Arsenal in dire need of defenders

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC

Arsene Wenger is going to have to delve into the transfer market for a new defender if he wants to challenge Manchester United for the Premier League title.

The Arsenal manager recently confirmed he would be looking for some cover at centre-half if it seems Thomas Vermaelen would not return from an achilles problem in the near future.

The news has been bad for Wenger, as the Belgian defender has been ruled out for a further six weeks as he needs an operation to cure the injury that has seen him unable to play since August.

With Sebastien Squillaci also out with a hamstring strain it means Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou are the club’s only recognised centre backs. It did not affect them however at the weekend as their easy win over West Ham ensured they remain two points behind leaders United in the Premier League title race and the football betting suggests it will be a close run thing.

But with many important games coming in both the Premier League and Champions League on the horizon, Wenger seems to have his hand forced and he will look for a new defender to bolster his injury-hit squad and anyone looking to bet on Premier League games  should remember this.

Vermaelen has said: “I have already tried to come back three times, but the pain proved too much on each occasion.

“Recent tests showed a minor problem next to the achilles tendon has been causing the pain. That’s why I’ll undergo surgery.”

Theo Walcott was on target during Arsenal’s 3-0 win over West Ham and he claimed after the game the real Gunners were back after two disappointing results.

The England man claims the mood is “great” among the Arsenal squad and it is looking like it could be a “great year” for the club, however the Premier League title may be a little bit too far for them.

Was it boys against men?

December 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

On Monday, the Arsenal lost a close one to Manchester United 1-0. For some reason, we can’t seem to stop Park Ji-Sung from scoring on us. His header goal was the only point and this was the third game in a row against us that he scored. However, after the game Arsene Wenger was complaining about the pitch being bad and that being the reason the Arsenal won.

He said, “On a very bad pitch, the technical quality of the game suffered and that’s why you have seen unusual technical mistakes. The pitch was so poor in my opinion and the game suffered a lot from it.” Really? Are you really trying to blame the loss on the pitch? That is like blaming online poker losses on your computer. Yes, the pitch can cause problems in one’s game, but the team should have adjusted to compensate. Did the pitch affect the ball coming off of Ji-Sung’s head?

Let’s take a look at the stats. The Arsenal had the edge in time of possession, holding the ball for 54% of the time. Next, they also had the same number of saves as the United with five. The one key stat is shots on goal. The Arsenal had 5 and the United had 6, and in the end, that extra shot was the difference. One glaring stat to me is the number of fouls. The Arsenal committed almost double the fouls of Manchester United and got four yellow cards in the process. Are we going to blame that on the pitch as well?

In the end, this was a hard fought game by two top-tier teams. Is it possible that poor pitch made a difference in the game? Yes. It is also possible for me to clear a poker deposit bonus playing crappy cards too, but not likely. However, it is much more likely that on this day, the bounce just went the United’s way. There is no reason to put the blame on the pitch when your team statistically held their own. Perhaps if you fouled a little less, you might have gotten a couple more shots on goal. The game was so close that another shot or two could have tied, or even won, the game.

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.

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 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…

Arsene confirms Squillaci is a Gooner!

August 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Transfers

I think everyone thought Sebastien Squillaci was going to be announced as Arsenal player last Monday, that did’t happen as we all know.Tuesday went by and we still didn’t know if he signed on the dotted line or not. Yesterday I have heard that he went back to Spain, apparently to sort out few things as he flew straight back to London. It’s now 17:15 and there is still no confirmation on Arsenal.com. Now I would have thought it would be definitely announced today after Arsene’s press conference, nope I was wrong again. Maybe they are up to something and will reveal two signings at once as this is the only reason I think why it would be held up, he will be taking part in training tomorrow so why not announce it? Either way we have just aquired a very EXPERIENCED defender, for life I never really seen him play so I will hold my judgment for later. I’m glad we got another CB we definitely needed one. It usually goes without saying that Arsene knows best and I’m truly behind him on this one he seems to think very highly of him as well:

“We needed a centre-back of quality and experience if possible, and at the right price – he was all of that.

“He is a real defender and is good in the one against one, good in the air, and can score goals on set-pieces as well.

“I believe he will be suited to the English game.

“He will train with us tomorrow morning, but will not be involved on Saturday.”

If we could get another DM and a Goalkeeper I would be very happy, somehow I can only see us buying another field player not a keeper we have Almunia and Fabianski and I think we have to get behind them and perhaps with that their confidence levels will improve.

We face a tough game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday early kick off, this will be stern test for Koscielny as we all know what to expect from Fat Sam’s tactics it will be rough and tough, northing less. We have Denilson back in the squad so it’s looking better already on the injuries front. Arshavin is talking about revenge and I like that attitude from the little Russian, revenge is sweet and come on lads let’s thrash them at least 4:0. For those going to the game have a great trip, I will be watching this from my own home and I can’t wait.

On behalf of every Gooner I would like to welcome Sebastien Squillaci to Arsenal FC!

News that has just come in, from the Champions League draw we are in Group H alongside, Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga and FK Partizan. I know pundits have already said we have the easiest group but I tell you none of those teams can be taken for granted, they have made it this far for a reason, Braga beat Seville and that will give an indication they mean business, still I believe we should top this group.

That’s all from me, let’s have another goal feast on Saturday!

COME ON YOU REDS!

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