England 2-0 Lithuania

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Southgate has already won my vote as the best England Manager for the past 5-10 years.
It’s taken us this long to find a manager who is willing to go against the grain. To select players on merit as opposed to players making the squad off the back of a name of the side they play for.

Bringing in Jermaine Defoe was a huge step in the right direction and to have potentially our youngest 11 out at one point in the game was a complete breath of fresh air. You can see that Southgate see’s the bigger picture now. The goal isn’t to turn up and win the World Cup 2018, he has a 3-5 year plan in place and I would expect to see this side challenging for the Euro’s 2020.

Fan’s would have been expecting us to have scored 5-6 goals but personally I’m happy that a lot of those players got 90 minutes experience under their belts and we’re starting to look like a side that we can be proud of. With qualification all but guaranteed and games against Malta and Lithuania again in the pipeline we have opportunities to try some new things and hopefully give a good show come the Euro’s next year.

 

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End of an Era…

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Sir Chips Keswick – “Any decision will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way”

So sound’s the like banners and the moaning have finally been heard.

Arsene is no longer in charge of his own fate and I believe that at the beginning of the 17/18 season we will be under new management.

We can’t ignore what Arsene has done for us over the years. He has taken us through some fantastic times at the club and for that we will be eternally grateful.

The 10-2 loss to Bayern was a hard one to take. The excuses began to slip off of everyone’s tongue’s again but ultimately we were beaten by a much better side over two legs.

The excuse of “We don’t spend money” is a dated one.

Xhaka – £38mil

Mustafi – £34mil

Perez – £17mil

Arsenal football club spend money. We have a stadium that has now been paid off and over 250million sat in the bank.

We have everything in place to start to patch up the holes that have been left by not just the manager. As easy as it is to blame Arsene we have to look deeper than that.

But also by the owner.

Kronenke is a Majority Owner of St Louis Rams (NFL), his company also owns Colorado Rapids (MLS), Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and Denver Nuggets (NBA). So I genuinely question if he is really as focused as you’d want your club owner to be on the success of the club. Aslong as Arsenal Football Club are making a decent turnover each year is he really that bothered about the ongoing’s on the field and the fans point of view? I think not. I believe that he looked into the possibility of putting a roof on the Emirates to make it more appealing for concerts. He’s in this for the money as are most business men but without a little passion behind the project I think that he may be the reason that Arsene is still in the hot seat and hasn’t been moved on yet.

But sounds like the stomping of our feet has finally got some of the board tuned in. It’ll be an interesting couple of months for Arsenal FC.

Everton v Arsenal - Premier League

Decisions, Decisions

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So after a week of uncertainty around Sanchez and Arsene’s mental state we find ourselves hours away from what always tends to be the most heartbreaking point of the season.

Tonight we can expect to turn up and beat Bayern 4-1 and watch ourselves tumble out of the Champions League once again and be left praising Arsene for getting the side to turn up and finally give the fans what they deserve.

I’m not buying into it all if I’m honest. I think the Liverpool game was pretty much the final straw and believe the board must be in the background with a shortlist of replacements for Arsene off the back of what’s been a torrid time for the fans.

Lackluster performance after Lackluster performance. Overshadowed by the Noisy Neighbor’s and on the verge of Thursday night Football next season. It’ll be a sad way to bow out but unfortunately the time has finally arrived for the bigman.

I went to watch Liverpool Under 23’s yesterday and was gobsmacked at the amount of talent they possess in their squad. In a league where once again we currently sit 4th.

Oh it’ll be painful viewing tonight especially with the thought that moving forward we could lose Sanchez which would then leave our best player being the forever out of form Ozil.

Hopefully I’ll be able to write a post one day that is a little more cheerful.

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Arsenel Fan TV – Gary Neville Interview

 

Have to say that this interview was a real eye opener for me.

I think everyone who watches ArsenalFanTV must be used to hearing Troops, DT etc. screaming and shouting at the screen and at time’s I don’t feel like there’s any real purpose to what’s being said.

One person I would pull up after every Interview is DT because I think that sometimes he’s unnecessary negative, loud and  unnecessarily heated.

I sat down to watch what I believed would be a bit of a cringe fest (To be fair 70% of it was) however it was held together by the fact that when DT is calm and expressing his opinion then the guy talks a lot of sense.

He’s Arsenal through and through and it seem’s like this extends further than his lifeline as it sounds like it is something that was inherited from his parents. His conversation with Gary regarding the Board, his frustrations and why he feels the need to raise Anti-Arsene banners during the games it really good TV and im glad that I invested the time into actually hearing him out. I’d suggest to anyone with time on their hands to at least listen to the first 15-20 minutes of this interview.

I dont think that the others really added to the interview at all. I’d rather have sat and watched a conversation between DT and Gary Neville for 50 minutes. I thought that perhaps i was being unfair but then this was the most liked comment beneath the video

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Claudio had to go….

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Last season Claudio worked absolute wonders with Leicester and managed to get a squad of bottom half players to perform way above expectations to take the Premier League Crown.

 

It wasn’t a fairytale story that touched the heart of every Football fan across the globe and something that will be remembered for many many years to come. Football fans across the globe got to witness the impossible and watched in awe as Leicester managed to go the distance.

 

However the fairytale has well and truly ended and it seems to have shocked the world for some reason. Me personally I believe the decision was well overdue for and I don’t believe that the decision should be questioned at all. The board gave Ranieri the challenge of “Keeping the Club in the Premier League” following a year when Leicester won the Premier League title. Three out of Twenty Teams get relegated from the League each season and his job was not to be one of those three teams… A YEAR AFTER WINNING THE TITLE!! They are now in a situation where they are struggling to do that so it’s on the board to make the relevant changes to try and remain in the league.

Unfortunately for Ranieri I believe the decision was made prior to their Champions League showing on Wednesday when there was glimmers of the Leicester of 2016-2017 that begin to rise from the dead. If they continue with that form they could well sneak away from the relegation zone and potentially get something from the second leg against Sevilla which could see them in the Champions league quarter finals.

 

However that said the sides form in the run up to that game left a lot to be desired. So I am backing the board on this decision and believe it’s the right decision for the Club and the Fans.

Ranieri will leave the Club a legend and will forever hold a place in the hearts of all of the Leicester Fans.ranieri-0

Sutton 0-2 Arsenal

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Well I expected us to run riot last night, I’d gone for a 5,6 or 7 nil win so to say im disappointed is an understatement.

Pitch was fine but our passing lacked accuracy and we lost possession too often. Too many players were carried in my opinion but credit to Sutton for making us work for the victory.

I’ll be expecting a lot better when we host Lincoln in the next round. Back at the Emirates and with a chance to head into a Semi Final of the Cup I’ll be expecting us to put that game to bed early.

Ospina – Flapped at everything. Almost gave away a goal by playing out directly to their onrushing midfielder

Gabriel – Looked one paced, had a torrid time against Biamou and Gomis. Found himself isolated too often.

Mustafi – Expected him to be a stand out performer however looked to go through the motions.

Holding – Didn’t do too badly. However needs to stick to the job in hand, wonders around and is indecisive at times.

Monreal – Looked a lot better going forward than he did defensively. Final ball left a lot to be desired.

 

Elneny – Played for around 35 minutes before picking up a knock. Didn’t offer much and passing was woeful.

Ox – Probably our best player when he came on. Looked like he wanted to impress. A bit more quality on the ball and we would have had a couple more goals.

Xhaka – Awful, didn’t offer anything of note. Kept his passes very short which kept his pass success rate up but had nothing moving forward

Adelaide – Didn’t get on the ball enough, was pretty much a passenger for most of the game and lost the ball far too much.

 

Iwobi – Could have put a yellow shirt on last night, woeful performance and offered absolutely nothing. Wouldn’t look at of place in the National League.

Perez – Goal was a little fortunate but he put the work in. Pass success rate of 69% isn’t good enough against this opposition. 3 shots in 90 minutes was not good enough either.

Walcott – Should have taken this game by the scruff of the neck. Probably deserved a second goal but for Ox’s poor pass but generally put a shift in.

 

15 Shots on – 4 on Target

67% Posession

Potential Banana Skin? Not a Chance…

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So after a weekend where the mighty have fallen with Burnley and Leicester leaving the competition against lower opposition it seems the media are trying to lead us into believing the Sutton’s dream may continue after this evening’s game.

I however am not going to be fooled, the FA Cup story is a beautiful one and Sutton and all of their fans should be very proud of what they’ve achieved this season. Their success’ on the field has added further stability to their finances and has put they clubs name well and truly on the map.

HOWEVER… tonight the dream ends. I do not doubt for one second that they will be put to the sword but an Arsenal side with a very different look to the sides that we have fielded for a majority of the season so far.

Sutton being ahead of the time’s will be their downfall this evening. When they welcome an Arsenal side who’s reputation for being one of the best ball playing sides in England to their near perfect 3G pitch. A pitch where there are no holes or divot’s and there is no mud up to the knees of our squad who want to get the ball down and play. Two or Three season’s back this would have been the last place we would have wanted to go with a mixture of rain, poor conditions and a bobbly pitch adding to the heart and desire of a squad way back on the Footballing ladder would have been a recipe for disaster but tonight’s game has played into our hands and I think there is only one outcome here.

My selection for tonight’s game would be as per the below however i am sure Arsene will have a couple of surprises up his sleeve…

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