Monthly Archives: January 2011

Gunners Nail Hammers : The Player Ratings

Three Goals, three points and a near flawless performance. What more could you ask for? Here are the ratings. Enjoy and drop your comments.

Chezzer7
Fine one handed save from the young stopper in the first half and another in the second half. Solid game, rarely troubled.

Clichy7
He won’t have any easier games than this as he was a passenger at the back and did well to join the attack.

JD7
Bar one slip at the back, he shackled the West Ham forward line with relative ease. Good to see him getting back to back games again this season.

Kozzer7
Won all of his aerial battles and easily one of his more relaxed performances. Shows that the problem is when he’s paired with Squillaci

Eboue6
Repeatedly caught out at the back but thank God we didn’t pay for any of it. Linked up well with Walcott on the right.

Song7
He was so calm on the ball and did not even have to venture forward like he loves to, could have been different if Parker had played. Good game.

Wilshere7
Rarely gave away the ball, his constant change of position with Fabregas really caused troubles for West Ham in the middle of the park.

Fabregas7
Hitting Top gear wasn’t required today from the skippo as the game was easy in truth. Controlled the game, sprayed passes efficiently and split open the defence on numerous occasions.

Nasri6.5
Quiet in the opening half and only lit up in the second half after moving into the middle. Still managed to showcase his dribbling prowess. Good to see him back

Walcott8
Wish I could give him a higher rating seeing as he had a hand in all three goals by setting up the opener, scoring the second and winning the penalty that led to the 3rd goal. All action performance from the English man.

RVP8.5
Man of the match performance from the dutch man. Like Walcott he had a hand in all three goals too, scoring two and assisting one with a strong run into the box. Was everywhere today and his movement was too much for the West Ham defence. An absolute delight to watch.

SUBSTITUTES

Denilson4
Did nothing noteworthy in the few minutes he was on.

GibbsN/A

ArshavinN/A

***Congratulations Walcott and RVP, Walcott for scoring his 10th goal on his 100th league appearance and RVP for scoring his 50th league goal.

From wherever you’re reading. Have a swell night.

Escobar

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West Ham Vs Arsenal : The Match Preview

We must win here, at any cost, by any means, if the players care then they must grind out a win and bring home the 3 points. Its another English Premiership Weekend and yours truly play West Ham away from the Emirates. This looks like a routine 3 points fixture but at the way the Epl is going right about now, getting a win in any fixture stands at a 50:50 chance. After loosing to Ipswich earlier this week here’s hoping the team would be able to redeem itself.

The regulars will be getting into place for this match with Van Persie, Clichy, Rosicky, Samir Nasri and Lukasz Fabianski rested for the tie at Ipswich, so could return to the starting line-up, although goalkeeper Fabianski is only rated as 50-50 to feature due to a shoulder injury, so Wojciech Szczesny could continue in goal. Squillaci has also picked up a hamstring injury so we’re expecting a Djorou , Koscielny duo in Central defence. Denilson is also out due to a minor thigh strain.

I for one am looking forward to the return of Nasri seeing as we’ve failed to score from open play in 3 games, his creativity and spark would be needed. Playing at Upton park isn’t always fun for us, but it has to be a different story today. Glad to hear Denilson is out, if only we could sell him and Rosicky before the window shuts, we could make quick and easy bucks from their sale.

“We respect the way that Ipswich played but now we want to play well at West Ham on Saturday. We are on a good run in the Premier League and we want to continue that. We have produced fantastic games, quality-wise, during the Christmas period. I think we switched off a bit mentally during the Cup games, I am confident we will switch on against West Ham.” ..Arsene Wenger

January Signing wayne Bridge might get a start today after completing his move from Manchester City. They will also be without Nigerian International Obinna Nsofor who picked up a straight Red after a harsh challenge on Tuesday at Birmingham. Westham are facing relegation as they are 20th in the league and so they will most likely try and put up a fight.

Most of their threat will be from their two front men, as they’re both tall and strong, its going to be a battle between them and our defenders. Eboue must sit back today so that we don’t get caught out on counter attacks. 15 days into the transfer window and we’re no where near a new signing, even though Arsene has mentioned it that the new signing is going to be a short fix, so we can rule out all the top guns meaning, we’re signing a mediocre player. Sigh! God help us

Possible starting XI: Szczesny; Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy; Fabregas, Song, Wilshere; Nasri, Van Persie, Walcott

As at now, Arsenal are currently 4points behind league leaders Man.U. This is a much needed win and Yes we Can! 2-0 ? 4-1 ? Just bring back the 3 points.

From wherever you’re reading, keep the faith alive.

Faf says so

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Where is the genius we adore?

Lord Andrei

After last night’s game, I was worried, not because we had just lost to a Championship side, or because we had not scored a goal from open play in 3 games, or because we had struggled to match the desire shown by the two lower league sides we had played consecutively. I was worried because these matches only helped me come to terms with the fact that we just might be losing one of the best players of his generation in Andrei Arshavin.

Arshavin’s poor form this season has been a subject of debate among gooners and our loss to Ipswich brought him to a new low. It was his second consecutive start, after being out of the starting eleven for a while and he did his cause no good as he put in another pitiful performance.

When he signed in February 2009, majority of Arsenal fans thought (and rightly so too) we had struck gold; I was particularly surprised he chose us. I mean, he was Zenit’s best player by a country mile, just had an amazing Euro 2008 appearance and had a host of top clubs chasing him.

He announced his arrival with a sumptuous goal against Blackburn, a game in which he supposedly played with a foot injury. But if there is any game which encapsulates the ingenuity of this Russian supremo, it was that game at Anfield. He had 4 shots and 4 top goals in a pulsating encounter. The last of those goals is a collector’s item. Every journalist in the land was singing his praises and Arshavin’s goals and all-round play was arguably the reason we qualified for the Champions League that season.

His second season was not as explosive as the first one. Due to injuries to key personnel, he was forced to play in an unfamiliar role as a lone striker. Arshavin scored 12 goals in a season that was interrupted by a couple of injuries.

Roll on 2010, Arshavin is definitely having a torrid time. He is a big game player and seems to relish the big encounters but his problem is the inconsistency of his performances. The stats disagree though as he currently has 7 goals and quite a handful of assists; but if the stats were a yardstick, then Mikel would one of the best midfielders in the English Premier League. You get my gist, don’t you?

Wenger has stuck by him through all his troubles and you can hardly fault the manager. Arshavin is the sort of player who needs just a minute of focus and desire to turn the team’s fortunes around. Take a look at games against Everton,Wigan,WBA, Arshavin cut his usual dejected figure for majority of the game but he gave telling contributions when needed. Players of Arshavin’s class just don’t go bad overnight, and as such I feel there is a reason for these poor performances.

The most obvious explanation could be his position on the field. Arshavin has not hidden his dissatisfaction at being played on the wings to accommodate Cesc. He is most dangerous from the middle, just behind the striker but there is currently no space for that in the Arsenal team at the moment. His game at the moment requires an excellent work rate, something he is not noted for. This has seen him dropped for the more hardworking Nasri in recent games, with Walcott filling the right wing slot.

Arshavin is not a natural leader; he depends on the inputs of others to make his game effective. That is the reason why when everyone has a bad day, so does he. There is also the debate of whether he has fully settled in England. This is particularly surprising considering that he is in his 3rd season in Premier League. He’s had his run-ins with the press and has complained about the tax and life in England generally.

Whatever it is that has robbed us of the genius we once sang his name, should please release him back to us. Wenger has led by keeping faith in this mercurial Russian and I bet he sees something we fans cannot see. I won’t say I have not been frustrated by his performances but he needs us now more than ever. He won’t get better by us booing him.

We have the big games coming up soon, Barcelona most especially, and I have a sneaky feeling he will be the key to us having a productive end to the season. He thrives on games like the Barcelona one and we need him firing on all cylinders for that game and the ones to come after.

He needs get his confidence back and then we will all see the man Arsene put his trust in and spent so much money on. It’s very possible but believe you me, it’s not going to be an easy task.

I can wait, can you?

9jabred takes his bow!

2 Games Till Wembley. Let’s Not Make It Any Harder

Its there for the taking, tonight’s match on paper and in any other form is and should be a forgone conclusion. But then again so was the leeds Utd game and what we have to show for that was a last gasp penalty and a replay away from home. This time let’s avoid any repeat.

So its confirmed, TV5 is definitely out until further notice after suffering a setback in training and to add to that, Squillaci pulled a hamstring which rules him out for 3weeks max. I’m sure everyone is happy at this news as it leaves us short on cover meaning we’re buying a CB. Cahill, Mertesacker and Samba are the options with Samba ahead of the queue, seeing as the giant german doesn’t want to leave Bremen and Cahill might prove costly. There you go Arsene, sign the giant,strong,french speaking and premiership experienced 2f6 year old.

Ipswich won’t wait for us to roll over them and would put up a similar fight to that which Leeds did at emirates and Fabregas has voiced his concerns by saying this

    Although Ipswich are a Championship team, that can make them even more dangerous, Their motivation will be very high – these will be the biggest two games of their year. They will be desperate to beat us, they will want to show their strengths, and their motivation will be as high as possible

The struggling Championship side have one of two players also missing and it is left to see how the appointment of Paul Jewell would galvanise the team.

AW has selected a very strong squad and we can only hope he starts the strongest team, Ramsey is expected to start and so too Kozzer and Chezzer who’ll keep his place in goal. Personally this is the squad I’ll send out tonight

    Chezzer

    Eboue JD Kozzer Gibbs

    Wilshere Song Ramsey

    Theo Bendtner Nasri

The ball is in our court, and it would be great if we did the job tonight say 5-0 so we can rest players come the return leg as our fixture list this January is crazy. Wembley is within reach. Let’s get there without any hassles.

Prediction : Ipswich 0:4 Arsenal

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

Escobar

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Very Poor Performance from Arsenal : The Player Ratings

What a shocking and toothless performance from a team renowned for its attacking prowess and fluidity of play, summed up by Wengers appalling Line-up and decision to leave Rosicky and Denilson on the pitch. You’d be forgiven for thinking Joe Hart had handed Schmeichel his ‘How to shut Arsenal down at Home’ with his performance. Below are the player ratings.

Scezney7
Good outing from the youngster who was rarely troubled and almost stopped the penalty which in the end proved too strong.

Eboue6
Decent outing, suspect at the back at times but showed real promise going forward.

JD8.5
Can this guy do anything wrong?? This makes it 16 games he has played in and we’ve never lost any of which he started. Strong, commanding and showed real leadership that Arsenal has been lacking.

Squillaci3
Am sorry, I just don’t like this guy, he’s useless, he’s scared and he HARDLY gets his shorts dirty. How we managed to pay 3.5M and give him a 2 year contract is beyond me.

Gibbs6.5
Hardly put any foot wrong, dealt with the pace of Watt very well and put in numerous solid crosses.

Denilson3
Poor passing, poor defending, and no real drive or passion. Clumsily gave away the penalty that could have brought about our exit.

Song6.5
Barring the 2 passes he gave away in the first half, he was solid and our best midfielder on display. Surprised to see him subbed.

Rosicky1
I can’t bring my self to give an Arsenal player Zero, but he was that bad, time after time he gave away passes, slowed down counters and all his fancy touches were an eyesore. Yet AW gave him 80 mins and the captain band(this needs to change). Showed no quality and IMO, the worst player on the pitch, Leeds players included.

Bendtner6.5
The rating is this high only because of the effort he put into it and he showed real passion even if his finishing did not. Missed way too many chances.

Chammy5
Sigh. This is the *dude* many believe should start ahead of RVP till further notice. If this was an audition for that then he failed miserably.

Arsha4
From decent in the first half to sad in the second half. Lazy, uninterested and lost in the atmosphere. Boos and angry chants came his way from frustrated fans looking on.

SUBS

Fabregas7
You could see how the game changed the moment he stepped on to the pitch. Good passes, and calm performance from the skipper. Dispatched the penalty well.

Walcott7
Frightened the Leeds backline with his pace, although guilty with his finishing at times he won a penalty and should have won another minutes earlier.

VelaN/A

Arsene Wenger : -10
For leaving Rosicky and Denilson on for so long and not subbing Arshavin early enough. Something needs to change.

MOTMJD

Honourable MentionsWalcott

Well there you have it, another frustrating day for all gooners worldwide. From wherever you’re reading, have a good day.

Escobar

*UPDATE*
Regarding the earlier post, we have NO problem whatsoever with Le Grove, we are big fans of them in fact, just a rush of blood and emotion to the writers head. Thank You

THE MOST EXPENSIVE BUS PARKING IN PREMIER LEAGUE HISTORY!

In Control of Citeh

When you spend hundreds of millions of pounds on new players in barely two years, you only expect those players to play some good football. I was understandably sad once the final whistle went at the Emirates, but after a moment of critical thinking, I felt I was consoled by what I saw.

No we did not win that game but it was plain obvious that Man Citeh were scared of going past the half way line. They had no shot on target in 95 minutes of football and you could see the fear in their eyes as they stuck back to defend their goal mouth. They did that very well in all honesty.

We could have been singing a different tune had Van Persie and Cesc not been denied by the same upright. If only Wilshere had dragged his cross backwards by an inch very early in the game; if only Walcott had the composure to make the right decisions when he had early openings. Had all these little things gone in our favour, it would have been another statement of intent from us.

On the whole though, I am more than satisfied with the performance; we gave 100% in terms of movement and technique but a combination of ill luck, some dogged defending and a moment of goalkeeping genius denied us what we deserved. Man Citeh actually played for a draw and you can hardly blame them…afterall we are the Arsenal.

We share spoils with Citeh and it was the perfect result for United. Fabianski was out of job for most of the game, Koscly and Djourou more than held their own, and bar Sagna’s late moment of madness, the fullbacks played quite well. Song had an amazing game as he bossed De Jong and Yaya Toure all game. Wilshere gave another top performance and the attackers gave their best, all of them. But we stay in 3rd place, 4 points behind United and 2 behind Citeh albeit having a game in hand against the latter. It’s not the result we wanted but we’ve got to accept it and move on.

We have a trip to West Ham up next in the League and I expect us to win that one quite comfortably. Before that though, there’s an FA Cup engagement with Leeds United visiting the Emirates this weekend. That’s another trophy we can ably compete for and all we can hope for is to draw the “right” opponents.

We can take a bit of solace in the fact that the Spuds lost at Everton and Chelski’s woes continued. Chelsea is having an extremely torrid time but Liverpool is in an even deeper mess losing to Blackburn in a game that sort of sealed Roy Hodgson’s fate. All these problems can be traced to mismanagement and silly spending. God Bless you Arsene!

It’s still quiet in the January transfer window as far as Arsenal is concerned. Arsene says he will sign only if TV5 suffers a setback, I really don’t know what to wish for on this one. Vela will most likely be going on loan soon and so might Wellington Silva. Ramsey’s back though and I have been thinking of where he fits in, that is considering Wilshere’s form. Thank God I’m not the man paid to make that decision.

From wherever you are reading, have fun and look at the positives.
9jabred says so!

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Class meets Cash : The Man City Pre-match Preview

This is the sort of game I’d like to kick back with chicken and beer and watch with friends as I know a win would put city behind us(forever I hope) and we’d still have a game in hand. The Transfer Market is Open and although we’re not asking for a Messi or Sneidjer , we would appreciate a good Central Defender & Goalkeeper not a 17 year old. Thank you Wenger.

So, Man.City on Wednesday. In Proving critics wrong City have done well, actually 41points so far this season as they are really giving the original “Big 3(soon to become Big 2 with Cheatski’s recent failings)” a scare. We’ve already beaten them away this season and we welcome them to the Emirates with full confidence. It won’t be no easy task.

Our runaway players Adebayor and Toure were involved in a ‘cat fight’ bust up and hopefully that works in our favour. As if things couldn’t get better for us, danger men and form players Mario Ballotelli (who seems to have finally blended with the team) & David Silva have been ruled out by knee injuries. There’s Tevez and though he was rather quiet in the first Leg at the City of Manchester Stadium he has been banging in goals of late and has 12 goals this season which makes him 2nd behind Berba. Let’s hope Arsene’s choice of defenders for the game can keep both of them at bay.

Our present team is looking as sharp as ever with every player holding his part well with 4 players making the EpL Team of the week. The midfield trio of Cesc, Wilshere and Song providing the right balance of attack and defence respectively, In attack you could tell from RvP’s celebration at Birmingham that he’s hungry for more goals, Theo looks like he has finally gotten the starting shirt ahead of Arshavin and he would want to keep it that way, Nasri, Still having his best season in an Arsenal shirt. He was on the score sheet when we played them earlier and would be looking to do so again.

With news that TV5 should return to outdoor training soon and if not AW would buy someone, I for one pray he doesn’t so we could buy someone and then TV5 becomes fit almost immediately. That I’d definitely love. Ramsey returns to the squad today but I doubt he’ll be in the team, and Fab has been tweeting all day about a ‘new face’ being in the team for tomorrow, Rio Miyachi maybe? Who knows.

Come 21:45 hours after d match let’s hope I’ll be able to quote a line from Jay-Z with the saying “You can pay for school and can’t buy class!”.

Possible Starting XI ;

    Fabianski

    Sagna JD Koscielny Clichy

    Wilsher Fabregas Song

    Theo RVP Nasri

From wherever you’re reading this have an amazing year ahead!

Faf

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Brum Gunned Down As City Enter Line Of Fire

What a way to start the new year, drubbing a B’ham side with an impeccable home record with only one loss in 29 and victims included Manure and Cheatski which made the task more daunting. Not that we had fared well there ourselves. At the end of the final whistle, 3 goals 3 pts and a good and strong performance saw Arsenal fans beaming with joy.

AW restored the same players that were rested for the unfortunate draw at the DW a few days back, and all of a sudden we were healthy again. Chances were few and far between both teams in the early stages but you could sense the urgency in our play as the trio of Fab-Wilshere-Song exerted their presence. The first goal came in unusual circumstances as RVP was upended en route to goal and despite claims that he dived, his shot took a slight deflection and there we had it, first blood to us. Vans celebration said it all, his first goal since last season.

With the way the Midland team pressures opponents at home you’d think we were in for it. An exchange of chances occurred first with JD missing a free kick and Roger Johnson conspiring to miss from 5 yards. That would come back to hunt them. Arsenal finished the half strongest with Rvp missing two clear cut chances.

Picking up from where we left off, Theo ran past Ridgewell to pick out Nasri who cushioned the ball down for birthday boy Wilshere who volleyed over. Another chance went begging as a mazy run saw Nasri weave through the B’ham back line but Foster ran out early to block the shot. For a team that rarely lost at home they were defending like clowns as we laid siege in their half. It didn’t take long for the second goal and it was just reward for all our commanding play. Nasri and Fab swapped passes and in between a sea of players the french man picked his spot for his 13th goal of the season. Classy finish.

8 minutes was all it took for the third and final goal, a move with Fabregas and Nasri again, as they played a one-two, “although it may have been a three-four they were so in tune“(BBC) and Nasri played it on for Fab who had his shot blocked but the ball bobbled around the defenders before hitting Johnson and crossing the line. There was still time for substitute Arsha to miss and Theo too.
Final whistle and we had done what none of the other Big Four failed to do. Defeat Birmingham….. At Home.

Wenger had this to say in the post match :

    “We are tougher mentally this season because we have matured, I think the win lifted the team and we can go into the Manchester City game (on Wednesday) with confidence.

So, there we have it, our title bid back on track although we remained in 3rd position and we have a game in hand over Citeh who visit on wednesday. I think we’re finely poised to win again, it won’t be an easy task as they’re inform and playing well. We’ll definitely have to perform like we did in the reverse picture or against Cheatski and with the mesmerising interplay between Nasri and Fab, my mouth waters at the damage we can do to them.

The only worry is JD, he’ll have to sit out this one as AW has said he can’t afford to play him in back-to-back games due to his injury, and I really really pray the New Year means a change in fortunes for Squillaci especially if Citeh use Tevez and Balotelli. The latter will finally get to see Wilshere play after being quoted a few weeks back that he had no idea who Jackie was (What a W*nker). The squad should remain the same asides JD and barring any injuries. Confidence is really high in the camp and rightly so.

Finally, the transfer window has opened and the rumours will soon start pouring in quickly and we’ve already had our team linked with German giant CB, Per Mertesacker, who has also caught the eye of Liverpool. If we’re to sign him I’d say we move in now, but knowing Arsene fully well, there won’t be any activity. The only ones for sure is the return of Ramsey from loan and Vela going out on loan. Let’s hope one or two signings come in.

Till then, from wherever you’re reading this, have a fun filled day, Faf will bring you the Citeh pre match preview.

Escobar

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