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!!!

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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.

Arsenal Fighting For Season vs Sunderland : FA CUP Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Van Persie with Another Double : Arsenal vs Dortmund Player Ratings

Remember last and upper week when I said I’m going to run out of words for Van Persie, well I have, now I think he needs to take a break or I need to learn Dutch adjectives synonymous with brilliant and on fire. Two goals in the second half won the game for us.

Arsene stuck with the same line up for the first time since January 2010. Below are the player ratings.

RATINGS

Szczesny- 7
Passenger the entire match. Djourou had to come on and ruin the clean sheet for him.

Jenkinson 7
With 3 interceptions, you’d think he was born a right back. Has settled into the role although his presence there limits our attacking play on that wing.

Vermaelen 7
Another solid performance form the Belgian, the defence seems better when he’s there. Claimed the assist for the second goal that all but sealed the win

Mertesacker6.5
Just like Vermaelen, rarely had much defensive work to do as the threat of one frontman was easily nullified

Santos7
The pace at which the brazilian is endearing himself to the Emirates faithful is lovely to see. He was rarely troubled and at times had more attacking to do than defending.

Song9
YES!!! He deserves every mark. An absolute beast in the middle of the park and a Messi-esque run from him to set up the opener for his 5th assist this season. Defensive midfielder you say? Don’t think so

Arteta7
Near flawless performance from the Spaniard, he reminds me of Petit-Gilberto, battles hard in the midfield, plays the simple and easy passes and never puts us in trouble.

Ramsey7
Not for poor finishing from the likes of Theo & Gervinho, he would have claimed 2 assists on the night. He continues to grow with every match.

Walcott6.5
Should have done better with the chances provided in both halves. He defended superbly well which is good to see.

Gervinho6
This guy right here, is on course to be the worst finisher in Arsenal’s history. He stammers each time he’s put through and I’ve seen females that finish better. Needs a goal quick.

Van Persie8.5
god!!!!!! is the new word I came up with for Van Persie, looked like it was going to be a barren night and from no where Boom!! 2 goals. Owes the first to Song’s brilliant run and the other to Vermaelen’s flick.

SUBSTITUTES

Benayoun5

Djourou3
Gave away the ball that led to Dortmund’s goal even though he was played into trouble by Song.

DiabyN/A

Another double for RVP and another 3 points that has sealed our qualification to the next round and has probably earned him rest for the last group match. Do have a lovely night.

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Dutch Delight As Robin Brace Downs Norwich : The Player Ratings

RED HOT ROBIN!!!!, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC!!! , one day I’ll get tired and start repeating superlatives in describing Robin Van Persie. The Dutchman is scoring goals like its out of fashion and proved match winner again today. 31 goals in 2011, 13th on the Arsenal all time scorers list and looking likely to bag the player of the month again.

Arsene was forced to make a change as Jenkinson was ruled out through injury. Mertesacker came in and Kozzer moved to RB. We conceded the first goal due to stupid defending from the flagpole German but RVP hit back with two goals in each half to seal all 3 points. Below are the ratings.

PLAYER RATINGS

Szczesny- 7
Seems to never have anything serious to do in the game but continues to have his copybook blotted by silly defending. Composed & confident throughout

Kozzer 6
Playing at RB and looked confident, had a lot of interceptions and cleared his lines well. Tried to play a lot of ambitious passes. Cut that out son.

Mertesacker 4.5
Tempted to give him a lower rating, just because you’re slow doesn’t mean you have to be sluggish. Poor for the opening goal for someone of his status.

Vermaelen8
If RVP had a twin that played at CB and was on fire like him, its Thomas Vermaelen, another excellent game and he rescued Mertesacker over and over again. Brilliant man.

Santos6.5
Probably his best defensive showing since joining us. Marauding performance going forward and good at the back. Had an easy game in the second 45.

Arteta5.5
After receiving such high praise in the previous week he comes up with a very lackluster performance. Was good in the first half but very sad to watch in the second half.

Song7
Had a contrasting game to Arteta, gave away passes in the first half and lost almost all his tackles but came out roaring in the second half and laid the aassist for the winner

Ramsey6
Playing for Wales midweek must have dulled his game but still was hardworking throughout, always available for passes and willing to attack.

Walcott8
All he lacked today was a goal. Absolutely barnstorming game from the English man. Assisted the first goal, saw a shot cleared off line and saw another bounce off the upright.

Gervinho6
This man right here continues to remind me that we miss Nasri at times with his poor finishing. Twice he was free on goal and fluffed his lines. Every other aspect of his game is faultless

Van Persie9
Looked like he was heading for a frustrating afternoon after spurning 3 clear chances. But he stuck to it and was rewarded with two goals.

SUBSTITUTES
BenayounN/A

MAN OF THE MATCH : Van Persie

Honorable Mention : Theo Walcott

Another win, another dutch brilliance on show, it can only get better as we slowly but surely continue to climb up the table. See you in the comments.

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Arsenal 3 – 0 West Brom : Player Ratings

WHO NEEDS BATMAN WHEN YOU’VE GOT ROBIN read the banner at the emirates. And they were right. One goal one assist means the in-form dutchman continues his red hot form. I might have to get a ‘Van Persie’ tattoo so everyone knows my love for him is real.

Wenger made just one change to the team that played against Marseille and that was RVP for Park. He rewarded that with the first goal, then went on to lay an assist for his vice captain The Verminator and for Arteta later in the second half to win the game. Below are the player ratings.:

PLAYER RATINGS

Szczesny- 7
Wasn’t really troubled by the West Brom frontline. Was called to action a couple of times but held his ground. Good outing.

Jenkinson 7
The young right back was highly impressive as he provided some good balls into the area going forward

Vermaelen 8
The Verminator is back Ladies and Gentlemen. Excellent outing for our assistant captain with a goal Vaan Persie would have been proud of.. Was also on hand with a delicate tackle against Tchoyi. Good game. Let’s hope he stays injury free

Koscielny7
The Frenchman wasnt really troubled as his combination with TV5 was amazing. I think this is the start of aa wonderful relationship. Maybe we can use Mertesacker for Champs league duty

Santos7
Probably his best defensive showing, not that he did anything note worthy. The brazilian claims his second clean sheet in succession

Arteta7
Started the game a bit slow with his side passes and two-dimensional game play. Was able to get a goal after a lovely lay-off from RvP. Really needs to step up his overall game play

Song8
Another good game for Song. Brilliant in coordinating the midfield & defense. Good news for Arsene as we won’t be losing him in Jaanuary

Ramsey7
Matured performance, without doing anything wrong, had a lot of delightful passes for Walcott in the first 45 mins. Grows with every game

Walcott6.5
A better game than the one against Marseille, needs to improve his jekyll and hyde finishing. I think he needs a breather.

Gervinho7
The Ivorian seems to be enjoying himself with every passing game, no longer staggers on the ball he’ll be missed in January but till then, let’s enjoy him.

Van Persie9
I’m sorry, I’ve run out of adjectives and superlatives to describe RVP, unless of course I use Yorùbá which is my native language but I’ll hold back on that. Super Super player.

SUBSTITUTES

Benayoun 5
Helped in starting the move that led to the third and final goal.

Rosicky N/A

Arshavin N/A

Another win, another clean sheet. Happy times at the Emirates again.

Faf

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EXCLUSIVE : Arsenal “beat the crap” out of Chelsea: A Unique View.

Almost 24 hours after and I’m still struggling to come to terms with the events of yesterday. Most gooners would have accepted a draw going into the game but the guy who wrote that script had other ideas.

I won’t say I was too surprised when Chelsea drew first blood, I was only pained it had come after we missed two great chances. Lampard capitalized on a Mert4 misjudgment to power a header past Sz13. We had a lot of time to grab our goal and I hoped it would be an equalizer rather than a consolation.

A spell of good possession and Ramsey ripped the Chelski defence to put Gerv through on goal, the winger showed great awareness to pass to Robin who had the simplest of tap-ins. We were back on level terms but it didn’t last.

Just before half-time, Terry got in front of Mert4 to somehow put the ball in the net. A lot of people were quick to blame the big man, but that ball shouldn’t have got that far in the first place. We trailed at half-time and it was really difficult to see how.

Chelsea’s Chief Executive, Bruce Buck was expecting “Chelsea to beat the crap out of Arsenal”. I really do not care what did the magic, whether it was Wenger’s team talk or the thought of Buck saying “I told you so” after the game.

What I know is that the Arsenal that emerged from the dressing room for 2nd half wasn’t the same team that went in at half time, in terms of mentality at least.

We played with much more precision and spirit, and got our equalizer within 5 minutes. Andre Santos latched onto a pass on the left and shot through Cech’s legs to claim his 2nd for the season.
Clichy managed just 2 in how many years again? Santos’ celebration was top notch too [in yer face Ramires!].

We were in the ascendancy, doing the simple things well and keeping the Chelski strikers in check. Walcott, who had been having a great game decided to do something different.
He ran at the Chelsea defence, lost the ball, won it back, beat two defenders with a simple skill and speed, and finished excellently. I went bonkers! The comeback was complete, and the 3 points were within sight.

Trust Arsenal though, the kings of dramatic endings, Mata’s long ranger [after a foul by Lukaku on Santos] leveled the scores and set up an amazing final 10 minutes. I feared the worst and hoped we could hang on for a point.

But the thing is when you are the good guy, you get lucky a few times. “Luck” is Malouda playing a poor backward pass when a forward pass seemed easier. “Luck” is Terry slipping on his backside and letting the ball pass, “Luck” is the ball falling to none other than Van Persie.
The look on the faces of Chelski fans as VP faced Cech is absolutely priceless! He confirmed their fears, rounded Cech and passed into a waiting net.

We were back on top, Chelsea were rocked! They threw everything they had forward but created nothing really. It even cost them as we broke on the counter, got the ball to RVP who rifled a shot past the helpless Cech to grab his hat-trick. 5-3 and we were truly going back home with maximum points. One could see from the celebrations what those points meant to the lads.

It was a pulsating encounter and in recent years, we would normally come out of games like this ruing our luck. This time around, the lads gave their all, kept their focus and were duly rewarded. No need to wax lyrical about RVP, we all know he is going to heaven!

Koscielny was a monster yesterday, and of the 8 defenders that lined up for both sides, he looked like the only one who had a clue what he was doing in the first half. If he keeps developing at this rate, he’ll be unplayable in the not too distant future! Andre Santos had a poor first 45, but a commendable 2nd. I particularly like the way he wins one-on-ones. His goal scoring ability is a breath of fresh air too.

Walcott showed us what good decision making can do to his game, Arteta played with more freedom, Gervinho’s unpredictability and dribbling really helped, Song was colossal and worked his socks off, and Ramsey was superb again.
Our defending still needs to be worked on though. TV5 returning is great news and I expect us to be much better. I’d love to see a back four of Kos-Mert4-TV5-Santos!

After 7 wins in 8 games, I was hesitant to say we had turned the corner probably because 6 of those 7 were at home. With yesterday’s win, I’m pretty confident we have.

Are we back to our best though? As much as the game showed how awesome we can be, it also exposed our faults. We should expect to get punished if we keep missing clear chances and defending atrociously. Gervinho especially needs to work on his finishing, we were not so luck against the Sp*ds!

HUMOR
Below are some of the funniest tweets that went around yesterday after we ran riot at the bridge.

@Denismiriti

@TheNeilParmar

@CrazyGoose

@SmkyRobbs

@FourFourTom

Its Marseille on tuesday at the Emirates, let’s win and seal qualification. Cheers. See you in the comments

Van Persie Hits Hattrick : AR5S3NAL vs CH3L5EA Ratings

MARRY ME VAN PERSIE came the tweet at the end of the final 90. Another masterful performance from the new darling of the Arsenal faithful. What can we do without him? I don’t want to find out. He must stay fit.

In a game where despite being on top, our defence had other ideas and threatened to spoil it all. But the likes of Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Walcott, RVP stood tall and took matters into their own hands. Santos also bagged his second goal, Arteta his first assist and Gervinho his fourth. Below are the player ratings.

Szczesny- 6
Nothing he could do about the three goals. He was shaky and at the same time very solid.

Djourou 6
Had a tough game against Mata and Torres but did ok for someone playing out of position.

Koscielny 8
Oh boy, oh boy, I’m falling in love with this boy right now. The last 5 games he’s been an absolute beast and is surely guaranteed a spot when Vermaelen returned.

Mertesacker6.5
Continues to have a Jekyll and Hyde season. Started well then became poor but recovered well and won all aerial balls in the 2nd half. He’s better suited to the European game.

SantosFirst Half 5Second Half 7
At fault for the opening goal for not preventing the cross and looked unfit in the opening 45. But came out looking solid and grabbed the equalizer. Good game

Arteta7
Controlled performance from the spaniard, nothing risky, completed his passes and defended well. For someone so timid he bagged his first assist for the club with a slide rule pass for the 5th & final goal.

Song7
I thought he played very well, a bit careless in the opening half but he protected his defence well and almost got in a block to prevent Mata’s thunderbolt

Ramsey7
Very matured performance from the Welsh skipper. Full of energy and invention. Did enough against Lampard and co and on another day would have bagged an assist and a goal.

Walcott8
The way he started the game, you’d think he had a vendetta against Ashley Cole, presented a chance which Gervinho messed up. His goal was brilliant as he picked himself up after being tripped, bamboozled two chelsea players and blasted it beyond Cech. *Babanla Goal

Gervinho7
Shamed himself after missing an easy goal but put in an action packed performance and was a thorn in Bosingwa’s side the entire game. Assisted Van Persie again. Budding on-pitch romance between those two.

Van Persie100
Five star performance. I’m fast running out of adjectives to describe Van Persie. Not in recent memory has a captain led by his performances the way he has this season. Magnificent hattrick. Each goal beautiful in its own way.

SUBSTITUTES

Jenkinson5

Rosicky5

Vermaelen5

Credit must go to Arsene wenger, whatever he said to the lads at half time worked like a charm as the players upped the ante and defended better and got all the three points. Great weekend to be a gooner.

Man Of The MatchVan Persie

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Arsenal vs Stoke : Match Preview

One of our bogey teams visits the grove today, with Stoke doing well in the top 5 of the of the table and us on the second page of the table in 11th position, a win is very much needed. But have no fears, Delap or not, Arsenal have never lost to Stoke at home, at least not in this modern era. Their bogeyness only works at the Brittania.

We are a team on ascendancy and what better way to stamp that than beat a team that has always been a thorn in our sides and then that Ramsey incident. I must say, with Stoke’s approach to the game I fear for Van Persie but they should be more worried about our own attacking threat.

Bar RVP, our attackers have been poor in recent weeks and the one actually banging in the goals(Oxlade-Chamberlain) continues to languish on the bench. Our exotic number 9 hasn’t played a premier league minute, nott one and Chamakh continues to come in and go out of the squad entirely.

For this game, I’d gladly take a 1-0 victory but we’re at home so I say go for the jugular and kill them off, give the lads a morale boosting win a la Sunderland. I expect the defence to continue their impressive play from the last two games and hopefully see Park play today.

Possible Line-Up: Szczesny-Djourou-Koscielny-Mertesacker-Santos-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Gervinho-Walcott-RVP

Prediction : Arsenal 3:1 Stoke

Cheers!

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One Nil To The Arsenal : The Marseille Review

One-Nil-To-The-Arsenal read the scoreline after 90 minutes of play yesterday and despite the poor performance from more than half of the team, the result is the most important thing as it sent us to the top of the table.

Due to fitness concerns of certain players, Le Boss made just two changes as Arshavin and Santos came in for Gervinho & Gibbs. The game in itself had little to show for attacking wise as there were a lot of half chances with both sides having penalty claims which weren’t given.

The pace of Remy & Valbuena repeatedly caused problems in the Arsenal half with no serious threat. Jenkinson made a good account of himself and showed desire, commitment and was ever willing in the game, Koscielny was an absolute rock and nullified every threat he faced. Song picked up an early booking which could have cost us but did not. When I called him an average player, I got a lot of stick, well he did little to change my opinion of him.

The attacking threat which we were supposed to carry with Walcott and Arshavin was absent as they both looked like lost puppies, Arteta can’t make a forward pass and direct one to save his life as he kept on passing to the wings.

Walcott had the chance to put us ahead but fluffed his lines as the defender got back in time to rescue his team. Up next was RVP who saw his shot blocked by the Marseille keeper. Before this, AW had sent on Gervinho , Djourou & then Ramsey for Walcott, Jenkinson(injury) and Arshavin. Djourou would later send a cross into the box which landed gratefully at the feet of Ramsey who took his finish well. Too late for Marseille to muster any comeback as the clock had expired.

For once, we won without playing well and I knew what it felt like to be a United/Chelsea fan. If we can continue to get more results like this without playing well, I and many fans worldwide would be grateful.

PLAYER RATINGS

Szczesny- 7

Jenkinson 7

Mertesacker 7

Koscielny8.5 MOTM

Santos6

Arteta6

Song6

Rosicky6.5

Walcott5

Arshavin5

Van Persie6

SUBSTITUTES

Ramsey7

Gervinho5

Djourou6

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Koscielny was a rock against Marseille

Koscielny was a rock against Marseille

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