Blog Archives

February Curse Strikes Again : Race For 4th Place Starts Now

Tried to put a little spin on the headline so as not to appear overly gloomy but who am I kidding right? Going by history and the past 4 years, this month marks the beginning of the end for us. Our february form? Drawn one, won two and lost two. The two we lost came back to back.

Wenger shuffled his pack, brought in Gervinho, Coquelin & AOC for Koscielny, Gibbs and Walcott. And surprise surprise, Coq gets injured less than 20mins into the game, surely now an exorcism is needed for that left back position.

Sunderland started the game better than we did and wanted it more and it showed, we were again sloppy with our passes and not being direct enough. Our first chance came after sunderland had 3 already, RVP slipped a pass for Gervinho whose shot had to be saved & the resulting corner wasted.

The sunderland goal came in typical fashion, a set piece wasn’t cleared well and Richardson arrowed in a shot via a Squillaci deflection. 1-0 , nothing to worry about, we can do it. We did it here last week.

No repeat of such must have been O’neill’s halftime team talk because Sunderland left off where they finished the half, outplaying us, winning every 50:50 challenge and it didn’t take long for the second goal. Oxo lost the ball & chased after his attacker, Larsson shot the ball against the post, it hit Oxo and went back into the net. There was still time left for Sessegnon to pull out the party tricks on our confused & utterly shit backline. 2-0. Out of the FA Cup & out of the champions league.

REACTION……

Arsene Wenger is the chief culprit for this decline that happens every year, our squad is loaded with very poor players who know nothing about giving their all for the club while the decent ones like Ramsey & Walcott are not being coached well. They continue to churn out pathetic performances and no one is doing anything about it.

All this could have been avoided, he had the summer and january to rectify all but he chose against it. He said you can’t lose Nasri & Cesc and convince people that you’re a serious contender and what happened not only did he lose them, he failed to replace them.

Wenger’s failings are well documented, handing out large contracts to useless players, banking on average ones to rescue us when times are hard and failing to make any sense or headway in the transfer market. Our first choice left back can’t play back to back games and yet he’s first choice, Ramsey has been poor but can’t be benched because those behind him are worse off. Who’s fault? And please don’t blame injuries.

Part of his failings is the lack of a plan B and how poor the plan A we have is. Yesterday he could have gone with 4-4-2 and used players that haven’t seen game time in a while, the likes of Arshavin, Benayoun, Oxlade but he went with a fatigued squad to play a team that had the week off and expected to get a result.

This is the worst Arsenal as a club has been in a long time. Seven years as head in any occupation without results will get you the boot, as Fabregas said last year, Wenger would have been fired if he was at another club(league). Wenger’s position has to be reviewed come end of season.

Either he’s told to move on seeing as he can’t motivate his team anymore or move upstairs into the board or move to another club(afterall PSG & Madrid still want him). Its only a matter of time before Red & White Holdings make a statement with all the shares acquisition they’ve been doing and expect a turbulent summer especially if we don’t make champions league. I for one want the entire board gone especially that moron Gazidis & Kroenke, usher Usmanov in and watch changes happen.

No one man is bigger than any club irrespective of his achievements and its time to go for Arsene. Quality players and an owner that’s interested in the club and is actually a fan not one that’s a collector of clubs(franchises). Get rid of Squillaci, Djourou, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh, Park and buy M’vila, Hazard, Gotze and Edison Cavani ( :| ) . Its not impossible, if wenger had acted, 2 of the four I just mentioned should be at our club already.

We’re still a top club and can still attract quality players, we just need an overhaul of personnel and ideas on ground already. Let’s know how you feel in the comments.

The Curious Case of Andrei Arshavin.

If anyone told me on April 30, 2009 that a day would come when an Arsenal fan wouldn’t want to see Arshavin kick a ball for Arsenal, I’d have told them to have their brain checked!

30th April was the day after the magical night at Anfield, a game in which he single-handedly took the game to Liverpool, scoring 4 beautiful goals. Most fans (including myself) were probably thinking then that our messiah had arrived.

Arshavin’s transfer to Arsenal was as protracted as they come, but we managed to beat the deadline for his signature. He joined at a time we were struggling, we were outside the top 4 and then ran the risk of missing out on UCL football.

But his arrival was like a breath of fresh air, the unbridled enthusiasm that accompanied him was there for all to see.

He didn’t disappoint. From January to May he gave us good game after game and took us back into the top four. I think it’s fair to say we couldn’t have made it without him.

His next season was not as explosive, he could not replicate the form he showed the previous term. As time went on, he began to lose form and his performances began to drop. He complained about being played out of position but nothing changed.

Roll on 2011 and people were beginning to complain, his commitment was even questioned atimes. Many felt he didn’t care about playing for the club, a claim I think emanated from his demeanour on the field of play.

What do I think? Arshavin is a honest individual as evident in his comments and he criticizes himself more than anyone of us does.

My fear is he’s done this to the extent it has affected his confidence. This is probably why things rarely work out for him. The cloud of invincibility around him has evaporated, the belief is missing.

What happened yesterday is sad and unfortunate. A player steps on the pitch on his home ground, and he gets booed; even the man who is supposed to be his strike partner questions his introduction.

We can all think the boos were as a result of The Ox going off. Granted that was a tactical error, maybe Theo Walcott shoud have gone instead. However if we look at it critically, it works both ways. What kind of message are we sending to the player coming on?

The second goal was not his fault as he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Vermaelen was found wanting, Arshavin tried to help, he did, twice! But because he wasn’t successful, people blamed him for the goal. It just doesn’t make sense to me!

If his own fans and captain won’t give him a chance, how do we expect anything productive? For all our noise about Andrei, he got two assists against QPR and Swansea; two great passes I doubt any of our other forwards (apart from RVP) could have executed successfully. Moments like these are why Arsene persists with him and I understand.

Arshavin has not been in the best of form and he is always the first to admit he isn’t pulling his weight; even Wenger agrees. Fans pay for tickets so they are free to express themselves in whichever manner they deem fit.

However, the manner in which he was made a scapegoat in yesterday’s game is totally unfair and I just feel no player should be subjected to such treatment, at least not in a place he calls home.

Have a good day wherever this post meet you. Do share your thoughts with me in the comments.

Keep it goonerish!

AW Mulls Henry Return, Cahill’s a No No and More

Seasons Greetings from us here, eight wins in our last 10 league matches makes the holidays a cheerful one for the club. A quick one while we await the Premier League encounter against Wolverhampton Wanderers then….

Seems the boss is strongly considering bringing in legend Thierry Henry on loan, stating he’ll spend the last days of 2011 mulling on whether to take up that option or otherwise.

It’s barely a month since his statue was unveiled at the Ems and while a good number would be elated to have Titi back in Arsenal colours on the field of play, there are a few who hold their reservation to such a deal coming through.

Meanwhile Wenger has in essence ruled out signing Bolton Wanderers’ Gary Cahill after stating he won’t be in the market for centre backs during the January transfer window. The manager however will explore the option of bringing in a full back on loan to cover for our injured full backs.

Wenger ruled out getting a full back in on a permanent basis despite Kieran Gibbs’ injury absence being extended by a month with Wenger saying “Long term, I am sticking to Santos and Gibbs… I love both of them because they have a quality I like, which is to attack.”

That said, the French tactician denied enquiring about the availability of Manchester Shitty’s Wayne Bridge; whom Shitty manager Roberto Mancini recently was quoted to say spends his Saturdays playing golf.

In all, Arsenal will be in the market come January. With Gervinho and Chamakh off for the Nations Cup and four full backs injured, we certainly will be in the market. We also will see more of Ju Young Park; even if it’s mostly on the bench. Hopefully, we’ll rid of Andrey Arshavin while at it.

Again, best wishes from us at Gooner Memoirs. Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal Preview + Gibbs Setback

Well the rush of the festive period is on us now, in the football sense of it, with a pile of fixtures to deal with in a short space of time and after losing at league leaders Manchester City on Saturday, Arsenal make the trip to the midlands to face 9th placed Aston Villa in a Premier League encounter.

The lone goal loss at the Etihad was our first reverse after a run of nine league matches undefeated, a streak that saw the club garner eight wins and a draw. That run indicates how very much we have improved in the course of the season yet at 5th place, 12 points behind Shitty, it also pays testament to how woeful our start to the season was.

To matters at hand however, we’ve won three of our last four matches on the road and with the Villans without Chris Herd, Emile Heskey and most importantly Darren Bent, our good run of form looks favoured to continue.

We’d have to make do without a whooping five defenders though after manager Arsène Wenger revealed Kieran Gibbs suffered a setback to his recovery from a hernia operation.

That opens the way for Ignasi Miquel to start at the back while ‘Dench’ Frimpong will also likely start with Alex Song set to miss out on the Villa trip suspended no thanks to his fifth yellow card picked up on Sunday.

Possible line-up:
Szczesny; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Miquel; Arteta, Frimpong, Ramsey; Gervinho, Walcott/Arshavin; van Persie (c).

Yes, Andrei Arshavin, seeing as the boss is willing to give the Russian a go in the team despite the obvious. And with a number of injuries to deal with, Squillaci could make the bench tonight.

Talking of injuries, Bacary Sagna is fit enough to run in training so we should be seeing him back in the team (sigh of relief) very soon. It is as you were for the rest.

With a record of six wins and six draws in our last dozen visits to Villa Park, I’m counting on a 2-0 win in our favour.

Do have your say in the comments and recommend us @goonermemoirs to your follows on Twitter.

Wenger Rubbishes Marco Fabian Reports| Diaby Injured AGAIN + Damiao Linked

Top of the morning to you gooners worldwide, its scorching hot on this side of the planet whereas I’m sure its freezing cold in other planets. Well, straight to business then.

Word coming out of Mexico since yesterday night is that we have signed 23 year old Chivas striker Marco Fabian who’s going to join us in February and the story was confirmed by his parents, but Arsene Wenger has come out this morning to rubbish the reports and had this to say.

    Just an agent who wants to sell a player

Good to know we’re not going after ‘potential’ when there’s a bucket load of ready made forwards and players, the likes of which if signed would make RVP want to stay.

Player News
Perma crock Abou Diaby is out again for 10 days, that’s his 30th injury since breaking his ankle at the stadium of light a few years back, why are we patient with him? He’ll never be fit for a full season or half a season, let’s get rid of him in the summer already.

Tomas Rosicky too is ruled out, I say we accept the first bid we get in January for him, yes he’s good to have as a squad player but he’s past it and on the wrong side of 30. Get in a young player to replace him or promote Oxo(who has remained fantastic in his appearances so far)

Transfer Round Up
The latest name doing the rounds in the papers is brazilian striker Damiao. With 41 goals in 50 games one would be tempted to believe it, I’ve seen him play and he’s pretty decent, plays off the top striker or alone on his own. But I don’t see AW shelling out 25M in January for an unproven forward. Podolski is who I’d love to see join us.

The match preview would be here first thing tomorrow morning. Do check in to read it. Have a swell day.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

League Cup Quarter-Final Preview: The Economist vs the Filthy Wealth

Last time out against Fulham, the pre-match stats tilted much against the Cottagers just as that building in Piza and against Manchester City tonight, same can be said. Most glaring of all being that we have never lost a home tie at the Emirates in domestic Cup competitions.

I’d rather not dwell on such stats, or on what could have been against Fulham, and focus on the match itself. Had the date read August 29, the above record would stand little chance of being after 90 minutes against such formidable opposition. Now however, certain factors have evened the balance and given Arsenal a realistic chance of making the League Cup semi finals… yet again.

Starting with the visitors. Having played virtually or all of the encounter on Sunday at Liverpool, we’re likely to not see ex-Gunner Gäel Clichy, James Milner and Yaya Toure feature after the trim saw out that pulsating match while David Silva (substituted at 90) and Sergio Aguero (at 82) will likely be rested.

Gareth Barry is out suspended along with the bi-polar Mario Balotteli while any one of Vincent Kompany or Joleon Lescott may be rested for Kolo Toure as both played all 90 minutes as well. All that said, this is City we’re talking about…

Edin Dzeko will definitely start and I reckon Pablo Zabaleta, Andy Johnson, Nigel de Jong and fan favourite $amir Nasri will start as well, which makes for a strong opposition against us tonight; not to mention a most capable Joe Hart in goal for them.

Hence, having brushed aside any notion of facing a weak (by fitness or quality) opposition, onto Arsène Wenger’s headache of what team to select appropriate enough to face City tonight and keep to his League Cup tradition.

Oxlade Chamberlain & Park Chu Yung are going to start the game, so too Emmanuel Frimpong, but le Professeur says 90% of the squad he knows already and the remaining 10% yet to be sorted. Arshavin after talking about him not playing enough games as his ‘abilities’ deserve before the Fulham draw, he’s done same for Yossi Benayoun ahead of tonight game so I believe the Israeli captain will start.

Possible line-up: Fabianski-Yenaris-Koscielny-Vermaelen-Santos-Frimpong-AOC, Benayoun-Coquelin-Gervinho-Park

In the end, I expect City to play defensive as it’s the approach manager Roberto Mancini has come to the Emirates with the past two seasons. Hopefully, the lads will come good tonight in the quest for a place in the last four. See you at the end of the game. COYG!!!!!

Illuminatish

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Arsenal vs Marseille : Post Match Thoughts + Ratings

For only the third game this season, Arsenal shot blanks and failed to find the back of the net. The scoreline did not reflect the nature of the game as we could have won by at least 3 goals with poor finishing & lack of sharpness to blame.

Arsene Wenger chose to rest RVP and Koscielny for Vermaelen & Park with Jenkinson also coming in for Djourou, those were the only changes. The game started off slowly, we kept giving away possession and Marseille spent the better part of the first 10 minutes in our half with nothing to show.

We gained a foothold just after that, with Ramsey and Gervinho posing serious threats with their pace & passing. Ramsey had the chance to put us ahead but held back on the pass to Park and ended up wasting it. Walcott was also set free by Gervinho and Marseille had the goalkeeper to thank after turning it round the post. The half time whistle came and just before that, Gervinho shot at the goalkeeper.

For all of the speed carried by the oppositions attackers they couldn’t make it count. Santos was having a mixed game, poor at the back, excellent going forward. Gervinho full of energy, Arteta ever so careful. The back four rarely untroubled and Vermaelen looked solid, Jenko too. Despite making changes and introducing RVP, Rosicky & Arshavin, we still lacked sharpness but credit to Marseille, they got what they came for.

On the plus side, coming away with the draw meant we still top the group and are on course to qualify and the unbeaten run is still on.

Positives
Good to see Vermaelen back, he did not look out of place, won his tackles, defended well and organized the defence.

Jenkinson defended well and Song had a solid game. Gervinho is beginning to settle well and improving his range of passing.

Walcott might be on-and-off offensively, but in the past few games, his defensive input has been solid, the highlight was when Santos lost the ball on the left and Marseille broke with speed, Theo sped back all of 70yards to cover for him. Great stuff.

RATINGS

Szczesny- 6

Jenkinson 6.5

Mertesacker 6.5

Vermaelen7

Santos6

Arteta6

Song7

Ramsey6.5

Walcott6

Gervinho7

Park4

SUBSTITUTES

RVP5

Rosicky5

Arshavin5

Do have a great day. Cheers

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Marseille At The Emirates. Can We Pick Up Where We Left Off?

Just a quick one!

Gooners the world over are still basking in the Euphoria of what has been our most impressive victory of the season so far. I mean even for our ‘more accomplished’ rivals coming back from a goal down twice at the bridge is no mean feat. Now we’re braced up for Marseille.

In my opinion, this is the true test, for if we’re going by the trend set in recent seasons, then we will drop points in this game. If we do not, then I shall be impressed and feel like the team has made headway. That being said, on to injury news. There are fresh injuries with Marouane Chamakh being the most notable of all, a knee injury, so shall not feature at all. The Verminator and C.Jenks are both fit enough to play, but may not be fit enough to start according to Le Boss. Other than that all is well.

I feel there may be some rotation and I personally hope R.V.P’s rested as he is sure to be on the end of some ‘special treatment’ from Marseille but then again as Marouane is on the treatment table, I doubt he shall be rested. I’d love to see Park get a run in though, but who knows better than Le Boss right? I think we can take this one, slim margin, but we just must concentrate.

Predicted Starting XI: Sz13; Jenko, TV5, Kos, Santos; Arteta, Ramsey, Song; Arshavin, Park, Gervinho.

Marseille isn’t a slow side so our backline must be just that little bit more careful during our attacks or we may be badly exposed on the counter. If we can clinch this, then we’re guaranteed a place in the knock out stages, not necessarily a group win though but an assured place in the knock out stages will be good return at the end of this day.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back with the match ratings and a review of another win, I hope.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game.

Have fun wherever you watch from!

Ita.

EXCLUSIVE : Vermaelen Back In TEN Days As Jenkinson Is Out For Three Weeks.

Its give-and-take season at Arsenal as great news always seems to come with some misfortune, but this is one piece of news I and gooners worldwide would appreciate. THE VERMINATOR IS BACK!!!!!!!!. For those that don’t know, that’s Thomas Vermaelen, our best defender and most prolific goalscoring one in years. Arsene Wenger had this to say about him:

    He’ll be back in full training on friday(today), it would be 10 days to two weeks for him.

The great news did not stop there as he also touched on Abou Diaby and Kieran Gibbs:

    “He(Diaby) is getting better but is not ready to play yet. He’s probably back in two weeks, just a fraction behind Vermaelen. While Gibbs is nothing serious and should be back in a week or two”

.

The only downside is Jenkinson who despite his great game at the Stade Veladrome on Wednesday picked up a knew injury which could see him ruled out for three weeks. With Vermaelen returning soon it might not be a huge loss as Djourou & Kozzer have been earmarked as possible replacements and the former having played there already.

One can only pray we continue to get good news as we’re slowly getting back on our feet. Again great credit to the defensive play on wednesday, very solid and matured. Cheers

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

EXCLUSIVE : Arsenal Heading For A FreeFall As Wenger Says Forget Title & Injuries Pile Up

Seven games into the new season and 12 points off the top of the table leaves us languishing in 15th place. Normally you’d hear, oh the season is still young and its too early to decide as you can always turn your season around, just ask Kenny Dalglish and the Liverpool team.

But this is a special case as this team in particular has not only lost its best players to other clubs and long term injuries making the task look all the more daunting, it also has to contend with a stubborn manager that lost the plot a long time ago and won’t change his ways or see fault in them, let alone change or bring in new personnel to help a sinking ship.

Arsenal is doomed. Arsenal won’t make Top 8. Arsenal this, Arsenal that. The media continues to have field days every weekend with our Jekyll & Hyde form. “Two steps forward and one step backwards” is what Arsene Wenger called it, the way I see it, its a steady slide backwards. This team has no self-belief, zero coordination, poor coaching and management for which everyone involved must take blame for it, with Arsene Wenger and the Board as main culprits.

We lost a game in which we dominated to an average team and our stand out players had to be 19 year old Coquelin & 21 year old wonder Szczesny who did not deserve to be on the losing side. Losing your best players can’t be used as excuses as the club had the whole of the summer to make the necessary purchases but went for mediocre and average signings with Mertesacker the only one to stand out so far, Arteta is still adjusting and hasn’t set Emirates on fire yet, AOC is better than Walcott as some have said yet he was dropped for the unfit Englishman who had a horror game.

“Arsene Knows Best” should become Arsene Is Lost/Deranged/Stupid & Stubborn. When he joined the club the question was Arsene WHO??, now its become Arsene WHEN??. When will he leave? When will he win something or change his ways? Questions upon questions and with Silent Stan or daft Stan keeping mum and giving him the vote of confidence, we’re heading for a downfall on the sporting front.

Bacary Sagna adds to the growing list of injuries as he successfully completed surgery yesterday and is going to be ruled out for three months, add to that Koscielny, Djourou, Wilshere(4months), Diaby(no one knows), Vermaelen(setback waiting to happen), even Szczesny has a back problem.Oh, to be a Gooner. One can only pray things get better, for now let’s just focus on getting a string of good performances together and look to climb up the table with every game that passes. 12points off the top might not be as bad as it looks.

Hardly any positives on this post as there isn’t any, so if you’re offended then take it out on the club. We gooners have been silent for too long and majority are still. Have a good day wherever you are

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

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