*rolls credits* What a season. We witnessed RVP have a phoenix-esque season and maturity from squad players such as Gibbs, Szczesny. Alex Song stood out alongside midfield maestro Arteta. 2012 was also the year of the Ox, while Wilshere did not make one single appearance. Needless to say it’s been a mental season.
The curtains come closing on the Emirates for this season with this fixture. Usually we’re already guaranteed of our league position at this stage, last time we weren’t sure was 2005. Are we gonna need to pull a Sp*rs on Sp*rs and Newcastle this season like we did then? I hope not.
The midweek fixtures did not favor us at all as both Spurs & Toon won to cut the gap to one. Our fault really. Had we picked up more than one point from the Wigan & Stoke fixtures we won’t be here. But we are, so we do what we allways do because we are the Arsenal. We’ll be needing the fixtures to work in our favor this weekend though.
Norwich are guaranteed Premier League football for another season so here’s hoping they put in a lethargic shift, they won’t be no pushovers, no sir, just ask Sp*rs. These are the kind of games that can go 3 ways. We win emphatically. We get the win regardless of the scoreline. Or we get stung by them. I’m hoping for the former 2 like gooners worldwide. They have no serious injury worries.
Us on the other hand have a ton and Diaby is finally out of the season(surprise. No really we all are) and the Euros. The game comes to soon for Walcott who should make the West Brom finale. Arteta and Wilshere are longterm absentees with Mertesacker too. So expect the same team that faced Stoke with one or 2 changes. Here’s how I would line up :
Predicted Line Up : Szczesny-Sagna-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Gibbs-Song-Ramsey-Rosicky-Benayoun-AOC-RVP .
Prediction : Arsenal 3-1 Norwich
Keep Gervinho on the bench, start AOC, we need pace and precision, Ramsey has one last chance to ease the anger of the fans I hope he grabs it well. I thought he was decent at Stoke, Gervinho was poor.
Tomorrow is also important as it’s “Pat Rice Day”. Wenger’s number 2 has been with the club for over 40 years as a player and manager. Wow. That’s a lot. He’s retiring at the end of the season so let’s ramp up the noise and show some love and appreciation. The game is also Arsene’s 900th game in charge. The 3points cannot be overstated.
Before I go I’d like to offer my condolences to the family of former Nigerian striker Rashidi Yekini. He passed away yesterday night due to mental illness at the age of 49. Easily the greatest striker out of my country. He’ll be remembered for his famed post goal celebration when he put his hands through the net to rejoice. RIP.
Success to the lads today. COYG
Good morning gooners. How are you enjoying your start to the weekend? I mean…you’ll work for less hours today so if I were you, I’d make it count, get all the work done and prepare for a weekend of exciting footie.
The FWA awards were held last night and RVP was in attendance to receive a deserved Player Of The Season Award. It was an enjoyable evening from what I’ve read.
He gave a fine speech about how proud he is to be captain of Arsenal and he also complemented his team mates (Song and Theo especially) for the assists and support they have given him this season. He mentioned the volley against Everton as his favourite goal of the season before apologizing to an Everton fan (who groaned) in the room. Top man!
One part of his speech however caught my attention and raised my fears of him leaving this summer.
If you ask the likes of Robert Pires how he feels, what he feels like he will say ‘I feel like a Gunner’ – and whatever happens with me I will always be a Gunner.’
Okay, maybe it’s my paranoid alter ego taking over, but I just have this sneaky feeling about the portion I put in bold. It just feels like Henry 2007 all over again, reminding us of how much he loves the club, yet proceeding to break our hearts. Hopefully it’s not the case, I pray to God I’m wrong.
That being said, if he does leave, we’ll do the same thing we did when PV4, Thierry Henry and Cesc left the club, move on.
On a lighter note, Arsenal announced on the official website the team will be visiting Nigeria this summer. That’s probably the best news I’ve got all month. Excited does not even begin to describe how I feel at the moment.
The second team will arrive in Abuja in July and play 2 games. The first team arrives in August and also play one game in Abuja, then an open training session and other off-field events in Uyo. Other events will hold in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Minna and Akure.
You can bet the atmosphere will be incredible throughout the team’s stay in Nigeria. Believe me when I say Nigerians can’t wait.
I was saying I wouldn’t go home this holiday because I’ve got some business to attend to, but with my first love going to Nigeria? There’s only one place I’ll be come August.
That’s yer lot for today guys. It’s a very cold morning in Accra, Lord knows what would have become of me had I not come to school with a sweater. It’s going to be a long day for me, a 7-page project documentation awaits me. I’d better stopped rambling then.
Just before I go, there’s talk of Alex Song moving to Real Madrid in the summer. If Madrid show some interest, I don’t see him turning them down. Now, while I’ll be gutted to see his back, I wouldn’t mind receiving 15million quid for him.
With Coquelin coming through the ranks, the blow of his departure will be softened. Plus we’ll most likely sign that midfield creator we’ve always wanted, so we won’t miss his assists.
What do you think? Good business or not?
See you in the comments, where if I find some time, I’ll edit your comments to suit me. :D
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It was an overly dull London derby as Arsenal played out a goalless draw with Chelsea, a result fans of the Blues will be happier with but one that may well have ended their Champions League ambition from the Premier League point of view.
As for us, we were absent for much of the first half against a second string Chelsea. Captain van Persie hit the post (yet again) and the highly impressive Koscielny was denied by the crossbar.
Below is the player ratings…
Szczesny – 7
Assured performance from the Pole on his 50th Premier League appearance for us.
Sagna – 6
Good game as well on his century of matches for Arsenal.
Vermaelen – 7
When RvP hit the post off Walcott’s freekick, Vermaelen was next to him ready to pounce. Turn the 5 upside down and add a line where necessary… you have a makeshift 9. And he defends very well too, that we all know.
Koscielny – 8.5
Sterling performance from the Frenchman, especially in the second half. Unfortunate to have the bar deny him after losing his marker well.
Gibbs – 6.5
Good game from him.
Song – 7.5
A rock in midfield. Delivered some good balls and dispossessed the visitors on a number of occasions.
Ramsey – 3
He did throw a cool long ball for RvP in the second half. He however lost possession too many times, lingering on the ball when his job was to keep the game going.
Keep the faith here gooners…
Rosicky – 7
Was at a loss when he was substituted, then got word that he’s been ill recently. Good game from him nonetheless, felt he could have played a bit longer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5
Not the Ox we’ve come to love. Troubled the Chelsea back with his agility at times but brought little to the match.
Walcott – 5
Went off with a hamstring injury, hopefully not a serious one. Had an average game.
Van Persie – 5
Let’s be honest here, our captain vantastic hasn’t been the Robin that had us no longer needing a Batman lately. Now, he’s gone over 11 hours without a goal from open play, that’s not right!
Gervinho – 5
Diaby – 5
Thankfully, he saw this through unlike when he came on at Liverpool.
Santos – N/A
Summarily, we go six points clear with three games to play but Sp*ds and Newcastle now have two games more to play. When you do the math, today’s point is actually valuable. We just would’ve preferred three.
Do share your thoughts about the outcome and its implications below.
Wearing the number 12 jersey, 12 minutes before the end of his second debut, he scores his 12th goal against Leeds in the year 2012, ladies and gentlemen, Thierry Henry, is back. As someone said, “The first player to score inside the Emirates while he’s celebrating outside it(in reference to his statue)”
With all the media hysteria of Henry’s homecoming surrounding the game, one would forgive Leeds for feeling hard done by as the fixture was supposed to be about us & them and a possible cupset, and with the way they started out you could see they didn’t come to be rolled over.
Mixing youth and experience, Wenger went for a formation of Szczesny-Coquelin-Miquel-Squillaci-Koscielny-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Arshavin-AOC-Chamakh. The first half was the closest you’ll get to a bore fest as chances were few and far between both teams, Ramsey and Arshavin at the heart of most of the attacking which just lacked the bite typified by an Arsenal team.
AOC was having a quiet game just like the Leeds attack which found Song & Arteta too much to handle in front of the defense. After just 20minutes, Coquelin picked up an injury and had to be substituted for Yennaris. The first half ended like it started with zero shots on target for both teams.
Resisting the urge to make changes, the same team resurfaced and started to play like they really wanted it, AOC took it on himself and collected a pass on the left and ran at the defense before unleashing a stinging drive. That wasn’t the end, he went on another mazy run down the other end but missed the target.
Ramsey and Arteta kept feeding the Ox with passes as Chamakh continued to be pretty much inactive in the game and this time, the young englishman hit another rasping drive which was turned round the post for a corner.
AW had seen enough and called on club legend(former number 14) and current number 14(Walcott) to replace Oxo & Chamakh(I wanted Ramsey & Arshavin to go off as they had been average). In less than 10 seconds Henry had touched the ball but he was offside. But not to worry, the script had been written to perfection, Song slipped him a delightful pass, he took one touch, dropped his shoulder & bent it calmly past the goalkeeper… Vintage Henry, the celebration that ensued said it all, running and shouting and beating his chest before going to embrace AW & celebrate with the lads.
Leeds threatened to score but Chesney pulled off a great save to ensure no other mortal graced the same scoresheet as Henry. In what proved to be a poor performance, no one would remember as Henry grabbed the spotlight as he had done all week. I say let’s sign him till the end of the season.
We’ll leave the review of the poor performance for another time but credit to Yennaris who came on for Coquelin and showed pace, heart & desire, would get a run in the first team till Sagna is fit.
Well there you have it, we face Aston Villa in a couple of weeks at the grove, but before then, its Swansea on sunday. Do have a great day, see you in the comments. Cheers
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Imagine my joy when I first heard that the deal to bring Henry back for 2 months was in the pipelines. 4 years ago when he left, I never though he would return to Arsenal in a playing capacity, as a coach maybe, but lo and behold, its here. The club legend is back.
Chamakh can’t impress anyone, his body language reeks of sulking, like a kid who had his candy collected by his parents for being naughty but can’t complain. Park? I don’t even think we bought him for sporting reasons seeing as he hasn’t even made a substitute appearance in the league. So the return of Henry is much welcomed.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror made a very important point last week when the news broke, he said “the signing of Henry would be wonderful for Arsenal so long he’s not the only signing and proper acquisitions werte made”, but it looks like AW is going to be very foolish and do what he’s always done, get bargain transfers and return the money to the board.
With the obvious deficiencies in the squad, Wenger came out yesterday and said that
“he’s not looking to make permanent deals and possibly make only loan signings as he has a large squad”
In so doing, ruling out any Podolski, Gotze, Hazard or full back moves.
Really? Large squad? Since when did large squad mean quality squad? I’ll wait. We have a large squad consisting of dead weights(Arshavin, Chamakh, Squillaci), seasoned crocks(Diaby, Rosicky), and Park. That’s 6 first team players with two of those out of contract in the summer. Why not sell them seeing as there’s interest in 3(Arshavin,Chamakh,Rosicky) and replace them now instead of waiting till the summer?
Instead of rejoicing about Henry returning, I’m here dismayed at the reasoning of Wenger. Needless to say, we’re doing little to persuade RVP to sign on or show ambition. But when I remember how before the season started and Gazidis said its “Cool” if we don’t make the champions league next season. SMH
There’s really not much to say here, Walcott is fit after a stomach bug kept him out of the last game, so expect him and Ramsey to return and Benayoun & Rosicky to drop out. I have a funny feeling RVP won’t start the game as its not possible for him to play tomorrow and then on Monday at Fulham again. So I expect the squad to look like this.
Predicted Line-Up: Szczesny-Djourou-Kozzer-Mertesacker-Vermaelen-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Gervinho-Walcott-Chamakh
See you here after the game. Have a swell day
P.S Emmanuel Frimpong would be joining Wolves in January till the end of the season, let’s pray he turns out like a Wilshere.
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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?
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.
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!!!
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Group winners with one game to spare, who would have thought that was possible seeing as we were ‘in crisis’ at the beginning of the season and the stalemate against Marseille threatened another episode of last season’s drama where we had to qualify as runners up on the last day.
No such thing this time as Robin Van Persie as always came to the rescue infront of the Emirates faithful which had gunners legend Henry & tennis legend Roger Federer amongst them, but despite bagging both goals, Alex Song was the obvious man of the match.
Arsene named the same squad for the first time in almost a year but had Diaby back in the team(on the bench) as the only plus. The game itself was a lull at the beginning and the earliest chances fell to the away team but they were tame chances which Chezzer dealt with very well. At the other end, Weidenfeller had to be alert to claim a wicked cross from Walcott which was aimed at RVP.
Wunderkid & reported Arsenal target was having an off game as he carried an injury along but a collision with Vermaelen from Lars Bender saw the latter go off with a broken jaw. He got Verminated if you ask me. Gotze was to follow suit almost immediately as he couldn’t continue. All this in the first half alone. You’d think we would have it easy but Dortmund continued to frustrate and it ended level going into the break.
It started way better than the first ended and Gervinho continued to cause chaos with his speed and dribbling but no end product. The first goal came and my dear was it a joy to watch, receiving a pass from Ramsey, Alex Song took the ball to the by line, cut in between two markers, faced with three more, with a fast feet move, bamboozled them before sending a cross for RVP who nodded home gladly.
For a second the whole stadium wondered if ‘Black Messi’ was the one who just pulled off that magnificent move. Gervinho was next to follow, sent through on goal with just the goalkeeper by Ramsey, he fluffed his lines and Hummels got back in time to clear the danger. For all his hardwork and ease at going past players, Gervinho finishes worse than a girl. The strikers in the Arsenal ladies team finish better.
The second goal which was inevitable, came through the unlikeliest of routines. Arteta fashioned a near-post corner for TV5 to flick into RVP’s path. Robin was never going to miss from there. 2 nil and we were cruising! We were 2 goals ahead and definitely through to the next stage.
An almost perfect night, which would have been perfect had Song and Djourou not contrived to gift the visitors a goal. Song tried to waste time on the ball, but he should have been doing that at the opposite end of the pitch, not so close to his goalkeeper. The ball was stolen from him as he tried to pass to Djourou, a cross was sent into the area and somehow we conceded. Vermaelen’s reaction to the goal tells a story!
Notwithstanding, we got 3 points, top the group and get to avoid the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Our last group game away to Olympiakos is a mere formality now and it gives us an opportunity to rotate. Considering how we got into the group stages in the first place, this feels too good to be true!
After giving Dortmund the respect of not unsettling their star player before a game between both sides, Arsene confirmed the club’s interest in Mario Gotze. In his post match interview, Le Boss asserted his eagerness to bring the little magician to North London. Said He,
“For me, Mario Gotze is a player for the future, he is very talented, has a great attitude. It’s no surprise to me that all big European clubs show interest in him, as we do also.”
It remains to be seen if he does not end up on the list of “players we almost signed”.
That’s all from me today, we have weathered the storm and are finally on our way back. There is still a lot of room for improvement though. If you take into account that Man United, Chelsea and City still have to play the last game to ensure qualification, it’s really not a bad time to be a gooner.
We play Fulham on Saturday, it wouldn’t be selfish to ask for more of the same, would it? And this means 3 points, good football and more goals for the Dutch master!
Have a wonderful day wherever this post meets you! Do leave us with your thoughts and comments!