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March 2021

Guardiola doesn’t do tackles, doesn’t know who to buy, and dithers. Or is that Wenger?

By Bulldog Drummond

Here’s a thought: Manchester Airport’s problems come because their ceaselessly praised manager has bought the players he likes rather than the players they need, and he keeps making changes to the team.

Here’s another thought: Arsenal’s problems come because a much derided manager has not bought enough players and refuses to make changes when it is glaringly obvious to journalists and blogetterists alike that change is needed.

But such a simple analysis comes in the light of what even the most rabid member of the aaa must admit was a moderately successful transfer window.  OK I thought it was a brilliant transfer window, but even if you don’t rate Holding, Xhaka, Perez and Mustafi that highly surely you must admit there is not only quality now among those players but the future for them looks very bright.

In contrast, and here I use the Guardian’s words, not mine the Airport “managed to spend £115m in the summer on players they do not really need right now: two inside‑forwards, a so-so sweeper‑keeper and an apprentice ball-playing centre‑half. “

It is interesting to remember that after the perfect start of six wins Guardiola was being asked about whether it was possible to do the quadruple, and there was talk that the season was pretty much over, save for the challenge of Liverpool! they were certain to give the Airport a bit of a run because they are Liverpool!

Then came disaster – four wins in ten – and Guardiola is so yesterday’s man yesterday now seems 1930s and tomorrow seems like the day after Sunday, which when you think about it, it is.

Out of all this one of the key elements that arises is that Guardiola  recently said that he doesn’t coach tackles – and seemingly the statistics from his Barcelona days do indeed show not only a propensity for the club to move children around the globe illegally but also for the club not to tackle.  They hold the ball and press – which gives a clue as to how to play against them (and for parents to lock up their children).

And that leads me to go along with recent thoughts here – counter-attacking is the way to play the Airporters.  Leicester had 22% possession in their victory last weekend – their one win in the last eight games.

Arsenal might have more injuries than the Airport but in terms of suspensions… I don’t think we have any do we?  (You will of course tell me if I am wrong).
Player Injury Return date
D Welbeck Cartilage Knee Injury January 1, 2017
S Mustafi Hamstring Injury January 3, 2017
P Mertesacker Knee Injury January 7, 2017
M Debuchy Hamstring Injury January 14, 2017
C Akpom Back Injury January 14, 2017
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury February 25, 2017

One more little fact.  This time last season Manchester Airport started with five straight wins and then started to fall apart winning just two games in six from the start of November to Christmas.  Funny how these patterns recur.

More anon…

From the anniversary files on the home page…

….the anniversary of the death of one of our most important founding fathers, and Alexis’ birthday

Tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Manchester City v Arsenal 18 Dec 2016 – The Match Officials. Expect a totally biased cockeyed performance

Man City’s problem is that they are no longer able to steal players from Arsenal

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #13 complete with video evidence

FA Youth Cup 2016/17 – Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers 16/12/2016: Match Preview

Man City v Arsenal: a change of tactics is predicted, and the psychological game

Özil asks Arsenal to sign Draxler as part of contract deal and other tales

Ref Review: West Ham – Arsenal: an even bias score, miracles do happen

Football journalism has become a walled wonderland inherently incompatible with reality



17 comments to Guardiola doesn’t do tackles, doesn’t know who to buy, and dithers. Or is that Wenger?

  • Al

    Our injury list looks encouraging, by mid January most of our players will be back bar Santi…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hopeful for today. Pep will get it right, but as you say, he needs time.
    Two disciples of Michels/cruyff and those that came before them, should hopefully be a good game , unlike the cloggers, short term fixers we face most weeks.
    Both have players who can do serious damage, just hope this one isn’t decided by this ref, and if it is, and it is inevitably against us,the execs in the club , not the manager… finally decide to have a word, the referees in the last couple of months have been little short of appalling.
    But that said no more defensive switch offs like mid week!

  • Al

    As to the lack of tackling, I’m more worried about the ref; in 90 minutes he will teach them how to tackle (illegally) more than pep has done all season.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Our staggering looking PL title charge this season can still be steadied. It’s not late for us to do that as there are 22 games left for us to play to effect this steadying our title charge which has appeared to enter into staggering mode after Ozil’s induced Arsenal lose to Everton last Tuesday night.

    And to think of it, Arsenal’s 13 in a season winning run and their 14 run on the bounce are now under threat of being equaled and possibly surpassed by Chelsea who have by their beating Crystal Palace yesterday have now extended their winning run to 11 games.

    Arsenal set the benchmarks for other teams to just to see and not for them to equaled it nor surpassed it. But since this Arsenal’s 13 & 14 PL winning run benchmarks are now put under threat by Chelsea, and despite they’ve not yet equaled or surpassed the set benchmarks by Arsenal, and starting from our match against Man City later today, it’s pertinent for Arsenal to hit another benchmark of 20 – 22 Pl winning run this season to deter any would be Arsenal’s set benchmark equalers or surpassers. For Arsenal won’t share any of their glories of, 49 unbeaten run, invisible Pl season and 13 a season & 14 on the bounce PL winning run with any team whatsoever in the Premier League.

  • Genorm

    Me too, Al. Twatkinson, ugh. These referees seem to fall into 2 categories – the ladder-climbing, FIFA accredited mob or the fat, not fit mob. All, of course, dining in the Riley house of shame.
    Today will be a big test for the team, but we can do it. COYG!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    And less I forget, is Arsenal’s 11 matches run of never to lose a PL match on a Tuesday which came to an end at the Goodison Park last Tuesday night also a set benchmark?

  • Josif

    Arsenal haven’t lost last six encounters v City. 3 victories, 3 draws.

    Arsenal have scored at least two goals in the last five games v City.

    Olivier Giroud has scored a goal in each of his last four games v City.

    Alexis Sanchez has never lost a game v City.

    Last time Arsenal lost to City Martin Atkinson was in charge and the game was played in December.

    Arsenal have lost five league games in 2015-16 – each one with a narrow margin.

    Arsenal have scored at least a goal in each of their last 11 away games in all competitions.

    Pep Guardiola has never lost to Arsene Wenger at home (W3D1).

  • Walton

    Had to give up counting what Pep has won even though he is 18 years younger than Wenger. You need help Drummond and once Pep gets in the swing again the PL will interchange between Conte, Klopp and Pep at will. Arsene will no doubt still be making fourth much to the bemusement of all. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

  • Jammy J

    Are you an Arsenal supporter, Walton? Well, I mean, of course you aren’t a supporter, but do you consider yourself one? If so, then how about you shut the fuck up, stop whinging (as it accomplishes literally nothing) and actually get behind the team. Or as you seem to hate Wenger so much, how about you go support a different team until he retires?

    Clearly you’re too ignorant and/or short-sighted to comprehend exactly what he has done (and is still doing) for this club, so you can go support a team that you don’t hate and we won’t have to read your brain-dead moaning on practically every single article (which is odd, as you do seem to spend a lot of time on this website, which you supposedly completely disagree with); everyone’s a winner!

  • markyb

    Yes G’night John Boy

  • Josif

    @Jammy J

    If I were Tony, I would put an advice for all participants in all discussions anywhere on top of the page:

    “First read it. Then read it again. And again. Then make a conclusion. Then check your conclusion. And again. Then write it down and publish it.”

    My guess is Walton would give up after the first sentence.

  • Jammy J

    Exactly haha. It just really frustrates me, because whilst Wenger was overseeing the stadium move he could have easily accepted one of the many offers he got from the top clubs in Europe (Real Madrid, Bayern, Barca) and most probably gone on to win a whole cabinet of trophies. But because he chose to stick it out with us, knowing that there would be some very hard years for the club, complete and utter morons like Walton use this as something to bash him over the head with, when in reality; this is the precise reason why he deserves so much respect and recognition. Some people are just too stupid and/or blinded by their own bias to realise this.

  • ClockEndRider

    This is the first time Guardiola has had to manage in a league which is actually competitive. In Spain his side played 4-6 competitive games a season and had a financial head start of hundreds of millions as the tv deals are skewed in favour of 2 clubs.
    In Germany his side played 4-6 competitive games a season and had a financial head start due to the vast commercial revenues they earn in comparison with opponents.
    In England his side play 20 odd competitive games a season and have a financial head start of having had a stadium gifted to them at taxpayers expense and being owned by a nation which can produce money simply by digging a whole in the ground.
    Can anyone spot the difference?

  • Menace

    ClockEndRider – yes! Walton is still digging…………….

  • Top Guns

    jammy j – please elaborate on what Wenger is still contributing to Arsenal FC in 2016.

  • dan

    More that you Top Guns!