Blog Archives

RVP Crowned King at the PFA’s + PFA’s Joke Team of the Season.

Robin van Persie has expectedly been named as PFA Player of the Year, ahead of Sergio Agüero, Wayne Rooney, David Silva, Joe Hart and some other fella that should rather have been Alex Song in my opinion.

Anyway, our captain was consequently named in the PFA Team of the Year as well, partnered up front by Red Devils’ striker Rooney, rendering City’s Kun Agüero conspicously missing.

Newcastle United’s Fabricio Coloccini partnered Vincent Kompany at the back, ahead of either one of Laurent Koscielny or Thomas Vermaelen and I’m thinking the own goals cost Kozzer a spot there.

That ‘other fella’ found his way here too; as defensive midfielder, as did Yaya Toure in central midfield, David Silva on the right and the ‘other fella’s’ teammate… the demon monkey himself appropriately on the ‘left’.

A third Sp*ds player, Kyle Walker won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and was named in the right back position while Everton’s Leighton Baines got the nod for the left back position.

Walker beat our own Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Chelski’s Daniel Sturridge and also completed a dire night for Agüero off the field as the Argentine was also nominated in the category.

On a lighter note…….
Ashley Young was named diver of the year with Luis Suarez in 2nd place and Gareth Bale in 3rd. Also, Howard Webb won the 12th man award for the 3rd year running as United’s unregistered player.

Mikel Arteta won “best hair in the league”, Papiss Cisee won “how-to-pull-a-drogba/Torres-on-your-strike-partner” award. John Terry wasn’t left out as he won Racist of the year edging out Suarez again.

A big congratulations to van Persie who becomes the fifth Gunner to win he award and the first Gunner since the talismatic Thierry Henry won it successive years in 2003 and 2004.

All that said, what players would you have preferred to see in the PFA Team of the Year?

Share your thoughts on that and more below and tell a gooner to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

van Persie with his PFA 2011-12 Player of the Year Trophy

van Persie with his PFA 2011-12 Player of the Year Trophy

“We’re Going All Out!” says Wenger – the Milan Preview

Media about AC Milan’s Champions League visit to the Emirates on the back of a solid 4-0 first leg lead has been waxing mostly on famous comebacks in Europe and it just so happens that AC Milan features in most episodes, the defeat to Deportivo la Coruna in 2004 being the pick of the pack along with Liverpool’s triumph a season after.

That said, Arsenal go into the tie on a bit of a high with comeback wins over Sp*rs and Liverpool and… I’m thinking to myself, are we practising for a comeback against the Rossoneri? Huge task.

The task is even more so with the boss ruling Mikel Arteta out of tonight’s encounter, “Arteta has no major problem but he has to rest for a week (no thanks to Henderson’s rush of blood moment) so he will be available against Newcastle but not Milan.”

And with Diaby right back with the medical team where he holds a starting shirt down, Benayoun out with illness, Ramsey still a week from fitness and Rosicky a doubt with a minor groin injury, wonder how the midfield will be.

Predicted line-up: Szczesny. Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Yennaris. Song, Ox, Rosicky/Gervinho. Walcott, Chamakh/Park, RvP.

Pretty make shift yes and we’ve also got Coquelin out as well as Kieran Gibbs. That leaves Song as our only fully fit first team midfielder at the moment… only at Arsenal *sigh*. Still hoping for a comeback? Don’t mind me, miracles happen.

Finally on the issue of resting players seeing as a third place finish is now realistic and particularly on the issue of having a go at overturning the four goal deficit, the boss had this to say, “Yes. I would not be very credible telling you we want to score five goals and then I leave Robin van Persie out”.

So there you have it, the team’s going for the seemingly impossible and we here are going to be with them through the entire 90 tonight, or an extra half hour as the case may turn out to be.

COYG!!!

RVP & Szczesny Steal Win for Us + Player Ratings

Yet again we come from behind to snatch all three points, this time at Carling Cup holders Liverpool in a match we failed to get a bearing for long periods as well as finish without winning even a corner kick.

Liverpool were industrious and a bit over the top with their challenges for the ball, one of which has cost us Arteta who was stretched off concussed. Hopefully he’ll be out too briefly.

In summary, Laurent Koscielny gave Liverpool the lead with a flying side footed own goal *smh* minutes after Szczesny saved Dirk Kuyt’s penalty off a non-existent foul.

Captain vantastic equalised with his first headed goal of the campaign off a sterling Sagna cross. And when it seemed we’ll gift the lone walkers the match, Song comes out of an appaling phase with a neat chip over the defence for Robin who lashed home with that left foot!

Unless Chelsea wins by a two-goal margin or more we stay in fourth place, and now we’re just four points off the neighbours who host the Red Devils tomorrow.

For now… the player ratings…

Szczesny – 8
Charismatic goalkeepers of old will be proud of this young man here. Saved penalty, and the rebound too. Made the 18 yard his own and really deserved a clean sheet though Kozzer had his ideas.

Sagna – 7
Wonderful cross to find RvP for the first. Still needs to work on tracking back though that is coupled with the winger ahead of him not helping out.

Gibbs – 7
I feel he had a good game. Got some neat tackles in, wasn’t so adventuruous yet went about his duties well enough.

Koscielny & Vermaelen – 6
Poor goal to own and had some trouble dealing with Suarez at times, Vermaelen too. Vermaelen on his part improved in the second half but both need to do much better in coming matches.

Arteta – 6
Quiet game overall before getting knocked out by that ******* ****** Henderson. Any guesses what words have been censored off, be my guest!

Song – 6.5
Error ridden game for this man until the ‘otu’ (poor footballer) makes way for the Song we’ve come to love this season and create a fantastic stoppage time assist for the captain who in return kissed the man’s boot. Vintage stuff.

Rosicky – 5
Not the best of days for little Mozart but he wasn’t poor.

Benayoun – 4
Yossi must’ve got in the Sp*rs bus that left the Ems after that win because the man wasn’t at Anfield today.

Walcott – 6
Lively when called upon though his finishing today lacked precision and confidence behind them.

RvP – 9
This man here, hardworking and all. Very well taken goals both at the tail end of both halves. He’s the sort of character that should be leading and here’s me hoping he will be next season along with a few new and assured names in. Surely, he’ll account for half or more of the league’s goals of the season…

Substitutes:

Diaby – 5
Cursed. Just cursed Vassiriki. Came on for Arteta and got replaced under half an hour after. He did play well in his cameo, even brought a save out of Reina.

Ox – 6
He better start against Milan, we’ve got nothing to lose that day so I don’t see why he shouldn’t. Too much energy oozing off this lad, well worth every pound of the Queen’s currency.

Gervais Headband – 5
Still seeking confidence from his penalty miss at AFCON Wenger? Oh well, we’ve been alright so far with him coming from he bench lately. He too should start against Milan.

Consecutive wins against tough oppositions is something to be very proud of. This win pleases me more so as we won ‘dirty’ as have been demanded time and again in the past. More of the same Gunners!

Tick Tock RvP’s Got the Most Minutes Among the Flock + Team News


Good day from wherever in comfort you are reading this from. Post here’s just to keep you updated on the club as we prepare for the visit of Leeds United in the FA Cup on Monday.

From everly being on the sidelines crocked with one injury upon injury, captain vantastic Robin van Persie played the most minutes on the clock for Arsenal in 2011.

According to stats provided by Opta, the flying Dutchman put in 3,132 minutes to the Gunners’ cause over the last year, a massive feat in his career knowing his history.

And to underline how much he’s matured over the last dozen months, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was second on the most minutes in 2011 list, putting in 2,970 minutes between the sticks after only playing just once in the first team before then… Lukasz who? What is a Manuel?? Yea… I thought as much.

Coming in at third place is French centre back Laurent Koscielny who has grown from Ligue 2 defender almost four years ago to the Premier League’s most consistent performing defender with 2,896 minutes of football for Arsenal to show for it.

Meanwhile, the yellow card erroneously shown Thomas Vermaelen in the win over QPR has been transferred rightfully to LK6. Vermaelen on his part will be unavailable for Monday’s visit of Leeds through injury as will RvP, with the captain set to be rested by Le Boss to allow for Chamakh and Park Ju Young to feature upfront.

Club legend Thierry Henry could feature only if the club and New York Red Bulls decide on when Titi’s loan should end. The Yanks want him by February 20, we want his last game to be at home to the Sillywhites on the 26th… sort that out quick gentlemen.

I’ll leave the rest of the team news for the match preview. As for the transfer window, Arsène Wenger stays being the get-on-my-nerves ideologist, doing well to not hint who he’s really after though he did mention the injury situation at the back will require bringing in a defender on loan.

Other than that, “only clubs not tied to the present economic situation in Europe can spend”… ok le Professeur.

Have a splendid weekend, from us here at MG.

Keeping Up with Gunners on International Duty

Good day from wherever you’re reading. Well as you already know there’s no Premier League action this weekend owing to Euro 2012 playoffs, 2014 World Cup qualifiers and a queue of international friendlies.

With just about the whole first team away on international duty, except most notably Mikel Arteta, here’s a quick round-up of how most have fared so far bearing in mind there are more matches still to play before returning to Colney.

Park Chu Young scored for South Korea AGAIN. Well, I guess that’s not news considering his International form.

Meanwhile, in a playoff match for a spot at Euro 2012, Czech captain Tomas Rosicky led by example with a sterling performance for the Czech Republic with both assists in a 2-0 win over Montenegro in Prague.

Wojciech Szczesny had a busy game and conceded two well taken goals from the impressive ‘why always me’ and Gianpaolo Pazzini as Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland fell to a 2-0 defeat to former world champions Italy.

Skipper Robin van Persie meanwhile fired blank along with his Oranje mates as Switzerland held a wasteful Holland to a goalless draw.

Elsewhere, Laurent Koscielny earned his first cap with the French national team in a 1-0 win over the United States in Paris while Thomas Vermaelen was involved as Belgium beat Romania 2-1 in a match that saw Razvan Rat miss a last minute penalty for Romania.

Andrey Arshavin’s Russia played out a 1-1 draw with Euro 2004 winners Greece while Alex Song’s Cameroun won 3-1 at home to Sudan in some of the other friendly matches played on Friday night.

No injuries to report so far… thankfully, as we look forward to world champions Spain at Wembley against England, while on Tuesday night Robin van Persie’s Holland face bitter rivals Germany in the top pick of upcoming matches involving our players.

That’s your lot for today. There’s really nothing happening besides the Internationals.
Oh! PHW says that there will be no contract talks with Van Persie until the end of the season. I wonder what you guys make of that, are we going to witness Nasri-gate all over again? Time will tell.

England-Spain is the game to watch today! Promises to be a cracker! 7 more days before proper football returns to our screens.

I can’t wait!

Which Arsenal will show up today?

Just a quick preview into today’s game!

Here we are, 7th on the table after a really woeful start to the campaign. The entire team should still be in high spirits after last week’s demolition of Chelsea at Stamford bridge and so its only fair we do some damage to West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates.

The team is bolstered with the return of TV5 who is a major plus in defense as the team is yet to master the art of defending. Man of the moment, RVP will be looking to add to his stunning goal record this year and one can fully expect him to get the job done, Gervinho seems to be forming a telepathic bond with RvP and one can only pray they keep the fire burning. Arteta is getting more comfortable, Alex Song stays improving game after game, and Ramsey is doing his best to fill in for the injured Wilshere.

All in all, the team is looking sharp but there is always room for improvement. Someone needs to take some pressure off RVP. A friend of mine said “Van-Persie would soon be going on his yearly sabbatical (sabbatical being his “normal” injury break), I wonder what will happen then”. . Our exotic number 9 is yet to see any Premiership action but he already has a Carling Cup and Champions league start under his belt.

We can only hope he picks up the blistering form he has in the South-Korean shirt. We welcome a West-Brom side currently 13th on the table who may be looking to at least snatch a draw from the fixture. One man to watch out for will be Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie who is currently West Brom’s record highest goal scorer in a single season and also knows what is feels like to score at the Emirates. Let’s not forget that West Brom got a 3-2 win in this same fixture last season so we have to be on our toes.

The Arsenal team will wear a special one-off shirt with a poppy embroidered into the Club’s home kit for the fixture. In honour of the many servicemen and women who have given their lives for peace the special shirts will be used for fundraising purposes, with the proceeds raised being donated to The Royal British Legion.

After an amazing win at Stamford Bridge, we witnessed another Arsenal side, one that served us a boring draw against Marseille at the Emirates. I am sure I speak on behalf of all gooners when I say we want to see the Arsenal of Stamford Bridge today. The one that ripped Chelsea to shreds not the one that couldn’t get past Marseille.We can only wait to see which Arsenal turns up.

Predicted Line-Up

Szczesny-Jenkinson-Vermaelen-Koscielny-Santos-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Gervinho-Walcott-RVP

Prediction : 3-1

With only 11 points out of their last 10 games, we cannot afford to let West Brom get any point from this match as a morale boost. It is left to Le Boss to pick out the defensive pair but I expect the usual Kos, Mertesacker combination. Do you agree? Do let me know in the comments!

From wherever you are reading this. Have an amazing weekend, and Barka de Sallah in advance to our Muslim readers.

I expect to return with a review of a big win!
Keep those Guns Blazing!

Faf

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

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

Below are the player ratings for the Stoke game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walcott3
No comment.

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

Chamakh4
SMH! No comment.

SUBSTITUTES

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

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

Frimpong N/A

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

Match Preview: Arsenal Seek More Confidence in Spurs Clash

Much as Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey will want to believe Arsenal are not underdogs going into Sunday’s north London derby, Tottenham Hotspurs hold the upper hand ahead of the crucial Premier League encounter at White Hart Lane.

Arsenal have won three successive matches since losing at Blackburn Rovers, scoring eight and conceding just two. Those two goals however came as a result of some poor defending and against a potent Spurs attack comprising Jermaine Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and the not so loved Emmanuel Adebayor supported by Rafael van Der Vaart, Gareth Bale and the industrious Luka Modric and Scott Parker, such moments of defending must be avoided otherwise.

Unfortunately, Laurent Koscielny is likely to miss the encounter while Gervinho and Theo Walcott face late fitness tests with Walcott more likely to feature on Sunday. Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun is fit as is French defender Sebastien Squillaci though Arsène Wenger would starting Alex Song at the back with Per Mertesacker.

The manager received timely boost from majority shareholder Stan Kroenke who stated the club is fully behind Wenger and trust in him to bring more success to the club. And le Professeur himself reiterated his passion for the club as today marks his 15th anniversary as manager, going further to say he has no problem going another 15 years with the club.

Another at the club just off a milestone is century of goals man Robin van Persie. Having made a substitute’s appearance in the midweek win over Olympiacos, he will be fresh for the clash. And it would be great to have him build on the 26 goals he has scored in his last 32 matches for Arsenal and what better venue to do so than at White Hart Lane.

Possible line-up: Szczesny, Sagna, Song, Mertesacker, Santos, Frimpong, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott/AOC, Benayoun/Arshavin, van Persie (c).

A win over Spurs would not only give us some bragging rights, but also provide a much needed confidence boost to the team to spur the team on for the rest of the league campaign! Come on you Gunners!!

Punkenstein

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Injury- strewn Arsenal welcome Olympiacos + Other News

When preparing to write this post, I realised four days in football is quite “more than four days in reality” but good thing is those four days that seemed like a fortnight are up, as Arsenal come up against Greek champions Olympiacos Piraeus at the Emirates in the Champions League tonight.

Last time out, we were minutes away from snatching all three points at Borussia Dortmund and we’ve gone on to win two matches from three since then with the backline improving steadily from three goals conceded at Blackburn Rovers to none on Saturday against Bolton.

That improvement will come under real scrutiny against the Greek visitors with news that Laurent Koscielny will miss the game with a slight injury. That would see Per Mertesacker likely being partnered at the back by Alex Song. Kozzer’s not the only one out of tonight’s match though.

Walcott hasn’t recovered well enough from the knee injury picked up against Bolton to feature tonight and Gervinho has also been ruled out of the encounter. Both attackers though, along with Kozzer, should be back in contention to face the sillywhites on Sunday.

Arsène will also serve the last of his two match touchline ban from UEFA leaving  Pat Rice with the chance to manage once again; and hopefully get a win under his belt while le Professeur has to watch on from the  Directors’ Box.

In Olympiacos, we come up against Kevin Mirallas, a striker who has quite a good return on goals on the domestic front. There’s also experienced Swedish defender Olof Mellberg who coincidentally scored the first competitive goal at the Emirates while with Aston Villa.

For us, it will be the Champions League home debut of Mikel Arteta and he will likely have Aaron Ramsey and Emmanuel Frimpong with him in midfield while Andrey Arshavin looks set to start on the flanks in the absence of Gerv and Walcott. Second person to be on the flanks behind in-form Robin van Persie is anybody’s guess really with one of Rosicky, AOC and Park gunning for a start, just as starting Andre Santos at left back and pushing Kieran Gibbs forward remains an option.

Predicted line-up: Szczesny; Sagna, Song, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Ramsey, Frimpong, Arteta; Arshavin, Rosicky, van Persie. I’d rather have Song drafted to CB  than endure 90 mins (if he lasts that long) of Djourou craze. Whatever happened to the confident/calm defender that ruled our back line early last season? Only God knows.

To “off field” issues, Wenger believes two years is quite an a lot of time in football, so for RvP to not be in a rush to renew his contract isn’t such an issue. He also quelled the hype surrounding the run up to his 15th anniversary as manager of Arsenal coming up on Saturday, stating he “is not one for anniversaries”.

Not one for such he may be, but we’d certainly would love for the matches before and after October 1st to be won, just to make it a sweeter 15th anniversary for him and more importantly pick up from where we left off against Shrewsbury and Bolton… winning!

There is a game to be won tonight though, anything less than three points and the press will be on our case again. Not like we care or anything; it’s just amazing how no one seems to be bothered when almighty Man City were outplayed by and lost to Germany’s 3rd best team, but when Arsenal draw with the Champions, we are in a crisis.

Have fun wherever you watch the game from… should be fun. My money is on RVP to start a new century of Arsenal goals and 3 nil to the Arsenal!

Any Predictions? Let us know in the comments!

Post-Match Thoughts + Player Ratings: RvP Lifts Arsenal to Bolton Win

RvP100

Robin van Persie celebrating a goal

From the initial confusion of whether DStv had actually succumbed to rival fans’ jokes of moving Arsenal matches to Cartoon Network, it was pleasing to see the Gunners get a convincing league win with Bolton Wanderers falling 3-0 at the Emirates.

The first half ended goalless but the visitors came closest to opening the scoring with just two minutes on the clock after a smart touch from Darren Pratley off Wheater’s header forced keeper Szczesny to pull a top save.

Robin van Persie then saw a shot teed to him by Mikel Arteta sail just wide of Jaaskelainen’s goal and Gervinho also saw an effort sail just over as Arsenal steadily gained control of the match but no goals came.

We however only had to wait a minute of the second half for a goal and it was van Persie with the goal as Aaron Ramsey laid on the assist for the Dutchman to fire home from a tight angle. That coupled with a straight red card for Bolton’s Wheater sparked Arsenal to life and Jaaskelainen was forced to make a string of saves from the Arsenal surge for a second goal which duly and deservedly came for van Persie, his 100th for the club after good work on the flank from Walcott.

And with minutes to go, Alex Song completed the scoring with a curling effort. Before then, Walcott showed a lack of composure when with a galaxy of time and space when one on one with Jaaskelainen, shooting straight at the keeper from well outside the Bolton penalty area.

The England international however would go off with what seems a knee injury. “He felt a sharp pain in his knee and at the moment he is with the doctor.” said manager Arsene Wenger in the post-match conference on Walcott’s situation; the last bit of news we need following that of Wilshere’s.

Overall, good win that has lifted the Gunners up to 12th on the table. Shrugged off the early physical bit of the game and made ourselves confortable. Defense looked shaky at the start but gained confidence as the game wore on. Next up for the Gunners now is Greek side Olympiacos in the Champions League.

Player Ratings:

Szczesny – 7.5
Did very well to keep out Pratley’s effort early on. I feel had that gone in, we’d have been in for a long day hence, crucial contribution from him then and good presence overall… you’d think he’s some 31 year old veteran.

Sagna – 7
Matched the Bolton player’s grit and provided the goal for Song with the cut back. Good contribution from the Frenchman.

Koscielny – 6.5
Gave away the free kick that led to Pratley’s chance early on. Did well afterwards though, aerially as well.

Mertesacker – 6.5
Good positioning. Occasionally showed some eagerness to go forward and be part of build-up play.

Gibbs – 6
Wasn’t really impressed by Gibbs. Still not assured tracking back but the Bolton side never really posed a threat.

Ramsey – 6.5
Looked settled on the ball at times and fed RvP for the first goal. At other times, he wasn’t so assured.

Song – 7.5
Tussled well in the midfield but I was impressed with his passing today including the one cross field that put Walcott in a world of his own against Jaaskelainen. Sad to see that come to nothing. Completed a very good game with a well taken goal.

Arteta – 7
Impressed with his passing as well including one in the first half that split the Bolton defence and put Gervinho through. He’s starting to synch into the team and that’s good for us.

Walcott – 6
Gets a 6 but was actually the worst player on the field for me. Did very well on the flanks and his link up play with RvP was good time and again. But you must show good composure with that sort of opportunity coming to you, especially with your national team manager watching. Sadly had to go off injured though, hopefully it’s not so bad.

Gervinho – 6
Good game from the Ivorian. First touch let him down a couple of occasions though, especially when put through by that Arteta pass.

RvP – 9
We’ll be in real trouble if ever we’re without this man her. Great overall contribution and loved how he scored the second. Tested Jaaskelainen three or four times and got stuck in at times. Sterling performance from the captain.

Substitutes

Arshavin -N/A
Ample bit of time to run about the Bolton defense, teed van Persie in the box but that came to nothing.

Rosicky
Good to him back from injury. At least now we know there’s a bit of depth in the squad that won’t make a week’s absence from Benayoun much felt.

Chamakh
*sigh…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers