The Immovable Force Meets Reality & Early Spurs Team News

beIN Sports get their money’s worth when Arsène is on commentating duties. This time he’s ‘clarifying’ the end of season discussion he and the board will have. Not contract talks but about the future; there’s a subtle difference between the two and Ivan’s got a metric to measure it.

Have they learned anything from last season or are we to see more disruption while the manager dilly-dally’s over his future? It’s a test for Ivan and the board as much as Arsène. Any director who is incapable of resolving the issue this summer, isn’t acting in the best interests of the club.

Not that they care about the football side of things; that’s an inconvenience to the business of making Stan more money. Anyway, yesterday’s Fiver email from The Guardian offered hope for Wenger when it comes to his next job. England expects. “Given the lack of success we’ve had over the past several decades,” one contributor said, before adding Wenger was perfect for the job because “the fourth place trophy would be positively spiffing”.

Anyway, it’s all frippery at the moment. Arsène spoke to the press this morning which means the North London Derby is almost upon us. Two days away by the time this reaches you, I should think. If not sooner the way this morning is going.

Team news was the order of the day with Laurent Koscielny’s absence from France’s 2 – 2 draw with Germany deemed “necessary” by Arsène. An indication of how bad the French international’s condition is became clear when Wenger elaborated,

“It was needed for him. We couldn’t use him for a number of games, he just came back against City because he had an Achilles tendon injury. If he had played in midweek, he certainly would not have been available for Saturday.”

Three Days in the Desert Fun

It’s one of those situations where you wonder why Koscielny wasn’t sent home by the French. OK, they were facing Brazil and Germany; so what? Both were friendlies and ultimately meaningless. Given the centre-back’s recent injury woes, a fortnight’s rest was surely the best answer?

Seemingly not. Anyway, he’s the most obvious worry as the weary troops trudge back to London Colney. Fitness tests aren’t just confined to them; the likes of Mustafi and Welbeck are also being assessed but not until tomorrow. Both will be on the bench if they pass muster, I should think.

Giroud, as I mentioned earlier in the week, is not a concern for Saturday. Thursday’s trip to Cologne is more important for his season and Arsène called his injury “short-term”, expecting his compatriot to be back in training on Monday.

At the bottom of that page, there’s a poll on “Who should start up front in the north London derby?” If it’s anyone other than Alexandre Lacazette, I hope Arsène’s tailor can rustle up a white bondage coat with some extra long sleeves. He’ll need it.

Wenger said he has “big decisions to make up front,” but that “it’s a possibility [Lacazette will start] because he’s available.”

I’m old-fashioned because I thought spending £52m on a striker meant he was the real deal, ready and raring to go in the Premier League. Obviously not; he’s missed our two biggest away games since joining and that’s not what we expected, particularly since they both ended in defeat with seven goals. 

Not starting the best finisher at the club by a long chalk, is handicapping yourself before kick-off, giving the advantage straight away to your opponents. This is a match Arsenal can’t afford to lose. I also think it’s one Arsène can’t afford to lose.

And a Perfect Disguise Above

A man who made such a big play of the top four finish is likely to find himself four points adrift of fourth in the nightmare scenario. The reaction to a Tottenham defeat is normally bad enough; this time, it is almost unthinkable.

Arsenal already only have the FA Cup and Europa League to play for – I assume the League Cup will go out the window next round – and slipping behind the top four cuts the options of Champions League football next season to one. It’s a risky strategy to follow. United succeeded last season but can Arsenal get the same luck of the Europa League draw?

To leave Lacazette out is nonsensical. To even think about it isn’t far short of that.

’til Tomorrow.



33 thoughts on “The Immovable Force Meets Reality & Early Spurs Team News

  1. Every so called experts have already given the match to Tottenham to trash us. This will only be aided by Wenger if he does not start Lacazette come Saturday.

  2. Good stuff.

    If Lacazette doesn’t start and say Welbeck, any and all criticism that is fires his way will be completely justified.

    As far as Kos and his Achilles goes, well if its that bad, again it begs the question, Why was Gabriel sold?

  3. The brace Lacazette bagged earlier this week for France was very impressive.

    I see us being totally overwhelmed in midfield.

    The Kos situation if it were not so serous one would have to laugh. How long does Kos have left at Arsenal?

    Ray Parlours combined North London team features only 4 of the current team – Sanchez, Bellerin, Kos and Ramsey.The rest all Spuds and I personally would not argue. In fact Ramsey would not be included by myself and I’d have doubts abut Kos.

    Times have changed.

  4. Good day one and all.

    Wenger has already compromised the club’s ability to sign the players we need in the next two transfer windows. His weasel words about his contract situation leave the club in limbo.

    The Sanchez/Ozil situation is now entering the realms of fantasy. There have been no talks with the former and talks with the latter have broken down, yet Wenger still cannot say whether or not either player will leave in January. Even he can no longer believe they will be around next season.

    Now would be a good time to set a firm target for Wenger to reach for this season. Meet the target and stay on for the final year, miss it and leave in May.

    Sadly the gutless bunch of yes-men calling themselves directors are just not capable of doing the right thing for the future wellbeing of Arsenal Football Club.

  5. According to Wenger, if Koscielny had played mid-week he wouldn’t have been available for Saturday. This begs the question, why was he allowed to join up with the French squad in the first place?

  6. Orson Kaert,

    It also begs the question, why was Gabriel sold or why wasn’t a CB brought in?

    Chambers has returned to training and I think he has a really good chance to be a good CB, Holding I’m concerned about, Mustafi I think has the goods but is still developing as a CB and Mert is set to retire. We do have young Bielik but he is injured and that is about it.

  7. Dixon says there is no balance between attack and defence
    inArsenal. Andthats why with the emphasis on attack,the gunners will
    leak goals.Why?The defence has beena shambles since Adams and
    company left.
    If Wenger aint careful,Kane or other spurs could be on a on one
    with Cech. Then eit will be game over.Then we will have to
    wait for May to seewhether the fm will leave.

  8. C,

    As always, with Wenger, there are more questions than answers.

    I don’t think he has a coherant plan as far as recruitment is concerned, whether for defenders, midfielders or strikers, it seems that as the end of each transfer window approaches he dashes out to buy whatever is left in the shop window.

    Instead of swanning off to France, to cement his next job as a pundit, he should have been working on some semblance of a plan for the upcoming transfer window.

  9. C,
    Hello C absolutely Dembele over Ransey.

    I watched the France v Wales game. Ramsey was a spectator. I tell you the French have a squad. The fact that K Benzenma is still being omitted by the Water Carrier is pathetic. Deschamp has bowed to the French powers that be. Benzema was on French TV last week stating he’s ready and available.

    Fekir of Kyon looks very very promising along with Q Tolisimo whose at Bayern. Nzoni is whom we need right now. Plenty of PL experience. The Young African ( name slips me) CB for Germany looks useful also.We are going to be needed at least 2 new signings in that position for next season plus a goal keeper.

  10. Orson Kaert,

    Orsinu he shows no coherent idea at all with regard to signings.

    Sad to say bit look at what The Spuds Manager has done. The 3 Bain CBs at the Spuds have all cone from ? Ajax. Sanches Alberwald and Vertongen all cut from the same cloth Schooled in football terns in very much the sane way.

  11. Orson Kaert,

    Tend to completely agree with you. Not only in the window but also for during the season.

    Its strange to me that there seems to always br questions and the answers only lead to more and more questions. Ultimately I think we need to be planning and should have planned for this upcoming season and summer when it seems quite a few players could be moving on or simply not be able to stay fit enough.

    O well, guess at some point Arsene will learn.

  12. France’s squad of players, and their next wave of youngsters, is bordering on obscene.

    Mind you, Germany are hardly slouches on these fronts.

    Hello C absolutely Dembele over Ransey.

    I watched the France v Wales game. Ramsey was a spectator. I tell you the French have a squad. The fact that K Benzenma is still being omitted by the Water Carrier is pathetic. Deschamp has bowed to the French powers that be. Benzema was on French TV last week stating he’s ready and available.

    Fekir of Kyon looks very very promising along with Q Tolisimo whose at Bayern. Nzoniis whom we need right now. Plenty of PL experience. The Young African ( name slips me) CB for Germany looks useful also.We are going to be needed at least 2 new signings in that position for next season plus a goal keeper.

  13. Great post yogi.

    I always try to be fair and look at both sides when it comes to arsenes decisions. However I can’t see even a hint of logic to leaving Lacazette on the bench

    Obviously the North London rivalry changes things but our real must win games are the ones against mid and lower table teams especially at home. Since the start of the Emirates era I don’t think we can ever realistically expect an Arsène Wenger team to win against a top 4 team. Even with our miserable record against the top teams we have been able to hold on to our top 4 spot until last season and as long as we continue to win all the home games and a few away games against mid and lower table teams then we will be able to compete for 4th

  14. C, you rascal, you have made me think — and I don’t want to;

    There are more questions than answers
    Pictures in my mind that will not show
    There are more questions than answers
    And the more I find out the less I know.

    Oh, what is life, how do we live
    What should we take and how much should we give

    And now you have me on a hook — surely when we accept it is OK not to have answers, because it is OK not to be perfect, you can accept that being confused is part of being human.
    Most of us are aware that we should judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers.
    But in football, when it is a question of money, everyone is the same.

    Enough! —- As I said, C, you have made me bestir myself, and my question to you is — why do gooseberries grow whiskers, and grapes don’t. 😀

  15. Anyone else seen this?

    Arsene Wenger met the press on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s match against Tottenham.

    During the presser the Arsenal boss was asked for an update on Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla.
    Cazorla has not featured for Arsenal since October of last year, when he picked up an achilles injury in a Champions League clash with Ludogorets.

    The original diagnosis of the Spaniard’s problem suggested that he would be ruled out for just 3 weeks.
    However, this has since proved to be far from the case, with Cazorla having now joined the likes of former Arsenal stars Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby in missing lengthy periods with what had originally been deemed only a minor issue.

    According to Arsene Wenger, Santi Cazorla’s injury is “the worst I have ever known”.
    Asked if the Spaniard might never play again, the Gunners boss replied: “I hope you are wrong.” Wenger added:
    I must say, I know how much Santi Cazorla loves to play football and loves to be out there every day. I feel really sorry for what happened to him because it’s unbelievable.

    The last time I saw him was one month ago, he came here. I told him to prepare as well as he can, he has competent medical people around him, and told him to try to practice.

    I have not spoken to him recently but I hope he comes back. I left him out of the squad hoping he’d be available in January, that was my target.

    Doesn’t sound too good does it? Poor old Santi. 🙁

  16. OK, so cannot get your attention with the previous one – how about:

    —- Arsenal are in talks to bring Borussia Dortmund chief scout Sven Mislintat to the Emirates, according to ESPN.

    Mislintat is a highly-respected figure in European football, helping to mastermind Dortmund’s moves for players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele, and Robert Lewandowski.

    Bavarian giants Bayern Munich were close to appointing Mislintat as their technical director in the summer, but it now looks as though Arsenal have swooped in for the sought-after talent spotter.

    Arsenal’s current chief scout, Steve Rowley, who has been at the club since 1996, is reportedly to leave his post as part of a backroom reshuffle led by CEO Ivan Gazidis, who is spearheading the behind-the-scenes overhaul.

    There has been no comment from either side regarding the appointment, but Arsenal have reportedly entered talks with the 45-year-old.

    That could be very good news if Ol’ Gazidis can land the guy! 😀

  17. Ras,

    Hey Ras,

    Yea France’s squad depth is absolutely crazy and the fact that Benzema is still being omitted is madness to me, say what you want about his character but he is still a world class striker. Deschamps I think is a bit of a mad man especially when you consider that he said Lacazette needs to work harder and didn’t do enough against Germany despite him bagging a brace and being widely applauded by everybody else for his overall play while Deschamps then applauded Giroud for his goal against Wales.

    Fekir is a brilliant player and if he was the reward for losing one of Ozil or Sanchez (probably Sanchez) I would thank Sanchez and put the band of LAcazette and Fekir back together. He really is a playmaker who over the past 2 seasons turned into a goal scorer as well and is doing so consistently. Its a real shame that Tolisso went to Bayen but that lad is quality through and through, I wish Arsene would have handed Lyon 100m for Lacazette, Fekir and Tolisso in the summer.

    Nzonzi would be a good get but at 29 years old I doubt he would come back and I think there are enough quality CM’s that are young that are there to be had but I certainly understand what your getting at.

  18. HenryB,

    Its always good to get one quality thought in a day, so think of it as I’m helping you get your in.

    Its okay not to be perfect but when you answers don’t really answer the initial question and then lead to more questions that only make the original question even more of a head-scratcher, then its time for you to stand in front of the firing squad and the truth needs to be told.

    I agree, when its money at big time futbol clubs, then its all even and it comes down to managers and their decisions, enough said.

    I don’t even know what a gooseberry is so I don’t have an answer and I don’t want to think about it so I won’t!

  19. I am not sure why a highly qualified talent scout who is in demand from the worlds biggest teams would want to work for Arsène who wants to keep such tight control over the football operations and decisions. Arsène certainly seems to value loyalty and prefers to keep people that he feels comfortable working with. I think the effectiveness of our scouting has certainly gone south in this decade and yet how many teams have same scouting director since 1996?

    I suspect someone with a strong resume like Mislintat would be reluctant to work in and would be be less likely to thrive in the sort of deferential culture that Arsène has built with his assistant coaches and high level support staff.

  20. There are positive aspects of stability but at some point its almost inevitable that things tend to go stale and stagnation sets in and when that happens the stability loses its advantages and becomes a negative. That is just plain and simple human nature. I think you need to freshen up your coaching staff and bring in some new ideas and some new energy once in a while and you need people who are at least willing to question the status quo. I can’t imagine any other big team in the world having the same scouting apparatus for 22 years.

  21. Morning Dalm,

    Go on — help me out here — there are some uncertainties and double negatives in your 6:06 a.m. that a lawyer would be proud to have written.

    Can Arsenal afford to lose matches? Or not? And can you be sure? Or not?
    And if you might disagree with YW, or not, and you are not sure what you think about losing, or not — was there a purpose in telling him?

    I am about to start the Times cryptic crossword — which is a lot easier to understand! 😀

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