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.
We’re here again. This same spot, where according to history, our season comes to an end on all fronts. We’re a leg and a half out of the Champions league and the FA Cup along with Champions league qualification for next season is all we have left to fight for. Should be easy right? Never. With Arsenal. Never.
The players must come out and give the fans temporary respite with a convincing performance this saturday. But with our opponents being Sunderland, the task is more daunting than it is on paper. We can do it. We must do it.
Word is, Wenger ripped into the players after the abject performance midweek with a foul mouthed tirade that shocked the players. Imagine if the players had a mindset knowing they’ll get a barracking if they played rubbish. Drop a lot of them and play hungry people with a lot to prove. On to team news.
Mertesacker is out for the season…ouch, Koscielny took a knock but is going to be available for the North London derby. Santos & Jenkinson(back on monday) are still out, so too Wilshere & Diaby. Le Boss is going to rotate the team and drop some players and afford RVP some much needed rest.
Predicted LineUp: Fabianski-Sagna-Djourou-Vermaelen-Miquel-Coquelin-Arteta-Benayoun-AOC-Gervinho-Chamakh
I put miquel in because I don’t see Gibbs starting seeing as we had Milan on tuesday, Arshavin might come in but I’d expect him to come off the bench if we need ammunition. This is a patchy line up and I expect something completely different but this is how I would line up.
A goal fest would go a long way in helping soothe some really frayed nerves. Testing times at the Emirates within and around the club as a lot of fans are losing(have lost) patience with the club as a whole and with Usmanov silently gathering shares, expect a stormy summer. Till then, one game at a time starting at 17:15 GMT today. COYG.
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It was never going to be an easy game especially with the opponents on the day going through a mini revival. Arsene made only one change with Sagna replacing Coquelin.
The game in itself was rather dull and as it looked like it was heading for a stalemate, Mertesacker gifted Sunderland the lead when he picked up an injury in possession. Wenger threw on Ramsey, Arshavin & Henry & Boom boom, two goals and 3 points followed for us. Below are the player ratings.
Made some good saves and was erratic with his distribution. Should have done better with the goal he conceded.
The best of the bunch at the back along with Sagna. Won most of his tackles and defended bravely. Played a silly back pass to Ji but it didn’t prove costly.
Still not happy that he continues to play at Left back as we haven’t kept a clean sheet since he was moved there.
Mertesacker – 5
LOL. This German will finally get it right someday and have a performance without blemish. It wasn’t today however, he was brilliant but all it takes is one mistake and that led to Sunderland’s opener. If his injury is serious as it looks, then TV5 will return to CB(everyone shout Hallelujah)
Sagna – 7
Nothing to report here. Solid going forward, solid at the back. Typical.
Arteta – 6
Conducted himself brilliantly in the middle of the park. Should have done a lot better against a tired midfield.
Song – 4
Oh my God. Is this the real Song? Or was last week a mirage? Very poor. Lost the ball repeatedly and no surprise the 2 goals came after he moved to CB
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5
Not a good game from the lad at all but no complaints here. All part of a learning curve.
Walcott – 4
Tied with Song as the worst player on the pitch. A bit harsh following his heroics last weekend but its the truth.
Rosicky – 6
Nothing spectacular, given a free role he should have done better. Might not start the next game given ramsey’s heroics off the bench.
Van Persie – 6
Average game for someone of his standards even though great credit must go to the sunderland rearguard.
Ramsey – 7:Came and got a goal within 3 minutes. Added creativity to the midfield. Wonderful cameo.
Arshavin- 6: Had less than 5 touches, but still managed a peach of an assist! I’ve said this over and again, no matter the form, his class is unquestionable.
Henry- 8: When you need a goal, you need Thierry Henry. Granted, the assist was quite good, but his finish was even better! He came through when we needed him the most. His last EPL goal returns us to the top 4. How fitting?
Arsene Wenger- 10: 3 subs, 2 get the goals, one with an assist. Nuff said!
There you have it. We went a goal down but showed enough strength to turn things around.
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Good day from wherever good place you’re reading this. After just a point from four league games ended with an emphatic win last weekend, the lads will be looking to build on that performance in their trip to face Sunderland. First to some somewhat bad news.
King Henry will not be extending his loan spell, according to New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe. It’s no secret Arsene wants him to stay for 2 more weeks, but Bulls coach has indicated that Titi will return to the States on 17th February as originally planned. Said he:
“When I spoke to him [Henry], he told me that he was 100 per cent coming back on February 17,” said Backe. “What I know, it’s only rumours. I haven’t heard anything from them about extending the loan.”
The news will definitely come as a sucker punch to Wenger’s plans and will leave most gooners very sad. Tit has been wonderful for us in his short spell, we can only thank NYRB for giving him up in the first place and wish him luck.
Now to the game this weekend. The Black Cats have most usually proved a stubborn opposition for us. We only edged this season’s reverse fixture; Seb Larsson’s free-kick remains stunning, and now, with Martin O’Neil at the helm, Saturday’s match at the Stadium of Light may just be as tough.
O’Neil will however be without a host of injured absentees including Lee Cattermole, David Vaughan and Titus Bramble along with Craig Gordon, Matthew Kilgallon and Wes Brown who are out on the long-term. Oh, our dear on loan top marksman Nicklas Bendtner’s out as well.
Then there’s the bit of getting his team ready for us days after needing extra time to edge local rivals Middesbrough and set up a Fifth Round date with us next weekend in the FA Cup. All that’s the good part for us for on the flip side there’s the presence of Larsson, Stephan Sessegnon and Frazier Campbell to deal with along with the fact that we have not won at Sunderland since October 2007 when Robin van Persie bagged a double in a 3-2 victory.
Speaking of, van Persie has 22 goals already and talks of etching his name on the records have started brewing but as the captain rightly would, we’ll focus on the match instead.
Alongside him, Alex Song and Mikel Arteta are sure to start. I’d like to see Bacary Sagna start this one too as well as Tomas Rosicky in midfield though gut feeling says we may see the return of Ramsey.
Possible XI: Szczesny. Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen. Arteta, Song, Ramsey. AOC, Walcott, van Persie.
The manager says Chamakh’s at “normal fitness” level and could make the bench for this, sorry Park. And on the injury front, Kieran Gibbs is not far from full fitness as well as Carl Jenkinson. Good to have a near fully fit squad to pick from with games in the Cup and Chmpions League coming up.
Wenger has also praised African duo Song and Gervinho, the former for his marked improvement in the passing department and attacking mentality which has seen him provide seven assists in all competitions so far; second behind Walcott with eight assists.
Gervinho gets le Boss’ praise after his great solo effort proved enough for Ivory Coast to reach the Africa Nations Cup final. Wenger was partucularly pleased with Eddy’s composure in finishing and hopes it boosts his confidence playing for club and country.
A win this Saturday will further boost our confidence as well, especially so coming on away grounds against an organised team as Sunderland. I’m thinking 1-0 to the Cannon.
What do you think? See you in the comments…
Move Over International football, Welcome back EPL(and the remaining leagues of lesser importance). A lot happened over the last 14 days, with countries qualifying for their respective 2012 tournaments, lots of goals, drama, heartbreak(my country Nigeria losing out on ACN qualification….gutted), oh Wayne Rooney’s moment of madness will see him miss the group stages of Euro 12.
Back to important business, looks like the injuries are easing up on the lads, Koscielny, Djourou and the french abomination(a bit extreme I know) who must not be named are all back in training. Which believe it or not is good news as it means Song gets to move back into his natural role even if it means I won’t get to see Coquelin for a while.
AW reckons Sagna’s injury is no cause for alarm as he trusts the mighty Jenkinson (who by the way is better than Dani Alves + Phillip Lahm) to replace the frenchman. He then went further by saying Koscielny could do the job is superman Jenko fails to make the grade or Djourou or Andre Santos. Good, no need to worry.
We welcome Sunderland to the Grove on Sunday and the lineup might not see much change, if at all the trio of Koscielny, Jenkinson coming in for Coquelin and Sagna. I expect the same players in attack and midfield. Good news is Bendtner won’t be playing as EPL rules prevent such. Let’s hope the lads can do well.
Have a great day.
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