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A week’s thoughts: Fulham, strikers, United and van Persie 25 April, 2013

Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
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Fulham v Arsenal _ Craven Cottage 2013

It’s been an eventful week since we last spoke. I was concerned going into the match against Fulham and with reason. I hoped we’d improve on recent performances there and win convincingly. That wasn’t the case, we struggled once again in the Thames sunshine but this time we came out with all three points.

I ended up picking up a last minute ticket for the game. It was a beautiful day in London but walking through the park to the stadium I couldn’t help but remember all the times I’ve walked through here after witnessing us lose miserably. I begged for that day to be different and I suppose I got it. At this stage of the season results are all that matter, however we get them. So I’m grateful. We played against 10 men for about 70 minutes but could hardly capitalise, our forward play was hugely uninspiring. After a bit of struggle and panic, we got the job done and we’ve just got to be happy and move on but we must improve for Sunday.

The win came at a cost though, we’re now without our only striker for three out of the four remaining games. I hoped we’d appeal the red, we did and it was rejected. At the time I thought it wasn’t perhaps a massive problem as Giroud has been pretty ineffective in recent games, and that’s being kind. However we’re now presented with a problem where we have no striker whatsoever. It’s not Giroud’s fault he’s the only option in that position, so I can’t get too angry at him when he runs out of ideas, that anger is directed at the stacks of cash in the bank vault.

Anyway, we’ve got three games now to to come up with a solution up top. Our options are clearly Podolski, Walcott or Gervinho; the latter two have both had somewhat successful stints in the middle at one point this season. However since then have proved they’re totally not cut out for it. My tip would be Podolski. He’s clearly unfit but with 4 vital games left this season I think we have to take the risk. When he’s come on he’s looked properly dangerous in front of goal, he has a stinging shot on him and it would be a refreshing change to see a striker in the middle who looks like he can stick the ball in the net from anywhere within 25 yards of the goal.

I say start him and if he doesn’t make the 90 minutes then so be it but he’s got to be our most striker-like option. I’d play Walcott to his right and if things aren’t working out they can always swap positions during the game. However saying that they both like an in-field wander from their respective wings anyway. Theo is probably the only one who’s convinced he’s a reliable option down the middle. He’s our top scorer but he hasn’t found any form since signing a new deal. Perhaps this is the time to tell him this is where he must prove his worth as a striker, maybe he’ll do it but I’m not confident. As for Gervinho – please Arsene, just no.

Since we last spoke Sunday’s opposition won the title at Villa Park. I have to say I’m pretty relieved they’re not coming to us with a chance of becoming Champions. It’s something I’ve been worried about for a long, long time. As it neared and became more likely I started to justify it being not so much of a big deal, but fuck that. It’s been lined up for a while that the points they would need to clinch 1st place could be made at The Emirates but thanks to City’s inability it happened early. They went from 1-0 up at Spurs to lose 3-1 which puts another twist into the race for 3rd and 4th. These final four games are absolutely vital for us now, they’re hot on our heels. I would’ve snatched at the chance to be in this position already after the loss at White Hart Lane but now we must see it through to the end. A win on Sunday against the Champions would be a fantastic way to start.

So now we have to do this ‘guard of honour’ which has been getting a lot of discussion this week. I really don’t see the big deal, it’s a bit of fucking clapping. I clap Gervinho off when he’s substituted, that doesn’t say that I mean it. What will I do on Sunday? I don’t know, I’ll probably be on the way from the pub to the ground in all honesty but if I’m there I suppose I’ll clap. As much as I hate Man United I do respect them, I don’t respect City or Chelsea because of where they’ve come from but United have done things (more) properly.

As for van Persie. He can get fucked, I’m not clapping that sack of shit. And I’m sure that will be the case for most of the 60,000. He’s going to get one hell of a reception on Sunday. I’m sure he won’t give a flying toss what we think, but for many it’s the first chance for them to show him how much he let us down. It’s the first face to face opportunity for many Gooners to tell Robin what they think of his demeaning statement and ‘the little boy inside him’. It’s not about money, I don’t care if it is or not quite frankly – this is personal.

He’ll score though. Of course he will. And his muted celebration will mean nothing to me. I’m sure some cunt will say in the Sky studio he’s won the class battle not making a thing of it whilst we roundly abuse him. Couldn’t care less. Booing and singing at him will do nothing but let off a bit of a steam about the whole situation. The only thing it will do it make him take back that ‘I will always be a Gooner’ bollocks. You will never be welcome here again, enjoy yourself up north.

People will say his move has been justified by winning the league. Of course he was going to win the league, United lost it on goal difference last year so buying the best striker in the country was obviously going to give them what they needed. I’d just like to refer you to this quote, that is all. He is nothing to me now.

The best response to him, and to his team that people have an issue giving a guard of honour is to beat them. If I were a player, clapping them out onto the field would do nothing more that inspire to to think, ‘Fuck it, we have to beat these cunts.’ That is the best answer we can give to the new Champions and to Robin van Persie. It’s going to be a tough game but we have to approach it like a cup final. No fuck that, like we did against Chelsea a couple of years ago, like we did against Barcelona. Like we give a shit basically, closing down the opposition constantly, harassing them and attacking with skill, pace and precision. I believe we can do it but the attitude must be right and perhaps have a little bit of luck go our way.

I’ll try write again before the game. Thanks for reading.

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Comments»

1. Jez Box (@esso260589) - 25 April, 2013

Nice one chef!

2. cpknight - 25 April, 2013

Personally I think rip deserves a hefty kick in the nether regions every weekend for at least 6.5 seasons. He’s lower in my mind’s eye then Ibra – because at least Ibra’s honest… he’s always been a mercenary. Say what you like about him picking ManUre over Citeh for ‘Footballing’ reasons or that he could have ‘gone for the cash’ at Citeh I personally think Fergie offered him the kind of reach around that Mancini’s ego never would allow and as his options thinned out; no Farca, Real’s teabagging of Ronaldo, Juve were too poor, PSG already had Zlatan and Citeh for the first time since hitting black gold trying to control a wage bill that reads more like the US trade deficit. The canny predator that is SAF saw an opportunity, saw what RvP was, and was willing to spend an insane amount of money for a player that had 1.5 good seasons in 8 and who at 29 only had a few years left at the top. RvP knew this, we knew this – hell even Citeh knew it… old red nose took a small gamble on his ability to remain fit and it paid off.

After it was announced it was like someone had torn out my heart and replaced it with a series seven sports heart from Jensen* after which I began a season long intravenous novocaine drip – I’ve watched every match this season in a half stupor… every time I saw that grinning toe rag on the TV I’d just switch it off and do something else with only mild mumblings. In my heart, I truly believe that it would have been us competing or winning the title in this run in if we’d have managed to re-sign him. I don’t fall into the ‘keep him and let him go for free’ camp because players more often than not only play like that when they’re happy, I say this in the full knowledge that I’m going to get an explosion of “You don’t know what you’re talking about” in the comments below about how the whole team is shit, Wenger is a nincompoop and the entire Board are nothing but money hoarding trolls sitting on a huge pile of cash like Smaug atop his treasure.** You’re all welcome to your opinions, but as I see it if he’d have not said what he said on his website we’d have at least had some stability. Song, being about as bright as a beige painted kitchen, most likely would not have agitated and the team we had last year PLUS iPod, Giroud & Cazorla not to mention fit again Wilshere/Rosicky/Rambo it would have been a seriously interesting team to watch play.

Sure; say what you like about the HFB/iPod being bought to replace RvP, I personally don’t buy that… the deals were done too early in a very ‘un-Arsenal’ fashion in my opinion to deal with what I suspect is RvP’s whinging about lack of superstars…regardless of if you agree with me or not, the fact is that unless you have a spy cam inside the Board room or direct access to the inner workings of Wenger’s bonce I suggest we’ll never know for sure. In addition of course, it’s all moot. He had his ‘meeting’ after which, either he or his agent, posted a message crafted for one purpose only: To burn his bridges with us.

after I saw that grinning cuntbag, read the line “I’ve waited for so long for a Premier League title” something happened.

The rage came back…

While I knew, like many of you, that this was coming all year the shock of seeing it actually happen snapped me out of my coma like a cold February slap across the thighs in PE… On Monday as it all sank in it was like a scene from “Kill Bill” and as I sit & write this in my mind’s eye I’m in the Pussywagon saying to myself “wiggle your big toe.”*** In short I think this season may well be looked upon as a moment when the club got a big slap across the face and woke up bit. I fucking well hope it is.

As a man whose missus fucked off with his best mate some three years ago, let me tell you; revenge is a powerful motive. Don’t get mad, get even. The rot appears to have stopped – Walcott’s re-signing in January was somewhat of a turning point in theory… this far: NO further. Who gives a fuck if he’s worth the money or not – it was just as important to break the habit of being fucked over by players as it was to keep an asset. From now on, anyone not playing ball needs to be shipped out… I see it in Wenger too…there’s been a more ruthless streak to his player management this season; benching of players regardless of their team standing, an unwillingness to yield to the media…the much vaunted ‘siege mentality’ although only in patches. This we need… we need these players, this club and everyone in it to remember…

“You need big shoulders to play for this club. The Cannon is heavy.”

So on Saturday Sunday I say we should all choke back the bile, smile at that guard of honour bullshit… live it, let RvP rub our faces in it…watch every chomp of that masticating red nosed arsehole and suck it up. Be silent and let their fans rub it in, suck all the air out of the Emirates with a sheer vacuum of indifference. Aim the disappointment down on the pitch and let everyone there, from the board to the players know that this has to be a turning point… Do it not by shouting and raging like those classless cunts in Fulham. We are Arsenal, we ARE different. We should be using distain, distaste and disregard for all others, for disappointment hurts far worse than vile vitriol. Trust me – I know a thing or two about betrayal. I hope we can start with a sound beating of them on Saturday Sunday but the real work starts in the summer… I’m fucking PISSED, are you?

3. simon2 - 28 April, 2013

How did AW manage to get Rosicky off first of all his wrongly timed and wrongly placed substitution. My word I was so livid when I saw his number on the board especially as the first substitute. Rosicky was the driving force the enigma,the momentum, the drive and passion we had in the team. Every time he has the ball you sense the urgency and the unexpected and he took him off and we went cold like a fish and brought the absolutely ineffective Gervinho. If we had Rosicky for another 10-15minutes we would have crafted a chance and score. To me AW substitution is just absurd week after week. Rosicky is like a live wire and you take him off for Jack who has not found his game back yet, when the one and simple substitution was to bring out Ramsey(who had a decent game) and bring Cazorla to join Rosicky in the middle and put the Ox wide left to pepper the troubled Rafael and let Rosicky, Ox, Theo and Podolski work together for ten minutes when nothing comes out then you bring in Jack and Gervy late on to tilt our type of play from the middle. I just feel everytime we play utd AW just fumbles with his sub and uncharacteristically is afraid to take the bull by the horn. You can tell the body response from Rosicky when he was walking off. Take off our best player on the pitch and sub in the worst off the bench. Wrong sub has cost us two point or two point lost by bad man management again.

4. simon2 - 6 May, 2013

When for 8 years we’ve been winning sweet FA, the only excuse the AKB could come out with was “we play the best football”. But now the football is appalling and “winning is whet counts”. Ok. Do of winning is what counts, can someone please explain the past 8 years of failure? Also, I’d like to know WHY people are desperate for “top 4″? What so we can attract all those superstar signings like we have been with Giroud, Gervinho and Chamakh? Really? Or so we can enjoy the group stages before last 16 elimination! It’s groundhog day. Finishing 4 th will merely make AW smug. The performances from Arsenal have been a joke. £150mil wage bill, we apparently “cannot compete” with teams with greater money, yet the Spuds have been competing with Arsenal all season long, despite spending £50mil less on wages! How? Scraped a win home to Norwich, scraped past Fulham, scrape QPR, jammy win at WBA clinging on. It’s pathetic for a team with Wenger’s resources and just shows how shocking a manager he truly is. 4th is not an achievement and never will be. On a side note, makes me sick how small time Wenger has become. He’s now one of Fergie’s bitches. Apart from handing him the title on a Dutch RVP plate, I see Fergie’s said he “promised” AW he’d do his best to beat Chelski for him. Wow Arsene’s what a trade! We’ll hand you the title, you help us get..errrr…4th! Pathetic.

5. GOONERSRUS - 13 May, 2013

Just remember a couple of things about Wenger and Gazebo. This is the story of when Arsenal became Arsene_al. When Wenger¿s ally and friend David Dein was ousted from the board by Danny Fiszman in 2007, the manager¿s powerbase significantly strengthened. Wenger only agreed to carry on as manager with the proviso that he had complete control of player recruitment and strategy at all levels. The board, desperate to retain the services of the club¿s greatest post-war manager, gave him the keys, the combination and the code to the safe. Arsenal became ¿Arsene-al¿. Arsene Wenger has the autonomy at Arsenal that managers can only dream of. The result was that there was no-one to take Wenger to one side to ask, for example, whether Manuel Almunia was truly deserving of his status as No.1, as Dein would have done. Incredibly, the Frenchman vetoed the appointment of former Vodafone chief Paul Donovan as the new chief executive in late 2008. Ivan Gazidis, then Major League Soccer¿s deputy commissioner, got the job instead. Wenger had sanctioned his own boss. So englandsbest when you keep rambling about Gazidis just remember how he got the job.

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7. chrias - 24 May, 2013

I am not coming to Wenger’s defence on this point, because I am one of the many gooners who believes that we need to invest, and we need a proper replacement for RVP, but we need to remember just how many other teams are looking, not just for players, but in particular strikers. It will be a transfer merry-go round for strikers this summer, with a whole host of teams looking to get the likes of Falcao, Lewandowski, possibly Rooney and Higuain, just to name a few, and with clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Monaco, Chelsea, City and United all probably looking to sign new strikers, there will be stupid money thrown around, and only four of those clubs can have the players I just mentioned, so the rest will have to look elsewhere, at players like Jovetic, Benteke, etc. I want Wenger to show some backbone and actually go out and make sure he gets one of these players, but even ignoring his typical transfer policies, I don’t think Arsenal can afford to go toe to toe with the big spenders. We don’t have billionaires who can fund these sorts of deals because they either don’t want to, or in Usmanov’s case, they aren’t allowed to. My point is that we gooners need to be realistic, and while we definitely need additions to the squad, don’t start next season by throwing hate at the players and staff we have just because we were priced out of at the top of the market once more

8. KingDrog - 5 August, 2013

It must be shit being you

9. asmanparish - 18 October, 2013

many seem convinced that we will swoop for an ‘Özil type striking signing in January’ and it is this signing that will push us to properly compete for the title and even the Champions League. No arguments from me there I must say but how realistic is this going to be? The summer transfer window is the window that most managers hold out for to make changes to their squads, the January window is often frowned upon by many managers not just our own. Clubs do not want to sell half way through a season. Also many players will not want to move, especially this January as the world cup is around the corner.

Because clubs do not want to sell, prices are even more inflated than usual. I am guessing that it is easier to buy a player from a mid-table French club for example than it would be to purchase a player of the level that Arsene would want. Take Mr Luis Suarez for example, can you imagine Liverpool allowing Suarez to leave if they are pushing for the top four positions? Or even if you go further down the league and look at someone like Benteke, the financial rewards for staying in the division are huge so clubs do not want the risk.

This is not to say that deals cannot happen in January, deals are made every winter but rarely are the biggest deals done during that time. If we do manage to attract a quality striker in January then it is likely that a deal was close to happening in the summer but something prevented it from happening and all three parties are holding off until Jan.

The other point to consider is the style of forward we require. It can be viewed in two different ways. I often hear that we should bring in a different type of forward to give us more options, a player that can play with Oliver Giroud and I totally understand that way of thinking. Makes perfect sense. We were very interested in buying Luis Suarez and he is the total opposite to Oliver Giroud but here is the problem.

Giroud has been fantastic for us and that is not taking his goals into consideration. Giroud has been the focal point of the team, he has been the player to link our attack together. Whether that be from long goal kicks forward or balls played up to his feet. His blend of power and subtlety has been incredibly important to our team. Having another type of player to come on to join Giroud or start with Giroud would be great for us but what happens should Giroud suffer injury? even for 3-4 weeks, let alone more.

Even if his replacement is of top quality, if his style is the opposite then our whole game changes, especially if the team have been on a successful run. Much of our game is based on partnerships, interchanging and spontaneity so if an important part of the team changes then I wonder what impact it would have on our performance.

So when I read the reports that Arsenal are interested in a loan move for Fernando Llorente in January it makes sense for an Arsenal perspective. A tall, powerful yet technical striker who scores goals. No idea what his link play is like to be honest but physically and technically he fits the profile of how we are currently set up. From a player point of view, I am not so sure it makes that much sense, although probably more sense than staying at Juventus where he has had pretty much no football stuck behind Carlos Tevez, Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella.

If I was the player in question who wanted to move to get first team football in a bid to push for a world cup place then maybe a club without a Oliver Giroud shaped obstacle might be a wiser move. I am also pretty dubious about the source.

The Mirror have a habit of linking us with players that Arsenal fans have penned in their transfer wish lists. But like I said, Fernando Llorente would be an excellent back up to Giroud, or in fact direct competition with Giroud. A couple of years ago he was hot property. Give some old hot property some belief, games and ahead of a hot property midfield and hey presto you have some new hot property.

Oh and the plan b type of forward could well be already at the club. Both Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott are wide forwards who could play centrally if we wanted to partner Giroud or play a different style.

Most of this piece is very premature but given our strikers goals last night and well, the international break I thought I’d bring it up.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter, who do you think fits the bill? Can we buy a different style of striker and get away with losing Giroud (god forbid)

10. tomosypniewski - 5 January, 2014

What’s wrong with ‘the cannon’?


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