Monthly Archives: September 2010

What Arsenal team will show up against Partizan?

Wenger thinks of what to do

Okay, I am done sulking and making noise simply because we lost over the weekend. Yes, we lost to West Brom, yes, Odemwingie ripped into our defence, yes we conceded 3 goals, so what? Even Barcelona lost at home to Hercules and still bounced back in style in the next game. So who says we won’t win the league because we dropped 3 points in week 6? There are still 32 odd games to go and the faster we got this behind us, the better.

We travel to Serbia on tomorrow (Tuesday) to face Partizan Belgrade. They lost on Matchday 1 to Shakhtar Donetsk so they will be desperate to impress in front of their home crowd. The squad list was released some hours ago and some names were notable absentees.

Arsenal squad to face Partizan Belgrade:

21. Lukasz Fabianski
53. Wojciech Szczesny
3. Bacary Sagna
22. Gael Clichy
6. Laurent Koscielny
7. Tomas Rosicky
8. Samir Nasri
11. Carlos Vela
15. Denilson
17. Alex Song
18. Sebastien Squillaci
19. Jack Wilshere
20. Johan Djourou
27. Emmanuel Eboue
23. Andrey Arshavin
29. Marouane Chamakh
28. Kieran Gibbs
46. Henri Lansbury

Diaby and Almunia are the most notable names missing from the squad travelling to Serbia. Almunia reportedly has an elbow injury and will be out for some time, while Diaby has been dropped from the squad after his dismal showing over the weekend. He was obviously not fit against West Brom and made us pay for his lack of fitness.

So, Fabianski is poised to replace the injured Almunia, Gibbs also makes the squad following a return from the foot injury sustained against the Spuds. Lansbury is rewarded for an outstanding performance against Spurs as he also travels with the team. It should be noted that we are still without Fabregas, Robin, Theo, Bendtner and Vermaelen, although Cesc and TV5 may make the team for the crunch tie over the weekend. Partizan Belgrade are back in the Champions League after a 7 year absence and will be out to show what they have learnt during that time. Arsene recognizes the importance of bouncing back with an assured performance.

It is important to get a good result against Partizan Belgrade. First of all, it gives us a good opportunity to qualify if we can then win our home game afterwards. As well, it is important before going to Chelsea that we have a good performance”.

We need the sort of response the boys gave at Shite Hart lane after the Sunderland game.This is to hoping our boys can put up a classy performance, play beautiful football, score goals and most importantly get our season back on track. We need a big boost before the game against Chelski this weekend, and a huge win will go a long way in lifting the spirits around the club.

Keep the faith gooners, it just might be one of those magic European nights for us. It’s me again, back from my three-month break, doing my thing for Memoirs of a Gooner.

C’mon you Reds, let’s do this!

From wherever you are reading, have fun.
Faf says so!

Arsene-’I didn’t recognise my team today’. Neither did we Le Boss!

Nasri vs WBA '10

I believe that today’s game was an exception – until today we had very, very good games. I didn’t recognize my team today and we have to sit down together to analyze what happened. Something is unexplainable in such a poor performance. It is always difficult to [sense it before the game] but something was not right and it is unusual to see a team as flat as we were today”.

Those were Arsene’s words in his press conference after the disaster of a result we got on Saturday. We lost to West Brom at home, our first home loss since January I think. We conceded 3 goals in total to Liverpool, Blackburn and Sunderland, yet we conceded 3 goals to West Brom in a single home game. Funny stats eh? While I am not one of those fickle fans who start raining abuses on the team and the manager after every loss, it’s only fair that I criticize and praise them when necessary.

Almunia had a game to forget, conceding 3 goals from 5 shots, including a penalty at his goal. This is an awful record for any goalie at any level. Yes, he saved a penalty, but he would not have had to do that had he not felled Odemwingie in the box. He saved a weak penalty and redeemed himself, fair enough. The first goal was not his fault but his role in the other two goals left a lot to be desired. He spilled a shot in his near post for the second goal and misjudged the speed of the ball by rushing out and not getting to the ball before the West Brom attacker. Almunia is a good goalkeeper but whether he’s good enough for Arsenal is another issue entirely.

Arsenal’s three man midfield is such that Song is the out and out defensive midfielder, Cesc is the creative forward going on with the least defensive duties of the three if you will, and the guy in the middle is the one who sort of balances the team, he helps fly into tackles and also helps in the ball distribution. So far this season, that has been Wilshere and he has done a fantastic job. I mean he comes back and retrieves the ball from Song or the back four and finds our captain who pushes much further forward preventing him from having to track back so deep. Now, in this game Song played his usual role and Nasri was meant to play Cesc’s role with Diaby playing Wilshere’s. MISTAKE!

For starters, Diaby does not have half the vision that Wilshere has, which is why he holds the ball so much till he can see the pass that has at that point become too obvious. He also cannot match Wilshere’s usual hustling on the pitch, trying to win balls and such, for some odd reason, was not there. The implication? Nasri has to come all the way back to get the ball and in the alternative, Song has to push up more than normal. The defence suffers as there’s no proper cover for our CBs and no proper distributor for the attack, which means Sagna and Clichy have to move forward just a little bit than they’ve had to this season. This is why West Brom’s goals came from the wings; the third maybe because we were 2 goals down and needed to push up obviously. It gets worse because the fact that Diaby is on the pitch means he is getting in the way of other players. He occupies so much space but he’s still ineffective.

Only reason Chamakh didn’t have such a bad game is because he comes to the midfield to try and collect the ball anyway, he doesn’t really wait to be “fed”. Eboue also had a rather below par game but look at what happened as soon as Wilshere and Rosicky came on, Nasri was free to fly, to devastating effect and then create the missing link, Arshavin was duly supported, Rosicky also played his part. But there are a few questions for me; why did Wenger not make those changes sooner? I understand he probably wanted to rotate and give Wilshere a rest, especially after our game with those Hot-Suds…whoopsh!!! Spurs, same with Rosicky but obviously, it wasn’t working out, so why wait till the game is dead before doing the right thing?

Is this the team we plan to take to Stamford Bridge next weekend? Let’s just hope I sincerely have to be at work, because it’s going to be a mauling if we go to Chelsea with the same attitude. However, stranger things have occurred in football, and unless we can do the unexpected by grabbing a win to make up for the unexpected loss to West Brom, we are effectively 7 points adrift.

Is that the League trophy I see sailing further away? It’s still early days anyways. I wonder what team we’ll be putting out for the Champions League tomorrow.

Keep the faith gooners, that’s what we are fans for, right? Let’s start with the annihilation of Partizan tomorrow.

From wherever you are reading, have fun.
Ita says so!

Weekend review + It’s not just another Carling Cup tie.

We take on the Spuds

Taking candy from an unwilling child is what you’ll call the Braga Romp in the Champions League Matchday 1. Our performance, well Cesc’ mostly left pundits purring and made our doubter swallow their words for one more week. The fluency of the attacks and total near domination of the little Portuguese side was a joy to behold… Fast forward 3 days on a sunny afternoon at the stadium of light after taking the lead albeit fortuitous as an Antoine Ferdinand clearance ricocheted off Cesc and flew into the net from fully 40 yards.

Our joy was to be short lived as he went off injured, to add to that, Song was sent off for two soft fouls. And with our backs against the wall, our centre back pairing held strong. It looked like we were definitely heading for a win as Nasri won a penalty late in the game. But Rosicky shot over as he went for power over placement. Disaster? Not yet. With added time passed, a long ball from Zenden caused havoc in the box and Clichy’s poor clearance fell to Bent who blasted it into the net.. HeartBreak!!!! Arsene was furious and shoved the fourth assistant for allowing a few more seconds. In truth though, we should have cleared the ball.

If we were looking for any reprieve, we are not going to get it as our next fixture is against our less classy and highly unsuccessful neighbours in the 3rd Round of the Carling cup. As its AW’s tradition is to use this competition to blood youngsters (future first-teamers) and has already promised to play the likes of Benik Afobe, JET, Wilshere and hopefully we’ll see some first teamers like Eboue, Denilson , Vela and Djourou. Seeing as Spuds are also involved in the Champions league, we’ll definitely see some of their oh-so-useless youngsters.

Let’s hope we can put in a solid shift and avoid the embarrassment of two seasons ago.

P.S: Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring problem and looks set to miss the showdown with Premier League leaders Chelsea on October 3.

Our injury situation just got better, didn’t it?
Keep the faith gooners, tonight might be the night we avenge our loss over there lst season. It’s 2 – 1 to the Arsenal!

From wherever you are reading, inspite of Cesc’s injury have fun.
Escobar says so!

Gunners expertly dispatch Trotters.

Koscly goal

Arsenal once again banished memories of past games against Bolton with an efficient display on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Going into the game, we had many injury concerns, with Theo Walcott getting injured on international duty and Robin extending his time out. We were definitely short up front; with Nikky B and Nasri not up for a start, I eagerly awaited what kind of attack we were going to line out with.

When the team sheet was released, I heaved a sigh of relief as we were still strong in attack, with Arshavin and Rosciky on either side of Chamakh. Changes were also made to the back four: Gibbs and Eboue came in for the rested duo of Clchy and Sagna respectively; Squillaci also came in for the slightly injured Vermaelen to Koscly at the heart of the defence. It was a joy to see Wilshere start alongside Cesc and Song in midfield; Arsene definitely had the midweek Champions League fixture on his mind.

The game in itself was virtually all Arsenal. In the opening 45 minutes, Cesc and Rosicky pulled the strings, moving the ball around quite well and attempting the most delicate of passes. Quite a number of these passes made their way to Arshavin and he wasted them, chances that he would normally bury on a normal day. This is a worrying sight as on other days and against better teams, we might have paid dearly for those missed chances.

In the 23rd minute however, a Wilshere cross from the right was met on the far post by Cesc who squared in across goal to Koscly who managed to nudge it into the net. He was understandably happy with himself. I guess his happiness went into his head as he misjudged a long ball from deep in the Bolton half and tamely headed back when a clearance would have been more appropriate. His header only made its way to an unmarked opposing player in our box and Bolton drew level. It was unimaginable given the fact that we dominated the entire game. Arsenal pressed for a goal before the break but Bolton were very glad going into half time on par.

In the second half, Arsenal picked up from where they left off and continued the search of that goal. Their efforts were rewarded on the hour as Chamakh steered home a header from a Cesc cross. We had the advantage now and needed to get more to kill off any hopes of a comeback. We were celebrating again when Alex Song finished off a lovely passing move involving Cesc and Arshavin. He beat his man and chipped the ball delightfully above the goalie with the ball strolling over the line. 3 – 1, in the 78th minute with most of the possession, you did not see a way back for Bolton in this one. All we had to now was pass the ball around and exploit any other chances.

The Grove was raised to its roof with the last goal. Vela who was on as a substitute got on the end of a 24-pass move and slotted past the keeper. It was undoubtedly the goal of the weekend. Arsenal at their imperious best, and Vela contributing his own share of goals.

Final whistle, game over, mission accomplished. We just defeated our one time bogey team and in style too. There were a few positives to take from this game, the wonderful debut from new boy Squillaci, the goal by Koscly, Cesc’s performance, Chamakh and Vela’s goals. The major negative in this match is the injury to Diaby. Another injury? Oh please! How do we end all these worries. It’s becoming a norm and a bad habit at that.

We have the Champions League next. It feels so good to be participating in Europe’s number one competition once again. We have a relatively easy group, and with the way injuries have dealt with us, more rotation is needed. So I expect to see some “new faces” in the midweek.

That’s it gooners, we are second, we have beating Blackburn and Bolton and drawn away to Liverpool. Not a really bad position to be in, is it?

Thoughts?

From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!

Shawcross runs his mouth, Ade needs to shut it…so does Cesc!

The Curse Persists

Hiya gooners, how good has this week been? Very, i guess. The international break has no doubt made it a bit tougher to come up with regular Arsenal stuff, but no matter how dull things are, the word Arsenal will always attract headlines. Most of our players flew to help their countries in the the qualifying campaigns. The likes of Nasri, Sagna and Clichy were on duty for France and lost to Belarus over the weekend. Only God knows when that team will get it acts right and start winning again. Cesc and Theo were on winning sides though, while the likes of Van Persie, Bendtner and Ramsey, who is recovering from a broken leg, did not participate in any of their national team’s engagements.

Speaking of broken legs, Ryan Shawcross, remember him? the “committed” dude form Stoke City who broke Ramsey’s legs, Yes! him. He has accused Le Boss of “having a personal vendetta against him”. That guy needs to give me a bit of what he’s been sniffing because he certainly should not have his voice heard on matters concerning tackles. Granted, Arsene likened the way Shawcross and fellow Stoke player Robert Huth played against the Spuds to playing a rugby game but I am pretty sure anyone who saw that game will agree with Arsene’s assessment. They practically took out spuds goalie Gomes from the game and still claim they did not go near him. He should be asked one question though; hey mate, did you go near Ramsey? Hindsight still, you could bet his answer would suggest the opposite.

There is a certain man who lost everything after he left Arsenal, i mean everything apart from money obviously. His place in football, the goals, the dance and the media. He has realized this and understands that the only way the world will listen to what he says or does is if it has to do with the Arsenal. The City player that made headlines after he was photographed in an Arsenal shirt, the same man who was in the news for inciting Arsenal fans after his goal, the same dude who never stops talking about what happened to him at Arsenal. “Adebarndoor” is at it again, but this time his comments on border on the heights of lunacy and plain stupidity.

The latest of his crap is the suggestion that Shitty will surpass Arsenal if they win ten straight games. First, it will never happen, Citeh will never gain that level of consistency; even Man United and Chelsea will struggle to do this. Even it does happen, the mere fact that they win ten games in a row does not rank them on par with Arsenal not to talk of rating them above us. Ade needs to shut it and concentrate on getting into his club’s starting eleven rather than moan about what Arsenal can and can not.

Talking about people who need to keep quiet, i think it’s about time Cesc put the issues of the summer behind him and concentrated on winning leading our team’s assault for the League title. Even after the transfer window ended, Cesc is still reported as speaking to journalists on how he was “made” to stay…more like forced to stay.

“Barcelona did all they could to sign me, but Arsenal told me I had to stay, that there was no way they were going to let me go….in the end I had to stay, but the contents of my conversation with (manager) Arsene Wenger will remain private.”

We know this Cesc, we know we begged you, we know Arsene probably asked for one more season but you do not have to rub it in our faces. All this talk of Barca being your future should stop, at least for now for the sake of this team. We need to get our acts together and do away with any form of distraction.

Meanwhile, reports today indicate that Van Persie’s ankle injury has proved worse than first feared and he has now been ruled out until at least the middle of October. Bad news for us right? Nah not quite, we are used to him now.

More seriously though, England’s game tonight saw our man of the season so far Theo Walcott stretchered off with what looked like a terrible ankle injury. He’s been rushed to hospital for x-rays but beleive you me, it does not look good.

Here we go again, our injury carnival begins:RVP, Nasri, Nikky B, Denilson, and now Theo. The club is cursed on the injury front aren’t we? Let’s just hope it’s not as serious as it looks…fingers crossed it just one of those short term injuries.

From wherever you are reading, inspite of the bad news, have fun still.
9jabred says so!

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