What’s Cesc Playing At?!!

August 2, 2010

I cannot confirm nor deny anything. In the last six months, this story has made our lives difficult. At the moment, what is important is that when Cesc comes back, that he comes out. For me, I have nothing more to add. The conversations with the players have to be private because I cannot come out every time I speak with a player.”

The speculation does not stop. Who can stop the speculation? Only Cesc maybe, I don’t know, maybe not even Cesc. But that is how I feel. We cannot go into a season where everyday you read about that. He has not played today and I sit here and speak about Fabregas.

Seems pretty clear to me. Mr Wenger is in no uncertain terms telling Cesc he is sick of all this nonsense and he fully expects our captain to make an announcement to the Arsenal fans that he will be playing at THOF  this coming season.

That was Wenger’s opinion on saturday night. With Cesc still on holiday having been given extended leave after suffering a backbreaking 15 whole minutes of world cup burnout, it is to be assumed that Mr Wenger fully expects Cesc to hold a conference of some kind as soon as he returns. Pledging his loyalty to the club while in the meantime it is also to be assumed that he keeps his trap well and firmly shut..

So, eagerly waiting in anticipation for our talisman to come home and tell us all it was just a bad dream and he loved The arsenal more than what Puyol would love Cesc’s DNA all over his face in the showers. I turn on Sky Sports news to see our emotion stricken captain telling a crowd of 2,500 Barcelona fans in his Catalan hometown:

‘I hope to see you more often and closer.’

Not satisfied with Fabregas Sr’s regular updates on his son’s future, the Spanish media are now getting his GRANDMA to get in on the action as well.. How low is that?? Getting a players frail old grandma to pull his heartstrings in the direction of the club who openly like to feel each others DNA all over themselves..

It’s time someone got the scissors and cut this crap out because the circus is in town. It’s gone on for too long and Cesc has played a not so innocent key role in the whole thing..Arsenal don’t need this freak show at the minute, Arsene is trying to rebuild his side for next season and this whole saga is detrimental to the stability of the club..

So Cesc Fabregas, times up..I agree with the manager and along with Le prof and thousands upon thousands of Arsenal fans, I fully expect you to come clean on your return..

You either want to play for us or you don’t.. If you want to stay in Spain then tell us and stop pissing about and wasting everyone’s time.

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Madrid, Milan, Inter, well we got Barca…

March 31, 2010

 

Oh Boy!

It doesn’t get much bigger than this does it?

If you can’t get excited about the occasion, you are at the wrong place – European nights are always such a special occasion but tonight is about getting one big toe in the semi final of the Champions League.

As Arsene Wenger pointed out, we have so many things in common with Barca, the breeding of young players, playing beautiful football which is why there is so much hype around the game. Guardiola has said he won’t sacrifice his attacking football, neither will Wenger, setting up a fantastic scenario for football fans all over the globe. I hope we shall not be dissappointed.

Lets talk tactics

 I’ve been saying here on Avenell Road that Barca are a formidable opponent, they are the European and World Champions after winning a commendable six trophies last term by brushing aside the likes of chavs, mancs and bayern so you should expect a tough match. Last term they played in a 4-3-3 system with Henry, Eto’o and Messi destroying defences left, right and centre. However Pep admitted that teams have figured them out hence he needed to change tactics to keep opponents guessing.

This term barca are playing in a 4-2-1-1-1-1 formation.Their two CB’s are mainly Puyol and Pique with Milito and Marquez as cover. They have two fullbacks in Alves and Maxwell/Abidal.

Alves is the most dangerous FB going forward since he is quick and has superb delivery. Maxwell doesn’t push as far to prevent counter attacks. Their CB’s are good ball players and will push forward when Barca are dominating, acting as extra midfielders.

Talking of which, in midfield they play with a holding player, (Toure/Sergio) a deep-lying creative man in Xavi and ahead of them is Iniesta/Keita to the left,  playing  the attacking role, linking play from the left wing just like Rosicky does for us.

Ahead of the attacking midfield man is Messi towards the right and Henry/Pedro towards the left and Ibra up top. Ibra has most shots on target in the Champions League(17),  it would be suicidal to give him space, he has three goals in three games, he’s a player on form.

When barca are dominating, Alves patrolls the right flank giving Messi the freedom to cut inside. Messi will then run at the defence which will retreat deeper. This leads to plenty of space behind Messi for Xavi and Iniesta to dominate the midfield.

Henry/Pedro will use the left flank to pin the winger and full back to prevent Maxwell from being exposed in defence. Pedro is so underrated, he scores in the big games. Once Barca get you into this position it becomes a matter of damage control. The Chavs and Mancs can absorb pressure all day long but in truth we can’t do it. If a team shows the slightest of fear Barca will tear you apart, so how do you stop them?

The Chavs used a right back to stop Messi from cutting in since he will always attack a defender’s weaker foot. If Messi got past Bosingwa he would meet Essien stationed in front of the back four, because of that, Messi was invincible for 180 minutes.

To do that, the Chavs maintained a high level of discipline which i don’t think we have yet. For us we will have to battle them in midfield. Iniesta is a very good passer of the ball and is a good dribbler hence he can craft space in the meanest of defences but he won’t be available. This will probably mean Keita will start, he is a more physical player and he carries that extra goal threat Iniesta lacks.

Cesc will have to dominate the middle, Song will have to stay in front of the defence since they will try to expose Sol against Messi. Diaby will have to hustle the ball all over the pitch, his moments of brilliance will be needed if we are to score, his runs from deep will be vital since Cesc will get all the attention. Diaby and Song will have to relish the physical battle against Toure and Keita and come out winners.

I think Sagna will start due to his defensive nous, Clichy will have his hands full with Messi and Alves attacking him, he will need all the help he can get. AA will have to come alive in this match, push back Alves to deny Messi a free role in this match.

This is where I feel the game will be won or lost, Barca’s orchestra starts here.

AA has been woeful in front of goal but he is our ace in the pack, if he isn’t fired up for this he better not show up in the stadium. Nasri/Rosicky will have to help Cesc patrol the midfield. Nasri ,AA and Diaby should dribble when necessary. Nasri can take care of Maxwell all day long.

Eboue for me,  is our trump card. He combines pace with strength with feints and dummies which baffle defenders, his diagonal runs are usually very effective as he draws defenders and creates panic in defences.Whether he will start is up to Wenger.

Shooting should be encouraged since Valdez flaps at well hit shots. TR7/Sol/Cesc/AA/Gallas experiences in such matches will be vital if we are to emerge victorious. We need to kill them off with our chances, the killer instinct will have to be on display tonight, right from the start!!

Barca maintain possession for about 48 minutes per match and with Mmessi surrounded by good ball holders he becomes the shark in the sea receiving balls at all angles. Man marking him will end in disaster since he will create space for Keita who scores goals from midfield, unlike Iniesta who doesn’t get into the box often.

We will have to chase them down everywhere, the fans will have to shout the loudest, make themselves heard above eveything else in London.

Barca would love to win it at the Bernabeu to insult the Madristas, we will have to want it more, we will have to show the necessary character to win the tie. As much as we fear Messi – Pep will fear our attack too.

Give Henry an ovation that will make the legend feel humbled, after all he has given us perfomances we will cherish for the rest of our lives, he deserves it.

After that it’s about us!!

Barca don’t concede a lot since teams are too intimidated to attack, their centre backs are vulnerable from quick forwards making runs and this is where Walcott and Eboue’s diagonal runs can hurt them the most. Long balls to Nik will also unsettle them.  Fans should let them know that they may rule europe but not this part of North London, we are in charge here, this is our night….

Finally, we did it in Milan when Kaka was meant to tear us a new one, we did it in Madrid, tonight we will do it in London!!

Lets do for Arsenal, lets do it tonight for David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle – he’d have loved to be playing in this game, make him proud….

Written by KTR-7


The day before the big day….

March 30, 2010

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 Here’s your New Post  🙂

Welcome to England Barcelona but you will fall!!!

We don’t play until tomorrow but already my stomach is in knots just thinking about Arsenal v’s Barcelona,
The Champions League quarter final, Round 1!!

Will Arshavin be fit? Will Diaby be fit? Will the little man who captains our side be fit??

I think it’s important all three are, but then we all think that don’t we…

We need to have a strong eleven available, Vermaelen is back, Song should slot back into the middle alongside Cesc which should mean….. a proper midfield, not a Denilson in sight!

Arsene has been talking about Cesc, about how he came to steal him away from his boyhood club…

Back in 2003, the Arsenal manager travelled to Finland for the Under-17s World Cup in order to run the rule over, among others, a blossoming young midfielder in the Spanish team.

Fabregas had Barcelona in his blood and was rising rapidly through the ranks at the Nou Camp alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.

Spain did not lift the trophy that year but Fabregas came home with the individual honours. He won the Golden Boot as top scorer and was voted Player of the Tournament for his overall contribution.

Twelve days after losing to Brazil in the Final, the 16-year-old signed for Arsenal.

Ahead of Barcelona’s visit to Emirates Stadium for the Champions League Quarter-Final first leg, Wenger recalled that first impression.

“I couldn’t go to watch a youth team game at Barcelona because they would not have welcomed me,” he said before the weekend trip to Birmingham. “So I could only watch him in the Under-17 national team.

“You could see straight away that his vision of the game was exceptional. He was physically a little bit weak at the time but he could score goals.

“I do not know if there were other teams in for him. We were just first and players want to join us because they feel they have a chance to play. Many young players want to join us because of that.”

Yep, that whole chit chat from our boss was solen from the afc website 🙂

Great news we have all heard is about though is Cesc Fabregas, this week he has said he is not going anywhere in the summer. This same man will be all  for showing Barcelona just why they should never let him go. Its also about letting them know just how happy he is at Arsenal…. Maybe then Barcelona will finally get the message!!

Tomorrow’s a big day, a very big day – and in more ways than one…..


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.


Could we handle Barcelona?

April 9, 2009

Last night saw a very, very good performance from the new bookies favorites to win the Champions League.  If Villareal can out Arsenal us what chance have we got against this mob?

Looking at it from a player on player basis. I will start with Clichy on Lionel Messi. Messi always seems to cut in from the right, therefore Clichy will be turned like a top trying to use his left foot. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Mr Wenger OBE likes to play right footed players on the other side of the pitch. Pires and Nasri being examples, when they play against a right footed right back they sit him on his arse.

Sagna versus Henry on the left, nearly exactly the same thing only vice versa.  The only thing we can hope is that Henry freezes on the big stage .. Yea right  That was another myth, he will be firing,  he is bound to pass Bacary at least a few times and we will need cover..  Theo or Eboue?.. It would be fun to see Henry trying to outpace Walcott ..

Eto’o mmmm here lies a big problem now that Gallas is out for the season, if not forever for us. Gallas would have done a job on him I cannot see Djourou being as effective.

Song and Denilson will be up against  Xavi and Iniesta, as long as we sit back and not get caught too far up field, we should be okay if we close down quickly.

It could be Fabregas or Nasri coming up against Yaya, but as Arshavin is cup tied that will probably mean Nasri  on the left in our formation. The right back being Alves. There would be plenty of running and tracking back for Samir.

On our right Theo will be up against Puyol, can his experience make up for the sheer pace of Walcott?  In fact this could be the one game where he will shine, quick counter attacking football.

Up front I have a feeling that the secret weapon will be Diaby if fit . He will be in the gap between Yaya and the central defence made up of Marquez  and Pique. Ade will have to be up for this game and fully fit and better than his best to get the better of these two in a 4-5-1.

We are okay in the goalkeeping dept as I would expect Almunia to be fit for this one, even allowing for  AIT (Arsenal Injury Time) which is twice as long as a player should be out for..

We cannot do like we did at Villareal and just stroll out,  hopefully we have learned a lesson from that, It also gave us a clue to how strong the teams in la Liga are so the surprise factor should be gone too.

So to sum up .. can we beat Barcelona?   If Jonjon says we can, then we will..