The End of the Road…

January 25, 2010

It is with regret that I have made a decision to shutdown Avenell Road, I have been thinking about doing this for a few months now, there are probably hundreds of reasons why I have come to this decision the main one being a selfish one, I honestly don’t have the spare time to dedicate to the site that it deserves.

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the site, those that have commented and those that have read. It has been a pleasure.

Thanks for the memories guys and girls, I may see you around contributing to other sites or even starting your own..
I haven’t allowed any comments on this post so please don’t waste your time trying..

Best wishes and Up the Arsenal


Well that didn’t go to plan or did it?

January 25, 2010

Watching Arsenal crash out of the FA Cup at the hands of Stoke is not my favourite way I to spend a Sunday afternoon. I understand and agree with the team selection: I realise the need to give valuable experience to many of what is hoped will be the stars of the not too distant future but even after grabbing that crumb of comfort it is still not enough to console me and alleviate the pain of watching the club that I love lose.

Player ratings:

Fabianski: wow, if like me you were thinking that the Pole, who has clearly developed a penchant for pies while he has been injured, was the answer to our goalkeeping woes then you, like me, are feeling very worried indeed. In his defence dealing with Delap’s throw-ins would cause Casillas, and any group of defenders you care to name, problems. 4.5

Coquelin: the television commentators blamed the young Frenchman for the first goal; I’m not so sure, it seemed to me that Fabianski was much at fault. That said, he got better as the game went on and made some fine tackles. I can’t quite work out what is his natural position, is he a DM? Does he have the range of passing to play that role? Only time will tell but the more games he plays the quicker we will know. 5

Campbell: the only Arsenal player who looked as though winning the game was important. He tired towards the end but that is hardly surprising, all in all it was great to see him out there playing for Arsenal again and I am greatly relieved to think that he will be the first choice back up should Gallas or Vermaelen get injured. 8

Silvestre: I think I am correct in saying that he joined Arsenal on a two year deal, if right then that takes him to the end of the season at which point I expect him to leave to be replaced by Bartley in the pecking order. At thirty five he was always going to struggle for pace and unsurprisingly he was left wanting on more occasions than we should expect from an Arsenal player. 4.5

Traore: for me this young Frenchman was the bright light of the afternoon; he has clearly had time to reflect and improve upon his last outing in which he was given a torrid time by Gallas as much as Everton. Today the jitters were gone, in their place was a composed performance and some excellent crossing. 7

Denilson: some times it is hard to fight the young Brazilian’s corner and today is certainly one of them. The goal was welcome, he has his fitness back but I will save judgement for the Villa game in which he will be surrounded by the best players that Arsenal have to offer. 5.5

Eastmond: coming on leaps and bounds; his progress is clear since only two games ago he was completely out of his depth against Bolton. 5.5

Fabrégas: apparently he was only playing because Wilshire was unwell. Even the best midfielder in the country struggled with so little help. 7

Walcott: he’s a shoe in to go to South Africa……..for the same reason as last time………mascot………Walcott the mascot, it has a ring to it; he was pathetic. 2

JET: no easy task coming into the first team and having tweedle dee and tweedle dum on either side of you in attack, did what he could, helped out aerially in defence. 5

Vela: or on today’s performance tweedle dee, OK perhaps a bit harsh as he was certainly playing as though it meant some thing to him in the first half but we need a bit more than that Carlos. 5

Arshavin, Eduardo, Ramsey: it all made sense to me, I expected that we would go on and win it. 5 a piece.

If the plan was to win then clearly it failed but if the plan was to get rid of this insignificant distraction, then it went exactly to Wenger’s plan.


Gallas ‘escapes’, Arsene’s sad, Diaby and Sagna miss Stoke…..

January 22, 2010

What absolute poppy cock! How can people say he ‘escaped’? We all know the Football Association would have thrown the book at Gallas if they could don’t we? Reality is they had nothing to throw the book at him about, that isn’t escaping, that is just reality. There were no grounds for the FA to act retrospectively and ‘Old Wiley’ got it right! Well, some of it 😉

After listening to comments from a Bolton player saying the tackle was disgusting, and Coyle suggesting that the Willy’s tackle was more of an assault than anything else, I say, get real Bolton, that tackle was nothing compared to what our boys have been on the receiving end of for many seasons now, and especially from you!

The only difference is that our players end up being out of the game for weeks, your lad Davies will probably be back at the weekend!

As for the goal that followed, tough! Rules are rules, it happened to us a couple of games ago when Denilson was down, did you hear our boss whinging? No, he just said those are the rules and suggested that someone commit a handball, that’s how to stop the game, not by getting a sympathy vote!

Bolton, you think you are hard nuts, but you just bad losers who can’t take what you dish out week in, week out!!

Talking of ‘proper injuries’, what sad news about Kieran Gibbs, just as he had his chance, proved himself to be a top left back, possibly better than Clichy is playing right now and the lad needs an operation which will keep him out for the rest of the season!

“That is sad news because I rate him highly,” Wenger told TV Online. “I had hoped that the first surgery would be successful.

Dreadful and just so typical of the way our luck has gone this season with injuries.

Some good news, Giles Sunu a big lump of a centre forward with a nose for goal is in talks about a new contract, his expires in the summer and let’s hope he decides to stay.

Cescy boy has spoken to his fellow Spanish midfielder who I have promised not to mention, he says“I have spoken to him about his future, because he will be out of contract soon. I didn’t persuade him to sign or not sign, I just told him my feelings, but of course whatever he decides will be down to him. That’s for him to say.”

Not much other gossip around other than Diaby is out for the Stoke game at the weekend, and the away match at Aston Villa. Bacary Sagna will also be out for the weekend.

I wonder who will play at right back. Do I now admit I miss Eboue 😉

Will Big Sol make his debut? Will it be the oldest defensive pairing in the FA Cup on show?

If they do, will they make history?

Who knows, but surely Gallas and Vermaelen need a break? We have Aston Villa just a few days later…

Me, I say always play the strongest and win the game, winning breeds winning and can you see either Gallas or Vermaelan asking to be rested – No, neither can I.

Stoke will be a very tough nut to crack, and we need to win!

But take yourselves back to Avenell’s post about sacrificing the FA Cup – does it make you think differently now we are sat top of the league?

Not me, I want to win it!

Have a good day all, isn’t Friday a signing day 😉


Hasta La Vista Bolton.. (mucho)..

January 21, 2010

We went into this easy game full of confidence and knowing that a win by two clear goals we would be on top of the League. Unfortunately as per usual, we were too full of confidence, Bolton were never going to be voluntary lambs for the slaughter.

We picked a strong team, even if a couple of the players picked were not my favourites, the options were not that great and they should have been up for the job in hand.

We started off as we normally do, lethargic and after a poor attempt at a header by Diaby and a mix up from Vermaelen and Clichy we was a goal down.

After we make a few chances mainly from Cesc including Bolton’s Davies heading on to his own bar. Bolton get the ball in our box and Denilson makes the most stupid of tackles from behind and gives a penalty away, only for Almunia to do all the hard work, diving the right way, but goes too far and the ball skittles in through him somehow.. 2-0 down.

We needed a goal before HT and sure enough Tommy Gun rattles the ball past Jaaskelainen at his near post, I thought Tommy deserved more credit for the power in the shot as the keeper was rooted to the spot.

Second Half Bolton tried to fire themselves up again, but Arsenal was the dominating team now and Cesc should have had another penalty that was the carbon copy of the one at the Reebok on Sunday. but blah, blah. Blah.. so what.

After some determined runs the ball breaks for a 50/50 between Gallas and Davies. Gallas produces a 12 bore shotgun and shoots the Bolton player, well not really but the way the press are reacting this morning he may as well have done.
He was late in the tackle and fouled Davies a yellow at worst, but the ref who was about 15 feet away waves play on.
Arsenal should have taken no notice of the ref and should have kicked the ball into touch. Instead the dirty cheats score a goal through Cesc..

From a corner the next goal came TV jumped up for a header that he never won cleanly, the ball broke and he allowed the ball to come on to his strongest side and he clipped it into the goal.

The last goal came from a rampaging run from four of our most technical players straight through the middle, the quick footed Arshavin buried it 4-2 the comeback was complete.
It could have been 5 but on another break Arshavin decided not to pass to substitute Walcott who was free in the penalty area deciding it was a better option to go it alone.. Is Andrei saying something about our 60k a week man?

Almunia… 7.. Today he managed to do a few great saves but disappointing on the penalty.

Sagna.. 7.. Solid performance, Neither of the goals came from his side of the field. Didn’t offer too much going forwards.

Gallas.. 7. A few years ago when men were men his actions would have been condoned for the way he protected his vulnerable team or indeed if it was the great JT, but no today he is a public enemy and the UN are thinking of invading France.

Vermaelen.. 8 .. The coolest centre half in the whole wide world.

Clichy 7.. Good to have Gael back, I forgot the energy he brings to the team, even though not yet match fit.. Committed himself too much, but at least he tries.

Denilson.. 5 .. Better in the second half.

Diaby.. 6.. I still don’t really know what he adds to the team or his actual role, he loses the ball then chases back and wins it again.

Cesc Fabregas.. 9.8.. The heartbeat of the team again, the best midfield player in the whole wide world..

Rosicky 8.. We should have sacked Tomas when he was injured we were idiots keeping this sick note. He’s back you doubters.

Arshavin..7.5 .. He never seems to look like he is playing that well, then bang the damage is done a frustrating player, but he’s our frustrating player.

Eduardo..7.. A lot of people are saying this guy as lost a yard of pace, I’m not sure if that was ever his game, he makes space with his quality and that is coming back with his confidence.

I didn’t see the subs play much so I cannot really comment..

I loved the smug Arsene after the game in his interview, That’s why we support the Arsenal, against all odds and the will of the media we will succeed.

What a great way to go into the hardest 4 Premiership games of the season.


Coyle has no injuries! No surprise that we do after round one!….

January 20, 2010

Owen Coyle brags that he is able to play the same side that started on Sunday, well lucky him – we have lost one player from our crop who took part in the game on Saturday, but we got fortunate, the way our players were kicked it could have been much worse.

Round two, and we will get the same amount of points at the end, but the win will be very different, the goal margin will be different and you never know, if we get a proper ref tonight some of our goals could even be from a penalty or free kick – after all, we didn’t get many decisions in our favour on Sunday did we?

In fact the only decision I recall going our way was Tomas, you know the one, 1,2,3 kicks on our boys so Tomas took revenge – another day he could have seen red….

Tonight’s game will be very different in another way.

50,000 home fans behind the boys, (yes I know the club like to make out there are more) the fortress of The Emirates, the fear factor for Bolton when they travel and add to that they got beaten in their back yard and tonight they will fear losing by so so many goals, and I think they will!!

Coyle won’t park the Double Decker Bus; he doesn’t play that way, so all being well our goal difference will be awesome by the time the final whistle goes – that could count come the end of the season.

We already know Denilson and Walcott are back, but in some ways, maybe that’s a bit of a shame.
In the away game we saw Eastmond step up and play the ‘Song’ role, and he didn’t do so badly really. I still think he was a bit out of his depth but the pace of the Premiership is not something you can get used to in one game.

I say play him again, or, as suggested here a couple of days ago, why not give Coquelin a go? That way we can see how good he is; compare him not only against Eastmond, but the same opposition.

Talking of the youth/reserves – I miss watching them on Arsenal TV, don’t you?

Eastmond, JET and maybe Watt will be our subs tonight – I wouldn’t mind seeing Sunu on the bench too, maybe he could come on, only when we are 5-0 up though.. 😉

Anyway, enough of speculation, come 7pm we will all know who will play, but I think we all know the result will be good for us….

What more can be written, just hope the snow we have here in Berkshire stays away from The Emirates.
I am going for a big win tonight, and us sitting top of the league come 10pm.. Shame Sky have chosen the spuds game to show 😦

Shame for the kids, they went out of the FA Youth Cup last night after losing 2-0 to Ipswich


Theo and Denilson back, Nik ready for Villa and Robin could see us over the line…..

January 18, 2010

Don’t all shoot me down, but it doesn’t take Einstein to work out that if we win all our games from now until the end of the season, we will lift the Premiership Trophy.

The question is, do we have the mental attitude and squad to do it?

Even if we drop a point or two we will be fine, as long as it’s not against the Chavs or Manure – they both have to play each other again yet and if Lady Luck is on our side, they will play draw 0-0 would be good just to make sure we are ahead on the goals scored as well.

I hate the Dippers but the next time they turn out against the current top two sides, I’ll be cheering them on, tough as that will be to do, I will!

Without doubt our hardest game left for us in the premiership is the Chavs away, I just hope between now and that game Anelka, Cashley and a couple of other of theirs pick up a niggle or two and miss our game. They seem to be on fire at the moment so if nothing else let’s make sure we take a big bucket of water with us to Stamford Bridge on the 7th February.

My money is on both of them dropping points along the way as well!

Another tricky game before then is away at Aston Villa on the 27th January, but if we can go there and not lose, all will be right on track, get three points and we will be flying !! Arsene Wenger says that Nik should be back for that game too.

Did you see, Nik is back for the Villa game, well we can all sleep well knowing that can’t we 😉

Beat the Mancs at home, then off to the Chavs… and then its The Dippers…. Easy isn’t it..

Then, by the time we have to face the Spuds and Citeh in April, guess who could be back?

Yep, our own Robin could be back by then, and he will be desperate to get back on the pitch and finish off what he helped to start before his injury. He is walking, his magic boot is off and he is upbeat about his return.

The only concern is, he is now back at Arsenal and being treated by our medical staff – that could put him back a bit 😉

Nasri and Ramsey have the three weeks in the medical room so they can keep him company.

Denislon and Walcott are back in the squad for tomorrow’s game, so I guess that will mean no place for Eastmond, or any other young un in the starting eleven! One who definitely won’t be in the squad is Fran Merida; he got a kick in the ankle and is out!

I think everyone got a kick in the ankle!

Right now though, I just want us to buy a striker and sort out the future of William Gallas and Fran Merida, as Rasputin said yesterday –

‘Two Frans are better than one’!

Well said, I couldn’t agree more 🙂

We are again being linked with players this morning, but until any new signing is confirmed I promise not to mention them. I won’t mention Merida again either 🙂

Have a good day all….


We’re on a Journey to the Top of the League!

January 18, 2010

If we win the sequel to yesterday’s game against Bolton on Wednesday night by two clear goals we leapfrog Man U and the Chav’s to go to the top of the Premiership (but we will have played an extra game) we will not be allowed to forget that, just listen out for it, it will drive you nuts.

We would also go top because we have scored the most goals in the League. You really must sign a striker Arsene. It really shows the quality of our midfield, mainly Cesc and a credit to the 4-3-3 system. A striker would be a great buy in this window, but how many no 9’s do we need in this system? If Bendtner comes back and Cesc stays fit it isn’t a disaster.

I expected yesterday’s game against Bolton was going to be one of those dull affairs, not what you would call a glamour game. The game started with the Arsenal players getting used to there tasks and Bolton obviously fired up by the appointment of Owen Coyle got stuck right in. Soon though Cesc was getting more creative time on the ball and the result of one of his thrusting runs should have resulted in a penalty when Jaaskelainen brought him down

Gradually bad feeling was creeping into the game when Phil Dowd began to think he was refereeing a Pikey bare knuckle fight, the rules went out of the window Cesc got a right kicking off Taylor after being tripped for a second penalty shout. No calls for the FA to have another look at that, same old, same old.

Cesc was now wired and I thought we would come out second half with revenge in mind, but Bolton got the bit between there teeth and created some good chances luckily Taylor finished them like Jonny Wilkinson.

The game settled down and the subs were gradually introduced Merida for Edmond , Clichy for Rosicky and Vela for Dudu.. They all worked out pretty well for us even though they were not the normal substitutions that Arsene would make.

All in all a very satisfying game, far more exciting that I thought mainly due to as London says the good guy’s beating the baddies, but not so funny if one of the Bolton challenges had of had more serious consequences.

Almunia… 7 A good performance, never really troubled but he was complimented on AR by his no1 critic, so he must have been ok.

Sagna..7.. Defended well, didn’t see much of him going forwards, that’s what normal, mere mortal right backs do.

Gallas 7.5 .. Solid, Gazidis has got to give this guy two year deal asap.

Vermaelen.. 8.5 The signing of the season, all those who think Arsene is stubborn and tight, look no further than this man..

Traore.. 6. Sadly not one of his best games, caught out of position on a few occasions, perhaps he is feeling the pressure of a fit Clichy wanting his place back and is trying too hard.

Eastmond.. 6.5.. As mentioned yesterday he was a little out of his depth, the Premiership is quite a hurried affair. But won’t it be good in a few years time to say I remember his debut. He looked a bit like Gibbs when he first made it into the side a little lightweight, he could be Song’s replacement in two years.

Diaby.. 6.5 I don’t see why a lot of people are over hyping him, his best contribution to the game was a great run then losing it on the edge of the penalty area. Still doesn’t tackle well enough and gives the ball away too much.

Cesc Fabregas.. 9.9. nuff said.

Rosicky.. 6.5.. He never showed the skilful side of his game, but he tracked back and tackled after we had a break when one of Bolton’s clearances hit one of there own players on the back.to help create the first goal, Theo would never have put in that tackle.

Arshavin. 7.5.. Get off his back, he worked hard and is carrying an injury.
I love his petulance, reminds me of Steevie Williams before GG came.

Eduardo.. 7.5. I thought he did alright, he is the player he was, just missing the end product, I have never seen him play much better but he won’t win the critics over until he scores a few more goals. He assisted in both goals and was pulling Bolton around with lively runs.

Subs

Merida..7.5.. Best I have seen him play, easier to spot what he does playing alongside the regular first teamers. Scored a great goal, I am still open minded on him.

Clichy. 6.5 Played left wing.. This man has more energy in his first game back than Diaby and Denilson put together. Give him a go in midfield for a FA cup game.. he will run 15k plus.

Vela 6.5 The guy showed enough quality as usual, to make me wonder why he never gets to start.

Have a great day Roadsters, only two more days and we do it again.. Next time we will hit the top.


We need heart and Sol today…

January 17, 2010

Blow the transfer rumours, paps and press and lets put in a performance to make the football pundits start to believe that a big chunk of humble pie could soon have to be eaten!

I say lets get to Bolton, play the best eleven fit, make Coyle think he should have stayed at Burnley and we come home with three points.

Then on Wednesday when they turn up at our fortress the knees will be knocking, the confidence low and we can give them a lesson in football.

We have a midfield without Denilson, Ramsey and Song, great eh!! But what we do have which will make all the difference is our little magician back.

I don’t rate Denilson much anyway, so his loss is no big deal in my eyes, but the question is who does the boss play alongside Cesc?

Well on here and many other blogs, suggestion is to play TV there, I was all against splitting up the defensive pair but maybe today could just be the day to give it a try?

Let Sol play alongside Gallas and TV alongside Cesc…

Here is my team for today and we all know I am usually wrong so I expect to be again today 🙂

Fabianski
Sagna Gallas Sol Clichy
Cesc TV Traore/Rosicky
Nasri Eduardo Arshavin

We all know Manure and Chelsea won yesterday, today is about not letting them sneak away, keep the gap as it is and then pounce when they are not looking 🙂

Oh, and Happy Birthday kelsey….


Swap one Phil for another?? Galindo signing confirmed! ……………..

January 16, 2010

Our Big Phil wants out, we all know that, and rumours are still around that David Moyes wants him at Everton – and need another top notch defender to be there in case TV or Gallas get injured. I know we have Silvestre and Big Sol but if either Gallas or Vermaelen suffered a long term injury would they have the legs to play every two or three days?

Why don’t we be really cheeky and try and do a deal for Phil Jagielka at the same time, we could even offer another player in the same deal – maybe Almunia? Now I know I can’t go wrong with that suggestion……

Just a thought…..

Only a couple of days ago when discussing the ‘D’ word, someone mentioned that Mark Randall seldom goes out on loan, if at all – so spooky that yesterday he signed up for MK Dons for the rest of the season. Great move for him, playing under a tough old beast like Paul Ince, if he can’t teach him a good old fashioned tough tackle, I don’t know who can – this I think will be make or break – like Big Raddy I think it’s the latter, but I am all for being proved wrong.

He goes straight into the squad to face Hartlepool, so let’s hope he scores the winning goal against a side supported by Jeff Stelling, one of many Sky Sports pundits who think we have no chance of winning anything this season!

Also out on loan for the rest of the season, and going Posh is Kerrea Gilbert.

Suggestion is that Kyle Bartley, Craig Eastmond, Gilles Sunu and Sanchez Watt could all be following him out the door on loan – in order to allow the likes of Oguzhan Ozyakup and Ignasi Miquel to step up to the Reserves.

Just as we were all getting excited about this new kid who was supposed to be signing soon, Sergio Canales – our old boss has poured cold water all over the story when asked if it was true.

“No,” said Wenger at his press conference when asked about links with Canales. He added: “I can only say no because it is no.”

Anyone believe him? Me neither! Do you remember Jim on Vicar of Dibley? Me too, this story definitely has a yes to it!

Arsene has Cesc and Clichy are back in the squad for Sunday, that’s great news, Walcott still has an injury – I just wish the latter would get fit and get a good run of games – he needs it and so do all of us. I want us all to see that ‘Liverpool run’ a few more times this season, maybe the critics will change their opinion then, but not until then I guess…

No more than two weeks for Theo says Arsene – mme we will see 😉

During an interview on AFC.com, Wenger hinted that a need for new blood still remained.

“Let’s say that Bendtner’s return would put us less in a position of need, but if we still find a bargain you never know. With Robin van Persie still missing we just might be in need of somebody.”
Does that make anyone else think we could see a last minute signing? Might that just make you stay up until midnight on the 31st January?

Suggestion in that Nik is now out until February!!

We have been linked with:-

Osasuna defender Cesar Azpilicueta, he is 20yrs old and would cost around £12M, so I can’t see any truth in this one.

Ex Birmingham City forward Mauro Zarate, he is valued higher than Azpilicueta.

Milos Krasic – CSKA Moscow winger has turned down Citeh saying he wants to play for Manure or us.

Imagine if we got all three – would we be happy?

The signing of Bolivian midfielder Samuel Galindo from Real America for an undisclosed fee has now been confirmed on AFC.Com – but he will go straight out loan overseas.

Finally, yesterday an old boy of Arsenal finally signed on the dotted line until the end of the season and talking of old boys, one of our bloggers has become a year older today.

He shares his birthday with many, one is an ex spud, Martin Jol, another is a model, Kate Moss, but the most significant is Nikki ‘pink boots’ Bendtner….

Added to them, about a year ago Avenell Road was set up – so happy birthday to Avenell Road too, you have come a long way. That is down to all of us, owners, writers and bloggers alike. Here’s to another successful year ahead.

Last though, but not least Many Happy Returns Kelsey, he has been posting on Avenell Road since the beginning – 40th is it ??????? 😛


Who is Right?

January 15, 2010

Rasputin Says:

The problem over recent years has been that once an emerging player comes good, we then struggle to keep hold of them. Obviously we have stated that Cesc is not for sale and we can do that with confidence because he has been unequivocal in his wish to stay. But, if he’d said he wanted to go, we’d have to sell. He’d be far more honourable than Hleb was in the process. We have to accept that in the UK we are the 3rd largest club in terms of achievement and much lower in terms of available funds. With the European big boys we are 7th or 8th in terms of footballing attraction. Arsene is a huge asset in attracting players, but when we have lost talent that we have nurtured it has generally gone to one of those ‘bigger clubs’.

It would be an absolute disaster to develop the likes of Song and Diaby into world class players only to lose them when they begin to peak – even if we do make a handsome profit. At least we would stand a better chance of buying / retaining world class players if we could compete on the wages front.

London Says:

Can I take you up on your comment?

“The problem over recent years has been that once an emerging player comes good, we then struggle to keep hold of them.”

Can you name a player because I cannot think of a single example and I am sure you do not mean players that were sold because they were no longer wanted ala Henry, Vieira, Petit, Overmars etc?

“When we have lost talent that we have nurtured it has generally gone to one of those ‘bigger clubs’.”

Yet again struggling to think of an example, would you oblige?

“At least we would stand a better chance of buying / retaining world class players if we could compete on the wages front.”

We may regard Cesc as being loyal but he would not still be at the club if he wasn’t getting paid properly. So I ask once again who do you mean?

The problem as I see it is that these are myths perpetuated by other blogs; well, one other blog in particular, to improve their ratings where as the reality, as I see it, is that they  have very little to do with the truth.