Sorry for the lack of post this past week, we were really tied up with school work and just could not make out time to relate with the rest of the Arsenal world. Straight to the news; as Arsene Wenger shed some light on the injury to Thomas Vermaelen by suggesting that the Belgian will make his comeback in the Reserves before returning to the first team.
TV5 has not played since early September when he picked up an Achilles injury on international duty but is now set to return within a month. Though Vermaelen is nearing the end of his rehabilitation Wenger is planning a few outings for the second string before considering him for selection. Said Arsene:
“When he [Vermaelen] is fit certainly we’ll play him in the Reserve team, but not before two or three weeks. You never know until he is completely fit to play again but we are hopeful he is progressing well. He feels he is over the problem but he played his last game in September and we are in February so it will take some time to come back to match fitness.”
Just a quick preview of today’s game and I guess we all have recovered from our collapse at St James’ last weekend and are hoping it does not repeat itself. I’m hoping the same too but as Arsene rightly pointed out after the game, the lads have been damaged psychologically. And with Wolves coming on the back of a shocking win over Man United, the exact extent of this damage will be evident today.
Which Arsenal team will we see? The one which struggled to string two passes together against West Brom or the one which dismantled Newcastle in the first half hour of a game, or is it the Arsenal that capitulated in the final half hour of the same game and gave up a 4-goal lead?
Cesc, Song and Robin were not involved in the Internationals, so no excuse of fatigue for them. We got our best news of the season in the shape of Djourou’s injury. He’s back in contention for this weekend and so is Denilson. But Rosicky misses out (groin) and Diaby too (groin and suspension). The lads need to forget what happened seven days ago(as hard as that is), and focus on the getting 3 points against Wolves. With the Manc derby coming earlier today, we have another opportunity to close or maintain the gap from United as the case maybe. A draw will be the perfect result for us though.
Let’s put this game to bed early and rest our legs for the futbol fantastico scheduled at the Emirates on Wednesday. Yes, we are playing almighty Barcelona, who are unbeaten, scored 1000 goals and conceded none this season!
Meanwhile, let’s tame the Wolves first before we concern ourselves with the midweek fiesta. I have a gut feeling we’ll see the Arsenal that ripped Blackpool to shreds earlier in the season. This is to hoping I’m not high on some kind of banned substance…
Have fun, because today, we close the gap to one two points or even less.
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!
Arsenal once again banished memories of past games against Bolton with an efficient display on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Going into the game, we had many injury concerns, with Theo Walcott getting injured on international duty and Robin extending his time out. We were definitely short up front; with Nikky B and Nasri not up for a start, I eagerly awaited what kind of attack we were going to line out with.
When the team sheet was released, I heaved a sigh of relief as we were still strong in attack, with Arshavin and Rosciky on either side of Chamakh. Changes were also made to the back four: Gibbs and Eboue came in for the rested duo of Clchy and Sagna respectively; Squillaci also came in for the slightly injured Vermaelen to Koscly at the heart of the defence. It was a joy to see Wilshere start alongside Cesc and Song in midfield; Arsene definitely had the midweek Champions League fixture on his mind.
The game in itself was virtually all Arsenal. In the opening 45 minutes, Cesc and Rosicky pulled the strings, moving the ball around quite well and attempting the most delicate of passes. Quite a number of these passes made their way to Arshavin and he wasted them, chances that he would normally bury on a normal day. This is a worrying sight as on other days and against better teams, we might have paid dearly for those missed chances.
In the 23rd minute however, a Wilshere cross from the right was met on the far post by Cesc who squared in across goal to Koscly who managed to nudge it into the net. He was understandably happy with himself. I guess his happiness went into his head as he misjudged a long ball from deep in the Bolton half and tamely headed back when a clearance would have been more appropriate. His header only made its way to an unmarked opposing player in our box and Bolton drew level. It was unimaginable given the fact that we dominated the entire game. Arsenal pressed for a goal before the break but Bolton were very glad going into half time on par.
In the second half, Arsenal picked up from where they left off and continued the search of that goal. Their efforts were rewarded on the hour as Chamakh steered home a header from a Cesc cross. We had the advantage now and needed to get more to kill off any hopes of a comeback. We were celebrating again when Alex Song finished off a lovely passing move involving Cesc and Arshavin. He beat his man and chipped the ball delightfully above the goalie with the ball strolling over the line. 3 – 1, in the 78th minute with most of the possession, you did not see a way back for Bolton in this one. All we had to now was pass the ball around and exploit any other chances.
The Grove was raised to its roof with the last goal. Vela who was on as a substitute got on the end of a 24-pass move and slotted past the keeper. It was undoubtedly the goal of the weekend. Arsenal at their imperious best, and Vela contributing his own share of goals.
Final whistle, game over, mission accomplished. We just defeated our one time bogey team and in style too. There were a few positives to take from this game, the wonderful debut from new boy Squillaci, the goal by Koscly, Cesc’s performance, Chamakh and Vela’s goals. The major negative in this match is the injury to Diaby. Another injury? Oh please! How do we end all these worries. It’s becoming a norm and a bad habit at that.
We have the Champions League next. It feels so good to be participating in Europe’s number one competition once again. We have a relatively easy group, and with the way injuries have dealt with us, more rotation is needed. So I expect to see some “new faces” in the midweek.
That’s it gooners, we are second, we have beating Blackburn and Bolton and drawn away to Liverpool. Not a really bad position to be in, is it?
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!
Sevilla centre back Sebastien Squillaci still has not been announced by the club; at least I have not seen it on Arsenal.com. This is very funny one because the Spanish outfit published a report on their website three or so days ago that the Frenchman was on his way to London to have his medical. It stated that terms have been agreed between both teams and this was further buttressed by reports of Squill not wanting to take part in Sevilla’s UEFA Champions League qualifier to avoid being cup-tied. Why he still has not been announced as an Arsenal player is beyond me. It is not as if he’s going to fail the medical, or does anyone fail a medical at Arsenal? If the likes of RVP, Rosicky and Diaby could pass medicals, then there’s hope for everyone.
So onto internationals, Jack Wilshere’s hopes of getting an extended run in the England senior national team took another turn yesterday when his name was announced in the U-21 team managed by Stuart Pearce. This practically rules him out of contention for a place in Fabio Capello’s side for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers. Jackie was one of the few youngsters invited to the senior side for the friendly against Hungary and he even made a late appearance. While his performances for Arsenal this season have been encouraging, it looks as though he will not be making that big leap yet. This will come as a blow to Jackie and everyone related to the Arsenal but I see it from a different perspective. Don Fabio has only made Arsene’s job a lot easier.
In the coming weeks, the “senior” players will return to the starting eleven, the likes of Cesc, Robin and Song. Honestly, I see no place where Jackie fits into our starting formation of three midfielders. The most likely starting three would be Cesc, Song and Arsene’s lost son Diaby. Dropping Jackie, a budding star to the bench at this time when his performances are being commended would have made Le Boss think hard and relegating an England international (had he not been called up by Pearce) is an even more daunting prospect. But his call up to the U-21 will deflect the hype around him, ease his return to the bench and reduce the number of raised eyebrows.
Meanwhile, The Silly One, Jose Moanrinho gave his thoughts on how this season’s Premier League race will pan out and he did what he knew how to do best, moan. Moanrinho thinks it will be Man United and Chelsea are favourites, which is obvious. But for him to say that Man Shitty will challenge ahead of Arsenal is plain dumb. He attributed this to the fact that Shitty have a great squad. No, you moaning voyeur! All they have is a group of average, over-hyped, over-paid mercenaries. Does Moanrinho actually think ANYONE of Shitty’s players is the same class Cesc, Robin or Arshavin?
Then he has a dig at Le Boss, saying Arsene is hiding behind the fact that he has young boys. yet he took the Real Madrid job that Le Boss previously rejected. Moanrinho identified the fact that all our boys are experienced and older and this fills me with joy as it means he unconsciously thinks the boys now know what it takes to win trophies that have deserted this great club for half a decade. Simply because Shitty have money does not mean they will win titles. Had that been true, the famous Real Madrid Galacticos side should have done the quintuple for three straight years. I stand to be corrected but I do no think they managed a single League title! Our players should take The Silly One’s words in good faith, get down to business and aim at shoving his words down his throat come May.
It is still quiet on the Arsenal transfer front and apart from stories linking us to Schwarzer and another French defender maybe Ciani which is quite doubtful; I do not think any other transfer story is worth reading. Should there be a new one that’s worth it; be sure to get it first over here. Squill is already in the bag though.
Get in there Arsene, bring out the cheque and do some good business, the kind you think will wrest the title back to the N5.
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!
Hallo gooners world over. Since the 2009/10 season ended in May, we waited for the moment our dear team will get another shot at the Premier League crown once again and our wait is finally over. Our season starts tomorrow afternoon and on familiar territory too. We open our season for two consecutive seasons at the Merseyside. Last season’s opener saw us visit Everton and did we give them a good drubbing. I can only dream of an identical result tomorrow, one that will send a message to all our rivals.
As usual we have our injury worries; with Ramsey and Nikky B still long term cases, Diaby, Denilson and Song carry niggles and are doubtful for the encounter. Cesc and RVP are also due to be rested following their involvement in the World Cup final. That means Nasri is going to be at the centre of everything we do tomorrow. He needs to be decisive tomorrow and I think he’s going to have a blinder…he’s actually due one.
As such,we do not quite have our best team going to Anfield but with Andrei Arshavin in the side, we can be sure of another good showing. The diminutive Russian has an amazing record against the Scousers, getting 5 goals from 6 shots on goal in just two matches. And barring the unusual, we should also get to see new signings Marouane and Koscly in the starting eleven. It will be great to see how well they have settled into their new surrounding and a visit to Liverpool is definitely not the best place for that.
Talking of new signings, we made our 3rd signing of the summer and what an unusual one it is. It’s a great one though, as Le Boss this morning signed a three-year contract extension to 2014. This is to set an example for the players, as it will be out of place for a man who has only a year left on his own contract clamouring for others to commit themselves. Arsene has steered Arsenal to seven major trophies – including the league title in the famous unbeaten season – in his 14 years since succeeding Bruce Rioch in September 1996.
Let’s hope we can celebrate Le Boss’ new contract with a good result at Anfield. By a good result, I mean all three points coming back to N5 and even with our shaky defence, it is possible…afterall, we’ve got the Russian assassin.
Enjoy your Sunday fellas and then we watch our team teach those dirty scousers what football is really about.
C’mon you smokin’ Gunners.
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!!!
Today’s post and its title is inspired by something I’d like to call Stone Cold Facts, meaning I get to say what I want the way you feel,not the way we want to believe it is).
After watching the highlights of the long-dead Legia Warsaw game, it’s hard to ignore the obvious cracks in our defence and take away just the positives. Was it fatigue? No. Did we underestimate them? No. Were we too relaxed because it was a friendly? Maybe. Or was our defending just shambolic as a whole? Lapse after lapse followed by heavy legs and lack of bite in the tackling and Fabianski’s already popular horror shows led to us succumbing to a 3-goal deficit in only the first half.
If that happened in a league game,irrespective of the result which ended 6-5 in our favor, the media been all over us saying stuffs like, ‘more of the same’ and ‘you can’t win anything with kids’. And with such a performance who would blame them, even AW’s reaction by indirectly giving Fabianski the middle finger says it all. We’re all tired of been reminded that our goalkeepers are not world class and should only be employed at the circus or better still, a middle-placed Premier League team.
Arsene’s obvious blind spot for goalkeepers; Shabaan, Wright, Taylor, anyone? made it a shock when it was reported that we were contemplating a loan deal for Shay Given. No I ain’t kidding you. Much to my delight Shay Given also said he’ll look into a possible loan move if he’s not first choice at the Eastlands. Terrific proposition huh? Sincerely I can’t wait for him to join and with the lure of Champions League football, it should be hard for him to resist. With another Centre Back hopefully arriving soon, it might finally be our year. Therefore, I recommend Almunia be sold, Fabianski loaned and Sczesny be promoted to 2nd choice.
Onto less pressing issues, our new French-Polish defender has pledged his allegiance to France,angering Polish fans in the process. Also congratulations to Arsenal trio Theo, Jackie and Kieran on their call-ups to the Three Lions squad. This will obviously make one time Gunners great, and now Academy Director Liam Brady, a proud man as two out of the three passed through him.
Arshavin confirmed this morning that he has returned to full fitness following a muscle injury that ruled him out of the Legia match. Denilson and Abou will face late fitness tests though. Also should Cesc and Robin fail in their battle for fitness for the opening game of the season, it is most likely Jackie and Frimpong will be drafted into the match-day squad. Let us hope our new defender (if Arsene does sign one) is with us by then.
We really need to start the season on a good note, and while Anfield will be buzzing with the arrival of Christian Poulsen, these are not the best of times at Liverpool and I have no doubt we’ll be in for a good showing from our boys.
From wherever you’re reading, have fun.
Escobar says so!
So it is finally out, the statement all Arsenal fans around the world waited for all summer. The statement which refutes our worst fears over our jewel. It has been confirmed, our talismanic captain is staying put with us…for now it seems. Cesc returned to training with the rest of the team in London yesterday. It was the Arsenal Members’ Day and all first team players were present for an open training in front of almost 10,000 gooners.
While Eboue and Robin clearly got the loudest ovation, Cesc was greeted with cheers and a song rendition pleading with him to stay at the N5. He can be rest assured that the bridge that connects him with the fans have not been burnt. His body language though was not exactly revealing and he simply responded with an applause but what is most important is that he will be playing here this coming season as our captain and heartbeat. He was not involved in the training match that took place later and mainly did light work in company of our new number 10, Robin.
Cesc had this to say this morning…
“Firstly, I will like to apologize to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment…I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me…I will respect their decision and concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal. I will be 100% focused on playing for Arsenal, I am an Arsenal player and that is the ONLY club I will be thinking about.”
Sorry to bore you with the whole statement (that’s not even all) but apologies accepted Cesc! We are more than happy to have you back and even though we are already thinking of another drama next summer, we can enjoy this while it lasts. The important points I took from this statement are that he now knows what he wants, he is not being forced to stay and he fully understands the fact that we love him too much to see his back now. He also seems ready to put the whole saga in the past and lead our title assault this coming season which is very welcoming news.
Meanwhile, according to Italian newspaper La Replubbica, we are on the verge of signing AS Roma’s defender Philippe Mexes. It is thought that Arsene is an admirer of the bulky Frenchman and a £12million bid is expected soon. This is going to come as good news to everyone associated with the Arsenal as reinforcement is desperately needed at the back. A player of Mexes’ calibre is what we need at the moment as his aggressive approach and experience will be undoubtedly a great asset.
Onto non-Arsenal news (or is it?), Spuds striker Jermaine Defool believes his club will perform better than Arsenal this season, most importantly in the UEFA Champions League. One thing Defool does not realize is that Arsenal is the least of their concerns. They still have a play-off qualifier to navigate; they need to get past that, and then the Champions League group stages before any thoughts of surpassing Arsenal can arise. For us, getting to the quarter-finals of the competition has become a part of the furniture – a norm. For all the talk of going beyond Arsenal for the past 5 seasons or so, it has not come to fruition and never will it; 4 mangers in 5 years, that is all they have to show.
To round this off, we will like to inform gooners that our own Robin Van Persie has added a year to his age. Robin turns 27 today and it is a pity he cannot celebrate with a World Cup winners medal. We at Memoirs of a Gooner will like to wish him a fun-filled day, a goals-packed career and a success-drenched life. Have a blast man!
So that is it mates, pre-season comes to an end soon and we round of with a game against Legia Warsaw tomorrow in Poland at 1600 hours U.K time. Let us hope we can round off what has been an impressive warm up to the season in style. Cesc and Robin will not be playing any part in that and may only make the bench for the season opener against Liverpool. Meanwhile the Community shield is this weekend, between Man United and Chelski as usual. We cannot wait to get the season rolling with those two breathing down our neck, can we?
This is to hoping we get an Arsenal match in next season’s Community shield…and yes, I know what that means.
See you in the comments.
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!
Now this is no longer funny. We have lost two consecutive games against teams we would normally beat. The more annoying fact is that we took the lead in both matches. But due to Arsene’s insistence on fielding an incompetent goalkeeper, we got nothing from both. Throughout last week there were many interviews, many opinions from ex-players, pundits and even fans on what went wrong this season. We have gone for competing for the league title in March to hoping for 3rd place in May. In all sincerity, we have no one to blame for our misfortunes…not even injuries!
On the back of a horrible performance at Wigan, all Fabianski got was a pat in the back from Arsene. Someone just screwed up big time and you console him? Maybe a different approach was taken behind closed doors but I really doubt it. Wenger protects these players, always reminding us of their ages. For Christ’s sakes Arsene, these are men! No one earns £80k a week for being a kid. They are paid to do a job, highly paid for that matter and yet every time you remind us of their incompetence. Not every player in this team is going to make it and you know it!
Yesterday, we were up against a team that knew our weakness…or correct that, every team knows what Fabianski is all about, Porto anyone? So what was their plan? According to their manager, Big Sam
“We know Arsenal’s weakness is balls into the box, and certainly their goalkeeper of late. Yes, we targeted Fabianski. We’ve seen under pressure his handling is a little suspect”
What other confirmation do you need Arsene?
Of all the players out there yesterday, only Robin looked like doing anything reasonable but like Pedro of Le Grove rightly wrote, his return proved that we still wouldn’t have won the league even with him staying fit this season simply because our problems are deeper than having a great striker on the pitch. Imagine Fish Head “smiling” after almost slicing the ball into his own net. Actually, they scored their second goal from the resulting corner. The same player managed to drop two clangers in succession: first, looking up on the halfway line and passing straight to Martin Olsson. He then had a chance to redeem himself when he won back possession but instead booted his clearance straight at another Blackburn player. That’s a story on its own.
Samir and Abou were totally missing yesterday. No fight, no creativity, no spirit. And Theo was…simply Theo, but to be frank he had poor service from those two men I mentioned earlier. Sol had a decent game but Carlito was completely missing. He’s been missing games this season due to his commitments to the Mexican cause but that lad needs to take his chances whenever they come. He never looked the part for a minute plus he seems to have developed this habit for missing easy chances.
We scored from a set piece and conceded two from set pieces too. Our game was generally patchy, no rhythm, no flow, no sense of urgency at all. I feel bad for the over 3000 fans that made the trip up M6. So we saw Arsene stomp off down the tunnel after the game and were expecting some very strong reaction but hell no! What did we get? Same old story…
“There was no purpose to play the ball from the Blackburn players…I think he(Fabianski) had a good game. It should affect the confidence of the referee…at the moment, since we are not in the race anymore, something is gone in the belief”.
Am I the only one who is tired of all these boring repeated statements? It’s called tactics monsieur. The same reason the whole world is praising Mourinho as a genius. Arsene it is high time you sat down with these players(and hopefully the new ones you’ll buy), look them in the eye and tell them the truth. Take a cue from Sir Alex’s transformation of Nani from the inefficient trickster to the player every United fan worships. I personally think it’s time the hairdryers are brought out…Alex could lend you some, Arsene now that you both are pals.
This is to hoping we get a goalless draw against Fulham in our last game, this season. At least we secure 3rd place and won’t have to bother about losing after taking the lead…because nowadays,with Arsenal, impossibility is nothing!
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!
So it seems we are approaching that moment of the year when the rumours have started flying again. These stories as silly as they might be can be interesting to read atimes. Due to the fact that we’ve suffered another trophyless season, the media believe that we must purchase every available player, from goalkeepers to strikers…every department. But Wenger has come out to say He believes in his team but if he can make an addition-two or three maximum, he’ll do so.
Now notice the highlighted phrases, they sound familiar don’t they? That’s the same stuff we heard last summer when we clearly needed more than a centre-back. The same lines he used during the winter when it was obvious we would struggle without another striker to replace the injured Robin. Now the season is over for us in terms of trophies that is, and I think I’m right to say we missed a few experienced heads in there. We all saw the difference an experienced head can bring into this team. Campbell anyone???
Now for Arsene to think this team, without any good additions will win anything next season is simply ridiculous. Yes, we will win the Emirates Cup, destroy the pub clubs in Austria and Poland in pre-season but when the real action starts, we’ll be found wanting again. I hope this is not the case though. We should get Chamakh in the summer as it seems Arsenal are just waiting for his contract to officially run out before making an announcement.
Of all the names being thrown around, only a few interest me and those that will do a good job in the team. Joe Hart will be an extremely good addition with both Big Al and Fabianski putting in unconvincing shifts. I wouldn’t mind one of those ‘hardcore’ centre backs like Hangeland and Mexes to partner TV5 next term. I really do not think Willie will be renewing his contract next season, and I pray Fish head will be allowed to leave and “sin no more”. So one of those plus TV5 with Sol (hopefully) and Johan as back up wouldn’t be a bad idea I suppose.
So Mourinho beat Barcelona last night, he was visibly and understandably ecstatic; describing the moment as the best in his career but what caught my attention was a comment about his team. Said he,
“Inter haven’t played a Champions League final for 38 years – this is something that we were all waiting for. This isn’t a squad of children who can wait 15 years to play a final”.
Something in me tells me convincingly that Jose was referring to none other than the Arsenal youngsters and this is a sucker punch coming from the Portuguese tactician. He’s definitely no admirer of our youth project and can point to his victory of Barca as evidence of something children couldn’t manage.
Finally, Arsene says he’s disappointed in stories that have been circulating about Andrei’s wish to play for Barcelona. He believes the lad must have been misinterpreted by journalists who want to sell their papers and I think I agree with Le Boss. But what if those comments were actually made by Arsha? Well that’s an issue for another day…
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!