Would They? 

We had what some pundits chose to call a “walk in the park win in which Arsenal did absolutely nothing to deserve” on Saturday last week at the liberty stadium against Swansea City football club. This match ended 4 goals to none for the Gunners. It made me think that punditry should not be for everyone, not even all players who had great careers; because punditry is about your impression of a football match with respect to available stats from the game. However what we have, most often than naught, are a bunch of people inside a studio with bias on their eyes the size of Wales. 

During this said match, an incident occurred just before half time that had the potential of altering the dynamics of the whole match; KI S.Y. was given a yellow card for incitation in what looked to be a penalty call against Arsenal at the onset. For up to 15 seconds, I thought “hell no not again”, cos we have been on the receiving end of dubious calls for a long time now that I gave my heart some allowance to accommodate one or two, however unwarranted they were, during any given Arsenal match. Thankfully, the call was against KI who trudged against Koscielny’s static foot in a bid to earn a penalty. Thankfully, Mike Jones who officiated the match was astute enough, albeit with some stroke of providence to us, to snife it out as incitation; and he was spot on. On another day, Mike Dean or some other bloke who shouldn’t have any business officiating an EPL match, would have awarded it a penalty to the host team. It’s little wonder he was demoted to the championship. Woe unto thee championship clubs…

       This man and his likes are killing EPL

Here is a nice read on some of the worst officiated games of our season so far.

At the end of last year, I came across news headline about FIFA introducing a video replay technology in football. I was very elated about it because the game was becoming increasingly annoying for passionate football fans  like me across the globe, especially in the English league, who commit a lot of emotions and most often are hurt by poor officiating by the likes of Mike Dean. Imagine millions of minds being troubled on account of a decision which would have been verified in 3 seconds with replay technology. The idea is for the match official to consult a video assistant before making certain decisions which will greatly and unfairly impact on the game if gotten wrong: Hand balls, penalty call, incitation, offside call, disallowed goals etc.

Just a few days ago, the FA were in the news, this time they were looking at introducing a retrospective ban for diving. Diving is just one of the vices plaguing the beautiful game. The match officials, consciously or unconsciously, are being increasingly in the wrong on decision calls for most of these vices. The frequency of which beggars disbelief. This can never be sustainable for the beautiful game. Don’t expect fans to take this nonsense forever. Italian league used to be the best league back in the day.. Introducing a retrospective ban will not bring back the lost points to a team who got cheated by a player’s diving antics. So how is that fair for competition? Oh it brings in a bit of revenue into the FA cofers? Let’s face it, the said player would end up paying a fine in addition to the “ban”. My questions are: why is the FA looking at introducing retrospective punishment as opposed to introducing video assistant which will detect a dive in real time? Is the FA secretly giving certain teams undue advantage over others using the PGMOL? Won’t the emergence of this diving punishment be the end of any talk of video assistant? Do you really think FA will implement this punishment and video assistant too? Your guess is as good as mine.

In other news, the team is doing well at the injury front because Bellerin is back in training. Per is rumoured to have signed a new one year contract extension worth around £70k/wk. Don’t know if its good news or bad news to Arsenal fans. Our opponent in the FA cup 4th round has been confirmed; Southampton, 28th Jan. 2017. Next up is our return to Emirate stadium to host Burnley in the PL. Let’s hope for a great weekend of football. COYG!

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.