This week we spoke to media producer, podcaster and Arsenal fan Josh Landy (@Josh_Landy) for his thoughts ahead of our Boxing Day clash at the Emirates…
Q. How far is this Arsenal team off from being a title-winning side? What are the priorities during the upcoming transfer window? Who’s on your shopping list?
A. We’re quite far off winning the title with this current squad. We need a couple of first rate defenders who can go straight into the side and a much better version of Flamini and then we’re in contention, because our front five, whoever Wenger picks, are a match for anyone. I don’t think we have a single defender who would get into Chelsea’s side. If we can improve the squad in January it’ll be a blessing, but Arsene is probably stubborn enough to believe he doesn’t need reinforcements.
Q. Arsene Wenger – time for the Professor to go? Where do you stand on the debate?
A. No set of fans is more split on an issue than our lot are on Mr Wenger. However, I personally am backing him. He excelled in the first half of the reign and there’s an argument we’ve largely been on par for a number of years if you consider the spending of Chelsea and Man City and our restraints with our new stadium – although that argument is coming to an end. It’s not like we’ve gone into the season as favourites in the last half dozen years, so we’ve always ended up where our wage bill and squad should – third or fourth. Unless we finish outside the top four there’s no chance he’ll leave before his contract ends. We’ll yet dream his reign will end with trophies like the early years.
Q. How do you think Wenger will set up on Boxing Day? Who is the Gunners player to watch and why?
A. We’re quite predictable really but we have been good at beating the teams in the bottom half in recent years and particularly at home. It’ll be our version of 4-3-3, most likely with Welbeck and Sanchez supporting Giroud. Wenger usually has plenty of options for the three in midfield, but with Ramsey Wilshere, Arteta and Ozil all currently out, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Flamini are getting a lot of game time. Sanchez has to be the man to watch, especially in games where we should have most of the ball – his work ethic is better than anyone we’ve seen in years and he’s brilliant all over the pitch.
Q. Historically QPR have often been well-liked amongst opposition fans although this has changed in recent times with our perceived influx of spending power. How do you see the QPR of today?
A. Like many clubs you’re foreign owned but there’s something to be said for having an owner who fans of other clubs would all immediately recognise and who is clearly passionate about the club. I think Tony Fernandes comes across well and that’s to the benefit of how you’re perceived. You can tell there’s a community about the club that quite frankly we’ve lost by becoming a big world brand so that’s to be admired. Selfishly it’s always good to have another London derby so I’m happy for you to stay up!
Q. Which current QPR player/s do you rate or admire, if any? What about QPR players of the past?
A. Charlie Austin is obviously one of those ‘feel good’ football stories that all football fans like so it’d be great to see him get an England call up. It’s nice to see Armand Traore made it at a decent level in the end, he was our LB when we lost 8-2 at Old Trafford and that was his final game in our shirt. He wasn’t ever going to get ahead of Clichy and Gibbs. From your mid 1990s Premier League days, Trevor Sinclair and Les Ferdinand stick out as the stars who were enjoyable to watch. Everyone in school always had at least six Merlin ‘swapsies’ of Danny Maddix so I’d like him to get a mention too.
Q. What do you make of QPR manager Harry Redknapp? Do his links with the ‘other North London club’ colour your view?
A. He did pretty well with Spurs all things being considered – after all he’s the one that took them into their one season of Champions League football. Of course they never finished above us though! I don’t mind Harry, he’s old school and reasonably entertaining but I wouldn’t want him as our boss. It’s a shame all the off the field antics prevented him being the England manager, but it’s understandable.
Q. Which three teams do you tip for relegation this season?
A. Leicester peaked far too early, Hull look awful whilst Crystal Palace don’t look in a good way at the moment.
Q. Score and prediction for Boxing Day?
We certainly don’t want to be the first team you take any points away from home against! Let’s go with 3-1 Arsenal.
Good luck for the rest of the season!
Thanks once again to Josh for taking the time out to answer our questions.