The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

The Ideal Replacement For Arsene Wenger Is Closer Than You Think.

Howdy, folks.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well… usually I pour out a few words at this juncture to explain why I’ve not written for such an elongated period of time. I could, but I’m not going to. Words of excuse seem trite at this stage and a little pointless.

Maybe you haven’t missed me at all…

Anyways. What have I been up to recently? Well, I’ve been trying my hand at football management. Granted, I’m talking the simulated variety here and not the pursuit that sees me caterwauling at youngsters whilst patrolling a touchline with ideas far above my station. In the past few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to receive a complimentary copy of Football Manager 2015 from the good folks at Cash Generator – they also deal in Nintendo DS.

Before I get into my exploits at the helm of Arsenal, I figured a few words about the game itself wouldn’t go amiss. Growing up I was very easily addicted to what was then called Championship Manager. Although many of my friends referred to it as simply, “a bunch of numbers on the screen”, I was hooked and could easily fret away the hours choosing tactics and trying to nurture the unknown Bolivian wonderchild I’d paid mere pennies to recruit.

It was a totally immersive experience. The modern variety, however, makes those memories pale by comparison. In what I call “death by statistics” everything you could possibly imagine is here; whether that be the ability to hold lengthy, often arduous, meetings with the board to the updated realism of ‘player power’ – it’s all meticulously recreated for you to explore. The most notable change from those games of yesteryear is the addition of a 3D match engine that allows you to watch your players as they scamper about under your direction.  Continue reading

Middlesborough: Team News, Predicted Starting XI And Thoughts.

Hopefully, high-fives all round at the final whistle.

Morning, folks.

The FA Cup. Perhaps the most likely avenue in which to get our grubby paws all over some delicious silverware. All that stands between us and progression to the quarter finals is Middlesborough; riding high in the Championship and a team to be taken seriously. After all, they did defeat Manchester City in the previous round and did so with a very good display.

I love this competition. Unabashedly so. Primarily for the shocks. Whilst it is undeniably gratingly bloody awful when Arsenal succumb to lower league opponents, it’s equally as hilarious when others fall at that particular hurdle. Anything can happen in the one-off nature of a cup tie and we need only look at Chelsea’s howlingly funny defeat to Bradford to see just how unpredictable the FA Cup can be. Anyone can slip up, and it’s usually the ones who don’t think it can happen to them.

Today we go into the game as favourites with fans and pundits alike. Even the most ardent of Middlesborough fan assume a heavy defeat is in order, and most of them see their season’s priority a return to the Premiership. So, I say it again; we are huge favourites today.  Continue reading

Top 4 The Priority And Relentless Transfer Gossip.

“Yay…4th…”

Morning, folks.

Yesterday I failed to produce a blog post as promised. You might think there was a good reason for this; a family emergency or perhaps a complete meltdown of Internet capabilities. You’d be mistaken. The single biggest contributing factor was a bout of indolence on my part, coupled with the desire to play GTA5 – I get addicted very easily when it comes to shooting/blowing up other members of the online community.

So, I guess apologies are in order. There wasn’t exactly a plethora of interesting stories to write about, but, hey – I intend to jot daily and didn’t do so. I throw myself at your collective mercy (both of you).

Today is mostly scattered news without anything significant or immediately jarring – no story has leapt from the screen causing my fingers to flutter across the keyboard. Instead, we’ve the emergence of what I like to refer to as “customary dross”.  Continue reading

Is David Ospina A Long-Term No.1 For Arsenal?

Your No1?

Afternoon, folks.

Here’s something about our goalkeeping situation written by ‘wonker’.

In the build-up to the derby defeat by Spurs, Arsene Wenger stated that Wojciech Szczesny is still our No.1 goalkeeper. Szczesny has made over 170 appearances for the club, so you can understand why Wenger is still pledging his support for the Pole.

Yet, at the same time, he has made over 170 appearances and has he convinced that he can be consistently relied upon to help us achieve long-term and sustained success?

He’s not started in the Premier League since the 2-0 defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day. After that game, he was fined having been caught smoking. Continue reading

Ozil, Ospina, Ramsey, Coquelin And A Terrible 3 Points.

“A yellow card for that? Really?!”

Morning, folks.

Yesterday when reviewing the game I said I’d be happy with 3 points no matter how we obtained them. Perhaps that was a touch exaggerated. Winning the match against Leicester was, obviously, of paramount importance. Dropping points at home to the side bottom of the table would have been abject. Yet we didn’t look anything remotely like a solid, cohesive unit last night and allowed our opponents to not only make a game of it, but probably warrant having taken something home with them.

In short, we were sh*t.

Whether the reasons for that stem directly from losing to Spurs is debatable. Some jitters and nerves are expected during a fixture in which winning is vital and that’s often compounded on the back of a defeat. However, more worryingly so, we looked complacent and sloppy far more than jittery.  Continue reading

Leicester City: Team News, Predicted Starting XI And Thoughts.

Ulloa levels the game in the early fixture.

Afternoon, folks.

With tonight’s game being a late kick-off and mainly becuase I was too lazy to do it this morning, your delicious daily update is here a little later than usual. Apologies if you were waiting on tenterhooks at the usual time only to be bitterly disappointed. Both of you.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

A win is vital tonight. Wether it be accomplished through free-flowing attacking brilliance and lots of goals or a hideously inept display in which we are rescued by a fortuitous late goal matters not to me – we need the 3 points and I don’t especially care how we get them.

Granted, the former of those two choices is by far the more preferably, and a good display certainly breeds confidence. However, dropping points would be harming to our claim for 4th, so we need to get them above anything else.

I think we might see a little rotation today. Continue reading

The Return Of Alexis Sanchez And Arsenal “Not Switched On”.

“Can someone turn me on, please?”

Morning, folks.

Today finds me still unable to shake to dejection of having lost to Spurs. It really is a bloody awful sensation. Last night I awoke in a cold sweat having dreamt Harry Kane had taken over the universe and created an army of bumbling, barely-literate clones and everywhere I turned I was greeted by one of them talking to me as if there was a giant angry wasp trying to escape from their mouth.

The horror.

That said, tomorrow brings another fixture and the opportunity to exorcise a few of those demons by obtaining 3 delicious points. Leicester aren’t the most formidable of sides on their travels and to compound matters, they’ve just parted company with their manager. Often that can be dangerous, as players suddenly feel the desire to up their performance levels in light of a new face on the horizon. The effect can also be extremely detrimental, piling further turmoil onto what was already far from a bed of roses.

Let’s hope it’s the latter. I don’t care if we scrounge a 1-0 win in the dying minutes having played egregiously as long as we win. That’s all that’s important after a defeat. Continue reading