Goals Speak Louder Than Programme Notes

October 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Sometimes you just have to come out and say something.

Today Robin Van Persie did just that…

TWICE!

“I want to say something about my commitment to Arsenal because there have been many stories in the media lately.

“I am committed to Arsenal, and that’s how it is, despite people [in the media] making up stories. For example, they said I was selling my house, but that’s nothing recent, I moved house last year.

“I see stories which make me laugh, but I can see how frustrating it is from the fans’ point of view. But I am committed to Arsenal. I am captain, and fans should not believe everything they read.

“As for that house story, the house has been for sale for a while, but I’m not living on the streets or anything, I have found a really nice house, and yes, it’s in London! So I want to put that straight, I am committed, and I will show that on the pitch.

Two wonderful goals later, one of them the fastest goal Arsenal have ever scored in the Premier League, and I think that it is fair to say – and I am thrilled to do so – that many of us got this situation very wrong indeed!

Greetings fellow Gooners!

In a must win game today at the Emirates Stadium which saw, with the exception of Aaron Ramsey being replaced by Tomas Rosicky due to a tight hamstring, the expected first XI take to the pitch, the fans were treated to some interesting comments in the Captain’s programme notes. After a three week period during which the media speculation regarding Robin Van Persie and his “imminent transfer to Citeh” has been cranked up to a Spinal Tap crushing 12, the Dutchman decided that the best way to respond was on the pitch, and respond he did, in the very best way a captain and striker possibly could.

In truth, the comments reputedly made by him during his recent stint with the Dutch national team may have been misquoted, quoted out of context or even just plain made-up, but there needed to be an effort made in some way to put this issue to bed, once and for all. Clearly the programme notes were a step towards that, but a goal in only 29 seconds really put some weight behind his desire to let his commitment show on the pitch!

Sunderland were always going to struggle today, shorn of their star striker through contract obligations, a worse start to the season than us, a record at the Emirates that doesn’t bear much reading and an Arsenal team nd manager with thier backs pressed very firmly against the wall but when a fabulous lobbed pass from Rosicky to Gervinho was quickly squared into the path of Van Persie who took a simple touch with the outside of his left foot before drilling it past Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal from 18 yards. 1-0, less than 30 seconds on the clock it appeared that it would be even plainer sailing from here on in than we could have hoped!

It almost was too with Van Persie turning Kieran Richardson and lobbing the ball over Mignolet in the 12th minute, only to see his classy effort come back off the far post. Two minutes later and the Dutchman saw an attempt from the edge of the penalty area flash wide. Another two minutes passed before Gervinho, seemingly playing with a lot more confidence and looking all the better for it, took a long ball from Koscielny, cut inside but saw his shot fly just over the bar.

Had any of those actually gone in, we may well have been home free and looking at redressing some of our goal difference issues. Obviously that would be the easy way of doing things and the easy way simply isn’t our way! Can there be any doubt that we are by far the most dramatic club in the Premier League?! At times I think that there may be grounds for a class-action case against the club for hair loss, fingernail chewing or just general blood-pressure issues due as a direct result of loving our fine club!

With the exception of a slightly wild moment from “the Pole between the poles” which saw him rushing off his line to meet Stephane Sessegnon who, having already beaten the offside trap followed that by beating the young goalkeeper only to find the really rather excellent Alex Song there to intercept his cut back averting further danger, Arsenal spent the first half and hour of this match playing hair-replenishing, fingernail growing, blood pressure-lowering possession football that had glimpses of the “real” Arsenal about it. What a welcome sight she was to all that love her!

Of course, a free-kick and, as always seems the case, an ex-Arsenal player, Sebastian Larsson, were all it took to spoil the party! The Swedish international stepped up and swept the ball over the Arsenal wall and into Szczesny’s top left corner, leaving the keeper no chance whatsoever. A wonderful strike from a player who has proved that not all who leave us end up in a downward spiral.

The immediate effect on the home players and crowd was obvious as the nervousness of recent times came crashing back in. Six minutes later Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole, after good work on the left from Larsson and then the effervescent Sessegnon, found himself with a free header from close range that he really should have scored from, only to see his effort saved brilliantly by Szczesny. A chance missed or an excellent save or both, but the alarm bells were ringing. Surely we were not going to let Sunderland take control of the match and see a repeat of so many performances where we were so obviously in the ascendency only for the opposition to take away the three points?

On the stroke of half-time the unthinkable almost happened with Elmohamady crossing for Larsson at the far post who headed down into the path of Colback only to see his volley from close range go flying over the bar. Had he managed to keep his shot down you may well have been reading at a very different match report, but the football Gods may well have decided that we have paid our penance for whatever sins we are deemed to have committed and the score remained at 1-1 as the whistle to signal the end of the first half was welcomed by all in red and white.

In a bid to provide some sort of relief to hair follicles all over the North London area, the second half did not carry on where the first half left off with the Gunners dominating possession although not creating a mass of chances.

A slice of luck came Sunderland’s way on 50 minutes when Walcott turned in the box and slid a low cross into the danger area which took a deflection towards the goal but Mignolet’s quick reactions saw him palm the ball away to safety. Andre Santos entered the fray immediately afterwards as the stomach muscle injury that threatened to keep Kieran Gibbs out of the match altogether proved too much for him to continue. A good decision in all honesty as he had not enjoyed the best of games with Elmohamady getting plenty of joy on the side.

15 minutes later Rosicky found Van Persie open on the left side of the area but his shot from a difficult angle found the boot of the Sunderland keeper and again the danger was cleared. A pass to Gervinho who was free in the centre was probably a better option, but anybody wishing to be critical of our captain’s performance today is more than welcome to take the short trip down the Seven Sisters Road and start supporting the “Title-less For Fifty Years” brigade!

On 67 minutes Steve Bruce made the first of two rather odd substitutions with Larsson, goal-scorer and the focal point of all that was good in Sunderland’s game, being replaced by Ji Dong-Won. A minute later and Arshavin was brought on to replace Gervinho to freshen things up in the final third.

The Russian made a fairly instant impact with an energy and willingness that has been far too often missing from his game for much of the past couple of seasons and on 74 minutes he almost got his reward after a jinking run in the Sunderland penalty area, passing four defenders in the process, saw his toe-poked effort run just wide of the far post with the goalkeeper stranded.

For all the possession, attacking play and chances being created, the game was starting to take on an all too familiar pattern and on 76 minutes Arsene tried to again freshen things up by replacing the tiring but excellent Rosicky with Israel international Yossi Benayoun. Two minutes later Bruce made his second odd change bringing on Connor Wickham for the constantly dangerous Sessegnon. Unless both players were carrying knocks, these two substitutions by Bruce have to be two of the strangest I have seen in years.

With Sunderland’s best two players and most obvious attacking threats on the day now off the pitch, Arsenal enjoyed more freedom to push forward, with excellent performances, and I mean EXCELLENT performances, from Mertesacker and Koscielny providing the “safety net” for Santos and Jenkinson to become more involved with those attacking moves.

On 83 minutes we finally got our just desserts, having dominated so much of the game, defended well when necessary and looking dangerous with almost every attack. Van Persie placed the ball for a free-kick about 25 yards out on the right side of the penalty area. After a slew of terrible free kicks had seen the likes of Walcott and Arteta troubling the 15th to 25th rows of the Arsenal supporters behind the goal, it was high-time the Dutchman had a crack himself.

And crack it he did! Keeping his nerve at the critical moment, he lifted the ball over the wall, under the bar and into the top right hand corner to give Arsenal the goal that was so desperately needed. In that moment Van Persie showed EXACTLY what commitment and captaincy are all about and, as his programme notes said, he let his football do the talking!

Aside from Dong-Won having a goal disallowed for being so far offside it was amazing the linesman didn’t keep his flag down, the game was won and it was a case of simply holding on. And that is what we did. Something we have been horribly guilty of in the past is our inability to stop trying to score more goals when the three points are in the bag. Today showed a difference that was entirely welcome with the likes of Arshavin, Walcott and Arteta guarding the ball for dear life and ensuring that the visitors were not going to steal a late point and spoil the party. There is a still a lot of work to do before we can say that this side is correcting all of the old problems, but today was a huge step in the right direction.

We were not perfect today by any means. Jenkinson did little defensively to convince that he is quite ready for the step up that the injury to Sagna has forced upon him, but a little patience may yet see him come good. Walcott still looks like a blind alley is so high on his list of favourite place that he literally runs into one whenever he gets the chance. Gervinho faded as the game went on and was rightly substituted. Szczesny had his “usual” moment of madness, although most of the truly great keepers appear to do that too! Arteta did not really get hismself into the game as much as he has recently.

On the positive side, Rosicky looked excellent and, perhaps more importantly, sharp. Santos and Arshavin both looked very good after coming on as substitutes. Song was an absolute rock today, destroying almost everything that had the cheek to even come close to our half of the park. Koscielny and Mertesacker were absolute rocks in the centre of defence and where the constant criticism of them, Mertesacker especially, is coming from, I simply cannot imagine. Mertesacker again showed how much quicker his brain is than his feet, stepping up to snuff out the danger before it even had a chance to develop on a handful of occasions.

As for Robin Van Persie:

29 games, 23 goals and 6 assists

Those are surely amongst the best stats for any striker in Europe, let alone one who is being played out of position and looking to leave as Robin Van Persie “clearly” is!

Oh, and as I write this an added bonus has just come our way…

The Title-less For Fifty Years have given up the lead twice today and ended up with a 2-2 draw at St. James’ Park!

Overrated Lillywhite Shite!

Come on you top half of the table at last Goooonnnnneeeerrrrsssss!

When Nothing Less Than A Win Will Do

October 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Greetings fellow Gooners!

Well, that was a mind-numbingly, toe-curlingly putrid two weeks, wasn’t it?! Not a game worth seeing in sight, (the obvious exception being Oxlade-Chamberlain’s hat-trick for the Ingerlund U21’s of course!) and nothing, literally NOTHING new to read, hear, see or care about regarding our great club.

And when I say nothing new, I mean NOTHING just as much as I mean NEW!

The media has spent the past two weeks telling us the following:

– We made a bid for Gourcuff, but we already knew that weeks ago
– We made a bid for Reina, but we already knew that months ago
– Arshavin has been underperforming, but we already knew that years ago
– Park has to leave us in two years for national service, but we already knew that too!
– Ivan Gazidis claims that we do not need Champions League football to survive, but we already knew that last season when there was a chance we may actually slip out of the top 4 altogether.
– Oh, and Joey Barton is STILL a no-brained, gobshite, half-witted buffoon, but EVERYBODY knows that!

In all honesty, I have spent the past two weeks trying to write something of any real substance and, whilst I could have taken the lead of some far better writers than I, I actually chose not to take a trip down memory lane but instead look for something to say about the here and now. But there was simply nothing worth saying. Nothing that came pouring out of the bile-ridden jaws of the mainstream media or even the dreamy home-style official Arsenal website itself had anything remotely new, interesting or, on any level whatsoever, positive to say at all. And that was the key for me…Positivity. We simply need more of it around our fine club if this is to prove a temporary dip in form rather than a full-blown long-term sack the manager and set fire to the stadium rot setting in crisis!

So, I kept my trap firmly shut, watched Ireland slink miserably out of the Rugby World Cup, (against a Welsh side that admittedly not only deserved their win but may well have the spirit, the youthful enthusiasm and even the raw talent to go on and win the thing) watched Ingerlund slink miserably out of the same tournament (much to my general delight after they did little but disgrace themselves at every given opportunity), watched Rooney doing what only a Manchester United player could be quite so arrogant and stupid enough to do in an Ingerlund shirt AGAIN (yes, yes, I know, 8-2 and all that, but it still doesn’t stop you from being as thick as two short planks, now does it Shrek?!) and I generally tried to steer clear of all things Arsenal wherever possible!

But now it is time to get excited, involved and hopeful again. Sunderland at home is a game that we quite enjoy if recent history is anything to go by. A massive positive note should be that we don’t tend to concede many goals in this fixture with Sunderland scoring precisely none in the last three games against us at the Emirates and to top it all they will be without their star striker, Nicklas Bendtner! On another positive note is we don’t tend to lose this game either with 7 wins and 3 draws in the last 10.

But there is one statistic that may amaze you all…We have kept 9 clean sheets in our last 13 home games! “The worst defence in the league”, as I am sure we have all heard by now, are actually managing to keep a a few clean sheets along the way!

Sunderland are not in the best of form either. Apart from their 4-0 win against the Neanderthals of Stoke City, they are without a win home or away in all competitions, leaving them “languishing” below us in 16th place!

So 15th plays 16th and people still claim we are in a relegation dogfight!

Team news is pretty much as expected before the dire times of the international break with Vermaelen, Wilshere, Sagna and Diaby (seriously, is he STILL an Arsenal player?!) all out whilst we “welcome back” the defensive trio of Djourou, Koscielny and Squillaci! Ok, the sarcasm is probably a little unfair with regard to Kos who has actually looked like he wsa finding a bit of form when playing alongside TV5 and has not struggled playing alongside Mertesacker to anything like the same degree as he did last season when the Belgian was out and he was paired with the hapless Squillaci and the injury and error prone Djourou.

All of this means that Song will surely move back into central midfield, Koscielny back into the centre of defence, Jenkinson will probably take the place of Sagna, out for three long painful months, Gibbs, who somewhat miraculously continues to stay injury-free and also continues to play very well indeed, should fill the left-back slot and Frimpong and Coquelin will probably go back to fighting it out for a spot on the bench. I must say at this point that I am totally stunned by the general lack of any interest whatsoever in the manner in which Sagna broke his leg. The obviously unnecessary and thus idiotic challenge of Assou-Ekotto in the game against the Spuds would have caused absolute outrage had it been an Arsenal player who had done the same. The ball flying out of play, close to the halfway line and the fecker goes and hits him almost waist high, knocking him off balance in mid-air and landing half on the advertising hoardings and half on his right fibula. But maybe it is just me and maybe everybody thinks that sort of tackle is fair and called for in that area of the pitch with zero chance of actually getting to the ball. Ho-hum!

So, the team will probably look like this:

Line Up v Sunderland

I have to say that the “revelation” that Arshavin has not been playing well may have been a little ruse by the club and the player to give them the chance to drop him for a few games at the same time giving Gervinho the nod in terms of first choice for the position. Maybe a confidence boost is just what is needed for the Ivorian who, in my opinion, has been guilty of nothing more than simply trying far too hard to impress. Not really surprising either, when you look at things. He played brilliantly against Udinese followed by watching Arshavin playing woefully in the next fixture, the 8-2 debacle against United, and well in the next game against Swansea where he scored the winner, came back into the side to play as well as any Arsenal player on the night in the 1-1 draw against Dortmund, scored the opener against Blackburn, played well against Bolton and then watched Arshavin play another 10 minutes out of the 90 against Olympiacos. If anybody has a right to feel a little aggrieved at being left out, it has to be him, especially when the player replacing him doesn’t even appear particularly interested in playing in the first place!

I for one believe that Gervinho is a great signing and will prove to be a top-quality player for us given a little more time to settle in and the chance to get on with his job and stop worrying about whether or not he is doing enough to deserve his place in the face of some pretty week competition.

Another player that doesn’t seem to be getting a fair hearing, this time from the fans and critics rather than the manager, is Per Mertesacker. I actually despair at some of the comments I am hearing coming out of some Arsenal “fans” mouths and keyboards. We have been literally begging Wenger to buy a big, strong, no nonsense centre-back in the style of Tony Adams for about 3 years now and, now that we finally have him, there are complaints that he doesn’t have enough pace, that he is too slow to turn and that he isn’t settling in fast enough! I truly wonder what people thought a Tony Adams replacement was going to be like?! Slow? Check! Big? Check! Strong? Check! No-nonsense style, crashing the ball out of the ground whenever necessary to relieve the pressure? Check! Can turn on a sixpence and take the ball through central midfield with his explosive pace? Come on guys…Who are you trying to kid?!

As far as his settling in goes, I think that he is in the very early days of a fabulous Arsenal career and his reading of the game is second to none. His ability to catch a defender when the quicker centre-back at his side has failed to pick up his man or has let him turn him is not why he is in the side, his ability to be in the right place at the right time and clear the danger is and I truly believe he is doing a fine job of the latter. He may not be perfect but perfect defenders are pretty hard to come by these days and I see a player who is only struggling when his partner is not doing his own job properly. When TV5 returns I believe we will see just how a good a player he really is with a partner that doesn’t drop him in the cack 3 times each half!

Regards Thomas Vermaelen, there appears to be another bout of general confusion surrounding his injury again. About 4 weeks ago the club was saying he could return before the international break. Two weeks ago they were saying he would return 2 weeks after the international break. Now they are saying that he should return 2-3 weeks from now, a week AFTER the international break. Most concerning indeed. I think that I speak for all Arsenal fans of sound mind when I say that our season may well take a huge turn in the right direction when the team sheet features his name once again.

Van Persie To Become Another Little Boy Blue?

In a move that has angered a lot of Arsenal fans, myself included, captain Robin Van Persie appears to be refusing to rule out a move to Citeh. In a recent interview in Holland he was asked if he would consider a move to the latest club to be buying all the toys. His response, apparently, went a little like this:

“I do not know.

For one thing, as an indication, when I came to Arsenal we immediately beat City. But in recent years much has happened in England.

Nevertheless, I think the Premier League is still the best league in the world, it gives me everything I want.”

Which, if it is actually what he said at all, is all shamefully obvious really. To put it bluntly, what he really said was:

” I do not know.

“We were much better than Citeh when I first joined, but now they are riding high in the Premier League and we are in 15th place after a disastrous start to the season and playing qualifiers for the Champions League because they beat us by 3 points, having not actually been in the running for the title once all season and failing to take a single point from us in either the 0-0 home draw or the 3-0 humiliation of them away from home.”

“The Premier League is great and with the money that Citeh are pouring into the pockets of all their players, Na$ri and Clichy included, there is no need to look at other countries and I am simply waiting for them to make their offer of £30m in January that the Arsenal board will somehow find very hard to turn down.”

Call me cynical, but I just cannot help seeing it that way. Personally, after that episode, I would strip him of the captaincy and give it to Ramsey immediately. But like I said, maybe I am just being cynical!

Arsenal To Buy All The Players In The World

Somewhat hilariously, the press have been slating Arsene Wenger for penny-pinching again whilst also claiming that we are about to part with about £200m if we buy all of the players that are “coming in the January transfer window”! Five minutes after claiming that we failed to get Jerzy Dudek because the Evil Overlord Wenger refused to pay Feyenoord the £10m asking price, offering a “paltry” £7m (and we are talking about TEN YEARS AGO when £7m for a goalkeeper was STILL a lot of money!) we are being linked with so many players it is actually quite ridiculous! I implore Arsenal fans to stop reading this drivel, but if you must continue to fill your heads with this nonsense, please remember, it IS nonsense! The article entitled “Arsenal’s penny pinching scuppered Jerzy Dudek transfer” has the, in my opinion, thoroughly overrated and generally useless Dudek claiming:

“I was in talks with Wenger. It was basically all agreed. I came back to Feyenoord with hope that the clubs will agree a fee, but Feyenoord wanted £10 million pounds. Wenger was only willing to give £7 million.”

It seems that Wenger is only guilty of refusing to pay a ridiculously high fee of £10m for a goalkeeper who wasn’t even that good. Of course, “Those Who Shall Not Be Pleased” have taken this as a red-rag opportunity to slate the manager whilst at the same time ignoring one particularly important fact…Liverpool paid only £5m for him less than two months later!

Can somebody, ANYBODY, please explain to me why Wenger is penny-pinching when offering to pay £2m MORE than Liverpool, whether we got the player or not?

I give up!

The list of players that we are “buying in January” is becoming nothing less than hilarious! Eden Hazard, Marvin Martin, Gabriel Torje, Omar El Kaddouri, Juan Manuel “Loco” Vargas, Gary Cahill (again!), Alan Dzagoev, Ryad Boudebouz, Marko Marin, Lucho Gonzalez, Raffael (NOT the Ninja Turtle!), Dani Parejo and many, many more are among the latest flops of tomorrow. Obviously we won’t actually be buying ANY of them as Wenger will refuse to stump up the bus fare to the ground for their medicals!

Seriously, I GIVE UP!

And on that note I shall leave you!

Come on you Black Cat crossing your paths and making you lucky Gooooonnnneeerrrssss!
(Or is that supposed to be bad luck?! Never was sure!)

Don’t Worry, It’s Only Blackburn Rovers!

September 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Greetings fellow Gooners!

Just a quick one today due to:

a) My being phenomenally late due to some other commitments that the world forgot to warn me about until I had 40 minutes to get there including getting ready and travelling for 30 minutes and;

b) There isn’t a great deal to say that hasn’t been said a thousand and one times and thus that we don’t already know!

Today we play Blackburn Rovers in yet another no-win situation. What could be a potential banana skin for us is exactly that, win lose or draw.

You see, if we win, well, that is exactly how it should be and no special credit will be received. We are the mighty Arsenal FC and they are lowly Blackburn, bottom of the Premier League and in a general state of turmoil. Add to that the fact that their fans are planning a protest prior to kick-off, running an online petition and generally baying for the blood of their manager and of course we should run them out of their own ground.

Or maybe we will get a draw. Yes, that should get the boo-boys out of their prams! Obviously a draw at Ewood Park would not be the end of the world, let alone the end of any title aspirations the players and staff may still be harbouring, but it would not be the win that we should so obviously be getting.

Of course, there is another possibility. That unspeakable chance that we come away with nothing thus requiring the thrusting of Wenger out of the back window of the coach home to be left for dead somewhere on the M6 due to the obvious failure of his new look side (some 2 weeks old), his transfer policy of buying experienced players (some 2 weeks old), his obvious delight at selling 3 of our most prized assets after training and nurturing them almost from his own teat and, last but not least, the fact that he obviously hasn’t been able to manage the team since David Dein left.

In fact, let’s get to the truth of the matter;We all know that Dein was not just responsible for buying and selling players and running the entire executive branch of the club but he also took all of the training sessions, picked the team, wrote the match programme, read out the announcements on match day, played centre-forward in a Thierry Henry disguise, cooked all of the players meals and even washed their kits and cleaned their boots with his magical winning dust!

Ok, obviously I am being a touch facetious here…We all know that he can’t cook!

But seriously folks, as I pointed out prior to the Dortmund game, we are smack bang in the middle of a run of seriously winnable games against teams that we really should be beating. I hope that tomorrow sees us walk away with a healthy victory and I am plumping for a 3-1 to the Arsenal with Mertesacker getting his name on the scoreboard as well as putting n a cracking performance to quieten a few errant mouths that, after two perfectly decent performances in a row, seem to be suggesting that he is worse than Squillaci!

In terms of the line-up we welcome back Song, Gervinho and Jenkinson from suspension and may just see Ramsey on the bench depending on a late fitness test. Jack and TV5 are obviously still out, as are Diaby, Rosicky, Squillaci and Miyaichi. With the midweek exploits still fresh in the legs, I would expect Arshavin to replace Benayoun and I think that we may get a peek at Santos so as not to confuse Gibbs by him playing two games in a row and possibly even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as I think that Theo may get a sit down for this one too.

So, the team may well look nothing like this:

Now, I have to say, that looks like a team with goals in it!

In other news:

Cesc claims NOT to have slammed our chances of winning any trophies ever again until the end of time, although anybody reading the comments section of my post on this topic will understand why I still have my doubts, regardless of how much Twittering he gets up to! Truth be told, I was furious yesterday and today I couldn’t really give a rats arse. There the much more important matter of actually winning a game rather than worrying about whether an ex-player thinks we will or not!

Manchester United are the latest club linked with a Middle East buyout, this time it is the Qatari royal family threatening the general wellbeing of football with a reported bid of £1.6bn. I don’t want to get too high up on my horse over this as, so far, it is appears to be rumour and counter-rumour. Not only that, but I cannot help but wonder how the likes of Chelsea, United and Citeh get a “Sugar Daddy” whilst we get the “Gingerbread Man”!

Wenger claims that his experiment with a zonal marking systemfor corners is working so far but nothing concrete has been decided regarding whether or not it is here to stay. Time will tell on that one, but, whilst we haven’t actually conceded from a corner yet this season, our goals conceded record so far leaves a lot to be desired to say the least and so one assumes that the experiment needs to show fruit in other areas too and fast if it to stand a chance. Personally I think that man to man marking at set pieces is too easy to break down for the attacking side unless you have very mobile defenders and so I hope that the lads get past the teething troubles as quickly as possible to give this new system a real chance.

Yossi Benayoun claims that his loan move was not the last minute shock that it appeared to be and that we were finalising the details about a week beforehand. All well and good, but it does beg the obvious question: If we knew we were signing him so long beforehand, how on earth did we end up taking him without a medical?!

Nicklas Bendtner is currently doing the media rounds with his latest Arsenal “revelation”. He claims he won’t be back unless he gets assurances of regular football from the club. First things first, we own you sunbeam and you will come back if we tell you too and you won’t if we don’t want you. Secondly, I hope that you keep your original promise of never coming back and good riddance too. Thirdly, shut your trap for two fecking minutes and give your arse a chance, would you! You might have been played desperately out of position, never really given a fighting chance to prove yourself and even been horribly misquoted over the whole “best player in the world” debacle (I hate to say it, but I saw the original of that interview and another subsequent interview and that “claim” was taken so out of context it was actually a disgrace to journalism, twice!) but has it never occurred to you that the fact that you spend more time talking about playing football than actually playing it might be riddled with all the clues you need?!?!

Still not convinced Nick? Well, try your own words for size:

“I have rented a good house and am probably going to spend most of my time there, as I did in London, and then spend time with my family when I am not playing football, so it’s going to be okay.”

Anybody else starting to think that he has literally zero friends in the entire world?!

And on that note, all that remains to be said is:

Come on you experienced Blackburn Rovers whipping Gooonnnneeerrrsssss!

 

Dig deep, bring home those precious three points!

March 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Premier League

There is not a lot you can add to the title of this post, it’s an absolute must for us to bring home maximum points later on this afternoon. Last three weeks have not been great for us, infact we only managed a draw at home against Sunderland which to me was certainly opportunity missed to get even closer to the Mancs.

No point to dwell on those disappointments now, I suppose,  time to move on we can still challenge for the Premier League tittle so let’s give it our best shot. Injuries are piling up again Abou Diaby will now miss the game with a groin strain which he probably sustained during training, they reckon it’s only short term and it’s a matter of days. Diaby is definitely not having a good season, he failed to impress so far and is out injured again. So it looks like Denilson will play alongside Wilshere. Denilson in definitely not a defensive midfielder we all know that but he hasn’t played a lot of games this season so let’s get behind him even though he hasn’t been that great, perhaps he needs playing time to improve, he certainly doesn’t look like the player from last season. We will definitely miss our backbone of Cesc, Song, Djourou and Walcott but I honestly belive that we have enough in the tank to beat The Baggies and make up for what happened at The Emirates earlier in the season.

I would like for Nasri to start in the middle this time around, he seems less effective on the left, Bendtner out wide with Van Persie in the middle and Arshavin on the right. With this selection Wilshere and Denilson behind Nasri. With Djourou out Squilliaci will pair Koscienly at the center of our defence so it looks like a complete French outlet there with Sanga and Clichy on the flanks.

Baggies will try their best to gain points themselves they are certainly not safe yet, there are two points away from relegation zone, so they will give us a game no doubt. I’m confident though that with our quality we can take all three points and keep our title run very much alive. We know we can go level on points with Man U and hopefully for a change we can take this opportinty and use it to our advantage.

We need to dig deep, no room for error and complacancy, every Priemier Lague game becomes a Cup game now.  I would like to sit down later on tonight with a smile on my face, knowing that we are still strongly in the title race. I’m sure the away fans will get behind whoever runs out onto that pitch in few hours time as always they have been really great this season, hats off to them.  I’ll be doing my bit from home, so let’s get beihind them all and hope for we can bring those prercious three points back home.

COME ON YOU REDS…!!!

We should be two points behind Chelski!

November 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Our loss against The Toon army is rather difficult to take as we should have been sitting two points behind Chelsea and level on points with Man U. Yet again this season we have lost at home in front of our own fans and there was zero effort, zero urgency and zero desire to win the game. Take away nothing from Newcastle they were very well organised at the back and made us look very poor at times especially in the midfield.

I couldn’t watch the game from kick off I had to pick up my cousin from Luton Airport, his plane landed just before the game. At about 1:25pm we got back to the car and we headed for the M1 South towards M25, radio was tuned in to Talksport which was painful enough  but this was the best I could at the time. I have thought about this fixture and knew this was going to be a hard one as they would be looking for revenge after we knocked them out in Carling Cup a week ago. Judging from what was being said on Talksport we didn’t look like the Arsenal we all know. The only chance we had in the first half was the Cesc free kick which hit the bar however our passing, fluency and desire just wasn’t there and as soon as they scored I feared it could have been one of those days. The whistle blew, end of first half by that time I was approaching Reading on the M4 so had another 5 minutes on the road, I got to my local and we managed to quickly get a pint each and take a seat in front of the big screen. I didn’t even think for a second I would witness such a abysmal display from our lads it was even more painful to watch it on live TV.

Second half started and still we were pretty much shit to be honest with you, we found it really hard to pass the ball in the midfield, our passing was awful we usually move in triangles and pass the ball well what the hell happened to us I thought? Theo should have scored when he had a chance, Cesc had a decent header but it was straight at their keeper. The only good thing about the second half was when Van Persie came on, Jesus I thought how many lagers have I had already? Is it really him? It was him indeed and it was really good so see him getting back to his best. He’s definitely not match fit  and will need few more games to see the best come out of him. We never looked like scoring in the second half  we pushed forward but it wasn’t working. In dying minutes there was no leadership and Koscienly got a straight red for holding onto Nile Ranger but for me this wasn’t a sending off as it wasn’t a foul.

Fabianski was 100% to blame for the goal but he never really got any help from his defenders. We created bugger all in the second half, Theo should have scored, if he’s a better finisher this season why can’t he do the job when badly needed? Our midfield run out of ideas and as soon as I saw Cesc launching long balls I knew it was going to be one of those days. It’s a funny old game you know we have given away 6 points at home already this season to lesser teams and this is totally unacceptable.

A very HUGE, MASSIVE, GIAGANTIC response is required against Wolves and they seem to have improved as well so it won’t be an easy game now. We have lost our spark and I’m worried it has to be said.

Squillaci to make Bolton Debut

September 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

I haven’t seen the Press Conference with Arsene yesterday, however it was confirmed that Verminator will miss the game against Bolton due to injury to his Achilles he picked up on International duty, thankfully it will only keep him out as far as the game against Bolton this afternoon. This news certainly comes in as suprise as we have already lost Walcott for up to six weeks while playing for England this week, which leaves us rather short in the striking force some would say, as RVP is out until mid October now and Bendtner still has four weeks to recover from his groin injury.

No doubt we need some experience at the back and Squillaci is the best we have at this very moment, he has all required experience however he lacks playing time in the Priemier League. It will be a huge test for him and Koscielny who need to be on their toes as Bolton by no means will be an easy game, so fingers crossed for both of them. They will hopefully have a good understanding with Alminua and another clean sheet at home.

The good news we had this week was that Nasri has recovered early and if required will take part this afternoon, it was also good to hear that Fabregas has noticed he hasn’t been playing well and is looking to improve his form:

“I was out of form and during the (Blackburn) game I knew it, but hopefully you’ll see an improvement (against Bolton). Nobody needs to tell me otherwise – I’m always hard on myself and aware when I’m playing badly.

“We’re ready for Bolton. It’ll be a hard game, but hopefully an enjoyable one – and one that, like any home game, we’re confident about.”

I will be watching Cesc closely as his body language was definitely not right lately. Let’s hope our Captian plays with his heart this afternoon and can show his good form again. Not too sure what the team sheet will look like but I have a feeling we will see Eboue to take over from Walcott on the right flank and Squillaci with Koscielny in the center  at the back. I’m suspecting Cesc to start with Jack and Song in the middle but I think Diaby will get the nod ahead of Jack as this will be a very physical encounter no doubt. This leaves Arshavin on the left and Chamakh up front and with his presence and work rate I have no doubts he will cause havoc in Bolton’s defence.

Looking at the bookies there is definitely a good deal on with Paddy Power with 9/1 for correct score line at 3:1 to the almighty Arsenal, I think I shall be having some of that and hopefully I will be collecting my winnings later on. For those of you going to The Grove this afternoon have a good time and get behind the lads on my behalf, I will have resort to a stream I will have to find just before we kick off.

Have a good day everyone and let’s kick some Bolton’s arses…

Come on you REDS!

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