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Mid Table Arsenal- Permanently?

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Last night was horrible. We hoped for better and it didn’t happen. What do we hope for now? Where do we go from here? Just how deep a hole are we in and who is to blame?

More and more fans are beginning to understand the depth of the hole we are in. The idea that a new coach, and I mean ANY new coach, can bring about a quick fix is frankly ridiculous. Perhaps a slight improvement immediately, and a gradual improvement over the rest of the season is possible, but that’s it and even that is a long shot.

So why do I think we are destined to years of mediocrity? I don’t mean the 3 Fa cups in 4 years type of mediocrity that people thought was mediocrity, I mean proper midtable stuff, no cups and likely no decent cup runs even.

The ownership model of self sustaining means there will be no massive injection of fund to buy our way back into a seat at the top table. We know this. So that’s out! Personally I think that is how every club should run in principal, but if Stan wants the club to have a seat, he would have to put his hand into his back pocket. But let me reiterate, that isn’t going to happen.

In order to have a long term successful plan we need someone with a good plan to be in charge, have a vision and the conviction to see it through,and Stan has to stick by him. The problem is finding that man, the likes of Arsene Wenger doesn’t grow on trees, he was a once in a several lifetimes manager and his like will never be seen again, not least because other clubs would have first dibs.

At present the man with the vision is Don Raul, and it’s not 20/20 vision he has, it’s Mister Magoo vision, he can’t see past his contacts book. I can’t think of a single thing he has done that hasn’t knocked us back at least one step. Seriously, he couldn’t even see that the football brand had to be maintained, simply the most basic and important ethos of the club. Can you imagine any new fan choosing Arsenal now? Other clubs will be building their fan bases and we will be hemorrhaging ours. Tv companies will stop picking Arsenal games, revenue will fall, fans will stop watching and attending if the style of football doesn’t meet their requirements. Now, I can hear people screaming “plastic fans“, but that is the reality of the modern game. Especially if that’s what you started following the club to see , or that is your priority when choosing to support a club. The old “Arsenal ’till I die” fans might not like it, but that is how it works for a club that wants to be a global force.

A rebuild will require patience, Loooooooooooooooooooool, 6 days into Freddie’s term and “patience” has already run out in many quarters. Because of the “we deserve” element in the fanbase, coaches and players will not be given the support necessary to develop and build.

So what can we do about it? The answer is very little, all we can do is be supportive of the coach and players if they are trying to play the right way and doing all they can , I believe Freddie and the majority of our players are. It’s going to be a long hard road back, we must not make the journey more difficult for those tasked  with carrying us, while prompting  those in charge to make the changes that will give the players a fighting chance.

 

59 Comments

Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion

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Arsenal goes up against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium this evening, in hopes of putting an end to our six-game Premier League winless run. Whilst the Seagulls are not doing much better, coming into this game on the back of three straight defeats.
Good day all. Despite not doing very well this season the Gunners are just four points off fifth-placed Wolves. However, we got to pick up the pace before the top-four starts getting to far away from the chasing pack.
Freddie Ljungberg had his first run as Arsenal interim boss at Norwich last Sunday, while we did not play particularly well overall, we came from behind twice for a share the points. Of the issues we struggled with during Unai Emery’s tenure were still there. As we still seem too likely to concede regardless of opposition, as well as the over reliance on Bernd Leno at one end of the pitch and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the other to keep us in the game.
The Swede noted at his pre-match presser that he identified few areas we need to improve on in order to produce better performances to keep hope alive of ending the season in Champions League spots. Of his main concerns were transitions with the defense being left too exposed, flat-footed if we lose the ball. So whilst adjusting he need to ensure the boys stay switched on in order to get wins in our next two games to help ease some of the pressure ahead of the very tricky festive run.
Since winning away at Watford on the opening day Brighton have not win any of their following six games on their travels (D1, L5). So with defeats in their last three games as well as their last four on the road, Graham Potter will be well aware that his side need to end their losing run or risk being dragged into the early relegation scrap; they’re currently hovering just one point above the drop zone.
Potter may feel that this North London trip came at an opportune time to get out of their rut. They also have recent history on their sides, being unbeaten in the last three meetings between these sides (W1, D2). However, his cause for concern will be that his sides defense too are lacking in patches; having conceded at least two goals in five of their away games. Meaning there are vulnerabilities for our attackers to exploit as well.
Team news
Dani Ceballos remain out till at least end of this month, alongside Rob Holding.
Prediction
Having already dropped too many points against sides in the bottom half of the table, this game certainly goes into the “must-win” bracket. Hopefully Freddie’s first game in charge in front of the Emirates faithful will give the Gunners an advantage, but this won’t be a cakewalk though. Given our issues we got to take our chances if we are to get our first win in a very long while.
That said, Arsenal for the win with goals coming at both ends.
— @LaboGoon
30 Comments

Positive, Aggressive Football From Freddie

In his first match as Arsenal’s new head coach, a 2-2 draw with Norwich, there were positive signs from Freddie Ljunberg’s first match as coach of Arsenal but there is still a long way to go. The team showed aggressive, attacking intent but there remains a lack of quality in some positions according to yours truly, Shotta and Blackburn George, the Arseblagger.

Here are some of the issues we discuss:

  • Positives and negatives from Freddie’s first game
  • Players who excelled and those who didn’t.
  • Possible adjustments for next game
  • Overcoming negative fans

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A New Dawn In Norwich City

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Good day all. It’s back to Premier League action for Arsenal with a trip to Carrow Road this afternoon for their clash against Norwich City; Freddie Ljungberg’s first game as interim coach following the sacking of Unai Emery. Whilst the Canaries come into this game on the back of an excellent 2-0 win at Everton; their first in eight league games.
Ensuing a run of two wins from 11 league games and none in our last seven (all competitions), Emery’s dismissal and provisional handing of the reins to Freddie didn’t came as too much of a surprise. As the club now starts the process to find the Spaniard’s potential long-term successor, the club legend has a shot to showcase what he can do with what still remains a very talented squad.
With our recent run leaving us eight points off 4th-placed Chelsea, Freddie’s immediate priority will be to get the Gunners returning to winning ways. For this he will need the buy-in from all players as well as his support staff to help the team moving onwards and upwards. Because a united response is crucial if we are to maintain any hopes of a top-four finish.
The next three games, today’s followed by Brighton and West Ham, are a decent looking run to build up a good bounce ahead of a very tricky festive schedule.
Norwich started their return to the topflight with two wins from their opening five games, including the prized scalp of Pep Guardiola’s star-studded Man City squad. Then it went downhill as they picked up a mere one point in seven matches; a miserable run that saw them concede 16 goals and scoring just two in reply. So Daniel Farke will be hoping for his sides clean sheet win at Goodison Park to be a step in the right direction to kickstart their bid for PL survival.
Team News
David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi picked up knocks midweek and will have their fitness assessed ahead of the game, with Hector Bellerìn also being monitored.
Prediction
Freddie had very little time with the players to get his ideas across, so for now it will just be about a return to basics with a focus on looking to address any ongoing issues. Being an unknown also brings an air of the unpredictable that can be used as an initial advantage in pursuit to ‘steady the ship’.
All things considered, both teams will be desperate for a win which could lead to a very open-game… so expect goals at both end. Here’s hoping for the “new manager bounce” to be on our side and maximum points to move within five points of top-four. COYG
— @LaboGoon
24 Comments

No Quick Fix By Freddie As Interim Coach

In this latest edition of the Uncensored podcast, yours truly and Blackburn George conclude that so much damage has been done to Arsenal over the past 18 months, on and off the field, that there is no quick fix by Freddie as interim head coach. We urge cautious enthusiasm.

Here are some of the issues we discuss:

  • How Raul Sanllehi will affect Freddie’s appointment?
  • What must Freddie do to improve performances?
  • What are his chances of getting the job full-time?

Feel free to give us your feedback in the Comments section of the blog.

How much do you appreciate our factual, no-nonsense point of view?

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This podcast is available at Spreaker, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcast and Google Podcast by searching for Uncensored Arsenal.

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Goodbye Emery, What Now?

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A very good morning one and all.

After last night absolutely abysmal display, who would have thought we would be calling it a good morning? But good morning it is.

I was going to do a match review , pap on about our awful form, lack of style and the worst run of results since 1992,but no need, Things have changed, Unai Emery and all of his staff have been sacked. “Don Raul” and his gang of gimps have finally been forced to pull the trigger. The inevitable has happened, but these executives have a lot to answer for. Not a single one of them comes out of this smelling of roses. In the celebration that Emery has gone, we must not lose sight of the total incompetence displayed my these carpetbaggers.

Now the discussion moves on to who come next?

We all have the chance to display our total expertise in selecting and appointing a successor.

The usual names will be thrown into ring.

Allegri

Ancelotti

Benitez

Pochettino

Rodgers

Vieira

Arteta

Nuno Espírito Santo

Henry

and so on.

We will all be sure we know who it should be and also who it shouldn’t be.

Let’s look for a moment what we would like. We need a coach that has a vision, an attacking philosophy that matches our established brand, that the players will respect and give 100% to, great communication skills, is universally respected, fluent linguist , in other words, someone like Arsene Wenger. Of course it can’t be Arsene, that ship has sailed and he won’t be seen again at the club, in any capacity. The problem is there is no one that matches that profile. All of them will have some of those qualities but none will have them all.

I could go through all of them and say why I don’t like that particular one, or why I like some more than others, but seriously, who  cares? The problem is I would actually trust my judgement more that the chancers that will make the decision, and that isn’t because I have a clue, just that they don’t.

Anyway, i’ll just say my preference would be to be bold and go for Mikel Arteta.

32 Comments

Arsenal vs Eintracht Frankfurt match preview

D1UXZukWsAEv4y8Good day all. It’s the penultimate round of Europa League group fixtures this evening with Arsenal hosting Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates Stadium in a contest that is key to the progress of both sides.
The Gunners need at least one win from their last two group games to ensure they go into the Europa ’round of 32′ as Group F leaders. Coming into this match on the back of a six-game winless run across all competitions one can sense Unai Emery would rather get the job done tonight. Not that it would lift much of the ill-feeling towards him, but just for self-preservation.
This has been a season of tumult and strife for the Arsenal. For a while the ‘cup games’ offered respite, but since Nicolas Pépé scored that pair of match-winning free-kicks versus Guimarães back in October we haven’t got a sniff; resulting in calls for Emery to exit the dugout only growing louder each day. With the big talk around the water cooler that he’s a goner, I sincerely hope that when he does take his final trudge back down the Emirates tunnel it is to applause and not a chorus of boos.
Eintracht Frankfurt had a great Europa run last season, not quite this time though with them needing all kind of permutations to advance to the knockout rounds. Any points they can get tonight would be a huge boost ahead of their final group clash at home to Guimarães in two-weeks.
They are not in good form at the moment, losing their last three matches (all competitions) on the bounce, but with Emery saying: “some teams come here [Emirates] and they are fearless against us”, we can be we sure their coach Adi Hütter’s ears perked up, thinking we are there for the taking. Incidentally the last time they won a match was the 5-1 razing of Bayern Munich; leading to Niko Kovac’s dismissal. A similar result here could see Emery meet the same fate.
Make no mistake, with the players Arsenal got there is no mitigation for this position we found ourselves in, and that is not even an exaggeration. The question however is will we start turning our season around with the Spaniard… or without?
Team news
Dani Ceballos has been ruled out for a few weeks with injury and there are doubts over the fitness of Sead Kolasinac, Bukayo Saka and Rob Holding; with the three unlikely to be risked.
The last time these two sides met the Londoners ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. With a very raucous crowd expected at the Emirates this evening Emery will be desperate for a similar result. So we could see him selecting a very strong matchday XI to purpose in a better performance than recent outings.
— @LaboGoon