Beast of a CF required, but who is better than Laca?

What makes a great CF these days? And how is success measured my esteemed friends of BK?

Who is that great CF of the league leaders, Man Citeh? They have no representatives in the PL top scorers’ top five. None. Yet only Liverpool scored more until now. The Scousers do have Jota and the fabulous Saleh in the top three but are they CFs in the classic or even in the modern mould? Don’t think so. The Spuds have the deadly and odious duo of Son and Kane in the PL top five, yet they managed to score just three more goals than the pride of North London, who have a game in hand. Kane definitely is a CF but we all know there’s more to his game.

What makes a team score? Who should be mainly responsible for this? And what is best for Arsenal?

The game my fine friends is changing and there may no longer be a straight forward answer. Look at Manure’s front fire power and we should be scared, but boy do they struggle to score.

The modern game is about the integral team play that leads to space and people free in the box at just the right time. It’s also about control and structure all over the pitch, and this is exactly where Arsenal have made soooo much progress under Arteta.

We need to score more goals going forward. Laca has just four PL goals, and even though he is our king of assists, it is fair to say that is not good enough. But what is actually his role? Is he really our CF or is he our chief space maker? Our chief hustler, our chief pain in the arse for defenders. And are our other attackers and midfielders not hitting the net enough in our system?

What Laca does is not easy. Very few CFs can do what he does. I do think there are better players out there but in the role that Laca plays he is pretty effective. Finding a like for like upgrade will be hard. All the top clubs are looking for them at the moment. The need to be prepared to run, to tackle, to hustle and bustle, to be a nuisance, and yet to be calm and composed when it matters?

Who ia this upgrade and should we not keep Laca as a very capable back up?

By TotalArsenal

68 thoughts on “Beast of a CF required, but who is better than Laca?

  • If the papers are to be believed then our targets seem to be
    Nunez
    Isakk
    DCL
    Osimen
    Jonathan David
    I would be happy with any of those except for DCL.

  • I did also just read that we are going to replace Arteta with the Brazil manager Tite once the world cup is over. The sinlge dumbest rumour involving Arsenal I have read in quite some time.

  • We have Laca, Nkeitah, Martinelli and Pepe, all of whom are capable CFs. There are also some midfielders who can play very well as forwards like: Saka, smith-Rowe, Lokonga and Odegaard in a pinch. We also have youth and reserve prospects like Biereth and Flores who could develop with some first team exposure. It never hurts to have a backup CF but it is always a question of balance and team chemistry.

  • Good post TA. We’ll really need to nail this striker situation. And I think with European football we’d need 2 strikers with Balogun coing back. I’d be happy if they signed Laca for another 2 years with the understanding that he’s a squad player that will play as a backup.

    My pick is Darwin Nunez. Been watching him a lot this season and he’s definitely looks the goods. Two footed, 6’2, good in the air, aggressive, great one-touch ability, quick, and scores for fun – 26 goals this season (4 in 8 CL games). The bet part is he fits the current age profile – only 22 years old. Apparently he has a buyout clause of 60M. Given his age, recent performances, and our need I would be surprised if we spent 50-60M on him.

    There was a really interesting tactical article on Darwin Nunez a while back. Talking about how Darwin is another striker who has played out wide. Gabriel Jesus was talking about Guardiola and how he coached him to play wide and understand movement into the channels – because Pep doesn’t play with an out-and-out striker. (It’s what Wenger did with both Henry and RVP, although RVP was the other way around a left-footed who played on the right). This is all about having mobile players who can come in to out and are difficult to mark. It’s a nightmare for defenders and centre-halves. You don’t see Lacazette playing against the center-halves, he’s been asked to get involved deeper and drag them out to create spaces for the midfield players ahead of him; so Arteta is clearly looking for the same interchange we see at City. Football has changed so much. Laca obviously lacks the mobility and athleticism someone like Nunez would bring. Darwin and Martinelli would be a nightmare in tandem out and in. Martinelli was speaking last month on this subject, telling Marca: “I really like playing on the left end, it is my favourite position”.

    If you think about the potential with Saka, ESR, Odehaard, Martinelli, (potentially Nunez etc), it’s actually quite scary. Obviously, they are all young and still way off their peaks but the one thing we do know is they are improving all the time under Arteta and his coaches. Continually adding top quality to an already solid group of committed players who seem hungry, is going to be really important.

    First time in years I can honestly say I have been as excited as this about an Arsenal team and the summer transfer window. We are definitely a massive go-to destination now and the future looks very bright.

  • Great comment, Oz, worthy of a post itself. I don’t know this Nunez guy, and from what you are saying I am not sure whether he could play in the Laca role, because I see that as the future under Arteta. Would he do all Laca’s under appreciated dirty work, hte hassling and tackling etc?

  • Thanks Total, for the link to the Guardian article on Benny Blanco. That humility, you noted seems a key part of this squad which Mikel and Edu are building. It is one part of the answer to your question, “What makes a good centre forward”?
    If Darwin Nunez has the character to match the skill set which Oz has rightly recognized in him, then, at 22 he is still at an age where he is willing to learn different aspects of the role. Watching him on highlights, though he certainly looks the business, doesn’t give much idea of his hold up play and off the ball work. Oz, can you inform us on these features of his game?
    He looks like a young Ollie Giroud, but with more pace. Speaking of Ollie it is great to see him at 35 years old chasing Thierry’s French national team goal scoring record. What a career he has had.

  • @ TA

    Not as dogged defensively as Laca but I think he makes up for that with his speed and willingness to apply pressure. Definitely isn’t one that Arteta could accuse of being lazy because he harasses defenders.

    @ SNA

    He’s definitely adaptable. Honestly – he reminds me of a young Edinson Cavani. If European cup competitions he’s often been tasked with playing more centrally – holding up the ball, and looking to break behind the defender. Whereas locally he definitely favours the left side and looks to go out and in – that’s also because they often play with 2 strikers. I think that flexibility is what’s needed in modern football. Especially with the way Arsenal play. He’s going to drag opposition players all around and leave openings for xaka, ESR and martinelli to run into.

    There is a lot of Giroud in the way he flings himself into the contest, both aerially and for the tap in. We desperately need that. We send in a lot of crosses but there’s often no one on the end – either laca not having time to get there or just having small players that can’t challenge. He has that braveness that martinelli has. Nketiah has good timing instincts but is too small to do what nunez or giroud do. Another similarity with Giroud and Nunez is Nunez often kickstarts counter-attacks. But the difference is the speed. One criticism giroud receives is his speed (fair, he can’t do it all). Hard to explain but you’ll see it in this video (https://youtu.be/aEDjpIMfOKM?t=181 should be timestamped. if not it’s at 3.01). Nunez receives the ball at the half way line and is fouled. You’ll think that would put him out of the contest but he gets up and busts his arse to get back into the counter. He ends up with it and scores (slightly offside) but there is a lot of that in his play – which is what we saw from Giroud a lot when he played for Arsenal.

    I think martinelli and nunez would create a good partnership on the left. Changing positions with each other throughout the game. Which might balance the field because sometimes we’ve been too right sided thanks to the partnership ode and saka have forged. I haven’t been this excited for a striker since we were linked to Giroud. Probably more so this time because I think Nunez is exactly what we need.

  • Good clip, thanks for that. He certainly shows a great attitude after being fouled. And, judging by other clips I have seen, he can make his own goals with his pace and trickery. Let’s hope his head isn’t turned by oil money.

  • Cheers for the clip, Oz(?). That looks good and he is almost as handsome as Ollie too!!! 🤩

    Like Stuart says he is young and will be mouldable. The added speed is welcome.

  • He’ll def get a few arsenal ladies hot and bothered. If he comes and leads us to the title he could probably have his way with all of us.

    I’m eager for the puns:
    “New striker the next stage of evolution for arsenal”…

    I’ll get my coat.

  • Ollie’s secret is on his right forearm, Total. Good question you pose. Maybe James Milner, but he didn’t have the international career to match him. Teddy Sheringham? Ryan Giggs? (I appreciate neither name should be mentioned on this site). Sir Stanley must be the bench mark, played on the wing for England at 42, played in the old first div at the age of 50. If you have the time, this is a very fine appreciation of the man: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2942004/Secrets-Sir-Stanley-Matthews-revealed-50-years-retired-50.html

  • All good choices, Stuart. I guess Gigs was a very talented player. He had it all and made it count. Giroud, like Mertesacker lacked speed but they still made it to the top.

  • Yes, a terrific game. Great to see Eriksen back and scoring. New Zealand play Tahiti tomorrow morning in our qualifier. See you in the final, Total… 😁😁😁

  • May the dream come true, Stuart! 😁

    Such an attacking game with incredible passing and murderous tempo.

    Erikson was an inspiration. 🙏

  • Yeah erikson is a great story. I just wish he never played with the spuds.

    Imagine arsenal this yeah if we ended up pulling the trigger on tammy abraham at the start of the year. Developing well with Roma – 15 goals and 3 assists.

    Was thinking about it the other day…the player that would be perfect for us…peak adebayor. He was unplayable at times for us. Great in the air, thunderous volleys, super quick. Sure he ruined it in the end and his ego but the better of him but i loved that he said “I’m coming on because you’re shit” to Lord Bendtner.

  • No Arsenal center forward could possibly compare to Ted Drake. He was forced to retire with a spinal injury in 1945 so I never got to see him play – but my family were always reciting about how good he was.

    Here is a write up about him – a fearless old fashioned CF to be sure.

    ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’

    Ted Drake was one of the most feared footballers in the 1930s. His commitment and fearlessness, often going where no one else would dare, earned him the reputation of one of the bravest players around.

    In the 30s, football was a rather different game—a much harsher one, with fewer rules. Physicality was a must if you were to prosper under those circumstances, and Drake had it in abundance.

    He started to play football for Southampton in 1931. Not much later, his talent was noticed by the legendary Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman, who tried to sign him. Drake refused, initially.

    Chapman’s will to sign him was to materialize posthumously, when in 1934, George Allison signed him to Arsenal for £6,500.

    Drake’s career took off immediately.

    He scored on his debut against the Wolves and broke the all-time goal record for the club in the following season with 42 goals in 41 league games. His record still stands unscathed nearly seven decades later.

    Even that was dwarfed by what he was going to do a season later.

    Drake single-handedly ripped Aston Villa to shreds by scoring seven times to carve the result of 7-1 in favor of Arsenal. He scored another goal, eighth, when the ball hit the bar and bounced off behind the goal line, but the referee decided that seven were enough.

    Seven goals by a single player—nobody has broken that astonishing record in the decades of football since.

    As if to underline the goal-scoring ability of Drake, those records were backed by unrivaled consistency. He went on to top the goal-scoring charts in each of the five seasons at Arsenal. You must have been blind not to see his quality—and the England manager was not.

    Ted Drake was soon called up for international duty, and did not disappoint. He scored six in five matches, and in 1935, scored the winner against Italy in the “Battle of Highbury” to clinch a valuable 3-2 victory.

    Undoubtedly, his physical prowess and bravery brought him astounding success, but injuries inseparably loomed over him. Drake was in constant battle with injuries inflicted by his almost reckless style of playing.

    Against Brentford in 1938, he had to be carried off the field unconscious after breaking his wrist and receiving a bad head wound.

    He went on, changing nothing in his style, remaining the same old brave Ted Drake.

    In 1939, his career was abruptly interrupted by the horrific global event known as World War II.

    Enlisted in the Royal Air Force, Drake continued to play for Arsenal in friendly matches.

    All in all, Drake scored 139 goals in 184 games, which puts him at the fifth place of Arsenal’s all time top scorers.

  • GN5, how do you place “Lovely spring morning” and “snowing and minus 15c.” in the same sentence? Oh, well; one man’s meat, another man’s poison, I guess. 😅

    Thanks for the story about Drake. May have been a while back but he must have been the business, from that profile.

  • Fine clip, arsenal@gmail. Quick, good looking, tricky, a fighter, hard worker… I didn’t know this Nunez chap, but after seeing that clip, I cannot but agree he is just the sort of player we need at the club. However, I avoid fall short of deciding on footballers’ suitability just by seeing them do bits in 3 to 5 minutes clips, in which only a select few action clips are pieced together for the hype. I think Marouan Chamakh was the Bee’s knees too, having seen clips of him scoring a lot of goals in Ligue 1.

    I like the looks of this guy, though.

  • Thanks for that Stuart – I’ve never seen that video before – it’s incredible to see a video from 1935. Drake was a one of a kind center forward.

  • Ah, I get that now, GN5. My wife told me it started out like a bright day was ahead yesterday, in Whitby (Durham region, Southern Ontario) only for her to encounter heavy snowing on the way back from Church. Enough of Winter already.

  • Here are last weekends results:-

    1st Eris, Madhu, Kev, OX10 & GN5 with 3/5 plus a share of the most predicted results = 3.8 points
    5th Total & Stuart with 2/5 = 2 points
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Season to date:-

    1st Eris – 160.19
    2nd OX10 – 141.86
    3rd Kev – 122.73
    4th Total – 121.36
    5th GN5 – 120.83
    6th Madhu – 120.46
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

  • Next weekends selections:-

    Leeds v Southampton
    Wolves v Aston Villa *
    Manchester United v Leicester
    Rangers v Celtic *
    Barcelona v Sevilla *
    Strasbourg v Lens

  • I know Whitby well Eris – we lived in Pickering in the 70’s before moving to Idaho.

  • Oh yeah, GN5? That’s a while back. I bet it’s changed from what it was then. Have you been to Pickering lately?

  • Thanks for the report board, GN5. Tough set of games last time out; who would have thought Ireland v Belgium would end in a draw?

  • Leeds v Southampton H
    Wolves v Aston Villa * 2-1
    Manchester United v Leicester H
    Rangers v Celtic * 3-1
    Barcelona v Sevilla * 3-1
    Strasbourg v Lens H

  • A few visit’s to friends in Pickering Eris but only the odd drive through Whitby, I would hardly recognize either place today,

  • International weeks are such a drag. I came back to find lots of great comments though. Great stuff.

    I won’t get too excited about transfer rumours yet, because there’s lots of twists and turns.

    As for the most recent miss, Vlahovic, I’m praying we get into the champions league and get our revenge on the pitch. I think we would destroy Juve, especially if we have upgraded striker and cm by then. Even as we are now, I would strongly favor us.

  • Arsenal are in pole position to land the answer to their striking problems up front.

    That’s according to Dutch publication Voetbal International, who claim that Cody Gakpo of PSV is leaning towards moving to the north London side, despite interest from Liverpool and Barcelona.

    Gakpo can play both through the middle and as a left-winger, meaning that he offers versatility and can rotate fluidly with Gabriel Martinelli, the Gunners’ primary option out on that flank.

  • The 22-year-old has scored 16 goals and made 15 assists in 37 appearances so far this season in all competitions for the Eindhoven-based outfit. Despite only signing a new deal in January, however, it’s believed that there is an agreement to let the young Dutchman depart, should a reasonable enough offer come in.

    Arsenal are losing two strikers this summer, in the form of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. The pair have led the line for Arteta’s men since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left in the winter transfer window but neither have extended their deals beyond the end of this season.

  • It’s believed that Gakpo is only one of two forwards that Arteta would like to bring to north London this summer. The Gunners are reportedly also eyeing reinforcements in central midfield, at right-back and are said to be bringing US keeper Matt Turner in to become Bernd Leno’s understudy.

    (From Four Four Two)

  • A €600,000 (£508,000) luxury car built to withstand bullets and explosives has been seized in Sardinia as part of EU sanctions against oligarchs with close links to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

    The black Mercedes-Maybach S650 Guard belongs to Alisher Usmanov, a former shareholder in Arsenal football club, and was recently seized by police in Porto Cervo on the Costa Smeralda, the Corriere della Sera reported on Tuesday.

    Corriere speculated that the armoured vehicle may have been used to transport Putin during “secret visits” to Sardinia, a popular destination for Russian oligarchs, especially the Porto Cervo area.

    Usmanov is an honorary citizen of Arzachena, the administrative hub of Porto Cervo, where the “maximum protection” car was bought in 2018, according to Corriere.

    The mayor of Arzachena, Roberto Ragnedda, told the Italian press in early March that Usmanov regularly hosted “heads of state, businessmen and personalities who played fundamental roles in the economy, culture, politics and property at a world level”.

    Usmanov is also reported to have donated €500,000 to Sardinia’s regional authorities to help fight Covid-19.

    The local newspaper, L’Unione Sarda, reported that other assets owned by him had also been seized on the island, including a property complex worth €17m in the Gulf of Pevero and six corporate cars.

    Usmanov, once said to be the UK’s richest person, last week claimed that millions of pounds of his assets were in an irrevocable trust.

    Other properties owned by oligarchs confiscated in Sardinia include properties worth €4m linked to Petr Aven, who until recently headed Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest commercial bank, and a property complex in Portisco, in the municipality of Olbia, owned by the billionaire businessman Alexei Mordashov.

    Italian police seized a yacht owned by Mordashov, the richest man in Russia before being blacklisted by the EU, and another owned by Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire with close ties to Putin, in the Ligurian port of Imperia.

  • Thanks Kev. Voetbal International are a well established football magazine – I had a subscription in the 70s – and they made it headline news. They didn’t mention sources or quotes but clearly knew something. Very unusual for them to come out like that so I think there is something in it. 🙂

  • My Prediction, one more big push to get away from the last position
    Leeds v Southampton D
    Wolves v Aston Villa * 2-1
    Manchester United v Leicester H
    Rangers v Celtic * 2-1
    Barcelona v Sevilla * 3-1
    Strasbourg v Lens H

  • Well I don’t know anything about Gakpo except what I’ve read on blogs tbh Total, is he similar to Martinelli in style? How do you think he would fit into our system?

    TA nobody would steal or impound my taxi, it’s not exactly a getaway car, I’ve been overtaken by electric scooter nutjobs and it comes off of the road in August anyway.

  • Gapko and Martinelli are quite different, Kev.

    Both of them are primary left wingers with considerable pace, Gakpo can – and does – indeed play at the center, while for Martinelli this is just a theoretical option. (He played only 79 minutes as CF this season, and that game against Chelse [0-2] wasn’t a success story either. Last season he also played 13 minutes against Benfica and 60 against WBA, but without any offensive contribution whatsoever.)
    According to the assessments of Sofa and WhoScored (combined) Gapko is a superior chance creator, a better finisher and – to my surprise – has a huge advantage in technical skills. On the other hand Martinelli has the upper hand in defensive contribution, and tactically is more aware/versatile than his Dutch colleague. Gabi is 2 years younger and better at taking corners; on the other hand Cody can unleash dangerous long shots.

    So contrary to popular wishes and misbeliefs Martinelli is unlikely to be converted to a Henry-esque striker (which is not a shortcoming, he is an excellent LW), while the 14 cm taller Gakpo does have this potential would Arteta be interested in such transition.

  • Kev, PB just gave an excellent summary of what he has to offer. He reminds me a bit Van Persie. Very nice guy too. Signed a new contract with his boyhood club so they could make money out of him, supporters love him.

  • I don’t know Gakpo either but that entry by PB sounds like a player we would like and could use. I read that PSV have appointed Ruud van Nistelrooy as manager; hopefully, that doesn’t scuttle the understanding reached for the transfer.

  • Leeds v Southampton H
    Wolves v Aston Villa * H 2-1
    Manchester United v Leicester H
    Rangers v Celtic * D 2-2
    Barcelona v Sevilla * H 2-0
    Strasbourg v Lens H

  • I have to admit since Mbappé and Haaland are beyond our reach I’m not too keen on the countless rumors of strikers associated with Arsenal. Martinez and Osimhen would be too expensive, and they wouldn’t join Arsenal anyway. Dybala is a fine player, but signing greedy free agents never really worked out for anyone.
    Gapko is a rare exception. I think he is at least one level better than Richarlison, Watkins, Toney, DCL. He is about as good as Rashford was on his peak, and while now Marcus is way too expensive (70M+) and a potential decline-risk, Cody is still 22 and on the rise. And would cost only about half of the MU outcast.

    Furthermore he would fit into the Arsenal style/culture. Probably Isak and Schick would too, as we kind of moved to the wingplay + byline crosses tactics, but I have never really appreciated it. On the other hand Nunez is indeed a fine player (I would pick him over Lukaku all day), I’m not sure that playing for Arsenal would match his skill profile, as he is similarly big strong center forward as Benteke and Lukaku. Something similar applies to Gouiri (my preferred choice if we have to pick classic #9), he is young, he is prolific, he is an overall good player, but his style really reminds me of Lacazette’s; and if that is a misfit to Arteta-ball, then probably the young Frenchman wouldn’t be our savior.

    So out of the many striker transfer gossips, Gakpo is the only one making me excited. Not just because he is young, affordable and in great form, but also because I can’t remember an Arsenal team I really loved without a Dutch attacker in it. Cody played for Frank de Boer and Louis van Gaal already, and while the current Dutch system of 4-3-1-2 doesn’t really benefit him, he should compete with ex-Arsenal Malen for the mid-term striker(s) position when Weghorst, Berghuis and Depay won’t play for the national team any more. And Arsenal could be the perfect place to stake his claim.

  • Jude Bellingham would be a great signing if we could persuade him to join ‘the process’ also he’s never been linked with Arsenal which is often a good sign. Or it has been in the past.

    Peter if a player doesn’t want to join us then it’s best that he doesn’t, on reflection Aubameyang probably shouldn’t have re-signed, he’d gone as far as he could with us at the time given the stage of development we were in at the time, but the money on offer turned his head and we (club/fans/coaching staff) had no idea that his form would fall off of the edge of a cliff the following season, at the time I was delighted that he stayed but now I know different, it’s life…

    So if Martinez doesn’t think we’re big enough for him then c’est la vie, Vlahovic is finding out that turning down ‘the process’ has mixed consequences and Lautaro could follow a similar path, just ask Lukaku.

    It’s nice to be linked with the names that are the flavours of the day but I want players who really want the Arsenal process to join us, we’ve done the mercenary path once too often and as Man Utd are discovering it’s a path covered in pitfalls.

  • Kev, you are right as always.
    But I think the average Arsenal supporter demands (?) that we buy Haaland. If we sum up all the money we will likely to get for Leno, AMN, Torreira, Guendouzi (?), Mavropanos, Saliba (?), Nelson (?), Bellerin, Mari, Pepe (?), Rúnarrson, then we can easily amount to 100M, maybe more (if Saliba gets sold for 40M). But they fail to realize that
    – while the asking price of Haaland might be as low as 68M with the agent fees it could go well beyond 120M
    – Haaland requests a weekly salary of 425k
    – even we could afford that, those galactical salary cases led to failures at Arsenal at an alarming 100% rate (Özil, Willian, Aubameyang), and there aren’t many success stories elsewhere either (Sanchez, Ramsey, Bale, Coutinho)
    – Haaland is represented by the biggest scumbag: Mino Raiola

    The story would be the same with Salah. He doesn’t have a greedy agent, but his asking price is higher, and he have similarly crazy wage demands, that even Liverpool is not willing to pay.

    So yes, you are right. We should rely on the process, the academy (Arteta needs to improve his game there big time), and some underappreciated players that could flourish at Arsenal like Odegaard (maybe Sterling), as well as a few semi-hidden gems like Martinelli and Gakpo to really want to represent Arsenal, not just use us as a stepping stone towards Bayern or PSG.

  • Leeds v Southampton H
    Wolves v Aston Villa * A (1-2)
    Manchester United v Leicester D
    Rangers v Celtic * H (2-1)
    Barcelona v Sevilla * A (1-2)
    Strasbourg v Lens D

  • Premier League clubs vote in favour of five substitutes per match; five subs were originally introduced in May 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic; Premier League reverted back to three subs from 2020/21 season; summer transfer window opens on June 10 and shuts on September 1

  • Thanks GN5, yes Peter the Haaland rumours are nice and we have a bit of a laugh about them but in truth the elephant in the room is always Riaola, you dance with him and you dance with the devil, it’s not a direction I want this generation of Arsenal players to go down, we’ve been there before and it’s not the answer.

    Is that right on the 5 subs GN5, that’s great news if so, it was a retrograde step returning to 3 subs and even the dummies who voted for it see it as that now. The Premier League is about top level entertainment and having 5 subs surely keeps that level higher for the entirety of the game and protects players from fatigue related injuries – imho…

  • Shame about the ladies this morning, but the result may have spared us further blushes v Barca.

    PB, good to see you back in the saddle. Per runs the academy. He and Mikel seem to have a fine working relationship, and we have Emile and Bukayu bearing fruit, with the likes of Charlie P, Omari H and others blossoming.
    What are the academies like in Hungary? When I was there in the 80’s, I had kick abouts with some pretty talented young footballers. I have wondered why a nation which produced the Magical Magyar’s are so poorly represented in the Premiership. Will we ever see the likes of a Puskas or a Kocsis again?

    Thanks GN5.
    Leeds v Southampton D
    Wolves v Aston Villa * 1-1
    Manchester United v Leicester H
    Rangers v Celtic * 2-0
    Barcelona v Sevilla * 1-0
    Strasbourg v Lens D

  • Yeah, Stuart. Pity, our ladies lost 2-0 to goals from Jill Roord (ex-Arsenal) in the 9th and an own goal by Leah Williamson in the 73rd minute. It was a relatively good run they had but it was not to be.

    Now, they need to give the Chelsea ladies a fight in the race for the English WSL crown.

  • I’m also looking forward to the reintroduction 5-sub rule. I expect performance improvement for Arsenal from that, as we played pretty well – in fact the probably best under Arteta – in those months when the 5 subs situation was in effect.

    Thanks for the kind words, Stuart.
    I’m afraid the academy situation is pretty bad in Hungary. The problem is not with the talent (I read it somewhere, I’m not an expert of the topic) as we are doing quite alright in the youth competitions, but between 16 and 21 Hungarian players lose their competitive edge, and their development slows down, or even stops. (Unless they go abroad at a very young age, like Szoboszlai, Gulácsi or Orbán [not related to our @$$hole prime minister].) This is partly a psychological issue, as – apparently – young lads in Hungary tend to get spoiled by early success, nice salary and spotlight, but probably it has more to do with the lack of managerial & coaching competencies in Hungary.
    As we are 50-60 years from the Puskás-Kocsis era those youth coaches working with late teenagers apply the exact methods that were in effect when they were coached 20-30 year prior. And it didn’t really work out back then (see the lack of result from Hungary on the international level), so the same methods are destined to fail. And they do, like clockwork.

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