Another Diaby/Denilson season! Waiter to go home, Hammers want Sol, they can have him!!

July 12, 2010

I read yesterday that Atletico Madrid want to throw Almunia a lifeline to help firm up their defence. Yes of course I laughed, AM are supposed to have ‘the next Casillas’ (David De Gea) in their squad so why not play him and leave Manuel alone. Not that I’m complaining of course, they can have Almunia, in fact they can have Almunia and Fabianski for all I care!

I have to go away for a couple of days now. I’m helping a Spanish couple and their dog pack up all their belongings, then I’m taking them to Heathrow Airport to make sure they catch their flight to Madrid-Barajas Airport!! Oh, I’m also going to pinch any return tickets out of their luggage if I find any!! 🙂

‘Bye Bye Mr Fawlty’ says our very own Manuel as he flys over Torquay!! (yes I know, it won’t go that way)

Sols gone off on one again, first it was abroad, then Scotland, quick flirt with Sunderland and now it seems he could come right back to the heart of London and sign for the team who was the cause of him leaving us a few seasons ago, how bizarre would that be….. Talking of West Ham, seems Avram Grant is keen to get his team back up the table this year, not only does he want Sol but he also wants Loic Remy having secured the signing of some pacey winger from Mexico, Pablo Barrera…

West Ham can have Sol, if he wanted to stay with us he would have sorted this out with Wenger a long time ago. After we gave him another chance last season to play in the Premier League and Champions League, this is how he repays the club! No doubt he’s scouting around to see where he can earn the most money, well go Sol!!

Yesterday there was a bit of a debate about whether or not Arsene Wenger will buy another Centre Half, many thought that when Wenger said we are in for a defensive player it could be a midfielder rather than a defender. Well the boss has since confirmed we won’t be buying a midfielder…

He said,

“We are not interested in Gourcuff and we were never contacted, he’s a player I like a lot, but we are sufficiently covered in midfield.”

But, does that mean in the attacking sense or defensive? He gives nothing away does he, but all the time our captain stays, of course he won’t need replacing – I guess its ‘Watch this space’…

In the meantime though it looks as if we have another exciting season ahead watching Diaby and Denilson in the midfield. That worries me big time, Denilson is no substitute for Song, never! If there’s one thing Wenger needs to get right this season its rotation. He/we cannot afford an injury to Alex Song or any other player, but especially Song.  I wish Arsenal could send Diaby on a crash course at the ‘school of defending’ and see him as Songs deputy rather then Denilson.

At least now the World Cup is over, the old wiley one should be on his plane back to London by now. The squad are training and he needs to get his arse into gear now and get this Arsenal side ready to take on and beat all rivals. Yes the transfer window is open for another 6/7 weeks but our first ‘proper’ test begins with The Emirates Cup on the 31st July when we face AC Milan.

Barring a last minute deal between Barca and Arsenal for Cesc, we should get an idea of what this coming season will look like, player wise. Surely and as I keep saying, Wenger will want the squad sorted and together by that date, so that gives him twenty days realistically to make any new signings.

I know many many fans don’t believe he will bring in a player or two, but I do. I think we will see a goal-keeper and a centre half. If we lose/sell any others then I think we will see more. They may not be who you want, but in a few months they may just be players you like….

On a final note, resident blogger mikeB sent this in, after I stopped laughing I thought I’d share it. A perfect ending to the World Cup where England were just dreadful, so was the final….

It seems England  are not only thinking about ditching Stuart Pearce and Ray Clemence but are thinking about new sponsers too!!

I love it, thanks mikeB….

Have a good day all, today our transfer window could open……

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Jack Wilshere to Man City…. Yeah right!!

June 25, 2010

 What absolute and utter garbage!!

Red Arse talked yesterday about how we get built up only to be let down by the rumours that do the rounds every transfer window. Mostly of course we tend to get ‘excited’ about those we are linked to, occasionally we get just a tad down hearted about those suggested to be on the brink of leaving.

Right now, the main talking point is about whether or not our captain will leave, but then yesterday I saw this written on the good old football rumour site. Someone who is obviously trying to have a laugh, suggested that Citeh are going to sign Jack Wilshere, they have assured him of regular football and the lad can’t wait to move.

I’m not even going to give this any more thought, its rubbish, utter rubbish!!

Maybe Peter Hill-Wood will come out and say ‘He won’t get into their first team’ – well, he’d be right, a team like Citeh who have billions and trillions of money, don’t give players like Wilshere a chance, they will just go out a buy a player who costs millions. He may not even be that good (Lardybayor & Toure) but as far as they seem to be concerned, if they cost a lot, lets buy him!!

Do I dare add that the same person suggested that Aaron Ramsey is off there too…..

Ah well, it keeps us chatting doesn’t it and along the way we can have a laugh about it too. I caught a photo of Arsene Wenger after the press in South Africa caught up with him after they got wind of this latest rumour, he obviously decided to share the story with Steve McClaren….

‘Ere, Steve, guess what I’ve heard……

Steve says, ‘Bet you a fiver its bollox, shake on it’ ……

Arsene – ‘Done’ 🙂

On to other rumours, we’ve all but signed Schwarzer according to some, nearly signed Tim Howard before he went to the Mancs according to others, but apparently he has a bit of a temper and can have the odd outburst so we didn’t bother!

Turkish side Galatasary think they can make a cheap bid for Alex Song in order to tempt him away from Arsenal, well they can take a run and jump together with Inter Milan in their hunt for Robin van Persie….. ‘Arry is rumoured to be in contact with the agent of Joe Cole and finally we are supposedly interested in £10M rated Ryan Babel – £10M?? He may have been but surely Rafa has made sure his valuation is below that now…

Talking of ‘Arry, he actually mad me chuckle after the Japan/Denmark game – he said he had been in contact with the club of Japanese player Honda. He said the club though wanted to do a player swap deal. ‘Arry though said he wouldn’t swap a Honda for a Bentley….

Oh well, looks like Bendtner and Song will get the rest of the summer off, good! Two more fit players ready for the new season…

Thats all folks……


Almunia for England, Bobby Pires to return?

June 13, 2010

Robert Green dropped a doo-daa last night big time, anyone who thought he would be good for us must be thinking again after the England game. Flapianski and Almunia would have got a roasting from all Arsenal fans had they spilled such an easy ball. Yes I know, they both have and they did!! I can see though why Almunia thought he was good enough to represent England…..

I think we can safely say, or hopefully believe, that Arsene Wenger won’t think about making any bid for Green now, that’s if he did before!

Maybe in the next England game we’ll see Joe Hart, another favourite with many Arsenal fans.

I thought the game last night was awful, the pundits raved about how well England played, how Heskey was very strong and how Carragher’s experience can give England huge boost after he came on for the old King Crock. Capello must be wishing he took the other old boy now, Big Sol!

What rubbish, I thought Carragher could have easily been given a red card for a studs up tackle straight into the ankle of an American player…

If England think they have a chance of winning the World Cup, they’ll need to play a lot better than they did last night.

I know this is not Arsenal, but the big story in the News of the World today surrounds Nani of the Mancs. Reports are that he has failed a recent dope test which is why he was suddenly ruled out of the World Cup. Of course, the Portuguese Football Association are denying this rumour saying,

“Urine and blood samples were collected randomly. As far as we know, it all went well.”

That’s one to watch, if it transpires to hold any truth, I hope he gets the book thrown at him.

Rumours are going around that Bobby Pires is on his way back to England. No, not to us, but to our locals West Ham. I’d love it if this is true, it would be great to see him back playing in the Premier League, even if it’s not for us!
Another is that Arsenal have released William Gallas after his wage demands are too high. This one though is yet to be confirmed on afc.com.

‘Howard Webb rated better than Collina’ – No it’s not April 1st, it’s what Keith Hackett believes, he’s having a laugh surely, Collina was one of the best referees the game of football has seen, imho of course….

Thats it from me today, in fact for a week, I’m off on my holibobs tomorrow 🙂


Great Spirit!! Which game was that then boss??

May 13, 2010

 

“When you’re as close to a trophy and you don’t do it, it’s disappointing but overall if you look back over the season, I am proud of our attitude and spirit.

“Unfortunately we got injuries in the final sprint of the season and it was a bit too much.

“This season has shown that we have quality, spirit and we have also discovered players who have made massive improvements so there is a very strong basis to do extremely well.

“Not a lot is needed when you come as close as we did this year having lost the big games. I think we have a massive chance to come back and win it. Let’s be consistent, come back next year and be even stronger.”

That’s how Wenger has summed up our season….

Eleven points Arsene, not one, two or three, eleven points behind the league winners is how we finished and you say we showed great spirit and attitude…

What utter garbage, where was the spirit and attitude at Wigan and Sunderland, Blackburn, Stoke and Citeh, not to mention down the road at the swampies ground?? What about the home games against the Chavs and Mancs?

Great spirit and attitude doesn’t get us rolled over on our own turf so very easily does it?? In the games against those who finished above us we were poor, very poor, in fact rather than show spirit we were more like a ghost the way they brushed through our defence!! I mean the whole defensive unit within that comment…

I don’t often expect us to go to Old Trafford and win, nor do I expect a win at Stamford Bridge, but surely we expect the team to give its all and compete, don’t we??

Well we didn’t!!

So, if Arsene Wenger thinks just one defender will solve our defensive problems then he really has gone off the boil… I just hope and pray its mind games to keep the vultures away from his two defensive targets, somehow though I think he is truthing…

If that’s the case, we are in for the same kind of season ahead, albeit it could get worse. Sure as heck those around us will spend and if we aren’t careful, we will be left well behind!!

One defender is far from enough Arsene Wenger….. Far from enough!!

We need two defenders, a good/great goal keeper and another Alex Song… Add them to Chamakh and we may just win something next season!!

Talking of Alex Song, here is a player who has been our rock in midfield alongside Captain Creative, but still he isn’t happy. Song now wants to start scoring goals – now there’s a man who isn’t prepared to sit back on his laurels…….

Finally, well done to the ladies, they finished their season off in style with a 3-0 win at home, maybe Wenger should draft a few into the first team 🙂

Have a good day all….


IS THAT ALL YOU’VE GOT??? Barca Get Rope-A-Doped As Never Say Die Gunners Fight Back..

April 1, 2010

As mentioned before the match, it doesn’t get much better than this. I’ve found that too much emphasis has been placed on the fact that it is imperative we finish in the CL places every year for financial reasons. It seems that many of us have become that fixated with the debt that engulfs the PL these days and the  jackpot available in qualifying for this competition, that we have forgotten why we really want to play CL football..Yes, I accept that the rewards are beneficial to the club, but for me the reason why I want us to play in this competition every season is for football reasons..There’s no better buzz than watching the team you love play in the big occasions against the big teams..The prospect of Real Madrid’s, The Milan’s and the Barca’s coming to the Emirates every season is of greater reward for me than the prospect of a bulging bank balance that we don’t use anyway..

Last night was one of those occasions and I don’t think there was a single Arsenal fan out there who wasn’t up for this and we were all hoping the players would feel the same..

The line up worried me a little..Wenger’s introduction of injury doubts Gallas and Cesc were a big risk, especially against a team like Barca and straight from the first whistle it seems the risk had backfired..

To the neutral this had to be the game of the season, but to the Gooner faithful it was heartstopping and for the majority of the match down right embarrassing..Song was almost left alone in the middle as Cesc and Diaby seemed stagnant. For the entire first half Barca swarmed the midfield  playing exhibition football and practically used us for shooting practice. The heroic Almunia being the only thorn in their side…

The difference in the teams was quite obvious..Both teams play some lovely football but Barca seem to love to defend as much as they do attack..As a back four Barca have the same weaknesses as us and in Valdes they don’t have a great keeper either, but their midfield hunts for the ball endlessly.. We gave them far too much space and we could hardly get the ball off them.When we did we weren’t allowed to play our own game. We were closed down quickly and we gave away cheap possession ..

Denilsons introduction was a key factor in ensuring a bit more stability in the midfield. Denilson has come under fire from a large section of the support, but it would be silly to suggest the addition of the little brazilian to our midfield didnt sturdy the ship..We were losing possession far too cheaply and if there was ever a time for some 5 yard safe passes it was now..Although Barca’s goals came after Denilson’s arrival, neither can be attributed to him as both were un-Barca like in their build up..Hit and hopes over the top with Ibrahimovic left in acres of space. The first lobbed over a stranded Almunia and the second smashed inside his near post…

Although Barca weren’t as dominant as they were in the first half, they had found themselves 2-0 up and it looked curtains for us, but it was the introduction of Walcott that seemed to turn the tide..Barca had given their all for 70 mins. Credit to them as they played like demons with and without the ball, but fatigue was setting in and Theos pace was too much for their FB. He applied it well. Offering us an outlet and got the game changing goal. Flying down the wing cutting inside and shooting on sight..Maybe Valdes should have saved it but it was a crucial goal…

Confidence in the team started to grow and we began to believe in ourselves again..We had Barca rocked and we began to press using the pace of Theo and hitting the balls into the box. It wasnt long before we pulled level..Nikki got himself on the end of a high ball as he so often does and cushioned a perfect header to Cesc. The captain was about to pull the trigger from 8 yards out before he was hacked down by Puyol’s clumsy attempt to win the ball..

With Nikki leading the protest vigorously, the ref (who seemed to have left his guide dog, white stick and dark glasses at home) awarded the penalty..Up stepped Captain Cool who smashed it into the net…

Fantastic fightback..We were outplayed but we never surrendered and we should all be proud of the team today..

RATINGS

ALMUNIA..9..You’ve got to admire this performance. He worked overtime in the first half, bailing us out of trouble time and time again with save after save. He has his moments and the goals we conceded were cheap, maybe he could have done better, but it would be foolish to say that we don’t owe him a great deal of gratitude for his goalkeeping in this match..We conceeded 2 when it could have been 10..

Clichy..8..I was nervous for him before kickoff. I had no idea how he was going to stop Messi and I knew that Barca were going to bombard his flank..Although he spent much of the match pegged back, when he did get forward he looked menacing and let’s be honest..Did we see much of Messi??? Solid display by the hurricane..

Sagna..6..His flank wasn’t as attacked as Clichy’s but he still had a lot of defending to do..He did get forward when he could but we looked better when Eboue was pushed back to RB..Nonetheless it wasn’t a poor performance..

Gallas..5..I really don’t know why he was risked..He wasnt fit, Barca rained attack after attack at our goal and he eventually went off injured..

Tommy V..5..He wasn’t at his best, he looked solid in parts but made some bad decisions, especially for Barca’s goals..Even Wenger was giving him a mouthful..

Cesc..9..Now the rating is not for his footballing display. It’s for his heart and fight..Football wise he was pretty much a non entity, but he was 40% fit..His mental strength though was phenominal..2-0 down, 20 minutes to go, getting played off the park and he wouldn’t let it go..The penalty was just smashed and he lasted the full 90 minutes, even with a suspected broken leg.. The performance of a true captain….

DIABY..3..Maybe i’m being harsh and maybe he was carrying a knock but the jury’s still out on this lad for me. If he can’t get himself up for this game then I don’t know whats wrong with him. We all know Diaby can be unstoppable on his day but I wish he’d do it more often..His talent is undeniable but we’ve waited 4 years for him to put a decent run of games together but 5 good games in 4 years isn’t convincing me just yet…especially when I know he’s capable of having stinkers like this..Great players have bad games but still make an impact…Diaby might as well have turned up..Let’s hope he turns it on in the return leg…

SONG..9..He was awesome once again..With the injury hampering Cesc’s display and Diaby thinking about what he was having for supper, Song was left to take on the Barca midfield by himself…There were times in the first half when you thought it was Song and Almunia V Barcelona…

Nasri..6..He got himself about a bit and made a nuisance of himself..i’ve seen better displays from him creativity wise but he worked hard.

Arshavin…2..Forgive me for thinking this but was I the only one who thought he bottled it and faked his injury..I’ve defended him long enough..He either shapes up or he fucks off because he’s turning into Adebayor..OK, he’s not half as bad as Ade, but that half is enough..

NIKKI..7..I thought he worked really hard and did well considering..His header to Cesc was clever and assured and I think it was him who fed Theo in for the 1st..

SUBS..

EBOUE..7..I’m starting to like him , finally..I dont cringe anymore when I see his name on the team sheet and I actually want him in the first team nowadays…

DENILSON..7…Never been so happy to see The Crab. He calmed it down a bit and put in a good shift too…

THEO..8..Smash and grab raid with this kid leading the way. The right sub at the right time and it paid off..He didnt let us down…

THE REF..2..I dont want to ever see this bloke again..In any game at any level..I’ve seen better from Stuart Atwell…

THE FANS..10…SHIT HOT

BARCA..10…Wow..totally out of this world.

The game itself came at a huge cost with the possibility of Cesc and Gallas being ruled out for the rest of the season..Its frustrating as Wenger knew the risk of playing them both when neither were fit..The PL is still far from over and without those two, especially our captain, it looks a little harder than it did 24 hours ago..Which is disappointing

That being said, I can’t wait for the second leg..Confidence will be high now in the squad. A performance like that, although a draw will feel like a win..Barca threw everything they had at us and I mean everything..They were something special but that could be their downfall come round two..Our fighting spirit was something out of a Rocky film..We got hit and we got hit hard, but they couldn’t put us down..I’m praying that plays on their mind a little and without Pique and Puyol we will score so it’s game on…


Where are you now then?????

March 29, 2010

I’m still so so peed off after Saturday …..

Why is it so many fans see one good display and think that’s enough??? That’s enough to secure that players place in the side for the rest of time?

Well, I don’t and most don’t but sadly a few do, when they do they like to make sure we all get to hear about it, no doubt those people were gloating at the time of making clear their own views…

Last week ond of the regular posting here on Avenell Road took the time out of his day to day life to write a post about what to do in the summer, should we buy, do we need to by, do we sell to buy or just stay the same….

In that same post the author mentioned Denilson and how average he has been, me, I would say poor! He also mentioned the need for a new goal keeper.

The day before the article was posted Arsenal played, Denilson scored a great goal and had one of his best games in a long long while, Almunia saved a penalty and the team won!

Well shiver me old timbers, two of the worst performers of the season chose to have a great day and on the same day, how spooky! Jeepers Creepers, it was well overdue in my opinion.

Becuause of that though, the post here on Avenell Road attracted a few, thankfully not many contributors who laughed in the face of the author – one actually made reference to the post must have been written prior to the game because of their performances…… Well, one swallow does not make a summer!!

For me, it wouldn’t have mattered, I don’t think it would have made any difference to the thoughts, opinions of the author. It’s his view and he has the right to share it.

As it turns out, not that most of us needed convincing, Erick was spot on in what he wrote. We have a dreadful goal keeper who on Saturday,  not only cost us not only two points but possibly the league and a midfielder called Denilson who unless he has the rock of Song alongside him, continues to look very average!!

Where are those same fans today then??

I bet you one thing though, none of those who took the piss the day that post went up come back an apologise?? For sure they won’t, after all  both Denilson and Almunia wear an Arsenal shirt, they have to be good don’t they…… regardless!!!

Well, I am sorry, come the summer, that should cease!!

Top it all, last night I had a call from a friend of mine, known her for 35 years and she is a big Football Fan. She hates the Chavs and has to follow the Mancs as one of her two sons suuports them. Deep down though she holds a soft spot for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and the way we play football. She asked one thing having watched Bolton  – ‘How the hell can Wilshere be allowed to go on loan when players like Denilson are in the first team?……..

Well…….??


Wenger gets it wrong as Brum do it again..

March 28, 2010

Before the start of the game I was confident we’d take the points from this one. Confidence within the team was high on the back of 6 wins on the spin and Birmingham had lost their last two.. Although Brum have played some good stuff this season they have lost their way in recent weeks and if we ever had a better chance to beat them on their own patch it was now..

This was not to be the case..We’ve all pretty much said in the build up to this one that it was a potential banana skin for us. Even with a massive match against Barca looming in the CL we had to stay focused and concentrate on the PL…One game at a time was the key but judging by Wenger’s line up you could tell he was looking too far forward.. Brum are a difficult side and we are in a situation where we need to win pretty much every match. As soon as I saw the line up I thought to myself this is risky and that confidence I had was a little dented..

To be honest I was shocked..The team was already down 3 key players due to suspension and injury.. The loss of Gallas, Tommmy V and RVP was already a big burden to bear, but to leave Nasri and Arshavin on the bench was suicidal. We are in a title run in. We were playing away from home against a decent side and we were 5 key players short.. Wenger’s line up was like he’d picked a side for the Emirates. Walcott and Denilson don’t fill me with confidence anyway.

Then I found out who the ref was and then I see the state of the pitch and I didn’t really want to say it at the time but for some reason I knew we were dropping points..

The first half was a scrappy affair. The pitch obviously wasn’t helping and neither were the scandalous decisions of Mr.Manchester UTD himself. We failed to take a hold of the midfield which wasn’t a surprise with Song pushed back to CB and Brum controlled the possession and it dwindled out into a nothing half.

The second half wasn’t much better and we didn’t manage to take a hold of the game until Wenger made his substitutions and threw the players on he should have started with..

I thought we’d broke the deadlock when Diaby made a perfectly legal shoulder barge and won the ball in the Brum box..Webb procceeded to let him smash it into the net before blowing his whistle..You diptsick.

Even Perry groves said on Sky Sports last night that Webb has made some ridiculous decisions recently and its little decisions like that which determine who’s going to be champions..

Nasri then showed us what we had been missing as he picked up the ball 35 yards out and ran towards goal. He made it to the edge of the box and blasted it past the helplesS Hart.. Get in.. It took a long while coming but it had and all we needed to do was hold on but then the unbelievable happened..

Nasri had the chance to make it 2-0 as he ran in one on one with Hart but he fluffed his lines, in the space of 30 seconds Brum went up the other end of the pitch and scored an equalizer from nothing with practically the last kick of the match..We’d done it to ourselves again. Phillips hit a nothing shot and Almunia made his customary mother of all cock ups and the ball slipped throw his fingers and he practically threw the ball into his own net..

Bollox..Points dropped at the wrong time and a result that feels like a defeat in such the manner the Brum goal was conceeded..Momentum has taken a set back and the Barca game will be even harder now.

Ratings

ALMUNIA..5..Can you believe this guy? Why doesn’t it ever surprise me. He’s capable of pulling off some great saves but his clangers are too much to bear..He loses us more points then he wins us and surely its time to replace him next year.. Manutd were under the cosh against Bolton for long periods of the first half yesterday and VDS pulled off two world class saves..Manure went on to win the game..A top goalie is required and Almunia is nothing better than a decent number 2..

CLICHY, SAGNA, BIG SOL, SONG..8…I’m going to give them a joint score because i thought they were immence..Solid and strong and it would have been 1-0 to the Arsenal if it wasn’t for Captain Clanger between the sticks..

Denilson..5..This game wasnt for him..without the help of Song he struggles by himself and yesterday was no different..Failed to protect his defence and failed to take control of the middle as Song does so well

Cesc..6..poor by his own standards

Diaby..6..not a good game, but not a bad one..his goal should have stood

Rosicky..6..quiet, but he needs to play in midfield not up front

Theo..5..i’m not even going to get started on Theo. was he even playing??

Nikki..6..quiet really..but not getting enough service doesn’t help

SUBs

Nasri..7..almost won us the game..good goal

AA..5..not going through one of his best months but he’s still dangerous..needs to start every game really..

Wenger..6..got his lineup wrong..had one eye on Barca and it showed and it backfired..We need to play our strongest 11 every game Arsene…

It was a very disappointing result..once again it showed that we have passengers in this side who are not good enough to be counted on week in week out..We are sitting in third, which isn’t a bad thing but if we had those couple of extra players we needed in key positions we could be flying high at the top of the league and had it wrapped up by now.

The biggest disappointment for me is that it is now out of our hands..We are playing catch up..I always believed that the others would drop points too at some stage so we could afford a draw somewhere..Well there it is.

we now need to win every game.. the fixtures are still in our favour but its roll up our sleeves time and fight to the end..We’ve had a good season no matter what happens, but we need some silverware this year.  5 years is too long..