TGIF: Will Arsenal make the top four?

In the week that will have shareholders debating the future and with twitchers spotting the rare appearance of Silent Stan, we must have some good news to report. Well we have to believe that we will make the top four after making it 5 wins out of 6 apparently. The fact that there was a Carling Cup and two Champions league fixtures in there seems to have escaped everyone’s attention. It’s our performance in the Premier League that counts, yet winning is an attitude and I shall be happy if it spills over into our Premier league performances. Yet with us only six points off the Champions league places surely normal service has almost been resumed? So Crisis what crisis?They cannot be one if Arsene says Arshavin has a marvellous attitude! Everywhere there are the green shoots of positiveness and soon the AKBs will be saying we told you so. Well Thank Gooner it’s Friday on Saturday then….

Take your pick, but upon the eve of what will no doubt be a feisty AGM next week, it is nice to have some positive things to talk about Arsenal for a change. The victory against Marseille was by far the most convincing after what was if we are to be really honest, a very disappointing performance against Sunderland. No matter how much Stuart Robson tries to dress it up, playing well for 30 minutes against a relegation side then holding on in time added on is not sign that Arsenal are back to their best.

What amazes me is how players who are technically excellent can still lack the organisation to pummel a side like Sunderland into submission. I point again to the confused organisation up front, for which Arsene Wenger is solely responsible. Until he addresses those tactical deficiencies I’m afraid my view is we will go two steps forward and one step back. The game against Stoke will really tell us where we are for the future. Their physical presence and long throw ins will test us to the limit, and if we win that game, then I shall begin to believe that we can make the top four.

So the positives…

Robin van Persie

He is our captain and he is our icon and without him we would be relegation fodder. His world class touches show the other players what they should be striving for, and if Arsene does not break the bank to keep him, then given the choice between RvP and AW, Sorry Arsene, I would rather see you go. I have always argued that RvP is wasted as point man in the 4-3-3 position. He can score goals but he can also open up defences with his amazing close ball control. RvP is the finest close ball exponent in the Premier League, and some of his tricks defy the laws of physics. I have repeatedly suggested that we should play him in the “hole” behind a lethal striker, and to hear the mighty Dennis Bergkamp agreeing was music to my ears. If Arsene was willing to buy such a striker and change the formation we would then demolish most teams including Barcelona.

Koscielny

What a way to silence your critics? When Arsenal fans clamour for another centre back, it’s a shame if the likes of Koscielny gets tarred with the same  brush. Fair play to the lad, he has shown by his efforts that he is willing to give blood literally for the cause. He was the difference against Marseille, and without doubt he will get better for having to graft through this current phase of adversity. I like his silent determination to succeed. He plays to the best of his ability and will give his all for Arsenal, we need more like him.

Is Wenger on his 62nd birthday today, the one to lead Arsenal? Should we keep him? Well, as he has announced that he intends to see out his contract, and this current Board has no desire to remove their human shield. In any event, the argument is facile, there will be no change of leadership whilst the likes of Stan Kroenke is in charge. My feeling is that Arsene Wenger is responsible for the demise by failing to replace our World Class stars. His wages structure has restricted our ability to buy decent players, by over paying mediocrity. He has lost my unqualified support, yet I respect his contribution to the club. If he is to save his own reputation, he must lead Arsenal back to the top four, but should he stay long term? Definitely not. His arrogance is strangling the progress of the club. His tactical ineptitude has become more and more obvious. Before playing players out of position was innovational, now it just plain annoying.

Arsene Wenger can still inspire the youth players which is why we can agree to him seeing out his current contract. He also deserves to be able to decide upon the timing of his leaving the club in return for having brought back glory to Arsenal football club. His hatred of clubs with lots of money however means that he would not sit easily if Usmanov gained control of the club. His new tactical formations have not worked and Arsenal now struggle to sweep teams aside, we appear to be a group of individuals in the final third of the pitch, relying upon the brilliance of RvP. We can succeed if we can rekindle that winning mentality. But success is now measured by being in the top four. Winning the Premier League has to wait for now.

It is the loyalty to Boro Primorac is the one reason why I can no longer give our manager unqualified support. There can be no good reason to keep this first team coach. I don’t care if he can speak more languages than Arsene Wenger. The present demise of Arsenal on the field is his fault and should be met by his dismissal, the failure to bring in additional defensive coaches will harm our return to greatness. So if the only way that Primorac will be relieved of his duties is by the exit of Arsene Wenger, so be it. I can wait three seasons, if it means the end of Primorac.

But it didn’t have to be this way. If Arsene Wenger would be honest enough to see the harm being done to the club, by the Board’s unwillingness to pay current wages to World Class stars. Everytime that I see Juan Mata play another excellent game for Chelsea, I recoil in anger. It is Arsenal Football Club that came second when that decision was made not to seal the deal. Ivan Gazidis could have made it happen, so I blame him too. We need to move on soon. Bring in a new owner if we must. I would accept anyone over Kroenke even Usmanov. As for the new manager? bring in Pepe Guardiola and let him bring the ethos of pressure football from Barcelona. The fitness levels of the Barca players seems immense, the work rate is absolutely staggering in intensity terms. Bring in Guardiola and let’s put Arsenal back at number one!

 

“I like Andrey Arshavin because he has a great attitude”

Sorry Arsene, but the impression of most Gooners that I listen to, is that Arshavin has rarely turned up and given 100%. Of late he seems to have made an effort after a spell on the bench, but this goes to the heart of the frustration experienced by many fans. Arsene listens to no other opinion than his own. So we all have to deal with the consequences, which is also why Arsene Wenger will never recover a united fanbase before his departure in 2 seasons time. He believes that his decisions are correct and his convictions whilst not popular, they will eventually be proved correct. I don’t how great Arshavin is in training, on the pitch he is more lazy than other players. The common picture in my head of Arshavin, is standing with his hands on his hips after having lost possession of the ball. Against Marseille, Rosicky lost the ball, and ran back and challenged and recovered the ball. That’s the difference Arsene.

Press Conference

Robin van Persie is a motivational player on and off the pitch

Players having the decision whether or not to play for their countries is a bad thing

Jenkinson has a small injury and will be out for two games at least

Stoke is a dangerous team

The commitment and possession of the team is there, but in the final third offensively there is room for improvement.

Game on Sunday

Stoke City will give the Gunners a stern test, and it will be the manner of our play that will tell us all whether we have turned the corner. I am looking forward to seeing how Mertesacker deals with the long throws. Hopefully he will be the centre of our defensive plans. Once we nullify those threats let’s hope that the forward play improves. The lack of converting the 9 corners against Marseille was perhaps because of poor first team coaching on the practice ground? so perhaps Arsene should sort our Primorac?

The good aspect of our play is that we have started to close down the opposition, and if we can stop giving away possession, (Song are you listening?) then we can then build a good platform for runners in the final third to get into better threatening positioning, the pace of our passing movements have to be quicker in order to get through the wall of players that will represent the Potteries team bus being parked in front of the goal.

We have yet to see rapid one touch Wengerball return with the current team, and until it does our confidence will remain low. Our passing has been very negative, and often we have a throw in the final third of the pitch and then because of the lack of confidence, we end up sideways passing and then back until it reaches the keeper. Equally the off the ball running by players has not been well utilised by the ball carrier. The signs of progress are there, but we need more inspiration, which is why I cannot understand why Arsene Wenger refuses to play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he can unlike Theo Walcott, goes beyond players. Let’s hope that it’s not just Wenger trying to prevent another young hero emerging from the ranks.

Result? On the form guide, Stoke have 12 points and lie above us, but have 3 wins from the last six. Sunderland put four goals past them, and we beat Sunderland, so if we get our act together, we should gain all three points. My predicted score? Arsenal 3 Stoke City 1. I hope that we play Ryo Myaichi, and please leave Benayoun in the team hotel. He reminds me too much of Denilson.

This has to be Koscielny’s performance against Marseille in the Velodrome. He was majestic!

E.i.E

Well my good friends, it’s been a while what? I’ve returned after being in mourning for Denton the Bear. At least The mighty Arsenal are back and doesn’t Kosser look the real deal. Hehehe, apparently the guvnor thinks that we have got 5 centre backs and that is enuf? Errr Mertyboy, Vermaelen (congrats on the new contract boy!) Our Spanish geezer Ignasi, The Italian guy who loves to give Szczesny ridiculous pass backs Squeallatchi and Djourou. Well sorry, we have got to sign Gary Cahill in the Transfer window, add Eden Hazard and Leighton Baines to this and I’ll be happy. JUST SPEND SOME ACKERS OK?

Anyway Gooners, I was thinking of watching the Arsenal AGM on the laptop in the Dog and Goose next Thursday, do you think that they will televise it live? Fat chance… There’s an NFL game at Wembley so we can expect to Kronky boy. I gather Walmart are unpopular in Yank land cos they are not paying enough health insurance to their workers? Blimey… I shove a few trolleys for Asda, and get sweet fanny adam me! Perhaps I ought to emigrate? Hehehe! Can u imagine me in the U S of A? Yeah right. For a start they drive on the wrong side of the road, but they have streets and avenues dontcha know. They also play “football” with a rugby ball for christ’s sake? Anyway, Silent Stan is going to have to speak very loudly and commit to spending a few of those dollars he’s borrowed to buy my club.

Finally what’s all this fuss about the Olympics? Team GB is ok surely? I’d love to see Ramsey, Bail and Wilshere and Rooney in the same team. The Scots are being to precious?. In case it hurts their individual status??? The Scots are so bad now, not even foreigners want to play for them…lol Anyone with talent and a Scottish parent or relative, rips up the evidence and plays for England at the first opportunity, now that’s the root of the problem Craig Brown, not the Olympics son!

Anyway, gotta go now, the missus has got my pint of Fullers in front of the telly. Gonna watch a brill DVD tonight and get well brahms and lizst! It’s blu ray job called Contraception or summat? Starring Leonardo dicaprio with loads of side effects and stuff, walls caving in and good sci fi. Thinking of caving in walls, perhaps spare a thought for the Merse who fell asleep in his Merc, caved in a barrier and almost wrote off a lorry as well. He was over the limit apparently, poor sod. So after drinking tonight the only driving I’ll be doing is kicking the cat up the bottle and glass to get her outside to catch some mice.  Ta ra Gooners! Keep the Faith!

Mourhino of Real Madrid who is planning on making a £30 million bid for Robin van Persie in the January transfer window. We have to keep hold of Robin and Ivan Gazidis and the Board must break the wages ceiling to do it. Also they must stop overpaying the squad players and remove those players not fit to wear the shirt.

Video of the week

Apparently Arsene Wenger is looking to sign this Romanian player whose post goal celebration sees him puffing on an imaginary cigar! Hailed as the Romanian Messi, he is gifted with two wonderful feet and is an amazing dead ball striker. Enjoy

Gabriel Torje the Romanian Messi

So my final thoughts are in answer to the question, will Arsenal make the top four? I had my doubts before the Marseille game, but if we can make the most of Vermaelen’s return and Robin van Persie can keep injury free and providing we make three decisive signings in the January transfer window, then we shall do it with ease. Until next time then.

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