Category Archives: Match Preview

Puts you in the right frame of mind just before an Arsenal fixture…

Last Home Game Of The Season : The Norwich Preview. 3 Points A Must

*rolls credits* What a season. We witnessed RVP have a phoenix-esque season and maturity from squad players such as Gibbs, Szczesny. Alex Song stood out alongside midfield maestro Arteta. 2012 was also the year of the Ox, while Wilshere did not make one single appearance. Needless to say it’s been a mental season.

The curtains come closing on the Emirates for this season with this fixture. Usually we’re already guaranteed of our league position at this stage, last time we weren’t sure was 2005. Are we gonna need to pull a Sp*rs on Sp*rs and Newcastle this season like we did then? I hope not.

The midweek fixtures did not favor us at all as both Spurs & Toon won to cut the gap to one. Our fault really. Had we picked up more than one point from the Wigan & Stoke fixtures we won’t be here. But we are, so we do what we allways do because we are the Arsenal. We’ll be needing the fixtures to work in our favor this weekend though.

Norwich are guaranteed Premier League football for another season so here’s hoping they put in a lethargic shift, they won’t be no pushovers, no sir, just ask Sp*rs. These are the kind of games that can go 3 ways. We win emphatically. We get the win regardless of the scoreline. Or we get stung by them. I’m hoping for the former 2 like gooners worldwide. They have no serious injury worries.

Us on the other hand have a ton and Diaby is finally out of the season(surprise. No really we all are) and the Euros. The game comes to soon for Walcott who should make the West Brom finale. Arteta and Wilshere are longterm absentees with Mertesacker too. So expect the same team that faced Stoke with one or 2 changes. Here’s how I would line up :

Predicted Line Up : Szczesny-Sagna-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Gibbs-Song-Ramsey-Rosicky-Benayoun-AOC-RVP .

Prediction : Arsenal 3-1 Norwich

Keep Gervinho on the bench, start AOC, we need pace and precision, Ramsey has one last chance to ease the anger of the fans I hope he grabs it well. I thought he was decent at Stoke, Gervinho was poor.

Tomorrow is also important as it’s “Pat Rice Day”. Wenger’s number 2 has been with the club for over 40 years as a player and manager. Wow. That’s a lot. He’s retiring at the end of the season so let’s ramp up the noise and show some love and appreciation. The game is also Arsene’s 900th game in charge. The 3points cannot be overstated.

Before I go I’d like to offer my condolences to the family of former Nigerian striker Rashidi Yekini. He passed away yesterday night due to mental illness at the age of 49. Easily the greatest striker out of my country. He’ll be remembered for his famed post goal celebration when he put his hands through the net to rejoice. RIP.

Success to the lads today. COYG

Man. City Preview + Club News

The utmost importance of us winning Sunday’s match against the billionaire boys club kicks off tonight at Wales where fifth placed Newcastle United are guests of Swansea City with the Magpies looking to boost their previously unlikely push for a finish in a Champions League spot.

And by the time the match of the weekend kicks off at the Ems, Sp*** could be three points ahead and Chelsea could be two points behind us (along with Newcastle) so in that sense, I believe Arsenal needs the win more than City do unlike the boss who believes otherwise (mind games I presume).

Team News
Nothing exceptional to report here as the boss stated that the crunch encounter comes a bit too early for glass feet Abou Diaby as well as youngster Francis Coquelin though he is confident both will start full training next week.

As for Jack Wilshere, Wenger stated the England international is recovering slowly and the club would rather not rush his comeback. Other than these, we have a full squad to choose from and it will be interesting to see who le boss starts this weekend.

Predicted line-up: Szczesny. Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs. Arteta, Song, Rosicky. Gervinho/Ox, Walcott, RvP.

A hint of complacency and doubting feet from Thomas cost us dearly last time out and I believe Wenger would resist the urge to start Aaron Ramsey this time. And while he may start the Ox; whose love for Drake’s music is now general knowledge, I think Wenger would go for the Ivorian headband (wearer).

Other News

The manager has hinted at a busy summer for us in the transfer market saying “Things are starting now [in terms of transfers]” while equally stressing that focus is needed in the season’s run in.

“At the moment we are so focused on finishing the season well, though, because what we have done over the past two months is absolutely exceptional.”

As you know, the deal to bring Lukas Podolski to the Emirates isn’t wrapped up officially as Wenger would readily tell anyone, while Yann M’Vila and Jan Vertonghen have been strongly linked to us this year.

Wenger meanwhile has praised Theo Walcott’s overall improvement as a player as proven by the 23 year old’s 10 goals and 13 assists this season; the second consecutive season Theo’s scored double figures.

“He is getting to where you want him to be now. I feel that he has made a step forward this season.” were Wenger’s words for Walcott, further stating that he now expects our Usain Bolt to now ship in the double figures every season.

For now however, he along with the rest of the team have a Champions League berth to fight for. Hopefully, Walcott along with the rest of the starting XI continue the ‘marked improvement’ on Sunday and personally, Robin van Persie can want to end his run of games firing blanks!

COYG!!!!

Arsenal watch Montolivo|Interesting Vertonghen news|QPR Preview

I lost my previous post, an awesome one at that. Words cannot describe how pained I feel as I try to remeber everything I wrote in that amazing missive. Now I have to write another post. Here goes.

A really boring week on the Arsenal front if you ask me, all talk no action. We get to see the team play tomorrow though, so that should give us a reason to look forward to the weekend.

Since we are out of the UCL, the only thing one can read about Arsenal is transfer story after story. So I’ll just go through the stories that have caught my attention.

Arsenal have apparently enquired about the availability of Italian midfielder, Ricardo Montolivo. Boro Primorac was in attendance in Fiorentina’s 2-2 draw with Genoa to watch the 27-year-old in action, and a deal is in the offing. He’s free, mature and is a quality player.

But we said the same thing about a certain Moroccan we got for free. Let’s hope Montolivo changes my opinion on free players.

The Daily Mail thinks we are preparing a move for Udinese forward Luis Muriel. He has been dubbed the Colombian Cristiano Ronaldo by some and if he is anything close to the Portuguese machine, we should snap him up. My fear is he may turn out to be more of Nani than Cristiano. Still worth a punt in my opinion.

As if we didn’t already know, Le Boss stressed yesterday that we cannot afford to switch off as we enter the crucial stage of the season. Said He:

This is the period where what we do matters the most, so we just want to keep our focus on this and not worry about anybody else’s results.

I have said this over and again, if this season has taught us anything, it is that things can change very quickly. As at the 35th minute mark against the Spuds 3 weeks ago, we were staring at a 13-point gap. Now we are 3 points ahead of the Tiny Tots.

Even though we have games against Citeh and Chelski coming up, I’m more worried about our visit to Stoke. The Brittania has not been a particularly hunting ground and seeing what they did to Citeh, we need to be on guard for 90 mins.

Let me not jump the gun, we ‘travel’ to QPR tomorrow and I expect us to pick up from where we left off. I don’t expect a lot of changes, maybe Wenger might be tempted to bring in Andre Santos for Gibbs. Other than that, I expect the same side that put Villa to the sword. Diaby may get a spot on the bench though.

Cisse is missing for them, so that should reduce their firepower; not like he stands a chance against Koscielny or Vermaelen. Anything less than maximum points is not good enough.

I bet with my Chelsea supporting friend over whose team will finish higher on the table, come May. I’ve been teasing him for 2 weeks now, all I ask is one more week of gloating.

Robin has not scored in a while, we need him to start doing that soon. 5 halves without a goal is a drought for someone of his class. A 3 nil win and 2 RVP goals will mean a perfect weekend of football for me.

That’s yer lot for today. Don’t be like me and have fun this Friday night. Nah, I’m not a boring guy, it’s just that I have this crucial School League game in the morning. I don’t want to pull a Balotelli on my team.

I’ll be here tomorrow with a full report and player ratings. Enjoy the game wherever you watch from. Promises to be fun.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs. Tell your friends to follow us too.

P.S: I saw some story on twitter about a deal for Vertonghen almost done. I don’t know what to make of it. Do let me know what you think in the comments section.

Cheers!

2012/2013 kit leaked?|Latest Team News|Everton Preview

Morning fellas! An Arsenal game finally…after what seems like an eternity without good football.

The picture above is what we think Arsenal will be wearing next season. I don’t think we have seen this colour combination before and it looks pretty cool if you ask me.

The past few days have given us fans time to reflect and to recharge our batteries for the run in. I hope it did the same for the players.

We travel to Everton tonight, with one objective, maximum points. Everton are usually a tricky opponent but with the right attitude, we should be smiling to bed tonight.

Le Boss revealed some team news ahead of tonight’s encounter.

There are really no changes from the team that played Newcastle. TV5 will be alright despite picking up a knock.

Diaby played for the reserves against L’pool yesterday and got a goal for himself. Let’s hope he can return and do a Rosicky.

Andre Santos is fit so he should start. This means we are waiting on just Coquelin and Wilshere to return before the season runs out.

The team practically picks itself. Santos for Gibbs is the only change I envisage.

Everton are expected to be without Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Seamus Coleman (thigh) and Darron Gibson (knee).

They beat the Spuds, albeit against the run of play, but they bombed at Liverpool. We are on a 9-game unbeaten run against Everton in the EPL, we should make that 10 tonight.

If we get our acts right from the 1st minute, a win is just within reach.

As exciting as it was, I don’t think I want to experience what happened against Newcastle again. Let’s put this tie to bed early.

It should be an interesting one. Chelsea play Man City tonight also and as annoying as it is, I’ll be rooting for Citeh tonight.

On a happier note, it’s good to hear that Fabrice Muamba is laughing and talking to his team mates again. Huge scare he gave us all on Saturday. Thank goodness his health has improved.

Apparently, the first thing he said after regaining consciousness was “Did we lose?”, with reference to the tie against Spurs. Wonderful professional!

The road to full recovery is still long but he’ll get there hopefully.

A win for City and Arsenal tonight puts us 6 points ahead of Chelsea. Massive considering that they still have to visit the Emirates.

I’m excited, you should be. Tonight, let’s get excited together, in a large room…with our clothes on.

Van Persie speaks, Wenger too + Newcastle Preview.

Morning gooners. How are you feeling? Fired up, eh?

A couple of surprising results over the weekend makes tonight’s game (as Arsene would say) another cup final for us.

I could wax lyrical about how lucky we are to be in 4th place (considering how poor we’ve been) this season and about how a point tonight wouldn’t hurt us much. But to what end?

We have a chance to close in on the Tiny Tots today and we should grab it. Moreover Chelski won and we need to put some daylight between us and them. Why go for one when we can grab all 3 points.

I’ll digress a bit. World’s most powerful man, Robin Van Persie has been talking, probably not what you want to hear but he’s been speaking nonetheless. This time it’s about his faith in Arsenal’s ability to topple Spurs and finish 3rd. Said he:

“I have a strong feeling we can finish third. That would be quite some achievement, something to be proud of as a club. We want to continue that record because Arsenal needs the Champions League place…”

Encouraging words from the skipper you say? I could go further to tell you that I’m confident he’ll stay if we qualify for the UCL, but I won’t. Like you, I’ll wait for him to make that decision.

There’s the small talk of a game tonight though and Le Boss is wary of Newcastle’s play-acting. Wenger hopes the lads have learned the mistakes that crippled us in the last 2 games against them.

We’ve had three or so red cards in as many previous games against them and we should be looking to finish tonight’s game with 11 men, 12 if you include the roaring fans, and equally importantly, maximum points.

The team should not change much, Arteta returns to the starting XI, to complete the midfield with Song and Rosicky. I”ll start Gibbs if he can play. Allow Santos some time.

Give Walcott and Gervinho another shot on the wings and see if they can rip Newcastle to shreds. Replace the weak link with The Ox. Yes I wouldn’t start him.

Newcastle have no fresh injury concerns so you can expect their strongest side. But we are the Arsenal, we banished Spurs, L’pool and Milan in a week; what chance does a small side from the North East stand?

That’s it from me for now, I’ll be back with a review + player ratings of a big win I suppose. Robin needs goals too, let’s hope he gets them.

Just a quick note to every Sp*d around you: “objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear”.

Drop a Comment! Spread the Word! Watch the Game! Have Fun!

“We’re Going All Out!” says Wenger – the Milan Preview

Media about AC Milan’s Champions League visit to the Emirates on the back of a solid 4-0 first leg lead has been waxing mostly on famous comebacks in Europe and it just so happens that AC Milan features in most episodes, the defeat to Deportivo la Coruna in 2004 being the pick of the pack along with Liverpool’s triumph a season after.

That said, Arsenal go into the tie on a bit of a high with comeback wins over Sp*rs and Liverpool and… I’m thinking to myself, are we practising for a comeback against the Rossoneri? Huge task.

The task is even more so with the boss ruling Mikel Arteta out of tonight’s encounter, “Arteta has no major problem but he has to rest for a week (no thanks to Henderson’s rush of blood moment) so he will be available against Newcastle but not Milan.”

And with Diaby right back with the medical team where he holds a starting shirt down, Benayoun out with illness, Ramsey still a week from fitness and Rosicky a doubt with a minor groin injury, wonder how the midfield will be.

Predicted line-up: Szczesny. Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Yennaris. Song, Ox, Rosicky/Gervinho. Walcott, Chamakh/Park, RvP.

Pretty make shift yes and we’ve also got Coquelin out as well as Kieran Gibbs. That leaves Song as our only fully fit first team midfielder at the moment… only at Arsenal *sigh*. Still hoping for a comeback? Don’t mind me, miracles happen.

Finally on the issue of resting players seeing as a third place finish is now realistic and particularly on the issue of having a go at overturning the four goal deficit, the boss had this to say, “Yes. I would not be very credible telling you we want to score five goals and then I leave Robin van Persie out”.

So there you have it, the team’s going for the seemingly impossible and we here are going to be with them through the entire 90 tonight, or an extra half hour as the case may turn out to be.

COYG!!!

Liverpool vs Arsenal Preview : Team News & How To Win

“Thats why you mad? cuz im scoring all the goals?”

Arsenal kick off at lunch time tomorrow against Liverpool in high spirits and who can blame us? After last week’s mauling of Sp*rs. Sp*rs beat Liverpool 4-0 and we beat Sp*rs 5-2 so technically we should beat Liverpool by at least 5 goals right? I apologize for using the word Sh*t….sorry Sp*rs four times in one paragraph. :( . Well then, straight to the post.

PREVIEW…..
Arsenal vs Liverpool(especially at Anfield) is a tie that is known to cough up goals irrespective of whether its a league or cup game, remember Arshavin’s quadruple in the 4-4 at Anfield and the Baptista’s in the 6-3 in the League Cup a few years back.

The reverse fixture ended in a 2-0 win for the scousers with the goals coming after an ijury ridden Arsenal team had frimpong sent off and then an own goal with a Suarez goal settled the day. In truth, they were poor but the lack of cutting edge on our side also cost us the match. Of course this was pre Arteta-Mertesacker-Santos-Benayoun & Gervinho Song were also missing via bans.

The Liverpool team will be buoyed by their Carlin Cup win which brought an end to their six year trophy wait but Arsene reckons it will have no impact on the game. I hope it doesn’t.

The form book on this one is a swinging pendulum. Liverpool have only won once in 9meetings against us and have never done a league double over us. Advantage Arsenal. Liverpool are unbeaten at home and conceded the second fewest home goals this season. Advantage Liverpool. Arsenal have conceded more goals at Anfield in the Premier league than at any other ground while Liverpool have won just 2 of their last 9 league games. Tie.

TEAM NEWS…..
Daniel Agger misses out through injury and Gerrard is almost certain to miss out. I really don’t care for Gerrard, its not like he’s playing well, its Agger’s absence that delights me, meaning a makeshift defense for King Kenny. No news on Johnson but might be fit.

Arsenal have no new worries from the international break, RVP is fit and ready, Ramsey is out for a further 2 weeks(so too Santos). Djourou has a knock & Coquelin is out for four weeks.

HOW TO WIN…….
Liverpool have been very erratic this season, and the forms of both full backs have been a problem, Enrique started well but has struggled in recent times. Theo Walcott & Gervinho(or AOC or Benayoun, whoever Wenger goes with) would have to be on top form and I’d love to see Theo run into the channels through the middle.

Rosicky needs to be brilliant again like last week & prove it wasn’t a one off with another masterful display and we need to keep a tight unit at the back as the trickery of Suarez is going to be a problem.

Predicted Line-Up & Scoreline : Szczesny-Sagna-Vermaelen-Koscielny-Gibbs-Gervinho-Walcott-Song-Arteta-Rosicky-RVP

Liverpool 1:3 Arsenal

Win at Liverpool and pray Chelsea slip up at Bolton and it will be a great weekend. Let’s know what you think in the comments. Have a great day. Cheers.

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Arshavin Leaves Arsenal + North London Derby Preview

YES, the little Russian has finally left our club, we’ve been calling for his head all season and that reached new heights at the game against United when along with Wenger he was made scape goat. YES he showed no heart, hunger & desire and was more of a pedestrian on the pitch most times. BUT why doesn’t this move feel good in the end, why aren’t we rejoicing seeing as its what’s we wanted? Are we happy to see him leave NOW? NO!, NO!!, NO!!!

For someone that provided the goal that took us to 4th and expected to start or at least be involved at the San Siro, he not only had no hand in the game, he also didn’t play in the subsequent game.

If the transfer window was open and he left with a replacement coming in, we would all be glad, but this is a very stupid and ill thought out move by Wenger. He never really played Arshavin in his preferred position and relegating him to play for the reserves must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for Andrey.

So what happens if any of Walcott, Gervinho or AOC gets injured? We started the season with 5 wide players and now we have just 3 with one seriously under performing. SMH.

North London Derby Preview……
Small matter of the derby on sunday. We’ll beat them right? We always have. Forever in our shadows Tottenham. Right?

We welcome our small brothers 10 points behind them and an inferior goal difference. This season, they’re playing like Arsenal(without the comical defending) and we are playing like Sp*rs. As much as I want to credit them for a solid season so far, they’ve not had the misfortune other clubs competing with them have had this season.

Gibbs is fit again(I think we should adopt what Spurs do with Ledley king & make him train just once a week), Koscielny is back but Andre Santos, Wilshere and Diaby are still out with Mertesacker out for the season. This is what I expect the team to line up like :

Szczesny-Sagna-Koscielny-Vermaelen-Gibbs-Song-Arteta-Rosicky-Gervinho-Walcott-RVP

Kroenke is going to be at the game for the first time in 9months, good to see its only when there’s crisis our majority shareholder comes out. Call me crazy but I’m confident about this game, we can get away with a 2-1 victory so long we remain disciplined and the subs come in when they should.

A win would lift the mood around the Emirates and remind Spurs that despite being ahead, its just temporary & they’ll always be in our shadows. #COYG!!!

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Escobar

Arsenal Fighting For Season vs Sunderland : FA CUP Preview

We’re here again. This same spot, where according to history, our season comes to an end on all fronts. We’re a leg and a half out of the Champions league and the FA Cup along with Champions league qualification for next season is all we have left to fight for. Should be easy right? Never. With Arsenal. Never.

The players must come out and give the fans temporary respite with a convincing performance this saturday. But with our opponents being Sunderland, the task is more daunting than it is on paper. We can do it. We must do it.

Word is, Wenger ripped into the players after the abject performance midweek with a foul mouthed tirade that shocked the players. Imagine if the players had a mindset knowing they’ll get a barracking if they played rubbish. Drop a lot of them and play hungry people with a lot to prove. On to team news.

TEAM NEWS……
Mertesacker is out for the season…ouch, Koscielny took a knock but is going to be available for the North London derby. Santos & Jenkinson(back on monday) are still out, so too Wilshere & Diaby. Le Boss is going to rotate the team and drop some players and afford RVP some much needed rest.

Predicted LineUp: Fabianski-Sagna-Djourou-Vermaelen-Miquel-Coquelin-Arteta-Benayoun-AOC-Gervinho-Chamakh

I put miquel in because I don’t see Gibbs starting seeing as we had Milan on tuesday, Arshavin might come in but I’d expect him to come off the bench if we need ammunition. This is a patchy line up and I expect something completely different but this is how I would line up.

A goal fest would go a long way in helping soothe some really frayed nerves. Testing times at the Emirates within and around the club as a lot of fans are losing(have lost) patience with the club as a whole and with Usmanov silently gathering shares, expect a stormy summer. Till then, one game at a time starting at 17:15 GMT today. COYG.

Escobar

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AC Milan vs Arsenal : Champions League Preview

Good day to you wherever you’re reading from, hope you painted the town red yesterday as the occasion called for it? Or did you spend it alone at home and pretend to be having an amazing time? Well if you did the latter, today presents you with the chance to do the former(get it?).

MATCH PREVIEW……

The Champions league is back and in full effect and like they say, this is where it gets real and where champions are made. We travel to Italy to play Milan in a stadium where we boast a 100% record, two wins, 7 goals scored and 1 goal conceded so on paper we should expect another win right? Let’s go on and get it.

Arsene Wenger has issued a rallying call that we must get away goalS not just one as it will put us firmly in the driving seat to progress. Even Ramsey says we should shoot on sight and who can blame him? He did that with his first touch on Saturday and he found the net besides Abbiati(milan GK) is the Italian Almunia/De Gea. I fancy an Arteta goal (so long its not from a dead ball situation) and the pace of Walcott & Oxlade to trouble their full backs.

AC Milan are not to be taken lightly, do so and suffer, they sit atop the Serie A and are in good form despite the loss to Lazio a few weeks back and its going to take a lot to leave the San Siro with the perfect result. Like Arsenal, they came back from a goal down to win against Udinese so trust me, on our toes is how we must be the entire 90.

TEAM NEWS……

ARSENAL
Arsenal are going to be unchanged from the squad that went to sunderland with the only changes coming to the first XI, the game comes too soon for Gervinho but Gibbs is likely to return. Mertesacker is out for a month if you believe reports and Ramsey or Arshavin might themselves starting after the impact they had off the bench. This is how I would line up….

Szczesny-Sagna-Vermaelen-Koscielny-Gibbs-Song-Arteta-Arshavin-Oxlade-Walcott-RVP

Strange right? You were expecting to see Ramsey/Rosicky but for once I’d love to see Arshavin start in the hole behind RVP not out on the wings and he can regularly switch with Oxlade/Theo.

MILAN
They welcome Boateng & Pato back into the team after early reports that they would miss out through injury, Ibrahimovich should start as his ban is a domestic one. So expect a full strength milan side.

Prediction : Milan 1 – 2 Arsenal

Well there you have it, see you back here tomorrow and hopefully we’ll have great news to share. COYG.

Escobar

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