Newcastle United Message Board
- Govinda Govinda Mar 18, 2015 10:32 Flag
Top 3 finish would be great and arguably and sadly the best progress we can now hope for. The FA cup would be a nice consolation price.
I would take top 3 over FA cup and 4th. I think a top 3 would help in the summer recruitment since it guarantees CL football and top players nowadays tend to want that guarantee. I hate waiting till the after CL pre-qualifying to see if we sign top players.
Having said that 5th at this point is as likely as 3rd or 2nd IMO. At least no more pointless CL football to tire our squad.
On paper we are still in it against Monaco tonight. With the squad we have compared to Monaco we should have more than the 5% chance we are given.
Having said this, Monaco has performed better then their squad would imply IMO and we tend to under perform in the big games. We saw 2 pleasant surprises this season, one against City and one against Man U.
I think Paulista playing would help but as it stands I predict a draw tonight. I expect to fall pray again to the Monaco counter attack, a weakness we have had for years and I fear we will start rushing and play panic football way too early.
Clearly an early Arsenal goal could spice this game up but chances are higher IMO that a first half Monaco goal would kill an already dead tie of completely.
The silver lining is that being eliminated from the next round of CL football will save us 2 games our squad doesn't need and will allow us to focus on the PL 2 and 3 places (hopefully) and the FA cup.
With Man U, Liverpool and probably City all out of Europe at least it would level the fixture burden a little amongst those teams fighting for the top 4 places.
Direct qualification for next years CL would be a big bonus IMO and better than making it one more round in the CL.
Dear ghosts any thoughts?
I don't think we would be where we are without him in the PL. He shows us what we have been missing. The question is though (to me) should we still try to sign Schneiderlin or a player like him? I think so.
Thanks for the reply John. Although I envy you for being able to go the games, I understand the mixed feelings you might have about paying for some of the performances in these big games.
From television it looked similar to what you summarized. Although I think Ozil appeared a bit unlucky with his team mates in as far as some of his passes being squandered.
Your summary could have easily been of an other Arsenal game though and that is the worry for me.
IMO the best game we played as a collective, maybe not the prettiest, was against City. We seemed to press early, move up and down the pitch as a collective, not leaving big spaces between our lines for the opponents to take advantage of and maintained focus pretty much through out the game. It almost felt a little like Barca and Bayern play as a collective and press high on the pitch. But then we never seem to play like that again despite having shown we are capable of it.
By now you know I don't think highly of Giroud and I hope we will add some depth at his position this summer, now that it seems likely Wenger won't spend on a top DM thanks to the impressive debut season of Coqleulin.
As weak as it sounds, I think the ref for the return leg of the Monaco game is going to be the determining factor. Will he allow Monaco to foul us out of our rhythm or will he hand out some early yellows to give us a chance?
I guess the reason this board is so empty is partly because there is nothing new to say about Arsenal that has not been said for the last 7 or 8 years.
It can happen you have a poor game, although it happens far too often to a team with out talent, but with a few leaders on the pitch last night does not happen. To me we lacked leaders more than anything, Leaders would have stopped this running around like a headless chicken and taken a 2-0 or 2-1 defeat.
We have too many players who go missing in the big games and to me Giroud has always been one of them. He is ok against smaller teams but he has very little technique and control.
I thought Ozil was not as bad as the press made him out and many of his passes got wasted by his team mates, but he will never be defensively what Sanchez is. He is a liability for a team with weak defending.
A few seasons ago we never thought we would be talking about Wilshire this way. About his potential etc. We expected that by now the talking would be about his actual game rather than his potential.
He should no longer get a free ride and for the moment, even if he is fit, I don't see his place in the starting 11.
The other problem Arsenal have, IMO, is that we have too many players that have similar attributes. Good technique, easily ran of the ball, small physique, not particularly pacy, preferring to play in the middle of the park.
IMO, we can only really play with a maximum of 2 such players at a time. If you consider 4 defenders and 1 DM that leaves room (ideally) for 2 small technical players, a striker and two quick wide players.
In fact I don't even think there is space for Ozil in our starting 11.
At the moment I would argue for Sanchez-Giroud-Walcott up front and Bellerin - Mert - Cos - Monreal or Gibbs in the back with Coquelin as DM.
This leaves 2 places for centrally functioning midfielders and to me on current form Cazorla is a shoe in leaving Ramsey, Wilshire, Rosicky, Ozil, Ox. When all fit my second choice would be Ox since he has pace which you need in today's game IMO.
bad result for us but the way we played we didn't deserve more IMO.
Since this board seems dead, I will spare myself the typing of what we could have tried to do to improve the second half after a poor first half.
I still think 4th is out of reach for us.