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philarthur

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Posts posted by philarthur

  1. Re: Eredivisie Discussion Thread

    Has anyone been following PSV so far? Their squad looks incredibly exciting and' date=' from my point of view, Karim Rekik's progression is of real interest. Talk on City forums is probably over hyped but from them I hear he's an outside shot for a place in the Dutch NT. True or rubbish? :P[/quote']

    I've watched a few of PSV's games so far, and they're one of the most intriguing teams I've seen for a long time. Manager Philip Cocu is putting a HUGE emphasis on youth, and this past Saturday in their game against NEC, the oldest player in their starting XI was 22. I see PSV as a legitimate threat to catch AC Milan off guard in the CL qualifiers, albeit still the underdogs.

    As a unit, PSV's defense looks a bit weak at the moment, but Rekik has looked like a pretty decent defender. He's a strong tacker and a good passer, but his early partnership with Jeffrey Bruma looks a bit suspect. Mind you, we're only a couple of games into the season.

    In PSV's game against NEC, Zakaria Bakkali was by far a class above the rest, with Georginio Wijnaldum, Oscar Hiljemark, and Rekik all putting in good shifts. Jetro Willems was decent as well, but he's certainly not recently been able to justify his inclusion at the Euro 2012.

  2. Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

    Teams

    Champions: Chelsea

    Champions League: Chelsea/Man City/Man U/Arsenal

    Suprise Package: Aston Villa

    League Cup: Everton

    FA Cup: Man City

    Champions League Winner: Madrid

    Relegation Dark Horse: Norwich

    Relegation: Palace/Hull/Stoke

    Players

    Top Scorer: Negredo

    Top Assists: Hazard

    Most Cleansheets(Gks): Cech

    Most Reds: Tiote

    Best Signing: Navas

    Best Bargain: Okore

    Biggest Flop: Van Wolfswinkel

    First Manager sacked: Alan Pardew

    Player of the Year: Van Persie

    Breakout Player: Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Young Player: Coutinho

  3. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Sagna to CB makes sense on several different levels. If the Bendtner deal is true, we'll get another RB for a very minimal fee, and we won't have to spend 10+million on another CB. I also have a feeling that while Wenger used to sell players almost immediately after they turned 30, he's going to try to hold on to more players from now on, hoping they'll retire at the club. Letting Patrick Vieira retire at City was a big mistake on Arsenal's part, as he's now working at the club, and is half-decent at what he does. Similar to how Arsenal brought back Ljungberg as an 'ambassador', I have a feeling that players like Arteta and Sagna will be encouraged to stay at the club, retire at the club, and get jobs within the club.

  4. Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

    Reports have emerged that Barcelona want one of Kompany, Luiz, Agger, Vermaelen or Vertongen before the transfer window is up.

    Considering how horrible some of the defending in England was last season, it's a bit surprising to see how sought out PL CBs are, especially at a bit of a defensively deficient team like Barcelona.

  5. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    I think he looked poor throughout the Asia tour. He lacked confidence' date=' hardly made any good runs and never seemed to want the ball, my opinion's changed on him recently, I used to think he was a top prospect but I'm starting to think otherwise. But still, it's only pre-season I guess.[/quote']

    He also isn't fully fit though. Wenger admitted that he played Miyaichi in Nagoya especially for sentimental reasons, but that he wouldn't have otherwise played due to injury. You could definitely tell that he wasn't at 100% against Nagoya, and while I didn't get to see it, I'm guessing this was the same case against Urawa.

  6. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Interesting to see that Gnabry is the only youngster (along with Miquel) who starts with the Senior team in the pre-Season friendlies' date=' the others (Zelalam, Eisfeld, Olsson etc.) all seem to play together whereas Gnabry pretty much is always used with the first team. I wonder if we are going to see more of him this season then, as it would seem that Wenger is trying to get him familiar with the First XI.

    We may be seeing a few Premier League appearances from him next season.[/quote']

    I think we'll see more of Miyaichi than Gnabry this season. Wenger has already gone out and said that Miyaichi will stay with the first-team unless Arsenal buy another winger, in which case Miyaichi will most likely go out on loan.

  7. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    If Gervinho leaves, it would be great to see Bernard come in. Regardless, I do think we'll be seeing more of Ryo and Gnabry this season, especially Ryo, who Wenger has praised many times. Oxlade-Chamberlain also looks set to play centrally this season, which would lead to yet another opening on the wing.

    We'd then have Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla (sort of ), Bernard, Miyaichi and Gnabry as our wingers. That looks like pretty good mix of experience and youth, especially considering that the latter three would hopefully then be able to step into Podolski and Cazorla's shoes one they both depart in a few seasons time.

  8. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Van Perise used to be a trouble maker' date=' which was the reason Aresnal got him for so cheap because of his risky temprament.

    So I guess players can change or at least be managed.[/quote']

    The one difference is that van Persie was 21 at the time, whereas Suarez is going on 27. It would be worlds harder to change Suarez's temperament in his late twenties as opposed to his early twenties. van Persie was a young player on the rise at the time, but a player that still needed guidance to improve as a footballer and a man. Suarez is at the top of his game football-wise, and just as in any line of work, people at the top of their respective field are usually pretty stuck up and cocky. That being said, if Arsenal were to sign Suarez and if Wenger were to manage/change his behavior, it would be one of the managerial feats of the decade.

  9. Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

    Just out of interest (I'll probably do it again after the transfer window closes) what would your best new signing transfer XI be?

    I'm doing mine based on buying from outside of the Prem.

    Stekenelberg

    Amorebieta - Lovren - Pieters

    Wanyama

    Navas - Fernandinho - Paulinho - Schurrle

    Negredo - Jovetic

    Subs:

    Adrian

    Muniesa

    Okore

    Van Ginkel

    Deulofeu/Giaccherini (as Deulofeu is a loan signing)

    Van Wolfswinkel

    Bony

    What is noticable is that defensive signings have been pretty weak on the whole.

    These are certainly the best players signed in the transfer window, but if this were a real team playing in the Prem, I'd take out Pieters for Okore, Wanyama for De Guzman (and drop either Paulinho or Fernandinho deeper), and Van Wolfswinkel for Leroy Fer.

  10. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    It is simply because his club A.Minerio are playing the 2nd leg of the Libertadores final (equivalent of Champions League in Europe) against Olimpia on Wed night.

    Simply saying he is fully concentrating on that game and then from then onwards (ie Thursday) he can set about talking/finalising his future.

    Thanks for this. I knew he was playing in the Cup, but I had no idea it was the final.

    No more need for me to expectantly hold my breath for all of Thursday waiting for no deal to materialize:D

  11. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Supposedly Roma's director is in London to finalize a deal for Gervinho. I have to say, it will be a little bittersweet if he leaves. He has so much potential to succeed at Arsenal, but things just haven't worked out.

    http://www.football-italia.net/36719/roma-fly-gervinho

    If he goes, we'll certainly need another winger, unless Wenger wants Gnabry to firmly step into the first team and get some meaningful games under his belt.

  12. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    I never said this before' date=' but I have a feeling we will get Bernard. Lot of reports and you can see there is some truth behind it from what he said.

    From SkySports.[/quote']

    The main thing I wonder is, what's so special about "..from Thursday onwards."? His quote suggests that the reports of a deal being finalized at the end of this week could ring true, even though Wenger has dismissed all the link.

  13. Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

    ;2665157']1. Arsenal' date=' because the pack has got closer and won't be beaten for a while[/quote']

    This pretty much sums it up, at least as far as England is concerned. We saw Juventus go unbeaten in a sub-par Serie A, and either Barca, Real or Bayern are good enough to do it in their respective leagues, with some luck of course. England just has too many strong teams, as well as pesky teams (Wigan after week 30) who'll cause upsets. The parity in England is quite impressive, and the PL has managed to maintain its high quality despite the evening playing field.

  14. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Just curious to you and everyone.

    Would you rate Zelalem higher than Eisfeld?

    From what I've seen on tour, yes. It also sounds like the hype surrounding Eisfeld is starting to diffuse. For the youth team, I've heard Eisfeld is fantastic for about 20 minutes, and anonymous for the other 70. Zelalem's eye for a pass on tour has been scary good.

  15. Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

    The issue I have with the Fernandinho signing is that his value is about half of what they paid for him. He is 28' date=' which is hardly young, never played in a top league and has been at Shaktar for 8 years. Surely if he was THAT good a top European team would have bust a ball to get him already (No Manchester City aren't a top European team).

    A good signing to me is someone who is good but also worth the money. Like it seems these days if City were to pick up Messi for 5 billion that would be considered a 'good signing', I mean how exactly? Berbatov wasn't a flop at United by striking standards, but because he cost 30 million everyone will tell you he was a failure. The double standards are evident.[/quote']

    This is what billionaire owners have done to football. If no one cares about the financial implications of a big-money signing, because if a player doesn't work out, there's always more money available to replace him.

    Also, his fee was probably inflated since Shaktar are technically competing with City in the CL, which drives up the price. The Ukrainian league shouldn't be underestimated though. It's shown it's value in the CL, which lets clubs like Shaktar command higher fees for their players.

  16. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Bernard won't be coming, since no one who's linked with Arsenal is ever actually signed.

    Price-wise, 20+million is a bit hefty, but any big-money signing comes with a certain degree of risk. It seems a bit hypocritical for fans to demand summer spending, and then balk at the transfer fees of potential targets, saying they're not worth the money. The one upside of shelling out cash for a very young player like Bernard is that even if he doesn't perform, he'll retain his value more than older, "more established" players will.

    Make up your minds everyone. Do you want to assume the risk of spending big, or assume the security and low expectations of inexpensive acquisitions?

  17. Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

    City's transfer activity to me has been below par. I see people on Facebook and the like claiming their signings have been exceptional and this isn't just City fans either. Negredo and Fernandinho for 50 million is hardly good business.

    Fernandinho at 30 million is a terrible way to spend that amount of money even in this market (Not to say he's a bad player by any means).

    Arsenal is another case. Were heavily linked with Jovetic. Nothing. Heavily linked with Rooney. Nothing. Heavily linked with Higuain. Nothing. Now heavily linked with Suarez. What will happen? Nothing.

    Arsenal are just associating themselves with these big names to get their season ticket sales up. Why would Wenger spend money' date=' when he can get into the top 4 with a cheap above average squad, whilst him and the board reap the economic benefits? The fact of the matter is Arsenal have never spent big and never will. It's all hot air, and Sanogo will be seen by Wenger as one of their key signings at the end of things.

    He will also alude to the fact Giroud has been in form during pre season, so they 'don't need' a striker. Arsenal won't get any of the big names they are linked with, guaranteed.[/quote']

    City probably only spent 30mil on Fernandinho because they want to fin now. If instant results are all City are looking for, than Fernandinho is a great signing, as he improves their midfield two-fold. He's terrible value in the long run, but will give City a better chance at getting the results they want in the present.

    The thing that troubles me about Arsenal is that they've started reporting rumors on their website, as in, "The press have linked Arsenal with Gonzalo Higuain" etc. It strikes me as a bit misleading when a club tries to entice fans to go check out unreliable articles about summer transfer targets, but I suppose that you could argue that Arsenal never sign players they're linked with, so the articles don't matter regardless. Do other clubs report rumors like this on their websites?

  18. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Where did you get that from?! I was merely answering a question' date=' you may want to go back through my post and read it again as I think you may have gotten confused. Nowhere did I say anything about the players being adequate or the depth being adequate, I was simply stating where I see Oxlade-Chamberlain in regards to our first team.[/quote']

    I figured that as you said that as you mentioned Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta and Ramsey as midfielders to compete with, you were suggesting that Chamberlain wouldn't get game time since those four would be playing all season long. I may have just read too far into your comments.

    I hope I didn't sound confrontational:(

  19. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    If the squad stays the same he'll still be second choice to Podolski and Walcott and I'll doubt he'll be able to get into the midfield with Jack' date=' Arteta, Cazorla and Ramsey to compete with.

    I personally can't see him getting a great deal of game time but you never know, an injury or two to others may see him get his chance. [/quote']

    Are you saying that barring injuries, we only need two wingers and four midfielders to play out the season? Squad rotation is the most undervalued aspect of winning football, so I'm counting on Oxlade-Chamberlain certainly getting more PL starts than the 11 he had this season. Even with Oxlade-Chamberlain in the lineup, I have to say that our squad does look a little small to be able to stay fresh until crunch time in April/May, which makes me think that rotation will be that much more important.

  20. Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

    I have to say that Benteke staying at Villa means that the PL will be the league to watch for all neutrals next season. Villa, Swansea, Southampton, Sunderland, and Norwich have all made significant additions that will make for some really nice football from the teams fighting to be top half or Europa league contenders. Then you have additions to both Everton and Liverpool that will squeeze the gap between top 6 and top 4 even more.

    You can tell a league is strong when my Canadian friends tell me how they're excited to wake up at 5am to watch Norwich v Sunderland.

  21. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    With City wrapping up Negredo, I wonder if Arsenal might just be signing Jovetic after all. Not to say that City aren't prepared to buy two strikers at once, but there really aren't any top strikers left on the market besides Jovetic atm.

    EDIT: Also considering that Napoli claim they are currently negotiating for Higuain.

  22. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    Rumor has it that Real Madrid will now not accept any less than 40 million euros for Higuain. I suppose it doesn't matter though, since Perez says Arsenal haven't even made a bid:D.

    This actually makes the Suarez bid a bit more logical, since he would supposedly only cost a few million pounds more than Higuain, and he is arguably a better player.

  23. Re: Official Arsenal Thread

    ;2655046']Long may it continue.

    Otherwise he'll be doing that' date=' but in our Europa League team next season.[/quote']

    This is the issue I find Arsenal have with young players. You either have players like Wilshere who are fast-tracked into the first team and play an exorbitant amount of games, or you have players like Miquel who train with the first-team regularly, and then sit on the bench and get absolutely no playing time. Neither method is close to ideal.

    I think Miquel should get a couple of games early season to see where he's at, and if he's not at the level we need for an insurance CB, then he should be loaned out to get experience. The issue we have with defenders is the same back four play constantly until one gets injured, and then our defense has to take a couple of games to adjust to a new player. I always go back to Man U as a great example of how to rotate. They have CBs who'll often get the big games, but Vidic, Ferdinand, Evans, Jones and Smalling all get chances to play pretty regularly, which both helps the younger players develop and the older players stay injury-free.

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