Tag Archives: arsene-wenger

Weekend musing – Arsenal’s FA Cup, Wenger re-appointed, AFL, Dreamtime game controversy, Huddersfield Town promoted to Premier League

I was pleased to see that Arsene Wenger re-signed with Arsenal for another two years. While I understand there is a lot of discussion about him being moved on by Arsenal supporters, in the end he has still had a good year. The Gunners accumulated 75 points this year finishing fifth in the EPL. That would have got them into the top four on eight of the previous ten years and in two of those years they would have finished second. Arsenal also won the FA Cup last weekend with a great win over Premier League Champion’s, Chelsea. So the year, while frustrating, has not been a disaster. The key now is to ensure Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez remain at the Club on a long term basis. That is the biggest challenge facing Arsenal and Wenger at the moment.

The Dreamtime game between Essendon and Richmond produced a couple of controversial issues. Firstly the rushed behind resulting in an easy goal to Essendon and then Dustin Martin being named the best player on the ground. I thought the rushed behind decision was technically correct, but I certainly would not have been happy if my team was on the receiving end. A good question was raised during the week on the issue – would the Richmond player have rushed the ball through if the scores were level with little time left on the clock? I think the answer would be “no”, he would have tried to tap it to his team mate who was nearby at the time. As regards Martin being best on the ground, last year he clearly was the best on the ground, but this year I didn’t think there was a clear stand out player. In my opinion Brandon Ellis was Richmond’s best and Brendan Goddard was Essendon’s best. Martin got close to 30 touches, but his disposal efficiency was similar to the major Essendon ball winners. I was a bit surprised when Martin also got both coaches votes. I must be a poor judge!

Also great to see Aaron Mooy’s Huddersfield get into the EPL with him scoring in the penalty shoot out.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Tour de France, British Open, Arsene Wenger and England

Chris Barwin HillsI commented last week on a number of topics including the Tour de France, the England soccer team’s poor display in the European Championships and the British Open.

It looks like I was on the money picking Chris Froome as the winner of the race. With 19 stages complete and only a couple to go Froome froome
seems to have the field covered. Great display by Aussie Richie Porte in the tough mountain section but looks like he will just fall short of a podium finish. Certainly looks like a rider to watch for the 2017 Tour.

As much as I was on the money with the Tour de France, I was way off in my assessment of the British Open. I didn’t see Swede, Henrik 1363998228672Stenson winning. Stenson and Phil Mickelson showed a mastery of the Royal Troon course that the rest of the field struggled with. Mickelson at 17 under had an 11 shot buffer between he and the third placed golfer. The leading Australian was world number 1, Jason Day at one over par tied for equal 22nd. My selection of Adam Scott was poor as he finished at 5 over par. Our golfers need to improve their performances in major tournaments!

My suggestion for the English soccer team is to go all out for Arsene Wenger. They could do a lot worse. He is the shot in the arm that thealexis-sanchez-arsenal-burnley_3223813 English need and his time at Arsenal is limited. It would be a good move for England, Arsenal and Wenger.

Have a great weekend!

3 things to contemplate on a Friday – Arsenal, NRL, Tiger Woods

Feb 20 2011 0061. Being an Arsenal fan is a tough gig. Having risen to third place in the Premier League, the Gunners had the ‘user friendly’ Monaco as their last sixteen opponent in the Champions League yesterday and a home ground advantage. The unexpected 1-3 result now leaves Arsene Wenger’s team the task of winning by at least 3-0 away to make the final eight.

Coach Wenger described the team’s play as ‘It looks like we lost our nerve and rationality’.

Arsenal are the true Jekyll and Hyde team if you compare this performance with the stunning win away against title contenders Manchester City several weeks ago.

Life is certainly a roller coaster for the fans.

2. NRL boss Dave Smith is kidding himself if he believes his recent mantra ‘Let’s keep it in perspective’, regarding the drug woes of five of the Gold Coast Titan’s players, is how we should see the issue. Five players make up 16% of the list and two of those players in Greg Bird and David Taylor are State of Origin representatives. In addition, the issue precipitated the NRL taking over the Club.

With the press indicating that there may be further names revealed by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission including implications for League players across the border in NSW, I think we have enough of the perspective to know this is not a small matter!

3. Tiger Woods has completed his first golf course design – that is good news for the former World number one. With his golf game struggling (he hit a career high 82 two weeks ago) and his physical health in question (a back injury prevented him finishing a recent tournament at Torrey Pines), it seems like time for Tiger to take on less onerous pursuits that don’t require swinging a club to make a living.

As predicted on Sportsman Radio several years ago, Jack Nicklaus’ career majors win total is in no danger at all!

Friday musing – US Masters, Adam Scott, Arsenal, Patrick Vieira…..

Chris Barwin HillsWith the US Masters now started, I thought it was worth remarking about those two fantastic shots from Matt Jones to qualify him for the Masters. First he drained a 45ft putt to make the play off and then he wins it by chipping in from off the green. Two miracle shots. My original selection for the Masters was Jason Day as I have selected him to win a major this year, however, his first round would indicate that he may not have recovered from his thumb injury so I will have to revert to the reigning champion, Adam Scott.

On a different note, I was thinking about the way Bomber Thompson is coaching at the moment and it brought to mind the change in the Australian Cricket team performance once Darren Lehman took over. Both men take a relaxed approach to their coaching which appears to bring about the best in their teams. One thing I have noticed about the Essendon team this year is that their disposal efficiency has improved immeasurably from previous years. Maintaining that efficiency throughout the season will be the big test as, like my EPL team, Arsenal, they have fallen away at the end of the season recently.

While on the football it is worth commenting on “the bump”. I think everyone who has seen the Nathan Fyffe bump and the Daniel Merrett forearm cannot believe they have been graded the same. Fyffe’s bump was an accidental clash of heads which resulted in a charge under the new AFL rules, whereas Merrett’s was an old fashioned whack which should have gotten four weeks. I think if there are many more incidents akin to the Fyffe suspension, the AFL will need to amend the rules, because in a contact game you cannot or at least should not be suspended for something which was accidental. Australian Rules football is a contact sport and accidents will still happen.

A very disappointing result for Arsenal in the EPL last week losing 3-0 to Everton and now jeopardising their Champions League position. Should they lose the fourth position to Everton and not win the FA Cup, there is every chance that Arsene Wenger will not be asked to continue with the team which would be a shame in my opinion. The owners are finally loosening the purse strings and he may miss out on building the team up again. I also read an interesting article in The Age during the week about Patrick Vieira the last Arsenal captain to raise a trophy. He is working with the Manchester City Under 21 team and enjoying the role. I am not suggesting he is a manager in waiting as it would seem he is a long way off that, but worth keeping an eye on his progress.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Cox Plate, Fiorente, Arsenal, Wenger…..

Chris Barwin HillsIt was disappointing to see Atlantic Jewel is out of the Cox Plate as she was the clear favourite and it would have been great to see her win the race. It is now a lot more open with Itsadundeel likely to start the favourite, but having missed a run with a foot abscess, I think he is vulnerable.  I am going to get in before the Gelding and tip (Mark) Fiorente to keep it in the Sportzfan family!

Also disappointing to see the Gunners concede a late goal against Borussia Dortmund and not escape with a draw. Arsenal has had a great run since their opening loss of the Premier League season against Aston Villa. The Champions League group stage has got a bit to play out so all is not lost.

I did finally get a look at Jack Wilshere’s goal scored against Norwich City. What an absolute cracker and an early nominee for the Goal of the Season!!  In the newspaper article they suggested that it was a goal that had Arsene Wenger written all over it and I would agree it is the type of slick football that is the trademark of his teams.  Perhaps a bit more focus on defence will take them further in all competitions though.

Sportzfan Radio #206.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!12 June 2011 206.2 – The Professor queries when Daniel is going to attend a production meeting at the Great Western Hotel. Mark Fiorenti comes on the show to talk soccer & the Socceroos. He is bullish on Holger Osieck’s coaching and also the young players he tried in last week’s friendly matches. There is also a discussion of the problems confronting FIFA with corruption claims and the rumors that Cesc Fabregas will leave Arsenal for Barcelona. Mark thinks time might be running out for Arsene Wenger. Daniel and the Professor discuss NBL and the plight of the Sydney Kings who are thought to be in debt again. They also look at cricket with Simon Katich’s axing, the review into Cricket Australia and the selectors. Stan sacks the lot. Paul Dalligan talks rugby league and the coming State of Origin match. He thinks NSW will win 16-12. He also reviews the current NRL round. The Panel look at the dangers of spectators running on to the field at AFL games. Sean Callanan talks about his coming trip as Sports Geek to the US. He will meet with the NBA, see some Mets and Yankees baseball and then assist the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA draft in engaging the fans on line.

Sportzfan Radio #199.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!24 April 2011 199.2 – Mark Fiorenti also looks at the mathematical possibilities of Melbourne Victory and Sydney in making the knockout round of the Asians Champions League. He says Arsenal’s mediocre recent form with two draws seems to have finished its Premier League run. Sportzfan Stan believes Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger should be sacked. The Panel talk with Southern Football League CEO, Wayne Holdsworth about Jason Akermanis playing as a ‘gun for hire’ in local leagues and whether it is a good thing for football at grass roots level. Drugs in sport also raises its head again with Alberto Contador still cycling notwithstanding he has been found guilty of returning a positive test to clenbutrenol. He has lodged an appeal with the Courts of Arbitration for Sport and can ride pending the appeal. Sportzfan Stan says it is an outrage. Paul Dalligan comes on the show to talk rugby league and this week’s round of matches. He goes out on a limb and selects the Roosters to beat the Dragons 16-12. He discusses the off field trouble that Todd Carney and Anthony Watts have found themselves in and says it is a massive blow for the Roosters. Sean Callanan talks sports digital and Essendonfc will use a fan cam tomorrow to take a panoramic digital picture of the crowd at tomorrow’s Anzac Day game. He also discusses new teams strategies to draw in fans especially for the new 20/20 franchises, the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder. Don’t forget next week is the 200th Sportzfan Radio show.

Sportzfan Radio #193.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!13 March 2011 193.2 – Sportzfan Stan reminds Mark that he had called for Merrick’s sacking weeks ago. Mark then goes on to discuss the A League Grand Final between Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners. He thinks the Roar will win 2-0. The Professor and Mark discuss how tough it is being an Arsenal supporter. Mark says they promise so much but don’t deliver. Paul Dalligan talks NRL and the start of the season. Even though the Rabbitohs lost to the Roosters, Paul took a lot of positives out of it. Melbourne Storm won their first game for points in a long time. After the Broncos first loss, Sportzfan Stan is already calling for Anthony Griffin’s axing as coach. Paul thinks that is a bit harsh after only one game. He says the NRL will need to look at the rule where a defender runs into a referee with the controversy in the Titans/Dragons game. The Panel discuss the Brendan Fevola saga and whether Casey Scorpions should have offered him a contract. They then talk with Australian baseball centre fielder Amy McCann. She started her career with the interestingly named Kissing Point Angels in Sydney as the only girl on the team and in the league. She now plays for Doncaster Dragons with a change to starting pitcher this season. She says her best pitch is a strike. Sean Callanan comes on to talk social media and the battle between the AFL & NRL for the social media fan. In MWC the Utah basketball coach bans live tweets or texts at a shootaround which seems rather pointless in this day and age.