Wenger and the players take a break

It’s been reported that the Arsenal manager has gone away for a few days to decide what he wants to do with his future, whether to stay at the club or to carry on his managerial career away from North London.

 

This is after Wenger said he’d tell the press what his future holds after the international break, meaning times running out for the Frenchman.

 

With Arsenal struggling in the Premier League, currently sitting in 6th position, and with no chance of catching Chelsea at the top, it only leaves Arsenal fans with the F.A Cup to dream about. However, with the match against Manchester City, it looks like the Gunners won’t be lifting silverware anytime soon unless our form takes a dramatic turn.

 

Most of the first team have gone on international duty, although, no Arsenal player managed to make an appearance in the Germany – England game last night. With Walcott dropped by Southgate for the fixtures and Oxlade-Chamberlain only making the bench for the match, it doesn’t look like Arsenal will be the core of the England team anytime soon. Mustafi and Ozil are also in the Germany squad, but didn’t make an appearance last night.

 

Alexis should be on the pitch for Chile’s match against Argentina tonight; although the manager thought that the player had picked up a serious injury in Gunner’s recent game, but has still travelled with his international squad.

 

Nacho Monreal has been called up to Spain’s squad for their qualifying match again Israel on Friday, however,  there is no Bellerin in the squad as he’s playing for the U21’s tonight. Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud both play for France in their match against Luxemburg for France on Saturday, hopefully, Giroud will manage to get a goal and change his recent poor form.

 

Aaron Ramsey is also in action with Wales for their match against Ireland tomorrow and Alex Iwobi should be playing for Nigeria tonight, which should be good with the player struggling for form of late.

 

It’ll hopefully be good for the players and the manager to go away for a few days and get some time away from the spotlight and hopefully come back rejuvenated, hopefully…

Arsenal 1 – West Brom 3: Player Ratings

Arsenal had as many shots on target as there were planes flying over the Hawthorns. I think that’s all that needs to be said about today’s performance.

 

Petr Cech – 6.5

Made some big saves, however he was brought off quite early with an injury, it’s yet to be seen how long he’ll be out for.

 

Hector Bellerin – 6.5
Played well going forward down the right hand side, yet he struggled to keep up with the Baggies attack.

 

Shkodran Mustafi – 6
Really struggled in the air today, he shouldn’t be conceding three goals against a poor West Brom team.

 

Laurent Koscielny – 7

Definitely the better out of the centre back pairing, although he’ll be disappointed on how the team managed to defend set pieces.

 

Nacho Monreal – 7
Tried to get the team going again after the third goal, though he should have been quicker to close down the crosses coming into the box.

 

Aaron Ramsey – 6.5
Hasn’t looked anywhere near to the ability he showed at the Euro’s, looks like a shadow of himself.

 

Granit Xhaka – 7.5
Managed to get the assist for the Alexis goal, with a beautiful ball behind the defensive line. He also managed to not pick up a yellow card, which is somewhat of an achievement for the player.

 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain– 6
Was at fault for the third goal, however he looked like one of Arsenal’s biggest threats going forward.

 

Alexis Sanchez – 8

Scored Arsenal’s only goal and carried the Arsenal team like normal. However soon after he managed to get injured and it looks like he could be out for a while.

 

Danny Welbeck – 7
Managed to hit the bar in the second half with a bullet of a header, but he hardly had any room or created anything else for the rest of the match.

 

Theo Walcott – 6
His performance won’t have Southgate regretting his decision to leave him out of the England squad.

 

Substitutes
Alex Iwobi – 6
Olivier Giroud – 6
Ospina – 5.5

 

Arsenal – West Brom: Match Preview

Arsenal travel to the West Midlands in the early kick off today, to face Tony Pulis’s West Brom side in the Premier League.

 

The Gunners will be hoping for a win, although it will be a difficult game with West Brom playing a physical game, not suited to Wenger’s side. This will probably mean that the manager will start Giroud up front, with the intention of stopping the Baggies dangerous set pieces from finding the back of the net.

 

With the combination of Xhaka and Ramsey working well in the previous match against Lincoln, it looks like they’ll get another go in the midfield. Wenger spoke to the press about the Swiss international earlier in the week, stating that he needs to try and sort out his tackling as he’s earned a bad reputation because of it.

 

Wenger will have to make a big call on whether to keep Oxlade-Chamberlain in the midfield or to put Ozil back into the side, behind the front three. Either side of Giroud we’ll likely see Alexis and Walcott, both of whom started in the last game and both played well. The Englishman certainly looked our most dangerous player going forward in that game. Saying that it’ll mean another game on the bench for Lucas Perez and little or no game time for Danny Welbeck.

 

With just one win in our last four Premier League Games, it’s now time that Arsenal really start to put the pressure on and try to secure that Champions league qualifying spot that we all dream of…

Arsenal to appoint a Sporting Director

The Telegraph has reported that the Gunners hope to sign a Sporting Director soon to handle the transition following Wenger’s departure.

 

With the feeling growing that the 67-year-old will leave at the end of the season, Arsenal has come under fire for not having a board member with much footballing experience to handle appointing a new manager.

 

It is suggested that if Wenger decides to leave, the Arsenal board will look to bring in a Sporting Director to undertake some of the burdens that in the past have all been piled on the Frenchman.

 

With the ‘Director of Football’ role becoming more popular in England, Arsenal may be the latest club to take it on. However, with each club the responsibilities of the position do vary. It can range from acting as a middleman between the board to the manager to negotiating transfers for the manager.

 

Before Wenger’s arrival and in his early years David Dein acted in this sort of role, negotiating transfers on behalf of the management and finalising deals for the club. However, as he left the reigns were passed down to Dick Law, though he has a less visible role and is more of a negotiator for the club.

 

Some of the names that have been mentioned as favourites to fill the sporting director role range from Ramon Rodríguez Verdejo, Michael Zorc to former Arsenal players: Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp.

 

With the former playmaker being the likely out of the former players. Pires has already stated that he’d be interested in the role last year: “Yes, that [being sporting director] is my objective. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I need to talk about it with the owners and Arsene Wenger. I’d love this job, I love to talk with the players.

Arsenal 5– Lincoln City 0: Player Ratings

That’s exactly what the Gunners were after, a convincing win and a place at Wembley, with one step closer to silverware.

 

Petr Cech – 7
Didn’t have much to do, however, he made some strong saves in the first half to keep Lincoln out.

 

Hector Bellerin – 8
Was great going forward with the ball, made us a real threat down the right-hand side.

 

Shkodran Mustafi – 7
Lincoln didn’t trouble the centre back, the only incident he was involved in was when he got an elbow in the face early on.

 

Laurent Koscielny – 7.5
Played well, whether that’s because the Lincoln offence was poor or his defending was top notch.

 

Kieran Gibbs – 8
Played well down the left-hand side and managed to get an assist for the own goal.

 

Aaron Ramsey – 8.5
He couldn’t finish any of his chances, although he still managed to get a goal and have a 92% successful pass rate.

 

Granit Xhaka – 7
Managed to get the play going from far back and had a great passing range, but like normal he managed to pick up a yellow card early on.

 

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain– 6
Was doing well, but a hamstring opportunity forced him off before half-time.

 

Alexis Sanchez – 9.5
Played great in the second half and mediocre in the first. Managed to get a goal and his exceptional free kick rocked the woodwork.

 

Olivier Giroud – 8
Got a goal and managed to hold up the player well for the other forwards.

 

Theo Walcott – 8.5
One of our most threatening forwards and managed to break the deadlock early on, so that the goals kept on coming in.

 

Substitutes
Lucas Perez – 6.5
Mesut Ozil – 7.5
Francis Coquelin – 7