Keep those emails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
How Arsenal can win out of this situation
Arsenal have just lost one of the most technically gifted players in the world, a player who can change a game in an instance and adds a magical spark that Arsenal had lacked for a while. He scored boatloads of goals for us and between Sanchez and Ozil, we have been carried for a couple of years and rewarded with some FA Cups. There is no doubt he is a big loss to Arsenal and Miki, while good, is not a like for like replacement in terms of quality. However, Arsenal are set to overall gain more from this in my opinion. Let me explain.
United are are not going to win the Premier League and they were surely pretty confident pre-Sanchez of top 4. Sanchez isn’t going to make a massive difference here. Are they realistically going to win the Champions League? Even with Sanchez, this seems unlikely, thought slightly more believable with Sanchez in the side. So essentially they have added 150-200k (who knows exactly) to their wages to maintain the exact same expectations for the season. I believe this definitely improves their first XI but I don’t think it makes a big enough difference to overcome the existing gaps with the other big teams, at leasts this season.
Arsenal on the other hand now, in my opinion, have a more realistic chance at Top 4 now. While Arsenal lose one of their best players, there is clearly no love lost between the players and Sanchez. No social media tears compared to Coquelin leaving is very revealing. So there is a certain level of toxic atmosphere that has been present around the Emirates, and we can surely put 2 and 2 together and say Sanchez played a bit part in that. This clearly has had an impact on the players, including Sanchez himself, which explains his poor form and our inconsistent form.
With Sanchez leaving, this cloud could be lifted and thus lift the mood at the club. Miki might not improve our first XI but he is not a bad player. They now can turn back to focusing on Lacazette as a focal point for our attack which will hopefully bring the best out of him. We also won’t lose the ball 20-40 times a game now. If we can get Aubameyang, which seems genuine, Arsenal will leave this window in a much better position than they entered it. I don’t think we would even think about Aubameyang until Sanchez was gone.
I haven’t focused on the Miki in return because he is a completely unknown quantity at this moment in time. In the long-term, if we can’t get Ozil to re-sign and bring in Aubameyang, then our long term reputation will be shattered. But do this, and get back into the Champions League, things can look bright again.
With recent results, top 4 is now back on as a realistic achievement for the year. If Sanchez leaving gets Arsenal back into the groove, bring some much needed confidence and allows the players to lift their heads, and Arsenal would have gained a lot more out of the deal than Utd will.
Rob A (watch Sanchez score 30 goals in the next 10 games…) AFC
A great one on Sanchez’s relationship with Arsenal
Re: Global Gooner’s mail this morning, I agree that van Persie’s move to Old Trafford hurt more. But I disagree that it’s to do with his style of play, or any other purely sporting reason for that matter. From my perspective it simply comes down to the relationship (or lack of) that Sanchez had with the football club.
To be sure: Sanchez is a fantastic football player and he will improve United considerably. This inconvenient fact is admittedly pretty frustrating in isolation as United are already competing at a more ambitious level than Arsenal.
But van Persie hurt a lot more because he really understood the club, seemed to revel in the privilege of being part of its history, and yet still left us (yes, I know; probably because he *really* understood the club). Dare I say it: he was a Gooner.
Now, for all I know, Sanchez could well talk at length about the significance of Herbert Chapman, Bertie Mee or David Rocastle. But he certainly never gave that impression – and this point is crucial. Quite the opposite, he cut an isolated, detached and aloof figure throughout his time at Arsenal, who showed no interest beyond his individual performance and medal haul.
I don’t claim to find that hard to understand; he wasn’t raised an Arsenal fan, after all, and he was at the club purely because we made him a decent offer when he was pushed out of Barcelona and he felt he had a chance of furthering his career here. The very least you can say for him is that he was fully committed to maintaining his individual level (again, emphasis on the individual) and did his job very well in this regard. For that I am grateful.
But it was a transactional relationship and that has set the tone for his departure. Albeit bodged in its execution and timing, it will be considered decent business nevertheless if Arsenal do indeed add Aubameyang or another of his ability to Mkhitaryan as Sanchez’s replacement. If we don’t adequately replace him, then it can be considered bad business. But it’s business either way and it cannot be considered in emotional terms. Certainly an Arsenal legend (in the true sense of the word) has not departed the club. If that’s a clinical assessment it simply mirrors the relationship Sanchez had with Arsenal.
And if I sound like a dejected Arsenal fan claiming he didn’t fancy her anyway, allow me to qualify this: I’m happy to put my heart out there and admit that Ozil’s potential departure would sting considerably. That is because Ozil has attached himself to the club. And during these relatively barren years for Arsenal, that is the least we require as fans: for the players to demonstrate a commitment to relationship. Ozil has demonstrated that; Sanchez did not. Consider it anecdotal evidence if you wish, but that’s why Ozil’s name has been sung at a significantly higher frequency over the past three-and-a-half years.
As a final point, it’s important to stress that I do not conclude that Sanchez is incapable of establishing and sustaining a relationship with any club. He may well do so at United if he feels the club is adequately ambitious (which I would argue it is, to be fair) and that he is fulfilling his sporting objectives (he may struggle on this point, given the current City set up). But it didn’t happen at Arsenal.
Of course, Arsenal Football Club shoulders the majority of the blame for failing to match these criteria and therefore creating this environment. But that is a mail for another day.
Dane, North Bank.
Emre Can: Really not all that
Am I the only Liverpool fan, or person for that matter, who just doesn’t understand the interest in Can and wouldn’t mind seeing the back of him?
Sure he has games like he did against City, but he disappears for longer stretches of matches than Coutinho ever did even 3 years ago, has just as many costly brainfarts as Lovren, and slows the midfield down on his bad days just as much as Henderson…
I just don’t get it, would anyone really be worried about losing him in the summer? Would other top 6 clubs’ fans hope their team snaps him up?
David (tried and failed to think of an appropriate Can pun title), Wexford.
A good one on Spurs’ season
There are one or two reasons why Spurs don’t get quite so much Mailboxers; we’re either level headed fans who, by and large, don’t resort to beating our chests on Football365 or there simply are far, far fewer of us that do so than there are who support Arsenal, Liverpool and United. That isn’t to say there haven’t been a few murmurings of discontent among the ranks, and this despite being a strong position still. Perhaps this is why the murmurings are just that.
It’s a strange season for Spurs, playing in a temporary home that is a) horrible to get to and get home from (and I live in north London – it’s off putting) b) fucking enormous – even when full and in full voice it largely feels disjointed. We are also in the unfamiliar position of building one the largest stadiums in the country which is now an estimated £1bn project. To top it off the club is surrounded by rivals who are intent on paying sums completely beyond our capability, now more so than ever.
But that can’t detract from some curious decisions. Our injuries have included Alderweireld, Wanyama, Dembele, Lamela and Rose – all influential players without doubt but I can’t figure out how we simply haven’t got a player or two who can play in place of Sissoko. Is there literally no one to take the burden of Dele (the lad hasn’t been great but he’s so young and has set his standards so very high). Why did we buy Llorente then seldom use him?
The very real fear is that we do finish outside of the CL places, and it’s unlikely we’ll win the tournament, then the players who have remained with us being tempted by the likes of Madrid, PSG, Barcelona and, God forbid other PL teams.
It’s not my job, so I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, I just sorely hope that Spurs are able to pull a rabbit out of the bag between now and January 31st….no one is expecting us to spend £50m or £250k on wages, despite calls for us to do so, because many understand the scale of the project the club is currently funding but someone is responsible for us to have the right squad and currently it feels we are a player or two short.
Seriously? Of all people, Stan would and should be the last person to be saying this.
I’m so glad we’ve moved on from the John-Gregory-Man-the-F-up Era.
And indeed again
In response to Robbie DFC. The Swansea fans probably aren’t overly happy with the possession stats or shots on target in any way shape or form but they are relegation favourites and any point/points are so welcome at this time. Even more so, when up against a team of Liverpool’s quality
With Liverpool having a throw in deep in there half with the minutes ticking down is close to being as good as a goal at that point. At this point preserving premier league status for next season is far more important than the quality of play
Please also remember that up until this season Swansea have been one of the more entertaining teams. Even when the quality wasn’t there (promotion season and the following) they played in an attacking possession based style that was easy on the eye and endeared them to a lot of nutral fans
Russ (the blade)
Good on Darren Fletcher
I was just having a look at states on the BBC football page this morning when it popped one up about current players with the most consecutive games in PL and Willian sits on top of that lot (fair play to him).
But then they added the list of the top five most consecutive PL appearances for what I am assuming is outfield players and there at number 4 is Darren Fletcher.
My first thought, even as an Arsenal fan, was ‘Nice!’. For a player that suffered from a horrific illness for so long and looking like he might have to leave the game entirely because of it, I must say it was quite pleasing and a testament to the character of the man to not just be back playing but to be on that list and possible be 2nd on there by the end of February.
A lot is been made of transfers and prices and how much players are earning from week to week so I just thought to mention something different, to highlight the love of the game by a player who could have easily walked away when things were tough, might remind us what it’s really about, not money but the feeling we get from the ups and the downs of the game we all love.
A Watford fan explains
Whilst I understand it may seem like bitterness and sour grapes that we have sacked Silva, I think it needs to be clarified that we Watford fans have no issue with being a stepping stone club (lets be honest, to varying extents most in world football are) but with it comes a couple of provisos:
1. We don’t compromise our own future by letting people move on with no replacement lined up. Allowing Silva to move 9 games into his tenure, just ahead of the busy Christmas break – on paper – looked like a disaster waiting to happen. We could have been rudderless at a time when almost a third of the season’s points are available.
2. People give their all during their time here (See Ashley Young a few years ago, or Doucoure and Richardson at the moment).
The reason why Silva was dismissed this weekend wasn’t because he expressed an interest in the Everton job, but rather he so clearly courted it (and agreed wages behind the club’s back), that when we essentially said “not now”, instead of knuckling down and keeping his stock high for his next move this summer, he completely went off the boil. We have won 1 game in 11 – we have gone from looking at a comfortable top 10 finish, to staring down the barrel of relegation with no leadership off the field.
Put it this way, if you were denied a promotion at work, people wouldn’t blame you for having a sulk for a couple of days, but then if three months later you were still dialling it in and half-arsing your way through your week, missing all key deliverables (and even striving to miss two when you had the document completed two minutes before the deadline) – would you expect your current employers to let that slide…
It’s ok to like different things
“That’s why we love watching games like Liverpool vs Man City or why we tune into Messi and Neymar every week” according to Robbie DFC.
Of course we love watching open, free-flowing football with relentless pace and verve; I’m a Man City fan and despite the Liverpool defeat I bloody loved that game. But a large part of my enjoyment was derived from the sheer panic and desperation across the faces of every Liverpool fan as they tried to come to terms with the possibility of Man City pegging them back to 4-4.
The same was true of last night’s game. Liverpool’s last gasp efforts in Swansea’s goal mouth left me breathless and excited. I chose to listen to it on BBC 5live and Conor McNamara’s commentary was incredible – he was a conduit for the desperation of the players on both teams, his voice cracking with the rise in volume.
But it’s not just the ebb and flow of a game or the willingness to score at the cost of conceding that makes a decent game though, it’s the different approaches adopted by each team depending on their resources. Swansea taking 3 points from that game should have seriously positive ramifications come the end of the season.
And for the neutral, in the context of the relegation battle, I’d take the ‘means to an end’ maxim over a lucky blow on rolling dice.
Gavin (I’ve never tuned in to a game solely to watch Messi or Neymar either. Maybe I’m joyless?) Hill, Malton
Listen to this
Mark Pougatch talking to Jimmy Armfield about his life.
5 live Sport – Jimmy Armfield: A Football Gentleman – @bbc5live http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09r3hjb
I mean, sure, Shinji Kagawa is an answer to the question of “Has any player scored as few Premier League goals as Afonso Alves (10) and still got a hat-trick?” So are Leon Best, Somen Tchoyi, Aruna Dindane and Clive Mendonca.
But the answer is Fredi Bobic, who scored three of his four Bolton goals in a 2002 match against Ipswich.
Steve (fun hat-trick fact: Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick against Manchester United more recently than any player has scored one for them), Nottingham
…Yep, surely Fredi Bobic is a slam dunk for that record? A grand total of 4 Premier League goals in 16 appearances for Bolton (on loan from Dortmund), including a hat-trick against Ipswich.
Honourable mention too to Aruna Dindane, who netted a hat-trick (vs Wigan) *and* a brace (vs Bolton) in his single Premier League season for Portsmouth, before returning to Lens with a total of just PL eight goals to his name.
Luke Nuckley, Southampton