Injured, overplayed, risked – or are they just off??

May 12, 2010

 

Here’s my theory,

Some may think its the medical staff, some think its the diet, but for me there is something else, another possible reason as to why we suffer long-term injuries, especially when they occur after a player has just come back from a little injury….

Hope that makes sense!!

Take these three players who have been injured –

Gallas

Fabregas

Arshavin

Straight away its easy to spot a common theme, all three have been rumoured to be leaving us in the summer haven’t they?

The same three have been injured but then risked in an early come back, only to hobble off again and end up out for months!!

I know it’s only three, but compare them to Song, Walcott and Nikki B, all who have themselves been injured but have they ever been brought back after injury by Wenger, too soon to then suffer ‘a setback’?

I’m not suggesting I’m right, but it may just be that when Wenger gets whiff of a player leaving, he takes risks and plays them knowing if they end up crocked long-term, it won’t be his problem. Going on from that, maybe that is also the reason that many Arsenal players don’t go on and such ‘great’ careers elsewhere, in fact some have retired not long after leaving us.

Anyway, it’s just a thought!!

Yesterday was a great day for the under 18’s as they retained the Premier Academy League beating Nottingham Forrest 5-3 at The Emirates. Benick Afobe was the hero after scoring a hat-trick, Luke Freeman scored the other two.

No doubt we could see one or two of the Academy players play in the Carling Cup competition next season.

Ivan Gazidis has said that we are now debt free on Highbury Square, this time last year there 120M of debt there, so that’s where the money has gone 😉

Also, Queensland Road on the south side of the Stadium, the affordable housing part of that development has been sold to a developer so we are entirely debt-free on the property side. Ivan said that this means the sales on the remaining property developments that we have in and around the south side of the stadium will be pure profit to the Club that will come into the group and be available for use!!

He also spoke about The Emirates –

“This summer we are moving into phase two of that. That will take that Arsenal feel to the upper tier and to also to Club Level, which we will be redeveloping as well. “We will be changing the current quadrant system and will be bringing something more meaningful, renaming the stands so that there is a sense of belonging in the stadium.

“We will be bringing a clock back into the inside of the stadium. Those changes are already in motion now and those developments have already started being implemented.”

So that should mean we can now spend money – shouldn’t it?

I’ve given up trying to be positive publicly, I’m just going to sit back and watch the goings on in the transfer window quietly! 😉

Finally – yesterday Fabio Capello confirmed Theo Walcott will be on the plane to South Africa in June, on the same day Samir Nasri was left out of the squad for France…

Strange one that…….

Have a good day all and good luck to Fulham tonight…..

Advertisements

From a must win to a must not lose……

May 9, 2010

Since we clawed ourselves back into contention for a top spot finish we have looked at every game saying ‘its a must win game’ – Here we are now, last match of the season for us and this really is a ‘must not lose game’..

Should we not get at least a draw, we know what the outcome will be and that cannot happen. Not only for the fans but for Arsene Wenger too.

Much has been said by Ivan Gazidis about the club – in August 2009 he said,

‘Our responsibility is to build the Club so that it can be successful, not just this season and next season, but also ten and even twenty years from now’.

Successful – what does that word mean? My thoughts are that it means winning something, you know, like the Premier League or FA Cup, something that means you get to take a piece of silverware back to the club for the trophy cabinet!

It certainly doesn’t mean scrapping about on the last day of the season trying to ensure we get at least one point from our final game just to make sure our neighbours from hell don’t end up above us in the league!

Wenger has had this to say recently, “It is nearly impossible for any player to play the World Cup final on July 11 and be hungry to play again on August 14.

“There’s so much pressure, so much mental time and you need so much recovery time that it’s unfair on the players and, consequently, the clubs.”

Well Mr Wenger, best you get this team motivated today, get them to play with pride for their club and the shirt they wear.

If we don’t get third place our players will be starting the season a little earlier, just imagine if it’s a Spain v Holland final, surely Cesc and Robin wouldn’t play our first few league games, let alone any Champions League qualifiers… It doesn’t bear thinking about does it….

On to the news – Robert Green is one of today’s player linked to us. He has allegedly told West Ham he wants out and hopes that the stunning save he made from van Persie earlier in the season to earn his current club a draw is enough to convince Arsene Wenger to buy him.

Palermo defender Simon Kjaer is another one linked to us, he’s a 6′ 2″ 21-year-old Dane. I can’t see any truth in this one, Citeh, Real Madrid and Manure have all tried to buy him, but failed.

Goodness knows who will turn out in the red and white today to face Fulham, a team full of confidence but hopefully thinking about their next fixture rather than todays. According to some reports, Clichy could return, van Persie and Arshavin are both fit to start Tomas Rosicky, Alex Song and Nicklas Bendtner are still out, as are Denilson, Vermaelen and Almunia.

That leaves us with , Fabianski, Eboue, Sagna, Clichy, Sol, Silvestre, Arshavin, RVP, Walcott, Eastmond, Lansbury, Merida, Djourou, Nasri, Diaby, Gibbs, Traore, Eduardo and Vela…

So, come on Wenger, get it right today with the players you have fit, see if you can find a motivator within yourself and share it with the team, today is day to win, end the season on a positive note and make sure the neighbours play in the Champions League qualifiers, not us…..


Third or fourth, who really cares………

May 8, 2010

 

I do for sure…..

Over the last few seasons knowing we would be taking part in the following seasons Champions League was all that mattered by the time March/April came around. When we came fourth I used to convince myself that it was ok, knowing our season would kick off earlier with the Champions League qualifiers and along the way see all our new signings make their debuts. Exciting times I thought..

I knew I was kidding myself, we should be qualifying as Premier League Champions, not also rans! Signings were almost non existant and I dreaded us getting a tricky tie.

This season though is very different, none of us want to see an early start for our side do we and this is not because of the World Cup in South Africa, its because we would have finished our current season with a loss, a loss at home which would stick in all of our throats the whole summer. Even more important than that though it would also mean the team finishing third would be our most bitter rivals. Could you imagine ‘The Lasagne’ kind of kind of comments being thrown back at us!

Life would be hard, especially if you have friends/relatives who support that team down the road…

Finishing third cannot happen – can it?

I don’t think it will happen, we only need a point, but I see us getting all three and securing our third place, not with ease but with a convincing scoreline by the end. That’s not being cocky or arrogant, that just believing that Roy Hodgson (my manager of the season) will rest a few players as Fulham have a far more important game around the corner, already Duff and Zamora have been ruled out, I think we can expect a few more of their big players to miss out too.

What a sad state of affairs though, we have so many players out, confidence must be low after the last few games and here I am writing about hope that Fulham don’t field their best eleven. Not something usually associated with a home fixture against a mid-table club who sit over twenty points behind us….

On a brighter note, well done to the Bouldy Boys, they beat Manure yesterday 5-3, on penalties to reach the Academy League Play-Off Final. James Shea was the hero after saving two of the Mancs spot kicks and we converted all of ours!

Arsenal’s victory sets up an Emirates Stadium Final against either Leicester City or Nottingham Forest on the 11th May, hope its televised.

Couple of sippets from the paps –

Arsenal have had their end-of-season bash in aid of Great Ormond Street children’s hospital at their Emirates ground, Cesc outbid team-mates for a night with actor Orlando Bloom, before anyone panicks, the night out was for his sister Carlotta – who he claims is the actor’s biggest fan.

In the same paper, Arsene Wenger is going to try and get SWP for 5M from Citeh!!

May the silly rumours begin as our season draws to a close…..


Experience wins games, just ask Roy Hodgson

May 1, 2010

 

I know it’s not Arsenal, but it’s relevant in my humble opinion….

Wenger – Hodgson’s my Manager of the Year

Fulham have punched above their weight more than any other side and Roy Hodgson should be named Manager of the Season, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Cottagers defeated Hamburg 2-1 on Thursday night to progress to the Europa League Final where they will meet Atletico Madrid.

Fulham’s only honours to date are an Intertoto Cup success in 2002 and a brace of English second-tier titles. Their only appearance in a major final came in 1975 when they lost 2-0 to West Ham United in the FA Cup Final.

Hodgson took charge at Craven Cottage in December 2007, with the club stuck in a relegation battle. He saved them from the drop and then secured a seventh-place finish last season before taking Fulham to the cusp of European glory this term.

That’s why Hodgson will get Wenger’s vote for the end-of-season individual prize.

“Fulham and Roy have been fantastic,” he said. “They are the ones more than anybody else who have punched above their weight. And maybe that’s why Roy deserves it [manager of the season].

“Their intelligence, experience and his scouting has been good. His buys have been good. He’s bought players who aren’t not in the top three or four but have the level to flirt with it.

“Zamora, Duff have played at top clubs, Murphy has played at top clubs. They have players who can play at the top level but at some stage lost out.

“Hodgson is a fantastic manager – but there’s no secret. You need good players and they have good players.”

Well Well Arsene, I agree about Fulham, but what about us…….

Zamora, Duff, Murphy – if they had been Arsenal players, you would have either let them go on freebies, or told them they are too old!!

Its about the player, if the player WANTS to play then he will, and those three do, and that’s why they are in the final. Fulham players didn’t ever give up the fight, just ask Juventus!

Credit where credit is due, Hodgson has done a fantastic job at Fulham, no doubt on a restricted budget. Fulham could have been facing a Liverpool side who recently have thrown dead money after dead money on players, but no, they got knocked out.

Its not always about how many you buy, its more about who you buy and who you keep. Sometimes I think we have sold the good and kept a few of the bad… Arsenal need a couple of players with experience, by which I mean players who have ‘been there and done it’ and still ‘want it’ – not some old has been who been cast aside by his club because he is no longer good enough!

Look at Danny Murphy, Fulham bought him when he was thirty, today he still plays like a 25 year old. What does Wenger often do with our thirty year olds – invariably lets them go or won’t give them anything more than a new one year contract.

All I want to say to Roy Hodgson and Fulham is, Good Luck for the Final, I truly hope you win – you deserve it..


Diaby Still Fit!

February 28, 2009

 

It’s unbelievable Diaby is in the squad to play Fulham today, he isn’t back, he hasn’t been away.

The poor lad, he has had enough injuries to last a whole career and hopefully we can see him have a month or two injury free before Cesc gets back, to really see what sort of player he is.

I must confess I don’t know what to make of him, some days like against Roma and Man U he looks a world beater. Then some days we wish Song was playing he is that bad. (for you London). We are again comparing Diaby to PV4 again, there are some similarities but Patrick was more direct and a better DM when needed.

Onto today, Arsenal in 5th place in the Premiership take on Fulham in 8th.. That doesn’t sound right does it? Fulham are over achieving under the managment skills of Roy Hodgson and are not under any pressure of relegation. Hopefully they wont be playing like a team whose life depends on it like some of the lower teams and we can take advantage of that.

wolfie_243x2782

                                            Fulham Supporter

We need to keep the pressure on Villa they are only 6 points ahead and if we get 3 this afternoon it is going to be sqeaky bum time for them and they have never had this pressure before and hopefully there team spirit will be lowered by there midweek defeat in the UEFA cup.

The Spuds and Villa fielding weakened teams in the week has lowered the value of that cup even more now and we should be determined to get a Champions League place and not lower ourselves by stooping so low as to drop into it.

I think the team will be.

                      Almunia.

Sagna..Toure..Gallas.. Clichy.

Arshavin..Diaby.. Denilson.. Nasri.

                      RvP………………….Bendtner.

Prediction 3-1 to the Rip Roaring Reds..