With twitter it’s impossible to know whether to believe something or to disbelieve it. Afterall it’s where breaking news happens first these days. From “deal agreed and waiting to be announced” on the M’Vila front to “no deal in place yet, no contact, just interest”.
It’s going to be a long summer as it always is for we gooners, but wait, le boss wants to conclude all (or most) of his business before the start of the European Championships so it won’t be.
Where are my manners, top of the morning to you wherever you are. A lot of has been happening this week regarding the club, both rumors and actual events. The M’Vila deal would still happen, knowing how Wenger operates, he wants it quiet till it’s concluded and then announced officially. Fingers crossed. He’s the player we need.
Oh please spare me the “we have Coquelin and Frimpong and Song” cliche. The former two are at best upcoming players despite the obvious talent they have. Playing with world class players only helps you get better, it doesn’t stunt your growth. If he comes, it would be exciting to see who he replaces in the starting XI.
The Arsenal legend departs the club after 44 years of service as a player and as a coach. His career is one laden with success and a loyal servant to the club he is. He’s very much loved within the club and would be missed but I’m sure Steve Bould (the man replacing him) will perform just as good.
Word is Mr Bould is a no nonsense man who is outspoken and respected by all players and even Wenger. Finally we can have someone to shout at Gervinho & Ramsey from the sidelines. \(^_^)/.
THEO WALCOTT & BROM……..
Speedstar Theo is set to recover and play in the curtain closer of the season, should he pass a late fitness test. If he’s fit I say start him. We need all the ammunition from the start. Hopeful the Ox gets to start too. The game against Brom is a must win. No f*cking excuses, no relying on results of the other teams/games. 3 points and 3rd place. Thank you.
“We Did Doubt” – Kozzer
In an interview with France Football, defender Laurent Koscielny is quoted to admitting a feeling we had back then, that the players doubted their abilities and le boss’ following the horrendous start to the season, summed up by that defeat I much 8-2 mention.
“The group was not giving enough for the club and we realised that.” said Kozzer. “We got down to work and we said the things we needed to say. After that, one win, two wins, confidence returns and things follow on from that. The new players were immersed in the group and so on”. Get us one more win Kozzer, so we know it’s real!
I have Options – Vela
The Mexican forward has had quite a good season with Real Sociedad, hitting a dozen goals in for the Basque club in 31 la Liga matches. A form that prompted the ‘prince of the lobbed goals’ to declare his preference of making the move permanent a while ago.
Now however, making his stay there permanent may not happen after the player admitted Sociedad’s budget will likely hinder them from doing just that.
But… “I have more options” said Vela, cushioning the minor setback to an immediate exit from the Arsenal. Going by his form though, him getting a decent club shouldn’t be a problem.
RvP: One More Record to Break
With 30 league goals so far, captain vantastic is at least two goals from setting a new league record of 32 league goals (or more) under the 38-game format. The standing record has Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo tied at 31 goals.
It would be great to have RvP get the goals, to cap a phenomenal season. But I can sense many gooners would rather the goals came from anyone, as long as we get the win at the Hawthorns.
And we’ll be here tomorrow to give a prematch report on the game. Till then have a great day wherever you are.
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*rolls credits* What a season. We witnessed RVP have a phoenix-esque season and maturity from squad players such as Gibbs, Szczesny. Alex Song stood out alongside midfield maestro Arteta. 2012 was also the year of the Ox, while Wilshere did not make one single appearance. Needless to say it’s been a mental season.
The curtains come closing on the Emirates for this season with this fixture. Usually we’re already guaranteed of our league position at this stage, last time we weren’t sure was 2005. Are we gonna need to pull a Sp*rs on Sp*rs and Newcastle this season like we did then? I hope not.
The midweek fixtures did not favor us at all as both Spurs & Toon won to cut the gap to one. Our fault really. Had we picked up more than one point from the Wigan & Stoke fixtures we won’t be here. But we are, so we do what we allways do because we are the Arsenal. We’ll be needing the fixtures to work in our favor this weekend though.
Norwich are guaranteed Premier League football for another season so here’s hoping they put in a lethargic shift, they won’t be no pushovers, no sir, just ask Sp*rs. These are the kind of games that can go 3 ways. We win emphatically. We get the win regardless of the scoreline. Or we get stung by them. I’m hoping for the former 2 like gooners worldwide. They have no serious injury worries.
Us on the other hand have a ton and Diaby is finally out of the season(surprise. No really we all are) and the Euros. The game comes to soon for Walcott who should make the West Brom finale. Arteta and Wilshere are longterm absentees with Mertesacker too. So expect the same team that faced Stoke with one or 2 changes. Here’s how I would line up :
Predicted Line Up : Szczesny-Sagna-Kozzer-Vermaelen-Gibbs-Song-Ramsey-Rosicky-Benayoun-AOC-RVP .
Prediction : Arsenal 3-1 Norwich
Keep Gervinho on the bench, start AOC, we need pace and precision, Ramsey has one last chance to ease the anger of the fans I hope he grabs it well. I thought he was decent at Stoke, Gervinho was poor.
Tomorrow is also important as it’s “Pat Rice Day”. Wenger’s number 2 has been with the club for over 40 years as a player and manager. Wow. That’s a lot. He’s retiring at the end of the season so let’s ramp up the noise and show some love and appreciation. The game is also Arsene’s 900th game in charge. The 3points cannot be overstated.
Before I go I’d like to offer my condolences to the family of former Nigerian striker Rashidi Yekini. He passed away yesterday night due to mental illness at the age of 49. Easily the greatest striker out of my country. He’ll be remembered for his famed post goal celebration when he put his hands through the net to rejoice. RIP.
Success to the lads today. COYG
A draw obviously isn’t the best result especially in our quest to seal third spot but coming away from the Britannia with a one-all draw is a very good result for Arsenal.
The result is more appreciated based on the fact that both Manchester clubs got only a point there as did Chelsea, while Liverpool left the Britannia with nothing… oh yea, ditto the Tiny Tots.
Then the result is most appreciated when you add Wigan Athletic’s astounding 4-0 drubbing of Newcastle United, a result that means we will have a four point lead over the chasing pack when the rest of the weekend’s fixtures are over.
Over to our performance then. Having lost three of our last four visits here, going behind to Peter Crouch’s header after nine minutes made it seem it’d be deja vu.
More so as the goal had come against the run of play, with Begovic already put to test off a shot from Yossi Benayoun and the PFA & FWA Player of the Year’s header few minutes before Crouch’s goal.
Robin van Persie would finally register a goal from open play after going about 11 hours without one, getting on the end of a Tomas Rosicky cross to equalise.
Benayoun is commended here for winning the ball off Shotton and initiating the move that resulted in the captain’s 130th goal in his Arsenal career.
Unfotunately, the rest of our afternoon was laden with misses as Gervinho, Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey fired shots wide while van Persie had a soft header saved comfortably.
Most importantly, Bacary Sagna made a clearance late in the game as the towers that be at Stoke went aerial on us in search of an undeserved winner late on.
With that, the players get the following in ratings:
Szczesny – 7
Sagna – 8
Koscielny – 7
Vermaelen – 7
Gibbs – 7
Ramsey – 7
Song – 7.5
Rosicky – 8
Benayoun – 7.5
Gervinho – 6
van Persie – 7.5
Diaby continues his return to actually being a footballer with another decent appearance from the bench for Ramsey. We stay hopeful for his feet’s lasting ‘fitness’ this time around.
We could have had a penalty in the closing quarter hour of the match after Whelan ‘bullied’ the very industrious Benayoun in the box. Arsène Wenger revealed after the match that he’d been told by the assistant referee that the incident hadn’t been seen.
Onto another sensory device and Tony Pulis’ hearing left him unaware of the senseless booing of Ramsey who impressed on the day. He did criticise Gooners in the stadium for booing Ryan Shawcross… a rare case of SHS here; Selective Hearing Syndrome.
Wenger’s New Man
Le Professeur has hinted that his next assistant on the bench will be one with a history at the club, a welcome hint I might add, mind had started infatuating with the idea of Pep… nevermind.
With Pat Rice set to retire at season’s end, a host of names have propped including Tony Adams, Martin Keown and academy boss Steve Bould though the latter only recently ruled himself out, sort of.
Personally, I would much love to have the Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp as Rice’s replacement next season as I see him as an ideal successor to Wenger, who would prefer to have someone that will keep the ‘philosophy’ going at the club.
Share your thoughts below about the result at Stoke and on who you see being Wenger’s new sidekick from next season.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to face bottom side Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, manager Arsène Wenger has called for consistency from the team as Arsenal looks to continue a revival of its season with a win up north.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League match, Wenger felt the club’s fortune is gradually improving saying (just as his assistant Pat Rice did after the trip to Dortmund) that
“we have turned the corner but we will be judged by the consistency of our results.”
The French tactician also spoke on the atmosphere in and around the team,
“skepticism around us will only change if we are consistent with our results… the team will be under pressure at Rovers as it was at Swansea”. He further stated that “we have to show performances, consistency, attitude and quality. That makes us respected.”
Arsenal ideally should get all three points from Ewood Park with the home side on a low ebb being bottom of the table following three defeats and a draw as well as having to deal with a threatened thousand-man strong protest calling for Rovers’ manager Steve Kean’s sack just before the match.
That aside, the Gunners did have the league’s best away record last season with four losses in 19 trips and Wenger tried to stress this fact, “consider that last year we were the best away team in the league and Old Trafford was a one-off result.”
Aaron Ramsey has a small chance of being available for selection for the match though he’s recovered from the injury he picked up at training on Monday. Other than him, Wilshere remains far from selection while Thomas Vermaelen will be back after the next international break. Otherwise, it’s a full strength squad to make selection from for Wenger.
Gervinho and Song return from suspension and should go into the team directly, everyone else should keep their spot. RVP’s record against Blackburn must be taken into consideration with 10 goals in his last 10 starts against them so let’s hope he continues this weekend.
Possible Line-Up : Szczesny-Sagna-Mertesacker-Koscielny-Gibbs-Arteta-Song-Benayou-Arshavin-Gervinho-RVP
So will we be able to prove the loss at Old Trafford really was a one-off or are we looking at a struggle on the road? Do share your thoughts ahead of the encounter.
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Just a quick one! It’s two games and we are gradually exorcising the ghosts of that loss at OT. A hard fought 1-1 draw at the home of German Champions is not a bad result by anyone’s standards. So we can be happy we have that one out of the way. Being the optimistic type, it was one point gained rather than 2 lost.
The boys have been doing a lot of talking after the game at Dortmund, stressing the importance of team spirit and belief. The boys look prepared to prove doubters wrong, we can only hope their legs can cash the cheques their lips have been writing.
Starting with Mikel Arteta; who credited former captain Cesc Fàbregas with helping him in settling to life at the club, the former Everton man has urged for a bit of patience from the Gooners for the team. Said He,
“I talked to him the day after I signed the contract and he advised me on two or three things,” said Arteta. To be honest he was really nice to me. He advised me on the areas to live, about the team-mates, about the Club and how good it is and the people here. It was very good.”
According to our Spanish midfielder (the new one that is), the players will be working hard to attain the high expectations (of us) of them and went further to state the club has the quality players that can see the club genuinely challenge for titles, though admitting the team would have to ensure it kept itself in contention to challenge for such trophies.
Israeli captain Yossi Benayoun shared same sentiments with Mikel, he believed signing for Arsenal was an easy choice.
“It was agreed between me and Chelsea to wait until the last day so see if they bring in another player. I knew I had a few offers and when Arsenal came it was an easy choice. For me, it was great opportunity for me to play in a great club and in the Champions League.”
He also opined that the club does have very good players in addition to himself and the other new faces at the Emirates, and it only is a matter of time before there is a marked improvement in performances “not just with Arteta but with the whole team”.
Meantime, Arsène Wenger’s right hand man from memoria Pat Rice believes the club have certainly “turned the corner” in lieu of our last two matches against Swansea and Borussia Dortmund.
Rice also had special praise for Per Mertesacker whom he is confident can continue his good start to his Arsenal career, as the number of times he has featured for the German national team only means “he cannot be a bad player. It is impossible”.
So with a trip to Blackburn Rovers coming up for us in the Premier League, we need to build on our performance in the last 2 games; play good “efficient” soccer or win ugly if we have to!
Some fans believe Rice may have jumped the gun in declaring that we have turned the corner? Do you agree? How can we know if truly we have?
Do let us know what you think!
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