Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Arsenal Should Sell Cesc Fabregas

I think Cesc Fabregas’ time at Arsenal is nearing it’s end. He has been a great servant since joining the club at age 16, but it may now be time to collect the fat check from Barcelona, allow Cesc to go where he wants, and use the money to move forward and improve the team as a whole. Sources say that Arsenal are looking for a fee of 35-40 million pounds for the captain, and if Barcelona, or any other club, meet that asking price, does anyone NOT think it would be in our best interest to take that kind of cash?

The importance of Cesc to this team over the past few seasons is undoubted. He has led from the front for the most part, and he has been a loyal servant since he first arrived from Barcelona. His talent is world class, and any team would love to have a player of his quality. My fear is that this current Arsenal team have become too reliant on Cesc, and when he is injured like he was for a good portion of this past year, we seem to lose our way.

Selling Cesc would give us the freedom to change formations into what I think we most suited for, the 4-4-2. That would allow Jack Wilshere/Samir Nasri/Aaron Ramsey to have the creative slot in the center of midfield next to Alex Song. Up front we could have both a target man like Marouane Chamakh or Nicklas Bendtner (if we keep him) next to the brilliance of Robin van Persie. Or we could move Theo up front with RvP and play them in the Bergkamp/Henry roles. The wing positions could be solved with a number or options, including Arshavin (again, if we keep him), Theo, Nasri, or Wilshere, along with potential signings Eden Hazard and Gervinho. I think our players are more suited to a 4-4-2 formation that has been so successful for the club over the years as opposed to the 4-3-3 we have been operating with the past few seasons.

The other benefit of selling Cesc, obviously, would be the large amount of money we would be getting for him. If you need to bring a lot of players in to revamp a lineup, then you are going to need a lot of money to do it. While we’ll get some money for selling Denilson, Bendtner, Almunia, and some others, all of that won’t even add up to the money that we would get for selling Cesc. He wants to go back to Barcelona, and I can’t really blame the guy. If you watched the Champions League Final you know how brilliant a team they are, even if they are a bunch of twats. Let’s take that big money for him and reinvest it into the team instead of keeping a player around who doesn’t want to be here and eventually selling him for a lower price or losing him on a free when his contract eventually runs out.

Cesc has been a good servant to the club, but at some point you need to move forward without certain players. Arsenal sold Vieira, we sold Henry, and we can sell Cesc too. You can’t replace a player of his talent level one for one, but with a squad that needs so many things fixed, I’d prefer 3-4 very good players to one great one. Let’s make the move that will make everyone happy and sell him this summer.

Feel free to agree or disagree with me, and if someone wants to write an article opposing what I just wrote, you have an open invitation to email me your article and I will post it here unedited tomorrow. ArseNole{at}arsenole}dot}com. Cheers and up the Gunners.

PS: I'm still going to marry Cesc's sister ;)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Arsene Wenger's Failed Project

Removing the dead wood at Arsenal is something that basically every supporter has been calling for since about March of this year. I’ve talked to several of you on twitter and the list is long and varied as to who should be shipped out, but the general consensus is that we want most everyone gone. Denilson and Bendtner I think will both be on their way, and I don’t think anyone will be saddened if Rosicky, Denilson, Diaby, Vela, Arshavin, Almunia, and Squillaci follow them. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out fellas. Some people would add Clichy to that list as well, but I’ve always been a bit of a Clichy fan so it’s hard for me to put him on there, although if he and Nasri don’t sign new deals then they will be gone too.

Now that we’ve got the list together of who to ship out, let’s analyze the problem a little bit more. I think if you look at that list of players that aren’t up to scratch, it shows a problem with Arsene’s transfer dealings as a whole over the past couple of years. All of those signings, with the exception of Almunia, have been in the past 4 years. Wenger expected them to develop and build the foundation of a squad that would compete for the top honors in football, and it never materialized. Is it a case of poor scouting, poor transfer decisions, or just poor coaching? Sure, they have all had moments of greatness, Vela in the Carling Cup, Arshavin’s 4 goals at Anfield, etc…but the problem has been that none of them can be consistent enough to hold down a regular place in the team, much less compete for trophies.

The Invincibles, in my mind, was the culmination of Arsene Wenger’s first “project” at Arsenal. He had brought in the players, molded them into a team, coached them up, and reaped the rewards. He had taken players with a lot of talent and supplemented that with a lot of experience. For every young stud like Henry when he first arrived and Anelka, we had a Bergkamp and a Tony Adams. The problem with the current squad is there has never been that balance between youthful talent and energy to go with experienced players who have been through the wars. He sold off Vieira, Henry, Campbell, Lauren, and Gilberto, to replace them with the likes of Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, and Eboue. When you look at it like that, this plan was destined for failure from the very start.

Arsene is coming to the close of his career, and much like most of the current squad, I believe his talents are waning. He has not shown the foresight and knowledge of the transfer market that we all assumed he had. We thought the genius would eventually show through and that his master plan would somehow come to fruition. It hasn’t, and it’s time for an overhaul. If Arsene Wenger is unwilling to change his ideas on how to put a team together, then it will require someone else making that change. He’s been a brilliant manager for us over the years but being stubborn year after year is absolutely mental. He’s so stuck on his ideas being correct that he is unwilling to branch out and accept that this time he might have been wrong.

I hope Arsene makes the right moves this summer and shakes up a lot of the current squad. Part of me is hopeful, thinking that it can’t get much worse than this and surely now Arsene has seen the error of his ways. Mostly though, I worry that almost nothing will change, that we’ll trot out a lineup on opening day next season with almost the exact same squad that collapsed this season. Maybe nothing will ever change while Arsene is in charge. But for now, we can all hope. Up the Gunners.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thierry Quits France, Joins the Red Bulls

'Ello boyos! Been almost 4 months since I wrote anything on here. Full time jobs will do that to ya, not to mention our season didn't end in the best fashion, and the World Cup has been on for the last month, so those are my excuses.

So Thierry Henry, Arsenal legend, made two big announcements this week. The 2010 World Cup was a disaster for the French team, and Henry has decided to retire from International Football in the wake of the fiasco. He's France's all time leading scorer, (as well as Arsenal's of course) but will probably be remembered as much for his hand ball against Ireland as he will for being a part of the side that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Honestly I couldn't give a shit about the French team so I'm not arsed that he's retiring from internationals. But it is a blow for France for certain any time you lose a player from the golden generation.

The second big announcement this week was that Thierry is moving to my beloved United States to play in the MLS for the New York Red Bulls. Now I'll be the first to admit that I think MLS is a shit league with shit players and overpaid fucks like David Beckham only make the league look worse. This however, is in my opinion a brilliant signing. Henry still has plenty of gas in the tank, and against lower quality teams and players he should be able to get into top form. He doesn't have the pace that he used to, certainly, but he still has that knack for finishing and finding the right spaces on the pitch. When you look at him paired with Juan Pablo Angel, the Red Bulls instantly have the best strike force in the league.

Awesomely enough, his debut for the Red Bulls is going to be against some huge cunts, Tottenham. If there's one thing I can guarantee in that match, it's that Thierry scores a goal. Out of all the people who love scoring against Sp*rs, Thierry is especially good at it. While he'll only be here for half of the MLS season this year, I would put a good bet on him to be the league's top scorer next year. I wish him all the best and hope that I can make it up to one of his matches before he finally retires.

In other news, Barcelona are absolute fucking cunts. I don't think there has been one day since the summer began that one of their players came out and said how much they'd love to have Cesc Fabregas with them at Barcelona. Well that's good for them. Ya know, I think Cesc would fit in perfectly with my 7 a side team. We've been looking for a good midfielder this whole season and I think he'll fit right in. Cesc isn't going anywhere, so Barca should really keep their holes shut.

The World Cup was fun, but at the same time it kinda sucked. The matches didn't really stand out, with the exception of the Ghana-Uruguay match. That was mental. I really couldn't believe the insanity that happened at the end of extra time. The Final was awful. The Netherlands played like a bunch of cunts, fouling all over the place and never trying to actually do anything. Spain wasn't brilliant but they got the job done and so fair play to them and especially to our Captain.

Ok that's about all the time I have since I have to get back to work. I might do another post in the next few days (gasp!) with an Arsenal season preview. If not then I predict that we win the Treble - League, FA Cup, and Champions League. Cheers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carlota Will Be Supporting Arsenal vs Barca, but Birmingham Comes First

Being a blogger is like working as a web designer or a fashion designer. You really only work when you feel like it and if you don't work then nobody is really going to notice or care. Every once in a while you'll have a really great article and get a few comments, and other times you'll be lucky enough to piss off a whole group of people who will leave you angry comments, (just look at this post) but most of the time you're pretty much writing for yourself and a few other people who stumble upon your page and have nothing better to do. So for those of you who have accidentally rolled onto this page, here are a couple thoughts about Birmingham, Barcelona, and whatever else I think of.

Barcelona is the match everyone is talking about, but I'd argue that Birmingham is the more important one. Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to the Barcelona match as much as anyone, but it's dangerous to overlook Birmingham just because Barcelona is a more attractive club. This weekend we'll be without Thomas Vermaelen, because of his suspension for a red card that should have never been, and without William Gallas, still out with injury. That leaves us with Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre. Not exactly a top class center back pairing for a big club. While Sol has done well, Silvestre should never be in the starting lineup for a team trying to win the league. The boss has indicated that he may rest Campbell for this match, which leaves us with Song and Silvestre in the back, which not only gives us a weak center back pairing but weakens our strength in midfield too, against a team that haven't lost at home since September. It's a scary possibility, and for a team that needs to win every match for the rest of the season, it's really making me nervous. The focus of the team needs to be 100% on Birmingham, and we can leave Barcelona until next Wednesday. Anything less than 100% will see us lose at St. Andrews and be out of the title race.

I have to give some thoughts on Eboue while I'm writing since I haven't given him his proper due since I've been out so long. I was one of the ones criticizing him last year for his poor (and sometimes completely dire) performances. Well this year he has completely changed his attitude, his performances, and my opinion of him. He's been nothing short of brilliant for us this year, whether he's in the front three or playing right back. His runs, his movement, and his work rate have made him one of my favorite players to see in the team. I'll go far enough as to say that without him, we wouldn't be where we are in the league right now this season. So fair play to Emmanuel Eboue, maybe my player of the season to this point.

The West Ham match last Saturday really gave me hope for the title challenge. We could have crumbled after Vemaelen's red card. It was a BS call, and we could have gone down to a team that is fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, but we didn't. Almunia pulled out a moment of brilliance to save Diamanti's penalty, and the team stayed strong with Song and Campbell in defense. Then Cesc completed the victory by nailing that penalty after his strong run (aided by Eboue, who again was excellent.)

Speaking of Cesc, you'll remember that about seven months ago I had a post about marrying Cesc's sister, Carlota. Well as it turns out, she finally found that I had written that and I ended up talking to her a bit on twitter. She's a very nice young lady and said that Florida is a beautiful place. I'd have to agree with her. So cheers to you Carlota and if you're ever back in Florida dinner is on me.

Speaking of Carlota, and Cesc, and Arsenal...we play Barcelona in the Champions League! It's got to be one of the most exciting matchups in the history of, well, history. The best club in the world at the moment versus the team we all love and the team that plays by far the best football in England, if not the world. I like our chances, I have to say. Xavi and Iniesta versus Cesc and Nasri/Diaby/Denilson, Clichy versus Messi...the prospects are mouthwatering. I'll get into breaking it down more next Monday or Tuesday, but I will say that I think it will be one for the ages. Get your DVR's and your TiVo's ready to record, because these two matches should be ones you'll want to show to your grandkids one day. For the record, Carlota will be supporting Arsenal.

CarlotaFabregas @ArseNole I'll go to the two match and I'll support Arsenal, so don't hesitate it

That's about all I've got for today. Let's focus on that Birmingham match and the Barcelona match can wait until next week. Come on Arsenal, let's get it done!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm Sol Excited To Have Campbell Back

Mornin all, it's been a while. I've really just been enjoying the season lately, and didn't feel the need to write about how splendidly it's been going for us so far (Knock on wood.) There is a news story worth mentioning though, and so here I am to get on with the mention. Sol Campbell has rejoined Arsenal, and I have to say I'm thrilled to have him back in the fold. Maybe it's because he is a reminder of the Invincibles, who have all departed in the past few years, but something about resigning a player that won so much with the club really makes me smile every time I think about it. And besides that, he can't possibly be anything but a good influence on the other defenders at the club. Immediately I think of the impact he could have on the reserves, such as Kyle Bartley, who he partnered at West Ham. And while it may not be a profound impact, he can also help out players such as Thomas Vermaelen for instance, who hasn't gone through the rigors of a title challenge or a cup final with Arsenal. His attitude and quotes have been brilliant since his return, and he seems genuinely fired up to come back and help out the team and Arsene Wenger.

I'll say it up front, I don't know how well Sol can still play. What I do know is that Arsene Wenger has watched him train for the past three months or so and Arsene wouldn't sign him unless he thought Sol could get into the team and do a job for us. I don't know how much he'll end up playing the rest of the year, and I hope it isn't a lot because that would mean Gallas or Vermaelen were out injured, but I like idea of having him ahead of Silvestre as a second choice center back. Not to mention he scored our only goal in our history in Champions League Finals. Good signing, good player, welcome back Sol.

So we play at Bolton tomorrow, and unless I'm mistaken, I believe it's Owen Croyle's first game in charge of Bolton. I think he must be a pretty good manager to have done what he's done so far with Burnley this year, but at the same time, Bolton are absolute shite and three points will be expected, especially with the return of our captain, Cesc Fabregas, who has recovered from his injury. Denilson and Bendtner are both out with injuries, but Gael Clichy is back after a really long injury layoff. Wenger says he may be in the squad because he's training well but I would guess that if he plays it'll only be a cameo appearance. To reiterate, three points must be earned in this match, and when we play them again next week we'll need three points there as well. Bolton are tossers, and if we want to maintain our title challenge then we need maximum points heading into our tough stretch against Villa, United, Liverpool, and Chelsea. If we get through those matches and are still in with a shout, then look out for the mighty Arsenal, because it's all downhill from there :).

Phillipe Senderos is wanting to leave Arsenal, and I can't blame him. Phil is a player I've always felt a bit sorry for. No he's certainly not a brilliant player, but I've always thought he put in a good shift when he got games. He's not gotten a chance since he came back from his loan spell so it's really no surprise he wants to go. I with him the best of luck and wouldn't mind seeing him go to Everton in exchange for Saha if Everton are up for it. Yeah he can't stay fit worth a damn but if he manages to stay a bit fit he can certainly put the goals in.

My last point for the day is on Arsenal TV Online, which has recently lost a lot of it's usefulness and attraction. One of the best features of the service had been that you could watch reserve games live online in full. So naturally I was thrilled that I'd be able to watch Sol Campbell's reserve debut against West Ham. I was mistaken, however. Upon arriving at the Arsenal.com website, I saw a post that said ATVO would no longer be showing live reserve games or full length matches. They said they would have an improved highlight system, but that really isn't the case because I watched the highlights the next day and they were the same as always. It's a crock of shit and I honestly would recommend that nobody sign up for the service until they fix it, because that was the best feature of the station. Now you really only get random interviews and press conferences, and not much else. I used to be able to turn on ATVO and watch a full day almost of Arsenal coverage. Now I can't find 10 minutes worth of good video I want to see. Write to the club and complain if you're pissed. It's a joke.

Alright that's all I've got for today. Leave your thoughts on Sol or Phil or Bolton or whatever. Cheers and come on Arsenal!