Arsenal-Tottenham combined XI makes grim reading for Gooners

I have been thinking about which Arsenal players might actually get into an Arsenal/Tottenham combined XI on this season’s form, and it looks like I have found a reliable source to give me the answers.

Whoscored.com are a respected stats and rating website, which has given their average rating for all players this season, as long as they have played at least ten games, and this is their verdict on our combined XI….

I am sure we all expected Bukayo Saka to be in the frame, but it would appear that our only other consistent performer this season has been Gabriel Magalhaes in defence, and he hasn’t even played in any of Arsenal’s last three League games!

Our big sumer signing Thomas Partey doesn’t make it due to the 10-game rule, and of course none of our strikers can compare in form to Tottenham’s Son, Kane and Bale.

Even Kieran Tierney, who has had some brilliant performances for the Gunners this year, loses out to Sergio Reguilon.

So, do you think that any other Arsenal players deserve to be included in this combined XI?

How can Arsenal merchandise be so expensive right now?

Extortionate merchandise prices are not worth the spend!

 

I love nothing more than proudly donning the Arsenal shirt and the merchandise in a season. But one thing puts me off buying them, the cost, especially as this pandemic is cutting in to everyones income at the moment.

 

The day we joined up with Adidas as our kit sponsor, I was so happy. Adidas always produces quality clothes and the Arsenal shirts and merchandise has so far lived up to the high expectations I have had of them.

 

Over the past few seasons though, I have rarely purchased items from Arsenal direct online or even in store, not because I don’t like what has been produced, no it is in complete contrast, I love them but the money that Arsenal are asking for, for their clothes are so ridiculous that I don’t feel it is justifiable to spend between £50-100 for one shirt, jacket or even some standard T-shirts with the Arsenal logo on.

 

I feel as though not just Arsenal, but a lot of clubs sell their clothes and general merchandise for round about the same price, however, and I can’t speak for all fans, but for me the price is off-putting. All in all you really are paying for the brand and the club badge.

 

The Arsenal twitter page on Friday was promoting the Anthem jacket worn by our boys out in Austria, on first look I fell in love with the jacket and even considered buying it, but upon checking it on the online store I was shocked to see the price of £100. Instantly putting me off buying what is an absolutely lovely jacket!

 

I will forever be proud to wear Arsenal shirts and merchandise whether I go to a game or watch it from home, even when there is no football on I am proud to wear it too but I refuse to pay extortionate amounts just to get that one item of clothing.

 

Arsenal, lower your prices and maybe more people will purchase the amazing clothes you have on display. I know I definitely would. Gooners what do you make of the Arsenal prices for their merchandise?

 

Shenel Osman

Two Arsenal boys get England call ups, should we be proud or worried?

So, two of our young boys are off to the England camp for the upcoming internationals this month and of course it is a proud moment for the boys, the club and their families, as everybody wants to be called up for their countries at some point or another during their careers.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka have been called up by Gareth Southgate for the upcoming international games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark this month, which shows they are doing something right at Arsenal to be able to catch the eye to join an already talented England squad.

Of course, it is always a proud moment for clubs when players and their hard work during a season is noticed by national team managers, and they are trusted enough to be called up to represent their country and help their country progress through to competitions or qualifiers.

But of course, with that comes an additional worry for clubs and fans, as just as we are beginning to get a fully fit squad, we don’t want anyone to pick up injuries that may rule them out for a key period especially as it is coming up to winter period.

The more players we have sent out on international duty, the more chance there is that they could get injured. Of course stepping out on to the pitch whether it be for club or country, will always bring the risk that they could get injured but internationals during a season whether it means something or is just a friendly will bring that added worry for managers.

I wish both boys and of course all of our players the best of luck for their international run outs over this period and I hope that none of them come back injured, instead I hope that they come back positive, happy and ready to go, for what could be a pivotal few months for Arsenal. Here’s hoping hey Gooners?

Is Stan Kroenke the worst owner in the Premier League?

Here’s one shocking news about Kroenke’s financial support of Arsenal

Football business reporter Swiss Ramble has just revealed that Stan Kroenke hasn’t put a penny of his money into Arsenal for the past five years.

The Gunners have developed a reputation for being one of the most prudent teams in the Premier League.

Arsene Wenger was regularly blamed for his refusal to spend the cash when he was the club’s boss and the Frenchman improvised by developing players.

One of the reasons why fans wanted him gone was the lack of quality signings, it has now emerged that Wenger wasn’t just being reluctant to spend money, but the money was hardly there to spend.

Since he left, Arsenal seems to have been more active in the market for big-name stars, nevertheless, the club’s owner hardly spends his money on the team, unlike some other teams.

While teams like Chelsea have enjoyed their owners splashing their money on the club, the report reveals that Arsenal hasn’t been spent on by Kroenke, rather, the club even paid his company for services rendered.

The report confirmed: “Arsenal received no funding in last 5 years, either from Kroenke or the bank.

“In contrast, they made £101m payments (debt £40m & interest £61m).

“Also paid KSE [Kroenke’s company] £6m for ‘advisory services’.”

Stop comparing Arteta to Emery!

Hi my fellow Arsenal fans. I may seem a little angry through my write up; I may sound blunt and I may sound unpleasant. But one thing I won’t do is to keep quiet while people use every little opportunity to criticize a man who is trying his best to create an impact. We lost to a team in the Europa league and we were dumped out from that competition, but does that make us a failure? Does it make Arteta a failure; no it doesn’t, does it?

After the game, some fans were seen displaying all manner of banners, asking Arteta to leave the club alone. Some even went as far as comparing him to Emery, our last coach before Arteta. They said Emery got Arsenal to the final of the Europa in his first season at Arsenal, while Arteta got us dumped out of the Europa in the round of 32! Well, yes Emery got us to the final, but did he lead the team to glory? No he didn’t. So, why mention the name of a man who led us to a final and got us a beating from our brothers from the other side of London? Emery had a full season to prepare for the Europa final, Arteta has just been here for barely 5 months. Pray tell me, what sort of miracle were we expecting from the young manager? In the Premier league, he is doing well and with the way he is going, he may just make Arsenal a title contending team next season.

Have we forgotten how we all wanted Emery out of the club earlier this season? Despite his modest achievement last season, we still wanted him out! We didn’t spare him from criticism, rather we pushed him out! So, if we wanted Emery out that desperately, why do we now compare him to Arteta? Are we thinking at all?

Now friends, let us chill a bit and allow Arteta learn from his mistakes and improve on his managerial skills. We knew who we were getting when we went for him. We knew the number of years of experience he had before he went for him. We were surely aware of whom we were going for; so can we just chill please.

Finally, can we just think about this? If most of the players at Arsenal prefer Arteta’s pattern to Emery, then they must be something they see in Arteta, that they would want us to see too. We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua

Can we just forget about Emery and move on now?

Two months after Emery has been sacked, what he has been getting are bashings and bad testimonies from both his former players at Arsenal and from sport pundits. Unai Emery came to Arsenal with a good coaching record. In his first season at Arsenal, he went 22 games unbeaten, while beating Tottenham in the process and drawing against Liverpool, who later went on to be Champions league winners. He really tried his best to make Arsenal competitive and they were. We played in the final of the Europa League and only lost to Chelsea because we gave them so much respect. He also began his second season at Arsenal with a win against Newcastle. In all, while many may want to view Emery’s time at Arsenal as a failure, I choose to view it differently. Emery was just unfortunate to be saddled with problems he had no solutions for.

Now, Emery is gone and we have Arteta. Arteta may have improved our game but as long as we keep drawing games and are not winning, I won’t join those who are praising him as the best thing to happen to Arsenal. Arteta is really trying his best to put Arsenal back to shape but while he is at it, can people just stop comparing him with Emery and focus on Arteta instead?

First it was Mustafi who claimed the former Arsenal coach was bad at communications. He even went as far as accusing the former coach of not being able to improve the team because of his lack of good communication skills.

As if that was not enough, I saw an article on justarsenal.com about Leno claiming the team was left confused by Emery’s approach, both on and off the pitch. The German goalkeeper, who was signed by Emery, had this to say about Emery’s time at the Emirates “The mentality out on the pitch, I don’t want to say it was a mess, but it was a bit confusing…Everyone was doing different things..We were not a team…Not in the dressing room, not on the pitch and you could see that.” Leno may just be expressing what he experienced under Emery but why would he come out now to say this? Why is everybody suddenly coming out to say things they could have said when Emery was still coach of Arsenal?

Adding his voice to those criticizing Emery’s time at Arsenal, is an ex player of the club, Emmanuel Petit. Petit believes Arsenal was not doing fine under Emery and that Arteta came to clear Emery’s mess. He described Arsenal under Emery as being sick on the pitch and in the dressing room.

These are not the best times for Emery but maybe all these bashings started the moment Emery came out to explain why things didn’t go well for him at Arsenal. Whatever may have happened, Emery is no longer at Arsenal and I wish people would just let him be. We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua

Come on Mikel, your Arsenal honeymoon is over

Time to move forward and start winning games again.

Hello Arsenal family! What a lovely day it is gonna be. I can’t wait to relish all the goodies this day has to offer. Put a smile on your faces today, because life is beautiful.

I woke up this morning with joy in my heart. The joy has been in my heart all night and I will like to explain why to you all.

Now, I am somebody who mourns a while and afterward, I put up a smile on my face and look positively ahead. Arsenal played a drab draw against a team we should have beaten well and many fans are not happy. Many fans are scared of what will happen in the future to the club based on current happenings; some believe it is all gloom and doom. Well, I also believe Arsenal will not redeem themselves this season but I believe they will start playing well soon, thereby giving fans the hope of a better next season. In as much as I have doubts about Arteta doing wonders with this team on a long run, I won’t be the type to ask for him to be sacked based on current results. He was appointed just in December and it won’t be out of order if the club allows him stay until the end of this season at least, to prove his worth.

As far as the premiership is concerned, Arteta may find it hard improving Arsenal’s performances and probably get us into the top four, but that does not mean the season would be a failure. I strongly believe we will qualify for the Champions league, via the Europa league. So help us God!

Now, the major reason why I am so positive and happy is because I foresee Arteta grabbing the bull by the horn and stepping on some toes, in order to improve the team’s performances. Many of the players who have been playing regularly ever since Arteta’s appointment may soon start sitting out games. They have not really given our gaffer what he wants and this may force him to stop experimenting with the team and start using players who will get him the desired results. Players like our present top nine and some midfielders, may have to be sacrificed for the team to start playing well again. The criticisms Arteta has been receiving ever since we drew against Burnley must have surely gotten to him and he must be thinking of how to start getting results, and winning the fans to himself. After the game against Burnley, Arteta would be thinking of how to start winning games, knowing full well that his honeymoon period is over. I can’t wait to see Arteta start winning games for the club. We may not finish in the top six, but it will be a disaster if Arsenal actually ends the season with nothing at all.

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua

Are Arsenal really going to finish outside the Top Six?

Is this going to be the season where we finish below the top six?

With 13 draws and 6 losses in 25 premiership games, the records don’t look so enticing to the eyes, and they are neither pleasing to the hearts of genuine Arsenal fans. We seem not to be moving forward, despite changing managers twice since Wenger left. It has been ‘one step forward, two steps back’, this season.

Emery began the season on a high, after winning Newcastle in the first game of the season; after that game his season began to fall apart. He was sacked and replace by Arteta, after Ljungberg was made interim coach. Under Ljungberg, the team struggled for form and for points. It got so bad that old Freddie had to ask the club management to quicken their search for a new Arsenal manager. Arteta was eventually appointed and in all fairness to him he has improved our football a bit, albeit without getting the results to compliment the play.

After Chelsea and Manchester United played out draws in their games on Saturday, I was filled with optimism that we were going to win our game against Burnley and close up the gap between us and our top six rivals. Life can be unfair at times, and it was unfair to Arsenal fans on Sunday, as they watched their game with mixed feelings. Many fans felt a draw was better than a defeat against a well disciplined Burnley team; others felt a draw meant we were not moving forward at all. I belong to the latter school of thoughts. Arsenal is not moving forward, as long as the premiership is involved, and this may push us out of the top six at the end of the season.

However, falling out of the top six, may not necessarily deny us playing in the UEFA Champions league next season, especially if we win the Europa league. If we win it, fine and good! But if we don’t, our season would be a total disaster.

From how I view things, Arsenal will do well in the remaining cup competitions they find themselves in. they will get to the semi-final of one, and get to the final of another one, and even win the competition. My instinct tells me we may win the FA cup and lose to a team in the semi-finals of the Europa league competition; although I hope my instinct would be wrong at the end of the season. Winning the Europa league and losing out in the semi-final of the FA cup, would give me more joy than how my instinct wants it.

Dear Arsenal fans, I hope I can prepare your minds for the worst? Hope you won’t fight with me for predicting us not ending the season in the top six? From the way the season is unfolding; Arsenal may yet struggle to find form till the end of the season, but will give it their best shots in the cup competitions. This may sound sad bit then that is how low we have gone as a club.

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua

What does it take to be a true Arsenal supporter?

Two seasons ago when Arsene Wenger was still coach of Arsenal, I had an encounter with a celebrated football commentator on issues pertaining to Arsenal. He came for a football conference in Lagos and I was to cover the conference as an independent journalist. After the conference, I walked up to him and asked him one honest but blunt question; I asked him why he hated Arsenal with so much passion! During the course of the conference, he spoke so much about how Arsenal was doomed for destruction, simply because Wenger was in charge and how Wenger had lost ideas on how to move the club forward.

As at that time, he probably said those things because he felt nothing could ever salvage the worsening situation at the club. Just like many other football commentators who felt Arsenal was finished as a club, my friend here felt strongly that my club would never break away from the shackles of stagnation. He even advised me to go and support another club; he suggested Chelsea for me! O’ boy! He had just pressed the wrong button, as I proudly told him to his face that I was going to remain an Arsenal fan until death called me. I saw the surprise on his face, but who cares?

My question now is: am I doing wrong by supporting my club and sticking with them, even when things are not going well? Would the world classify me as being stupid for not knowing when to let go my love for a club who seems not to care about my love for them? What really classifies me as a good and loyal supporter of a club?

Over the years, I have learnt never to give up on people. I was taught by my mother while growing up that everybody has his or her own good and bad times! She made me realize that just like in marriages where people vow to stick with their partners till death calls, I should also learn to stick with whomever or whatever gives me joy and peace of mind, even it becomes difficult to do so. Life is all about times and seasons; in life, we rise and we fall. Arsenal may be going through a rough patch that has lasted for three years now, but who says Arsenal cannot get back to being the loving and successful club we once knew it to be? Who says Arsenal will not rise again? Is there any football club in the world today that has not gone through its rough patches? Why do some fans easily give up on Arsenal just because we have not been doing well recently? As I round up this my little epistle, would it be wrong for me to ask you fellow Gooners what it will cost you to keep supporting Arsenal, even in these trying moments? We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua

We can see the Arsenal defence is improving now

Hola Gooners! What a wonderful day it is. While we are still in a happy mood as a result of our slim victory over Bournemouth, I will like to bring your notice to something I observed while watching the game. Did we all observe that for the first 30 minutes or so of the game, we shut out Bournemouth? They had no attempt on goal until after 30 minutes. Is this not impressive?

The tempo Arsenal started the game with was so explosive; we began the game like a team who knew we had nothing else to fight for apart from the FA cup. We started the game with an impressive attacking play and before we had gotten to play up to ten minutes of the game, we had netted a goal; a sweet goal at that. Just as the cherries were thinking of settling down to give Arsenal a game, we scored a second goal. The game was all about us; our goal keeper for the day was virtually on holidays. When the channel I was watching brought up the possession percentage after 30 minutes, I was wowed by what I was seeing. I could not believe that Arsenal, who were used to conceding loads of shots, were able to keep a team from scoring for over 30 minutes! Is my darling Arsenal defence not getting better?

I know some people here would ask; “What is the big deal”? Well, the big deal here is that we played a very good premiership side in the FA cup and this team is a team known for causing upsets; they have beaten so many big teams in the past and beating Arsenal won’t have been a new thing, per se. Aside that, this season has seen Arsenal lose to almost every team in the Premiership, including teams that should normally be scared of playing against us. We have been so bad that I always try looking for positives in our game, and not conceding a shot on or off target, is something to be celebrated. Don’t we think so?

I really want to thank Arteta for the work he has done so far. I seriously wish he can be fully supported by the board; they should get any player or coach he wants to work with. He has done well with the ones he has currently, can we imagine what he would do if given the players he wants? If Arteta is given one or two players this season, then there is every possibility that as the season unfolds, we will see more of what Arsenal did against Bournemouth for 30 minutes or so. We could even start shutting out players for the whole 90 minutes.

Nothing is impossible. We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua