Thursday, 24 January 2008

Arsenal's Wheels & Juande Ramos

Arsenal's Wheels

The discussion has lately reared its head , will Arsenal's wheels come off? They've kept to the pace at the top of the Premier League, to the 4th round of the FA Cup and the Second Phase of the Champions League. So they are having a great season, so far, and one terrible defeat to Spurs shouldn't change that. But much more so than United or Chelsea, the Arse' have the ability to implode and fall away in the league. Wishful thinking? No.

Wenger, despite sitting on millions of pounds, will not spend any money on the squad during the transfer window, seemingly in the belief that various never-will-be's such as Senderos, Hoyte and Walcott will be enough to get them through a tough league and cup program until May. Gilberto looks finished, suffering either from poor fitness or motivation. If the over-achieving Flamini gets injured, who comes in, Gilberto, Diaby, Song? At centre back, the problems have long been known. Gallas and Toure have been good together, but Senderos is a waste of space and Djourou doesn't seem to have made any progress despite his loan spells.
Similarly, up front, Bendtner has shown flashes of potential, but more is needed. Walcott needs to apply his talents, Van Persie has had a litany of injury problems which only leaves Adebayor and Eduardo up front to score the goals.
So, that's a fair amount of weaknesses in the squad, which Wenger will not address, and I have the feeling that it will be their downfall this season. Ok, they won't finish fifth, but I feel they won't win anything either.

Juande Ramos
After their disastrous start, Spurs have achieved a UEFA cup place already this season, by virtue of qualifying for the Carling Cup Final against Chelsea.
[EDIT - the losers of the Carling Cup final will not get a UEFA Cup place, if Chelsea win, and they have already qualified for the CL, then the place will go to 7th in the league]
It's a bit too simplistic to say that Jol's team would have blown it, but Ramos has impressed so far. If the serious Spaniard can get a top half finish and a good run in the UEFA Cup, it will be an excellent platform to build for next season. How different things could have been for Jol if King was fit....


Okey Doke Football Podcast is [usually]available every Friday morning, subscribe here:

JJ is off on his working holiday this week, a supersub hasn't been found, so I'm afraid there will be no podcast this week, but we'll back next week with more lame jokes, obscure Anchorman, Seinfeld & Father Ted references and tales of bold footballers from the tabloids...

In the meantime, check out the Irish minister for Sport showing off his football skills in Africa, at least he is better than Tony Blair, but neither will live up to the excellent Boris Johnson in a seniors 'friendly' against Germany


Cathal O'Brien said...

Since ye always get it soooo wrong, I'm puttin a tener on Arsenal to win em all :-)

Mark said...

i'd take that bet if i didn't know that u only have 15 euro to your name... we have to get someone to put the money in escrow

JJ said...

Love Adebayors insult of being on because bendtner is shit. He is too. Wenger to win nada this season and spurs to do the cup double.