Dogged, Determined and three points, just what the doctor ordered….

February 11, 2010

What a day yesterday was, still full of doom and gloom from Sunday, not feeling very confident about facing the dippers – but something inside niggled away, just something gave me hope that we would win.

My day didn’t start too well because the car wouldn’t start and I had to go out, but after a few phone calls and a set of jumps leads from a fellow Gooner, I was helped on my way. New battery in place, a few pounds parted with and off back home I went.

No matter what the distraction, the old grey matter kept thinking about the game against Liverpool.

Even an afternoon trip to the dentist was grim, he is a Chelsea fan and I dreaded the salt being rubbed into the deep wound I still suffered. I needn’t have worried though really, his son is a Gooner, and all he said was, we need a striker– not really something I didn’t know, all of us know that don’t we?

We talked about ‘that goal’ that you know who scored for Citeh, and he commented on how we needed a player like him – that was based on how he is playing now, not how he played for us during his final season.

So, onto the match – I felt sick with nerves – we needed to win…….

On top of the desperate need of the three points, I couldn’t even begin to think about the stick I would get from my nephew and brother in law if we lost – they are ‘Big Dipper’ fans ( I must take them to the next Fare that comes into town)….. 😉

Thankfully, that is now something I don’t have to think about, they do, but not me – when is the last time we did the double over the Dippers? Right now I don’t really care..

On a night when Chelsea lost to Everton and Manchester United drew with Aston Villa, maybe Arsene Wenger is right to still have belief. We have all agreed that the run in favours us and that points could be dropped by those around us – well tonight has proved that.

Tonight has also proved that there is a long way to go yet before any fat lady starts to sing.

I am not going to rate the players because I can’t – I just watched the game rather than study player by player, but the one thing I do think about is how many times I sat and thought something along the lines of ‘ Can’t believe you did that’ ; I don’t recall many…

Rosicky’s heavy touch when I was sure he was going to put us 1-0 up, but passed it to Reina

Nik’s blast over the net

Eboue’s – I have been shot – get me out of here…

And finally, Walcott’s – I am going to run down time by the corner flag; oops I have passed it back to Reina moment…

Maybe you can add to those mad moments, and please do – just remember that I am getting on a bit and the memory is not so good 😉

Knob of the Night

Howard Webb

Having seen Nik get booked when a penalty should have been given, Gerrard took a dive and got nothing for troubles – this man is not worthy to wear a referees shirt! Can you believe that he is the best this country has and he is off to the World Cup in South Africa? Lets hope he takes more cards with him than Graham Poll did, he may need them 😉

Please note – I am exorcising the right to remain silent over the Cesc handball in the last ten seconds of the match 😉

The player who stood out for me was Diaby. He has been on the end of a barrage of abuse by many, many fans and I am one of them but tonight I thought he showed a different side to his game, he attacked, tracked back, tackled and he scored our winner.

Diaby is my Man of the Match… very closely followed by Gallas…

Cesc – well, he seems cheesed off, not with us, but with all the paps hounding him about Barcelona, I just wish they would leave him alone. If he goes, it will be because of them, there is no let up for the lad, every day of every week the same old Barcelona stuff comes out… It must be hard.

Clichy, Almunia, Eboue – All played the best I have seen them in a long while (apart from the Eboue silly moment)

TV, Gallas, Song – Solid, just solid – that last ditch tackle from Gallas was worth a new two year contract on its own – hope you saw it Ivan..

Nik, well, a way to go yet, but it’s good to see the big fella back, and tonight I thought he did ok – at least he ran his heart out and did some defending …. Mind you, it was him that lost possession, so, so he should I say… 😉

Rosicky (on for Nasri) – Having watched him totally muck up a golden opportunity I was gutted, but the cross he provided for
Diaby was sublime, it had pace and precision and Diaby didn’t waste his chance…

Huggy Huggy Huggy – Oi Oi Oi – That’s what I was singing, I didn’t give a toot about the neighbours 😛

Then the nerves struck and I spent the rest of the game ducking a diving behind the laptop screen, volume muted, just staring at the face of my better half. The face I knew would give away anything that happened…

Thankfully it didn’t give away anything, neither did we – well done Arsenal, maybe you are right back on track, and our dream could still be, very much alive….

What I will say, last night’s result has helped me to get over the game against the chavs, big time ……

Bring on Porto….. Oh, and did I mention that Tottingham lost to Wolves….

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Tomas is back, D-Day for Nikki and Cesc is ready to Bolt!

January 8, 2010

Hoo-bloomin-Rah!!

Tomas is fit again and raring to go, he is ready for the game against The Toffees at the weekend and I can’t wait – I rate the man, he has just reassured his wife that she can continue to shop in the same way with a new contract and mega bucks, and Saturday is his first day of payback time, to the club and fans alike.

Must be a day for great news as Cesc will be back for the Bolton game on the 17th January, so the torch is beginning to shine a bit of brightness again – until now it has always felt like every time we saw light at the end of the tunnel of injuries, it turned out to be some bastard with a torch, and the batteries were Tesco’s, not Duracell!!

I know we have only missed a mid-week fixture but it feels like it has been ages since we beat The Hammers – I feel deprived, I need my football fix, well, Arsenal fix!

Can I just slip in a well done to the boys in South Africa – great result…

Today perhaps could turn out to be pivotal in relation to whether or not our boss truly goes into the transfer window to buy a striker. Nikki ‘pink boots’ Bendtner has a fitness test on his groin injury and if turns out to be ‘a little bit short’ then we are off to get a striker – maybe Traore, maybe Cole – either would make me pretty pleased!

Come on Nikki; fail your test – PLEASE!! 😉

Our last game in the Premiership was against Pompey, we won 4-1 with a team of:-

Almunia
Sagna Gallas TV Traore
Ramsey Song Diaby
Nasri Arshavin Eduardo

Tomorrow we have no Song so I guess the team will be just the same, but with Denilson in to replace Song – can we beat them the way we did at Goodison?

I think so….

However, with Tomas the Tank being fit and ready to play, I wonder if the boss will put him in from the off instead of Nasri or Diaby? My guess he will be on the bench with Ramsey, ready and waiting, chomping at the bit to come on and get the sixth goal for us 😉

A new player for the team in blue is a chap called Donavan. There was me, all set to start writing about Mickey Most, Sunshine Superman and Neighbours, but then it dawned on me that this guy is from the States; he is a footballer and is on loan during the break in America! He will be keen to make his mark but to be fair, he will not be used to the ‘English’ way and it will take him a few games to settle. Big Willy and TV the Nut Crusher (thanks peaches) will eat him for afternoon tea – or maybe even chew him up like a ‘soft centre’ 🙂

All that is left is a round up from the semi-skimmed paps….

Arsene is said to be hot on the heels of Lazio’s Argentinean striker Mauro Zarate, the player’s agent is claiming that Arsenal have been in contact.

“I am in touch with Arsenal,” Jose Alberto Coppola, the players agent said!! Like I said yesterday, I don’t like agents – they are like the red herring in Silent Witness – liars through to their core!!

Big Sol is going to be offered a short term option to help the defence out if Senderos leaves, and the paps say the latter is very likely!

Ivan says there is money to spend, but not silly amounts and just for a second this morning while listening to him on Sky Sports News I thought he must have been reading Avenell Road over the last few days – he said that in relation to Arsene Wenger, he expects him to soon have an extension 🙂

I love Nigel Winterburn, always have done, today he has told the Daily Express that Man Citeh new boy, sorry old man Paddy that he thinks he is over the hill and passed it!! And so say all of us! Maybe Paddy does still love us and he is just moving to make sure he keeps Citeh off our backs.

Have a nice day you all ……


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..


Is the Man City circus good for Arsenal??

July 27, 2009

For me the answer is quite simply…yes!!

For years Arsenal have been the media’s main interest in English football..Constantly harassing us, making false allegations and to put it bluntly, talking absolute shit about us. No other football team in England has been under the media microscope more than Arsenal and in recent years, due to the lack of trophies and the apparent lack of funds, the situation has become worse, but now they have a new play thing…Man Shitty…

The EPL now has a new superpower, albeit due to financial backing, but nonetheless still a superpower…They’ve been spending their money like it was endless and talking themselves up as the next big thing…The papers have had a field day with whats going on at Eastlands and I see this as a good thing…The more they talk about them, the less they’ll talk about us…and it’s already started happening…

The city of Manchester have been a one team city for as long as I can remember. Citeh have always lived in the shadows of the red side but now are seen to be the poor relatives that have hit the winning numbers on the lottery…and they are going to rub Fergies nose in it…they already have by signing Tevez and putting his face up on a blue billboard saying welcome to Manchester…HAHA..

Lets not forget Chelsea either…Citeh have spent the last few weeks telling everyone who will listen to them that they are on the verge of signing Terry..Chelsea must of been seething. For years now Chelsea have made their name on the fact they have all the money in the world, well now they dont…So i expect the rivalry there to be highlighted the media too…Lampard was already quoted in a paper at the weekend, having a pop at Citeh, saying that money doesn’t buy success???? Errr, hello, Fwank…Are you thick or what?? Where were your team before Roman came along??

The war of words has begun and I expect it to go on all season. Both Chelsea and Man UTD have a new rival…with the papers loving it and feeding of it and leaving us alone in the process.

Citehs over elaborate spending on rubbish players that can only be described, for use of a better word, as mercenaries, has also put extra pressure on them….there’s no way that any team can spend the amount that they have spent and then say they don’t expect to win anything. What tripe. Their own fans may fall for it but the media wont..The media will be sniffing around Citeh all season, waiting for the 1st loss or the 1st goalless draw before they start putting the boot in.. I reckon when it comes to January, Citeh will be linked to every big name player and every big name manager..

All in all, they are going to give the red tops something to write about all season, leaving us to step back into the shadows. The chance would be a fine thing. I’m actually looking forward to buying newspapers again over the course of next season, turning it straight over to the back page and reading about Adebayors offside and missed sitters count in a 1-0 defeat to Stoke or Hull.. 

Another bonus that Citeh will bring to us is the fact they are prepared to be ripped off just to get the player they want..we sold them a right donut in Adebayor, all for the measly price of £25mil…are they stupid?? HAHA..and now with the great JT staying at Chelsea they are in for our beloved Kolo for £15mil.. £15mil???? I’d rip their hand off for that…£40mil for two players, both past their peaks and both to disappear for a few weeks in the middle of the season can only be compared to taking candy from a baby.

Maybe we can throw Eboue in the deal too..?? Although it looks like Fiorentina have won that race..

The bookies have already wrote us off..we are favorites do drop out of the top 4 this season to be replaced by the one and only Citeh..and with the new rivalry its created with the other top teams, the pressure is well and truly off us next season..

Arsenal will sneak in under the radar..and while the other teams are arguing amongst themselves we will pick up the points and be top of the table by the time anyone, even the media , has noticed…

Have a good day guys..today we could see those developments in the transfer market…

“Hes Dutch, he’s the dogs, he’s from the land of clogs, Huntelaar, Huntelaar”


Those Were the Days My Friend.. (or were they?)

July 21, 2009

Following on from a conversation yesterday between Franchise and London, they touched upon a point I was going to write a post about, but was having trouble structuring, but it prompted me to have a bash so here goes..

When we had a team full of world class players, Vieira,  Bergkamp, Pires, etc, we reached the  Champions League final just as that team was breaking up.. But at their peak that team or Wenger’s teams before them never really achieved what they should have done in Europe,  going out in the quarter finals etc on a regular basis or not qualifying  past the early stages..  Okay  we were the best in England every now and again.. Which was nice!!  But were we Champions or runners up of the 3rd strongest League in the world?

These days the Premier League is the strongest in the world,  the anti has been upped and we are 3rd/4th in that and also regular Semi Finalists in the Champions League, which brings me to the point..

It is really a series of questions for debate..

Are we actually any worse in real terms?.. In fact I would say we are relatively stronger than we were when we had all the big names..

All teams in Europe can pick from the same pool of players..  We used to be in the top 16 in a good campaign in Europe.. now we are top 4..  So although we haven’t picked up any silverware, I suggest this is because our domestic League is far stronger.. That makes our League the hardest to win in the world.. Unlike it was in “98” the good ol’ days..

So from having world class players who only made the best 16 in Europe we now have crap players who are now getting us up to the dizzy heights of the top 4.. How does that work then???

If we had “crap” in our team like Ade, Denilson, Song, etc .. and we are better than 5 years ago that must mean that some of our players are  far better than our best players were back then,  to make up for that deficit..

Another point  is these players who are performing at least as good as the invincibles were virtually unheard of,  so perhaps it sort of makes us feel inferior as supporters that the other teams seem to pick up the expensive signings and we don’t,  but  because our players are young and we haven’t been watching them play for other clubs on a Tuesday or a Wednesday night for the Meeelans of the Humbugs of Italy before we bought them,  do we think of them as not as good as the players other clubs pay £10million  or more for??

So Arsene Wenger OBE  has  made us a top 4 club in Europe..  he has made us a top 4 side even with Song in it..  He has done this spending less than £3 million pounds a year on transfers.. (after the comings and goings) .. We also have a stadium to be proud of..

But we haven’t won the cup of the strongest League in the world.. I suggest we are as good as we was… but the goalposts have moved..

Where we are going against clubs that are not generating their finances within football I will save for another post.. But my feelings on that are quite depressing..

If that made no sense, I am sorry I wrote it under the influence.. lol..


Rumour has it, Arsene thinks we don’t need a striker ?????

May 11, 2009

Here are the thoughts of an Arsenal fan within an hour of yesterdays match..

I write this having watched from my armchair, and in my living room – no I am not a season ticket holder, and I cant get to many games, but trust me, that doesnt make me any the less a supporter than anyone else, and my view is my view..

The team:

Fabianski,Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Walcott, Song, Fabregas, Diaby, Nasri,Van Persie – Hoorah I thought, Theo must be playing alongside Robin…

In truth, I am still unsure who was playing where, Diaby seemed to be on the left, Theo on the right, and the rest in the midfield!

The final whistle has now gone and I feel numb, nothing – stunned by the result. The first half was the best football I have seen our club play for a long while, and after 15-20 minutes should have had this game all but killed off.

However, typical day out for us, strike after strike = miss after miss, and something in me knew we would regret those misses.

So, we lost 4-1, but it shouldn’t have been. The last goal was offside so that makes it 3-1 and Ade should have had a penalty so it maybe would have been 3-2, but still we would have lost..

I could talk all day about how we missed so many chances, but instead I am going to go through each player and give my thoughts on their performance..

5 -Fabianski – The first goal was a let in, he stood and watched it go in, he was too slow. Also, he just had one of those days where his positioning was poor.

8- Sagna – I cant fault him today, he defended well, pressed forward and sent a few good crosses in, he was back to his last season days in my opinion.

7- Toure – He was Mr Reliable today, and the own goal was so unjust.

5- Silvestre – Sorry everyone, he is poor, didn’t close down for the second goal, Djourou should always start before him. In fact Ave should always start before him!!

7- Gibbs – I thought he had a very good game, especially after Tuesday, this man will be better than both Clichy and Cole in a few years. On occasions he and 6- Diaby linked up well, but had Arshavin been there instead of Diaby, that left sided attack today would have got us a goal or two.

7- Theo – His best game in terms of getting in the game, today was his chance, he had freedom in a five man midfield (i think thats how it was)
He ran, he ran, he crossed, he ran some more – he chance after chance after chance – Another day he would have come away with five goals, today
he missed one after the other – but his day will come, even Thierry struggled for the first few games…….. But don’t forget, you have to be there to miss.

6 – Cesc – He should never been given the armband, said it before, and I say it again. He is not a leader, he is like Gallas, his head needs to be free, and then his football is free.. Today he was yet again, Mr Average – he was also lucky to stay on the pitch.

6- Diaby – missed a sitter, or maybe two. He blows hot and then so very cold in the game. He is not a left sided winger, in fact I don’t know what he is, but I really don’t think he is an Arsenal player.

8 -Song – What can I say, I thought he kept Essien and Lampard quiet, he did well. Sometimes his passing goes wild, but today the poor chap had no-one to pass to in the second half

6 -Nasri – Another Mr Average performance..

5- Robin – Sorry all, I would sell him, he is all arms and legs now, and did anyone count how many times he fell over today ??

Subs –

6 -Nik – great header for the goal, but some of his passing after that was woeful

4 -Ade – Chip the bloody keeper Ade, not fall over for a penalty – get your passport fella, you are off.

5 -Denilson – Trying hard to think of what to say, but he didn’t do a lot really..

The subs though were all made a bit too late, at 2-0 down we needed a change, we didn’t get it again

How does Cesc get booked and Mikel walks away from a bad tackle time after time without any punishment ??

What more is to be said about a game which should have been done and dusted in our favour, but what we missed was the one player in the position that our leader says we don’t need ?

Our only hope is that last year at this kind of time he said he was going to buy three experienced players, we got one, and he is on the verge of drawing his pension. Maybe, just maybe this year he will do the same. The only difference is that he says we don’t need a striker this summer, lets hope that that means he knows we do…..

Signed Grommit.