Blog Archives

Latest Team News ahead of Wigan + Wenger’s thought on divers


Good day wherever you’re reading this from. Tonight we come up against Wigan Athletic with a chance to open an eight point gap on the Spuds and Newcastle United.

Both teams were not involved in league action over the weekend due to the FA Cup semi finals in Wembley. The weekend proved that the FA Cup still has its magic. I mean…Carroll scored a winner, how often does that happen?

It was also fun to see Chelsea thump our noisy neighbours 5-1. This season they have conceded 5 goals to City, Chelsea and Arsenal. Big club mentality, you say?

Quite funny how Harry Redknapp is still the “top candidate” for the England manager’s job.

There were mentions of cheating from Chelsea and the win (despite the margin) was tagged controversial by ESPN. The Sp*ds lost and that’s what matters.

Talking about cheats, Le Boss claims divers should be hit with a 3-match ban. Who can blame him, considering how many cases of simulation we’ve witnessed in the past week. Said Arsene:

“I must say the English players learn quickly. If an obvious dive is punished by a 3-match ban, then players wouldn’t do it anymore. I would support it”

Ashley Young alone won 2 penalties in 2 games, both undeserved and set United on the way to claiming maximum points from both games. Whether they would still have won those games without those penalties is open to debate.

Onto Arsenal news, Wigan visit the Emirates brimming with commendable pride after being ‘overlooked’ to get at least a point at Chelsea before deservedly defeating league leaders Man. United in midweek.

It therefore doesn’t look to be the easy 3-0 win we got over them here last season, a notion Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky stresses:

“Wigan beat Manchester United on Wednesday, so that’s an indication that it will be a tough test for us.”

Even Fergie thinks they can win if they manage to nick a goal against us, and that’s saying a lot.

Coupled with the fact that the Latics are fighting against the drop, the importance of this match is not lost on Rosicky.

“People might not usually regard a match against Wigan as such a big one, but they are still battling relegation, so there is a lot at stake for both of us.”

Rosicky is likely to return for this tie after being rested for the win at Wolves last Wednesday while Gervinho is in contention as he’s recovering from an ankle injury. Gibbs has a 50-50 chance, and following Santos’ horror defensive showing at Wolves, the Englishman should return to LB if fit. Djourou will partner Vermaelen again at the back with Koscielny serving the last of his two-match suspension.

Predicted Line-up:
Szczesny. Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Santos. Arteta, Song, Rosicky. Walcott, Benayoun/Ox, van Persie.

We all would love for Oxlade-Chamberlain to get some starts but Benayoun has played well in the last two games while we all know Walcott (somehow) remains an ‘integral’ part of Le Professeur’s plans *sigh*.

If we go into this in the business like manner we did last time out at Molineux, I fancy us picking a win. And having in mind that while Arsenal have won nine of the last 10 in the league, Wigan have lost just once in its last six.

Final word on this post goes to Piermario Morosini, who suffered a heart attack on the pitch in Italy and died over the weekend. Our condolences extend to his family and friends in this trying period. These events put football in a different perspective.

That’s all from me for now, enjoy the game wherever you watch from. I’m putting my money on a 3-0 win, to the good guys of course!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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Cheers!

Arsenal vs Wolves : Match Preview

The dust has settled, Christmas festivities are over and man’s first love, football is back and your favorite team is in action tomorrow. We welcome Wolves to the Emirates after getting back to winning ways against Villa, not the best of games but as always its the result that counts. So let’s have it shall we?

PREVIEW
It is worth knowing that Wolves haven’t taken a point off us in the last six games in which we’ve kept clean sheets in the last three games. Boosting this is the fact we’ve conceded just 5 goals at home with only City(4) & Swansea(2) boasting better.

But with the way Wolves are scoring goals these days & the tandem of Jarvis crosses & Fletcher’s headers, we might have to be on our toes & avoid any complacency.

Robin Van Persie can’t stop scoring & Wolves can’t keep a clean sheet, so expect a couple of goals.

TEAM NEWS
Arsenal remain without Jack wilshere, Sagna, Diaby, Gibbs(who suffered a setback), Santos while Song returns from a suspension and would go straight into the team.

The team has been struggling for bite, sharpness & cut throat finishing these past games so I’d like to see fresh faces. Gervinho & Ramsey should be rested, off color for a while now and Rosicky & Benayoun(AOC) should take their place. The thought of RVP flanked by 2 exciting & very different englishmen is one I’ve been entertaining even though I don’t see it happening.

So long Arshavin & Chamakh & Squillaci don’t take the field, I’m good.

Possible Line-Up : Szczesny-Djourou-Koscielny-Mertesacker-Vermaelen-Song-Arteta-Benayoun-Rosicky-Walcott-RVP

Prediciton : Arsenal 3 : 0 Wolves

Let’s win this & show that the City loss was just a glitch. COYG!!!

Escobar

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Wenger Rubbishes Marco Fabian Reports| Diaby Injured AGAIN + Damiao Linked

Top of the morning to you gooners worldwide, its scorching hot on this side of the planet whereas I’m sure its freezing cold in other planets. Well, straight to business then.

Word coming out of Mexico since yesterday night is that we have signed 23 year old Chivas striker Marco Fabian who’s going to join us in February and the story was confirmed by his parents, but Arsene Wenger has come out this morning to rubbish the reports and had this to say.

    Just an agent who wants to sell a player

Good to know we’re not going after ‘potential’ when there’s a bucket load of ready made forwards and players, the likes of which if signed would make RVP want to stay.

Player News
Perma crock Abou Diaby is out again for 10 days, that’s his 30th injury since breaking his ankle at the stadium of light a few years back, why are we patient with him? He’ll never be fit for a full season or half a season, let’s get rid of him in the summer already.

Tomas Rosicky too is ruled out, I say we accept the first bid we get in January for him, yes he’s good to have as a squad player but he’s past it and on the wrong side of 30. Get in a young player to replace him or promote Oxo(who has remained fantastic in his appearances so far)

Transfer Round Up
The latest name doing the rounds in the papers is brazilian striker Damiao. With 41 goals in 50 games one would be tempted to believe it, I’ve seen him play and he’s pretty decent, plays off the top striker or alone on his own. But I don’t see AW shelling out 25M in January for an unproven forward. Podolski is who I’d love to see join us.

The match preview would be here first thing tomorrow morning. Do check in to read it. Have a swell day.

Escobar

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Arsenal vs Dortmund : Match Preview + Transfer & Player News

MUST WIN, no excuses, no complacency a la last season. Knowing quite well that a win guarantees us qualification and facing teams of lesser quality, I mean no disrespect. Its a match of two inform teams as both sides have gradually climbed their way into the top half of the table of their respective leagues. More so, its a duel of two inform players in Red (Hot) Robin & Young Super Mario(Gotze) who continues to be linked with a move to the Emirates.

TEAM NEWS
Not much is happening here, Rosicky is ruled out with a thigh strain but perennial absentee Diaby is back to take his place in the squad. Djourou might come in for Mertesacker at RB and Kozzer moving back to CB. The rest of the team is going to remain unchanged and RVP is to lead the team out.

Possible Formation: Szczesny-Djourou-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Santos-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Gervinho-RVP-Walcott

Prediction: Arsenal 3:1 Dortmund

Transfer News + Player News
When quizzed on Gotze and the rumors, here’s what Arsene had to say:

    “We have a big squad and we are after nobody. Gotze is a very good player and I can understand there is a lot of interest in him around Europe”

Typical Arsene, dodged the question. Knowing how Arsenal does its business, I’d say we’re definitely going for him. Let’s wait and see.

Szczesny says despite what is perceived as over confidence, he’s his own biggest critic and still has a long way to go before being considered great and first aim is to help Arsenal become big again.

Jack Wilshere has been chatty of late. He got infuriated by Spu*s fans saying they’re going for the title and made a wager saying if they finish ahead of Arsenal he’ll donate £3K to charity, if not, every spu*s fan following him donates a pound to his charity. What a legend.

From wherever you are, have a swell day. Qualification awaits. Cheers

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirsGuess Who At Age 11?

Guess Who At Age 11?

Arsenal vs Marseille : Post Match Thoughts + Ratings

For only the third game this season, Arsenal shot blanks and failed to find the back of the net. The scoreline did not reflect the nature of the game as we could have won by at least 3 goals with poor finishing & lack of sharpness to blame.

Arsene Wenger chose to rest RVP and Koscielny for Vermaelen & Park with Jenkinson also coming in for Djourou, those were the only changes. The game started off slowly, we kept giving away possession and Marseille spent the better part of the first 10 minutes in our half with nothing to show.

We gained a foothold just after that, with Ramsey and Gervinho posing serious threats with their pace & passing. Ramsey had the chance to put us ahead but held back on the pass to Park and ended up wasting it. Walcott was also set free by Gervinho and Marseille had the goalkeeper to thank after turning it round the post. The half time whistle came and just before that, Gervinho shot at the goalkeeper.

For all of the speed carried by the oppositions attackers they couldn’t make it count. Santos was having a mixed game, poor at the back, excellent going forward. Gervinho full of energy, Arteta ever so careful. The back four rarely untroubled and Vermaelen looked solid, Jenko too. Despite making changes and introducing RVP, Rosicky & Arshavin, we still lacked sharpness but credit to Marseille, they got what they came for.

On the plus side, coming away with the draw meant we still top the group and are on course to qualify and the unbeaten run is still on.

Positives
Good to see Vermaelen back, he did not look out of place, won his tackles, defended well and organized the defence.

Jenkinson defended well and Song had a solid game. Gervinho is beginning to settle well and improving his range of passing.

Walcott might be on-and-off offensively, but in the past few games, his defensive input has been solid, the highlight was when Santos lost the ball on the left and Marseille broke with speed, Theo sped back all of 70yards to cover for him. Great stuff.

RATINGS

Szczesny- 6

Jenkinson 6.5

Mertesacker 6.5

Vermaelen7

Santos6

Arteta6

Song7

Ramsey6.5

Walcott6

Gervinho7

Park4

SUBSTITUTES

RVP5

Rosicky5

Arshavin5

Do have a great day. Cheers

Escobar

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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

Escobar

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Koscielny was a rock against Marseille

Koscielny was a rock against Marseille

Fantastic Robin Van Persie Seals Victory : The Player Ratings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUBSTITUTES

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

Santos5
Decent cameo from the brazilian.

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

Escobar

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Match Preview: German Champions Dortmund Host Arsenal as Champions League Begins

Tomas Rosicky will not feature for Arsenal when the Gunners make a trip to Germany to face his old club Borussia Dortmund as this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage kicks-off tonight across Europe.

The Czech midfielder is still struggling with a knee injury and is joined on the cold table of the Arsenal medics by Wales captain Aaron Ramsey who will miss the encounter with an ankle injury picked up in training on Monday.

And other than long term injury casualties Jack Wilshere and Thomas Vermaelen, manager Arsène Wenger has virtually the whole squad available for selection with Gervinho and Alex Song back from three-match suspensions each, the third served in Saturday’s win over Swansea City.

Hence, Gervinho’s return will likely see one of Andrey Arshavin (preferably) and Theo Walcott start from the bench just as Aaron Ramsey’s absence allows for Alex Song to have a starting shirt along with Emmanuel Frimpong to complete the midfield that will be anchored by Mikel Arteta.

Per Mertesacker will keep his place partnering Laurent Koscielny at the heart of defense while Kieran Gibbs looks the likely bet to start, unless André Santos has attained match fitness in order to stake a claim for a starting shirt. The other new players, Park Chu Young and Yossi Benayoun will settle for places on the bench.

Arsenal go to Dortmund’s 80,000 capacity Signal Iduna Park hoping a repeat of the 2-1 loss in our only previous visit doesn’t re-occur. In other visits to Germany, the Gunners lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich in a first knock-out round first leg encounter in 2005 but won 3-1 at S. V. Hamburg where club legend Thierry Henry scored a brace, including a landmark goal.

The Group F match kicks off at 19:45 with Dortmund coming into the game on the back of a 2-1 loss inflicted by Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. Despite that, the reigning Bundesliga champions remain a strong opposition for the Gunners with the likes of Serbian defender Neven Subotic and rumoured Arsenal target Mario Götze in the side.

Olympiacos Piraeus and Olympique Marseille will meet in the group’s other match.

Let’s go Gunners!!!

TEAM NEWS : Arteta & Mertesacker To Start Tomorrow As Gibbs Returns

Le Boss gave an interview to Arsenal.com this morning and revealed team news ahead of Swansea’s visit to the Emirates and we can say most if not all are good news.

Vermaelen & Wilshere
He said Vermaelen’s surgery was a success and that he should be back within a month. The injury this time is on his left ankle and has nothing to do with his achilles tendon.
Wilshere on the other hand is expected to be out for much longer as he’ll be in a cast in about a month and on the pitch in two. Aren’t you glad we got Mertesacker & Arteta now? I am

New Signings
Of all the new signings that were brought in during the last few days of the summer window, only the duo of Arteta & Mertesacker are in line to start and make their club debuts and what better place to make that than at the Emirates. Arteta would fit in nicely I’m sure and so too the giant German (ignore all press report that blamed him for Germany conceding two goals against poland, the same german team conceded two goals against Austria in his absence)

Returning Players & Suspension
There’s further good news as perennial absentee Gibbs is back in the squad and is fit to start meaning a place on the bench for Andre Santos. Le Boss said the brazilian is not match fit as the last game he played was at the Copa America. No problem, he’ll play soon enough.
Theo Walcott has given us extra boost as the slight injury that kept him out of the England-Wales game is not serious and should start.

Tomas Rosickyis carrying a knock and would be assessed before tomorrow and Korean captain Park Chu Young should make the bench but don’t count on seeing him start.
Emmanuel Frimpong, fresh off deciding to play for Ghana over England is back after completing his one match ban and goes straight into the starting XI but there’s no place yet for Gervinho & Song who serve the last games of their suspension.

There you have it, almost everyone is back bar TV5 & JW who are long term absentees. Its time to get our season back on track and what better way to do that than against Swansea. Surely we can beat them and I mean no disrespect to the opposition. Punkenstein would bring you the match preview early tomorrow, don’t miss it. Cheers

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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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