Category Archives: Arsenal

Victory for Abramovich, defeat for football

At the end of another disappointing season for Arsenal it would be easy for any Arsenal supporter to be negative about Chelsea’s Champions League victory.

Of course it would also be easy to celebrate, given that Chelsea’s win consigns Spurs to yet more second string European football.

So why should we come down on the side of negativity? For a reason that no-one could have anticipated.

Just when the modern face of football couldn’t sink any lower, along came Roman Abramovich and his entourage.

When Cech saved Robben’s penalty, Abramovich was understandably excited (after what appeared to be a brief moment of ‘my God I’m so rich should I show any emotion?’ consideration). He leapt up from his seat and pumped the air in joy.

But that’s irrelevant. Look behind him and you will see an eight-year old boy proudly wearing his Chelsea strip. He’s just as excited by Cech’s save, but his celebrations are cut short by the iron forearm of one of the owner’s henchmen. It seems this young supporter got just a little to close to Mr Abramovich, and was lucky to escape with his windpipe intact. The gorilla’s forearm appears across his body, just to make sure he doesn’t get overly excited.

Embarassing is not the word for it. Unfortunate doesn’t even come close. Pathetic is there or there abouts.

Here we have an instant microcosm of all that is wrong with modern football. Chelsea Football Club is simply the plaything of a very, very rich man who couldn’t give a flying feck about the common supporter. As, of course, is Manchester City.

Supporters who celebrate the victories of these two clubs must surely feel a slightly hollowness underneath it all; the feeling that they don’t really matter anymore.

If they don’t, they need to watch the clip of Mr Abromovitch celebrating. Then look behind him

And then watch it again.

This article was written by an anonymous man!

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Filed under Arsenal, Blog, Champions League, Football, Guest Writer, Sports

The rollercoaster continues…

First up, this is the first article I’ve written in a good few weeks. The Christmas period got the better of me, then I had a little business trip which kept me out of action for a while, but I’m back now. I’d like to a warm welcome back to my regular followers, even the Tottenham ones. You know who you are.

So, after a few weeks of misery for Arsenal, and our worst run of form for as long as I can remember, it looked like the dip was going to continue, after being two goals down at home to Villa at half-time.

I’ve got no idea what Wenger said to the players at half-time, but it sure seemed to help. The second half performance was probably our best half of football we’ve witnessed all season, and as soon as we scored the first goal, you just knew it was coming.

Unfortunately, we seem to be a team capable of playing wonderful football in one half, and having another half of just not looking like an Arsenal side. Fulham at Craven Cottage was a game of two halves, and so was today’s game.

One player who deserves a lot of credit this season, and one of the unsung heroes in the Arsenal side, is Laurent Koscielny. Our defensive record might not be great, but he’s proving to a very valuable player. I thought he looked quality last season, and was often a scapegoat because he’s not young and British. Which brings me onto my next point – Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott! Surely, these two players need to be ‘rested’. They have been consistently poor performers for some time now, and yet they both seem to continue to start for Arsenal. I’m sure everyone will agree with me when I say that I can’t wait for Gervinho to come back from the ACN, and Wilshere to get fit quickly! These two players need to replace Ramsey and Walcott as soon as possible. Gervinho on the left and Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right looks like a decent balance. We miss the directness of Gervinho. Of course, he can be a frustrating player due to the amount of time he loses the ball, but he’s effective.

Last week the fans were going mental when Arsene Wenger substituted Oxlade-Chamberlain for Arshavin. I wonder if these are the same fans who were calling for Wenger’s head when he spent £15m on AOC, because we didn’t need another potential star. The same fans who wanted Wenger sacked because he hadn’t bought experience, and he went out and signed Mertesacker, Arteta, Benayoun, Santos and Park. Just saying, watch what you wish for Arsenal fans.

Anyway, a decent result in the FA Cup, and with Man City and United both out of the competition, and the possibility of facing Sunderland or Middlesbrough in the next round, we could be looking at a decent run this season.

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Striking at the heart of it!

My mind’s is picturing Arsene as Calvin right now! Do you seriously believe that we need reinforcements? Sorry Arsene, but we do. And it is not due to the scheduling of African Cup of Nations. We just do not have any strikers. Presence and absence of Chamakh would hardly make a difference right now. And I doubt if Arsene even knows whether Park Chu Young is still in the country. But there is one thing similar between Park Chu Young and me- Our chances of convincing Arsene that we can play as a striker for Arsenal. As long as you are going to fail an exam, it does not matter what the margin is. To be honest, I would be gobsmacked if we do not buy a striker. I know geniuses are eceentrically flawed in their beliefs. The more you harp them about any shortcomings, the more they go into their preconceived notions. Ask a United fan about the need for a central midfielder since 1532 BC that Fergie chooses to ignore. Or Arsene telling us that Silvestre is Maldini in disguise. Or my boss telling me to improve the quality of my work. Yet Arsene, I plead to thee- The strikers you signed are not good enough. Let us accept it and rectify it. We still have time to address it. Signing Henry is a stopgap arrangement at best.

Till such wisdom dawns upon us and we are stuck with status quo, whom do we play with in the centre forward position for the next week. RVP has been given a rightful rest and somebody has to step up to the plate. As ridiculous as it sounds, I would give the chance to Theo. YES, THEO! There is no point in playing Chamakh or Park Chu Young. They do not seem to be part of the solution. So let us try something else. For whatever we all may say about Theo, he was a proper striker when he joined us. I have not seen people beat goalkeepers at their near post so consistently as Theo when his head is right. Yes, he looks gloriously out of confidence, right now. But Leeds is as good an opportunity you can get to get your confidence back. Lest we forget, this kid looked the deal as a striker in the Carling Cup final against Chelsea. The move could achieve one of two things

  • Theo scores, gets his confidence back and actually may look like a back up striker in the future.
  • Theo does not score, realizes he is asking for an extra zero during contract negotiations, asks his agent to shut his tramp and sign that bloody contract on the table.

I am a blue tinted optimist, but i see both Theo staying and eventually emerging as a good striker for Arsenal. The time is here, the time is now! Throw the gauntlet to Theo! Can you do the business in this period as a striker? It is better than giving the umpteenth chance to Chamakh, see him conspicuously absent in the pitch, hope he remains the same with Morocco hastening their exit and comes back miraculously playing like Crouch (I seriously cannot even dream that Chamakh can play at a level beyond Crouch!). Oh, and amongst all this milieu, we are also praying that Van Persie is fit through this period. Some interesting stats on the latter- Van Persie has played the maximum number of minutes amongst all Arsenal players in 2011 (Courtesy- Arsenal website). Van Persie (with the notable exceptionn of St. Diaby) has been injured for the maximum number of minutes amongst all players since he has signed for us (Courtesy- My educated guess). So do the math on the latter happening for yourself! Till then, good luck, ye Gunners!

Article written by V. Vikas (http://www.arsenal-view.blogspot.com/)

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Arsenal vs Spurs

As some of you may know from the comments section, I live in a house full of yids. It’s just a fact that I am one Arsenal supporter surrounded by spurs fans, my mum, stepdad and younger brother are all yids. My family is from Peckham but seemingly all of them support the team even those (women) just vaguely aware of football feel the need to support the club that has been passed down through our family lineage.

Thank god then for my Aunt’s now ex-husband (shock horror) for slapping an Arsenal shirt on me and taking me to Highbury when I was just about walking. From that moment on I have been in love with Arsenal FC, I’ve felt every high and every low, the wonderment of winning trophy after trophy, the disappointment of losing the Champions League final. I’ve seen the league shift and change, title giants like Liverpool fall away to be replaced by Chelsea who rose from obscurity on the back of twenty pound notes thrusting them into the limelight like a papery magic carpet.

For years though a constant of Arsenal life was that our North London ASBO neighbours have firmly lived in our shadow. Anytime they tried to poke their whiskers out and smell the fresh air we’d slap them back into the void of empty dark that is our turbulence.
However this year it seems someone has left the door open and our mischievous little pet has been frolicking in the garden, exposing itself to anyone who’ll dare to look at it. Van Der Vaarting wherever it pleases, showing it’s Bale’s to passing children. Filthy little creature.

The sudden (and possibly temporary) rise of Tottenham from our shadow is something that got me to wondering, what would a North London FC team look like? Who from either side would make the grade and who would be a casualty?

So:

Goalkeeper: Brad Friedel VS The Schez
For me the Schez-man has this one, he’s young, confident, a good commander of his box and makes excellent reflex saves. Sometimes he gets a little hot under the collar, but then so did Brad Friedel – 30 years ago.

Right Back: Kyle Walker VS Bacary Sagna
Arsenal go 2 nil up here as for me there really is no question as to who will take right back. Walker has impressed thus far this year but Bacary is levels above him.

Right Centre Back: Ledley King VS Per Mertesacker
Tottenham gain a point back here as Ledley makes the starting eleven. Since his arrival Mertesacker has done…ok. Not brilliant, not the rock we were all hoping for but ok. His reading of the game and size makes up for his complete lack of any sort of pace and his rather panicky demeanour on the ball. 2-1 Arsenal.

Left Centre Back: Kaboul VS Thomas Vermaelen
3-1 Arsenal, Thomas is the obvious choice again, excellent going forward, excellent defending, great in the air, cannon of a left foot and has the same desire in the first minute as he does the ninetieth which is a mirror for his desire over a season. Great player. Spurs fans it is key to point out this isn’t me saying Kaboul is the opposite, just that he’s not as good a player as Vermaelen.

Left Back: Assou-Ekotto VS Kieran Gibbs
The zany Spurs left back takes the position from our fragile, hit and miss youngster every day of the week. I said Wenger was wrong to bank on Kieran and I’ve been proved right, his constant injuries and lack of focus on the pitch will cost us if he tries to make Gibbs the new Cole. Assou-Ekotto may be a touch on the bizarre side (odd boots and all that) but he is a great player – just sort out the hair.

3-2 Arsenal as we move into the middle of the park. For the purposes of this exercise we will envisage that both sides are playing a 4-3-3.

Right Middle: Luka Modric VS Aaron Ramsey
Tottenham level things up as without doubt Modric far exceeds the Welsh captain. I don’t think there will be an Arsenal fan that will argue this one.

Central Middle: Scott Parker VS Alex Song
This was a tough one, Song has had some great games this years, but then he’s also had some stinkers. For me Tottenham take the lead and Scott Parker takes the holding role. A player I was desperate for Wenger to fork out the poultry sum on and bring to our club and he’s shown why a lot of pundits thought the same. He’d have been ideal at the battling heart of our team. Great professional.

Left Middle: Rafael Van Der Vaart VS Mikel Arteta
I might upset a few people here but Arteta stops Tottenham from winning the midfield battle completely. His industry and willingness to get stuck into everything has made him a real asset and most any premiership middle would welcome him. VDV has had a few dodgy games and can go missing occasionally. But again for £8 Million Ol’Twitchy did excellently here.

We go into the forwards department tied at 4-4.

Right Forward: Aaron Lennon VS Gervinho
The Lille man makes it 5-4 to the gunners, his pace and ability to get at defenders really shone through against City at the Etihad and it’s really that game that decided it for me. If he could add finishing, boy he’d be a player.

Centre Forward: That Bloke VS Robin Van Persie
6-4

Left Forward: Gareth Bale VS Theo Walcott
Another no question decision here. Theo Walcott…I jest. Gareth Bale takes the spot over the English winger every single time. He has pace to burn like Theo but scores goals as well (as we saw yesterday) and has good end product, can think in tricky situations and retain the ball for his team by drawing fouls in dangerous areas.

So if my math is right and it usually isn’t, that’s 6-5 Arsenal. But a decision here or there, Van Der Vaart instead of Arteta and you’ve got a different outcome. Tottenham have bridged the gap considerably, I do though, honestly think we’ll finish above them, their legs will go come February and they’ll start to struggle to hold onto 4th but, they’re still above us right now.

If they lose Modric or Bale (less likely) in January it really is over for them, both players are so important. Arsene must look to an example like this and address it, we want an 11-0 whitewash but we need a Modric and a Bale. Gotze and Hazard would be nice – everyman can dream.

Here’s hoping we get over the blip against Wolves, buy some decent talent this coming month and charge all the way to May.

Happy New Year everyone.

Article written by SuperCesc

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Christmas Villa

Arsenal take on Aston Villa in a mid-week game having narrowly lost to Manchester City on Sunday in a game that proved even with no actual full-backs and having lost our two best players in the summer and not adequately replacing them we’re still a force in the Premier League. Remember United, second in the league were thumped 6-1 at home against City. The Spuds (who judging by what their ‘fans’ keep saying seem to have the odd idea that the season ends at the end of the month…strange lot) lost 5-1 to City at home. We were narrowly beaten 1-0 at The Etihad in a game that most would agree we deserved a draw.

Still, it was an excellent game of football in which a defence of four centre backs and a whole team that cost a little over what Sergio Aguero cost City stood toe to toe with this vulgar giant and traded blows and on a few occasions almost landed the knockout blow. We need to carry this momentum on into the clash at Villa Park, every three points is essential and it worries me to see some blogs calling it ‘fairly routine’. It’s not; we cannot approach any game feeling we’ll stroll on and stroll off with the win. We need to win every single game in the next month and it’s doable.

Arsene Wenger can help out his squad who really did a lot to restore some gunner pride on Sunday by adding to it as soon as the window opens. Like some crazed woman who received several hundred pounds worth of New Look vouchers bombing down her local high street as soon as the January sale boards go up in the sparkly shop windows.

The Mail ran an interesting piece today on ‘health checks’ of all the teams in the premiership and what their shopping lists should be come January. For us it was some urgent cover at the back which I totally agree with, a backup striker for RVP, again totally agree with this and then Gotze who most people widely accept is high on Wenger’s wish list. If by the end of January we can see on that little scrolling ‘IN’ bar on Sky Sports News Vertonghen, Alex, Gotze and Podolski I think we’ll have a very happy New Year and a great remainder to the season. But, as Arsenal fans we are accustomed to the bitter disappointment of seeing no one arrive in transfer windows and Arsene to keep the faltering car running all the way home on nothing but sound bites and hope.

I don’t understand the big deal everyone’s making about Djourou being injured I mean….he’s crap. Yes it’s yet another injury to a defender but honestly, I think a TESCO bag that some inconsiderate fan brought along to Villa Park that found its way down onto the pitch and got caught in a slight breeze would be more of an annoyance than Johan to a Villa attacker.

My starting eleven would be:

Schez

Koscielny   Mertesacker   Vermaelen   Miquel

Arteta   Song   Ramsey

Chamberlain   Van Persie   Gervinho

Koscielny and Vermaelen are beasts at the back, we expect it from Tommy but Laurent (who I will now refer to as Larry Koscielny – because it sounds harder isn’t it?) has surprised a lot of people with his performances. He’s one of those in the squad that have stepped up to the mark when things went south for us. Arteta is another and Song has had some big games, he just needs to polish his tackling and passing up a bit and we’ll have a real midfield dynamo there.

Van Persie….we’re not worthy. And Gervinho tore City’s full backs apart and was a menace all game long, just needs to concentrate on that final product a bit more whether that’s a shot or a cross. Walcott was abysmal, his control was horrific. He ended up having to scoop the ball back under his control every time he was passed to because it had jumped off his toe. His runs were flat, and aside from a second half shot that Joe Hart saved he may as well have been at home. So I’d field Oxo and let him run riot, just tell him to go out and run his socks off. If he wants Theo’s place then these are the chances he’ll have to take. Equally Theo needs to learn in a top flight team you can’t have a performance in a massive game like Sunday and not go unpunished.

I can’t see us cocking up against a weak Villa side but we still need to maintain focus which I think we’re better at this year with a leader in each department, Schez, Vermaelen, Arteta, Van Persie.

Here’s hoping for three points this week, maximum points at the end of January, some real top class buys in the window and a happy new year.

Merry Christmas Gunners!

Article written by SuperCesc.

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Man City 1-0 Arsenal: Player ratings

Sure, it wasn’t a great result today, but not many teams are going to turn up at Man City and give them a game like that. The Arsenal players should be proud of that performance.

After that performance, you’ve got to fancy Man City strongly for the Premiership title this season. I can’t see anyone touching them if I’m honest. The bookies definitely fancy them, based on the current English Premiership odds. If Man City do win the Premiership, Gareth Barry will officially be the worst player to ever win the Premiership, bar Tim Sherwood.

Arsenal had some cracking chances in the game, but you always felt that Man City could turn it on when they liked.

Onto the player ratings:

Wojciech Szczesny (8.5/10)Man of the Match. Cracking game from the young Pole, and kept us in it early on. Couldn’t do anything about the goal, and prevented an embarrassing scoreline. Potentially the best goalkeeper in world football.

Johann Djourou (5.5) – Once again, he looked totally out of sorts. He really is a dreadful player. We did look all over the place when he come off, but that was more due to the fact that our whole backline had changed, and it wasn’t a straight swap.

Per Mertesacker (7) – He really is as slow as people say he is, but his reading of the game is superb, and he will get better and better. He’s still adjusting.

Thomas Vermaelen (8) – Absolutely solid as usual. Looked great going forward too, and he could’ve pulled the result level late on. Glad to have him back and playing regularly.

Laurent Koscielny (8) – The most under-rated player at Arsenal. Was often used as a scapegoat last season, but he’s got potential to be an absolutely cracking defender. Looked assured, calm and strong all game.

Alex Song (6.5) – Not the greatest game in the world for Song, but he didn’t play too bad either. The early booking was always going to affect his game, but he still didn’t seem to learn from that, and was still putting it about. Needs to be a little less rash in the tackle.

Aaron Ramsey (6) – He didn’t play too bad today, but if he tries one more of those flicks, I swear I’m going to put my first through to the TV screen. He needs to cut that shit out of the game and stick to the basics.

Mikel Arteta (8) – A contender for Man of the Match. Had a solid game in the middle of the park, and I like what he’s added to Arsenal’s play. We haven’t got the prettiest centre midfielders, but they are resolute and a lot of that is down to Arteta. He’s settled in nicely at Arsenal.

Gervinho (7) – I like Gervinho. I like him a lot. He’s a very direct player, and at times frustrating, but you are going to get that with players like him. He attacks the defence, and it clearly scares the shit out of defenders. Obviously it doesn’t come off 99% of the time, but he will keep going.

Robin van Persie (7.5) – Not really sure what to make of RVPs performance today. You always assume he’s had a quiet game because he hasn’t scored, but he offered a lot up front. The reason he gets a lower score than usual is just down to the fact that Arsenal didn’t score today.

Theo Walcott (3) – Terrible performance by Walcott. He’s got this in the locker, where he just goes missing in certain games. Losing possession time after time, and not running at defenders. Certain games suit him, and certain games don’t.

Subs:

Ignasi Miquel (6.5) – He looked decent enough, and came into the game late on after a shaky start. He’s a young boy, and if he carries on then he’s got a decent future ahead of him. Looks a little too relaxed at times though.

Andrei Arshavin (5) – Not a good performance at all by the little Russian. What an enigmatic player he’s turned out to be. He’s almost the forgotten man at Arsenal.

Marouanne Chamakh (4) – I think he touched the ball once! I can’t really give him any higher or lower than a 5.

Based on this performance, I’m certain that we’ll finish in the top 4. Let’s face it, Tottenham won’t, and neither will Liverpool, so we’re only competing with Newcastle for the top 4 spot.

We’ve played Man City, Chelsea and Man United away from home, so it’s good to get those games out of the way. Even though we only won one.

On a side note, as much as I detested Gary Neville as a footballer, I can’t help but like him as a pundit. He has a very intelligent approach to the game, and he’s one of the few who knows what he’s talking about. I hate to admit it, but I like you Gary Neville.

On another side note, why does Joe Hart save every shot straight at him, and then do a some sort of acrobatic flip? I really wish goalkeepers would cut this out. This was why I loved David Seaman and Jens Lehmann so much; they made the simple stuff look easy. Joe Hart really does make it all look so difficult. And he’s looks like an arrogant little prick.

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Electric shock football – A must see!

I’m sure this has done the rounds already, but if you haven’t seen it then you’ve got to check it out. It’s basically ex-pros playing football and getting electric shock treatment. Magical.

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