Blog Archives

King Henry Saves The Day : The Sunderland Player Ratings

It was never going to be an easy game especially with the opponents on the day going through a mini revival. Arsene made only one change with Sagna replacing Coquelin.

The game in itself was rather dull and as it looked like it was heading for a stalemate, Mertesacker gifted Sunderland the lead when he picked up an injury in possession. Wenger threw on Ramsey, Arshavin & Henry & Boom boom, two goals and 3 points followed for us. Below are the player ratings.

Szczesny- 6
Made some good saves and was erratic with his distribution. Should have done better with the goal he conceded.

Koscielny 7
The best of the bunch at the back along with Sagna. Won most of his tackles and defended bravely. Played a silly back pass to Ji but it didn’t prove costly.

Vermaelen 6
Still not happy that he continues to play at Left back as we haven’t kept a clean sheet since he was moved there.

Mertesacker5
LOL. This German will finally get it right someday and have a performance without blemish. It wasn’t today however, he was brilliant but all it takes is one mistake and that led to Sunderland’s opener. If his injury is serious as it looks, then TV5 will return to CB(everyone shout Hallelujah)

Sagna7
Nothing to report here. Solid going forward, solid at the back. Typical.

Arteta6
Conducted himself brilliantly in the middle of the park. Should have done a lot better against a tired midfield.

Song4
Oh my God. Is this the real Song? Or was last week a mirage? Very poor. Lost the ball repeatedly and no surprise the 2 goals came after he moved to CB

Oxlade-Chamberlain5
Not a good game from the lad at all but no complaints here. All part of a learning curve.

Walcott4
Tied with Song as the worst player on the pitch. A bit harsh following his heroics last weekend but its the truth.

Rosicky6
Nothing spectacular, given a free role he should have done better. Might not start the next game given ramsey’s heroics off the bench.

Van Persie6
Average game for someone of his standards even though great credit must go to the sunderland rearguard.

SUBSTITUTES

Ramsey – 7:Came and got a goal within 3 minutes. Added creativity to the midfield. Wonderful cameo.

Arshavin- 6: Had less than 5 touches, but still managed a peach of an assist! I’ve said this over and again, no matter the form, his class is unquestionable.

Henry- 8: When you need a goal, you need Thierry Henry. Granted, the assist was quite good, but his finish was even better! He came through when we needed him the most. His last EPL goal returns us to the top 4. How fitting?

Arsene Wenger- 10: 3 subs, 2 get the goals, one with an assist. Nuff said!

There you have it. We went a goal down but showed enough strength to turn things around.

Any comments? Share the below!

Wilshere ‘Out For Season’ | Henry & Co Fit |Chamakh Back Early

Before you get tacchycardia at the first 4 words of the heading, notice the ‘ ‘ I put. That’s what we’ve been told to expect, worst case scenario. Wilshere has gone from being a medical miracle that was ready to return as early as February 4 to ‘setback, out for 6 weeks(possibly the entire season?). There goes Wenger’s big plan to announce Wilshere as a ‘new signing’ come February 1 when the window shuts down.

Not going to go on about mismanagement of youth and how no replacement has been(will be) brought in, its a huge blow(not like we’re chasing the title) but his return would have given the team needed lift and Ramsey in particular would be delighted as it means needed rest. Not going to happen now….well soon.

Positive news now and Henry, Arteta, Coquelin are fit and in the squad to face Aston Villa, Sagna too is but a little short on match fitness and might just about make the bench. Gibbs on the other hand should be ready by monday. Diaby? From ready in 10 days to ‘God knows when’. Oh well, good to see we’re following in the trend we’ve been for the last 5 years or so.

If you don’t like Chamakh, look away now. His national team of Morocco have been eliminated from the AFCON which probably had Wenger excited and foaming from the mouth from pure delight knowing the World’s best striker is coming back earlier than planned(he managed 1 appearance 0 goals & assists). Will AW push to have him back before the last group game like Newcastle are doing with Dembas Ba & Cisse?

To the Villa game, asides Wilshere, Santos & Diaby, almost everyone is fit, AW has hinted AOC could play centrally for us and not on the wings, I’d love that personally, anything to give Ramsey a rest. So I expect the team to look something like this.

Szczesny-Yennaris-Mertesacker-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Coquelin-Arteta-Rosicky-AOC-Walcott-RVP

I’m going with 3-1 in favor of the Arsenal. No upsets please. Hope you all enjoy the game & hopefully TH14 bags another goal.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Wilshere ‘Out For Season’ | Henry & Co Fit |Chamakh Back Early

Before you get tacchycardia at the first 4 words of the heading, notice the ‘ ‘ I put. That’s what we’ve been told to expect, worst case scenario. Wilshere has gone from being a medical miracle that was ready to return as early as February 4 to ‘setback, out for 6 weeks(possibly the entire season?). There goes Wenger’s big plan to announce Wilshere as a ‘new signing’ come February 1 when the window shuts down.

Not going to go on about mismanagement of youth and how no replacement has been(will be) brought in, its a huge blow(not like we’re chasing the title) but his return would have given the team needed lift and Ramsey in particular would be delighted as it means needed rest. Not going to happen now….well soon.

Positive news now and Henry, Arteta, Coquelin are fit and in the squad to face Aston Villa, Sagna too is but a little short on match fitness and might just about make the bench. Gibbs on the other hand should be ready by monday. Diaby? From ready in 10 days to ‘God knows when’. Oh well, good to see we’re following in the trend we’ve been for the last 5 years or so.

If you don’t like Chamakh, look away now. His national team of Morocco have been eliminated from the AFCON which probably had Wenger excited and foaming from the mouth from pure delight knowing the World’s best striker is coming back earlier than planned(he managed 1 appearance 0 goals & assists). Will AW push to have him back before the last group game like Newcastle are doing with Dembas Ba & Cisse?

To the Villa game, asides Wilshere, Santos & Diaby, almost everyone is fit, AW has hinted AOC could play centrally for us and not on the wings, I’d love that personally, anything to give Ramsey a rest. So I expect the team to look something like this.

Szczesny-Yennaris-Mertesacker-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Coquelin-Arteta-Rosicky-AOC-Walcott-RVP

I’m going with 3-1 in favor of the Arsenal. No upsets please. Hope you all enjoy the game & hopefully TH14 bags another goal.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Wenger rules out a few names|Left Back Linked|Swansea Preview

Morning guys! A boring couple of days on the Arsenal front if you ask me.

The feeling of “Henryism” seems to have died down a bit, the noise gone down a notch and everyone is back to their senses, realizing we still have needs.

Henry is only a stop-gap solution, we still need a goalscorer when Titi leaves. But more urgently we need a left back; 4 natural full backs out until God knows when, and Coquelin won’t be around for a a few weeks.

Rumours have been flying around concerning players we should and could have signed, but at least we know those we won’t be seeing in an Arsenal shirt, if Arsene’s words are anything to go by that is.

The boss has revealed we won’t be trying to sign Kalou in January. He also denied links to Ravel Morrison and Suarez the non-racist. In his words:

“Ravel Morrison at Man United? No. We know him well, No to Kalou and Suarez as well.”

How comforting Arsene…telling us exactly what we want to hear. Our squad has enough quality, Park and Chamakh will come good. I wonder how long we’ll have to put up with dross.

Some transfer news; Felix Bastians is the latest on a list of almost 300 left backs linked to us. The 23 year old who currently lines up for Germany side, Freiburg isn’t new in England.

He played at lower league clubs like Gillingham, MK Dons, and Notts County. He’s got £5m slapped over his head and Arsenal are thought to have shown interest.

He’s a typical Wenger signing, young, unknown, with a lot to prove. In a few days, we’ll see if this story ends up on the pile of rubbish stories before it. My bet is it will.

We travel to Swansea tomorrow, with no full backs, but with Thierry Henry. Swansea are a good side, they play lovely football and we were lucky to beat them at home.

Miquel and Djourou should be available, so we can play Kos and Mert in the centre. Arteta, Song and Ramsey in midfield; and Walcott, Arshavin, RVP upfront. Titi starts from the bench again and Arshavin should be given a chance to build on an encouraging performance.

We HAVE to win tomorrow though, anything short and we are in trouble. I know it’s still early days but we are 12 points behind City, but more painfully 9 behind Spurs.

Finishing over Spurs is not our birthright! We cannot keep believing they will drop points, like we won’t. We need to cut out our mistakes now, get the points so Tottenham’s losses can count for something.

That’s all from me today, I’m done ranting. We have a game to win tomorrow. No mistakes will be tolerated.

It’s a very cold morning in Lagos, a few hours before the first round of EPL games kick off. Here’s to hoping all our rivals drop points and we win our game.

Any thoughts or comments on new signings and Swansea? Please drop them below.

Keep it goonerish wherever you watch from!

Cheers!

FairyTale Return As Henry Scores On Second Debut To Send Arsenal Through | Coquelin Injured

Wearing the number 12 jersey, 12 minutes before the end of his second debut, he scores his 12th goal against Leeds in the year 2012, ladies and gentlemen, Thierry Henry, is back. As someone said, “The first player to score inside the Emirates while he’s celebrating outside it(in reference to his statue)”

With all the media hysteria of Henry’s homecoming surrounding the game, one would forgive Leeds for feeling hard done by as the fixture was supposed to be about us & them and a possible cupset, and with the way they started out you could see they didn’t come to be rolled over.

Mixing youth and experience, Wenger went for a formation of Szczesny-Coquelin-Miquel-Squillaci-Koscielny-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Arshavin-AOC-Chamakh. The first half was the closest you’ll get to a bore fest as chances were few and far between both teams, Ramsey and Arshavin at the heart of most of the attacking which just lacked the bite typified by an Arsenal team.

AOC was having a quiet game just like the Leeds attack which found Song & Arteta too much to handle in front of the defense. After just 20minutes, Coquelin picked up an injury and had to be substituted for Yennaris. The first half ended like it started with zero shots on target for both teams.

Second Half
Resisting the urge to make changes, the same team resurfaced and started to play like they really wanted it, AOC took it on himself and collected a pass on the left and ran at the defense before unleashing a stinging drive. That wasn’t the end, he went on another mazy run down the other end but missed the target.

Ramsey and Arteta kept feeding the Ox with passes as Chamakh continued to be pretty much inactive in the game and this time, the young englishman hit another rasping drive which was turned round the post for a corner.

AW had seen enough and called on club legend(former number 14) and current number 14(Walcott) to replace Oxo & Chamakh(I wanted Ramsey & Arshavin to go off as they had been average). In less than 10 seconds Henry had touched the ball but he was offside. But not to worry, the script had been written to perfection, Song slipped him a delightful pass, he took one touch, dropped his shoulder & bent it calmly past the goalkeeper… Vintage Henry, the celebration that ensued said it all, running and shouting and beating his chest before going to embrace AW & celebrate with the lads.

Leeds threatened to score but Chesney pulled off a great save to ensure no other mortal graced the same scoresheet as Henry. In what proved to be a poor performance, no one would remember as Henry grabbed the spotlight as he had done all week. I say let’s sign him till the end of the season.

We’ll leave the review of the poor performance for another time but credit to Yennaris who came on for Coquelin and showed pace, heart & desire, would get a run in the first team till Sagna is fit.

Well there you have it, we face Aston Villa in a couple of weeks at the grove, but before then, its Swansea on sunday. Do have a great day, see you in the comments. Cheers

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Kalou in Arsenal talks?|The Return Of the King

Morning everyone! It’s the start of another week and I’m sure you are all fired up for tonight! We welcome Leeds to the Ems in the F.A Cup, a game with a lot to look forward to.

Just over a year ago, we were involved in the same fixture, one we had to rely on a last minute penalty to secure a replay!

I’m sure Wenger would have taken a lesson from that encounter. We made wholesale changes that afternoon and we lacked a spine to win the game.

RVP is in Dubai on break, and deservedly so. We need him fresh for the title run-in. Arteta should also get some rest as he’s played almost every game since he moved. Apart from these two guys, I expect everyone else to be involved.

I will like to see Sz13 in goal, with Kos and Mert, flanked by Miquel and Coqeulin in front of him. The midfield should comprise Song, Rosicky and Ramsey, and a front three of Oxo, Chamakh and Arsha will do just fine!

Oh? Haha…I can NEVER forget him! Thierry will definitely play this game and I think it will be from the bench to replace any of the front three. I’m looking forward to the kind of reception he’ll get! It will be mad I tell you!

Ramsey, Theo, Squid, Almunia, Benayoun, should all be on the bench just in case.

They have their own injuries too and it’s the Emirates at night, so I don’t see them posing too much of a threat. 3-0 to the good guys is my prediction.

To some more interesting news, Sky Sports reported early last night that Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou was on his way back to London for talks with Arsenal.

This story was later refuted as a rumour that sprang up in Arsenal column. Whatever the truth is, we know there’s genuine interest from Arsenal.

Kalou is a player who will definitely split opinions among Arsenal fans. No doubt, he’s experienced, very skillful and he definitely has some goals in him.

I’m not sure he’s what we need at the moment. Add this to the fact that he’s African and we’ll have to release him for the AFCON early next year. He’s a dynamic forward, not the clinical finisher we crave!

But at £3m, I wouldn’t refuse the chance to add another “wasting” talent to our ranks. What’s to say Arsene can’t reform him and convert him to the striker we want?

Do let me know what your thoughts are concerning Kalou and the return of Titi!

Meanwhile, we have a game to win tonight, C’MON YOU RIPPIN ROARERS!!!

See you in the comments!

Henry poses in new Arsenal shirt|RVP speaks|Fulham Preview

Morning guys! It’s our first game of the new year and we travel to Fulham to keep our place in the top four.

But before I go into the preview, let’s look at some gist that made news.

Where better to start than the gaffe on the club’s official website. Apparently, Arsenal.com accidentally posted a picture of returning club legend last night.

The picture was rightly taken off moments later, but it sort of confirms all the stories that have been making rounds. Expect the deal to be confirmed tomorrow!

Still on the King’s return, captain RVP has confessed he cannot wait to reform his partnership with Titi. Said he:

“It is fantastic. For him to come back is something brave. He has nothing to prove. He has a statue here…it’s a massive joy to play and train with him. I am excited too”

Encouraging words from the Dutchman and I’m sure all fans share his sentiments. We cannot wait to see a strike force of Titi and RVP. Good times you say!

Straight to the preview; Fulham are expected to be without Zamora who is nursing an Achilles injury, Andrew Johnson is also unlikely to feature as he has a groin problem.

We have our own problems too, TV5 misses out, and for 3 weeks we won’t see him play. Expect to see Francis Coquelin at LB. Gervinho should also return to the starting XI.

Predicted XI: Sz13; Djourou, Mert, Kos, Coq; Song, Ramsey, Arteta; Gerv, Theo, RVP.

Yes, RVP starts for him, he’s looking sharp and he’ll be vital to whatever we do. We won’t create as many chances and we need to be efficient, he’s our best shot at that. 2-1 to the Arsenal!

That’s it from me today, it should be a good game. Things are finally looking good around the club once again. Let’s hope Arsene does the business now that the window is open.

Have fun wherever you’ll be watching!

C’MON YOU RIPPIN’ ROARERS!!

Wenger Says ‘NO’ To Podolski/Gotze Et Al As Club Legend Henry Returns

Imagine my joy when I first heard that the deal to bring Henry back for 2 months was in the pipelines. 4 years ago when he left, I never though he would return to Arsenal in a playing capacity, as a coach maybe, but lo and behold, its here. The club legend is back.

Chamakh can’t impress anyone, his body language reeks of sulking, like a kid who had his candy collected by his parents for being naughty but can’t complain. Park? I don’t even think we bought him for sporting reasons seeing as he hasn’t even made a substitute appearance in the league. So the return of Henry is much welcomed.

John Cross of the Daily Mirror made a very important point last week when the news broke, he said “the signing of Henry would be wonderful for Arsenal so long he’s not the only signing and proper acquisitions werte made”, but it looks like AW is going to be very foolish and do what he’s always done, get bargain transfers and return the money to the board.

With the obvious deficiencies in the squad, Wenger came out yesterday and said that
“he’s not looking to make permanent deals and possibly make only loan signings as he has a large squad”

In so doing, ruling out any Podolski, Gotze, Hazard or full back moves.

Really? Large squad? Since when did large squad mean quality squad? I’ll wait. We have a large squad consisting of dead weights(Arshavin, Chamakh, Squillaci), seasoned crocks(Diaby, Rosicky), and Park. That’s 6 first team players with two of those out of contract in the summer. Why not sell them seeing as there’s interest in 3(Arshavin,Chamakh,Rosicky) and replace them now instead of waiting till the summer?

Instead of rejoicing about Henry returning, I’m here dismayed at the reasoning of Wenger. Needless to say, we’re doing little to persuade RVP to sign on or show ambition. But when I remember how before the season started and Gazidis said its “Cool” if we don’t make the champions league next season. SMH

QPR PREVIEW
There’s really not much to say here, Walcott is fit after a stomach bug kept him out of the last game, so expect him and Ramsey to return and Benayoun & Rosicky to drop out. I have a funny feeling RVP won’t start the game as its not possible for him to play tomorrow and then on Monday at Fulham again. So I expect the squad to look like this.

Predicted Line-Up: Szczesny-Djourou-Kozzer-Mertesacker-Vermaelen-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Gervinho-Walcott-Chamakh

See you here after the game. Have a swell day

P.S Emmanuel Frimpong would be joining Wolves in January till the end of the season, let’s pray he turns out like a Wilshere.

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Thanks for the memories Henry......can we have more please

Thanks for the memories Henry……can we have more please

Statues Unveiled|Santos out for longer|Wenger talks transfers|Everton Preview

STATUES

Arsenal yesterday honored three Club legends by unveiling three statues outside Emirates Stadium on Friday afternoon. The first stage of the club’s 125th anniversary was witnessed by many, with quite a number of other legends in attendance. Herbert Chapman, the legendary manager, Mr Arsenal – Tony Adams, and the king, Thierry Henry were immortalized at prominent points around the Ems.

Hebert Chapman

Having taken roughly 625 hours to create and weighing roughly 200kg each, the statues were lifted into place on Wednesday, ahead of Friday’s ceremony. And of the 3 legends, only Thierry was present; Herbert Chapman is dead obviously but one begins to wonder why Tony Admas was not in attendance. A visibly teary-eyed Henry gave an emotional speech, repeating the same line he had been on since he left, “once a gunner, always a gunner”. It is definitely an achievement he will cherish all his life.

Tony Adams aka Mr Arsenal

King Henry

SANTOS + TRANSFERS

Away from the celebration, Arsene revealed the latest team news ahead of the Everton game on Saturday. Andre Santos’ ankle injury rules him out of this weekend’s tie and possibly till the end of the year. It was originally thought that Andre will miss 3 weeks of footie, but Arsene has said the Brazilian will be out for longer. He is scheduled to see a specialist in the coming days.

It’s so frustrating to know that he picked up this injury in the dead-rubber tie in Greece, a game he did not need to play in. Arsene is not too disturbed though and reckons Vermaelen can do a good job at left back.

When quizzed about what defenders he plans to bring into the fold, seeing as Sagna, Jenko, Gibbs and now Andre Santos are out, Arsene replied: “We will not be on the market for any centre-back, I can assure you.”

Does this mean that we are in the market for a player who plays in another position? Attacking midfield, or even another strker, gaffer? Only time will tell, but I just have this feeling that if Wenger was not looking to do any business in January, he would not have specified what players he won’t buy.

EVERTON PREVIEW
This is going to be quick, I can’t remember the last time we lost to Everton at home in the league, so on paper its almost a done deal, but like the proverbial dark horses of international tournaments, Everton have assumed that mantle as they tend to never read the script so don’t rule out a draw but don’t expect a loss.

Vermaelen is expected to move to LB to cover for Santos and the senior players that were rested are going to return, meaning the squad is expected to look like this.
Szczesny-Djourou-Mertesacker-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Gervinho-Walcott-RVP

There you have it, let’s hope the players can round off the celebrations with 3 points and if possible 3 goals too. COYG!!!!!

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Titi goes Yanky/More on the Shirtty Barca prank

Cesc  Barca jersey prank

Yeah I know this is not proper Arsenal news, but hey, this dude breathes Arsenal. He was a gunner and is a gooner through and through. So reliable news just in have it that our best striker ever, the one who holds our goalscoring record Thierry Henry has signed for New York Red Bulls, one of the major sides in America’s Major Soccer League. Actually, this is one of the worst-kept secrets of all time because as at mid last season, it was obvious Titi had no future in Catalonia. He had openly professed his love for life in New York and admitted he might consider a move there later in life. Guess that time is now. He is expected to make his debut for in a friendly against the Spuds in the United States on 22 July. This is to thanking him for all the good memories he brought us and wishing him the best of luck in his time over there.

So what would be your first reaction if you were to wake up to see the above picture on the first football website you open? Sincerely, I’d either weep and smash the computer or go back to bed and hope it was a dream, rather a nightmare. That of course, before reading to see it was just a prank by Puyol and Pique(two jokers but Barca players). Prank, joke,nothing serious is how all of it has been tagged by both the player and his father but one must wonder if it was a significant act of selfish mind play on their part.

Arsene’s Response: “You can go f**k yourselves”

OK, he did not say that but I so wish he had. He simply played it down and repeated what he’s been saying every summer of Cesc’ Arsenal career

“He’s an Arsenal player and under contract till 2015 and we won’t be listening to any offers,because he’s an integral part of the team”

Cesc himself came out defend himself stating that it’s nothing and that if it was a way to have fun, he had to enjoy it.

Onto other pressing matters then, and the question on our lips since the end of last season. Who our new signings will be and whether they will be established players or relatively unknowns. So far Koscly and Chamakh have joined and while the jury is still out on our new number 6, Chamakh comes with a somewhat proven pedigree…well his goals rate in the French league is credible but in the EPL is no better than a Crouch or Berbatov or Anelka last season. Which according to Le Boss remains just two more players, a centreback and a goalkeeper.

As much as I disagree and think we need a new centre midfielder and the sale of Denilson, who after 4 first team years is a complete disgrace (a few long range shots don’t make up for shambolic performances season long) they’ll just have to make do. If our superb attacking play can be backed up by a solid defence such as this: Frey + Clichy + TV5 + Koscly/Mertesacker/Hangeland + Sagna; then, we’re good to go. I prefer Seb Frey because he’s 7 years younger than Mark Schwarzer, maybe better and has been one of the top 3 goalies in the Serie A for the past couple of seasons.
And yes, there’s the ridiculous story that Gallas might come back, No thanks! Sol should sign a new contract simple and we’ll be just fine.

As you know the first team has already started pre-season training already. You can view the pictures of our new signings at work here, getting ready for the Emirates Cup. But just before that is our traditional season opener, a game at the Underhill against Barnet on Saturday. This is followed by a game against SK Stum Graz on Wednesday 21st July, then SC Neusiedl on Tuesday, 27th July.

Isn’t it fun to get to see the Arsenal play footie again? Hell yeah, it is!

From wherever you are reading, have fun
Escobar says so!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers