Why Raheem Sterling Will NEVER EVER Come To Arsenal

Just like when I successfully predicted that Falcao will be a flop at Manchester United and Danny Welbeck would shine at Arsenal, I can guarantee that the man of the moment Raheem Sterling will NEVER join Arsenal.

The reasons he would never come to Arsenal are numerous, but here are the five main ones:

1. He’s a loudmouth

He doesn’t shut up does he? When Liverpool offered him £100,000 a week, he came out and conducted a lengthy and unauthorised interview with the BBC about how he wasn’t all about the money and just wanted to win trophies. The interview was close to 30 minutes long (28 minutes to be exact) and I have unfortunately had the misfortune to watch it all. It’s basically Sterling being advised to go on the charm offensive, rattling off from a crib sheet to try and improve his then damaged reputation. It didn’t work and he ended up being slated by the fans and by the press.

Arsene likes loyal players who respect the club and manager, so people like Sterling who start mouthing off whenever they feel like is something Arsenal will want to avoid.

2. His agent / advisor seems like a lovely bloke

Sterling’s representative Aidy Ward conducted an interview with the Evening Standard and make things worse, clearly trying to drive a wedge between the player and the club (as well as the Liverpool fans). He came out and said he didn’t care about the club and their image, and apparently called Jamie Carragher a “knob”.

He said a few other slightly controversial things and because of this there’s no way Arsene Wenger would entertain a player and agent like that. It’s more trouble than it’s worth and Arsene is known to like a harmonious dressing room. It’s the same reason he didn’t take a punt on Mario Balotelli when he was available last summer.

3. He’s unproven at the top level

Why do teams want Sterling? Because he’s English and fast. But the fact of the matter is that to date he’s had half a good season. And that was when he was playing alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in top form. He’s 20 years old and what is being sold is potential.

He’s been inconsistent this season, and scored 7 goals in the Premier League this season. So is that worth spending £40-50 million on? Get real.

4. Theo Walcott is better for Arsenal

Slightly controversial I know, but for Arsenal, Theo Walcott is the better player. He’s quicker, and been with the club for almost 10 years. While his game has been criticised people forget not too long ago he was our best player. Injuries have hampered his progress but once he’s back in the groove he will be back to his best.

Theo knows the ethos of the club, how we play and how Arsene Wenger wants him to perform. Added to that, his finishing is better than Sterling’s.

5. His ego is massive

Arsene isn’t a fan of players with big ego’s and Sterling’s is through the roof. When Liverpool offered the contract and he didn’t sign, it wasn’t big news. What made it big news was when he caused controversy and conducted the BBC interview without Liverpool’s knowledge. What kind of person does that? I’ll tell you who, someone who things they’re big news and the world revolves around them.

Former Liverpool players like Jamie Carragher, John Barnes, John Aldridge and Mark Lawrenson have come out and said things like he hasn’t done anything in the game and not achieved anything because he’s a young player who still has a lot to prove. He’s nowhere near the finished article – and it’s like someone like Hector Bellerin coming out now and shouting the odds and engineering a move (although that’s a disservice to Bellerin because he’s actually been consistent and developed as a player this season).

But you get my point, it’s akin to a youth player breaking into the first team and then demanding a move away or bigger pay day. It’s ridiculous and shows that Sterling has a massive opinion of himself. If his performances reached the top level then fair enough, you can do a Wayne Rooney and hold the club to ransom, but sadly for Sterling he’s not even close to that level.

Is This The Same Old Arsenal All Over Again?

We’ve been on such an excellent run of late – we’ve been 10 games unbeaten in the Premier League, winning 9 of those games and drawing 1 against a Chelsea side who parked the bus at The Emirates a couple of weeks ago.

That fantastic run has seen Arsenal shoot to 2nd in the table, and tonight they had a golden opportunity to go level with points with Manchester City, with a game in hand. A win in that game would put us in pole position to secure 2nd place – meaning we wouldn’t need to play a Champions League qualifying game in early August.

As it stands, the defeat to Swansea means that if we lose our next game (which is at Old Trafford) then we’d drop to 4th place with a game in hand. Then we’d need to win against Sunderland (who are fighting for their lives) and West Bromwich Albion – a game which is right before the FA Cup final against Aston Villa.

Arsenal know how to make things difficult for themselves don’t they?

After seemingly being in a position where 2nd place was a certainty, we could now conceivably finish 4th once again. Finishing 2nd would be fantastic and signal a big improvement on previous seasons, whereas another 4th place finish would just be frustrating and give those Arsenal fans who want Arsene Wenger to leave more than enough ammunition to go on the attack.

So what are your thoughts? Have Arsenal been fantastic and should we be thankful they are in the position they are now? Or is it the same old Arsenal again who bottle it when it matters most?

Have your say in the comments section below!

Why Thierry Henry Was Right About Olivier Giroud

First of all, Thierry Henry is an Arsenal legend and probably the greatest player to have ever worn the red and white of Arsenal. So when he says something, you listen.

He’s won everything the game has to offer (although not the Ballon d’Or which still irks me to this day because he should have won it at least twice) and his opinion is something which should be respected. It seems however that his remarks regarding Olivier Giroud have sparked some kind of debate amongst Arsenal fans.

His opinion was that like Chelsea, Arsenal need to invest in a new spine. That includes a world-class goalkeeper, midfielder and striker – and in Henry’s opinion, Olivier Giroud is not the man who can fire Arsenal to Premier League or Champions League glory.

But is that a fair conclusion?

Let’s look at the previous Premier League winners and the top goalscorers:

2014 – Manchester City – Luis Suarez (31 goals)
2013 – Manchester United – Robin van Persie (26)
2012 – Manchester City – Robin van Persie (30)
2011 – Manchester United – Carlos Tevez / Dimitar Berbatov (20)
2010 – Chelsea – Didier Drogba (29)
2009 – Manchester United – Nicklas Anelka (19)
2008 – Manchester United – Cristiano Ronaldo (31)
2007 – Manchester United – Didier Drogba (20)
2006 – Chelsea – Thierry Henry (27)
2005 – Chelsea – Thierry Henry (25)

So as you can see, from the last 10 seasons the champions that year had the top scorer a total of four times.

But interestingly, in every one of the last 10 seasons the top scorer has been playing for a team that has always ended up on the Top Four, and most of the time their team has finished at least second in the league.

So a world-class player who can score at least 20 goals a season is vital if you want to really compete for the Premier League title.

This season, with 4/5 games remaining, Olivier Giroud has scored 14 league goals. Chelsea’s top scorer, Diego Costa sits on 19 goals, although he has missed quite a few games through injury – and at the moment it’s Sergio Agüero who is top of the charts on 21 goals so far.

So is Olivier Giroud the man who can lead Arsenal to Premier League or even Champions League glory?

Sadly, the answer is no.

As you can see from the last 10 seasons, only on 3 occasions has the top scorer only scored around 20 goals. Most of the time the top scorer has scored at least 25 goals, scoring closer to 30 goals in a whole season. As it stands, unless Giroud scores a brace in all our remaining games he’s well off that total.

Now I’m not disputing his quality and what he brings to the team. Currently, he is our main striker who brings others into play – he does score goals and how we are playing at the moment suits his style. But there’s no doubt that if we had a world-class striker, we would probably be much closer to Chelsea right now.

It’s a point which has been raised time and time again, but would Giroud get into any other top sides? Would be get a place at Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City? The answer is probably not.

Monaco was probably the biggest indicator that we badly missed a world-class finisher. You cannot argue that if we had Aguero, Suarez, Diego Costa or Wayne Rooney then we’d be a better team.

We’ve spent mega money on Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez who are both world-class forwards, but we just need that special striker to finish off the team.

Like it or not, Arsene Wenger needs to spend big this summer on a world-class striker who can score from nothing – which we’ve missed, especially in tight games which we’ve failed to break down the opposition.

Congratulations To Chelsea Football Club

Well there we have it, the game ended in a 0-0 draw and forget about the mathematics, that’s the title going to Stamford Bridge.

So congratulations to Chelsea.

Even if Arsenal won the match, it would have still been pretty impossible to win the league. For a while now, the title has been destined to go to Chelsea and the big question wasn’t if but when.

The Chelsea players, lead by John Terry, punch the air at the final whistle and can you blame them? Making sure they didn’t lose against Arsenal was the last big hurdle they had to face and the got past it.

For me, a win against Chelsea was not to fight for the title, but to give the team confidence going into the final few games and to secure that coveted second place in the Premier League. We are a point behind Manchester City but have a game in hand, so hopefully we can get 3 points in that game and regain second spot.

So todays match and what can you say?

Chelsea defended like we know they can, and they’ve been doing this for years. If you need a clean sheet, then this Chelsea side can do it with no problems whatsoever. When they are setup to defend it is pretty much impossible to get through.

Two seasons ago when Chelsea got to the Champions League final using the same tactics, they were given all the plaudits for their approach. They got past teams like Barcelona and Bayern Munich to lift the trophy and personally I admired what they did. Chelsea are a team full of winners, and always have that winning mentality. They don’t care if they play good football or boring football, all they care about is winning trophies.

And today was the same. They only needed a draw (despite what Mourinho came out with in the pre-match press conference) and they played deep and tried to get us on the break.

To Arsenal’s credit, they usually failed against this Chelsea approach but whenever they did attack on the break, they showed maturity and took a couple of cheap bookings to make sure Chelsea didn’t score that sucker punch that they usually get at The Emirates.

It was a game that Arsenal probably would have lost in previous seasons – attacking for the winner and then conceding a goal on the break from the opposition – so a point and stretching our unbeaten run isn’t a terrible thing.

For all Arsenal’s attacking, you just knew there would be few clear cut changes to get a goal against a resilient Chelsea side and with minutes remaining, Arsenal fashioned that chance.

Some smart play from Alexis Sanchez on the left played in Nacho Monreal, who picked out Mesut Özil in the centre. With the german playmaker 3 yards away from goal, he completely miscued his shot and missed the ball completely.

THAT was the chance to score and take home all 3 points.

As it was, it wasn’t to be and Arsenal’s already slim chances to catching Chelsea disappeared. It was a valiant effort from Arsenal who never gave up hope of scoring that vital goal, but the goal was just out of our reach.

Arsenal can be proud of their performance because against a stubborn side like Chelsea who were hell bent on not conceding, we couldn’t have done much else. Some of our play was intricate and incisive but with no space to play that killer pass our task was a virtually impossible one.

Remember it’s not as if we failed to score against any side – we were up against probably the best defensive side (when setup like they did today) in world football. They’ve won many trophies that way and they’ve even won the Champions League against the best sides in Europe playing that way.

At the end of the day, Arsenal went for it and gave everything they had – and with a bit of luck (the Mertesacker and Özil chances in particular) we could have taken all 3 points.

It’s a credit to Arsenal and how respected they are by Chelsea that they needed to play like that today. They knew that if they gave Arsenal an inch today we would have beaten them this afternoon. For Chelsea to play so cautiously and almost be afraid of Arsenal, is a credit to how we’ve been performing recently.

Alexis Sanchez Deserves To Be Player Of The Year, Not Eden Hazard

I don’t understand how everyone seems to think that Eden Hazard has had a better season than Alexis Sanchez?

Hazard has been tipped to easily win the Player of the Year awards this season and to me that is preposterous! Alexis Sanchez has been far better and done a lot more to deserve the accolade.

On a straight statistical shootout, Alexis Sanchez wins hands down. Both players have (co-incidently) played 45 games for their clubs this season, and while Sanchez has scored 22 goals, Hazard has only scored 18.

Then we come to assists. In all competitions, Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard are both tied on 12 assists apiece.

And finally, we come to other match statistics:

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 13.25.23

[Courtesy of the Squawka Comparison Matrix]

You can see that Alexis Sanchez has a better shooting accuracy, wins more tackles and makes more interceptions.

So as well has been more effective in an attacking sense than Eden Hazard, he also works much harder for the team defensively (and we all knew that as we see him close down and track back for pretty much the whole match – in every game).

So individually Sanchez is better, and he is more of a team player.

Then we have other factors. Eden Hazard has been at Chelsea for 3 years now, so is much more comfortable in a side which he has grown and developed. Alexis Sanchez however only joined Arsenal in the summer and despite moving to a brand new country and having to familiarise himself with new teammates (who don’t even speak the same language as him) he has putting in phenomenal performances throughout the season.

Another factor is how the player makes the fans feel. How many times has Sanchez excited the fans? He tracks down players, shows moments of brilliance with his skill and can score goals from 30 yards. He scores all kinds of goals, including headers, and has been played in several different positions throughout the season.

Eden Hazard has a whole team based around his game and while he has been skilful, he scores similar types of goals.

Hopefully people voting will take a look closer at the facts when deciding who is their Player of the Year, but I fear that they will take the “easy option” and just vote for the Chelsea man.