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!

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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!

Match Preview:Celtic v Arsenal – It’s the ‘Bhoys vs Boys’…Squad & Score Predictions

August 18, 2009 5 comments

gun__1249640030_Arsenal_Celtic

Champions League time and it’s also a nervous time for Arsenal fans because unlike last year this year’s qualification will prove to be a tougher test for the team. A trip to Celtic Park is always tricky and a CL qualification tie with £30m at stake  just adds a little bit of extra pressure. Having said that I think the players don’t really need to be told the importance of this game

Arsenal and Celtic both have had a winning start to the new season and are quite confident ahead of the all important tie.Celtic will have their pathetic away record in mind and will hope to make the home fixture count as much as they can while Arsenal will be hoping to make things easy at home by winning the away leg by a decent margin.

Arsenal have a few injury concerns with Fabregas,Denilson and Sagna facing late fitness tests to determine their participation.All three were part of the squad against Everton and will be hoping to shake off their injuries to continue the fine form. Although I would personally not like too many changes and disturb the winning combination but Wenger might be forced to make some in the case of injuries.I guess Arsene Wenger will go for a more cautious 4-5-1 in this game than the attacking 4-3-3 he started with against Everton. With Theo ruled out for the game it would mean that Eboue has a chance to fit in on the right side of midfield unless Wenger decides to rest Sagna and play Eboue at right back. Wenger’s preference for the 4-5-1 in European games and also the preference to start Diaby could mean that Denilson gets a breather. Van Persie looks good to lead the attack once again with Wenger continuing to be cautious with Eduardo.

A trip to Goodison park provided the perfect preparation for this game but Celtic will surely provide sterner resistance than Everton. I still expect us to come off with a win.In the build up to the game Wenger seemed to be a bit wary about the atmosphere at Celtic Park but I think if our team can cope with the crowd at San Siro and Istanbul we can very well cope up with the scots.The team looked completely charged up at the weekend and every fan would be hoping that they carry over the same and come out comfortable winners.

Squad Prediction: ( 4-5-1)

football pitch 3.bmp

Subs: Mannone,Silvestre,Wilshere,Ramsey,Eduardo,Gibbs,Bendtner

 

Score Predition: Celtic 0- 2 Arsenal.

Cheers and Keep Gunning!

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Post Match Interview: Andrei Arshavin on Everton game and Celtic tie

August 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is what Arsenal star Arshavin had to say about the game in an interview on his website..

A.A.: On the one hand, it might have looked like an easy win for us, on the other hand it means that we were well prepared for this match. The 3 chances that we took in the first half left me in no doubts regarding the outcome of the game after just 45 minutes. In the second half we took our chances clinically again. Victory. It’s a great start to the season.

arshavin.eu: Today you were outplaying Everton defenders in the air. Did you work on that in training?
A.A.: Defenders were not the biggest guys around. In the Premiership they’re usually a bit taller.
arshavin.eu: Was it a surprise to you when Blues’ fans started leaving Goodison Park before the final whistle?
A.A.: In a way, I can understand them, it’s the beginning of the season, new hopes. And then it turns out you team is losing by a big scoreline early into the second half. But the players aren’t enjoying that either, they play for their fans, they don’t like to lose. Moreover it was just the first game of the season. As I said we took all our chances, they were unlucky. Did we have something like this during my time at Zenit? No, I as far as I can remember we never had an exodus like that.
arshavin.eu: After the game we managed to speak to some of the Everton fans. They still remember the four goal you scored against their “friends” from Liverpool. They said they were proud that Arshavin didn’t score one against them.
A.A.: That’s a fact.
arshavin.eu: Do you only score four at a time in Liverpool?
A.A.: Perhaps :). But seriously, it’s better not to score, but enjoy the team’s victory.
arshavin.eu: In a few day, Arsenal start their Champions’ League campaign. You’re playing against Celtic, are they a particular rival for you?
A.A.: I don’t think they’re our rivals, just another opponents that we need to beat to progress.
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Match Preview:Everton v Arsenal,Squad Prediction and Score predictions.

August 15, 2009 5 comments

everton-vs-arsenal

 

Finally some real football to look forward to.Arsenal kick off their 2009 campaign with a trip to Goodison Park. Not the easiest game to start off with but it might just help the team get in the groove from game 1. If history is anything to go by, Arsenal perform better in seasons where they start the campaign away from home . Anyway nothing is going to matter once the teams are on the field and wanting to get the important 3 points early on.

Arsenal have over the years maintained an upper hand in Everton-Arsenal fixtures but this Everton team is on the rise and cannot be taken lightly. We all remember how difficult they made it for us last season and the game ending all square after 90mins. This season Everton like Arsenal have not been very active in the transfer market and both teams have pretty much an expected and predictable starting XI. Of coure how Arsenal deal with the threat of Tim Cahill will show if our defence has learned any lessons from the last season but I do expect Arsenal come off with a win. 3 points in the first game would give immense confidence and a morale boost to the team after a forgettable last season.It would be great to have a win under our belt before the all important CL qualification game against Celtic. I think it could be the ideal way to prepare for that game and a win would certainly raise hopes and get the fans cherring again.

Here’s a prediction of the Starting XI  ( 4-3-3)

football pitch 3.bmp

Subs: Mannone,Traore,Eduardo,Ramsey,Wilshere,Silvestre,Eboue

 

Final Score prediction: Everton 1- 2 Arsenal.

Have your prediction in the comments section and the closest/correct  prediction will have his name on the AG WINNER OF THE DAY!

Cheers and Keep Gunning!

 

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