With our first pre season game out of the way I thought it was as good a time as any to get back into the swing of things on Arsenal Vision. Just want to say a few things before I jot down my thoughts, even if a majority of you reading will not give a damn so I will keep it short if not very sweet.
So I have been having a few site problems since updating Joomla, a few functions on the site have not been working correctly. The reason why my last blog entry (Let's do the Ramsey wide thing (again)) was on September 15th 2015 is because for some reason news feed sites are not picking up the blog section on the site, hence me writing a blog article in a different category. The login function is also really temperamental so the Your Vision section of the site has not been used as it should. If you want to post your own thoughts on the site you can drop me a mail via the contact page and send it in that way.
So my plan is to give the site a complete overhaul and redesign, say my goodbyes to Joomla and take the long walk to the land of Wordpress and see if they accept me.
That is for a later date but I do plan to find a regular slot in my life again for this site, it is my therapy after all.
It was great to have the Arsenal back again when a mixture of the first team squad and the young lads faced RC Lens in France on Friday evening. It was not the greatest game in the world, in fact I found myself nodding off for a few minutes during parts of the game, that probably had more to do with my lack of sleep the night before but hey!
There were some folk displaying outrage on social media during and after the game because of our performance. If you are above 14 years old and you took part in that then you deserve a lot of people standing around you, pointing and laughing at you hysterically.
Manchester United lost 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund and as much as I would love to get excited about that, especially as Mourinho is manager, it means sweet FA.
Pre season, especially the first one is about fitness and not much else. Especially when you consider the blend of youth and squad players. So we head to the US for our next pre season against the MLS all-stars with some more of our squad, including new boys Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding who signed only a few days ago from Bolton.
I am actually a Rob Holding expert so I can give you all the juicy details about our new central defender. I mean I have watched one YouTube compilation so that pretty much qualifies me.
The one thing that struck me was his tendency to go galloping upfield Kolo Toure style when he won the ball. He is obviously a good passer of the ball and technically very good. I bet on mobile that the guys at StatDNA played their part in alerting the manager to his quality/potential.
Holding will wear Ramsey's old number 16 shirt which could well say a lot about where the manager sees Holding this season. I am intrigued to know where Holding goes in the pecking order when compared to Calum Chambers and indeed what happens to Calum if he finds himself behind Holding, Gabriel, Mertesacker and Koscielny.
Whatever the case may be, it can only be good news to bring in a highly rated (Bolton's player of the year last season) player on the cheap, even more so given the premium on British players. It will be good to get a good glimpse of him in the US on Saturday.
So the latest rumours doing the rounds is that of Riyad Mahrez. French journalists piping up and stating that it's true, the player only last week saying publicly that he wanted to leave Leicester City but the message from Claudio Ranieri has been very different.
I am going to offer you my best bit of guess work on this. If there is Arsenal interest then we have probably checked to see if the player wants to join by far the greatest team the world has ever seen, and unless he drinks WKD on a regular basis, that answer should obviously be a yes. But either Leicester City are completely unwilling to sell or do not like the prices suggested to them so the whole 'he is staying' line could be being used to force whichever interested parties out there to go away and come back with something more to their liking.
The fact that Mahrez played against Celtic yesterday and scored an absolute beauty doesn't help one bit. But I am willing to bet that if there is a move on the cards that this will play out a little more. Could the player be playing the game to get a better deal? Quite possibly but I am not sure he would, not sure what that is based on but still.
I really enjoy watching Mahrez and have done so since first being aware of him when Nigel Pearson's Leicester City lost 2-1 at the Emirates two seasons ago when they really did not deserve to lose and Mahrez was the best player on the pitch.
I wrote this after the game in February 2015
Credit must go to the opposition though even if some of the foul play was not to my taste. They played out from the back even against our attempts to win the ball back high up the pitch. They certainly did a better job against us than we did at White Hart Lane. Even though they are stuck rock bottom of the league, they were brave in taking the game to us, especially down the flanks.
A cross by danger man Riyad Mahrez found it's way to the back post where Andrej Kramaric controlled and rifled past Ospina for his first goal for the club.
He should have equalised later on when sent through on goal but his chipped effort was comfortably saved
Mahrez reminds me of that skillful kid in the playground who was miles better than everyone else. Love the way he jinks in and out, drags the ball and sits people down on their arses. It's all very cliché but he is that player you pay to see, bums on seats, gets people off their seats (how can you do both at the same time?) and all that jazz kind of player but at the same time he does not seem the perfect player to play opposite to Alexis for a few reasons.
In my opinion Henrikh Mkhitaryan was that guy, I am still a little gutted about his move to Manchester United but hey ho. I would prefer we bought a right footed player so we could keep Alexis on the right where he does a better job of being our second striker rather than on the left. I don't think Mahrez is as good on the left compared to the right either. Also I imagined more of a playmaker on the opposite side to Alexis rather than a wide dribbler. Lastly, Mahrez isn't exactly Mr get back and stick your foot in so when you place someone like that into a team that has Özil I think we may have to sacrifice something defensively. That said, I would not turn my nose up at a player who produced so many assists, goals and dribbles last season, no siree.
There are a few people getting knickers in a twist about a lack of signings on July 24th so I wanted to share with you an article I wrote three years back comparing the dates of when Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United have done business in the past. Check it out.
I will probably write an updated piece soon. Anyway relax, enjoy the sunshine we are getting in England because it's unlikely to remain here. Enjoy the pre season football and the players we already have because without question there will be many more transfers across the board from now until the end of August. Yes, more than a month away.