Laughing AVB on 3rd March but who will be smiling in May?
Alternative title – Arsene Master stroke while Tottenham Choke
I am not going to pretend I feel all is rosy in the Arsenal garden but I do believe now that we will overhaul Spurs and attain Champions League qualification. No this is not a trophy for me and yes I would still, unlike the majority it appears, have rather won the FA Cup and finished 5th. However I am confident of Arsenal now stringing together a sequence of results that will carry us were we need to go.
Is this because I feel Spurs will implode? No not particularly, although they are doing a passable impression of the team that might. Is it because we appear to have an easier run in than our North London neighbours? No, not that either, although again on paper it might appear to be the case. Is it because sadly we have only the league and they have the Europa League as well? No not especially although fresh legs can of course be a bonus. Is it because I don’t believe Gareth Bale is quite as good as the sycophantic journos and pundits tell us he is? No, but while I am at it he isn’t.
No my feeling is based more on historical precedent and team selection. I will elaborate but first to get you in the mood please enjoy the following all written after we have been defeated at White Hart Lane on the 3rd of March and according to most observers the North London power shift was on……. Continue reading
Time to buy from home
Today’s blog has been in my head for a while now but my conviction about the content has grown. I fully accept that most will not agree but read the piece first before you reach your conclusion.
Whilst I have in the past highlighted players who I feel would fit Arsenal’s salary structure and playing style from abroad I am feeling increasingly that for 2013/14 and the challenges we face our new additions should all have Premiership playing experience. In fact I would go further and suggest all our summer purchases should be from other EPL clubs so all our new recruits will bed in swiftly in August.
Now already those of you who are desperate for Falcao, Villa or Jovetic are wondering whether to even to read on. Here goes Dave again suggesting bargain basement or kids with potential when we want Arsenal to buy world stars!! I am not against heavy investment as you will see but can we really afford to wait a season for a player to produce what he is capable of? I said that Hazard would not shine in his first year and despite the odd flash of brilliance I would say I was right. Arsenal cannot afford to wait for success any longer we need it next season.
For me this is not about the money or the wages necessarily but it is about installing a new spine at Arsenal. A spine who know what it takes to compete in this league, but also a spine hungry for success. Now however I will type the bit no one wants to read but you know you need to – A spine that has top quality but that will still come whether we are playing European Champions league or Europa League in 2013/14. Don’t get me wrong though the players I think we need are good enough to play at the top table but currently they are not doing so.
Despite my misgivings about the current management structure I am not totally disheartened by the playing staff and we do have a core of talented players. However we do seriously need to address the lack of quality and/or consistency in crucial areas. For me this will literally be the spine of the team so the 4 essential additions need to be a goalkeeper, centre back, central defensive midfield and centre forward.
Before I suggest the players I admire and would like to come in I should first briefly explain why I feel these are the key positions that need strengthening. Huge detail not required because much of this is obvious to any Arsenal supporter and I will have touched on most of it in recent blogs. Continue reading
It is time to pair Tuesday’s heroes
Today’s article might appear a tad aggressive for a Goonerdave66 blog and it is meant to be. Why? Because it is looking to address a few attitudes and opinions which I am exposed to all too frequently. Personal opinions are just that, but there is a way to express an opinion without inferring superior knowledge and without appearing condescending. I am always very clear that my blogs are about my opinion and I am always happy to be challenged and I love the debate, but I do on ‘1nildown2oneup’ where possible, seek to back up my arguments with research and evidence or precedent.
As most of my regular readers know I am a supporter of variations of a 442 system to allow a 2 striker system. I have written numerous times espousing a reversion to the formula that won Wenger and Arsenal so many trophies. What I have not said though is that we should play the same system each week and for all opposition. No, more that Wenger should use his squad to the full and play different formations and systems dependent on the opposition, as other top sides and managers seem happy to do. Continue reading
Before I began blogging and entered into the Arsenal family on twitter to promote my work, I think it would be safe to say I was either naive to the passion for our great club around the world, or perhaps just unaware. As my writing and ‘1nildown2oneup’ grew in popularity I have been very fortunate to meet and engage with, in the cyber sense, so many knowledgeable and fanatical goners from all over the globe. Back in January I wrote a piece all about the passion of the huge Gunner community in Nigeria and this nation is an absolute hotbed for our club and the tour is the very least these fans deserve. I would love to be in Lagos to witness the scenes in August.
Over the summer I intend via my site to explore this passion for Arsenal from across the continents but today I am kicking off relatively close to home with Norway. The reason I am beginning there is at the request of a good friend to ‘1nildown2oneup’ Anders Bernsten @BernstenAnders. Continue reading
The season is over, the depressing sight of Chelsea lifting the Champions League trophy behind us and from the next day it is doom and speculation on twitter, on blogs and down the pub. Who will we buy in addition to Podolski (ONE OF THE BEST INTERNATIONAL STRIKERS IN EUROPE LEST WE FORGET) and who will we miss out on? Why won’t we break the bank for players unproven in the Premiership, but who the press tells as are worth £25 million? Why won’t we spend millions on young stars to replace the young stars we all forget we already have in our ranks? And of course why have we not begun to rid ourselves of the deadwood long since proven not to be good enough to help us challenge for silverware?
A few ‘1nildown2oneup’ answers come to mind. We are the only side to have already announced a major coup of a signing and the rest is speculation because the bloody transfer window is not open yet. How can we moan about signings we are not going to make when we have no idea whether we are going to make them yet? Also those wanting to invest in the big name stars tell me that my stats are not important and you cannot judge a payer solely on stats. I concede you cannot in isolation, but if I was buying a creative midfielder I would hope to see a stack of assists and if I was buying a goal scorer I would be quite keen to see an impressive goal tally. So we have bought a striker whose goals ratio for Germany puts him probably only behind the greatest ever, Gerd Muller and his current compatriot Klose and who has hit 18 league goals for a relegated team in a top league. Yes his ratio is better than all time greats like Yurgen Klinnsman and Oliver Bierhoff and on a par with Rudi Voller. Some of you tell me that the German league is not as strong as the EPL but at the same time plead for us to sign Holtby, Gotze of Kagawa. You cannot have it both ways and I will be astounded if Lukas is not a huge player for Arsenal over the next few years.
So perhaps we will buy a creative midfielder that so many crave, but I personally doubt it because Wenger feels that if he combine solid experience with our creative youth of Walcott, Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain he can attain a winning formula. For me this may work and today after this rant I want to focus on one player who I feel may hold a key for Arsenal in 20012/13 and who combines both creativity and experience and who barely featured this past season. No don’t worry guys I am not going back down the Abou Diaby road but I am edging back to another favoured theme. So before you put me in a straight jacket please hear me out because this idea that has grown from a seed into full grown tree of a solution. Continue reading