All posts by Tony Davies

Arsenal Look At Barcelona Star – Why They Should Sign Him

In terms of tactics and having players to fit those tactics, Arsenal don’t have any problems. However, with very little depth in the side, sometimes the tactics are not used to best effect. In terms of attack, the Gunners will use Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey to supply the wingers with a constant stream of through-balls. From this, the wingers will either find Olivier Giroud or go for goal themselves. It is an interchangable system and one which Arsenal can use effectively when they have the right players available.
With Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both spending lengthy spells on the sidelines it was hard for Arsene Wenger to use his system efficiently, as the team lack pace without the two England internationals. This is where Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez would come in handy. As the Daily Star are reporting, Arsenal have held discussions with the Chilean star’s agents and it looks as though a deal could be struck. This would involve beating Manchester United and Liverpool to his signature, amongst others.
For me, Sanchez is absolutely perfect for Arsenal and their ambitions to lay claim to more trophies in the next few years. It is well documented that the ‘financial shackles’ are off and the North Londoners can now spend vast amounts of money if they choose to. Splashing out £20 million on the Chilean could be one of the smartest decisions the club makes for a very long time.
Sanchez has it all: pace, skills, strength, intelligence, stamina and the ability to get behind any defence in a variety of ways. The old-fashioned kick and run is actually used the least amount of times because he prefers using his close control to weave in and out of the opposition. This often involves cutting inside and driving straight through the heart of opponents. His blistering pace and surprising strength allows him to keep the ball for long distances, which is one of the best traits a winger can have.
The Barcelona star enjoyed a very successful campaign as he scored over 20 goals as well as getting into double figures for assists. However, it was reported throughout the season that he was unhappy at the Spanish giants and actually requested a move away at one point. If he is available then Arsenal should definitely pursue him.

Atletico Madrid Star Linked With Old Trafford Move – Why Manchester United Should Try To Sign Him

Manchester United had never really had a problem in defence until they entered the 2013/2014 campaign. Maybe it was because Sir Alex Ferguson had a huge influence, or the staff he employed were far better than what David Moyes offered. One thing for certain is the fact that United had huge injury problems at the back. It got so bad at one point that Michael Carrick had to slot in for a couple of games as they had just one fit centre back.


Normally, the Red Devils have quite a selection: Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling. These are five good options, but with Vidic off to Italy and Ferdinand also leaving, United suddenly have a huge hole to fill. The Express have reported that the man who United want to fill that hole is Miranda of Atletico Madrid. However, the publication had bad news for fans as it was reported that the Spanish giants rebuffed a £25 million offer from the English side.


In my opinion, United should try harder to get the Madrid star. Maybe offer a player exchange, which could turn their heads considering they have been picked apart in terms of players leaving. Adnan Januzaj on loan, Alexander Buttner and £15 million could be something that might interest Atletico.


Miranda could be an essential player for the club and may well turn out to be the most important signing the club makes this summer. He is vastly experienced, hungry for more trophies and a very talented defender. His partnership with Diego Godin was perhaps the best in Europe, a statement supported by the fact that they won the La Liga title and reached the Champions League final. You have to be talented to achieve that.


Every player in the world has their price, and United need to find Miranda’s

Manchester United Look At Porto Star – Why He Should Be A Serious Option For Them

Manchester United will be chasing defenders all summer, something which began as soon as Nemanja Vidic announced he would be leaving the Red Devils for pastures new in Serie A. This has resulted in plenty of publications around the country linking United with defenders all over Europe, throwing up some interesting names along the way. The one thing they all have in common is that they are extremely talented.

Over the weekend it was Miranda from Atletico Madrid, who I argued would be a very good signing. Today, it is the long-term target Eliaquim Mangala. The Daily Star have taken this rumour and plastered it across their website. They have reported that Barcelona have discontinued their interest in the Porto star, which leaves Manchester United and Chelsea in a two-horse race for his signature.

If United are after the services of Mangala then I’m all for it. The Porto defender is both modern and traditional at the same time. He is traditional in the sense that he will bully attackers, he is brave and is good in the air. But he also possesses modern qualities such as being very good with ball at his feet. A France international, he has a quick turn of pace, is strong and versatile. He has also been known to play full-back and in midfield because of his talents on the ball. 

In addition to this, Mangala is just 23 years of age so there is plenty of time for him to develop into something even better. He may well be expensive, but he is worth it due to his brilliant potential.

Manchester United Target Uruguayan Striker – Why He Will Create Problems If He Does Sign

You would think that after the performances Robin van Persie has been churning out at the World Cup, Manchester United wouldn’t be linked with many strikers. Especially as Louis van Gaal and Robin van Persie have a special relationship and the former knows what the latter needs to raise his confidence. Once his confidence has been raised and he puts his pesky injuries behind him, the Dutchman could very well fire Manchester United to Premier League glory once again.


However, that hasn’t stopped the tabloids linking United with moves for top-drawer strikers from around the globe. One of those tabloids is the Mirror, who have named Edinson Cavani as a target of the Red Devils. The rumours have intensified ever since the Uruguayan revealed that ‘anything can happen’ with regards to his future.


The Old Trafford outfit have been linked with Cavani even before his move to Paris Saint-Germain and that interest hasn’t died down. Despite arriving in Paris last summer, the player hasn’t been happy at the Ligue 1 champions because Zlatan Ibrahimovic is their main man rather than him. As the Swedish star doesn’t look like he is going anywhere, this has forced Cavani to reconsider his future.


Watchful eyes have been monitoring his situation, however, and if United do engage in a strong pursuit of the PSG star then I will question why? If Edinson Cavani is unhappy with having to play second fiddle to Zlatan, that situation is not going to change at United when they still have Robin van Persie. Both are excellent strikers, but van Gaal would prefer the Dutchman due their relationship. At the same time, both would have to play as they are too good to be on the bench.


Both players would want to be the main focus, but only one can have that role. This will create problems if Cavani does end up at Old Trafford.

AC Milan Star Linked With Move To Arsenal – Why He Would Be A Good Signing

Those who have watched Arsenal intensely over the past couple of seasons will realise there is a certain sort of player that fits into their system and others that don’t. Arsenal like a striker that can hold up play and let the supporting cast feed off him. Olivier Giroud is great at it, but he’s criticised for his short-comings in front of goal. However, he did manage to score over 20 goals last season, which suggests he’s not totally useless in that aspect.


What Arsenal fans seem to want is a bit of variety and support for Giroud. The Gunners had Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo for depth last season, so clearly it is not unreasonable to want something extra. That is where Mario Balotelli comes into the picture. He is a big name striker who is capable of anything. The Daily Star are reporting that Balotelli’s agent has met up with Arsenal representatives in Brazil to discuss a deal. With reports like that, it wasn’t going to take long for it to spread.


Now everyone seems to have an opinion on Mario. Some desperately want him as they know what he can do, but other are sceptical because of his attitude. However, the former would argue that Arsene Wenger would be able to tame the Italian and, in return, unlock his true potential. If that happens, the Gunners will have a world class player on their hands.


Arsenal are a team that like to keep the ball and wait for openings in the defence. They then use the creative players to exploit those gaps. It is a system that is devastating when used effectively. While Giroud is good at making a presence and holding the ball up, he lacks that killer instinct in the box that Arsenal need. Balotelli gives you that, but also provides you with that crucial hold up play. The AC Milan star also has that turn of pace which Giroud doesn’t have.


Both have had similar seasons, statistically, but the Italian is an upgrade on the Frenchman. With Mesut Ozil for support, the former could reach over 30 goals.

Eden Hazard Is A Wanted Man – Why Chelsea Should Cash In On Him

It’s that time of year where rumours are being thrown about regarding where different players’ futures lie and this summer is no different, especially with the World Cup ongoing and players showing what they can do on the world’s biggest stage. One of the most sought after players in the world at the moment is Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who is wanted by many clubs including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Both could potentially offer a huge amount of money to try and lure him away from Stamford Bridge. The question is: if the price is high enough, should he leave the Blues?

Hazard had a great season last year and he was certainly one of the better players in the Premier League. He signed for Chelsea in 2012 from LOSC Lille after showing real promising performances in France’s Ligue 1. Now at the age of 23, he is starting to show more and more that he can be a world class player. I do feel though that he is very inconsistent and does not always perform to the level that he did the previous week. If he gets that part of his game right, however, he could well be in contention to be the best player in the world later on in his career.

I think if Chelsea were to sell him the price would have to be around £60 million. Personally I do not think he is worth that much at the moment due to his inconsistency and it could be a risk paying so much money for such a young player. I also think that if the Blues were to get that sort of money for him, they could quite easily use it to get someone just as good and more established in world football.

England In Crisis – Should Chelsea Play English Players To Benefit The National Team?

With yet another dismal display from England at the 2014 World Cup (one that saw them knocked out in the group stages for the first time since 1958 and still with a game to spare), there has been criticism regarding the fact that there are not many English players playing regularly in the country’s top flight. Many pundits have suggested that this is the cause for England’s lacklustre performances in recent tournaments. With that being said, should clubs like Chelsea bow down to the demands of the nation to help England?

Out of the top teams last season, Chelsea were probably second only to Liverpool for fielding English players regularly, with the likes of John Terry, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole playing a decent number of games throughout the campaign. Even though this was the case, only Gary Cahill has played in both of England’s games so far; Lampard has not played but has been in the squad whilst Terry and Cole were not selected.

With four years to prepare for the next World Cup in Russia, should Chelsea be using some of their young English players like Josh McEachran, Nathaniel Chalobah and Patrick Bamford regularly? Obviously Jose Mourinho doesn’t feel that they are good enough to be playing top flight football and, like many others in that position, they will possibly be released or keep being loaned out to lower league clubs. Football is a results business and Mourinho needs to make sure that he wins matches to stay in the job. This means that he will be going after the best worldwide talents rather than English ones.

In my opinion, there should be a rule where there has to be at least a few English players playing regular top flight football for each team. However, with there being many foreign managers and owners at the clubs it is the case that they don’t particularly care what happens to the national team, and without rules they simply will not select the young English players.

Why Toulouse Star Is The Perfect Replacement For Departing Arsenal Legend

The future of Bacary Sagna was up in the air for a majority of the 2013/2014 campaign as the defender was in the final year of his contract. Rumours picked up towards the end of the season with seemingly two outcomes. One of those was that he would a contract extension, the other was that he would sign for a Premier League rival. The latter of the two has come true and the Arsenal faithful are angry. The highest concern is that they have sold another key player to a rival, adding to a very long list.

As soon as it looked likely that Sagna was to leave the Emirates outfit, every newspaper in Great Britain was linking the Gunners with various right-backs from all over the world. However, the one that has stuck for the longest, and looks the most likely to link up with Arsenal next season, is Serge Aurier. As reported by the Daily Star, the Toulouse right-back has been earmarked as the perfect replacement for Sagna and it is not hard to see why.

Sagna was a very consistent player for Arsenal and always put in 100% in every game. This made him a fan-favourite and means that if the Gunners were to bring in a replacement, he would have to have very similar traits. Aurier is the closest that the North Londoners can get, in my opinion.

The Ligue 1 starlet, who is just 21-years-old, has a brilliant engine on him which allows him to attack as well as he defends. He will always be where his team mates need him to be and the world has witnessed that at the World Cup, in which Aurier has starred for the Ivory Coast. He has demonstrated his ability in the final third and his talent of delivering a killer ball into the box. He has bombarded the penalty box of both the teams the Ivory Coast have faced so far.

In addition to this, he has also defended very well and has been applauded for this. The fact that he can defend and attack proves that he has everything you need in a modern full-back. In my opinion, he is one of the best that Arsenal could get their hands on to replace Sagna.