Don’t like Mondays? I don’t like Saturday’s……

February 13, 2010

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Not when it’s the weekend of FA Cup games and we are not in it!

Yes, we should be in it and as many have said before, this competition is important to us fans, we want to win it again.
Remember how you felt after being outplayed for the whole game in 2005, then going on to win it on penalties – I still do.

I’d just returned from a two week holiday in St Lucia. Having landed at some unearthly hour that morning, knackered to say the least. Off we went – rounded up all of our animals from their baby sitters – got them all sorted out and went to the pub for a very late lunch.

Matchsticks firmly in place under the eyelids at kick off, we watched the game, I was in total disbelief that the team I support could be battered the way they were getting battered. We held on though and when Paddy stepped up to convert the winning penalty, I didn’t give a hoot about how bad we had played, all I could see then, was the big Frenchman lifting the cup, boy was I happy, oh, and a bit tiddled!

The so called big guns are out and I am still sad that we missed a golden opportunity to win the cup, an opportunity to give our young side the feeling of being winners, to finally lift a trophy…

This was our chance, and as said before, we blew it, big time….

So on to a positive side to all that, we have just won our first game after the spanking by Manchester United and Chelsea, the bore draw at Aston Villa and of course the game against Stoke, the one that knocked us out of the FA Cup.

We have a restful weekend, a time for Song and Arshavin to put their feet up and heal properly. We have the perfect warm up week before we travel to Portugal to face Porto.

Porto, the team that hoofed Manchester United out of the Champions League a few years ago, but now they are very different, they are not managed by one Jose Mourinho…. No, Jose is off to face another English side, let’s hope he wins that one too!!

I get slated sometimes because I don’t support the British teams in Europe – Does anyone else get that too?

I don’t give a flying fudge about the other English teams who play in Europe, all I care about is Arsenal, that’s it! In fact, I would go as far to say, I hope they all get beat, we play better against the European teams and with non English referees marshalling the game!

I don’t know much about Porto, but we know it won’t be easy – guess I best do some homework before the pre match build up…

What we do know though is that Arshavin won’t be playing in that game 😦

So yesterday we plugged the ladies.. but what about the youth/reserves……

On the same night that we were watching our first team ‘batter ‘ Liverpool, the young ones were away at Stoke City. Nacer Barazite scored the only goal in a 1-0 away win.

Isn’t it great to see Barazite back playing, and Merida?

The starting eleven consisted of…

Mannone
Coquelin
Ayling
Miquel
Cruise
Eastmond
Frimpong
Merida
Barazite
Sunu

Look at that squad, how many do you think will make it at Arsenal?

Tell you what, make it easier, how many do you think will NOT make it at Arsenal?

They are second in the league behind Aston Villa, so all is looking good, not sure about you guys and gals, but the future ain’t looking too bad, is it?

That’s it on a day with little news…..

Have a good one..

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Arsene its simple – You’ve blown it, again!!

February 8, 2010

Oh dear oh dear.. I thought we were mentally strong? I thought we were good enough? I thought we’d learned our lesson? I thought wrong.

What gets me is that this hurts just as much as the Manure game. We were shite in that game and we were shite in this one. Utd humiliated us in a different way, they showed the desire and hunger you need to win titles. Chelsea humiliated us in the way they that beat us without moving out of first gear. We threw absolutely everything at them and Chelsea let us and they still  looked comfy.

The game was over inside 10 minutes. Another set piece, another display of crap defending riddled with errors.. TV and Diaby let Terry have a free header from a corner. Clichy, for some unknown reason decided he wanted to have a little wander away from his post into an area where he was neither use nor ornament, a wee bit like something you see in an under 5’s game, and Song let Drogba ghost passed him for the tap in on the knock down. There’s no point blaming Almunia, I never expect him to save anything anymore anyway.

1-0..Game set and match.

Chelsea went into defensive mode. They sat back with 2 banks of four with the wide players infield, allowing us the useless, disadvantage of the wings, asking us to show the world how shit we are at breaking teams down with our slick passing, possession football with no end product against top class, organised defences. To which we didn’t disappoint.

With a team full of pygmy’s, no lead striker and our insistence of bombing everyone forward, it wasn’t long before Chelsea used it to their advantage and hit us for another on the break. Another feeble Arsenal attack was broken down as we once again tried to walk the ball into the Chelsea net with our entire team all getting in each others way in and around the Chelsea box. Lampard found himself with the entire centre of the pitch to run into and threaded the pass through to the immense Drogba, who in turn made TV and Clichy look ridiculous again and banged it passed the frozen Almunia.

2-0. Outdone by another counter attack, with Clichy not knowing which way he was running and it was looking easy. The possession  we were having made us look like the better team, but we weren’t. Chelsea were letting us play. They were under no pressure whatsoever, letting us wear ourselves out and look incredibly stupid. We played right into their hands. Everyone was talking about tactics before the game and Wenger got it badly wrong..The big team managers have this man sussed.

What makes me wonder if Wenger’s losing it, is when he starts his post match spin and gives excuses that Chelsea are the much more experienced team. Well then Mr. Wenger, why the hell do you insist on buying 15 year olds instead of the experience we so obviously lack and then tell us we can win trophies. If we want to win trophies we’ve got to beat these big teams in every competition we play. The recent record shows we just can’t beat them so no, we aren’t winning anything….
 
Player Ratings

Almunia..2..It’s becoming boring now. No top side can expect to win anything with a second rate ‘keeper. Almunia’s just that. Chelsea had 3 shots I think..one off the bar and two in the net and he wasn’t near any of them. He didn’t even dive for two of them. Poor

Sagna..6..I don’t think he played that bad, but that’s probably because Chelsea were targeting Clichy.

Clichy..2..And that’s just for turning up. Poor. Piss poor. I used to love Gael, a lot like I used to love Kolo, but I love Arsenal more and this guy has lost it. He’s a shadow of his former self and the sooner we sell him the better. He’s lost a good 5 yards of pace and he still can’t cross for shit. What makes it worse is that he’s a defender first and foremost and he can’t defend..Stupid, schoolboy error to allow Drogba the opener and his mistakes are becoming costly in every game he plays..Time to go this summer I think and give one of the young lads a go.

Tommy V..5..Not one of his best games. A lot like the Manure game. I’ve got a feeling he’s playing with an injury.

Gallas..6..Not at his best but you can’t expect one man to hold a defence together when your playing a team like Chelsea. It was all over the place and the famous Gallas stare explained everything..

Diaby..5..I still don’t see what he offers, he either turns up or he doesn’t and I don’t think he did in this game.

Song..6..Looks tired. The curse of the ACN strikes again????

Cesc..6..Leads by example but he’s no captain when the chips are down. His head drops too easy when it’s not going his way and he looked frustrated.

Nasri..5..In and out of the game really. Doesn’t look like he’s developed too much, but he’s no wide player..Wengers killing him.

AA..4..Starting to look pissed off..He’s one of the most explosive players in the PL and Wenger insists on playing him out of position as a lone forward against 6 foot plus defenders.. The guys 2 foot and a tab end.. What’s he supposed to do against a team like Chelsea?? He’s been saying for months that we need a couple of new players to compete in the top games and Wenger just lets the transfer window pass by. Again. We’ll lose this man this summer. He won’t put up with this shit much longer.

Theo..2..I saw the reason why Wenger started him and the lad tried hard and actually ran about for a change, but he really is shit at football isn’t he. I can’t understand why Wenger insists on giving kids like Theo massive contracts and lets players like Cole and Flamini go for the sake of a few quid..

Subs.

Bendtner..5..What was he supposed to do? The game was over before he came on..He should have started, he’s the reason why we didn’t buy a striker, so whats he doing sat on the bench? If he’s fit enough to be sub he’s fit enough to start.

Rosicky..5..same as Nikki, what was he supposed to do?

Eboue..5..My oh my, just shows the desparation of the situation when we are bringing Eboue on to try get something from the game..

In conclusion i think the title has gone. We’ve totally lost momentum and our heads are down. 1 point from 9 isn’t great reading and we’ve still got Liverpool, Citeh and Spurs to play. So we will drop more points. We are now in a situation where we are relying on our rivals to drop points, but we can’t even rely on ourselves to gain them.

We are out of the domestic cups and I don’t believe for one minute we have a chance in the CL. The CL is a competition for the big boys and we don’t know how to beat any of them so we can forget about that..

Wenger has nobody else to blame but himself. His stupid selection against Stoke cost us dearly and we lost momentum at the wrong time. If he was going to play Cesc he should have played the rest of the 1st team and started off this run of difficult fixtures as he meant to go on, with a win, then played the kids in the next round..

He also knew that we had these run of fixtures and he let the window pass him by without even lifting a finger. Lying to us saying he would buy but once again letting us down..

Mr. Wenger. A goalkeeper who can’t keep, a forward line of munchkins and a defence that can’t defend, may work against the ‘lesser’ teams but when you play the big boys you need a commanding goalie, a solid defence and a Rooney or a Torres or a Drogba to make the difference..

Although we are good enough to make 4th and make a massive financial profit every year so I suppose thats good enough, right??? I cant wait for that open top bus parade at the end of the season celebrating 4th place.


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.


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.


Classy Arsenal Erupt All Over Pompey

December 31, 2009

The lads really put the boot into Portsmouth didn’t they?? In a day marred by news that Portsmouth’s money men have been turning the lights off, drawing the curtains and hiding behind the sofa when the taxman came calling, the Portsmouth team could have done without our ruthless lot coming to town, to top a bad day at the office off with what only can be described as an exhibition match…

I’d like to say I feel a little sorry for them. It is the season of good will after all. They are bottom of the league, their players haven’t been paid and the Pompey fans are still fully behind their team, but, there is no room for sentiment in football, especially when your in the title race and 3 points are up for grabs. I’m glad we smashed them. I’m selfish like that, I couldn’t give a toss what happens at Pompey, I’m an Arsenal fan and I know I’ll sleep well tonight with 3 points and 4 goals in the bag…

I find it an interesting statistic that in the time Wenger’s been in charge at our beloved, well run club, Portsmouth have had 11 managers!! No wonder they are in the mess they are in. Stability really is key in football, but I guess they’ve found out the hard way…

The game itself was a complete mis-match. Pompey, as expected tried to be competitive in a combative nature, but the midfield trio of Song, Diaby and Ramsey looked assured on the ball and were just as good without it. Song and Diaby used their strength and physiques well and we closed Pompey down at every opportunity. We gave them no room to breathe and after a scrappy opening 10 minutes the players started to find their feet and settle down. We were beginning to settle into a rhythm and with the class and quality beginning to show it was only a matter of time before the 1st goal came. With a little luck..

It came in the form of another free kick. I don’t really know why Wenger lets Robin take them..He hasnt scored from one in 3 seasons of trying, yet while he’s been injured weve scored from three with three different scorers..fancy that!!! This time it was Eduardo’s turn..

On the half hour mark Ramsey was tripped just outside the box and it was perfect for a left footer. Up stepped the little Crozillian who’s shot was heading towards the right hand corner, only for it to take a deflection and end up in the left. No doubt the dubious goals panel will try to award it as an OG, seeing as though Eduardo’s not everyone outside the club’s favorite cup of tea, but 75% of Fat Franks goals have come just the same way. It was Dudu’s goal all day long…

The second was a long time in coming but with only minutes left before half time it can be seen as perfect timing. Eduardo found himself in the box with the ball at his feet after a wonderful left footed pass from Song. With hesitation from the defenders with no challenge coming in,  it seemed like he had all the time in the world to pick a pass to Ramsey, who cleverly slipped the ball to Nasri. The feisty Frenchmen hasn’t really impressed away from home, but we’ve stuck by him and he didn’t let us down. On retrieving Ramsey’s pass he looked to have taken the ball too far as he let it roll to the right. I expected him to hit it first time but Nasri’s choice was justified as he drilled a worm burner into the bottom corner. It was a great finish and at 2-0 the game was over..

The third was a peach. It had been said before the game that Ramsey owes us a big performance. Pompey were the perfect opportunity for him to stamp his authority on a game right from the start like he does for Wales. He’s done well in cameo roles but I’ve always been left unimpressed whenever he’s started for us. Well, he stamped his authority on this one with a fantastic goal which left me giving the lad a round of applause through my television. Pompey looked set to break after one of our attacks had been fruitless but Ramsey pounced on the situation, stole the ball from his man, side stepped his way round another and hit a left footed shot which three keepers couldn’t have stopped. What a shot.

Pompey scored (yawn) and our fourth well and truly put the game to bed. Song’s midfield performance was a joy to behold and all that was missing was a goal. He got it and a lot of it was his own work. Song took possession in the middle of the park about 35 yards away from the Pompey goal and he put his head down and drove towards it Diaby style. He tried to dribble his way through 2 defenders but was stopped in the penalty box. The ball was deflected out to the right only for Nasri to pick it up. Song stayed in the box, lost his man and called for the ball to be put on his bonce and Nasri obliged with a cross that took out all the defenders. Song, in yards of space, powered a header into the net from 12 yards out. Big header from a big player. He’s become one of the first names on the team sheet this year and well played to him. Chelsea forked out 25 million for Essien, Liverpool forked out 18 million for Mascherano.

We’ve only got one Song and he was peanuts!!! Songs emergence as one of the PL’s best midfielders is a credit to the lad. After taking early stick he’s grown in stature and in confidence and he plays like he knows how good he is. What makes him even better is that he’s just as good at CB. Whenever Gallas or Tommy bomb forward, Song fills the gap they leave. What a player. Damn the ACN, it’s as much as a nuisance as those crappy friendlies that get played through the season. Whoever heard of a competition that gets played half way through another competition? Ridiculous. It’s so far behind the times and the sooner the authorities sort it out the better because as far as im concerned its a burden…

Anyway, 4-1 to the good guys and we are in prime position to take 2nd place from the Manc’s next week..

Player ratings

Almunia..6..Made a good save in early in the first half at his near post which you would expect him to make, but didn’t look that great with the crosses and I thought he could have done better with the goal.

Sagna..6..Looks better doing defensive work than what he does going forward but still fairly solid..

Gallas..7..Has been immense this season but was nowhere to be seen for the Pompey goal and roamed forward far too often. Still a good display though..

Big Tom..8..I really want my sister to marry him. What a player. Committment, desire, strength. I love him in the defence but I’d really like to see him in the midfield while Song is away…

Traore..6..Got caught out of position a few times, especially for the goal, but he’s getting better and it’s going to be interesting to see what Wenger does when Clichy, Gibbs and Traore are all fit..

Ramsey..7..Looked assured on the ball with some good touches. Great goal and good touch for the assist and he looks a great player for the future.

Song..9..Man of the match. Superb display. Everything you want from a midfielder. Energy, heart, strength, passing, tackling and a super headed goal to top it off..

Diaby..7..Had an impressive first half but went missing in the second. He’s done well in his last 3 matches but they’ve all been in halves. He did well in the second half against Hull and Villa. I’d like to see 90minutes from him..

Nasri..7..Good goal and good assist but drifts in and out of the game a lot. Like Diaby I’d like to see 90minutes from him. Especially away from the comfort zone of the Emirates.

Dudu..7..Did well tonight. The movement seems to be coming back and the goals are beginning to come again, whether scuffed or deflected, but who cares?? They could all go in off his backside for all I care. A goal’s a goal and when you’re a striker it brings confidence. Let’s hope he stays fit and gets a long run in the team..

Arshavin..6..He really is taking one for the team isn’t he?? With no other strikers capable of leading the line in Nikki and Robin’s absence, this man is sacrificing his all round game so others can play theirs, and he’s still capable of banging in a screamer even when he plays poorly. Hopefully, Dudu’s sharpness will return soon and AA can be restored back to his role where he can start getting himself in the games again. Unless Wenger buys a striker???

Subs..

Rosicky..5..I love this guy, I really do. There isn’t a more magical player than a fully fit and firing Tomas but it’s not happening. Match sharpness is key, but how long will it be before he’s injured again??? And time is running out..

Eastmond..5..Good energy. Definitely looks a good prospect…

Vela..5..Like Eastmond, wasn’t really given enough time. We should see 90minutes from them against Wham in the Cup..

In conclusion, I know it’s only Portsmouth, but there’s 38 games to play to win the league and you can only beat the team thats in front of you every week. 3 points are 3 points and it was a committed performance that deserved the win. If Manure or Chelsea would have won 4-1 every pundit would have been creaming over the future champions, so we should feel the same. That’s 16 points now from 18 and we have a good chance at getting another 9 points from the next three fixtures before the tricky run of games start at the end of January. So far so good..


Title chances dented again as the poor get poorer and the good get injured..

December 17, 2009

After the win at the weekend you would have thought the team would be bursting with confidence. This proved not to be the case as not for the first time this season we seemed to think our opposition would roll over and let us play. Burnley have created a fortress at Turf Moor and the players must have realised it was no push over. So why they go out and play like that is a question only they can answer..It wasn’t a physical game..Burnley didnt try to kick us or bully us. If anything they played the game as it should be played and they did it better because their players were focused and committed..It was a good game to the neutral, pretty end to end stuff. Only difference being that when we got to their box we crumbled,and when they got the ball they ran through us like a knife through butter..

After a shaky opening few minutes we got our act together and found the net through Cescs good finish. The floodgates seemed to be opening and we started to play. AA hit the bar and Nasri had a one on one with the keeper in which he fluffed his lines. Then Burnley took over..For 75 mins they pounded us and when Cesc went off our only attacking threat went with it..It was always going to be a tough battle after that and the players just bottled it…

The season is long and gruelling and a draw away against Burnley who have been impressive this season at home is a decent result..Saying that, we need to start putting a few wins together at some point and after we got Liverpool out of the way we had a great opportunity to go on a Birmingham style run..who have won 5 on the trot. We slipped up last night and were very lucky not to lose.

We hit the post but so did they, they had a blatant handball by Silvestre in our box given as a freekick and an onside goal ruled offside..so we can’t argue we were unlucky.. Burnley deserved the points and we were a shambles but somehow we got a draw..We’ve now picked up four points by playing like crap in the last two games..every team needs luck on the way to a title so I’m hoping its a good omen…we just can’t play like that for the rest of the season and expect to win something because luck only lasts so long…

Ratings

Almunia..3..I don’t think I’ve ever seen a GK play as badly as that. Made a good save early on to deny TV another OG,but why TV feels he has to try head the ball standing on his own 6 yard line is proof of how much confidence the defence has with our GK. I counted 4 kicks that went out into touch, he was beaten at the near post from Eagles shot and only saved by the woodwork and was very lucky that Fletcher’s tap in was ruled offside when replays showed it wasn’t..What a howler. How he let that ball squirm under him was un-real. Another clanger from a GK who’s game has gone to pot. HE needs replacing and quick. He’s dodgy and he’s going to cost us a lot of points this season.

Sagna..5..Misses Eboue playing with him on the right, he’s too inconsistent at the minute.

Gallas..7..our best player, not for the first time this season. When your CB is your best performer on the night it shows how much ‘control’we had over the game..Body language towards Almunia was obvious. When your CB prefers to take a risk and run the ball to the corner flag and smashes it of an attackers legs to win the goal kick,rather than pass it back to the GK,it shows how much confidence he has in our number 1..and i don’t blame him.

TV..5..worst game for Arsenal. Almost scored an OG and gave away a silly penalty..was too erratic..

Silvestre..5..another bad show but it’s to be expected and he wasn’t the worst player on the pitch..

Diaby..4..not good.He looked like a man who’d never kicked a ball in his life, offered nothing in defence or attack and poor first touch and control..

Cesc..7..Was running the show until he had to go off. Then we totally went downhill without his presence or brilliance..Got lucky with the goal but it was still a good finish and if he had a left foot he could of had another..Lets hope he’s back for the next game or else we are in trouble..

Nasri..5..I don’t think he’s grasped the idea yet that we play as many games away as what we do at home and he needs to start turning up to these games.

Song..5..He was poor..held on to the ball far too long, never sat back and was beat to everything..He was looking like a rock at the start of the season and he’s turning into a pebble..Lets hope it’s just a minor dip in form..

Theo..1..he is not going to the world cup,he is not a wonderkid, he isn’t even a footballer..Young man you are quickly stealing Eboues thunder as our worst player and its time you pulled your socks up and started to do the business. He’s the worst wide player in the country. How you have a player who can’t dribble or even control the ball playing on your wing is beyond me..Wenger subbed him to save further embarrassment to a boy thats quickly becoming a laughing stock to the league..How do you set off running without the ball when you have the ball at your feet?

AA..5..is playing with an injury and that shows how important he is to the team..it was a typical game from him..did nothing but the only difference is he couldn’t save us with something you only see in your dreams like he did against Liverpool..He missed Cesc badly and the rest of the players didn’t use him enough..

subs..

ramsey..5..poor..

dudu..4..looks a different player..

In conclusion we were woeful..Burnley did a job on us big time and we were very lucky to get a draw so I see it as a point gained..We lost all the 50-50s and got beat to all the second balls and Burnley showed us how its done..We were tired, lazy and totally outclassed as we looked out of ideas..The players have to realise they need to earn the right to play Wengerball first..

It was identical to the first half at Liverpool only it went on for 80mins..You don’t win games if you play like that..The players need a shake up…

Wenger has to stop playing the out of form players..It’s like playing with 8 men right from the first whistle..

The only positive I take is that we’ve run out of steam at a good time..Its almost January so Wenger can dip into the transfer market to give the squad a much needed boost of class..

There are players out there who will improve this squad and help push is for the title..Mr Wenger,you have to go get them…


Arsenal’s title fires are Stoked as Arshavin supershow smashes Potters to pieces

December 6, 2009

In a game that marked Arsene Wengers 500th match in charge, I feel its important to mention that of those 500 games under Wenger,we have lost only 80. Thats an incredible percentage for a manager that seems to come under constant criticism, even from some sections of his own supporters…

Anyway, back to the game..

Stoke had the all the ‘kryptonite’ attributes. A tough, tall, physical side that would offer strong resistance to a lightweight side and an attack that hadn’t scored a goal in their last two league games. Every man and London’s dog had been focusing on the reasons that embarrassing defeats to Sunderland, Chelsea and to a lesser extent Citeh in the Micky Mouse cup, had been down to the fact our players were picked from the cast of the wizard of Oz. This game was important, it was massive,  not only did we need to get our momentum back but also to eradicate the vertically challenged demons that had no doubt been haunting Wenger..

Preparation was not ideal..Three domestic defeats on the trot, an injury list longer than Peter Crouch, outspoken Russians,  and a  pre-match injury to Eduardo which left Wenger with hardly any options to an attack that was already depleted and couldnt buy a goal with Theo Walcott’s wage…

This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it forced Wenger to move the outspoken but sometimes brilliant Russian into the centre of a three-man attack..and he didn’t disappoint..

Stokes back four compared to our front three can only be described as somewhat of a David V Goliath type of contest with Arshavin proving to be our slingshot…Proving that with the right attitude and right movement you dont have to be 7 foot and a tab end to win a football match..

We started off in typical Arsenal fashion. Lots of fancy passing played at a quick tempo that was constantly testing the defence, and they were holding firm. The deadlock was almost broken when Cesc sent in a defence splitting pass to Arshavin only for him to mis-control the ball and allow Sorensen, who is second only to Petr Cech in the list of clean sheets, to dive at his feet and clear the ball. Not long after we thought the goal had finally come. Some super trickery and tomfoolery from Arshavin lead him to be tripped in the box..Cesc stepped up to take the penalty but Sorensen saved magnificently standing on the 6 yard line. It was proving to be one of those days and the look on Wenger’s face as he sat on in the dugout sipping his water was a look of a man who thought ‘here we go again’..

Its games like these when you need someone to step up to the plate and produce a moment of magic to change the game. Enter the Russian. After some good link up play with the brilliant Cesc, Arshavin found himself in the box with defenders trying to knock him over and the ball stuck under his feet. He showed his class, holding off a defender twice his size and hitting the ball with no back lift into the only place he could beat Sorensen. An outstanding goal and  the pressure was off. His 7th of the season and he was showing us all why hes regarded as one of the worlds best talents…

The chances kept coming and Cesc could count himself unlucky, finding Sorensen in good form and Stokes new sweeper Eboue clearing Cesc’s shot off the line….

The second half was no different…wave after wave of Arsenal attack, spearheaded by a Spanish-Russian alliance..shot after shot was hitting the bar, the post, the defenders and the impressive Sorensen, but nerves were eased when Ramsey-a replacement for the crocked, hard-working Eboue – played a one two with AA and with a bit of luck found himself in on goal..The finish was sublime. The young Welshman said after the game it was luck but i think he’s being too modest..He meant that finish, you dont strike a ball like that if your relying solely on luck.. Pure class..

With the game won we could relax..Good performace that deserved more goals but after recent results i’d have taken a 1-0 with an own goal as the clincher….

Player ratings

Almunia..6..Kept a clean sheet but that was down to the fact Stoke couldnt get passed our defenders. Came for Delap’s first rocket launched throw in and flapped, dropped the ball and ended up on the floor in a heap. After that he left everything for his defenders to deal with and they didn’t let him down.

Sagna..7..It amazes me how he always plays better when Eboue plays in front of him. Alot like playing Song and Denilson together acts as one midfielder, the same applies when Sagna and Eboue play together – they act as one right back. Either way its two men doing one mans job and it takes a player out of the attack. That being said I thought he had a comfortable game. Some good tackles and some good forward runs but he still needs to work on his final ball and try and get some consistency to his game when Eboue doesn’t play with him..

Gallas..8.5..Awesome. Won every header and made himself hard to beat on the ground. This mans pivotal to our chances of silverware. Lets hope the injury doesn’t rule him out of the Liverpool game.

Vermaelen..8.. Complemented Gallas perfectly. Again winning every header and was strong in the tackle. A good solid defensive performance.

Traore..7.5..The lad didn’t put a foot wrong. Linked up well down the left wing and kept it tight at the back. Threw in a couple of dangerous crosses for good measure and his speed made him a handful.

Denilson..6.5..Quiet game from the Statman.Which isn’t a bad thing I suppose. Not as influential as Song and doesn’t contribute as much to the attack as Song but he’ll do for back up. Especially for teams like Stoke.

Cesc..9..Outstanding performance. Unlucky with the penalty and unlucky not to score, especially when Eboue forgot what team he was playing for. Outshone Denilson in the defensive role, closing Stokes players down and making some good tackles and his through balls were tearing Stoke to bits. A complete midfield performance from our captain fantastic..

Nasri..7.5..Not fully back to his best yet but linked up well with AK47 and Cesc..Theres alot more to come from this lad..Lets hope we don’t have to wait too long.

Eboue..6.5.. A+ for effort. Lacks technical ability and sometimes looks like a Coca Cola league player, but he gives his all and when he cuts out the cheating and the silly tricks he tries so often,he doesn’t do too bad..Alot like Denilson in the fact we have better players,much better players.. but he’ll do for teams like Kettering Town and Stoke..Probably would have got a 7 if he lasted the full 90..

Rosicky..5.5..I really don’t know what to say. Kept trying to force the pass but his ball retention has gone to pot. Gave the ball away too many times..Wasn’t dissapointed to see him replaced at half time.

Arshavin..9..My joint man of the match. Loves being the centre of attention on and off the pitch..His movement and leadership shone through and i thought he lead the line perfectly..An absolutely destructive performance from an absolute destructive player..I think he gets lost sometimes stuck out on the left, but when he plays through the middle and links up with a player like Cesc its hard to stop him.. Need more performances like this from him if we want to be serious challengers..He can talk all he wants as long as he gives the fans that type of performance week after week..I found it hilarious when Denilson was lining up a shot from 30 yards and Arshavin took the ball off his toe and went running at the defence..Denilson’s body language was priceless-but what would you rather prefer? A Denilson attack or an Arshavin attack? Thats what I want from our best players, that “you do your job and let me do mine” attitude is what wins you games… 

Subs..

Vela..6.5..good movement from the Mexican once again.. Offered more to the attack than what Rosicky did.

Ramsey..7..great goal..direct and clinical and secured the points

Silvestre..not on long enough..

All in all, I think it was a good performance..We dominated the game, not just for periods but for the whole game and we were unlucky not to score more. A clean sheet, 3 points and back to winning ways after a difficult fortnight. Wenger’s decision to stick to his guns in the mickey mouse cup proved fully justified as we sacrificed a cup only considered serious by Spurs in order to secure three points in the league…

8 points behind Chelsea and 6 behind the Manc’s with a game in hand isnt bad reading,especially for a team with more flaws than a solar powered torch…

Bring on the Dippers..