Blog Archives

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!!!

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Escobar

Kroenke Says No To Usmanov| ‘Hands’ Wenger £100M Warchest | No AOC For England

First off sorry we’ve been missing for the past few days, different commitments have taken us away from you but we’re back. So here’s the latest news concerning our beloved club.

Usmanov & Kroenke
Our 2 sugar daddies have different plans for the club with the same goal in mind, to return us to greatness. Usmanov is having to do it the hard way as the board won’t give him a seat. He’s gathering shares faster than Kroenke did in a bid to get to the 30% mark which is the lucky number needed to look into our books and get a seat on the board.

And he got a further 16 shares which he purchased from Rangers owner Craig Whyte to put him within touching distance of the 30%.

BUT, Kroenke and the rest are determined not to let that happen and the American is expected in London for talks today with the board and the following are expected to be discussed.

    *Full support for Arsene Wenger to remain in charge till 2035.

    *New Contracts for Van Persie & Walcott.

    *£100M for Wenger to use on transfers(and possibly Wages) in the Summer.

    *No Usmanov on the board because he’ll make the club better on the sporting front and we don’t want that.

I for one I’m not buying the £100M story, seeing as its time to renew season tickets & its come at a convenient period where fans are angry &seeking answers. If it were Usmanov that said it, I’d believe afterall he’s way wealthier than Kroenke.

Team News
The derby is a few days away and no news yet on Koscielny, Squillaci, Ramsey are out after picking up knocks against Sunderland, leaving Djourou & Vermaellen as our only fit CB’s.

Jenkinson is back & played 45mins for the reserves without setbacks. Talking about reserves, a host of first team players also played & shone with Arshavin grabbing 2, Park & Benayoun as well on the scoresheet.

The england team to face holland has been announced and AOC after impressing in recent weeks has been left out, yet Frazier Campell gets called up. SMH I’m not pleased but at the same time I’m happy, let him stay grounded and continue to play for us, England is not going anywhere.

That’s all for now, we’ll be back to give you the Spurs preview, till then, have a great day.

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Wenger Watches 8-2 Again, Wants Better Defending + Latest Injury News


Hello good Gooners from wherever you are reading from. Been a tough couple of weeks for us, watching dear Arsenal manage to get past Leeds United between two league defeats at Fulham and Swansea, both games in which we scored first.

And now, we have those demons of Manchester visiting and memories of the early season annihilation comes to mind… can we pull a win off?

Asides, Le boss admitted to watching our 8-2 defeat again “because you have to face reality” said the Wenger.

While he believes the scoreline was an “accident” on the day, Wenger has nonetheless called for the backline to get their acts right ahead of Sunday’s crunch encounter.

“When you come back to 2-2 and then 30 seconds later it is 3-2, it is very difficult to swallow.” admitted the manager just as he expressed his surprise that we lost to Fulham and the Swans, no thanks to defensive errors and called on the defence to be improved for Manure’s visit.

Away from that, Wenger would rather not lose our favourite Russian Andrei Arshavin, who will be celebrating a third year at the club soon. The manager’s reasons being the squad worn thin by injuries coupled with his quality and admittedly, the cocky Russian’s put in good performances recently.

Finally, Wenger updated in the injury situation at the club, stating Thomas Vermaelen doesn’t look like he’ll play on Sunday as well as Thierry Henry who has a calf problem. Mikel Arteta is completely out while Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson are a couple of weeks away with Jack Wilshere set resume full training soon after them. Quite a number of bodies we’ve got in the injury room.

That’s the bit from here so far. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs and have a great weekend, expect a preview of the big game on tomorrow.

Cheers!

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.

Arsenal show “exceptional spirit” and lack of quality.

I partied all through last night but I can assure you that the title of this post is not alcohol-induced.

Yesterday’s draw against Fulham was more of one point gained than two points lost. Why jump the gun though? Allow me to take you through how events unfolded.

Arsene made two changes to the team that beat Dortmund at the Emirates, Djourou and Arshavin coming in for Koscielny and Gervinho. I’m sure we can now understand why Arshavin has not played a lot of games this season.

Fulham defended well from the start of the game. Senderos stuck to RVP and rarely gave him any sniff on goal. We had to use the wings and while Walcott was having a good game, Arshavin struggled.

We had a couple of good chances early in the game, both of which fell to Ramsey, another player who’s had better games. He forced a wonderful save from Schwarzer for the first but couldn’t hit the target for the second.

That was as close as we came in the first half. We were a tad slow and struggled to get into rhythm.

The half time break did not change much, Fulham defended, we could not break them down. We enjoyed possession though and looked more likely to go ahead than behind. Van Persie even had a shot cleared off the line by a defender!

Football is one helluva crazy game though. Danny Murphy’s delightful chip found Arne Riise in our box, and as he struggled to control the ball, Vermaelen’s interception ended at the back of our net!

We were now staring at a loss and needed something special on a day we have been quite flat. A sense of urgency returned to the game. We pushed players forward and Djourou almost scored from a corner only to be thwarted by Schwarzer.

Diaby, Gervinho, Chamakh came on for Ramsey, Mertesacker and Arshavin. And with just over ten minutes left, Walcott whipped in ANOTHER wonderful cross. It met the head of Vermaelen who took it past the goalkeeper.

We were back level, he had atoned for his mistake at the other end. I still ask myself how he got into that position.

The Arsenal players gave one final push for all 3 points, but it was not to be. One point was all we would get. In his post match interview, Arsene reckoned we showed “exceptional spirit” and I totally agree with him.

This was a game a “normal” team would have lost, but we dug deep and refused to accept defeat. And on a day when we faced a team that defended so deep, we could really do with Gervinho’s trickery and unpredictability from the start.

Arshavin looked really out of sorts, hardly did anything right. Ramsey kept going for difficult options and should have buried at least one of those chances. Diaby gave us a new dimension, good to have him back.

Is it a mere coincidence that the one game in which we did not start our first choice front three is the one we struggled to get a goal? It makes me wonder how we will cope when Gervinho leaves for the AFCON in January.

Chamakh also came on yesterday and for the umpteenth time, he did nothing of note! What happens if RVP isn’t also available in January? We’ll be stuck with a front three that comprises Walcott, Chamakh and Arshavin.

In all, it was not the best of performances but at least we still have our unbeaten run going. Man City visit on Tuesday and we will need to rotate. Don’t let me get ahead of myself again, a preview to that game will be up tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday wherever you read this from.

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

Arsenal vs Stoke : The Player Ratings As Van Persie Destroys Stoke

Below are the player ratings for the Stoke game.

Szczesny- 7
Conceded a goal he shouldn’t have but he conceded it the Arsenal way so no harm done.

Djourou 6
Not his natural position, dulled the game as he couldn’t carry the ball out well. But he tried

Mertesacker 7
Met the brutes of English football and made a good account of himself. Was good help at the back for the team.

Koscielny8.5
WOW! He gets better with every passing game, with the body of a ballet dancer and the defensive skills of a beast. Call it high praise but he deserves it. Can’t wait to have him with TV5

Santos6
No harm, no good. Consistent careful display from the Brazilian still finding his feet at the club.

Arteta7
Probably his finest game in an Arsenal shirt, distributed the ball well and helped cover the defence well.

Song7
Seems to have picked form just after I criticized his game play. We need him at his finest throughout the season.

Ramsey7.5
4th assist of the season, he’s no Fabregas but he’s making a name for himself. So far the best and most creative midfielder for us this season.

Walcott3
No comment.

Gervinho9
Oh Gerv!!! You bullet-fore-headed player. His best game since Cologne during pre season. Was a constant thorn in the stoke side and took his goal well before laying down 2 assists for RVP. Joint Man Of The Match

Chamakh4
SMH! No comment.

SUBSTITUTES

Van Persie 9
ROBIN VAN PERSIE!!!! MARRY ME!!!, this is his team, and he’s showing that, came off the bench and in 16minutes won man of the match by bagging two goals(the first being the 200th goal at the Emirates) Joint Man Of The Match

Arshavin 6
Came on looking real hungry and aided the third goal albeit indirectly.

Frimpong N/A

Van Persie comes to the rescue again by saving us. Another 3 points in which I rightly predicted the scoreline. This weekend was lovely as Man Utd got raped at home. Good weekend to be a gooner right?

Marseille vs Arsenal : Match Preview

New week, new injuries, same players. At least we’re starting the week on a high, after captain Fantastic RVP bagged all 3 points for us, making it the second time he’s scored freekick winners against Sunderland in the month of October(2007 & 2011). The win came at a cost as perennial absentee Gibbs picked up another injury.

Needing six points from the remaining three games to qualify(nine points to win the group), Arsenal travel to Stade Veladrome to face Marseille on wednesday night. This would be no easy fixture as the opposition are worthy opponents and won the french league two seasons ago but history is on our side.

Arsenal have never lost away to a french club winning four and drawing three of seven games. Although the last game we played in France was 8 years ago winning 1-0 against AJ Auxerre. On the negative side, we have lost six of our last away games overall in the champions league proper.

Team News
Gibbs & Ramsey join the ever growing list of absentees with different ailments. Bar that, its the same players from the weekend as Vermaelen & Diaby are still a few weeks away from being fit.

I’d like to see a change in formation, maybe 4-1-4-1 with Song behind Gervinho-Arteta-Rosicky-Oxlade then RVP upfront. But knowing Arsene, Oxlade would probably be on the bench with Arshavin most likely to take Walcott’s place who underperformed against Sunderland. One prayer is for RVP to continue his rich scoring form and come through the game unscathed. Who knows, maybe we’ll finally get to see Park play.

Arteta to me has to up his game, hasn’t impressed me so far, Gervinho too but as time goes on hopefully they would, either that or drop them for hungry people that are willing to take their chances.

Predicted Line Up: Sczcesny-Jenkinson-Koscielny-Mertesacker-Santos-Song-Arteta-Rosicky-Arshavin-Gervinho-RVP

Prediction : Marseille 1:2 Arsenal

Well there you have it, let’s win this game, can’t take any risks, would love to avoid the likes of Barca, Madrid, Bayern in the knockout stages. From wherever you’re reading, have a swell day.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Fantastic Robin Van Persie Seals Victory : The Player Ratings

Bottom of the table is where we would be this season without Robin Van Persie, a captain’s performance and man of the match game saw him seal all three points after putting us in the lead with just 28seconds on the clock before Seb Larsson equalised with a well taken freekick. But anything the former gooner can do, the current idol can match if not better. Below are the player ratings.

Szczesny- 7
Second best player on the pitch today, knew nothing and could do nothing to stop the goal. But was alert and strong enough to be in the right position to prevent us from falling further behind.

Jenkinson 6.5
Making his home debut, the young man put in a good shift and wasn’t all that troubled. Needs to improve his offensive output.

Mertesacker 6.5
For someone so slow, he ventures forward too much for my liking. Did not have much to do as Sunderland had no striker on the pitch.

Koscielny6.5
Like his partner had little or nothing to do, covered well whenever Gibbs went missing.

Gibbs5
Playing a full 90minutes or back to back games is fast becoming a taboo for the young Englishman. Withdrawn at half time after pulling up injured.

Arteta5
Another poor game from the spaniard. For someone so experienced in the EPL he sure doesn’t play like one. Needs to up his game. And quick

Song5
Just maybe his best position is at CB, wasn’t impressive at all today. Coquelin should have started.

Rosicky6
The only one of the midfield trio to play well. He needs to be more authoritative with his play and shoot more often.

Walcottminus 10
Oh my was he poor today. I’m running out of excuses to give for his on-and-off performances. Surely Oxlade can do better than this as he’s on form. God knows why he wasn’t even in the squad.

Gervinho6.5
High rating because of the assist. He can do better but doesn’t show it. He went for power over placement when faced with the goal alone. Needs to improve as well.

Van Persie100
God bless RVP. Captain Marvelous. They say no such thing as a one man army but he defeated that today with a wonderful performance. He deserves better than he’s getting.

Arsene WengerIdiot Of The Match
Poor selection before and during the game, poor tactics since 06/07. Walcott should have been withdrawn yet he lasted 90 minutes. Park continues to decorate the bench. He continues to baffle me.

SUBSTITUTES

Arshavin5
Ran at the defence with real purpose when he came on. Should have grabbed a goal.

Santos5
Decent cameo from the brazilian.

Stan Kroenke, break the bank and do whatever you must to keep RVP at the club, I hope you watched today’s game. God bless RVP and Arsenal.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Arsenal Vs Olympiakos : The Player Ratings

From the onset we looked likely to run riot over the Greek team with early goals from UCL home debutants AOC & Santos both scoring only for schoolboy defending again to undo us as they pulled one back. It ended that way. Here are the ratings.

Szczesny- 7
Conceded a goal but was totally dominant and pulled off back to back saves to keep us in the tie. Needs to stay on his line more.

Sagna 5
Very poor showing. For a minute there I thought Justin Hoyte was back in an Arsenal shirt.

Mertesacker 8
He was solid at the back, even though he played with Song, won all aerial balls, cleared the ball into safety on more than one occasion. Was no where for the goal.

Song6.5
Was found wanting a couple of times and got no protection from Frimpong. Got the assist for the opener with a delightful pass.

Santos7
He got his first goal on his home debut. Was a menace in the first 45 but needs to learn to defend better. Otherwise a solid game.

Frimpong5 in the 1st half, 7 in the Second Half
Out of sorts performance from the young Ghanian, left his defence exposed time after time but got better as the game wore on.

Arteta6.5
Covered more ground than any other player on the pitch but he needs to be more adventurous. He continues to play like he’s been told not to attack.

Rosicky5
What did he do in the game? Apart from giving away a dangerous freekick and running around like a headless chicken, he was poor. Needs to go.

Arshavin4
SIGH I’m lost for words, he was anonymous in the first half, did not defend and did not contribute. Then he was selfish in the second 45. Surely he’s clock is ticking away.

Oxlade-Chamberlain7
Was our best player in the first half, showed nice touches, ran well at the defence, crossed even better. Took his goal with aplomb and in so doing endeared himself to the Emirates faithful.

Chamakh5
Missed the chance to put us 3 goals up, would have gotten a 4 but for his work rate and involvement in building up play.

SUBSTITUTES

RVPN/A

Ramsey5

GibbsN/A

Man Of The Match ~ Mertesacker

There you have it, three points in the bag, but with Marseille winning, we have to settle for second position. Spurs awaits this weekend. Have a swell night.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers