Heated and hostile atmosphere in Belgrade guranteed

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Champions League

Champions League tonight has finally arrived and I’m looking for a much improved performance from the team all around, if it was just a blip or whatever you want to call it, then tonight is perfect opportunity to lift the spirits ahead of the game on Sunday. We all know by now that Almunia got injured against WBA on Saturday when he made the penalty and didn’t make the trip to Serbia, below par performance from Diaby also didn’t include him in the squad, or maybe he is injured again, who knows Arsene didn’t say anything regarding him during his Press Conference.  This means Lukasz Fabianski will feature in goal against Partizan Belgrade this evening with most of fans already grinding their teeth at the thought of the Pole between the sticks. I have my own doubts to be honest with you I’m Polish myself and it pains to say this but whenever Lukasz gets a chance he always manages to fuck it up big time, sometimes I wonder when will he learn to stop making such simple yet costly mistakes, so far he has not impressed me with his performances. Asrene obviously has confidence in him and said:

“I want him to show how good he is,” said Wenger. “He gets another opportunity to show how good he is.
 
“There is only one way to show confidence in a player and that is to put him on the pitch and give him his chance. I have confidence in him.
 
“As a manager you can give a chance to a player who is good enough – I believe in his talent.
 
“It is another big chance but you want a goalkeeper or any player to grab the chance when you get it.”

I agree with those points made above, however he made so many costly errors every time he got his chance I’m starting to think he must be running out of these now, how many more chances is Arsene willing to give him? Maybe I’m being too harsh on him, perhaps I’m a bit but that is because I want him to succeed in every way, I want him to show us he’s good enough and that he’s a talented keeper. To prove himself to the fans and show the others he’s a worthy Arsenal goalie. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and I sincerely hope he will have a good game tonight, come on Lukasz no fucking about this time please! 

Wojtek Szczesny has also been included in the squad and I think this is due to his latest outburst, he clearly wants to play and if he doesn’t then he may be looking elsewhere to do just that. I was rather surprised he wasn’t sent out on loan, so it seems Wenger has got other plans for him this coming season. Wojtek had a really good spell at Brentford last season but this obviously doesn’t mean he will preform on the same level in the Premier League. I still think there is massive potential there and he should bide his time for now. If Almunia and Fabianski will keep on making blunders left, right and center I can guarantee we’ll see Wojtek in goal sooner rather than later.

Speaking about the keepers, one brave Partizan Belgrade keeper Vladimir Stojkovic thinks we are weak without Cesc Fabregas, speaking to The Sun he said:

“We’ve watched Arsenal’s last few matches and they really have changed,”

“They have problems in defence and in goal.

“But their biggest problem is the absence of Fabregas. He’s a basic element in their team and they miss him.

“So I would rather face Arsenal now than in two months’ time when he has recovered from his hamstring trouble.

“They are in a bad spell right now and we need to profit from this.”

One word of advice to you Vladimir, just watch that space between you  and your posts tonight my friend you never know when Jack is going to hit you, just concentrate on your own team for now. Perhaps he’s right in a way but I refuse to take such nonsense from someone like him and I believe our squad is strong enough to beat Partizan on their home turf. Enough about keepers for now please, all I hear from last Saturday is keeper this, keeper that and it’s driving me up the wall.

Glad to hear Song wants to make amends and is looking to improve things from last weekend, we are probably going to see our left back Gibbs taking over from Clichy and I was really happy to hear that he made it in time. Don’t get  me wrong here I think Clichy is a really talented left back but it seems he has not made any progress recently, on the other hand to me Gibbs is already on the same level if not in front already. A bit of competition can only be good for them both either way.

That’s about all you will get from me today. Let’s forget about what happened on Saturday and get behind the team even if it means supporting Fabianski in goal, after all he’s an Arsenal player right? Decent performance will only give him more confidence and if he has a point to prove tonight then I’m behind him all the way, same goes for the others an improvement is a must if we want to bring home three precious points. A win in Belgrade will put us on a high just as well before we meet the Chavs, if you would like to put your money where your mouth is then look at SkyBet 3-1 to The Arsenal at 16/1 not bad at all. Have a good evening everyone get behind the lads and enjoy the game.

Come on you Riproaring Almighty Reds…!!!

Sunderland preview, time to make amends up north!

September 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

There was not  great deal of significant news surrounding Arsenal since the thrashing of Braga 6:0 on Wednesday evening. We witnessed a magnificent performance that evening which still makes me smile when I look back. For obvious reasons we need to make amends at the Stadium of Light this late afternoon, last time we didn’t play well and ultimately lost the game. It goes without saying that Sunderland is a place where three points should be secured and this time around due to our current run and form I see us doing just that. Meaestro Cesc has been talking about not getting ahead of ourselves and letting the others know Sunderland are no pushovers for sure:

“I am not going to read too much into our beating both Blackburn and Bolton – in previous years we might have done the same thing before collapsing against the big sides, so it’s best that we just keep going, keep improving and keep making things difficult for whoever we face.”

“On Saturday, that will be Sunderland, which is always a very difficult place to go. Last season we didn’t do well at the Stadium of Light, but it was straight after an international break and we were perhaps a bit tired, so we hope for better this time.”

“We are happy with 10 points from four Premier League games. We would have preferred 12, but we are up there, we are second, and now we need to guard against losing more points because we will need everything we can get at the end of the season.”

These are true words of a Captain you can sense here he’s telling the other lads to keep their heads and feet on the ground, 100% we must give anything else on top is a bonus. There were few articles going around yesterday I believe about Cesc not being very happy after the Braga game, during the interview which I saw live the lad was asked questions about the game and all those Barca rumors. He answered his questions regarding the game well, however when it came to the other subject he certainly felt uneasy about it and rightly so. Transfer windows is now closed, season has started, Arsenal fans have already forgotten about what happened and yet he still has to explain himself. Cesc doesn’t need to do that, he has shown on the pitch he’s 100% committed to the Arsenal cause!

Team news are pretty good to be honest with you, no more injuries during midweek which is always music to the ears, we will still be without Vermaelen and Diaby who should resume normal service against West Brom next week. Yet another decent performance is required by Squilliaci and Koscielny at the back. I would like to see the same squad start the game that tore apart Braga on Wednesday, the confidence will definitely be very high there. Sunderland have got their own share of injuries and the usual suspect suspended due to red card, saying that this will be a different cup of tea altogether and our lads need to address things from the first whistle. They will try anything possible to break our rhythm so quick pass and move tactics are required. I feel good about this one I know we have Chamakh up front and he’s been a brilliant signing so far. Come on Chamakh!

Looking at the bookies there is a tasty looking bet with Skybet at 14/1 on 3:1 correct score line, so I should be investing on that one. My last prediction was perhaps naive but who would of thought we would put six past Braga. For those of you going to the game have a great day and please ignore anything that Fat Sam and Owen Coyle spread around in the media about Arsene, they are a bunch of  Hansen’s and we all know who he really is. That’s all my fellow Gooners, enjoy the game and have great weekend.

Come On You Riproaring, Free Scoring Almighty Reds!

Braga taught a lesson by Vintage Arsenal

September 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Champions League

ARSENAL 6 : 0 SPORTING BRAGA

I think it’s fair to say that before the game tonight I thought Braga was a decent side, ok I don’t want to sound too patronizing here, perhaps they are a good side but after the show tonight we know we can go all the way, well I know we will definitely try. The free flowing football, those passes, those runs, the link up play, chasing the ball, desire, determination and hunger I could go on here forever, it was just amazing to watch simply Vintage Arsenal!

I will focus on individual performances for a change perhaps if I have missed something you Gooners can fill in the gaps. We could have easily scored 10 tonight without a doubt as some chances went begging, never mind to watch us play like this just reminds me why I have fallen in Love with Arsenal!

Cesc was just everywhere tonight and I mean everywhere, defence, in the middle and attack, he showed yet again what a great magician he can be, his form is definitely on the up and scoring two goals will hopefully send him flying even further. I was hoping he was going to get his Hat-Trick but hey I’m sure he’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so. Absolutelly  brilliant performance by our skipper! Nasri was introduced from the first whistle tonight and straight away he was pulling strings on the right wing, he switched sides with Arshavin at some point and did the same on the other side.

Jack  had a fantastic game too, this young lad worked his socks off and played some great football, his cross to Cesc with the outside of his boot was pure class. Chamakh was outstanding, he really adds another dimension to our attack doesn’t he? He’s fast, he can pass and dribble and hold the ball well for a free transfer we got ourselves hell of a striker, Chamakh who? He scored yet again and  boy I can see him scoring many more and Arsene definitely knows.

Song was solid as aways, I have noticed he likes to go forward himself you know, he was poking the ball all night chasing and it looked like no one was going to stop him tonight. Arshavin had few misplaced passes to start with but he worked his arse off on that left wing, he chased back as well. I’m sure we are yet to see the best of him soon. Clichy I think had one incident where he didn’t clear the ball too well but overall he was solid and very quick to the ball, he was up and down on that left flank in the second half. Sagna well what can you say about Sagna solid as a brick wall.

Braga did try to upset our back four at times, however Koscielny and Sqilliaci formed a very good understanding at the back they were really commanding in that area, they didn’t allow anything past them. We can’t forget that they only have been with us few months so there is definitely still room for improvement.

Eboue was as good as the others and Vela scored an absolute gem of a goal, how cheeky was that? I honestly think we have the best attacking side in the Premier League. Vela needs more playing time but I’m sure his time will come. Yet another clean sheet for Almunia that can’t be bad for his confidence buidling, he wasn’t too busy we know but he had a good ball catching practice either way.

I know it’s early days and Braga are not real test yet, however I will enjoy this moment for now and enjoy those goals all over again. I did expect more from Braga I have to admit my money is lost but hey that doesn’t really matter any more.

Braga preview, we have been warned

September 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Champions League

Braga? So who is Braga?

The name of the club we will face on Wednesday evening in the Champions League clash doesn’t bring up any immediate concerns to many of us, however if you closely look at them and what they have achieved so far makes you think twice that they can’t be taken for granted. They have knocked out Celtic and Sevilla to reach the group stages of this years Champions League and that has to be accounted for as we all know that not as much as Celtic but Sevilla is a very tough place to go to and winning there is definitely something special.

In 1921 their coach Jozef Szabo made a trip up to Highbury not that I can remember I wasn’t even around then, but it seemed to have  inspired him at the time who changed their club shirt colours from green white stripes  to white red stripes, they also renamed their A and B teams, Minho’s Arsenalistas and Arsenal do Braga, quite interesting that.

Their AXA Stadium built for the Euro 2004 only has two stands along the side lines of the pitch with one end made of solid rock and the other overlooking the City.

Braga’s only trophy came in 2008 when they won the last ever UEFA Intertoto Cup, they yet have to win domestic league but they have managed to finish second last season so it seems that things are definitely improving for the Portuguese club. Their Brazilian forward Matheus is not shy to speak away about their trip to The Grove, he said:

“We have already achieved our first success of the season by reaching the group stages of the Champions League,”

“But that is not enough. Braga are not just going into this as tourists. Now we want to travel across Europe and win.”

“Arsenal are the favourites to win the match and the group – but we can spring a big surprise.”

“Nobody thought we could beat Seville either.”

“The key to the match for us will be to give our all and take advantage of the opportunities we get on the counter-attack,”

“I love Arsenal’s incredible attacking style, but I don’t intend to suffer from it.

“I intend to enjoy it. Scoring at the Emirates would be an incredible moment for me to remember.”

Now he’s full of praise for us but we need our back four to be ready for this one, as Le Boss said himself that they are a very good counter attacking side and I have no doubt they will try and hit us on the counter, so we have been warned. I still believe this one should see us through with a tasty goal margin and I have chosen for another correct score line, 4:1 to the Almighty Arsenal at 20/1 with Skybet or if you prefer a 5:0 score line at 28/1. Let’s hope I’m right about this one and I’ll be few quid richer tomorrow evening.

Not much else going on today to be honest with you, press conference later on will reveal the exact extent of Diaby’s injury and the rest I imagine. I’m glad Nasri will be available for this one and that Cesc is hitting form again, but most of all that Vermaelen will join either Koscielny or Squillaci at the back, I feel somewhat calmer with him in front of Almunia who had a very decent game against Bolton, long may it continue please.

Match report will follow after the game for those of you going, get behind the lads and a have a great evening. That’s all I have for you today, take care and be good.

We have Cesc Fabregas…We have Cesc Fabregas…We have Cesc Fabregas…

We deserved this one and we responded well

September 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Weekends come and go, we all look forward to the game at the weekend and before you know it it’s Monday morningand you have to be at work, witha hangover for some of us. It was a good weekend for me, it all started with Everton taking on Man U at midday, I watched the game and thought it would nice for Everton to beat Man U but then the score line looked 1:3 and I changed the channel. Without knowing the final outcome of the game I prepared my self to watch us take on dirty Bolton and dirty they were don’t you think?

First half was a bit nervous I would say, we scored first with a bit of a mix-up in the box Jack crossed the ball in and Koscielny made it 1:0 with a simple tap in but only for him to make a mistake at the other end with some sloppy passing, by that time we should have been at least 4:0 up where Arshavin had a chance after chance unfortunately it wasn’t his day, as much as he tried there was no end product there. I do have to say he worked his socks off so I will let him off here. Fisrt half ended in 1:1 and I felt we needed to improve after the break.

Second half saw a much improved and goal hungry Arsenal side, the game became more physical at that moment and Bolton reverted to some nasty challenges and in the 64th minute Gary Cahill was sent off for a tackle from behind on the man who scored moments later. Chamakh’s header put us in front again after Cesccrossed the ball into the  six yard box, Alex Song withsome clever ball control and a brilliant flick got the third few minutes later. I did go for a 3:1 correct score line withthe bookies but Cesc with a brilliant through ball found Carlos Vela who smashed a low shot and made it 4:1 ultimately making my profit go down the drain. Never mind as I enjoyed this ride very much and three points are more important than anything else.

Bolton should have had another red card or even two, Kevin Davies on purpose clashed heads with Koscielny but referee Stuart Atwell waved it off, that would of been his second yellow and he should have joined Cahill in the dressing room. What happened later was a complete disgrace, Paul Robinson should have seen a straight red after his malicious leg braking tackle on Abou Diaby, for me the linesman had a clear view of the incident and should have done something about it. How on earth the FA allow a Phantom Goal referee in the Priemier League is just beyond a joke. Diaby replaced Jack and only lasted few minutes and was replaced by Denilson, after the tackle Diaby wasn’t happy one bit and I fully stand by him on that one, I would definitely do the same thing. This tackle could have ended his footballing career and Atwell should be dropped to Sunday league games, his atrocious mistakes should be punished and should never be allowed in top league games. I only hope and wish Diaby a speedy recovery to his best!


Diaby is one lucky man



We saw some good individual performances on Saturday no doubt and it looks like our Captain is on his way back, he got three assists and should have probably scored himself. It’s nice to see him coming back to his best. Everyone had a really good game, hopefully Arshavinwill start scoring soon and with Chamakh up front we have definitely an aerial threat we haven’t had in ages. After checking the results after the games it was a nice suprise to see that Everton came back to 3:3 and made my Saturday afternoon even better.

Champions League here we come, till next time everyone.

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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