Arsene Wenger praised Arsenal’s commitment and felt they were “a bit unlucky” in their 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Sunderland.
“a bit unlucky”… Arsenal have been more than a bit unlucky with injuries to their defenders this season, and just as it seemed they were getting near to a full compliment returning suddenly they’re looking decimated again. However, a make-shift defence doesn’t account for two games without a goal. If Wenger was happy with their commitment maybe he was watching a different game to me because I saw a group of fairly good players coming together as a poor team who look short on confidence and ideas and were outclassed for most of the match. Ramsey and Arteta looked lightweight against a physical team like Sunderland and the mis-match was exposed horribly on a pitch that looked like it was home to a herd of cattle a couple of hours earlier. Djourou simply isn’t good enough to player for Arsenal (there’s probably some language in which Djourou translates as “liability”) and once Squillaci (same translation, different language) came on for the injured Francis Coquelin the feeling of doom was firmly bedded in. Unlucky, yes, because Coquelin was looking lively and has impressed every time I’ve seen him play. He’s one to keep… one of just six.
Wenger can stand on the touchline flapping about like a demented albatross, but here’s the facts… two top players left the club and netted around £60 million. He’s spent a fraction of that. The only positives to come out of Wenger’s transfer dealings is that he bought a defender who, in times of being fit, will reduce the chances of Djourou and Squillaci ever gracing the pitch again, and he bought Chamberlain and is actually playing him. But the fact remains that Wenger has stuck with sub-standard players (see above, plus others) and has not invested the money in new talent. And therefore, what does he expect?
However… what if, just supposing, the directors have quietly requested that Wenger doesn’t spend all of the transfer kitty, and Wenger is playing the obedient boy and making do with less money than we all believe he has? If that’s the case, someone should come clean, because as it stands it looks like Wenger is failing the club… but perhaps it’s the board who are causing the lack of investment and progress. And if that’s the case, it’s not fair for Wenger to take the rap.
Whatever, Arsenal’s season is NOT over. 4th place is now a valuable prize to play for, and after the bad luck and bad form this season grabbing 4th place will almost feel like a trophy. With no 4th place and no Champions League the ability to retain top players (namely Robin van Persie) and attract new players will be dramatically reduced. And that’s something for Wenger and the board to consider, but a little too late to do anything about.
Verdict: keep Van Persie, Sagna, Vermaelen, Chamberlain, Coquelin and Wilshere. Okay, and Szczesny. Scrap the rest of them, and yes, that includes Walcott.
Windows 8.1 ships
Thu, Oct 17th 2013 2:10p Darren Adams For Microsoft employees such as me, Windows 8.1 has arrived in three stages. The first was a preview, which the rest of the planet also had access to. This was covered here. Then came RTM (release to manufacturing), the stage at which it’s almost baked and is ready enough to give to ISVs and manufacturers so that they can work with code that’s representative of the final shipping product. The rest of the planet did not get access to RTM code, and we were given a direction to not wide [read] Keywords: blogging
Instagram apps for Windows Phone
Sun, Sep 15th 2013 11:10a Darren Adams Apps are an important consideration when choosing a phone. I’ve had a number of discussions about ‘missing apps’ for Windows Phone, and in the past one of them was Instagram. True to say that there’s still no official Instagram app for Windows Phone, but there are now a number of unofficial apps available. As I’m also the owner of iOS and Android devices I’m able to say that the Windows Phone apps stack up well in terms of features, and I’d also question [read] Keywords: facebook
The transfer window of doom
Sun, Aug 18th 2013 6:15a Darren Adams It’s a funny old game, football… if you support Aldershot Town, you could only aspire for your team to reach the dizzying heights of Arsenal’s status, their stadium, their squad and their past achievements. Or maybe you’re happy with not expecting too much, and therefore never being too disappointed. Maybe also you’re happy paying £19 for a match-day ticket, rather than £60 or probably more. If you support Arsenal, as I have done for more than thirty years, your e [read] Keywords: facebook
Bing apps for Windows Phone
Wed, Aug 14th 2013 3:14p Darren Adams News-centric apps are great at showing the capabilities of Windows Phone’s live tiles, so I was glad to see Microsoft release four new Bing apps last week… Bing News, Bing Sport, Bing Weather and Bing Finance. They’re a bit like baby brothers of the equivalent Bing apps for Windows 8′s modern UI.
Click on the small images in this post to see the larger versions.
Bing News, as its names suggest, is a news-based app pulling stories from several sources (such as Sky News, Gi [read] Keywords: facebook
Introducing Ruby Adams
Sun, Aug 4th 2013 5:21p Darren Adams For a few months the discussion about getting a second dog had intensified, and while we were on holiday it reached the point of deciding on a breed and a name. When I say “breed” I don’t mean that we were expecting to get a pedigree dog as it would undoubtedly be something small and with a non-moulting coat… probably a poodle cross like our Yorkipoo Missie.
Upon returning from holiday it seemed a good idea to get the puppy into our lives as soon as possible – that [read] Keywords: facebook
A totally moronic idea
Wed, Jul 31st 2013 5:13p Darren Adams I saw this news story while we were away on holiday, and out of all the news stories from the two weeks this was the one I had to comment on. The idea which I deem to be moronic is this… let drivers park on double-yellow lines for 15 minutes in order to boost local trade.
There is good intent behind the idea – ‘local’ shops and the traditional British high street trade are struggling under the weight of competition from retail parks and megastores. So it stands to reason [read] Keywords: facebook
Windows 8.1 preview, complete with start button
Sat, Jun 29th 2013 6:17p Darren Adams Earlier this week I become embroiled in a slightly heated Facebook discussion – it was sparked by me posting about installing the Windows 8 preview and stating that “it has a start button for those who require it”. By this I implied that I don’t need it and personally didn’t think the return of the start button was necessary. Why? Because most computers that aren’t Apple Macs have a Windows key which invokes the Windows 8 start screen, and the re-instated star [read] Keywords: apple
Helpful apps in Outlook 2013 – part 2
Fri, Jun 21st 2013 3:18p Darren Adams Back in November last year I posted about helpful apps in Outlook 2013 – apps which analysed the contents of e-mails and then suggested actions or provided information. Last week I was moved onto Office 365 for e-mail – I now have a 25 GB mail box, and some more of those helpful apps have appeared. A couple of them are Microsoft-internal, but are a good example of what can be added.
Action Items was discussed in the previous post – it looks for things that may be actions and a [read] Keywords: facebook