Arsenal still in reach of top four, hopes are high that Arteta will find the way

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Mikel Arteta started his Arsenal manager career with a FA Cup win half an a year back and everyone believed the future looked bright for The Gunners as they looked better than before, not really finding themselves under the time Unai Emery was in charge.

But the squad inherited was not as ideal as you would have liked and with David Luiz and Willian added you might have thought a strong influence of experience would heal the pain, but instead changes were needed with the two Brazilians moving out this summer signing for Flamengo (Luiz) and Corinthians (Willian)

New players are added and with young adspiring goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (Sheff Utd, defenders Ben White (Brighton) and Takihiro Tomiyasu (Bologna) they have recruited for the future. Also among new signings are Martin Ødegaard (Real Madrid) and Albert Sambi Lokonga (Anderlecht), so the young train is absolutely on the way in at The Emirates.

Arteta is trying to move Arsenal into a new era with a lot of young hopes, but still you have Aubameyang and Lacazette showing their strength and looking as if they are enjoy life at their football club at this moment. The game yesterday v. Aston Villa also prove that Arsenal still bring forward young and exciting players from their own ranks with goalscorer Smith Rowe and England international Saka making their claim for a regular starting position.

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There are still a long way to go before this team do have the strength and depth to keep a steady route to Champions League football season in and season out, but still you wonder why Arteta with his budget and possibility to sign more experienced players do tend to buy younger players as fans and owners are impatient when it comes to top four positions and fighting for trophies season in and season out.

Still early days and in reach of the top four Arsenal are currently 9th in the PL and just one point behind Brighton who are at the moment in that 4th position with a wonderful start to their campaign and again proving that a lower transfer budget and clever coaching will take you far.

We have seen in the near past that Leicester, Wolves and Burnley all have been able to steady and formly qualify for Europe and then pushing Arsenal down the ladder, something that should be impossible with a steady and good formation of players, system and coaching staff, so at the moment and since Arsene Wenger left underachieving is the word to use on Arsenal from that day.

But we feel that the top level of Arteta’s teams are high on the horizon with their low level being something of a shame as it looks less difficult to stress their defense which still looks a bit uncomplete.

Players might take their next step during the season and with experienced key players able to play week in and week out such as Xaka, Partay and Aubameyang you might be looking at a bright future, but still we believe it will be a massive battle to reach that top four position with a squad still maturing and learning.

A long time ago that we did see Arsenal as a top team in PL, winning the league as far back as 2003/04 with that fantastic unbeaten record during their fantastic campaign, and not so long ago in 2015/16 taking the runners-up medal from Spurs as they finished 2nd between Leicester.

So will we again see Arsenal lifting the PL trophy, surely it could happen, but not this season with Liverpool and Man City battling for the trophy between them yet again.

But as always Arsenal belongs in the top and they will soon be back, but it will take a few hurdles to climb and probably more changes needed to get it correctly, at this moment it looks a bit rookie and still improvement to be made.

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Duncan Edwards, The Greatest, Manchester United, England, the story of a star

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Duncan Edwards is by many described as the best footballer to be, and at his age he was something else, a bright future was in front of him but as we all know it all ended in a tragic disaster as the England international died in the Munich crash.

When the crash happened and we never got the opportunity to see Duncan Edwards on a football field again, he had at the age of 21 added up 18 caps and scored 5 goals for England, played a total of 151 EFL games for Manchester United and scored 20 goals.

His talent was something we seldom will see in football and the future looked fantastic, the left half would have been part of the England set up for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, and the outfall could have been much different, and of course gone on to win more honours than his two league titles from 1956 and 1957 with Manchester United.

England did participate in the 1962 World Cup but at the age of 26, Duncan Edwards would have been at his very best and looking forward he could have gone on to play in both the 1966 and 1970 finals. Bobby Charlton was just a year younger than Duncan Edwards and came through the ranks at Manchester United at the same time. The two also did military service together in the area of Shrewsbury.

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Duncan Edwards, was described as a rock in open sea and a player that could operate in midfield and of course in the centre of a back three. He made his England debut at the age of 18 and when making his first team debut with MU, at the age of 16, becoming the youngest player in the top flight ever.

A teetotal as we would probably have liked every sports man to be and of course leading by example and being a grand role model for his generation, being that proper and solid rock as described, and of course a key player in the Sir Matt Busby set up. Bill Foulkes and Paddy Crerand did get their shots instead as they covered the positions we would surely had seen Duncan Edwards operating in, getting that great generation of players coming up and establishing Manchester United again as a giant in European and domestic football during the 60’s.

Duncan Edwards had a leading role in the England team and played in all four of the qualification games for the 1958 World Cup, scored two goals in the 5-2 hammering for Denmark in Copenhagen, often said to be the clear alternative to follow Billy Wright as captain of England.

History and destiny tells a different story as we again did see a great athlete and massive footballer leave us with his best years in front and leaving a big hole of grief behind.

But as we are asking the questions, what if? and why? his place was there to be filled both for club and country as other players stepped forward and made the most of their football careers.

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Manchester United were close to win The Double with Duncan Edwards in the team and he was part of the run with the club raching the 1957 FA Cup final, but had to see defeat against Aston Villa, losing 2-1.

A sad story and a tragic outfall is of course the close picture of his life, but indeed giving inspiration and hope for other players as English football reached it’s peak in the 60’s with both Manchester United and England making history on the path that was there to walk for other players making their club and nation proud.

Duncan Edwards, The Greatest

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Denmark, red red dynamite, no goals conceded, impressive nation of football

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For many the talk about Denmark and their fairy stories in football goes back to the days when Sepp Piontek was appointed manager of the national team. He was in charge for eleven years from 1979 to 1990. Piontek was born 1940, in Wroclaw, at the time known as Breslau, and part of Germany. Piontek represented West Germany and picked up six caps from 1965 to 1966, playing his club football with Werder Bremen, his position was in defence and he added up 278 league appearances and scored 15 goals. Before taking charge of Denmark he had coached St. Pauli, Haiti, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Werder Bremen.

Before Piontek’s appointment Denmark had never qualified or participated in World Cup finals action, never been involved in the end tournament of the Euro’s but felt they had talent and players to be able to compete with the best. A long tradition from the far past did see Denmark doing well in the Olympics, at the time always participating as amateurs.

They have since their first big Olympic achievement, getting to the finals, in 1908, ending runners-up, picking up silver medals, been seen as a proud nation in football and of course bringing home pride to the nation. They followed up with new silver medals in the 1912 Olympics as well. Denmark were back on the podium in 1948, winning the bronze. The 1960 Rome tournament was a new success getting another great run and reaching the final, but sadly losing 3-1 to Yugoslavia picking up new medals of silver. So their old tradition of being a great football nation was part of their culture, and with the West German coach in place things would change.

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We had seen many great Danish players abroad, with Henning Jensen as the top star of the early 70’s playing for Real Madrid in the years from 1976 to 1979. Denmark were a grand exporter of footballers to clubs in Holland, Belgium, Germany and Spain.

Denmark, a country of three major areas, Jutland, Zeland and Funen, with a great number of other islands also included. They did in the past have a number of great differences, and never really managed to build a great national team to qualify for the World Cup, strange in a way with so much talent spread all over Europe.

Sepp Piontek managed to bring all of this together and his big breakthrough did see England fall out of the Euro’s and Denmark qualifying with that 1-0 win at Wembley on the 21st of September 1983. Allan Simonsen scored on a penalty in the 30th minute and no english players managed to get hte ball in the net.

This was massive in Denmark with a team full of talent. Personalities, experience and elegancy, mixed perfectly together by Sepp Piontek. Morten Olsen (Anderlecht), top experienced captain, Michael Laudrup (Lazio) the young talented player that later would set out a fantastic route in football playing for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Preben Elkjær (Lokeren), Søren Lerby (Bayern Munich) and Frank Arnesen (Anderlecht) also had roles in the team and of course Jesper Olsen (Ajax), Jens Jørn Bertelsen (Seraing) and Klaus Berggren (Pisa) made their full impact.

The team basically was build around those former greats that made their full commitment with a number of players in minor clubs around in Europe and of course also being bold enough to give a teenager like Michael Laudrup a place in the team, starting a career at this time and playing for naitonal team for the next 16 years.

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We have since this early days of Sepp Piontek seen Denmark in the Euro’s and World Cup finals over and over again as they tend to qualify and give their nation proud moments always bringing forward new and exciting talents. Christian Eriksen has been their best player in recent years and we all were praying with hope when we did see what happened during this summers Euro’s tournament. All ended in the best way possible, but of course a difficult situation for everyone involved.

With the absence of Eriksen, Denmark under current manager Kasper Hjulmand, has been sensational going through the World Cup qualifications without conceding a single goal and winning all of their games, still a few to be played, but qualified for Qatar and with the Semi’s reached in the Euro’s this summer they were close to that same happening as we did see in 1992.

Denmark is known for their red hot dogs, lego and wind mills. But the way they produce footballers is a bit sensational as they tend to be up there among the best in the game with players such as Eriksen, Delaney, Braitwaite and Schmeichel all part of domestic title winning teams.

We do speak about England, Germany, Spain and Italy as the giants, but to be honest this little country might be the most sensational of them all as they have been so close.

The current Denmark team is captained by a special man, Simon Kjær. The defender and AC Milan player showed how you should act when incidents as we did see with Christian Eriksen happens, of course great credit to all others as well, but his presence was huge and he is a living example of fantastic leadership, pure class.

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It will be exciting to see how far Denmark can reach in the 2022 World Cup. This nation could be in with a chance to bring home the big trophy, would be a fantastic thing to happen, though odds are high as a mountain for that to happen.

Fingers crossed for Denmark as they impressed and did qualify in the best way possible.


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