Category Archives: Arsenal

What Next For Jack Wilshere?

Arsene Wenger

In danger of being remembered more for his injuries, Jack Wilshere needed to play regularly this season. At Arsenal, there was no guarantee of anything other than a long, hard struggle to get that.

Keen to reignite his England career, it became apparent to Wilshere that he needed a loan spell. Despite making two cameos for his club, the soon-to-be disgraced Sam Allardyce ignored Wilshere for what turned out to be his only squad.

Arsène Wenger agreed that a move would be beneficial, sparking a bun fight for the midfielder’s services. There was never a moment in the Frenchman’s mind when a sale was envisaged but he would win by having Wilshere brought through to match fitness at someone else’s expense.

Crystal Palace and Watford made their interest immediately known, with the added bonus of keeping him close to his young children who live with Wilshere’s estranged partner. That put them ahead of Roma and Valencia who both registered interest, and of Everton.

In the end, he chose neither and surprisingly ignored overtures from Southampton, opting instead for Bournemouth. Eddie Howe’s burgeoning reputation as a coach was a key factor. Mentioned as a future England boss, some saw this as a year-long interview as Arsène Wenger’s successor. Manage Wilshere’s return to form and Howe would receive an open invitation to the Emirates.

Since moving to Dean Court, the Bournemouth boss has nursed Wilshere back to fitness. His first three games saw him play a total of 64 minutes. In stages Howe increased his match time, to the point where he has completed three consecutive ninety minutes.

For a man whose career has been blighted by injury, it is a major step. Eyes will now be watching to see if he can maintain this run. Whilst Wilshere is eager to return to the highest levels as soon as possible, patience is key. Incremental targets such as playing a full ninety minutes, then adding in doing so on a regular basis.

Wilshere

Gareth Southgate gave Wilshere a timely boost, recalling him to the England squad for the recent matches against Scotland and Spain. Although not called upon to play, it was another target on the list to tick off.

Although the end of the season is some way off, thoughts of the future must cross his mind regularly. Having been at Arsenal since he was nine years old, is he destined to be an anomaly in the Premier League era; a one-club man?

It’s a subject guaranteed to stir debate. Wilshere – along with Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson – was part of the much-vaunted British core of players at Arsenal, ones who would give the club a new identity and deliver the Gunners back to the top of the table.

It didn’t happen. Like England’s Golden Generation, they didn’t live up to the hype. Arsenal still wait to win the Premier League title eleven years on from the last.

The biggest issue is how to fit Jack Wilshere into the Arsenal side. His favoured role – the advanced playmaker – is taken and may be for some time; Mesut Özil is likely to sign a new deal at the Emirates and unless injury strikes, the first name on the teamsheet.

Roy Hodgson experimented with Wilshere in the quarterback role, sitting at the base of a diamond midfield. At Arsenal, the formation is different but Santi Cazorla dictates the tempo of the Gunners attacking play.

Wilshere is a different type of player to the Spaniard. Cazorla scurries, feeding quick passes in staccato style to colleagues. Wilshere is a dribbler, luring opponents into tackles – drawing a lot of fouls – in the hope of creating space for colleagues to whom he can pass.

From the deeper role, it is trickier to use this style of play effectively; opponents can quickly and easily counteract by flooding the midfield with numbers. To be successful, Wilshere would need to change his style and in those circumstances, do you lose more than you gain?

It leaves Arsenal to change to accommodate him. A dual-pronged attacking midfield from Wilshere and Özil, perhaps? Both have shown they can contribute more goals consistently than they have in the past.

Arsenal under Wenger embrace flexibility, eschewing the rigidity of formations in favour of individual responsibility. The players know their roles in the side, how they carry them out is their decision.

With that in mind is there any reason to believe Wenger – or his successor – won’t find a solution which includes the mercurial midfielder?

By extension, Wilshere has to find patience, to embrace it. He’s on a mission, with lost time to make up for. Injuries have so disrupted his career that he believes that he must play every week.

He has the talent to demand that from a club but his first step is regaining his match sharpness. When he has that, when there are no questions about whether he is going to breakdown again?

Arsène Wenger doesn’t want Wilshere to leave Arsenal but does Wilshere want to stay? The interest in him from Roma suggests that bigger European clubs aren’t scared of his injury record but will there be any which offer him any more than he can get in north London?

Two Reasons Why Ozil’s Rumoured Move To Manchester United Will Never Happen

Image result for mesut ozil 2016-17

Mesut Ozil arrived to Arsenal in 2014, after spending four years with Real Madrid. Ozil landed at Emirates Stadium as one of the biggest purchases Arsenal made in last years, and seeing his performances during this time, Mesut has demonstrated that the people who said that were right. Now, the German is having one of the best seasons in his career, scoring great goals, giving a lot of assists and more important, making a big impact in Arsenal.

Also, Mesut is one of the referents of German national team after the departures of both Philip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Playing with his national team, he has displayed the best of his game, he helped them to win the World Cup 2014 and reach the semi finals in past Eurocup in France. There is no doubt about Ozil’s quality, but there are things that the German midfielder and his current team have to arrange in order to keep the former Werder Bremen player in Arsenal’s staff.

Last week, we heard Arsenal reportedly offered a 5-years new contract to Mesut Ozil, but it seemed like the German player had some doubts about it, despite the huge salary increment this could mean. Also, there are a lot of reporters saying that this is because Manchester United’s boss Jose Mourinho wants Ozil in his team as soon as possible. Mourinho wants to take advantage of the doubts of Ozil and steal the talented player from Arsene Wenger.

More: Take a wild guess at , if you think Ozil will move to United.

Ozil has become one of the biggest figures for Arsenal right now, and even when we have seen important players leaving the Gunners for others English teams, we believe that Ozil heading to Manchester is almost impossible. Now, we’re giving three options for this theory.

He left Mourinho’s team when he arrived in London. Many people remember when Ozil left Real Madrid alongside Angel Di Maria due to the arrival of Gareth Bale in “Los Blancos”. At that time, Mourinho’s was the head coach of Real Madrid and, after they didn’t win any trophy, both the manager and the player left the team with serious differences between them both and the team.

Arsenal actually wants to renovate his contract.  Ozil will face his last year of contract in 2017, reason why Manchester wants to acquire his services. However, Arsenal knows how valuable has been Ozil to them, and they want to keep the midfielder in London for at least 5 more years. They even offer him a rise in his salary in order to keep Mesut in their ranks.

 

Tactical Analysis Of The North London Derby

North London Derby Review

 

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur met yesterday with plenty at stake for both sides. Arsenal, with home advantage, could have risen to the top of the Premier League table with a win and put their bitter rivals five points off the Champions League places.

Spurs meanwhile were in wretched form, losing two of the last six matches in all competition and drawing the other four. They were still unbeaten in the Premier League but plenty of questions had to be answered after a dismal performance in the 1 – 0 ‘home’ defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.

  1. POCHETTINO SWITCHES TO 3-4-3 AND FLUMMOXES ARSENAL

It was as major surprise to see Spurs line-up with a formation they rarely use. With only three days to refresh their memory between the two games, the manner and confidence with the team played was admirable.

Dier, Wimmer and Vertonghen had plenty of time on the ball and when Arsenal attacked were able to nullify the pace of Walcott, Iwobi and Sanchez with the two wide players picked up by Rose and Walker as the wing backs dropped into defence, effectively creating a 5 – 3 – 2 formation.

However, it more a 1 – 4 – 3 – 2 with the spare centre back – usually Dier – dropping into a sweeper role and providing cover to colleagues.

It caught Arsenal out as Theo Walcott freely admitted. The added bonus for Mauricio Pochettino was the mental impact on the Gunners wide men with Rose and Walker’s attacking energies putting them on the back foot for a while.

  1. ARSENAL LACKED A MIDFIELD ATTACKING PRESENCE

 With Santi Cazorla, Arsenal lined up with Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka in the centre. At Sunderland and in Sofia against Ludogorets, Egyptian international Mohammed Elneny had prompted many Arsenal attacks with his smooth passing game.

This time, Arsenal were expected to make the running. Without Cazorla’s dribbling from the middle, the central pairing were swamped by numbers. Rose and Walker pushed up to squeeze Arsenal on the flanks whilst Eriksen pushed into the centre to make it 3 v 2 in Tottenham’s favour.

This graphic from WhoScored.com underlines the numerical advantage Tottenham enjoyed in the centre of the pitch.

Whilst Spurs had the numbers, they were more intent on using them to stifle Arsenal and didn’t launch many attacks from this position. Most of their breaks were from Rose and Son on the left and Walker on the right.

Arsenal weren’t able to play through the lines as they are used to doing with Spurs almost adopting an almost man-for-man making role, with the exception of Eriksen.

Having a player comfortable dribbling in the centre alongside the defensive midfielder gives Arsenal the extra option in the centre. It’s underlined by the fact that Mesut Özil’s two dribbles was the best of any of the Gunners, followed by Hector Bellerin.

Right now, Arsène Wenger must be wishing that he had Jack Wilshere at this moment in time.

  1. SPURS BACK THREE WERE VERY COMFORTABLE IN THEIR ROLES

The Chilean has mesmerised defences this season, proving an effective central striker and a different proposition to Olivier Giroud.

With three centre backs, Spurs were able to compensate for his pace with cover from the spare defender. With Alexis spending more time on the left, he encountered Kyle Walker as often as Vertonghen.

With Mesut Özil in a rich vein of scoring form, his advanced role didn’t cause the Tottenham defence enough problems or offer enough of a goal threat on this occasion.

Arsène Wenger will be concerned by the performance in this respect. At half-time against Chelsea, they led 3 – 0 and Antonio Conte switched to 3 – 4 – 3 to limit any further damage. Middlesbrough also adopted the tactic during the recent goalless draw at the Emirates.

Add in this match, that’s one goal in 215 minutes and suggests this might be as much Arsenal’s nemesis as the 4 – 5 – 1 which has been adopted frequently by opponents.

  1. HARRY KANE IS VITAL TO SPURS PROGRESS

The England international gave Spurs an attacking presence they have been missing in recent weeks. Kane had the highest number of shots in the game – 3 – despite being substituted in the 73rd minute.

Replaced by Vincent Janssen, the substitute managed 2 shots but no real threat to the Arsenal goal. Spurs biggest problem is scoring from open play. They haven’t done so in the past six games and need to rediscover their ability to do so.

Kane’s return eases the pressure on Janssen, giving him the chance to acclimatise to the English game away from the spotlight. Being a substitute, his introduction is one of hope rather than leaving the field having failed.

  1. SET PIECES ARE SPURS ACHILLES HEEL

In the Premier League, only Leicester City have scored against Tottenham. From open play, the defence is well-marshalled and organised although it seems to come at the expense of some attacking verve.

However, once again they succumbed to a set piece. Özil swung his free kick in and Wimmer under pressure, headed into his own net. Forget the claims of offside; Arsenal had equally strong claims for a penalty with all the holding going on, had the goal been ruled out.

Tottenham held a high line on the edge of their area and in these situations, are always retreating at pace. It’s a flaw with their set-up and will haunt them all the while they adopt this tactic. As long as they maintain the strong defence from open play, they will be fine. Once that record goes, they will be in trouble.

REPORT: Chelsea Planning A SHOCK Bid For Ex-Arsenal Captain

Chelsea Transfer News

According to the latest reports, Chelsea have made an offer to Barcelona for Thomas Vermaelen. Chelsea are now ready to let John Terry go and are planning to replace him with a former Arsenal centre-back.

Reports also suggest that Vermaelen wants to leave Barcelona as he is struggling for some serious game time in the club and will be willing to make a move back to premier league.

According to Fichajes, Chelsea are planning to sign the player in the summer and apparently Barcelona too are open to the negotiations.

REVEALED! Manchester United’s Audacious Attempt To Sign Arsenal Player On Deadline Day

While it’s public knowledge that Aston Villa and Sunderland were keen to secure a loan move for the Mathieu Debuchy, French news paper L’Equipe has revealed that Manchester United made a late bid to bring Debuchy to Old Trafford.

 

However, manager Arsene Wenger intervened and informed Debuchy that he would not be allowed to join the side’s immediate rivals. This decision of Wenger led to Debuchy signing for the French club Bordeaux. With the European Championships in sight, the move makes footballing sense as extended playing time could help him gain the attention of Didier Deschamps.

 

What’s Going On With Arsenal, Chelsea And Other English Teams In The Champions League?

The English are having a tough time in Europe at the moment. Three points apiece for Chelsea and Manchester City put them both third on their respective groups; two losses for Arsenal mean they are at the bottom of Group F; and although Man United’s group look fairly equal, manager Louis van Gaal has said his team needs to improve dramatically if they want to progress further in the competition.

What are the odds of having an English team reach the final, let alone make it further than the group stages? Let’s take a look at all our men in the Champions League and the issues that might be holding them back.

Arsenal with Security Issues

Following their second embarrassing defeat of the tournament to Olympiacos at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger’s men will not be feeling great about their chances. Since the Champions League began in 1955, a total of 110 teams have lost their opening two games, of which just 9 have ever managed to qualify. Arsenal’s hopes are therefore very slim indeed: just 8.2% in fact!

What’s been going so wrong for the team that currently sit second in the Premier League? It has to be said that Arsenal got particularly unlucky in their Olympiacos match: a horrifying error from the new Colombian keeper, David Ospina, kept the team on the back foot for most of the game, which for an inherently attack-minded team turned out to be fatal.

Concentration was rattled, and although they didn’t concede many chances they were hit extremely hard when they did. No one could have predicted that 3-2 loss though – in fact many bookmakers confidently backed them for big 3-0 and 4-0 wins!

They face Bayern on 20th October, which is certainly not going to be an easy match to claw their way back into this competition (they are currently 7/2 to win this game).

Chelsea Lacking Managerial Leadership

Chelsea have not had a good season so far in either Leagues. They made a poor start in their attempt to retain the Premier League title, and crashed 2-1 at Porto (Jose Mourinho’s former club, who he made his name with). This leaves them with a mountain to climb if they want to get back into Europe.

Mourinho in particular has faced an onslaught of criticism over these recent events, accused of sending out mixed messages and not inspiring solid leadership within his squad. Ultimately, it seems like the manager is just as confused as the pundits as to why his team are performing so poorly – he’s clearly not used to losing!

Manchester City Under Pressure

City may have not finished outside of the Premier League’s top three since 2010, but they are struggling to translate this domestic success overseas. After losing their first contest, they were forced to come from behind after Borussia Monchengladbach converted an early chance, and just managed to kick start their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win.

But although some, including Joe Hart, may not be pleased with the performance, the win does put them in a good position. City have often misfired in this championship, but have won four of their last nine Champions League away games. The away win is therefore a high possibility (with odds of 8/13) and would put them in good stead to qualify second.

It all depend if City – who go into this match as the favourites – can hold it together when the pressure is on. Are their players up to it? Recent games against Tottenham and West Ham perhaps suggest not.

Manchester United Fatigued?

City’s rival have also found it tough to get off the mark this competition. Although the latest home win against Wolfsburg got them the three points they badly needed, Man United looked anything but Champions League winners – they also had to come from behind, and then just managed to hang on towards the end.

Louis van Gaal, although pleased with the result, knows his side needs to improve. He has suggested that the players are simply suffering from fatigue: this was their sixth in 18 days, after all. Since then they already suffered a crushing defeat at Arsenal in the Premier, but now have just one game prior to their showdown against CSKA Moscow on 21st October. Let’s hope this break puts them in good stead to take the 13/8 win.

Double Delight For Arsenal As Superstar Named Euro Star Of The Week, While Tottenham Star Mocked As Worst

A recent report in Spanish newspaper Sport reads out as if it has been written by an Arsenal fan on Tuesday. The paper used to previously pick a European Team of the Week though these days they just pick out a star, ‘Estrella’, a supporting cast – ‘Asteroides’ and a crashed star – ‘Estrellado’. This week’s edition also featured the same style of writing.

It seems now that Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez is the Estrella this week, with his outstanding performance against Manchester United on Sunday.

The Chile international was brilliant during the convincing win, as he scored two of the club’s three goals in a 3-0 emphatic win at the Emirates.

Sport further pointed out that the 26-year old forward has scored more goals in his last two games than in his previous twenty one, which could only mean that the much needed rest has paid off.

The unfortunate Estrellado of this week is Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, which the Spurs’ fans would surely not agree on. Sport picked Kane as the villain for his cracker of an own goal at the weekend, which was quite hilarious for the England striker to concede to say the least.

Also, he has struggled to put in performances at the same level as last year in the current campaign.

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