Would You Be Happy Signing Lacazette If That Meant Sanchez Was Leaving?

I seemed to have upset a lot of Arsenal fans earlier today when I suggested that Alexandre Lacazette was a massive downgrade from Alexis Sanchez. The fact of the matter is, Alexis Sanchez came from Barcelona, having already won trophies, proving himself as a world class talent in both Spain and Italy – whereas Alexandre Lacazette has done well in the French League and is the national teams understudy to Oliver Giroud.

So how some fans are getting all upset about saying Alexis Sanchez is better than Alexandre Lacazette is beyond me!

But let me ask you this question – if signing Alexandre Lacazette meant Alexis Sanchez was leaving Arsenal would you be happy?

Exactly.

I rest my case.

Make No Mistake, Alexandre Lacazette Is A Huge Downgrade On Alexis Sanchez

With the signing of Alexandre Lacazette imminent, Arsenal will complete their second signing of the summer, after bringing in Sead Kolasinac from Schalke.

And the reported fee of around £52 million will mean we have smashed our transfer record by some margin, eclipsing the fee paid to Real Madrid for Mesut Özil in the summer of 2013.

But is this guy any good?

Well from what I’ve seen, he scores a lot of penalties. And he’s quite quick – not Thierry Henry or Theo Walcott quick, but not as slow as Olivier Giroud.

He’s scored a lot of goals in Ligue 1 but so had Giroud. I’m a bit conflicted about his signing and if every Arsenal fan was honest with themselves, they know in their hearts that Alexis Sanchez is the far better player – and unfortunately signing Lacazette will mean the departure of Sanchez.

It’s clear that with Alexandre Lacazette is a replacement for Alexis Sanchez. Manchester City are reportedly willing to pay £50 million for the Chilean, co-incidently a similar fee that we’re going to pay for Lacazette.

Alexandre Lacazette’s scoring record is good but in comparison to Alexis Sanchez’s 30 goals and 13 assists for Arsenal last season, they are inferior. Of course, football isn’t all about statistics but for all of Arsenal’s talk of winning the Premier League title then this signing is significantly below our expectations.

I don’t doubt that Alexandre Lacazette is a decent player. But after all the drama with Arsene Wenger’s contract situation, the abuse aimed at the Arsenal manager, then the club talking about pushing on next season and wanting to win the Premier League – it’s clear they need to sign world class players who are ready to help the club reach that next level.

Will Kolasinac and Lacazette do this? I highly doubt it.

Do You Want Mesut Özil To Leave, Or Stay At Arsenal?

The future of Alexis Sanchez is still up in the air, with the forward strongly linked with a move to Manchester City. Some people have said that it would be worth keeping him for the last 12 months of his contract but we all know how football works these days – and there’s no way in hell Arsene Wenger or Arsenal would turn down something in the region on £50 million if that was offered. We might strengthen a rival but that’s the game today and unfortunately, how Arsenal conduct transfer business. We’ve sold players to Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the past, so Sanchez to City shouldn’t surprise anyone.

But I digress, it is our other superstar player I wanted to talk about this morning.

Mesut Özil is the other big player who is stalling on a new contract but unlike Sanchez doesn’t seem to be looking for a move away from The Emirates – although that may not be down to him. Alexis Sanchez is a player who has been linked with Bayern Munich, PSG, Manchester City and even Chelsea over recent months – with the vultures circling ever since it was revealed Sanchez wasn’t signing a new deal. For Mesut Özil on the other hand, there have been absolutely no links to him potential signing for anyone else.

Why is that?

Is it because he is a luxury player that no big side that wants to win things can have in their starting line up? Is it because he’s overrated?

Özil is a player who divides opinion and it’s almost as if Arsenal fans need to convince themselves thats Özil is a useful player who Arsenal need. But is he world class?

It is generally accepted that if Alexis Sanchez left Arsenal, it would be a disaster. But what about Özil? Do Arsenal fans care if he did leave?

The strange thing is, even if Özil does keep stalling on a new deal, then there might not be any clubs out there who would buy him anyway!

So do you want Mesut Özil to stay? Or would you prefer if he left and Arsenal spent the money on someone else? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

10 Iconic Premier League Moments

The Premiership as we know it was founded in February 1992, when it was decided English leagues needed to be improved so they could compete with international leagues. Up until it was founded much of the football in Great Britain had a bad reputation, caused by violent fans, poor revenue and the loss of talent to clubs belonging to Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A, among, others.

The Premiership is made up of twenty teams that battle it out to avoid relegation. The three teams that end the season with the lowest points in the league are forced into move down to the championship. In return the top two teams in the Championship move into the Premier League. Top scorers in positions 3-6 then face a playoff competitions to battle it out the one remaining place in the Premiership. This system works all the way through the Football league from the premiership through to the lower divisions.

Over the years since it began the Premier League can be credited with the improvements of many football stadiums in the UK, and due to its popularity more and more avenues for income are being founded in the sport. Not only can you go to your chosen club to support your team, with or without a club membership, but you can also visit these stadiums in style by opting to experience a sports hospitality package delivered by your chosen club.

For many football fans across the world the Premier League has become one of the most prolific leagues in the history of the sport. In fact the premier league itself can be credited with making football more popular than ever. Now we have international players that aspire to be a part of our football leagues.

During its reasonably short history the Premier League has provided fans, players and many more with incidents that may have been missed if the league hadn’t existed. Ten of our favourites are listed below.

1. David Beckham’s Epic Goal 

If you were to ask any fan about the greatest goal ever scored in the Premiership then David Beckham’s halfway line goal against Wimbledon might just be it.

You wouldn’t be forgiven for forgetting just how unbelievable Beckham was with a football. His strike was incredible. In fact skills like his had not been seen in English football, before he made his name in the sport. Aged twenty one at the game in question, Beckham made sure that he would go down in history by showing off his talent.

The former united player is now retired from football but remains one of the most influential men in world when it comes to the sport. In fact the term bend it like Beckham was born from his amazing ability with a ball.

2. Wayne Rooney aged 16 at Arsenal

No self-respecting football fan would be forgiven for forgetting the way that Wayne Rooney burst onto the scene aged just sixteen.

At the time the youngster was on a meagre £80. He was bought on to face Arsenal who at the time were at the top of their game. Proving that it wasn’t going to faze him, or dull his skills on the pitch, Rooney ended Arsenals 30 game unbeaten roll with an outstanding goal. He actually took the ball down on his shoulder, span it and curled it into the goal off the top of the bar.

The goal and Rooney went down in history as he became the Premier Leagues youngest ever Goal scorer.

3. Ouch Suarez

Even non-football fans will forget this one!

Yes, Luis Suarez is undoubtedly a talented player and yes, he seems to be indispensable, but one moment he will never be forgotten for is when he decided to take a chunk out of Branislav Ivanovic during a Liverpool home game against Chelsea. Unfortunately it wasn’t easy to see the offending bite immediately however when inspected it was clear to see. The talented player simply saw red, He isn’t the only player to be responsible for misconduct on the pitch but this is one incident that will certainly be remembered! Suarez now plays as a striker for FC Barcelona.

4. The Eric Cantona Kick

One of United’s most iconic players managed to get himself a whopping nine month ban in 1995. After finding himself sent off in a game against Crystal Palace, Eric Cantona faced a barrage of abuse from the home fans. One fan in particular felt the wrath of Cantona as he reacted to the abuse with a full on kung fu kick! Fortunately the kick didn’t actually hit the fan but the attempt was there. Manchester United were expected to drop the Frenchman following his unacceptable behaviour, however they supported him and saw him come back to play for them and re build his reputation.

5. Liverpool’s 4-3 match Against Newcastle 

Arguably one of the greatest matches in Premier League history is the match that took place at Anfield Liverpool in the spring of 1996.

At the time Newcastle and Liverpool were great rivals and played some amazing games, this one fixture however stood out from all others. Stan Collymore managed to score an amazing goal during the final minutes of the game resulting in a thrilling end to an amazing battle.

This match is possibly one of Liverpool’s most iconic and any fan will recall the tension as the game was played out at Liverpool’s home ground.

6. Wayne Rooney, again 

You have to forgive us for giving Rooney more than one mention. It doesn’t matter who you support but talent should be recognised by all football fans. After all if you’re not a United fan then you are likely to be jealous that this one isn’t on your side.

His first goal in the premiership was amazing, but this one is one he will take with him until his retirement. It was perhaps his greatest ever goal.

At the time Rooney had publically expressed a desire to leave Man United – a statement that didn’t go down well with any of the fans. Following a discussion with bosses, he later changed his mind but was forced to win the favour of the supporters that had been effected by his attitude towards leaving.

So Rooney did what he does best, he reacted to a well deflected cross and showed off with an overhead kick that resulted in an amazing goal. His efforts secured a victory for Man United over their major rivals.

7. Manchester United and Extra time 

The term ‘Fergie Time’ is a well-known one in football today and refers to a time when, seemingly, former Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, gained extra injury time at home games.

The extra time seemed to come about when United were losing and it gave them the extra they needed to ensure that the opposition conceded more goals.

Following his retirement the former boss shockingly admitted that he did lay on the pressure to referees to award extra time.

In a bid to discover if the extra time branded Fergie time actually existed the BBC launched an investigation that worked out the average extra time United managed to get at home. It was discovered that they did in fact receive just over a minute in extra time every time they were losing a match, as opposed to any extra time that was awarded in games that they were winning!

8. Thierry Henry is made a statue in awe of a particular!

Thierry Henry not only managed to impress everyone at Arsenals game against Tottenham in 2002, he also made an impact so strong a statue was erected in his honour.

The goal in question was scored in a solo run, whilst it appeared that he was perhaps a little arrogant in his celebrations and with his ability, it can’t be argued that the goal was anything other than remarkable.

He certainly deserves a mention and his iconic status at Arsenal. Since his time in the Premiership he has gone on to represent Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls.

9. Keane and Vieira Battle it Out

The Premier League has not been without its fair share of rivalry in the game. But not many could compare to the battles that Man United and Arsenal have endured.

For almost ten years both teams fought for the title between them at the end of the season. Captains Keane and Vieira took charge of the rivalry that occasionally went beyond the sides of the football pitch!

Perhaps greatest example of this rivalry was lived out in the tunnel at Highbury in 2005, when Keane was offended by comments Vieira made to Gary Neville.

10. Di Canio’s Moments of Fair and Foul Play 

Paolo di Canio could possibly have scored one of the greatest goals in Premier League history, during his days on the pitch, but it is perhaps one particular moment of sportsmanship that cements the memory of his game in the Premiership.

Everton’s goalkeeper, Paul Gerrard, collapsed with an injury and di Canio picked up the ball and stopped the game. It would have been all too easy for him to have taken advantage of the situation and score a goal. Rather than halt proceedings to make sure that the keeper got the medical attention that he required.

This was a true display of sportsmanship and proved that the game that was fast being commercialised still held on to old fashioned traditions. First of all who would want to score a goal that was so easy? Where is the skill involved in that? Secondly what is the point of the game if it is unfair? Di Canio surprisingly did what he would expect another player to do in return.

Greatest Comebacks in Champions League History

The Champions League is seen by all fans around the world as the absolute pinnacle of football, even considered higher, by many, than international football. The best clubs from all around Europe pit themselves against each other in the ultimate tournament to see who comes out on tip. Sometimes there are upsets where the leading team in the world gets stuffed by a minnow but other times, the unexpected threatens to happen but the losing team find a way to defy the odds and come back. With this in mind we decided to list what we consider to be the greatest comebacks in the history of the Champions League. (not in order of greatness).

Deportivo La Coruna vs. AC Milan, 2004 – (Losing 4-1) Won 5-4

No doubt about this one being one of the most outrageous comebacks the CL has ever seen, trailing 4-1 from the first leg quarter final against the holders A.C Milan, Deportivo La Coruna fired back to win 5-4 on aggregate and meet F.C. Porto in the Semi’s. Beautifully orchestrated from midfield by the one and only Juan Carlos Valeron the Galicians hit the team from Italy with both barrels going 3 goals up in the first half thanks to Valeron, Pandiani and Luque, wiping out Milan’s first leg advantage. With 13 minutes remaining RCD club captain Fran struck a volley sweetly and it nestled in the back of the net to cement this comeback as one of the best ever probably paying out ridiculous amounts on football bets all over Europe.

Liverpool vs. AC Milan, 2005 – (Losing 3-0) Levelled to 3-3 & Won on penalties

No list of the greatest Champions League comebacks is complete without this one, The Miracle of Istanbul. A.C. Milan, with a star studded squad including Pirlo, Kaka, Shevchenko et all were leading 3-0 at half time and on their way to European Triumph, only, nobody thought to tell Liverpool that I was done and dusted. The reds flew out of the traps at half time and set about reducing the deficit, club captain Steven Gerrard notching the first, Smicer adding the second 2 minutes later and Xabi Alonso completing the unlikely comeback a further 5 minutes after. After both teams battled to come out on top throughout regulation and extra time, the game went to penalties. Liverpool triumphed from the spot marking this game as one of the most talked about in the history of football.

Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain, 2017 (Losing 4-0) Won 6-5

The most recent on this list and seemingly, one of the most unlikely given the score line, Barca trailed PSG 4-0 from the first leg of the Champions League last 16 and seemed to be down and out, especially when even after Barca pulled 3 goals back, Cavani scored for PSG to give them the edge on away goals. It was 5-3 to PSG when in the 88th minute Neymar curled in a pearler of a free kick, and just 2 minutes later was hauled down for a penalty and dully tucked it away. With the scores at 5-5 PSG still went through on away goals but in the 95th minute stand-in right back Sergi Roberto for Barcelona popped up in the most unlikely of positions and managed to score. Camp Nou erupted as did much of the football watching world to the biggest comeback of the last decade.

Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich, 1999 (Losing 1-0) Won 2-1

As they were prior to Alex Ferguson’s arrival, Manchester United are forever in Liverpool’s shadow in the comeback stakes with everyone remembering the Miracle in Istanbul and not many ever mentioning this game. United were second best for much of the contest after Bayern took an early lead through Mario Basler. It took until the 91st minute for United to equalise through Teddy Sheringham and level the tie. With golden goal extra time looming, uniteds late goal specialist Ole Gunnar Solskjaer popped up and scored in the 93rd minute to send the Red Devil’s fans into a rampage and claim the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea vs. Napoli, 2012

Another often overlooked achievement is when the terrible looking Chelsea of 2012 managed to scrape themselves a UEFA Champions League Trophy. The team was serious struggling but managed to win the entire tournament and there’s no doubt that this game was the catalyst. After losing the first leg 3-1 many thought it was all over for the Blues but even after Napolie scored again, Chelsea managed to level it up at 4-4 and take it to extra time with goals from Lampard, Terry and Drogba. Salvation came in the form of Branislav Ivanovic who scored in extra time to send Chelsea through and on their way to win the whole thing!