First trophy in the bag, Vermaelen wants to learn from the old boys…..

March 25, 2010

Having battered the Spuds 10-0 on the way to this final, the Ladies faced Milwall in the London County Cup Final on Tuesday night. The Ladies went ahead after twelve minutes through Helen Lander but then went off the boil a bit before half time. Milwall had many chances to nab an equaliser, but failed to take any of them.

Following a half time talking to the story about the rest of game was so very different.

Three goals in six minutes early in the second half effectively secured the trophy. Kim Little grabbed two in quick succession and Helen Lander doubled her own tally in the 57th minute.

With seventeen minutes left on the clock, Jennifer Beattie header home a fifth goal before an own goal by Milwall completed a very convincing victory.

Poor old Milwall, that’s the fourth time in a row they have been beaten by the Arsenal Ladies in the final of this competition.

Could this be the first trophy of three for the Ladies, I think so.. All we need now is for the men to carry on what they have started…

Yesterday I posted about the interview with Arshavin, it seems that from the interview he did with AFC.com, the good old red tops turned it into him saying that we won’t win anything becuase we don’t have enough players – how they got thre I am not sure.

Thomas Vermaelen has spoken with AFC.com – this is what he had to say about life in the defence…

“I can learn a lot from Sol,” said the Belgian international. “He speaks a lot on the pitch and for young players and a young team it is important to have somebody with a lot of experience who talks a lot on the pitch.”

Before Gallas was forced out of the team by his calf injury, the Frenchman had partnered Vermaelen at centre-back in every League game this season.

Thomas has enjoyed a superb first term at Arsenal and believes Gallas has contributed towards that.
“He is a great player for the team and for me,” he said. “If he plays next to me it makes it easier for me.

“But he is not there at the moment and we have other centre-backs like Mikael Silvestre and Sol. They are both experienced and it is really good to play with them.”

Vermaelen is an outstanding defender, the best we have right now and the best we have had for quite a while. His attitude is spot on though, he may be great at what he does, but he isn’t afraid of admitting he can learn from Big Sol.

I am sure his reference to Silvestre was just him being nice 😉

A great professional in life is always willing to learn no matter what profession they are in – Our own Thomas Vermaelen is a true example of just that…..

Have a good day all, lets hope Nikki B gets over his little injury in time to face Birmingham…

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Arshavin and a couple of top cooks…..

March 24, 2010

Yesterday I read that Emirates Stadium Head Chef Julian Jenkins and Head Chef of the Diamond Club Oleg Ibragimov have scooped Gold at the British Open Cookery Championships 2010 – not sure if that was for the making of prawn sandwichs though!

In Master Chef fashion they had one hour to cook two courses, Julian prepared the starter of Cornish crab and organic red pepper cannelloni with marinated beetroot, young shoots and major lobster foam. Oleg’s main course was Best end of Southdown lamb with puy lentils, shallot puree, fondant potato and mint infused major veal jus.

None of that would be something I would eat, but hey ho they convinced the judges. That will be another pound or two added to the price of food at The Emirates then…..

Another bit of news was about Vermaelen which we all know, but I am just glad he didn’t get an extra game added on, now he can have a well earned rest before the ‘B’ game next Wednesday. If anyone deserves a rest, he does.

The little man from Russia has been talking again, thankfully this time it is to afc.com and its all good – this is what he had to say about one of my favourite players!!

“Obviously it has helped us having Bendtner back, he creates more space for the players behind him, and that offers us more time and possibilities to do something special. It helps me personally of course. And he’s good in the air – he wins a lot of balls that way and through this we can gain even more possession.

“We can play differently with him in the side – when I am playing centrally we can use only low balls, but with Nick up front we have the opportunity to play higher balls and balls in behind, varying things a bit more.

“His goals have been welcome. He’s in good form and has shown that he has the instinct for a chance – not that many teams make as many chances as we do!”

See, I have always said Nikki B would come good!! 😉 😉

Other mixed bag of news, The Football Association have announced the eight clubs that were successful with their applications to be part of the new FA Women’s Super League, launching in March 2011. The main team of course is the Arsenal Ladies.

Not so good for the reserves though, they were beaten at home by West Ham 2-0, we had the chances, but just couldn’t take them. Fabianski turned out for the reserves, not the result he would have wanted I’m sure.

Thats it folks – have a good day, not long until Saturday…


What has happened to our Arsenal??

March 23, 2010

Got about half an hour to spare during a busy day so I thought I would pop a quick post up..

What has happened then in our club?

Early on in the season we lost our main striker, Robin van Persie.

Within days of him being missng players were coming out with things like ‘ We want to continue winning for Robin’

Nik, Walcott and Cesc get injured and the other players say things like ‘We want to keep winning and be strong for our captain and the injured boys’

Aarron Ramsey suffers a horrorfic injury and the rest of the team wear pre match t-shirts sending out their message to Rambo to get well. Players made it clear when interviewed that they want to win the Premier League for him.

Thomas Vermaelen gets a stupid red card at the weekend and today Eboue says ‘We wanted win for gutted Vermaelen’

The comments I mention are a few of many, but something has happened at the club, something seems to have changed within the squad.

My answer to my own question is, This squad no longer has players who think they are bigger and better than any of the others. Nor do they think they are bigger than the club. The squad have become a united group who all want the same thing. They want to win, not only for themselves, but they want to win for all of their team mates regardless of whether they are playing or not.

Now that to me says we have finally matured, that makes me think that this group of men will now fight as hard as they can regardless of what goes on around them..

Arsene calls it ‘Great Spirit and Determination’ Finally, he may just be right….


Decisions, decisions, Reinforcements in the summer??

March 22, 2010

This season’s curtain is closing and fast. In a couple months it will be done and dusted, but right now the feeling of still being able to win the double is just fascinating, unbelievable and very exciting.

The end of the season usually brings a lot of boredom, no weekend games, no midweek distractions from the hustles of every day life but all is not so bad this summer, the World Cup is coming to Papa yap, my continent the big ‘A’. Not the Big Apple but Africa, my country will be hosting the world cup and I can’t wait!

Arsene Wenger made it clear he will be going to the world cup to look for fresh talent, he is convinced Chinese or is it Japanese or Koreans have what it takes to compete at the highest level so next season prepare yourself you might need to practice pronouncing those tough names from Asia 😉

I guess a lot depends on what happens between now and the end of the season, but then the boss has to make a decision whether to buy and if he does, who to buy. We all have to make decisions in life, but don’t you just hate it when you have to? Life is all about decisions and as one scholar said, life without decisions is like winking at a woman in a dark room – you know she won’t see you and will never know you even exist!

Picture of me winking at Britney spears at a party

She just passed by without saying anything 😉

Anyway I digress….

It will soon be time for AW to make those tough decisions to strengthen the squad and as we all know he is slow to do so but shoot me this time he has no option but to splash the cash and bring some class, experience or even a celebrity (am talking of a footie kind not the George Cluney kind) at the Emirates which funnily enough, Nasri, Arshavin, Fabregas and the legendary Tony Adams have pointed out as essential.

Friends, I still believe that with 2 or 3 additions to this current squad we will rule the world with our eyes closed. We are so close to the completion of rebuilding of this youth project which I know if we maximize our potential we can challenge the 49 unbeaten run by the invincible.

One of the major problems with this current squad has been a decent keeper, I wont start the finger pointing – Almunia this, Fabianski that or why Vito did not get the chance but what I have seen is enough to convince me to say we need a better keeper, one who can produce some match winning performances or bail the defence out when they are having a bad day – it may be Chesney next season, if not surely it is time for Arsene to buy a great goal keeper.

The defence has been solid this season but the statistics say we have conceded more goals than last season, we all liked what AW did with the purchase of TV and it is clear to see what a difference he has made.
We need more though of that kind of signing, it’s not much to ask from Arsene Wenger, he needs to work his magic again during the transfer window.

Sol has been the best resigning in a while but at his age he can’t play two games in one week and like Silvestre is on his way out at the end of the season I think.
Gallas is having injury problems and with the club talking about cutting his salary by half it is unlikely we will keep him. That said if he stays we still need one more addition at the back if he walks away two additions will be mandatory. Djourou may be back fro pre-season but playing Song at the back means we need to buy a holding midfielder and a defensive midfielder – and that would cost a whole lot more money.

The forward line has had real problems, before the return to fitness of Nikky, RVP a long term absentee, Eduardo a shadow of himself, there was great concern. We still need another striker and as RSD calls him Chamakakakaka will be free a agent at the end of the season, all indications are that he is heading to the Emirates. We all know Arsene Wenger won’t think twice about signing him especially without having to dig deep in his pocket.

The creative midfield position is full of style and I will go ahead and say we have a complete creative midfield, in fact we have too many maybe…
So what is the talk of Ireland of Citeh coming to the Emirates? Rubbish, and in any case, we sell to Citeh we don’t buy from them!

Alex Song has made the holding/defensive midfield position his own, but I still think we need reinforcement; Denilson is yet to prove he is a real contender.
Talk is ripe that Eastmond will be pushed to the first team next season which would be a great idea because we spend a lot of money in the Youth project it has to pay off some time. I wonder if we will see a few more joining him too, just to save the pennies 😉

So, do you think Arsene Wenger will buy in the summer, do you think he needs to buy in the summer? Will Arsene have to sell in order to buy, thankfully all that is something that the boss has to decide.

If you ask me I will tell you I am not Arsene Wenger 😉

Enjoy your day and Keep the Faith.

Written by Erick

Liitle bit of news this morning – The Dutch camp say Robin is ready and Zola says we are better than the Chavs, I’ve always liked that man 😉


All together now…We are top of the league, say we are top of the league!!

March 21, 2010

I rarely look forward to playing WHAM. First of all it’s a derby game and form and league positions go out of the window in derby games. Second, they always seem to pull a trump card on us every now and then. Whether it being the last team to beat us at Highbury, the first to beat us at The Emirates or coming back from 2-0 down to snatch a draw..They are one of those teams that seem to raise their game when they play us and make it a real fight. But not this time. We totally trashed them. Apart from a sticky period in the opening minutes of the second half when we were adjusting to being a man light, we dominated them. Some of the football we were playing was sublime, the passing and movement and slick one twos were out of this world and above all, the lads were queuing up to be heroes.

The title race is in the balance. With our overspending rivals not playing until today, we had a chance to stamp our authority on the PL and go top of the table, for a few hours anyway. 3 points against the bubble blowing lot was a must and we got off to a blinding start..

We started off with that swagger that we used to see in the invincible era..You know what im talking about. That confidence that we were going to win and the other team knew we were going to win and there wasn’t a right lot they could do about it..

The passing was crisp and the first goal came when Nikki and the impressive Denilson exchanged passes on the edge of the box and not for the first time this season, the young Brazilian, AKA Crabby Mchuffandpuff, slotted the ball past the helpless keeper from a fair distance..Great start..Only 5 minutes on the clock and it was 1 nil to the good guys and I think everyone expected the floodgates to open.. Which they should have..

Our slick passing continued throughout the first half and WHAM resorted to tactical fouling to try and stem the flow, hitting the long ball to Mido at every opportunity..They certainly didn’t look like a team coached by the great Zola, but they were playing us, so they were bound to look crap..We had so many chances to kill them off and to be honest I was starting to get frustrated..I could see what was coming..We were starting to showboat around the box, unnecessary one-twos and tricks and flicks instead of just shooting on sight. At the score being just 1-0, it was a dangerous game to play, especially with WHAM hitting the long ball whenever they won it back and my fears came to reality just short of half time..We did look good, some of the football was amazing, but we were guilty of over cooking it and we were caught out by a long ball that caught TV off guard. He allowed the ball to bounce and Franco ran in behind him. Minimum contact was made, nothing that constituted a foul anyway, yet Franco went over like he’d stood on a land mine in the box..The ref was 50 yards away from the play thanks to the nature of the hoof and couldnt make the call, instead relying on his linesman to make it for him..

Penalty kick to WHAM..I couldnt believe it..Was this guy for real?? I put no blame on the ref for this one, the officials have to work as a team..TV was the last man, the linesman declared it was a foul..The laws state TV had to go..Down to ten men with half the game to go and a penalty kick to level the scores to follow..Squeeky bum time.The odds had suddenly stacked against us in the blink of an eye and all of a sudden we were up against it..But like i said earlier the players were queuing up to be heroes..

Up stepped Almunia..He’s had an awful lot of flack this season and he’s had a bad year but he pulled out what could possibly be the most vital save of this campiagn..If that would of gone in we would have been up against it, but that save not only kept us in front, it woke the fans up too. It was a match winning moment. Hero number one…

The second half started and I was still confident that we would win..We always seem to play better with 10 men anyway,the players are used to passing in tight areas and the extra man WHAM had wouldn’t make much difference to our style. It would just lull them into a false sense of security that they had the advantage when they really didn’t, they were just giving us more space to play with..I was more pissed off with the fact we couldn’t lose TV at any stage of the run in..Especially with Gallas out injured. The straight red possibly means a three game ban which we really didn’t need at this stage. Suggestions that it could be just a one game ban due to the nature of the foul may not be wide off the mark..But the powers that be seem to make the rules up as they go along nowadays, especially as far as Arsenal players are concerned, so I expect 3..With the possibility of 4 if we appeal..

Back to the game. We started off pretty gingerly in the second half. We seemed to allow WHAM to come at us for the first 10-15 minutes while we found our feet..Song was pushed back into the CB role and Denilson anchored the midfield by himself. Raise your hands heroes 2 and 3..Song was outstanding at CB, just as he had been outstanding in the first half at DM..He was a colossus with nothing getting past him..His ability to adapt was amazing and with Denilson having a 100% pass success rate and not giving the ball away we looked just as solid as ever..

Wenger brought on Diaby, hero number 4, to stablise the middle and we just kept the ball..WHAM didnt really have a sniff, apart from a shot from Cole that hit the post but you can’t say they deserved anything from the game…

Hero number 5 was Cesc..with the game closing out we were awarded a penalty when Upson deliberately handled in the box. He was already on a yellow, he should have gone..If TV had to go then so did Upson but the ref seemed to forget where he put his cards and Upson stayed on the pitch..A bit of a piss take but nothing to moan about..We still had a penalty which Cesc slotted home..

Game over..Impressive display under the circumstances and a vital 3 points that sees us perched proudly at the top of the best league in the world…

RATINGS

ALMUNIA..8..Not much to do apart from the penalty save, but it was a match winning save. He cheated to do it, but it was karma in my opinion..The linesman made a cock up and he knew it, so he let Manny step half way out of the 6 yard box to meet the ball..Still a top save though..

EBOUE..7..I thought he had a poor opening 30 minutes,regularly getting caught out of position and letting the WHAM strikers get in behind him, but sorted it out and became threatening as the game went on..Had a good second half..

CLICHY..8..I was beginning to wonder if Gael had lost it..He’s starting to look sharp again and was making those menacing runs up and down the left flank we all love him for.

SOL..7..Looks clumbsy at times but that’s just his age, he’s not the spring chicken he once was and we shouldn’t forget that..He’s 35..Expecting him to glide across the pitch like a 19 year old ballerina is wishful thinking, but he’s strong and solid and gets stuck in. That grit and determination rubs off well on the other players.

TOMMY V..5..Unfortunate sending off. Unfortunate penalty. Mido was giving both him and Sol a hard time in the air but on the ground he looked solid..

Denilson..8..Thats probably the best game he’s had for Arsenal..He never gave the ball away and he scored a good goal. I just wish he’d try a through ball every now and then instead of opting for the safe pass all the time..good display though..we needed it from him..

SONG..9..MOTM..Easily..Controlled the midfield in the first half and became monster CB in the second after TV got his marching orders..Not only can he tackle but he looks so comfortable on the ball, doesn’t panic, doesn’t rush..if anyone wants this boy they looking at forking out at least 30mil..

NASRI..7..Looked as though he played through a painful injury he picked up in the first half..He looks out of place out wide..He’s not a winger and he drifts in and out of the game a lot. Nonetheless it was a good contribution.

CESC..7..Not his best game but even an 80% Cesc is better than most other midfielders in the world.Not even a great penalty but it went in and sealed the three points..

ARSHAVIN..7..Ok lets clear this up..He’s not a team player, he’s arrogant and his work-rate isn’t the best, but he’s still dangerous. He’s one of those players that every team needs on the pitch..He’s an eyes front type of player, he’s direct and he runs at goal at every opportunity..Sometimes it might not look like he’s doing much but teams are shit scared of him..Give him space and he’ll rifle a shot off, close him down or double mark him and you leave Cesc with more pitch to play with.. win/win scenario..This is not his best form by a long shot but we stuck by Eboue, Denilson, Diaby and Nikki amongst many and put up with their crap displays for years..Give this man a break, when he gets his form back you’ll be licking his arse again like we all were last year..

NIKKI B..7..Offers the front line so much more than the three midgets do. He wins the flick ons and he links up play well..played Denilson in for the opener..was the tactical sacrificial lamb in the second half due to the sending off but he took it like a pro..You know strikers hate coming off early, especially if they aren’t injured or if they haven’t scored..Some say his ego is massive and that maybe the case, but if you listen to his interviews and you study his body language, the team comes first to this boy…

SUBS

DIABY..8..excellent cameo display..came on and did the job required..some of his ball skills were out of this world, which we know he can do, but time and again he looked like he was auditioning for soccer AM’s showboating slot..if the top 10 isn’t all Diaby next week i’ll be very suprised..there is no better way to defend than keeping the ball..WHAM couldnt get the ball off him. Lovely to watch and he eased the pressure off our defence..

SAGNA..not really on long enough

DUDU..same as Sagna

THE FANS…3…No offence to anyone who was at the game but you really were piss poor, in the first half especially..It was embarrassing having to listen to that shitty bubble song being sang loud and proud for the majority of the 1st half without any response from you lot..I know the Emirates is crap for atmosphere but come on..For crying out loud were in a title race here..You’ve got to do better than that..It’s a football stadium not a cinema.. It’s our football stadium so make some noise..I could understand if we were playing badly but we were ripping them a new one, some of the football we were playing was heavenly and you lot were like a set of mutes for the best part of an hour..Sort it out..

Enjoy being top of the league guys, today we are doing something we never thought we’d have to do.. We’re Liverpool and Blackburn fans…


Forget Barca, lets worry about West Ham!!

March 20, 2010

Yesterday we all learned that we will be up against Barcelona in the Champions League Quarter Finals. It will be a match between two of the most exciting footballing teams in the world right now.

Arsene against Josep – the old v’s the new as far as attacking football managers go.

I think the tie will be great for football, great for players like Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry and in the end, great for us. To win the Champions League you have to beat the best, some think Barcelona are just that, so let’s go and do what we do best and that’s prove the pundits who dare write us off wrong!

All that though is a couple of weeks away yet, right now we have to concentrate on the other half of our possible double.

Tonight we are at home to West Ham, a team that conceded four goals to the chavs last weekend. If they can score four, then there is no reason why we cant either.

The good news is the little midfield maestro is back in the midfield as is the rock we have found in Alex Song. The down side is still no Robin van Persie, William Gallas, Johan Djourou . Other than that we have a pretty strong squad to choose from.

Before anyone tells me Gibbs and Ramsey are also injured, I know thanks, they are out for the season, the others will hopefull be seen again during this one!!

We have played West Ham 105 times in the league, winning 46 of them, losing 27 and drawing 32. The last match was a cup tie, we won 2-1 with Ramsey and Eduardo securing the away win.

We know Ramsey won’t be playing and I don’t think Eduardo will start either, but should he?

If we want to be in with a shout at the Premier League title we need to win every game and yes i know we have said that for the last few weeks, but it’s true, it may be obvious, but while we keep on winning, I’ll keep typing it, maybe it’s a ‘lucky thing’!!

Baring in mind that in eleven days time the Champions League match against Barcelona will take place, would that change your team selection for the game today if you were Arsene Wenger?

For me it has to be ‘NO’ – strongest eleven please boss, we can give players a rest when we have put the game to bed and after that they can rest all week, we dont play again until next Saturday!

Mine would be

Almunia

Sagna/Eboue Sol TV Clichy

Cesc/Nasri Song Diaby

Rosicky/Theo Nik Arshavin

(Cesc/Rosicky depend on how fit they really are)

That should be a good enough side to win all three points, Nikki should be able to get a few passed Green and Theo against an ageing old Upson (ave) should be a one sided battle.Song should be able to contain Parker who is one of their better player imho.. And I don’t expect an old Spud (Mido) to cause too much of a problem, do you??

So today the team needs to forget the trip to The Ramblas and concentrate on the job in hand. Do that and we will win.

The Mancs play the Dippers on Sunday at home, the Chavs travel to Blackburn on the same day.

I predict a home win for us, an away win for the Dippers, and a draw for the Chavs – we then sit nicely on top of the Premier League. All we need to do then is stay there until the end of May 🙂

Finally, good luck to the Bouldy Boys who travel to Wales to play Cardiff today, they kick off at 11am.


Wojciech Szczęsny – will he be our No1 next season?

March 19, 2010

This morning’s post is about Wojciech Szczęsny, or Chesney , as he is referred to as its easier to spell.

Who he is?

Born in Warsaw, the Son of a Polish legend “Maciej Szczęsny” – The only Polish player to win four league’s title for four different clubs in the Polish League.

In the Summer of 2006 Chesney signed for The Arsenal, he had turned out for former side Legia Warsaw aged just 15 years old.
Liam Brady managed to snap up the youngster after fighting through a mass maul to get him due to his outstanding performances for Legia.

the 12th December 2009, where he made a number of saves to keep out Leeds United and was given the Man of the Match.
During the same month, Arsenal agreed to extend the loan for a end of season.

How Much Do I Rate Him?

He is a tall, strong, commanding goal keeper and a superb reader of the game, any saves he cant hold he pushes away from danger and
he’s up quick for rebounds. His positioning and speed across his line is quality but then i’m only going from you tube and second hand knowledge.

Many share the view that Chesney is one of most exciting goalkeeping talents in Europe.
He seems a level header good kid as well.

Quote’s from Brentford fans this season

‘He is going to be superb for you, At league1 level he`s fantastic just needs to work on keeping his concentration for a full 90 minutes but commands the box well and his reflexes are brilliant and he gives confidence to his defenders…Arsene just needs to let him stay at Brentford for another season or two so that we can work the rough edges off him for you’ 16/03/10

Another said

‘Give him 1 or 2 more years and then I believe you will see him playing week in week out for arsenal, he needs more experience and chucking him in the 1st team would be too quick for a goalkeeper who has mainly played the likes of MK Dons and Wycombe instead of Manchester United and Chelsea – Arsene Wenger would be making the right choice by loaning him to us for next season as he will play constantly and have a chance of the play-offs’ 16/03/10

Sounds like the just want to keep him and I don’t blame them.

Chesney has very different ideas, he has said his intention is to return to Arsenal, and next season he aims to take the number one shirt off of Almunia’s back, so Brentford, you have no chance!

Wojciech Szczęsny seems a very special talent. Finally we may just have a big strong tall man keeping our goal, who actually looks like he knows what he’s doing!

Is he too young? I don’t think so, after all Iker Casillas took the no1 shirt for Real Madrid when he was just 20 years old, the rest as they say, is history!

Written by realsocialdad