | March 28, 2010

Almunia Throws A Wrench In My Predictions

Never has a draw felt so much like a loss to me, so much that i am writing this 2 days late. On a day when we need to win to keep up with the Joneses, we managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory, providing Arsenal fans with the feeling of groundhog day all over again.

It was an eerie feeling knowing that our title chances would once again rest on a trip to Birmingham, but only time will tell if our chances are to be affected by this result. It was always going to be a difficult game, and i had predicted a 1-0 scoreline a few weeks back. Considering how Birmingham took points off Chelsea and United, a draw is by no means a bad result. But it came on a day when our rivals faced no opposition whatsoever from the teams they both played. I still believe Arsenal will be crowned premier champions come may 9th but we are now going to need a lot of help.

Almunia’s performance was alright in my opinion except for the howler at the end. It’s evident we need a new goalkeeper, but making a change now is detrimental to everything we’ve worked so hard for, up to this point in the season. Any purchases would have to wait until the summer market opens again or after a proper evaluation of our young goalkeepers. Time for Arsenal fans to show Almunia some support, booing him would only make things worse. We need a fully focused Almunia till the end of the season. Remember this is the same guy who saved our blushes against West Ham last week.

Will the real Andrei Arshavin please stand up and be counted? For a player who has no qualms about criticizing his teammates or willingly granting interviews, it’s time he started performing on a consistent basis. He could have ended the game in regulation had he not fluffed his chance to score. Time to get your head down Andrei and work your butt off. Time to start tracking back on defence to help the fullbacks, and oh time to start showing that your £15 million price tag is justified. And one last thing, no time for selfishness on Wednesday, you’re part of a team. And while you’re at it, remember it would be nice to start scoring goals again starting with Barcelona, then Wolves then whoever comes next on the fixture list.

So while the obituary is being paraded for all to see, remember this team was written off twice already, it would be daft to do so again. Six games remaining and not much room for error at this point, we need to win all our games now and hope both United and Chelsea drop points along the way. In this topsy-turvy year of a season where no team seems to have a stranglehold on top spot, anything is possible.

The priority now is lifting the players for the mouth-watering tie against Barcelona on Wednesday. Time for Sol and Arsene to impart a few consoling and uplifting words. Birmingham is done and over with, we cannot dwell on that result any longer. We must now prepare ourselves mentally for the task at hand. 110% concentration against a team that punishes mistakes should be the mantra for Wednesday.

Barcelona preview to come later, ’til then enjoy the week gooner fans everywhere.

Posted by: 11Gunz | March 19, 2010

Arsenal v. West Ham – Match Preview

Everyone is looking forward to the mouth-watering quarter-final tie with Los Cules, but there is a small matter of the league to attend to and it continues this Saturday against the Hammers. Zola’s side are coming off a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the Blues and will be looking to take a point from us. The stats show they have played us well over the years and have done well at the Emirates.

The hammers currently sit three points above the relegation zone and are in a fight to stay up this season. We were held to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season and must avoid dropping any points. It’s absolutely crucial we take all three points, since a win would catapult us to the top of the league albeit for 24 hours, but it’s a chance to put pressure on our rivals.

Fabregas and Rosicky have been passed fit and should feature tomorrow, but Gallas is still out with what is turning out to be a mysterious calf injury. It doesn’t look like he will be ready to face the blaugrana on march 31st and there is no set timetable on his return. Our options are limited at that position and I cringe at the thought of Sol Campbell facing the little magician from Argentina.

A win on Saturday would signal a 6th straight win for the Gunners, equaling the longest winning run set by the Blues this season. Bendtner’s goal against Hull was the 5th time we’ve scored in injury time in our last four games, I checked the official stats and the total number of times we’ve scored in injury time up to this point is 8, tied with the pensioners.

It is imperative that we don’t let the champions league tie distract from our objective of winning the league this year, let’s leave the analysis to the pundits and take each game as it comes.

The first leg is on the 31st of March with the second leg a week after on April 6th, away at camp nou. April is looking like it could be a pivotal month for Arsenal with the way the fixtures are lined up. It could make for a fixture congestion if Spurs qualify for the FA cup semi-final. The game would be moved to the 14th instead of the original date of the 10th, meaning we would only have 4 days of rest before our trip to Wigan, and should we qualify for the semi-final of the champions league, it would make it 3 days in between games.

We have to collect as many points as possible as the other team across town don’t have the luxury of playing in the competition any longer.

‘Til Tomorrow, Come On You Gunners!

Posted by: 11Gunz | March 16, 2010

All Things Arsenal

Not much going on at Arsenal since our injury time win at Hull, that also ended the managerial career of Philomena Brown. To be fair to him, he did provide us with some comical moments that made for good television. With no midweek game, it gives the players time to rest and recover ahead of the game against West Ham. I saw them play against Chelsea and for 45 minutes I felt they could at least get a point but sadly they capitulated in the second half. If Chelsea put 4 past West Ham we should be looking to surpass that figure as goal difference is looking likely to play a huge factor in this title race.

In birthday news, Theo Walcott turns 21 today but celebrated over the weekend with a couple teammates and Gareth Bale. I can’t seem to get it out of my head but Gareth Bale does look a lot like Donkey Kong.

In Andrey Arshavin news, it’s being reported he was involved in a little fender bender earlier this morning, he wasn’t injured in the crash but his car was slightly damaged. For those of you who don’t know, Andrey has a fashion degree and blogs regularly on his website. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do this guy is a dandy, I took the liberty of re-posting some of the questions fans had sent to him.

From vanilja
Good afternoon, A gypsum hippopotamus in Zenit uniform (almost in human size) has been installed in the playground near our house today. Can I tell my kid that its name is Andrey? In your honor?
Arshavin
: Hippo? If it pleases your child, then feel free to do this, although I thought I was way slimmer then a hippo. :)))

From liza1951
The question is – do you approve when a girl starts using makeup very early in her life?
Arshavin
: As for the makeup, this is a purely personal matter for each girl, although I think it is better to consult a professional regarding this question.

From lambada
Hi, Andrey, in what order would you place the following animals: a tiger, a cow, a pig, a horse, a sheep?
Arshavin
: A pig – it will always get the last place! A tiger, a cow, a horse, a sheep. And I’ll repeat that a pig is always the last one, because it is a pig.

From samara4ever
How do you see yourself in 50 years?
Arshavin
: 78-year old man, with aching legs and a glamorous walking stick 🙂

Well enjoy the lull gooner fans, Saturday cannot come soon enough, with Liverpool away at United a win against West Ham would put us in a great position to go top albeit for a couple hours until Chelsea play Blackburn which is no easy game. Finally, Time Warner picked up FSC HD so Arsenal fans can see the West Ham game in glorious high-definition this Saturday.

‘Til later Come On You Reds!

Posted by: 11Gunz | March 12, 2010

Who Could Possibly Take Over From Wenger?

I woke up today thinking it was Saturday, i swear this week has been playing tricks on my mind. It also happened yesterday when I thought it was Friday instead of Thursday. And to top it off, Le Boss granted his weekly interview on Thursday instead of the usual Friday.

At the interview he was asked about Real Madrid and the chance of an approach this summer, but he moved quickly to dispel any rumors about his departure to the Spanish giants. But it got me thinking, who could possibly replace Arsene Wenger when the time comes? His contract expires next year (2011) and no attempt has been made to offer him an extension, although Ivan Gazidis says the club will do the right thing by Wenger. Arsene turns 61 this October and has had a fine career at Arsenal, but he won’t coach forever either. I personally hope he signs an extension and sees this project through. After all, he assembled this current squad and I believe walking away would mean he failed in his attempt to take this team to new heights.

So i posed the question to a couple of my arsenal friends, who could possibly follow in the footsteps of the great Arsene Wenger? Some said Fabio Capello, Guus Hiddink and then jokingly someone uttered Harry Redknapp. I about died from laughing so hard. I don’t care how well he knows English football, but after Portsmouth going into administration, i find it hard to believe he’s not taking some of the blame. Don’t get me wrong he’s doing a fine job at Sp*rs but i don’t want to see route one football at the emirates and the thought of peter crouch in an arsenal shirt just makes me cringe. I thought long and hard then came up with Frank Rijkaard. In my opinion, I believe he is the only coach capable of taking over from Arsene Wenger should Le Boss decide to walk away from the Emirates.

I will make the case for Rijkaard but let’s take a look at the legend that is Arsene Wenger. Wenger started his coaching career at Nancy before moving to Monaco in 1987 where he enjoyed some success. At Monaco he acquired a penchant for signing young players who would go on to become superstars. George Weah, Victor Ipkeba, Jurgen Klinsmann, Youri Djorkaeff and Glenn Hoddle are just a few of the players who under Wenger went from relative obscurity to household names.

Wenger then joined Grampus Eight in Japan where he enjoyed a successful 18 month stint, taking the club from the bottom into the top 3 and winning the emperor’s cup. After Bruce Rioch was sacked in august 1996, Gerrard Houllier recommended Wenger to David Dein, who hired the Frenchman on September 28, 1996. The caption in the evening standard at that time read ARSENE WHO? His style was different from most managers in the league at the time, as Wenger preferred to win with style. Arsenal went from being a dirty team, who racked up 73 red cards between 1996-2008 to a leader on the fair play table. The only trophy that has eluded him so far is the Champions League, losing to Barcelona in 2006 who were then coached by Frank Rijkaard.  His diligence in the transfer market and his master’s degree in economics have been beneficial to the club aiding in the move from Highbury to our current home the Emirates.

His youth policy has ensured that the conveyor belt of talent will run smoothly long after he’s done coaching. The likes of Kieran Gibbs, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Sanchez Watt, Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida, Gilles Sunu, Emmanuel Frimpong, Francis Coquelin, Chuks Aneke, Cedric Evina, Wojciech Szczesny and Nacer Barazite to name a few, has left the club in good standing for the future, provided whoever takes over has a policy of infusing youth with experience.

This leads me to Frank Rijkaard, former coach of Barcelona who in my opinion wasn’t given enough time at Barcelona. At Arsenal he will get the time he needs to take the club into the next decade, while being given the freedom to instill his policies, which coincidentally enough are similar to Wenger’s. A lot of people will give Pep Guardiola credit for the current form of Xavi and Iniesta, but it was Rijkaard’s vision to infuse his current team with youngsters such as Victor Valdes, Xavi Hernandez, Carlos Puyol and Adres Iniesta that laid the foundation for Barcelona’s continued future success. He has the experience, having won the champions league and La Liga, the latter on two occasions and he aspires to the Johan Cryuff model of total football. He likes to win but also recognizes that football is entertainment and likes to win with style. He also believes that the team is above any single player which is key.

Rijkaard is currently coach of Turkish side Galatasary, but i believe should Arsenal come calling if and when Wenger decides to walk away on his own terms, he would be the coach in my opinion to continue the Frenchman’s legacy.

I’m sure many Gooners have their own thoughts on who should take over once Wenger leaves arsenal. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

‘Til then Come On You Reds!!!

Posted by: 11Gunz | March 11, 2010

Time to knock the bronzer off Philomena Brown’s face

Arsenal head to the KC stadium this Saturday, to face relegation threatened Hull City, and while Wenger insists there is no bad blood between the two teams, i certainly ain’t buying it. There certainly is no love lost between the two sides following a couple of incidents. The first aptly known as spit-gate involved Fabregas, who was accused of spitting at Brown’s assistant Brian Horton, a charge that was eventually dismissed by the FA. The second came at the emirates when Nasri appeared to tread on Richard Garcia’s foot. Both clubs were subsequently fined for failing to control their players in the ensuing melee.

I have never liked Phil Brown, his kind does not belong in the premier league, and should be resigned to coaching in the lower divisions. Any opportunity to send them further down that rabbit hole he crawled out from would make my weekend. Their players are not exempt either, Stephen Hunt the guy who almost ended Petr Cech’s career tried to leave his mark on Almunia when we played them just before Christmas.

Tale of the tape:
Hull have lost their last 3 league games conceding a total of 9 goals and scoring just 1 while Arsenal have scored 8 and conceded 2 in their last 3 league games.

The manager hs warned against complacency ahead of the match, telling journalists in his Friday presser;

We will not feel down because we won 5-0, but we have as well to be realistic, keep our feet on the ground, make sure the hunger is there as we just talked about.

In the Premier League every game is as dangerous as [it is in] Europe. We have to make sure we prepare well for Hull now.

Injury news:
On Fabregas’s availability for the trip away, Wenger added;

His chances of playing are 0.5 per cent – that means unless a miracle happens, he will not play. At the moment, Cesc is out of Saturday’s game.

Rosicky, Campbell and Sagna are also doubts and will be assessed tomorrow before any decisions are made. Alex Song also serves the remainder of his 2 game suspension following his accumulation of 10 yellow cards. My favorite line-up going into the game:

Almunia
Sagna – Vermaelen – Silvestre – Clichy
Diaby – Denilson – Nasri
Eboue – Bendtner – Arshavin.

Finally, I believe football was the real winner after yesterday’s champions league games. Madrid spent 250m pounds and still can’t buy a quarter-final berth to save their lives. Money doesn’t equal trophies, sure a little bit helps but the main ingredient is team chemistry and players willing to work hard.

‘Til Tomorrow Come On You Reds!!!

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