Discussion in 'TFL: League 1 Red' started by Krebstar425, Oct 6, 2011.
Arsenal owner, Stan Kroenke, has made his first public statement before the upcoming season and it's a rather blunt and candid comment directed squarely at those running the club below him.
Failure to stay in this division will have consequences. Both our Director of Football and our Manager will be held entirely responsible. I only place this responsibility on them because I know they can handle the pressure that accompanies it.
How's that for a start to the season? In case you don't speak businessman, Kroenke said that if Arsenal are relegated, the Director of Football and the manager will both be sacked. As we all know, the current manager is Arsene Wenger. Who many may not know is the Director of Football, who has floated around Europe but is most known for his stints and strong ties with German side, Borussia Dortmund.
The man we're speaking of is German born Jens Krebstruz or as he's known in the football world, Krebstar.
For Kroenke to lay down such a stern warning this early in the season either means he has faith in his management or he does not. It certainly makes things interesting at the club. Stay up, you're safe. Go down, you're gone. One can only wonder if there are ramifications for not finishing in a Champions League qualifying place as well. Certainly not worth losing a job, but one never knows.
Check back with The Arsenal Network later today as we'll have the first thoughts of the season from Arsene Wenger as well as check in and take a look at how the team has been preparing for the upcoming season.
Arsene Wenger today spoke to the press for the first time following Stan Kroenke's remarks regarding the future of Wenger if his team were to be relegated.
It was a fairly light atmosphere that will likely change once the season starts in a week and Arsene becomes more prickly than ever. For now, here is the transcript from some of highlights of the event.
How will Mr. Kroenke's decisive statements affect not only yourself but your team? This must certainly place a large weight on your shoulders.
We will not fear failure. The second we do, we're already relegated and I'm already gone. We must play with not only intensity, but also passion and a sense of self-awarness. I wouldn't accept this team being relegated if I were the owner, so I don't expect him to. With that said, I don't plan on being relegated. I plan on challenging for the title.
So far this preseason we've seen your team plan to play on the counter and also maintain possession. Is there a switch away from what we've seen from the past from this team?
We will always play like Arsenal. In this league right now, we need learn to play without the ball. That is what we've been trying to do this preseason and in training. It's important for us to be patient and when we do win back the ball, we will attack quickly. We have pace and skill. We must use it.
The Richuation, manager of Aston Villa has already said his team will claim victory in the opening season of the fixture. Thoughts on that?
From what I know he said they will win 2-0. I got a laugh out of it. I don't know if that was his intentions, but I don't think they know they're about to face.
Is there a set formation for this team as of now? There seems to have been a switch from before.
We're playing much closer to a 4-4-2. Almost a 4-4-1-1. It works for who we have. Jack Wilshere has happily gone out to the left but can still come to the middle based on what situation we're in. Mikel Arteta has been added to the squad and will mostly play back further with Alex Song, who could rotate in and out depending on who we play.
Arsene, you mentioned you may rotate Song out. In what situations would that be?
Well, perhaps if we're losing or if we're playing someone I feel we can exploit with speed down the wings then we'll bring Jack in the middle with Arteta.
Lots of information today and the information will continue to roll in based on other things we've heard today as well as what other sources are telling us. Keep checking back for more.
We're mere hours away from the start of the season and the anticipation is rising considerably. The Gunners will face off with fellow English side, Aston Villa, in which could be an early battle between two mid to low table teams. Nobody is sure what to expect from this Arsenal side as at times during preseason we've seen flashes of attacking brilliance and large quantities of defensive frailties. One thing is for certain, and that is that they'll be exciting to watch.
It's also become rather clear as to what formation Arsene Wenger will set out to use, as a 4-4-2 looks to be the first choice. However, during closed friendlies, the team has been using a 4-2-3-1, leading to speculation as to how the team will line up against Villa.
The argument for the 4-4-2 is it makes way for a faster break, but the argument for the 4-2-3-1 is ball control, something Wenger could deem to be very important against Villa. In this formation, we'll see the usual suspects starting in the back five. SZCZ, Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Gibbs. As for the midfield, Song and Arteta would but stay deep, with Arteta moving forward more at times to deliver passes and link play. The front would see Gervinho on the left, Walcott on the Right and Wilshere directly behind RVP.
If this is used against Villa, the key will be Arteta to Wilshere. Getting the ball from one to the other will start the entire attack and once running with the ball, Wilshere will be dangerous, especially if he draws attention which leaves RVP open. You can be sure that Arsenal will test Villa's discipline and will do whatever they can to confuse the defense.
When asked about his excitement for the season to start this morning, key man Wilshere had one thing to say: "I'm ready."
So are we. Expect a full game report and thoughts later.
Aston Villa 0 - 2 Arsenal
In the end, it was an unlikely hero that scored the game winning goal for Arsenal. In the 55th minute, Alex Song poked in a loose ball in the box to give the Gunners the lead they would never relinquish. It was a dark overcast night at Villa Park and the play on the field wasn't any prettier than the weather. Both teams bumbled into each other when instead poise would've grabbed them goals and several open shots were missed by each side. Gervinho did take his chance well late in the game to put it away for Arsenal, though.
If there is one thing to take away from the game in terms of Arsenal it's that a formation is still up in the air. Arsenal started out with a 4-2-3-1 but switched to a 4-4-2 and stayed there until later when it was changed to a 4-4-1-1. The last attempted seemed to be the best, but it's clear the team is still having trouble in this area.
For now, Arsenal will surely take the three points smiling. Starting right away with three is a good start to the campaign and their next opponent will be Chelsea, who Arsenal defeated in preseason.
Chelsea 2 - 2 Arsenal
It was a earned point for the Gunners at The Bridge, as they came from two down early to rally and secure a point. One could fell they should've had another as a few open chances were missed late, but in the early stages and the quest to remain in the top four, this point could prove to be big. The scoring was started early by Ashley Cole and continued with Drogba hitting Chelsea's second. After nine minutes, Arsenal were two down and looked to be falling apart under pressure. However, Robin Van Persie then quickly positioned the team upon his shoulders and scored two himself. The first was just slid past Cech and the second was from a correctly called penalty in which RVP won and converted.
There will be those who are disappointed that all three points were not won late, but in a London derby, a point is a point and manager Arsene Wenger agreed.
To me this feels like a point won and not two lost. We played poor early and went down but we didn't stop. As a team we pushed ahead and came away with a valuable point. If you look back at this result in a few weeks I think you'll see that a point is a positive result. I think we're in a position to challenge for a top four spot and this certainly helps.
Arsenal 4 - 2 Fluminese
What do you get with two strikers up front? Four goals. Arsenal hosted Fluminese in what turned out to be three more points for the Gunners. Starting the game, there was one big change in the formation and that was that Arsene Wenger went to a 4-1-3-2. Jack Wilshere dropped back into the holding midfield role, with Arteta ahead of him. Walcott stayed on the right and Gervinho on the left. However, up front RVP was joined with Chamakh, who made his season debut. The two striker combo proved to work very well as each scored two. Song was brought on late in a swap with Arteta that saw Wilshere move forward and the change in formation looks to be positive. The question is whether Wenger will stick with this as his first choice. It left the middle more open, but it really allowed Arsenal to maintain possession.
The next match for the side is against Porto and Wenger knows that even a point would be big.
When you look at our positioning, a point keeps both of us in the top four. For us, that is big. Three points would be massive, but this will be the hardest test for us so far and it's important we score because they certainly will.
Wenger would not say what formation he will start with, but he did say that Chamakh will be in his first team plans this season and that two strikers will be used often. It's clear this is a different team with two up front. Much harder to stop and they hold possession much easier. Not to mention an extra target for crosses.
Love the small details in the graphical setup (News | Team vs News | Match)... adds that touch of realism I like. Wish I was better with photoshop, etc.
Arsenal looks in good form to grab a Champions League spot late in the season, good on to the Gunners.
Porto 2 - 1 Arsenal
A loss is always tough and the first loss can sometimes be the toughest. Especially when a one goal lead is given up late away from home. That is what Arsenal are experiencing right now as they gave up a one goal lead to lose at Porto. While the Gunner's position in the table is still decent, this is not how they want to go into a very big week in which they face Manchester City and Liverpool.
It's hard to know where exactly Arsenal went wrong, but it comes down to two things. Not taking chances and not maintaining possession late when it counted. Throughout the match, Arsenal had great shot opportunities, but as we've seen before, they didn't take them. Late in the match when possession was key for them to slow the game down, they couldn't hang onto the ball. It was in total, a mental breakdown by the team and the manager and something that will have to be fixed if the side are serious about challenging for the title.
After the match, Arsene Wenger vented his frustration that for an unexplained reason, Alex Song was not able to come on even as Arsenal had a throw and were waiting for him to be allowed on the field. He was not and before play was stopped again, Porto scored their first goal. Wenger was furious as he said with Song not coming on, the shape the team were supposed to be in could not be completed. However, it seems that most of Wenger's rage was just fueled by disappointment and what he deemed to be a huge game for his side.
Traveling into Portugal against a great team and a very successful manager, of course we were up for this game. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't devastated. I'm truly gutted right now. All I can do is hope that we bounce back, but losing like that to a title contender is hard. It can really play games with your head. We have two tough games this week and anything less than four points is a failure.
The early seven points for this team look to be a great start in terms of avoiding relegation, but Wenger knows that 5th or 6th are not the same as 4th and the side can't afford to fall behind early.
In the last two games for Arsenal, we've seen Alex Song start on the bench while Jack Wilshere has taken the defensive role in midfield, with the freedom to come forward. Nobody is quite sure if this will be the same going forward, as Arsene Wenger has been very quiet on the matter. Except for his frustration at Song not being allowed to come on in the defeat to Porto, which he still wants to talk about.
People are asking me why Song did not start and to them I ask why wasn't he allowed to come on when he was ready and we had the ball for a throw in. Answer that and I'll answer why he did not start.
Even though Arsene will not play along, it seems rather clear that he wants two up front, but a defensive midfielder who can come forward. As of now, Arteta has played behind the strikers, but Arsene said that could change.
With two up front, Arteta may not be behind them as Jack[Wilshere] can play there as well. If we play with one up front, then Arteta would play a deeper role.
So, even with two up front we could see Wilshere move forward and Song start deep. If it's one up front, we assume Chamakh comes of for Song and Arteta goes back with him with Wilshere playing right behind Van Persie. Got all that? If so, Arsene wants to trick you even more.
Theo could also play up front or on the right with the front looking more like a 4-3-3, but the midfield deeper unlike a 4-3-3. We have many options right now.
What Arsene is referring to is something we saw briefly in the preseason. Van Persie up front with wingers fairly close to him. A midfielder behind Van Persie and then two deep midfielders who can come forward. Now, what will we see in the next game? Good luck guessing as of now.
If you haven't heard yet, Arsenal won. It wasn't as impressive as Arsene Wenger would've hoped, but it was still three points after they lost their last three straight matches. Arsenal hosted Sporting KC and went up 3-0 in the first half, only to give up two late goals and win 3-2 in a tighter second half than the team were expecting. Robin Van Persie put away two goals and Chamakh one, but several other chances were missed and Arsenal once again showed that while their creativity is virtually unmatched, their finishing is rather poor.
Now sitting at ten points and for now, fourth in the table, Arsenal are not in too bad of a position at all. Unless they really slip up again, they should be safe from the relegation threat. However, can they make the Champions League? Arsene Wenger still believes so.
We're out of contention for the title. I've conceded that. However, we're right in place for a Champions League place. We're in fourth place, are we not? Last I checked we were. Three loses in a row hurts any team, but anyone who doubts our ability to score and defend well has some surprises coming to them this season. We're not done.
Wenger also spoke out on what he feels is an alarming rate of poor officiating in the league.
I've never seen anything like it in my life. Our players are kicked, charged, slammed and assaulted each time they step out there. I thought the Manchester United game was the worst officiated game I've ever witnessed. First, Chamackh was clearly brought down in the box late. It wasn't called and then they went on to score their third. If that penalty is given to us and we make it 2-2, I think the game finishes that way. Even they can't deny that. It was a dreadful call.
Their wingers were also charging into tackles. I don't blame them, as they most likely are not the most skilled tacklers, but they were never punished for obvious fouls as well.
I thought this year we would see more cerebral defending but I was mislead by the officials. They still allow for the same thuggery to exist. It's sad, that is all. We'll deal with it, but it doesn't mean we have to like it. We're not the only team who feel this way, either. Other divisions have the same thing occurring.
At this point, nobody is arguing that Arsenal can make the Champions League, but unless the chances turn into goals, they'll be fighting with Aston Villa and Liverool for fourth place all season long.
Arsenal manger, Arsene Wenger, has announced that Theo Walcott will be playing up front as a striker in the upcoming TFL Cup match against Sporting CP. While Wenger did not divulge any further information relating to that, it's widely expect that we'll see Chamakh drop to the bench. Recently, Chamakh had been playing in front of Van Persie. It's not expected Van Persie will move up front with Walcott playing off him. The big question then becomes who does Wenger bring in on the right side of the formation. There are a few options, so let's take a look below.
Arshavin is the obvious choice and it very well could be the quick footed Russian. It's been said that Wenger has been happy with him in training and his ability to dribble around the box and hold possession could prove to be vital in this fixture. The other thought is Wenger will move Gervinho to the right and employ Wilshere on the left. In this case, Arteta would be in the CAM role and Song would take up the defensive midfield role.
The other options such as bringing in one of two young but fast right wingers could happen, but it's not as likely. Other than Theo up front, expect no other major changes to the side. Wenger said he's been happy with Chamakh, but wants to experiment with more speed up front as well. There have definitely been cases in the last three games in which Chamakh had a chance to run towards goal, but was caught. In those situations, Theo would not be.
Sporting CP 1 - 2 Arsenal
The move to start Theo Walcott up front paid off last night as he scored an important equalizer against Sporting CP in the second round of the TFL Cup. The win moves the Gunners through to the third round and also showcased that Walcott and RVP can work well together up front. Mikel Arteta scored the even more important game-winning goal in the 86th minute, just three minutes after Walcott made the game level. Arteta was brought on as a replacement for Song as Arsenal started to push forward for a goal late. A draw would've saw a replay at the Emirates, but the club must be happy with not having to play an extremely threatening Sporting side again. Captain Robin Van Persie had nothing but praise for the Portuguese side following the match.
As far as I'm concerned, they're one of the two best sides we've played all season. The other was Porto, but Sporting are very good and can attack as well as anyone.
Arsene Wenger was given praise following the match for his tactics, including starting Walcott up front, Arshavin on the right (Man of the Match) and bringing on Arteta late to play behind Walcott and Van Persie. However, Wenger gave all the credit to his team and some to their opponent.
The team played very well today. I only did so much. Mikel's goal was outstanding as was Theo's. Nobody had a bad game today. -- Sporting play absolutely fantastic football. I wish all clubs in this competition and in the Premier League Black played like them. It's fun to watch, but hard to play against. However, this was a very open game that was surely entertaining for all. I can not say enough positive things about Sporting. They're the kind of side you don't mind losing to. They play that beautiful.
As for the future, the next two games for the club are both against North London rival Spurs. A double header North London Derby? It's true. Check back for full coverage.
Hope you don't mind me commenting in the thread, but just wanted to let you know that I'm reading and loving these. Very creative and thought out. Good stuff!
Spurs 0 - Arsenal 4 | Arsenal 0 - 3 Spurs Sometimes it's hard to explain what happens in football and for Arsenal, that time is now in the wake of dominating Spurs and a few days later being dominated themselves. In the first game, Arsenal went out to a 3-0 lead before the half and held onto easily defeat their North London rivals. However, in the second, Spurs had a 3-0 lead at the half and held onto that to defeat Arsenal. It literally looked as if the teams switched kits between the two games as each was the same game, but in reverse. When asked about his teams performance over the two games, Arsene Wenger didn't have much to say.
We played very well in the first and in the second we played as poorly as they did in the first. They adjusted and we couldn't counter that. All the joy of the first game was erased by the second. Overall it's one loss, not a win and a loss.
However, three points are still important for the side. It once again helped keep them in the middle of the table and also at pace for the highly contested 4th place spot. When asked what the team can learn from the two games, captain Robin Van Persie was very clear.
Humility and focus. We let ourselves and the supporters down and it's our fault for not playing to the standard we've set for ourselves.
Arsenal could be moving away from the 4-1-3-2 formation that brought them brief success and exchanging it for a 4-2-3-1. After training today, Arsene Wenger said it's very likely that Alex Song will make his return to the side, but that Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta will remain in it as well. The obvious formation then becomes the 4-2-3-1 which the side has played with in recent training sessions.
Wilshere will stay back with Song, while Arteta plays behind Van Persie and Walcott moves back out to the right. Gervinho would stay on the left and Arshavin would go back to the bench. It seems this is what Arsene is hinting at and if so, it will definitely allow the team to control the middle of the field with Song and Wilshere. Wenger recently stated he wants to slow down the pace as he feels his side are getting beaten on the break instead of beating others on it.
It wasn't long ago that Arsenal started the season with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park. It's now time for the rematch and the two sides are just as close now in the standings as they were then. The two sides are level on points in the table, with Arsenal only above due to goal difference. The battle between these two English sides and a third, Liverpool, is mighty important as it will ultimately decide who of the three make the Champions League, who will settle for the Europa League and who will be staying home next season. In the first meeting, Arsenal were not in good form at all and the question now becomes how does the manager Arsene Wenger approach the match. Does he try and use speed to beat the Villa defenders up front with Walcott or does he drop back a midfielder to contend with the tight Villa midfield? The goal of the day will most certainly be a win, as Liverpool are behind by one point but still have two games in hand. That fact could mean Arsenal and Villa are playing for 5th instead of 4th, whether they want to acknowledge it or not.
Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa
One goal is all it takes to get three points, as long as your opponent doesn't score at all. Luckily for Arsenal, they were able to do just that against Villa, further helping secure a 5th place finish at minimum. A lone goal from Mikel Arteta sealed the deal as Arsenal fought off a very aggressive Villa who shot far more than people are accustomed to seeing them do. However, none made it into the goal as Arsenal's defense held tight after allowing three goals to Spurs. If this was indeed the battle for 5th place and a Europa League spot, Arsenal may have just sealed the deal.
Chelsea 1 - 3 Arsenal Earlier this season Arsenal came from 2-0 down to draw their London neighbors Chelsea 2-2. However, this time it was the Gunners who got out to a 2-0 lead and never looked back. It was a hat trick by the captain, Robin Van Persie, that lead the Gunners to get the better of Chelsea in the TFL Premier League Black London Derby. The win further helped secure a 5th place finish for Arsenal, but there is still work to be done. Several of the players expressed frustration for allowing a goal, which shows the team is fully prepared to put defense before scoring. Up next for the side is a TFL Cup match against another London club, Fulham.
Arsene Wenger has shocked the club, media and supporters today by stating that he's considering leaving his position at the end of the season and the Director of Football would most likely go with him. When asked about his future with the club yesterday, Arsene let out a very surprising response. At this point, I do not know. I've considered leaving at the end of this season. If we do not qualify for Europe, I will leave. If we do, I still may. I have not decided yet. This has come as a surprise to everyone, especially given the decent form the side are in. However, it appears that unless Arsenal make the Champions League, Arsene Wenger will step down as well as the Director of Football for the club. Other sources have stated that no matter how the season finishes for the club, both very well could step down. A source close to the Director of Football, Jens Krebstruz, stated that he's highly interested in returning to Germany and that he's realized his experiments in France last year and England this year are not what he was expecting. They also said he knows he could go somewhere where expectations would not be very high and he could help a team surprise many and would enjoy less stress surrounding a club. As soon as we have further updates on the future of both individuals, we'll post it.
Effective today, Arsene Wenger and Director of Football, Jens Krebstruz are both stepping down from Arsenal Football Club. Owner Stan Kroenke and the Board of Directors have both made clear that the decision was made by Wenger and Krebstruz and not by anyone else. Kronenke has gone on the record stating that he wanted both men to return next season, but both have decided to leave. This is not a huge shock, as Wenger announced weeks ago that his future was undecided. For Krebstruz, it appears he will also be stepping away from the TFL as a whole. Wenger has not been able to comment yet, but this is what Krebstruz, or Krebstar, released earlier today. I've enjoyed my time in the TFL leagues. It all started at Borussia Dortmund and from there onto Lyon, until I returned to Dortmund. Then I was given the biggest opportunity yet and that was to come to Arsenal Football Club. I couldn't pass it up and if I could do it all over again, I would. I've enjoyed the battles I've had throughout the divisions in TFL and will never stray too far. I can say with certainty that I will not have any part in running a club next season and perhaps not until next year. A break is needed and a break will be had, however, I am in no way departing for good. With that said, I want it to be known how much I appreciate the TFL. First, I was brought here by Randiesel75 who to this day I respect, even though he's a Liverpool man. I also must extend a huge thanks and congratulations to the TFL Leadership team of hedache, AJ Hart MN, elprez98, niuhuskie224, Connor and of course, The Richuation. Without them and others, I wouldn't have stayed and enjoyed myself and without them, I would know for certain I'd never return. Throughout my time in TFL I've been known to employ managers who enjoy having a go at not only the media but also fellow managers. I have not been immune from that, either. I must say that it was always done out of respect. If I didn't respect someone, I wouldn't waste my time jabbing at them. I've always had fun in the TFL and I know if I return, I'll continue to do so. I only wish in leaving I could place someone in my position. If it were up to me, Blaza would take control of Arsenal for good. He's an Arsenal man and after this season of disappointment, he's what the club needs and deserves. I hope in the future he's able to wear the badge again. Until next time, that is all. Long live The Arsenal and BVB. It's not known if Krebstruz will return or if he does, when, but we've been told the German will no longer leave Germany in terms of management and directing. It will definitely be at least one season on vacation we're told, with a good chance it's even more than that. This is The Arsenal Network, signing off.
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