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Wenger Says NO To Nasri Move + No Signings Till After Pre-Season

For Arsenal, its back to training for the players, time to shed the weight gained during the summer break & get in shape. On the transfer front though, its a dull morning, a very boring one. Oh wait, no its not, Arsene Wenger has reportedly said Nasri isn’t going anywhere, not even for £50M. Way to go Arsene, don’t be bullied into selling one of your top players. So I wonder where DailyMail got their headline that says City have clinched the deal for Nasri.

I’m not going to complain and say this needs to be done, quality players need to come in & the dead players need to be expunged like rodents in a fumigated apartment. Or go on about how Arsene needs to change his approach, and how the board needs to be replaced. I’m tired of arguing or complaining for or on behalf of Arsenal because I’m sure you all know & see what’s going on and we don’t want to sound like a broken record.

Fabregas isn’t going anywhere. Daddy Wenger has spoken, unless of course Barca stump up the £40M being quoted. If Fab really wants to leave(which all we Arsenal fans now seem to want) then he should make Barca pay up or shut up, he still has 4 years, so if they don’t pay now, they can always come back. All I know is, with the right signings in the right positions Fabregas WILL STAY, Henry left only because he wasn’t ready to play Moses to a young cast. Surround Fabregas with winners and watch how his attitude would change, not fashion divas and clowns and sorry excuses for footballers.

6th July, 2011, and no significant move has happened asides from Clichy leaving us. Here are a list of what should have happened by now

    Gervinho should have been unveiled seeing how his signing might just be the tonic for Nasri’s possible u-turn

    Gary Cahill & Samba should have also signed, well at least one of them as Clichy has gone and I don’t want Gibbs as his replacement, rather see TV5 there.

    Eboue, Rosicky, Almunia & Denilson should all be frozen out of the team just like City have done with certain players or told to find new clubs. Squillaci too should be on that list.

    And most importantly, try not to lose any of our reported targets a la Alvarez.

There you go, oh before we leave you, newspaper reports have it that Alex Song might be ‘on his way out of Arsenal’ and into Fox River Prison for not assaulting a young girl in Cameroun, well from us to you out there, assault someone so as to avoid jail because not assaulting will send you to jail.

From wherever you’re reading, have a swell day and keep Arsenal in your prayers.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Nasri et al: Another Perspective + New Signing Announced.

Carl Jenkinson

So the transfer window opened over a week ago to the delight of us Arsenal fans. We are expecting Arsene Wenger to right the wrongs of last season by bringing in the right players to take us past that finish line we have flirted with these past 6 years.

We have been linked with a lot of players, Parker, Baines, Vertonghen, Gervinho, Benzema, Higuain, even Defoe! These men are all good players in their own rights, with each having what makes him tick. However, one thing we did not prepare for is Arsene’s own “children” turning against him. The players for whose sake Arsene has been criticized these past 5 seasons have also seen the flaw in their mentor’s project. Let’s take a closer look at three players who seem unsettled in North London, Denilson, Bendtner and Nasri.

DENILSON:

The Brazilian came in form Corinthians as captain of the Under 20 side, just after captaining his national side to victory in an international tournament. Normally, since he was neither European nor a regular in the national team, he would not have been given a work permit a la Vela. However, he was not sent on loan because apparently he was granted a “special talent” dispensation by the F.A, same reason Chicharito was able to transfer directly with Man United.

But what did we get? A lazy, one dimensional, big mouthed lad who cannot track back to save his life! Yes, he pops in with the occasional long range shot or freekick, but we expect more from him. The emergence of Wilshere last season showed us how poor Denilson had been; and the Cesc-JW-Song trio is way more effective and more dynamic than the Cesc-Denilson-Song combination we were used to.

He has expressed his intentions to leave and I think this is good news as we get to rid ourselves of some deadwood in the team.

BENDTNER:

If Nikky is half the player he and his father/agent think he is, we should probably be celebrating a trophy from last season. Nikky B needed just one good shot to throw Barca out of the Champions League but our man fluffed his lines, not for the first time too.

Bendtner is direct and unpredictable, a trait which helps atimes. But when we really needed him to stand up and be counted, he’s been found wanting. Granted, he has not been helped by Arsene’s insistence on sticking him out wide, but that cannot be the reason for a notoriously-poor first touch and his inconsistent performances.

Although, he believes 100% he should leave, I won’t mind having him for another season. However, if we are preparing to bring in a good striker, say a Benzema or a Falcao, I would gladly drive his car to the airport.

NASRI:

Let’s get one thing straight here, newspaper reports may not be 100% accurate, but if the reports of him considering a move to United are true, then he should be shot! The man, Samir I do not know but Nasri is one player I love so much, so I’ll give him that benefit of a doubt.

Personally I do not see anything wrong in him seeking a better pay packet, I mean who amongst us wouldn’t want a higher pay after a good year at our places of work? It’s just the way he’s gone about it that has angered some goners. Nasri had an amazing start to last season, arguably our player of the season, but his form dropped towards the business end of the season something which affected the club greatly. I just want tell you dont listen the newspaper and the rumours i will let you know if something happenHe posted on his twitter account @Nanas08 yesterday:
I just want tell you dont listen the newspaper and the rumours i will let you know if something happen”

Nasri is an outstanding player, one of the few world class players in our team and the previous interview may just be a publicity stunt from his agent. We need to keep our best players and Nasri is definitely one of them. It will be painful to see him leave but if his heart is set on not renewing his contract, he should be let go. We should only keep players who want to leave and this includes Cesc! I still think he’ll stay and Wenger should just give him the wage a player of his caliber deserves.

A quick look at the other players in the departure lounge at Arsenal and it is as though Eboue is the subject of 5million quid bid from Premier League newcomers Queens Park Rangers. Great character, great personality but poor player of late, and he might just leave this summer. Almunia also looks to be on his way back to Spain to “resurrect” his career, with Rosicky also having his days numbered at the Emirates.

***GOOD NEWS***
We are delighted to announce that promising defender Carl Jenkinson, 19, has arrived from League One side Charlton Athletic. His signing was confirmed as young Gunners Benik Afobe, Chuks Aneke and Oguzhan Ozyakup also pledged their futures to the Club.

And there you have it, some players we do not want to lose, others good riddance! We did not capitulate when Vieira or even Thierry Henry left Arsenal; one thing is for sure, we are not about to crumble simply because some lads are holding this great club to ransom.

See you in the comments!

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Kroenke’s Revolution Of Arsenal + Szczesny & Djourou Return

Arsenal started this weekend in an unfamiliar position; a side low on confidence was in dire need of a win to revive its feeble fight against another trophyless season. 6 weeks ago, Arsene was talking up our chances of winning all six titles up for grabs, this past week though, he could be heard saying that he was contented with a 2nd place finish for the next 20 years. How fast things change?

At Blackpool, with Almunia ABSENT, Mad Jens made a surprise return to the Arsenal starting 11, injured Alex Song was also replaced by Abou Diaby and Cesc played his 300th game for the club. Both teams started impressively but two quick fire goals from Diaby and Eboue made things a bit comfortable for us. We went into half time with a two goal lead.

Trust Arsenal though, our defence crumbled under pressure and Blackpool pulled one goal back. The dude who wrote the script for our amazing 4-4 draw at Newcastle seemed to have a hand in this one too, only that this time he was kinder with the ending. At 2-1, the game was in the balance, Blackpool with their vociferous fans had the momentum; they kept pushing and it was a matter of which team got the next goal. We could all see a pattern, Spurs, Newcastle… however, the trend did not continue. We managed to keep our calm and Van Persie got the all important winner. 3-1 it ended.

It felt like we had not won a game in years, the players were visibly delighted as was Arsene. The traveling fans were magnificent once again; you could see the relief on their faces and it was great news that we have started winning again. More defining news was to come later in the day though, and at boardroom level too.

On to more important news, Stan Kroenke aka Silent Stan has launched a bid to takeover our beloved club, the news broke just after the win on saturday and has so far being welcomed by almost everyone affiliated with Arsenal. I for one am highly delighted, being clamouring for Peter Hill Wood to leave the helm seeing as he had no plans or no direction whatsoever for Arsenal. Ever since the depature of David Dein, Arsenal has faltered where it matters the most which is on the sporting front but continue to be buoyed on the financial front. Oh well, good times awaits us.

I’m not going to bore you with the boring details of the whole takeover, if you want that, I encourage you to open this link to read and most likely calm whatever fears you have about a takeover. Here you go Is Stan The Man For Arsenal.
But we’ll reveal the basics which most of you would know by now. Kroenke who previously had 29.9% of the shares, moved for the 15.9% owned by Lady Bracewell-Smith and Danny Fiszman’s 17.1 to take his tally to 62.9% and it was revealed that Usmanov who has a 27% stake tried his best to prevent that, thank God he failed. And after that, Kroenke is considering going the whole 9 yards and may even make a bid for Usmanov’s stake who would rather sell off now and make profits than later on.

Becoming the 10th Premier League club to fall into foreign hands is not as bad and won’t be as bad as the others that precedes ours. Most people are not getting their hopes up seeing as this takeover is more of an evolution than a revolution, so expect changes but not wholesale. I’m glad to hear Kroenke call Wenger a fantastic manager and one which he’s planning on building Arsenal’s dynasty with and the feeling is mutual from Wenger who says the American has the club at heart. So there you have it, a union blessed in heaven. Don’t expect a transfer chest come end of season but you can expect funds to be available to purchase players and as for the pre season tour, you can expect the annual Austria trip to be replaced by a tour of the United States.

I sense good times ahead for Arsenal, and this feeling is been shared by fellow fans all around the world. Just imagine being able to compete finally on a fair ground with two or three solid signings and maybe on title next season. I’m sure you like the sound of that. We also got some good news in time for the game against Liverpool at the Emirates, Wojech Sczesney has resumed training and is pressing for a start and AW may hand it to him as he might not want to play Lehmann in back to back games, not to stop there but Johan Djourou too is in contention to start the game but that decision is up to the physios and Le Boss. No news on Song yet so it looks like we’re back to full strength just in time for the title run in which Wilshere still thinks we can win. Your thoughts?

From wherever you’re reading, have a wonderful day.

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Escobar

Diaby Stars As Arsenal Win : The Blackpool Player Ratings.

Surprise start by Lehmann who replaced the ill/injured(depending on who you believe) Almunia. Diaby, Eboue, Fabregas came in for Song, Theo & sagna. 2 goals in each half saw Arsenal run away with the 3 points. Below are the ratings.

Mad Jens- 7.5
Second First debut for the overly eccentric german. Handled himself well, came out and dealt with crosses, even composed enough to round an on rushing blackpool striker and a good save after Clichy faltered.

Eboue 7.5
Stunning finish from the much maligned overly loved fullback. Ran the wings well and put in one or two tackles and also caught out of position. Good day.

Squillaci 8
High rating because of that last ditch tackle that preceded the 3rd goal. With the game at 2-1 and Blackpool one shot away from levelling, he came through BIG. Probably his first ever tackle since joining Arsenal.

Koscielny7
Was comfortable against the threat of just one Blackpool forward. He was ok throughout and covered well for Clichy.

Clichy6
Would have gotten a 7, but the stupid lapse in concentration in the dying minutes of the game could have cost us. He seems to do it every season, remember City & B’ham a few years back.

Wilshere7
Solid going forward and defending, found himself on the wrong end of the oppositions tackling but his character shone through. Picked up a booking trying to prevent a counter.

Diaby8.5
I think the last time diaby got a rating this high must have been in a Fifa 11 video game. Started the game on fire, profiting from good build up play between Cesc, RVP, Arshavin. He was immense in the midfield and stupidly picked up a booking but showed considerable strength & grit in the second 45.

Fabregas8
Pass after pass, lob after lob, he lost me with his precision and decision making and the number of chances he created in the opening half alone. Set Theo on his way for the assist to RVP’s goal and Arsenal’s 3rd. Good outing.

Nasri7
Not his best game for Arsenal, but for the goalkeeper he would have gotten his name on the score sheet.

Arshavin6.5
Was more out of the game than in the game. Posed little threat but he defended well.

Van Persie7
On another day he could have scored 5. Poor refereeing coupled with profligate finishing cost him. Made amends after being offered a good assist by the speedy Theo

SUBSTITUTES

Walcott7
Came on with the game finely poised and he turned it on its head with his pace and laid on the winning goal for RVP after great play by Eboue, Cesc & Diaby.

GibbsN/A

RamseyN/A.

Man of the MatchAbou Diaby

Good to see us pick up a vital and necessary win. The gap is back to seven points with a game in hand.
From wherever you’re reading have a great day.

Escobar

Five Star Arsenal Spank Orient : The Player Ratings.

Almunia- 7
Virtually untested throughout the match.

Eboue 7
Going forward and defending he did very ok, was caught out of position a few times but it did not cost us.

Squillaci 7
Decent, protected the goalie well with Miquel by his side

Miquel7
Rewarded the boss with a strong showing in defence. Needs to add body mass to his arsenal though.

Gibbs8
Solid showing from the english man, two assists, one directly and the other by winning a penalty.

Denilson7
Clean and comfortable in possession, no hurried passing and mistakes. Good to see that

Diaby8
Best midfielder on show, completed 47 of his 47 passes in the first half alone, and ventured forward when allowed. Hooked off in the 2nd half

Rosicky7.5
Started brightly and provided the assist for the opening goal. Unlucky to be withdrawn due to injury.

Henderson7.5
Highly impressed with how the young man handled himself. His first appearance for the senior team, out of position but his industry and passing was pleasing to the eye.

Chamakh7.5
Asides from grabbing the opener it was a typical Chamakh performance, laboured and always looking to pass instead of leading from the front.

Bendtner9 **MOTM**
65 minute hat-trick, Absolute class act tonight, way above his fellow striker. Started out on the right but scored all his goals when he switched to the centre or the left. He was virtually unplayable, maybe he wasn’t pleased to have been benched for the Carling Cup final. Great way to make a statement.

SUBSTITUTES

Clichy7
Came on and scored a belter of a goal for his second Arsenal goal.

Nasri6
Came on with the game won, had a few openings to extend the lead which he spurned.

Wilshere6
Same as Nasri, thrown on to stretch his legs.

There you have it folks, we’re into the FA cup quarter finals and United at Old trafford awaits us. Let’s get them. From wherever you’re reading have a great night. Cheers.

Escobar

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Second Half Rally Stuns Barcelona + Player Ratings

Arshavin after bagging the winner

Arshavin after bagging the winner

February 16 2011, no gooner in the world is going to forget this date for years to come, its the date where this Arsenal team of so called spine less youngsters, who to us are some of the best in the business, beat the juggernaut that is Barcelona supposedly the best team in the world. Second half goals from RVP and Arshavin proved were enough to settle the tie.

Let it be remembered that we here at MG predicted that no matter what, we won’t lose at the Emirates, and we went a step further by saying we would defeat Barca at their own game. Le Boss sent out what has become our strongest and best eleven this season, and he thrust Nasri into the game knowing quite well it could backfire but that’s to show how much was on the line yesterday. Barca made one change with Maxwell coming in for the injured Puyol.

As always the game started at usual pace, with Arsenal throwing caution to the wind and attacking Barca, and it ruffled the Catalans as they struggled to string passes, the first chance went begging as RVP collected a lobbed pass from Cesc but Valdes was equal to it. Warning shot fired. We threatened again, this time a solo run from Theo that came to nothing as his pass found no one. The Emirates was buzzing knowing the players could smell blood. It was Barca’s turn to attack as a Xavi pass found Messi who escaped the attentions of Song only to be clipped by the Camerounian who got a booking for his troubles. A 6th minute booking for our DM wasn’t a good sign.

Messi at the centre of most attacks again was released through on goal and with Chezzer at his mercy dinked the ball over the young pole only to see it trickle past the post. Hearts-in-mouths moment for all Arsenal fans. But it didn’t take long for the first goal to come and it came after Abidal had beaten Van Persie to a header only for Barca to counter and Messi released David Villa who was played onside by Clichy and he coolly slotted home. There was still time for Chezzer to block a back heel attempt from Pedro. You’d be forgiven for thinking we were going to get a spanking. Messi had the ball in the net moments later only to be adjudged offside. Half Time

The second half saw us on the front foot as early as possible as the team showed more bite and hunger going forward, Nasri after a slow start came into the game and Fab started to find Theo more and his pace caused problems for Maxwell only to see his cross elude everyone. The next chance fell to us with Wilshere shooting straight at Valdes. Barca had another chance to extend their lead, after Messi again found space behind Eboue only for his shot to hit the side netting. David Villa was substituted as he was getting no love from Kozzer and JD and keita came on in his place.

This was the turning point in the game as AW pulled off a master stroke, he took out Song and introduced Arshavin and had all of his attacking players on the field at once. Arshavin had a hand in the goal as he swapped passes with Clichy before the latter lifted a sweet pass over Dani Alves for RVP, perhaps expecting a cross from him Valdes left his near post open as RVP capitalised and rifled in a shot home from a tight angle. The Emirates exploded. It was to get better five minutes later as we conjured up a superb counter-attacking goal, Samir Nasri racing onto Cesc Fabregas’s fine 50 yard pass and checking back before picking out the onrushing Arshavin, who curled home an exquisite shot. The celebration from the players said it all, we have just defeated the best team in the world even though they were still 10 minutes left to play, in which Chezzer still had to block a messi shot, and a Dani Alves shot and Bendtner could have grabbed a third.

In the end it was a great win for us, and like most fans and players pointed out, the battle has been won, but the war remains. Below are the player ratings.

PLAYER RATINGS

Chezzer7
Showed no nerves whatsoever on his Champions league debut. Nothing he could have done about the goal, but stuck to his task well

Eboue6
Rarely troubled as most of the attacks were through the middle and from the left. Culprit at times in the 2nd half

JD7
Had a good game as he and Kozzer shackled the threat of Villa and Pedro.

Kozzer8.5
His best game in an Arsenal shirt so far, wait, we’ve said this before right? Oh well, he was solid as he put himself on the line repeatedly, tackled well and hurried the barca forwards into surrendering possession. *Joint MOTM*

Clichy7
Played David Villa onside for the goal, after that he was great throughout and his assist for the opener more than made up for his error

Wilshere9
This lad, he is just way to special and too good to be true. In the midst of Fifa’s1-2-3(Messi,Xavi,Iniesta) he more than held his own and proved he’s ready and able to mix it with the big boys. 10 out of 11 passes completed with a 91% success rate. What more could you ask for? A goal maybe?? *Joint MOTM*

Song5
Early booking didn’t help his cause and his rash play and getting caught out of position almost cost us dearly. On another day he could have gotten sent off. Hooked off when we needed a goal.

Fabregas8
Showed what he can do in the first 10 minutes and then he fizzled out, but came alive in the second half and he had a hand in the winner. Calmed the nerves of his team when tempers seemed to boil over. Sign of a good leader.

Walcott7
Not involved as much as he would have loved to be but when given the ball, kept the barca defence pegged back.

Nasri8
Slow start, strong finish. He ended the game on a high, after he moved to a more central position, his pace took him past the Barca defence and his pass for Arshavin was top notch.

RVP8
Profligate in the first five minutes as he alone squandered three chances but his goal was nothing short of a player riding a confidence wave. Good show from the dutchman.

SUBS

Arshavin7
Changed the outcome of the game. Much maligned, booed this season, called lazy but proved Arsenal’s saviour on the night. Beautiful goal as he had 3 bodies in front of him but still managed to pick his spot and score

Nikky B5

Its not over yet but we have the advantage, knowing barca would be without their first team Centre backs and we should have a complete team barring any injuries is a good sign. But we’ll need a disciplined display if we’re to oust them from the tournament. Till then let’s just savour the moment. Up next for us is Lleyton orient in the FA Cup 5th round. Mauling?

From wherever you’re reading, have a fantastic day

Escobar

Your thoughts?

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Arsenal Vs Huddersfield : The Player Ratings

Not a vintage performance by any means, in truth it was a poor game despite us taking an early lead. Then came the hamstring to Nasri and the red card to Squid, and what seemed a routine win became a hard task.

We had to rely on Fabregas, our skipper coming off the bench to rescue us in similar fashion as the first leg of the last round against Leeds. Wonder if Denilson still thinks he’s a poor leader. Below are the ratings for the players.

Almunia5.5
Rusty as expected but should have commanded his area very well. If not for the one handed save he pulled off, the rating would have been lower. I blame him for Nasri’s injury as his long throw led to that.

Gibbs4
Very poor game from the young english man. He got booked for dissent very early in the game and that hindered his performance as the League One side attacked his wing continuously.

Kozzer6
Found his kryptonite in Squillaci again today as he was shaky and not as strong as he normally is with JD. Decent showing.

Squillaci-10
The question has become, ‘Can he do any good’, very poor outing from the frenchman, was slow to the ball on one chance that fell to Alan Lee and then stupidly stuck out his arm to execute a ‘Clothes line’ move on the attacker which got him sent off and put us in trouble.

Eboue6
One of the better defenders, did his job well, was not caught out of position, attacked well, but his end product was lacking.

Nasri6
One of our best players before going off early with a hamstring injury. Was running the show before then. We all wish him speedy recovery

Denilson3
Wish I could rate him lower. He was poor and pathetic, misplaced his passes and it was his failed attempt at a tackle that led to the run from the opposition which got Squid sent off.

Diaby5
Out of his depth, slow and rusty. Expected, but he didn’t help matters slowing down the play each time we attacked. Put in two solid tackles over the course of the game.

Arshavin6
Worked hard, did his best but nothing seemed to work for the russian. Had a couple of shots charged down and gave the Huddersfield fullback a run for his money. Great last ditch tackle in the second half

Chammy4
The assist for the opener was all he had to show for 45 mins of play, won’t have been happy at being the one sacrificed but the decision was a ‘no brainer’ as he was poor.

Bendtner7
Our best player on the day. Missed two chances, but atoned for them with a well struck goal that was aided by a deflection. Won the penalty that sealed the victory and worked tirelessly. Good game from the Dane.

SUBSTITUTES

Rosicky4
I wasn’t happy to see him come on, he had only one telling pass to show for in 60mins of play, he ran around without much effect.

Song5
Played out of position as a CB and he helped steady the ship.

Fabregas -7
If there’s a better way to show leadership then I haven’t seen it this season. Came off the bench to show that ‘lightening does strike twice’ as he converted the penalty he had a hand in winning. In 20 minutes of play, he did better than all the players that started in the midfield.

Relief was how many fans felt in the stadium after the final whistle, hard to pick many positives from the performance asides Bendtner and Fabregas. Let’s hope Nasri’s injury is not serious, as we need him against Everton.

From wherever you’re reading, have a swell day.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

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Easy and expected win, but we need everyone on top form.

Van P against West Ham

So I decided to hold my views until after Saturday’s game against West-Ham to test whether some theories I have are correct, beginning with our game against Leeds. I looked at our lineup which included the likes of Denilson, Rosicky, Bendtner, Eboue; generally our second string players and despite having my reservations I still felt it was a good enough line up to put them away. Apparently I was wrong as we needed a last gasp goal from our captain, a substitute, to force a replay.

After this, I was immediately interested in knowing whether or not Le Boss would tweak things for our League Cup semi-final against Ipswich whom incidentally had been pummeled by Chelsea. Wow they picked a relegation threatened championship team with a more important game in mind to show they could score goals and win games, aren’t they just the classiest club?

Well Arsene did, just a little and the outcome was…well….we all saw it. It’s not that the team on paper shouldn’t have steamrollered Ipswich; they should have without the gaffer having to tweak anything. So it’s quite obvious the gaffer had/has a few problems on his hands.

Now make no mistake about it, Le boss knows his starting eleven and I think it’s absolutely fantastic that Le Boss has selected them based on their form and not based on name, evidence of this is Walcott being put before our misfiring Russian or little Wilshere replacing Denilson or Diaby. Now this automatically means that players whose positions have been taken are going to start the cup games, save for the Champions league, they start these games because of our obvious need for a trophy, bearing in mind our trophy drought will run into its 6 year should we fail to get one this season.

Arsene realizes this and has therefore taken these competitions more seriously. Anyway I digress; these players start because the starting eleven cannot conveniently play in all four competitions. The problem is, some of the bench players are just not up to the task.

Denilson: He isn’t the kind of player you can rely on for a whole game, his positioning is suspect, his one on one tackling is…well…what got us into trouble in the Leeds game, his decision making is questionable. He is the kind of player that you bring in when we’re well up which is what was done in the West-Ham game.

Rosicky: I think is still a good player, he actually does understand what it is to put the team first. Agreed, he’s not what he was when he first signed for us but he knows his role and when he’s playing these games you can’t really point at many faults. His faults are only glaring when he plays with the starting eleven as he’s not quite on the same wavelength with most of them.

Bendtner: I have always stood by him but now I’m really beginning to question whether he’s actually ever going to be ‘that’ good. I mean I know he’s come off a long spell on the sidelines but the progress he seemed to be making last season before the injury seems to have stalled and I’m sure even Arsene’s getting a bit tired. We only need him to be 70% of the player he thinks he is and we will complain no more.

Eboue: As a right midfielder, he’s a bit mediocre, just above average as a right back, his defensive positioning is woeful. We are spoilt for choice in every attacking midfield position, so we have to make do with him as second choice right back. Now, this is the scary part, isn’t he meant to fill in at this same position for the first leg of the Barcelona games? And even if not, what if something happens to Sagna? Can you actually imagine being stuck with Eboue at right back for say a month? We might as well walk into every game with a red dot on our head!

There has already been a post on Arshavin, so I won’t bore you with that.

Fast forward to the West-Ham game. Our best eleven, bar Vermaelen and Sagna, and a tame West Ham team means probably our least stressful game all season. We didn’t even have to hit top gear! Now the dilemma is simple but not easy to solve. Does Le Boss try again inserting some starters into the game, risking injury and further fatigue, or does he just give the bench players another chance to redeem their images?

Now with regards to the game played over the weekend, I really don’t think there is anything to talk about; it was more or less a training ground session in my opinion. That’s the Arsenal we want to see, the one which puts bottom teams to the sword and gives no chance of an upset. Do the same to Leeds and Ipswich and we’ll be ecstatic!

Have fun wherever you are reading this from.
It’s Ita!

Don’t we just love the hard way?

Arsene

So we move from being the most in-form, record breaking team in the Champions League two weeks ago to a team whose qualification hangs in the balance…in just 3 weeks. Only in Arsenal eh?

Following the horrible result last weekend, one would expect a ground breaking performance from a team with lots of promise. Actually, we have not been good on our travels to Portugal, but one would expect a change in tide, consequential of the happenings the previous weekend. I’m really not in the mood to do anything, not even to write this post. I’m so sad because I can just see our season falling apart. You think I’m jumping the gun right?

The team that lined up was above average, Nikky B, Gibbs, Eboue, Djourou, and Wilshere didn’t take any part against the Spuds and they were given a chance to shine. They barely took it. I will not bore you with the details of what was an uneventful game (at least Arsenal wise), and if I told I know exactly what went wrong last night, I would be telling a lie. I can guess though.

The easiest thing to say is that the boys were down following that huge loss. But is that a reasonable explanation? I don’t think so. These men are professionals, paid very highly for their skills and services and should not blame anybody except themselves for a defeat. We need to develop a winning attitude even if things are not going too well. At no point did we look like scoring last night, but an Arsenal team is always liable to conceding goals. We conceded two last night and now we are in danger of not qualifying for the knock out phase.

Nikky B for all his noise did nothing worthy; his control is still poor, needs to work on his body balance. This is not a good way to account for all the talk about wanting to start every game. Wilshere performed admirably considering his age and the people around him. Djourou faired better than his partner at the back and when Theo wasn’t running down blind alleys, he was running into opponents. Pathetic performance from him.

To add salt to injury, Cesc tweaked his hamstring again and will now miss 2 to 3 weeks.

I still don’t know why we love doing things the hard way. We get an easy chance to do something, but instead we skip that chance and go the longer route. A win on Saturday would have seen us go top of the table, did we get it? Merely taking a half time lead against West Brom and Newcastle would have surely given us 3 points in each of those games. Did we manage that? A draw against Braga last night would have seen us qualify for the knock out stages. How did that go?

We have Villa next and yesterday’s game will be quickly forgotten if we can get a win over there. It should see us maintain our two point gap from the top, or better still move up should United or Chelsea drop points. I long for us to return to winning ways.

It’s been a bad week gooners, but it could have been worse!

Wait! Could it?

Let us know in the comments

From wherever you are reading, keep the faith.
Once a gooner, forever a gooner!

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!

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