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.
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
Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs
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.
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.
Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs
Despite the fact that Arsenal has caused me untold suffering this past few weeks, I feel even sadder when I don’t have the opportunity of watching us play. The International break is on us and I have mixed feelings about waiting almost 11 days before our next fixture. I will have to endure two weeks of abuse, two weeks of teasing from my Arsenal-hating pals on my team’s dismal performances. However, the break also gives most of our injured players enough time to recover. There are 14 gunners representing their countries in different parts of the world and you trust us to bring us any news concerning them.
So I came across this news article about a player we could have signed. Not that it’s the first episode of a “players Arsenal almost signed” series which features the likes of C. Ronaldo, Essien, Drogba, and Ibrahimovic; but I’m miffed as this particular player would have arguably made a difference in any Arsenal side. Chelsea’s current number one, Petr Cech revealed yesterday that we missed the chance to sign him in 2002 because the Arsenal scouts though he was not good enough for the Premier League.
“Before I went to Rennes I was watched by Arsenal but… at the last minute I think the person who was the chief scout at Arsenal didn’t think I was good enough for the English league. So in the end it didn’t happen”
You would wonder what the scouts were thinking when they recommended jokers, Almunia and Fabianski as “good enough” for the League while a world class guardian did not make the grades.
Meanwhile, Van Persie seems to share my belief that for all of Barcelona’s artistry and efficiency, their attitude towards opponents stinks. This current Barcelona team are a beauty to watch, probably to ever play the game, but the way they react to defeats, tackles or referee decisions against them is disappointing. In RVP’s words,
“…the Barcelona players tend to nag about everything that happens on the pitch. I was a bit disappointed with that…Barcelona are still a fantastic team, but they should really stop nagging and complaining that much. That’s becoming extremely annoying on the pitch.”
One only needs to look at their part in Van Persie’s sending off during our game at the Camp Nou, or the defeat at home against Inter Milan for evidence of this.
Just when we thought we could heave a sigh of relief over our injury worries, Nikky Bendtner has reportedly sustained an ankle injury in training. Let’s hope it’s not something that will put him out for more than a week.
Talking injuries, it feels good to have Aaron Ramsey back in the side and he could have made the best of comebacks had he managed to convert his chance against WBA. He feels like a new signing, a lot better than Denilson, more mature and slightly better than Wilshere in my opinion and a possible replacement for Cesc when the latter decides to go “home”. He’ll be involved in the game between Wales and England and it will be interesting to see how far he’s gone with his recovery and how he performs when he comes up against Wilshere.
Most gooners seem to believe that we have an easier run in than Man United and as such we should win the title, but need I remind you that last season, we had our easiest run in in years. Our next 9 games this term are: Blackburn (H), Blackpool (A), L’pool (H), Spuds (A), Bolton (A), Man United (H), Stoke (A), Villa (H), Fulham (A). Without any doubt, we played relatively smaller teams last season, but we all know how that went.
We need to take this games one at a time and see how far that takes us. This team hasn’t been playing the best football of late and it will take quite some character to put the disappointments of this campaign behind us and wrestle the title back to North London.
We can win the title, definitely, but even though I’m as optimistic as gooners come, I just have this doubt we’ll choke AGAIN. I hope and pray I’m wrong. 2nd place in the League is an improvement from last season though, that’s if we ignore what might have been.
However, to all Chelsea fans thinking we’ll finish below them, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN… at least not this season.
Enjoy the Interlull gooners, we have a week and a half before the pressure returns.
Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs
After the first 45 minutes of the game against Spurs, I was already thinking of what the title of my post match thoughts would be. I was immersed in how I would praise Arsene as the best manager this club has ever known (that hasn’t changed mind you), how I would shower accolades on Cesc for a vintage midfield performance, commend Nasri for fighting spirit, Cham29 fir striking instincts as so on. My facebook status at half time suggested that we were almost there and all I needed was a repeat or near repeat of the previous 45 minutes. But what did I get?
The second 45 minutes was what pundits and cynics will term “typical Arsenal“. I looked up this word(s) in the dictionary of football and this is what I got:
“Inability to kill off games after taking the lead, allowing the opposition back into the game. E.g Arsenal-Spurs (20th November, 2010).
See also: Arsenal-Spurs (31st October 2008), Birmingham-Arsenal (27th March 2010), West Ham-Arsenal (25th October, 2009)“.
Spot on eh?
The disaster began when we lost the ball after taking a free kick, and Spurs launched a counter and the ball fell to Bale who finished nicely. Then Cesc had a moment of pure madness when he was penalised for a raised arm in the box, VDV struck the resulting penalty with aplomb. Then from a free kick, Kaboul headed past Fabianksi in between Cesc and Squillaci. Game won, Spurs had completed a magical comeback and won at our home for the first time in 17 years.
While I am not one to put blame on people, I think Wenger got a few things wrong. I still do not understand why He took off Nasri for an ineffective Rosicky. Nasri had everything to play for, a feud with Gallas was extra incentive, I doubt any other player in the squad will have the determination to score the goal did. It was evident form his celebration that he wanted to win badly and did everything to get the ball in the back of the net. He also brought on an unfit RVP for Cham29, and Walcott for Arshavin. Overall, his subs were ineffective and below par.
The defenders had a nightmare of a game, and Koscly in particular was found wanting many atimes. The Squilacci-Djourou combo showed great promise and I still don’t understand why they were not paired again. Cesc had a game to forget, Clichy and Sagna did little going forward and Song was awful in his positioning, thus giving VDV ample space to cause damage.
I did not realize the effect of this defeat until I tried surfing the web I discovered that I could not visit my usual football sites without being greeted with comments and views on the game. I was in deep pain and the only respite for me was Chelsea’s loss to Birmingham. In statistics though, you’ll learn that both events are independent and mutually exclusive!
My worry now is how we respond to this defeat, our 3rd at home in November. If this home run continues, we should expect 3 more defeats (Chelsea, United and L’pool). 6 home defeats and we DEFINITELY won’t win the league title. Are there any positives? Yes. Chelsea lost their 3rd league game in a row and we are still only 2 points adrift the top of the table.
The players have been in the press talking of how important it is to respond in the game against Braga. We need to do that in style, and even if we do beat them 10 zip, it still won’t remove the fact that we have no record to hold over the Spuds any longer. How sad?
Roll on Tuesday, I can’t wait for us to get a huge win so the ghosts of Saturday’s game can be partly exorcised. One thing is for sure though, the scar of that game will be on the mind of every gooner…except of course we in the league come May.
It’s a cold day in Accra today, very weird that is. I’m off to get some breakfast and prepare myself for a barrage from my Arsenal-hating pals. Not my best of times you bet.
From wherever you are reading, look for positives.
I’ll be doing the same all day.
That’s the question I asked myself as Mike Dean blew the final whistle to end what was a miserable afternoon for everyone associated with the Arsenal. We had just lost our second home game of the season, in November, to Newcastle? We cannot blame injuries this time around because for the first time since I can remember, we had over 8 of our starting eleven present on the pitch. Neither can we say it was fatigue because we had all our “best” legs rested over the week. We cannot blame the referee because it’s not like he made a wrong penalty decision, wrong offside decision or that he blew the full time whistle on 80 minutes? So what went wrong?
Le Boss had this to say:
“Overall I still believe we were very unlucky to lose the game. They had one shot on target and that was their goal. Apart from that they defended well and we were not sharp enough to get them out of position quickly enough. We were a bit unlucky because we hit the post two or three times and their keeper made a very good save. We put ourselves in a bad position just before half time with the goal we conceded and after we came close a few times.”
Personally, I feel we underrated them. Yes, we rolled them over last week, away from home, so we are going to roast them at home. I’m sorry guys, football isn’t Math and it just does not work that way. Granted, Fabianski could have done well on the set piece but we had a whole half to turn the result around do or at least grab an equalizer. But NO, we kept playing the ball over the top, playing to Newcastle’s strength.
Everyone gave a flat performance and we paid dearly for it. Never have I seen Cesc perform so badly, so badly I wanted him changed for anybody on the bench. It cannot get any worse than this, I thought to myself.
But thanks to the Scousers, we are still 5 points behind when it could have been just 2 points. We are now in 3rd place level with the Billionaires and 3 points behind the Mancs who had possibly their best weekend of the season. The only good news for us is that the Spuds lost to Bolton. They must have been sapped following their heroics against Inter Milan.
We need to stop this habit of keeping it late, get an early goal and rest everyone’s nerves. It neither does nor suits everyone to be on the edge of their seats waiting for a goal that should have come long ago. We lost at home to WBA and now Newcastle, and even though I am optimistic, we seem to be throwing away our chances of lifting the trophy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still well within reach, but performances like this only make it a dream. Let’s hope it does not repeat itself.
I’m done ranting, we have Wolves away in 3 days, and we need a great response from the lads after two really poor performances. We need to show everyone that yesterday’s game is not more than what I think it is…a mere blip. Let’s see what we’ll get.
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!
Three losses and one draw out of four visits to Ukraine really doesn’t bode well for us tonight, and our away record in the competition has been quite dismal. Add the absence of Song, Arsh and Fab then the task becomes more daunting. AW had this to say for Fab who’s out with a suspected hamstring injury
“It is too risky,”. “He has no real strain, just a bit of pain. I don’t know what it’s down to but we cannot take a gamble as he has had injuries before.”
Oh well looks like its another start-stop-season for our skipper, but the return of Wilshere to the first team is a welcome boost and after signing a new contract that trippled his pay, a goal and 2 assists shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Then again Shaktar are no mugs, especially on their own turf. Song won’t be able to continue his goal scoring run as a slight knock rules him out and his place will most likely go to the fit again Diaby. Arsh is missing as well and truth be told I’m happy, sub par performances from someone who cost much isn’t pretty.
We really need to show more of grit and determination tonight in a very vocal and intimidating stadium, as a victory guarantees us qualification. AW is banking on Theo to give a scintillating performance after sayin he has the potential to better Henry but asked him to keep his feet grounded. Shaktar would probably remain unchanged with Eduardo starting the likely change. And NO I don’t want him scoring again. With Fabianski in high spirits and playing well it should be easy, so long we convert most of the chances we create.
Possible Lineup : Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Wilshere, Diaby, Walcott, Nasri, Rosicky, Chamakh.
Subs from : Szczesny, Bendtner, Squillaci, Eboué, Vela, Lansbury, Emmanuel-Thomas, Eastmond
My Prediction : Shaktar 1:3 Arsenal
From wherever you are reading, have fun
Escobar says so
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!
11 shots, 7 on target and 5 good goals, that what you get when we come up against teams “who ‘play’, are used to dominating their domestic championship and do not defend all the time”. The weird thing about last night’s game is that it could not have been tagged too easy, neither could it have been too difficult. I’ll simply try to describe what we saw last night as what happens when a very good team plays a better team with most of its players back from injury. You call this one of the finest defensive units in Europe and you make me wish we played “European” teams every weekend. Yeah, premiership teams are in England, a European country. But we don’t play the likes of Blackburn, Stoke and Bolton in Europe, do we? So you get my point.
Last night we had more options in the squad than we’ve had all season and it was evident in the performance. We put out a very strong team and yet we had a bench comprising the likes of Arshavin, Nikky B, Theo, Denilson and Diaby. Scaring prospect innit? We went into the game on a high following our win over the weekend and we did just what we wanted, close the game early, move closer to the knockout round, and rest our legs for the Citeh game.
It was a perfect game with everyone contributing their bit, Fabianski had a great game, the defenders led from the back, and a midfield of Cesc, Jackie and Song did their job really well. A cheeky Song effort, a wonderful Nasri shot, a fantastic Cesc penalty, a sublime Wilshere chip and a well-taken Chamakh goal were all we needed to confirm our dominance in the group. A lot of positives from this one, the return of Cesc and the other lads, a huge win, one leg in the knockout stages and a new goalscoring record in the Champions League.
One major highlight of the night was Dudu’s goal. If we ever had to concede, every gooner would have loved it to come from his boots. And yes it did. He received the ball outside our box, floated a lovely ball into the path of D Costa. The Brazilian drilled a cross which missed almost everyone in the box and out it came to Dudu. He took his time and guided the ball past Fabianski when most strikers would have gone for power. The stadium announcer acted as if it was an Arsenal goal and most fans cheered the goal. Majority of the players even congratulated him after the game. What a class act he is? I wonder what the response would have been if it was a goal that leveled matters or even gave Shakhtar the lead.
Anyways, I’m done ranting, so satisfied with everything that went down last night. It rained this morning and I posted this from my bed (school’s on break, mind you). I really need something to send me out of bed; maybe news concerning Rooney now having a medical at Arsenal, with an eye on a January transfer will do the trick. Who wouldn’t want that lad eh? There’s some rumour of Vermaelen not coming back from injury this year. Let’s hope it’s nothing but a rumour.
For now, it’s simply about enjoying the rest of my day, and week anywhere and anyway I can. We have Citeh up next and what stops us from giving a repeat performance when we travel up north.
Bring it on, you foolish billionaires!
From wherever you are reading, have fun too.
9jabred says so!
Coming in a week when Wenger called for a meeting between managers and referees to look into horrendous tackles, our own youngster gave the press something to throw back in Arsene’s face. Wenger has lost a couple of his players to brutal challenges from opponents and has been on the fore front of a “stop violent tackles” campaign. Yesterday’s events will definitely prompt the press to infer that Wenger has to put his house in order first. I have seen the tackle over and over again, and it certainly deserved a red; whether it was intended to hurt Zigic is something only Wilshere can tell. However, the good thing about the whole issue was his reaction to the sending off.
“I just want to say that I mistimed the challenge on Zigic and accept that I deserved to be sent off…I have no complaints about getting the red card and I will learn from this”.
This is the sort of response we expected from the likes of Shawcross and Taylor, but what we got was a vindication of their actions. Great stuff lad, you are becoming a real man once you can take responsibility for your actions and not run away from them.
The game itself was a beauty as we totally dominated proceedings. We created chance after chance but were very unlucky to go behind in the 33rd minute when Zigic met a Fahey cross with a towering header past Fabianski. Not again…I thought to myself; the West Brom game definitely was not going to repeat itself. I just could not imagine us losing again to a team we would normally beat. My fears were allayed when 4 minutes before the break, a lovely run by Wilshere was halted in the box. Marouane picked up the bits of the loose ball and was felled by Scott Dann. The referee simply had to give a penalty, and up stepped our man of the moment, Nasri to fire past the keeper. One-all, and I knew we were going for something more. By the way, this is like the 6th penalty Chamakh has won for us, not really a bad signing eh?
The second half had barely started when a beautiful move involving Song and Wilshere sent Chamakh free, but he had to do a lot of maneuvering and body positioning to beat his markers, the keeper and slot the ball into an empty net. We had the lead now, deservedly and most of the possession. there was no way we were going to lose this one, not if there was no flappyhandsky moment. Speaking of flappy hands, he seems to have gained some sot of confidence. He was not at fault for the goal, his handling was assured and his decision-making was generally okay.
My highlight of the game was the sight of Nikky B on the sidelines replacing Chamakh for his first game of the season. He was welcomed to a rapturous applause and almost got himself on the score sheet within minutes of coming on. Both Rosicky and Nasri also tested the Birmingham keeper before Wilshere’s moment of craze! I’m done talking about that, so it ends there!
So, it ends, 3 points to the Gunners, and a win for Arsene on his 800th game in charge. On a weekend that both the Chavs and United dropped points, a win is just what we needed. As I type this, the Scousers are losing their derby to Everton. I really pity them now, jokes aside. A few positives, very good games from Diaby and Wilshere, Chamakh giving us just what we lacked upfront. We have Nikky B, Ramsey and Theo back, Cesc will join soon, R.V.P isn’t far away either. We move to second place, ahead of United on goals even a win for Citeh will push us down one more place. Not too bad, considering we were literally in trouble two weeks ago.
So we are back in business it seems, more point dropped by any of our rivals can only help our cause. But for now, we need to keep our side of the bargain and keep winning our matches, starting with a whitewash of Shakhtar on Tuesday.
C’mon Gunners, let’s do this!
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!
Okay, I am done sulking and making noise simply because we lost over the weekend. Yes, we lost to West Brom, yes, Odemwingie ripped into our defence, yes we conceded 3 goals, so what? Even Barcelona lost at home to Hercules and still bounced back in style in the next game. So who says we won’t win the league because we dropped 3 points in week 6? There are still 32 odd games to go and the faster we got this behind us, the better.
We travel to Serbia on tomorrow (Tuesday) to face Partizan Belgrade. They lost on Matchday 1 to Shakhtar Donetsk so they will be desperate to impress in front of their home crowd. The squad list was released some hours ago and some names were notable absentees.
Arsenal squad to face Partizan Belgrade:
21. Lukasz Fabianski
53. Wojciech Szczesny
3. Bacary Sagna
22. Gael Clichy
6. Laurent Koscielny
7. Tomas Rosicky
8. Samir Nasri
11. Carlos Vela
17. Alex Song
18. Sebastien Squillaci
19. Jack Wilshere
20. Johan Djourou
27. Emmanuel Eboue
23. Andrey Arshavin
29. Marouane Chamakh
28. Kieran Gibbs
46. Henri Lansbury
Diaby and Almunia are the most notable names missing from the squad travelling to Serbia. Almunia reportedly has an elbow injury and will be out for some time, while Diaby has been dropped from the squad after his dismal showing over the weekend. He was obviously not fit against West Brom and made us pay for his lack of fitness.
So, Fabianski is poised to replace the injured Almunia, Gibbs also makes the squad following a return from the foot injury sustained against the Spuds. Lansbury is rewarded for an outstanding performance against Spurs as he also travels with the team. It should be noted that we are still without Fabregas, Robin, Theo, Bendtner and Vermaelen, although Cesc and TV5 may make the team for the crunch tie over the weekend. Partizan Belgrade are back in the Champions League after a 7 year absence and will be out to show what they have learnt during that time. Arsene recognizes the importance of bouncing back with an assured performance.
“It is important to get a good result against Partizan Belgrade. First of all, it gives us a good opportunity to qualify if we can then win our home game afterwards. As well, it is important before going to Chelsea that we have a good performance”.
We need the sort of response the boys gave at Shite Hart lane after the Sunderland game.This is to hoping our boys can put up a classy performance, play beautiful football, score goals and most importantly get our season back on track. We need a big boost before the game against Chelski this weekend, and a huge win will go a long way in lifting the spirits around the club.
Keep the faith gooners, it just might be one of those magic European nights for us. It’s me again, back from my three-month break, doing my thing for Memoirs of a Gooner.
C’mon you Reds, let’s do this!
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
Faf says so!