Get the Plates in ……..

September 29, 2009

So the Greeks are here in the big city, but I don’t expect them to have a smashing time tonight. Tonight will be a game full of goals, our goals and a big win!

No Nik as he decided to take part in a Grand Prix on Sunday morning and came off the track on the first bend – twit!

No Theo as he is playing behind closed doors against an Olympiacos second string and no Denilson as he has a fracture in his back and is out for two months.

Theo and Nik should be ready for the weekend, so all is not so bad.

Ave will enjoy watching the opposition tonight; they play with a big Vodafone label on the front of their shirts!! 😛

So who are the opposition?

Olympiacos are one of the big three football clubs in Greece and are one of four teams that have never been relegated from the first division. They are one of the most successful Greek clubs, having won thirty-seven League titles, twenty-four Greek Cups and three Greek Super Cups, more titles than any other Greek team in European competitions; they have reached the quarter-finals twice, in the 1998–99 UEFA Champions League and the 1992–93 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

In 2007/08 they reached the last 16 in the CL; but were knocked out by The Chavs after losing 3-0 in London.

The only players I have heard of who play for them is Matt Derbyshire and Olof Mellburg, the rest sound something like the owner of the Launderette in Eastenders 😉 😉

They are managed by Zico – fondly known as ‘The White Pele’ so I don’t think we will see a No9 bus parked, it should be an open game, free flowing with plenty of goals.

This is the night (mind you I say that every match day) that we score a few, Eduardo, Van Persie, Arshavin will all hit the back of the net, the usual Vermaelan header, and I fancy Cesc…. to score one as well.
I reckon with Nik out we just may go back to a 4-4-2

And if I was picking the team:-

Mannone
Sagna Gallas Vermaelan Clichy/Gibbs
Arshavin Fabregas Song Rosicky
Van Persie Eduardo


Three Most Wanted

September 25, 2009

By that I mean POINTS!!

Another away game for us then, but thankfully not too far for the team to travel tomorrow so no excuse for fatigue or stiff muscles after getting off a ten minute coach ride 😉

Three points tomorrow and we are right back up with the big boys, and that is exactly what we need to be tomorrow evening – Big Boys, with a big performance. Last season we were dreadful in this fixture, the game almost dominated by some old dodgy dipper called Murphy, well that won’t happen this time around.

Song is a better player now and he won’t allow Murphy to have such a good time, no, he will boss the midfield allowing Cesc to do what he does best – play with freedom and let his passing split open the Fulham defence time after time (see a Song)

We have Arshavin and Walcott back, fighting fit and desperate to start, we have Thomas Rosicky so surely that will mean no play for Diaby or Eboue from the start? I hope that is the case.

The back four picks itself I think – the only question is who plays in goal? Will it be Mannone, Szczesny or Almunia – I am not so sure there much between them, maybe a good game to stick with one of the younger two, let them get more confidence. I would go with Mannone, because it’s easier to spell 😉

The midfield – well we know Cesc and Song are going to be there, so who is the third, I am guessing he will play a 4-3-3 so if he does I would go with Rosicky – boy it’s great to see him back 🙂

Then the front three and I guess this is where we will all disagree, I would love to see Arshavin, Theo and Eduardo – I don’t care on which side of the park they play in fact I wish they would have freedom to roam. I remember we used to see Bobby on the left, Freddie on the right, the next minute it was the other way round. The defence won’t like it if they swap around a bit 😛

So it would look like this if it were down to me.

Mannone
Sagna Gallas TV Clichy
Song
Cesc Rosicky
Walcott Eduardo Arshavin

Maybe he will go for a 4-2-2 as we are away, I would play the same team but slot Arshavin into the midfield and play Theo and Eduardo up front. Yesterday I got my hopes up about Vela playing tomorrow, but he is ‘not ready’…

Mannone
Sagna Gallas TV Clichy
Walcott Song Cesc Rosicky
Eduardo Arshavin

Surely, that team will be able to spank Fulham. So on to Fulham….
Funny old start to the season for them, bit like us really!

They have lost to Chelsea, Villa and Wolves, but have beaten Pompey and Everton. Doesn’t tell us much really, they have only played two games at home winning one and losing one. The Chavs beat them at Craven Cottage 2-0, so I say let’s go and beat them by three goals at least!

Up front they have that little weasel Johnson, who loves to score against us, but I expect TV to deal with him easily. My main concern is Big Brede on set pieces, he did it to us last season and we can’t let that happen again so I just hope TV and Gallas have their stilettos’ on for a little extra height 😛

Greening, Duff and Davies? Could cause a problem, but somehow I don’t think so. I don’t know enough about any of their other players to comment.

Other than that, on paper the game should end with us securing all three points and a good weekend can be had by all of us. Then it’s back to the CL on Tuesday, a nice home game…


8 Miles from Double Dutch!

September 21, 2009

Thomas Vermaelen, wow what a signing. Arsene Wenger sure doesn’t know a good defender when he sees one.

Why was he born 8 miles across the Belgium border, his parents ruined my headline?
He is tenacious in defence, and attacks corners like a madman and is showing the team the way, we now have a new confidence on corners, you can see the takers trying harder to hit a man rather than just hit and hope.
On top of that on Saturday he showed he has a sweet left foot, so 2 goals and a brilliant defensive display. So man of the match then.. er no??
That honour went to Robin van (satellite remover) Persie. To me he is trying too hard, but he is not a power player and should stick to the slick pretty stuff he was showing a few years ago, and when it comes to shooting  his hand eye co ordination  is getting worse, like when the sound track isn’t in line with what you are watching on the box and peoples lips are moving out of time.
This was a good result for us and should be the starting block to build a run of winning games and get the confidence sky high for the Chelsea game.
I heard on the radio this morning that there have only been 4 draws in the Premiership all season, if every team has played nearly 6 games that must mean about 60 games have been played, I don’t know what that means but we have seen some “gun ho” football this year and not just from us.

Mannone… 6.5 .. doesn’t seem comfortable just yet, needs to communicate better with his defence. Made a reaction save, apart from that never had much to do.

Sagna.. 7 .. an average game for him, not that it is a surprise that a full back is never going to have much work to do against Wigan.. needs to vary his attacking moves.

Gallas.. 7.. Played very well and has settled into a good rhythm this season,

Vermaelen… 9.. Apart from a bit of bad positioning every now and again what a performance from a centre half, could be the best we have had since TA6.

Clichy. 7.. An improved performance from last week, but I was thinking it is about time we got a better end product for all his attacking, Cole and Silviniho used to come up with the odd goal or assist.

Fabregas.. 7.. Doesn’t look too happy at the moment, the Carling Cup game should give his ankle some time to heal, don’t rush him back perhaps have him on the bench next week in case of emergency.

Song.. 6.5 Not his best game, gave the ball away, but if he can keep his best performances for the big games that would be okay.

Diaby.. 5.5.. Good for Diaby, but not living up to expectation now his injury mare is over, needs to find a brick wall and learn to kick with his other foot.

Eboue.. 5.5.. He doesn’t add enough to the team going forwards, not for a midfield player. Okay at right back where attacking is just a bonus. Oh and the handball.. STOP CHEATING..

RvP..8.. He is turning into Thierry mark 2, the most important player at the front, but needs to chill out and take the pressure of himself. May be better when AA comes back to take the pressure off in the final third of the field. Some brilliant corners now that he has someone to aim at..

Eduardo 7.5.. I have only just got used to him being able to run around, he is now back to how I remember him before the injury. Good in flashes but lack that presence needed, needs a big man to feed off RvP is not his ideal partner in crime.

Rosicky.. 7.5 definitely, defintely getting there back to fitness.

Bendtner.. 6. never really got into the game. I don’t want to see him in our half looking for the ball.

Ramsey.. 6.5.. The big stage is still a bit too big for him at the moment..

In all a good 7.5 perfomance..

I watched a couple of great games yesterday on the box.. it was quite strange not wanting any particular team to win.. I hated all 4.. lol..

But although it was good to see Hughes face when he lost yesterday, I feel more should be done about the favouritism of Man U especially at OT..
This injury time thing is out of hand, when I ask the question “where did all the injury time come from?” I get told 45 seconds for a goal 30 seconds for a substitution etc.. but that never happens in our games. What was the injury time in our 6-1 win at Everton I bet it was 3 minutes at the most..
It needs to be the same rules for every match.

Anyway have a great day and look forwards to seeing the kids tomorrow. J


Wi-gan a get better…

September 17, 2009

I thought about trying to write something about the game last night, with a headline of ‘Hands knees and bumps a daisy’ but thankfully thought better of it, but our second and third goals were more or less just that – a bit of hand from Song, a bit of knee from Eduardo and a whole lot of offside thrown into the mix –
I don’t like us being allowed goals which are clearly offside, but hey, how many times have we lost to goals like that so ‘am I bothered’ ? …
No, we won, I still don’t know how, but we have three points after the first Champions League game and that is all that matters.

For me there were two differences between the sides last night, desire and fitness. SL had much more desire to win but we were by far the fittest, and that is what won us the game in the end.
I don’t see the point in doing a player by player rating as time has passed, it’s all been discussed and to be fair I don’t think anyone really deserved a rating over 5!!

My man of the match was the ref, no-nonsense, pretty consistent throughout – the only decision I am still unsure about though is the penalty, but hey ho we had an offside goal allowed so all is fair 😉

Three away games at the start of the season, out of the four played is not good for any club, especially when its our own, but maybe when we get to the end of the season, we will be glad that the two trips to Manchester are out the way.

Our next six games are all at home apart from Fulham on the 26th September, three of those are in the premiership and on paper that should mean a definite 9 Points, and to be honest we ‘should’ get a further three points at Craven Cottage – shouldn’t we??

Hypothetically – by the second week in October we may just be floating around the top three, and those two away games will be well and truly forgotten, well, nearly.

Saturday see’s us back at home then, against Wigan who are still getting used to their new manager Roberto Martinez – they sit just two places below us level on points, but having played one game more. Wigan have had a mixed bag of results – they beat West Ham, got thrashed by Manchester Utd, beaten by Everton and thrashed by Blackpool – so for me this is a certain home win for us, and I feel another thrashing for them is on the cards.

This Saturday will see us get back to our winning ways, a more convincing display, maybe even a goal or two from a striker (in the league I mean) Just that in itself would make me a tad happier, I currently have very little faith in Van Persie, Bendtner or Eduardo and I so wish Chamakh had joined us, but I know, not point in even thinking about that now..

The good news is that Arshavin may be back for Saturday, Rosicky is definitely no longer a sicky and they are the two that still believe it’s a good idea to shoot when you have a sight on goal – Unlike some… 🙂

Denislon is still out as is Walcott, Djourou, Nasri, Vela, Fabianski and Almunia, so I hope our line up consists of:-

Mannone
Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Gibbs
Wilshere Ramsey Song Rosicky
Arshavin Eduardo

But no doubt we will see
Mannone
Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Cliché (just for Ave)
Rosicky Song Fabregas Diaby
Bendtner Eduardo

Saturday 19th September is the date, 3pm is the time – our season starts all over again, this time though we will get it right!

I am going for a 5-1 home win 🙂


He Never Ran Like That for £80,000 a Week.

September 14, 2009

I have to give Mark Hughes his due, Arsene Wenger couldn’t get Adebayor to play like he did on Saturday even though he doubled his wages,  as Johnny Lydon once wrote “Anger is an Energy”  and it obviously motivated Ade into the best game he has ever played.
I was angry at first at his goal celebration, mainly because he should not have been on the pitch to score a goal, but now I think it is quite funny to think that us Arsenal fans caused him so much pain that he tried so hard to get one over on us. He must really hate us with a vengeance..lol.

I never saw him stamp on Cesc’s ankle or as Rico said this morning,  he took a swipe at Song, I never saw that either. But I have been listening to Talk Crap and the worst offender for talking shite on there is that tosser Quinn,  not Nial the other fat one whose career highlight consists of scoring a hat trick against us in about 93’, he reckons RvP half deserved the stamp (although he doesn’t condone it) because he went in two footed on the initial challenge. And the Arsenal fans deserved the celebration because of the stick he was getting during the game.
The points against us were..
RvP came in two footed and could have been sent off first.
Ade was getting a kicking from all the Arsenal players.
From one angle it was hard to tell if Ade meant the stamp or not.
He only meant to stamp on his hand and it was unlucky that RvP got his head in the way

And the goal celebrations were okay because.
He never left the field of play.
He was getting stick from the Arsenal fans. (who started it?)
Arsenal fans were singing songs about his parents. (It was copied from other supporters when Ade played for Arsenal)
RvP went over to the Man City fans when he scored.
Mark Hughes even said he ran over to a section of Man City fans.. (haha.)
Thierry ran the length of the field when he celebrated his solo goal against the Spuds in 2002.

My take on it is I don’t really care if they ban him or not it won’t help us much, It will probably help man U more and It won’t get us the point we deserved. We must not lose confidence because of these two recent Manchester games we don’t need to turn on the manager or individual players just yet.
If RvP came in two footed the ref should have booked him as he saw that, but retaliation is far worse that is what we got told when Vieira got sent off for it.
I do think he meant to stamp on Robins hand and not his face. but it was still with intent.
When he ran to the Arsenal fans to celebrate, the fans should not have reacted, but what if our fans were a mob like West Ham or Cardiff fans and caused a riot after the goings on at Upton Park a few weeks ago FIFA and UEFA would have had a field day and it could have sent English football back 10 years. Also luckily there was only a few injuries there was quite a crowd surge to get on the pitch and could have crushed the fans especially woman and children .
RvP did go to celebrate in front of the Man City fans, but they were there next to the goal, not at the other end.
What would the Everton fans do if Rooney celebrated like that against them.. just clapped and cheered., yeah right. Or if Sol done it against the Spuds?
Oh and Thierry never played for the Spuds so for him to run down to there end to celebrate was wrong, but it was not a hate reaction which Ade’s was. In fact some of the Spuds even applauded him, and two wrongs don’t make a right.
I guarantee that is if Clattenburg would have sorted Ade out from the start we would not have lost.

And Mark Hughes is a knob!


City v Arsenal: A Pint By Pint Account

September 13, 2009

Ist Pint

Arsenal took to the field, on what started out as a very beautiful afternoon. Within five minutes they were giving the impresssion of being the better team — in complete control. And why not, everyone of the City mercenaries had previously been at a club that had been tonked by Arsenal at one time or another, add to that, a couple of Arsenal rejects and there should never have been any doubt that Arsenal would appear the more confident and boss the game, and so it was. That is until City scored and then as violently as a see-saw shifts its weight so did confidence slide from one team to another.

2nd Pint

I was shocked by the reaction of many people around me, so called Arsenal supporters openly calling for Wenger’s head: the level of ignorance was amazing. My concerns were focused on the fact that we couldn’t even muster a single shot on goal or if Vermaelen’s rasper was in the first half then it was the exception that proved the rule. The most reasoned concerns I heard around me were aimed at Van Persie: nothing was sticking; he couldn’t hold the ball long enough for the rest of the team to join him and to make things worse he has developed an embarrassing habit of falling to the floor as if having been shot by a sniper every time he miscontrols the ball and consequently loses it. I am a big RVP fan but I have my doubts as to whether he is a number nine.

3rd Pint

Half time, any one who is familiar with the 12 Pins in Finsbury Park, will know that this is a hard core Arsenal pub and it is not a good idea for two young men from N17 to walk by wearing spud shirts when we are losing. I know the adult in me says that this is wrong but the boyish football fan was very pleased when some Arsenal fans proceeded to pour pints of lager over them while taking out all their frustrations verbally using the kind of colourful language that I am sure you can imagine.

4th Pint

Second half, we were back to playing with the self belief that we had started the game, so much so that we had them pinned back. Opportunities were arriving most memorably to Vermaelen but still the equaliser eluded us.
Enter Rosicky, the forth pint was coming to its end and that was my cue to start getting animated and explode I did when the Czech Republic’s finest took to the field; the additional class that he instantly injected into the game was impressive and as if to stick two fingers up at all those who called for him to be sold while injured; he played a deftly weighted pass to the Boy Wonder enabling him to score his first goal of the season.

5th Pint

This started off as a happy pint, although, contrary to what it might seem I am not a big drinker and am easily affected by alcohol. I am not going to try and defend Denilson but it was noticeable that when he and Song went off we were over run, surely it would have been better to have swapped Doby for Rosicky? Belamy’s goal was met with hatred; Adebayor’s goal was met with stunned disbelief. The upside, if there is one, is that Rosicky got an assist for the first goal and scored the second. He should shortly become a regular starter, along with AK 47 and Nasri there is still a lot to look forward to. I marched out of the pub and cycled home, going through Regents park someone jumped the red light, nearly killing me; he stopped just short, opening his window, I let him have it, the Doby own goal the Adebayor insult, the lot — it all came out; the girl in the Exorcist would have blushed, it wasn’t very grown up behaviour but it did seem to help.


Off back up to the City – to play The Citeh

September 6, 2009

It’s getting near that time when even I would travel up to the chilly north of our fine country, but maybe that’s because ‘those lights’ are soon to be turned on in Blackpool!!

On that note, this coming Saturday I think it will be the Mighty Arsenal who will shine as bright as those Blackpool Illuminations, and come away with three points at least.

Why??

Ok, so Citeh have bought a 100kg lump of lard who has suddenly decided that he best score a few goals to get the fans on his side, the club owner on his side and get the Manager to believe that 25M was money well spent and he won’t be for the chop…. Just yet 🙂

So yes, he has scored a few, but how many has he missed? How many times is he fluffing his final line? How many times is he still getting caught offside? I don’t know the answer, but I am sure some of you will.

The pressure will be well and truly on Lardy to perform on Saturday, if for no other reason, but to try and tell us Arsenal fans that we were wrong to doubt him – but we know just how ‘good’ he is when the going gets tough, don’t we?

On to the other player who left us for ‘a new challenge’ – sorry, I meant a bigger wage packet – well he now reminds me of two loves in my life, one from my youth and one from the present day.

I used to love watching Oliver – and in this day and age, I love my chickens…

Toure reminds me of our chickens when the gate opens and they coming running out, but they never really know which way to run 🙂
And on to Oliver, this is one defender who will get his pocket picked this Saturday, and we will steal a few goals – he hasn’t faced a front three like ours yet, and boy, he won’t know what has hit him. Ok, he has Jolene alongside him, but he is probably still away with the fairies, working out how much he is earning an hour.

Then there is – Barry, Bellamy and SWP to be scared of – but we have Cesc, Arshavin and Thomas.
Which three would you rather have?

And after them we have LJ, Merida and Theo -if fit to bring on – and we have that guy who has settled in quite nicely in midfield, you know the one, he has a lot of hair and lets very little by him – Billabong Song 

Up front we have Eduardo, Robin, Nik – and they are all just waiting to get goals and Saturday will be their day – at last.

What about our defence, it is not far off being the best in the EPL – Vermaelan, Gallas, Clichy and Sagna, – be afraid Ade, be very afraid, you haven’t bumped into our new defender….. YET!!

So, I can’t see a reason to be too worried about this weekend’s game, a little maybe, but that for me is more about not wanting Ade to smile that sickly grin on MOTD, and come out with those words, ‘I do the best for my team, I love to score, the fans love me, I love this club and want just to win’

All in all, this time I really believe we will come back from a trip to Manchester with all three points – and me, I am going with an away win – 2-1

My team would be

Almunia

Sagna Vermaelan Gallas Clichy

Cesc Song Rosicky

Eduardo Van Persie/Bendtner Arshavin