Arsenal’s Tendency to Quickly Lose Their Swagger is an Issue That Needs Resolving

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Arsenal travelled to Wembley on February 10 to face Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur side, with something of a swagger. The demolition job of Everton the previous weekend hadn’t cured all ills, but this was an Arsenal side with fresh blood, renewed vigour, and based on the 5-1 win over Everton, a strut that had been missing for quite some time.

The debut of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal an irrepressible feel in attack. All speed and movement and of course a 37th-minute goal that might as well have been the 90th minute for Everton, such was the feeling of finality for the visitors’ afternoon.

But in midfield Arsenal were all-encompassing. Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka were excellent, particularly Ramsey who scored the first hat-trick of his career. In front of them, Alex Iwobi’s solidity was complemented by new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil who looked like a new signing.

There is no better feeling for a player than to know he is wanted. And there is no greater endorsement than a £350,000-a-week contract. Ozil played with a fluency that if replicated regularly, would secure his legacy as a very fine Arsenal player.

In Mkhitaryan, Arsene Wenger has another player who appeared to be playing with new found freedom. The creator of three of his side’s goals against Everton, the former Manchester United player could do little wrong. In a new environment, the Armenian flourished. Weighted passing, acute crossing, and displaying innate craft in attack, who is to say Wenger had not got as good a side of the bargain as Jose Mourinho did.

Despite all this, though, Tottenham were still seen as the probable winners in the North London derby. With four points between the two sides before the game, a home win would have seen a pretty clear break between the top five and the rest of the Premier League. The caveat, of course, being that within that top five Manchester City are seemingly uncatchable, reflective in their odds-on favourite tags with the likes of William Hill.

But any certainty of a win for Pochettino’s side was challenged by the fact that on the previous nine occasions Arsenal had been at Wembley, they have won. Spurs, though, need not have panicked. The Everton win was not necessarily a false dawn, but against Spurs, they had the opportunities to at least equalize, but simply did not take them.

A fine headed goal by Harry Kane was enough to see Spurs win. If the first half lacked life, the second half was brimming with it. And it was Spurs who illustrated that for any excitement in the build-up following the debuts of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan the week before, the reality of Spurs general superiority as a team was evident.

Spurs were deserving winners of the 195th derby meeting of the two sides, and it was a reality check for Arsenal. A Champions League place has not slipped completely from Arsenal’s grasp. But without a consistent run of high-quality performances, the 2018/19 season could see another stint in the Europa League.

Reports: Jack Wilshere set to accept pay cut [ £90,000 a week ] to seal new contract

February 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League, Transfers

Arsenal has been handed some great news with reports emerging that Jack Wilshere is set to accept a new contract offer from the North London club despite being offered a pay cut.

The England international is due to be out of contract at the end of the season and would have been a big loss to Arsenal should he leave on a free transfer.

According to a report garnered from the Telegraph, Wilshere looks close to finally renewing his contract with Arsenal by putting pen to paper on reduced wages to reflect his poor recent injury record, with Wilshere set to drop down to earning around £90,000 a week, though with the potential to still go back up to his current £110,000.

Tottenham Hotspur hosts Arsenal in the North London derby on Saturday (12:30 pm). Looking for betting tips and match previews, click here for the best offers.

Wilshere’s new deal contract would be more positive news for the fans after what turned out to be a reasonably strong January transfer window, with Arsene Wenger doing brilliantly well in replacing Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, and Theo Walcott.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were brought in at the Emirates Stadium, while the Frenchman also managed to tie down star playmaker Mesut Ozil to a new contract.

The England international joining Ozil in extending his stay at the Emirates would be another significant boost for Arsenal as they need to keep what remains of the core of his squad together.

With plenty of recent changes to the team, Arsenal’s stability is important for the Gunners as they start to plan for next season already.

Wilshere has always looked like a top-class performer when fit, and he’s shown this season that the worst of his injury issues seem to be behind him.

A New Era Begins at Arsenal Without Alexis Sanchez

January 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Alexis Sanchez has finally moved to Manchester United and Arsene Wegner can now finally look ahead with a new generation of Gunners. The Sanchez drama begun a couple months back with the player refusing to sign a new contract while he received interesting offers from both United and Manchester City.

Initially it was thought Sanchez would be snatched by Barcelona after a meeting with Pep Guardiola got filtered to the media. In the end the devils got the player and Arsenal got Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of the deal.

With the end of the deal Arsenal is beginning to show some form after beating Chelsea 2 – 1 in the second leg of the EFL Cup semifinals, despite some criticism. Next month they will face Manchester City to win yet again another local cup.

In an interview with Sky Sports Wenger said:

“Uncertainty gone. We lost a great player, but of course it’s true that when the team doesn’t know what’s going on, there’s less clarity and less focus on performances.”

“Now we know that we have to deal with that and we can get on by giving everyone a little bit more.”

In the game against Chelsea Granit Xhaka scored the deciding goal in the second half after Antonio Rudiger own goal ruined Eden Hazard’s first master piece opener.

Wenger was not happy with Arsenal’s first half accusing the squad of being too fearful and over-careful.

“We gave them too much respect, too much distance,” he said. “We were maybe too scared to go for it.

“We suffered from that. We weren’t in the right positions on the pitch in the first half, we rectified that and took control of the game in the second half.

“In the first half we watched them play a little and they strolled through our lines, but in the second half we were tighter. The midfield came in the game more and we started to dominate.”

There has been a fairly amount of criticism of how Arsenal played that first half, Antonio Conte, manager of Chelsea, blames the loss from getting “unlucky”, implying they should have won if some key moments had played out differently. Some people just don’t know how to lose. If your team losses against a rival that got slammed by the media for playing poorly, then how bad did you play?

This is one of those games live bettors make their day by nailing the key moments were the game turns around. While many may have thought Chelsea had the game deciphered by halftime, those who trust in Wegner’s ability to spin things around once he finds what is failing, had a perfect market to enter into a bet favoring Arsenal.

The pressure to score a goal on that second half was strong, the possibility of the gunners scoring at least one goal or leaving holes in their defense to allow Chelsea to secure the game was also high. This is when you need to take a look at real-time odds by going to this link and snatching some great market prices.