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..

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First trophy in the bag, Vermaelen wants to learn from the old boys…..

March 25, 2010

Having battered the Spuds 10-0 on the way to this final, the Ladies faced Milwall in the London County Cup Final on Tuesday night. The Ladies went ahead after twelve minutes through Helen Lander but then went off the boil a bit before half time. Milwall had many chances to nab an equaliser, but failed to take any of them.

Following a half time talking to the story about the rest of game was so very different.

Three goals in six minutes early in the second half effectively secured the trophy. Kim Little grabbed two in quick succession and Helen Lander doubled her own tally in the 57th minute.

With seventeen minutes left on the clock, Jennifer Beattie header home a fifth goal before an own goal by Milwall completed a very convincing victory.

Poor old Milwall, that’s the fourth time in a row they have been beaten by the Arsenal Ladies in the final of this competition.

Could this be the first trophy of three for the Ladies, I think so.. All we need now is for the men to carry on what they have started…

Yesterday I posted about the interview with Arshavin, it seems that from the interview he did with AFC.com, the good old red tops turned it into him saying that we won’t win anything becuase we don’t have enough players – how they got thre I am not sure.

Thomas Vermaelen has spoken with AFC.com – this is what he had to say about life in the defence…

“I can learn a lot from Sol,” said the Belgian international. “He speaks a lot on the pitch and for young players and a young team it is important to have somebody with a lot of experience who talks a lot on the pitch.”

Before Gallas was forced out of the team by his calf injury, the Frenchman had partnered Vermaelen at centre-back in every League game this season.

Thomas has enjoyed a superb first term at Arsenal and believes Gallas has contributed towards that.
“He is a great player for the team and for me,” he said. “If he plays next to me it makes it easier for me.

“But he is not there at the moment and we have other centre-backs like Mikael Silvestre and Sol. They are both experienced and it is really good to play with them.”

Vermaelen is an outstanding defender, the best we have right now and the best we have had for quite a while. His attitude is spot on though, he may be great at what he does, but he isn’t afraid of admitting he can learn from Big Sol.

I am sure his reference to Silvestre was just him being nice 😉

A great professional in life is always willing to learn no matter what profession they are in – Our own Thomas Vermaelen is a true example of just that…..

Have a good day all, lets hope Nikki B gets over his little injury in time to face Birmingham…


A Poke in the Eye of the Tigers…..

March 14, 2010

Hull 1 Arsenal 2.. (Arsenal win on away goals).

It’s getting to the stage where we can scrap the team coach and hire a mini bus to take our fit players to away games. We are savaged with injuries, which as usual the media choose to forget.
A lot of  the pundits are knocking Bendtner, even after the infamous Porto “hat trick” and 6 goals in the last 5 starts and in his favoured position at last.
He, and watch my lips is not our main striker, he is behind RvP in the pecking order, that’s like knocking Michael Owen for Man U. or N.Gog for the Dippers, he is far, far better than them and his all round play and work rate is superb and he is improving every game.

Onto the game, we started as we usually do, passed a bit, misplaced passed a bit, then settled in and scored at the fifteen minute mark with a opportunity from our Russian secret weapon. He just runs at players and plays the percentages that a break will come his way and it did. 1-0..

Then as usual, the game starts to come easy, we create, we think we are in a training session and we piss ourselves laughing as yet another chance goes over the bar. But the reality is we are always one balls up from a equaliser. The balls up initially came from the linesman, although standing in line missed the Hesselinkson bloke beyond our back four.

So he had the head start on Sol and as Sol plays catch up he clatters into the back of the bloke with the long name, (clatters is by far too strong a word) . Should Sol see red? . No (a) because two wrongs don’t make a right (well a bit) and (b) the attacker has to be in a goal scoring position. How can you score a goal when the ball is two feet behind your head would be some feat)?

Anyway. Bullard penalty 1-1..

The game re-starts and soon becomes ill tempered and for some reason a handbags session breaks out on the half way line that involved Nikki getting tugged, poked in the face and whacked.. and he got a yellow for that along with the perpetrator. Boetang

Just before half time Boetang decides to tattoo Sagna’s knee with his studs and he walks with just two yellows, which in reality is better for us than a straight red as we don’t see any benefit from a three match ban.

HT, Hull down to ten men. We should piss this, but I still never felt good about it.

The main talking point for the 40 minutes of the second half was a tackle by Sol in which he won the ball, luckily the ref must have had regrets about his first half penalty decision and Sol just gave a free kick away, much to the disgust of the KC mob.

The crowd became boisterous, the tension started to build and we never looked like scoring. Eboue was replaced with Theo and we started to dominate as the game went on and our passing game wore Hull 10 men down, but with no real chances. but  Hull started to be forced back.

Out of the blue the fourth official stuck up a six minute of injury time on his board and that was the belief we needed to win the game, that must be an omen, we never get that sort of gift. Sure enough three minutes in Bendtner is the first to react from a ? Denilson? Shot and we score in +3 mins Phew!!..

At this point of writing I turned on MOTD and I expect a anti Arsenal reaction but, hold up,  Shearer and Hansen are backtracking and are saying similar to what I have already wrote “offside” “Not a red for Sol” “well timed tackle” I am stunned, perhaps the League is our destiny and they are giving in. The force is with us..

Almunia.. 7.. Hardly saw him, no Manuel moments whatsoever.

Sagna.. 7.. Perhaps we could have rested him yesterday and played Eboue at right back and we would have had more attacking options, he did okay..

Campbell..7.. He looked a little cumbersome and tired at times, I don’t understand why he should have been sent off, or the problem with his tackle. (apart from he is Arsenal)

Vermaelen 7.5.. Roma’s new centre half for next season had his usual good game, usual tenacity and desire to win.

Clichy. 7.. Back to normal, fast, and wants to win. He seems to have settled next to Vermaelen a lot better now.

Denilson.. 5 .. yep he was there.

(in fairness he made the  winner, after his shot was poorly saved by the Hull keeper)

Diaby 6.5.. Frustrating that he cannot show up every week, he should be running rings around this lot. But he never played badly.

Nasri.6.5.. He was trying his best, but he just ain’t Cesc..

Arshavin.. 7.25 Brilliant, Frustrating, Clinical, wasteful,  whatever the mix, bloody exciting, I love the fella.

Eboue.7. Okay performance, perhaps he was struggling after a midweek game in Europe more than most as he isn’t used to them.

Bendtner.. 8 My MOTM, never gave up, looks clumsy sometimes but manages to use the ball really well, First to react for the winner, cheers Nikki.

Subs.

Theo.7... Did really well, good crosses, just needs to know that the players running in are not mind readers..

Eduardo?  Difficult to give a mark to, as he wasn’t on for long, but showed well and needs a good run out next to Nikki, but can you leave the AA man out?

We will get these sort of games if we are to win the Premiership, it’s never plain sailing. But 3 points are 3 points.


The Dane did Great!

March 10, 2010

The media wasn’t convinced and readied themselves for a caning, the fans were a little apprehensive, there was no Cesc, we had never turned a first leg defeat around since General Custer lost at Little Big Horn, the pressure was building.

Oh dear what a let down for the Arsenal knockers, we cruised it. As I write this I am setting my alarm for 6 in the morning so I can listen to Brazil to eat some.

This was a performance that will put fear into other clubs around Europe, a performance that will make the fans and the players believe. It could pull us through to an amazing double.

The line up looked as good as Arsene could have got it, no Theo and no Denilson. Song was the anchor, Nasri, Diaby, Rosicky and Arshavin all had to be a little bit of Cesc and it worked, we were creative and solid and we got the early breakthrough from a break in which AA ran straight into the heart of the Porto defence, after a clash of a Porto defender and the goalkeeper the ball broke to Bendtner who got one of his outstretched legs on it to poke it away.

The script was set, you just knew a hat trick was on, on, on.

Goal two came from the same source, AA the provider, he twisted and rolled a ball across the six yard line for Nikki to poke in his second.

We were well on top but we needed an extra goal. The second was more like a half because of the away goal rule.

Porto made a HT change and from the off they looked much better, or we took our foot of the gas as usual, they started to create, the closest they came to a goal the MOTM Nasri cleared off the line from a corner.

We were under the cosh, but the pressure valve was released when Super Samir Nasri burst into the box with a run where you thought this just can’t end in a goal, it’s too good, but somehow it did and it will go into one of the best Arsenal goals of all time alongside DB10’s and that other bloke who took our money and run.

Soon after another Porto corner came in and we cleared to AA on the left and he showed the world why we paid so much for him (and the Spuds) he ran directly  into Poto’s half and passed to the only man who kept up with him, Eboue?? (who replaced Rosicky) Only for Emmanuel to drill home a left footed shot. The story was beginning to sound more like a fairy tale now.

Eboue’s confidence had now reached a higher level and as he burst into the box his leg was er caught and we had a penalty, there was always only going to be one taker, yep Super Nik. And after some delaying tactics by the ref it was buried into the bottom right corner out of the keepers reach.

5-0.. nice..

After the game the pundits made up of failed managers were chatting and Souness said “ I don’t know why Arsenal don’t get more penalties” I could see Big Tone starting to laugh, I could just see him rolling around on the floor crying and shouting “after what your mob did to Eduardo”

What a night and it is great to see some so-called experts chew on a bit of humble for at least a night. IF AC beat the Man Urinaters tonight it will be a great week in Europe.

Almunia. 7.5 Did what he had to do and did it well, I caught his pre match interview on Sky and have to agree with Big Tone, what a nice bloke. It’s no wonder Lehmann didn’t like him.

Sagna. 7 Strong in defence, not so offensive last night, but he never needed to be, the force was coming from the left.

Sol. 8. This man is going to prove Arsene and his madness right and the doubters wrong. He is so strong and gaining pace and fitness in every game before our very eyes. I can only hope that he talks to any player that feels they can do better than being at the Arsenal and sobs his heart out with the old ‘Our Tune’  jingle playing in the background.

Tommy Vermaelen. 8.5 Outstanding, he really is the real deal. Hangerland who? Kompany? Upson.. nah,

Clichy. 8. Needs drug testing after every game, he’s like Iggy Pop without the microphone.

Song.8 Great performance, He could have been needed as the main man, but Porto were disappointing so he could show some flair coming forwards as well as his defensive duties.

Diaby.8. He is starting to look the real deal at last, whether that is because of the inferior opposition or his improvement I am not so sure, but nice!

Nasri.9.5. A super performance from a player who is still developing (athough Theo has cornered the developing market) only one year older than Theo andplaying in a different country,

Rosicky 8. Put in a great shift for the team, He is going to be one of the main men in the run in.

Arshavin 8.5. Direct, the creator extraordinaire. Was it four assists?

Nikki Bendtner. 9.5. I’d much rather have Kevin Davies as our main striker, eh Durham.. lol.

Sub Eboue 8..  Scored a great goal, good and solid, squad depth is the answer to our title run in.

sub Theo.. 7 bit of a cameo apperance but you can tell his confidence was high.

Have a great day Roadsters and enjoy..


Taxi for Nikki!! Thank god we’ve got Theo!!

March 7, 2010

He did well didn’t he? Theo finally produced a match winning performance after four years of trying and it was nice to see him scare the shit out of defences.

Lets not get carried away though. Burnley are relegation fodder. They’ve got a manager who’d get them relegated in a pub league and a squad that deserves to be relegated. The slick passing side that Coyle developed has gone and they are in deep trouble. It was a game where you’d expect someone like Theo to turn it on so he’s still got a long way to go, that being said it was a bloody good start.

What was refreshing to see was the extra option Theo gave us. It’s become a regular thing were teams play a certain way against us to beat us. They sit back and tuck their full backs tucked in, compressing the space through the middle making it hard to pass through them in the final third, then allowing us to play the wings to waste our possession in the hope they might ht us on the break. Burnley seemed to apply this tactic but Theo made the wing a dangerous place for Burnley..

I think his performance on Wednesday for the national side has shook him up..Arsenal fans all over the country watch him play week in week out and we all know he’s been poor for a long long time. On Wednesday night he took that form into the national scene and showed the whole country how poor he’s been and the criticism he’s received has woke him up a little.

Theos performance was long overdue.

The game itself was very frustrating. With the impressive Nasri lighting the pitch on fire through the middle and Theo tearing them a new one out wide, Burnley were being pulled apart all over the place. Chance after chance was going astray and you got a feeling it was going to be one of those days. We dominated they play, constantly banging on the door and with Nikki leaving his shooting boots at home it left the fans biting the end of their nails until the 90th minute when we should have really set a new PL record for goals scored in a game..

Nikki’s such a frustrating player to watch. He reads the game well, links up play well and gets himself in some great positions but he just can’t finish..He was a very lucky boy. If we’d have been playing anybody else but Burnley we may have lost that game because of Nikki’s slackness in front of goal. Fair play to him for not letting his head drop but come on Nik, get it together we cant afford you to have another game like that you need to be putting them away. They weren’t even half chances, they were gilt edge, put on a plate, practically open goal chances and he missed the lot..Arry’s wife would have scored with those chances. Somebody needs to spend a few extra hours after training learning to hit the back of the net i think..

Even with all the world-class misses Bendtner was providing, the goals we did score were very good.

Cescs was a peach. With the half seemingly turning into nothing, Nasri cleverly dinked a ball over the top of the 11 players stood in the Burnley box and Cesc ran onto it and hit it first time into the back of the net. Clever goal..

Squeaky bum time kicked in as El Capitan was taken off with another hamstring problem and Nikki’s misses were coming back to bite us on the arse as Nugent ran on to a head and hope and shinned it over Almunia, but not to fear, as Theo settled the nerves and showed Nikki how its done. Sick of creating chances just for them to be fluffed, Theo cut back inside onto his left and curled a pearler past Jensen. His performance deserved that goal and it was time to finish Burnley off and go for the kill.

This didn’t come until the dying minutes when AA does what AA does best and beat Jensen with a drive at the near post which didn’t seem possible after being thread through by Nasri..

Good goals, good result, should have been a cricket score though..

Ratings

ALMUNIA..6..Other than the goal didn’t really have to do much. But it doesn’t matter who plays in goal you still expect us to concede

EBOUE..6..Decent shift once again. Has gone from class clown to good squad player in space of a year

CLICHY..6..seems to be regaining form

SILVESTRE..6..didnt have much to do thank god

TOMMY V..6..quiet game for him, but still solid

DENILSON..6..good enough for the little teams, Song wont be missed too much

TOMMY R..7..good to see him starting a game, nice to see him staying fit too and getting a run in the team.

CESC..7..pulled the strings, scored a goal, pulled a hamstring. But he can play 5 minutes or 95 minutes and he still does something special

NASRI..9..very impressive. Took control of the midfield after Cesc went off. He was on fire..

THEO..9..did everything you want him to do. Run at defenders, use his pace, score a goal and find a final ball. Well done

NIKKI..5..Taxi!!!!! 

SUBS

DIABY..6..did nothing wrong

DUDU..5..not on long enough

AA..7..super finish

Three goals, three points, three horse race!!!!!

Lets keep the pressure on the leaders, they will drop points so we just need to keep going and believing we can get three points from every game.


Better news on Aaron….. Good luck Theo!!

March 1, 2010

What a day yesterday was, I don’t know about you guys and gals, but seeing all the replays of the horrid injury to Aaron Ramsey was just sickening and hard on the eyes.

So much so, it didn’t take long for me to close the newspaper and not look at any more videos or pictures, all I waited for and was despearte to hear was Arsenal make a statement, so yesterday afternoon it was good to read that Aaron’s operation was a success after surgery on a fractured fibula and tibia.

For anyone who hasn’t seen, there is a message board on AFC.com where you can send your well wishes to Aaron Ramsey, a nice touch for the fans I think.

I honestly believe that Ramsey will heal quickly, he’s a young very fit man who could very well be back for the beginning of the new season, I guess we will know more when Arsene speaks.

So this morning Aaron should be back in London, and the bay boy Shawcross will be training with the England squad! Doesn’t seem quite fair really does it? The tackle was awful and even Graham Poll suggests it was no accident.

This is what he said in The Daily Mail – ‘There are very few genuine accidents in football. I accept that Shawcross did not intend any harm but his tackle was no accident’.

Life has to go on though and the team has to carry on with the same commitment they showed in the last ten minutes against Stoke. Take that in to the remaining fixtures and come the end of the season we will be lifting the Pemier League Trophy.

Talking of trophies, I watched the League Cup yesterday, what a boring game, Mancs should have had Vidic sent off when Villa had their penalty, same old rubbish refereeing in the Premier League, you know, the man in black with the Manchester United Badge on his shirt!!

Oh how I wish we had been playing in the final, watching the game neither side really shone, well, not until Rooney came on and stole the show. I think we could have won that game though with the attitude of the Stoke game – just imagine, it could have been you sat at Wembley cheering the team on.
You could have been sat watching on television, either way wouldn’t it have been great just sat watching Arsenal playing in a final, and at Wembley…….

The way Man UTD celebrated, you would have thought they had won the Champions League – you know what, I don’t balme them either. A trophy is a trophy and we need one badly!!

A strange piece of news from Saturday – Theo Walcott was included in the England big boys squad for the up and coming friendly against Eygpt – lucky old him, in fact very lucky because I can’t for love nor money see why he has been included. He probably wouldn’t had Lennon been fit. Good luck Theo, not only with the England bit, but staying calm around Ryan Shawcross!!

Another snippet from yesterdays news, Lardybayor wants a televised ‘honesty session’ with Arsene Wenger, he wants to prove to the world that he never asked to leave Arsenal!!

Two things Lardy,

1) If you were happy you wouldn’t need to shout about Arsenal or Arsene Wenger

2) You need to apply to the Jeremy Kyle Show, they sort lives out – alledgely!!

Thats about it really, a dull day yesterday in the world of Arsenal news, but the priority was finding out how Aaron Ramsey was – we now know he should be ok – thank goodness for that!


Theo under pressure? From who exactly?

February 24, 2010

I  don’t know about you lot, but there’s something about Wenger’s comments recently about young Mr Walcott that didn’t make sense to me..

Wenger has been quick to point out recently that the media are putting immense pressure on Theo, somehow blaming them for his slow progress I presume. Personally I just think Theo’s rubbish and wont make the world cup even if Lennon’s fit or not. Theo’s way, way down the pecking order at the minute and contrary to popular belief the lad’s been fit for months now and still hasn’t got into any sort of stride. Patience with young players is always key but patience is always given to those who show progress in their development. To me, Theo’s not improved in the four years he’s been with us, if anything I believe he’s gone backwards and patience turns to frustration..

The Cul de Sac Kid has his believers pointing constantly to the argument that he’s always injured, but Theo’s played over 70 games now. That works out at nearly 20 games a season which Isn’t bad for a teenager at a top European club. More than enough game time to show how much he’s developed and he’s still not reached double figures yet in the goals department..

To say we paid 12 million for him at 16 that’s a very poor return…

I think the media’s been made a scapegoat by Wenger on this one…

Was it the media who gave Theo a 60k a week contract at 19 in reward for doing, well, nothing? No, it was Wenger.

Was it the media who told themselves that Theo’s going to make it to the world cup? No, that was Wenger too..

If those two things isn’t applying the pressure on Theo than I dont know what is. Theo’s got 3 months to stop pissing about writing children’s books and knuckle down and force his way into the Arsenal set up first before he even thinks of the world cup. Sod the world cup. Arsenal pay your huge wages and we’ve still got two trophies to fight for, so get the world cup well and truly out of your mind young man..

I’m truly shocked at Wenger’s comments. I though Wenger would have known better. This is a player who dis-obeyed him in the summer by playing in, or rather embarrassing himself in, the U21 tournament and then has contributed pretty much nothing all season so far..

Is it more mind games? Is it just Wenger spin to kick Theo’s arse into shape? Or has the great man just shot himself in the foot?

If Theo can only get motivated to get picked for England, then Wenger’s got a huge problem with the lad. I  find it frustrating that Theo’s best performance of the season was against Sunderland at the weekend. A game that was being watched by Capello. Quite a coincidence that isn’t it?