AFCB Video 1: Three positives for the new season

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It’s been just under a month since I’ve last posted — I’ve very much enjoyed the break, I can assure you! — but with the new season just around the corner it’s about time I got back into the swing of things.

I’m trying something a little different by posting via video, something I am hoping to use quite often this season.

Have a look, let me know your thoughts and if you have any suggestions for any future video topics I encourage you to voice them.


Share the Arsenal love by leaving a comment.


33 thoughts on “AFCB Video 1: Three positives for the new season

  1. I love the video and I think it changes up the blog for the better. Great quality. A Podcast type format could also be a good way to get your ideas out and maybe easier than a video.

  2. Cheers guys. Video blogging is a little easier than podcasting, actually. I think I enjoy it a little more.

    You’ll be seeing a lot more of it though, I want to use it to talk about certain issues in a bit more depth.

    We’ll see how it goes.

  3. Hey mate, watched the whole video it was very interesting and i agree with you in a lot of things, especially with the Clichy thing.


    Proud 2 be LITHUANIAN gooner!

  4. I agree about Koscielny. I think that he is a lot better than he gets credit for and will be even better this season. I think he will be tremendous this season. We need just one more CB (preferably a tall one), and Arsenal will be ready to take the league by storm.

    With regards to the left side of attack, Wenger has done two things by getting rid of Clichy, and allowing Gibbs to come in. Gibbs will make some mistakes defensively, as should be expected. However, the left side of attack will be more dynamic because Gibbs can deliver a pass. While Sagna seemed to improve dramatically in this area, Clichy stalled. I expect the left side of Arsenal’s attack to be more dynamic this season than last.

    I think the squad is in great shape in the DM position. I really expect Frimpong to have a big season and Diaby as well. When Diaby gets a run of games, he is brilliant. Like Walcott, he is always hampered by injury. Hopefully, once this ankle injury will improve.

    Still wonder about the squad at the forward position during the African Cup of Nations. Gervinho and Chamakh will be gone. No Bendtner. Vela probably on loan. So, the squad will be left with RVP, Walcott, maybe Afobe, and maybe Campbell. Wilshere and Ramsey are not the scoring midfield threats that Nasri and Fabregas are, so, it’ll be interesting during that time period.

  5. Not sure how tight EPL is about videos but you could do highlights from the game. I’m from the USA and the only league that really hates people taking highlights is MLB. Others dont really care and sort of encourage it.

  6. it’s a really cool new method! 🙂 it’s also nice to c u back 😀 YEY! very good video article! 🙂

  7. Its a good idea to post via video, but the only drawback is people viewing your blog on their mobiles, like me, can’t watch them, since vimeo isn’t supported on most blackberry’s and because of the time difference, I’m usually not at home when I get the update that you’ve made a new blog. Good job though.

  8. @TheArsenalFan_ – I didn’t realise this. My apologies.

    If anyone can help out with a solution to this please let me know. Is there a way I can use an App or something similar to make this happen? I’m not very knowledgeable on the subject.

  9. Great Video Andy, keep the good work up, I heard you praising Jenkinson, on the right ok although he is fast down the wing, but when he get’s to the opponents end, he can not dribble around players,
    Seems to not be able to cope with any defenders, if he would get to the opponents end then just pass a ball over into the box, might be a lot better, just my opinion folks.

  10. Hey Andrew, good to see you’re back on the blog. I like the video idea and would love to hear and see it more, even though I think a text version is needed for things like deep analysing of matches and other stuff.

    About your comments: I share your confidence with our attacking part of the side. Gervinho has proved to be absolutely brilliant in the pre-season games against Cologne and Boca and was a very serious threat against NYRB and Benfica although to a lesser extent. I’ve been psyched about Miyaichi for a long time now, he was exceptional with Feynoord considering just a couple of months before he played high-school level football in Japan. He seems to have adapted very quickly into European football, although the EPL might prove to be a little harsh on him in the first season. I see greatness in him.
    The one thing I’m not comfortable with about our attack is the Striker role. Van Persie, as always, is a legend, and if he can stay healthy (read: outside of Holland national team), I can seriously see him taking the top goalscorer award in the end of the season. BUT, it’s not likely to happen, and so far in pre-season I’m very disappointed with our depth in that position. Chamakh was awful throughout the entire pre-season. It’s as if he was doing someone a favour by playing. Vela was good, but he seems to be out of Wenger’s plans for now, seeing that he didn’t take him to Benfica.. And B52, I am sad to see him leave. I rate him, and even when he was played out of position on the wing he did a lot of good. He’s not perfect but seeing that now we might have our wingers sorted out with Walcott, Gervinho, Miyaichi, AOC and Shava, I think he should have been given a chance in the central striker role.

    About defence: I completely agree with what you say about our back five. I think we have a really good defence and we have seen it in pre-season. I think SZCZ only conceded two goals the entire campaign, and they were both own goals. And our three collapses in pre season, giving up leads – those were all after we have changed pretty much the entire team, with 8-10 substitutions. I think apart of the Hangzhou goal, we have yet to concede with our first-team lineup, and the Benfica game proved that they can withstand some pressure as well. The problem is the depth once again, and once Vermaelen, Koschielny or Gibbs are injured, I don’t think we have a proper cover for them. Djourou needs to step up his game, but we cant count on that – we need a new defender.

    As for Song/Frimpong. Song is too careless in his game. He runs too forward and he loses possession too much, in our half as well. But he makes up for it with passion and insistence. Frimpong has been good but not good enough for EPL hard games, he needs more time.
    Same goes for Ramsey too. He’s been good last season on the few games he filled in for Cesc, but he wasn’t too impressive in pre-season. That’s the thing – he was good as a fill in, but if Cesc goes and we use Ramsey for the first team – who will be our fill-in for him when he gets Showcrossed next time? Are we gonna bring Ozykup from the youth team to fill in?

    There are several areas that need to be addressed, but I am much more delighted with the state of the team in comparison to April/May of last season. There has been some improvement, and there is still some way to go…

  11. Good job Andrew well done. I had great hopes for Clichy and he did well when Cashley left. However he hasn’t improved and he was error prone. He made a number of crucal errors (Spurs, Brum etc) andI havent seen stats, but I didnt think he created much going forward. Problem is I dont think Gibbs is strong enough to last the season. We really need some tough guys pretty quick. I am concerned about the Newcastle and Udinese games

  12. So glad to see Andrew back on the blog. It’s been too long since the quarters of the Women’s World Cup (which was bloody brilliant, by the way. A lot more entertaining than the men’s last year).

    And finally a change in attitude for a season preview. All summer long it seemed that no one at the club could do anything right in the eyes of the internet.

    I’m not too sure what to think of the upcoming season yet, with transfers still to be decided. A healthy and stable back line could lead to some improvement. A change in attack seems to be in the cards with the eventual departure of Fabregas. Another blog suggested more of the offence coming from the wings because no one can really replace what Cesc does for us in the middle. But with all the youngsters involved I’m not quite sure we’ll see it really come together in the near future.

  13. I have a few more positives to add
    1. Frimpong is going to keep Song on his toes and would be a fantastic cover for him
    2. Selling Cesc is good because he had been continually injured missing large parts of the season for the last couple of years if he goes I sure then someone is going to arrive, the replacement need not necessarily be of Cesc’s quality but we would get a committed and fit player for a whole season
    3. Nasri is a good player, may be better than Gervinho in terms of quality but he is not a specialist winger while Gevinho at the wings is always going to be better than Nasri on the wings so if we sell him I wont be too concerned

  14. Not to be confused with Mr Comer. Welcome back Andy. Nice job, and makes a change from just reading, but would be good to inject some footage to back up some statements. But I found that I can at least listen to your vid cast while doing other things. Good first go. Am sure your mum would want you to brush your hair though!

    It’s going to be an interesting few weeks – some massive games plus continued transfer goss. I still fear we are going to be weak in terms of squad depth. Already we have a few casualties in critical areas and the season hasn’t yet kicked off.

  15. Not sure that Gibbs offers a much better option than Clichy in the areas in which Clichy was weak.

  16. Andyyyyyyy,
    Welcommeeeee back. Whoa!!!!!!! Directed some guys in Nigeria to your blog and you were MIA. I love the video stuff its way cool. However whats your theme song? I suggest: Smells like team spirit by Nirvana (Hope you choose it). Secondly I suggest you do more cuts when making your suggestions, ie, a different cut for a different point (No need for change of clothes etc, its just a video blog), but if you do this the whole video blog will be more interesting. Also bring in a few pictures in while talking (Hansome face but that was 8 mins of looking at you mate). A clear example will be while talking of Wilshere a pic of wilshere can just pop up, Theos speed,show a quick 5 sec clip of him whizzing pass defenders.I recommend you look at Phil Defrancos blog on You Tube and learn a few stuff.
    As per the positives….. well lets wait till may, a bit hypertensive from last seasons disappointments.


  17. @Andy: Welcome back ! Great to read your blog again 🙂

    @venky: “Selling Cesc is good because he had been continually injured”. I totally disagree. I would keep Cesc anyday. Selling Cesc is NOT AT ALL good for arsenal. In fact, all this summer, I have been hoping for Cesc to stay come september.

  18. @Andy,

    Great to literally see you back mate – love the idea of a video blog. It allows things such as tone to be expressed, which otherwise would be missed in within a piece of text.

    As for your comments and sentiments, I can’t agree more. Clichy was, and is almost like a B class Gareth Bale. Excellent in getting forward and with great pace, although often the finished product (his crossing) is inconsistent and can cause more than the occasional error in defence. I’m also excited about seeing Traore hopefully get some playing time this season. He was one of the clubs most exciting prospects a few seasons ago and seems to have stalled a bit since. Hopefully the competition for a starting spot has energised him and we start to see some quality performances soon. Unless a replacement is bought, there’s no doubt that the LB position will be fought over by Gibbs and Traore. Despite having experience in the position (I have experience playing football, this doesn’t necessarily make me ‘good’ at it) Vermaelen is not the answer to our vacated LB position.

    My overall opinion on the Nasregas situation is simple, some might say too simple :

    If a player doesn’t want to play for Arsenal, then he shouldn’t be playing for Arsenal. Why rob a guy such as Ramsey a spot in the side to accommodate an ego? This, I believe, is not the Arsenal way. No player or individual is bigger than the club. Nasri has reportedly been offered a fair contract offer, some reports saying in the region of 80,000-100,000 pounds. If his heart lies elsewhere, then let it rest there instead of North London. If he isn’t willing to give his all in every fixture, chase down that breaking attack, run to prevent the ball from going out, then I’m well prepared to see him sold.

    As captain and a 300+ game player for the club it will be sad to see Cesc leave. But, it was always inevitable. So long as the funds from both sales are re-invested sooner, rather than later, and the squad as a whole is improved, I’m fine with losing both.

    Two more sleeps until football and I can’t wait! Even with a 2:30AM kickoff here, I’m buzzing.

  19. hi mate good video great idea! totally agree with you about our positives! but need a few more signings in my books!

  20. Andy,
    This is great stuff, a great insight into what you and the blog are about….theres not much that can be lost in translation and I look forward to seeing your reactions to the good, bad and ugly this season promises to bring, this one more than any will be massive for us as we are definately in transiton…to what end I dont know, but I am hopeful.
    Whilst I feel the defensive third was the area which needed priority in regards to bolstering this summer, I have always said that penetration and speed is something we have sorely lacked since losing the overmars/ reyes/ bobby/ freddie types we once had out wide and attacking our oppositions box.
    Ryo Myaichi, Gervinho and Oxlaide Chamberlain are all direct, speedy types who will have defenders on the backfoot and hopefully at times get the opposition turned and get behind defenses, much like Gervinho for his first goal in pre-season where Wilshere sent him free over-the-top and he lobbed the keeper. This method of attack is in stark contrast to the one we have employed in recent seasons whereby the oppositon are not afraid of our pace and simply set two banks of four in front of us and we pass the ball from left to right, right to left, often resulting in being hurt on the counter attack due to Nasris/ Walcotts/ Cescs/ Arshas/ Diabys lack of drive in retreiving after a mistake.
    While Im actually amazed that this predictable style weve employed of late yielded as much as it did, I feel an integration of both approaches will now see us threaten alot more and actually allow us to play the original left to right passing game maybe even moreso, maybe this is the ‘plan b’ everyone was talking about. At least if we lost the ball in the corners of the oppositions half, they have to go along way to hurt us, rather than losing out centrally with our widemen in front of the ball and often our full-backs too far forward aswel.
    I just hope that the manager doesnt put too much emphasis on our passing game to these three as when Chamakh arrived last year he was actually taking defenders on in wide positions and going straight at goal and having a go, as the season went on he never did it and quite often passed responsibilty to others, hopefully he can find the form that saw us sign him to begin with, otherwise I think Wenger could sell him as soon as January. He needs to be go-to guy and not be looking to others to apply the touches to the job hes more than capable of doing himself.
    On the Clichy subject, I couldnt agree more about what youv said and how out of sync hes been with our defense, on a side note, the fact that he could then say hes leaving Arsenal to win something prompts me to point out that he was part of the problem of Arsenal not winning things in recent years, not merely an injured party as he makes out, the last minute penalty he gave away against Birmingham years ago almost single-handedly induced a collapse as we led the league.
    Personally, I dont share the trust you have in Gibbs defensively, whilst I must say he is way better than Clichy going forward I think he often looks unsure of himself without the ball and isnt sure he is where he should be and this may be down to the fact that he was never a defender coming up, he was a winger and Wenger only moved him back since his arrival on the scene in the CC, so, for me, Traore is the safer option for now with Gibbs been suited to games where we may be less exposed and given more time to learn what the positons all about.

  21. Nice to have you back Andy. Good idea with the video blog, but hopefully it won’t replace all your writing. A couple of disagreements with you there. I don’t think Gibbs is anywhere near as good as Clichy defensively, though he is probably much better in attack. Also, I really like Koscielny and I think it’s really strange the stick he receives in some quarters, but he is just about ‘ok’ in the air. He’s not ‘good’. For the rest, I totally agree.


    Good to see you so up for the season. I feel the same way. I’m just worried that the games might get postponed because of the riots. Spurs v Everton is already off. Hopefully it shouldn’t be a problem for us since we are away at Newcastle. Fingers crossed.

  22. Good stuff Andy – like the format, even if I can’t read it through my google reader! Some good points here though I suspect you’re being ever the optimist – I think the Arsenal defence is not champion-winning strength, statistics will show this as well. Need one world class CB, a good left fullback and perhaps cover in defensive midfield.

  23. Nice attempt at the video but for me I think blogs are best in the written form I haven’t really concentrated on what your saying and switched off to be honest. I couldn’t help look at the background of the video and wonder if someone was gonna jump out and say boo. Perhaps Eboue!

    However, as you probably have a higher percentage of international arsenal fans compared to other blogs it could be a success.

  24. Great to see you back, missed the blog. The video blog is a great idea love to see more as long as it doesn’t take away from your analysis all things Arsenal

  25. @Shard,

    Good to see someone else is focusing on the actual football, rather than the never-ending speculation.

    If our game was cancelled I’d probably spend the night in tears. August 14th has been penciled in on my calendar ever since the draw was announced.

    Players come and go, not every fan will ever be totally satisfied, but Arsenal FC will always be there week after week. In the scope of things, that’s all I really need.

  26. @Gruggy

    Wisdom. I’m glad someone on the internet is capable of appreciating the club. AFC will always be there.

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