Category Archives: Ask the Revd.

Should Granit Xhaka leave Arsenal?

It all began on the 25th of May 2016 when a certain Switzerland international completed a stunning £35m move to the Emirates Stadium from Borussia Mönchengladbach despite interests from other interested suitors. He wasted no time before becoming a regular starter under Arsene Wenger despite massive competition for a place in the Frenchman’s team. Though sometimes makes some unexpected howlers, the 27-year-old is seen as an inspirational figure to his teammates on and off the field of play.

Controversial Moment

His importance to the team got to a whole new level when he was reportedly voted as the team captain by his teammate during Unai Emery’s time at the helm of affairs. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the beginning of his trying times as many fans weren’t impressed with the player’s decision to make him the captain.

Things got out of control between the Xhaka and the fans during a Premier League game against Crystal Palace last year. He was booed by his own fans and he furiously replied ‘fuck off’ while walking off the tunnel. He was immediately stripped of the captain armband and couldn’t make Emery’s team list in many subsequent matches as part of the club’s decision to punish him for his unruly action.

Should He Consider Moving Out Of The Emirates Stadium?

Though Xhaka is enjoying life under Mikel Arteta, he is far from becoming a fan favourite and it is not advisable to remain in a club where you struggle to gain supporters’ affection. It was revealed during January’s transaction period that Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin were strongly interested in his services but he turned down the chance to part ways with the Gunners.

Considering the unhealthy relationship between Xhaka and Arsenal fans, it might be good for the centre midfielder to search for a new team where his services will be appreciated. In addition, the 27-year-old midfielder might fail to command regular action next season if Arteta eventually signs top defensive midfielders, such as Ndidi or Thomas Partey, who are both linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Our Final Verdict

Considering the quality of players who could join the team in the summer and his relationship with the fans, I believe putting an end to his four-year stay at the Emirates Stadium might be the best decision. Returning back to Germany will be a great idea as he won’t spend much time getting used to the ways things are done in the country’s top-flight league.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., gooner news, Opinions, Transfer Bollocks, Wenger

Three reasons why Unai Emery failed at Arsenal

Unai Emery was hired by Arsenal board members as Arsene Wenger’s replacement after many reports linked top managers with the position.

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was first tipped to be the next Gunners boss, before highly-rated and experienced tactician José Mourinho was listed for the job.

Former Real Madrid Manager Rafael Benitez was equally linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium, but it was the former Sevilla and Paris St-German boss who won the race.

Much was expected from the 48-year-old due to his successful Europa League campaigns with Sevilla where he won back-to-back trophies.

Emery showed great promises in his early days in the dugout as he recorded 11 straight wins and played 22 matches without defeat. That’s not all, he equally led his team to the Europa League final only to be thrashed 3-1 by Chelsea.

Unfortunately, his second season as the manager was a total contrast to what he did in the first term as he was far from convincing.

His team were obviously uncoordinated on the field of play and he lost too many matches, which eventually led to his dismissal.

Looking back to the manager’s short spell as the Gunners boss, we picked out three major reasons why the Spaniard failed to deliver.

1. Poor managerial skill at the top level

Being a manager is more than giving instructions to players or creating weekly team list, it has to do with the manner with which you relate with the players in the team.

It has a lot to do with the way you react to emerging issues in the team and in the media. It’s quite unfortunate Emery doesn’t realize how bad he was when it comes to managing the players at his disposal.

Firstly, creating an unhealthy and appalling relationship with Mesut Ozil — one of Arsenal’s best players — was his first error at the North London club.

Though the former German international wasn’t consistent in his performances, there’s a better way Emery could get him back to his best other than excluding him from team list.

Xhaka’s captaincy row and controversial moment with the fans was equally mishandled by the manager which further buttressed the fact that Emery needs to improve his managerial skill if he must succeed in future endeavors.

2. Lost the dressing room

Another reason why Emery didn’t stay long as Arsenal manager was his inability to control the dressing room. He totally lost control over his players and the solidarity wasn’t there at all.

He created a division in his team as some folks belonged to Ozil’s group while some are for Xhaka and Aubameyang respectively.

It is said that a family divided against itself cannot stand, and that was a clear picture of what happened to Unai Emery’s team.

3. Largely depleted or off-form squad

Emery inherited a squad of players who are low in confidence and are mentally unprepared for greater challenges. Unfortunately, the manager didn’t help matters as he was involved in many controversies with his players.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., General Musings, gooner news, Opinions, Wenger

How Soon Will Arsenal Become Premier League Champions Once Again

Arsenal has really struggled to maintain their place among Premier League’s top four clubs since the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s reign at the Emirates Stadium.

In his last two seasons as the Gunners boss, the Frenchman failed to qualify his team to Champions League competition and that hasn’t changed since his departure. Many Arsenal fans expected so much from Unai Emery during his spell as Wenger’s successor but the Spanish tactician didn’t live up to expectations.

Though he led the team to Europa League final in his first season with the club, the former Sevilla and PSG boss only managed a fifth place finish in the League. Things got worse for the 48-year-old manager in his second season as he struggled to win matches both at home and away.

He was eventually fired by the board members after recording just four victories in 13 Premier League matches. Ljungberg took over on a short-term basis but didn’t do to well as his team continued to struggle for form.

After long search for the team’s permanent manager, the Gunners hierarchies eventually turned to their former player Mikel Arteta — who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant — for inspiration. He became the club’s new manager after signing a four-year contract in December

As much as the former Spanish midfielder has done too greatly with his new squad, he has shown so much promises that the fans are beginning to trust his leadership and tactical approach to games. He has lost just two in 15 matches, winning eight in the process.

Some factions of the Gunners faithfuls believe the inexperienced manager has all it takes to compete with Guardiola’s Manchester City and Klopp’s Liverpool for the Premier League Title. The question is — how soon will that be?

How soon? I can’t say but it will surely take time for Arteta to compete with his former boss and other experienced managers in the League.

Firstly, he has to build a team of his own having inherited most of his present squad from his predecessors. He definitely needs to make wholesome changes to his team in the summer transfer window by getting new and quality players who will play according to his style and instructions. Then, he must boost the player’s morale as it appears they lack the needed willpower and confidence to compete against big teams for any trophy this season.

He needs the cooperation of the team’s psychologists and medical staffs to help boost his players’ mentality ahead of the next season. As much as the fans can start thinking of winning the Premier League in the nearest future, the most important and pressing target for Arteta and his men is to qualify for next year’s Champions League. They currently occupy the 9th position with 40 points, eight points behind Chelsea who are in the fourth and final qualifying spot.

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Filed under Arsenal, Ask the Revd., gooner news, Nasri, Premier League

Ozil makes list as one of top three PL star who could leave this summer

Today on gooner news

Having inherited his current squad from his predecessor, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is expected to make wholesome changes to his team in the summer before the start of next season. The Spanish tactician will surely sanction the departure of some players who didn’t suit his playing style an d players who have failed to live up to their billings since he took over from Lljunberg in January.

In the meantime, we take a look at the players in the team and how they’ve performed so far this season before unveiling the list of three players who are likely to be shown the exit door in the summer. See the names below:

1. Mesut Ozil

The German has struggled to make a meaningful impact in the team since the start of the campaign. Though he had a very turbulent time under Unai Emery who often omitted him from the squad list, the former Real Madrid man wasn’t in great form before the League was stopped. The 31-year-old hasn’t done enough to remain untouchable at the Emirates Stadium and he could be told to leave in the summer. He has just a goal so far this season despite featuring in 23 matches in all competitions. The fact that he is close to the end of his contract with the north London club will further force the Gunners into parting ways with him as they would want to cash-in on his signature.

2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The former Manchester United player is yet to make his debut under Arteta as he is currently on a season-long loan at Roma. Unfortunately, the Armenian international might fail to feature for the North London side as he could be told leave this summer as part of the manager’s overhauling process. As much as Mkhitaryan can be deadly on his day, his inconsistency might likely be the main reason why his contract won’t be renewed by the club’s hierarchy.

3. Mohammed Elneny

Just like Mkhitaryan, the Egyptian midfielder is currently on loan after failing to break into Unai Emery’s team before the start of the season. The midfielder, who has been a regular starter for Turkish side Besiktas, might equally find it very hard to claim a spot in Arteta’s squad in the coming season despite his fine display in turkey before the league was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. It is believed that Besiktas hierarchies are looking at the prospect of signing him on a permanent deal in the summer which means the Egyptian international may not return to the Emirate Stadium in the nearest future.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., gooner news, Ozil, Premier League

4 reasons why £23m-rated Victor Osimhen could be Arsenal’s new Thierry Henry

Arsenal and Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains yet uncertain to remain at the Emirates Stadium beyond this season as he’s close to the end of his contract with the Gunners. The 30-year-old France-born was the north London club’s most in-form player before the football season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Though it is believed that Arteta and his employers are doing everything possible to see him extend his current at the Emirates, but it remains to be seen if they will be successful in their mission. With doubts over his future with the Emirates, there are reports linking the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea all vying for his signature this summer, and it won’t be out of place to suggest that the Gunners ought to begin by now their search for a replacement.

Speaking of an ideal replacement to Aubameyang, no other player comes to mind other than former VfL Wolfsburg youngster Victor Osimhen – who currently plies his trade for France Ligue 1 outfit Lille OSC – who should be Arsenal’s top candidate to replace the Gabonese forward should he eventually face the exit door at Emirates this summer.

However, many will doubt what makes Nigerian international the right choice for Arsenal and why Arteta should enter into transfer lock horns with Chelsea and Manchester United for his signature? Answering both questions, below are four candid answers to these questions on why Arsenal should go all out and invest on the 21-year-old forward as they aim for Premier League glory next season.

1. Goal-scoring potentials

Osimhen, 21, was one of the deadliest strikers in French Ligue 1 this season so far with 13 goals and five assists to his name from 27 league appearances. Osimhen also has to his name two goals in the UEFA Champions League for Lille in five matches despite his side’s unimpressive performance in the group stage of the competition. He went on from this to scoring three goals for his side in their domestic League Cups, racking up his goal tally this season to 18 goals from 38 matches in all outings. To lose Aubameyang this summer and replace him with a below-par forward would be a serious blow for the Gunners judging by how star-studded the Premier League now is.

2. Age is on his side

Osimhen is in the prime of his career as he is just 21 years of age. Unlike Aubameyang who is 30, the Nigerian star still more years ahead of him meaning the Gunners will enjoy more of his services should everything go on as expected.

3. Impressive adaptability

If Arsenal must replace Aubameyang without any difficulty, they must go for a player who will quickly get used to the ways things are done in the country’s top-flight league. Despite spending a few months at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, the Nigerian forward was able to adapt to his new environment as he developed a great understanding with his striking partners Jonathan Ikoné, Loïc Rémy and the whole team. He will likely do the same at the Emirates Stadium judging by his obvious hunger and desire for more successes and playing alongside Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and the rest of the team.

4. He is relatively easy to get

Though Chelsea and Manchester United are leading the park for his services, Osimhen won’t be too difficult to get, unlike other European youngsters. His price tag, which is believed to be at £23 million (€27m Transfermarkt), shouldn’t scare the Gunners off which is relatively cheap and affordable. It should be recalled that former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tried capturing the youngster in 2015 following his record-breaking display during the U17 World Cup but the Frenchman was beaten by German side Wolfsburg. It remains unknown if Arteta will develop an interest in the player when the summer transfer window begins. Hence, we keep our fingers crossed as we monitor how things unfold.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., Aubameyang, gooner news, News, Premier League, Transfer Bollocks

Mesut Ozil to remain at Arsenal despite 2020-21 UCL uncertainty

There have claims and counter-claims surrounding the future of Arsenal’s and ex-Germany international Mesut Ozil. The claims have suggested nothing more than saying the 31-year-old could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium before the end of his contract next year.

It should be recalled that the player was heavily linked with a move to Fenerbahce during the first half of the season due to lack of regular first-team action under the then Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

Unfortunately, Ozil’s proposed move and talks about his move to the Turkish side failed to materialize as Emery was shown the exit door in November owing to run of poor form.

Ozil then became a regular starter for the Gunners under Freddie Ljungberg, who replaced the Spanish tactician.

Furthermore, Ozil’s be an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s team since he took over from Ljungberg, but there are still claims that the former Real Madrid playmaker could leave Arsenal by the end of the season.

Read also: Aubameyang’s future in doubt: Two reasons Arsenal could lose their key player

However, Ozil’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut has confirmed the player’s desire to remain under Arteta’s tutelage until 2021.

According to him, Ozil still has 15 months left to run on his current deal with the North London club, and he wants to help them return to their glory days as soon as possible.

Sogut said:

“He still has 15 months to go. Until then, he will stay at Arsenal, for sure. He will stay until the end of his contract. There’s no chance he’ll leave.”

Since joining the Gunners from Real Madrid seven years ago, the 92-cap former Germany international has notched up 183 Premier matches, with 33 goals and 53 assists to his name for the Gunners. (Premier League)

He has won three FA Cup trophies but he is yet to lift the Premier League title. He has been an integral part of Arteta’s team this season and the manager will rely on him to help the team qualify for next season’s Champions League competition.

Having crashed out of the Europa League following their 2-1 defeat to Olympiakos on Thursday, the Gunners now need to end the season among the top-four clubs to stand a chance of featuring in Champions League campaign next season.

Meanwhile, Arteta has charged his men to up their game if they must beat Chelsea, Tottenham, Wolves and Manchester United to the fourth position.

Read more from gooner news: Two players who can help Arsenal achieve top-four finish

Speaking after Tuesday’s Europa League ouster, the former Spanish midfielder urge his players to keep believing in themselves and respond brilliantly to the shock defeat suffered at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta said:

“I just want to concentrate now on lifting those players, getting back the belief, and convincing them that there is still a lot to play for, and move on.”

With 11 Premier League matches to go until end of the season, Arteta and cohorts cannot be ruled out in the race for a top-four finish this season. Arsenal are currently sitting ninth on the Premier League table with 37 points from 27 matches at the time of this article. They are seven points behind Chelsea who are in the fourth position.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., Aubameyang, General Musings, Ozil, Transfer Bollocks

Burnley v Arsenal – Match preview, insights and predictions

Hello folks, I hope you lads and lasses are all up for another Sunday night action pack performances happening at the Turf Moor against Burnley?

Arsenal’s business this transfer is arguably one of the best since a while. Taking over the reins of the club from his predecessor, Mikel Arteta seems to be on the right track as Arsenal manager in the long-run.

The signing of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares to Arsenal on loan is one of the club’s best winter windows business well done in recent memory with the potential option to buy, and also, they’ve loaned out six youngsters, including Emile Smith Rowe, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Tyreece John-Jules.

Considering how the winter transfer business at the club have panned out in the past, it can be said that the entire just concluded window is zero risks and incredibly high reward for the club at stake. That being said, Mikel Arteta’s reign as the Gunners head-coach continues with a trip to Turf Moor this weekend as we take on Sean Dyche’s Burnley, and the Spaniard looking to build on a mixed start since taking over at the Emirates last month.

Here are five insights you need to know about Sunday’s clash…

  • The Clarets have lost their 11 matches against Arsenal in all outings, a poor run for Burnley dating as far back as 2010.We have won our last 10 Premier League games against Burnley with our last 11 wins in a row against an opponent in the Premier League between 1994 and 2004 against Manchester City.
  • Funny and odd as it sounds, the Clarets haven’t led Arsenal for a single minute in 11 Premier League. And according to stats, the only team to have played more games against an opponent without ever leading is Championship side Portsmouth against Chelsea with a record of 14 Premier League games between these two sides.
  • Arsenal is favourites for three clear points heading into this fixture with none of Burnley’s last 17 Premier League outings ending in a draw with any team. Sean Dyche’s men have won seven and lost 10 league matches. However, the Lancashire side has won two matches in a row on three separate occasions in that, but they are yet to record three in a row win in the league since April 2019.
  • At the moment, we are unbeaten in our last six Premier League away games – winning one and drawn five matches. And should the odds be in our favour on Sunday night, we could hit a goldmine as the club has not drawn five consecutive away league games since August 1948.

Predicted Line ups:

Burnley Predicted Line ups: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood

Arsenal Predicted Line ups: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Holding, Saka; Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil; Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Who is the referee for the day?

Chris Kavanagh.

What time is kick-off?

14:00 BST.

Betting ddds?

Burnley – 13/5: Draw – 13/5: Arsenal – 1/1

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Ask the Revd., General Musings, gooner news, Match Day Postmortem, News, Transfer Bollocks

AtR#2 – ‘I’m in love with a Spud – what do I do?’

Hello again everyone. It’s been a jolly busy week, hasn’t it? I’ve been so tied up with preparations for the Harvest festival, I hardly know what day it is! The Church grounds are looking so lovely now, thanks to lots of hard-working parishioners (you know who you are).

Anyway, I received a very touching letter from a young lady named Helen – but we’ll call her Sandra, as she tells me she’d rather remain anonymous. She says:

I hope you can help me. I’ve recently met a young man called Aaron at work. He was transferred to us from another location. I’ve got to know him quite well over the last few weeks, and everytime I talk to him he makes me feel as though I’m the only woman in the whole world. He’s so gentle and kind, and when he smiles the light shines radiantly from his face. And his gold tooth. The other day I saw a photo of Jermain Defoe on his desk. I’m really worried now as my Dad’s a massive Gooner and I don’t think he’ll accept Aaron.

Well Sharon, perhaps you shouldn’t be too worried. The world is an awfully big place, and I sometimes feel there’s not nearly enough love in it for everyone. It’s a wonderful moment when two young people are able to come together with hopes of a bright future. So I would suggest you talk to your father about it. I’m sure he wants you to be happy, and wants only what is best for you. He may be a lot more understanding than you expect.

On the other hand, it’s more likely that he’ll tell you to leave the knuckle-dragging pond life alone, and he would be right. Let’s face it, Sandra: he’s a brainless chav. You get to go home every day but your boyfriend’s not getting out for at least three years even with good behaviour. So stop fucking fraternising with Spud inmates.

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Filed under Ask the Revd.