Sure this took some research, as I can hardly remember the twists and turns etc and the exciting moments of a title race from three years ago. Good list.
Nice historical piece here.
Great read, really great read to follow up the piece about the continuing emergence of the complete player. Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho really are a class apart with their tactics.
Some more good pieces on the David De Gea saga with different viewpoints. I think De Gea should stay at Manchester United too. Big club, returning to their chances for silvewware, have just as good chance as Real Madrid, as far as this season shows, and he is the No. 1. As the author said, a move to Madrid will meaning dealing with Casillas, even if De Gea will likely replace him, plus dealing with Atletico Madrid fans.
Really great read here on the evolution of layers in football. We really are getting to the stage where players in every third are “complete” as they aren’t just assigned one task. Will be interesting to see how this continues. Look forward to the rest of the series.
Good piece, interesting read.
My piece for the Football Syndicate on this whole Raheem Sterling saga.
Last game of the season in a few hours. Just want to point that if, for some unthinkable reason, we lose, then we could end up fourth if Manchester United beats Hull City. Just saying. We saw what West Bromwich Albion did to Chelsea and we sort of don’t really have anything to play for either. Otherwise there’s plenty to talk about as usual.
So here’s some chatter before the final game of the season.
Agreed. I think it’s a bit harsh to single out the two Olivier Giroud non-scoring moments against Manchester United that the author did though. It was a tight angle for that first chance and the one where he out-muscled his defender his leg gave way, as the author himself stated, was tough as well as De Gea closed down the angle quickly. Not much that could be done about that. See, I’m not all anti-Giroud.
I like Santi Cazorla but we need Aaron Ramsey back in the middle. A switch to 4-3-1-2 or 4-1-2-1-2 would allow Wenger to get all those players on the pitch and even give us a Giroud/Alexis partnership. All of our “wingers” can play centrally and probably prefer it. The most natural winger he have is Alexis but he can be equally effective centrally. Those aren’t thoughts Wenger is likely to have or a formation that’s likely to occur.
I’ll admit I was worried during the Manchester United game when both those guys played centrally at the same time. I still don’t think they can do it right now. Maybe in time, and with experience, they could do it but neither has enough interest in defensive duties to let this partnership become the norm.
We do have depth now that is true. I’d agree that one top-level central defender would be a big help. Maybe a left-back as well could come in but I don’t see Wenger wanting to rock the apple cart too much. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are solid defenders but unless Arsenal’s entire structure as a team changes in the defensive third then those two aren’t good enough as a duo for a title-winning side.
Possession without clinical finishing that is.
Yup. Still don’t see the point in placing Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere out on the right. Theo Walcott hasn’t been given the chance to replicate his best pre-injury form for the Gunners. He showed that he could be a solid finisher for the club and there are few options in that regard. Let’s get him a start today.
Guess we’ll see. Will it do us well to have two similar defenders in Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny though?
I was already worried about playing Aston Villa before this recent run of games. The results definitely haven’t helped. A big win against WBA would be nice and Wenger does have some selection decisions to make.
Can’t argue with that list, could have increased it to 10 or 15 players to be honest.
Good piece here.
The author makes a good point about Asian players still needing to prove themselves on the European stage. It will be interesting to see whether the examples he presents about players gaining some international interest before any move to Europe become the norm. Will it get to the stage where Asian players are being recognized and followed from an earlier age like South American ones?
Haven’t done one of these in a while. Seems like a good prospect. We’ll see how his career turns out.