The Cream Beat the Black Cats and Claw Back Up the Table..

February 21, 2010

Arsenal 2-0  Sunderland

I suppose this match was always going to be an anti climax compared to the run of games that we have just had, but how important it could turn out to be.
Everton had already given us a helping hand and a win for us would put us just 2 points behind the Salford’s.
I kind of sort of knew how the game would pan out even before it started. The ingredients were all in place, we were at home, just had a midweek game away in Europe with only two days rest, an average team coming to town, injury crisis. Blah blah, belief, blah blah..

When the teams were announced it brightened things up a tad. Ramsey in for Diaby, Song back to replace the Crabman, Theo in for Rosicky and what turned out to be the most exciting change Eboue in for Sagna.

The first goal came from great work from EE, he put it on a plate for Nikki to tap in from 3 yards out.

We did our usual 66% possession and missed a hatful of chances, It was one of those games where it would be better if the opposition scored first or equalised, then we would have focused, but the longer the game went on there was always that niggling doubt in the back of our minds that Sunderland could sneak a goal back and when they got a free kick when normal time was nearly up, I thought we could blow it.

Instead a minute later, Fabregas just got to the line of the penalty box and got tripped, I would have swapped it for the shout Rosicky had in the week, but none the less we were given something that was as rare as hens, Fabbie stepped up to do the business. I watched his goal celebration, he doesn’t look like a man packing his bags to me..

Almunia… 7.. I know he isn’t everyones cup of tea, but thank the lord he is back.. Did quite well when needed.

Eboue.. 8.5.. If he could play like this every week he would be the number one right back choice. We either need a more energetic midfielder who could cover him going forward or Sagna will always get the nod in the bigger games.

Vermaelen.. 7.5.. An excellent performance even though he looked a little awkward at times on the right hand side.

Silvestre.. 6.. One of his best displays in an Arsenal shirt, I am sure I heard the commentator say we have offered him a new contract.. Not the best plan for an ambitious club..

Clichy.. 7.. He went back to basics, he is a defender foremost and yesterday he defended, and quite well

Song.. 7.5.. He had another good game, he is setting high standards now and consistent. Would you swap him for Cana?

Fabregas.. 8.. Really he was the best player on the park, but for him a average performance, I don’t see how he managed to find his way into the refs book.

Ramsey.. 6.5.. He does some great stuff, yet his work can be undone with his over elaborate keeping of the ball in dangerous area’s.. He must wear different boots when he plays for Wales, he cannot hit the target for us.

Nasri.. 7.5.. A very tidy, but Hleb like performance.. End product please.

Walcott ..6.. Oh Theo, if only you could play the final ball, how many final passes did you cock up?

Bendtner.. 7.. When he stood in the wall defending the 89th minute free kick you could see he is clearly 6”-7” taller than either Vermaelen or Song, he just needs commitment and confidence he could be a monster in the air and with good feet for a big guy..

The Subs were not on for long so no marks given.

All in all a good days work, considering the midweek European hangover…

So all you gloom merchants plaster up you wrists and join us for a title run in and we are involved.. This is what supporting is all about, it doesn’t ever get much better than this. Enjoy the ride.

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Come 3pm, we could be ten down.. bet the pundits don’t mention that!!

February 20, 2010

A lot went on yesterday in the news about our fine club and our illustrious leader had a whole lot of things to say….

Nowt changes there then eh?

He talked about,

Why he believes the play-off for the CL place could be pointless.
Why he believes in the goal keepers he has to hand
Why the FA should help Portsmouth but not bend the transfer rules on the way

Tell you what I think, why talk about Portsmouth? It’s not our problem Arsene, unless of course you are thinking of nicking David James on the cheap – or any other player for that matter?

To be honest though, the poor chap just heads off to do a press interview, gets asked stupid irrelevant questions, answers them in a very diplomatic way and then everyone dissects what he replies…

I would rather know HONESTLY why he hasn’t tweaked our squad and made it into a real winning side..

But hey, we have all done that to death, haven’t we?

We have what we have until the summer so let’s get behind them (even Denilson) and roar our support from the rafters 🙂

Sunderland arrive at The Emirates today full of confidence, not from their last run of results but more so from the result they earned when we played them on their turf.

We were poor that day, we must have been, either that or we turned up believing the three points had been secured and we got complacent – I am going for the latter!

So today has to be very different, the players have to walk onto the green green grass of home thinking they are 1-0 down, fight for their lives from the off. To have a chance of winning this league we cannot afford to drop points, especially at home and especially against a side who hasn’t won in yonks..

In fact its twelve games since Sunderland have won a game a football, already Steve Bruce has said he hopes the board are patient with him and give him time to turn around results – he fears he will be axed if he doesn’t sort things out soon!

Well I hope Steve Bruce does turn things around and go on a long run of winning games, what I do hope though is that that begins next week and not tomorrow 😉

So who’s in and who’s out….

Sunderland have fitness doubts over Reid and Henderson, Cattermole and Meyler miss out due to being suspended.

Arsenal – We are without Gallas, Diaby, Van Persie, Eduardo, Djourou, Arshavin, Gibbs, and Merida –
Late fitness tests are in stall for both Almunia and Song!!

If Song and Alnunia are declared unfit, that’s TEN players we have out, yes I know Merida and Djourou wouldn’t definately be starters, but they would be on the bench wouldn’t they??

Did you read that long list of injured players Sky Sports?

Nah, of course you didn’t, you always like to make a big fuss over Manure (aka Sky FC) having Giggs out injured, or The Dippers missing Torres!!

Big day, big game, and I expect a big result in our favour; let’s show the boys from up north just how good we are on the slick surface at the Emirates and send Brucie home without any kind of bonus.

Let’s not let Steve Bruce go home with a similar kind of smug face that the last Manc went home with!!

Secure the three points and get us right back in this title race – we have to stay in it to win it!

Almunia
Eboue/Sagna TV Sol Clichy
Cesc Song Rosicky
Nasri Nik Theo

That’s it, no gossip, no round up, just utter garbage from me 😉


Cesc says Fab’s Dopey! Gilberto’s coming home, again…

February 19, 2010

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Did I laugh when I read ATV Online yesterday afternoon? For sure I did.

Cesc was talking about Fabianski, this is what he said:-

“He is strong and we have to be there for him,” said Fabregas after the game.

“We haven’t seen him because he is doing doping [tests] but we have to be next to him. Sometimes when you are young in a big game, these things happen to you. You can be a little bit down but the team will be 100 per cent behind him and help him in the next game to come back to his best.

So it’s true, we really do have one (maybe more) of the seven dwarfs in our squad, Lucas Fabianski is Dopey!!

It’s sad though really for Fabianski; imagine how he felt trudging off the pitch, knowing he had such a shocker?

Even the authorities thought he had been on ‘something’ to play so badly! 😉

Talking of goalkeepers, James Shea has signed a new contract so the future looks very much like Wojciech Szczesny and Shea who will be our numbers 1 & 2 – there is also a Norwegian-born kid called McDermott who is meant to be good, but at seventeen years old it’s hard to judge him.

McDermott has represented the Republic of Ireland at both Under-16 and Under-17 levels but I wonder if when he gets older he will choose to play for his country of birth, a bit like Frimpong who now want to play for Ghana.

So on a day where the defeat to Porto still hurts, let’s think ahead to the weekend…

We are at home against Sunderland and the good news is that Alex Song is back, so too is Almunia. The latter is a strange one as if his finger was so bad, how come he is suddenly fit again.. I guess we will never know the truth about that but I maintain Almunia was dropped for the Porto game and right now I wish he hadn’t been!!

But as always with us, a bit of good news is often followed by bad, and today it’s Diaby, he’s out for the game on Saturday 😦 There was a time I would have been glad to hear that bit of news, but I’m big enough to admit that just maybe I got it wrong – I say just maybe as he needs to play the way he has been, add a more defensive side to his game and you never know, he could be good…..

Lorik Cana has suggested he was all set to come to us on trial when he was sixteen years old but visa problems prevented it happening!

Blimey, I didn’t get a Visa Card until I was in my twenties, but I did pay it off every month 😉

Another snippet is that Giles Sunu is ready to leave us at the end of the season – what utter garbage, this story came out ages ago and it’s a case of sour grapes by Bordeaux after we have sorted a deal for Chamakh (maybe)

Sunu will be very aware of the fact that if any club gives a kid a chance, it’s Arsenal, so why go and start all over again at another club – only to be left to warm the bench for the next few years…

Right now he is going off on loan to Derby for the rest of the season, but trust me, he’ll stay at Arsenal..

Finally, Gilberto Silva is coming home and he is looking forward to it:-

This is what he said-

‘I’m really looking forward to coming back to London and play once at Emirates Stadium. Although it’s Brazil against Republic of Ireland, and Arsenal will not be playing there, I’m sure I’ll see many good old friends from Arsenal. Of course, it will be great to play on the very good pitch and in the great stadium again’.

Right now, how would you all love this Brazilian in our squad?

I know I would prefer him than the one we have….

Over sensationalised heading maybe, but isn’t that just what all the paps do…..??

And yes, it gets people to read! Some may come back, some may not……

But we’re doing ok, it’s a footie blog, it’s meant to be fun!! 🙂


Individual errors prove costly..again!!!

February 18, 2010

I’m not normally one to hide behind excuses when the lads get beat. To be honest I find them all incredibly boring. Every year we hear the same things such as our injuries hampered us, we’ve got no money, the media are against us and the referees are anti arsenal. After so long I lose interest in debating with these people because that’s what footballs about. You are going to get injuries but you have to build a squad to be able to cope with them. You may have no money but you have to work with the resources you have. The media have always been the same and will say anything to sell a story or attract ratings, only the very feeble minded will listen to washouts like Redknapp, Hansen and co (who themselves were never good enough to make managers) and believe everything they say. Then of corse you’ll always get the odd ref who acts like a total spaz. No matter what it may be, excuses are for losers. It’s a way of hiding behind your deficiencies and pointing the finger at someone else always appears to be the best option, but it doesn’t help. Excuses just lead to that smug attitude and complacency and it doesn’t solve the problems at hand. I find a bit of constructive criticism better. Sod the excuses. Like I said it’s for losers and quitters. Winners tackle the problem head on and evaluate where THEY went wrong and pull all the stops to fix it.

I could adopt the latter attitude to last nights game but i wont. Why?? Because it’s probably one of the biggest acts of football corruption I’ve ever witnessed in recent times. Quite simply we were robbed. This is not an excuse, it’s a fact..

Ok. I’ll admit that some of our players didn’t turn up last night but neither did the ref. We still controlled large parts of the game and we deserved to take at least a draw..

I found the first half very entertaining. Both sides going after each other from the off with Big Sol rolling back the years with some super tackles and a nice little goal..

Fabianski’s mistake to concede an early opener for the home side was very school boy and the second goal we conceded was just a comical farce, can’t really totally put blame on him for that. All I’ll say is next time that happens kick it. Don’t take the risk, if in doubt give it a clout.

What is it about our lads and own goals recently?? Why don’t we have a keeper who has safe hands and not butterfingers?? Maybe it’s a problem for Wenger to address in the summer, but for now we are stuck with what we’ve got. There’s an old saying in football that a good keeper will win you matches. Our keepers gift the opposition goals at ease at the minute and its very concerning. How can we expect to win medals when our top 2 choice keepers look barely capable of tying their own shoelaces?? These individual errors need to be cut out, or at least cut down. Every player makes mistakes but our players are making massive ones in crucial games and they are all leading to goals.It’s got to be said it’s not a sign of a team challenging for silverware..

I know this is a bit different from a match report, but seeing as though the ref thought everyone was there to watch him I’d really like to concentrate on his contribution and give him a rating. Wouldn’t want to steal the limelight from the players now would we???

1..Cesc was getting hammered left right and centre. It was obvious to most neutrals that after a bright start by Porto, they had become tired from matching us blow for blow by the end of the first half, so proceeded to what can only be called assault our star man. Constant foul after foul, the majority from behind and from one man in particular, Fernando. I counted at least 5 times he hacked down Cesc so why did the ref only give him a yellow in the last ten minutes when Diaby got carded for his first clumsy tackle in the first half???

2..How the hell did the ref not see the foul on Rosicky in the box? Every man and his dog saw it was a pen. You didn’t need a replay to make sure it was it was stone wall. Stevie wonder would have seen it but I guess after ‘Eduardogate’ we are never going to get another penalty again..

3..Within 30 seconds of the penalty that was, that wasn’t, but really was and would have been if it was any other team but Arsenal, Porto hit a long ball that brushed of Big Sol’s toenail and Fabianski picked up. Now even on the replay you couldn’t really make out if it had even hit Sol, nevermind him intentionally passing it back, because thats what I thought a pass back was – intentionally passing it back to your keeper. So how the hell the ref could see it touched Sol from 30 yards behind the play and he couldn’t see the Rosicky penalty I’ll never know. Not ending matters there, the ref demanded the ball off Fabianski and gave it to the cheating Porto player and before anyone knew it the ball was in the net. The ref wasn’t even looking at the play, how can he allow it if he aint looking? Not only that but he was interfering with play by blocking Sol and it was supposed to be an indirect freekick. You might as well have given them a fucking penalty into an open net you prick…

Martin Hannson..10..Well done son, wonderful display. Man of the match and as Rico would say- you were the ‘knob of the night’ and you ruined what started off being a decent spectacle of football, you corrupt tosser.

Anyway I think we’ll still win this tie. We’ve got a good record against Porto at home and we’ve got that crucial away goal. With the return of a few walking wounded and with the absence of Porto’s star play (Hannson) we should knock 3 or 4 past them with ease…

Oh and by the way. What did anyone think of Cesc’s comments after the match?? Frustrated or frustrated with how things are going at Arsenal???


Not the best eighteen, but we can still get a good result…. Almunia dropped?

February 17, 2010

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Football is finally back for the Mighty Arsenal and thank goodness for that!

Here is the eighteen man squad who by now would have safely landed on Portuguese soil, had a good nights sleep and are busy getting themselves ready for their day ahead. Ok, not so much day, but tonight.

Arsenal squad:

Lukasz Fabianski
Vito Mannone
Nicklas Bendtner
Carlos Vela
Theo Walcott
Samir Nasri
Denilson
Aaron Ramsey
Tomas Rosicky
Abou Diaby
Cesc Fabregas
Gael Clichy
Thomas Vermaelen
Emmanuel Eboue
Mikael Silvestre
Sol Campbell
Armand Traore
Bacary Sagna

We knew Arshavin was out and were sweating on the fitness of Song. What a shocker to find out that they weren’t the only ones who were in doubt for the match tonight.

I read yesterday a few snippets about Gallas but just assumed he would be fit, but as for the rest!!

No Almunia, Song, Gallas, Eduardo or Arshavin!! That is just typical of our fortune isn’t it.

I think Almunia has been dropped – Why? Because I watched Arsene Wenger’s response on Sky Sports News when he was asked about why he was missing – He replied ‘Finger’!!

Eventually he said he had a twisted finger and had done for a little while, but trust me, he was fibbing and Almunia has been dropped.

I managed to sneak a photograph of Almunia’s injury, but I thought his hands were much bigger -maybe its just Almunia’s reply to, ‘Your dropped Son’ 😉

Strange though if he has been dropped, he played ok against the Dippers, came up with a fine save to stop Babel and then gets dropped.

I just hope it’s not a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire; Fabianski has had some great games for us, if I think hard I will remember them, but he needs a great game tonight, that’s for sure.

With the squad that has travelled, I’m guessing that Arsene will play

Fabianski
Eboue/Sagna TV Sol Clichy
Cesc Denilson Diaby
Nasri Nik Rosicky
Subs – Mannone, Eboue/Sagna, Walcott, Vela, Silvestre, Ramsey, Traore..

The subs were easy, they were the seven dwarfs missing from the first team!! 🙂

Yes I would much prefer Song instead of Denilson, Gallas instead of Sol, but the rest, I am not too concerned about.

Arshavin, as much as a world class player he is, he blows hot and cold and Rosicky in his role may just be the man of the night.

Nasri, well he is due a big game, especially away from home

Diaby, well all we can say is same again please!

Eboue, stay on your feet if you play, the referees in Europe will send you off if you go over cheaply!

Clichy, another big test ahead, let’s hope we see the ‘Old Clichy’ back on form and getting a cross or two in for Big Nik.

Denilson, you are not my favourite, but all the time you wear an Arsenal shirt I will support you when selected, play crab (crap) and we will all be on your back…

Nik, show how good you think you are..

The two Fabs – well you could be heroes 😉

TV and Sol ……. Purrrrrrrrrrr

Tonight you boys need to play like your life depends on it, do something Arsenal have never done, beat Porto on their own turf and set the tie up ready for a routine home second leg..

We all believe in you, the boss believes in you, go out tonight and believe in yourselves. Do that and you will board your flight home with a big smile…


Thomas Vermaelen – Hard Man or Daft Man?? And Spunky says trust Almunia!

February 16, 2010

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Thomas Vermaelen has spoken about his injury he picked up against Aston Villa. While we were all living in fear that he had a sustained a fractured leg, he just picked himself up, dusted himself down and went about his business as usual!

What he suffered was bad bruising; an injury which normally requires a period of rest but the hard man has continued to play through the pain.

So is he just made of steel, or are we taking a huge risk by playing him through his injury? What happens if he gets a further knock?

I am no medic, but surely another kick on an already injured leg could end up putting him out for a longer period?

Guess it’s just one of things that time will give us the answer, I know my finger and toes are crossed that he goes through the next few games with great ease and no further damage. We need him to stay fit, we trust him and so does William Gallas!

David Seaman was on Goals on Sunday at the weekend, he still thinks we can win The Premier League – So do we Spunky!

He also believes that Almunia has the ability to remain as the No1 keeper at Arsenal!! He thinks in training he shows great quality, and he has a certain aura about him!!!

Not sure we all agree there Spunky – no matter how good you once were – Almunia is a disaster right now, he is costing us points. Ok, he made an oustanding save against The Dippers but how many times this season have we seen him fail?

Too many to count sadly.

Bit of reserve team stuff

Young Dutchman and midfielder Nacer Barazite is finally over his injury problems. His first game back a few days ago was a perfect one for him. He scored the only goal in a 1-0 away win at Stoke.

Last night he was back in action again for the reserves in an away fixture at Chelsea.

Here is the Arsenal team:

Shea, Coquelin, Ayling (c), Miguel, Evina, Barazite, Henderson, Frimpong, Sunu, Emmanuel-Thomas, Freeman

SUBS: Dunn, Ozyakup, Deacon, Byles.

The one to watch for was Luke Freeman, the young striker who has just been added to the first team’s Champions League squad, probably to the surprise of many.

I didn’t watch the game, but the lads won 2-1 and went top of the league table, goal scorers were Luke Freeman and Giles Sunu.

Interesting that Craig Eastmond wasn’t playing which may suggest he is in the squad for the trip to Portugal.

Talking of which, today we should find out whether or not Alex Song will be fit enough to face Porto.

My fingers and toes are crossed, we know he’s not perfect, but he ain’t half bad is he?

What we do know is Audrey Arshavin is out through injury but Eduardo is back ready for action

Finally, some very good news for all those lucky enough to go to The Emirates week in week out, Arsenal have announced that they will be freezing prices for both season tickets and matchday tickets during the 2010/11 season – AFC.com will clarify the costs in the near future.

That’s about it folks, but tomorrow is a footie day and that’s good news….

Have a good day all…


Hulk? Nah, he’s just another ‘Beast’………………

February 15, 2010

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Hoorah, The Champions League is back this week and you don’t need me to tell you we are off to sunny Portugal to face Porto.

Porto, once managed by the old git Jose Moanrinho and once winners of this competition having got one over Old Red Nose on the way, but Porto aren’t going to have the same joy against this English side.

Porto have The Hulk, whether or not he plays though remains to be seen but so what if he does. Is he really that good?

09/10 App Goals
League 12 2
Cup 2 0
L-Cup 1 0
CL 6 3

Total 21 5

Is that the statics of a great striker?

No it’s not, but they do suggest he is better in Europe than his is in the Domestic League, but one man doesn’t make a team does he? Well, not unless his name is either Cesc Fabregas or Thierry Henry 😉

Talking Arsenal here of course, not any other club…

He reminds me a bit of Julio Baptista – he is fondly known as The Beast. He adopted his nickname whilst playing for Sevilla and to be fair, he probably deserved it then. He played 62 games for them and scored 39 goals, not bad for a midfielder.

But then he went to Real Madrid, got loaned to us and then back to Real Madrid and during all that period he scored just 14 goals.

Not what you would expect from a player know as ‘The Beast’

My point is, let’s not all be fooled by such extravagant names given to footballers, they mean nothing, and I don’t believe that the Hulk is as good as some suggest.

He could be though if he played in a team like ours……

In any case, I think we can fully expect Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas to keep the big fella out

Another Porto player who is out to gun us down is Alves. No, not the Alves we would all love to see playing in red and white, this is Bruno Alves, the 28yr old defender who says if they can stop Cesc Fabregas then they can win. Let’s just hope he means ‘stop’ by playing football and not by cheating or hacking him down.

The way I see the game on Wednesday, if we can get by that big 6ft 3inch geezer Helton in goal, we will come away as winners. Obvious I know, but I don’t see an awful lot more in the Porto side to stop us getting something from this away leg.

It won’t be easy, but I think we will be ok.

Thats it on another boring no news day, other than well done to the Ladies who thrashed Doncaster Belles 5-0 in the Womens FA Cup. The win takes them into the semi-final.

Have a great day all…..