Blog Archives

Yann M’Vila Uncertain | Walcott Fit | Pat Rice Departs.

With twitter it’s impossible to know whether to believe something or to disbelieve it. Afterall it’s where breaking news happens first these days. From “deal agreed and waiting to be announced” on the M’Vila front to “no deal in place yet, no contact, just interest”.

It’s going to be a long summer as it always is for we gooners, but wait, le boss wants to conclude all (or most) of his business before the start of the European Championships so it won’t be.

Where are my manners, top of the morning to you wherever you are. A lot of has been happening this week regarding the club, both rumors and actual events. The M’Vila deal would still happen, knowing how Wenger operates, he wants it quiet till it’s concluded and then announced officially. Fingers crossed. He’s the player we need.

Oh please spare me the “we have Coquelin and Frimpong and Song” cliche. The former two are at best upcoming players despite the obvious talent they have. Playing with world class players only helps you get better, it doesn’t stunt your growth. If he comes, it would be exciting to see who he replaces in the starting XI.

PAT RICE……
The Arsenal legend departs the club after 44 years of service as a player and as a coach. His career is one laden with success and a loyal servant to the club he is. He’s very much loved within the club and would be missed but I’m sure Steve Bould (the man replacing him) will perform just as good.

Word is Mr Bould is a no nonsense man who is outspoken and respected by all players and even Wenger. Finally we can have someone to shout at Gervinho & Ramsey from the sidelines. \(^_^)/.

THEO WALCOTT & BROM……..
Speedstar Theo is set to recover and play in the curtain closer of the season, should he pass a late fitness test. If he’s fit I say start him. We need all the ammunition from the start. Hopeful the Ox gets to start too. The game against Brom is a must win. No f*cking excuses, no relying on results of the other teams/games. 3 points and 3rd place. Thank you.

“We Did Doubt” – Kozzer
In an interview with France Football, defender Laurent Koscielny is quoted to admitting a feeling we had back then, that the players doubted their abilities and le boss’ following the horrendous start to the season, summed up by that defeat I much 8-2 mention.

“The group was not giving enough for the club and we realised that.” said Kozzer. “We got down to work and we said the things we needed to say. After that, one win, two wins, confidence returns and things follow on from that. The new players were immersed in the group and so on”. Get us one more win Kozzer, so we know it’s real!

I have Options – Vela
The Mexican forward has had quite a good season with Real Sociedad, hitting a dozen goals in for the Basque club in 31 la Liga matches. A form that prompted the ‘prince of the lobbed goals’ to declare his preference of making the move permanent a while ago.

Now however, making his stay there permanent may not happen after the player admitted Sociedad’s budget will likely hinder them from doing just that.

But… “I have more options” said Vela, cushioning the minor setback to an immediate exit from the Arsenal. Going by his form though, him getting a decent club shouldn’t be a problem.

RvP: One More Record to Break
With 30 league goals so far, captain vantastic is at least two goals from setting a new league record of 32 league goals (or more) under the 38-game format. The standing record has Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo tied at 31 goals.

It would be great to have RvP get the goals, to cap a phenomenal season. But I can sense many gooners would rather the goals came from anyone, as long as we get the win at the Hawthorns.

And we’ll be here tomorrow to give a prematch report on the game. Till then have a great day wherever you are.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Last Home Game Of The Season : The Norwich Preview. 3 Points A Must

*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

Why RVP’s comments scare me + Details of Arsenal’s visit to Nigeria.

Fantastic Robin


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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Arsenal Disappoint in Stalemate with Chelsea + Player Ratings

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…

Player Ratings
Szczesny7
Assured performance from the Pole on his 50th Premier League appearance for us.

Sagna6
Good game as well on his century of matches for Arsenal.

Vermaelen7
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.

Koscielny8.5
Sterling performance from the Frenchman, especially in the second half. Unfortunate to have the bar deny him after losing his marker well.

Gibbs6.5
Good game from him.

Song7.5
A rock in midfield. Delivered some good balls and dispossessed the visitors on a number of occasions.

Ramsey3
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…

Rosicky7
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-Chamberlain5
Not the Ox we’ve come to love. Troubled the Chelsea back with his agility at times but brought little to the match.

Walcott5
Went off with a hamstring injury, hopefully not a serious one. Had an average game.

Van Persie5
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!

Substitutes

Gervinho5

Diaby5
Thankfully, he saw this through unlike when he came on at Liverpool.

SantosN/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.

Arsenal Consolidate 3rd Spot With Wolves Win + Player Ratings

Good night for the Gunners this as goals from RvP from the spot and Walcott soon after put us on our way to a 3-0 win at bottom club Wolves, Yossi Benayoun wrapping up the night for us at Molineux.

That puts us five ahead of the Sillywhites and Newcastle as third place looks assured with five matches left to play and nine wins in 10 matches is a good run to carry into the run-in.

Straight to the ratings then:

Szczesny7
Another relatively quiet match for the Pole but showed great awareness with two top draw saves early and late in the second half. The former to deny Doyle’s header was classic.

Sagna6
Good game and good work rate from him. Got replaced late on by Jenkinsom.

Djourou7
Solid performance from him. Hope he keeps it up when Wigan visit. Wigan by the way beat Man. United and added a good twist to the title race.

Vermaelen7
An assured perfomance, as almost always from him.

Santos5
I’m not sure why he bothered. Attacked much but his defending was suspect a lot of times.

Arteta7
Quietly anchored the midfield superbly.

Song7.5
Complemented Arteta well, and bagged an assist yet again… this time for Benayoun rather than you know who.

Ramsey4
Oh dear. Hesitated when he should’ve taken a first time shot at goal. Had a clear penalty shout waved away but generally lived down to expectations.

Walcott7
Gets a 7 only because he got a goal and won us the penalty that saw Sebastien Bassong get sent off, otherwise wasn’t exceptional.

Benayoun8
Good work rate yet again and got himself a well taken goal from the edge of the box.

RvP8
You’d think some confidence would’ve drained from him after going four matches without scoring… then he does that from the penalty spot. He scores when he wants and apparently, how he wants. Vintage stuff.

SUBSTITUTES
OxN/A

JenkinsonN/A

So next up for us is the red devils’ unlikely conquerors Wigan Athletic on Monday and from what we’ve seen the Latics play in their last two matches, it’s safe to say we have a cracking encounter coming up.

Do tell a gooner to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs, see you Monday night.

Man. City Preview + Club News

The utmost importance of us winning Sunday’s match against the billionaire boys club kicks off tonight at Wales where fifth placed Newcastle United are guests of Swansea City with the Magpies looking to boost their previously unlikely push for a finish in a Champions League spot.

And by the time the match of the weekend kicks off at the Ems, Sp*** could be three points ahead and Chelsea could be two points behind us (along with Newcastle) so in that sense, I believe Arsenal needs the win more than City do unlike the boss who believes otherwise (mind games I presume).

Team News
Nothing exceptional to report here as the boss stated that the crunch encounter comes a bit too early for glass feet Abou Diaby as well as youngster Francis Coquelin though he is confident both will start full training next week.

As for Jack Wilshere, Wenger stated the England international is recovering slowly and the club would rather not rush his comeback. Other than these, we have a full squad to choose from and it will be interesting to see who le boss starts this weekend.

Predicted line-up: Szczesny. Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs. Arteta, Song, Rosicky. Gervinho/Ox, Walcott, RvP.

A hint of complacency and doubting feet from Thomas cost us dearly last time out and I believe Wenger would resist the urge to start Aaron Ramsey this time. And while he may start the Ox; whose love for Drake’s music is now general knowledge, I think Wenger would go for the Ivorian headband (wearer).

Other News

The manager has hinted at a busy summer for us in the transfer market saying “Things are starting now [in terms of transfers]” while equally stressing that focus is needed in the season’s run in.

“At the moment we are so focused on finishing the season well, though, because what we have done over the past two months is absolutely exceptional.”

As you know, the deal to bring Lukas Podolski to the Emirates isn’t wrapped up officially as Wenger would readily tell anyone, while Yann M’Vila and Jan Vertonghen have been strongly linked to us this year.

Wenger meanwhile has praised Theo Walcott’s overall improvement as a player as proven by the 23 year old’s 10 goals and 13 assists this season; the second consecutive season Theo’s scored double figures.

“He is getting to where you want him to be now. I feel that he has made a step forward this season.” were Wenger’s words for Walcott, further stating that he now expects our Usain Bolt to now ship in the double figures every season.

For now however, he along with the rest of the team have a Champions League berth to fight for. Hopefully, Walcott along with the rest of the starting XI continue the ‘marked improvement’ on Sunday and personally, Robin van Persie can want to end his run of games firing blanks!

COYG!!!!

Poor Outing Ends Winning Streak: The Player Ratings

Szczesny (6) - Respectable showing. Did his part. Nothing he could have done to prevent either goal.

Koscielny (5) – Average performance, reads the game well. Busy day, got bullied atimes.

Vermaelen (3) – Terrible showing. Was at fault for both goals. He’ll want to forget this one very quickly.

Sagna (5) – One cannot really complain. Did his job well.

Gibbs (5) – Decent outing.

Arteta (5) – Lacked the inspiration to move us forward. Needs to be more adventurous.

Song (4) – Poor game. That chipped effort doesn’t work out every time. He needs to keep it simple atimes.

Rosicky (5) – He was shifted to the left to accommodate Ramsey. He did not do anything worthwhile.

Walcott (6) – Good goal, did well against Taiwo. Inconsistent game though, sometimes went missing.

Ramsey (4) – Justified the fans’ complaints about him starting. Terrible performance.

Van Persie (4) - He has had better days surely. He missed a great chance as his goal drought continues.

SUBSTITUTES

Chamakh (2) – As Piers said “if the answer is Chamakh, the question should be changed.”

Gervinho (3) – Like Norwich away, this is the kind of game he should have started.

Oxlade Chamberlain (N/A)

Wenger (1) Terrible selection today. Ramsey adds nothing to the team at the moment, why start him? Why wait till the 70th minute to make a change when all is clearly not well?

In all it was a poor performance. QPR looked like they needed the win more. A lot of players were mere passengers today.

Let’s hope it’s nothing but an “off day”.

See you in the comments!

3 Goals, 3 Points Clear in 3rd Place : Talking Points.

A wonderful morning it is for everyone connected to The Arsenal. The cloud of negativity that hung over the club since the start of the season seems to have vanished completely.

Yesterday’s convincing win against Aston Villa was our 7th on the trot in the League. The last time we managed this was when we were winning trophies at will. That gives you an idea of how long it’s been.

Granted, Villa were missing Bent and Dunne, arguably their best two players, but the manner in which we went about yesterday’s operation was emphatic to say the least.

I won’t bore you with a match report as I’m not really good at those and I’m sure you must have read it somewhere, if you didn’t see the game that is. So let’s look at the talking points.

Major positive for me was Theo Walcott. He gave a mature performance, was a nuisance and posed a constant threat. His goal was a joy to watch.

A couple of minutes earlier, Song gave him a similar ball, his control was on point but the ball drifted away.

On the second attempt though, he controlled perfectly, dropped his shoulder and showed good composure to beat Shay Given at his near post. His celebration showed what the goal meant to him.

Another positive was the defensive performance. Koscielny missed out through a minor injury and Djourou came on in his place. People wrote him off before he kicked a ball, and that’s sad to see.

Maybe he hasn’t been exactly great in his last few games but this is the same Djourou who was outstanding in 35 odd games for us last season.

Our capitulation against Newcastle last season began when he went off injured. So it was good to see him put in a great shift yesterday.

He, along with the 3 other men in defence did well. We kept a clean sheet at home, our first in the League in 2012.

I was going to single out Arteta for praise, but that wouldn’t be fair. So let’s just commend our midfield trio for yet another virtuoso performance.

Song got another beautiful assist, Rosicky continued his resurgence, Arteta got a bullet of a goal. Complete midfield performance.

Andre Santos returned to the team yesterday, Wilshere and Coquelin are not far off. Our injured players are returning at the perfect and we couldn’t be luckier.

Left to me, I wouldn’t bring Wilshere back for this season; except of course one of Song, Arteta, Rosicky picked up a serious injury.

Let him rest for Euro 2012, have a good tournament and come raring for next term.

No negatives yesterday, Koscielny had tendinitis and he should be fine. RVP didn’t get a goal for the 4th consecutive half. Worrying times. Nice to see the other players delivery the goods though.

All in all, it was a “dynamic” performance, one we needed. One made even sweeter by the failings of our closest rivals.

Spuds and Chelski played a boring goalless draw earlier. So the win saw us go 3 points clear, and with a higher goals difference.

I’d love to gloat and say we are back, but if this season has taught us anything,it is that things can change very quickly.

Have a good day wherever you read this from. Enjoy the win and share in the positivity. QPR up next, another 3 points surely?

7 Straight Wins, We Ballin’ : The Player Ratings.

Szczesny (6) – Had little to do all game. Did well when called upon.

Djourou (7) – A few scary moments. Other than that, a credible performance.

Vermaelen (8) – Solid game. Stood up to everything the Villa attack could muster. Helped up front when he could.

Sagna (8) – Did his usual.

Gibbs (8) – Good going forward as shown by the goal, but a bit suspect in defence today. Gervinho had to bail him out a few times.

Arteta (8) – Kept things ticking in the middle, a couple of attempts on target, and got his goal with a phenomenal strike from a freekick.

Song (8) – Did his job well, guilty of holding on to the ball for too long. Amazing through pass for the second goal.

Rosicky (7.5) – Continued his resurgence with an assuring performance. A joy to see him in such good form.

Walcott (8.5) – Good performance, great first touch and wonderful composure to get his goal.

Gervinho (7) – Better performance. Looked lively, got an assist.

Van Persie (7) – Started well but could not get a goal. Cut a frustrated figure late on, he’s surely had better days.

SUBSTITUTES

Santos (6) – Almost gave a goal away with his first touch. Settled well in the following minutes. Great to have him back.

Ramsey (6) – Came on with a fresh pair of legs. Added more bite to the midfield.

The Ox (6) – Good cameo. Picked up from where Theo left off.

There you have it guys! 7th straight win gives us a firm grip on 3rd place.

3 points ahead of Sp*ds, 8 ahead of Chelski. Not a bad time to be a gooner, eh?

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.

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

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