Tag Archives: Villa

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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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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