Search

Layth Yousif’s Arsenal Rewind column – RIP Ugo

PUBLISHED: 15:16 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:27 21 April 2017

Arsene Wenger surprised many with his formation at Middlesbrough

Arsene Wenger surprised many with his formation at Middlesbrough

PA Wire/PA Images

Layth Yousif’s latest Arsenal ‘Rewind’ column reviews the week that was...

In memoriam:

Ugo Ehiogu was an elegant player and a decent human being. I came across him briefly when covering a Spurs academy pre-season game up at Stevenage two summers ago. He was the type of man who had time for everyone, and was loved and respected by his charges and colleagues.

On a long hot long forgotten afternoon he was happily mucking in at the end, not only setting an example to his gilded youngsters but just because he was a good, decent man. It was a small act, but an act that gave an insight into his character. And why he was – and always will be – thought of fondly.

The world of football has lost one of its good guys today. Vale, Ugo.

Buy him a pint

Yes, we know he’s getting an awful amount of criticism at the moment, and yes it’s true that surely his time has to be up at Arsenal after such a poor run of form this year – but Arsene Wenger still hasn’t lost his ability to surprise people.

His switch to playing three at the back – including the highly promising Rob Holding who this column thinks will be a better English ball-playing centre half than John Stones one day – wrong-footed every pundit in the build up to the game at the Riverside.

The switch worked as the Gunners backline held off Boro to end the club’s worst run on the road for 88 years – even if the expected attacking onslaught failed to materialise from the Teessiders.

It was good to see a 67-year-old manager prove he is not averse to trying new ideas – even if you could argue the 3-1 victory at Derby County at the long-gone Baseball Ground in May 1997 gave the decision more of a retro feel to it than an innovative one.

Although you could argue since Wenger’s men gave Chelsea that 3-0 shellacking back in September the Blues have been using that system to great effect – so why did it take eight months for Arsenal to use the formation?

But after the dismal run since losing to Watford back in January – culminating in one of the worst performances this column has seen in more than three decades of watching Arsenal week in week out at Palace last week - that would be churlish. Wouldn’t it?

Get your coat

Alexis Sanchez’s agent. Stop posturing and get your man to sign a new contract. After the way the fans have backed the Chilean marvel in spite of his - shall we say passion – shown this term, anything other than putting pen to paper on a lucrative new deal at Arsenal would infuriate supporters everywhere. Gooners have long memories if they’re not happy with a player agitating to leave. Just ask Ashley Cole.

Magic moment

Rob Holding’s performance at the Riverside. Yes, he still has a lot to learn. And yes we still don’t know if he’s the full package – Callum Chambers anyone? – but this unassuming lad works hard, has a good attitude, can ally talent with technique and is learning to read the game well. If Steve Bould can convince fans he is the right number two for Wenger in the event of a summer shake-up should the Frenchman stay – then his work with the raw but hugely promising Holding will be central to that.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

14:36

Arsenal have been drawn in the Europa League round of 32 against the team taking Sweden by storm – and their English manager is delighted.

13:37

Arsenal have been drawn to play in northern Sweden against Ostersunds FK in the Europa League round of 32 knockout stage. But how much do you know about them?

12:32

Arsenal have been drawn against Östersunds FK in the Europa League draw as they attempt to emulate Manchester United’s success in winning the trophy last season.

With the travel chaos caused through snowstorms and artic-like conditions read how one intrepid Arsenal fan – Danny Coyle, aka Grampian Gooner – made it from Scotland to the south coast for the game at Southampton on Sunday.

Yesterday, 14:45

Arsene Wenger lamented another sluggish start that led to Arsenal dropping points for a second week in succession following a 1-1 draw at Southampton.

Yesterday, 14:14

Olivier Giroud climbed off the bench to rescue a point for Arsenal at Southampton.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Arsenal may have beaten BATE Borisov 6-0 on Thursday and Huddersfield Town 5-0 nine days ago but sandwiched in between was a 3-1 loss to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United on Saturday.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

With the NBA London 2018 clash between Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers at the O2 Arena only a month away, excitement is growing on the other side of the Atlantic.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now