Let’s celebrate Arsenal returning to Europe at least

So, Mikel Arteta’s young Arsenal team has taken the Gunners back into Europe after a short hiatus, whatever the result today against Everton in the last game of the season.

Yes we may still miss out on the Champions League, but to be honest, do you think this new, inexperienced young team is really ready to go and mix it up with the big boys at the very elite level?

But being in the Europa is much more winnable, and will also give Arteta the chance to rotate his youngsters and give them invaluable experience that they wouldn’t get sitting on the bench or in the U23s.

And it shouldn’t affect our transfer window that much, as we would need a much bigger squad whether we are in the ECL or the Europa, and I am sure Edu and Arteta are busy lining up Arsenal’s targets as we speak. As Arteta said yesterday: “So we are back in Europe. We don’t know where, it will be decided. Hopefully, it will be Champions League. I believe that we’re going to do what we have to do. We are going to be cheering for Norwich to do what they can do, for sure, and after that, we want to take the club to the next level.

“That’s the ambition. In order to do that we have a very clear plan again, how we want to do it and execute it, and there are no secrets. We need resources and we need to increase the quality and the depth of the squad as long we maintain in the same way who we are as a club and the people that we have next to us.”

I can’t hide the fact that I am really excited about this summers transfer window, and once we see the incoming targets, I will also look forward to further improvement next season.

Believe in the Project!

Facts you need to know before the North London derby

Facts you need to know before the North London derby

Mikel Arteta takes his young Arsenal team to the Totten*am Hotspur Stadium on Thursday evening knowing that a win would guarantee their ticket to the Champions League.

With just three games to play for, the Gunners find themselves four points clear of their arch-rivals. Even if they lose, they will still have the destiny of finishing in the Champions League spot in their own hands.

But losing against Antonio Conte’s men won’t be in the minds of the club’s faithful. Majority of them must be looking forward to slicing their throats in their own garden.

Here are some facts that are worth knowing ahead of the blockbuster clash:

  • Antonio Conte has won just one of his eight meetings with Arsenal in all competitions (Drawn 4, Lost 3).
  • Spu*s have won just one of their past four league matches (Drawn 2, Lost 1)
  • Arsenal can complete a first league double over their North London rivals since the 2013/14 campaign.
  • A win will secure our highest position in the Premier League since 2015/16, when we finished second.

https://twitter.com/octavian10i/status/1524471636006772739

  • Totten*am are unbeaten in their last seven home games against the Gunners (Won 5, Drawn 2)

Talking about current form, Mikel Arteta’s men find themselves positioned slightly better, as they have claimed 12 points from the last 16. Totten*am’s points tally from the last 16 stands at 11.

Arsenal have won the league at Spu*s’ old stadium twice, first in 1971 and then again in their Invincible season in 2004.

Maybe it’s time to win a Champions League ticket in 2022. COYG!

Xhaka proud of Jose Mourinho links

The Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been tipped to leave Arsenal this summer, and there have been numerous rumours that Jose Mourinho is very keen to leave the Emirates to play under him in Serie A with Roma next season.

The Swiss captain has certainly had a rollercoaster career at Arsenal with his relationship with the notoriously fickle Arsenal fans often being in the spotlight, and he was hotly tipped to be leaving before Mikel Arteta took over the reins when Unai Emery was dismissed 18 months ago.

But the Spaniard persuaded Xhaka to stay and it must be said that he has put in many solid performances this season but I still don’t think he has won over many of the Arsenal faithful.

H is currently with the Switzerland national team ahead of the rescheduled Euro2020 coming up, and has been talking to the media about the links with Roma and Jose Mourinho.

Xhaka told Blick: “Of course I read [about the interest]. But now I’m one 100 per cent focused on the national team here,” the 28-year-old told Blick as he prepares to compete at Euro 2020 with Switzerland.

“That’s more important than Arsenal or rumours right now. I have another two years on my contract in London and Arsenal they know what they have in me. When the time comes to talk about a transfer, I’ll be here.”

“To be honest, I didn’t hear what Mourinho has said about me. But that makes you proud. Everyone knows Mourinho, knows what he has achieved. Mourinho knows how to win titles.

“You can now see what work I have done over the past few years.”

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?

Video – What’s your choice for Arsenal’s goal of the month for February?

There are quite a few crackers for you to chose from in this edition of Arsenal’s goal of the month for February.

There was Pepe’s amazing individual effort against Benfica, and of course Aubameyang is in there getting on the end of Smith-Rowes perfect cross.

Hector Bellerin gets a look-in for change after finishing a great team goal, and of course one of my faves was the Kieran Tierney crucial goal. With a David Luiz effort in there as well it looks like a good month for defenders.

Which is your favourite for Goal Of The Month?

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

Should Arsenal even be travelling to Austria?

Are Arsenal endangering themselves by traveling to Austria?

The Sun has reported that a Rapid Vienna player has recently tested positive for coronavirus and although the player who is unnamed is isolating at home. we are still expected to travel to play as there is no risk posed to anyone else.

Although it has been revealed that “Routine tests uncovered a single case of coronavirus with additional checks set to take place ahead of Thursday’s game.” what I fail to understand is that if the player has already tested positive, it won’t take two days to get out of his system will it! And so, Arsenal are still expected to travel to Austria and are still expected to take part in the game even though he has more than likely come into close contact with his teammates.

This again defeats the object of close contact and no risk of contracting the virus because if the play is a first teamer and has tested positive then surely he will have given his teammates a bigger risk of catching the virus when he came into close contact with them right?

Not going ahead with the game will surely add to our already congested fixture list going into the winter period but surely it is better to be safe than sorry and surely it isn’t worth risking all of our players and staff contracting the virus just for the sake of getting the game done and dusted.

How this decision is logical and fair is beyond me. I am sure that if it was an Arsenal player that contracted the virus and tested positive (god forbid) the whole of the opponent’s team would refuse to play let alone travel. Arteta tested positive back in March and the whole league was put on hold, and as cases are rising surely the most logical thing to do would be to postpone the game and play at a more safer date when all players have negative results. Just a thought, hey Gooners?

 

Shenel Osman

Will Jack Wilshere find another club?

The downfall of Jack Wilshere, can it get any worse?

From the potential to become an Arsenal legend to running about in a park to maintain fitness, the latest decline of Jack Wilshere’s career has taken a big hit!

As playing time and injuries were impacting him greatly in maintaining a place at the club, Arsenal let him go after ten years at the club from 2008-2018 where he spent the 2010 season and the 2016/17 seasons on loan at Bolton and Bournemouth.

Being widely remembered for his role in the team goal against the win over Norwich at the Emirates back in 2013, a sublime team move ended with Wilshere starting the scoring in what would be a 4-1 win. Having then suffered a number of injuries and setbacks at his time at the club, it was finally time to say goodbye to the boy that joined us at the age of nine back in 2001 with our academy and made his senior debut back in September 2008.

He didn’t have to go far though, making the move from North to East London where he joined up with West Ham and remained there for two years making16 appearances for them before sadly, during the latest transfer window, along with the club, coming to a mutual agreement to release him from his duties after he fell down the pecking order although he was injury free for the last eight months.

This has now left Jack without a club and searching for his next targets. But he hasn’t let it bring him down, instead he has been keeping up his fitness at a local park by training with his organisation NCF Elites.

It is sad that such a potential talent is now being wasted away in the local park, but I am sure the right club will come calling and we will once again see the talent that Jack has at his disposal. Here’s hoping for his sake anyway, Gooners?

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 it time for Arsenal Women to use Fran Stenson?

Was our goalie at fault for Arsenal Womens loss on Thursday?

Manuela Zinsberger hadn’t conceded a goal as yet in the FA Cup this season, that was until we came up against Manchester City, where she conceded two goals, adding to the two she has already conceded in the WSL so far.

Now it makes it one against Reading and one against West Ham in the WSL and two against City in the FA Cup!

Despite her conceding in the WSL Joe Montemurro still picked her to go in between the sticks against a City side that looked like they could score each time they went forward.

Is she to blame for our loss? Was she at fault for the goals? Could she have stopped either of the two goals that went in! The answers are all yes and no. Sloppy defending should never have been apparent, and she should have been able to keep the goals out. But quality over shone on the night and really, we lost as a team. This shouldn’t be a real shock, as from the off it was clear to see that she was going to be the busiest of keepers.

I have never really been too confident with Zinsberger in goal from what I have seen of her so far. Although she rarely got tested in previous games up until Thursday night, it could be said the City game was the biggest test she faced so far, and she failed along with her teammates.

As injuries seemed to be hitting us on Thursday, something else was clearly lacking in the team midweek. I think it would be a good time to give Fran Stenson a run around in the side to see if she could give Zinsberger some healthy competition and maybe it would be time for Fran to take her chance in the team and even overtake Zinsberger because it will only be a matter of time before Montemurro also decides a change needs to be made in between the sticks if his team is to compete and do better against top opposition.