It’s day 2 for me without broadband, and the faithful Blackberry has to step in again and act as a USB modem. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry! It’s not 20Meg, it’s more like 0.5Meg, but it’ll do… until Sky sort out the broadband… if they ever do!
Back to football, and yesterday saw a feisty encounter between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Bernabeu… it wasn’t the classic that you’d expect… until the last 10 minutes, when Messi scored a sublime solo effort to make it 2-0. It was an interesting affair, as the last couple of encounters have been – a lot of fouling, a lot of play acting and a lot of sulking from Ronaldo. Barcelona didn’t look as comfortable as they have and looked a bit nervous – but the decision from the officials to send off Pepe for a challenge that didn’t deserve a red. I actually feel sorry for Real Madrid and sorry for Mourinho – he’s worked hard, he didn’t deserve this!
Back to Arsenal and thank you all for comments, twitter messages and emails about the squad… it’s been interesting to listen and read through the comments and messages and there is a common consensus through the fans – whether or not the manager feels the same is another question all together…
There have been a lot of comments saying that we don’t need a new goalkeeper any more as Szcznesy has proved he’s good enough – whilst I do agree that Szcznesy is the best of what we’ve got, the others aren’t much to go by. IE, of course Robin Van Persie is our best striker, because we have Chamakh and Bendtner – but should that stop us buying a world class striker? No, of course not – better players = a better squad. So for me, yes, we need a new goalkeeper to raise the bar, to challenge Szcznesy and to give us a credible option if our first choice keeper gets injured.
One or two comments have suggested that Koscielny would be more suited as a defensive midfielder and for me, I had my doubts – but seeing Pepe yesterday play for Real Madrid – a player who has played all of his top career as a defender – in midfield, made me double think this whole thing. If Arsene was watching the game, surely he must be thinking the same thing.
With Vermaelen back, Koscielny will be relegated to the subs bench next season and with the likelihood of additional defenders being brought in, it’s food for thought. It is clear that we need to strengthen defensively – Arsene has admitted it to, so we should see some changes. The majority of fans want a player like Gary Cahill brought in – I can see why – he gives 100%, is good in the air, commanding and also British – he’ll cost a fair amount, but we need better players. I’m not sure if he’s the right fit, but he certainly can’t be ruled out.
There is a big call for a proper winger – someone who could fit into the formation or a 442 and cause problems, attack players and dribble – something Arshavin and Walcott have clearly not mastered. In fact, there is a big call for moving back to a 442 with Theo and RvP up front. I’m sure we’ll discuss more soon…
So, I keeping on hearing about the anti-Wenger march… The march was originally organised to be a peaceful one, but I fear that it will become a slightly more aggressive. I definitely agree with the content and press release that was issued, but I’m not sure if a march / protest is the right way of doing it!
A snippet of the press release:
We want to see Mr Wenger repeat his early successful years with the club.While we’re appreciative of what Mr Wenger has achieved for Arsenal in the past, we believe that the manager should be held accountable for the success of the team and not the club’s balance sheet. Itis felt by many fans that since the departure of David Dein, Mr Wenger has taken on too much responsibility at the club to the detriment of his team. As a major football club, Arsenal should be competing for and winning trophies.
I have to say it’s quite true – Arsene Wenger needs to concentrate back on the football side of things only, something I touched on in yesterday’s blog. He needs to focus on coaching and motivating the players – not worrying about the money side of things, or the balance sheet.
An interesting point that I whole heartedly agree with is:
Adopt practices of other Premier League clubs in moving away fans to the upper tiers i.e. moreexpensive seating, thereby providing more affordable seating for Arsenal supporters. As itstands, away fans have prime positions in the stadium at the lowest cost – to the detriment ofArsenal supporters.
I find it amazing how nice we have been by placing the away fans in the most central part of the stands and lower tier – when I go away to other stadiums, I often find myself stuck in the upper tier or the upper upper tier (in the case of Barcelona) and it allows the home fans more prominent space to take control of the game – something we lack at the Arsenal.
I’m sure we’ll speak more about this in the next week or so… but for now… I’ll leave you with some good news…
Good news for all of us, Tommy V is back. He’ll be in action tonight in the reserves and it will be good to see how he fairs. He’s been out for the whole season, so we’ll have to be patient, but if he is back for next season, fully fit, then we’ve got a defensive re-enforcement!