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Liverpool vs Arsenal Preview : Team News & How To Win

“Thats why you mad? cuz im scoring all the goals?”

Arsenal kick off at lunch time tomorrow against Liverpool in high spirits and who can blame us? After last week’s mauling of Sp*rs. Sp*rs beat Liverpool 4-0 and we beat Sp*rs 5-2 so technically we should beat Liverpool by at least 5 goals right? I apologize for using the word Sh*t….sorry Sp*rs four times in one paragraph. :( . Well then, straight to the post.

PREVIEW…..
Arsenal vs Liverpool(especially at Anfield) is a tie that is known to cough up goals irrespective of whether its a league or cup game, remember Arshavin’s quadruple in the 4-4 at Anfield and the Baptista’s in the 6-3 in the League Cup a few years back.

The reverse fixture ended in a 2-0 win for the scousers with the goals coming after an ijury ridden Arsenal team had frimpong sent off and then an own goal with a Suarez goal settled the day. In truth, they were poor but the lack of cutting edge on our side also cost us the match. Of course this was pre Arteta-Mertesacker-Santos-Benayoun & Gervinho Song were also missing via bans.

The Liverpool team will be buoyed by their Carlin Cup win which brought an end to their six year trophy wait but Arsene reckons it will have no impact on the game. I hope it doesn’t.

The form book on this one is a swinging pendulum. Liverpool have only won once in 9meetings against us and have never done a league double over us. Advantage Arsenal. Liverpool are unbeaten at home and conceded the second fewest home goals this season. Advantage Liverpool. Arsenal have conceded more goals at Anfield in the Premier league than at any other ground while Liverpool have won just 2 of their last 9 league games. Tie.

TEAM NEWS…..
Daniel Agger misses out through injury and Gerrard is almost certain to miss out. I really don’t care for Gerrard, its not like he’s playing well, its Agger’s absence that delights me, meaning a makeshift defense for King Kenny. No news on Johnson but might be fit.

Arsenal have no new worries from the international break, RVP is fit and ready, Ramsey is out for a further 2 weeks(so too Santos). Djourou has a knock & Coquelin is out for four weeks.

HOW TO WIN…….
Liverpool have been very erratic this season, and the forms of both full backs have been a problem, Enrique started well but has struggled in recent times. Theo Walcott & Gervinho(or AOC or Benayoun, whoever Wenger goes with) would have to be on top form and I’d love to see Theo run into the channels through the middle.

Rosicky needs to be brilliant again like last week & prove it wasn’t a one off with another masterful display and we need to keep a tight unit at the back as the trickery of Suarez is going to be a problem.

Predicted Line-Up & Scoreline : Szczesny-Sagna-Vermaelen-Koscielny-Gibbs-Gervinho-Walcott-Song-Arteta-Rosicky-RVP

Liverpool 1:3 Arsenal

Win at Liverpool and pray Chelsea slip up at Bolton and it will be a great weekend. Let’s know what you think in the comments. Have a great day. Cheers.

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Podolski ‘Set To Join’ Us | Santos Back in 2 Weeks | News Round Up.

Top of the morning to you wherever you’re reading this from, or should I say Hi 5-2 you all?. Well then, straight to the post shall we.

News broke yesterday and twittermania ensued that we’ve agreed terms with Lukasz Podolski to join us in the summer with the only thing remaining now is a deal with the club. I wanted to doubt it seeing as its season ticket renewal time but from what we heard, we agreed a couple of deals in January but agreeing with their respective clubs was the problem.

If this is true(which I believe it is) then that’s a good move and he’s NOT going to be a replacement for RVP. He’s very versatile and can play on the left of a 4-2-3-1(4-3-3) formation or behind the main striker or alone upfront as he’s done for Cologne thus far. So that’s one down, hopefully 3 more signings to come(a DM, AM, Winger).

Four players might not be enough but its a good start, because if you look at the players leaving us this summer(Arshavin,Bendtner,Chamakh,Squillaci,Denilson,Diaby(50:50),Benayoun(back to Chelsea) ) we should replace at least 3 of them and then promote from within. And don’t tell me about how signing established players will hinder growth, instead it only helps(look at United, Bayern & Barca to name a few). M’vila, Gotze, Hoiliet maybe? And then move Walcott forward? Let’s wait and see.

PLAYER NEWS

Andre Santos…….
The defender tweeted with his account yesterday that he’s back in 2 weeks and to me that’s great news as we all know Gibbs can’t play back to back games without a knock. So that’s very great news as we now have 2 LB’s and 2 RB’s(Sagna & Jenkinson) and won’t have to play anyone out of position again.

Someone asked me on twitter yesterday if I see Wenger buying a defender and I said NO. Why you ask? Well by beginning of next season, we’ll have Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Santos, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker in the first team, that’s Seven defenders and I didn’t include Miquel, Bartley, Djourou.

Maraoune Chamakh…….

Fiorentina are rumored to be interested in taking the forward off our books permanently and I say we should jump at whatever offer as I’m sure he’s ready to leave. Will it leave us short when he, Park & Bendtner leave in the summer? Maybe. But if we can get the aforementioned players and with the attackers we have already, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Van Persie has been talking of late about his love for the club and the papers reported it this morning that he told the dutch coach he sees his future at Arsenal. Its simple, give him the salary he wants, if its 150k/w or 130k/w with a lot of add-ons and a huge signing off fee. He’ll stay because he loves the love club, he just wants to sit with the gaffer come end of season, know what the clubs plans are and then hopefully sign the extension/new deal.

No club football this midweek as its International week and a lot of our players will be in action. One game to look out for is England-Holland. I hope Van Persie is rested to keep him fresh. From wherever you are, have a solid day. Cheers.

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Escobar

Walcott Stars As Arsenal Destroy Spurs : The Player Ratings.

I’m way way too excited to give a brief preview. Wenger spun a surprise by starting Rosicky & Benayoun together and dropping Gervinho & Oxlade Chamberlain. Little did we know Wenger had dreamt this game up the night before. 5 goals after falling 2 goals behind. Below are the player ratings.

Szczesny- 5
Something needs to be done about Szczesny. A personal coach maybe, nothing he could have done about the first goal, but the 2nd goal, despite it being a foul, he should have come out for that ball.

Koscielny 6
Was in 6’s and 7’s with Vermaelen in the opening half but grew in confidence as the game wore on.

Vermaelen 6
His partnership with Kozzer is dwindling, we keep conceding goals, but he did ok and was rarely troubled in the second 45.

Sagna6
Should get a lower rating for going missing for all of Spurs attacks in the first half but he started the comeback with a brilliant header.

Gibbs6.5
I will get slack for this but I thought he was our best defender, for someone just coming back he did well, yes he lost the ball that led to the first goal but he was always the last defender at the back. Nothing he could have done against Bale for the penalty.

Arteta8
Arteta, Rosicky & Benayoun were all brilliant & excellent today. Not the most talented of players but their industry & hardworking play saw us through this game.

Song8
Very sloppy in the first half, and did little defending but his mazy run started the second goal & his lovely over the top assist for Theo was glorious.

Benayoun8
Wasn’t directly responsible for any of the goals, but my God was he brilliant today, together with Rosicky & Arteta. His defending was top notch. Best display for us so far.

Walcott10
Yes. Yes. I’ll give him 10. Perfect rating. He’s gotten a lot of stick of recent which is well deserved but I had a feeling this would be his day. A lot of twitter folk insulted him & made jokes & wanted him off for Oxlade but I said he must stay on & Wenger must have seen my tweet(yes he’s on twitter & following me too). Two goals was the outcome. Lovely goals I might add. Given a rousing ovation as he went off.

Rosicky9
Tomas Rosicky you darling beauty. How I love you. Another much maligned player but of late has been consistent & doing well. Marvelous performance from him & his first goal in two years was a welcome relief.

Van Persie8
Its often rare for RVP to be on the scoresheet & then bag an assist and not be the man of the match. His goal was topdraw and his hold up play was nice.

SUBSTITUTES

JenkinsonN/A

OxladeN/A

GervinhoN/A

Wenger10
Great selection for the second PL game running.

Man Of The MatchArteta, Benayoun & Rosicky are my men of the match, they played well today & each contributed in ways that led to goals.

For the 2nd premier league game running, Wenger’s selection paid off, picking passing & team work over pace by dropping Oxlade & Gervinho. Result? 5 goals, the second time we’ve scored 5 this season against a London team. Let’s hear what you have to say in the comments.

Escobar

Koscielny Set For Right Back + Sunderland Preview

Move Over International football, Welcome back EPL(and the remaining leagues of lesser importance). A lot happened over the last 14 days, with countries qualifying for their respective 2012 tournaments, lots of goals, drama, heartbreak(my country Nigeria losing out on ACN qualification….gutted), oh Wayne Rooney’s moment of madness will see him miss the group stages of Euro 12.

Back to important business, looks like the injuries are easing up on the lads, Koscielny, Djourou and the french abomination(a bit extreme I know) who must not be named are all back in training. Which believe it or not is good news as it means Song gets to move back into his natural role even if it means I won’t get to see Coquelin for a while.

AW reckons Sagna’s injury is no cause for alarm as he trusts the mighty Jenkinson (who by the way is better than Dani Alves + Phillip Lahm) to replace the frenchman. He then went further by saying Koscielny could do the job is superman Jenko fails to make the grade or Djourou or Andre Santos. Good, no need to worry.

We welcome Sunderland to the Grove on Sunday and the lineup might not see much change, if at all the trio of Koscielny, Jenkinson coming in for Coquelin and Sagna. I expect the same players in attack and midfield. Good news is Bendtner won’t be playing as EPL rules prevent such. Let’s hope the lads can do well.

Have a great day.

Escobar

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EXCLUSIVE : Arsenal Heading For A FreeFall As Wenger Says Forget Title & Injuries Pile Up

Seven games into the new season and 12 points off the top of the table leaves us languishing in 15th place. Normally you’d hear, oh the season is still young and its too early to decide as you can always turn your season around, just ask Kenny Dalglish and the Liverpool team.

But this is a special case as this team in particular has not only lost its best players to other clubs and long term injuries making the task look all the more daunting, it also has to contend with a stubborn manager that lost the plot a long time ago and won’t change his ways or see fault in them, let alone change or bring in new personnel to help a sinking ship.

Arsenal is doomed. Arsenal won’t make Top 8. Arsenal this, Arsenal that. The media continues to have field days every weekend with our Jekyll & Hyde form. “Two steps forward and one step backwards” is what Arsene Wenger called it, the way I see it, its a steady slide backwards. This team has no self-belief, zero coordination, poor coaching and management for which everyone involved must take blame for it, with Arsene Wenger and the Board as main culprits.

We lost a game in which we dominated to an average team and our stand out players had to be 19 year old Coquelin & 21 year old wonder Szczesny who did not deserve to be on the losing side. Losing your best players can’t be used as excuses as the club had the whole of the summer to make the necessary purchases but went for mediocre and average signings with Mertesacker the only one to stand out so far, Arteta is still adjusting and hasn’t set Emirates on fire yet, AOC is better than Walcott as some have said yet he was dropped for the unfit Englishman who had a horror game.

“Arsene Knows Best” should become Arsene Is Lost/Deranged/Stupid & Stubborn. When he joined the club the question was Arsene WHO??, now its become Arsene WHEN??. When will he leave? When will he win something or change his ways? Questions upon questions and with Silent Stan or daft Stan keeping mum and giving him the vote of confidence, we’re heading for a downfall on the sporting front.

Bacary Sagna adds to the growing list of injuries as he successfully completed surgery yesterday and is going to be ruled out for three months, add to that Koscielny, Djourou, Wilshere(4months), Diaby(no one knows), Vermaelen(setback waiting to happen), even Szczesny has a back problem.Oh, to be a Gooner. One can only pray things get better, for now let’s just focus on getting a string of good performances together and look to climb up the table with every game that passes. 12points off the top might not be as bad as it looks.

Hardly any positives on this post as there isn’t any, so if you’re offended then take it out on the club. We gooners have been silent for too long and majority are still. Have a good day wherever you are

Escobar

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Tottenham vs Arsenal : The Player Ratings

“Our little brother, all grown up” was the tweet I sent as the final whistle went inside the Lane. What used to be our stomping ground has now become a no-go-zone for us. From certain 3 points to not even certain of one point.

AW sprung a surprise by starting Coquelin in one of the few changes to the squad that saw Walcott, Gibbs and Gervinho return. Below are the player ratings.

Szczesny- 8
Where would we be on the log without this 21 year old with Bulletproof confidence? Someone said in the championship and I agree. He was a beast. Doesn’t deserve to be at Arsenal on this form

Sagna 5
Was asleep for the opening goal as he did nothing to prevent van der vaart getting an easy goal.

Mertesacker 6
Handled the threat of Adebayor well, played the offside trap to perfection on every occasion. Decent game

Song7.5
High rating because of the surging run in the build up to the goal. The assist made him look like a winger. Also immense at the back and made sure Defoe had a frustrating afternoon.

Gibbs5.5
Still looks suspect when defending. Left the defence exposed in the first half. Got better as the game wore on but was no where when Walker scored.

Coquelin7.5
This kid had an old man’s performance, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was 28. Absolute beast in the middle of the park. Won the ball repeatedly, broke down attacks and passed well.

Arteta5.5
Poor signing so far. I don’t know what to blame, he hasn’t changed us in anyway. My only prayer is he gets better.

Ramsey5
Yes he scored, yes he gave us a lifeline to build upon but my oh my was he poor. One would think he was playing with a blindfold on. Gave away the ball repeatedly.

Walcott5
Poor. Abject. Invisible(watch out, I’ll repeat these words with Gervinho). Had two efforts on goal and did nothing after. Did not defend and was rightly subbed off. Capello needs to stop coming to watch him. He never plays well when that happens.

Gervinho4
Poor Abject. Invisible. Sh*t. I can continue. How he lasted longer than he did on the pitch is beyond me.

Van Persie6
Continues to suffer alone upfront. Lack of proper service makes him look like Chamakh on occasions. At this rate forget him signing a new deal.

SUBSTITUTES

Jenkinson3

Benayoun- 3

Arshavin3

Another poor weekend. How many more? How low are we gonna sink before changes occur?? Surely Wenger must go? Or buy new players? Let’s know how you feel in the comments.

Escobar

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Arsenal Vs Olympiakos : The Player Ratings

From the onset we looked likely to run riot over the Greek team with early goals from UCL home debutants AOC & Santos both scoring only for schoolboy defending again to undo us as they pulled one back. It ended that way. Here are the ratings.

Szczesny- 7
Conceded a goal but was totally dominant and pulled off back to back saves to keep us in the tie. Needs to stay on his line more.

Sagna 5
Very poor showing. For a minute there I thought Justin Hoyte was back in an Arsenal shirt.

Mertesacker 8
He was solid at the back, even though he played with Song, won all aerial balls, cleared the ball into safety on more than one occasion. Was no where for the goal.

Song6.5
Was found wanting a couple of times and got no protection from Frimpong. Got the assist for the opener with a delightful pass.

Santos7
He got his first goal on his home debut. Was a menace in the first 45 but needs to learn to defend better. Otherwise a solid game.

Frimpong5 in the 1st half, 7 in the Second Half
Out of sorts performance from the young Ghanian, left his defence exposed time after time but got better as the game wore on.

Arteta6.5
Covered more ground than any other player on the pitch but he needs to be more adventurous. He continues to play like he’s been told not to attack.

Rosicky5
What did he do in the game? Apart from giving away a dangerous freekick and running around like a headless chicken, he was poor. Needs to go.

Arshavin4
SIGH I’m lost for words, he was anonymous in the first half, did not defend and did not contribute. Then he was selfish in the second 45. Surely he’s clock is ticking away.

Oxlade-Chamberlain7
Was our best player in the first half, showed nice touches, ran well at the defence, crossed even better. Took his goal with aplomb and in so doing endeared himself to the Emirates faithful.

Chamakh5
Missed the chance to put us 3 goals up, would have gotten a 4 but for his work rate and involvement in building up play.

SUBSTITUTES

RVPN/A

Ramsey5

GibbsN/A

Man Of The Match ~ Mertesacker

There you have it, three points in the bag, but with Marseille winning, we have to settle for second position. Spurs awaits this weekend. Have a swell night.

Escobar

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Wenger: No signings imminent + Thoughts on another great night in Italy

Woah!!! That was some game!

With our backs against the wall, we got the result we really needed to kick start our season. And for all their talk since the L’pool game, what away to respond to our critics.

I won’t bore you with a match report, just a summary of the things I learned from last night’s game.

First and foremost, we now have a top goalkeeper between the posts! Sz13 was absolutely phenomenal last night, he practically gave us our pass into the UCL group stages.

We conceded a penalty that shouldn’t have been, just after our equalizer. Oh that! Beautiful footwork from Gervinho left RVP to finish with aplomb. Back to Sz13, he kept out a well-taken penalty by Di Natale, and that definitely shattered the home side.

They lost their belief whilst ours was reinforced. We went on to score the winner few minutes after. Szczesny is dominant everywhere, he is “uber-confident”, plus he’s only 21! He can be our number 1 for the next 2 decades!

And Gervinho will be a memorable signing! Whilst he hasn’t particularly set the Emirates on fire with his performances, the talent is there for all to see. He beat his man time and again yesterday and should have had 2 assists, had Walcott not fluffed his lines.

Gervinho can be likened to raw gold at the moment…when refined, he’ll be scarily good! Let’s hope he won’t leave Arsenal when that time comes.

Sagna was another beast! He played at LB and did a great job. He even got an assist, and a quality one at that. Song also did very well in the second half, and Rosicky was an inspired sub.

All in all, the lads did a good job. We can at least go to Old Trafford with a bit of positivity. Gervinho, Song and Frimpong will sit that game out through suspension though.

While we’ll definitely miss them, a couple of signings before then will absolutely minimize the effects of their absence.

Arsene’s post-match interview gave us a somewhat clear indication of the club’s position in this transfer window. Said He:

“We work very hard on signings but if you look at the players we had tonight they were top class. [Does that mean you won’t make any signings?] There may be signings but I cannot lie and say we will sign someone tomorrow because it is not true. We try.”

This will definitely not go down too well with a lot of gooners, including myself. We’ve qualified for the UCL now, let’s bring in new players as soon as possible. It’s less than 7 days till the window closes.

In yesterday’s post, I said the day was about getting behind the team irrespective of what had happened. Well, we did just that and our team won.

“Normal activity” has resumed and we can start complaining about whatever and demand signings again.

L’Equipe claimed yesterday that Arsenal have made a bid of €25 million for Rennes’ midfielder Yann M’Vila, but I know better than to believe mere paper talk.

Who do you think Arsene should/will sign on or before 31st August?

Let us know in the comments!

Dull Arsenal Fail To Fire As Gervinho Sees Red On Debut + Ratings

If the game yesterday is a sign of things to come then we can forget the top four this season. No Fabregas, No Nasri & no Wilshere and we lacked cutting edge, sharpness & decisiveness. The game was there for the taking but we didn’t seem interested in taking it.

As expected, Gervinho was handed a debut and Ramsey came in for Wilshere & Rosicky for Fabregas, same formation from last season which is something we should look at changing for this season. It was a dull affair from the start with us dominating possession as is the norm with us but nothing to take home in the final third, Gervinho showed promise with his touch, pace & control but opted to pass the ball everytime instead of shooting which was rather irritating as the game wore on

We were rarely troubled at the back and the midfield trio of Rosick-Ramsey-Song weren’t helping the attack with their lethargic performance. Song was first to go into the book for a stupid challenge and Rosicky quickly followed for a similar one. The end of the first half would have seen us score but for Van Persie’s poor touch from a delightful lob from Andrey Arshavin. We had only one shot on target in the whole 45.

2nd half more of the same, possession with no result, even Wilshere had to tweet for Arsene to throw Theo on which did not happen until the 60 something minute and his first involvement brought a save out of the goalkeeper. One would be forgiven for thinking Arsenal were Stoke in disguise as we had more fouls than chances created.

An attack on the left saw Gervinho weave his way into the box and he went down under the slightest of touches from Tiote, play on said the referee but Barton wasn’t impressed and the c*nt decided to award more punishment as he dragged up Gervinho like a thief and rough housed him, a melee ensued and in the process Gerv hit Barton who went down like he had been shot.

The referee did not see it and I don’t know how the linesman missed it but they all saw what Gerv did, he was sent off & Barton was given a yellow. Bad Officiating 1 : 0 Arsenal . The game played out as expected with us dropping points and losing a player again for the 2nd consecutive opening day.

One has to hope & pray Arsene’s eyes were peeled to the awful showing yesterday and makes him speed up the transfer dealings. Spend some f*cking money and maybe, just maybe we can do well this season. Rosicky is useless and can’t do well for us anymore, Ramsey is not a holding midfielder, and Van Persie needs a partner seeing as he kept dropping to the midfield. SPEND SOME F*CKING MONEY ARSENAL.

PLAYER RATINGS

Szczesny- 6
Was largely uninvolved as the Newcastle attack were asleep for most of the game

Sagna 7
Gave a good account of himself, held his own and did good going forward and staying back

Vermaelen 7
Good to have him back, won so many last ditch challenges & commanded his presence

Koscielny7
Made some crucial interceptions in the 2nd half and his understanding with TV5 was there to see

Gibbs6
A better team and his lack of positional discipline would have been dealt with severely, otherwise a decent showing

Ramsey6.5
Playing in an unfamiliar role of holding midfield and you could see his discomfort, played ok but could have done better

Song6.5
Needs to learn discipline, he was rash, poor in his tackles and could of seen Red for his poor stamp on Barton

Rosicky5
Useless, for a playmaker he spent more time passing to the side like Denilson and he inspired nothing and slowed down counter attacks.

Gervinho7
Bright and bubbly, seemed nervous at times, passed when he should of shot, his debut was marked by a red card, hopefully he’s learnt his lesson.

Arshavin5
Barring one excellent lobbed pass to RVP he was poor. Very poor

Van Persie6
Spent more time coming back to help the midfield, that’s how poor the service to him was. OK game.

SUBSTITUTES

Walcott6
Full of energy when he came on and nearly scored with his first chance.

Udinese are next up for us, then Liverpool, Udinese & United, we need those replacements as early as possible and not some stupid kids. From wherever you’re reading, try not to get your hopes high, or too low at that.

Escobar

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Stoke vs Arsenal : Match Preview

With little or nothing to play for again in the season than securing 3rd place, with the day already shadowed by the super sunday game between United and Chelsea we travel to the Brittania stadium to meet Stoke City. Only the hardest fans would say mathematically we could still win the title, but I don’t share their optimism.

As Expected, a lot has been made of this fixture because it marks the return of Aaron Ramsey to the place where he got his ankle broken by Ryan Shawcross & ultimately ruled out for 8 months. This led to a series of back & forth between both club managers which spilled to the Arsenal fans who continue to boo Shawcross each time both teams meet. Its reported that Ramsey still hasn’t returned any of his assailants calls or messages. Oh well.

On to team news for the day, Captain Cesc is still ruled out and he’s joined on the sidelines by Nasri, Diaby and Djourou who is carrying a knock. That means Ramsey is set to keep his place and Arshavin should come in for Nasri. Thomas Vermaelen has also been pencilled in for a return to the line up in Djourou/Kozzer’s place. With nothing much left to fight for, it would be nice to win our remaining games just to end the season on a high.

Possible Formation : Chezzer-Sagna-Djourou-Vermaelen-Clichy-Wilshere-Song-Ramsey-Walcott-Arshavin-RVP.

Prediction : 1-3

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

Escobar

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