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Two out for Swansea! Wenger confirms Henry AND Two More players could sign in January & Top Four or take a pay cut!!!

November 30, 2012

He’s also spoken about the bumped and bruised ahead of Saturdays’ game against Swansea and apparently there are quite a few.

The only serious one though was to Laurent Koscielny and he’s now out for three weeks at least with a muscular problem in his thigh.

Bacary Sagna also took a bit of a knock on Wednesday night right at the start of the game and his foot is now badly swollen so he will no doubt miss the game on Saturday too. If he took a knock at the start of the game, why on earth did he stay on?

Although others had a tough workout, Wenger says they all should recover.

They need to do more than that, Swansea must be full of confidence after beating the ‘in-form’ West Bromwich Albion 3-1 on the same night we were at Everton. We struggled again, not only to find the back of the net more than once but to actually make any clear-cut chances and poor old Giroud, for all the work he did, nothing was really fed to him in the danger area.

Giroud though, who has publicly declared his hope that Thierry Henry will join us again in January, looks set to get his wish. As might we fans who keep saying we need additions and before the summer.

Wenger is reported to have said:

This winter we will work very hard because we have some funds available. It could happen that we buy two players, but I cannot reveal the names. A loan for Henry is still a possibility, but we will still try to strengthen for the long term.

Henry is the talent that you dream to have. He has fantastic physique, fantastic technique, a fantastic brain, all built together in one man. At the start he was not confident enough but he has gone on to show what a great player he is.

We all have our wish list of players we’d love him to sign but personally, I hope the first one in the door is a defence minded midfield. Whether that is an out and out defensive midfielder, a holding midfielder or any other fancy named midfielder, I don’t care. As long as he looks the part, plays the part and breaks down the opposition when they attack. A player who protects and looks after our defence, win’s the midfield battles and then pings the passes around the pitch to those who want dazzle the fans with their fancy football.

The second one, well that’s a tough one. I wish he’d said he was planning to sign four….

Still, we have heard him say he’s going to sign players before, we’ll see if he’s ‘fibbing’ again soon won’t we….

Finally, yesterday an Arsenal spokesman said:

Each player has an individual contract which contains  elements of performance-related payments, which are linked to a player’s individual contribution and also to the club’s progress in both domestic and European competitions. This is normal practice across football clubs.

In other words, and especially for those looking for new contracts, get into the Champions League or take a pay cut….

That’s it for another day…..

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Slipping down the table as Wenger targets home form to save us….

November 29, 2012

Morning all

Here’s the team line up, including the timing of substitutions.

Wojciech Szczesny, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny (Kieran Gibbs, 4), Aaron Ramsey (Gervinho, 80), Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, Santiago Cazorla (Francis Coquelin, 91), Olivier Giroud

Surprisingly, Wenger favoured Vermaelen at left back than Gibbs for this fixture, whether that was down to fitness or not, I don’t know.

We got off to the perfect start within the opening minute of the game, Walcott collected the ball just inside the Everton half, dodged a tackle from Jagielka, laid the ball off to Ramsey and continued his run on the left. The Welshman, returned a good ball back to Walcott who curled a right-footed shot into the far, top corner. A great goal, and who cares if it took a slight deflection?

Minutes later, Laurent Koscielny suffered what appeared to be a groin injury, so that’s him out for a few weeks now. He was replaced by Kieran Gibbs.

I don’t know whether the injury to Koscielny disrupted us but it certainly seem to lift Everton, even though it was so so early in the game. Slowly the home side raised their game, our right hand side was the target.

Just before the half an hour mark, Szczesny was called into action and any danger seemed to be gone but then Sagna played a dangerous ball to Arteta, causing him problems. Pienaar took advantage and the ball broke away into the path of Fellaini who shot past  Szczesny from around twenty five yards.

Should our Pole done better? I think so!

It was a funny old game after that really, we as usual saw a lot of the ball, but up front we were very tame. Whereas Everton often looked dangerous and on another day, would have buried the chances they created.

Jelavic missed a golden opportunity and Pienaar should have been awarded a penalty after being pulled over by Arteta.

It stayed at 1-1, another three points missed out on and with it, we dropped another place down the Premier League table.

A few pointers:

Cazorla was again too easily nullified

Arteta is clearly being wasted playing as a ‘defensive midfielder’ although he does a good job.

We seriously lack width apart from Walcott who could soon be heading off anyway.

We lack a cutting edge and we offered no real threat going forward.

We defended reasonably well apart for their goal and definitely got a way with a penalty!

Did Howard have a decent save to make the whole game..?

Wilshere had another good game. He tried hard to create but we just lack something as a unit…!

After the game, David Moyes said:

It was a certain penalty. We played against a really good Arsenal team and referees’ decisions often decide big games like this but we got nothing tonight. The players had to earn everything because we were never getting a jot from him.

Arsene Wenger said:

I thought 1-1 was a fair result and it is a good point here. The game was played with remarkable intensity and we had to show good spirit to get away with a point because Everton were really up for it. I am pleased with the spirit we showed.

We have played eight of our 14 league games away from home now – against both Manchester and Liverpool clubs – and if we play well at home we have the chance to come back. 

We had a few more chances on the counter-attack but we didn’t do well with the final ball. We could have been more clinical.

Where have we heard that before…….?

That’s it for today, home fixture up next so no excuses eh!


Koscielny being sold in January? Wenger confirms he won’t be spending big in January!

November 28, 2012

Morning all,

Firstly, according to The Metro, Wenger has confirmed he won’t be spending big despite the money coming in from the new Emirates deal!!

If we get that amount of money from sponsors it is not charity, it is because the sponsors feel that we act in the right way and with the right values.  It is down to us to spend the money in the right way.

Wonder what he thinks the right way is? Wonder what the sponsors think about GIVING money to players who do nothing but run around in training? Is that considered to be the ‘right way’ to let money leave the club?

I don’t think so either!

Just in case anyone has missed the calendar story, Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna have apparently been left off next years and of course that means they are both leaving in the near future doesn’t it? How can there be any other reason for missing them off, after all, we only have twelve players in the squad don’t we?

Lauren Koscielny is also missing, as is Carl Jenkinson, Gervinho, Arshavin, Diaby, Rosicky, does that mean they are all leaving too??

Crikey, even Squillaci hasn’t got his smiling face all over February!!

There are only twelve months in the year, not every player can have his face photographed and used can they?

Talk about adding up 2+2 and making it 12……

I’m sure I read somewhere that Walcott’s agent thought his player deserved extra in his pay packet because he was the ‘poster boy’ for the club, well maybe he doesn’t want to be the face of the club any more and that’s in the process of being removed, who knows..

As for Bacary Sagna, well his contract runs out at the end of next season so the club have a while to get that sorted, obviously  the sooner the better.

Quick mention for the Ladies, they will face Italian side ASD Torres in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League and once they have beaten them, either Geman side VfL Wolfsburg or Russian team WFC Rossiyanka await them in the final four! The first leg will be played on either 20 or 21 March, with the return game in Sassari on 27 or 28 March.

Good luck to the ladies, hope they can go on and make it to the final which is at Stamford Bridge on 23 May, 2013.

Meanwhile, the men face a tough opposition tonight at Goodison Park. Everton sit just above us in the league but a win for us would soon change all that. Regardless of the result, we really need to see the team start playing better, much much better than we have been of late.

Saturday was awful and no-one wants to hear a repeat of the two ‘chants’ the away fans were singing do they, more importantly, none of us want to see the kind of performance that would encourage the fans to want to make their feelings heard. And we certainly don’t want to see Francis Coquelin replacing a striker towards the end if we are needing a goal!!

I read this comment yesterday about our manager, it was written by Steve Wilson, a  BBC Match of the Day commentator:

Okay, Arsenal have not won a bean since 2005, but Wenger was a moderniser and a visionary when he first came to Arsenal and there is no doubt that the Premier League is more cosmopolitan and professional for him having been here. I also think he is a reminder that men who build a team are generally preferable to men who buy a club.

Everton are another club steeped in tradition, although they haven’t had great success over the years but then they haven’t had a lot of money to spend but manager David Moyes has spent wisely during his ten years in charge and many would say that all things considered, he has done very well.

But not against us…..

    Head-to-head

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games against Everton (W8, D2) since a 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park in March 2007 when Andrew Johnson scored a stoppage-time winner.
  • This is the 183rd league meeting between the two clubs, all of them in the top division of English football. Arsenal have 90 victories compared to Everton’s 54.
  • Arsenal’s 6-1 win at Goodison Park in August 2009 was the Toffees’ worst home league defeat since 1958.
  • The Gunners have recorded their highest number of Premier League wins (26) and goals (81) against Everton.

Everton

  • Everton have drawn five of their last seven league games (W1, D5, L1).
  • They have not lost at Goodison Park in 10 Premier League matches since a 1-0 defeat by Arsenal in March (W7, D3).
  • The Toffees have conceded 12 goals in their last eight games, failing to keep a clean sheet in that spell.
  • David Moyes’s side have scored 15 first-half goals in the league this season, more than any other team. They have also been ahead at half-time on an unrivalled six occasions.

Team News:

Thankfully, all the players came through the trip to Aston Villa unscathed, no surprise there really and Tomas Rosicky is finally back in training. He is fit and raring to go but tonight’s game is too early for him. He’s off to play a few games for the reserves to get match fit, Walcott however will return, as will Wilshere and Vermaelen.

So there you have it, now it’s all down to Wenger and his players.

If they ‘want it’ they will win, if they don’t they will get beaten, it really is that simple.

Maybe it’s time to look at the cannon on their chest and realise what it represents, look around at those travelling fans tonight, see the passion in their eyes, passion for a club which they have the privilege to represent!

Maybe it’s time they all, including the manager took a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask one question:

‘Can I do better’?

Of course they can, the real question is whether or not they have the guts and determination to do so….

And that is something I doubt……

Clearly the answer is yes and it’s about time they all started to do so!

We were the last side to beat Everton at Goodison Park, we must be the first to beat them there this season too…..

That’s your lot for another day….

 


Where do you want Arsenal to be in January?

November 27, 2012

And no I don’t mean:

Caribbean, Mauritius, Devon or somewhere in the Dominican Republic, I mean where would you like to see our club be in the Premier League after our final fixture of 2012 which is against Newcastle at The Emirates?

Let’s be realistic though, as much as we’d all like us to be sat at the top, it just isn’t going to happen. I have more chance of winning the Euro millions and I don’t always buy a ticket!

Between now and the end of the year, we have seven fixtures:

Tomorrow of course we travel to Everton then in December have the following:

H v’s Swansea City
H v’s West Bromwich Albion
A v’s Reading
A v’s Wigan Athletic
H v’s West Ham United
H v’s  Newcastle United

It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that twenty-one points are on offer to us and looking at the fixtures we have, if we were the Arsenal of a few years ago, I’d honestly expect us to win every single one of our remaining  matches of this year.

But we are not are we.

However, if Arsene Wenger and the players want to give us fans something to start cheering about in the stands etc, then they should be pushing out all the stops to get maximum points. That’s what will get us up the table and into the top 3 or 4 before the year is out.

But is that where you want the club to be when the transfer window opens?

Here are a few scenarios for January 1st 2013:

1) We finish the year in 4th place, Diaby has just played 70 minutes against Newcastle and went off early just because it was his first game back. Everyone else is fit, even Rosicky but Fabianski remains out.

2) We finish the year in 4th, level with a couple of other clubs on points but with Diaby and Rosicky are still crocked and Giroud is suffering with an ingrowing toenail.

3) We finish the year 7th, level points with the club placed 4th but our goal difference is far behind those sitting above us and everyone is fit..

4) We finish the year in 3rd and all our players are fit and healthy, apart from Fabianski.

5) We finish miles away from the top four and we are in the muck!

Of course there are more scenarios but number 4 is a real possibility, the only bit that may not be correct is all our players being fit and healthy. But should we finish the year in 3rd, would Arsene Wenger start believing that he has the right players to see us through until the end of the season?

Last season we were in a right pickle at the back, I think Jenkinson, Sagna, Santos and Gibbs were out but the manager refrained from entering the January transfer window so maybe, being sat in 3rd in the league make him think differently this time?

If we are in a much better position than we are now at the end of December,  January becomes an even more important transfer window for us in my opinion as just a couple or more, of the right signings, would  really give us a chance of pushing for a trophy or even the league title.

We shouldn’t need to be down and out before  into the transfer window and a win tomorrow night against a side above us right now, really could give us the impetus to go on a good run…

You never know, we might just win the remaining fixtures of 2012, including the League Cup ones.

That’s it for another day…..


Wenger confirms he’s been lucky & Why has he finally snapped??

November 26, 2012

A few comments from the manager after the Aston Villa game which were directed at the idiots with a microphone:

What is the thinking behind the substitution? I will not explain every decision I make.

I have managed for 30 years at the top level and I have to convince you journalists I can manage the team?

The same interviewer couldn’t wait to ask him about the chants following the game and Wenger replied:

I don’t want to comment on that. I do my job and do my best for the club. Why should I create a rift? I have given you the answer.

I leave it to you to judge. I try to be as good as I can be. You are all great managers! I read the newspapers every day and I can tell you that you are always great managers!

You judge the game for the papers and I sit here and explain to you our game. How many games have you managed? I promise you if you manage one I will sit in the stands and chant ‘you don’t know what you are doing’!

You can discuss every substitution. You think what you want. I do my job and I let people judge it. I do that every day and I do my best every day. I know why I do it.

I would like to show what you (the media) wrote about us last year in September, October (when Arsenal were struggling).

Why should we panic? We will worry about our next game and we will play that. We are focused on the next game. Don’t worry for and about us too much.

Ouch!!Do you get the feeling that that interview really hurt our manager?

So did I but I’m not sure why now, what has finally made Arsene Wenger snap?

Since the day he set foot on British soil in 1996 he has been victimised by the British press, abused by ignorant fans of other clubs and blamed for the English national football team being so poor but he’s taken it all in his stride. Even the sick chants from the Manchester United fans  didn’t seem to faze him. Fergie could have stopped those a lot sooner than he did but of course Arsene’s Arsenal were a big threat to him in the early years.

Even when we were  at our best, winning trophies, dazzling everyone with our style of football and battering other sides for fun, Wenger was still criticised for fielding a side that contained no English players.

Reality was, the media couldn’t really find a lot wrong with what Wenger was doing and they probably hated having to praise a Frenchman. After all, some of these so called pundits, journalists etc were so old and out of touch, they probably still held a grudge against the French!

Again though, he seemed to breeze through his managerial career, batting off the twits along the way.

None of these people had a right to judge him, they weren’t/aren’t football experts, otherwise surely they’d be managing a club themselves, they’d certainly be able to earn a much better salary wouldn’t they? Most, if not all of them weren’t/aren’t Arsenal fans, they weren’t/aren’t spending any of their own money to either get to the game or into the stadium and they certainly haven’t ever had to dig deep into their pocket to purchase and beverage so what gives them the right to judge?

But judge they did and still are today and there is no doubt, they are loving it….

We fans though are different, we have a right to an opinion , in one way or another, we contribute to the funds that go into the club and without us, the club wouldn’t exist. By an opinion, I don’t mean calling Wenger every name under the sun, I mean we have the freedom to comment on what we think is right, wrong etc etc, of course, it doesn’t mean that any of us are right, it’s all opinion which is individual.

I’m sure the ‘you don’t know what you are doing’ chants  would have been clearly heard by Arsene Wenger as I am sure were the ‘we want our Arsenal back’ but why when the interviewers asked him what he thought about them did he snap?

He’s clearly had enough, but of what or who I wonder??

Maybe it’s just because he knew that his day of having more money would come again and January could be the start of his spending without selling our better players?

Maybe it simply a case of ‘it depends who asks the questions’?

The Daily Telegraph have a comment from Wenger after being asked if how he spends the money from the Emirates shirts deal this January would be crucial in quelling the unrest amongst fans.

He said:

I knew about the money before. It means the people who invest in us believe we are doing things in the right way. So it’s first a credit in the way we do things and after that, we try to use the money intelligently.

When asked if that proved someone did believe he knew what he was doing, Wenger replied:

Not so much. I only managed 1,600 games, 200 Champions League games. So I’m a bit lucky.

That tongue in cheek reply is more like the old Wenger.

Isn’t that the man most of us want back with his managing hat on?

That’s it for another day……


Wenger to bid for Downing and Huntelaar in January & Missing Jack already!

November 25, 2012

Few bits of gossip this morning before yesterday’s match review.

The Mail on Sunday reckon we are going to make a shock £10 million move for Liverpool’s out-of-favour winger Stewart Downing. Well if that happens, I think every Arsenal fan will be in more than shock. He was well over priced at £20 million, and many would say he still is at £10 million.

The Huntelaar story is around again, ex-Liverpool striker Erik Meyer, who has the same agent (Arnold Oosterveer) as the Dutch striker, told The Sunday Mirror:

 According to the information I have, Huntelaar will be gone in the winter. Arsenal are the favourites.

Some believe he is ready for this move now because RvP has gone and as we all know, they don’t get on. Wouldn’t it be great if he joined and went onto score a lot more goals than the man we left behind!

Finally in the gossip is Arshavin. He’s heading back to Zenit in January for £3 million. That is of course if we are to believe what is in the news..

Scott has kindly written today’s post about the Aston Villa game..

Morning all

Straight into the game.

On the negative side of things, well, we were scrappy in our passing game, devoid of useful attacking options and basically flat.

If you choose to look for factors,reasons or excuses,there are some legitimate ones to be found.

The pitch was wet and the ball was skidding around….not really a pitch conducive to our style of game.

Our attacking options ended up being a certain player whose name I am sick of mentioning constantly, finding himself within range, yet some poor finishing, good defending and a keepers boot put paid to the lad in question coming up with the winning goal.

Giroud toiled with little effect. Podolski likewise.

The biggest disappointment of the entire game for me was our woeful, horrible and disgraceful attempts to get a decent cross in which kind of put paid to our “plan B” of the big Frenchman up front.

As for being flat,well I think you get a decent insight into how well our team is up for the contest in the first two minutes.
Movement on and off the ball was sluggish from the very start,and it never really improved as the match went on,though there were little spurts of energy in the dying stages….as usual.

Let us also give credit and praise to Villa.

Anyone who watched them recently against Man Utd will vouch for the fact that we aren’t the only top side (am I being kind with that appraisal) who they have managed to nullify in no small way. They are a very hard-working, industrious team, who, in all honesty, would have been hard done by to lose yesterday.

On to the positive side of things.

Szczesny did well with what he had served up to him. His save from Holman was very good but one he should make. He had little else to do, really. The back 4 actually did very well and never really looked in trouble. The offside, disallowed goal was a clear one, so not a problem at all there.

Our midfield were definitely stifled by Villas work rate but we still lacked spark at all and that is disappointing. I thought our midfielders looked much better after half time as the game opened up and there could be an argument to say that they did create opportunities, but poor delivery by our wide men killed them off.

The biggest positive was that the game showed not only how much we missed Jack,but just how good he is. It was there for all to see that his energy and ability on the ball could have,and probably would have,grabbed that game by the throat just when it was needed.

The guy is a superstar,he is back,he is a Gooner and he is OURS!!

Plenty complained about why Ramsey played instead of Jack and I wondering why do people,  and I am talking in general here, contradict themselves so often? How many times have we all said we hope Wenger takes Jack along slowly? He has had a hell of a lot of time away from the game and needs to be treated with kid gloves, so missing the odd game here and there means Wenger is doing exactly what we want??

One game out every now and again can be the difference between getting a good season out of him,or losing him for another 18 months and we can not have it both ways.

Gervinho came on for Podolski, the latter seems to always be the first one off but he has played a lot recently.

Coquelin came on for Giroud! Sorry, I have nothing at all on that one!!!!

Arshavin for Oxlade-Chamberlain which was a fair call, although the little Russian did little, but in all fairness, OC didn’t do a lot either..
Still,Ox is showing some signs of getting back to his best. It has all been a bit much too soon for the kid,and we really need to be careful when expecting too much from him – he is a baby and has a lot of football in front of him.

All in all, a very fair result against a very resilient side and another clean sheet. That is 2 in a row and counting :)

Rosicky will be back soon, Jack will be well rested and fresh next time out and Diaby will be back in January, just like a new signing!!

See, you bastards are turning even the most positive of Aussies into a cynic now!! ;)

Written by Scott from Oz


Gazidis drops Arsene Wenger right in it! Expect changes for today’s fixture…..

November 24, 2012

Better times ahead??

Yesterday the news broke that Arsenal football club had signed a new £150m deal with the Emirates airline, extending its shirt sponsorship to 2019. The naming rights to the stadium have also been extended to 2028 as part of the deal.

This will bring in £30m a season to the club and the deal is said to be one of the biggest in footballing world!

Ivan Gazidis has been talking about how wonderful this deal is and what it brings to the Arsenal table etc, click here  to read it all.

But the most interesting comment he made was this:

This deal is all about football.

It is all about giving us the resources to be able to invest in what we put on to the pitch for our fans. The manager will have more resources available.

We kept some powder dry in the summer, so we do have the ability to make a move or two in the January window, but that will be based as always on what Arsene Wenger believes is available in the window and the kind of moves he thinks might help us on the pitch.

So, there we have it from the clubs Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis. Arsene Wenger is the one who decides on whether or not we spend money and how much we spend.

Onto today’s match, a 5.30pm kick off against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Aston Villa have striker Darren Bent back which isn’t good news for us but missing are Joe Bennett, Chris Herd, Charles N’Zogbia and Richard Dunne.

Joining Diaby, Fabianski and Rosicky on the injury list is Theo Walcott and Andre Santos but after his little cameo in midweek, Gervinho is available for selection, as is Kieran Gibbs.

On the team selection for today, Wenger has said:

There are no major injuries, a few tired legs and that will all be assessed on Friday, I have not decided what I will do yet. I have time and we’ll see who is available, who is a bit less available, who is a bit tired and who has some knocks and bruises but there is nothing major.

I think from that comment, we can expect to see one or two changes from the side that started midweek. Gibbs will no doubt slot in at left back and Gervinho could also start. After that I haven’t a clue. Arteta must surely need a break but who can replace him? The same can be said about Cazorla.

But Wenger can’t afford make too many changes, we all know what that does to the team….

Head-to-head

Aston Villa haven’t beaten us at Villa park in 13 attempts since coming from two goals down to win 3-2 in December 1998 (D6, L7).

We have lost only two of our subsequent 27 league meetings with Villa. Last season we overturned a 2-0 deficit in the FA Cup fourth round beat Villa 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium.

But we shouldn’t and must not be fooled by history, we have seen us slip up against lower positioned league sides too often, Norwich this season being the most recent. This game will be another tough one IF any one of our players of the manager think it’s won before we kick off.

Paul Lambert, who will be in the stands doesn’t care about the history of results between the two clubs either:

It’s Arsenal but we’re at home so we’re going to go for it. We haven’t beaten them here since 1998 so it just shows how hard it’s going to be.

I can’t influence what’s happened in years gone by but I can influence what goes on now.

Be assured though, if we turn up with only half a mind of the job in hand, Villa will register a home win and any confidence we built up last weekend and midweek will be gone again.

Wenger target is to get into the top four by Christmas and push on from there so he needs to make sure his players are ready to make that happen by carrying on from where we left off last weekend.

That’s it for another day…..

 


Wenger confirms a striker could join in January. Huntelaar linked as are Adidas….

November 23, 2012

Morning folks,

A few days ago, Arsene Wenger set us all off moaning when he hinted that Thierry Henry would be the answer to all our prayers in January, well, that’s if we were all crying out for one in the striker department of course.

Since then though, Arsene has kind of backtracked.

I just spoke about that because people asked me, I said I don’t rule it out because he’s in good shape but I haven’t made up my mind yet. I haven’t spoken to Thierry about it. I just answered a question honestly that I have not completely decided how I will sort it out in my head.

We maybe looking at a striker because Gervinho is going to the Africa Cup of Nations. 

I know we have all heard the ‘we maybe looking at’ lines many times over from the manager and I seriously doubt that we should take this very seriously. Wenger seldom speaks the truth when if comes to transfers and answering questions from the media.

Who knows though, maybe he’ll shock us and sign Huntelaar?

Wenger has also been talking about the weak and wounded.

Santos is out for another ten days and Walcott remains sidelined for Aston Villa but could be ok by the time we travel to Everton a few days later. 10 days with an abdominal strain. Oxlade-Chamberlain looks alright which is bizarre as I didn’t even know he was injured…

Abou Diaby – if all goes well, he will be back in three to four years weeks. Part of me will be glad to see him back, but there is another part which hopes he doesn’t return to full fitness until February, IF, that means Wenger will finally stop relying on our crock and sign a defence minded midfielder in January. Arteta cannot play every fixture this season!

Tomas Rosicky is back in training and should be fit and ready to link up with the rest of the squad on Monday.

The return of Rosicky is a huge boost. Last year from January to the end of the season he was on fire, he’d signed a new contract and earned every penny of it. he really was good and if he comes back and finds that same kind of form, his return is massive.

Apparently he had suffered a similar injury to Scott Parker and they had operations at the same time. Funny enough, Parker is due back very soon, so this is one time we can’t knock our medical staff..

Today we are meant to hear something from the club in relation to a new kit deal and it’s suspected that Nike will be Gonners and Adidas will be the new supplier. Lets hope they come up with some decent shirt designs if this turns out to be true.

Finally, former Holland striker Erik Meijer has added fuel to the ‘Huntelaar to Arsenal’ speculation by insisting that we are currently in the driving seat for his compatriot’s signature.

According to the information I have, Huntelaar will be gone in the winter

Asked where the ex-Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan forward was going, Meijer replied:

Arsenal FC are the favourites to land him.

Now that would be nice eh?

That’s it for another day, Aston Villa tomorrow, another must win for us….

 


Midfielder wants out in January! Sloppy and not good enough! Touchline ban for Lambert.!

November 22, 2012

Morning folks,

Here’s how we lined up, with substitutions included:

Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Arteta, Wilshere; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey 69), Cazorla ((Coquelin 84), Podolski; Giroud (Gervinho 84). Booked: Cazorla, Giroud, Koscielny. Goals: Wilshere 49, Podolski 63.

We started off sloppily. But we still have one game left. We need to finish top.

The first half was hard. We gave the ball away and weren’t ourselves so needed to come and get an early goal after the break. We have to step it up. That just wasn’t good enough, especially in the opening period.

Those are the words of Jack Wilshere after the game.

During that opening 45 minutes, watching on, anyone would think that we had qualified already and we’d send the reserve reserves out we were so off the pace. Passes were going everywhere but to a team-mate and any shot towards goal seemed more likely to hit the corner flag than the target.

As much as we controlled the midfield in the first half, we created just three chances, the best coming from Laurent Koscielny, whose header hit the bar.

So let’s just forget it shall we and fast forward to the interval.

0-0 at half time and it was clear to see the worried look on Arsene Wenger’s face. What would he say at half time, what could he say to inspire the team to victory?

Goodness knows is my answer but whatever he did say, worked!

Two moments of magic killed the game off, the first was finished by a wonderful touch from Jack Wilshere for his first goal since 2010 and the second was a thunderbolt volley reminiscent of another footballer whose name escapes me right now!

Our first came soon into the second half, Podolski played the ball to Vermaelen on the left, he fired in a cross with his right foot which looked to be far too high but Giroud jumped, headed the ball down and there was Jack to chip the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.

In celebration, Wilshere ran off to find club physio Declan Lynch and gave him a big ‘thank you’ hug for helping him throughout his long return to fitness.

Around fifteen minutes later, Podolski put the game to bed and it was quite safe to believe that, even with only a two goal lead as Montpellier really were awful. They had nothing to play for but pride and it seemed as if they weren’t fussed with that either.

Podolski’s strike was simply stunning, having played the ball into the feet of Giroud, he carried on into the penalty area. Giroud flicked the ball into the Germans path and our number nine fired home a thunderbolt volley. Had the goalkeeper tried to stop it, I am sure he would have broken his wrists.

After the game, Sky Sports showed a clip of Wilshere’s play in the second half and he was simply on fire, he was here, there and everywhere. When this little fella is back to full fitness he’ll be playing ninety minutes like he did forty-five last night and what a joy that will be.

Montpellier didn’t offer a lot but to be fair, we didn’t let them and getting a clean sheet after ninety minutes is another huge confidence boost. Especially for the defence..

If the French side can get a victory against Schalke and we win, then we will top the group and Wenger has hinted that’ll he will be out to beat Olympiacos…..

If we do, that’ll be a first I believe? I certainly hope we get a better set of officials in Greece, those who turned up at The Emirates last night were shocking. Offsides given when they clearly weren’t, naughty tackles that were allowed to pass and we should have had a free kick on the edge of the penalty area but the fool in yellow allowed advantage when really there wasn’t. Thankfully, it didn’t have an impact on the result.

Aston Villa up next and their manager, Paul Lambert has been fined by the FA, he’s also been given a touch-line ban so he’ll be up in the stands on Saturday.

Another bit of news in Francis Coquelin says he will look to leave in January if he’s not played more.

Well best he pack his bags then, how many times have we heard this from the 21 year old?

That’s about it really, a good night all round, it will get even better once we start to play well for ninety minutes and not just forty-five…

Have a good day all…..


Chelsea manager sacked! Henry coming home… again & Could we see a Change of Formation tonight? .

November 21, 2012

Morning all..

How many managers are Chelsea going to get through? A couple of losses and the owner hangs another manager out to dry.

Maybe he will try and tempt Wenger across London, after all, he hasn’t got many choices left has he?

My money is on Harry Redknapp replacing RDM.

So now we know, as Gervinho and Chamakh head off to represent their respective countries in the African Cup of Nations, their temporary replacement, Thierry Henry should have flown in and be ready to strut his stuff again for his old, but favourite club.

Wenger has said this about our old number 14:

He is a communicator, an extrovert and very intelligent. I had always resisted (bringing him back). Last year I did it because we lost Gervinho. This year we lose Gervinho again as they are playing the Africa Cup of Nations two years in a row. So we will be confronted with a shortage – particularly if (Marouane) Chamakh should go. Then we will be short.

We know all of that don’t we but what Arsene is maybe forgetting is, Henry is also old, too old to be considered as a replacement for Gervinho. Chamakh yes, but not Gervinho. Should we get to Christmas and we are in the top three or four and still in all the Cups, then Henry is not the man to push us on even further.

Onto tonight.

Gervinho and Gibbs are both back in the squad for Tonight’s fixture against Montpellier, the bad news is Theo Walcott is out with a shoulder injury following the collision with Michael Dawson. Walcott was due to have a scan yesterday so fingers and toes crossed that there is no serious damage.

Santos is also out tonight, he has some kind of abdominal muscle strain.

Didn’t realise he had any muscles under that shirt of his…..

Things kind of started going a bit wrong  at the back when Kieran Gibbs got injured, Santos came in, we got battered down our left hand side and suddenly we were shaky at the back, the goals started going in and the results suffered. Vermaelen gave us a bit more stability when he was switched out left, but……

Also, it could be said that Carl Jenkinson made way for Bacary Sagna around a similar time, has that had a bearing on our performances at the back?

Anyway….

Montpellier it is tonight and at The Emirates where the home fans will hopefully be in good voice again after the weekend.

A few days ago, a couple of the newspapers ran a story about how once all of our defenders were back fit and healthy, Arsene Wenger may adopt a new defensive set up which would mean five at the back.

Now Gibbs is back, we could very well see that on display tonight.

Tonight’s fixture is huge in the eyes of Wenger and the board, they will be desperate to get through to the knock-out stages as the further we get in the competition, the more money goes into their bank account the transfer kitty.

The first fixture against Montpellier was a tough one, but we managed to grab two goals and prevent the opposition form scoring from open play. They did manage to get one goal though thanks to a penalty. Vermaelen had bundled over Belhanda just inside the penalty area within the opening ten minutes and the same player scored from the spot.

Back then though, we were defending with confidence and we’d just beaten Liverpool and Southampton. Podolski and Gervinho scored our goals soon after going 1-0 down and that is how it stayed.

How though I don’t know, we weren’t at our best, Giroud had a bit of a mare against his old side and Montpellier missed a few good chances to be fair.

That was in front of their own rowdy and very supportive fans.

Tonight it’s their turn to travel, their turn to play in front of loud opposition fans and it’s our turn to turn on the style.

Montpellier are having a nightmare of a season, they have won just two fixtures in all competitions this season and we have to make sure that doesn’t change tonight.

We need three points, nothing more and nothing less and if we do, and Schalke defeat Olympiakos FC, we are through to the next round.

However, we mustn’t take Montpellier too lightly, they have nothing to lose tonight and many sides play much better when the pressure is off…

Total commitment from every player, another victory and no goals conceded would be perfect.

Have a good day all….


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