They are here again, the preposterous International friendlies, FIFA’s way of getting revenues for itself in the name of football. That said, it comes with its ups and downs. The downs being the risk of injuries to players and fatigue on returning to their parent clubs. And then again times like this gives me the opportunity to talk on some important things. This time we are taking a look at the striker situation at Arsenal. I have been waiting to write this piece ever since news broke of Robin Van Persie back in training.
Music to our ears right? Then came Bendtner’s rant, about wanting to leave and accessing his options if he didn’t get much playing which at first I thought was another misquote from the press until it was confirmed he did say it. Say what? This is someone who has seen strikers better than him leave the club, got a significant pay rise and a season later despite injuries and not being fully fit he goes out and says something like that. What a doughnut!!!
For the first time in a long while we actually have competition for places up front and in the middle of the park and the thought of having better squad depth than United and Chelski is nothing short of pure excitement. When Chamakh was signed in the summer I wondered how Arsene Wenger was going to play this out. The 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 only allows for only one proper striker flanked by two attacking midfielders or in front of three attacking midfielders meaning somebody will have to play the role of back up striker. Bummer!!! Like we needed any more disgruntled player(s) .
I for one welcome that, we need more competition for places especially as injuries have become a convenient excuse for us over time and if a player is not happy at playing second fiddle or getting subbed a lot he should pull his socks up and win a place in the starting XI. Let’s look at the options available to us and reasons why who should start and who should accept the role of back up.
ROBIN VAN PERSIE
Everyone’s favorite to lead the attack, the injury prone Dutch forward blessed with Van Basten like technique (a little exaggeration here) , quick feet, free kick specialist and a strong left foot. The 26 year old has come of age in recent times, and even though his career has been blighted by injuries, he still puts in a more than solid shift when called upon.
Highly talented and could easily walk into any of Europe’s elite clubs not only is he one of Holland’s key players, he is also vice captain at Arsenal which says a lot about his influence on younger players and the authority he commands in the dressing room. We all hope he could stay fit from now till seasons end to help with the title push. To be honest if he can’t do that, I would say we cash in on him now and buy someone like him that can stay fit and bang in the goals we need.
My Opinion : When fit, he’ll definitely start either upfront flanked by Arshavin and Theo or on the Left of a 4-3-3 formation with Chamakh in the middle and Theo on the right, or a 4-4-2 formation partnering Chamakh/Nikky B. Definite starter.
Less than 20 games in and yet some people are still not convinced about our Moroccan forward. Beats me myself. 8 goals and 6 assists so far, what more can you ask for? Considering the fact that its just his first season and as Arsene likes to point out “it takes 6 months for a new player to adjust” , Cham29 has done it in less than 3 months and yet some fans complain! Why not try put on boots and a jersey and replicate his form?
Granted, he drifts to the wings a lot but let’s not forget his high work rate which shows hunger and determination. Against Everton, he held up play beautifully and defended well at set pieces. He might not have Tevez’s work rate or speed, but he does his best which as of now is paying dividends and making him a fans favourite. If he was signed as back up, AW must have a rethink, now seeing as his 8 goals so far is just 8 shy of his overall tally for Bordeaux last season.
My Opinion :Should start in away and important games ahead of Nikky B due to his experience and goals tally so far, and the quiet way he goes about doing his work. In whatever formation he’ll be back-up to RVP unless in a 4-2-3-1 formation
Ah! The cocky Dane who I like personally but has not lived up to his personal billing of a great striker as he called himself. Caught by the media with his pants down after a club party, argued and came to blows with former strike partner Adebarndoor and survived a car accident last year. Lotza issues eh? His goal tally may not be superb but its his knack for scoring crucial goals (Burnley and Hull anyone?). His confidence never wanes. He’s often complained about wanting to play as a centre forward and not on the wings, that looked likely to happen after the sale of Eduardo only for injuries to strike. In his and RVP’s absence, Cham29 has banged in goals and assists and is no longer looking like a back up. Instead of ranting and going to the press I think he should be fit first and work harder in training. Arsene’s response to his complains was that “he’s going nowhere and he’s an integral part of the squad. Now he has to prove it.
My Opinion : 3 goals so far this season doesn’t make him an automatic starter, he’s sure to find himself on the bench more than on the field but nonetheless he’s a great option from the bench and knowing AW, Nikky B will get his fair share of games this season.
Let’s pray all of our 16 players come out unscathed today and tomorrow; especially Gibbs and Theo who I’d be keeping an eye on at Wembley). By the way, 9jabred’s rooting for France tonight, he’s got this affinity for anything French simply because of Thierry Henry. Now, we’ve got Samir, Clichy and Sagna. Great lads eh?
Let’s see which of us is smiling at the end of the game.
Up next for us, is NOTHINGham HotSpuds. They have nothing, let’s show them what we have got.
That’s it for today, I’m off to a date.
From wherever you’re reading this have fun
Escobar’s gonna have a ball
So, the plan for this weekend is to run away from work on Sunday so I can watch Arsenal slump to their 3rd defeat of the season?!?! It does not really sound like a good plan, does it? Well,considering the fact that I will probably get a few shots of vodka in my system and a few barbecued drumsticks too,you will have to forgive me for thinking its a fair trade.
Anyways,forgive me for sounding so pessimistic about our chances this weekend but Man-Shitty’s line-up has looked more and more impressive over the years; and,would you believe it, this period has marked our regressive run of results there.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, I mean we welcome back the likes of Captain Cesc, Theo, and erm…the world’s best striker, Nikky B. Koscielny is a no show, same for TV5 and our favourite waiter (thank goodness). Sagna is back though, so our squad has been bolstered a bit save for the loss of Lil Jackie.
In truth, if we play like we did against Chelski and we manage to shackle Tevez and Silva, we do stand a chance. Let us hope Fabianski has a good game, no flappy hands. We cannot afford any slip-ups at the back because we’ll be duly punished. The midfield will have to bring its A-game because that is where this game will be won or lost. A midfield of Cesc, Song and Abou (simply for the physical nature of this game) will do the trick. Chamakh is a definite starter upfront and Nasri should flank him on the right. I’m undecided on who to choose, Rosicky or Arsha. We’ll have very few opportunities tomorrow, and Arsha is an asset in such matches. But Rosicky has been in inspired form of late, so I’m okay with any of them. A bench of Denilson, Theo, Eboue, Vela, and Nikky B will be just fine.
I do hope we come away from this encounter without anymore broken bones what with ‘drop kick’ De Jong. Whichever way though, this should make for a pretty good game, and I can’t wait for it to get started.
Yes if you do drink, I suggest you stock up from today, such that by the time the game ends,you’ll be too drunk to decipher red and white from sky blue and white. I hear Adebarndoor might get a chance to play us after getting a hattrick against some shite team over the week. Great news if he plays as it only reduce our number of worries up front. I’m on the look for how many offsides he’ll have accumulated before half time.
So, after a week dominated by silly Wazza’s transfer that never was, this will be a welcome doze of actual soccer. Man City have got money…in abundance, but we’ve got style and finesse in excess.
C’mon peeps, WE ARE THE ARSENAL, let’s show those silly billionaires our new steez!
From wherever you’ll watch and evening, just enjoy yourself.
Ita says so!
Hiya gooners, how good has this week been? Very, i guess. The international break has no doubt made it a bit tougher to come up with regular Arsenal stuff, but no matter how dull things are, the word Arsenal will always attract headlines. Most of our players flew to help their countries in the the qualifying campaigns. The likes of Nasri, Sagna and Clichy were on duty for France and lost to Belarus over the weekend. Only God knows when that team will get it acts right and start winning again. Cesc and Theo were on winning sides though, while the likes of Van Persie, Bendtner and Ramsey, who is recovering from a broken leg, did not participate in any of their national team’s engagements.
Speaking of broken legs, Ryan Shawcross, remember him? the “committed” dude form Stoke City who broke Ramsey’s legs, Yes! him. He has accused Le Boss of “having a personal vendetta against him”. That guy needs to give me a bit of what he’s been sniffing because he certainly should not have his voice heard on matters concerning tackles. Granted, Arsene likened the way Shawcross and fellow Stoke player Robert Huth played against the Spuds to playing a rugby game but I am pretty sure anyone who saw that game will agree with Arsene’s assessment. They practically took out spuds goalie Gomes from the game and still claim they did not go near him. He should be asked one question though; hey mate, did you go near Ramsey? Hindsight still, you could bet his answer would suggest the opposite.
There is a certain man who lost everything after he left Arsenal, i mean everything apart from money obviously. His place in football, the goals, the dance and the media. He has realized this and understands that the only way the world will listen to what he says or does is if it has to do with the Arsenal. The City player that made headlines after he was photographed in an Arsenal shirt, the same man who was in the news for inciting Arsenal fans after his goal, the same dude who never stops talking about what happened to him at Arsenal. “Adebarndoor” is at it again, but this time his comments on border on the heights of lunacy and plain stupidity.
The latest of his crap is the suggestion that Shitty will surpass Arsenal if they win ten straight games. First, it will never happen, Citeh will never gain that level of consistency; even Man United and Chelsea will struggle to do this. Even it does happen, the mere fact that they win ten games in a row does not rank them on par with Arsenal not to talk of rating them above us. Ade needs to shut it and concentrate on getting into his club’s starting eleven rather than moan about what Arsenal can and can not.
Talking about people who need to keep quiet, i think it’s about time Cesc put the issues of the summer behind him and concentrated on winning leading our team’s assault for the League title. Even after the transfer window ended, Cesc is still reported as speaking to journalists on how he was “made” to stay…more like forced to stay.
“Barcelona did all they could to sign me, but Arsenal told me I had to stay, that there was no way they were going to let me go….in the end I had to stay, but the contents of my conversation with (manager) Arsene Wenger will remain private.”
We know this Cesc, we know we begged you, we know Arsene probably asked for one more season but you do not have to rub it in our faces. All this talk of Barca being your future should stop, at least for now for the sake of this team. We need to get our acts together and do away with any form of distraction.
Meanwhile, reports today indicate that Van Persie’s ankle injury has proved worse than first feared and he has now been ruled out until at least the middle of October. Bad news for us right? Nah not quite, we are used to him now.
More seriously though, England’s game tonight saw our man of the season so far Theo Walcott stretchered off with what looked like a terrible ankle injury. He’s been rushed to hospital for x-rays but beleive you me, it does not look good.
Here we go again, our injury carnival begins:RVP, Nasri, Nikky B, Denilson, and now Theo. The club is cursed on the injury front aren’t we? Let’s just hope it’s not as serious as it looks…fingers crossed it just one of those short term injuries.
From wherever you are reading, inspite of the bad news, have fun still.
9jabred says so!
Yeah, I know we did not lose yesterday but since when have I been expected to cheer a home draw to Man Citeh? We are supposedly head and shoulders above them and that should be indicated in the final score. It’s been quite a while since I celebrated an Arsenal win, close to a month now and I was expecting us to thump those northern Chavs yesterday but what did I get? An half-hearted, disjointed, uninterested attitude from the lads. Ninety eight minutes of boring football, something we all (Arsene inclusive) are not used to. Bar the Barca game in which we were over run by an inspired midget, our previous losses saw us create more chances than we did yesterday.
Manchester City have not beaten us at home since the 3-2 at Highbury on 4 October 1975. Of the players that played yesterday, only Sol Campbell was even alive then. Now that’s one hell of a record. Three former gunners were returning home (even though PV4 never played for us at the Ems) and were expecting varying responses.
PV4 and Kolo were heroes at this great club till the last moment with the former’s last kick giving us our latest silverware (the 2005 FA Cup) till date. Kolo was at the heart of our defence for a long time; Ade was loved by all gooners until he began to lose it, until he started showing his disgusting side. He’s arguably talented but hell his attitude stinks!!! He demonstrated that last year in the first leg with his assault on Cesc, Song and even RVP and when he scored, he ran the whole length of the stadium just to celebrate in front of the traveling gooners.
We needed to teach him a lesson and with Song and RVP back in the starting line up, I was confident going into this one. Fabianski kept his place in goal because Almunia is injured, and I must confess I really doubt it, maybe Wenger’s finally dropped him. Fish head and Sol continued in centre defence.
We bossed possession from the start, that’s probably obvious anyway. City were doing a decent job of getting tackles in and harrying the our players but we kept passing the ball around without getting anything beyond the Citeh defence. Song was doing a fantastic job of silencing an ineffective Vieira in midfield and Sagna did enough to frustrate Bellamy on the left for the visitors.
Thank goodness Tevez and Johnson rarely had a sniff at our goal as we had an unassertive man in goal. We shouldn’t really be bothered about their performance, should we? Our game left a lot to be desired, our defence was okay but the lack of creativity in midfield was obvious. Diaby kept wasting possession and Nasri for all his body movements had no end product. Only Song looked like creating something. Theo was his usual self, all work little result; same with Rosicky. RVP tried his best to create chances for his mates but they were just not on the same wavelength.
The match was quite dull and stayed that way until that man came in, spirits were lifted on his introduction. With some strange hair-do on, Ade replaced a tired Vieira to probably the most deafening boos heard at the Ems. The fact that PV4 was applauded off the pitch made it more painful. He immediately added a new dimension to their game and tried his best to impress but he had no chance on goal whatsoever.
Perhaps the closest we came to a goal was when a Diaby shot was punched away by Given who hurt himself in the process. He’ll now miss the rest of the season and they’ll miss him a lot. He’s got at least 10 points for Citeh this season and that’s the calibre of goalkeepers that should wear the white and red of this great club, not those who make high profile errors every now and then. Another rare moment of interest was when Eboue won a freekick and Robin stepped up. Instead of the customary powered drive, he cleverly clipped it over the wall and Nielsen, on for Given wasn’t even close to getting there. It would have been some goal had it gone in.
The last three of the 8 minutes of added time witnessed some sort of urgency from Arsenal but it was too late. Citeh were satisfied with a point and defended against an Arsenal goal which in truth never looked like coming.
So in his pre match conference, Arsene implored fans not to boo Ade. I guess he must have been drinking something when he said that. I appreciated the boos but when I think the fans went too far when they brought up the issues of the Nations Cup shooting. Some chants suggested he should have died in that bus but I think that’s really inhumane. We are the Arsenal and should try to give everyone some respect…including our enemies.
3rd place looks assured now and no matter what you think it’s been an evidence of our season’s efforts. We still need one point though for it to be mathematically assured but one would expect us to get it from games against B’burn and Fulham or are there still any surprises left for us?
Our aspirations are well and truly (and mathematically) over now, we can only hope for a better season next year. And need I add, it’s laughable that for all their investment, Citeh have an untested man as second choice goalie! It’s just two weeks left gooners, enjoy them to the fullest…no matter the results.
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!