Tried to put a little spin on the headline so as not to appear overly gloomy but who am I kidding right? Going by history and the past 4 years, this month marks the beginning of the end for us. Our february form? Drawn one, won two and lost two. The two we lost came back to back.
Wenger shuffled his pack, brought in Gervinho, Coquelin & AOC for Koscielny, Gibbs and Walcott. And surprise surprise, Coq gets injured less than 20mins into the game, surely now an exorcism is needed for that left back position.
Sunderland started the game better than we did and wanted it more and it showed, we were again sloppy with our passes and not being direct enough. Our first chance came after sunderland had 3 already, RVP slipped a pass for Gervinho whose shot had to be saved & the resulting corner wasted.
The sunderland goal came in typical fashion, a set piece wasn’t cleared well and Richardson arrowed in a shot via a Squillaci deflection. 1-0 , nothing to worry about, we can do it. We did it here last week.
No repeat of such must have been O’neill’s halftime team talk because Sunderland left off where they finished the half, outplaying us, winning every 50:50 challenge and it didn’t take long for the second goal. Oxo lost the ball & chased after his attacker, Larsson shot the ball against the post, it hit Oxo and went back into the net. There was still time left for Sessegnon to pull out the party tricks on our confused & utterly shit backline. 2-0. Out of the FA Cup & out of the champions league.
Arsene Wenger is the chief culprit for this decline that happens every year, our squad is loaded with very poor players who know nothing about giving their all for the club while the decent ones like Ramsey & Walcott are not being coached well. They continue to churn out pathetic performances and no one is doing anything about it.
All this could have been avoided, he had the summer and january to rectify all but he chose against it. He said you can’t lose Nasri & Cesc and convince people that you’re a serious contender and what happened not only did he lose them, he failed to replace them.
Wenger’s failings are well documented, handing out large contracts to useless players, banking on average ones to rescue us when times are hard and failing to make any sense or headway in the transfer market. Our first choice left back can’t play back to back games and yet he’s first choice, Ramsey has been poor but can’t be benched because those behind him are worse off. Who’s fault? And please don’t blame injuries.
Part of his failings is the lack of a plan B and how poor the plan A we have is. Yesterday he could have gone with 4-4-2 and used players that haven’t seen game time in a while, the likes of Arshavin, Benayoun, Oxlade but he went with a fatigued squad to play a team that had the week off and expected to get a result.
This is the worst Arsenal as a club has been in a long time. Seven years as head in any occupation without results will get you the boot, as Fabregas said last year, Wenger would have been fired if he was at another club(league). Wenger’s position has to be reviewed come end of season.
Either he’s told to move on seeing as he can’t motivate his team anymore or move upstairs into the board or move to another club(afterall PSG & Madrid still want him). Its only a matter of time before Red & White Holdings make a statement with all the shares acquisition they’ve been doing and expect a turbulent summer especially if we don’t make champions league. I for one want the entire board gone especially that moron Gazidis & Kroenke, usher Usmanov in and watch changes happen.
No one man is bigger than any club irrespective of his achievements and its time to go for Arsene. Quality players and an owner that’s interested in the club and is actually a fan not one that’s a collector of clubs(franchises). Get rid of Squillaci, Djourou, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh, Park and buy M’vila, Hazard, Gotze and Edison Cavani ( 😐 ) . Its not impossible, if wenger had acted, 2 of the four I just mentioned should be at our club already.
We’re still a top club and can still attract quality players, we just need an overhaul of personnel and ideas on ground already. Let’s know how you feel in the comments.
It has been an eventful week at Arsenal with news, team selection, squad role and transfers been the major talking point. At the press conference on Friday , Arsene Wenger had a lot to tell the members of the press present.
First off was the news of returning players from injury with the likes of Squillaci Diaby and Almunia coming back to take their places in the squad for the FA Cup clash. And speaking of Almunia, Le Boss has challenged him to win his place back in the team and this was after dropping the news that Szczesny is now our number one choice between the sticks. Not in his dreams did the boy think his rise at Arsenal would be of meteoric proportions but take nothing away from his performances, he’s been great and his huge frame does our defenders a lot of good and they seem to play with ease and comfort knowing they have a solid pair of gloves behind them.
We all know Almunia’s time is up and come summer, he’ll probably be shipped away to some dead beat club. Then came the news of Carlos Vela moving on loan to West Brom for the rest of the season. This is one move I support strongly seeing as I had been praying he would go on loan when he joined us 3 years ago, and my preferred destination for him then was West Brom. It didn’t happen then but am glad it has now.
He’s too good to be on the bench and maybe a relegation threatened team might be the ideal tonic for him. I foresee a great combo of him and Nigerian Odemwinge. If only we could loan Denilson and make sure its a permanent loan away from the club. Oh well.
Moving on to the matter at hand, our opponents tomorrow, Huddersfield are third in League One and gunning for promotion under Lee Clark. They have lost only once in their last seven games and won’t be fazed by the visit to the Emirates. After all its a cup tie famous for its upsets and they’ll be hoping to get one.
Unfortunately for them, they meet an Arsenal team high on confidence and boasting an impeccable record this January. Despite playing an all time high, 8 games in January, in those eight games we have conceded just three times (all in cup competitions) and have scored 16 goals, including three in each of their last four games. So on paper, it should be a walkover for us. Yes!
Irrespective of the team we send out there, I expect a demolition job and fancy Bendtner or Chamakh to nab a brace or hat trick. This is what the team might look like.
Eboue, Squillaci, Miquel, Gibbs
Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere
Bendtner, Chammy29, Arshavin
Prediction : Arsenal 4-0 Huddersfield
So, the 5th round awaits us so long we avoid any nasty surprises and I’m glad Benik Afobe(Arsenal player on loan at Huddersfield) is ineligible to play. Don’t want him hitting the back of the net or causing us any problems.
From wherever you’re reading, have fun and make sure you keep an eye on Oxlade Chamberlain against Manure. I hope he scores the goal that sends them crashing out.
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During the off-season, gooners worldwide clamoured for new additions to bolster our rearguard and forward line. This was heeded by the club with the arrival of Chamakh on a free,the relatively unknown Koscielny from FC Lorient and the veteran Squillaci from Sevilla. Not exactly the signings you need to win the league, everyone thought; seeing as our rivals boasted the likes of Drogba-Lampard-Terry (Chelski) and Vidic-Scholes-Rooney (United). But we had no choice than to settle down, as it was obvious that none of the 50+ defenders, strikers and goalkeepers were going to be wearing the red and white of Arsenal this season.
The fans stuck to the old but popular saying, ‘Arsene Knows’ and hoped for Koscly to do a Vermaelen and Chamakh to be our 20+ goals-a-season striker. Then today, it struck me that we missed out on something, our midfielders have grown, not only in performances, but in experience and stature and they are now getting the recognition. Though relatively young, our midfielders have spent at least 3 seasons playing together, the combination of Fabregas-Denilson-Song-Diaby are less than 25 years old but they can boast of well over 500 games for Arsenal among them, and I stress the “well over”.
Every time we hear Arsene say at the beginning of the season how playing together as a unit has helped the players grow and that they will be mentally stronger and better from past experiences. Is this finally becoming a reality? I should think so.
Arsenal repeatedly get the stick for how soft our core is and how opponents roughen us up each time we play. It looked as though that routine will continue this season, but against opposition like Bolton and Blackburn we have more than held our own, dominating both games, scoring 6 goals and conceding 2. Not bad eh? It’s funny how many times the midfield has been changed this season and how it has hardly caused any disruption to our play. Are we losing the ‘soft core’ tag or is that we have we found a way around these teams? It’s a bit of both, I think.
Our early season form and good fortune is mostly down to the efforts of our midfileders. Take a cue from key games such as the City away, Shakhtar at home, Braga away, and the League Cup game against Spurs. Earlier in the millennium, we used to be feared for how efficiently we “shared” our goals. Midfielders like Pires, Ljungberg, Vieira and Parlour put in more than their share of goals but as the years went by, it all dried up…Hleb et al.
But these crop of midfield players are determined to change that, contributing over 42% of our total goals. Nasri, 23 is enjoying his most productive start to any league season with seven goals scored already and quite some assists. Arsene says he’s beginning to show his “inner Pires” and I cannot agree more. His range of passing has improved vastly and so has the ability to cut in from both flanks, deliver a killer pass or end a good run with a goal. He’s got this mixture of confidence and arrogance, and his maturity on and off the pitch coupled with his leadership qualities has been a joy to behold. He showed utmost composure to bury 2 penalties against Spurs on their turf. His versatility, playing comfortably on either wings, attacking midfield and even in defensive midfield has prompted Wenger to add that he is becoming a complete midfielder.
Another who has matured in bounds this season is Alexandre Song. Would you believe that someone who had just 3 shots on target the whole of last season has already put in 4 goals in October. That’s more than Arsharvin and Cesc, including the extremely important winner against West Ham, which brought chants of ‘We’ve only got one Song’ from the fans.
Truth be said, Song had a shaky start to the season, picking up stupid bookings and getting caught out of position. Maybe it was the World Cup hangover or adapting to the new hairstyle(hilarious eh?). But his transformation has been nothing short of fantastic as he ventures forward more and is always lurking around the penalty box. He’s become the all action box-to-box midfielder we crave and as his transition from defence to attack is mesmerizing. Can the hunger to win titles be at its peak among this crop of players?
It would be serious injustice if I omitted Wilshere from this. The young midfielder at 18, is fast becoming a main stay in the Arsenal midfield. Given the opportunity due to Cesc’s absence, he has grabbed it with both hands giving mature and inspired displays that bely his age, scoring a goal in Europe and and also adding assists. A red card has shown that he has this edge to his game, he loves getting stuck and won’t be pushed around. Against top teams, he did not hide behind the older players and always demanded the ball. You can see it in his eyes, he’s got this winning mentality.
But for the injuries to Ramsey(another one of them) and Cesc he might have found himself farmed out on loan again. He has made a name and endeared himself to the fans. A Man-Of-Match performance against Spurs in the League Cup, more than staed a case for his emergence on the world stage. Just yesterday, he was rewarded with a new long term contract rumoured to have tripled his pay. Wilshere, to me is the future captain of Arsenal…at least he’s got Arsenal DNA!
Honourable mentions must also go to Fabregas, Denilson and Diaby for their performances so far. Cesc yet to hit top form has a couple of goals and some assists. One thing about his game he’s that even when he’s not playing to his usual standards, his presence gives the others a lift. Denilson has also put in solid shifts each time he’s been called upon. Some may point to his somewhat poor display over the weekend, but this is the only player who featured in all 3 games last week; art least he played the most minutes.
If we do win the League come May, let these guys not be forgotten because it would not be because of Van Persie’s magic goals, or Bendtner’s now-refined finishing, or Chamakh’s work rate and the penalties he’ll win, or even Vela’s chipped goals. It will be because the boys in the middle picked up the mantle when the forward guys were could not deliver.
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
Escobar says so!
I guess it is only fair to say everyone had a very good weekend Arsenally (yeah, that’s a new word from me), considering the fact that we got all three points on the same day Manchester United and Chelsea dropped two each. I wish I had something to say about Liverpool but apparently they have more games than points which is rather sad for a club of their pedigree. But that is not why I’m writing this, so I won’t get all emotional over their plight. I’m simply trying to put you in the right frame of mind, going into our Champions League Match against Shakhtar Donetsk tonight.
First let’s take a look at the facts, Arsenal have won three of their four Champions League home games against Ukrainian opposition, the exception being a 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev played at Wembley Stadium in 1998. Arsenal and Shakhtar were drawn against each other in the 2000-01 Champions League Group Stage and the Gunners came back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 thanks to two late Martin Keown goals; remember his celebration?
We have only lost two of our last 35 Champions league home matches and those were both against English opposition.Also, Arsenal have only lost two of their last 35 Champions League home matches and those were both against English opposition(United and Chelsea, I guess). The Ukrainian champions also have 6 points from two games so the boys should not assume this would be a walkover. It is like a battle for the top spot!
There is a man in the middle of all these, a certain Crozilian, Eduardo Da Silva and he might play a part in Shakhtar Donetsk attack. In his press conference,Eduardo got very emotional and touched on a few things.
“I don’t think I’ll celebrate if I score. I had great moments there and I have respect for the supporters, for Mr Wenger and the club”.
WE HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT AND LOTS OF LOVE FOR YOU TOO DUDU!!!
Seven of Dudu’s eleven appearances for the Ukrainian champions have come from the bench and he also has four goals to his name. Not a bad start, you say?
Arsenal are set to welcome back inspirational captain Cesc Fabregas as he has returned to the squad over the weekend although a starting place is not guaranteed, with Arsene Wenger saying on the club’s official website that he did not know whether or not to start him. My guess is we’ll see the same team that started on Saturday with maybe the exception of Theo on the right. Cesc and Nikky B should be on the bench. Everyone is rooting for Theo to play and work some of that “Usain Bolt magic” .
So, we need to get this game behind us and focus on the Citeh game. We started the engine well against Birmingham, so we should have enough to finish off this game early and rest some of our best legs for the cracker against the Northern Chavs. I’m looking forward to a huge win, reminiscent of those great European nights at the Grove, 3-0 , 4-0, 5-0 perhaps; or will we be stunned again? I really hope not because I’m not in the mood for any drama whatsoever.
Probable Starting XI: Fabianski; Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Wilshere; Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin.
We are the Arsenal, let’s do this!
From wherever you are reading, have fun still. It may be an unforgettable night.
Faf says so!
It’s that time of the year again. The day when most football fans wait eagerly for transfer news concerning their teams. The day when all the transfer rumours we have been entertained with since the end of last season will cease, at least for about 4 months. Trust me there will be a lot of players moving clubs before 6 p.m UK time today (when the window shuts) but what we wonder is if any of them will be headed towards N5.
We have already done some very good deals over the summer, bringing in Chamakh from Bordeaux, Koscly from Lorient and Skilly from Sevilla and of course “the signing of the summer” according to Le Boss, retaining the services of our talismanic captain Cesc Fabegas. Wonderful piece of business, each of them, if you ask me but the problem is if we will be just fine with just these three additions. Earlier in the summer, Le Boss himself declared that he was not sure who his number 1 was, going into the new season. That is a very bold statement considering Manuel Almunia has been number one for over 3 seasons now and receives little competition from his number two Fabianski.
Words have been bandied around that we have set our sights on Fulham goalie Mark Schwarzer, the Australian international. The deadline to add him to out roster for next season is now and if we do not sign him today, Arsene would have done nothing but unsettle two players in my opinion. You will agree with me that this will be no different from what Barca treated us to all summer. If Le Boss is serious about replacing Almunia, he should bring out the cheque book and give Fulham what is reasonable enough for a goalkeeper of our calibre. Our initial bids have been made public and if we do not wrap this up today, Manuel will know he is only first choice not because Wenger believes in him but because we were unsuccessful in our bid to bring in a replacement.
The goalkeeper position is not the only place we need reinforcements. Events over the weekend have made it clear that our glass-man, Van Persie will not last us a full season AGAIN. This leaves us with only Chamakh and an injured Nikky B as cover. We are only an injury to Chamakh away from starting Arshavin up front alone a la last season. Bringing in a cover for them will not be a bad idea but once again what if my predictions are wrong and we have all these guys for a long period say three months? What will become of the new player? This doea not really matter, if he is good enough, he will get playing time.
It is as though, Armand Traore and Jay Emmanuel Thomas will be going out on loan deals to Birmingham and Sunderland respectively. Also, a new defensive midfielder who can push Song for a starting place and act as cover will not be a bad idea will it?
That’s it gooners, brace yourself for the most ridiculous of assumptions and inferences today. What we do today might just be the difference between winning the title and being also-rans. Arsene get in there and do what is best for this great club, whatever you think, even if it means signing Francis Jeffers for $40 million!
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!
On a scorching Afternoon in North London with Fab and RVP on the bench, we sent B’pool crashing to earth with a Walcott-inspired performance. AW made three changes to the squad with Walcott,Rosicky and Song replacing Eboue,Nasri and Koscileny respectively.
The game started slowly with ‘pool having enturing forward and Arsenal playing the waiting game. Their first meaningful attack came after Song fouled a pool player and the resulting free kick wasted. If only they had a premonition of what they were in for…
13 minutes gone and our first goal arrived, a counter attack from the left with Clichy releasing Arsh who fed Chamakh, got it back, fed rosicky and got it back again before releasing Theo who slotted calmly past the goalkeeper.
The Tangerines responded with a free header from a freekick which was inches wide after poor marking from Clichy. At this stage Rosicky and Wilshere had started to pull strings and Chamakh was fouled after bursting clear with Theo flashing the resulting kick wide. It did not end there, another cross-field pass from Wilshere was cut out before an attack could emerge. Rosicky also went for goal only to see it fly wide after good build up play between himself and clichy. Blackpool resulted to long balls to get out of their own half which did them no good.
Another attack this time from the back with TV5 to Walcott to Rosicky back to Theo again who raced clear before feeding Arsh who hit it on the volley bringing out a good save from the goalkeeper. Walcott was proving a real menace to the Blackpool defence and on 24 minutes he set Chamakh free with a “blind” pass and he missed the goal by a few yards.
We were in ascendancy especially Rosicky who cut through the defence and the Lil Mozart characteristically released Chamakh was felled just “around” the 18-yard area. Penalty and a red card for Evatts the defaulting player was the result. Up stepped Arsha to convert..2 goals up with one extra man, or two if I include the fans.
You would be forgiven for thinking Cesc and RVP were on the pitch. Another arsenal attack saw Walcott weave through the defence again running through like hot knife through butter only for Chamakh to hesitate in pulling the trigger with Arsh firing wide from the follow up. B’pool were in complete disarray and kept losing the ball, it proved fatal once more as Chamakh won the ball and released Wilshere. The lad fed Walcott who spun around Nistelrooylically before bending a right footed shot into the bottom corner. 3-0… Just 39 minutes on the clock.
The carnival had just started. 2 minutes later saw another attack with Clichy releasing Chamakh whose shot was turned around by a Blackpool goalie bent on denying him his first League goal. Rosicky and Wilshere continued dominating play and the Czech captain set up Arsh, leaving just two Blackpool defenders to take on 4 Arsenal forwards. The ball fell to Walcott and he deftly laid it into the path of unsuspecting Wilshere, whose touch was a tad heavy. Blackpool were 3 goals ahead at half time in their previous game, they were on the receiving end of a similar trashing from us after 45 minutes.
The second half started the way the first ended. Just after two minutes, Rosicky released Sagna who skipped past a challenge before pulling it back for Diaby who swept home beautifully. 4-0…all kinds of things were happening, including a decent cross from Sagna! We kept up the tempo with wave after wave of attack orchestrated by master conductor Rosicky. Another attack yet again led to beautiful interplay between Sagna and Diaby. The move ended with a well timed pass for Theo, who took the ball in his stride, composed himself and bent it curled it in with his weaker foot for his first Arsenal hat-trick. Goal number 5, and still counting…
The mauling didn’t stop there, a breakaway led Arsha feeding Chamakh. Our Moroccan skied over the bar from 2 yards with the goal at his mercy Well, we were goals up, so he was easily forgiven. AW had had enough of “serious football” and decided to strut some training ground stuff. Enter Cesc (who got a rousing reception by the way) and RVP for Diaby and Arsh respectively. Walcott exited shortly after to a standing ovation and on came Vela. Chamakh who desperately search for his League’s first got what he craved when he powered a headed past the goalie from a RVP corner. His celebration was more of relief than ecstasy.
We switched gear and kept everything cool, we were still in control of possession and Wilshere almost iced the cake with a goal but fluffed his lines… Even though Cesc and RVP were on for just few minutes, they managed to show why they are the two most influential players in the team. Vela even had the time to put the ball over the heads of three players one after the other but he scoffed his shot when it mattered most.
Final whistle… 6 goals, 3 points, the least result befitting such a perfect performance!
There was really no message sent to the rest of the League as we were expected to come out with all three points. I am glad, Yes! But over the moon? No! If we can managed this sort of result against the likes of Everton, Fulham and Citeh, then I might hang myself upside down in joy. For now, it was a routine victory and we still have a lot of work to do to wrest that title back to N5.
News making rounds today suggest that Squillaci will fly into London today for his medical. While I have my reservations concerning him as a player, we need that cover at the back very badly and I’ll be more than happy to have him.
P.S:MGFC are closing in on a new player, Osagie Edet. Terms have been agreed between the involved parties and the move is only subject to a medical. Osagie, an attacking midfielder is technically gifted and we can achieve a lot more with his goals and assists. He’ll be joining a team of superstars like Escobar, iamfaf and 9jabred. Mouth-watering team innit?
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
Escobar says so!