By Bulldog Drummond
Mr Wenger summarised the current position with a combination of metaphorical statements and rhetorical questions when he said to the assembled hacks, “We have been in a few finals – has it changed your mood? No. I have no illusions at all.”
The Mirror, reporting the comments along with several other papers, then wrote, “When it was pointed out that some supporters were even getting impatient during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, in which his side led 4-0 after 22 minutes, Wenger added: ‘He [the negative fan] gets your ear. That’s the best example. Out of 100, even if ten have a negative mood, the ten get your ear more than the 90.
“We have been in a few finals; has it changed your mood? No. You celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years and yet you kill us even though we have won the FA Cup three times in the last four years. It’s like that, we have to live with that. I have no illusions at all. The mood is decided by you.”
The statement reflected the position we have been writing about in Untold for many years the media decides what is news, and then decides how to interpret that news. I find it encouraging to hear Mr Wenger express that view.
Certainly there is far, far less media interest in today’s game than there is in transfer rumours, with the latest tale about Arsenal suggesting we are about to sign Jonny Evans of West Brom as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a grand total of £75 million. However it is also reported that Evans would have liked to go to Manchester City instead. (As the boss said, they set the mood.)
Allegedly WBA would be happy to sell Evans for £20m so that they have more more in the coffers to buy an attacker. They have so far scored 19 goals this season in the league – the same as Burnley.
Apparently Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Huss Fahmy of Arsenal are now all in Germany working on completing the Aubameyang arrangements for around £50m or a lower fee including a Giroud loan. Dick Law has stayed in London to work on the Evans arrangements. Allegedly.
Mr Wenger summed it up saying, “We are busy on all fronts. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad, we’ll take.”
On the layout of the new team however we are still waiting to see what is going to be done. Mr Wenger suggested Henrikh Mkhitaryan could play a similar central midfield role to that which Santi previously played and reminded the hacks that he met Mkhitaryan before Man U got him, and discussed signing for Arsenal. “I see him first in a wide position, but I’m thinking about a possibility to play through the middle,” he added.
Although of course it doesn’t apply tonight, the question of Aubameyang is not just one of whether the transfer will go through but also quite how he and Lacazette fit together into a team. The only way this can happen logically is by changing from a central striker and two wingers to the notion of two central strikers rampaging together.
That could be interesting to watch and would presumably mean a modernised 4-4-2 system, with the conventional four at the back, two deep midfield, two attacking midfield and the two strikers. But that still leaves Arsenal fitting Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in, with both the latter two being more defensive. If Ramsey and Wilshere are not considered strong enough defensively then one of them has to drop out to make way for Xhaka.
So on to today’s game.
We have been having rather a nice run against Chelsea of late: well, at least decent-ish, with not a single defeat in the last five…
|27 May 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||FA Cup|
|06 Aug 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||1-1||FA Community Shield|
|17 Sep 2017||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|03 Jan 2018||Arsenal v Chelsea||D||2-2||Premier League|
|10 Jan 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0||League Cup|
|18 Apr 2009||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||1-2||FA Cup|
|10 May 2009||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||1-4||Premier League|
|29 Nov 2009||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||0-3||Premier League|
|07 Feb 2010||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||2-0||Premier League|
|03 Oct 2010||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||2-0||Premier League|
I particularly remember that 1-4 which was extremely horrible. But more recently it is not too bad overall. We have won 75, they have won 62 and 57 have been drawn.
Next up the teams.
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