Blog Archives

Arteta Earns Vital Win for Arsenal; Player Ratings

We deserved the win and for a long time it looked like we’d punish ourselves but Mikel Arteta’s long range beauty earned us a vital victory. Straight to the ratings then, where we’ve incorporated the highlights of the match that saw Balotelli get sent off.

Szczesny – 8
Had relatively little to do but was much assured in goal, tipping over a goal bound header and rushing out to clear when Balotelli was through on goal, the latter proving most crucial. Solid game.

Sagna – 7
Impressive defensive display from the Frenchman, handled Balotelli whenever the Italian ventured down our right side.

Vermaelen – 7.5
Very solid defending from the Verminator, making interceptions and going forward with the ball at times. Unfortunate to have kept out Robin van Persie’s goal bound header in the first half.

Koscielny – 7
Good game from the Frenchman too.

Gibbs – 4
Uncharacteristically poor today, didn’t impose himself and his substitution was inevitable.

Song – 6
Good game. Saw one of his trademark lobs to van Persie end up bouncing away from Man. City’s post. It did seem then we were destined to somehow not win this.

Arteta – 7.5
Cracking long range goal from the Spaniard when someone needed to take the bull by the horn. It was that or we’d rue all our missed chances.

Rosicky – 6
I feel he didn’t pull the strings as well as we know he could. He did get better as the game wore on.

Benayoun – 6
Great work rate shown by the Israeli, compensating for a somewhat flat performance.

Walcott – 3
The Theo we hate to see came out today. Clueless for 80 minutes though could have got a goal in the frenzied moment his shot came off the post (only for Vermaelen to miscue the rebound and Beayoun see his effort somehow cleared off the line by Lescott.)

Van Persie – 7
No goals in four games now though he had one (rightly) ruled out for offside and his two headers denied by Vermaelen and the post. He scores when he wants, do score soon enough RvP.

Substitutes
Santos – 6
Imposed his presence soon as he came on and added some bite to our attack.

Ramsey – 3
He could have squared to RvP in stoppage time but decided to try curl it in, wrong move.

Ox-Chamberlain – N/A

Most importantly, we’ve got the much needed win and put ourselves back in third on 61 points, two ahead of the sillywhites and five of Chelski and Newcastle United. For City, we’ve in essence ended their title hopes; you’re welcome Old Trafford.

Advertisements

Man. City Preview + Club News

The utmost importance of us winning Sunday’s match against the billionaire boys club kicks off tonight at Wales where fifth placed Newcastle United are guests of Swansea City with the Magpies looking to boost their previously unlikely push for a finish in a Champions League spot.

And by the time the match of the weekend kicks off at the Ems, Sp*** could be three points ahead and Chelsea could be two points behind us (along with Newcastle) so in that sense, I believe Arsenal needs the win more than City do unlike the boss who believes otherwise (mind games I presume).

Team News
Nothing exceptional to report here as the boss stated that the crunch encounter comes a bit too early for glass feet Abou Diaby as well as youngster Francis Coquelin though he is confident both will start full training next week.

As for Jack Wilshere, Wenger stated the England international is recovering slowly and the club would rather not rush his comeback. Other than these, we have a full squad to choose from and it will be interesting to see who le boss starts this weekend.

Predicted line-up: Szczesny. Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs. Arteta, Song, Rosicky. Gervinho/Ox, Walcott, RvP.

A hint of complacency and doubting feet from Thomas cost us dearly last time out and I believe Wenger would resist the urge to start Aaron Ramsey this time. And while he may start the Ox; whose love for Drake’s music is now general knowledge, I think Wenger would go for the Ivorian headband (wearer).

Other News

The manager has hinted at a busy summer for us in the transfer market saying “Things are starting now [in terms of transfers]” while equally stressing that focus is needed in the season’s run in.

“At the moment we are so focused on finishing the season well, though, because what we have done over the past two months is absolutely exceptional.”

As you know, the deal to bring Lukas Podolski to the Emirates isn’t wrapped up officially as Wenger would readily tell anyone, while Yann M’Vila and Jan Vertonghen have been strongly linked to us this year.

Wenger meanwhile has praised Theo Walcott’s overall improvement as a player as proven by the 23 year old’s 10 goals and 13 assists this season; the second consecutive season Theo’s scored double figures.

“He is getting to where you want him to be now. I feel that he has made a step forward this season.” were Wenger’s words for Walcott, further stating that he now expects our Usain Bolt to now ship in the double figures every season.

For now however, he along with the rest of the team have a Champions League berth to fight for. Hopefully, Walcott along with the rest of the starting XI continue the ‘marked improvement’ on Sunday and personally, Robin van Persie can want to end his run of games firing blanks!

COYG!!!!

Keep from Derailing; Aftermath of QPR Loss

Good day from wherever you read this from. Steadily, the tense, edge of seat moment of the league has come upon pretty much all the teams in the Premier League with QPR helping their cause at avoiding relegation last time out at the expense of our Gunners.

The boss could’ve blamed a lot of other factors such as the pitch but it’s refreshing that he laid it on the team for a performance that wasn’t “up to scratch”. Alas, it hopefully serves as a silver lining of sorts in our quest to end the season in third to thus bag a group stage ticket at next season’s (lucrative) Champions League.

Adel Taarabt’s “rinsing” of the Verminator for the first along with the below par performance of him and Koscielny on the day should be a “get your sh** together” call to the duo and indeed the rest of the team going into the final seven games of the season, starting with Man. $hitty’s visit this Sunday.

“At the end of the day the result does not lie. The focus was missing a little bit” said Wenger of the QPR loss, adding that :

    “We have been consistent recently and you have to give credit to the team. But in this game we were poor and we were not good enough.”

So yes, it was a blip after going nine matches unbeaten but it being a blip can only be proven with a decisive victory this Sunday and after watching what Sunderland nearly pulled off at the Etihad honestly, we can get those three points and effectively hand the Red Devils their record making 20th league crown.

In all the above, I’ve not conveniently left out the fact that we have three teams right behind us; Newcastle United being the only one worthy mention, but purposely done so.

Other News……

In some other bit of news, eccentric goalie Jens Lehmann believes the Prince of Köln Lukas Podolski would synch in nicely at Arsenal though highlighted that Poldi will have to adapt to the pace of the Premier League along with expectations of winning.

Over at Spain meanwhile, Carlos Vela continues to invoke smirks from me after netting yet again in Sociedad’s 4-0 thumping of Rayo Vallecano. Not that he’s been prolific but you just wonder if he’d make a better option on the bench than, say… Chamakh?!

I’ll let it rest at this point and avoid going on a rant that would wind down to an abyss of pointlessness. Do share your thoughts in the comments though and have a fulfilling April ahead.

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Gervinho in an Arsenal Shirt|Nasri Isn’t Leaving|Gibbs is our new LB.

Gervinho has signed for Arsenal and he will sport the number 9 jersey for next season. He is a great signing and will score lots of goals. *insert deep sigh*

I wish I could happily and confidently tell you that the deal has happened. I wish I could give you more than just a link to the above image which is probably fake.

Unfortunately, his signing has not been confirmed even after supposedly having a medical on Thursday.

French sources claim he still has some issues back in France and his signing should be announced in a few days. One begins to wonder how long “a few days” will be. I cannot wait to see him in an Arsenal shirt though and in a legitimate picture for that matter.

Meanwhile, Sky sports understands that we have agreed a fee of £22.2m with Man City for the sale of Nasri. As “credible” as this source is, it will take more than just their “understanding” to make me believe this story.

Add this to the fact that just yesterday afternoon Wenger was quoted as saying he will do everything to keep both Cesc and Nasri. There were even reports that Nasri has been offered £110k per week to keep him at the Emirates.

How Wenger made a complete U-turn in a matter of hours is what beats me. And taking into consideration how Sky sports have been “understanding” that Cesc’s deal to Barcelona is almost done, I’m not surprised this story has come up.

The team will be travelling to Asia soon and it will be interesting to see who is on the plane and who is not. Wenger expects Nasri to be part of the touring party. Said he,

…Yes, Samir is going on tour. He is not injured, so he is going on tour. We will take the strongest possible squad.”

Japanese teenage sensation Ryo Miyachi is also expected to feature at some point. And as we told you in our last post, Cesc will not be travelling. No story in here, Wenger says he’s injured and I believe him. Fabianski, Eboue and Bendtner may also miss the tour.

Wenger also suggested that Kieran Gibbs will be promoted instead of splashing out cash on a new left back. Opinion on whom our new left back should be is split, and this decision will surely anger some Arsenal fans.

I don’t think Gibbs is a bad player but I doubt he is ready to play in the EPL week in week out. Having said that, a run of games may see him improve drastically.

I expected us to bring in an experienced left back, Wenger decided to promote Gibbs. This trick worked with Clichy when Ashley Cole left; it remains to be seen if Gibbs can prove us wrong with CONSISTENTLY good performances.

Following the failures of last season, we all expected a summer of additions to an almost perfect squad; not having to replace our top players. Now most fans are wondering, will Cesc leave? Should he even be allowed to leave? What happens to Nasri in the event of Cesc’s departure?

Does Wenger still know? Why are we taking relatively long to sign players? Is our interest in Mata strong enough to bring him to London? What formation are we even going to play next season?

These are some of the questions I have asked myself these past weeks. Honestly, I am eager to see how we begin next season with a stronger team than the previous campaign. Or will we?

Keep the faith wherever you are reading this from!

Do let us know what you think in the comments.