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A Theorrific Show: Arsenal Hit Blackpool for Six

Theo Walcott

On a scorching Afternoon in North London with Fab and RVP on the bench, we sent B’pool crashing to earth with a Walcott-inspired performance. AW made three changes to the squad with Walcott,Rosicky and Song replacing Eboue,Nasri and Koscileny respectively.

The game started slowly with ‘pool having enturing forward and Arsenal playing the waiting game. Their first meaningful attack came after Song fouled a pool player and the resulting free kick wasted. If only they had a premonition of what they were in for…

13 minutes gone and our first goal arrived, a counter attack from the left with Clichy releasing Arsh who fed Chamakh, got it back, fed rosicky and got it back again before releasing Theo who slotted calmly past the goalkeeper.

The Tangerines responded with a free header from a freekick which was inches wide after poor marking from Clichy. At this stage Rosicky and Wilshere had started to pull strings and Chamakh was fouled after bursting clear with Theo flashing the resulting kick wide. It did not end there, another cross-field pass from Wilshere was cut out before an attack could emerge. Rosicky also went for goal only to see it fly wide after good build up play between himself and clichy. Blackpool resulted to long balls to get out of their own half which did them no good.

Another attack this time from the back with TV5 to Walcott to Rosicky back to Theo again who raced clear before feeding Arsh who hit it on the volley bringing out a good save from the goalkeeper. Walcott was proving a real menace to the Blackpool defence and on 24 minutes he set Chamakh free with a “blind” pass and he missed the goal by a few yards.

We were in ascendancy especially Rosicky who cut through the defence and the Lil Mozart characteristically released Chamakh was felled just “around” the 18-yard area. Penalty and a red card for Evatts the defaulting player was the result. Up stepped Arsha to convert..2 goals up with one extra man, or two if I include the fans.

You would be forgiven for thinking Cesc and RVP were on the pitch. Another arsenal attack saw Walcott weave through the defence again running through like hot knife through butter only for Chamakh to hesitate in pulling the trigger with Arsh firing wide from the follow up. B’pool were in complete disarray and kept losing the ball, it proved fatal once more as Chamakh won the ball and released Wilshere. The lad fed Walcott who spun around Nistelrooylically before bending a right footed shot into the bottom corner. 3-0… Just 39 minutes on the clock.

The carnival had just started. 2 minutes later saw another attack with Clichy releasing Chamakh whose shot was turned around by a Blackpool goalie bent on denying him his first League goal. Rosicky and Wilshere continued dominating play and the Czech captain set up Arsh, leaving just two Blackpool defenders to take on 4 Arsenal forwards. The ball fell to Walcott and he deftly laid it into the path of unsuspecting Wilshere, whose touch was a tad heavy. Blackpool were 3 goals ahead at half time in their previous game, they were on the receiving end of a similar trashing from us after 45 minutes.

The second half started the way the first ended. Just after two minutes, Rosicky released Sagna who skipped past a challenge before pulling it back for Diaby who swept home beautifully. 4-0…all kinds of things were happening, including a decent cross from Sagna! We kept up the tempo with wave after wave of attack orchestrated by master conductor Rosicky. Another attack yet again led to beautiful interplay between Sagna and Diaby. The move ended with a well timed pass for Theo, who took the ball in his stride, composed himself and bent it curled it in with his weaker foot for his first Arsenal hat-trick. Goal number 5, and still counting…

The mauling didn’t stop there, a breakaway led Arsha feeding Chamakh. Our Moroccan skied over the bar from 2 yards with the goal at his mercy Well, we were goals up, so he was easily forgiven. AW had had enough of “serious football” and decided to strut some training ground stuff. Enter Cesc (who got a rousing reception by the way) and RVP for Diaby and Arsh respectively. Walcott exited shortly after to a standing ovation and on came Vela. Chamakh who desperately search for his League’s first got what he craved when he powered a headed past the goalie from a RVP corner. His celebration was more of relief than ecstasy.

We switched gear and kept everything cool, we were still in control of possession and Wilshere almost iced the cake with a goal but fluffed his lines… Even though Cesc and RVP were on for just few minutes, they managed to show why they are the two most influential players in the team. Vela even had the time to put the ball over the heads of three players one after the other but he scoffed his shot when it mattered most.

Final whistle… 6 goals, 3 points, the least result befitting such a perfect performance!

There was really no message sent to the rest of the League as we were expected to come out with all three points. I am glad, Yes! But over the moon? No! If we can managed this sort of result against the likes of Everton, Fulham and Citeh, then I might hang myself upside down in joy. For now, it was a routine victory and we still have a lot of work to do to wrest that title back to N5.

News making rounds today suggest that Squillaci will fly into London today for his medical. While I have my reservations concerning him as a player, we need that cover at the back very badly and I’ll be more than happy to have him.

P.S:MGFC are closing in on a new player, Osagie Edet. Terms have been agreed between the involved parties and the move is only subject to a medical. Osagie, an attacking midfielder is technically gifted and we can achieve a lot more with his goals and assists. He’ll be joining a team of superstars like Escobar, iamfaf and 9jabred. Mouth-watering team innit?

From wherever you are reading, have fun.
Escobar says so!



Number 1 and 2and Given

The goalkeeping situation at our club becomes more and more confusing and frustrating with each passing day. Recent stories concerning our custodian in goal for this season have sort of robbed our backline of some stability it so badly needs. Since the curtains were drawn on last season, gooners all around the world have been clamouring for a new goalie amongst other signings. Well, we got Marouane and Koscly, two players who have proven themselves to small extent.

Arsene started the whole thing with his declaration that he had no confirmed Number 1 going into the new season. Why Le Boss will utter such and has not done much about it still beats me. Four names have been linked to the post of the top man with two fothem already at Arsenal. Our first choice goalie for next season is likely to be one of Almunia, Schwarzer, Given and Fabianksi. Yes, the same Fabianski!!!

Shay Given, 34, was snubbed by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini at the weekend and had to watch from the substitutes’ bench as Joe Hart excelled in his absence at White Hart Lane. At a point, he even had to applaud the outstanding Hart. Given had indicated earlier in the week that he was not prepared to play second fiddle to anyone at Citeh and has been given the green light on a move away from the Eastlands.

Mark Schwarzer, 37, is said to be desperate to join us after an initial bid was turned down earlier this month. He missed Fulham’s season opener with a back injury but his representatives have made it clear to the Fulham board that the Australian shot stopper wants to move across London due to the lure of Champions League footie. Our current number one Big Al meanwhile feels demoralized with the current situation. He admitted that he might look to move away from the N5 should we secure the services of either men as they will be direct competition with him for top stop, and most likely relegate him to the bench.

The last and definitely least popular of them all is our second choice Fabianski, who yesterday said that he was determined to prove himself a worthy number one. Fabianski joined from Legia Warsaw in 2007 and has not had the best of times. He is trailed by high profile errors and has practically lost the confidence of the fans. While He has a great future, I feel we currently need someone who’s going to calm the defence down and be consistent, at least more consistent than what we have now.

Almunia is not a bad keeper, he is at decent; but maybe at a club like Arsenal, we need more than just a decent goalkeeper. All the blame should not fall on Almunia alone, the outfield players ( Denilson and Diaby anyone?) should take some stick for not protecting him well enough. Take Barcelona for example, Valdes is in no way better than Al, but his team shields him well against onslaught from opposing teams.

While Given and Schwarzer are rated over him, it should be noted that they have not actually experienced what it feels like to play at a top club like Arsenal; Champions League football every season and regular contenders for the title. The pressure and demands is much more than what is obtained in Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Fulham or even Man Citeh. As such we can not really judge them on how they will perform with us. Schwarzer did not set the World Cup on fire in my opinion.

If we are to mount a successful challenge for the title this season, we will need more than just a good keeper. Koscly is suspended for the next two league games I believe, God forbid, if anything happens to Djourou, we’ll be down to bare bones at the back…in August! The new keeper if brought in will need some time to get used to his defence and vice versa and the beginning of a new season is not quite the ideal time to bed in.

Had the goalkeeper, whoever he is, signed during preseason, maybe I might be singing a different tune. But for now (this season at least), I feel the devil you know well is superior to the angel you do not know quite enough.

What do you guys think?

P.S: Nasri will today undergo minor surgery on his knee following a meniscal injury sustained during the match against Liverpool on Sunday. He will be out of action for a month. Familiar tales eh?

From wherever you are reading,have fun.
9jabred says so!


Reina horror

Everyone related to the Arsenal should be grateful to Pepe Reina for the one point we came out with from today’s game. After making probably the save of the weekend just a few minutes earlier from a brilliant Rosicky shot. The Czech captain exchanged passes with RVP, danced around a few challenges in the box and let it fly. I already stood up for what I thought was a sure goal, but funny enough the net was not rattled. How on earth did that not score? On replay, Reina actually had a hand to it, raising it just over the cross bar.

A seemingly harmless Rosicky cross saw the Spaniard clearly ridiculed after vying for the ball with Marouane which the Moroccan knocked against the post. The ball then fell to Reina, who fumbled it and actually threw it into the net himself. Handing one of your rivals a goal at the death, when a win would have boosted morale at Anfield? You simply had to feel sorry for him.

On second thought though, I think it’s just a case of fate paying Pepe back in his own currency. The bald Spaniard was at the centre of the Fabregas Barcelona shirt controversy. He actually made the announcement and clearly ridiculed Arsenal and us fans.

The match in itself was quite a tensed spectacle in which two debutants for both sides saw red. First was Joe Cole who was given his marching orders on the verge of half time for a scathing challenge on Laurent Koscielny near the byline. It looked quite nasty and “committed” as the English press would describe it but the decision on what colour of card to issue was the referee’s. Ironically, the same man who was fouled for Cole’s dismissal would follow suit after handling the ball in the 90th minute. He had been booked a minute before for a bad tackle to Kuyt’s groin. It was only normal for him to get sent off after committing a somewhat deliberate handball.

We had most of the ball, with the home team prepared to wait and hit us on the counter. Bar a TV5 shot which Reina did well to parry away, our possession amounted to nothing in the first half. The second half though saw both sides trying to take the initiative. Liverpool drew first blood when Kuyt intercepted a sloppy pass from Jackie and fed Ngog. The young Frenchman rifled a shot from a difficult angle through Almunia’s near post. Anfield went mad!!! Maybe, just maybe Al could have done a bit better; TV5 also sholdn’t have given him that sort of space. Our late equalizer came courtesy of the Reina show, and in a week when rumours are rife about us signing a new keeper, Al did little to build Arsene’s confidence in him.

I need to touch on the few positives I took from this game. While there is definitely room for improvement, Koscielny did not look out place against the big boys. He looked confident and his touches were assured. The red card aside, he had a good game. Another good thing was a great game from Rosicky. Mozart, as he’s fondly called changed our approach completely and seemed to bring life into our attack.

Some negatives though, Nasri bottled up AGAIN. He’s really inconsistent and needs to step up in big games. He seemed to play with the handbrakes and was sometimes too careful to open up the Liverpool defence. A complete opposite of Rosicky! Arsha also looked disinterested in the whole show. His passes were wayward and tired. He generally looked unfit. Theo still needs to improve his crossing. Yeah, it was just one chance, but we need to make these chances count. Our bench was a funny one with no natural centre back present. What would Arsene have done had Koscly gone down under the Cole challenge? Bring on a half fit Song? Lastly, if we think Diaby is our back up for Song in the defensive midfield position, then we are not serious about winning the title.

So, by and large, our first weekend ends in a draw, a lucky one for that matter but it’s all good. You can not rate a draw at Anfield as a disaster, can you? Forget the Chelsea win and an almost certain Man United win, it’s just the beginning of the race. As the Nigerian will say, NO SHAKING!!!

From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!

Monsieur, are you really ambitious?

Le Boss

Now this is no longer funny. We have lost two consecutive games against teams we would normally beat. The more annoying fact is that we took the lead in both matches. But due to Arsene’s insistence on fielding an incompetent goalkeeper, we got nothing from both. Throughout last week there were many interviews, many opinions from ex-players, pundits and even fans on what went wrong this season. We have gone for competing for the league title in March to hoping for 3rd place in May. In all sincerity, we have no one to blame for our misfortunes…not even injuries!

On the back of a horrible performance at Wigan, all Fabianski got was a pat in the back from Arsene. Someone just screwed up big time and you console him? Maybe a different approach was taken behind closed doors but I really doubt it. Wenger protects these players, always reminding us of their ages. For Christ’s sakes Arsene, these are men! No one earns £80k a week for being a kid. They are paid to do a job, highly paid for that matter and yet every time you remind us of their incompetence. Not every player in this team is going to make it and you know it!

Yesterday, we were up against a team that knew our weakness…or correct that, every team knows what Fabianski is all about, Porto anyone? So what was their plan? According to their manager, Big Sam

“We know Arsenal’s weakness is balls into the box, and certainly their goalkeeper of late. Yes, we targeted Fabianski. We’ve seen under pressure his handling is a little suspect”

What other confirmation do you need Arsene?

Of all the players out there yesterday, only Robin looked like doing anything reasonable but like Pedro of Le Grove rightly wrote, his return proved that we still wouldn’t have won the league even with him staying fit this season simply because our problems are deeper than having a great striker on the pitch. Imagine Fish Head “smiling” after almost slicing the ball into his own net. Actually, they scored their second goal from the resulting corner. The same player managed to drop two clangers in succession: first, looking up on the halfway line and passing straight to Martin Olsson. He then had a chance to redeem himself when he won back possession but instead booted his clearance straight at another Blackburn player. That’s a story on its own.

Samir and Abou were totally missing yesterday. No fight, no creativity, no spirit. And Theo was…simply Theo, but to be frank he had poor service from those two men I mentioned earlier. Sol had a decent game but Carlito was completely missing. He’s been missing games this season due to his commitments to the Mexican cause but that lad needs to take his chances whenever they come. He never looked the part for a minute plus he seems to have developed this habit for missing easy chances.

We scored from a set piece and conceded two from set pieces too. Our game was generally patchy, no rhythm, no flow, no sense of urgency at all. I feel bad for the over 3000 fans that made the trip up M6. So we saw Arsene stomp off down the tunnel after the game and were expecting some very strong reaction but hell no! What did we get? Same old story…

“There was no purpose to play the ball from the Blackburn players…I think he(Fabianski) had a good game. It should affect the confidence of the referee…at the moment, since we are not in the race anymore, something is gone in the belief”.

Am I the only one who is tired of all these boring repeated statements? It’s called tactics monsieur. The same reason the whole world is praising Mourinho as a genius. Arsene it is high time you sat down with these players(and hopefully the new ones you’ll buy), look them in the eye and tell them the truth. Take a cue from Sir Alex’s transformation of Nani from the inefficient trickster to the player every United fan worships. I personally think it’s time the hairdryers are brought out…Alex could lend you some, Arsene now that you both are pals.

This is to hoping we get a goalless draw against Fulham in our last game, this season. At least we secure 3rd place and won’t have to bother about losing after taking the lead…because nowadays,with Arsenal, impossibility is nothing!

Your thoughts?

From wherever you are reading, have fun.

9jabred says so!