Author Archives: iamfaf

Wenger Promises One more Defender + FC Cologne Preview

Author: FAF

Arsène Wenger yesterday revealed he will “certainly” find a new addition to defence but he won’t be drawn into naming anyone in particular. Said He,

“Certainly, we will have to find one more defender,” he said. “We [are] working on it.

Apparently, we had a £10m bid for Jagielka turned down. He’s not what we need in my opinion. He has similar attributes to TV5 and Koscielny. A better option will be Chris Samba, or £17m Gary Cahill, a 24 year old that will give you at least 7 solid years.

I am really desperate for a new centre back at the club. I even once hoped either Koscielny or TV5 picked up a MINOR injury in pre-season, so Wenger would be forced into bringing someone in.

Don’t blame me, I just do not want to see us throw away yet another season because of a dodgy defence.

Well for one day we have a distraction from all of the transfer speculation as our pre-season continues with a friendly against German team FC Cologne, home of star striker Lukas Podolski.

This game will present a tougher challenge than Malaysia’s finest and the other Chinese team we played. Hopefully this friendly will shed some light on what formation and players to expect when the real business starts.

For those who did not know, Cesc did not travel with the team. He is either injured or he is trying to engineer an escape from his “captors”; depending on what you believe. His owners have however failed to meet the required ransom.

Not much on team news, Eboue and Diaby are out through injury, while Nikky B and Almunia “stayed behind”.

Gervinho may make his debut in this game and I’m sure everyone wants to see what he can do. Expect to see a lot of first team players coupled with young players looking to impress.

Benik Afobe is one being touted to start the game or play some role after being withdrawn from the English U-20 team. Frimpong, Miyaichi, and Jenkinson should also feature.

July is almost over and fans would have been expecting to see at least three new faces making their debuts in this game. Instead we are seeing the same faces that ended last season. We are not even sure two of our key players will remain.

If Cesc does leave, I won’t be too worried; in Wilshere and Ramsey the future is here already. If I recall properly, Cesc was almost the same age when he was already dominating the EPL.

And with the talent we know they have who says they can’t step up this new season? To hell with him if he wants to leave. I even hope he’s gone by Monday so we can focus on those who want to stay.

That’s it from me today, tired of worrying myself over players who don’t seem to care. Oh well, looks like we should expect a goal feast from the Arsenal later today.

Have fun wherever you read this from.
Faf says so!

Any thoughts? Please share them below.

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Arsenal vs Liverpool : Match Preview

Greetings Gooners Far & Wide,

Its only right to pay respect to Daniel David Fiszman (9 January 1945 – 12 April 2011). May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Its another cracker tomorrow in the EPL as we welcome Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool to the Emirates. This fixture is one to look forward to as both teams have had their own fair share of ups and downs this season but from where we’re standing, we’re rooting for an Arsenal win.

The team is bolstered by the return of Song for some much needed muscle in mid-field. Djourou and Szczesny also make their return in defense and goal respectively, with rumours of Vermaelen making a bench appearance. So its safe to assume that this is “The return of the first Team”. Kudos to the team that played Blackpool last weekend, Cesc , Wilshere and most surprisingly Diaby who did a fairly good job in the midfield but would need to step up their game against a very determined Liverpool side.

Playing Liverpool earlier this season was not an easy task as we were just able to scrap a point after an own goal by Pepe Reina in the 90th minute of a match that ended 1-1. At this stage of the season its in the Teams best interest not to drop any points so as to keep title dreams alive. With Andy Carrol bagging his first two goals for Liverpool on Monday he will definitely be one to look out for as he has already scored against Arsenal at the Emirates earlier this season and we don’t want him becoming the first player to score against us twice with two different teams at home. January Super signing Luis Suarez would also be another player to look out for, remember how he single handedly bamboozled the entire Manchester United defense? We wouldn’t want a repeat of that, Portuguese man Raul Meireles is also having an amazing season in Liverpool’s colors having scored some crucial goals for them this season.

In general this team is not one to be taken lightly. But if you’re talking of form, one man certainly at the top of that table is Robin Van Persie, who I fancy to grab another goal this weekend.

Possible Formation: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Nasri, Van Persie, Walcott.

With 7 games left, let’s hope on the day of that seventh match we would see on our respective TV screen’s “Arsenal’s Recent Form : ” W W W W W W” & with some sort of miracle The EPL will be ours.

From wherever you are, Keep the Arsenal dream alive and let’s do this for Danny Fiszman if not for any other reason.

Faf Says So

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Don’t we just love replays? Player Ratings + Amazing injury news.

Leyton - Arsenal

I was already writing a post on a win but then the tables turned when we had a ‘Tiote Moment’ with a well taken strike from the French man Tehoué. Last minute breakdown and lack of communication was the cause. Wenger used no substitutes at all as he wanted to rest the players considering a week of premiership football & Carling Cup final.

Just when we were anticipating a mouth watering clash with Manchester United at OT, Leyton equalized and we will now have to hold on a bit longer to finish the job (hopefully) at the Emirates.

Almunia: wasn’t really bothered as the orient strike team didn’t pose much of a threat. Could have done better to keep out the goal as the ball went through his legs. 6

Sagna: Composed as always the first choice right back. Available on offense and defense when needed. Could do a bit better with his crossing though. 7

Squllaci: Had to display some level co-ordination in defense playing with someone 12 years younger. Was on hand to make make a block with his face after a well played Orient attack. 7

Miquel: The young 18-year old was shaky at first but settled into the game. Not a bad debut from the Spanish defender snatched up from Barcelona. The next Pique perhaps? Time will tell. 7

Gibbs: Quiet outing for him as he wasn’t really challenged on the flanks by the Orient side. 6

Rosicky (C): Started as captain,hopefully it with affect his overall game play. Started in the middle of the park and spread the ball when needed. Was on hand to score a goal with a well placed header in the 52nd minute for his first goal in an arsenal shirt in over a year. 7.5

Song: Played his defensive role well, was always on hand to bully the Orient midfield when needed. 7

Denilson: A bit sloppy in the middle of the park. Couple of incomplete passes from the Brazilian almost put him in trouble. There’s always room for improvement, though. 6.5

Bendtner: Full of confidence in the early minutes, taking shots at will, something we wish Chamakh did. Fizzled out out later, as his touch became really awful. His major highlight was his cross to Rosicky which led to the goal. 6.5

Chamakh: The Moroccan frontman had something to prove. He cut a frustrated figure atimes and had a couple of chances he didn’t make the best of. Really needs to find that spark he had earlier in the season. 6

Arshavin– Drifted in & out of the game most times. Looked our best bet for a goal and had a chance to score in the 38th minute but couldn’t really wrap his foot on the shot. Lovely run in the 86th minute but was denied by the post. 7.5

Not the best of outings for the Gunners as this was a game we could have easily wrapped up. You would be forgiven to think that Leyton Orient had won the tie judging by their celebrations. All the same, we welcome Leyton Orient with open arms to Emirates. We all know how that’s going to play out but it’s the stress of going through yet another FA Cup replay that annoys me.

It’s all good though, at least we are still in the competition, a team on the West of London will die to be where we are at the the moment.

Oh to be a Gooner!

P.S: ***Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes could be out for up to six weeks after suffering knee injury in training. The keeper is likely to need surgery, meaning that Jose Pinto will be required to deputize during a crucial spell of Barca’s season.***

From wherever your reading this, have an amazing week ahead.

Faf says so!.

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Gunners Tame Wolves : The Player Ratings

Song

With the team that defeated Manure the previous week visiting the Emirates, the lads had to be on their toes to avoid any slip ups. Le Boss resisted the urge to rest anyone and sent out the team most likely to play Barcelona midweek. It was most likely to be a walk in the park. Below are our ratings.

Szczesny6
Slow afternoon for the Polish man who also kept a clean sheet for his country midweek. Wolves didn’t have a shot on target all evening so he wasn’t really bothered.

Sagna 7
Routine outing for the French full back who was also on International duty mid week. Didn’t show any sign of fatigue as he was on hand to provide width in attack when needed and also falling back needed.

Djourou 7.5
Almost scored a goal similar to that at Newcastle after an Arshavin free-kick. Calm at the back as his combination with Koscielny kept the wolves front men quiet throughout.

Koscielny7.5
Another good outing. Good to know we can keep a clean sheet. Looking forward to see who Le’Boss pairs with Vermaelen when he’s fully fit.

Clichy7
Played so much better defensively today as he was on hand to put in some crucial tackles when needed. Always shines when playing with weaker opponents. (Tongue out)

Wilshere8.5
The commentary team had nothing but praise for him. Lovely display from the young English man in the middle of the park. Stole the show from Fabregas today waltzing his way through the wolves defence & dishing out passes with so much ease. Taken off in the 76th minute to get some rest.

Song7.5
Did good in the middle of the park with the perfect blend of defence & attack. Good to have him back after the injury scare. Would be a huge plus for the team later this week.

Fabregas7.5
His combination with Wilshere is starting to look like a match made in heaven as both of them are capable to find that killer pass with only an inch of space. His magic touch would really be needed mid-week. Provided the assist that led to the first goal.

Walcott7.5
Switched wings with Arshavin early in the game. Was able to break out and dish the ball to RVP for his second goal. Commentators said the lines man couldn’t keep up with his speed to tell whether the pass was offside or not. Unfortunate not to get a goal.

Arshavin6
Missed a couple of sitters, was always looking to dish the ball out when needed. Not a bad outing for him. Substituted for Chamakh in the 71st minute.

Van Persie8.5* (MOTM) On hand to put the ball at the back of the net with the first real move. Sublime finish. Scored the second with a well taken shot after a routine counter attack from the team. Man of the match performance as he provided the only goals for the game.

SUBSTITUTES

Bendtner5
Made some rash decisions when he came on. Had some chances to dish the ball but went for glory

ChamakhN/A
DenilsonN/A

So 2-0 against Wolves Home & Away this season. We should have scored more goals as there were countless chances but all that mattered is that we got the 3points and the race is still on with Manure. Its Champs League football on Wednesday at the Emirates, we play defending champions Barcelona & that’s a match the whole world is looking forward to. Here’s hoping for the best *Fingers Crossed*

From wherever you’re reading this,
Have a good evening.

Faf

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Leeds vs Arsenal: Player Ratings.

Van P

At least we move on to the next round of the F.A cup by all means possible, not our strongest starting eleven but calm and normalcy was restored when V.Persie & Fabregas were introduced. Good changes from Wenger and at the right time too.

Szczesny-6.5: Couldn’t do much to keep out a strike from Johnson about 25 yards out. Commentator said if Fabianski was also in goal with him, they wouldn’t keep the shot out. Stayed calm at other times.

Sagna-8: Just when Leeds seemed to be getting a breather. He scores with a wonderful strike to make it 2. His 3rd goal in an arsenal shirt. Nice way to come back from a red card.

Djourou-7: Did well to keep the Leeds strike force quiet most of the time. Good play on air and also on ground. Really starting to cement his place in the first team.

Koscielny-7: Another good night for him as well. Combined well with Djourou when needed. Made some good tackles when needed.

Gibbs-7: Confident play from the english man, started the play that led to the first goal. Confident in both attack and defence.

Song-7.5: Strong in defensive midfield as always, distributed the ball when needed. Unfortunate not to score at the start of the second half. His physicality would definitely come into play when playing Barcelona

Denilson-5.5: Not a spectacular night for him. He was there to complete the string of passes when needed. Quiet during the first half and also major parts of the second half. Really needs to improve his total game.

Nasri-8.5: Man of the Man performance for The Barclays Player of the Month. Calmly slotted the ball in the 4th minute to score his 14th goal of the season. Good game for Temporary Captain Fantastic. Taken off in the 83rd minute.

Bendtner-5: Started out wide& looked lost most times. Wandered into the middle in d 26th minute and missed a ball whipped in by Sagna. Major highlight was the lovely floated ball to RVP to score the 3rd goal.

Arshavin-3: Another abysmal & lazy outing for the little Russian. Lost the ball in his first two touches, missed a strong chance in the 19th minute. Played with zero urgency during the second half.

Chamakh-5: Made Schmeichel make a super save with a strong header in the 10th minute. Came back to defend when needed. Needs to work on how to charge at goal rather than always looking to make a pass back.

SUBSTITUTES:

RVP- 7.5: Came in to score the 3rd goal with a well placed header. Made it look easy. A little reminder why he’s the starting striker.

Fabregas- 7: Had an effect on the game the second he came on. Showed why he’s a world cup winner. Class.

Clichy: Not enough action to rate him.

See you in time for Wigan’s visit to the Ems on Saturday.

Have an amazing day because I intend to.
Faf says so!

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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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Wigan Vs Arsenal : The Pre-match Preview

I believe we are still basking in the ambience of our win over Chelsea on Monday. A well deserved victory if I might add as our young guns were able to outshine a mature and fully grown Chelsea side. Up next is Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium. A win is definitely needed in this match so as to keep our title hopes alive with United already dropping points at Birmingham yesterday.

The team that played Chelsea looked a little lost at first but were able to get their rhythm once the game settled and gave one of our best performance this season. Fabregas will be sitting this one out due to his 5th yellow card which earned him a suspension, meaning a start for either Diaby or Rosicky.

The current Arsenal squad is looking very fit with only TV5, Gibbs and ALmunia on the injury list and AW would love to avoid any injuries and so therefore might reshuffle his pack. Walcott is also looking very sharp on the flanks and rewarded Arsene’s decision to start him ahead of Arshavin with a well taken strike and would likely keep his place. So too Djourou, who was outstanding in the Chelsea game as he did exceptionally well against Drogba throughout the game. I’m sure Le’Boss would be anticipating Tv5’s return so a possible combination with Djourou could be in the works.

RvP would also be looking to get his name on the score sheet so as to keep the faith alive knowing he has Chamakh breathing down his neck for the starting shirt as he already has 10 goals in all competitions this season. But I see Chammy getting the nod ahead of him so as to get some much needed rest. Our top goal scorer Nasri is still looking sharp as always , lets hope we see some of that French Magic in the game later on.

Wigan are currently 18th in the league so they also will be looking for a win so as to leave the relegation zone and they would be looking to Hugo Rodallega and Charles N’Zogbia who have 8 League goals between them in the League to do damage with the coach Roberto Martinez saying he looks forward to the Arsenal game.

On paper this is a win already for us but games are not won on paper, and last year’s fixture saw us throw away a 2 goal lead. Let’s hope there’s no repeat of such as anything can happen in the EPL so we need to be on our toes.

Possible Starting XI ; FAB CLICHY DJO KOS SAGNA SONG WILSHERE ARSH THEO CHAMMY NASRI

From wherever you’re reading this, have fun and keep doing so.

Faf says so!

Arsenal Beat Chelsea Blue : The Match Ratings

On a night when Arsenal were brilliant from start to finish and front to back, with two quick fire goals in the 2nd half as we wrapped up the game early. Here are the player ratings

Fabianski 6.5 Had a quiet first half with just 2shots, 1 on target. Should have been better positioned to keep out the Ivanovic goal.

Clichy7.5
This is the Clichy we all know, shaky in the opening minutes but Solid throughout and was able to shake off a “De-Jong-ish” tackle by Kalou to play a good second half.

Kozzer8
Easily his best performance in an Arsenal shirt, only lost one header against Drogba and did well even though his distribution was found wanting at times.

JD8.5
The perfect foil, possibly aided by Anelka’s absence. Good in the air as always with countless interceptions in the second half. Our Best Defender this season maybe??

Sagna7.5
A couple of good runs down the right from our french man. Linked well with Walcott most of the time. Rarely troubled by Malouda or Cashley

Wilshere7.5
Man against boys(Chelsea midfield) performance. Good in the middle with Fab, and sent in some strong tackles.

Song7.5
Quiet most of the Match but popped out of nowhere to score in the 43rd minute. Maintained his defensive midfield position most of the time. Excellent Outing.

Fabregas8
Capitano looked lost at first but found his passing boots later in the game. Easy tap in for the 2nd goal in the 50th minute after unselfish play from Theo. And then returned the favour. Taken off in the 87th minute for Rosicky. Good job Captain.

Theo7.5
Constantly kicked by Casley Cole on occasions. Made the right choice to dish the ball to Fab in the 50th minute. Was also repaid by Fab to get his own goal 3minutes later with a strike Henry would have been proud of. Taken off in the 72nd minute to a standing Ovation.

RVP7.5
A different aspect of his play was on show tonight as he played in the hole, on the right and held up play well. A good outing from the Netherlands Top 9.

Nasri7
Deft touches as always starting from the left, switching places regularly with RVP. Lovely clipped Shot in the 40th minute denied by Cech’s arms.

SUBS :

Diaby5
Caught napping on the ball with a clear cut chance on goal in the 79th minute.

Chammy5
Did good holding the ball up for the minutes he came on.

Rosiscky N/A

MOTM : This is a tough one as it could go to anyone, but Fabregas with one goal and assist just nicks it.

Honourable Mentions : Kozzer, JD

From wherever you’re reading, have fun because ‘tonight’s gonna be a good good night’.

Faf

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A Must Win (For Us and Shaktar) Or The Europa League Awaits Us.

Europa League?? NO!!! Thank you. Barring some sick twist of events, we are certain to get the 3points. Oh wait!! We said that in the last game and the one before that, which has put us in this make or break tie.

With that said, Good day Gooners Worldwide, I’m sure everyone is ecstatic about being on top of the EPL. Not an easy feat in any way whatsoever, yes Manure still have a game to play, but this is a different ball game entirely. The Champions League.

There are noises that with the trip to Manure next week Le Boss might be making a lot of changes for Tuesdays game against Partizan Belgrade with Nasri and Arshavin set be rested as the Monday game is very crucial. AW had this to say

“It will be a massive game for us; we know we will be under pressure, but we will deliver, I’m confident we’ll deliver the requested performance — and the qualification

Here’s the scenario for the game and what must be done to qualify.

    Shaktar are guaranteed qualification so long they don’t lose by a margin of more than 4 goals.

    Braga must win by four goals or more to qualify irrespective of other results.

    Arsenal MUST avoid defeat and better any result Braga get. A draw would be enough IF Braga lose.

    Partizan are Out

We played Partizan away on Match Day 2 and ran out comfortable winners with Arsh, Chammy and Squid getting on the score sheet. The stats are evenly tipped for this fixture.

    We have averaged 3.7 goals per game and never failed to score more than once in their last seven Champions League matches at the Emirates Stadium.

    Partizan have lost all five Champions League away matches and scored only one goal

    Arsenal have failed to score in four of their last five Champions League games played in December.

    No team has ever won their first three Champions League Group games and failed to qualify for the next stage.

News from Arsenal.com says TV5 is out till January which is a heavy blow as that defence needs some co-ordination and Leadership as Squid and Kozzer are not doing the best of jobs, with the latter out for six weeks(I smell trouble). Djourou slotted into the defence after kozzer was stretched off in Saturday’s win and was exceptionally calm in defence. We should be wary of the Partizan attack as they’ve scored 10 goals in their last two league games, so they might just be feeling adventurous.

So here we are, highest number of wins this season, Top of the EPL, and now Our Champions League qualification is on the line. Let’s wrap it up now as the Boys are separated from the Men.

Here’s hoping we would be back here tomorrow to read about a joyous victory and celebrate our passage into the UEFA champions League second round.

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

Faf Says So

Everton Vs Arsenal : Match Ratings

Here are the ratings for the game at goodison park where we had to survive a late scare as Fabianski was brilliant again. I can’t even remember the error against Newcastle. Enjoy

Fabianki – A wonderful performance by our second choice keeper. Was regularly tested by the Everton strike force. Made a spectacular save against Bedford in the 80th minute, Pienarr in the 83rd & Saha in the 87th.

Rating– 9

Sagna – a well placed strike by Sagna in the 35th minute to set the game on course. The goal was Sagna’s 2nd in the EPL & it was a goal to be proud of.

Rating – 7.5

Djouru – Strong in the air as he won frequent aerial balls against the Everton attack. Might have been a different scenario if Felliani was in the park.

Rating – 7

Squillaci – was out of place a couple of times as he was often out-muscled by Saha. Would have been a perfect outing if a clean sheet was kept.

Rating -6

Clichy – Always bursting forward during any attack and had the speed to cover up in defense. A fairly good outing for both wing backs.

Rating -7

Song – Always winning balls in the middle of the park. Still needs to perfect his passing technique. Was on hand to stop a saha strike in the 61st minute.

Rating -7.5

Fabregas – Captain Fantasic wasn’t at his best at distributing the balls but he was at hand for a wonderful strike to give us the two goal lead.

Rating-7.5

Wilshere- couple of good runs from the English man but was knocked about at times by the physical
Everton midfield. Was replaced half time by Denilson

Rating-6.5

Nasri – Provided the initial strike which caused the rebound that led to the Sagna goal. A good performance for the French man as he was always willing to take a run at the Everton defense. Arsenal’s best player this season according to the English commentator.

Rating-8

Chamakh – another good evening for our summer signing. Always willing to dish the ball out to the open man instead of taking the shot. Provided the assist for the second goal from Fab. Missed a sitter in the 60min.

Rating -7.5

Arshavin – another quiet outing for the little Russian. He really needs to do something about his general output to the game. Made way for rosicky in the 65th minute. He did get the assist for the opener

Rating – 6

Rosicky – put in a good shift

Rating – 5