Forget Barca again, this time it’s Wolves

April 2, 2010

So the news we all expected has been confirmed,  our little magician Cesc is out for the rest of the season. Gallas and Arshavin are out for three to four weeks so it’s hardly good news for us…

 I am gutted, sad and peed off, you name it!!

Cesc himself said he was fine before the game against Barca and his injury would have happened regardless. He wanted to play, he felt right enough to play so he did. What happened to him just about sums up our season as far as injuries go!! I bet though he wouldn’t have missed it for the world, no matter how he ‘really’ felt.  Cesc has spoken on the Arsenal website and given high praise to Theo Walcott. Cesc says it was the introduction of Theo that sparked the comeback, his pace, his grit and his ability to ‘get behind’ the Barca defence.

Well Cesc, I don’t think we can disagree with that!

I’ve said before, we are not a one man team, we never have been so its time for a few others to step up and earn their wages.

Again, Barca can wait, tomorrow we face Wolverhampton Wanderers, another must win game in the race to finish top in the Premier League.

So what does Arsene Wenger do, play his strongest eleven or rest a few ready for Tuesday??

What would you do??

All through the season I have bleated on about always playing the strongest team available, but this time I am thinking differently. Not so much because of what lies ahead but we can’t afford another player to get injured. I am glad we are playing Wolves and not Stoke, Bolton or Blackburn!!

I’ll tell you what I would do, I’d look at this bunch of players who turned out for the reserves to beat Birmingham 3-1 to keep their chances alive of winning their league.  I think if they beat Aston Villa they win it so good luck to them for Monday.

Vito Mannone
Nico Yennaris
Ignasi Miquel
Thomas Cruise
Cedric Evina
Craig Eastmond
Oguzhan Ozyakup
Conor Henderson
Nacer Barazite
Rhys Murphy
Luke Freeman

After looking at that fine crop, I would think about Freeman, Barazite, Eastmond and Cruise for the Wolves game. Have them on the bench ready to come on and rest players when the game has been put to bed. If we get through Tuesday, we may well need a few of the reserves to help us out in the league in the last couple of games!

Get them in there now, and get them used to it. I would also add Coquelin to the list. Freeman is in any case in the Champions League squad, so Wenger must think he is good enough..

As said, reserves play again on Easter Monday, so surely 48 hours rest is enough at their age 😉

Its a tough one, I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision, what would you do???

The one thing I know I would do, thats start Theo Walcott – he needs it for himself and for Arsenal – isn’t that why we bought him??

Sorry for the short post, bit hectic yesterday and a rushed one 😦


Don’t Go Throwing Stones Mr Wenger!

December 16, 2009

Last night I was shocked when I saw the team that Wolves fielded against Man U, they changed all 10 outfield players. They held  up a white flag as they entered the Theatre of Debt.

But we cannot moan really can we?

I am not talking about the teams that we field in the League Cup, okay we field our youngsters and take a chance to see how far we get. That’s different.. Why?.  Because that is a one off game that doesn’t affect any other team only the team we are up against that day.

But a team that does it in the Premiership has a responsibility of fair play and respect to all teams in that League. I know this is a little exaggerated but, for instance if all the bottom 12 teams when they play Man U field a reserve team that would give Man U an unchallenged 72 points, They would only need about 15-20 more and the title would be Uniteds,  also it allows them to rest players later in games for greater challenges ahead.

It isn’t right for a club to decide who they choose to be Champions, it isn’t in the spirit of the game.

Last week I didn’t want us to field the kids against Olympiacos  because I wanted to keep up some sort of winning momentum, this is also what I believe Wolves should have done their players have until Sunday afternoon to recover. and they were buzzing after taking out the Totts at the Lane.

Anyway as I said I wanted a stronger team out against Olympiacos and I was going to continue the debate by saying it isn’t fair on Standard Liege, when they played against us we was still trying to qualify and we fielded our strongest team in Mr Wengers eyes. When we played Olympiacos we threw that game and I would not have been very happy if I was Standard Liege. If we had of won that last game in our Champions League group that means Standard Liege  had a chance of going through. (although they cocked up)

So what is the difference between what we did compared to what Wolves did last night, surely we had some responsibility to Standard to play our strongest team too!!

We shouldn’t be deciding which team joins us in the knockout stages.

Tonight we go back oop norf to Burnley who will play and quite rightly the strongest side they have even though they are Wolves opponents on Sunday, I do hope and so do about 99% of true football fans stick it right up Mick McCarthy’s  men on Sunday.
Burnley are not going to be a pushover tonight and the cold drizzly conditions will suit them, they have a good record at home too.
To be honest I quite like Burnley, they are one of the clubs that were in the big time when I were lad, I quite like the manager and they try to play decent football and not do the usual northern thuggery.

We should win I’m going to go for a clean sheet for Manuel and a brace for us.

Last night West Ham were all over until the keeper of our dreams this transfer window made a massive howler.. We need to be careful what we wish for on that one. In fact that mistake could have saved us a few quid, no point in buying a keeper for £10 million only to find he is worse than the three we already have..

Have a good day guys and gals.. I will be on later probably struggling to find a stream with you all as the Twelve Pins is a shade far away to go for a beer tonight..

This pack of Wolves will get nothing……….

November 7, 2009

Morning All…

Not too much going on in the world of gossip, but according to Carlo Ancelotti, we have a good chance of finishing first. About time to I think, so many managers have dismissed us as a team that can challenge for trophies this year, its good to hear a ‘half decent’ one finally recognise just how well this team is coming together. Personally though I didn’t need Carlo to tell me that to have belief in Arsenal, after all you don’t score for fun the way we do if there isn’t something pretty special going on!

I am sure his comments are genuine though, he doesnt strike me as the kind of man to join the Fergie Mind Games before their little tussle takes place tomorrow.

Tonight we will be in Brummy Land, looking to get three points off Wolverhampton Wanderers and pinch that second spot from Manchester United. After the game we head off into boring old International week – so three points and a good display is vital. Not only for the obvious reasons but that break would be awful for all of us if any other result occurs. I don’t even want to think about the glee it would give the Manchester United Television Channel, aka Sky Sports to show our ‘low lights’ during that time!!

This weekend’s fixtures are as so:-

Saturday, 7 November 2009
Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa v Bolton, 15:00
Blackburn v Portsmouth, 15:00
Man City v Burnley, 15:00
Tottenham v Sunderland, 15:00
Wolverhampton v Arsenal, 17:30

Sunday, 8 November 2009
Barclays Premier League
Chelsea v Man Utd, 16:00
Hull v Stoke, 13:30
West Ham v Everton, 15:00
Wigan v Fulham, 15:00

Monday, 9 November 2009
Barclays Premier League
Liverpool v Birmingham, 20:00

To be honest, I don’t care about most of the fixtures other than Tottenham, Both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool, all of whom I want to lose. Only trouble is Man Utd and Chelsea play each other so something has to give!

Part of me wants Utd to win and put a dent into Chelsea’s run, (and Drogba’s leg on the way) but I know the best result for us would be a draw.

By the time they kick off on Sunday afternoon, we could be second in the league, level on points with Manchester Utd, a game in hand and a superior goal difference. My head tells me that’s how it will remain as well, I think Chelsea will be too strong for Utd, if the Dippers can beat them 2-0, then they are doomed on Sunday.

All we have to do then, is keep on winning until the end of the season and the Premier League title is ours – Simples isn’t it 😛

This weekend is not only about continuing our winning form, but proving we can travel and secure points. We need to stop leaking the silly needless goals away from home and get this game put to bed early and convincingly – Wolves are a championship side who sit fourth from bottom in the league and twelve points behind us. If we can’t boss this game and win, then we really don’t deserve anything, do we??

Wolves have managed only two wins so far this season, one at home and one away so there cannot be any other result than an away win. Saying that, our mighty side need to be all the ball from the off, treat the game as if they are playing Real Madrid or Barcelona, play football, don’t silly passes or free kicks away – in fact, just play like they did against AZ or the Spuds and all will be mighty fine.

My selection would be

Sagna Gallas TV Gibbs
Cesc Song Rosicky
Nasri van Persie Arshavin

But hey, we know Diaby will be in there and as long as he plays as good as or better than he did against AZ, against Wolves, that should be ok. Me though, I would rather play the strongest eleven we have fit and get the game done and dusted by half time 😛

Finally, Well Done Robin van Persie, he has scooped the Premiership player of the month for October!

Who say’s size matters…………

November 6, 2009

Friday has arrived, only one day to get through until we play again.

I am just glad November 5th is now over for another year – I don’t like Fireworks!!

Sadly though, nowadays November 5th seems to go on for about a week, so I anticipate more tonight and over the weekend 😦
Few odd bits of gossip around late yesterday evening and early today……..

Juventus are reportedly after Sagna and Eboue, how greedy! They can have one, but it isn’t going to be Sagna!!!

Fran the Man has verbally agreed to sign a new deal but has yet to put pen to paper according to Arsene. Well, what is stopping him signing? Is Diaz trying to get him more money? I don’t know, I just hope it’s sorted out over the next few days and we can stop worrying. Arsene also says that Merida is now ready to be a regular – good, that means you now have Ramsey and Merida ‘ready’, so no Eboue on the right wing tomorrow please!

Back in the summer, each day there would be rumours about Chamakh, I was so desperate for our club to sign him as I just couldn’t see where our goals were going to come from. He has said that right now he is not going to sign a new contact at Bordeaux – however he does add that this does not necessarily mean he will leave next year. Well that says nothing really does it, but should it get to July 1st and he walks away on a free, well I hope he heads our way, the player is on fire right now and scoring goals for fun and I would hate him to end up ‘down the lane’!

But then I think to myself, where would he fit in? We have Arshavin, Van Persie, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Simpson and.. I know I have missed someone…. Oh, Nikki B! 😛

I have a cunning plan on how he could fit in, but no-one else would like it, so I will keep quiet! 🙂

Chamakh wouldn’t be prepared a sit on the bench and surely his arrival would spell the end for someone else and add to that, Arsene reckons we have a better strike force now than during the Henry years, so I cant see us getting Chamakh, or any striker unless injuries hit us hard – or should I say harder!!!!

I am not sure I agree with the statement about our current strike force, are we stronger now than when we had Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Freddie, and Vieira?? Surely not!?

I love this story in the Daily Mail about Thomas Vermaelen – I have picked out bits of the article..

Scout -Steve Rowley had drawn a blank after searching for a new CH to replace Toure. Nobody fitted the bill. Then Wenger told him to go watch Vermaelen.

The Ajax defender had so far failed to tick all the required boxes.

Arsenal’s scouts were not alone in their view. Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill twice checked on Vermaelen while Manchester City made many a visit.

Harry Redknapp said recently that Vermaelen had been recommended to him, but mediocre displays at left back and worries about his height had so far put off all concerned. Good, our gain then!

Some feared Vermaelen would be too small for the Premier League -but Wenger had a hunch and his interest had been awakened not by Vermaelen’s spat with Robin van Persie in the Amsterdam tournament two years ago, but by his display in the centre of defence under the Highbury floodlights in 2005.

Vermaelen kept Thierry Henry quiet on that rain-lashed evening, prompting Wenger to store the name of the Belgian, then 20, in his memory bank. Vermaelen remembers it well.

‘My best match against Arsenal was when Thierry Henry was playing here,’ he recalled.
‘The atmosphere at Highbury was not really normal. The crowd was so close. If you made a sliding challenge you almost flew into the spectators.’
On a bumpy pitch, playing in a three-versus-four training match, Vermaelen made Rowley realise just what Wenger had spotted.

Vermaelen gave his all: focused, aggressive and with a leap that defied his lack of height.

‘The scout told me afterwards that he had been hiding in the forest watching me, they know a lot more about me than you think’

The thought of a footie scout hiding in bushes to watch a player makes me smile!!

I just hope they warned his club !!!

I was going to add something about Stan buying Peter Hill-Woods shares taking him to very very near a takeover figure, but the writing seems to be on the wall, and I don’t understand why all the long, drawn out process. Sadly though, what we all can clearly see, is that one day very soon our prestige club will be owned by an American!! At least his name is not Tom Hicks !!

Have a nice day you all ……….