Category Archives: Write Ups
Good morning gooners! We secured the much coveted 3rd place and a Champions League spot on the last day of the season following what was very much a rollercoaster season.
I could not do a proper season review because we were too busy planning the move here. But we owe it to you guys to do something similar; hence this post on a man seen as one of our top performers last season, Wojciech Szczesny.
Sz13 had an interesting season. Many are quick to praise him, I’m not left out and often deservedly so. He has had some unbelievable goal-keeping performances…
Good morning from wherever you read this. Woke up hoping Wenger never makes a “not in my lifetime” statement towards the Tots or Chelski to warrant a placard similar to Carlos Tevez’s now infamous one.
The Argentine has apologised, as have his club, saying he got carried away by the moment. Oh well, our team meanwhile stays focused on having a better campaign next season with van Persie set to commence talks regarding his future at the Ems.
According to BBC’s David Ornstein who broke the news, captain vantastic will meet up with le boss and Ivan Gazidis at Wenger’s abode on Wednesday, even stating a time for the meeting (10:30 BST).
Don’t get lost in excitement just yet, nothing is expected to be sealed then with the Dutch striker set to report for Holland’s Euro 2012 camp on Thursday.
We however do hope it sets in motion the process of an extension of his stay beyond what his current contract states, as well as ward off the suitors eyeing our prized asset.
Meanwhile speaking with the club’s website, van Persie had special praise for fans that cheered the team on at home and especially at away grounds.
“The away fans, they are always here, always singing, always cheering us up even when we are having a bad game, they are always behind us. A big thank you to all of them because they have been unbelievable.”
And he had this to say of the home support, “The last few months have been different class. Every single game – the Spurs game, the Milan game, you can name them all – unbelievable.”
Podolski Eager to Play Ball
Following a bitter-sweet campaign with Köln in which his commendable 18 goals were on the contrary not enough to prevent his hometown club from relegation, Lukas Podolski is ready to begin life at the Ems next season.
Speaking officially as a Gunner for the first time, the German forward said soeaking personally with Wenger through telephone conversations was one of the elements that convinced him to join us.
He also mentioned the Per factor, “He has mentioned things about the Club’s organisation, the training ground, the fans and this has really helped. It might have influenced me to a certain extent but in the end, of course, I took the decision myself.”
Thank you once again Per for the PR. And here we were thinking Vermaelen had done enough to convince Belgian compatriot Jan Vertonghen to follow suit and join but word is he prefers being a ‘neighbour’.
Nothing is confirmed yet however, just as it has gone mellow concerning French midfielder Yann M’Vila. The lull before the bang? We await.
Do follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs and have a great day ahead. Cheers.
Abou Diaby’s injury jinx struck again as he suffered a thigh strain in the dying minutes of our game against Stoke.
The injury is expected to rule him out for several weeks, possibly missing Euro 2012 in the process.
The visit to Stoke was only his second game back from another injury. He has managed only 5 appearances for us this season, playing just over 2 hours of football.
His recent injuries have been attributed to a horrendous tackle from Sunderland’s Dan Smith in May 2006. He underwent 3 surgeries to repair the injury and missed the UCL final in the process.
He’s suffered over 30 injuries since then and many fans are quick to ignore the fact that he barely plays. Some don’t even want to consider the fact that we may have a injury crock on our hands.
“Diaby is not injury prone”, they tell you, “He’s just unlucky”. A quick examination of his football history suggests otherwise.
Abou began his playing career at Red Star Paris’ Youth Academy, and the academy coach, Marco Lienel described him as “fairly quiet and quite frail“. “Frail” in my dictionary means “weak and delicate.”.
Diaby signed his first professional contract with Auxerre in 2004; a 3-year deal but he only lasted 2. He moved to Arsenal in 2006.
Jacques Santini, Auxerre Manager at the time felt the sale of Diaby to Arsenal was justified. He thought it was a strategic sale.
“Abou was one of the players I used at the start of the season and then he had to stop because of repetitive injuries.”
Diaby has managed just over 150 appearances since he joined 6 years ago. This looks like a decent figure until you consider the fact that he joined at the same as Walcott and Adebayor. Walcott who joined as a 17-year old and did not play at all in 2006 has almost 220 appearances. Even Adebayor played 104 games as an Arsenal player in half the time Diaby has been at the club.
Now there is no doubt Diaby is an absolute beast of a player, he holds the ball very well, dribbles well, shoots well. Heck, he was tipped to be our Vieira, but of what use is a player like Messi if he does not play?
Some may be quick to point to RVP as a reason why we should stick to Diaby, but it should be noted that RVP did not have any major injury problems prior to his Arsenal career. Even when he played the occassional game, his impact was felt. 73 goals in 197 appearances a testament to this. A return of a goal every 2.6 games is more than decent for a supporting striker.
Rosicky had a mysterious injury that kept him out for so long. The moment that was cleared up, he started rehab and we have him back.
Diaby’s future may not be at Arsenal. He may have had a couple of very good games for us, but those have been far too infrequent. He has not been able to achieve consistency because he finds himself continuously trying to build up to match fitness and also match sharpness.
Personally, Abou is a player I hope Arsene gambles with and sticks by. His contract runs out in 2014 and I would simply wait until then to make a decision. But we cannot continue to pay a player good wages to sit on the treatment table for so long.
If he cannot stay fit then there is a very justified argument that He should be replaced by someone who can play more than 5 games on the trot without such a history of injury.
If Diaby somehow turns it over and becomes an important player for us, I’ll be the first one to admit my mistake, eat the humble pie and support him. The current injury rules him out for the season, it may be until next season before that happens…if Arsene does not ship him out this summer that is.
Any thoughts? Share them below.
Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba; Gustavo, Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Ribery, Robben, Gomez. Muller (sub)
That’s the Bayern Munich side that defeated a free-spending, star-studded Real Madrid team to secure a place in a Champions League final.
A closer look at this team and you discover that 7 of those players came through the ranks in Bayern Munich. Four were quality (not necessarily expensive) signings, to give them that cutting edge.
You already know where I am going with this, don’t you?
Earlier in the millenium, Wenger was in charge of a team that boasted world class quality in almost every department. All of them were playing well and more importantly, playing well as a team.
His blueprint for winning was pretty much what people were used to, a top quality team of experienced internationals added to pre-season with a couple of experienced players (in this case French or African).
He would occasionally add a high potential youngster to the mix. (See Cesc, Wilshere, Anelka).
They won trophies, in style too. But when the time came, the team had to be dismantled, some may argue it was done too quickly.
A move to a bigger stadium was on the horizon and funds were tight, there was a need to balance the books. The club had to change its strategy.
While I think Wenger had already started this before talks of a move to the Emirates cropped up, he planned on doing it on a much larger scale.
He struck gold with the likes of Toure, Viera and Henry and that must have spurred him on. We went through 2003/04 unbeaten in the league.
The difference between then and what we have now is that the team then was quite strong, strong enough to allow young players get some experience.
However, fast forward three years to 2007 and only Gilberto, Toure and Lehmann managed to survive the chop.
So what happened in between? Two things:
First, the Emirates stadium, despite already reaping rewards financially, seems cursed cursed to never house a trophy. Costing close to £400 million, it left the club in huge debt.
But with much of the debt now wiped out and Arsenal in (according to the books) “financial heaven”, there is no better time to buy than now.
The other factor was the loss of a certain David Dein. Yeah yeah, you must be thinking “not David Dein talk again”.
But the truth is he supported Wenger throughout his best years and was never replaced (nah…Gazidis does not count).
To be honest, I didn’t see how much this would affect the club at first I mean…he is just another memeber of the board. But his backroom dealings brought Arsene to Arsenal in the first place.
Also, he was supposedly a major influence on the transfers of Cesc, PV4, RVP, Petit, Marc Overmars, Titi, Pires, and Campbell.
Just take a look at Daniel Levy across the road at Sp*rs and Milan’s Adrian Galliani and you’ll understand my point.
Now Project Youth has gone through two phases. Wenger, around 2008, deciding some of them weren’t good enough (Muamba and Aliadiere) or they deciding Arsenal’s didn’t match their ambition (Flamini).
And there is the current crop of youngsters (Coquelin, Jack, Frimps, Oxlade-Chamb, Yennaris) who are not doing too badly.
The only real Arsenal-bred youngsters who have grown to full fledged regulars from Arsenal’s academy are Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs. Then we have the likes of Cesc, Cashley, Song and Sz13 whom we ‘took’ while they were young.
This season we probably have the most players out on loan in the history of the league. Some players will not make the grades at Arsenal, and we can all see that.
Project Youth should be about developing the quality (maybe few) players, not holding on to many average players.
Now, we do have a relatively strong squad, a good basis for two (assuming we already have Podolski) quality signings. Wenger needs to take a look at players like Denilson, Vela, Lansbury and Bendtner.
He needs to decide whether to give them one more season to come good or just cash in while there is still interest in them.
Bayern Munich have shown that you do not need to spend all the money in the world (a la Real Madrid), to compete with the best.
They have a similar transfer model to Arsenal, spending reasonably within their means. Wenger started this last summer by recruiting Arteta, Mert4, Yossi and Santos.
We showed a lot of promise against the might and money of Manchester City, Milan and Chelsea this season. Imagine a player like Cesc hadn’t left and we have a midfield comprising Arteta, a player like Cesc, and Song.
Project Youth has not failed, completely, Sz13’s and Oxlade Chamberlain’s performances this season evidence of that. It just needs to be readjusted to fit with the reality of today, a few experienced heads (Robben, Lahm, Ribery, Gomez) to take the young guns past the finish line.
Wilshere can be our Kroos, Ramsey our Gustavo, and Song our Schweini. We already have a better striker than Gomez so that’s settled.
If Podolski joins, and Wenger sees the chance to build on what has been an eye-opening season by recruiting another (or two) experienced player(s), next season will be ours to throw away. Cliché?
What we have at the moment is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken by buying those quality players to persuade RVP et al to stay.
A quick look at our current youth set up shows a number of ‘next big things’; the task before Arsene is making them more Fabregas than Aliadiere.
That’s as much as I can take today mates! The race for 3rd place is still hot even though we’re in the driving seat. A preview of our visit to Stoke will be posted tomorrow morning. Watch out for that.
Birthday shout outs to Punkenstein, one of the three authors on this blog. It’s been an honour mate. Reach for the skies!
Then there’s the talk of Pep Guardiola refusing to sign a new contract at Barcelona. What do you guys make of that? Pep at Arsenal? Hmmmmmm….
Share your thoughts in the comments.
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As much as I’d have loved to move on, it is only fitting that one talks about the game we saw last night. Terry gets sent off, Chelsea qualify knock out Barccelona, and the most surpirsing of all, Torres gets a goal.
Crazy, crazy game if you ask me. Chelsea really rode their luck yesterday, I doubt Messi would have lost that penalty if it was Arsenal. That’s how unlucky we are.
It was good to see an English side go through to the final again, sad to see the arguably the best team in the history of the game lose out in such manner, and disgusting to see the reactions of some Arsenal fans.
We complain when ex-players talk about Arsenal, yet we find it difficult to keep our noses out of their business. That reeks of hypocrisy if you ask me.
So Chelsea are in the final and they have a shot at the title which is what really gets to me. Apart from the fact that they may be the first London side to win the Champions League, Chelsea’s result in the final may decide whether or not we play in the Champions League next year.
A bit of research on the EPL’s official website, and this is what I found out:
“No extra domestic place can be gained by winning the UEFA Champions League, therefore the team finishing fourth drops to the UEFA Europa League.”
This means if we somehow manage to lose our 3rd spot to N’castle or Spurs, and Chelsea somehow win the UCL, there will be no Champions League football for us next season. Our last 3 games include visits to Stoke and West Brom, grounds we have struggled in recently and we will need to dig deep to get 6 points from both games.
It is possible of course. We only need to banish the spirits that reared their heads against QPR and Wigan.
It looks like our favourite Brazilian, Denilson will be returning next season. His lawyer has apparently been in London this week, with the hope of securing an extension to Denilson’s loan deal with Sao Paulo but the club have denied him permission. It looks like Wenger wants him back in time for pre-season.
And with some reports stating Arsenal will look to wrap up M’villa deal before the start of Euro 2012, questions are raised over Denilson’s role in the team. Gut feeling tells me we just want him to return so we can ship him off, permanently this time. He’s in the same ship with Bendtner and Vela – those we may be looking to give away this summer.
Vela has been in good form in Spain. It can be argued that he is only scoring goals because the league is easier (for strikers), and that the pressure at Arsenal was too much for him. Flip the coin and you have an amazing talent who was rarely given a chance to impress (5-minute cameos when we are losing do not count). One can only hope Wenger does the right thing.
Which is exactly what he did when he ruled out Wilshere for the season and from participating in any summer tournament. But Stuart ‘The Pyscho’ Pearce has chosen to act out his nickname. Pearce has stated that Wenger cannot stop him from including Wilshere in his Great Britain squad for the Olympics this summer.
That’s his opinion. I can’t change his opinion, and it’s not of great concern to me. Will any manager get a veto over who I select? Of course not.
It is safe to assume that Pearce will ignore what is best for Jack who is still recovering from a year out of the game and pick him for the Olympics. Granted he may need some football to get him started for next season, but playing at the Olympics can equally make his injury worse.
We surely do not want him ruled out for most of next season again, do we? Time will tell whether or not Pearce allows that nickname to get into his head.
The players have been vocal, Rosicky talking about a 3-second system he’s trying to perfect with Song and Arteta, Sagna and Koscielny talking about how far they’ve come, and Szczesny staying grounded. You may want to look at this piece on RVP’s year in numbers. Interesting stuff.
So that’s all from me today, Chelsea’s win yesterday just raised my hunger for a trophy. They can do a double this year! They can also end up with nothing like us, so we should not be quick to curse our luck. Plus we did not have to spend 50 million quid on a player who scores once in 2 blue moons.
Podolski looks like a done deal, a creative midfielder will be in order. I expect Chamakh and Park to leave. I’m thinking do Bendtner and Vela deserve another chance at Arsenal or should we just farm them off?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments.
Have an amazing day wherever you read this from.
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GOOD MORNING!!! to you all from wherever, I’ve been told if you type in caps it means you’re shouting. Now that I have your attention, its my birthday today (and the crowd goes wild!!!) so I’m feeling very good about the day. Talking of birthday’s yesterday Theo Walcott turned 23 and my oh my has he had a roller coaster professional career so far. He’s the focus of today’s post. Before that, here’s a post I wrote 2 years ago about The Real Theo Walcott , have a read if you want.
Cometh the man, cometh the hour, James Theo Walcott(like Lebron James, my favorite basketballer) would always have the spotlight on him and has become a target for angry/moody fans and the naysayers but its easy to forget he’s just 23 and he’s continually played out of position. You can’t blame him, as a teenager Sven Goran Eriksson(the then English manager) exposed him to such and should I say, he’s “never really recovered”. And being English again doesn’t help his cause.
You can argue that he’s been played in the best position where his speed can be utilized and then you’ll slate him again for being all speed and no brain, lack of ability to cut into his marker and cause damage. I’ll always defend the lad even though he’s mighty frustrating.
I followed Theo since his Southampton & England U19/U21 days and he was dubbed the “new michael owen” because of his finishing. High praise for him you might say but it was well deserved. He played off the main striker and used his pace to devastating effect banging in the goals left and right. But since becoming a first team member he’s been forced to spend time on the sideline which he’s done his job admirably without complaints.
Yes he can’t do the simple things at times, yes he overhits a cross sometimes and yes his finishing is erratic sometimes but for all this mentioned, he’s improved and gotten better. Van Persie credits him for assisting most of his goals and his hot form as a result of Theo’s selfless play and he showed that by handing the Englishman his Man of the match champagne after the NLD derby. Even Leo Messi rates him as one of the best players he’s played against.
Is Walcott really as bad as they make him out to be? Or are the fans ungrateful and too hard on him. Here’s something you should consider next time you want to boo the lad.
English Wingers In The EPL
- Stewart Downing : 27 appearances 0 goals 0 assists
Ashley Young : 17 appearances 4 goals 7 assists
Adam Johnson : 21 appearances 5 goals 2 assists
Aaron Lennon : 15 appearances 3 goals 3 assists
Theo Walcott : 27 appearances 5 goals 8 assists
As you can see for yourself, only Ashley Young rivals Theo this season and Young is a proper winger while Walcott is a forward playing on the wings. Again, if you’re not impressed, try putting some of the league’s best strikers on the wings in a 4-3-3 formation or any kind and see if they flourish or do any good, Hernandez for example.
Look at Bendtner, he was played consistently out wide and did not like it and it did not yield positive results but at Sunderland, he’s the main man and he’s banging in goals, he has more goals than Gervinho/Park & Chamakh put together. That buttresses my point.
Get off Theo’s back and cheer him on, a player can only deal with so much abuse. He has 16months left on his contract, if he’s not that good, the club won’t be trying to tie him down to a new deal and RVP loves him so I see no reason why you shouldn’t.
We’re not in action this weekend due to FA Cup games, but we’ll be on tuesday at Goodison Park. That should be a great on. From wherever you’re reading, go on and have a nice day. I know I will. Cheers.
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If anyone told me on April 30, 2009 that a day would come when an Arsenal fan wouldn’t want to see Arshavin kick a ball for Arsenal, I’d have told them to have their brain checked!
30th April was the day after the magical night at Anfield, a game in which he single-handedly took the game to Liverpool, scoring 4 beautiful goals. Most fans (including myself) were probably thinking then that our messiah had arrived.
Arshavin’s transfer to Arsenal was as protracted as they come, but we managed to beat the deadline for his signature. He joined at a time we were struggling, we were outside the top 4 and then ran the risk of missing out on UCL football.
But his arrival was like a breath of fresh air, the unbridled enthusiasm that accompanied him was there for all to see.
He didn’t disappoint. From January to May he gave us good game after game and took us back into the top four. I think it’s fair to say we couldn’t have made it without him.
His next season was not as explosive, he could not replicate the form he showed the previous term. As time went on, he began to lose form and his performances began to drop. He complained about being played out of position but nothing changed.
Roll on 2011 and people were beginning to complain, his commitment was even questioned atimes. Many felt he didn’t care about playing for the club, a claim I think emanated from his demeanour on the field of play.
What do I think? Arshavin is a honest individual as evident in his comments and he criticizes himself more than anyone of us does.
My fear is he’s done this to the extent it has affected his confidence. This is probably why things rarely work out for him. The cloud of invincibility around him has evaporated, the belief is missing.
What happened yesterday is sad and unfortunate. A player steps on the pitch on his home ground, and he gets booed; even the man who is supposed to be his strike partner questions his introduction.
We can all think the boos were as a result of The Ox going off. Granted that was a tactical error, maybe Theo Walcott shoud have gone instead. However if we look at it critically, it works both ways. What kind of message are we sending to the player coming on?
The second goal was not his fault as he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Vermaelen was found wanting, Arshavin tried to help, he did, twice! But because he wasn’t successful, people blamed him for the goal. It just doesn’t make sense to me!
If his own fans and captain won’t give him a chance, how do we expect anything productive? For all our noise about Andrei, he got two assists against QPR and Swansea; two great passes I doubt any of our other forwards (apart from RVP) could have executed successfully. Moments like these are why Arsene persists with him and I understand.
Arshavin has not been in the best of form and he is always the first to admit he isn’t pulling his weight; even Wenger agrees. Fans pay for tickets so they are free to express themselves in whichever manner they deem fit.
However, the manner in which he was made a scapegoat in yesterday’s game is totally unfair and I just feel no player should be subjected to such treatment, at least not in a place he calls home.
Have a good day wherever this post meet you. Do share your thoughts with me in the comments.
Keep it goonerish!
First up, allow me to wish everyone of you a prosperous and fulfilled new year.
Last year was defining in every aspect of the word, it was a terrific 365 days and if we look back on all that went down, you will agree with me that it was pretty difficult reaching this position on the first day of the new year.
2011 gave us our best chance yet to end our trophy drought, it is without doubt Arsene Wenger’s most trying year since he joined the club. As much as it served up our worst start to an EPL season, 2011 saw the emergence of another Arsenal hero!
This post seeks to share my best and worst moments of an amazing year for football.
2011 was a year of “if onlys”, a year of ruing missed chances and wishing we had just a little more luck. Quite a number of moments could easily pass as my worst game of 2011; the 4-3 loss at Blackburn, the 4-4 draw at Newcastle, the 2-0 loss to United in the FA Cup, a game United lined up with 7 defenders!
The summer departure of Fabregas, the 1-1 draw with L’pool at the Emirates, the 3-3 draw at Shite Hart Lane, the 8-2 loss at Old Trafford are also moments I will like to forget very quickly. But none hurts as much as the loss to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final.
That was the height of it, as we practically gifted Birmingham the trophy. That loss brought tears to my eyes and made me believe for some time that we were under some sort of spell.
Away from the doom and gloom; 2011 also served us some of football’s most beautiful moments.
Vermaelen extended his Arsenal contract, a very big boost to the club. Did I mention the emergence of another Arsenal hero?
Yes! RVP came into his own in 2011, banging in 35 goals in 36 league games all around the country; that name sent shivers down the spine of defenders all year long.
At the end he came up short of Alan Shearer’s record by a single goal having played 6 less games than the English legend. 2011, the year of RVP100!
We witnessed some great moments on the pitch too; the 1-0 win against United at the Emirates, the big win in Udinese which put us in the Champions League, and an even bigger win at Marseille which all but ensured qualification into the knockout stages of the same competition.
While the 3-5 win at Stamford Bridge will be remembered for years, as it confirmed our resurgence this season, no game in 2011 gave me as much joy and pride as the 2-1 win against Barcelona.
I rank that game on par with, or probably higher than other magical nights like the historical victories in Madrid, Villareal and Milan.
I saw the Barcelona game in a pub and I really cannot accurately describe how I felt as Arshavin struck the ball past a helpless Valdes. All I know is that I walked out of that pub half naked!
So there you have it, my memories of 2011. You can tell it has been energy sapping for me as I’m sure it has been for you. Why not share your special moments with me? Something I missed out on perhaps.
Here is to hoping 2012 turns out to be a year of far more positives than negatives, the birth of another hero, and finally a trophy to cap!
Have a great start to the new year, play safe and keep it goonerish!
See you in the comments!
TalkSport, or TalkShit as I choose to address them from now on have reached yet another low.
Just when I thought they could not do worse that they already have, Adrian Durham or whatever his name his wrote a laughable piece, one that compares Arsenal’s Invincibles to Man City’s current squad.
I read this article and it is obvious that this man has not even the slightest clue what he is writing about.
He picked Joe Hart over Jens Lehmann because Hart is “younger and more reliable”, but chose Campbell over Lescott and rightly so. I mean, no one can argue that an over-priced average defender is better than one of the best centre backs of his era.
Micah Richards was selected over Lauren because Richards “was inspirational in City’s 6-1 demolition of rivals United”, a game which lasted only 90 minutes. Lauren was consistent over years, Adrian!
Arsenal’s Ashley Cole beat City’s Gael Clichy as weird as that sounds. Both lads were actually Gunners in 03/04 so whichever way you look at it, we win. Durham however thinks Kompany’s “reliability and leadership skills” edge him over the Kolo Toure that play in the Invincibles team. Really?
He picked Silva over Ljunberg and I’ll let him have that just because the Spaniard has demonstrated his class. But to rate Yaya Toure over Gilberto Silva simply because “Gilberto’s talents might have gone under the radar” is extremely poor journalism. Gilberto is that player whose worth we didn’t realize until he started missing games.
Not even Durham is silly enough to pick Milner over Pires, or Dzeko over Henry. I however lost respect for Adrian Durham when he chose Aguero over Dennis Bergkamp!
Who does that? DB10 of 2003/04 is light years ahead of the current El Kun in all ramifications. This is not taking anything away from Aguero’s great start to life in the EPL, but some comparisons just do not make sense.
Aguero isn’t even the best striker in the League! He isn’t better than Robin Van Persie, yet some journalist deems it fit to compare him to DB10? One can only wonder what goes on in some people heads.
All these being said, we cannot ignore the fact that Man City have had an amazing start this season and going unbeaten is not completely out of sight.
But one thing that makes ours special, our first team cost just £47.8m, please call me when Man City (or any other team for that matter) achieves the same feat with a squad that expensive!
See you in the comments!
Mikel Arteta was not the first choice midfield signing we had in mind but due to usual circumstances of dilly-dallying, we got him instead. Sitting in my room, and reading an article on Arsenal, the idea came to write about this reserved Spaniard who goes about his job without any complaints or glamour. Amongst the most impatient fans who claim to be die-hard(I’m guilty of this at times) he’s not the most popular figure as what fans perceive to be lack of cutting edge play on his part seems to be the problem.
I tried so hard to find the perfect and catchy title for this post and even considered “Mikel’s Art-Ether For Arsenal So Far” with the “Ether” representing the threat he presents to the opposite team and the “Art” for his role as playmaker (via @Illuminatish) but I stuck with the above.
For someone with 6 years of premiership experience, at a top club and commanding a pricey £10M for a 29 year old, a lot was expected of him when his signing was announced. To say his transition has been anything but easy would be a lie. Most fans are still not convinced he’s good enough to play for Arsenal. Let’s look at him closely.
Arteta is your classic CM, the playmaker that makes that transition between defense and attack, the one that dictates the tempo of the game and overall performance of the team. At Everton he played like that and at times as an attacking midfielder, that one that releases the final pass for the goal and scores the occasional goal. That’s who he is.
But at Arsenal, he’s been played differently. He’s been asked to sit deeper beside the DM, just infront of the back four and do the simple & careful job of collecting the ball & releasing it almost immediately. Pick the easiest pass, try not to get caught on the ball and help out when the attackers lose the ball. Which makes it easier for Ramsey to have that free role without really defending much.
For this primary reason, everyone seems to hate his style of play, I personally have gone as far as calling him a glorified Denilson. Looking closely at his game, you’ll see he brings a lot more to the table. Below are some of Arteta’s positives:
- ¤Anchors the midfield alongside Song and helps provide a solid enough base for all of Arsenal’s attackers. Defends well too and chases after every ball
¤Rarely loses the ball, builds attacks well and gives Ramsey all the freedom the Welshman needs to be the sole playmaker.
¤His variety of passes, mostly to the wings, gives us a different style of attacking play and frees up Van Persie from coming back all the time to collect the ball.
¤Reads the game well, at 29 brings welcome & much needed experience to the entire team both on the field & in the locker room.
Many claim he had his best performance against West Brom as he attacked with verve and hunger, gave an assured performance and for someone who has been accused of overplaying the pivot, distributing the ball to the wings and leaving others for the more clinical passes, he started and finished the move that led to third goal.
We must realize that despite his EPL experience, Arsenal is a whole new one for him, with an entirely different team where he has to curb his own attacking instincts to allow Ramsey flourish and take on defensive duties. In time, he’ll come good, but for now, we’ll have to put the team above his own performances. Let him continue with the careful style of play, who knows, maybe when Wilshere comes back, he’ll(Arteta) be pushed further up the pitch, I doubt gooners want to see that though.
2 Goals and 1 assist is not so bad considering Ramsey has 4 assists and 2 goals this season. As he said:
- “We’ve been working on being a bit more solid but I like to get forward, get freedom and I like to score goals. I want to participate more on the attacking side, so I did that(WestBrom) and I’m pleased with that”. When asked if that was the best of him, he said “I hope not, I’ve only been here 2 months”
Well there you have it. In time he’ll get better, I see him as a welcome addition who fans would come to appreciate as the season progresses especially if new signings come in come January. Have a great day gooners.
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