Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Sport, Wenger

Dear Wenger: 4.01.18

Dear Wenger,

The fact that the team was involved in yet another ‘game of the season’ tells us a lot.  Like the Liverpool game, in December, it would have been a great watch for a neutral.  However, I’m far from a neutral.

During the first half, it looked like we had all the creativity thanks to The Conductor, Özil.  But sadly, it looked like we were all creativity and no firepower, again.

Games like this make me miss previous players like Podolski.  Players that do not have great technical ability but can still hit the back of the net.  It also shows how much Giroud is needed.  I can’t wait till he is back from injury.  Giroud wouldn’t make the World’s Most Technical Players List but the team obviously missed him when it was time for you to make a substitution.

You can tell Cech is no longer in his glory days but his great double save at the beginning of the second-half kept the team in the game. When I looked at the clock at the 53rd minute, I assumed the game would end as a goalless draw. Thankfully the British Bulldog wasn’t having any of it.  The amount of times Wilshere made sure he was in the correct position showed that he’s back to his best.  And being in the correct position is how he scored the first goal.  After Özil and Holding’s teamwork put the ball in the box, Wilshere was there to snap it up as it bounced off Chambers.  I, like so many other Arsenal fans, couldn’t be happier for him.

After Wilshere’s goal, the team kicked into fire-mode and it looked like a second goal was coming. Unfortunately, it did.  But it was not the kind of goal the boys in red were looking for. I knew as soon as we conceded the softest penalty in the world (after conceding what should have been a non-penalty against West Brom last week) that the tables had turned. Hazard shot and Cech dived the wrong way, again.

Chelsea’s second goal could have been defended.  As much as Maitland-Niles lost in the one-on-one situation with Zappacosta, Holding and Cech could have done better.  When Alonso scored Chelsea’s second goal, I thought it might be game over.  It wouldn’t be the first time that Chelsea was not the better team and still won.

Thankfully after being up 1-0 then going down to 1-2, the fight from Wilshere, Maitland-Niles, Sánchez and Özil was enough to make the team have the right attitude and go for the equalizer.  What a shot from Héctor Bellerín.  However, after all that effort, the defenders let us down and the team nearly conceded again.  Thank God, Morata missed another chance.  His miss, followed by Zappacosta’s miss, in the 92nd minute, was the best late Christmas present I could have ever been given…sorry family.

The resilience that the team showed during this game was great to see.  If we show that same resilience, with a tighter ship at the back, when we play Chelsea in the next two games this month, we’ll kick them out of the Carabao Cup.

From

L. Thomas

P.S. I heard you’ve been looking to buy Aubameyang from Dortmund in the transfer window.  I’m not getting excited but buying him as a replacement for Sánchez would be great business.

 

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Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Sport, Wenger

Dear Wenger: 19.11.17

Dear Mr Wenger,

I guess I’ll start with my favourite question: what do you think of Tottenham?

I’ll get to the ins and outs of the game in a minute, but I’ll start with the end result.  What a win! Honestly, before the game, I was thinking about what I could do to cheer myself up if we lost.  I really thought we were going to lose, not because Tottenham are a good team but because of how unpredictable we can be.  However, thankfully, this was not the case.  Well done, Mr Wenger.

I’d be interested to know what you said to the boys before the game.  This is because as soon as the whistle for the start of the game blew, they showed a must-win attitude.  It looked like Harry Winks, like the rest of the Tottenham team, didn’t get enough sleep Friday night.  Most importantly, after the first goal, which may have been a couple of millimetres off-side, the team didn’t relax and concede a goal.  Instead, they continued to pile on the pressure.  I have missed watching Arsenal play like this regularly against the top six teams but don’t worry, I won’t get ahead of myself.

My first thought of the team selection was total relief because you decided to start 50 Mill.  Lacazette’s assist, for the second goal, was absolute class.  He looks like a real force on the pitch.  Not to mention that Özil plays better when Lacazette is about.  It is clear to see that Sanchez enjoys playing with Lacazette too, possibly because he knows Lacazette has enough quality to help him carry the team.  With two assists and a goal between the three of them, may the reign of the Arsenal superpower continue.

As much as I’m not the biggest fan of Alexis Throw Your Toys Out of The Pram Sanchez, he showed that he is still playing for the badge.  After we were 2 – 0 up, and the game was in added time, he still pushed forward and tried to injure the Tottenham defence even more.  Sanchez has his faults but his determination to win everything is admirable.

Initially, I was worried that you planned to play three at the back against Tottenham.  I was hoping that you would have played four at the back in order to keep the Arsenal defence a solid unit.  But your plan worked.  The back three shutdown the attempts of Eriksen and Kane, Skepta style.  The back three worked so hard that, at one point, Alli was so quiet, I forgot he was on the pitch.  Before we get to the man of the match, Mustafi has to be mentioned.  The height he got on that header was amazing.  He made it look like he had been practising for that moment for a long time.

I understand why Özil received the Man of the Match, however, I personally would have given it to Koscielny.  Except for his misplaced pass to Bellerin at the beginning of the game, he was faultless.  When Ali tried to progress towards the goal in the 7th Minute, Koscielny was there to deny his effort.  Again, when it was still 0 – 0 and Kane was in a goal scoring position, Koscielny was there to anticipate where the ball was going to fall and made sure Kane stayed in his no-goal-scoring-lane. Koscielny repeated this countless times throughout the game.

Overall, the team put on a great performance.  I could possibly mention every player’s name in this letter and state a number of reasons for why they played well.  I’m glad they showed those clowns down the road that North London is red.

From

L.Thomas

 

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Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Sport, Wenger

Dear Wenger: 24.10.17

Dear Mr Wenger,

The boys really know how to give you a shock on your birthday. The start of the game looked like it was going to be a walk in the park, that was until Rooney scored. Wayne Rooney the thorn in your side. Rooney’s goal changed the energy in the game. His composure in the front of the goal put Everton on the front foot. The goal showed everyone watching, every team needs a hero like Rooney on their team: a player who will take a single opportunity and turn it into pure gold. The goal put fire into the Evertonions’ boots and I thought we were going to have one of those games, again.

When Lacazette’s attempt at 17 minutes was blocked by Williams and when the poor attempt for a free kick failed in the 33rd minute, you must have thought the team was going to give you the wrong type of birthday present. Thankfully, for your sake and for the rest of the fans, a hero stepped up for us: Monreal, the real deal. Monreal showed captain-like qualities (sorry BFG). If he continues to show this attribute, I hope that you build the team around him, Wilshere, Kolašinac and Koscielny: players that show up and show the fans that they are proud to wear the badge. Monreal’s goal was not majestic but to score before half time was just what the team needed.

As I have mentioned in a previous letter, I am not a big fan of Özil but his goal was top notch. For me, the beauty of the goal was in the build-up. It’s amazing how unselfish Lacazette is. He is not one of those strikers who does a Berbatov and has one moment of magic then goes missing for the rest of the game. He is not afraid to pick up the ball and serve it up for another member of the team. The movement from Lacazette, Sanchez and Özil which produced the second Arsenal goal was brilliant and hopefully, this is the sign of the new Arsenal superpower.

Although I am sure the red card for Gueye influenced the mindset of the players on the field towards the end of the game, the quality in Lacazette’s goal after the sending off cannot be denied. At that point, Koeman could probably hear the whistle being called on his time at Everton. It’s tragic that he had to be fired a day after the Arsenal result. Football is no one’s bestie.

After the third goal, the Arsenal team were in cruise control. All five goals were something special but for me, the best goal was scored in the 90th minute. Is there anything better than a Wilshere assist? Wilshere needs a special mention. Last season cannot have been easy for him. Since his return, he has shown nothing but a positive attitude and importantly passion for the team. Wilshere is a true Gooner. I am so glad that you did not sell him in the transfer window.

With all this being said, I’m not getting too jubilant. Everton has not had a victory since 23rd September, and it is not as if the Arsenal had a massive victory over our recurring nemesis, Bayern Munich. This victory does, however, give me hope for the games to come. I hope you do not make too many changes in the Carabao Cup against Norwich; another win like this would be perfect. The team needs to carry on with this momentum.

From
L. Thomas

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Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Sport, Wenger

Dear Wenger: 20.09.2017

Dear Wenger,

Finally, the team’s record is taking a turn for the better.  I was hoping that we were going to beat those West London Wrongens however, a draw will do.

Before the game against Chelsea, I heard a lot of the media sharing their predictions.  For one reason or another, they thought, Chelsea would have wiped the floor with us.  Honesty, I wasn’t sure how Arsenal would do myself.  Although, Chelsea are beatable – and the Arsenal boys proved this both in the FA Cup and in the Community Shield – Arsenal have Jekyll and Hyde tendencies.

Mr Hyde, reared his ugly head during the first half against FC Cologne.  Similar to the Liverpool game, the team lost the ball unnecessarily and when they actually had it, their decision making was awful.  Their heads went down after conceding the first goal and it looked more like eleven individuals instead of a team.  When the second half was about to begin, I was literally dreading the next 45 minutes – especially as I was surrounded by FC Cologne supporters.  But then the Jekyll side of the team came out.  Substituting Kolasinac for Holding breathed life into the team and the Gooners were in control.  It literally looked like a different team played in the second half.  Arsenal is an unpredictable team and that is not a compliment.

Again, at Chelsea, the Jekyll side appeared.  Cech looked confident on Sunday but a goalkeeper can only be confident when he knows that the outfield players will do their defensive duties.  The defensive mindset of the defenders, and in some cases the midfielders, seemed to have a positive effect on Cech.  What a solid save from him, with the help from Koscielny, in the 20th minute.  Hazard’s attempt, in the second half, would have made a number of goalkeepers nervous.  Not this time.  Cech defended this attempt and made it look effortless.

Monreal, Koscielny and Mustafi had a good game too. After the 15 minute mark, they settled down and they seemed to be back to their best.  They, alongside the rest of the team, planned their tackles well and more importantly dealt with dangers before they got too hazardous.  The team had a defensive mindset! Finally.  Nicely done, Steve Bould.

Wenger, I hope that after this defensive display, you can finally get the team to suppress the Hyde. As much as I love a goal spree, I would rather see more defensive displays in the next few games.  Since the next fixtures are Doncaster Rovers at home, West Bromwich Albion at home and BATE Borisov away, in the Europa League, the next three games are definitely winnable.   If the team could get a run of good results together maybe just maybe they will be ready for the back to back games against Manchester City and Tottenham in November.

From

L. Thomas

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Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Sport, Wenger

Dear Wenger: 29.8.17

Dear Mr Wenger,

 

Before the Liverpool game, I was confident that the team would cruise to a victory. But then, I saw the Arsenal line-up.

 

I still wanted the team that you selected to succeed because as much as I complain about you, (and believe me I do) I’ve got a lot of respect for you. No one can deny the value you’ve added to the club.  More importantly, I wanted the team to get a good result because I want my club to be successful.

 

However, the game against Liverpool did not go to plan.  I thought Conor McGregor got well beaten on Saturday night. I guess it turns out, we’re the only ones that got a beating.

 

The team are partially to blame for this ‘disastrous’ defeat.  There were no shots on target and the players gave the ball away as if they forgot that they were wearing the away kit.  However, if this weeks’ game was an episode of The Apprentice, you would have been fired. 

 

You would have been fired for leaving 50 Mill (Lacazette) on the bench.  I don’t care if Lacazette is adjusting to the league; the team was playing against Liverpool, at Anfield! I thought you would have remembered what happened the last time Arsenal played Liverpool at Anfield.  This was the game where we lost 3-1.  The same game when Sanchez was left on the bench.  Sanchez, our best player.  Why did history repeat itself?

 

You would have been fired for leaving Kolasinac on the bench too.  He is a physical player hence his nickname (The Beast).   We needed players like him and Coquelin to start.  We needed the players that don’t feel the need to play pretty football. I see that you realised that and brought Coquelin on after half-time.  Unfortunately, it was too late.  I believe you need to take a lot of the responsible for the defeat.

 

As I said, I have a lot of respect for you and I do not want to have yet another ‘Wenger Out’ season. My hope for you is that whenever you do decide to leave the club that you have the opportunity to leave in a positive way.  Honestly, that won’t happen if you continue to make the same mistakes as the previous seasons. 

 

Liverpool played well on Sunday but in my opinion, they are just an average team who plays well on their day.  Sadly, this sounds like a description of the Arsenal now.

 

Looking at the squad, there are not many players that I would like you to keep.  So many have let you and the fans down.  However, the transfer window will be closed in a few days and it is too late to carry out a buying frenzy.  I do ask that you would at least do something.  Do something to fix the defence: buy someone that Holding can actually learn from.  Do something to fix the midfield: buy someone that will keep the players in check and hold players like Xhaka accountable for losing the ball all too often.  But most of all, please do something.

 

 

from

L.Thomas

 

P.S. Please reconsider keeping Perez. Unlike the rest of the team, I’m sure, he would have at least had a good goal scoring opportunity at the weekend.

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Dear Wenger:24.08.17

Dear Mr Wenger,

As I’m sure you know, there is literally just over a week till the transfer window closes. I thought that by now you would have made at least a small dent in the transfer window, especially after the Stoke game.

I want to know, are you actually going to buy anymore players? You see, everyone got excited when you finally bought Lacazette. Boy, you really know how to play the long game. After seasons of transfer gossip and pursuit. He finally said yes! What happened after that? Nothing. We bought Lacazette and gained Kolasinac, two quality players, and then…air time.

There are players out there that are up for grabs and could enhance the squad. I know that you are a wise man and I hope you are looking for quality regardless of the price.

Looking at the way Mahrez commanded the midfield against Brighton, I’d be happy if you bought him even if that means having to sell Walcott or dare I write it, Özil. Roma have been aggressively trying to buy Mahrez. Let’s not have another Lacazette situation on our hands. We need him in the squad now. Mahrez alongside Rambo and Lacazette could be a dream combination. We need a strong partnership in our team. Not to mention that Mahrez is a player that performs consistently well—in comparison to Walcott.

I’m sure you are aware that we have conceded four goals in two games. Even my grandmother could see that we have a problem in defence. Jese Rodriguez played well for Stoke this week, but the fact that he was able to run over 80 yards to set up Choupo-Moting with a shot on goal without being tackled or double teamed showed that we need more armoury in our Arsenal. In the second half, Stoke scored a good goal, again with Jese Rodriguez at the centre of the action, but it could have been prevented.

We need someone to manage the defenders, especially in the games when Koscielny is not available to play. It’s like the back line have no idea what to do without him. Unless Liverpool achieve their target man, Virgil Van Dijk would be a good move. His decision making is on point and he would work well with both Koscielny and Mertesacker (when you actually decide to play the BFG that is). I’m even more concerned about our defence since the press are suggesting that both Inter Milan and Juventus are interested in a loan or purchase deal for Mustafi. Gabriel has just left the club. Is it really a good idea to offload an experienced defender like Mustafi?

Mr Wenger, please keep the game against Stoke in your mind and let this be your inspiration to use rest of the window to strengthen the squad.

from
L.Thomas

 

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Dear Wenger

Dear Mr Wenger,

It was such a relief to start the season on a positive note! I think it is safe to say, I have missed the Premier League. Let’s be real, before the game, we all had the season openers against West Ham and of course Liverpool on our minds.

The game against Leicester was not without flaws and I could write a long, long list of all the defensive errors that were made (cough…cough…set pieces) however the team actually played…like a team.

And that was without Sanchez who was clearly sitting on his throne (watching what he probably thought were the peasants that are nothing without him). I’m not going to lie Wenger, Sanchez has carried the team on multiple occasions but so did Vieira. Do you remember his last season when he stayed even though Real Madrid came knocking? Vieira will always be an Arsenal great but you could see that his passion dwindled in that last season. We don’t need this with Sanchez. Cash him in.

Back to the game. Can I just say Lacazette was definitely 50 million well spent. That goal in the second minute of the game was hopefully the first of many.

Additionally, I enjoyed watching Giroud and Lacazette play together. I did not see that partnership coming. I know they only played together for around 24 minutes but as soon as this substitution happened it brought energy and more fluidity to the team. I’d like to see more of that please. I can imagine that Didier Deschamps is now rubbing his hands together in excitement. (If Benzema thought his problems with being selected for the national team were over, he’d be far from right.)

I am one who judges you for your ‘bad’ substitutions but you definitely got it right this time. Both Ramsey and Giroud is a testament to that.

Before I go, I have to give a special mention to The Beast, Kolasinac. What a bargain. I watch the Bundesliga but it’s normally limited to Bayern Munich and BVB games.  The Beast was not even on my radar.

He looks like a leader! Someone who will hopefully in time, help command the back line and command the rest of the team. We have needed more leadership for a while. We have technical players like Özil and Sanchez and developing players like Iwobi and Holding but we still lack leadership. We need the new Martin Keown. The beast could be the guy to deliver.

From
L.Thomas

P.S. I know this was quite a positive letter—I can’t imagine that all of my future letters will be so nice—but I’m sure that you realise that we’re missing a commanding midfielder. Someone like the aforementioned Vieira. Please keep this in mind and ummm…next season if we could get all the business done before the seasons starts, that would be great.

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