Tag Archives: Mertesacker

Arsenal title chances

Arsenal Squad

Going into last season I was confident Arsenal would win the title, I know I am a glutton for punishment for harboring such optimism with Arsenal at the centre and they definitely didn’t disappoint in the manner the punishment was meted out to fans like myself . I don’t even know what to make of Arsenal’s top 4 prospects this season considering how the other clubs are strengthening left, right, centre and upfront.

Regarding transfers, Granit Xhaka is an encouraging buy and brings the necessary aggression needed in the team with great passing abilities to add to his defensive qualities in the middle of the park. The Japanese striker is one for the future, probably would be loaned out and Rob Holding in my opinion will pleasantly surprise people, I like the buy.  Arsene though is yet to address the reason why Arsenal finished second to Leicester last season, the lack of a finisher upfront. I am not a Giroud Basher as the media and fans try to make him into what he is not. I could add all the exhaust pipes  and alloy wheels to a Peugeot I still couldn’t call it a Ferrari right… Giroud does alright for the class of striker that he is but needs help or a serious upgrade and I wouldn’t call Alvaro Morata an upgrade, he has scored less than Giroud in the Italian League in the last 2 seasons combined and Higuain is not worth that crazy release clause at 29, I also remember him missing clutch chances for Argentina at the world cup final in 2014 and the Copa America final in 2016, he wouldn’t be my go to guy for that price. There are not many available “world class ” strikers in the market but with the cash reserves Arsenal have they should for once go crazy and bid to buy players like Aubameyang or Greizman, if I was consulted they would be my targets.

If Arsene didn’t buy another midfielder I wouldn’t be too worried, but a player like Mahrez or Reus with goals in them and proper wide play will definitely improve the midfield in addition to creating more selection headaches for the manager.

The defence is sorted to a degree but I worry in the event that Bellerin is injured and Debuchy rumored to be heading out of the club who replaces Bellerin? Chambers and Holding  can play in that position but are primarily central defenders who are very different to Bellerin. Gabriel hasn’t filled me with confidence and with Per Mertesacker also rumoured to be out for 5 months after injuring his knee against Lens, Koscielny not back in the team till later in the season because of the Euro exertions  could cause problems in the opening weeks of the season.

The goalkeeping position happens to be most secure, a weird thing to say when Arsenal is concerned, Cech and Ospina are very capable hands.

Verdict

With this present squad and no further additions, the best predictable outcome is 5th but if Arsene went into the market and  bought a good striker to assist Giroud, a wide playing forward/midfielder in the Reus, Mahrez mould and a proper no-nonsense defender, Arsenal could actually go on and win the title. There I go again, I can’t seem to help myself it seems!!!

 

Arsenal defence let down against Barcelona

I watched the game with no expectation of an Arsenal result to be honest, but with the way Arsenal started I became hopeful and in the most “Arsenalistic” way they lose 0 2. I was surprised with Chamberlain  in the starting lineup I still don’t feel he has done enough to keep Joel Campbell on the bench. He fluffed his lines as usual when he he should have been calmer in front of goal and then dribbled straight into Mascherano on a counter with Ozil and Giroud waiting.

Looking at the two goals the captain of the day had a hand in both. There were several chances to stop the first goal and Mertesacker should have been more cynical when he slid to intercept the pass to Neymar, he missed the ball and Neymar was in on goal, the rest is history. The second goal Per kick the ball out of defence instead of trying to play out! His loose touch activated the rash Flamini who conceded a penalty within 47 seconds of coming on, that must be some record! All that hard work and Arsenal do a big poo all over themselves. I still don’t know what Wenger was thinking bringing Flamini on for Coquelin, for crying out loud he rested him at the weekend Coquelin should have been able to play the full 90mins.

Apart from the first half when Sanchez help carry the ball forward he was poor and gave the ball away a number of times and with all the assist Ozil has in the Premier League he didn’t stand up to be counted today in such a big game begs the question why he was rested against Hull.

The Arsenal defence were actually let down today by the attack today. Poor finishing and misplaced passes did not compliment the hard work of Bellerin, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey and Koscielny. There were some good that could be taken from this game, Arsenals shape, the high pressing and Ramsey’s discipline to help Coquelin, I wonder why we don’t see more of this in the Premier League. If you ask me this tie is over and the worrying thing is Arsenal are still not scoring.

The next game is against Manchester United and I hope the OX is on the bench and Campbell starts in his place.