Wednesday, 6 July 2011 are the man, but you already knew that didn't you?

Having a starting point on discussing this man is very difficult, if not impossible, but i will try. Various articles are very interested when reporters make cases for why he is either brilliant OR rubbish. The man divides opinion, one thing for sure though, is that Zlatan is cock sure of how damn good he is, and i have to agree.

When it comes to people here that i talk to, its hard to ever talk about him without finding yourself going on a rant, for a couple of reasons. So many fans base their opinion on a player on one thing and one thing only, and that is the Champions League. The reason for this is because that is where they get to see the big boys from around Europe come out to play through the coverage we get from Sky, ITV etc etc you get the point. They then get to see the likes of Bayern, Inter, Milan, Juventus, Ajax, Barca and Madrid play, sometimes though they only watch them if they are playing a big match or another English team is not on TV, other than that, they will watch them on highlights shown directly after the feature match. Nothing wrong with this, its good that people watch the highlights, better than not watching anything at all. The problem is, they base their opinion on a player from these highlights, or from the couple of games they see a player play in the competition from playing their team.

This leads me to Zlatan, people i know actually have called him a very bad player, come on you cant be serious? You watch maybe 2 full games of this man a season.......if even that, and if he has an off game or just does not score, then you make your mind up on him. One thing worth point out, is that the Swede does not have a great record in the Champions League, in fact, he left Inter and they won the competition, he then leaves Barca....guess what? they then go on and win it. If a fan was to indeed take time out to watch Zlatan in the Italian league, then they would just see why he is one of the best players in the world, his touch is just simply fantastic, up there with the best touch in World football. He can change a game in seconds, he can win a match all by himself also. So, many will say he is a big game bottler, this is also false, terribly false in fact. If you were to watch the Milan derby last season, he cause all sorts of problems against his former club, getting, and scoring the penalty that indeed won the game. Just 6 minutes into his first ever El Clasico, Zlatan popped up and volleyed home the winner, what a goal that was.

Maybe we should check this pass out? There was not much need for it, but hey, its wonderful to watch..

Ok enough with the videos, lets take a look at his, according to people i talk to in Ireland, flop season in Spain? This actually makes me laugh. He is actually still a Barcelona player, although Milan will want him and the fee set was not much more than £20million. Ibrahimovic did not ask for Barca to pay in and around £40million plus Samuel Eto'o for him. Talk at the time was, Eto'o had to leave die to falling out with players/staff etc and was thrown in as a sweetner to make the loss of Inter's best player a little less painful. Ibrahimovic scored 16 goals in 29 league games, and only 23 of them were from the start of a game. Not bad is it? Add in some goals in the Champions League against Arsenal and you have got a top quality striker. He did not fit in with Barca's style of play and that inevitably has led to him leaving. Barca wanted a plan B, he did not fit that bill, although playing some great stuff, he just didn't suit. 

Zlatan has won, and quote me on this, 8 league 8years, a title every year for 8 years. This is no coincidence, he can clearly be disruptive, but clearly one of footballs best players. 

La Gazzetta dello Sport summed it: "Serie A is a tournament in which various teams compete, and then at the end Zlatan Ibrahimovic wins."

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Arsenal fans.......DON'T PANIC

Oh dear, it really is silly season now isn't it? It never ceases to amaze me the way in which 'football fans' react to big moments in a clubs history. Arsenal have not won a trophy in 7years now, for around 5years this went relatively unnoticed due to the way in which they played, and the young guns promise that was being rammed down our throats, we were being told to wait, and Arsenal fans seemed to be ok with that, in Wenger we trust right?

The past 2 seasons have threatened to be magical for Arsenal, they have played some amazing football, and i would go as far as saying, if Barcelona were not scooping up all trophies in front of them, Arsenal would be the darlings of European football, trophies or not, we love great football. Problem being, Barcelona play the football Arsenal thrive to play, the football that at times, Arsenal play brilliantly but, Barca play it better. 

It was all going quite well last season for a large part, the emergence of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott seemed to find his feet finally, Samir Nasri filling in perfectly when Fabregas was not fit. There was even talk Fabregas would be allowed leave due to Nasri's emergence as a key player at Arsenal. The forgotten man it seems now, Marounne Chamkh, made an immediate impact, fillinf the void left by the injury prone Robin Van Persie. So where on earth did it all go wrong?

The Carling Cup final for me was the pivotal moment in Arsenal's season, it was there chance to put something back into that trophy cabinet. It all looked quite good, until mistakes at the back let Obafemi Martins become an instant Birmingham hero. Birmingham's season went desperately downhill from there, but so did Arsenal's. A draw with my boyhood club Leyton Orient was also a major point, showing that these new young guns, and also some older one's, are maybe just not up to the standard we have came to know and love. Arsenal managed to beat the might of Barcelona at the Emirates, and even got a goal in the Camp Nou, they were a stupid Van Persie red card and a nervous Nicklas Bendthner away from winning that tie, and who knows where that may have brought them. A late surge from Man City means that Arsenal must qualify for this seasons Champions League, the should do so without any major hiccup.

Now, here we are, silly season has arrived. Clubs around Arsenal seem to be strengthening, well at least Man Utd do. Rumors are rife of the imminent departures of Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Add to this, the Sunday papers which are claiming Arsenal are in major breakdown, oh come on you can do better than this. Some deadweights are sure to be leaving during the window, Bendthner who is unhappy at not being played in a central position will leave, we may even see Arshavin take a hike (you can never tell what is going on in his head). Of the players being linked away from Arsenal today, this would be my opinion.

Fabregas - (Yes ok, we get it, he wants to go to Barcelona, get it over with)
Clichy - (Yes but who exactly said this lad was a major part of Arsenal, he lacks.....well basic defending skills)
Nasri - (Yes maybe, and as a Man Utd supporter i want him, but Arsenal would have to fit Wilshere in somewhere)

Van Persie - (Can not see this happening, in fact, i will bet that it wont, papers putting 2+2 together and getting 7)
Walcott - (The least likely to leave in my book, the rumor is unfounded and ridiculous)

People are going on and on as if these players have left the club, and that Arsenal will not sign anyone. Good god, Arsenal are going through a patch where they are changing players, and maybe even the shape of the team. I think it could turn out to be exciting for the club. Wilshere may get the chance to play further up the field in the absence of Nasir, and according to most fans, Wilshere was one of the players of the season. Ramsey was hailed as the next Fabregas, he has talent, given time he will be a major player for Arsenal. Gibbs will replace Clichy in the long run i think, although could easily see Vermaalen being shipped out to the left if a couple of CB’s are brought in.

It’s not as if they are not going to sign anyone, Gervinho is expected to arrive, Chamberlain also along with a CB or 2. Once these players are signed, what else do Arsenal need? Possibly an Attacking midfielder to fill the void while Ramsey rises to the top, and in my view someone to challenge Song for his place. 

As long as Arsene Wenger gives some players their time to shine, and i include Chamakh in this, then Arsenal will be just fine. People need to relax themselves.