Saturday, December 8, 2012

State of the Arsenal

Things are not looking for Arsenal at the minute but this has been said at a similar state last season but it was turned around. This time for the first time since he took over the reigns at Arsenal in 1996 a minority section of the Arsenal support started booing Arsene Wegner and that would be a cause of concern for the manager whether it is justly deserved or not is a different matter. The real crux of the matter is when did Arsenal slip from being one of the best teams in the country to fighting for fourth place every year and not competing for the big trophies?

Certainly one of the reasons was the emergence of big spenders Chelsea and Manchester City. The amount of money spent on player transfer fees, wages and the like were and are staggering compared to the rest of the Premiership. True Arsenal in a lot of cases could not compete with the likes of those clubs or Man Utd. for player signatures but what they didn't to was to show ambition to the current crop of players that they had at their disposal to convince them to stay at the club and to win trophies with them. The players records since they left the Emirates would suggest that those said players maid the right move.

Another thing is if we could not compete what about the young players who were put into the first team and the scouting team. I always though the Arsenal team were a bit in balanced when it came to experience and youth and Wegner especially the past two seasons relied on Fabergas and Nasri who were not leaders or at that age yet where they can e made captain I feel and last season where Arsenal relied on Robin Van Persie where he did lead from the front and dragged us into a Champions League spot again but he now also is gone. The players they have left suffer from lack of leadership and a know how to win things since the core of the Arsenal squad have not and also players still want to leave the door with Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott the latest to leave the club reportedly.

With the scouting system. I don't think Arsenal have not done a good enough job here as the quality is definitely out there for reasonable money check out Demba Ba, Papa Cisse and Yohan Cabaye for Newcastle and Michu for Swansea. Is that down to the manager?

What I will say is Arsene Wegner revolutionized the game and Arsenal football club and it would be a great achievement to finish top four again and this season 3rd and fourth are going to be very open.Could be a surprise club that can make the top four. With the disillusion of the supporters growing each day towards the lack of money spent on the squad, the quietness of the board itself and now slowly heading towards the manager it is dark days for the club but with the announcement of the new sponsorship with the emirates and also the new fair play rules maybe the future can still be bright. The main thing is today everyone needs to be on the same page from the supporters up because if it does not it could be a long and trophyless period for the club.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chelsea's woes

So Di Matteo has been sacked as Chelsea boss and has been replaced by Rafa Benitez on an interim basis for the rest of the season so hands up who was shocked by this? Seriously who is shocked by this. Amazing that after a few bad results Chelsea got rid off him. A guy who after taken over from Andre Villa Boas guided Chelsea to an F.A. Cup and most importantly a Champions League a trophy Roman Abramovich has craved since he took over the club nearly ten years ago and also now appointed a man who more than likely is going to do the same thing Di Matteo did when he first took over and make Chelsea a functional side rather than a side that is easy on the eye and trying to play like Barcelona.

If Roman wanted Pep Guardiola and everyone new that Guardiola was not going to shift his position on moving back into work until next season at the earliest then why get rid of Di Matteo? Sure he was on a poor run of results but Chelsea did not turn into a bad side overnight, they still had a slim chance of making into the knockout stages of the Champions league and third in the league. Chelsea's owner once again has showed short sightedness which will eventually damage the club in the long run I feel. A question is well I ask is if he keeps going through managers and paying them compensation £90 million and counting will that count in the Uefa fair play rules?

Its fascinating to see how Benitez does for the rest of the term with this side and if he is allowed to spend some money in January. One theory doing the rounds is that he was the man that got the best out of Torres and he can work the magic with him again at Chelsea. I think Torres is a lost cause who needs a change of scenery to save his career at this stage but I wish Rafa good luck either way on his new project. He has nothing to lose and wont be damaged by whatever reign he is allowed to have at the London blues. As for Pep? My prediction is he will end up at City and will leave egg in Chelsea's face.

I fear for the future for Chelsea but it will be interesting to watch whether they succeed or implode. It will be interesting to watch that is for sure.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bits and Pieces.

Well all 36 views and a few comments as well on the first blog. Thanks for that. This will be a short blog this week due to er... time constraints so here we go.

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic's red card against St. Etienne was one of those moments where you think what was he thinking? Was he watching Jason McCateers against Macedonia all those years ago? He was probably trying to go for the ball but so badly timed it was comical. One thing for sure about Zlatan he is never boring. If you have not seen the Kung-Fu kick in question here it is. At least PSG care capable of losing a game in France and hopefully to all Ligue 1 fans out there it will be also competitive with Marseille and Lyon both making good starts to the league.
  • Manage to catch the Juventus-Inter Milan match at the weekend and a very inspired performance from Inter in the Derby d'Italia to finally end Juventus run of 49 league games unbeaten. How significant this result will be in the long run who knows but with leaders like Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel, Esteban Cambiasso and Diego Milito in your side playing as inspired like they did on Saturday night then Inter have a fighting chance on all fronts this season.
  • I predict a German winner of the Champions League this season. I have unfortunately not watched much of the Bundesliga this season but with the impact the three leading sides in Germany are making in this seasons Champions League the Bundesliga seems to be the place to be. With the way German football is run( nearly all the top clubs are run by the fans, excellent football stadia and relatively cheap matchday tickets) The Germans have showed the way on how to run big football teams without alienating their fans and also producing good football to boot. It is refreshing to see that billonares are not treating these teams like their playground and not sacking managers on the whim or trying to dictate who should start in the team week in, week out. The knockout stages of the Champions League will be interesting for sure one it reaches that point and could be the best in history. (Sorry for the hyperbole!)
  • One last point. I am am fan of the Guardian podcast which goes out every Monday and Thursday and a fan of their Spanish correspondent Sid Lowe so when Sid sent out an SAS to save historical Spanish Club Real Oviedo buy buying shares in it then I thought why the hell not! A bit of football romanticism that you can now say you own a little part of the football club. More details are on the website created to non-Spanish speaking people. It is a worthy and Ill be buying my two shares tomorrow.
Right that is for another blog. Hope you enjoyed it. Talk soon.



    Monday, October 29, 2012

    So I have decided to start my own blog about whats is going on in the world of sport. Mainly football related but other stuff as well thrown in from time to time.

    After all the dramas from the weekend in the premiership this and every Monday I will blog about the weekends action and here else but the main topic is the bad referring decisions that dogged the two main games that happened on Sunday.

    As you well know people seem to think that referees sometimes are in the pockets of Manchester United. Howard Webb seem to have this award until Mar Clattenburgs display yesterday and I am sure you have seen the virals going around of various Clattenburg/United jokes. The thing is in all seriousness though it is yet another week in which the refereeing decisions have taken centre stage and the managers using the excuse of bad refereeing  decisions rather than their own team shortcomings step forward David Moyes..Sick to the teeth of it at this stage. In the Chelsea-United Game Utd for the first twenty five minutes were excellent. Attacking with a real purpose they exposed the lack of pace in Chelsea central defence and used there full width at their disposal. United's shortcomings were exposed later on as Chelsea fought back to two all as they started to dominate the midfield. Then Clattenburg rightly sent off Ivanovic for a clumsy tackle which was last man but then came one of the most shocking decisions of the season so far, the sending off of Fernando Torres.

    Some say Torres was lucky to be not given a red card after his first booking but the second yellow was an awful decision. Subsequent reports about Clattenburg and using racist language against certain Chelsea players was astonishing and if true I hope he does not referee a top flight game again. Totally unacceptable no matter what level of football it is. United third goal was offside but was a very hard call to make if you look at where the linesman and referee were.

    It closes the title race after the weekend with Chelsea one point ahead of United and Cityeh who were again unconvincing in defeating Swansea. Will do a future blog on City as it is very interesting times indeed on the other half of Manchester.

    Small tidbits.
    • The next blog will be about racism in the game and how big or small racism is in the game.
    • Arsenal my beloved club benefited from an offside call is well. Three unconvincing performances in a row along with a lively AGM on Thursday has put Wegner and the board on the backfoot again just like the last seven seasons need to improve or else Man. Utd. will do a job to them this weekend.
    • Mark Hughes might be the next premiership manager in the unemployment line as another defeat leaves Rangers rock bottom of the Premiership. Turnover of players and bad indiscipline are the culprits like Mbia's sending off at the weekend. My prediction: Harry Redknapp to be QPR manager by Christmas.
    • Finally for now Good luck to my local team Waterford United as they try to get back into the top tier of League of Ireland Football  as they have a two leg relegation/promotion play off against Dundalk this week. I wish Paul O'Brien and the lads best of luck come on the blues!
    Till next time