Latest Arsenal and Manchester United News, Transfer Updates, Match Day previews and reviews of EPL and Champions League. Blog by passionate supporters.
This what your ARSEDEVILS Blog Ad will look like to visitors! Of course you will want to use keywords and ad targeting to get the most out of your ad campaign! So purchase an ad space today before there all gone!
notice: Total Ad Spaces Available: (2) ad spaces remaining of (2)
Manchester United signed Edinson Cavani during the climax of the summer transfer window as an answer to their lack of backup strikers. Odion Ighalo was signed up for the same reason but failed to make any real impact when he was given chances. Adding that to an unsustainable habit of switching Marcus Rashford between the... The post How Edinson Cavani Fits In At Manchester Utd Alongside The Likes of Rashford and Martial ? appeared first on...
Manchester United signed Edinson Cavani during the climax of the summer transfer window as an answer to their lack of backup strikers. Odion Ighalo was signed up for the same reason but failed to make any real impact when he was given chances. Adding that to an unsustainable habit of switching Marcus Rashford between the flanks and the striker position, it was inevitable that a signing had to be made to fill the gap.
The answer was the Uruguayan, who had just run down his contract at Paris Saint-Germain. Cavani was then brought in on a 1-year deal for free (with an option to extend for another year). The striker inherited the infamous No. 7 shirt and is now on a path of recovery to feature in the Premier League. But how exactly does the Uruguayan international fit in at United, and what does he bring to the side? Let’s have a look.
Edinson Cavani has always been known as a lethal and clinical finisher. The forward has performed at the highest level for a consistent period, not just for his clubs, but also on the international stage. The former Napoli man has scored a total of 200 goals in 301 appearances for PSG, whilst also registering 43 assists. These numbers are not casual by any means.
His strength lets him hold onto the ball and make intelligent passes into the final third. Moreover, being an aerial threat, the veteran has a big advantage over the current United strikers. Unquestionably, he can be a great asset to any side he plays for, but the question lies in where he finds himself playing at Old Trafford. Rashford and Anthony Martial are almost guaranteed starters for two out of the three front three spots. Chances for the ex-Palermo man will be hard to come by in the current circumstances.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already tried out numerous systems during his time so far at Old Trafford. In one of those systems, he boasts an 11% loss rate, a 4-1-2-1-2 diamond formation. The Norwegian implemented this system with Rashford and Martial up top and has managed to fetch results by playing a deep block.
Should injuries or suspensions void the English giants of their best forwards, pairing one of them up top with Edinson Cavani would not be a far-fetched idea. The Uruguay national team was the only side that played two strikers up top consistently during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The United striker’s partnership with Luis Suarez made their side devastating attacking wise, as the diamond midfield behind them supported during pressing and long-range goals.
This system also ensures the inclusion of Donny van de Beek in a box-to-box role, accompanied by Paul Pogba next to him and Bruno Fernandes ahead with Nemanja Matic at the base of the midfield. Cavani can draw in defenders and markers from midfield by virtue of which he can create space for his striking partner and midfielders to overload the opposition half to create a chance and force errors.
Although this does sound like a very exciting setup, this requires Nemanja Matic to take up a lot of responsibility in midfield — having to cover for all of the midfielders who will be joining the attack. Plus the system requires the team to play more liberally which is arguably Solskjaer’s biggest weakness as someone who likes to sit deep and wait for a counter-attacking opportunity.
The 33-year-old’s profile does not seem like the one the Mancunians needed right now, given the fact that youngsters will be prioritised in the pecking order. But that implies he won’t make an impact. In cup games and fringe games of the Premier League, the Red Devils are free to experiment with systems and deploy a side that is more liberal to play a diamond formation. If not, Cavani will just have to pray for an injury that will allow him to showcase his worth.
The post How Edinson Cavani Fits In At Manchester Utd Alongside The Likes of Rashford and Martial ? appeared first on Arsedevils.
Arsenal v Leicester is normally a testing fixture but at least Jamie Vardy started on the bench, which was encouraging for at least the first 45 minutes. Vardy had profited richly from playing against the Gunners, with 10 goals from 11 games and although Arteta had added wisely to his squad in the summer, Vardy... The post Key Lessons Learned as Jamie Vardy Profits Once Again Against Goal Shy Arsenal appeared first on...
Arsenal v Leicester is normally a testing fixture but at least Jamie Vardy started on the bench, which was encouraging for at least the first 45 minutes. Vardy had profited richly from playing against the Gunners, with 10 goals from 11 games and although Arteta had added wisely to his squad in the summer, Vardy always manages to find a way into the final draft of the script.
Thomas Partey was included in midfield with Dani Ceballos and the side, on paper at least, looked fairly balanced. Pepe and Willian were dispensed with in favour of the in-form Bukayo Saka, which tells you that neither the Frenchman nor the Brazilian have impressed enough to shake off the enthusiastic 19-year-old.
James Maddison immediately showed why Arsenal were interested in the midfielder when Leno added to his collection of scuff foot clearances (2). Maddison tried his luck from at least 40 yards, but it drifted out of harm’s way. 4 minutes in and Arsenal briefly took the lead from a Lacazette header, but it was cancelled out when Granit Xhaka was ruled offside.
The Arsenal v Leicester was a pretty even game after 20 minutes, not enormously tactical, more of a type of edgy freestyle football. Arsenal were looking good and despite the even possession percentages, the Gunners were easily the better side but Leicester were still a threat and could soak up everything that came their way, which was a major concern.
Xhaka delivered a lovely ball to Lacazette (21) who fed Saka in-field. The youngster’s effort was saved by Schmeichel, but Arsenal were turning the screw on the Foxes at the Emirates. Bellerin and Tierney were starting to feature on the flanks and the Spaniard, who has had his critics looked full of menace and running from around the 25th minute playing a cute ball for Lacazette which deserved better.
It was then Tierney’s turn to try to get the French striker on the scoresheet and his cross onto Lacazette’s head was just a little too high for comfort. The second saw the striker pull out when Fuchs put his foot up high but the chances were all Arsenal’s.
In recent matches, I commented that Arsenal have looked a little lopsided on either the left or right flanks but they were starting to incorporate the middle as a gateway to the goal. The pity was that they lapsed into using the trusted passing path of left to right, right up left, and backward which is as frustrating as it is dull, with the middle becoming a last resort.
Arsenal need to get the ball out quicker and if it’s down the flanks, then the team has to rush forward to provide targets for a quick release. If it’s through the middle, they need to push with intent, have an overlap, or rush forward at the last minute, in Aaron Ramsey style. Speed and quality of service is a major issue and if Arteta wants goals from his captain, he’ll need to work out how to get him in a position to get them. Lacazette’s central striker role looks incredibly vulnerable.
Back to the Arsenal v Leicester game, where Gabriel popped a ball over the defence for Saka, who was judged to be offside, and then Ceballos tried to supply the youngster but his finish deserted him (42). Saka suffered from a swing leg, a condition where the eye and brain aren’t quick enough to relay the command to the limb to kick a ball in time or accurately. However, Saka was surely destined to get a goal for his relentless chasing and animated approach to the contest.
As half time approached, it appeared that, yet again, Arsenal had lost an opportunity with the slim pickings that were available. It continues to frustrate that Lacazette appears to need six chances to convert, whereas if Aubameyang were in his slot, Arsenal could have been two goals to the good. Alright, that’s perhaps generous, but at least one goal would have been an agreeable and deserved result by the end of the first 45.
Vardy would be on for at least 20 minutes a friend concluded in almost morose tones, but I informed him that Arsenal could and should have wrapped up the Arsenal v Leicester game by the time he arrived, assuming he wouldn’t come out from the start of the second half.
The second half drama unfolded with the exit of David Luiz and the appearance of Shkodran Mustafi (49). The Brazilian looked to have tweaked a muscle, but more importantly, Arsenal now needed the German to put in a solid shift.
As Luiz made his way off the pitch, he took with him the ability to play inventive and penetrating balls into the danger areas. The ‘pplsqzwqs‘ springy haired CB was streets ahead of anyone else in an Arsenal shirt and say what you like, but he is a fine passer of the leather sphere.
For the pessimists, this looked like the perfect time to bring on Jamie Vardy to test the fitness levels of the former World Cup winner. Vardy would also find that Xhaka would make a good target because of his notoriously heavy legs.
The Arsenal v Leicester game was struggling to find its rhythm and had lost some momentum, which would probably change with a substitution or two. From 54 minutes, Leicester decided to take random shots at the Arsenal goal with James Maddison assuming the role of a sniper. The first was from the halfway line, there or thereabouts and the next was from about 23 yards out, which showed signs of desperation or the belief that Leno would be caught out.
Vardy was preparing himself to enter the action as Lacazette’s frustrations managed to get him a yellow card. At this point, I concluded that just one goal would be enough to grab all three points but who would take control? Arsenal deserved to take the lead when Aubameyang suddenly sprang into life (68) delivering a cross for Bellerin to volley but Schmeichel managed to slap it away.
Then Vardy clicked for the Foxes, lifting the ball over the Arsenal backline, for the recent Barnes replacement Cengiz Under, to fluff his lines but Vardy wasn’t finished there. Under repaid the favour after receiving a delightful pass from Tielemens (80), which he crossed for the Leicester striker to head home.
I had a familiar ring to it all, regrets, chances squandered, and Jamie Vardy. Brendan Rodgers side endured an hour of resistance and then sent on his talisman to do what he does best, with Leicester more than capable of locking the doors for a win.
It appeared that the problem was not only a lack of quality and creativity this time around, but composure and lack of service (again). Aubameyang deserves more than this to help his side in the goals department. With the Luiz injury (hamstring), Arteta may have to also reconsider his options or pray for the return of Pablo Mari, because Mustafi continues to be a poor alternative and Xhaka is no full-back.
Vardy then got a chance to add a second but in the battle of wills between striker and keeper, Vardy blinked first and Leno stood firm, not that it would make much difference to the eventual outcome of the Arsenal v Leicester tie.
Not the result anyone wanted, but strangely the one that seemed most likely. Until Arsenal can see off the Leicester’s of this world, real progress will be hard to note.
The post Key Lessons Learned as Jamie Vardy Profits Once Again Against Goal Shy Arsenal appeared first on Arsedevils.
There’s no pleasure to be gained from Mesut Ozil’s current snub from his employer. Notice that I don’t reference Arsenal as his club because Ozil hasn’t played in his midfield role for over seven months. The combustible relationship between the pair has deteriorated to such a degree that this is purely a matter between an employee... The post Özil’s statement is more evidence of the gulf between the player and his club appeared first on...
There’s no pleasure to be gained from Mesut Ozil’s current snub from his employer. Notice that I don’t reference Arsenal as his club because Ozil hasn’t played in his midfield role for over seven months. The combustible relationship between the pair has deteriorated to such a degree that this is purely a matter between an employee and their employer.
Unfortunately, football isn’t subject to the same rules that govern a normal workplace because it’s a situation where the employer can justify their selection or non-selection on merit. This decision is assumed, to be honest, and subjective, with the employee entitled to receive their agreed wage whether they play or not.
No rules have been broken here, but the circumstances are devastatingly sad for both. Arsenal, a club considered to be classy by its fan base, have acted abysmally towards the German. In turn, the midfield playmaker has purposefully and continuously embarked on a course that has frequently led to confrontation due to the player’s actions or comments.
No player has to suppress their own beliefs, values, or ideals, but this is one example where the employee expressly went against the wishes of the employer and cost the business money, and generated unwelcome publicity in the process.
In most normal businesses, an employee would have to adopt the company’s position or standpoint without question and you’d expect the same of a highly paid sportsman who is employed to play football, not give opinions, political or otherwise. Crusades are fine when there aren’t commercial ramifications and those opinions or beliefs can be best served after a career has ended.
I agree with Ozil that the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China is no less worthy of note than the BLM movement, but he is not in a position to offer an opinion when it impacts Arsenal. His comments on social media regarding selection and availability seriously harmed his selected by his manager because they are seen as a direct challenge to the club’s authority,
Arteta is no longer in a position to work with the player because for every positive step going forward, there are more in the opposite direction and at the same time, the player refuses to concede his position. This is not about the German’s ability, it’s not about his quality or Ozil as a footballer, this is a complicated, embarrassing, public mess that has spilled out into the public domain.
Thank goodness, it will end soon, but both parties are still keen to win the public relations’ battle, with Arteta admitting his failure to bring out the best in Ozil and Ozil trying to express his disappointment at his exclusion from the squad in his final year at Arsenal. The German tweeted:
“I love Arsenal but it saddens me that it has not been reciprocated.”
“Loyalty is hard to come by”
He went on:
“Before the Coronavirus break, I was really happy with the development under the new coach Mikel Artetabut then things changed again and I was no longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.”
This dreadful divorce continues to limp on regardless and in the coming years, Ozil will drop the bomb on his last 18 months at Arsenal under Emery and Arteta. No doubt any forthcoming book will be explosive, commanding a substantial publishing fee, but then again, making money has never been Ozil’s problem has it?
The post Özil’s statement is more evidence of the gulf between the player and his club appeared first on Arsedevils.
It’s always troubled me when a club of Arsenal’s stature allow an obvious talent to slip through their fingers, but the North London club have had plenty of practice either through negligence or to fund incoming transfers. Serge Gnabry is one talent that easily comes to mind and had Folarin Balogun (19) been allowed to leave, it would... The post Arsenal Looking to Tie Down Another Key Asset With Contract Extension Rumour appeared first on...
It’s always troubled me when a club of Arsenal’s stature allow an obvious talent to slip through their fingers, but the North London club have had plenty of practice either through negligence or to fund incoming transfers. Serge Gnabry is one talent that easily comes to mind and had Folarin Balogun (19) been allowed to leave, it would have been a similar loss.
Rumours are that Edu and Per Mertesacker have had meetings to prevent the youngster from heading away from the Emirates. It’s no secret that BFG is a huge admirer of the American, who scored 10 goals in 15 games for the under 23’s last season and accordingly to popular bookies like Betway, Balogun is still odds on favourite to leave on a free transfer once this season concludes.
Chris Wilder recently offered £3m to take him to Sheffield United, but Arsenal declined the bid immediately. Championship club Brentford were also interested in picking up the athletic, natural finisher but the negotiations for a £5m fee came to an abrupt halt.
If this rumour is true, it’s entirely welcome but Balogun’s good fortune could mean an exit elsewhere for an academy prospect. Martinelli, Nketiah, and Balogun will be the main trio to emerge and progress to the first team. The others behind them may find it extremely difficult to jump the queue especially once Martinelli has recovered from injury. Plus with Arteta making quite an impact in the early stages of the season, Arsenal have increasingly become better placed to secure a top four spot this season and Balogun might just place a part off the bench in that.
With recent performances, Brands like Betway have started offering distinctly better odds on Arsenal securing a coveted Champions League spot this season for which their striking depth in their squad will be extremely crucial. Martinelli, Nketiah, and Balogun will all be extremely vital if Arsenal intend to fully compete in four competitions this season.
What has helped sway people towards this rumour is the fact that Balogun has increasingly become more involved in first team training over the past month. This notable change of late, has seen Balogun having trained with Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad twice during the past couple of weeks, having previously been left out of involvement with the senior side altogether. With possibilities now arising of him being involved in the Europa League and FA cup competitions as one of the young players who can be named as substitutes in the team.
Folarin Balogun has every chance of establishing himself within the next 4 or 5 seasons. The striker has excellent balance, vision, and poise. He’s a competitor but he’s also agile, aggressive, and quick, which made the thought of his departure even harder to swallow.
Fingers crossed, this rumour has some foundation. It would be more evidence of Arteta and Edu Gasper’s ability to hold on to their best talent with their joint persuasive powers and vision.
The post Arsenal Looking to Tie Down Another Key Asset With Contract Extension Rumour appeared first on Arsedevils.
I understand that Arsene Wenger suffered as a result of his dismissal, especially at the hands of Ivan Gazidis. That decision made Wenger reluctant to take up another post in the sport and as a result he disappeared off the radar to lick his wounds. Wenger was a loyal servant of the club, he masterminded... The post Exclusive | Gazidis vs Wenger, AW’s Final Few Weeks and Why Wenger Should Have Decided His Own Fate Earlier appeared first on...
I understand that Arsene Wenger suffered as a result of his dismissal, especially at the hands of Ivan Gazidis. That decision made Wenger reluctant to take up another post in the sport and as a result he disappeared off the radar to lick his wounds.
Wenger was a loyal servant of the club, he masterminded a style of football that has been copied ever since and put Arsenal on the path to success and a sound financial footing.
However, his failure to find a team that could compete in any of the major competitions in the latter stages of his 22 year career meant that there was almost an inevitability about the way in which he left.
As much as I have some sympathy with the Frenchman and the way in which he left, he stayed on way too long, something he recently admitted.
In reality and with all emotion to one side, he should have left after a fairly ordinary season back in 2014 which culminated in another FA cup win.
The team needed rebuilding and substantial investment at that point and Wenger’s powers were fading. He became less of an innovator and motivator and had settled into a style of management and coaching that probably would have appalled him when he first arrived in North London in 1996.
Wenger was and is a gentleman but I doubt that even he would have allowed his tenure to continue if he hadn’t have been so emotionally invested.
He’d lost sight of his main role and when David Dein was dismissed and decided to assume all the responsibility for the daily running of the club.
This was to bring him into conflict with the incoming CEO Ivan Gazidis who saw himself as Dein’s replacement. The ill feeling between Wenger and Gazidis grew and in the end they could barely stomach the sight of each other.
They would conduct their business professionally but they would constantly lock horns over various club matters.
A source inside the club said :
“ We joked that Gazidis and Wenger would disagree on just about anything. If Gazidis said black was blue, Wenger would say it was green.”
If Arsenal were on a flow chart, their demise under Wenger would be clear from the day David Dein left to the introduction of Gazidis.
That was the final straw in the eyes of many putting two completely incompatible characters together with contrasting agendas and experience levels.
There was a tangible feeling of failure and complacency around the club in the last two or three seasons, with players barely going through the motions with some dictating when they were prepared to play or how they trained.
Wenger had constructed a relaxed culture where the individuals managed the club and the tensions between the star players constantly undermined the performances.
The source from inside the club, speaking on the atmosphere inside the club then, recently told me ;
“ Training had become routine, boring and repetitive.
Some players couldn’t be bothered, they wouldn’t even break sweat because they knew that they’d still make the team sheet.
Others were f*#ked off by the preferential shown to others.
It was chaos, we all hated it.
Wenger turned a blind eye.”
Of course this doesn’t appear in Wenger’s book but the source said
” Where ever you looked inside the club, the cracks were visible.
From top to bottom, the lack of harmony was obvious and even the players were forming little groups.
It was a fairly toxic atmosphere and the results that followed piled on the pressure.
Some players mimicked Wenger and were critical of his methods but a handful still remained fiercely loyal.”
There were open arguments between some on the training ground and the tensions were incredibly high, Wenger and the coaching staff intervened on more than one occasion.
It was only a matter of time before he (Wenger) finally went. A great many thought that the board panicked into extending his contract including Gazidis who wanted him out.”
The source ended :
“Wenger had lost control and respect in crucial areas of the club and weeks before he left he became quite troubled and withdrawn.
It’s like he suddenly realised that he was no longer untouchable.”
This revelation is more substantial than all the fluffy elements of Wenger’s recent book and suggests that the final period of the Frenchman’s reign was extremely uncomfortable, even with the former managers rose tinted spectacles in place.
Arsenal aren’t famed for their defensive solidity, and the club have spent the last decade chopping and changing their back four in a bid to find the perfect rock-solid combination. With the Gunners continuing to leak goals this season, the hopes of many Arsenal supporters now lie with Spanish defender Pablo Mari, who is due... The post Could the Return of Pablo Mari Help to Shore up the Arsenal Defence? appeared first on...
Arsenal aren’t famed for their defensive solidity, and the club have spent the last decade chopping and changing their back four in a bid to find the perfect rock-solid combination. With the Gunners continuing to leak goals this season, the hopes of many Arsenal supporters now lie with Spanish defender Pablo Mari, who is due to return from injury later this month.
Having paid £14million to secure his services this summer, expectations are running high for the former Flamengo centre-back. Pablo Mari will be hoping to be given the opportunity to impress in the coming months after he was included in Mikel Arteta’s 25-man Premier League squad, ahead of the likes of Mesut Ozil and Sokratis.
The North London club have made a decent start to the 20/21 campaign, winning three of their opening six fixtures, although their only clean sheet came against goal-shy Fulham. David Luiz and Gabriel Magalhaes have started the majority of those games, and although the pair have done very little wrong, many supporters remain unconvinced by the Brazilian duo.
Rob Holding has also featured this year, although the former Bolton man now looks set for a spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury during the warm-up session ahead of his team’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City. With Sokratis seemingly heading for the exit, this could pave the way for the former Flamengo defender to stake a claim for a place in the match-day squad.
Although Mari’s Premier League experience is extremely limited, he looked fairly assured against West Ham at the beginning of March and barely put a foot wrong throughout the 90 minutes. However, he had the heroics of Bernd Leno to thank for keeping the Hammers off the score-sheet.
Pablo Mari looked confident and assertive against Portsmouth in the EFL Cup just a few days earlier. However, he lasted just 24 minutes against Manchester City in mid-June, before sustaining a foot injury which required him to visit a specialist back in his homeland.
Pablo Mari arrived at the Emirates with a big reputation, having helped Flamengo to a historic Copa Libertadores victory. He became the first Spaniard to triumph in the iconic competition. It capped off a superb season for the Rio de Janeiro-based club, who also wrapped up their first Brazilian Serie A title in almost a decade.
Although he isn’t the quickest, his instinctive sense of positioning, aerial prowess, and reading of the game are all likely to serve him well in the Premier League. His unassuming and unfussy performances earned him plenty of plaudits in the Brazilian capital, and Arsenal fans will be hoping that he can bring a much-needed air of calm to the proceedings.
The left-footed centre-back was a popular figure in South America and having clinched two trophies in just 27 appearances at Estadio de Gavea, Arsenal supporters will certainly be hoping that he can help the club add more silverware to their trophy cabinet this season. However, a top-four finish is likely to be the main target for Arsenal and they are 7/4 in the latest Premier League betting odds to secure a Champions League spot for the first time since 2015.
The defender originally targeted a September return, although, as of October 26th, he is yet to be reintroduced to the first-team squad. Fans are looking forward to seeing more of the Spaniard over the coming months, and with a hectic festive schedule on the horizon, he should get plenty of opportunities to win over the Gunners faithful this year and give Arteta’s side some much-needed defensive solidity.
The post Could the Return of Pablo Mari Help to Shore up the Arsenal Defence? appeared first on Arsedevils.
Or if you prefer use one of our linkware images? Click here
If you are the owner of ARSEDEVILS, or someone who enjoys this blog why not upgrade it to a Featured Listing or Permanent Listing?