Old McDonald Had a Farm……

October 20, 2009

Ok, so he is not called McDonald but he is Ronald, and after tonight, he will wish he had a farm 🙂

So – three years ago, the Mighty Arsenal travelled to the Netherlands to play AZ Alkmaar in a ‘show off game’ to mark the opening of the DSB Stadium. Three years have now gone by and tonight we play them again in what will is their UEFA Champions League debut season.

So far they have just the one point after losing to Olympiacos – no shame there, and a draw against Standard Liege, not a bad result for them there either really when you look back to our game against Liege…. Actually I don’t want to!

We sit looking very pretty at the top of the table, with a 100% record so far, I for one do not expect things to change after the match tonight – the only difference will be the three extra points alongside the clubs fine name..

One player from AZ could cause us a problem, that’s the ex Spud (does that mean he will have no feathers!!) Mounir El Hamdaoui, apparently he is in form and likes to score goals. One thing though, he won’t dislike us because of his connection to the potato heads, they treated him badly! Good old Martin Jol eh 😉 But if his is good maybe we should go for him, the club’s owner is bankrupt so we could get him on the cheap…!!

Enough ink wasted on the opposition, let’s turn to us – a team on fire and scoring for fun, and it seems at any time any player feels like it. Great isn’t it??

Chary posed a good question today on AR –

‘Should Wenger be either ensuring early qualification and then easing off(to concentrate on the Premier League) or going for a top of the table finish so we get seeded in the next round of the Champions League?

What do you all think??

I say play the best eleven available going into every game right now, wins breed wins which breed confidence – and Arshavin himself has said our side need to be confident within themselves. I agree, and winning for me is the only thing that can make them truly believe that this year is going to be their year.

One trophy, maybe two, if injuries favor us for a change, maybe even three – who knows, that is a long time away. Tonight though, I honestly expect that the Mighty Arsenal’s big toe is left hovering over the big bowls – ready to drop in and be drawn out for the next round.. 😛

My team would be

Sagna/Eboue TV Gallas Clichy
Wilshere Song Cesc Arshavin
Van Persie Cutie Carlos (peaches)

I know AW won’t pick that side though; he will include Eboue and Diaby.

I am going for a comprehensive away win, tonight we will tear the hearts from the players and fans in Holland and leave their fine country with them thinking – Wow, what a football team we have just played, what a lesson we have we have been given!

E. I. E. I O 😛


Arsenal 3 Birmingham 1 (Job Done)

October 18, 2009

Not quite the humiliation we were hoping for but good enough. Arsenal started where they left off against Blackburn: quick thinking, crisp passing, fast flowing football and being two up after 20 minutes was no more than we deserved.  Van Persie scored what now must be viewed as his trade mark goal; he seems to score in similar fashion in every game: the sublime take, the swivel and the bullet like shot, hard and low along the ground, past the helpless goal keeper. Perhaps the only variation on the theme was the fact that it was supplied superbly by Alex Song rather than Fabregas. It does make me chuckle when I read comments from people concerned about how we will cope when he goes to the ACN; these very same people wanted to chase him out of town not so long ago. Doesn’t it make you ask yourself how much they really know about football?

I digress; the second goal came from a passage of one touch Wengerball at its mesmerising best: Fabregas to Eboue who rolled a deftly weighted pass to fast moving Rosicky enabling the Czech captain to cut it back with pace for the onrushing Diaby to cleanly strike it home with his left foot.  I expected the goal to do the confidence of the much maligned Frenchman the world of good but soon after scoring he lost possession by characteristically hanging onto the ball too long; although, to be fair, this does not tell the whole story. As the match went on he did improve to the point where it has to be said that he had a decent game.

At two nil up everyone in the ground including the twenty two players on the pitch thought the game was over as a competition, and it should have been but Birmingham got their slice of luck when at first sight it seemed like Mannone had made a school boy error in spilling what looked like a standard catch in the air; Bowyer was first to the loose ball; he scored and by doing so allowed Birmingham back into the game. The reaction around me was angry shouts demanding to know why the first team keeper, if he was fit enough to be on the bench, wasn’t playing.  The words “Short Memories” sprang to mind, Almunia was playing crap before he got a “chest infection”, an expression you will now find in the Arsenal dictionary of football parlance to mean – dropped. By contrast Mannone had been playing well and deserved to keep his place; the fact that Almunia didn’t walk straight back into the first team also sends the right message and should keep him on his toes. On closer inspection Mannone was fouled and the goal should not have stood but this confusion will make Wenger’s job much easier when he restores Almunia to the first team against Alkmaar in the week.

Birmingham started the second half with restored self belief: coming onto us which left huge gaps behind their defence, space that Walcott is so good at exploiting. Unfortunately he had to go off after being scythed down in Brum-Scum style within the first five minutes. I still believe this will be the season in which he makes his name on the EPL. The lack of a reassuring third goal gave cause for concern which was reflected in the slightly more nervous football that Arsenal started to play. If Walcott had still been on the pitch I am convinced that a two goal cushion would have been restored quicker; but, nevertheless, the problem was solved when Arshavin, who had looked bored and uninterested for the majority of the time he was on the pitch, scored a goal of such quality that we forgive him anything.

Get Your Bets On Now, Because The Odds On Arsenal Winning The League Will Be Slashed By 5 o’clock.

October 17, 2009

A very interesting day today, perhaps more so than initially meets the eye: much has been made of Torres and Gerrard both being out when Liverpool face Sunderland at three, it should also be remembered that their only remaining half decent player, Macherano, played two hard games in South America this week, working like a demon in an attempt to get Argentina to the World Cup Finals; the result being that he is unlikely to be on top form; Sunderland should get a draw at the very least.

You may think that Liverpool are irrelevant to Arsenal in the league this season and to a greater extent I agree, but while the manc loving media  have been loyally focusing on Liverpool’s frailties, the more important injury has gone unnoticed: Rooney is out today when they face Bolton at three.

The reality is this: we played them off the park and were unlucky to lose. City were also unlucky to lose; Sunderland were poor but United were worse and were lucky again to salvage a draw in the last minute. The game and the result that gives the true picture is the one against Burnley.

The mancs are only up there because of their reputation and not because of their squad: don’t get me started on the idea that they have got a better squad than us or all the toys will come out of the pram.

If Shrek got a serious injury they would finish below spuds, unfortunately it looks like he is only out for today’s game but nevertheless I expect Bolton to get a draw.

The only remaining team of any significance is the chavs: we might need a bit of luck here; they lose a chunk of their team to the ACN but cruciate ligament damage to Drogba’s knee would do our title hopes a power of good (a boy can dream can’t he?). Failing that, they have got Villa away today, always a tricky game and one that we have to hope that they drop points in.

Which brings me to my favourite subject: The Mighty Arsenal; we should rightly expect to win and win comfortably today against Birmingham. Rosicky will be taken off, to protect him, as per usual, after the customary seventy minutes and if Ramsey is injured we could get a glimpse of Wilshire which will make a very special cherry on top of a satisfying four nil win.

Ramsey: An Embryonic Cross Between Cesc, Lumplard and Gerrard

October 15, 2009

Ramsey scored from a freekick for Wales yesterday ……

“Arsenal teenager Ramsey whipped in a free kick that breezed the hairline of the wall and curled into the top left corner.”

“This lad is going to be very special one day – he is looking like an embryonic cross between Cesc, Lumplard and Gerrard – fantastic passing, great shot and can orchestrate the game pulling all the strings”  (Rasputin)

Good summary. I agree completely. In fact I am still in pleasant surprise, that’s one step down from being in shock, of his play against Blackburn. It was not an easy match in which to shine as most players were playing at the top of their game; but, somehow, Ramsey went over and beyond what I for one was expecting. I am used to his short incisive passes but he gave us a taste of his long range capabilities and they were up there with Fabregas who is as good Bergkamp, which, of course, is high praise indeed.  I also like the way Wenger is introducing him into the team; he has been fortunate that we have had some high scoring games enabling him to come on and play a big chunk of the game which has been enough time to make an impression. Wenger must be aware that Ramsey’s upward trajectory of improvement is such that the player will be in a position of expecting first team football on a regular basis next season.

This brings me to the point I made a couple of days ago: Wenger has a difficult decision to make with regard to the renewal of Rosicky’s contract – I don’t think he will; or, if it is renewed, it will only be done to stop him going on a free to another club but this is doubtful as there has never been a case in which the club have done that; this brings us to Wenger’s altruism a subject Rasputin touched on the other day. I of course would want Rosicky to stay but if the case of an improving Ramsey doesn’t make Wenger hesitate in giving him a new contract then Nasri surely will as the same argument for Ramsey wanting first team football next season applies to Nasri.

Next up Birmingham, do you think they will come onto us? Well, if they do they will be tortured as cruelly as a child slowly pulling the legs of a spider. I really don’t like Birmingham; in fact, second only to Hull I want to see them humiliated. They won’t come onto us, they wouldn’t dare and because of that we should pick the most attacking team we can: Eboue for Sagna and do away with a DM; we don’t need Song, play Rosicky there instead.  If Eduardo is not playing which is unlikely then have him on the bench just to remind the other players of what this team did to one of ours and to ensure that they don’t let up when we are three ahead – nothing less than total annihilation should be the goal on Saturday.

David Dein is back……

October 13, 2009

According to The Daily Mail, David Dein is back, no not at our club as many fans would like but he is being asked to help England with the World Cup 2018 bid! Alongside him will be Karen Brady and ex Chav, Paul Elliott!
Now there is a bit of news to think about! If it’s true, I can’t see where or how he would fit in at Arsenal during the ‘take over’ some suggest could be imminent.

Sadly I am bored with England so I can’t get excited over this story, but it would be good for the World Cup to be held here in the UK, so let’s hope they sort the campaign out.

The most reliable newspaper, ‘The Sun’, this morning says that Arsenal are going to offer Fran Merida a new five year deal. Well this one I hope is true – and I for sure hope this man signs on the dotted line real soon and keeps the vultures away, we are all fed up with the Spanish Clubs spouting which players in our team they are going to buy either in January or next summer, and more importantly his contract runs out in the summer, please Arsene don’t let him start packing and walk out the door for free.

Good old Spunky reckons Ben Foster should be made England No1 – play him and leave him there he thinks, well Almunia, if that’s the best in England, then maybe you could be in for a shout – grab your Vicks, getting rubbing and start playing again, oh I forgot, you have to dislodge our mighty Italian first 🙂

There are a few snippets around about who we are watching, who we could or should be buying in January, but that month is a long way off, far too soon to start speculating, difficult as that is though.

Other stories continue about Stan and his 50M debt – I think that one will be debated until the day he pays up, or the day the take overr happens!

Right Grovers – I am off to read those rumours and try not to get too excited – especially if they are out of their teens..

Another bright morning, have a great day – only four days to go now! Get passed that silly game tomorrow night and then it will be two – and we have a post from Irish to read before the Birmingham game, that is definately something to look forward to 🙂

Thank goodness Robin had his oats…….

October 10, 2009

On a weekend of International football, I am glad that around nine months ago Robin had his oats and will be at home with his wife while she hopefully gives birth to another little Gooner. At least we know one player shouldn’t be injured for the up and coming game against Birmingham.

Only seven more days to get through now!

Good news in the camp is that Nasri could very well be back after this international break too, so we can look forward to his gradual introduction back into a side that had started firing on all cylinders, I only hope they all come back for training injury free and continue playing at those same dizzy heights.

The thought right now of losing Gallas or the new Belgium captain Vermaelen to injury frightens me big time, we are still leaking silly goals with them, and goodness knows what would happen if one or even worse the both of them got injured! I just hope Arsene plays Song in the defence and not Silvestre or Senderos.

If Nasri is soon to return, then I know many fans would like to see him alongside Cesc, so just maybe that will happen. Hopefully though, Nasri’s return will mean Diaby sits on the bench!!

The Under 21’s played last night, and Theo went off at half time injured, yep injured again, but this time it’s a dead leg – well if that is to believed, good! A dead leg won’t keep him out long enough to miss the game next weekend, unless it’s the Spanish version 🙂 But Jack and Gibbs both starred – Gibbs scored twice, sadly only one was for his country 🙂

Armenia v Spain, – Cesc
Austria v Lithuania
Belarus v Kazakhstan
Belgium v Turkey – Vermaelen
Cyprus v Bulgaria
Czech Republic v Poland – Rosicky
Denmark v Sweden – Bendtner
Estonia v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Finland v Wales – Ramsey
France v Faroe Islands – Gallas, Sagna, Clichy
Greece v Latvia
Israel v Moldova
Liechtenstein v Azerbaijan
Luxembourg v Switzerland
Montenegro v Georgia
Portugal v Hungary
Rep of Ireland v Italy
Russia v Germany – Arshavin
Serbia v Romania
Slovakia v Slovenia
Ukraine v England

International Friendlies
Australia v Netherlands, 09:30
Japan v Scotland, 11:20
Norway v South Africa, 15:00

So my count is nine players are or could be involved in matches for their country today, Wednesday or even both!
Arshavin is on a dodgy pitch against Germany, which will be a tough one for him, Cesc’s Spain looks an easy fixture – maybe so easy he will be rested or subbed!!
Thomas Rosicky is up against Poland, that could be a tricky and physical one – same goes for Nik against Sweden. The French game is a must win for them, I wonder who you all want to win that one?
Ramsey could and should be up against Finland and funny enough we haven’t got to worry about the England game.
I think that’s everyone – I can’t find fixtures for Song and Eboue today, so if that’s right then at least they too will be fit for the weekend 😉

So which game are you going to watch?

I shall be watching a Gooner dance his little heart out, yep its Strictly Night 🙂 Come on Tuffers…..

Not much I know, just a post to give you something to read.

The sun is shining, have a great day all, and whichever country you support tonight, I hope they win.

Una cerveza por favor Manuel….

October 6, 2009

We have the waiter – now we have the beer !!

Not only do we have the wonder boy Cesc from Spain, the dodgy waiter turned keeper, the very cute looking Merida, now we have another exciting prospect signed on the professional dotted line, that is
Ignasi (San) Miquel – Nice beer 😉

The young Spanish defender, who turned 17 last week, joined Arsenal in the summer and already has high hopes for his future with the Club – well lad, if you turn out to be anything like two of the three mentioned, then we are all going to be happy, very very happy! Ok, a bit harsh on Almunia!

Then, added to San Miquel – another young one has signed on the same dots, Oguzhan Ozyakup, hopefully another fine ‘clog’ (yes I know it should be cogg) in our current super tuned wheel that seems to be turning pretty well right now.

San Miguel is a left back, and has played nine times for the Under-18’s and twice for Reserves team last season and also played an integral part for the Spain Under-16s during last season, not all bad then…
Ozzie is a central midfielder, who captained the Dutch under 16’s and was part of the Euro 2009 in the Under 17’s tournament, so his future seems bright, maybe even orange !
Add to that he has scored a few goals for our under 18’s side..

Other little snippets around are Paddy is wanted by the Italian manger Spaghetti, but two reason why this won’t happen – 1) They are banned from buying players, 2) Paddy was only at their game because his plane was delayed, he was due to have met Henry and be at our game! So the good old press used all the imagination they could muster up and hence we have a silly rumour. Oh, there is a third; he wouldn’t sign for them for all the tea in China!

Another player rumour is that we are looking to nab another Belgian; Arsene has obviously taken a liking to the Belgium ones – just like me and the chocolates!
Rumors are we are poised to move for Standard Liege midfielder Steven Defour who will cost around £8million…
Defour is currently injured with a broken foot, so this sure sounds like a Wenger buy 🙂
Everton, Villa and The Dippers all wanted him, but didn’t get him, maybe the talks will begin when his club come to The Emirates in the CL – who knows.. He won’t be fit to play again until January and by the Liege will be out of the CL.

Waitrose have stolen the bosses comments about not being able to buy a player in their stores, they have decided to use his comment to promote their Essential Range of products, could be worse I guess, it could have been about making omlets 🙂

And finally, news is that Big Sol wants to train with us to keep fit, now then, is it worth taking him on board to help out in defence???? We all seem to think Paddy could do a shift for us, what about the big man – I know it would make peaches a smile 😉

And talking of old boys, Thomas Rosicky’s contract runs out soon Arsene, please renew before he reaches 30yrs old!! 😉

Eleven days to go 😦

May Rocky RIP