Arsenal Vision logo

The Arsenal fans site for true Gooners

Log in Register

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

The Highbury Library animted promo v5 350x350

‘Its not how you start, it’s how you finish’, is more than just the title for The Hours hit album, it is also a pretty apt description for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal tenure. Swanning into English football and radically altering the landscape counts for little in the modern day when the club finds itself mired deeper and deeper in mediocrity.

As the game has evolved Wenger has looked increasingly prehistoric. Where he should be seen as a footballing deity, he has appeared more like a doddering grandfather. Equally befuddled by opposition tactics as he would be, were his grandson to ask him to play iPhone slots.

Teams at the elite level mirror their manager; Manchester City are as meticulous as Guardiola, Liverpool as bombastic as Klopp, Manchester United as curmudgeonly as Mourinho. Arsenal are no different. The last few years Arsenal’s players have performed in a manner that compares to their manager’s weakest aspects; indecisive, frail and bereft of ruthlessness.

Things have degenerated so much that Wenger was in very real danger of allowing the environment around the club to become so toxic, that his legacy would be poisoned. Fortunately, Wenger has given himself the opportunity to leave the Emirates Stadium with his head held high.

This week sees the Gunners take on Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the Europa League. Having lost to Galatasaray in the Uefa Cup final in 2000 and to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final, this is the last golden chance for Wenger to add a European title to his CV. A continental title would be enough to melt even the most ardent anti-Wenger Arsenal supporter’s heart and ensure a fond farewell is forthcoming.

To reach May’s final in Lyon, Arsenal will require 180 minutes of footballing perfection to overcome Diego Simeone’s brilliant Atletico side. Already in this competition Atletico have brushed aside Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Moscow and Sporting Lisbon, scoring an absurd 15 goals and conceding just 3.

Arsenal on the other hand have beaten Östersunds FK, AC Milan and CSKA Moscow, matching Atletico’s 15 goals scored, but letting-in twice as many. Such a porous defence will need to calcify hugely before lining up against the likes of Diego Costa, Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro, Angel Correa and Fernando Torres.

Games at the sharp end of tournament football are often decided in the midfield, and this contest looks no different. For Arsenal to succeed they will have to match the grit, determination, composure, technical grace and controlled aggression so of displayed by Simeone’s men. Gabi, Koke, Niguez, Vitolo and Partey are all experienced warriors with a litany of games under their belt at the highest level. Whether the likes of Ramsay, Wilshire, Elneny and Xhaka can rise to the occasion and out play such illustrious opponents remains to be seen.

With either Marseilles or RB Salzburg awaiting in the final, Arsenal can consider themselves huge favourites if they can find a way to successfully navigate the semi-final.

It will require a level of concentration and dedication that has been absent from Arsenal’s recent games, but if Wenger can find a way to channel the wisdom of his younger self and win the Europa League, it will be the best way to collectively say goodbye to a legend of the modern game, an Au Revoir to the most important manager in Arsenal’s history.

 

The tie against AC Milan in the Europa League Last 16 seemed to mark the end of the ‘phoney war’ in the competition for Arsenal. Part of the shift in gear in Europe was of course down to the malaise of the Gunners in the league, leaving Arsène Wenger with no option but to put every effort into conquering the Europa League.

Step one was achieved with victory in both against the fallen Italian giants, whereas Wenger should undoubtedly be happy with the quarter-final pairing with CSKA Moscow. Despite the fact it will be a rather anxious trip to Moscow – given the political tensions between Russia and the UK recently – most Gunners fans will expect to see their team’s name in the semi-final draw.

Below is the quarter-final draw, with ties to be played on the 5th and 12th of April:

Arsenal vs. CSKA Moscow

Atlético Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon

Lazio vs. Red Bull Salzburg

RB Leipzig vs. Marseille

Wenger will have been happy to avoid Spanish Giants

You would expect Wenger to have been happy to avoid Atlético in the draw. The Spanish side have been imperious in the competition ever since coming in from the Champions League group stages. They hammered Lokomotiv Moscow – a side who leads CSKA by eight points at the top of the Russian Premier League – 8-1 on aggregate in the Last 16. Lazio and Leipzig would also have represented tricky opponents.

As you might expect, Atlético have been made outright favourites to win the Europa League. However, Arsenal are not far behind in the odds. The latest betting from Bet365 is shown below. Before you bet, click here to check out no deposit offers for UK bookmakers:

Atlético Madrid 11/8

Arsenal 3/1

Lazio 15/2

RB Leipzig 9/1

Marseille 10/1

RB Salzburg 16/1

Sporting Lisbon 25/1

CSKA Moscow 33/1

As you can see, CSKA have been made rank outsiders to win the tournament. Although, Arsenal fans should not take anything for granted: Their win against Lyon in the Last 16 was impressive, as were the home and away victories against Benfica in the Champions League group stage, where they finished 3rd behind Manchester United and Basel.

Gap in quality will have to be exposed by Arsenal

But, even when taking into consideration the Gunners’ erratic form recently, most neutrals would agree that Arsenal should have too much quality for CSKA Moscow. It is going to be an important to take a healthy cushion to Russia however, with there being every chance of a hostile atmosphere at the VEB Arena due to the political climate. Should Arsenal go there with any less than a lead of a couple of goals, you could see the occasion becoming precarious for Wenger’s men.

Without looking too far ahead, Wenger must be thinking about Atlético to some degree. He will know that they are the two best teams left in the competition, although Lazio are a free-scoring side who have flourished under Simone Inzaghi. However, Arsenal vs Atlético is the final that everyone will wan to see. Should they both get through these rounds and avoid each other in the semis, there is a fair prospect of it happening. In fact, the bookmakers have gone as low as 4/1 for those two to clash in Lyon on 16th May.

One step at a time however, and all roads to glory must go through Moscow first. Wenger and the players will need to get it right, because there is nothing else left to hope for this season.

As countless Real Madrid sides of the past can testify, when it comes to attacking players, too many cooks spoil the broth. Without a balance within a starting eleven, sides leave themselves horribly exposed to opposition attacks.

Arsene Wenger will now feel burdened to squeeze, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Ozil into an effective fighting force. You'd be lucky to get some good odds with the William Hill promo code 2018 on Arsenal finishing in the top four due partly to this reason.

From an Arsenal point of view, the latest transfer window is hard to asses. On one hand they managed to recover well from losing their best player, attracting two extremely talented players to fill the Alexis Sanchez-shaped hole, as well as tying Ozil down to a new contract when for all the world he looked to be joining the Chilean in heading for the exit. The opposing view is that Arsenal have merely made cosmetic changes to their side, failing to address the structural problems that have blighted the team for so long.

If huge sums of money were to be dispensed, surely it would have been more prudent to splurge on a much-needed holding midfielder, or a top-quality centre-back capable of operating in either a back three, or four?

Without a real rugged, intelligent, midfield-enforcer able to negate Arsenal’s imbalance, there seems to be no cogent way for all four of Arsenal’s attacking gems to thrive.

So, who then should Arsenal consign to the bench?

Clearly, it cannot be Aubameyang. The Gabon international, while offering little in terms of link-up play, is one of the most natural finishers in the game. The penalty box is his natural habitat, at ease within those white-lined confines as any lion skulking the Serengeti.

Ozil too looks to be un-droppable. His lackadaisical demeanour may stoke the ire of many a fan, but when the little German is at his languid best, there are very few players in the game capable of matching his creativity. A fact relayed best when you consider he has almost fifty assists for the Gunners – a number that should be higher, were his teammates not so profligate.

Lastly, we have the man who was swapped for Sanchez, Mkhitaryan. It would be wasteful not to utilise the Armenian in tandem with Aubameyang, considering how fruitful a partnership they formed while playing together for Borussia Dortmund. Then, of course, you must factor how determined he will be to restore his once glistening reputation, tarnished through Jose Mourinho’s continued misuse.

This leaves Lacazette as the odd man out. It is a real shame for the Frenchman. Despite impressing hugely in the last few seasons for Lyon, he has never really looked to be trusted by Arsene Wenger.

Going forward Arsenal would look best in a 4-3-2-1.

Cech in goal. A back four of Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal, with the fullbacks expected to get forward regularly to offer the otherwise narrow side some width. Sead Kolašinac would be a better fit than Monreal, yet sadly, looks to have been permanently cast into the wilderness by his manager.

A midfield three of Elneny, Xhaka and Ramsey. Elneny and Xhaka trying their utmost to provide a secure base, simultaneously covering either attacking fullback and allowing Ramsey to make his trademark late runs into the box.

This then allows Ozil and Mkhitaryan to roam freely, pulling apart compact defences, and threading Aubameyang the through balls his pace can exploit. This forces Lacazette to operate in an auxiliary capacity, coming on late to menace weary defenders.

It is far from the ideal line up, both holding midfielders have deficiencies, Elneny too slow, and Xhaka far too erratic, while Monreal lacks the guile to full thrive going forward.

Yet, in a season where the top five clubs are steadily widening the gap between themselves and Arsene Wenger’s men, it may just be the stable line-up needed to string a few wins together and surge themselves back into Champions League contention.

 

SBO.net have tallied up every tweet sent by Premier League players in 2017; who’s the most Twitter-happy?

With so much personality on the Premier League pitch, it’s no surprise that sometimes the action spills not just into the sidelines but also online. In fact, it seems like these days, talking the talk is just as important as walking the walk. That’s why SBO.net have put together all the big stats from 2017, ranking the most frequent Twitter posters of the year, or, as they like to call it, The Premier League’s Biggest Twits.

They’ve scoured social media to count every single tweet sent out by a Premier League player last year, and the neat infographic ranks the top 20 tweeters, or twits, of 2017.

Spending his time on the shelf wisely, Everton’s Yannick Bolasie (@YannickBolasie) wasn’t going to let us forget about him. Having suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury during Everton’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United in December 2016, Bolasie had a lot of time to kill in 2017 - and it shows. During his 12 months off the pitch, the Lyon-native racked up an astounding 474 tweets. Now that he’s back in action, his 180,000 followers may have to take a backseat.

Unlike Bolasie, Southampton’s Charlie Austin (@chazaustin10) had no time off the field in 2017 - and yet still miraculously found the time to send 465 tweets throughout the year. On December 23rd, just three days prior to Bolasie’s return to the pitch, the second-most frequent tweeter in football, Austin, was given the opportunity to nab the top spot; not only being served a three-game suspension for violent conduct during Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield, but also suffering a hamstring tear in the same game that would keep him sidelined for 2 months. He’s got plenty of time to keep his 150,000 followers up to date now, but, without a spot in the world rankings, perhaps some time away from the keyboard might help Austin focus on proving himself on the pitch.

Having said that, we shouldn’t assume that the ones tweeting the most are the ones least focused on the game - the Premier League’s current top team, Manchester City, also took the prize for the most Twitter-happy team for 2017 - with four players ranking in the top 20. Nicolás Otamendi (@Notamendi30), Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan), Gabriel Jesus (@gabrieljesus33), and Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) were the 16th, 14th, 5th, and 3rd most frequent Tweeters, respectively.

Meanwhile, the only Arsenal player who tweeted their way onto the prestigious list is of course Mesut Ozil (@mesutOzil1088). The 7th best player in the world was the 15th most frequent tweeter - tallying up 221 posts in 2017.

 

We’re currently in the middle of the Champions League campaign, and now 16 teams are left to compete with each other during the final stages. Although there are much more superior teams left in the competition, you still can’t count the likes of Basel out of the mix. Realistically, though, which teams have the power and experience to bring the crown back to their trophy rooms?

Manchester City

Manchester City currently find themselves favourites to take the crown for the first time in their history and, if their domestic form is anything to go by, they have a real shot of competing with Europe’s elite. The only problem Manchester City have is that they don’t have the same Champions League experience as some of the other favourites, as they’ve only been competing at the highest level now for around 5 years. One benefit City do have is that they have a winning manager in Pep Guardiola, and he has experience to take the club to a higher level. Will Manchester City be able to compete with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid? Or will their lack of experience cost them when it really matters?

Paris St Germain

With the quality PSG have at their disposal, it would be very hard not to see them in the final stages of the tournament. Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe all have the quality to score the important goals in both legs in each stage of the cup. It just depends on whether they have the defensive quality to keep out Real Madrid and co. They are second favourites to Manchester City by a small margin, but if they can continue their good run of form like they have domestically, they are serious contenders to bring the Champions League to France.

Barcelona

You can never count Barcelona out of anything they compete for, especially the Champions League. They’re already a team filled with heroes in Lionel Messi and Iniesta, and it could be their heroics that takes them to the winner’s circle of the Champions League. Barcelona still aren’t the same team as they once were under Pep Guardiola, but they still have the attacking quality to put any team aside on their day. Barcelona are strong contenders to bring the cup back to Spain, but they’ll need to be at their best with some of the other teams they’re up against.

Manchester United

If you look at the current form of Manchester United you wouldn’t fancy them at all in a competition with so much quality opposition, but all sports betting odds suggest they’re still in the mix. After all, we’re going into the last 16 of the tournament when anything has and can happen. One advantage Manchester United have other their competitors is that their defence looks pretty solid, and they’ve only conceded a mere 16 goals in 24 games in their Premier League campaign. The only problem United have is that they’re very hit or miss. They can’t seem to string a good run of form together under Mourinho, and it has become a problem in the Premier League. United do, however, have the experience of winning the Champions League on two previous occasions, so never say never.

Juventus

Italian sides always seem to do well on the European stage. We’ve seen Roma, Napoli and Juventus compete at the other end of the competition multiple times in their history. Juventus look like a different opposition this year and defensively they’re well known to be able to handle the bigger giants. Ultimately, it depends what side of Juventus turns up in the final stages of the competition, but if they can defend properly like they’re known for, there’s no reason why their attack minded players won’t be able to do the business in front of goal.

Liverpool also look like strong candidates this year along with Bayern Munich. However, the above teams look like they have that little bit more this year in terms of attacking and defensive ability. Will Manchester City live up to their status as favourites of the competition or will Manchester United provide us with a shock and turn up the heat on their rivals?

 

One of the hottest strikers in Europe the last couple of years, that many predicted to end up in Real last year, is now is knocking on the door to Arsenal.

We all know the quality of Aubameyang. An amazing striker that's fast as the wind (fastest on FIFA 18, it says something). Year after year we find him in the top of the list of most goals scored in Bundesliga. Will we see him dressed in red and white in a few weeks? Let’s hope so!

I think this transfer would take Arsenal to the next level, combined with the latest sign of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The speed and breakthrough quality they offer will make an effective weapon.

There are many indications that the transfer will go through within a few days, if we should listen to all rumours. In my opinion, If Arsenal manage to close this deal, I would say that this transfer window can be one of the best Arsenal made in a long time. It could be the transfer that take us to top 4 and Champions League.

Odds for Aubameyang - January transfer window

If you’d like to try to make some money based on the rumours, there always the possibility to place a bet. The odds are at the moment around 1,60 (4/7) that he will be representing Arsenal in February. Which is a quite good indication of how close the deal is.

However, it might not be the best way to go if you chase that big win, as the odds is quite low. If you’re looking for a winning of your dreams you could visit Dreamz Casino, where you can find nice bonus offers for UK based casinos, among many other useful things.

If you don’t want to go the casino-way, there’s also option to place a bet on a transfer for other teams as well. A transfer to Liverpool for instance will give you 21X your bet!

Downside for the transfer

The downside to this transfer is that Arsenal might lose Giroud on a loan to Dortmund. In my opinion, he’s a perfect striker to have in the squad as well. A completely different player with other qualities that’s nice to have against low defending teams in locked games.

I for one will keep my thumbs for a transfer will go through within a few days. Arsenal need it. I need it.

 

Possible Arsenal Transfers this Winter

The transfer window closes on the 31st of January 2018 as we wait with baited breath to see what Arsene Wenger will do. Below we list all the information we have on transfer deals that have been secured and those that are ongoing as well as the rumours that continue to do the rounds. Don’t forget to check out the top sports betting sites in Ireland so you can place your bets on upcoming Premier League matches and more.

Top Transfer News for Arsenal

Below you will find all the latest news for Arsenal as the transfer window draws to a close in the next two weeks.

  • Theo Walcott transfers to Everton: Walcott has signed a three and a half year deal and is the first Gunner to leave this Winter.

  • Wenger rules out move for Malcom: Wenger has stated that the Girondins De Bordeaux winger isn’t on the club’s radar.

  • Wenger confirms Mesut Ozil will not be leaving: Although out of contract at the end of the season Wenger has confirmed that he will still be with the club in February.

  • Wenger confirms Sanchez move to Manchester United: Wenger has said this move is likely to happen in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Wenger also confirmed that Mkhitaryan’s wages won’t be a problem and the Armenian will be seen as a direct replacement for Sanchez. United are to play Sanchez £350,000 per week. Wenger was adamant that he would not let Sanchez go without a replacement and many feel that Mkhitaryan will be an excellent addition to the Gunners.

  • Borussia Dortmund look set to take Olivier Giroud: This will be a loan until the end of the campaign and the Bundesliga club are viewing him as a temporary replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is expected to move to the Emirates during the transfer window.

  • Juventus negotiate for Hector Bellerin: Juventus have begun negotiations for this Arsenal defender who is currently contracted to the club until summer 2023.

  • Terms agreed with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang: Tersm have been agreed for a sensational £60 million move from Borussia Dortmund.

With both Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang set to join the Emirates we are in for some exciting games. Both understand each other well on and off the pitch having played together at Dortmund. As a pair, these two could transfer the speed with which Arsenal can attack their opponents and it will make for some exciting soccer games ahead.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more