Can Arsene gun down the Foxes?

It’s official. The Fox hunting ban has been lifted as Claudio’s band of pizza chomping Leicester City superstars are no longer the surprise fun loving package of footballing idealism. They are the champions and people are going to treat them accordingly.

 

Last season, Arsene Wenger stood alone as a tactical genius. The Frenchman, so often lambasted for his apparent tactical stubbornness, was in a class of his own as the only manger to pick up 6pts against a Leicester City turning the footballing world on its head. Whilst this game isn’t a season breaker, after two lacklustre performances last weekend, both Ranieri and Wenger will know that a win here is imperative for early season momentum. Continue reading “Can Arsene gun down the Foxes?”

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London’s Premier League Contenders

The season is almost upon us. With the Euro’s still feeling tiringly close, it’s time to strap up the boots, take a deep breath and get ready for our bread and butter. The Premier League is back and with more stars than an American flag, it has all the hallmarks of being one of the most unpredictable seasons perhaps we’ve seen in Europe’s top 5 leagues…

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How much is too much for a Premier League Centre Back?

£40m or £50 – how much is too much? That seems to be the question plaguing Pep Guardiola and the hierarchy at Manchester City in this summer’s second most tedious transfer saga.

 

It is surely one of the most decadent and carefree transfer windows in recent memory and the value of Stones; a player with undoubted ball-playing ability but who is unproven as a defender who can defend, is a key barometer of the spiralling fees that clubs are prepared while jostling for position in England’s top flight.  Continue reading “How much is too much for a Premier League Centre Back?”

JG’s Transfer Update Pt. 1

Now that the European Championships are over and we are still weeks away from the Premier League starting, the only exciting football news right now is the transfer window.

 

It is the time for promoted clubs to sign some players to help them stay up and challenge, time for mid table clubs to add some depth to their squad and time for top clubs to trim the fat and add some extra quality as they battle amongst one another for top spot.

 

We are still six weeks away from deadline day, so there will be no rushed last minute deals done just yet, but let’s take a look at what deals have already been done and what clubs should be looking for.

 

Note – these are not extensive transfers, just what I deem significant with regards to the club and their league and cup campaign this season. A comprehensive list can be found on – http://www.skysports.com/football/transfer-deals. All information is correct as of 14th July 2016.

Continue reading “JG’s Transfer Update Pt. 1”

Predicted XI’s Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Predicted XI’s

Manchester United: Romero, Varela, Blind, McNair, Rojo, Herrera, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Mata, Depay, Rashford

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Meresacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud,

“Desire, Hunger. A lot of times I use the word ‘horny’” – Louis Van Gaal

Where do you go from there? Said in a press conference before the second leg of United’s Europa League tie against FC Midtylland, this is what Van Gaal himself asked of his players before the game. Does ‘horny’ have a different meaning in Holland? I can’t say for sure, but the thought of a team of horny Manchester United players is hilarious.

What can really only be described as an utterly poor season, the request for his players to be ‘horny’ must be all too common from Van Gaal as he perpetually seems to be on the brink of losing his job. The vultures are circling over Carrington with a Mourinho-esque sound bite waiting to be rattled out after the Dutchman has consequently been picked apart and sacked and this Arsenal game could be the next final nail in the coffin. Continue reading “Predicted XI’s Manchester United vs. Arsenal”

Injuries to Dictate Anfield Clash

Liverpool vs. Arsenal, 13-01-16

Predicted XI’s

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Sakho, Caulker, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Milner, Lallana, Benteke, Firmino

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerín, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlin, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Campbell, Giroud

For a game that sees two of the big hitters play against each other in the League, the pre-match words from the managers have been nothing short of gushing. Praise, mutual respect and tactical insight. It seems a far cry away from say Big Sam and Tony Pulis pre-match press conference.

Whilst the honeymoon bubble for Klopp has well and truly burst, the amount of games and the amount of injuries he has seemingly stumbled into certainly represents a baptism of fire into English football. Whilst he was surprised that there was a second leg to be had in the Capital One Cup, someone really must let him know that a draw with Exeter was going to bring about a reply. Littered with bodies, Mellwood could be mistaken for outside location for Casualty, but in spite of his injury issues, it is welcome to what Klopp brings to the Premier League in how he spoke about football before this game against Arsenal this evening. Continue reading “Injuries to Dictate Anfield Clash”

Could Mesut Ozil be delivering the title on a plate for Arsene Wenger?

With all the injuries. The hiccups of the Premier League (including the Boxing Day hammering at the hands of Southampton). Mesut Ozil has been a constant. A constant level of just sublime assistery to almost any Arsenal player in the final third of the field.

Three weeks ago, jokes were abound as Twitter responded to David Moyes claim that ‘the jury was still out’ over the signing of Mesut Ozil. I personally have a lot of time for David Moyes but this really was an incredibly misguided soundbite from the Scotsman. Ozil may have taken a little time to settle in the Premier League but this season he could be what Robin Van Persie was to Manchester United when they last one the title, or Hazard last year to Chelsea. He could be the difference between the Champions and the rest. Continue reading “Could Mesut Ozil be delivering the title on a plate for Arsene Wenger?”

Adrien Rabiot: Is this the January arrival that Arsenal needs?

The Daily Mirror reported on Monday morning that Wenger is looking to strengthen his midfield options come January, and after Arsenal’s defeat of City, surely any such signing will be needed to help Arsenal win their first title since their Emirates move.

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‘It won’t decide the Title but it could spark a run’ – Arsenal vs. Manchester City, 21-12-15

Predicted XI’s

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerín, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud

Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy, Touré, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, Aguero

It was Arsenal’s away trip to the Etihad last year where this latest incarnation of Wenger’s Arsenal announced themselves as potential title challengers for this coming season. Arsenal sat back, they absorbed the pressure and left Manchester with 3 points from a thoroughly un-Arsenal like performance. Whilst this fixture may be at Emirates, the arrival of Pellegrini and co. to north London on Monday night could well be the yet another signifier that this Arsenal team have the psychological strength to go on and win the title in one of the Premier League’s most open of seasons.

Continue reading “‘It won’t decide the Title but it could spark a run’ – Arsenal vs. Manchester City, 21-12-15”

Tottenham vs Arsenal – Capital One Cup 3rd Round, 23/09/2015

When I came back from work I was somewhat excited at the prospect of watching a decent cup derby. The League Cup had been somewhat generous this year with two derbies; Villa against Birmingham the night before and a mid-week North London derby at such an early round brought a little magic to the darken September evening. Not quite the glitz and heritage of the FA Cup but surely a little more enticing than the next round of the Great British Bake Off and yet I was left a little disappointed by the show at White Hart Lane. Here we had a battle of styles; Wenger’s philosophy of possession against Pochettino’s high pressing game in a fixture which just seemingly delivers goals for fun, a cash cow of excitement. Yet this game was more about the lack of fluency than anything else. Continue reading “Tottenham vs Arsenal – Capital One Cup 3rd Round, 23/09/2015”