Tag Archives: Theo Walcott

Time for a new direction at Arsenal

Two losses in a week that essentially ends Arsenal’s title bid for another season and the manner in which they lost was all too familiar. I didn’t bother posting about the Watford loss midweek as it was like writing a post I had written several times but the second half display at Chelsea to a man was shameful and pitiful to say the least. The first goal in my opinion was a foul on Bellerin, Alonso jumping like that leading with his elbow is dangerous play and  anywhere else on the pitch it’s a foul but that doesn’t excuse Walcott’s neglecting his duty to cover Alonso’s run, a run he saw clearly. He did the same at Old Trafford which led to a goal, was supposed to learn from that, clearly hasn’t. In fact the characteristic of the entire team is one that never ever learns, they do the same thing over and over again expecting different results and there’s a popular saying that addresses this behaviour. Arsenal making the average look exceptional since 1886 is how I describe the manner in which Hazard was allowed to waltz through the midfield to score the second, I am sure Kante or Matic wouldn’t have allowed Ozil or Sanchez that much freedom to do that without putting in a tackle to at least get a yellow on behalf of the team and stop the counter, it was nothing but naive from everyone concerned. From all the posturing for new and improved contracts from our star players they went Awol yesterday and Ozil not for the first time.  Mediocrity, lack of application, lack of fight creeps through the entire team. I wish the mental fortitude they have for social media could be applied to their main job. Yesterday Oxlade Chamberlain was caught up in a gaffe mistakenly liking a “Wenger out” post shortly after the game. You ask yourself what was he doing on social media minutes after such a loss, talk of priorities right. Not giving himself time to introspect and digest what had just happened, your team is now 12 points behind Chelsea, the title was no longer in your grasp. It’s like they don’t have a clue what putting on the Arsenal colours represent.
Those guys have it all too easy and there is no one else to point the finger at but Arsene. Players put in average performances and still get in the team. Yesterday in his post match interview he said the team gave all they had, I don’t want to believe he believes that that’s all they have and after the Watford game he said they weren’t ready mentally errm Arsene what’s your job? I am an Arsene guy and will forever be but there has to come a point where we have to be real; I think he has brought the club as far as he can and there needs to be a change. I will make it clear I do not support idiots that travel to grounds with banners or spew insults at him there is no place for that at all. I find it hard to comprehend that this same Arsene managed “The Invincibles” with what he lets this group of players get away with. I also sort of feel sorry for him as there is no one in that team absolutely no one that actually steps up on difficult game days to settle and focus his team mates, then again he does the recruiting.  There’s a part of me that feels he has lost what it takes to inspire that team, it has gotten stale, he can’t be that stimulus that brings about the required response on the pitch game after game. The team needs a different direction and the time has come for that change, it’s the same thing every year even if the league positions are different. Like a friend of mine said yesterday we have circled this mountain for too long.
I will end with this, Cesc scored the third goal yesterday, in the time he has left Arsenal and has come back to the PL Arsenal haven’t won the PL but Cesc has one PL title to his name and he is on the cusp of winning another, the only constant thing in that time has been Arsene.

Oh and Happy Birthday to me unlike the Ox I am doing some introspection…

Mourinho’s Cowardly Defence of United Fans

Fellaini and Jose Mourinho Getty Images
Fellaini and Jose Mourinho Getty Images

Yesterday Jose secured his first League win at Old Trafford in a while and this time 1 goal managed to do it against Spurs. Just like last week Marouane Fellaini came on as a late substitute with United leading 1 0 and some United fans felt it was justified to boo him, which was cowardly in every way.
Fellaini doesn’t select himself to be on the bench neither does he sub himself into the game, the manager does that, their anger should have been directed at the manager and not Marouane. Then you had Jose at the end of the match justifying the boos from those sets of fans which in my opinion is also cowardly as it comes across he wants to be on the good side of these fans, I can’t see Sir Alex justifying his substitute being booed in any way. At no time should a manager justify the booing of his players especially when one is singled out for being called upon by the manager and I am amazed that he took that stance. In essence he is defending people who are second guessing his judgement instead of his player who he expects to run through brick walls for him. I hope the Fellaini dude is alright because no one deserves that from their fans or manager.

Klopp and Pep are finding our that no matter how fast and furious your play is, if you don’t have a good goalkeeper and defence it will bite you in the bum now and again . Pep set up in a suicide manner against Leicester without his best striker or centre half pairing and he deserved that result, that was totally self inflicted in every way.  De Gea and Cech together in goal would have struggled with that set up in front of them. As for Klopp and Karius I like to think he is still settling in, I mean De Gea had problems adjusting in the beginning so I will still give him some time. After the weekend results Liverpool, City and Spurs are doing their very best to drag United back in.

Finally Arsene and his  boys came back from a goal to beat Stoke and Bellerin is so good for Walcott they work a treat down that right side. It was also great to see three different goal scorers without Sanchez’s name on the score sheet, means goals goals from everywhere in the team. It’s that time of the year when football comes quick as it’s mid-week games week, Everton away is next. That reminds me sort out the fantasy league, catch you guys later in the week.

Rob Holding

Rob Holding signs for Arsenal. Credit Arsenal.com
Rob Holding signs for Arsenal. Credit Arsenal.com

It’s way past my bedtime because I stayed up to watch the Arsenal pre-season friendly against the MLS all stars which ended in a 2 1 Arsenal victory. Joel Campbell with a goal from the penalty spot and Chuba Akpom with a tap in from a Monreal assist the winner with just 4 minutes to go.

It was an opportunity to check out the new boy Holding and I will say I was very pleased. I had a good feeling about his signing and he didn’t disappoint in  this friendly, he almost scored a header which would have been the icing on the cake of a very accomplished debut.  He played the whole 90 minutes where he was strong on the ball, composed in possession, a good reading of the game, a good header and showed good  ball playing skills with how he went about his business.  There is just something about him that fills me with confidence even though I know it was just a preseason friendly, but all I can say is the omens are good for this lad. At just 20 and straight from Bolton after his debut season there is perception that he is raw and might find this level a bit too much, but as long as he is not over played like Arsene did with Chambers in his first season I am a believer that Rob Holding will blossom into a very good central defender. If you are good enough you are old enough they say and I think Holding will fall into that category, I can feel myself getting too excited I should calm down.. I blame all the chocolate and sprite I had an hour ago.  I look forward to seeing more of him as the season progresses, In my mind I have this idea that Arsene is hoping that someday in the not too distant future Chambers and Holding will the first choice centre backs at Arsenal, time will tell.

Before I go to bed I will also mention Walcott’s uninspiring showing. I am not a Walcott basher and I know it’s only preseason but he needs to get the finger out and start engaging his football brain. His passing and decision making were all over the place and  I sense he knows within himself that he is on borrowed time and very replaceable. A section of Arsenal fans also seem to be fed up with him judging by the amount of interaction my post about Walcott during the game got on the Arsenal facebook page. For his sake and the club I really do hope things pick up for him, because a consistent and firing Walcott makes us more difficult to play against.

Granit Xhaka when he came on showed his good passing range with accuracy and let’s not forget that mean left foot, I hope his superpower of taking shots outside the penalty box is not curbed by playing for Arsenal.

It’s bedtime now, need to get some snooze before I am woken by the kids…

 

Wenger and underperforming players

Photo credits Michael Regan
Photo credits Michael Regan

Arsenal being true to type their consistent inconsistency was on show today again with a 0 0 draw at the stadium of light. Playing Sunderland at the stadium of light who are battling relegation was always going to be a tough a game but the manner in which a number of the players went about their job left a lot to be desired.

Wenger really needs to ask himself what is important, loyalty to some players or getting results for his team? His misplaced loyalty is one of the reasons why the season has panned out the way it has. After Giroud’s performance midweek I was surprised to see him start today ahead of Welbeck and he didn’t disappoint me with is poor display, that he was allowed to stay that long on the pitch had me bemused to say the least. I was also surprised to see Walcott on the pitch ahead of Campbell who has performed much better than the Englishman anytime he has featured for the team.  This idea of playing players when there are better performers on the bench is rewarding mediocrity in every way and in some subliminal way says it’s ok even if you don’t play well you will get picked.
Wenger himself said in his post-match conference that maybe  Giroud was lacking confidence, then why play him in this game where a win was necessary and Welbeck had done so well. He was also the same person that said why change something that is working, he confuses me the man.

I won’t be ranting much but Wenger needs to have a long look at himself and see how he has condoned mediocrity and poor performances this season. If he continues with this approach I won’t be holding out much hope for things to change next season. This is the time for him to set the marker that only good performances will get you in the squad.