Blog Archives

Artetea’s England ambitions|Gervinho highly unlikely for Leeds|Theo needs more goals

The football gods gave us a reason to smile in the new year as we witnessed the 3-0 thumping of Man United at the Sports Direct Arena last night. And while I was pleased with the result and the kind of game that was served up, I feel a sense of frustration, knowing that we could have closed the gap had we won at Fulham. That game is in the past now and we can only look forward.

We do not play again until Monday, Leeds in the FA Cup and with the winter Transfer window in full swing, some stories have caught my attention.

Not much has happened for us on the transfer front so I start with the revelation that Mikel Arteta nearly decided to play for England, only for an intervention by FIFA to prevent him. Mikel arrived in the country in 2005 when he joined Everton and developed a liking for the culture. But he realized he was not qualified represent England because he had represented his native Spain at Under-16 level, and he didn’t have a British passport at the time.

Seeing how England has performed on the big stage in the past 8 years, and looking at how the Gerrard-Lampard combination has fialed miserably, they would have benefited from having someone like Arteta, who actually knows how to “play” football, in their ranks. With England out of the way, what’s yo say he cannot get into the Spanish national side. I know it’s a tall order, but with consitent performances in the EPL and Champions League, he may just get lucky.

So Theo reckons he needs to get more goals in 2012 and I agree with him. I mean for someone who constantly talks about wanting to play as a striker, he does not get enough goals; not even that, he does not make enough of the chances he gets. The squandered chance against QPR quickly comes to mind and one can see why he has not been among the goals. Said he,

“This season I think I need to get in among the goals a bit more maybe – I only have four. But I’m happy if the team’s winning and I’m getting assists for the main man up front”

No doubt he’s been up there with the asissts, I just feel he should, or he has the ability to help with a few more goals. That will help ease the burden of scoring off RVP.

Apparently, Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui has rejected Manchester City’s request to play Yaya and Kolo Toure in Sunday’s Manchester derby in the FA Cup. The coach insists both of them report for a meeting in Paris on Saturday before flying out with the rest of the squad to Abu Dhabi for a two-week training camp.

This definitely rules out any chance of seeing Gervinho on the pitch against Leeds. If Titi’s move becomes official before then, we may see him on the left of the front 3. Not a bad replacement, you say?

By the way, Sagna is expected to start kicking a ball today; great news if you ask me! How we have missed him! Vito Mannone has rejoined Hull City on loan, we wish him the best of luck, and hope he returns to give Sz13 a run for his money. World’s best player Nicky Bendtner was arrested following an early hours brawl at a luxury hotel, for the second time in two months! He doesn’t learn that fella!

That’s about it from me today. I hear Gazidis is in France at the moment, I can only pray he’s there to do business and not on holiday. What players do you think we should sign and why? Let me know in the comments!

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Have a good day wherever you read this from!

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!!!

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Olympiakos vs Arsenal : Fringe Players & Youngsters To Get Their Chance + Transfer Rumors

Don’t let the heading fool you, despite securing qualification as group winners last round, Wenger has said he still intends to finish strongly meaning expect to see a few first team players mixed with fringe players and youngsters.

The likes of RVP, Walcott, Ramsey, Song are definitely going to be rested as they are close to burning out having played a large chunk of the season so far. Frimpong(who is going out on loan in January), AOC, Coquelin, Park, Chamakh are going to play.

Predicted Line Up : Fabianski-Djourou-Squillaci-Miquel-Santos-Frimpong-Coquelin-Benayoun-AOC-Arshavin-Chamakh

Transfer News + Player News
Till the transfer window opens, we’ll be bringing you players with whom we’re being linked, and over the weekend, its reported that we’re going for Alex Pato of Milan, with a deal of 25M + Arshavin doing the rounds. Also Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas has been added to the list of those we’re after.

Like most gooners, I’d rather we get a cheap player seeing as its january and quality players are rarely available, so let’s get Podolski as he can do the job on his own or play together with RVP. He won’t require any work permit and he’s not Euro tied.

Player News
Wenger confirmed Diaby has had a setback and is out again, for how long, we don’t know. Why is Diaby still an Arsenal player? I’ll wait for an answer.

Are there still any Arteta doubters here? I’ll have you know he’s averaging the most passes per game in the whole of the premiership and along with Ramsey(4th) they continue to boast impressive percentages(Ramsey had 95% pass completion on Saturday).

Szczesny continues to make himself one of the favorite Arsenal players to the fans, as if being a fantastic goalkeeper with immovable confidence was not enough, at the end of the Wigan game, he went over to the away fans, put his hand to his lips in a gesture to make them mute, then he started a chant that had to do with “Arsenal simply being the best”

Do have a lovely day. Cheers

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Arsenal vs Fulham : Match Preview

Would seem one’s complacent by writing off Fulham’s chance before the teams file out for Saturday’s evening kick-off at the Emirates and below is why.

Robin van Persie has a strike ratio of 0.88 goals per game this calendar year for club and country, that is 44 goals in 50 games so far in 2011. A stat bettered only by Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi in third. Then there’s the 13 league goals he’s scored so far, more than what the entire Fulham team has scored.  Only Les Ferdinand with 14 goals after 12 games has a better record in Premier League history.

That’s not all but I’d stop there with the captain and highlight that(largely thanks to his goals) Arsenal have won its last five league matches and 11 of the last 13 matches in all competitions. With Tomas Rosicky likely to return from the thigh strain that kept him from the midweek win over Dortmund, it’s likely for that run to continue. It also gives a pleasant feel knowing we have some real depth in the squad now, and that’s with Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere on the sidelines.

Fulham on their part will be without Steve Sidwell, Stephen Kelly and Damien Duff for the match though with Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy, the Cottagers can prove a bit stubborn still.

Possible line-up : Szczesny-Koscielny-Mertesacker-Vermaelen-Santos-Arteta,-Song-Ramsey-Gervinho-Walcott-van Persie (c).

I mean, why change a winning team? Coming midweek, we’ve got Etihad boys Manchester City visiting in a League Cup quarter final match and it’s arguable that we should rest the first team regulars. However, I’d like to see the strength of our squad depth in the likes of Park, Arshavin, AOC, Fabianski and co against a City side whose bench is more than capable of being another first team.

As for this weekend, I’m going for a 4-1 win. Got this feeling any of Theo, foreheaded one or Arteta would be among the scorers, also fancy Mertesacker to score his first Arsenal goal. Finally and interestingly, Liverpool host City on Sunday while Newcastle visit Old Trafford. With us just three points off third place, any outcome from these matches would favour us and I’d like to see City lose. Hopefully to start the kind of run dear Chelsea’s going through now. Have a splendid weekend wherever you are, see you in the comments.

Illuminatish

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Van Persie with Another Double : Arsenal vs Dortmund Player Ratings

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

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

RATINGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUBSTITUTES

Benayoun5

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

DiabyN/A

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

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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

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Guess Who At Age 11?

Dutch Delight As Robin Brace Downs Norwich : The Player Ratings

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

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

PLAYER RATINGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUBSTITUTES
BenayounN/A

MAN OF THE MATCH : Van Persie

Honorable Mention : Theo Walcott

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

Escobar

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Van Persie Hits Hattrick : AR5S3NAL vs CH3L5EA Ratings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUBSTITUTES

Jenkinson5

Rosicky5

Vermaelen5

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

Man Of The MatchVan Persie

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Arsenal vs Stoke : Match Preview

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

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

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

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

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

Prediction : Arsenal 3:1 Stoke

Cheers!

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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

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