The Arsenal boss has called time on his career today. A reign that has nearly stretched 20 years has been cut short by Wenger's own accord we understand. The statement from Wenger reads: My time here is up, there were times last year I could hardly motivate myself let alone the players. I am proud to have ended the club's trophy drought, I am proud to have seen the club through the relocation to the Emirates and I leave on good terms with everyone. My list of potential candidates have been passed on to the board.
We are of the understanding that those who have been approached include:
Roberto Di Matteo
I'm not touching that job... it's a poisoned chalice! Wenger might not like to admit it, but that job killed him these past few years. You won't see many people too forthcoming in taking that I can assure you.
Recent reports suggest that Bergkamp prefers to stay at Ajax currently and Adams will not return to management at this moment in time.
So we have began to look internally...
Steve Bould? just an assistant manager for now.
Pat Rice? after health problems and stepping down from the assistant managers position he wouldn't be a good fit.
Then one name stuck out... Louis Ross: A highly rated coach/scout who has been covering youth team scouting reports and scouring the UK for talent that Arsenal could find. He is odds on favourite for the job.
Steve BouldAre you sure this is the right decision? Ivan Gazidis Yes, he's new. He's fresh and more importantly he's all about Arsenal. SB So be it. I support your decision Ivan. IG He's informed me that he wants you as the assistant, he respects you a lot. Show him the ropes. He's walking over now...
SB Lads, bring it in. Today is the day we are welcoming the new manager. Many of you will have seen him around, he's got all of our backing as staff, so I expect you will do the same. Louis Ross Hello guys, I'm sure you lot are eager to see what I can bring to the table and I'm equally as keen to assess you all and ensure we can hit the ground running. Over the next few weeks there will be new faces brought into the certain areas of the squad I think need improving.
Transfers and Matches
The Defensive Midfielder that we need. After failed attempts to get Sami Khedira after he chose Chelsea over us we turned to Christoph. After his loan spell at Monchengladbach ends he will join up with us in a years time. Worth the wait.
With Vermaelen leaving I needed a centre back ready to step in and play first team straight away. Howedes will push Mertesacker and Koscielny, the competition can only be good.
Young centre midfielder or centre back and will be filling in both positions straight away. I was thinking of a loan but Niklas is good enough to play.
Patrick Roberts & Will Hughes
Roberts and Hughes are lads I have been watching for a while since I have been at Arsenal, when the transfer funds were given to me I knew I had to snap these up, especially for so cheap. Hughes will join us in six months time, Roberts, although 17 will be given a chance in a handful of games
An end to end match that we eventually came out winners on penalties. Not too much can be taken from the Community Shield but it was a nice way to open the season and the performance pleased me. We can mix it with the big boys.
A good solid start. We find ourselves third in the league and although we have a long way to go I think the first few performances give reason to be happy and optimistic. Welbeck, Giroud and Sanchez all have found the net and I expect them all to carry on and keep contributing.
A Champions League group of death has been given to us including: Schalke
what I'd like to highlight about the team in this game is that the game was won in the midfield. The normal 4-2-3-1 we play was reverted to a 4-4-1-1. Chamberlain and Rosicky would provide support to my full backs to quell the threat of Napoli's wingers. Ramsey is about to receive the ball from Wilshere and he will have options of Ozil, The Ox, or Debuchy. The 4-4-1-1 almost changed into a 4-2-3-1 when we had possession anyway due to the high line we were playing. I did not want Welbeck getting too involved in the build up when the ball was deep because if he was acting like a poacher and stretching/occupying their centre backs it allowed Ozil to find pockets of space. (In the graphic Ramsey plays it to Ozil, who then plays it to The Ox, he picks out Welbeck from the cross who finishes.
This graphic shows the build up to a goal from our left hand side this time. Wilshere has the option of playing Welbeck or Rosicky. I mentioned Welbeck was occupying the centre back and here you see he has forced the Centre back deeper (presumably they did not want to get caught out with a through ball allowing Welbeck to run through to goal. This in turn created a staggered back line for Napoli and we capitalised by playing Rosicky through. Rosicky then squared to Welbeck and the rest is history. You can see Ramsey circled, He is our deep lying playmaker right now and you can see his intelligence in this case by sitting deeper in case the attack breaks down! You don't always need a big strong anchor man to steady your midfield! A 3-0 win away to Napoli was absolutely sensational. The team are a force to be reckoned with right now.
This game saw Zelalem, deadline day signing Zakaria Bakkali and Patrick Roberts all start along with Abou Diaby, who you guessed it, picked up an injury!!
What a month! We nearly had the perfect month but Swansea took advantage of some bad defending. Szcesny actually hasn't been beaten between the sticks for a while. He came off injured vs. West Ham and Ospina since then has had to deputise. The Swansea game may look like we salvaged a point but it could have been so different as we hit the woodwork three times!
My players of the month have been Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell and Danny Welbeck.
There are concerns over Wilshere after picking up an ankle injury.
Wickham was left isolated vs. Mertesacker and Howedes, winning very few aerial duels. Even when he did win them he had no support winning the knockdowns. My midfield mopped up the loose balls and we began attacking as you will see below.
This is right after Wickham loses out. Ramsey collects the ball, plays it to Rosicky who replaced Ozil in the hole this game. He could turn and as Welbeck was pushed up so high along with the wingers, this allowed Rosicky plenty of space to work in.
Success in wide areas
Debuchy leads the Premier league in assists right now and this game he had a field day. Welbeck will peel off the defenders for fun which leaves Debuchy just having to put a ball into the right area. A large part of Welbeck's 11 goals (8 in the PL) have come from crosses.
It is almost habitual now for Welbeck to lose his marker when a ball is out wide... he knows what to expect. He lost the Centre back (above) and finished well. Exploiting space in the middle
Stark battled all day long and then released Rosicky whenever possible.Sunderland dropped far too deep on this occasion allowing Rosicky to find space inbetween the defence and midfield.
After Rosicky draws one defender out he was able to offload the ball to Welbeck, who turned and scored.
Another great set of results. I went slightly more conservative against Everton and ended up paying for it. We had a goal chalked off questionably for offsides but sometime's you don't get the luck. I am aware that we have only payed one really big team and lost (Man U). So when we face tougher opposition we will have to make sure we are raring to go. The title race is very much on and I believe we will push Chelsea all the way providing we stay fit. There have been a lot of injuries to my players this year luckily I have had people like Diaby (who scored a Xabi Alonso-esque goal from inside his own half!!) proving to me why I don't have to worry! Player(s) of the Month
I couldn't have one without the other... Debuchy and Welbeck have been fantastic.
We top our CL group and have been in amazing form in the groupstages, one more win should secure top spot.
The last game of the month saw a top of the table clash between us and Chelsea. we missed a chance to catapult ourselves top after United and Chelsea slipped up. So a win against Chelsea saw us reclaim top spot going into a busy December.
The yellow triangle just shows how prepared I think we are in defence when we have possession. Remy is isolated if they win the ball. a 3 vs.2 is the best they could hope for and I think Ramsey could get back quick enough to help out, too.
Exploiting gaps Rosicky, like against Napoli started out wide on the left, a bit more conservative and he provides the creative spark still. If he comes in, someone has to follow him either meaning we have a chance down the left for Gibbs, or Rosicky can find these gaps like in the graphic. It is then down to Welbeck to make an off the ball run to help. Welbeck and Chamberlain
Welbeck and Chamberlain are both circled. After Welbeck drops a little deeper to pick the ball up rather than looking in behind like you would normally expect, he then turns and picks out the run of Oxlade-Chamberlain, who finishes. Defensive shape
Two banks of four, offering little space to exploit between saw us keep Chelsea at bay, of course they posed threats throughout but not enough to worry us a lot. 4-4-1-1 is my go-to tactic in the big games and it seems to be paying off! You will see Matic about to lose the ball here and the options we have after winning the ball back so deep.
Stark intercepts and then will pick out Welbeck, after this we really need the wingers to burst into the yellow pockets that have been made clear. That was our outlet a lot of the time and if we could win the ball a bit further up and a bit more often I would have backed us to get a few more goals.
**clear cut chances are dotted as green, half chances are orange**
My starting XI in the orange resembled a 4-1-4-1 as Arteta dropped deeper to cut off passing lanes to Remy, Ozil, although not comfortable dropping as deep as he did at times did a perfect job filling in and working for the team.
A very solid month. December could see us pull away even further if we remain switched on and avoid injuries. We start December against Tottenham which we are relishing.
Sanchez has probably been my star this month, settling a bit more and showing that by scoring goals. Rosicky and Diaby are making it clear also that their time at Arsenal needs to be extended if their form continues. Walcott has made a comeback from injury which I'm really happy about.
Monaco exploited our weak links during the game. Set pieces they had clearly practiced got the better of us.It was a weakened side as we had already qualified, but that is still unnaceptable.
Game of The Month
Arsenal vs. Villa
I gave a chance to a few fringe players. I still think we had enough to win the game but it wasn't to be. A 30 yard free kick gave them the lead. Then we gifted them two goals. Lack of communication for the third, and lack of concentration for the second.
The keeper (Ospina) had made a point blank save from the corner. My player on the back post should have been alive to the danger of Senderos behind him, but he reacted too late. 2-0.
First of all, My defenders should be RUSHING up after the ball leaves the corner, leaving the strikers offside and also to prevent space like you can see being left on the edge of the box. Diaby then vacates his duty of marking Cleverly to close down the ball, but nobody gets to Cleverly quick enough (see below)
Out of the three defenders back we needed two really. One could have been pushed on and could have dealt with Cleverly who receives the ball and pings it top corner.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
Liverpool's midfield three to face us was Emre Can, Callum Brannigan and Sheyi Ojo. Look how narrow they are. Liverpool's defence was pretty narrow too. I tried to surprise them in the second half with a switch of tactics which I think worked. The first 45 minutes saw us score two well worked set-pieces and we tried to 'exploit the middle' of the pitch as I thought we could take advantage of their inexperience in the middle.
I asked the lads in the second half to 'exploit the flanks' and here you see how we did that. The narrow midfield allowed us to find Campbell fairly easily. He then cut inside into the space highlighted and finished.
Ramsey and Arteta attempted 93&89 passes with completion rates of 90&84% respectively. Emre Can made 31 out of 40 attempted and Brannagan made 47 out of 59 attempted.
Because Liverpool's midfield were looking to defend before they attacked, when they got the ball, they had one option up top. First it was Lambert then it was Doumbia. My centre back here did a great job of setting him up in a trap, forcing him one way (where he was less of a threat) and then he was surrounded by my players with Liverpool's midfield struggling to get up in time.
A few disappointing losses but It pleased me that we bounced back so well after the losses. We had big games in the PL this month and made sure we were switched on and won them. I believe that if we continue our good form we will win the Premier League and after drawing Tel-Aviv in the last 16 of the CL we could go deep into that competition too. My youth and fringe players will be used when they can in games to keep everyone fresh. Bellerin is fresh back from a loan and will need to play as Debuchy is injured and Chambers cannot play too much. I made the decision to sell Podolski for $19.5m to Roma. This money will be used to find a full back that can play both sides. Bakkali is his successor so there isn't a need to look for another winger.