Alexis, Mesut, Jack and Aaron the new Thierry, Dennis, Freddie and Robert?

Alexis CF, Mesut nr.10… with Jack and Aaron ‘Mid-wings’: Discuss! 🙂

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Regular readers know that I am a great believer in Giroud and that I do not see a need to buy a CF anytime soon. Giroud allows others to shine and he carries a strong goal threat himself. Ollie is the complete package in the modern game, even though he is not the best classical centre forward Arsenal ever have had by any stretch. For me it is clear that Arsene wants our attack to be unpredictable and multi-dimensional, and Giroud offers a great base to operate from, especially if and when we play park the bus teams. His stats are great, his work rate good, and his total contribution to the team is simply fantastic.

I also like Theo, who offers speed and keeps defences close to their goalkeepers, often allowing our midfielders to boss the midfield. This works especially well against teams that like to attack us/ do not park the bus. With Theo we are at our most dynamic, especially once we have regained the ball and can break forward.

I love it that we have these two options for attacking different opponents, and I reckon Giroud and Theo will get plenty of chances to shine. But there is a third option for us, and that is playing Alexis as our CF. He can do hold/link up play, he is fast, he has energy and a great threat from outside and inside the box. He can dribble and take defenders on, and he also has a decent through-ball in his repertoire. He also is a great finisher and a predator with relentless energy and hunger. The total ‘pure’ CF package, if you ask me…

I would love Arsene to try Alexis as our CF, but I guess he will not do it until he has a good alternative on the left wing. With Ozil in the hole and Alexis up top, we would not be that far from what Bergkamp and Henry had to offer a  decade or so ago.

What we also need is good midfielders on the wings that can work in tandem with their flying full-backs: Bellerin and Nacho. Rambo and Bellerin have formed a very strong partnership in which the FB is the real winger and the midfielder is both an attacker and co-defender, and I reckon we need to buy a good left winger/midfielder to make the Ozil-Sanchez partnership really work.

But then I thought about Jack coming back in the new year. I see Jack in either Cazorla or Ozil’s current role, but both have been playing very well and it would be wrong to force either out. But what about playing Jack on the left wing for a while? Nacho and Jack would be able to work a fine partnership ala Aaron and Bellerin, and Jack can do on the left what Ramsey does on the right. Both would also be allowed to move about and interchange with Ozil, as to keep it all fluid and unpredictable.

This is how it would look like:

Midfield heaven

Of course we would need Coquelin back, which will take a while now, and Jack would need to be fully fit. But once everybody is available, this could be a very strong team in my opinion. Jack and Rambo could develop into our new Ljunberg and Pires… And with Theo, Giroud and Danny we would have options to vary this approach.

What do you think FFGs? 🙂

By TotalArsenal.

Is Thierry Back For Good?

I hope everyone is still riding on the buzz of our previous performance. This is going to be a short post.

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So King Henry finally decided to hang up his boots. Everybody knew the day would come but that doesn’t make the hole he has left in world football any smaller. Arguably the best CF to ever grace the English shores. He is now a sky sports pundit, but more importantly, he is helping out Trevor Bumstead with the under 15’s. He really did mean it when he said he is a Gunner for life.

I am sure there is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Thierry has a wealth of knowledge to share. It makes total sense that he is being given a chance to blood his managerial skills with the next generation. The biggest advantage about that is that he can get to learn how to spot and nurture talent (kind of like what Arsene did with him), which is a very important skill to have in modern football. Just ask the coaching staff at Southampton.

The aim of this post though is to try and establish how Arsenal can get maximum value from him.

Both aforementioned jobs are part time (I stand corrected) and, therefore, he still has plenty of time on his hands to take up a more involved role at the club. I was really thinking about it and what if (on top of his current obligations) he is given a few sessions a week with our strikers (and attacking midfielders) so he can give them some coaching on movement & finishing.

Really, just think about it: players like Welbeck, Oxlade, Gnabry & Wilshere need to contribute more goals than they do now to really propel them to the next level. If we examine each player’s shortcomings, you can see these are all things Thierry can help to fix.

Welbeck – His movement is great but he lacks confidence in his finishing. The skill & talent are there but maybe he needs a few sessions with the master to really come into his own.

Oxlade – For me the Ox doesn’t get into scoring positions often enough. He is more of a touchline hugging winger, but in a system like ours, where our attackers are given the freedom to roam, he needs to be scoring more. Again, maybe the master can coach him on his movement.

Gnabry – I think he is similar to the Ox in terms of what he needs to learn.

Wilshere – He really needs to learn how to shoot/finish. For a player who gets into the box as often as he does, he surely does not score enough. Maybe this is something a few sessions with the master can fix.

This is not limited to just these four; I am just using them as an example. Also, I have no knowledge of what Henry’s schedule is like, so from my end this is just a suggestion.

I am, of course, not opposed to having a team of players who can score given the opportunity…. What do you think?

COYG!!

By Marcus

The Return of the King, DB10’s Testimonial, Beating Barca: 10 Unforgettable Moments at The Emirates

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Over the past month and a half, us Gooners have been waiting for the signal of intent which was put out there by Ivan Gazidis. As we all know nothing has happened since then.

I, for one, am sick and tired of the transfer window. I just want the Football to start once again. We are only days away, and rather than the usual doom and gloom over potential transfers, or the lack of perceived activity by our club and how thin our squad is at the moment, I would like to revisit my 10 favourite moments at the Emirates so far.

I invite you all to agree or disagree, and please feel free to share your favourite moments on Bergkampesque.

Here are mine:

Nr.1 – THE KING RETURNS TO THE EMIRATES
Could a better script have been written on that night? The king returns, comes on as a substitute and scores the winning goal. “THIERRY HENRY, THIERRY HENRY, THIERRY HENRY, THIERRY HENRY”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXdcfEnLHos

Nr.2 – ARSENAL VS BARCELONA 2-1
Barcelona, a Team that has swept all other teams aside. Arsenal, a team that had no hope or was not given a chance of winning this game. The script doesn’t always go according to plan. The little Russian produced a stunning goal to seal it for the Gunners.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv2mxzmVvdg

Nr.3 – DENNIS BERGKAMP TESTIMONIAL
Who could pass up a chance to see DB10 play once more for the Gunners? Besides, it was only right to give him a farewell worthy of all the hard work and memories which he has provided us all
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVt5xZKi8yI

Nr.4 – ARSENAL VS TOTTENHAM 5-2 (Not once but twice)
Nothing more needs to be said.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJnLl81-lUs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r72qwUSGVCM

Nr.5 – ARSENAL 3-0 TOTTENHAM 2009, CESC SCORES RIGHT AFTER RESTART
The magic of Cesc and the demolition of our noisy neighbours. Things do not get much better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8EP3bVswok

Nr.6 – ARSENAL 3-1 CHELSEA
Always great to beat Chle$ki
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3AZ0tn5s64

Nr.7 – SO CLOSE, ARSENAL 3-0 AC MILAN
It was mission impossible from the start but so close.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzgSq014c84

Nr.8 – ARSENAL 1-0 MANCITY – ARSENAL DOMINATE BUT 1 GOAL SECURES VICTORY
A wonder strike by Zorro gives us the win we deserved
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrdniMPOIhE

Nr.9 – ARSENAL 7-1 BLACKBURN – HENRY SCORES LAST GOAL IN INJURY TIME. OX SCORES A BRACE.
Who doesn’t like a whipping going our way especially after the whipping we received earlier that season against ManUre
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xofgku_arsenal-blackburn-7-1-all-goals_sport#.Uas7sJVjClI

Nr.10 – ARSENAL 7- 3 NEWCASTLE – SIX GOAL SECOND HALF ONSLAUGHT SEES OFF THE BAR CODES, THEO SCORES A HAT TRICK AND PERHAPS GOAL OF THE YEAR.
In my opinion, Theo scores goal of the season by his persistence and skills.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nytjRh7R5AQ

I hope you have all enjoyed a lighter post and look forward to sharing your favourite moments at the emirates.

Written by: alexgunners

 

 

Thierry Henry: Player-Coach?

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Yesterday’s announcement that the 39 year old Ryan Giggs will become a player-coach for  MU with immediate effect, made me thinks once again about our need to have and retain experienced winners, who also embody the core values and traditions of the club, at Arsenal.

I know that virtually everybody agrees that Bergkamp should join the coaching staff at Arsenal as soon as possible. We will have to wait and see whether this will happen.

However, there is another legend who would fit the bill perfectly, and like Ryan Giggs, he is still playing: Thierry Henry. Henry is a young chicken compared to Giggs, having only lived for a mere 35 years until now. And our all-time leading scorer with 228 goals has played not that many games less than the fantastic Welshman either (at least with regard to his on-field actions, we can only say that he was a fantastic footballer). Giggs played 1009 matches (including Internationals) and Henry 861.

TH14 has won virtually everything a modern footballer can win. The World Cup, the European Championship, the PL, Ligue 1, La Liga, the CL, and many, many cups and individual awards. He also loves Arsenal and sees the only part that matters in North London as his spiritual football home.

I am a big believer in the master-apprentice model of learning, especially in sports. As Arsenal likes to develop their own talents – often bought at a young age and therefore still totally mouldable – I reckon it is paramount to have a number of (former) masters in all disciplines at the club. Bould is doing a great job in getting the best out of our defenders and defensively minded midfielders at the moment, for example.

At MU they tend to keep hold of their veteran stars, although Van Nistelrooy, Stam and Beckham might tell us differently. However, the likes of Gibbs, Scholes and to a lesser extent Ferdinand are good examples of Masters who can guide, by word AND by action, the club’s youngsters to their full potential.

It saddens me a bit that the club (had to?) let go all our recent heroes, with the exception of the Iceman, although even he was not retained in a coaching capacity. What would Vieira have done for the likes of Ramsey, Frimpong, Wilshere, Coquelin, Diaby and even Arteta? His coaching, whether still as a player or as one of Arsene’s staff, would have been of great value to our promising talents.

Pires and possibly Ljungberg could also have played a great coaching role. All these players have been there and done it, love the club, and would still live and breathe the principles and values of total/Wenger football, as well as what the club stands for. And there are of course more legends who would fit the bill.

It is fantastic to see Freddie back at the club in an ambassadorial role now. And it would be great if we could add either Dennis or Thierry, or ideally both(!), as well.

Dennis would be a great coach and the thought of Bould-Wenger-Bergkamp on the bench would just be awesome. He is qualified and has gained management/coaching experience at one of  the greatest clubs in football history, Ajax. Would we find it hard to attract the likes of Higuain, Jovetic etc, if they knew they would be working with the Dutch Master directly? Possibly less so.

But this post is about the simply phenomenal Thierry Henry. Just imagine him working with Ox, Theo, Giroud, Podolski, Cazorla, Gnabry, Eisfeld, and hopefully HIguain and/or Jovetic on a constant, no time-constrains basis: it would be an absolute dream for these players and also for us. The Master would work his socks off to get them to reach their full, very promising potential, and make our club successful again.

It would also be nice that he himself could play now and again (mostly as a substitute), just to show the others how it is done in practice. He is not as fast or athletic as he used to be, but he makes up for this with his technique and experience, and if Giggs can do at 39, then surely Thierry can do it at 35.

Bring him back Arsene; we cannot have too many masters at our great club!

Written by: TotalArsenal.