Archive for the ‘Arsene Wenger’ Category

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Arséne Wenger and Louis van Gaal have a couple of things in common. Firstly, they are both past the 65 years of age mark. Secondly, they have been unable to adapt themselves to compete in the modern football world.

It is now seven years since van Gaal won La Liga, his last major championship title and a whopping thirteen years since Wenger last won the Premier League. Yes they have both won cups since those days but even a blind squirrel will eventually find a nut and they were both managing historically successful teams at the time. (more…)

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Well folks, it’s that time of the year again! European competition has returned with the start of the knockout stages of both the Champion’s League and the Europa League.

This article was supposed to be a preview of the two tournaments BEFORE any of the games had been played but, thanks to missed deadlines due to oversleeping, is now published after the first round of them has finished.

Fortunately only Arsenal, out of the English contingent, have played their first leg game and everybody knew what was going to happen before a ball was even kicked. (more…)

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The current top six are unlikely to remain with their present managers for too long unless they find a way of sharing the trophies between them on an annual basis.

The Holy Grail, however, remains the Premier League title but with half an eye on winning the Champion’s League, (unless you are Arsenal, in which case just qualifying for the competition is sufficient).

If, this season for example, sees Chelsea win the title, City, United and Tottenham finish in the top four and Liverpool and Arsenal making up the remainder of the top six then little should change for next season. (more…)

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Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger need Sunday to be a good day. They need it for different reasons, but need it they do.

With Manchester City and Tottenham winning on Saturday and Leicester drawing, Arsenal will need at least a point from Stoke City at The Britannia Stadium to return to the summit.

They currently sit third, one point behind the leaders Leicester and level on points with City. Although their goal difference is inferior to City’s it is superior to Leicester’s so they would go top with a draw. Obviously it would be better from an Arsenal point of view if they could get all three points, that way they could at least put a little daylight between themselves and the pursuers.

A loss to Stoke would not be disastrous, however it would encourage Tottenham Hotspur who are currently only four points behind them in fourth place.

For Manchester United only a win will lift them above West Ham into fifth place. More importantly it would keep them within two points of Tottenham. What they certainly don’t need to be doing is allowing a gap to develop between fourth place and the rest. (more…)

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(Arsene and Louis both see three points magically transformed into one by last-gasp equalisers against their teams)

Part One

So, fresh from drawing 3-3 with Newcastle, where Manchester United threw away a 2-3 lead with only a few minutes left, the question now is, do we prefer boring 1-0 wins against first division strugglers at Old Trafford? Or would we rather hightail it up the A1(M) to Newcastle to watch exciting score draws? Answers on a postcard to the usual address!

Seriously though, van Gaal is now, rightly, having a go at his players for firstly, conceding a two goal lead, then secondly, conceding the equaliser in the dying minutes.

In the previous game against Sheffield United he defended them by pointing out to the watching world that, “they won the game”. Yes they did Louis, nobody is disputing that, not even Sheffield United fans. The problem you appear to overlook with this glib summary is that, in more than fifty years of watching United, that is one of the most boring games I have ever seen , if not the most boring!

Does he stick or twist? Does he continue trying to fix the bonnet and leaving the boot open, or does he close the boot while it rains on the engine? Van Gaal can’t seem to find a way to close both the bonnet and the boot at the same time. The other onfield problem of course, to continue with the metaphors, is that the car doesn’t have a driver. (more…)

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Jose Mourinho didn’t need to win this game. He didn’t even need to draw this game. He can be eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage, knocked out of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge by the Wheeltappers and Shunters social club second eleven, and be relegated to the Championship and it won’t bother him a jot. Why? Because he has what nobody else in Britain has had since Lord Ferg retired. He has job security!

He knows Roman Abramovich so well that he knows the innermost thoughts of the Chelsea owner without being told what they are.

Convinced as he is that he has a job for life that still didn’t stop him urging, cajoling and pushing his team hard for the victory which keeps him in the competition if not important in keeping him in a job.

Chelsea were not their last-season-excellent selves, they were just efficient and did a good job when that was what was required. A 2-0 win sees them stagger into the knockout stage where they will lose to either Benfica, PSG or Juventus. (more…)

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(Arsene Wenger’s reaction upon hearing the news that Sir Alex Ferguson is to retire as manager of Manchester United)

Arsene Wenger’s attempt to achieve godlike status with Arsenal is faltering due to his failure to compete in the Champions League and Premier League for the last few seasons. By compete, what I mean is still be in with a realistic chance of winning both competitions in March.

Having brought in some excellent young French players in the early years, the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Emmanuel Petit and Sylvain Wiltord spring to mind, he has recently had to resort to spending big on famous names, with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez coming to the Emirates. Oh, I nearly forgot, and Danny Welbeck.

You get the impression that this isn’t the Arsene way. He doesn’t like to spend £40 or £50 million and only get one player, he used to expect four or five or even more for that kind of outlay. (more…)