Good morning from wherever you read this. Woke up hoping Wenger never makes a “not in my lifetime” statement towards the Tots or Chelski to warrant a placard similar to Carlos Tevez’s now infamous one.
The Argentine has apologised, as have his club, saying he got carried away by the moment. Oh well, our team meanwhile stays focused on having a better campaign next season with van Persie set to commence talks regarding his future at the Ems.
According to BBC’s David Ornstein who broke the news, captain vantastic will meet up with le boss and Ivan Gazidis at Wenger’s abode on Wednesday, even stating a time for the meeting (10:30 BST).
Don’t get lost in excitement just yet, nothing is expected to be sealed then with the Dutch striker set to report for Holland’s Euro 2012 camp on Thursday.
We however do hope it sets in motion the process of an extension of his stay beyond what his current contract states, as well as ward off the suitors eyeing our prized asset.
Meanwhile speaking with the club’s website, van Persie had special praise for fans that cheered the team on at home and especially at away grounds.
“The away fans, they are always here, always singing, always cheering us up even when we are having a bad game, they are always behind us. A big thank you to all of them because they have been unbelievable.”
And he had this to say of the home support, “The last few months have been different class. Every single game – the Spurs game, the Milan game, you can name them all – unbelievable.”
Podolski Eager to Play Ball
Following a bitter-sweet campaign with Köln in which his commendable 18 goals were on the contrary not enough to prevent his hometown club from relegation, Lukas Podolski is ready to begin life at the Ems next season.
Speaking officially as a Gunner for the first time, the German forward said soeaking personally with Wenger through telephone conversations was one of the elements that convinced him to join us.
He also mentioned the Per factor, “He has mentioned things about the Club’s organisation, the training ground, the fans and this has really helped. It might have influenced me to a certain extent but in the end, of course, I took the decision myself.”
Thank you once again Per for the PR. And here we were thinking Vermaelen had done enough to convince Belgian compatriot Jan Vertonghen to follow suit and join but word is he prefers being a ‘neighbour’.
Nothing is confirmed yet however, just as it has gone mellow concerning French midfielder Yann M’Vila. The lull before the bang? We await.
Do follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs and have a great day ahead. Cheers.
*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
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).
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).
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!
The initial excitement that greeted news of Jack Wilshere being set to feature in a closed door reserves match got quelled when the team sheet came out and the 20 year old’s name was missing.
Word is, he has suffered a very minor setback in his quest to recovery, which one must state is a normal occurence; however annoying it can be, and thus couldn’t be part of the fixture.
At this moment though, it is anyone’s wild guess as to when we’ll have Jack back and with the reserves team having just two matches left to play this season we may well not see him play competitive football for Arsenal this season.
In lieu of that, it is being reported that a series of closed door friendly matches are being arranged for the reserves to help with his path to full fitness and ultimately give him a chance to make the Euros.
Starting to seem too gloomy there, so some bit of transfer news. This time, Swansea’s on loan midfield star Gylfi Sigurðsson has reportedly (The Sun) caught the eye of Le boss.
The Scandinavian, on loan from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, has only been named the Premier League’s player of the month following a string of good performances for Swansea City and will reportedly cost £6m to prize from Hoffenheim.
In order words, feel free to add Sigurðsson to the shopping cart of midfielders linked to Arsenal that includes Sochaux’s Marvin Martin, Montpellier’s Younes Belhanda, Eden Hazard, Junior Hoilett… Ricardo Montolivo… Yann M’Vila… Shing… I’ll let it rest now.
Finally, some injury news from the Etihad has it that their top scorer Sergio Kun Aguero likely to face us come Sunday after declaring himself fit for the trip to the Ems via Twitter. England defender Joleon Lescott looks likely to be fit for the crunch encounter this Sunday.
That’s a must win for us, made all the more exciting by the fact that it also is a must win for them though I’m honestly hoping Man United get a win on Saturday against QPR to further discourage the City players.
If you remeber clearly, a few weeks ago we brought you a picture of what we think will be our home kit for next season. No one paid attention then; however those pictures are in circulation once again. People are showing a lot more concern this time around and for different reasons.
What do I think of the kit? I see it as change just for the sake of the word; it does not look well designed and it is not one of those that mark a historic period at the club. Let’s hope this is not our new kit or at least that the real thing looks better than the picture.
That’s all for now folks. I think I gave it my best shot conisdering the lack of ‘proper’ news. I’ll have another go at it tomorrow; just before a preview to Sunday’s visit of City.
To our Christian readers who celebrate Easter in the coming days, enjoy yourselves and remember our darling Arsenal in your prayers. We could do with some divine help in the run-in.
To those not celebrating Easter, have fun doing whatever it is you choose, as long as it’s not serial killing or dining with Spuds.
I’d love to read what you guys think of the new kit design. I think it’s however safe to assume that it may turn out to be a fake, one deliberately leaked to spur debate.
Don’t forget to tell a gooner to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs.
Till we meet tomorrow!
He hasn’t played football since the Emirates Cup last year and we have missed his impact on the field through the season.
So it is with great delight we learned through Arseblog that Jack Wilshere’s recovery takes a big step forward when he’ll feature in a close door encounter against Birmingham Reserves this morning.
Here’s hoping he comes through unscathed and on his way to perhaps feature in the last couple of matches for Arsenal in the Premier League this season as we look to finish third and earn automatic qualification to next season’s Champions League.
Meanwhile following UEFA’s €40,000 reprimand for basically having a word with referee Damir Skomina after the 3-0 win over Milan, it’s like one can’t get on Wenger’s nerves hard enough.
Word steaming around indicates that Marouane Chamakh’s sisha episode may have truly pissed Le boss off; enough to actually be determined to show the Moroccan the way out of the club. A narrow eyed Asian will certainly follow this development with some slight pleasure.
As for Chamakh, he’s already linked with a £5m ‘finally he’s going!!’ move to Paris St. Germaine, same side that is reportedly tussling with us for the service of Beninoise midfielder Stephane Sessegnon.
The Sunderland maestro had his name trigger the transfer rumour mill after Black Cats manager Martin O’Neill revealed it would be difficult to keep him at the end of this season.
So of course, why not add Sessegnon to the list that includes Bilbao’s Susaeta, Yann M’Vila of Rennes, Ricardo Montolivo and Eden Hazard among others (to be linked inevitably).
Biggest rumour though comes from Marca of Spain. Apparently a source of theirs believes Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will succeed Wenger though when that will happen remains a mystery.
Personally, I’d rather have any one of O’Neill, France boss Laurent Blanc (here’s me forgetting he was a Man. United defe… ) and, till he was appointed over at the bridge, Villas-Boas, to succeed our emeritus in economics.
All I can make of this round of Wenger’s successor is… Pep to Arsenal would mean a return to the Ems by Francesc? Sums the nature of this rumour.
Onto some real happenings now as we await Sunday’s cracker against Citeh, the Ox fancies getting into the England squad for Euro 2012 though will focus on putting in good performances for Arsenal.
“My main focus is to see the end of the season out with Arsenal and help us do as well as we can.” said the 18 year old, adding that “We have a long way to go to get a Champions League spot and hopefully top three as well. It would be very nice, but one step at a time is the way to go.”
Good head on that lad I tell you.
That’s all for now guys! It’s a cold morning in Lagos today, and I struggled to get out of bed to put this post together. I can clearly hear my bed calling for a repeat episode of last night’s sleep.
Remember to tell a gooner to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs.
Have yourselves a great day!
Any thoughts? Share them below.
I lost my previous post, an awesome one at that. Words cannot describe how pained I feel as I try to remeber everything I wrote in that amazing missive. Now I have to write another post. Here goes.
A really boring week on the Arsenal front if you ask me, all talk no action. We get to see the team play tomorrow though, so that should give us a reason to look forward to the weekend.
Since we are out of the UCL, the only thing one can read about Arsenal is transfer story after story. So I’ll just go through the stories that have caught my attention.
Arsenal have apparently enquired about the availability of Italian midfielder, Ricardo Montolivo. Boro Primorac was in attendance in Fiorentina’s 2-2 draw with Genoa to watch the 27-year-old in action, and a deal is in the offing. He’s free, mature and is a quality player.
But we said the same thing about a certain Moroccan we got for free. Let’s hope Montolivo changes my opinion on free players.
The Daily Mail thinks we are preparing a move for Udinese forward Luis Muriel. He has been dubbed the Colombian Cristiano Ronaldo by some and if he is anything close to the Portuguese machine, we should snap him up. My fear is he may turn out to be more of Nani than Cristiano. Still worth a punt in my opinion.
As if we didn’t already know, Le Boss stressed yesterday that we cannot afford to switch off as we enter the crucial stage of the season. Said He:
“This is the period where what we do matters the most, so we just want to keep our focus on this and not worry about anybody else’s results.“
I have said this over and again, if this season has taught us anything, it is that things can change very quickly. As at the 35th minute mark against the Spuds 3 weeks ago, we were staring at a 13-point gap. Now we are 3 points ahead of the Tiny Tots.
Even though we have games against Citeh and Chelski coming up, I’m more worried about our visit to Stoke. The Brittania has not been a particularly hunting ground and seeing what they did to Citeh, we need to be on guard for 90 mins.
Let me not jump the gun, we ‘travel’ to QPR tomorrow and I expect us to pick up from where we left off. I don’t expect a lot of changes, maybe Wenger might be tempted to bring in Andre Santos for Gibbs. Other than that, I expect the same side that put Villa to the sword. Diaby may get a spot on the bench though.
Cisse is missing for them, so that should reduce their firepower; not like he stands a chance against Koscielny or Vermaelen. Anything less than maximum points is not good enough.
I bet with my Chelsea supporting friend over whose team will finish higher on the table, come May. I’ve been teasing him for 2 weeks now, all I ask is one more week of gloating.
Robin has not scored in a while, we need him to start doing that soon. 5 halves without a goal is a drought for someone of his class. A 3 nil win and 2 RVP goals will mean a perfect weekend of football for me.
That’s yer lot for today. Don’t be like me and have fun this Friday night. Nah, I’m not a boring guy, it’s just that I have this crucial School League game in the morning. I don’t want to pull a Balotelli on my team.
I’ll be here tomorrow with a full report and player ratings. Enjoy the game wherever you watch from. Promises to be fun.
Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs. Tell your friends to follow us too.
P.S: I saw some story on twitter about a deal for Vertonghen almost done. I don’t know what to make of it. Do let me know what you think in the comments section.
Lovely weekend it was unless of course you’re Andre Vilas-Boas, the Chelsea manager got the sack yesterday…wait what am I saying? Just thought of how much he stands to make from his sevarance package and all of a sudden, he’s the winner. Boo hoo. He’s always been a small fish in a big pond and the cabal of Terry-Lampard-Drogba was just too much for him in the end.
This past month has just been great for us gooners(if you exclude the Milan & Wearside games), four consecutive wins, Van Persie’s hot streak knowing no end so far and now the good news that Wilshere is set to boost our run for champions league qualification. Lovely. Oh yeah good morning from wherever. Straight to the post then.
Jack Wilshere has returned to training according to Arsenal manager but he assured everyone he’s not closer to making a return, meaning he’s not match fit but is training with the ball I guess…..he had this to say.
- “We have good news but Jack isn’t close to a comeback. The last scan was good and he can start to jog again so he is on his way back. But we have to be cautious with him. I hope to have him back before the end of the season, but we go step by step”
His return would boost us and I’d like to see him play at least one-two games with Van Persie so as not to miss out on what is the dutchman’s best season ever.
Speaking of the dutchman, oh how I love RVP, he deserves all the credit for our season so far and the lovely connection between him & Alex Song is just marvelous. The goals at Anfield are still playing in my head. Top man.
Gunning For 3rd & Milan…..
Our very poor & history-less & pretty much noisy neighbors have been the toast of our half of north london so far. I doubt they’re enjoying being our source of joy and entertainment. From having been behind them by 13points(when it was 2-0 down against them last week) now we’re just 4 points behind and yet we’re having our worst post-Wenger season.
Credit must go to a lot of people & media for helping Sp*rs capitulate but it all centers around Redknapp, from tax evasion to England coach speculation and his naïve substitutions against Arsenal where it ended 5-2 in our favor.
Special mention goes to AW who has gone through a lot(he put us there in the first place) but has steered the ship around and now not only are we on course to make champions league next season, we might end up above Sp*rs. Great achievement considering all we’ve been through & playing the season without Wilshere.
Wenger confirmed my worst fears when yesterday he said he won’t be resting Van Persie or anyone for that matter against Milan. Oh dear. Here’s how the Milan game can play out for us.
1) We win the match but lose the tie and important players pick up knocks.
2) We lose the match, lose the tie and important players pick up knocks.
3) We win the match, win the tie & no one picks up any knock.
4) We rest key players, win the match, lose the tie and the players are fit and fresh for the Newcastle game next week which is more important.
I want the 3rd option but that’s going to require a miracle after witnessing a 14 minute Zlatan Hattrick on saturday. The 4th option would be nice but knowing Wenger, he’ll never do that. Let’s pray for a miracle then.
I’ll be here tomorrow to give the preview on the Milan game. Have a great day and let’s know what you think in the comments.
P.S. Diaby is injured again, pulled a hamstring…..and grass is still green…. Gibbs & Benayoun also picked up knocks ruling them out of the Milan tie but Arteta has recovered and is fit. Great.
Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs
YES, the little Russian has finally left our club, we’ve been calling for his head all season and that reached new heights at the game against United when along with Wenger he was made scape goat. YES he showed no heart, hunger & desire and was more of a pedestrian on the pitch most times. BUT why doesn’t this move feel good in the end, why aren’t we rejoicing seeing as its what’s we wanted? Are we happy to see him leave NOW? NO!, NO!!, NO!!!
For someone that provided the goal that took us to 4th and expected to start or at least be involved at the San Siro, he not only had no hand in the game, he also didn’t play in the subsequent game.
If the transfer window was open and he left with a replacement coming in, we would all be glad, but this is a very stupid and ill thought out move by Wenger. He never really played Arshavin in his preferred position and relegating him to play for the reserves must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for Andrey.
So what happens if any of Walcott, Gervinho or AOC gets injured? We started the season with 5 wide players and now we have just 3 with one seriously under performing. SMH.
North London Derby Preview……
Small matter of the derby on sunday. We’ll beat them right? We always have. Forever in our shadows Tottenham. Right?
We welcome our small brothers 10 points behind them and an inferior goal difference. This season, they’re playing like Arsenal(without the comical defending) and we are playing like Sp*rs. As much as I want to credit them for a solid season so far, they’ve not had the misfortune other clubs competing with them have had this season.
Gibbs is fit again(I think we should adopt what Spurs do with Ledley king & make him train just once a week), Koscielny is back but Andre Santos, Wilshere and Diaby are still out with Mertesacker out for the season. This is what I expect the team to line up like :
Kroenke is going to be at the game for the first time in 9months, good to see its only when there’s crisis our majority shareholder comes out. Call me crazy but I’m confident about this game, we can get away with a 2-1 victory so long we remain disciplined and the subs come in when they should.
A win would lift the mood around the Emirates and remind Spurs that despite being ahead, its just temporary & they’ll always be in our shadows. #COYG!!!
Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs
First off sorry we’ve been missing for the past few days, different commitments have taken us away from you but we’re back. So here’s the latest news concerning our beloved club.
Usmanov & Kroenke
Our 2 sugar daddies have different plans for the club with the same goal in mind, to return us to greatness. Usmanov is having to do it the hard way as the board won’t give him a seat. He’s gathering shares faster than Kroenke did in a bid to get to the 30% mark which is the lucky number needed to look into our books and get a seat on the board.
And he got a further 16 shares which he purchased from Rangers owner Craig Whyte to put him within touching distance of the 30%.
BUT, Kroenke and the rest are determined not to let that happen and the American is expected in London for talks today with the board and the following are expected to be discussed.
- *Full support for Arsene Wenger to remain in charge till 2035.
*New Contracts for Van Persie & Walcott.
*£100M for Wenger to use on transfers(and possibly Wages) in the Summer.
*No Usmanov on the board because he’ll make the club better on the sporting front and we don’t want that.
I for one I’m not buying the £100M story, seeing as its time to renew season tickets & its come at a convenient period where fans are angry &seeking answers. If it were Usmanov that said it, I’d believe afterall he’s way wealthier than Kroenke.
The derby is a few days away and no news yet on Koscielny, Squillaci, Ramsey are out after picking up knocks against Sunderland, leaving Djourou & Vermaellen as our only fit CB’s.
Jenkinson is back & played 45mins for the reserves without setbacks. Talking about reserves, a host of first team players also played & shone with Arshavin grabbing 2, Park & Benayoun as well on the scoresheet.
The england team to face holland has been announced and AOC after impressing in recent weeks has been left out, yet Frazier Campell gets called up. SMH I’m not pleased but at the same time I’m happy, let him stay grounded and continue to play for us, England is not going anywhere.
That’s all for now, we’ll be back to give you the Spurs preview, till then, have a great day.
Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs