Walcott, Podolski, or Chamberlain? Which One is More Vital

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Arsenal are lacking some real firepower up front, mainly due to Wenger’s unfathamble decision to not sign a new striker, but also due to missing some good players due to injury. Podolski and Walcott were two of our best players last season, with Chamberlain showing glimpses of why we paid so much for him. There is no question about these players abilities, and they are certainly being missed right now. Each player has their own strengths and weaknesses and are individual in their own way. Walcott is fast, Podolski is explosive, while Chamberlain is almost a mixture of the two. The question is, which one is more vital? Vote and leave a comment below!

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Manchester United v Arsenal: Pre-Match Thoughts

Arsenal can’t be considered title contenders until they play real times. Forget the likes of Napoli, Dortmund, Tottenham, and Liverpool, we need to prove to the rest of the country that we are able to beat the 8th best team in England in order to be considered serious title contenders. This game is getting a lot of hype and the boys will certainly be up to it.

The last time Arsenal beat Utd at Old Trafford was in September of 2006. I remember that game very well, almost too well. There were many chances for Arsenal to win it including a missed penalty and a goal line clearance following the resulting corner, but we had to wait until the 86th minute for Adebayor to slot home the winner. What a match that was. Hopefully, there will be a similar result. Anyways, here are some pre-match thoughts:

Arsenal need to play the same way they played in Germany- Arsenal have been able to win in two different styles this calender year; play near dominance passing football or defend first-attack second. Arsenal did the latter against Bayern and Dortmund in Germany and look at the results we achieved. If we can keep Utd at bay for the majority of the game and break well, then we would have a good chance at winning. When Arsenal tries to play possession football against more physical teams, we usually get punished. Wenger has to get his tactics right for this one.

Aaron Ramsey needs to be our Zidane- Amazing how we signed a player that is relatively close to Zidane’s caliber, yet he isn’t getting all the plaudits. They are rightfully going towards the best Welshman in the world, Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey has been played in a plethora of positions in his Arsenal career, but I believe it is time that he is placed into one firmly, and that is the number ten position. He has showed quality going forward on many occasions this season, including quite a few good runs midweek against Dortmund. While Ozil is supposedly our number ten, he is more of a creator than a scorer. Ramsey is the one who has shown more drive coming forward, and that is why we need him to play higher up the pitch, right behind Giroud.

Consistency and determination is key- Arsenal are going to win the league this season if they maintain those two things. The reason we are first come down to those two things specifically. When you look at why we have fallen short in previous years, it is because we have shown fear and vulnerability, attributes of losers. Utd have come up on top in previous seasons due to having the fear factor and being so consistent with their results (even though some referees had a big part to play in their league position). This season, they have lost both things and are looking as vulnerable as ever. The reason why they can’t be taken advantage of yet is because of their resiliency, another thing that Arsenal have been lacking in previous seasons. How many times have you seen Arsenal lose a game and then sort of collapse in recent seasons? It has happened far too many, unlike United who have had the ability to keep going, even when the tough get tougher. Winning the league doesn’t come by luck, it comes by getting into the best possible position, not by waiting for it too happen, but by creating the opportunity for it too happen.

Rooney is delusional- It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Rooney scored a hat trick against us, as he scores against us just about every season. What does surprise me is how he was talking bad about Arsenal earlier, saying that we are not real contenders. Well I think that’s what the translators were able to decipher from the mumbles that came out of his mouth. Anyways, if Rooney is saying that we can’t be considered real contenders, then what does that make United? Rooney is going to have to be up for the relegation battle considering his logic.

Wilshere or Ramsey: Who Will Become the Best

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Ramsey and Wilshere applauding the fans.

Wilshere and Ramsey are two of the players in the squad who have enormous amounts of potential. Ever since Wilshere made his debut, he has been put under the spotlight to become the next big thing. Unfortunately for Wilshere, he has had quite a few injuries in his time, including missing the entirety of the 2011-2012 season. Ramsey has also had an unfortunate setback in his career when Ryan Shawcross snapped his leg in half. Both players have shown their best this season, with Ramsey showing he can become the next Lionel Messi. Wilshere has scored one of the season’s best goals so far and has proved that he can play more than one game a week. Our midfield is the strongest in the country, having a bunch of quality players who prefer to play in the number 10 position. Ramsey and Wilshere have both played all over the midfield, with both playing defensive midfielder and even on the wings. Both of them aren’t guaranteed a starting place, so the question is, which one will achieve their potential and which one has more of it? Vote and leave a comment below.

 

Arsenal v Liverpool is Potentially One of the Most Important Games of the Season

It’s been a long time since Arsenal and Liverpool were both coming into a game with both sides hoping to end up on top of the table. Liverpool have been in a slump over the past couple of seasons and are finally looking like a real football side again. It will be a real test of how far they have come against Arsenal, as we are currently the best team in England.

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Walcott against Liverpool last season.

In the reverse fixture last season, Arsenal were trailing Liverpool 2-0 thanks to goals from Suarez and Henderson. Arsenal came back from behind thanks to quickfire goals from Walcott and Giroud, but unfortunately the Gunners were unable to provide a winning goal. This time around, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the scoreline was the same. Liverpool and Arsenal are the two best attacking teams in England arguably, and have two of the most unpredictable defences. Most of the goals we have conceded have been avoidable, and I’m sure that is something that Wenger is hoping to fix in the coming weeks. It seems like at least 80% of our goals conceded were due to lapses in concentration rather than good attacking play from the opposition, so we are going to have to be at our sharpest in the back.

The game has gained more intensity due to the situation with Suarez and Arsenal over the Summer. Who can forget the infamous £40m+1 bid? We have gotten into a messy situation with Liverpool thanks to that bid, but in all honesty, Liverpool have been the side that have acted the more immature over it. Many Gooners are torn over whether or not they would have wanted Suarez in the team. I personally would have been thrilled to have Suarez in the team because he is undoubtedly the best player in the league. You can say what you want, but if he didn’t have racial-cannibalistic problems than he would be in the media due to his sheer talent. He or Rooney would be my perfect signing in January, although both look very unlikely.

Moving back onto the game, I am hopeful that Giroud has a stormer. I believe that he will make a difference in the game, whether it’s good or bad depends upon which Giroud shows up. We have seen the best of Giroud this season, but we have also seen a couple of poor moments by him. He has improved greatly, and that is really all that you can ask for. It still seems to me like he isn’t quite fit enough to last a full ninety minutes, but others will disagree. He is going to have to be at his best due to the amount of chances I believe he is going to have. Having watched Liverpool this season on a few occasions, they have given up many chances in every game. Brendan Rodgers hasn’t found his best defensive pairing, and considering there defence consists of an aging Kolo Toure and new signing Sakho, I doubt that we are going to have to “find a way” past their defence. It is a shame that Walcott isn’t fit because I feel like he would explode in this sort of game.

So it is going to be an important game come the end of the season. Arsenal and Liverpool are both on form and neither will be looking to drop points. Great football is expected, which means a boring nil-nil draw is more likely on the cards. Who would be in your starting XI and why? Leave a comment below. Also, follow the Gooner Monkey on Twitter!!!!

Is Carl Jenkinson a Reliable Back Up?

Carl Jenkinson in Action for the Gunners.

Yesterday, Jenkinson had an unfortunate performance in which he made one costly error and failed to show us why he should be in the first team. Jenkinson has had glimpses of potential before, but at the age of 21, it is time for him to become more consistent in his performances. He had a couple of good games this season, but in many games he has looked poor. Jenkinson is our second choice right back after Sagna, and is the only one who can answer if Sagna were to get an injury. With his inconsistent performances, some fans may get a little edgy when he is playing, especially against big teams. We are left to answer the question,”Should we sell him in January, or should we give him more time?” Remember, Gibbs had a couple of poor performances when he was first inducted into the first team, but Jenkinson is a bit older than Gibbs was at the time. So what do you think? Should Jenkinson be let go? Vote and leave your thoughts below.

Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea: Match Thoughts

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Arsenal came storming out of the Capital One Cup with a 2-0 loss at home against Chelsea. Here are some belated match thoughts.

Arsenal are lacking depth in size and quality- If there was one thing that was really made clear to me while watching that match was the difference in depth between Arsenal and Chelsea. It is really quite embarrassing how Chelsea were able to start their non starters and still be able to play Mata, De Bruyne, Essien, Luiz, and Eto’o. Mean while, Arsenal started almost our strongest team (people who are saying that Arsenal put out a weaker team are clearly in denial) with Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Giroud and Rosicky all playing. First off, Rosicky is the only one who should have played yesterday and maybe Jack Wilshere, maybe. Many players are in need of a break and another 90 minutes of hard fighting by some of the players is clearly not going to help their fitness needs. Secondly, the reason we started those players is because they really are our only options. It is amazing how small our squad is when compared to Chelsea. They are able to start Eto’o and have Demba Ba on the bench while we are able to start master Bendtner and have Park on the bench. Chelsea our favorites for the title by many people just because of how strong their weakest link is.

Arsenal Still Need to Spend in January- Let me start off by saying that I am thrilled by the way that the team has played this season and the way in which things have occurred. On transfer deadline day, I was very pleased with the Ozil signing yet I was still disappointed by the fact that we didn’t sign anyone else. Ozil is a great player, but he is not going to be enough to give us a team capable of becoming the best. We can still win the title, but it is only going to get tougher unless Wenger splashes some cash in January. If I was in Arsene’s shoes, I presume he has some big feet, I would be looking for a striker who is able to score and dribble the ball. The two players that come to mind are Suarez and Rooney. If we are able to sign one of them, we will have a squad that I will be confident in saying that we can beat anybody in the world. That’s how close we are to achieving greatness, One player. It will be difficult to get Rooney or Suarez, but if it can happen for any amount of money this January, we should try our hardest to get one.

Mata puts Chelsea 2-0 in front.

We Didn’t Play Badly- We didn’t play good by any means, but it isn’t like we were terrible. You can tell that we wanted it more than Chelsea, the only problem was that it felt like boys against men, and that is a terrible feeling to have in football. I don’t want to signal anybody out just yet, but we were very, very immature in some areas. You can see the experience, physique, and quality that Chelsea had in the squad, Our midfield is probably the best in the country, but last night, we were shown what we have been missing, a strong holding midfielder. Maybe it’s not fair to criticize as we didn’t have Flamini in the squad, but if you take him out of the equation, we have no players who can play that position well. Those of you who say that Arteta is good there aren’t looking at the big picture. He is good for calming things down and passing the ball to more advanced areas from that position. He is nowhere near as good as Flamini when it comes to taking the ball off of players and stopping opposition attacks. Is defensive midfield an area in which Wenger should strengthen in January. I wouldn’t say so, but if an injury were to occur to Flamini, we don’t have much cover there.

Jenkinson Needs Some Loan Time- Oh Carl, what to say. First off, many supporters like him because of his love for the club. I appreciate that he is one of us and wants to do his uttermost best for the club, and he showed last night how much he was willing to try to do well for the team on many occasions. Unfortunately, his mistake was costly and it wasn’t unpredictable. There were a few times in the game yesterday where he was just horrendous in defence. His clearances were awful and his decision making was just as poor. When going forward, he did a better job of breaking down our attacks than he did Chelsea’s. It was clear to everybody in the stadium that he needs some more experience in order to play for a big club. A loan out is the best option, as right now I don’t feel confident with him stepping in for Sagna. Despite all of his negatives, it will be hard to fault him for his commitment and work ethic. There is probably no other player in the team who tried as hard last night to make something happen. Unfortunately, the quality just isn’t there at the moment. If he is going to fulfill his potential, it is most likely going to have to start at some other club.

What did you feel about the game? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Gnabry Signs New Contract – Mourinho Speaks

Hello everybody and welcome to a quick Monday post for you.

First off, exciting young forward Serge Gnabry has signed a new deal with the club. He has shown great potential so far this season and has hardly looked out of place in the squad. Considering he is only 18, that is pretty impressive, and he is only going to get better. The young German scored his first goal for the club against Swansea a few weeks ago and played well against Crystal Palace on Saturday. He has been a big bright spot of the season so far and we hope that he will continue to get games.

Arsene Wenger spoke to Arsenal.com about Gnabry’s contract extension:

“We signed Serge Gnabry because I believe that he will be a great player. He’s nearly there now, and competes for a regular place in the team in the Premier League.

“He has technical ability, he has power, he has pace, he has finishing quality and he can give a final ball. He’s a powerful offensive player and I believe that he will be a great player for Arsenal Football Club.”

Arsenal plays Chelsea tomorrow in a game that Gnabry is almost certain to start. One of the advantages of having a player like Gnbary is that he is so versatile. So far, we have only stuck him up on the wing, but if you watch any reserve matches you see that he plays all across the top. He reminds me a lot of Chamberlain, even though Chamberlain is by no means an accomplished player. There is still a lot of work ahead for both of them but so far, things are looking good.

Serge Gnabry celebrates. Image from Arsenal.com

Moving onto Chamberlain for a second, I feel like he should be given a chance in midfield when he comes back from injury. He has said before that attacking midfield is his hopeful position and I say give him a go at it. The only problem is that we have Ozil now, so it is very unlikely for him to make a claim for that place. Chamberlain has impressed very much in three games: Arsenal 3-0 AC Milan, Arsenal 1-2 Man Utd, and Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn. He was a beast in all of those games, but all of them came a couple of seasons ago. Last year,, he wasn’t all that impressive and it felt like he was rather reserved. He is at his best when he runs at players and that’s what I’m hoping for when he rejoins the first team.

Arsenal plays Chelsea in the Capital One Cup tomorrow at the Emirates. One person is not particularly happy about it though. Jose Mourinho said this in his post match interview yesterday:

“We are going to give the game that the people that put the game on Tuesday want. If they want a big game, we cannot give the big game,” Mourinho said.

“If they want the players that were playing today [Sunday], we cannot give them that. If they want Arsenal to win a trophy, that’s a help.

“If they want a big game between two big teams in London, they should put the game on Wednesday and not on Tuesday, because I am not going to do that.”

It is very unlikely that Wenger is going to put out any players that started against Crystal Palace. I hope very much so that he does not. Most of our players are in dire need of a rest, and tomorrow is the perfect time to let some of the second-third stringers play, including Jedi Master Nicklas Bendtner. Imagine if he scored. The entire Emirates will be rocking. Anyways, this is a good opportunity to win a trophy this season. If we knock Chelsea out, our only competition in the Cup would be City, since Liverpool are already knocked out. The rest of the teams are mid-table clubs like Man Utd and Tottenham.

Winning the League Cup may not seem like a lot, but I am going to say that it is an important trophy to win, if Wenger actually wants to win it. When Mourinho first came to Chelsea, he put out his best players to win the League Cup because he knew that it was their best opportunity for a trophy and it would give the players the confidence and belief to win more, and look at what happened. The same thing can happen to Arsenal, but only if Wenger wants to win it.

That’s all from me today, COYG.