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Archive for August, 2009

We lost….but it’s not that bad!

August 30, 2009 8 comments

Our first big test of the season and we were doing great but then we decided to try out the ‘self destruct’ button. It’s all very common for us Arsenal fans, isn’t it? We dominate,score a goal and then give it away. It was one of those days when we were just not meant to win. We scored a screamer of a goal,had a penalty shout turned down,missed two glorious chances to double the lead,gave away a needless penalty ( which is still debatable) ,scored an own goal and then scored a goal from an offside position. To add to that our own very mature professor was sent off for some reason which is apparently serious enough to be punished. It’s not the defeat which is hurting me or many Arsenal fans out there it is the manner in which we lost.

It’s not everyday that you go to OT and completely dominate the game, lead the game for a large part and still end up losing. It could be said that we lacked experience to handle the situation once they levelled but we had Gallas,RVP,Arshavin,Clichy and Sagna on the pitch. There is enough experience in those players to stay calm and deal with the crisis if at all there was one. It was around 4 months back at the same venue, Almunia gave a performance which raised expectations. He single handedly kept us in the CL semi-final tie. But yesterday’s Almunia just proved why he is not in the Spanish national team set up. A needless rush of adrenaline from Almunia resulted in Rooney diving ( or being brought down) and then staying rooted to the spot for the Giggs free kick just summed up his dismal day. The goal which really dented our hopes was Abou’s own goal. All I can say is…. What the hell were you thinking Abou? It also shows that his comparisons to PV4 were pre-mature and there is still a long way to go before he can be regarded as a great player. He missed a great chance to equalise moments after the own goal and then just couldn’t maintain possesion or string a pass together. We can all applaud Arshavin for the goal he scored but really he didn’t do much apart from that. He should have put in more effort considering we were missing our most creative player in the team.He was brought down in the box in the first half which should have been awarded as a penalty but then it’s not very common for away teams to get a penalty at OT.

We were great for most parts of the game and there were a lot of positives to come out of the game.

1) RVP looked good. He lead the side well.

2) Song put in a good shift.He’s improved a great deal and it worries me that we will be missing him during the ACN. So Wenger should really bring in a replacement now.

3) Gallas is the in-form player for us right now and really can’t do much wrong these days.

4) We dominated the midfield without Cesc,Nasri and Rosicky.

It’s not a result which should ring the alarm bells at the Grove but it’s surely something which needs to be looked into. It’s three points lost though and we should pick up from here and make sure we finish off games well and don’t repeat mistakes like these again.

It’s still a great start to the campaign and it can only get better.

Cheers and keep Gunning!

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Anti-Arsenal Brigade Is Out Again…..Time for true ‘Arsenalisation’

August 28, 2009 3 comments

It’s ridiculous how this one dive is making more headlines than Eduardo’s horrific leg break.It all began with a dodgy penalty decision against Celtic and now it’s been made into an issue as if Eduardo murdered someone on the field in front of 60,000 people. To add to that UEFA have now stepped in to look into the matter and take a decision whether to ban Eduardo or not. It’s certainly not the first time a player has dived ( which is still not sure) but it is the first time that UEFA are acting on a suggestion from some football association chief. The Celts have really not taken the defeat very well which is showing off in their behaviour. Cry Babies!!

As if the penalty is all that separated the two teams over the two fixtures. Having said that UEFA have quite expectedly fired up Wenger who has come out all guns blazing against UEFA. I agree with Wenger on that, it is being blown out of proportion just because the Bhoys couldn’t accept their defeat. There are 100-150 dives every weekend in football games and yet this one makes all the headlines. Rooney,Gerrard,Drogba and Oh how can i forget,Ronaldo, have mastered the art over the years and have gone unpunished a number of times and yet a player from Arsenal is charged for the very first time by looking at a not so conclusice TV replay.

It all makes me wonder if there is a campaign against Arsenal which teams and managers and the media have used over the years to unsettle us. I remember how William Gallas’ outburst against Birmingham was made such a big issue and it went all downhill from there on. Mind games are different and accusing players is another thing. I am not sure what effect this is going to have on the team ahead of the all important clash against ManU but I hope it’s not a bad one. Wenger,Nik B and Denilson have come out in the defence of Eduardo and I think it’s good to see the team spirit in there. If anything I can only hope this issue makes the team even stronger and more hungry for success.  I genuinely believe that there should be an appeal against the decision if there is one against Eduardo.UEFA need to be consistent and not take this one off issue and deal with it to tell the fans how much they care about football.Michael Platini who has said that he would have dived if he was in place of Eduardo should be the first one to be kicked out of UEFA because of his anti-English team nature.

Having said that I really hope the fans going to OT for the weekend game support the team like never before. Let’s show them what the fans can do for the team. That in my eyes would be true ‘Arsenalisation’.

Spare the Guy….We won 5-1…Move on to the next game!

August 27, 2009 3 comments

We have finally qualified for the champions league and showed everyone that we can compete well even with all the summer departures and lack of new signings. F*ck we never get credit for anything. As I woke up and read the news paper today all I could read was headlines calling Eduardo a cheat,diver blah blah blah…Did they forget we won 5-1? Did they forget that Celtic were totally outclassed even with all the stars missing from yesterday’s line up? I say let them do the crap talking, we have qualified for the CL, have got the qualification money in the bag and are doing pretty well.

Talking of yesterday’s game I was a bit surprised by the line up considering Wenger’s statement regarding the importance of the game. It was pretty much over when we won the first leg 2 nil but it was a risk to start with such a line up. Again it was proved that Wenger does know what he is doing. We won comfortably and dominated the game. I think Eboue has had a nice pep talk delivered to him by Wenger which is certainly showing off in his performances. It’s great news that he will be staying with us. His finishing and overall game has improved a great deal and I can see him playing a very important role this campaign.Also Eduardo looked great as did Nicklas Bendtner. Bendtner’s clever flick which resulted in the 2nd goal was a treat to watch and as was Arshavin’s finishing. The guy is true class and show what great players can do. Note to Wenger: Buying experienced and true class players is a good idea! Should do it more. As far as defenders are concerned Vermaelen and Gallas seemed to be a match made in heaven. They look good every game but really need to stop switching off towards the end and stop teams from scoring that ‘consolation’ goal.

Star of the Match: Eboue.

Coming back to the topic which interests everyone this morning.Sure it was not a penalty.But did you see Eduardo asking for the penalty? Did he do a “Ballack” style run towards the official? Did he cry and moan about it? If Eduardo gets a ban for that I think Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo should be banned for life. You got to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. FFS he suffered a horrific leg break a year back and might be a case where he was being cautious and trying to get out of the way and fell. I really don’t think it should be made such a huge issue since it really didn’t matter much. 5-1 was the final score line and I really didn’t see Celtic creating too many opportunities to actually make it difficult for us.

Anyway we looked solid at the back,midfielders also put in a good shift and strikers also did well. No complaints really but it’s how we perform on Saturday is what is going to matter the most and give an indication of what to expect. I’m sure we’ll be having Arshavin,RVP and hopefully Cesc back in the line up for the trip to OT.

Cheers and Keep Gunning!

It’s the Emirates this time..not Celtic Park…Let’s show them the real atmosphere.Match Preview.

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s the return leg of the CL qualification tie which attracted great attention across Europe as the battle of the British teams and to see if Arsenal can cope with the summer departures.We won Round 1 comfortably and now it’s just a case of doing well and sealing the qualification. Wenger has already warned the players not to get complacent with probably the prestige and history of the club at stake but if recent form is to go by, Arsenal will come out winners comfortably and progress with a renewed aim of winning the coveted trophy for the first time.It’s hard to not think about the fixture against ManUtd at the weekend but I’m sure all the players will be focussed on the job at hand. Although Wenger would like to keep all his players fit and fresh for the trip to OT, he would also know that the tie is not over yet.

First leg fixture saw us dominate the game for large parts of the game with the odd counter attack causing some trouble at the back. We won by two goals,kept a clean sheet and were not really troubled by the much hyped atmosphere at Celtic Park.It’s not Celtic Park this time though, it’s the Emirates and Arsenal boast a proud record at home in the champions league. The key would be to score early and take the fizz out of the Bhoys. It will also then give an opportunity for Wenger to substitute some of the stars and keep them fresh for the United fixture.Diaby,Ramsey and Eduardo all looked good in the Portsmouth game and with Fabregas ruled out with injury,Ramsey looks certain to fill the void. Also Diaby is certain to start the game which means only one of Song or Denilson will get the nod for this game. We have looked pretty solid at the back with Gallas and Vermaelen forming a great partnership but I’d like to see Eboue at RB instead of Sagna. Eboue impressed at the weekend and has certainly worked on his crossing something which Sagna still needs to do. Although it’s difficult to see Eboue start the tie if Wenger wants to sell him before the transfer window closes which I hope is not the case. He is a great utility player and I really don’t want to see him leave. The great news is that Rosicky is fit and ready to start but has not been included in the squad for Celtic. He is expected to play some part in the weekend clash though. With Wenger quite happy with the new formation I expect him to start the same against Celtic with Ramsey filling in for the Captain.

Squad Prediction: (4-3-3)

football pitch 3.bmp
Subs:Denilson,Silvestre,Eboue,Eduardo,Wilshere,Merida,Mannone.

Score Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Celtic

It’s going to be cracker of a game tomorrow and the perfect preparation for the visit to OT. I hope to see Arsenal come out all guns blazing and finish off the game early.

So What is your prediction for the game?

Cheers and Keep Gunning!

Transfer News + Tricky title race

August 25, 2009 1 comment

So I’ve been kept away from the internet for some time and haven’t had the chance to update the blog but now I’m back and just in time for the Big games coming up! I hope Tomas Rosicky and Nasri could say so. Anyway coming back on track, the morale and mood at Emirates is high as ever. 3 wins out of 3, CL qualification almost certain and most players in hot form.The only sad part is that the Spuds are on top.

All eyes are on Wenger to see if he digs his hand in his pocket and finally buy some new players. Arshavin thinks that he needs to and I have been saying the same thing whole summer but Wenger is the one incharge and let’s wait and watch.Sadly the Hangeland,Vieira and Chamakh rumours have died down and it’s all gone all quiet on the Senderos front too. It could only mean that Wenger is content with the players he has or has a surprise up his sleeve.Can’t really know that with Wenger but i’ll give him the benefit of the doubt till 1st September.Blaise Matuidi seems to be the one who could be one of the new faces although Wenger wouldn’t come out and declare that. So it’s just wait and watch for us fans.

On the pitch there have been a few surprising results already this season. Burnley have stunned ManUtd and Everton while Liverpool have already lost 2 games out of 3. Luckily we haven’t lost yet and have also played a game less and have a great goal difference at the moment. Too early to predict but it’s going to be the most competitive and open PL title chase this season. Burnley look like the giant killers like Hull were last time, the Spuds are soaring high and Chelsea are on track too. ManUtd and Liverpool,well you can never reall count them down and out.I hate to say it but ManCity could spring a surprise or two this season so it’s important for Arsenal to keep their feet on the ground and keep the good work going all season. One lapse is all that can turn things around this time and I hope it never happens to us.

Next up is the return leg of the CL clash with Celtic and then the big game against ManUtd at OT. I hope Fab is fit in time for the latter clash while Ramsey can fit in for Fab for the Celtic game. I don’t think we’ll give it away to Celtic but anything can happen in football.

I’m confident though.

We’ll have a Match Preview,Squad Prediction and Score prediction for tomorrows game up in the morning so check back and make your predictions too!

Till then

Cheers and Keep Gunning!

Transfer gossip+News+ B52 gets a pay hike

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

With Arsenal looking all set to qualify for the Champions League the rumour mill has sprung into action linking a number of stars with a switch to Emirates. Madrid outcast,Van der Vaart, is being tipped for a move while PSV winger,Balazs Dzsudzsak is claiming that Arsenal have already made an offer for his services.With Nasri and Rosicky both out injured I think Wenger is looking to bring in the young winger as a back up but I really don’t think we need a winger. A DM and CB should be topping the shopping list. Song will be off for ACN and we’ll surely need a good back up for him. Gallas and Veramelen seem to form a great partnership at the back but we lack a quality back up for either of them. Hangeland, who is getting irritated by the rumours about him and Arsenal, would be a great signing if Wenger really wants a CB.Although the rumours have died down a bit but there are still indications that he could sign for us before Sept 1.

Moving attention to the players we have, Nicklas Bendtner has signed a new lucrative contract which will keep him at the club till 2014.The contract also sees him earn wages of 50k pw. Bendtner who’s shown considerable improvement from last season,atleast in the first two games, seems to be benifitting from the departure of Ade. It’s good to see Wenger tying up players on long contract and realising the importance of keeping the core of the team together. I don’t really agree with the pay hike but I’m guessing it was necessary seeing the money floating around in football at the moment.I hope Wenger moves quickly enough to get Gallas to sign a new contract seeing his early form and renewed motivation.

Another striking improvement seems to be the team spirit this season. Van Persie,Sagna and Clichy all coming out and saying how they are playing for each other and are having a good time off the field too. I think the summer clear out of of disinterested players is really helping the team and in a big way.It’s great to see the team play and enjoy what they are doing,something which seemed to be missing last season.

Meanwhile Gallas and Vermaelen are getting on really well and really look to be striking a good partnership which wasn’t the case with Kolo and Gallas last season. It’s a totally different,charged up and motivated Gallas we are seeing this season and Vermaelen seems to be learning from his senior partner.Here is what Vermaelen had to say….

“He[Gallas] is very experienced, For me it’s much easier to play in a side with him because of that.I have already learned a lot from him. 
“For us as defenders it is very important [to keep clean sheets]. It was also a good result to win 2-0. It’s better than 1-0 of course and for us it’s important. 
“But Celtic are still a good team and against Moscow [in the Third Qualifying Round] they lost at home 1-0 but then won 2-0 away. They are still in the race so we have to keep concentrating and play the same game we did today.”

So it’s great to see the team gel together and play for each other.This could only mean good things to come and glory on the horizon. Also it’s time to see how the Manager concludes his transfer market dealings in the coming week with a few names likely to come in.

Till then…

Cheers and Keep Gunning!

Celtic Park – Fortress? Arsenal lucky??Cmon Give us Some Credit…

August 19, 2009 4 comments

So we have all but qualified for the group stages unless our defence goes on a holiday and we have Jack Wilshere playing in goal for the return leg. We are just the 2nd British team to win at Celtic park and considering the likes of Milan,Barcelona and ManUtd couldn’t do it, it is certainly an achievement. And those talking of how lucky Arsenal were I think should go and check the game stats. We dominated possession,had 3 times more shots on goal and certainly didn’t look like giving a goal away. A slice of luck in both the goals but it was down to how we created the chances and forced the goals.We score 6 goals against Everton at Goodison Park and are told that Lescott wasn’t in the right frame of mind….I really don’t know what Arsenal need to do to get people believing and appreciating them.Anyway we don’t mind what people say as long as we keep winning.

Talking of the game, Celtic had certainly planned to disrupt our passing game by going hard at us and playing long balls up field.It wasn’t going to work today with Gallas and Vermaelen forming what looks like to be a very very good partnership at the back.Once Arsenal got into the groove there was no looking back. Arsenal fielding the same XI from the weekend seemed to have great cohesion and were creating alot of chances.I have to say Song looked really up for it in the midfield and has certainly improved from last year. Another notable performance came from Vermaelen who seems to be adapting pretty quickly to our style of play and certainly reads the game very well. And Gallas who seems to be intent on being in the top scorers this season put in a good shift at the back and chipped in with his one goal which he celebrated as if it was practised all week.Anyway a good performance all round which will certainly give the team a lot of confidence.

Next up is Portsmouth before the return leg.It’s going to be interesting to see how Wenger rotates the players for that game since we have Man Utd and ManCity coming up. It also remains to be seen if Wenger adds some new names to the team before the window shuts.Van der Vaart,Hangeland,Matuidi are the names floating around at the moment. It looks pretty good right now at the Emirates. Hope the players keep the same levels all year round and finally land some silverware.

 

Player Raitings:

Manuel Almunia: Didn’t have alot to do in the game but did look solid. 7/10

Bacary Sagna: Need to work on his crossing other than that he was good. 7/10

Gallas: Solid at the back,Nice runs forward and also scored a goal. Came up with an important block to deny a goal and helped us keep a clean sheet.  8.5/10

Vermaelen: Has the pace and reads the game very well. 9/10

Clichy: Need to work on his positioning and concentrate more on his defensive duties.Did provide a good cross for the second goal though. 6.5/10

Song: Looks really good this season but needs to concentrate for the whole 90mins.Seems to take his mind off towards the end of the game. 7/10

Denilson: Wasn’t seen too much,had a shot on goal and didn’t really make an impact. 6.5/10

Fabregas: Looked good in the midfield,had a nice game setting up chances and also took the free kick which resulted in the goal. 7.5/10

Arshavin: Had a goal disallowed and didn’t really make a big impact. 7/10

Bendtner: Not much to do,I’m not sure he is enjoying his role on the Right Wing. 6.5/10

RVP: Didn’t make alot of effort yesterday,seemed to lack some kind of motivation. Had a couple of week shots on target. 6.5/10

MAN OF THE MATCH: Vermaelen .

 

 

Cheers and Keep Gunning!