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Wednesday
Sep142016

Wenger signings won’t make any difference

Some interesting games last weekend and the top seven is already starting to take shape. I get the feeling those teams are pretty much fixed into position now for the remainder of the season.

Pep Guardiola is proving his worth pretty quickly at City who ran amok in the first half against Man Utd at Old Trafford and beat them 2-1. Obviously, Jose Mourinho and Guardiola have very different styles, but Guardiola won the battle because his forwards were too agile and quick-thinking for Utd’s statuesque midfield.

In a blistering first-half display, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva carved Utd open with speedy one-touch passing. You can bet Mourinho won’t set his team up like that the next time these two goliaths meet.

The game had a comical element due to several errors made by new City keeper Claudio Bravo. Like Jurgen Klopp, Guardiola wants to encourage his side to play the ball out from the back. Actually, Guardiola goes one step further, treating his goalkeeper as a sweeper. It’s not just about possession of the ball, but enabling his players to make instant decisions and play with a measure of intellect.

His style of football demands the utmost concentration. Striving for perfection with intelligent passing, movement and ball retention, he educates players to be 100% focused from moment to moment so they can make better decisions and fewer mistakes.

The furious pace of the Premier League may make it more difficult to adopt this strategy, but as supporters we should be grateful that these two managers are revolutionising the English game and encouraging players to think holistically rather than simply hoofing the ball up the pitch or performing robotic movements.

Liverpool trounced Leicester 4-1 and Klopp is turning Anfield into a fortress. They attack with verve and style and at times it seemed as though Leicester have lost the appetite to defend their crown. Tottenham thrashed Stoke 4-0 and looked a class act.

The only top seven side that stunk this weekend was Arsenal, who needed a 94th minute penalty to beat a wilting Southampton side. But Arsenal were extremely fortunate to get that penalty because Laurent Koscielny was lying on the ground in the penalty area with a head injury, so the referee should have stopped the game. Arsenal only had two shots on target because their football is too mechanical. Wenger has been playing the same system for so long that opposing managers can predict the positioning and behaviour of every single outfield player.

Arsenal made three ‘key’ signings in this transfer window, but I don’t see them making any discernible difference. Deportivo were happy to cash in on Lucas Perez, who I reckon will struggle under Wenger, and Shkodran Mustafi will not be much of an upgrade on Gabriel or Per Mertesacker. Granit Xhaka is a good player, but impetuous.

Arsenal will continue to concede stupid goals and struggle to score them because of Wenger’s moribund tactics. In the Champions League last night, they were carved open repeatedly by PSG but drew 1-1 because Edison Cavani missed four golden chances.

Wenger’s line-up was quintessentially senile.

Note: Arsenal Truth is now on Twitter @TruthArsenal.

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Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be unread and binned.

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Reader Comments (15)

Spot on. The only difference it will make is to the perception of the fans that at long last we have a quality squad. This is delusional. We have not much better (quality) squad than the previous umpteen seasons; just more cover in some positions so that we don't have to call on the groundsmen to fill in gaps when injuries inevitably seem to happen.

The quality of the current squad if far inferior to City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham and Liverpool - how else would you explain the presence of a player like the Ox in the starting line-up against Southampton and PSG! We will be lucky to end up in the sixth position. This is my view.

It can change of course if we recall Sanogo, OR NOT. Perhaps we can play Walcott as a CF, or Alexis, or recall Chambers even, or, what about another trolley-dash end of January - I hope it is obvious that I am kidding.

In my opinion this squad has no backbone, no fight, no cohesion and NOBODY TO BRING THEM BACK TO LIFE, except perhaps the tea-lady. Very, very sad.

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeter12

Really, you know this how? Come on, the season is five games old and two of those players have only been around for two games and you have made the decision that all four of them are failures.

I wish I had your knowledge of football, but even if I did I'd still give them more time to settle in. Some more football experts on the game podcast(times) are of the opinion that with Mustafi and Kos Arsenal now have the best CB pairing in the PL, but I take you think they are wrong.

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AT

Seen it all before I'm afraid. The faces may change but as long as the mentally retarded berk remains in charge, Arsenal aren't competing for shit.

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGunnerjoe

Spot on. The way the old fart rates players is delusional. He must watch the lads knocking the ball around in practice for an hour and think they're the Invincibles. He still thinks he has one of the best teams in Europe and plays the same tactics every game with the attitude "try and stop us". Unfortunately today, the big teams/managers often do.

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPep G

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all started strong under new managers. Everton and Liverpool have also looked like contenders in the early stages, while the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City will also be keen to be up there. So no guarantee Arsene will finish in the top four in the Premier League again.

The old man was spending peanuts last season and still got no fucking clue, and this time spending around £90m and still he got no fucking clue again to set up a proper team.

That surely will make him exposed like a naked old man in center of Emirates pitch, shitting and wanking at the same time in the center of Emirates crowd in full monty.

But we know the brainless AKB mugs still worship him by stay ignorant at silent Emirates even though their Master of Puppets was naked with his wrinkled dick of stupidity so obvious.

September 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterForeign Gooner

The jury is still out on Mustafi and Xhaka for me, but I can't see Wenger making them any better - they'll simply have to rely on their past experience to see them through, because they'll receive nowt from Wenger.

Perez has all the hallmarks of deadwood to me. 28yo with one reasonably good season, coming to the fast-paced premiership - if he can't bench Giroud then there is little point to his purchase. How much more bargain basement can you get?!? I say this with all honestly - I would had rather paid the going rate for Lacazette, Lukaku or the Dortmund guy (highly unlikely he'd come, neither would I blame him either) to name a few, regardless of whether I thought they were value for money... simply because I need a better striker!!!

That Champions League selection both bizarre and farcical – in fact I think you termed it perfectly, “quintessentially senile”! It was a decision bereft of even the slightest amount of rationality or even common sense. Now I can but only look at wenger and shake my head with a puzzled ‘what are you doing’ look on my face, because the words just fail me. (Like Gerrard when Torres got subbed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t00D23R63ig)

Then I start to think about it some more and get really irate!!

September 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMr J

Oh dear Gunnerjoe, yet another blind perception of what the past eight seasons has been all about. You don't need a knowledge of football to understand what will happen under Wenger. Remember, many of those so called experts and pundits only say what you want to hear.

Listen to Ian Wright(one of many), he wants to say so much more but realises, if he did, his honorary membership/hospitality privileges to his beloved club would be null and void!! Remember, when you have an incompetent fool in charge the players will always fall short.

September 15, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermichael B

Wenger's line-up was utterly fucking bizarre. For starters, I couldn't believe Xhaka was left sitting on the bench against PSG.

The one Arsenal game I've properly seen him in (against Watford), his long-range passing for Sanchez to run onto was incredible and he left him out for Coquelin!

Granit must be wondering what the shit he's got himself into already.

September 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

AT, almost every year you predict that Arsenal will finish outside the top four and your predictions never stands. Why do you think this year will be different. Wenger might be cluess to you but to me you are another clueless blogger because I heard you repeat time and time that Arsenal place will be taken by Spurs, Liverpool, Everton etc. but your predictions never stand test of time. Can you kindly stop predicting.

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AT

Can't remember ever predicting Arsenal will finish outside the top four, but if you'd like to go through seven years of posts and comments to prove me wrong you're more than welcome.

September 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBamba

AT, who do you see winning title/finishing top four this term, now that the season's underway?

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AT

I initially fancied Man Utd, but now I fancy Man City with Chelsea/Liverpool/Tottenham/Arsenal fighting for the four spaces below them.

September 17, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

What is truly senile is that you keep repeating yourself. Get over it or find a new hobby. Yes we heard you, Wenger is done. We get it - but why the fuck do you keep pointing this out? Do you really think it's going to change anything? You're an intelligent and good writer. Use those attributes in a positive manner.

Cheers, Thomas

September 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Another poor display from Utd today. When you look at City and how quickly they've adjusted to Pep's style, then look at Utd who may as well be still playing under LVG, well, it doesn't bode well for Utd.

With Spurs looking good, Arsenal to compete for top four as usual and Liverpool scoring for fun, I wouldn't be surprised if they finished sixth this season. Tough season ahead for Utd I reckon.

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AT

Guardiola already has a squad that is suited to his style of football, with small, quick, technical players. Utd play like strangers, because they are - and lack confidence because of it.

Mourinho has some big decisions to make, they look too one-paced and Pogba is restricted. You can't play Rooney and Ibra together away from home, the transition from defence to attack is too slow.

September 18, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterhenry8th

Hi AT, what do you think of the new double jeopardy rule. We saw an example yesterday with Hull's pen meaning Cech only got a yellow (thankfully).

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AT

It encourages goalkeepers to bring players down in certain situations. If the penalty is missed/saved, it's a win-win for them.

September 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris J

Nice one AT, even if others don't appreciate your predictions, I do!

FWIW, reckon it's easier to pick the winner rather than the top four this year: I can't see past City either, whilst the Champions League places look like shaping up to be a total bun-fight.

Current title odds

City 5/7
Chel 10/1
Pool 6/1
Utd 16/1
Arsene 14/1

Would those City odds be enough to tempt you, AT (supposing you were a betting man)?

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AT

I am a betting man, was quids in this weekend after predicting wins for City, Arsenal, Palace and Spurs. I prefer accumulators, so won't be betting on City and, as you suggest, the rest is a toss-up.

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

Fair play. Btw I met Kenny Sansom yesterday, a total gent.

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

Dear Thomas, the majority of fans who write on this site use it as therapy (hence the site's name). The facts are there for all to see and all we are doing is communicating the truth!

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermichael B

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