Blog Archives

AC Milan vs Arsenal : Champions League Preview

Good day to you wherever you’re reading from, hope you painted the town red yesterday as the occasion called for it? Or did you spend it alone at home and pretend to be having an amazing time? Well if you did the latter, today presents you with the chance to do the former(get it?).

MATCH PREVIEW……

The Champions league is back and in full effect and like they say, this is where it gets real and where champions are made. We travel to Italy to play Milan in a stadium where we boast a 100% record, two wins, 7 goals scored and 1 goal conceded so on paper we should expect another win right? Let’s go on and get it.

Arsene Wenger has issued a rallying call that we must get away goalS not just one as it will put us firmly in the driving seat to progress. Even Ramsey says we should shoot on sight and who can blame him? He did that with his first touch on Saturday and he found the net besides Abbiati(milan GK) is the Italian Almunia/De Gea. I fancy an Arteta goal (so long its not from a dead ball situation) and the pace of Walcott & Oxlade to trouble their full backs.

AC Milan are not to be taken lightly, do so and suffer, they sit atop the Serie A and are in good form despite the loss to Lazio a few weeks back and its going to take a lot to leave the San Siro with the perfect result. Like Arsenal, they came back from a goal down to win against Udinese so trust me, on our toes is how we must be the entire 90.

TEAM NEWS……

ARSENAL
Arsenal are going to be unchanged from the squad that went to sunderland with the only changes coming to the first XI, the game comes too soon for Gervinho but Gibbs is likely to return. Mertesacker is out for a month if you believe reports and Ramsey or Arshavin might themselves starting after the impact they had off the bench. This is how I would line up….

Szczesny-Sagna-Vermaelen-Koscielny-Gibbs-Song-Arteta-Arshavin-Oxlade-Walcott-RVP

Strange right? You were expecting to see Ramsey/Rosicky but for once I’d love to see Arshavin start in the hole behind RVP not out on the wings and he can regularly switch with Oxlade/Theo.

MILAN
They welcome Boateng & Pato back into the team after early reports that they would miss out through injury, Ibrahimovich should start as his ban is a domestic one. So expect a full strength milan side.

Prediction : Milan 1 – 2 Arsenal

Well there you have it, see you back here tomorrow and hopefully we’ll have great news to share. COYG.

Escobar

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Wilshere ‘Out For Season’ | Henry & Co Fit |Chamakh Back Early

Before you get tacchycardia at the first 4 words of the heading, notice the ‘ ‘ I put. That’s what we’ve been told to expect, worst case scenario. Wilshere has gone from being a medical miracle that was ready to return as early as February 4 to ‘setback, out for 6 weeks(possibly the entire season?). There goes Wenger’s big plan to announce Wilshere as a ‘new signing’ come February 1 when the window shuts down.

Not going to go on about mismanagement of youth and how no replacement has been(will be) brought in, its a huge blow(not like we’re chasing the title) but his return would have given the team needed lift and Ramsey in particular would be delighted as it means needed rest. Not going to happen now….well soon.

Positive news now and Henry, Arteta, Coquelin are fit and in the squad to face Aston Villa, Sagna too is but a little short on match fitness and might just about make the bench. Gibbs on the other hand should be ready by monday. Diaby? From ready in 10 days to ‘God knows when’. Oh well, good to see we’re following in the trend we’ve been for the last 5 years or so.

If you don’t like Chamakh, look away now. His national team of Morocco have been eliminated from the AFCON which probably had Wenger excited and foaming from the mouth from pure delight knowing the World’s best striker is coming back earlier than planned(he managed 1 appearance 0 goals & assists). Will AW push to have him back before the last group game like Newcastle are doing with Dembas Ba & Cisse?

To the Villa game, asides Wilshere, Santos & Diaby, almost everyone is fit, AW has hinted AOC could play centrally for us and not on the wings, I’d love that personally, anything to give Ramsey a rest. So I expect the team to look something like this.

Szczesny-Yennaris-Mertesacker-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Coquelin-Arteta-Rosicky-AOC-Walcott-RVP

I’m going with 3-1 in favor of the Arsenal. No upsets please. Hope you all enjoy the game & hopefully TH14 bags another goal.

Escobar

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Wilshere ‘Out For Season’ | Henry & Co Fit |Chamakh Back Early

Before you get tacchycardia at the first 4 words of the heading, notice the ‘ ‘ I put. That’s what we’ve been told to expect, worst case scenario. Wilshere has gone from being a medical miracle that was ready to return as early as February 4 to ‘setback, out for 6 weeks(possibly the entire season?). There goes Wenger’s big plan to announce Wilshere as a ‘new signing’ come February 1 when the window shuts down.

Not going to go on about mismanagement of youth and how no replacement has been(will be) brought in, its a huge blow(not like we’re chasing the title) but his return would have given the team needed lift and Ramsey in particular would be delighted as it means needed rest. Not going to happen now….well soon.

Positive news now and Henry, Arteta, Coquelin are fit and in the squad to face Aston Villa, Sagna too is but a little short on match fitness and might just about make the bench. Gibbs on the other hand should be ready by monday. Diaby? From ready in 10 days to ‘God knows when’. Oh well, good to see we’re following in the trend we’ve been for the last 5 years or so.

If you don’t like Chamakh, look away now. His national team of Morocco have been eliminated from the AFCON which probably had Wenger excited and foaming from the mouth from pure delight knowing the World’s best striker is coming back earlier than planned(he managed 1 appearance 0 goals & assists). Will AW push to have him back before the last group game like Newcastle are doing with Dembas Ba & Cisse?

To the Villa game, asides Wilshere, Santos & Diaby, almost everyone is fit, AW has hinted AOC could play centrally for us and not on the wings, I’d love that personally, anything to give Ramsey a rest. So I expect the team to look something like this.

Szczesny-Yennaris-Mertesacker-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Coquelin-Arteta-Rosicky-AOC-Walcott-RVP

I’m going with 3-1 in favor of the Arsenal. No upsets please. Hope you all enjoy the game & hopefully TH14 bags another goal.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

FairyTale Return As Henry Scores On Second Debut To Send Arsenal Through | Coquelin Injured

Wearing the number 12 jersey, 12 minutes before the end of his second debut, he scores his 12th goal against Leeds in the year 2012, ladies and gentlemen, Thierry Henry, is back. As someone said, “The first player to score inside the Emirates while he’s celebrating outside it(in reference to his statue)”

With all the media hysteria of Henry’s homecoming surrounding the game, one would forgive Leeds for feeling hard done by as the fixture was supposed to be about us & them and a possible cupset, and with the way they started out you could see they didn’t come to be rolled over.

Mixing youth and experience, Wenger went for a formation of Szczesny-Coquelin-Miquel-Squillaci-Koscielny-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Arshavin-AOC-Chamakh. The first half was the closest you’ll get to a bore fest as chances were few and far between both teams, Ramsey and Arshavin at the heart of most of the attacking which just lacked the bite typified by an Arsenal team.

AOC was having a quiet game just like the Leeds attack which found Song & Arteta too much to handle in front of the defense. After just 20minutes, Coquelin picked up an injury and had to be substituted for Yennaris. The first half ended like it started with zero shots on target for both teams.

Second Half
Resisting the urge to make changes, the same team resurfaced and started to play like they really wanted it, AOC took it on himself and collected a pass on the left and ran at the defense before unleashing a stinging drive. That wasn’t the end, he went on another mazy run down the other end but missed the target.

Ramsey and Arteta kept feeding the Ox with passes as Chamakh continued to be pretty much inactive in the game and this time, the young englishman hit another rasping drive which was turned round the post for a corner.

AW had seen enough and called on club legend(former number 14) and current number 14(Walcott) to replace Oxo & Chamakh(I wanted Ramsey & Arshavin to go off as they had been average). In less than 10 seconds Henry had touched the ball but he was offside. But not to worry, the script had been written to perfection, Song slipped him a delightful pass, he took one touch, dropped his shoulder & bent it calmly past the goalkeeper… Vintage Henry, the celebration that ensued said it all, running and shouting and beating his chest before going to embrace AW & celebrate with the lads.

Leeds threatened to score but Chesney pulled off a great save to ensure no other mortal graced the same scoresheet as Henry. In what proved to be a poor performance, no one would remember as Henry grabbed the spotlight as he had done all week. I say let’s sign him till the end of the season.

We’ll leave the review of the poor performance for another time but credit to Yennaris who came on for Coquelin and showed pace, heart & desire, would get a run in the first team till Sagna is fit.

Well there you have it, we face Aston Villa in a couple of weeks at the grove, but before then, its Swansea on sunday. Do have a great day, see you in the comments. Cheers

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Olympiakos vs Arsenal : Fringe Players & Youngsters To Get Their Chance + Transfer Rumors

Don’t let the heading fool you, despite securing qualification as group winners last round, Wenger has said he still intends to finish strongly meaning expect to see a few first team players mixed with fringe players and youngsters.

The likes of RVP, Walcott, Ramsey, Song are definitely going to be rested as they are close to burning out having played a large chunk of the season so far. Frimpong(who is going out on loan in January), AOC, Coquelin, Park, Chamakh are going to play.

Predicted Line Up : Fabianski-Djourou-Squillaci-Miquel-Santos-Frimpong-Coquelin-Benayoun-AOC-Arshavin-Chamakh

Transfer News + Player News
Till the transfer window opens, we’ll be bringing you players with whom we’re being linked, and over the weekend, its reported that we’re going for Alex Pato of Milan, with a deal of 25M + Arshavin doing the rounds. Also Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas has been added to the list of those we’re after.

Like most gooners, I’d rather we get a cheap player seeing as its january and quality players are rarely available, so let’s get Podolski as he can do the job on his own or play together with RVP. He won’t require any work permit and he’s not Euro tied.

Player News
Wenger confirmed Diaby has had a setback and is out again, for how long, we don’t know. Why is Diaby still an Arsenal player? I’ll wait for an answer.

Are there still any Arteta doubters here? I’ll have you know he’s averaging the most passes per game in the whole of the premiership and along with Ramsey(4th) they continue to boast impressive percentages(Ramsey had 95% pass completion on Saturday).

Szczesny continues to make himself one of the favorite Arsenal players to the fans, as if being a fantastic goalkeeper with immovable confidence was not enough, at the end of the Wigan game, he went over to the away fans, put his hand to his lips in a gesture to make them mute, then he started a chant that had to do with “Arsenal simply being the best”

Do have a lovely day. Cheers

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Koscielny Set For Right Back + Sunderland Preview

Move Over International football, Welcome back EPL(and the remaining leagues of lesser importance). A lot happened over the last 14 days, with countries qualifying for their respective 2012 tournaments, lots of goals, drama, heartbreak(my country Nigeria losing out on ACN qualification….gutted), oh Wayne Rooney’s moment of madness will see him miss the group stages of Euro 12.

Back to important business, looks like the injuries are easing up on the lads, Koscielny, Djourou and the french abomination(a bit extreme I know) who must not be named are all back in training. Which believe it or not is good news as it means Song gets to move back into his natural role even if it means I won’t get to see Coquelin for a while.

AW reckons Sagna’s injury is no cause for alarm as he trusts the mighty Jenkinson (who by the way is better than Dani Alves + Phillip Lahm) to replace the frenchman. He then went further by saying Koscielny could do the job is superman Jenko fails to make the grade or Djourou or Andre Santos. Good, no need to worry.

We welcome Sunderland to the Grove on Sunday and the lineup might not see much change, if at all the trio of Koscielny, Jenkinson coming in for Coquelin and Sagna. I expect the same players in attack and midfield. Good news is Bendtner won’t be playing as EPL rules prevent such. Let’s hope the lads can do well.

Have a great day.

Escobar

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Tottenham vs Arsenal : The Player Ratings

“Our little brother, all grown up” was the tweet I sent as the final whistle went inside the Lane. What used to be our stomping ground has now become a no-go-zone for us. From certain 3 points to not even certain of one point.

AW sprung a surprise by starting Coquelin in one of the few changes to the squad that saw Walcott, Gibbs and Gervinho return. Below are the player ratings.

Szczesny8
Where would we be on the log without this 21 year old with Bulletproof confidence? Someone said in the championship and I agree. He was a beast. Doesn’t deserve to be at Arsenal on this form

Sagna 5
Was asleep for the opening goal as he did nothing to prevent van der vaart getting an easy goal.

Mertesacker 6
Handled the threat of Adebayor well, played the offside trap to perfection on every occasion. Decent game

Song7.5
High rating because of the surging run in the build up to the goal. The assist made him look like a winger. Also immense at the back and made sure Defoe had a frustrating afternoon.

Gibbs5.5
Still looks suspect when defending. Left the defence exposed in the first half. Got better as the game wore on but was no where when Walker scored.

Coquelin7.5
This kid had an old man’s performance, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was 28. Absolute beast in the middle of the park. Won the ball repeatedly, broke down attacks and passed well.

Arteta5.5
Poor signing so far. I don’t know what to blame, he hasn’t changed us in anyway. My only prayer is he gets better.

Ramsey5
Yes he scored, yes he gave us a lifeline to build upon but my oh my was he poor. One would think he was playing with a blindfold on. Gave away the ball repeatedly.

Walcott5
Poor. Abject. Invisible(watch out, I’ll repeat these words with Gervinho). Had two efforts on goal and did nothing after. Did not defend and was rightly subbed off. Capello needs to stop coming to watch him. He never plays well when that happens.

Gervinho4
Poor Abject. Invisible. Sh*t. I can continue. How he lasted longer than he did on the pitch is beyond me.

Van Persie6
Continues to suffer alone upfront. Lack of proper service makes him look like Chamakh on occasions. At this rate forget him signing a new deal.

SUBSTITUTES

Jenkinson3

Benayoun3

Arshavin3

Another poor weekend. How many more? How low are we gonna sink before changes occur?? Surely Wenger must go? Or buy new players? Let’s know how you feel in the comments.

Escobar

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Arsenal vs Shrewsbury : Carling Cup Preview, AOC & Miyaichi Set For Debuts

If there were any perfect game for the club to use as a springboard to better performances, this is it right here. Nothing less than a 3-0 scoreline or 3 goals difference is expected. This is not a league game so hopefully the league form is not carried into the game.

Not the best of mornings for me, it rained all night and it still is meaning I’m stuck at home till it stops and then to make it worse, my favorite rapper’s(J.Cole) album leaked a week before its original date(damn! Cole World) but I trust Arsenal to make that all right against the boys from league two.

Team News
AW confirmed yesterday that there’s going to be first starts for summer signings AOC, Ryo Miyaichi and Park Chu Yung, but its not going to be a weak squad as the likes of Koscielny, Mertesacker , Chamakh, Gibbs are in it.

If anything, I’m excited to finally watch AOC play, he’s our biggest signing this summer in terms of fees and he’s been in electric form for the England U21’s bagging 6 assists in 2 games, fancy he could grab a couple again tonight.

Shrewsbury should be a walkover but don’t expect them to come to the Emirates and fold, as they are a good footballing side who move the ball well and make use of their fast & exciting wingers. Also, striker Marvin Morgan has already scored 7 league goals this season so expecting him to be looking for more.

Possible Line Up : Fabianski-Gibbs-Djourou-Miquel-Jenkinson-Coquelin-Frimpong-Benayoun-AOC-Park-Ryo-

Let us no what you think the scoreline would be. See you in the comments.

Escobar

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