Category Archives: Civilized Blog

Arsenal vs Man City preview, talking points, Mkhi and Auba lend support

A lot to sink our teeth into…

From our painful defeat on Sunday, to a secret team meeting, Nacho’s injury, Wilshere’s contract, and rumours of Wenger’s job being on the line, a lot has happened this week.

Carabao cup final…

In case you were wondering, it was completely deliberate on my part to remain completely silent about that game, until now. I was in fact short of words. I just listened to what others had to say, and nothing makes sense yet.

The consensus seems to be that losing to Man City is no crime, but the manner of the defeat was simply heart breaking. Arsenal failed to live to the expectations of fans as they have too often done in recent times prompting the question: Are we still a big club?

That we are asking ourselves this question speaks volumes of how low we have descended as a club in the last ten years from a purely footballing point of view.

The Aftermath…

Post-Carabao cup final life has been gloomy for the fans, with nothing but outrage, calls for Wenger’s resignation, and malicious attacks on everyone at Arsenal, except maybe Jack Wilshere who is thought widely to be the only player that gave his all in that game, and speaking of Jack.

On Wilshere…

He made some comments on Instagram after the game pointing out that referee decisions played a huge role. He has come under an amazing amount of criticism over this and that’s the world over reacting once again to a public figure getting emotional and speaking his mind. Truth is that Jack admitted that Man City deserved to win that game, and merely stated that he thought the referee got it wrong on two occasions that led to goals for the Manchester club. I agree with Jack on his assessment of those decisions and I also agree with him that City deserved the win anyway and would have likelyt still won even if those particular decisions went our way.  But I guess if that’s the case then no point bringing the issue up.

Jack’s contract is the bigger issue here. It is believed Arsenal have made a ‘ take it or leave it’ offer to him, and he has decided to leave it because it includes a 25% pay cut. We could lose Jack for nothing this summer.

Secret team meeting…

Reports emerged that the Arsenal players held a team meeting called by captain Mertesacker, in order to discuss how they are going to get out of this funk. This is according to the Metro. The captain used the opportunity to let everyone know the manager’s job was under scrutiny and they would be responsible if he lost it. Hopefully, we can see some sort of response later tonight.

This is following a revelation on Monday that the Arsenal Hierarchy have drawn up a list of possible Wenger replacements for next season.

Kompany’s fears…

Vincent Kompany has warned his Man City team-mates that their game against Arsenal will be the toughest of the season so far.

I think he’s giving Arsenal way too much respect. But that speaks to the kind of mentality prevalent at the Etihad that he would remain so humble 4 days after beating the same team like it was a training exercise. Full marks.

And lastly…

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang retain full faith in Arsene Wenger and are ready to “fight” for the under-fire Arsenal manager

As Arsenal fans often do, some have quickly written off the two January signings as below par. This to me is childish. They’ve barely had time to adjust to their new circumstances, and I must insist that if Aubameyang is not scoring for us, then it is the most obvious indication that our manager and his current system, tactics or whatever has failed us.

It’s one thing to think Lacazette failed to adapt to English football, but to also add Auba to that category would be pure nonsense. If both ultimately fail at Arsenal, then there is a problem with Arsenal and not the two strikers, who have been nothing but mercurial goal scorers till they got here.

We do need Auba to start scoring, we do need Mkhi to be more influential, but don’t forget Ozil, Ramsey, Koscielny, Cech, Bellerin, Xhaka. They must all raise their game tonight to the highest level of professionalism, and efficiency if we are to even think about righting the wrong of the lazy carabao cup final defeat.

Come on you gunners!!!


NEW – Arsene Wenger replacement lined up

Time up for Arsene?…

It seems Ivan Gazidiz is up to his old antics of leaking stories to the press again and this time, the story we have for you is that Arsene Wenger’s time at the Emirates could come to an end this summer.

The Daily mail amongst others ran with this story late last night, and i felt it was more than a coincidence that they all seemed to have the same information. Barring the possibility that they all just copied from each other, I suspect that this is the work of Arsenal’s chief executive officer.

I mean, after the week we’ve had, losing to Ostersunds at the Emirates, and then getting whooped by Man City, this is exactly the kind of news that the fans want to hear.

The candidates…

  • Joachim Lowe – The manager of the German national team. I would absolutely love for him to coach Arsenal. I know there is a big difference between Country and club football, but if he can produce what he’s done with Germany given the sporadic manner in which he gets to work with the players, then surely he would be able to reproduce the same or better if he has players that he gets to work with every single day.
  • Leonardo Jardim – There’s excitement about him but not for me. He’s done well in Monaco but I still see him as an unknown quantity at the highest level. He could come and do a Pochettino though, which would be very welcome.
  • Brendan Rodgers – I don’t know what he’s doing on that list but I certainly hope he’s just making up the numbers.
  • Mikel Arteta – Could well follow in the foot steps of his very good friend and mentor Pep Guardiola, but is certainly not ready to be the one tasked with the very difficult job Arsene would be leaving behind for whoever his successor is. A job of rebuilding confidence, restoring hunger, and fixing defensive woes. Experience is required.
  • Thierry henry – Not ready at all.

My verdict… 

Whatever happens with the rest of this season, one thing is for sure, Arsenal at this point would likely be better off with a new manager for the next one. But not just any manager. One with experience, and a really good recent record (ruling out Van Gaal).

I’d be happy with either Lowe or Jardim.

We might well end up with a manager that is not on this list. Someone like Carlo Ancelotti, Massimiliano Allegri, or even Conte if Chelsea sack him. Time will tell.