Coventry Dispatched, Podolski, Zelalem and a Desperate Draxler.

In case you missed the many ‘Emirates at Night’ pictures…

Morning, folks.

One of the perils working as a Chef is the frequency with which you’re required to handle very sharp utensils. Yesterday, whilst handling the aforementioned, I managed to slice through a couple of fingers on my right hand. Painful, and the side effect that I’m just realising is how difficult lacerated digits make it to type efficiently. It’s taken me nearly 4 times as long to write the first paragraph as it would normally.

With that utterly useless piece of information out of the way, let’s move on to discussing the Arsenal fortunes of yesterday. Having watched the game again – I suffer with insomnia – this morning, it was an altogether pleasing experience. As far as spectacles go, I doubt the we’ll be seeing any commemorative DVDs hitting the shelves any time soon, but we progressed to the 5th round scoring 4 goals and beating our opponents with minimal fuss.

Whilst the game was controlled and relatively easy for the majority of play, I do feel it would be wrong to not offer Coventry some praise. They came and gave it a go at times and looked a decent outfit. The Sky Blues’ fans followed through with their promise to protest the changes happening at their Club, and it was incredibly warming to see The Emirates crowd offer them a rousing round of applause for their efforts. Richly deserved and a campaign that any football fan can see is worthy and deserving of backing.

Having said the match wasn’t a classic might lead you think there wasn’t much of note, that a routine victory occurred easily and can be buried in the annals of time and forgotten about. Not true. Certain performances stood out. Lukas Podolksi took both of his goals extremely well and it was great to see him starting a match for Arsenal. The German international is lethal in front of goal and the quicker he returns to 100% fitness the better.

Of course, the one name on people’s lips is young Gedion Zelalem. Almost painfully young at 16-years-old, he came on as a second half substitute to make his competitive debut for Arsenal.  This kid is scarily talented. He didn’t have all that long to make his mark, but the ease with which he distributed the ball, his touch and composure showed he’s the real deal. Unquestionably one to watch for the future, to such an extent he has not only been compared to Cesc Fabregas, but is considered a more talented prospect in many circles.

A few moments after the game finished, transfer news erupted into a frenzy. According to several sources throughout the media – not sure how reliable, but I’d guess not all that much – Schalke and Arsenal have reached an agreement regarding a fee for Julian Draxler – the young German international is alleged to be “desperate” to join us and his current employers not averse to the possibility of a sale.

Since these rumours began I’ve done what I’m sure most of you have; I’ve delved into YouTube and watched as many highlights videos as I can. Knowing full well that such videos can be incredibly misleading, I still find myself getting just a touch excited. Wether or not signing a young man deployed predominately out wide or in attacking midfield would solve our need for a striker is open to debate, but he does look an incredibly gifted player.

Journalists questioned Arsene about the legitimacy of the stories during his post-game press conference and the Manager was very quick to pour a dose of cold water onto them. Arsene said:

“Draxler? Honestly, no. That is again an illusion. We have no need to take players on the flank.

“We don’t rule a striker out. But at the moment I cannot announce anything.”

One of things about that kind of quote is that you can never really accept it as the truth. As far as we know, it is completely legitimate and Arsene has no plans to bring in Draxler, but given his propensity for keeping business matters out of the press, he was never likely to confirm anything at all. Many people out there will point you towards many examples of Arsene denying interest one day, only for the player in question to sign soon after.

Will we sign Draxler? I’d be hard pressed to say with any certainty as I’m about as ITK as those that claim they are. However, I would be willing to admit I’m a little dubious. Call it pessimism if you will, but I just can’t see it happening. I would love to be wrong, but I would assume that if a price has been agreed, then the deal will most likely be arranged for the summer months. We shall have to endure a few more days of speculation until we know for sure.

All in all, a good win and a decent performance last night sees us in the 5th Round and I’ll be hoping for another home draw. Onward we go towards Tuesday’s fixture at Southampton with another victory under our belts.

That’s all from me, folks. Drop me a thought in the comments section regarding the overall performance, your stand-out players and all the hullaballoo surround Draxler. I’ll look forward to hearing what you have to say.

As always: thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

32 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

32 Responses to Coventry Dispatched, Podolski, Zelalem and a Desperate Draxler.

  1. nijjy

    podolski was the stand-out performer for me. he’s the most natural goal-scorer arsenal currently have, except for the injured walcott. good to see him among the goals. but with cazorla a sure starter on the left in most games, i struggle to see him where he’ll fit. not convinced as a CF. but maybe he can rotate with cazorla in some games, would love to see him contribute to arsenal’s season.

    another player who got a chance to show what he’s made of was bendtner, who i thought, was average. to be fair to him, he was thrown straight into a competitive match after a somewhat long injury lay-off. but he must think it was a missed opportunity. let’s hope for better from him

  2. adam

    37 million on a 20 year old attacking midfielder/winger seems like an awful lot of money for (a) a position we don’t need; and (b) a youth project.

    I just cannot see it happening at this stage. Where would he fit into the team? Would he be ahead of Cazorla, Ozil, Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey? And if not, why would you pay that much money for the player?

    If we are going to spend close to 40 million pound on one player then it should now be a striker I would have thought.

    • @adam: I think the eventual plan would be to play him centrally.

    • Lovegood

      He’s not any of those players. Completely different, more a Gervinho-type(or do I dare say it, Henry-type). Fast and can dribble while being strong due to his height.

      And on the left side both Cazorla and Podolski isn’t getting any younger, he’s a good backup to Özil in the middle and will probably be schooled to be played up front.

  3. I still have faith in Bendtner he’s still 26 aft’ol and let’s not 4get other footballers develop very late eg Drogba developed @ 30

  4. Enjoyed the way Jenkinson tried to use his pace to get past his man and land the cross. That’s a sign of growing confidence and I’d like to see more of it.

  5. kevin Mula

    Podolski was super, 37 on draxler count me out.Arsene should go for an established striker thats what we need now.

  6. balozi

    we luv lukas poldosky

  7. balozi laurence

    we want julian draxler todeh or never

  8. Hay JR. so sorry about you injury mate. Hope you didn’t suffer any nerve damage. Hopefully it will heal quickly and you can be back to 100%.
    I agree with most comments here. Julian is very talented and full of potential. The price seems exorbitant and I’m not sure he can help us much on the right wing even though they say he is as good on the right as he is on the left. As opposed to the current talks I don’t think the strikers position is where we need cover. We have three more than capable players we can count on to carry us forward. We need a cover on the right forward wing. That is the emergency and if a deal is made in January, the most expensive time, it will be in this position. Congratulations to the team , AW and all the fans on the fine win.
    ONWARDS AND FORWARDS…..

  9. ive

    Sorry but Jenkinson is a poor example of a footballer . He cant see a pass , slow to anticipate and is very hit and hope !

    • Christricted

      Spot on mate. You totally summed up jenko as a footballer. He has the heart and desire but not expertise. Loan deal perhaps? I certainly think so.

      • @Christricted: Can’t say I disagree with any of that. Jenks suffers from bouts of naivety at times and looks a little out of his depth. That’ll change with experience. He has the physical attributes to be a superb full-back. A loan might be the best for everyone at some point.

  10. ARSENE did surprise me with his 442 playing PODOLSKI & NICKY B up front together. I must say the professor read it perfectly. We needed both with their excellent pressing up front. For me the man of the match must go to OZI. he was awesome with his distribution and GIDEON could not have asked for a better role model to emulate.

  11. Oh . Before I leave I have to say I really hate that maureenwhore. What an incredible piece of turd. Hate chelski and everything they stand for. Mercenary bas•••ds.

  12. Richard

    The rumour was started by jan fjortoft on twitter near end of game. He is an agent and does a lot around German football. Let’s not forget he broke Ozil news too what he did say was he was not sure when draxler would move only that a deal had been agreed by both schalke and us not concluded but agreed so still a way to go if he is to be believed. Anyway on to last nights game we started with a strong line up and were in control from half time. Second half Coventry came out and had a go but how much was them or that we believed we had job done already is hard to tell. We made changes and regained the impetus and scored another two. I was slightly disappointed I had predicted a 5-0 score line before match started but that would have been harsh on a Coventry side that played good football and didn’t park the bus but gave it one hell of a go. It was a bit strange watching footy on a Friday but we are first into hat and it keeps confidence and momentum going into next run of games and us in with 3 chances to win silverware. I don’t remember that quote from arsenal on the bt channel post match he mentioned the illusion bit and having nothing to tell us on the transfer front though it did look like he nearly let cat out of bag when pushed on whether he had signed a new contract. So was the flank bit something he said to tabloid press afterwards or are they using creative editing to spice up their articles. Anyway well written piece and can’t wait for Tuesday and trip to Saint Mary’s.

  13. Hello, James. Sorry to hear about your fingers. As a consolation, I will refrain from obvious sick jokes about your right hand and how that accident actually gives you an opportunity to visit no-porn web-sites for a change.

    Personally, whole Draxler-thing creeps me out. If those rumours are correct, we will splash 37 million pounds on a player that is injured until March, cup-tied and is far from being a finished article.

    When it comes to our match against Coventry, I don’t know why Wenger didn’t give a rest to Kossacker, Özil and Giroud given that we have a tricky fixture against Southampton next week.

    • Richard

      Admir the draxler purchase would be more for next season to avoid losing out to Chelsea or city or utd in a bidding war. There is no guarantee he would be fit in march anyway. It was jan fjortoft who first reported via his twitter account that a deal had been agreed between us and schalke not completed and not necessarily for us to take draxler immediately but there was an a deal in place. He went for a strong squad to avoid repeat of Blackburn to keep momentum and confidence high going into a difficult run of fixtures after Southampton and palace we have a run that pits us against Liverpool man utd and bayern which could decide or define our season personally out of the 12 point in the prem league up for grab 8-10 points would be a good return.

  14. Richard

    I think the question is do we need another striker bendtner is back, we have podolski, sanogo go is on way back and giroud is fit and will go through hell to play every game and at a push Ozil can play as cf. midfield however, is completely different Ramsey, arteta, rosicky out and chamberlain just back from injury that leaves wilshere, flamini as are two wholly fit midfielders yes we have frimpong and zelalem and even Hayden but two are young and frimpong has seemed to lost his chance to stake his claim in the team I suppose if Wenger was pushed he could use vermalean as a dm but that endangers our defensive unit for rest of season. And Wenger would realise that draxler can play right left in the hole behind striker or as a striker so an arsene kind of player question is he is out until at least march that’s a huge gamble to take but if it’s to secure his services in summer to avoid a bidding war then that’s a different proposition nada shrewd move. It would mean that next season if Campbell comes back and we get draxler and you take afore and akpom into account that’s 14 players for 4 positions which is healthier than we have had we could do with defensive and midfield reinforcements. Remember we have had Rvp and Henry as top scorers in league and not finished first so to scorer in league does not guarantee top spot but the team with a balance between attack and defence does seem to win more often. If we continue our record against lowest twelve teams in the league then we have good chance to win the league and only top 8 teams we have lost to are the Manchester clubs so far so we are in good position. Can we win the league yes but kits not going to be the stroll it was for utd last year but more like the year when city won with last kick of season but personally if we score more points than last season then we have improved if we clock 84 points and that’s not enough then we have given it a damned good go personally I think 84-86 points will be enough this year and that means teams up to Newcastle could win title though they would have to win every game til the end of the season to do it the three realistic contenders are us Chelsea and city and if I were to pick I think mourinho selling mata to utd is hoping they will kick on believing they can’t win the title now but hinder us Liverpool and city’s chances and the fact he will go and try win games 1-0 as season gets to finishing straight makes Chelsea the more dangerous of the two teams my top four at end of season would look like this. 1.arsenal 2. Chelsea 3. City 4. Man utd. What does everyone else think?

    • #Richard I think spuds might get 4th but pretty much agree with everything else you’ve said…

      I really like the idea of Draxler he looks terrific and he can play practically every offensive position but 37 million is serious money for a 20 year old but then again if we’ve got the money and AW thinks he’s worth it, it’s good enough for me

      #james great post as always and hope the fingers aren’t too serious and are actually still attached

  15. Afeso kenny

    poldi was awesome,gnabry,ozil,santi,gibbs,ox,nd giroud were wonderful,gud to see bendtner back…jenkinson was a step higher….. Zelalem is one for d nearest future…. D team was superb. Fabianski showed a bit of rustiness but arielly he was ok.. Lolo n per hav kept improvin……… Shere wilpower is returnin to his usual self…. And for draxler i see him in our red and yellow by february……….

  16. Sometimes I just wanna talk less...

    Mandzukic and/or Draxler(to replace Theo) would suffice!

  17. BK

    BK: Arsenal have more than enough talented midfielders. Why need more? What we need is an additional striker especially a free kick specialist. At the moment, we don’t have one. Most of our free kicks are wasted.

  18. Well last nite we were good but I still want us to switch to that higher gear haven’t seen it yet this season. On the drax signing him would be awesome but I still think AW got another suprize for us. All I hope for is for us to play at full flight because I would love to see us destroy some of the smaller teams

  19. James, this post has appeared on arsenal.com under the media watch section!

  20. Joy

    Oh my gosh! It’s true James!

  21. fazjac_debra

    I’m hoping for you a pain free and quick recovery. Still meeting the high standard post even one handed!

Leave a comment. Go on, you know you wanna...