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Diaby is one of the best in the world! Arsenal to cash in from player sale?

April 25, 2014

Morning all.

Remember Luke Freeman, the young winger/striker tipped for big things when he was snapped up by Arsene Wenger a few years ago?

Well, after a loan deal with Stevenage, one which turned out to be a permanent move in January 2012, it looks like he’s going to be sold in the summer as his club will be dropping down a league next season. Stevenage Manager Graham Westley believes the club will ‘cash in’ on him and plenty of clubs are reported to be interested in signing him. I’m sure that should he be sold, a percentage of his transfer fee will be heading our way as it seems when young players are sold, we make sure we make a bit of money when they move on…..

He cost Arsenal £200,000 back in 2008, and who knows, we might recoup all of that fee and some as apparently, he’s had a pretty good season…

Enough of that…

Abou Diaby, as we all know made his come back from injury by playing 45 minutes for the reserves a few days ago.

French team-mate Bacary Sagna has been talking to the official site about the who he believes is one of the best in the world:

He’s still young, that’s what is amazing because he had so many setbacks and bad news in his life but he’s still fighting, he’s still smiling and that’s what I admire about him. He always wants to give the maximum, he always stays positive and I think that’s why he’s back today.

To me he is one of the best in the world [when he is fit]. When he’s at his best he can play as well as Patrick Vieira did and as good as many players did. He can be useful for the team and he can be decisive.

To be honest I was shocked the day he got injured [at Swansea last season] because to me he deserves to have a great career. He’s a great player with great skill and ability but he got injured a lot.

That’s life and I think he is strong enough to come back to his best and work hard, that’s what he’s done until now and I’m glad to see him back. He played with the reserves and he is training with us so I’m looking forward to him playing with us.

That’s high praise, high praise indeed!

It’s quite sad that we fans have only seen glimpses of the player and to be honest, even when he has played, I’ve hardly been overwhelmed by his performances. In fact the only thing about Diaby which stick in my mind is the own goal he scored against Manchester Utd which helped gift them a victory, Almunia was the other idiot on that day after tripping Rooney over for a penalty. We were battering Utd that day and but for those two howlers, Andrey Arshavin’s stunning goal would have been enough to register a victory at Old Trafford.

And then there was the 4-0 up, Diaby sent off and 4-4 finish against Newcastle!! What a fool he was that day!

But there was a day, September 2nd 2012 at Anfield. A day when he tore Liverpool apart…

Can Abou Diaby do a Tomas or an RvP and finally overcome his horrific run of injuries?

Can the big Frenchman really be a part of Arsenal FC for the years to come?

Or has that thug Dan Smith ensured that our midfield man, who Bacary Sagna believes that on his day can be the best in the world, is soon to part company with Arsenal….

Arsene Wenger has a big decision to make, because this time next year, his contract will be close to expiring…..

What does he do?

That’s it for another day….

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Big summer spend is ON! Dennis Bergkamp will never manage Arsenal….

April 24, 2014

Morning all.

All the time Arsene Wenger’s future hangs in the balance, it’s inevitable that we Arsenal fans throw a few names around of managers who we’d like to see take his place.

Personally, I think Arsene Wenger will stay on for at least another two years and in any case, it won’t be too long before we find out as there’s just weeks left of this current football season..

The first name that came to me when I sat and thought about who’d I love to see pacing up and down the sidelines on match day was of course Dennis Bergkamp and I strongly suspect I am not the only one..

But, we can forget it, it’s not going to happen!

Why?

Because he doesn’t want to be a manager…

It has nothing to do with flying, and whilst talking about that, his fear has nothing to do with any kind of bomb hoax whilst high in the sky, it was all to do with travelling too many times on too smaller planes and experiencing horrid bumpy journeys…

In his book, Dennis says that as a player he wanted to be the best, he was never satisfied with his own performance and wanted to do better.

He said he’s like that now as a trainer and if one of his strikers misses a chance to score, straight away he thinks about what he can do to ensure that same player doesn’t miss next time. He wants to be so good at his job, he can teach a striker to avoid missing any chance on goal. He wants to be good at his job, he wants to be important but the one thing he doesn’t want is fame.

That’s why I have I no ambition to be a manager.

However, there’s no reason he couldn’t bring all his coaching skills and ambitions over to London is there? Maybe one day eh, when his days at Ajax are complete but lets hope he doesn’t go via Milan this time….

Another subject he talked about was the different styles of managers there are around. The quiet one, the shouter and the pace up and down the sideline barking orders one – I always think Arsene is too quiet during our matches and stays in his sit far too much but for Dennis, that’s the best way to be:

Wenger is more a teacher, and he’s who are out there for show, the guys who shout all the time. teaching the right stuff. I never like people. To me a leader is someone who affects people, who makes changes, who makes other players or people better. It’s the opposite  of someone doing it for the cameras.

So there you go, the next time I sit and question why our manager isn’t out of his seat barking orders at the players, I’ll know that it’s just not his way and his way is right…

The bit about making changes and making people and players better, well perhaps Dennis knows something we all don’t…..

Finally, here’s an extract from The Mirror:

Arsene Wenger will sign a new Arsenal contract, and is proving it by planning a huge spending spree in the summer transfer window.

Wenger has left Arsenal in no doubt that he is staying because he is lining up big transfer targets as he looks to strengthen his squad for a title challenge next season.

Gunners boss Wenger, 64, has kept fans guessing about his future because he has still not put pen to paper on a new deal despite telling the board months ago that he was staying.

But Wenger, who is still hoping to nail down a top four finish and win the FA Cup, has already been told he has got £70m-plus to spend this summer and is determined to spend big.

The Frenchman accepts his squad needs strengthening in several areas as he look to bring in a big name striker, new right back, midfield general, wide player and new keeper.

Season Ticket anybody???

Seriously though, if the club are looking to spend big and finally we do get the right players in the areas stated above, all will not be lost. 

That’s your lot for another day…….

 

 

 

 


Goodnight Sweetheart. Hello Sailor.

April 23, 2014

Morning all.

Happy St Georges Day fellow English folk....

Happy St Georges Day fellow English folk….

Following on from my post about the Glazers actions yesterday, here’s a post from Adam with his views:

The fact that the hapless David Moyes has been sacked is not great for Arsenal. Though anything that brings a bit of turmoil to the Mancs is generally good news, this is not one of those occasions. The only surprise in the whole business is that they appointed him in the first place. We are told that Ferguson, the greatest hypocrite the world of football has ever known, recommended him and I think that we all realised why shortly after the appointment had been announced.

Ferguson was always a bully, a socialist working-class hardman with a chip on his shoulder from Glasgow who used every devious trick in the book to win and promote himself. He was bloody good at it too as Mike Riley and just about every referee in this country found out. He could send his team out with instructions to cheat their way through a game with incessant fouling and physical intimidation, knowing full well that no referee was ever going to lift their whistle to put a stop to it.

Nobody knows better than Arsenal supporters that this was true. Riley (Rilus Insipidus) of course was completely under his thumb and when Ferguson saw a rival, like Arsenal, getting too close he would tell Riley to put a stop to it through carefully selected referees instructed to favour certain sides and turn a blind eye to his own odious sub-plots on the pitch.

Moyes was never going to enjoy that level of complicity and the Manchester United players, led by Rooney and freed from the yoke of Ferguson’s tyranny were never going to give him any real support either.

Moyes may have believed he pulled off a personal master-stroke when he got Rooney to sign an enormous contract that would take him well into his portly 30′s for around £1.2 million a month, but I think he made himself look weak. It was as if Rooney had asked Moyes to come to his caravan, bend over his gold-plated calor-gas bottle while he, removed his trousers, pledging his undying commitment to the club, grannies and hair follicle replacement.

Still, never feel sorry for a bloke who walks away with million for doing not much. One can only hope that he goes on to fill the managerial role at Spurs next season and for several seasons to come.

The fact that we couldn’t beat Man Utd, even with Moyes in charge, really does us no credit at all and says something about where we currently are as a club. Because where we are is kind of where we were some time ago and all the talk from Arsene about us improving has left me with that ‘Arsenal’ feeling. You know the one where you sit perched on the fence wondering if fourth place is really the best we can hope for under the current regime and fretting about whether Wenger is the man for the job anymore. This subtlety changes complexion with every week’s results and is of course deliciously counterbalanced by the slightly unnerving feeling that at least we know where we are with Wenger, even if it’s not where we would ideally like to be. Then you factor in the usual spate of injuries and joyously imagine that, without them, we would be so much better off. Oh dear, oh dear. It’s an annual dilemma these days.

Finally you find yourself back at the beginning of the argument that you just had in your head and feeling brave you decide that, yes, we certainly need a change. It’s plain for all surely?

But wait, who could take over?

Klopp, Martinez, Simeone? It’s a nightmare really but somehow you know that, under Stan, no progress is the norm and is in fact the desired state of play. Plus there’s all that money sitting around that Wenger so hates to spend and you just know that Stan will take some soon for another ranch or thousand head of steers or perhaps to prop up another sports franchise that no Arsenal fan has either heard of or gives a toss about.

It’s business you see. Money, pure and simple. Ambition and love for your club is for wimps. Static inertia is where it’s at as long as the cash keeps rolling in and it certainly is rolling in. So with new sponsorship and TV deals in the immediate future, it seems exactly the right time to sting the fans for some more money. What Kroenke will realise one day is that you can’t buy loyalty but you can lose it once the fans realise you are taking the piss. He is firmly set on that course right now.

So, the future seems uncertain in so many ways, but we are told by the usual suspects that we must be careful what we wish for and that, quite simply, there is no life after Wenger. When he does leave, which might be in two months or two years, we are destined to employ a spate of managers, none of which will be any good. The crowds will dwindle, the football will be dire, the incessant injuries will continue, the wage bill will rise and everything will be bleak. We won’t know we are born (to quote a recent moron). It’s the Wenger way or no way.

Essentially, it is easier to stick with what you have. In the light of Moyes chronic failure it might appear that to wish is to dream, is to fail. The message coming out of Old Toilet is perhaps mixed. Once you lose the arch manipulator and are a club bursting with a rather sick sense of entitlement so rancid that the stench has engulfed football grounds around the country for years and years then you had better get another one in place straight away. Install a Moyes or a manager hand picked by someone like Ferguson and you will only make fans look back on the past with even rosier-tinted specs. This is of course why Ferguson recommended Moyes in the first place and it has worked a treat.

Weird men with strange shaped heads will currently be taking advice as where to go next. Ryan Giggs, a man who thought that a Man Utd legend like him was fully entitled to shag his brother’s wife for years, is in temporary charge and I imagine that somewhere in the cesspit of his seedy mind, he sees himself as the logical next manager. With his record of personal betrayal he certainly fits the bill.

Written by Adam


Glazers actions are not good for Arsenal fans!

April 22, 2014

Morning all.

There was little surprise to this mornings breaking news that David Moyes had been sacked, or has ‘left the club’ as the media like to say these days…

But, I’m actually quite surprised they haven’t given the man more time, especially when you consider whose boots he had to fill.

David Moyes signed a six year contract back in the summer, Fergie told the fans to get behind the new man and that was that.

But what Fergie also did was leave behind a group of players who were ageing and fading. He was clever, he walked at the right time and left someone else to pick up the pieces.

Fergie was I suspect, one of the main reasons some of that crop of players were at the club. Certainly RvP, well the little boy inside of him, made it clear that he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work under the guidance of a man who many wouldn’t disagree, was and still is one of the best managers in the business, if not the best.

What Fergie achieved during his career can only be envied by all others.

So how does this affect Arsenal?

This season (having read around the Arsenal forums) has seen a good number of staunch Arsene Wenger fans change their opinion of him, not in any kind of nasty cruel way but perhaps just realising that things on the pitch have gone quite stale and our transfer windows have become almost non-existent.

It’s not about the lack of trophies, that’s just a ‘press witch-hunt’  and a petty one too, in my own opinion, it’s about how we look before the season begins and of course the way we perform each week. Like most, I can accept defeat, but what I struggle with is the way in which we have suffered defeat at times, especially away from home against the sides around the top…..

After just ten months, the Glazers will reportedly have to pay £10 million after sacking David Moyes. Ouch, imagine what Stan Kroenke thinks about that?

They’ll now have to find a new manager, no doubt one with a much bigger name and who will want a vast salary for services! Ouch, imagine what Kroenke will be thinking about that?

Then of course, what if that goes wrong too, more money wasted, another payout after another sacking and slowly what funds they do have, are dwindling away….

What if the manager roller coaster, like we have seen at Chelsea, Manchester City and many other clubs further down the league table, gets going at Old Trafford?

Stan Kroenke won’t like the thought of any of that will he?

No, I don’t think so because he’d rather the safe option. Secure Champions League football each season, get his money in the bank and know he’s paying a manager who is willing to go along with his ideas.

But in my opinion, we don’t have a group of players who are on the decline, ok, we have a few who are getting older like Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Bacary Sagna but other than that, we have a squad full of internationals and a good few on the fringes or in the Academy who will be looking to push their way into the first team over the next couple of years. A group of players who may just benefit and blossom with a change of training and tactical ideas.

But the moral of my story is, although there maybe more fans thinking it’s time for us to change our manager, our owner may see this latest managerial change as being the perfect reason to stand by the devil you know…..

That’s your lot for today…..

 


Questioning Arsene Wenger’s future is baffling..

April 19, 2014

Morning all.

Arsene Wenger has been criticised by ‘some’ for signing Mesut Ozil. Those who question the signing suggest he was’t really needed, he’s a luxury in a midfield already full of talent, a waste of money as we don’t have the right kind of striker ahead of him. Those are just a few of the kind of comments associated with the signing of our £42 million man.

I actually think signing him was a master stroke, but I still maintain we need a bit of pace ahead of him and had Theo Walcott not picked up an injury, that point may well have been proved. In any case, Mesut himself picked up an injury and has been missing now for five weeks but that absence should come to an end tomorrow.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s fixture, Steve Bruce has given his view on Mesut Ozil:

It was great to see them signing someone like Ozil. Looking from afar, it seems they spent eight or nine years funding the new stadium and were not able to compete at the top level in the transfer market.

But paying all that money for Ozil was a statement that they are now ready to challenge the biggest clubs in Europe for any outstanding talent that becomes available. It sends out a real message, because he is a terrific player, a real danger to any team he comes up against. In fact, I just hope he is on the bench for a long, long time on Sunday.

That’s the kind of fear a player of Ozil’s class puts into an opposing manager, we just haven’t seen the best of him yet but I’m sure we will soon and once the club have finally addressed our transfer needs. If they ever do of course.

Mesut Ozil is not the only one who has had his fair share of criticism, our manager has had more than his fair share and again, Steve Bruce finds it all a bit hard to comprehend:

Arsene hasn’t spent on anything like the same scale as some of the big clubs, yet Arsenal are always competing in semi-finals and even finals in the Champions’ League, as well as for honours on the domestic front. How people can question him, when you look at his record, baffles me.

The guy has done an amazing job in 17 years at Highbury and The Emirates. Sixteen of those have ended with a top-four finish, and that is remarkable. I’ve huge respect for him, and I imagine those who employ him will be doing everything in their power to keep him at the club, because they know the tremendous job he’s done.

He has been a problem for English managers and coaches, because he was the first foreign one to come in and make his mark, and other clubs have looked at that and decided to go down the same route. They think they’ll find another Arsene Wenger, but there aren’t many like him.

He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he has proved to be one of the greats. He deserves everyone’s respect for what he has achieved, and I’m sure he has not finished yet.

One thing I think is true, Arsene Wenger is no longer everyone’s cup of tea!

But why is it that managers like Steve Bruce can see little wrong in all our manager is doing, yet many fans, me included, think he’s well past his sell by date and should gracefully walk away at he end of this season?

Is Bruce just being ‘nice’ ahead of tomorrows game?

Does he compare our continual top four achievements over the last seventeen years with what he as a manger would simply love to achieve at Hull City or any other club he’s managed?

Is he like Mourinho, Pellegrini and maybe even Rogers who don’t believe Arsenal are the threat that they used to be and he thinks he can beat us tomorrow?

Or does he honestly believe that Arsene Wenger is still doing a fantastic job and truly deserves to stay?

Questions which only he knows the answer to…….

I doubt Bruce has an axe to grind with Arsene Wenger so just maybe he really believes that Ozil was the start of something new and Arsene Wenger really isn’t done just yet…..

And that might not please everyone but then that’s because Arsene Wenger really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, not any more….

Finally, there was some dreadfully sad news yesterday. West Ham’s young striker Dylan Tombides has died following a three-year battle with testicular cancer.

The 20-year-old Australian, who made his Hammers first-team debut two years ago, passed away on Friday with his family at his bedside.

RIP young fella, you have been robbed of your life too early. Far too early……..

That’s it for another day…..


Bacary Sagna Staying? Koscielny going? Arsene goes with Project ‘pensioner’!

April 17, 2014

Morning all.

Ok, it’s all media speculation but at least it’s positive. Bacary Sagna is set to sign a new contract and remain a Gooner which if true is great news. He’s been on fire this season and players like him need to stick around and pass on their experience down to the younger ones, and hopefully with an FA Cup medal in hand.

Talking of the younger players, it wasn’t that long ago when Arsene Wenger was being heavily criticised for signing young players, playing young players and when we lost matches and won nothing, ‘project youth’ was deemed a disaster.

It took a while I know but maybe some of that youth stuff was all about not having too many pennies to sign big named players, because they come with big hefty signing fees and a huge salary. We all know that when we moved from Highbury, we couldn’t afford either.

On Tuesday night, Arsene Wenger fielded at starting eleven which when averaged out, was aged at 29 years and 188 days old!

Eleven years ago and against Leeds, the average age of our starting eleven was 195 days older!

We had Keown, Kanu, Luzhny, Wiltord, Pires, Seaman, Henry, Gilberto, Bergkamp, Cole, Parlour……… to name a few and trust me, naming a few of those makes me think…….

Anyway, my point is that now Arsene Wenger has turned from youth to the mature and experienced players, he’s in the papers being questioned. Why??

Crazy isn’t it……

Every side needs a bit of experience otherwise and as said above, the younger players have no-one to learn from and despite the golden oldie starting eleven which faced West Ham, we still have a lot of them. Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Serge Gnabry to name just a few and then behind them are a number of very talented Academy/reserve players who will be looking for their chance real soon.

Finally, that 4th place in the Premier League is now back in our own hands after Everton were surprisingly beaten at home by Crystal Palace. Everton are now a point adrift and if we win all our remaining fixtures, Champions League football will be ours for another season. Well, as long as we win the play-off in August of course……

See, I always said I liked Tony Pulis. I wonder what he’d achieve with our current squad…

Transfer gossip:

According to Matt Law in The Telegraph, PSG, Monaco and Bayern Munich are all interested in signing Laurent Koscielny. No surprise really that clubs like those and no doubt others would be after him, he’s been in fantastic form all season. Law states that our Frenchman is earning just £50,000 a week right now which in today’s footballing world, is peanuts.

Best Arsenal hurry up and sort this one out before it’s too late…..

That’s it for today, have a good one…..

 


Youtube, don’t we have a keeping coach? Are we about to lose the wrong one?

April 14, 2014

Morning all.

Hero of the FA Cup semi-final, Lukasz Fabianski, has been talking about his superb penalty saves which secured us victory on Saturday:

To be honest with you I did some homework but none of them [the Wigan penalty takers] were on my list!

The guys who stepped up to take penalties [were different] so I was just guessing. It was more intuition rather than my homework that I’d done.

I was surprised that [Jordi] Gomez didn’t step up as the first one. Then I saw Caldwell and Collison taking the penalties, so I was just guessing.

I did look at YouTube and things like that, but I didn’t see anything of Collison or Caldwell on there.

Ok that’s quite a funny story really isn’t it, but what on earth is going on with our goalkeeping coaching?

Did they not do any homework on the Wigan players and the way they take penalties?

Why was it left to Lukasz Fabianski to scout around on Youtube for a bit of assistance?

Why wasn’t the keeping coach and our keepers and yes, both of them, sat down together going through everything so they had a heads up on where certain Wigan players usually place their spot-kicks?

Thankfully, in the end it didn’t matter because Lukasz got it spot on.

Talking of our older Pole, are the club about to make a huge mistake?

Szczesny has taken a bit of stick recently, especially for his performances at Anfield and Stamford Bridge when we conceded a glut of goals. Yet on the other hand, in every game Lukasz Fabianski has played for us in the FA Cup he has looked calm, assured and has seen us through to victory. Ok, he had a mad moment on Saturday but to his credit, he soon realised the error of his ways and got back into position quickly.

For sure, you could sense it in the crowd after we conceded the goal, there was a really stressful few minutes as we tried to get back in the game.

After we managed to score the equaliser you could sense the relief, and from the penalties you could see the crowd react. I think this is for the fans, I think they have been waiting a long time and they show up in every away game, win or lose they always follow.

It was a great atmosphere today as well so it’s great to do it for them.

Nice to see he cares about the fans…

It’s true of course, in the main the fans do continue to turn up and support the club regardless of what they have to endure but just how long they stay so faithful remains to be seen, especially if things at the top stay the same. By that I mean an owner who really doesn’t appear to care what the future of Arsenal FC is, as long as he is making money and doesn’t have to dig into his very deep pockets with his very short arms and spend some….

Back to Fabianski, The Daily Mail quote him as saying:

I’m very happy we managed to go through to the final, it’s a massive thing for us, especially after such a difficult game. 

But I don’t know if I’ll keep my place – it’s up to the boss. After my performance, I hope I can.

If I was Arsene Wenger, I’d leave Fabianski in goal now. Firstly, he deserves to be there and secondly the more he plays now, the more confident and focussed he’ll be for the final next month.

Another thing, I’d do all I could to keep him at the club because I truly believe that the Flappianski of old is long gone and Lukasz Fabianski is on the way to being a top top goalkeeper…

Just a shame he isn’t going to be ours. Ouch!!

Hull City will be our opponents in the FA Cup final in May but that day is a while off.

It’s back to the league challenge now, well the 4th place challenge which is now out of our hands. Up next is West Ham tomorrow night at The Emirates.

Are we going to have eleven players fit enough??

That’s it for another day…..


Arsene Wenger got it right! FA Cup Final here we come…..

April 13, 2014
Wembley observes a minutes silence - 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

Wembley observes a minutes silence – 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

Morning all.

We had to wait 120 minutes for it to be right, but our order of penalty takers was spot on, as was the choice of players who were chosen to take them. Arsene got that all absolutely right, just as he did with standing by Lukasz Fabianski…

As for the rest of the match, well…………

We started well though and came out of the blocks with a bit of purpose. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular stood out, he was here, there and everywhere and getting forward either with or without the ball. 

Yaya Sanogo headed an Oxlade-Chamberlain cross against the legs of Carson within the first minutes – a foot either side of the keeper and we’d have taken the early lead we needed. Just before the half hour mark, Bacary Sagna fired a difficult chance high…

Sanogo had another chance soon after but that to went high and wide and then his inexperience shone through when he looked like going clear through on goal. His first touch was awful and Carson stopped any attack with ease.

I was one of a few who really wanted Yaya Sanogo to start, believing his pace and enthusiasm would give us something so different up front and to be fair it did. But his control and finishing was far from being good enough but to be fair to him, he didn’t stop, he didn’t sulk and as the game went on some of his passing was pretty good and he had one great shot which took a fine save from Carson to stop it finding the back of the net.

Despite all of the possession, we had slowly gone back to being that sideways, backwards and boring football side and it wasn’t pleasing on the eye….

Just before the hour mark, Per Mertesacker chopped down McManaman, penalty given, goal scored!

Get me a sofa to hide behind...

Get me a sofa to hide behind…

During the build up for the goal, Nacho Monreal suffered an injury (no doubt we will hear more from Arsene on that) and had to be replaced by Kieran Gibbs.

Just that change alone gave us far more impetus going forward….

What you thinking Arsene??

What you thinking Arsene??

Olivier Giroud was warming up and set to come on, I thought in place of Sanogo but no, Lukas Podolski was the man to make way. Strange one but we did look a little better playing 442.

Into the last 15 minutes of the match and it looked like it wasn’t going to be our day when Sagna saw his header hit the post and just after, Kieran Gibbs looked like he’d got the equaliser but somehow, Scott Carson made a superb save to push the ball wide….

82 minutes on the clock and all Gunners hearts were lifted.

Sanogo laid the ball off for Oxlade-Chamberlain, his shot bounced through to Mertesacker who was just wide of the far post and the big fella somehow managed to guide his header home..

The final whistle came and soon after, the start of extra time begun..

Sanogo had a good shot tipped over and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired a rasper which annoyingly rattled the crossbar.

That was pretty much it…

See what it means to them.....

See what it means to them…..

Penalties it was and Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom, who had come on for Aaron Ramsey,Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud all fired home their spot kicks.

Lukasz Fabianski was the hero as he saved both penalties from Caldwell and Collison.

Hero - Can't believe he's leaving....

Hero – Can’t believe he’s leaving….

That was enough to see us go through to our first FA Cup Final since 2005….

The performance left a lot to be desired that’s for sure, but we got there in the end and I for one am pleased as punch…

Many things have been going wrong for a while now, but let’s not be too hasty to forget all the good Arsene Wenger has done for our club. He brought us some great players, his arrival made sure Dennis Bergkamp stayed and he won trophies after suffering many barren years..

I haven’t a clue what the future holds for our manager but if he is planning to walk away at the end of this season, I truly hope it’s with the FA Cup held high because surely to goodness, he deserves it.

Finally, I want to wish Bob Wilson all the very best as he is set to undergo treatment for prostate cancer. Be strong big guy, you can fight it and win the battle……

That’s your lot for another day…..


Remember the last time? Go Grab it Arsenal!!

April 12, 2014

Morning all.

Three times we have met Wigan in the Domestic Cups, the last being the Carling Cup semi-final back in 2006.

It was a two-legged affair and not a good one!

Having lost at their place 1-0, we returned to Highbury needing just a victory by two clear goals to see us through.

We scored, taking the second leg into extra time and scored again to take a 2-1 advantage. All we had to do is hold on and we were into the final…

However, Jason Roberts struck with just seconds left and that was enough to send us packing by the away goal rule…

Funny enough, it was a defensive mix up which led to that winning goal, just as it was at Wembley in 2011……

Both sides are very different to what they were back then though and of course, Wigan were a Premier League side whereas now they are fighting hard in the Championship to try and regain that status. We, well things are pretty much the same, still fighting for that 4th spot and hoping our trophy drought will finally come to an end….

Today, we could take a huge step towards making that happen IF every person, player and coaches alike, give 100% from start to finish.

And we are going to have to because you can bet your bottom dollar, Wigan will!

Uwe Rosler has done his homework:

I watched the game last Sunday and it was another very impressive lesson from Roberto, tactically how Everton approached the game. 

Not a lot of people focused on how disciplined and how focused Everton Football Club operated in the first 20-25 minutes without the ball.

Everybody knows Roberto is focused on ball possession but how well the team worked against the ball at the beginning of game was very impressive.

There were good pictures for me to learn from and also take one or two things on board, like I did with Manchester City in the last round.

In the last round, Wigan went to the Etihad and withstood everything Manchester City threw at their goal, barring the one blip of course and they managed to do what only one other English club has managed to do all season and that’s come away with a win.

That’s the FA Cup for you, it’s all about one game on one day and giving your all, getting the right result and waiting for the next round, the next chance to pounce and get the unexpected result.

Not only have Wigan beaten Manchester City, they have also beaten PL sides, Cardiff and Crystal Palace in order to get to Wembley today.

So yes, respect what they have done, now let’s go and put an end to their great run!!

We have beaten Tottenham, Coventry City, Liverpool and Everton – all tough opponents and two of whom have battered us in the league.

League form goes out the window today, our poor league performances must go out the window, today is about 90 minutes, or 120 if that’s what it takes of non-stop 100% commitment, togetherness, organisation and passion.

It’s also about our manager having done his homework, he has to know what to expect from Rossler and his team and play in a way which will not only stop their threat but to know how to exploit any weaknesses the Championship side have.

Let’s not be another victim of of an FA Cup upset.

This is the best chance we have had in a long while to get to an FA Cup Final.

Go and grab it Arsenal!!

COYRRG’s!!!!

 

 

 


Show Wigan some respect! Arsene confirms he’s given up…… On the title!

April 11, 2014

Morning all.

Just one more sleep to go!

Ok I’m not going but I’m excited, our boys are off to Wembley!

But they won’t win if they don’t show the opposition some well deserved respect and that’s exactly what Arsene Wenger intends to do:

For us what is very important is to win the semi-final and it’s important we focus on that. 

After that we play against an opponent that has done well in this competition. They have beaten Man City at Man City so we want to focus on that and make sure we can go through. We respect highly for Wigan for what they have done and the best way to go to the final is to do that.

You win when you produce a quality performance. We have, in this competition, produced top quality performances so just let’s continue with that.

We have a team who has a lot of experience. We are in a competition where we have a great opportunity, we play against a good opponent but it’s a great challenge for us and of course we want to take the opportunity to go in the final.

Good, glad to hear it because I think that the last time we got to a cup final, everyone, including the manger and fans thought us winning was a forgone conclusion.

He also confirmed he’s given up all hope on the PL title:

We are back at Wembley and it’s great. It’s an important competition. You know we will not fight for the championship any more [this season], so it’s the only competition.

Maybe next year Arsene, we will finally have a squad which will see us still in the race for the PL at this stage of the season.

Who’s fit for tomorrow?

I cannot give you concrete team news because we have so many uncertainties about Chamberlain (groin), Gibbs (ankle), Rosicky (thigh). There will be last-minute decisions on those three players. They are all 50:50.

50/50 is not good, I hope the odds are a little better than that and all three are ready to play because they are crucial to our game and if they aren’t, who on earth will come in?

Ozil and Koscielny are still out. I think the earliest to come back for Koscielny could be Tuesday and for Ozil it could be next Saturday. That would be a boost because at the moment we have too many players out and it’s important we get them back. We know that at this period of the season, the number of players we had out is too many.

I’d hoped Laurent Koscielny would be back for this game, we are at our best when he partners Mertesacker at the back. He’s not, which means Thomas Vermaelen needs to be a bit more focused and on the ball than he was last Sunday.

Diaby is back to full training next week. He could be available soon, maybe in a couple of weeks.

The cynics amongst us would say that’s perfect timing for a World Cup call up, I say it’s perfect to help us get a Champions League, stay fit and then be sold.

On Ramsey.

He is ready to start and certainly I will decide to start him because Flamini is suspended.

On Fabianski.

Fabianski will play in goal. It’s not a difficult decision because it’s a decision that has been made for a long time.

On whether Fabianski would play in the final…

Let’s play on Saturday. You play football on your merit and your performance and he has turned up with top-level performances until now in every single game. He has done extremely well. He has been man of the match in the three games he has played.

On Wilshere…

It’s all going well but he has not started to run. I think that’s planned for next week. At the moment all is going well.

So there you have it. I’m not sure whoever was asking the questions needed to talk about the final, crikey, we haven’t even kicked off the semi yet so that is a long way away.

I recall in 2011 there was a similar situation when Arsene was asked whether or not Cesc Fabregas would collect the Cup even though he was out injured…

We all know what happened next……

COYRRG’s


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