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Emiliano Martinez to start against Anderlecht in tomorrow’s Champions League clash 0

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

With first-choice Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny suspended and second-choice goalkeeper David Ospina injured, Emiliano Martinez is set to start in goal for the Gunners ahead of their Champions League outing against Belgian giants Anderlecht.

Arsenal cannot afford any slip-ups, as they , but the defence in front of Martinez is already weakened, forcing Hector Bellerin and Calum Chambers into the side. The London side are 4/5 to get all three points against Anderlecht tomorrow night, but it won’t be easy given their recent form.

Could Arsene Wenger take tactical tips from Sam Allardyce this season? 1

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

With how well West Ham United have started the campaign with a completely different system under manager Sam Allardyce, could Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger learn from the Englishman in regard to how tactically flexible he’s been to pick up results?

Arsenal recently drew 2-2 at home to Hull City, which was the Gunners’ third game in a row that they have dropped points, and meant they’ve amassed just one victory from their last seven games. Wenger has rotated from just two tactics all season – a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-1-4-1. He’s been reticent to play two attackers from any game, due to fear of losing the ball in the middle of the park, despite having central midfield players boasting high levels of ball retention.

Could Jurgen Klopp realistically replace Arsene Wenger in the coming years? 2

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal have been speaking about life after long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, and as a result a number of managers have been tipped to succeed the Frenchman. But there is one man who could genuinely replace Wenger when he calls time on his managerial career and that is Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp.

The German coach, 47, is held in the highest regard for leading BVB to back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12, while also taking Dortmund to the Champions League final too. However, things have grown stale with him at Dortmund due to the Yellow and Blacks having sold key players to their title rivals, which has unsurprisingly led to a Bayern Munich dominance in the league.

Wenger needs to address side’s defensive frailties 0

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side need to tighten up at the back after conceding two goals against Hull City on the weekend. The Gunners drew 2-2 against Steve Bruce’s side, but now find themselves 11 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, while having conceded two or more goals in seven of their 14 games in all competitions.

“Where we are guilty is to give away two goals from nothing. Finding the balance is an issue. Last year we had 17 clean sheets with the same defenders but we have not started to do that yet. Our defensive efficiency is not there and we cannot survive at the top level by always conceding two goals.”

Alexis Sanchez starting to show his true class 0

Posted on October 19, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal’s summer signing Alexis Sanchez impressed in the Gunners 2-2 home draw against Hull City this weekend, scoring an individual effort and making the assist for Danny Welbeck’s equaliser, and the Chilean has even more to offer.

In the Premier League, the 25-year-old has scored more goals (3), made more assists (2), created more chances (16) and has made more successful dribbles (19) than any other Arsenal player. Sanchez set Arsenal back around £35M this summer, and he’s starting to show his quality for the Gunners.

Mathieu Flamini consistently a liability 3

Posted on October 19, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini was once again guilty of losing the ball deep in his own half, with the resulting counter attack leading to a goal. He was protesting to the referee for what he perceived to be a foul on him by the eventual goalscorer Mohamed Diame, but once again the Frenchman has relinquished possession in a dangerous area.

Manager Arsene Wenger continue to put his faith in Flamini, and continues to get led down by the former AC Milan midfielder. The January transfer window will provide an option for Arsenal to replace him, but Wenger hasn’t hinted that he is looking to sign a player to take Flamini’s place. What’s worse is that Mikel Arteta is hardly a strong option either.

Arsenal held at home against Hull City 1

Posted on October 18, 2014 by David Nugent

Arsenal needed a stoppage-time Danny Welbeck goal to rescue a 2-2 draw against Hull City at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners had the first effort on goal on four minutes. Alexis Sanchez found Jack Wilshere who headed wide of goal. Two minutes later the visitors had their first attempt on goal, as Wojciech Szczesny saved an effort Michael Dawson who was unmarked.

The home side came straight back at Hull, as Danny Welbeck broke clear of James Chester, but shot straight at Steve Harper in the Tigers goal. On eight minutes Harper was again in action, as he collected a powerful cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Does Arsene Wenger have to take the blame for lack of defensive reinforcements? 0

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

With Arsenal forced to name a makeshift backline ahead of their weekend against Hull City, does manager Arsene Wenger have to take the blame for not signing sufficient cover?

This summer, Wenger allowed experienced defender Thomas Vermaelen to sign for Barcelona, and prosing youngster Carl Jenkinson to join West Ham on loan, but in return only signed a 19-year-old defender in Calum Chambers.

Arsenal’s first-choice backline of Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs only had left-back Nacho Monreal and Calum Chambers as cover. Having such threadbare cover was an accident waiting to happen, and the gamble has backfired.

Mikel Arteta to return for this weekend’s clash against Hull City 0

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta will return to the match day squad ahead of the Gunners meeting against Hull City on Saturday, manager Arsene Wenger has said. The Spanish midfielder has been out of action with a calf injury, but is expected to be named on the bench.

With so many injuries in the squad, Arteta’s return is a big boost. However, his form has left a lot to be desired, and Mathieu Flamini hasn’t performed well when deputising for the former Everton man.

Mesut Ozil could return before the New Year 1

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal have been dealt some good news about the expected return of midfielder Mesut Ozil. The German international suffered an injury against Chelsea that didn’t initially seem to be anything serious until the international break came.

Ozil’s injury seemed to flare up when he travelled with the German national team, with early reports suggesting he would be out of action for up to three months.

But when asked about the injury to Mesut Ozil, manager Arsene Wenger revealed he could return sooner than first anticipated. “He is out for a while now, I think at least six weeks,” he said.

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