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Arsenal Consolidate 3rd Spot With Wolves Win + Player Ratings

Good night for the Gunners this as goals from RvP from the spot and Walcott soon after put us on our way to a 3-0 win at bottom club Wolves, Yossi Benayoun wrapping up the night for us at Molineux.

That puts us five ahead of the Sillywhites and Newcastle as third place looks assured with five matches left to play and nine wins in 10 matches is a good run to carry into the run-in.

Straight to the ratings then:

Szczesny7
Another relatively quiet match for the Pole but showed great awareness with two top draw saves early and late in the second half. The former to deny Doyle’s header was classic.

Sagna6
Good game and good work rate from him. Got replaced late on by Jenkinsom.

Djourou7
Solid performance from him. Hope he keeps it up when Wigan visit. Wigan by the way beat Man. United and added a good twist to the title race.

Vermaelen7
An assured perfomance, as almost always from him.

Santos5
I’m not sure why he bothered. Attacked much but his defending was suspect a lot of times.

Arteta7
Quietly anchored the midfield superbly.

Song7.5
Complemented Arteta well, and bagged an assist yet again… this time for Benayoun rather than you know who.

Ramsey4
Oh dear. Hesitated when he should’ve taken a first time shot at goal. Had a clear penalty shout waved away but generally lived down to expectations.

Walcott7
Gets a 7 only because he got a goal and won us the penalty that saw Sebastien Bassong get sent off, otherwise wasn’t exceptional.

Benayoun8
Good work rate yet again and got himself a well taken goal from the edge of the box.

RvP8
You’d think some confidence would’ve drained from him after going four matches without scoring… then he does that from the penalty spot. He scores when he wants and apparently, how he wants. Vintage stuff.

SUBSTITUTES
OxN/A

JenkinsonN/A

So next up for us is the red devils’ unlikely conquerors Wigan Athletic on Monday and from what we’ve seen the Latics play in their last two matches, it’s safe to say we have a cracking encounter coming up.

Do tell a gooner to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs, see you Monday night.

Wolves Preview + Club News & Clowny FA Decisions

Good day wherever you read from. Last night was proof that the established routine can be broken when ten-man Liverpool actually managed a win, more so shocking that the winning goal came courtesy of Andy should-rather-runway-model Carroll.

It’s the sort of scenario Wolverhampton Wanderers will (however absurd it may seem to the world) hope for, to break the established routine when we visit Molineux tonight in a Premier League encounter.

I’m always wary of stats when they’re in our favour and the ones for this fixture is an avalanche that’s heaped pitifully on Wolves. Just a point won in the seven matches manager Terry Connor has overseen so far to add to the club losing the last five matches at home to Arsenal in all competitions.

And while we have kept a clean sheet in three of our last four matches, our hosts have failed to keep one in 15 home matches. Then there’s our run of eight wins in nine league matches compared to Wolves’ quite appaling run of six consecutive league losses; the worst such run in the top flight in three decades.

Without the rest of the overwhelming stats, we should win this outright, yes? Sure. Same way the three points looked assured going into the QPR encounter. Coupled with the fact that Wolves held us to a 1-1 draw t the Ems earlier in the reverse fixture only makes tonight’s encounter potential banana skin for Arsenal.

In light of this, Wenger said “Believe me, they don’t know much better than you or me and the result of every game is just a consequence of your performance on the day.” adding that, “Nobody can really predict that (team performance) because your performance on the day depends on you, but also depends on the other team as well.”

Therefore the team must avoid complacency in our quest to open a five point cushion between us and the chasing pack in the race for the lucrative Champions League places, for which we occupy the final automatic qualifying spot.

Boss Arsène Wenger therefore cannot afford to toy about with the starting line-up though some changes will inevitably be made from the team that started against Man. City.

Possible line-up
Szczesny. Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Santos. Arteta, Song, Rosicky. Walcott, Ox/Ramsey, van Persie.

Johan Djourou will start thanks to Koscielny’s two-match ban for receiving his 10th yellow card against City, while Gibbs will likely make way for Santos after picking a slight knock on Sunday. And in attack, it is obvious we’d prefer the Ox started but… you just never know with the boss, could even start Gervinho for all we know after the ‘Eddy’ didn’t even make the bench on Sunday.

Club News
With Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin still on course in their recoveries, the big surprise is the big f**king German Mert4 apparently coming back from his ankle injury sooner than expected, much sooner that he’s expected to resume training later this week.

And in the reserves’ league, our January arrival from Borussia Dortmund Thomas Eisfeld yesterday evening scored the lone goal; his first for the club, as the Arsenal Reserves defeated the Newcastle Reserves in its penultimate match of the season.

Finally, the English FA, that just always have a way of reinventing themselves in the black book of world football following its acutely contrasting decisions on incidents involving Ivanovic, Wigan’s and Mario Balotelli, with the latter to only serve a ban for his red card without the addition of being charged and banned for his stamp on Alex Song’s knee on Sunday.

Consolation is in Song being available anyway and here’s to going a step closer to sealing third spot in the league with a much needed win tonight.

COYG!!!

Arsenal fail to take advantage: The Player Ratings

Szczesny (6): Had nothing to do the entire game. Could not do much about the goal.

Djourou (6.5):Did OK. Put in a few good tackles, but we still need Sagna back ASAP.

Kos/Mertesacker (8):The pair performed admirably. Granted they didn’t see the ball a lot, but the few balls they were faced with, they handle properly.

Vermaelen (8): Another good game. Did all we could expect, bar score a goal which isn’t his duty really.

Alex Billong (7): He put in a fairly good performance, can do way better though. He’s a professional and should cut out such rash challenges.

Benayoun (6.5): First 20mins, he was everywhere, but he faded as the game wore on. Nice through pass to Gervinho for the goal

Arteta (8): Went about his job quietly as usual. He was everywhere and put in a good shift.

Rosicky (7.5): Started amazingly for the first half hour, and went down one gear for the rest of the game. Probed for an opening and could have got an assist.

Gervinho (7.5): He was frustrating and brilliant at the same time. The talent is there for all to see, his delivery/execution is appalling though. Well taken goal.

RvP (7):The record was evidently on his mind, as he made some unusual decisions. He squandered some chances he would normally score. The few chances he put on goal, he met an inspired goalkeeper.

SUBSTITUTES

Ramsey (6): Came on for Alex Billong and rightly so. But he did not add much to the game. Could have had an assist.

Chamakh (4): Came on, almost gave RVP a concussion and bled through his head.

Arshavin (6): Showed some signs of improvement. Got into some nice positions but his decision making had the mark of a player short on confidence.

Wolves at home and we still fail to take advantage of slip-ups by City, L’pool and Chelsea. That’s sad, really.

Van Persie did not fire on all cylinders today and we struggled to get a goal.

If this does not convince Wenger that we need another striker, a potent one, I do not know what will.

Any comments or thoughts? Please share them below.

Arsenal vs Wolves : Match Preview

The dust has settled, Christmas festivities are over and man’s first love, football is back and your favorite team is in action tomorrow. We welcome Wolves to the Emirates after getting back to winning ways against Villa, not the best of games but as always its the result that counts. So let’s have it shall we?

PREVIEW
It is worth knowing that Wolves haven’t taken a point off us in the last six games in which we’ve kept clean sheets in the last three games. Boosting this is the fact we’ve conceded just 5 goals at home with only City(4) & Swansea(2) boasting better.

But with the way Wolves are scoring goals these days & the tandem of Jarvis crosses & Fletcher’s headers, we might have to be on our toes & avoid any complacency.

Robin Van Persie can’t stop scoring & Wolves can’t keep a clean sheet, so expect a couple of goals.

TEAM NEWS
Arsenal remain without Jack wilshere, Sagna, Diaby, Gibbs(who suffered a setback), Santos while Song returns from a suspension and would go straight into the team.

The team has been struggling for bite, sharpness & cut throat finishing these past games so I’d like to see fresh faces. Gervinho & Ramsey should be rested, off color for a while now and Rosicky & Benayoun(AOC) should take their place. The thought of RVP flanked by 2 exciting & very different englishmen is one I’ve been entertaining even though I don’t see it happening.

So long Arshavin & Chamakh & Squillaci don’t take the field, I’m good.

Possible Line-Up : Szczesny-Djourou-Koscielny-Mertesacker-Vermaelen-Song-Arteta-Benayoun-Rosicky-Walcott-RVP

Prediciton : Arsenal 3 : 0 Wolves

Let’s win this & show that the City loss was just a glitch. COYG!!!

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Olympiakos vs Arsenal : Fringe Players & Youngsters To Get Their Chance + Transfer Rumors

Don’t let the heading fool you, despite securing qualification as group winners last round, Wenger has said he still intends to finish strongly meaning expect to see a few first team players mixed with fringe players and youngsters.

The likes of RVP, Walcott, Ramsey, Song are definitely going to be rested as they are close to burning out having played a large chunk of the season so far. Frimpong(who is going out on loan in January), AOC, Coquelin, Park, Chamakh are going to play.

Predicted Line Up : Fabianski-Djourou-Squillaci-Miquel-Santos-Frimpong-Coquelin-Benayoun-AOC-Arshavin-Chamakh

Transfer News + Player News
Till the transfer window opens, we’ll be bringing you players with whom we’re being linked, and over the weekend, its reported that we’re going for Alex Pato of Milan, with a deal of 25M + Arshavin doing the rounds. Also Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas has been added to the list of those we’re after.

Like most gooners, I’d rather we get a cheap player seeing as its january and quality players are rarely available, so let’s get Podolski as he can do the job on his own or play together with RVP. He won’t require any work permit and he’s not Euro tied.

Player News
Wenger confirmed Diaby has had a setback and is out again, for how long, we don’t know. Why is Diaby still an Arsenal player? I’ll wait for an answer.

Are there still any Arteta doubters here? I’ll have you know he’s averaging the most passes per game in the whole of the premiership and along with Ramsey(4th) they continue to boast impressive percentages(Ramsey had 95% pass completion on Saturday).

Szczesny continues to make himself one of the favorite Arsenal players to the fans, as if being a fantastic goalkeeper with immovable confidence was not enough, at the end of the Wigan game, he went over to the away fans, put his hand to his lips in a gesture to make them mute, then he started a chant that had to do with “Arsenal simply being the best”

Do have a lovely day. Cheers

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

It’s either tonight or probably next season, again.

A repeat performance, maybe?

The game at the Molineux tonight is probably our most important match of the season…this tag changes as the season progresses, mind you. Tonight is all about getting our season back on track and proving our doubters wrong. We have been going through a bad patch of late…Birmingham, West Ham, Shakhtar, Newcastle. It is time we turned the corner and respond to all criticisms.

Against the big teams this season, we have not done too bad, a draw at Anfield, a loss at the Bridge and a win at Man City, yes City are a big team now. But winning the league is not all about winning the top sides, we need to consistently churn out results against the mid table and bottom teams. We need to go to places like Stoke, Blackburn and Sunderland with full confidence of getting a result.

Tonight, we’ll be up against a Wolves team on form, a team that narrowly lost to United at Old Trafford last weekend. They are on a good run of form now and it will take a lot to stop that. We will need to be patient in our build up, make our football do the talking, and most importantly be decisive in the final third. No more Chamakh dilly-dallying on the ball in the box. You are a striker mate, get your shooting boots on, we have enough passers already.

Koscly is out through suspension, so Djourou should normally come in for him, Arshavin is in line to start, so is Van Persie and we can really do with their presence, directness and experience. We need the Cesc of old, not the lost fella we saw over the weekend. Nasri’s injury isn’t too serious, so he should start. I expect Nari and Arshavin on both wings with Chamakh in the middle. I won’t mind Van Persie though. Theo, Rosicky, Nikky B, and Vela will be on the bench in case we need more men up front.

Talking serious injuries, Wenger provided bad injury news ahead of tonight’s game. Vermaelen is still having issues with his Achilles hence no return date can be set. Wenger also said Diaby will undergo more tests today or tomorrow and will visit a new specialist if pain persists. More bad news in midfield with Abou Diaby set to undergo more tests today or tomorrow and will visit a new specialist if pain persists. TV5 has been out of action since August and since I know he’s no crock, the injury must be really serious. I do hope he comes back soon to shore up our defence. The same can really be said of a certain Frenchman, can it?

If we do not get maximum points tonight, we will be further pegged behind because Chelsea will most likely beat Fulham, 7 or more points behind the Chavs is not what we need at this stage of the season. We also need to capitalize on the result of the Manchester derby. It sounds weird but see a City win in the offing. It’s not our problem though, let’s get into the battle with the Wolves and show why we are the gunners.

I see a 2 nil win, Arshavin and any other person, and yes a clean sheet! What do you see? Let us know in the comments section.
C’mon boys, let’s do this!

9jabred says so!