Arsenal’s worst XI under Arsene Wenger is nominated, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are all discussed…
Wenger’s worst XI
‘Keeper was going to be Almunia, simply for his pathetic performance in the 2006 CL final. Then I thought about Shaaban, same as Oracle, but remembered at least he played in a couple of CL games as well as some PL games – Man U and Spurs come to mind. His leg break sealed his fate. There were much more useless ones – Emilio Viviani just misses out because it was a loan move rather than a purchase. But the award goes to… Mart Poom of Estonia!
RB – Justin Hoyte? Eboue had some howler moments, but I think he got more stick from fans than he deserved. Although… Nelson Vivas? At least he cost money cf. Hoyte. Vivas it is.
CBs – Stepanovs, for sure. Squillaci? Senderos? Silvestre? Djourou guaranteed at least one heart-in-mouth moment per game, but I don’t think he was bad enough to make the XI. Maybe I will go with Squillachi for the sheer disappointment. I wasn’t expecting him to uproot trees but, based on his performances before coming to us, I expected much, MUCH better. He just pips Silvestre to the second CB spot, even though it’s very close!
LB – Santos. He did get some important goals, but I don’t think we’ve had many bad options at LB. Wouldn’t be fair to stick Mikel or young Tom Cruise from the academy in. So Santos at LB.
Midfield – Inamoto: very disappointing, considering his reputation beforehand. Alberto Mendez: from a German non-league team to the PL… I’m surprised he didn’t take the league by storm(!)
LW – Amaury Bischoff, period! And this one is emphatic not just for the player being bad, but the decision by the manager to even touch him. Remarkably injury prone, hadn’t had any time whatsoever to develop, little evidence from past performances that he would succeed… One of those “what was he thinking” signings, for sure! Wenger’s quest for genius very much like Will Smith’s hunt for an Oscar with this one – far-fetched, hapless and ultimately fruitless!
RW – Diawara. Did a bit better after leaving us, but a raw gem he was not!
ST – Jeffers (to think he cost us 8m 15yrs ago! That’s like close to the 15-20m mark today, surely? What a waste!) and Park Chu Young. Suker was very disappointing, but not to the extent of making the list. Aliadiere came through the ranks – although, as a Clairefontaine grad, I expected much more! – so I can safely put these two ‘ahead’ of him.
Wenger’s Wooden Spoon XI (4-4-2):
N. Vivas – S. Squillaci – I. Stepanovs – A. Santos
K. Diawara – J. Inamoto – A. Mendez – A. Bischoff
– F. Jeffers – P.C. Young
Man Utd’s problems
I reckon we are looking very fragile and low on confidence with a certain Wayne Rooney the embodiment of it. If he starts against Leicester we’re up sh*t creek without a paddle. I am hoping our front 4 is made up of a selection between Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Martial, or Mata, hell even Lingard should get the nod ahead of Rooney. I am also hopeful that Fellaini is nowhere near the starting lineup because the likes of Vardy, Musa, and Mahrez will murder us on the counter. Herrera deserves a start as well. All in all I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost to Leicester, their tactics are designed perfectly for an Old Trafford visit.
I will keeping an eye on the West Ham vs Southampton game. Big pressure on Bilic and his team plus they are exciting in attack while being rubbish in defence. Routine wins for Manchester City, Liverpool, and Spurs.
As for Arsenal and Chelsea, I hope they both lose.
Mignolet or Karius?
Not the greatest lover of Mignolet but I haven’t seen him do anything that would make me wish him removed as yet, also disrupting a solid looking back 5 isn’t a great idea in my opinion. Karius is the future no doubt, but let’s wait till he’s played a few cup games or Migs screws up before changing for changing sake.
Tottenham’s future in safe hands
I really enjoyed seeing some of the youth in action against the Gills last night; In particular Harry Winks, who looks so comfortable on the ball. Also, Marcus Edwards, who can dribble with the ball like it’s glued to his feet, for me, is a joy to watch. Would like to have seen us up against another lower opposition team in the next round, so I could get another look at them, but here is the question: Would you play the team from last night against Liverpool in the next round?
Sorry fellas, I’m trying to contribute more but didn’t want to talk about us last weekend!
I actually thought we’d win with that midfield, which looked much more balanced on paper, but switching the defence around again was madness from Hughes. He’d bemoaned the lack of consistency at the back in his press conference but then effectively changed 75% of the back four with different players at RB, CB and LB.
Martins Indi had a bit of a shocker at LB, but hopefully Hughes will now stick with the defence he put out against Hull. I include Grant in that as his extra height can only be a help.
We’ve still got big problems in midfield, though, and I’m honestly not sure what the answer is. I’d be tempted to give Whelan one more game at DCM as I still believe he’s often left with the work of two or three, but I think it’s time Adam was recalled somewhere. Whether that’s in place of Whelan, Allen or Bojan, I am not particularly fussed, but we need big characters tomorrow.
Despite Sobhi’s good performance against Hull, I’d also bring Shaqiri straight back in because he attracts defenders and will free up space for other players even if he doesn’t play fantastically well himself. His vision will also help Bony, plus he’s always linked up well with Johnson, who’s thankfully now back.
PS. Swisspotter, regarding your post about Pulis coming back, I still can’t see it happening in a million years. Coates ignored the fans to (quite rightly) bring him back once, but it would be a silly move now. Yes, he would no doubt keep us up, but our aim as a club is to improve on ninth. Pulis isn’t the man to do that.
Frankly, I’m not sure there’s an available manager who is so I pray we can get a win tomorrow to ease the pressure on Hughes. It’s unlikely we’ll have an exceptional season, but the best case scenario in my opinion is that Hughes steadies the ship, steers us well clear of relegation, and then we look at changing managers next summer if it’s clear things have gone stale.
Super Mario doing his best for Liverpool
Balotelli scores two more goals for nice in 4-0 win to send Nice to the top of the league…
Thought we might as well keep tabs on him seeing as we going to get 30℅ of any sell on fees if he’s sold.
So far he seems to have got the ground running… Good luck Balo keep it up!