What Next For Arsenal?

It was a one week to forget for Arsenal as they failed to pick up a single point in two games. First was at Goodison park where a host of school boys error changed what would have been a routine win for Arsenal. Much has been written on that match. Next was the clash with Manchester City at the Etihad stadium on Sunday. Again, lack of urgency and seriousness cost Arsenal what would have been a routine win if they had maintained focus.

However, one denominator was consistent with both games; Arsène Wenger crying foul about the officiating of both matches. At Everton it was the manner in which the toffees made the game physical while the ref failed to control the game accordingly, gifting very crucial decisions in Everton’s favour and denying Arsenal of very clear calls. Koeman was not having that and accused Wenger of being a “sore loser”. The game at Etihad picked up from where the previous one stopped at, gifting city two goals which were clear offside. Truth be told, Arsenal were piss-poor on the day, but does not make Martin Atkinson right in leaving those two goals to stand. Arsène, rightly, was less than impressed by those unfortunate outcome, as he voiced his frustration:

“The two goals are two offside goals and in a game of that stature I feel enough is enough for us. We got some bad decisions for the whole season and today I looked at the goals and both are offside.

“The second one is five yards offside. The first one is still offside. But what can I do? We have to live with that. We have to look at ourselves and analyse why we lost the game.”

Sanè scored Man city’s first goal. It clearly was offside.

Here is a detailed piece on refereeing in England as written by Untold Arsenal.

Recently, Alexis and Özil contract situation have made headlines in the media. Apparently, their agents are looking to milk Arsenal as much as they can, given their clients form or lack of it. Personally, I think they went too far with their demands. A club from China offered Alexis £400k/wk which his camp is using as leverage to demand a king’s ransom from Arsenal. Özil, in spite of his bad form in recent weeks, is demanding in excess of £300k/wk from Arsenal. It must be recalled that the said player was a passenger on sunday at Etihad stadium. So much that this meme was made by Arsenal fans in that respect: 

Gary Neville couldn’t put his situation more nicely:

You talk about Sanchez and Ozil as though Arsenal Football Club is going to end if they leave. Arsenal have had far better players than them over the last 20 years. I wouldn’t worry too much about them holding the club to ransom. Make them an offer and if they don’t stay let them go. Arsenal Football Club will still be here in a 100 years’ time.

Souness had this to say on the matter:

They are asking for money that is only given to players who have won the big trophies. And they haven’t won any big trophies.

Henry speaking on the matter said:

At the moment they are holding the club hostage. They are amazing but if they are on that amount of money, I want a hat-trick every week – and also when there’s no game! You need to be in a situation where you’ve won something already for the club to ask for that amount of money.

Sanchez at the Etihad stadium. Is he being affected by the contract situation?

I agree with these legends. They won it all, played for so long on the big stage, but never held their clubs hostage as this two are trying to do with Arsenal. I am all for giving them a new contract, but not on those terms. Özil will have to earn it. Sanchez is working his ass off in every game, but £400k/wk? Way too much.

So what next for Arsenal? First, the gunners must rediscover the form that took them almost 20 games without defeat across all competition. They must hope that Mustafi returns, at the worst, on schedule. They must handle these contract negotiations in such a way that it does not interfere with the productivity on the pitch. Lastly, Arsène must strengthen the squad this January; increase competition in the squad by getting one or two players in. Payet and Draxler will not be bad.

Let’s hope that Arsenal’s form will start to improve starting with the next game at home against the Baggies on boxing day fixtures. COYG!!

-Fair Play Gooner 

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Alexis And Özil’s Contract Stans Off.

                   Source: Getty Image

The details of Mesut Özil and Chilean Alexis’ contract extension are not known to anybody outside the boardroom at the moment. However, that has not stopped speculations in various section of the media on what might be or not be the reason for the “delay” in their contract negotiation. Rumour has it that they both are demanding in the excess of  £200k/wk in wages amongst other things.

The duo joined Arsenal few years ago from two of the world’s biggest teams; Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Mesut Özil is still Arsenal’s record signing at £43M. Alexis arrived in a big money move for around £35m a year after the former was signed. They both have formed the spine of what is now the new look Arsenal; and are they a delight to watch? Talking of which this VIDEO is a prime example of how good they are.

“If you love to watch football, you love Mesut Özil”

-Arsène Wenger

In today’s world where teenagers command almost half that wage to sit on the bench most of the time, it looks quite cheap to pay them that money-to be honest. No one would doubt the input of both players. They have been absolutely outstanding for our team and are the players we look up to when we need inspiration. Özil’s artistic vision on the pitch and Alexis tireless forward displays week in week out deserves a reward from the Arsenal big wigs. 

If they can get some more deadwoods like Debuchy, Sanogo and  (recently) Mertesacker off the wage bill, then there would be enough cash to balance the books. Let’s face it, these players have little to offer us now. Debuchy is not even a backup to Bellerin, Mertesacker is further down the pecking order behind Mustafi, Koscielny, Gabriel and Holding. (Not forgetting Chambers on loan at Middlesbrough). Sanogo is a conundrum. I believe these players would be axed by next summer-if they are not moved on by January transfer window.

“I chose him because Alexis is a guy who can take people on and I knew that would be a quality that would work. He’s always a player who is not scared of anybody”

The good thing about Alexis and Özil is that they came in with huge reputation, lived up to their hype and are developing well under the watchful eyes of Wenger. Alexis has added penalty box predation to his lockers while Özil has added goalscoring to his many strong points. These are markers that these guys are not gonna relax on their laurel as they are as ambitious as they are winners. These are the type of players Arsenal need to hold onto at all cost, hence they should be given what they are requesting. Bayern Munich would pay Özil that amount without blinking. Juventus would be too glad to prize Alexis away from Arsenal.

So their contract renewal would represent a further show of intent that Arsenal are no more a selling club, and that we are well and capable of competing with the rest of European heavyweights. Let’s secure the future of our best players. I am convinced that this will be a golden generation for Arsenal. 

The Team Sheet Is Out: Manchester United vs Arsenal.

The team news is out. 3 changes from the team that played out a draw in the NLD; Jenkinson comes in for the injured young right back Bellerin, Ramsey starts in place of Alex Iwobi who has a slight dip in form and El neny starts along side coqueline at the heart of the midfield.I hope Ramsey give Jenkinson the needed protection from pacy wingers on the right flank. It’s more or less the best team for now. Let’s get behind them. To a win at old Trafford!