Welcome back to the StrongAsTheOx blog! It’s been too long, or depending on your viewpoint, not long enough. I’ve been a bit busy recently, and will continue to be busy for the rest of the season, but I’ll try to post more frequently.
Anyway, enough about me. Time to talk about the subject of today’s post: Theo Walcott, and his potential to become an Arsenal legend. First though, let’s talk about his career before his excellent current season.
We bought the rapid 23 year old from Southampton in January 2006 for 12 million pounds. He was only 16 years old. Due to his age and the price we payed for his services he was surrounded by pressure and hype. He failed to make an appearance that season, but still managed to get a place on England’s 2006 World Cup squad. Again though, he failed to make an appearance and this piled more pressure on the youngster as people began to suspect he wasn’t worth the hype.
As his career went on more and more people began to question him as he struggled to find consistency. He became an enigma. For every brace against Birmingham or mazy run against Liverpool there were many games where he just didn’t show up.
This led to his detractors being a lot more vocal and numerous than his supporters. Pundits with no football brain of their own said he didn’t have one. In fairness, the stats largely backed their beliefs. Before the 10/11 season he had only scored 9 times and had provided 21 assists in 86 appearances.
Things started to turn around for Theo after that, but he could never quite shake the inconsistency tag off. The North London Derby of February 2012 was a turning point for him and his relationship with the fans.
The first half typified his earlier career. He was Gervinho-esque, losing the ball and making poor decisions. The crowd were completely on his back. His second half performance set the tone for the rest of his career so far though. He was a completely different player. He was strong, making intelligent runs, and his finishing was deadly.
Since then he is almost unrecognisable from the player he was before. He has been delivering the qualities we saw on rare occasions in a lot of games now. He has already scored 11 goals in the league this season, and has provided 10 assists, leading to people comparing him to Henry. How times change.
These stats are in stark comparison to earlier seasons, and if he continues improving in the manner he is, he can become an Arsenal legend. He has already beaten his personal best goal tally for the season, and is only 3 assists away from beating his 13 assists from last season. But we barely need stats to tell us how much Theo has improved. It’s obvious to anyone with a football brain…
Despite his much improved performances though, he still is unappreciated by a lot of fans. Why this is, I have no clue. The Chelsea away game was a perfect example. Theo was better than Giroud in that game, and scored a goal, but Giroud got all the plaudits. We need to start appreciating Theo more if we expect him to stay loyal.
Another thing that Theo doesn’t get enough credit for is sticking with us. Many of the players who left us could have become legends due to their prodigious talent, but because of greed or general cunt-ishness decided to leave. Theo didn’t. He chose to stay and fight when he didn’t have to, and when it certainly would’ve been easier to go elsewhere. For this he deserves our admiration.
Another thing that is vital is Theo’s importance to the newly formed British core at the club. We focus on the brilliance of Jack so much that we often forget that Theo is the most experienced of the British lads and has a lot of advice to offer them. Jack will end up as captain one day, but the inspiration Theo offers now will be vital to the development of Jack, Kieran, Carl, Aaron and Alex.
So that’s why I think Theo can and will become a legend here. He is crucial to this team now, and will be one of the key men in our push for the top 4.
Enough with the comparisons to Henry too. He was never Thierry. He isn’t Thierry. He will never be Thierry. He is Theo Walcott, and he will be an Arsenal legend.
As always, thank you for reading. If you enjoyed, please leave a comment, or tweet me @StrongAsTheOx. If you could share this wherever you could it would be appreciated. ‘Til next time
Finally,there is a plan B. Or at least there should be. For years we have lacked an alternative plan when things went pear-shaped. When we needed to change things up we just didn’t have the options. Now though, we DO have the options, and that could lead to success this season. Last season is a prime example of our inability to change when we need to. Champions League second leg versus AC Milan. We needed just one goal to equalise. We couldn’t do it, so the only option was to bring on the well known goal machines Chamakh and Park. This obviously didn’t work, and we crashed out. There will be no excuses if that happens this season.
Plan A (maybe) Route One Football?! Obviously its a bit more complicated than that,but in essence this is what the technically limited sides do. Our system will be quite similar to this when everyone is used to each other (and learns how to bloody cross!). We bomb it down the wings with our pacey and skillful players (Ox, Gervinho, Pod, Arshavin? Per….), who cross it in to Giroud, who will either head it in himself, or flick it on to Cazorla and/or any other onrushing players. I watched Montpellier quite a bit last season, and this is what they did. Belhanda loved playing behind Olly because he constantly benefited from his flicks, and Cazorla will too. We have attempted to play this type of game in the last three or four games, to varying levels of success. When Podolski put in a decent cross against West Ham Giroud used his awareness and intelligence to poke it in. We saw him do this against Spain too. He is not on the same level as RVP, but his movement reminds me of him sometimes and we need to use this more. Against Norwich and Schalke we were just too crap to do anything for him . BUT against QPR we put in a cross for him. And we scored from it. He didn’t directly assist, but his height and strength confused the R’s defenders which eventually led to Arteta’s goal. When we give him the right delivery he will cause goals. We just need to consistently deliver the ball he needs. Could Arshavin be that man? Stay tuned….
Plan B-A False 9? We have used this tactic a few times this season as well, also to varying degrees of success. It can be compared to the tactic Spain used in the Euros. They played no legitimate striker, with two players interchanging from the wing, which confused defenders, as they didn’t know who to mark. Gervinho and Podolski are the two players who we have used in this way so far. When Gervinho is on form, this is hard to stop. But more often than not he isn’t on form. He’s injured now which opens the door for Walcott to fill this role if necessary. Theo has been on top form when brought on this season and we shouldn’t let contract disputes get in the way of a player like him playing. He has developed so much, and his finishing is now deadly. This tactic will be effective against teams with slow defenders with high lines, as they won’t be able to keep up with the interchange.
Plan C- Two up front? This is something we havn’t used this season, or any other season for quite some time. @goonerdave66 is an avid advocate of a 4-4-2, and I believe a subtle variation of this will suit us well. We were the most successful we have ever been with two up front and four in midfield and I think we could return to winning ways with this. I think a 4-1-2-1-2 formation will suit us best. I will do a shortened version, but @GB1886 wrote a fantastic piece about this and other things here http://gb1886.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/a-change-in-formation/ . I envisage Arteta playing the Gilberto role- breaking down attacks, setting up counter attacks etc. I think he will be better at this than even Gilberto himself was, as Arteta is more technically gifted. This formation allows The Ox, Ramsey, Wilshere and Diaby etc to flourish in their natural positions. Whoever plays in the two midfield roles will be vital. They will both be Viera and Pires, bursting backwards and forwards, but also getting wide when necessary. The two full backs will also provide width. Cazorla/Arshavin/Rosicky will be the main creators. This will work out well for everyone. Cazorla will be first choice, but we will finally be able to see our little Russian in his preferred positon and he can be deadly there. Up top will be Giroud and Podolski/Walcott.This is important, as Theo will finally be able to play up front like he wants. The team would play like I outlined in Plan A. Another VITAL part of this formation is that Chamakh, yes THAT Chamakh can play in this formation! He always thrived with a partner, and this will suit him down to the ground. We saw against Blackburn and Norwich last season that he can be quite decent, and this game plan will be the best platform for him to finally prove himself. I see no issues with this formation, and it will be interesting to see if Mr Wenger will use it.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or tweeting me @CiansBlog. Thank you for reading and take care.
So, in our third game we have a match that could make a huge difference to our season. We are beginning a very tough month, no easy games at all, and we have the start of our Champions League campaign.
There are two stark scenarios to what could happen depending on the result. There are a lot of “If”s. If we win, the bin baggers and the Wenger Out gang will subside. The moaners will stop complaining for a while about our lack of activity in the transfer market. The pressure on the players to deliver will be lifted, and if we can score a few, the usual suspects might stop going on about our lack of cutting edge. If the defence can stay solid against an always tricky Suarez and Borini we’ll know our two clean sheets weren’t because we were playing weaker offensive teams. Most importantly, a win would give us the confidence and momentum to really stick it to the big spenders.
However if we lose, the dissenters will increase in numbers and noise. The amount of people screaming “Why didn’t you spend some f****** money?” will become deafening. The players’ confidence will be knocked, and knowing the incredibly fickle home fans, an average first half v Southampton will be met by a chorus of boos and jeers, which helps absolutely no one. The players will feel the pressure, especially the new boys, and in particular Giroud. He desperately needs to get his first goal. If he doesn’t he will keep trying harder and harder, and it wont come off for him. The earlier the better. If the defence, especially Jenkinson get exploited, the transfer moaners will be at full force again. The worst effect though would be on our momentum. We still have the Southampton game, but I get a feeling everyone will try too hard in that game should we lose this one. The players need to know that they can beat the better teams.
So with all the drama predicted, lets see how the teams should line out.
Arsenal 4-2-3-1-Szczesny (Mannone if unfit) Gibbs Vermaelan Koscielny Jenkinson Arteta Diaby Cazorla Podolski Walcott Giroud
Liverpool 4-2-1-3-Reina Enrique Skrtel Agger Johnson Allen Sahin/Shelvey Gerrard Sterling Borini Suarez
Szcznesy faces a fitness test and could miss the game, which means good old Vito will step up. Fabianski has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. Per hasn’t put a foot wrong, but Liverpool have quick forwards so Koscielny should play his first game of the season. After Gervinho’s disappointing display against Stoke, a recall is due for Theo. There will also be more space behind Enrique as Liverpool won’t sit back like Stoke. I would prefer the Ox there but Wenger has clearly stated he is a Cazorla understudy. Learn from the best eh?
Liverpool’s line-up has no surprises, except maybe a start for Shelvey, who was excellent against Man City. Suarez will start on the right but will drift around a lot.
Now for the fun part, the predictions! We were dominated last year and were lucky to get the win due to some magic from two players who aren’t here anymore. That aside, I expect a good performance. Liverpool should get a lot less chances than last season due to our improved defence,and any chances they do get will probably be spurned by their woeful finishing. Liverpool have a tight defence also, but we have one of the best keys in the league in Cazorla, and the guile of Podolski on the left and the pace of Walcott should be enough to get crosses in to Giroud, who can head for goal or knock it down for others, as he did so many times last season. We should have enough to get by.
Prediction-ARSENAL 2 (Giroud, Cazorla) LIVERPOOL 0
So another new season approaches.Strangely for Arsenal though, we are actually optimistic about it. Every year something happens that fills us with dread but this is different.Yes our captain wants to leave AGAIN but he seems to have no takers. So far we have not lost any of our squad apart from Vela, which is a good thing, but it also means we still have Squillaci. We’ve completed the two most exciting signings for a long time. We are in for a Spanish international,and a former Bundesliga Player of the Year. Life is good.
BEAR IN MIND THIS IS A BEST CASE SCENARIO
The fixture list is ok. August should be ok, although Sunderland and Stoke are definitely not easy teams to play early on. I am a bit worried about that month, as Wenger talked about having to give time for Pod and Giroud to settle,so I’d say 4 points would be fair. We have 2 very tricky months-September and January which are identical to each other. They contain new boys Southampton who could be tricky, League champions Man City, Champions League winners and big spending Chelsea, and an average Liverpool side, who could change into a completely different outfit under Brendan Rodgers. In September we are away to Pool and City, and at home for Soton and Chelsea and of course the opposite in January. I think 8 points in both months would be amazing for us-Wins v Soton and Liverpool and draws v Chelsea and City. However I dont think we will have enough for the Oil clubs, so I predict 2 losses there. I don’t think they’ll do the double on us though.
October should be ok, 3 much easier matches against promoted West Ham(A), Norwich (A) and QPR(H). Anything less than all 9 points would be disappointing. November is another tough month, perhaps the toughest if Villa and Fulham are on form. We play Man Utd (A), Fulham (H), Tottenham (H), Aston Villa (A), and Everton (A). My faith in the team will be dented if we don’t beat United. If we can do that the confidence will be flowing and we should make light work of the rest so I predict at least 13 points if we beat them. If we lose that match however, the players will be disappointed and anything less than their A game will be punished, as none of these teams are pushovers so in that case, I would expect 9 points. We’ll probably end up in the middle with 11.
We got incredibly lucky with our December draw. Tough games in this most jam packed of months can be soul destroying but we have no one we should have trouble with bar Newcastle. We play Swansea (H), West Brom (H), Reading (A), Wigan (A), West Ham (H), and Newcastle (H). I honestly think we could max out here, giving us 18 points. At least 16 points is what we should get, drawing only with Newcastle should be our only slip up, any others would be inexcusable.
February shouldnt be too hard. Games against Stoke(H), Sunderland(A) and Aston Villa(H) shouldn’t pose too much of a threat so I expect at least 7 points. March is slightly tougher with games v Spurs(A), Everton(H), Swansea(A) and Reading(H). 10 points please Mr Wenger, although I think 12 is entirely possible. April is a bit easier. We play West Brom (A), Norwich(H), Fulham(A) and United(H).We should have collected 9 points in the month before we meet United, who we could do the double over. 10 points? Yes please. May is squeaky bum time. Luckily our matches shouldn’t be too tense as we play QPR(A), Wigan(H) and Newcastle(A). 7 points at least I think.
So that’s what I think will happen this season. Obviously its VERY optimistic, but we can hope right? I do think we will lose around 5 matches-2 to big teams, and 3 to smaller ones. I think the main candidates for the smaller clubs are Fulham and Everton, or any club near the end who are fighting for survival.
Using very complicated mathematics involving the laws of physics(just taking away and adding) I think we will end up with 79 points. That would be a great season, getting 9 points more than last season. It will only be enough for 3rd I think, as I posted in my PL predictions –>http://strongastheox.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/premier-league-predictions-20122013-the-league-itself
Cups wise, I am hopeful. We should win a trophy this season and I think the FA Cup is the one. The League Cup is now such a COC up (geddit?) that none of the big teams play full sides anymore. It does give valuable experience to our young players though, so a Semi-Final would be lovely. I pray that the Champions League draw is kinder to us than it has been for so many years. If we win our group I want an easier tie dammit! Not AC Milan! A quarter final place would be great, another improvement on last year
So that’s it for now guys. I’m going on holidays next week so unless a bolt of inspiration hits me,this will be my last post until I come back, so it could be month before I post on here again. Please leave a comment, share on a social network, and follow me on Twitter @CiansBlog. As always, thanks for reading, and take care.
CALM DOWN! I know this isn’t completely about Arsenal,but bear with me. The Premier League always seems to get crazier and crazier every year doesn’t it? We’ve had a few close calls and drama before, but nothing like Aguero’s last minute winner for City (Except of course, Michael Thomas in 1989). The bottom of the table wasn’t as exciting as usual, with Blackburn and Wolves down before the last day of the season. Bolton, unfortunately and undeservedly went down,due to two rediculous goals that should never have counted by Jon Walters. Still bothers me that no fuss was made about the standard of refereeing in that most important of games.
The status quo was being broken everywhere you looked. City won the league. Newcastle finished only a few points off the Champions League. Spurs actually in the top 4, Chelsea finishing 6th but getting 2 trophies on the way. For the first time all 3 promoted clubs stayed up. West Brom in the top half, Everton finishing above Liverpool, who ended up level with Fulham.
Our season wasn’t exactly boring either. We lost our best three players, had the worst start to a season for many years, lost 8-2 to our old rivals, lost all our fullbacks, and went 13 points and 2-0 down to Spurs. Yet,we STILL managed to finish above and of course beat Spurs. Its weird the way that always happens, like nature correcting itself. We used 18 different back line combinations along the way, as discussed by Daniel Cowan on his blog here http://northlondonisred.co.uk/arsenals-defence-and-defending-arsenal/#more-996
But enough about last season, what we all want to know is how will next season pan out. Well I dont have a crystal ball,so your guess is as good as mine, but I’ll try. As always with football, logic and knowledge conflict with the heart. Making 1 table with all these conflictions will be tough, so I will have to make 3. The Heart, on Paper, and what I think will happen.
Obviously over the course of a season many things will happen. Sackings, drama, injuries, and probably one of our young players getting stick. This table, and the next part is based on the info we have now. Of course if I’m completely wrong you can come back to this and laugh at me, which I’m sure some of you will (Looking at you Ronan and Daniel).
So without further ado here is my first table,on Paper
- Man City
- Man Utd
- West Brom
- Aston Villa
- West Ham
On paper,this is what you would expect to happen. Chelsea and City are strong, United are becoming weaker and hampered by debt, us staying around the same. Spurs have a good squad still. I think Liverpool will improve with Rogers at the helm, and him leaving will mean a tough season for Swansea. Newcastle will drop off a bit, with Everton and Fulham staying the same as long as Jelavic and Dempsey continue firing in the goals. Sunderland and West Brom will continue their excellent seasons. QPR have strengthened a lot,and they have a great squad of strikers, and if they can add Defoe into that they will be a force to be reckoned with. They need to improve their defence though, and their awful discipline. Villa should improve under the stewardship of Lambert, who did an excellent job with Norwich with average players, so he should do the same here. Reading have recruited heavily and will be a well balanced team, with a group of fantastic Championship players, but I dont know if they will do well in the Premier League. Stoke will remain around the same unfortunately, safe for another season. Swansea and Norwich may suffer from Second Season Syndrome, but with an extra dose due to losing their managers. The players they have should be just enough to keep them up. Then we have the relegation candidates, which feature 2 promoted clubs and Wigan. Bear in mind this is on paper, not necessarily my opinions. Southampton havn’t strengthened as much as Reading, so they will struggle. Wigan are always tipped to go down. West Ham still have the same players who led them to failure in 2010-2011, so nothing much is expected of them
Now the 2nd table, the Heart. This is my hopes, but they are not totally unreasonable,so Spurs arent going to get relegated.
- Man Utd
- Man City
- West Brom
- West Brom
- Aston Villa
- West Ham
As you see, these are pretty plausible. Of course Arsenal would be on top. I would love to see us battle with Man Unites like the old days, without the pesky newer guys wanting to join our game. Man City coming 3rd and Chelsea coming 5th would be a lovely reminder that Class is better than Cash. Newcastle being 4th would prove that too. I love their spirit and passion, and the job that Pardews done has been great. Bringing the players in that he has for the prices he has is impressive. Getting Ben Arfa on the cheap was a stroke of genius. Spurs in the Europa would be nice, minding the gap as they always should. Fulham are my second team, and they always seem to do well, so seventh would be just for the work Jol has done. Everton would probably be my 3rd team,for the same reasons as Fulham, and I know how much finsihing above Liverpool means to them. Pool still havn’t improved their side apart from Borini. The rest is standard, I hope Reading,Southampton and Wigan stay up,but that’s it really. QPR and West Ham fans are ignorant and self entitled, and I don’t like Mark Hughes, so seeing them go down wouldn’t hurt. I would love to see the leg breaking, ball lumping, and crap fan possesing Stoke go down, as I’m sure most fans would
Now for the interesting part-What I Think will happen
- Man City
- Man Utd
- Aston Villa
- West Brom
- West Ham
This was tough. I think the top 4 will be very close this season. Arsenal have closed the gap I feel, the squad is finally becoming what Wenger wanted. Man City should win it. They have the best squad by far, and anything less than another win will look bad for Mancini. On paper United’s squad is the weakest, weaker even than Spurs or even Newcastle. But Ferguson always finds a way just like Wenger does to wrestle his team up there. I feel though the squad is too weak to challenge now, and he cant strengthen it due to the massive debt they are under.Chelsea 4th seems shocking but I think they will be very close. Attacking wise they are great, but it all depends if Torres can start firing. In midfield they are strong also with Ramires Lampard and Mikel, but beyond that they have nothing. Defensively they have no right back cover after the wonderful Bosingwa left. Ivanovic is a great player but after him……..Centrally they are the strongest in the league along with us and United with Terry Luiz and Cahill there, and Ivanovic can also play there. Spurs should have enough to hold off Newcastle again. Liverpool should improve slightly under Rodgers. Everton Sunderland and Fulham will be in mid table as per usual. QPR should do well with the money they’ve spent. The rest is pretty self explanatory. I am really unsure as to who will go down. I’m pretty sure about the bottom 2 but who should fill the last spot………I chose West Brom because they have lost a great manager in Roy Hodgson and replaced him with an assistant manager who I dont think has had full management before,which is risky. It will be close either way.
Thanks for reading that lengthy piece, I know it wasnt about our beloved Arsenal but I hope I managed to keep you interested. A second part thats ALL ABOUT ARSENAL will be out soon,so make sure to look out for that
As always,if you enjoyed please comment,share or tweet me @CiansBlog
As you know, RVP has announced that he will not be signing a new contract, and will probably leave the club. Wait,whaddaya mean you hav’nt heard? You must’ve been living under a rock, or a shadow perhaps. Oh you support Spurs. Awkward
Of course, this has been met with widespread doom and gloom, with patches of despair here and there. Thick skins advised. When the news broke, tweets like “oMgzz wE Gotss no AmbitionZz Wenger OUTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!” were written. This is to be expected ,as whenever any half decent player leaves, the “fans” start moaning. The same people who booed Aaron and, if Wilshere starts off badly, will probably slate him too. There were even some people who knew what they were talking about despairing about the whole thing. I hope they will see the light. DISCLAIMER- If Giroud and Podolski are crap, feel free to berate me, send insults on a postcard.
Obviously the main concern about him leaving is his goals. I honestly think we have already replaced his goals. I also think that he wont score nearly as many goals next season, due to him getting on a bit. I talked about this in the midst of my RVP rant which can be found here–>http://strongastheox.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/rvp-rant/
Another, and the main part of this, is that we have just signed two world class strikers. The first one,Lukas Podolski, scored 19 goals for FC Cologne in the Bundesliga last term. This is incredible for two reasons. 1-Cologne were relegated last season. 2-He wasnt even the main striker,often playing as a 10, in a 4-4-1-1.
The second one, announced a week ago, is Olivier Giroud. This man was the top scorer in the French Ligue 1 last season, netting 21 times for Montpellier. He is regarded very highly in France, especially by Louis Nicollin, the Montpellier president, who said that his biggest regret was allowing a release clause in Giroud’s contract. I watched a video of every single on of his goals this season. I know these videos can be deceitful, but I saw the type of goals that he scored,which is the important part. A lot of his goals came from chasing shots and putting away the rebounds. I love this in a striker, oppurtunism. I rarely see strikers charge down anymore. He also scored a few worldies, and has a peach of a left foot, like a certain Dutchman. Of course I meant Van der Vaart, who were you thinking of?
Will the team have to adapt?
Of course the team will have to adapt to the new players, but if Mr Wenger decides to keep the same shape, it can easily be done. Giroud is as adept with the ball at his feet as he is with it on his head. He’s actually an inch bigger than RVP (Does that make you feel inadequate Robin?). RVP was always decent in the air,but not that great, which meant crossing option were limited. Now,instead of having to play around the box,we can have some penetration with that extra inch. (That was the last one I promise).
As for Podolski, he can play on the left, behind the striker, or as the main striker. He can play on the left, but he isnt wonderful there,and its not his best position at all. However, Giroud has excellent link up play,and can bring him into the game a lot more than Gomez did for Germany. He has a monster shot, and a great brain, so I think he can slot in behind Giroud. With those two up front and firing, we would be a very potent outfit. Even if they had slightly worse seasons,they would still equal Robin’s haul.
Robin was a good leader for us, in some troubled times.I think sometimes he was over rated as a leader,as being a goal scorer does not make a good captain.He,though,was a bit different.He was quite vocal compared to most striker captains, but Vermaelan, Arteta, Koscielny, and Sagna all showed just as much leadership as their “star player”. I think one of the most exciting parts of the up coming season is the Verminator as captain. Last season wasnt his best, but I still rate him at least top 5 in the league, maybe second, only to Kompany. I dont mind who gets the Vice Captaincy, as long as its one of the aforementioned three. I thought it would be Sagna but he’s injured for the first month of the season,so Wenger might want someone from the off. We’ll find out soon enough.
Thanks for reading,leave a comment or a tweet @CiansBlog and tell me what you think.I PROMISE to have the next post out by Sunday,if I dont,you can make me watch the Spurs season review………
Sorry that the first thing posted on this blog is this,but I have to comment on it
So,as you’ve heard,RVP,Captain Vantastic,Scores When He Wants etc,has announced that he will not be signing a new contract.His statement is here–>http://northlondonisred.co.uk/rvp-will-he-really-go-or-is-he-doing-a-rooney/#more-941
Him not wanting to sign is OK,but the way he has handled it,and the way he has acted,has made it so much worse.
Firstly,the way he announced it.He wrote a short,impersonal,and disrespectful blog post.When King Thierry left,he spent nearly half an hour explaining why.
Second of all,the disrespect he showed.We brought him here when he was a notorious dickhead with plenty of issues.Wenger fixed him,and turned him into the man we thought he was.He also spent the best part of seven years injured,and only played 117 times in those years.It took extraordinary patience to get him fit and playing to the level he could,which we only really saw this season.The way hes acting,it doesnt look like he changed as much as weve thought from his brat days.
I was amazed at how big his boots have gotten.Disagreeing with Wenger on the way the club should be run?I’m sorry lad,but I dont care who you are,you dont disagree with Wenger.He is THE man.He is the very definition of Arsenal.He is the best manger in our history,and one of the best ever.He built a team around YOU playing to YOUR strengths.You think you’ll get that anywhere else?Hahaha give me a break sunshine.Remember the last time you played in a team that didnt play to you?Didnt go so well,did it?Trust me,where ever you go,NO team will build themselves around you,City wont,and Barcelona certainly wont.Wenger made you who you are,just like he did with Bergkamp,Henry,Petit,Adebayor,Nasri,and Fabregas.Only the first three really gave a shit,maybe Cesc at a push.You look like you fit in the second half of that group.You could have been a legend here,like Bergkamp and Henry.Your name could have gone down as the captain that brought back the good times.Your achievments would have been told to so many generations of fans.
Instead of that though,you choose to leave,to a club that will never revere you like we do,to a manager who will never cherish you like Wenger did.You have two years of quality left,and then its all down hill.They wont be able to milk those extra years like Wenger could.
So lets look at your options.You have Man City.Bags of cash,which I’m sure you’ll love,and thats it really.A lot of hype definitely,but as soon as those performances drop slightly,the fans will be on your back,and as Robinho and Adebayor know,that weight is hard to lift.A team full of stars and individuals,already packed with strikers.No automatic places for you sir.
The other touted one,is Barcelona.Of course its Barcelona.Take another of our captains why dont you?Buy one get the next one half price!Do you think you can do it in this team?One of Messi,Iniesta,or Villa will half to make way.You think if you go there you’ll get to play with your buddy Affelay?He wont get a look in my friend.Sorry.Of course they have great passers,but not all of these passes will be going to you.Thats tends to happen when you have the worlds best player beside you.
So thats it guys,sorry for the longievity,but I had a lot on my chest.Please comment or tweet me your thoughts @CiansBlog.Thanks for reading