El-Super-Neny MOTM, Giroud-Welbeck the Future, Alexis’ Last Game? Arsenal v Norwich Afterthoughts

Happiness is a warm, yes it ihihihiss, Gunner!

Mohamed-Elneny-Arsenal

While for some, especially the lazy side of the media, this was about ‘the protest’, for many others we were playing a crucial game for staying in the top four and secure Champions League football once again.

I have nothing against fans protesting and demanding change as long as it is done appropriately. Doing it in our very own stadium and when we need to win is, in my opinion, not appropriate but at least it was done in a tasteful way. I am also aware that there are not many good opportunities to protest, so I understand why it was done yesterday, even though I don’t agree with it. The sense of a lack of progress and seeing patterns being repeated every season has made a lot of fans hungry for change. However, I never doubt Arsene’s and the players’ passion to win and give their all to win silverware, and as long as that is the case I will back them all.

Would I be adverse to a new manager for next season? NO, but I am just as happy to see Arsene try to get us the shiniest silverware once more. After four cups in two years this is a disappointing year, but let’s keep things in perspective…. we are still a very, very good team with tons of potential for improvement from within as well as cash to spend to add super quality. There is no need for despair.

cid211305_Arsenal_NorwichVI01_1180_580x310

The game was predictable as in Norwich parking the bus and us trying to find a way through with blood, sweat and tears. What is worrying is the number of chances we keep giving away even though we dominated possession and were in control of the game for large parts. Teams seem to counter easily against us and a bit of pressure on our defenders often leads to defensive mistakes and embarrassing moments in front of our goal. 69% possession only led to three shots on target (out of 14 shots) – the same as Norwich (from 12 shots). We won 1-0 but it could easily have been different, and that has been the story of our game since the start of the new year.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are struggling to break down the PTB teams due lack of cohesion within the attacking team. I cannot put my finger on the exact reasons for this. The lazy, one-dimensional supporters just want to point their fingers to Giroud. If only he was replaced by Aguero, we would be winning the league by ease, they keep telling me. For me it is more complicated than that. Ollie is definitely not himself at the moment, but he also is getting quite poor service by his fellow players. Furthermore, fellow attackers are not playing near enough to Ollie to benefit from his hard work to make space for, and connect with, them. He may be Wenger’s number one CF but some fellow attackers may see it differently; at this stage of the season, we should see a lot more joined-up attacking play between Alexis, Giroud, Rambo and Ozil but it looks like they are four talented individuals not conversing in the same footie language.

Welbeck’s arrival brought new energy to the team and his running hurt the tired Norwich defenders and midfielders a lot. But Danny was also keen to work with Ollie in setting things up and he was rewarded for this by a fine lay off from the Frenchman that led to the only goal of the game, worth a priceless three points. I reckon there is very little cohesion between Alexis and Giroud, and this seems a structural problem; and I would not be surprised to see Wenger start Welbeck and Giroud together in the last two games of the season, as this will give us the best attacking balance and potency.

Alexis, who had another game in which the quality of his passing and final ball is not matched with his enormous energy and willingness to come for the ball, did not have much impact on the game. I had lost count of the number of times he misplaced a pass, which clearly is not his strength, even though he never stops trying. Just a handful of PL assists (4) is not good enough for a player in his position and of his stature, and his lack of accurate passing, especially with his final balls, is probably the cause of this.

Wenger also needed to strengthen the midfield as we needed to get a better balance between going for a second goal and defending our slender lead. To take Alexis off and bring on Coquelin made sense, but Alexis clearly thought differently. This is fine, but given the circumstances of this match it was very poor of him to ignore the beleaguered manager and stomp off for an early shower. I would not be surprised if we see Alexis start on the bench during the next few games and possibly not play part at all anymore. It would also not surprise me if we see Arsenal cash in on the 27 year old Chilean this summer, although I sincerely hope that is not the case.

I loved what Danny brought to the game and I am happy he found the net again. Was he MOTM though? Not for me. The best player on the pitch was Elneny – closely followed by Mesut, Cech, Koz and Danny – who did half of Rambo’s box to box job as well as his own deeper DM role. He hoovers up around his fellow players continuously with unrivaled energy and passion; he keeps it simple yet always wants to move the ball forward when he can and with seldom or never making a mistake; he fills important gaps in our defence but also penetrated the opposition’s box regularly, and was very close to scoring yesterday with a fine, composed effort. What a beast of a player and the thought of him working with a fit Jack or Santi, or Le Coq when we have to play more compact, is mouthwatering. It is early days but this seems to be as good a midfield signing as Mesut Ozil was a few seasons ago.

I was also proud of Ozil, Koz and Petr, and indeed the rest of the team, for their drive and fight during the entire game. Mesut never stopped trying, Koz was beastly in defence and brought the ball forward well and Petr’s saved us a few times when required.

Three points and the supporters doing their job by supporting the team and the manager during a meaningful game and a crucial period of the season. Plenty of positives but also lessons to be learned from our recent games, and getting the balance right against Citeh next weekend will be paramount to where we will end up in the PL table. Let’s give the Northern Oilers a proper game!

Arsene having the final dance? 🙂

By TotalArsenal.

COME ON YOU FOXES!! 😀

 

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49 Responses to El-Super-Neny MOTM, Giroud-Welbeck the Future, Alexis’ Last Game? Arsenal v Norwich Afterthoughts

  1. Kinfe says:

    I have always believed Giroud is not the problem but the attacking players not working together as a team is the major issue. And I have singled out the way Alexis plays as doing more harm than good to the team. He holds on to the ball too much when he should have made first time passes. I think there is a correlation between our lack of goals and the return of Alexis from injury. I don’t mind Alexis leaving the club…. what we need is the attacking players to work as team…. they don’t make use of Giroud’s strength; link up play and use of the head. They need to play closer to him and give him first time crosses. Leicester city play to Vardy’s strength…. we used to play to Henry’s strength back in the days…. the other attacking players need to trust Giroud’s strength and play with him accordingly….

  2. shrillex says:

    I agree TA. Senseless and utterly thoughtless protests by the supporters. A poor choice of time and place to do it. I myself am not happy with how the season has gone, but I would not asked for Wenger to step down this summer, especially since there is no world-class replacement for him. All the best managers in the world have committed to their jobs and the only one I would possibly want (that seems available)for our club is Pellegrini or Koeman, though neither would be my first choice to replace Wenger. From the protests, I expect AW to see out his contract. If the fans can’t make out whether to get rid of Wenger, how do you expect the Arsenal board to?

  3. njk84sg says:

    I am watching the match and the ref is bad, should have given Simpson a red card and lester was just diving and simulation.

    And no. They are not worthy winners of the league and the review will ask questions about how they win their games.

    If they have won the rest of the world i am sorry, but they have not won me over.

    JK

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    HT and Leicester back level after ManU opened the scoring… Perfect for me… I’d prefer Spurs to lose the title tomorrow… 😀 And a draw would mean we’d only need 2 points to relegate ManU to Europa League football even if they win all their other matches (which they won’t)…

    Very good report there, TA… You summed it all up pretty much as I saw it. I think I saw the Cech saves as even bigger and the fact that he almost always sends his saves in the right direction is such an important thing. That Norwich were able to make their chances w/o ever losing their defensive shape is a real worry but that’s maybe the effect of only using Coquelin off the bench.

    Consider me in complete agreement with the two comments above mine… (Always good to see Shrill here and welcome to Kinfe.) I’m of the mind that Wenger could convert Alexis into a CF and have nearly the success he had doing the same with Henry. Bringing the man (TH14) into the coaching ranks to do the job himself might also be a potential thought. Somehow the “fans” (uh oh, the quotation marks are back…) need to feel that there’s a plan for succession or some other mechanism for Wenger stepping away or being told to go. I’ve never even heard Bould speak so I doubt he’s viable, no matter how bad results might get…

    Of course, TH-14 in as an assistant or striker coach, when his punditry is probably at the heart of his fellow Frenchman’s (Giroud’s) lack of confidence, might spell the end for the big man. (Alexis’ comments this spring about players being great in practice but failing in games had to be directed at Ollie, I’m guessing…) It does seem like it’s going to be one or the other, I fear, I’ve been harsh enough on Alexis already but, esp against PTB teams, he needs to change his game to appreciate balls into space (including ones he might deliver to teammates) rather than always just wanting it at his feet so he can try and get by defenders on his own…

    Anyhow, the game brought up all the elements of Arsenal’s current malaise–the structural problems of management at the club, the fans longing for a style of play they remember (or see teams like Leicester playing–Lee Dixon, on the US commentary was slating Elneny–who I agree is a fine shout for MoTM–for passing sideways and backwards) and for the fact that we don’t have a strong method (or the right playing personnel) for breaking down PTB teams–or even making them feel the need to expose themselves when they’re down a goal. Still, I’m pleased we got the points and with the right results today and tomorrow night there will still be plenty to play for–this season and next.

    So, very good work in identifying the positive elements upon which we can build…Thanks again…

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry JK, I think the ref called both of those correctly and I certainly don’t want him handing ManU the match (nor Leicester, if he had bought Mahrez’s dive…)

    I will repeat myself…a draw seems ideal…With Chavs killing off Spurs tomorrow night (much as they killed us off with the 6 points they and their refs took from us…

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Here’s the thing about “support,” at least for me…

    It works on two primary levels: 1) intimidating the refs into calling the close ones for the home (or louder) side and 2) nurturing the confidence of the players by rewarding their strong play and not punishing their mistakes by always seeking to place blame. Anybody who has played sports knows that positive thinking and staying in the moment is what allows you to play your best while worrying about the consequences of mistakes (the blame and shame which might be coming in the future) leads to under-performance (choking)…

    A third element also comes into play: teamwork. If the supporters are part of the “team” it’s easier to play for the team knowing that we all win (and lose) together. No need to throw up your hands or makes a show of your effort or frustration… Finally, if fear of losing (or dropping points) is all that’s on offer for the majority of your matches it’s ALL misery (Wenger said it best pre-match, “When a club cannot enjoy anything anymore it is in trouble.”)

    Leicester are enjoying themselves, as are their fans…(It will be tougher if/when they lose Mahrez or Kante and have all those CL matches to play…) Why shouldn’t they?…

  7. njk84sg says:

    Yes, they are enjoying themselves, but i still cannot bring myself to accept that the team that have spent most of their matches behind in possession and play negative football.

    Chelski have played a better type of similar footy last season, in which they maintain possession rather than cede possession and relying on counters.

    Maybe we should start playing like that?

  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    Finishes a draw so suits me fine…

    To each their own, JK…

  9. Pony Eye says:

    Good report TA. Nothing Arsenal is easy these days.

    But TA, I would be adverse to a new manager for next season. Am so appreciative of what Wenger has done for this club, that my powerful wish is that he leaves on a high. His critics mischievously quote 12 years cup drought. It is 12 years less the 10 years during which he was operating with a shoe lace budget yet qualifying us consistently for the Champions League. I don’t understand how some Arsenal faithfuls are apologetic about this point. With 2 games to go we would finish anywhere between 2nd and 5th the unwritten numbers more likely. Never anything to sniff at in this powerful PL field. All hands at this moment should be on deck.

    This season we had a great team, but unlucky that the engine of the team ( the MF) was decimated by injuries. This is not to say that there is no room for improvement, particularly in the striker position. And the real fact of what happened there is that Walcott let everybody down. Towards the end of 2014/15 season Walcott came back from his long injury lay off and started banging in goals. At the apex performance age of 26-28 years the calculation was that the time has come to begin to reap the dividends of his huge promises. Well, we all know how he failed with those promises.

    What baffles me though, and worries me too, is that Walcott and Giroud, are still very evident in Wenger’s plans. It must be because;
    1) he still has faith in them, or
    2) he is too mindful of them (sorry Campbel), or
    3) he does not want to further degrade their market value.
    I pray it is the 3rd reason.

    I dare not say the emperor has no clothes, but I want to insist that Sanchez be moved as far away from our goalmouth as is possible. His rediculously high turnovers dictate that. I move cautiously, one step at a time unlike Kinfe who seems a speedster. Alexis should be positioned as close to the opposition goalmouth as possible (CF).

    Our biggest problem, ATM, is our slow build up which we insist on even when the BPT have ventured out in attack. With super Eln sitting behind the deep creative duo of Santi and Jack our transition would be much quicker and we will regularly be catching these teams in mini counter attacks.

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    The old and fat crew at Man City are no match for Southampton…Already down by two goals…

    Hi PE… Excellent comment there. Of course, I’m with you re: Wenger although I believe he really needs to figure out a way to delegate or otherwise spread responsibility to other ‘managers.’ My suggestion (above) about TH14 is one way… Personally (and I think it’s one of the hidden ideas on this site…), bringing in DB10 in a coaching capacity might be another…

    The same could be said about players (and taking responsibility)… TA and I watched up at Sheffield Wednesday when first the Ox then Theo went down to injury effectively ending their contributions for the season in October (!!) I actually whispered to TA that, “Hey, at least we’re here to witness the end of our season,” or something to that effect… A bit dire at the time, but we didn’t get much from either of them…

    Both players are on relatively high salaries (esp. Theo) so they’re only gonna be wanted by other teams with equally difficult public relations problems, although narratives like “returning home to Southampton” could be on the cards (for the Ox…Theo could easily do his bench role or better at Pool or one of the Manc teams)…

    Wenger, at times, plays to this same PR role and makes more than a few decisions in response, I sometimes think. Alexis’ injury, for example, offered a chance for the “winter break” pundits had said he needed… A big thing has been using our money to keep our best players so unless AW really believes Theo (or others) truly cannot play at the necessary level, he will be keen to prevent him going to our rivals. Before the injury, I would argue that Theo was playing to the proper level and our best games of the season featured him (not OG) as our #9…

    Most critically, he seems to have a kinship with Alexis that Giroud seems to lack. And, because they’re not English and would likely move more easily to the continent, if anybody leaves, I’m guessing it’s one or the other. On the other hand, Wenger has to see this final year of his current contract as one where he can roll the dice. So what if Theo might improve Pool? As long as we finish ahead of them, it’s OK…

    Both Campbell and Iwobi have done well with their opportunities but I still think Theo (and a healthy Ox) probably are stronger players, at least in terms of the problems they create for the opposition. Just my opinion, as always, of course…

    City pull one back before half-time through their teenager…

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    PE, you and I are definitely on the same wave-length re: Alexis. He’s too good a player to want gone and his single-mindedness and work ethic can really help to lift the team (and the support). I like the whole “False 9” approach to the game which helps bring in the wide attackers and even FBs with pace (like Bellerin) and deeper mids who continue their runs into the box (Rambo, Elneny). It’s so different than what we have with Ollie… Although having a target for the keeper to bypass playing it out of the back can be important too…

    Like I say, I fear we have to choose one or the other going forward if we want to look more effective…

    So’ton get a 3rd… 🙂

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comments guys. Don’t agree with everything but respect to you all. 🙃

    Great results this weekend and the icing on the cake can come tomorrow at the home of the southern oilers.

  13. njk84sg says:

    PE, as much as we want a more direct way of footy which suits the rest of the PL teams, which Manu** did so well going forward yesterday, we want to protect the midfield and the defense in everyway.

    That is the reason for the show build up, to get everyone in position and attack.

    I feel that in the recent games we have not been positioning ourselves well in the correct area and that is the problem that we had in the last 2 months.

    Cheers on 3 points gap before the Manc Sh**** game,
    JK

  14. retsub1 says:

    I would rather bite my arm off and beat myself to death with the soggy end than support another team. But today for one day only I am a Leicesrer supporter. Can’t even consider supporting Chelsea for the day, but I would have to jump off a cliff before supposing Spurs. I guess by default I am a Chelsea supporter. Still have a soft spot for Cesc though.

  15. Gerry says:

    A fine reflective review of all things Arsenal, with our home game against Norwich, and beyond.
    Well done TA.
    It is sad that a winning game still brings with it plenty of unease?

    Much of the above comments follow on the thread from yesterday, and support the view from your post that there is ‘never is a right time and place’ to protest … so what can you do?

    I am intrigued by JK’s comment above, either side of this:

    ‘That is the reason for the slow build up, to get everyone in position and attack.’

    That middle sentence is indeed exactly why we struggle with PTB teams.
    The sentence above it suggests we do not use the pace we have because of the rearguard needing help.
    The sentence below suggests it is because of what? Lack of organisation and homework that other teams drill into their players? Or a lack of the right personnel on field or in the squad in general? …Back to the contentious issue of fan’s frustration, lack of investment, I fear?

    Intriguing. It is also very accurately sums up AW’s dilemma. To boldy go forward and attack at speed, and generally create many opportunities to score, and just pray the whatever is the back line is, it can hold up … It didn’t against W. Ham, but we did score 3 goals.
    Or go the pragmatic route, captured in the sentence above, and not concede, or score …
    until we introduce some pace up front?

    What comes out of this, and you mention it TA, the attack is a bit disjointed because individuals in attack are not in harmony with each other. Giroud gets stick from lack of service or support around him. Alexis gets frustrated with others not scoring, and so tries to do it all (and more often than not, does not score either). Ozil doesn’t score because he passes on the responsibility to others. (Collymore onTS), The rest don’t score half chances either.

    Because I have hardly seen any of the recent matches, I cannot comment on HT’s view of Iwobi, but from what I saw earlier, his instinctive ‘touch and move’ married well with the more experienced Elneny, and was largely responsible for halting the slump we were in. More experience will only make him better. But given your earlier views on Ox HT, to rate Iwobi below him is a step too far 😀
    I agree though. There is a place in the side for Ox. My personal choice would be a disciplined role down the right, working the line with Bellerin (and play more to Giro’s strengths.??)

    You ask the question about Alexis TA – His last game?
    No, is my answer. He blows hot with emotion, but in the cold light of day he will be more understanding. Of course, if his head has been turned (as I suspect it has …), he will want to show off his skills at every opportunity? Would I be sorry to see him go … mmm?
    It is another case of can we get the team built to play to his strengths, and create the space so that his weaknesses are not exposed? End of season/TW stuff that one?

    Where we finish in the league is somewhat out of our hands. We can only get 73 points by winning both our games. Spurs can still get 75 even if they lose tonight. But as Hiddink is goading them ‘they haven’t got the stomach for the title fight’, probably to get them to come out all guns blazing,which will play into Chelsea’s strengths? Hiddink was a name missing of somebody’s list above as a candidate for AW’s job? If Spurs are lose, it will get lost in the Leicester euphoria, but their heads will go down. We however, have to play better to beat Man City, depending on how battered or shattered they are after their CL exploits midweek?
    The team who they all have to fear is West ham, imo. If they win all three games they can get 71 points.So if we lose one game, we are slipping a place. West Ham play Swansea at home – 3 points. Then they play Man U at home – tricky, but 3 points. Final game away at Stoke … with a top four finish as the carrot, they could just do it?
    Where we finish will depend on our next game. Our next opponents will also need a result as 6 points will tie with our 3 points on 70, but with their superior GD(at the moment) … a draw will do for 4th (assuming a Villa win, which is dangerous!), but 70 points will not compete with WHA’s possible 71 …..aaargghh!!!

    Finally, ‘The Torygraph’ are running a story that AW will still be in charge of transfers NEXT season. Could it be that he will oversee his successor as I suggested on the previous post, and HT has added a likely name above?
    No! Not Henry. If he cannot divorce himself from Sky, I cannot take him seriously, or he cannot take management seriously … whatever.
    But Dennis?????

    I’ll leave you with that cheery thought 😀
    Cheers,
    Gerry

    p.s. It is a Bank Holiday in the UK, so you have got time to read it all … ha ha

  16. retsub1 says:

    Gerry you had me worried wiith some dodgy maths ( math for 17ht, but it’s so much harder to say) unless I am greatly mistaken West Ham can only make 68 points

  17. Pony Eye says:

    njk @ 04.01 BST,

    I agree with you fully that the philosophy of the slow build up, amongst other things, is so the team keeps its shape while in transition. This means that there is a big element of defensive thinking in it. It is constructed to diminish the opposition goal chances against the team, but at the same time it diminishes the team’s chances against the opposition as it affords the opposition enough time to regroup in their defensive areas.

    What is unacceptable in our play is that the opposition with 31% ball possession would have 12 attempts at our goal against our 14 attempts at 69% possession.

    The slow build up to which tiki taka belongs is essentially a disguised defensive strategy. Look at Bayern numbers under Pep. This season after 32 matches they have conceded only 15 goals. 14/15 season only 18 goals. 13/14season 23 goals. Pep’s Barca also conceded as few goals.

    What does Pep’s team do that we don’t. They defend from the front, hunting aggressively in packs. We instead fall back trying to put men behind the ball. Let us analyze the two systems.

    When the ball is won high up the field, the team’s goal area has not come under any threat. But the parked busses are also fairly intact. This option has actually laid emphasis on defense, on not conceding. They have accepted and indirectly encouraged the parking of the buses. The only thing left here is the antidote to the parked buses. This team should therefore take special pains in equipping itself with personnels who are gifted to unlocking parked buses and strikers who take their half chances.

    On the other hand, a team like ours, that falls back to defend when the opposition gets the ball has first of all expoused it’s defensive area to a threat. But there again the opposition has temporarily moved its busses out creating an opportunity for us for a quick vertical thrust should we take possession of the ball again. This is where, IMO, there is lack in our team, arising from the fact that there is no prior mindset that as soon as we catch a team in an offensive shape we should abandon the horizontal build up for the quick vertical transition.

    Quick transitions have much higher turnovers. It can therefore be argued that our inevitable increased turnovers are also opportunities for the oppositions quick transitions against us. A sort of see-saw battle. My answer to this is that in a see-saw battle against inferior bus parking teams, we hold the ace.

    If we wish for Pep’s system of defending from high up the pitch, then we have to have the right midfield personnels who must have defensive energy to the last man. The strength of a chain is the strength of the weakest link. Can you dare think of the unthinkable, defensive energy to the last man?

  18. Gerry says:

    Quite right Retsub1 – I some how gave them 12 points for 3 results … doh!
    However they can still relegate ManC to 5th unless they beat us ….
    The pressure is still on.
    Gerry

  19. njk84sg says:

    Gerry and PE, who further enhanced Gerry’s comment,

    We cannot deploy Pep’s way of footy.
    The current way is ok, but we have to get the right players to react quickly and position themselves at the right place at the right time to ensure that we can get maximum goals.

    Take for example the man just in front of the opponent’s defensive row, in the central area where Alexis, Iwobi and Welbeck scored from in the last few games, is crucial.

    JK

  20. Pony Eye says:

    njk,
    To put yours in plain language, who the striker is makes all the difference. I agree.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Who the attackers are and how they passionately cooperate, makes all the difference.

  22. retsub1 says:

    Is anyone else suffering this game with me, It’s not pretty but Chelsea are up to their usual trick trying to get players sent off. They are targeting Rose at the moment and it might be illegal but poccetino did very well to get on the pitch and keep his player on the field. Costa is going to do the same. Spurs may win but they will struggle to keep 11 on the pitch unles the ref wised up.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Chavs are rolling over by running into the Spuds’ trap time and again. Very clever play by Spuddies…

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Fully agreed Retsub. Pochetinno’s intervention was crucial.

  25. allezkev says:

    I’m listening to the radio, a retrospective red card for Dembele seems like it could be in the post.

    A few South American tricks seem to be the order of the day.

  26. retsub1 says:

    Yep it’s a cracker of a game now. Chelsea are cutting them to pieces

  27. retsub1 says:

    Wha hay suck that up Spuds

  28. retsub1 says:

    Oh please Chelsea just one more

  29. retsub1 says:

    Nothing better than the look on those Spurs players faces

  30. Ab says:

    Well no title for the spuds then! We prob can’t hope for second now sadly – needed a chav win for that realistically I think. But great to see the spuds blow a 2 goal lead for a change (rather than us!). And to lose their cool at the end of the game. Its a relief more than satisfaction – but thats the next best thing anyhow!

  31. retsub1 says:

    Ab. I seem to remember last time Arsenal were involved in a decent punch up at Old Trafford we had two points deducted. Oh the ironyf

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    good recovery of the Chavs. Season saved to a large extent. 🙃

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha , that would be brilliant, Retsub. 😂

  34. retsub1 says:

    Congrats to Leicester, well deserved

  35. FMJ14 says:

    Congratulations to Leicester!!

  36. Ab says:

    Yup. All credit to Leicester. They’ve been a real team and its a great reminder to all clubs and teams that stuff can be made to happen.

    Top thought Retsub – that would sweeten the end of the season no end!

  37. Gerry says:

    A short one from me – Congratulations LEICESTER.

    If a side can do it on a shoestring budget, then they fully deserve all the credit going.
    What was it, Alexis Sanchez cost £35m. Leicester team cost £30m.

    I cannot go along with them being a ‘one hit wonder’, or fighting for a relegation spot (Savage).
    The headline that they will make £150m from this title win should ensure they will fill the positions of any departures (which may be less than some people think?), and so still keep that team spirit that served them so we this time. Most importantly, I don’t see Ranieri leaving. Why would he?

    Oh, just a thought JK, isn’t this the Leicester way?
    (copied from your earlier comment above)

    ‘We cannot deploy Pep’s way of footy.
    The current way is ok, but we have to get the right players to react quickly and position themselves at the right place at the right time to ensure that we can get maximum goals.’

    Ha! Ha! 😀 😀

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  38. njk84sg says:

    Gerry,

    With way more possession. And less diving.

  39. allezkev says:

    Yes congratulations to Leicester City, a team of misfits, rejects and no marks, managed by a guy derided as the tinker man…

  40. njk84sg says:

    Allezkev,

    If he did not tinker it is maybe a given that he should be the one staying on at the Chavs.
    Now, he learnt to stop tinkering, he got his low-injury squad to stay virtually injury free, thus the reason that he has got the title.

    However, my take is: Try playing English footy next season. We will see what happens in the end if you still play Italian football…

  41. Gerry says:

    You will not let it go will you JK?

    I think you misjudge both Ranieri and the Leicester team.

    The thing that Ranieri quickly realised, when he took over from Pearson, was that whatever the perception was about the quality within their ranks, they played to get the maximum from their strengths, and he saw that teamwork minimised their deficiencies. That is why he did not ‘tinker’ with it then.
    However, as so often happens when a team does well in the first half of the season it rarely carries on in the second half. Partly because the ‘stronger’ clubs work out a way to beat them.
    So what Ranieri did around Christmas/New Year time, was to get them to tighten the defensive side of their game. That gave it a look of a PTB and swift long ball counter attacks.
    That is what I suspect you are judging them on, not having taken too much notice of their early stuff? Back then it was more reckless, but exciting to watch. They went a couple of goals down on two occasions that I can remember, yet still came back late on to take points.
    I still enjoyed watching them in the second half of the season, but give Ranieri some credit, he kept them working as a team, and as a result they won the title. A fitting reward for a bunch of hard working pro’s who might never have touched any silverware, barring promotions from the lower ranks, let alone get in any of the ‘top’ sides.
    Remember the Leicester supporter who came on and explained that Leicester were one of the first to invest in ‘cryogenic chamber’ to speed up recovery times. It is not all luck that kept them mostly injury free, although a little bit always helps.

    Finally, respect their players. They were not short on skills, but add that to their 95 minutes of full on effort in every game, they deserve every bit of what they have got back.

    Gerry

  42. Pony Eye says:

    Congratulations Leicester City,
    On this amazing story,
    Of victory against all odds
    Lines in history etched.

    Wished I put £100. only,
    On odds 5000 : 1 fantastic!

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey fellas… Anybody watching the CL? Bayern finally break through and then get a pen but cannot convert. Very well-poised, a bit like last night’s match at the bridge. That was quite a strike Hazard made to win it… 😀 I actually wrote about that earlier but it got a bit unwieldy.

    On that note, TA, you’ve got mail…

    Congrats to Leicester…even if I think it’s OK to be a bit jealous (as perhaps JK might be) and feel an urge to take them down a notch… Gerry, I think, is fairly spot on with the praise and at least he’s stopping short of actually giving them points (as he tried to do with West Ham)… 😀 Just kidding… although those (very few) still paying attention to an Arsenal blog at this late date probably need to stick together as much as we can…

  44. allezkev says:

    Santiago played 46 minutes in the U21’s this evening.
    Willock scored twice in a 2-1 win…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    15 mins left and Bayern need one more…exceptionally well poised and will not go to et/pens…

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…This one is pretty exciting…Two blocked pens….and still 5 mins for Bayern to win it…

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    I don’t think you’re supposed to shove the 4th official… Still, Simeone’s team is in the final

  48. Admir says:

    Leicester City won the league but they didn’t deserve it. They won it because they had the worst wind in their back since the darkest days of Alex Ferguson. Penalties they got, red cards not given to their players etc made me puke and that feeling didn’t leave me regardless of who are about to win the second place.

    As for The Spuddies, I can’t wait to see England going out at EURO after one of Spuds makes a second bookable offence that he gets away with in Premiership. Rose, Walker, Dier, Alli…each one of them should have had a red card or two by their name this season.

    About the game… I hope we’ll hold onto Alexis because we can’t get better player than him. He is 28 and still has his best years ahead of him. He has missed two months of football, played on the wing and scored 12 league goals.

    Danny has missed two thirds of the season and yet managed to score just one league goal fewer than Walcott matching his last season tally of four league goals.

    Cech was excellent again. He can pick The Golden Glove as he has kept a clean sheet for 15th time this season.

    Elneny has an engine and half. If I were Ramsey, I would be worried.

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Admir, I thought you might be in a better mood what with Atletico going through… 🙂 Good matches these past couple of nights for the neutrals… Indeed, the one was a bit rougher than the other and I prefer a bit more enforcement…Both had moments of quality and at least in Europe the team going through was actually playing…

    But my thoughts (on the league title at least) are in a…

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