Monthly Archives: April 2011
On the 26th of November 2010 four graduates from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria decided to see each other for the first time since they left school. The meeting was scheduled for 11 am in Maitama, Abuja. The participants of the re-union were Bo$$ VOE, Jubrizzy, Pimpin Tomasz and the Enigma that was born on the 10th of June thereby forming the Twitter handle @enigma106. After a few drinks and long dialogues about old school stuff, girls and money making plans for the foreseeable future, the latest trending topic was about the team we support, Arsenal FC. Jubrizzy is a red devil though.
The 1st Arsenal blog I had ever seen written by a fellow Nigerian was Bo$$ VOE O2ice so the Bo$$ himself and Tomasz advised me to start my own Arsenal blog because Tomasz knew that when we were still in school, I visited arseblog more than I visited google and I’ve always had in-depth knowledge of Arsenal FC because I always won arguments when it came to Arsenal, its history and of course its players past and present. Bo$$ VOE recommended WordPress for BlackBerry for me and after spending over 15 minutes looking for a name I settled for Gooner Daily because I’m a gooner and I was pretty sure that I could blog on a daily basis because as a graduate I have all the fucking time for it.
I’ve also had this crazy but funny habit/talent of giving nicknames to all my close friends so the gunners were not going to be any different but after some advice from GGMT Morris and Tomasz himself, I cut down a bit on the nicks because I had the target of getting Nigerian as well as international readers.
154 days, 122 posts, 158 comments and 3086 readers later, I’ve decided to expand my Gooner horizon by opening a page on Facebook so that my esteemed readers can also be notified when I publish my posts as well as adding Arsenal photos, videos, links and notes so if you’re reading this blog right now and you own a Facebook account, I’ll be extremely grateful and honoured if you go to the search tab and type “Gooner Daily” then like the page. I’m working on adding the like badge to the widgets sidebar on the right hand side so that it’ll be a lot easier for you to check it out.
You can also follow the blog on Twitter @goonerdaily. Anytime I get followed on Twitter, my BlackBerry plays one of my favourite rock songs, Hysteria by Muse. That’s the ringtone I used for my new email notifications. This means that I’ll follow you back moments later. Besides, we are one big Goonerific family. I also mention some of my followers anytime I publish a post so if you want to be part of the list, just mention me or send me a direct message on Twitter.
I’m also very interactive with my followers so if you have a piece of info you want to share with the Arsenal World, tweet it but mention me so that I can see it. Let me give you a classic example.
By that Cc I’ll be able to see the info and use a way to add it to the blog but if I already know that Man Shitty exists that’ll be a different case. @DaygeeDr was the one that showed me a link how Chelsea’s Rugby helmet wearing Keepsinger James Blunt said that we had bottled up our chance while @ChuksBass has been more than helpful times without number.
The not so royal wedding I’m about to attending is ongoing but I and my sister intend to go for the reception around 6 that’s why I had the time to write today’s post. Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to this blog with your email so that you’ll be notified anytime I publish a post. It’s on the widget sidebar on the right hand side.
Thanks for reading today’s post and don’t forget to tell other gooners about…
Gooner Daily…Your daily Arsenal digest.
In my blog there’s a widget for the Gunner of the Month. Wilshere was the Gunner of the Month for March so I intend to put up a new Gunner there. I’ll also put up the poll on the page then ask my followers on Twitter.
The Gooner Daily nominees are: El Capitan, rVp and current holder Wilshere
Man Utd’s preview comes up in tomorrow’s post.
For the girls who seek royal weddings after witnessing yesterday’s own, they could meet a guy whose English name would be William who is also the prince of his village. The wedding would be royal but she shouldn’t expect everyone to wear hats or wave flags for her. She could also console herself by playing K’naan’s waving flag.
At least she would hear the sound of someone telling people to wave their flags.
Emirates Cup scheduled, Wilshere due to be announced and the Verminator back after being out for all eternity
First things first….I am really tired of taunts and insults rained on AW the Alchemist and the Arsenal faithful after another trophyless campaign. Don’t these bloody cunthounds called critics ever give up or at least create something new for us. Imagine @enigma106 calling Mr. F a fool for instance. I see him tomorrow and call him a fool, see him next tomorrow and do the same. After consistently calling him a fool for 6 fucking years, what does that make me, a BIGGER FOOL with block letters!
This article I read from a cultured left foot sums it all up,
“Those ‘haven’t won a trophy in x years’ nonsense is just bang out of order now. No one bitches about Liverpool who have not only have not won anything for 6 years; they have never won the Premier League in 2 decades. Apart from Chelsea and United who have collectively spent more than the GDP of some developing countries, no one has won the damn title since”
Blackburn won it in 95’ but this same Blackburn is battling with relegation right now. Our critics can come up with taunts like,
“Why are Arsenal’s players so young” or “why is it that Arsenal players have the most mysterious injury time predictions?”
At some point this season rVp, Farmer Eboue and Djourou were diagnosed to have long term injuries but they made amazing comebacks while Vermaelen who was expected to be out for “3 days” spent 7 months with Kieran Gibbsy’s physio girlie in Colin Lewin’s treatment room.
I expected the Verminator to be out for eternity but he was scheduled for a comeback against Man Utd’s reserves and he played the entire match without twanging his Achilles tendon. I suspect that Paris of Troy was probably kidnapped and chloroformed when he came to the pitch with his famous Achilles piercing arrow. It’s good to know that our defensive leader is back but it’s safe to say that it’s too little too late for Thomas Vermaelen. Fans and media Vultures alike expect him to make a comeback against Man Utd’s first team on Sunday but I feel that it’s too early for our center back that made the PFA Team of the Year in his first season.
Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday were dominated by European football but we the Arsenal faithful watched the games as neutrals. Tuesday saw the Red Hell Owners progress to the finals after doing all the much needed work against those beer drinkers in Veltins Arena. Hugh Giggs Hefner and the Rich RooThug scored the goals but the highlight of the game would undoubtedly be the goalkeeping heroics of Germany’s no 1, Manuel Neuer. In as much as I like what Neuer does on the field of play, the fact that he bears the same first name with Almunia sends thoughts through my head. Like the Flanimal, Neuer says that he’ll say sayonara to the Schalke fans this summer so I’m pretty sure that he’ll find 10 contract offers on his table once the season is over. The media Vultures say the Man Utd are leading the polls to secure the German’s signature. Wednesday saw the 4th and probably the most boring el classico I’ve ever witnessed. The usually tactically adept Jose Moaninho or Mou-rhino as @ladyarse would call him somehow lost the plot with a very odd lineup. He promoted Pepe to the defensive midfield role and left all his recognized strikers (Karim Karim, Higuain and Greedybayor) on the bench. Pepe earned himself a red card for a rash lounge on Hollywood’s latest movie star and finger breaker Saturn head Alves. The Little Wizard from Planet Lionel stole the show again with two Messi-less goals that’ll probably pave the way for a Luzhniki stadium 2008 final repeat. This season has been all about repeats (Madrid-Lyon, Inter-Bayern, Arsenal-Barca) so I’m pretty sure that we’ll have to settle for that.
I hate Barcelona for sniffing on Fabregas’ butt and eliminating us for 2 years in a row but I really hate Man Utd because they have eliminated us from winning the league many times and most recently kicking us out from the FA Cup with 7 fucking defenders. Trust me, it still hurts. I won’t give a ram’s testicle about who’ll win the Champs League though.
Thursday was a Portuguese affair with the Falcon banging 4 past Villarreal making his Europa League goal tally at 15 while Benfica beat Braga 2-1 in the other semi. The only thing I hate about the Europa League is that the teams that were not good enough in the Champions League group stage go to the tourney to bully all the chums that started playing from day 1. The 3 Portuguese teams present in the semis where all Champs League rejects because they finished at 3rd place in their groups.
Back to Arsenal news, AW the Alchemist has come out to say that our downward spiral started from the Carling Spoon final loss to Birmingham. This season is somewhat reminiscent of the 2006/07 campaign where we lost in the Champions League knockout phase to PSV before losing in the FA Cup to Blackburn.
The media Vultures report that Fabregas and Arshavin have told AW the Alchemist that they will stay at Arsenal if he buys a defense worthy of them. I don’t know about AA23 but I feel for our captain. He was in the form of his life season last term then he ended it with a World Cup medal while playing with those his BarcAlien friends in the Spanish National team. Barca tried everything to woo him to wear their alien clothing and warm their bench but AW the Alchemist did enough to convince him to stay. His performances this season haven’t been sky high but his work ethic and defense splitting through passes played a vital role in our trophy charge this season even if our defense capitulated times without number this season. Take the Liverpool game for instance. How would you feel if you waltzed into the opponent’s box late on before being hacked down by some bloke, you get injured but you request that you want to see the penalty being played before you’re taking to the treatment room. Your teammate scores in the 98th minute while you celebrate on the stretcher only to see another teammate concede a penalty in the 101st minute which your opponents converted to level the tie or the Birmingham game when you the striker execute a scissors kick to equalize for your team then you get injured in the process only to see your teammate kick thin air in the 89th minute for your opponents to win the trophy while you’re gutted and probably crying while there’s an ice pack on your knee. I wrote in a previous post that I will not begrudge Fabregas or rVp if they leave the club but they have to understand that they are essential to us because they are the leaders of the team.
As Aaliyah said in her song,
“if you don’t succeed, dust yourself up and try AGAIN”.
The media Vultures also say that our assistant manager Patty Ol’ Rice cannot take it anymore and will wave his goodbyes to us while we have secured the services of that young bloke at Charlton. The English Press and their numerous stories. I don’t call them the media Vultures for nothing.
Jack Wilshere is due to be announced for the England Under 21’s in the forthcoming European Championships taking place in Scandinavia. Wilshere is going for that tournament without Arsenal’s blessing so my only prayer for the England U-21 side is that they come back home quickly like the way the Super Eagles came back home in last summer’s World Cup. I would prefer them to lose narrowly by a lone goal in their first game followed by a 2-1 loss to another team after Sani Kaita….Jack Wilshere gets a red card for stamping a player that’s about to throw the ball. With 2 losses for their first two games toppled with the fact that Wilshere got a red, Stuart Pearce would ban Wilshere like Nneka the Bald for 18 games which would make Wilshere retire from Under 21 football. That way everybody goes home happy.
There’s a trophy we always win but it never enters our cabinet. The Emirates Cup. Next season’s Emirates Cup will have an intercontinental effect because Arsenal has successfully invited Paris St. Germain, Boca Juniors and New York Red Bulls. The last team mentioned is presently the club that our living legend, top goal scorer and my footballing role model plays for Thierry Daniel Igwe Henry. It would be good to see Henry bask the summer Emirates Sun with everybody singing his songs. When he came on in the 68th minute for Barcelona against us in 2009, he got a warm reception but this time it’s going to be a lot warmer.
I won’t publish any post tomorrow because I have a wedding that I’ve been invited to. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be a royal wedding like the type Prince William Arthur Philip Louis had with Catherine Middleton which dominated every news channel and every social networking application with Facebook and Twitter suffering the most. It was reported today that the harshtag #royalwedding clocked an amazing 500 tweets per fucking second.
The tweet of the day goes to @garyprince,
“@garyprince: Gareth Bale declined an invite to the #royalwedding as he has a prior engagement whose major attraction is the Chimps tea party at the London Zoo”
Bale , you Welsh Chimp. You actually declined an invite to the best event today to hang out with your buddies at that zoo. As they say,
“You can take the Bale out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the Bale”.
The Man Utd match preview post will come on Sunday.
Thank God its Friday
The Bolton aftermath: Lessons that have been learnt and what must be done
I just realized how important my esteemed readers are to me. I wrote in my last post that I wasn’t going to mention my readers till next season but I just realized that I wanted to act like a student in high school that decided to register a subject in his school certificate exams because he sucked at it in his school days. With four games left to play, Arsenal just has their pride to play for.
It was expected that the media Vultures, haters and cuntbutlers alike where going to start pointing their bloody fingers at Arsenal after another disappointing campaign it seems that there will be drastic changes next season because AW the Alchemist has finally admitted that his squad needs to be strengthened. He says,
“We have the quality that is for sure. We have to strengthen the squad where it needs and make the right decision on that front. It’s always on my mind every day. The team has had an outstanding attitude and will not be rewarded because of small things, but small things cost you”
There’s one thing I love about Arsenal’s manager AW the Alchemist: The way he talks to the media Vultures. He generalized every flaw Arsenal has had this season as a small thing.
AW the Alchemist said all season long that he believed his side still had the calibre and ability to achieve their first EPL triumph in seven years but after his side managed a meager 8 points from a possible 21 in the business end of the season, his team brought out the white flag and are presently 9 points behind Man Utd with only 4 games to go. Throughout the season, Arsenal created chances, boasted the weight of possession and ultimately had their chance to secure victory in most games, much like the story all season; Arsenal simply didn’t have the hunger and mentality to really kill games because of their profligacy in front of goal.
This season promised much for the Red and White but a lot of factors contributed to Arsenal’s present trophyless predicament. The most notable include injuries to key players, referee incompetence and defensive frailties. If Fabregas and Walcott were present in the Carling Spoon final or if Szczesny ended the Barcelona game and played in the FA Cup quarter final, we might have had a different outcome. We all know how many soft penalty decisions were given against us with the fondest being the penalties Mr. Dowd gave in the Newcastle game. If Wilshere passed that ball to rVp in the Nou Camp, Arsenal would have played Real Madrid tonight because rVp would have done better than B52 in that exact situation.
Before I write about the lessons I feel that have been learnt, I will briefly write about the positives I feel we can take from this season.
For most of the season, signs were good because Arsenal were challenging well for four pieces of silverware but Arsenal’s weakness and bad luck can be clearly chronicled. Facing Barcelona and Man Utd in the Champion’s League and FA Cup was bad luck, and we were beaten by both of them. Both these teams are world class, top five in the world, and it was unfortunate that we had to face them but the Carling Spoon was a little different. A stupid mistake, but essentially Arsenal’s inability to wear down Birmingham handed the Spoon. In the league, the hangover from cup disappointment transcended onto the field, and although it was a largely encouraging season, competing against teams who cost multiple times what ours did, it looks as though we will finish third. AW the Alchemist has acknowledged that he will need to strengthen in the summer, and with his skills in the transfer market, we should be able to challenge in earnest next season.
The last couple of seasons Arsenal have not invested in any way close to the same rate as our rivals, and it’s shown on the pitch. While other teams buy in proven quality in place of young talent, we’ve sold proven quality and promoted our young talent. It’s a good business model, but not the perfect way to win titles. But it seems that the Kroenked One will give AW the Alchemist a nice transfer kitty to work with this summer therefore we will expect fresh blood in the start of the 2011/12 campaign.
Djourou and Nasri came out from the shadows while Szczesny and Wilshere took their chance to become vital pieces of Arsenal’s playing jigsaw puzzle. All of the above players have been capable, we’ve just been waiting, and it’s a relief that they have begun to realize their potential. Nasri, who didn’t even get into the French World Cup squad, has taken the Premiership by storm this season. A Player of the Year nominee, he has proven to be quicker, stronger and have more cutting edge than most gave him credit for while Wilshere, Djourou and Szczesny are all young players who have been waiting for the time to shine. Wilshere won the award for the Young Player of the Year and will probably get over 100 caps for England before he hangs his boots. Djourou has been, for me, the best central defender we have had this season. While he is still capable of making a mistake, this can be attributed to age, and he definitely has all the right elements to become a solid defender, with Thomas Vermaelen, for years to come. Szczesny had a baptism of fire, starting for the first time in the league away to Manchester United. His distribution was poor, but apart from that he was solid. Since then he has improved his distribution, not let a massive mistake (in the Carling Spoon final) affect his confidence, and you’d have to say he’s probably now the first choice goalkeeper at Arsenal, at just 21. African Blondie Song has had a great season, the venom in rVp’s boot has been more potent than a viper. Despite the Barcelona issue, Cesc Fabregas has been on form. Theo Walcott is also becoming a serious danger when he gets into form, despite his supposed lack of football intelligence.
You can’t deny that player performances this season has been a major positive and it will spur us to get even better next season. Listed below as the lessons I feel that have been learnt from another trophyless campaign.
AW the Alchemist has paid the price for not getting Vermaelen’s replacement in the winter transfer window
Bolton’s Gary Cahill was defiant in his performance which epitomized just how poorly AW the Alchemist has been in the transfer market. Djourou and Koscielny have no doubt performed strongly throughout the season, but as strong as they may be, neither really boasts of the title mentality or calibre a side like Arsenal requires. Arsenal was unfortunate to lose defensive leader Thomas Vermaelen in August to a season-ending Achilles injury, but the Gunners have never really boasted a title-winning defensive line, in a long time.
After letting Gallas, Silvestre and Senderos go, AW the Alchemist was gifted the perfect opportunity in the summer to secure the services of quality centre halves but ultimately went for the cheap options of Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci. With the January transfer window coming up, we all thought that AW the Alchemist would have brought in a new center back put he put his faith in the news from his physios that the Verminator would make the Barca game. That has cost us dearly in many games in the turn of the year with the most noteworthy error being Koscielny’s cock up in the Carling Spoon final.
Clichy has lost the plot and must be sold off or be allowed to compete with a better left back
Arsenal’s central defensive woes may have always been a skeptical prospect for a number of years now, but Gael Clichy isn’t exactly doing much better as Arsenal’s veteran left back. The Frenchman, who is renowned as one of the best left backs in the Premier League, has failed to perform consistently and convincingly for some time now despite being a veteran and leader in the young Gunner’s squad.
Since a stellar 2007/2008 season in which the 25-year-old was named PFA left back of the year, the French international has endured inconsistent performances. There is no denying Clichy is a quality full back who possess great speed and stamina alongside being a more than handy attacker, however, at times, the former Cannes defender is a liability in defence with attackers often exposing the frailty of Arsenal’s left side. Clichy’s most notable error this season in that Champions League group stage game against Shakhtar that turned out to be the turning point in group H.
Clichy’s future has come under concern in recent months with talk the Frenchman is being targeted by the likes of Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid. With English international Kieran Gibbs a delightful prospect who due to Clichy is unable to receive adequate opportunities and the speculation Everton’s Leighton Baines could be coming to the Emirates, it may be time for AW the Alchemist to sell Gael Clichy or allow both of them to fight for their place.
Walcott still needs to improve a bit
Despite claims that he lacks a footballing brain, Theo Walcott has done well to become an immense goal threat, and although the constant injuries woes are still evident, the form that the Englishman showed in December, January and February was superb and will aid the speed machine greatly.
However, despite his goal threat, 12 goals this season, Walcott still fails to be as potent as he possibly could. Too often does the English international drift in an out of games despite offering such a threatening attack with his speed. It was much the case against Bolton, Walcott on the right wing as being defended by Paul Robinson, a considerably slower and older opponent.
However, Walcott failed to properly penetrate the Bolton defensive line despite occasionally looking sharp. Similar to what was raised about playmaker Samir Nasri, Walcott needs to see a much larger amount of ball if he is to become the defiant superstar that is clear he can become.
Despite all this, there are steps that can be taken to make Arsenal challenge for honours next season. They include,
Holding unto El Capitan at all fucking cost
This is one which may create contrasting opinions with many believing that he must be sold and Arsenal needn’t keep him any longer. There have been several questions raised about his commitment and his form in general. I for one believe that that he still remains motivated to achieve success with Arsenal and his performances are still top class.
I don’t really question his passion and have always believed that he isn’t a vocal leader. He is fairly subdued on the pitch, and so for some, it gives a feeling that he is no longer interested in playing for Arsenal. For one I believe that he never stops trying, and while his teammates have struggled to finish off some of the chances he has created, he has been playing fairly well in recent times.
It is true that he has been unable to replicate his great form from last year but this is due to a variety of reasons. For one he has been in and out of the team with injury and often Wenger has used him far too quickly which has resulted in him picking up an injury before he has fully recovered from the previous one. Another reason why some people believe that he has been below par is because of the fact that he has struggled to score goals like he did last season. This season he has scored just nine goals which pales in comparison to the 19 he scored last season. But when it comes to assists the numbers are fairly the same with him having 17 this season, just two less than the number he had last season.
El Capitan has been in imperious form over the last few games and I do believe that he is nearing his best. Fabregas’ influence on the team is often lost when we watch the match. For a normal viewer, the influence is decided with what a player does with the ball in his feet but it is the movement of Fabregas that is so crucial to his team. Fabregas represents everything AW the Alchemist hopes to achieve through his long term vision: signing young talent and converting these players not just into good players but into world beaters. When you talk about world class players at Arsenal there are only a few: Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen. And of course Cesc Fabregas. Selling any of these players would be a step backwards for the club and Arsenal cannot afford that. They are in a situation where selling a top class player would further derail the continuity of the long term goals. Arsene Wenger’s vision is based on turning these players into world class performers and then building the team around them. It does not involve them being sold off when a ‘big’ club comes calling.
Also currently Fabregas is undoubtedly one of the world’s best midfielders in football right now and there are few players who can be signed to replace him at a decent price range. That means it would be tough to replace him and while Arsenal have the likes of Nasri, Ramsey in their team, these players are not ready to replace Fabregas especially the latter while some see Nasri as capable of replacing Fabregas. Fabregas is currently one of the best Arsenal players and his creativity and vision are essential for the club and Wenger should hold on to his prized player if Arsenal are to push for the Double next season.
We should also remember that according to Forbes, Arsenal is the 3rd richest club in the World behind Real Madrid and Man Utd so we don’t need the peanuts that broke Barcelona will have to offer.
Signing the right players this summer
AW the Alchemist has hinted that he could make a big transfer splash in the summer but said that he would make only a few changes to the squad. So Arsenal fans can look forward to around two to three players being added into the squad. Some fans have been calling for the Gunners’ boss to go sign, Manuel Neuer who runs out of his contract this summer and will not be renewing it with Schalke 04. But they should ask themselves if Arsenal actually need another goalkeeper with Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski showing so much promise.
Another player that most fans would love to see at the club is LOSC Lille Metropole’s BioHazard of Eden. He may be undoubtedly be one of the most promising talents in Europe right now and he would be a great addition to the squad but once again he does not represent a pressing need. With Ryo Miyaichi and Henri Lansbury coming through the Arsenal ranks, Arsenal needn’t sign the Belgian midfielder.
But what Arsenal does require is a defender. There have been some calls for Le Boss to sign an experienced defender in the summer but that notion I believe is false. Last season Arsenal had the likes of William Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre in their squad and yet their defense was hardly better than this season and some would even say it was worse than this year. He signed Squillaci who despite being extremely experienced as turned out to be a major disappointment.
Arsenal should sign a defender that is already established, a player who has proven himself and not an unknown talent. This summer Wenger signed Laurent Koscielny, a fairly unheralded player and he has proven to be a great buy but the problem with signings like him is that they lack experience playing at the top and they lack the leadership that Arsenal requires.
While Koscielny has all the traits required to become a top notch defender he is not what you would define as leadership material and what Arsenal require is a towering centre back, a person who can add not just solidity to the defense but also leadership.
Now I have always believed that Arsenal’s defense is far better that some people give it credit for but the fact remains that both Vermaelen and Djourou are injury prone meaning that Arsenal’s defense may just be missing their two best defenders. That is why Arsenal need to sign another solid defender who has all the traits of a top notch player.
Immediately the player that comes to my mind is Giorgio Chiellini. He is of the right age, has plenty of experience and is extremely versatile. Another player is Jan Vertonghen. The Ajax defender is another no-nonsense defender who would be a welcome addition to the squad. Neven Subotic of Borussia Dortmund would be another good addition to the squad.
But Chiellini would be the best bet in my opinion.
Wenger has a penchant for signing unknown players and while they may come cheap and they do have potential they lack experience at the top level which is required for Arsenal to clinch trophies.
Flushing out the below par players
Every team has sub-par players and so does Arsenal. Arsenal has the likes of Denilson, Diaby, TR7, the Squisha and Manuel Almunia.
These players have shown that they are just not good enough to play for Arsenal and their time to go is up. By keeping such players, Le Boss is not just wasting space on the squad he is also increasing the wage bill. It’s tough to fathom that these players could have their futures at Arsenal and the best thing would be to sell them now itself.
The media Vultures are predicting that AW the Alchemist is set to clean out the squad and he looks set to axe the flops. This would be the ideal move both in terms of the future and the present. We have seen Denilson struggle time and time again this season and yet some believe that he should be kept because he is young. Sure he is young and has potential but the reason he should be sold is far simpler: he is simply not cut out to play the Arsenal style of play. The only time he is used is as back up to Alex Song. But he lacks the attributes to be successful in this role and so he will always struggle to be successful at Arsenal.
Almunia and Squillaci have been truly shocking this season and keeping them is unnecessary. Also in both the departments there are plenty of promising youngsters coming through who can have bright futures at the Emirates. Removing such players is especially helpful considering the recent limit on players in your squad and it also reduces Arsenal’s fairly large wage bill. Instead Wenger should give an opportunity for Arsenal’s youngsters as back up players and he should look to give them the occasional run in the domestic cups.
I just hope that AW the Alchemist gets it right next season but no matter what he does, we the fans still have to respect his decisions because he had been at the helm of affairs for 15 good years. The only managers that can count for longevity include Sir Alex Chewie, Thomas Schaaf and David Moyes amongst others.
In other news, Gunner Ryu Miyaichi was voted as the 5th best signing in the EreDivisie unlike Chamakh and the Squisha that entered the other category according to Goal.com
AA23 is wanted again by his only other club and previous employers Leningrad FC.
The tweet of the day goes to @sickipediabot’
“@sickipediabot: I can’t play FIFA anymore because it’s just too unrealistic. I just won the League….with ARSENAL”
Be the judge of that.
This would be my longest and saddest post yet. When we stupidly and shamefully lost the Carling Spoon final, I wrote that we are still trophfuckingless. When Barcelona humiliated us in the Champions League, I wrote about our poor performance and the referee’s incompetence. When Man Utd beat us with 7 recognized defenders in the FA Cup, I wrote about another impotent display marred by Djourou’s injury.
How to start…
HP Compaq 6720s notebook… check
Microsoft Zune software… turned on
Sad Enya, Yanni and James Blunt music… now playing
Rothmans pack of cigarettes… In the corner waiting for me to kiss after quitting since 2008
A cold bottle of Guinness Extra Smooth… check
An ice cold bottle of Guinness Big Stout… check
3 more Guinness bottles “chilling” in the refridgerator… check
BlackBerry phone for my calls, pings and tweet mentions… check
Arsenal started this season with optimism after finishing in 3rd place thereby acquiring the last available automatic Champions League thanks to the new rule by Michel Platini. AW the Alchemist reinforced his squad with 3 players that had France written all over them. A striker that is renowned for his aerial ability, which had spent his entire career in Girondins Bordeaux from 2002 making 230 league appearances scoring 56 league goals in that period. He also had some success with Bordeaux which include 2 Coupe de la Ligue titles in 2007 and 2009, 2 French Champions Trophies in 2008 and 2009; and 1 Ligue 1 title in 2009. He cost us nothing.
AW the Alchemist also bought a relatively unknown center back for £8.75m. He played for En Avant de Guingamp in 2003 making 40 appearances in 4 years before moving to Tours Football Club in 2007 where he made 67 league appearances scoring 5 goals. After spending his entire career in French lower division football, he got his breakthrough when he signed for Lorient for £1.3m in 2009. In just one season with the club he played 35 league games and scored 3 goals.
His known to the World as Laurent Koscielny.
AW the Alchemist brought one more “experienced” center back for £3.5m from Sevilla. That defender started with Sporting Toulon Var in 1997 making only 6 appearances before moving to the Principality of Monaco spending a total of 8 years in the south coast of France. In AS Monaco he made 117 league appearances and scoring 10 goals but while in Monaco he had 2 loan successive spells in AJ Ajaccio where he made 69 appearances scoring 7 goals. He moved to French juggernauts Olympique Lyonnais n 2006 for £2.6m making 62 league appearances scoring 3 goals. In 2009 he moved to Spanish Europa League winners Sevilla for £4.9m making 49 league appearances scoring a goal.
This experienced defender has amassed more trophies than Fabregas, rVp, Clichy and Almunia put together. He won the Copa del Rey with Sevilla in 2009, the Coupe de la Ligue in 2003 with AS Monaco, the Ligue 2 with AJ Ajaccio. His biggest trophy haul was in Lyon with 2 Ligue 1 titles in 2007 and 2008, French Champions Trophy in 2006 and the French Cup in 2008. He’s known as Sebastien Squillaci but I prefer to call him the Squisha.
The squad showed a lot of promise last season so these signings were more or less replacements for the players that had expired contracts. After a good preseason and the Emirates Cup it was time to get the league underway with an away tie with Liverpool in Anfield Transylvania. Arsenal took 7 points from a possible 9 in August with the highlight of the month undoubtedly being Walcott’s first senior hattrick for the club in that 6-0 mauling of newbies Blackpool. September saw Arsenal take only 4 points from a possible 9 with the highlight being the first Scorpion tail sting of the season against West Brom which saw Almunia lose his place in the squad. TR7 also killed a hawk in the sky with his penalty against Sunderland and we rued that miss when the Bent One stepped up in the dying minutes to slam the roof of our net to salvage a draw for the Black Cats. In October Arsenal got 9 points from 12 with the only defeat in the hands of London rivals Chelshit FC. The month also saw Fabianski keep his first clean sheet in a long while in the 3-0 impressive away win against those Cash Money Oil Money Billionaires.
In recent years, November had been termed as our bogey month but Arsenal didn’t do too well by getting 9 from a possible 15 with both losses secured at home to Newcastle and Tottenscum. Fabianski showed his mettle with 2 inspired away performances against Wolves and Everton that saw us get maximum points from both games. December saw Arsenal accumulate 7 points from 12. It would have been 12 from 15 but heavy snow at the Emirates stopped us from playing Stoke. The highlight of the month was the 3-1 victory against rivals Chelsea. The last Arsenal goal scored in 2010 was an own goal by the Squisha himself. Cygan and Silvestre did it before him while wearing the No. 18 jersey so he just had to follow suit.
January passed away slowly without any transfer activity of any sort in terms of arrivals. There were only loan departures with the most notable being the young Aztec Warrior Carlos Alberto Garrido Vela moving to West Brom to reignite his dying footballing career. With Vermaelen being a long term absentee, a new center back was badly needed in the club with the media Vultures linking Arsenal to Samba, Mertesacker, Cahill and Upson but while we the fans watched patiently at the Arsenal gate, we were only greeted by strong wind that made the gates creak. In terms of football, Arsenal was subjected to 9 games in the grueling month with 4 of them in the league. Arsenal did well with 10 points amassed from 12. The 2 points were dropped because of Man City’s resolute defending and The Hearty Joey’s goalkeeping heroics but the highlight of the month was rVp getting his first hattrick in Arsenal colours in the 3-0 victory against Wigan. In the month of love, Arsenal got 10 points from 12 but they gave the fans a game of extreme horror and another game that made proud to be an Arsenal fan. After going 4 up after just 26 minutes in St. James Park we all thought that we would witness one of our 7-0 outings but when Diaby earned himself a red card in the start of the 2nd half, Arsenal lost their coordination and discipline to somehow capitulate with the game ending at 4-4. Two weeks later, Barcelona visited the Emirates and scored first but Arsenal produced the best second half ever this season with an impossible goal by rVp and the match winner by AA23.
March was a very horrible month for gooners worldwide. After missing out on the Carling Spoon, Arsenal got eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup in quick succession. In the Premier League, Arsenal secured to disgraceful draws with Almunia driving the nail in his Arsenal coffin against the same team that cost him his place, West Brom.
April was a month where the Champions League quarter finals and the FA Cup semis take place but with Arsenal ousted from both competitions in the previous they had only the Premier League left to fight for. Arsenal kicked off the month with a very tame draw with a team that hadn’t secured an away point in 2011. They followed it up with a solid yet nervy win against that carefree adventurous outfit known as Blackpool. The Liverpool team that visited the Emirates was the weakest I had ever seen with heavyweights like Steven G, Glen J, Angry Agger, Joe Cole and a host of others missing but after scoring what seemed to be the winner in the 97th minute, Farmer Eboue probably performed his last act as an Arsenal player by conceding the worst penalty ever in the 101st minute which was duly converted by Kuyt. Man Utd’s draw against Newcastle meant that a win was needed at all fucking costs against Tottenham Hotspurs but after going 3-1 up, Arsenal ended the game at 3-3.
Man Utd and Chelsea secured wins on Saturday so Arsenal needed a win yesterday to keep in touch at least.
Arsenal played a team that hadn’t won them in their last 8 meetings. A team that was gangbanged by Stoke City.
The first real attack of the game was by Arsenal with El Capitan, Walcott and Nasri at the thick of things. Arsenal’s captain fed a through ball to Walcott who in turn lashed the ball straight at the goalie. Nasri’s follow up was blocked by a heap of bodies present in the defense. After a well worked counter attack, it was Walcott’s turn to turn provider by Fabregas’ shot killed a seagull in the sky.
Elbow Davies was at it again with a very rash lounge at Song but he didn’t even get a booking. Bolton’s right back sent a cross to Elbow Davies but his finish was poor even though Koscielny had it covered. Fabregas moved with the ball and was unmarked so he had a go at Jussi’s goal but the ball went wide of the target. Fabregas then wanted to replicate the assist he gave rVp against Wolves but the Bolton defenders were alert when rVp attempted a scissors kick.
There are two Korean wingers gracing the Premier League; Wong Fei-Hong of Man Utd and Yang Chin-Ko of Bolton. Yang Chin-Ko was one on one with Szczesny but he decided to be selfless with an attempted cheeky pass to a free teammate on the left but Song came to Arsenal’s rescue to avert the danger.
Djourou has been Arsenal’s best defender by a long mile this season but he had a stinker today. He lost concentration when the ball was passed to him so the ball got to Matty Taylor’s path. The former Portsmouth winger lashed a very hard volley straight at Arsenal’s goal but Szczesny punched it out for a corner. Yang Chin-Ko found himself one on one again with Szczesny but Arsenal’s goalie showed good composure to make a save before Nasri nodded the ball away for a corner.
The corner was swung in and Arsenal’s zonal marking was very poor because a Bolton bloke’s head was the first on the ball. With Szczesny rooted to the spot the ball was blocked well on the post by Nasri but before he could raise his right leg to clear it out, Chelshit reject Daniel Porridge attempted a diving header which made the ball hit the back of our net for a Bolton goal. That goal was scored because Nasri was human. When Diaby and Terry J where faced in the same situation in the 2007 Carling Spoon final, Diaby cleared Terry’s head instead of the ball. That got the ex-girlfriend shagger unconscious for some minutes or so.
Fabregas had a shot that the post and that was it for the first half. In a game a win was paramount, Arsenal found itself behind at halftime.
Bolton where awarded a very soft penalty with their first attack of the 2nd half. Elbow Davies stepped up to convert the spot kick but Szczesny guessed right to keep his club in the tie. 2 minutes after that scare, rVp and his captain executed a neat one-two with the ball ending at the back of Bolton’s net courtesy of rVp’s first time shot.
Chamakh was brought in for Song to spice up the attack. Fabregas crossed a ball for rVp who showed good chest control but Bolton’s Pole Vault of a defender known as Knight blocked rVp’s shot for a corner. rVp then fired another shot wide after another superb pass from his captain.
rVp fed an amazing pass to Nasri who was one on one with Jussi but the usually composed Nasri lost his cool and fired the ball straight at the goalie. He had the second bite of the cherry but it was blocked this time by Gary Cahill. Chamakh was fed by El Capitan but he chose to nod the ball to Nasri instead of taking the chance himself.
AW the Alchemist replaced Walcott with AA23. AA23 used his wittiness and craft to win a free kick on the edge of the area but the resulting free kick was defended well by the Bolton defense. Nasri was sent free again but he sent a panicky cross across the goal when there was no Arsenal player present in the box. That was so unlike Nasri.
AW the Alchemist showed his frustration when the ball to his hands by bouncing it really hard on the ground. If he was on the field of play, he would have been awarded a yellow card. After wave after wave of impotent attacks, Welsh captain Ramsey replaced Wilshere to add more verve to our attack.
In the 90th minute, Djourou lost an aerial challenge with Elmander leaving the striker to close in on Arsenal’s goal. The Swedish striker fired a goal bound shot but Arsenal’s goalie was equal to the task by punching it out for a corner. The corner was swung in by some chap; Djourou was evaded by the player he was supposed to mark thereby allowing the Hebrew to nod the ball straight at the goal giving Szczesny no chance of saving it because the Jew was in the 6-yard box.
The Jew decided to change his role from a footballer to a drama king because he removed his shirt revealing a picture of his dad that he lost to an accident weeks ago. While his teammates celebrated emotionally with him by probably giving him kisses and hugs, AW the Alchemist took out his frustration on an unfortunate bottle he was yielding in his hands.
The ref’s final whistle meant that Arsenal was going into their 6th year without a trophy. Our membership at Club trophyless renewed for a new year. This defeat also meant that Arsenal’s unbeaten run with Djourou playing in the team has finally come to an end since 2008.
Szczesny (8.5) put up a very good performance for his team but was unfortunate to concede 2 headers from shots he saved initially thanks to shitty defending. Sagna (6.7) and Clichy (6.7) balanced their attacking even though they put up some dismal crosses. Koscielny (6.2) was too far up the pitch with Bolton hitting Arsenal on the break. Djourou (5.8) put up his worst Arsenal performance this season. Wilshere (6.7) did okay in the midfield. Song (6.6) saved Arsenal’s ass with that good piece of defending. El Capitan (7.5) supplied an assist and carved open the Bolton defense times without number. Nasri (6.0) disappointed me with a panicky display. Walcott (6.4) did okay. rVp (7.0) scored Arsenal’s vital equalizer. Chamakh (6.1) didn’t have any impact on the game. AA23 (6.7) attacked with intent to no avail. Ramsey didn’t do enough to get a Gooner Daily rating.
I usually chip in a thing or two after my match reviews but I’ll start with tweets from angry, frustrated and clearly disappointed and bemused gooners following my blog @goonerdaily on Twitter. You can follow the blog by clicking on the handle. Everytime I get followed, I get notified by email so if you follow me, you don’t have to mention the blog, I’ll definitely follow you back. I’m also very open and interactive with my followers because you’ll be notified anytime a post is published as well as news involving the Arsenal.
Listed below are some tweets from my numerous followers,
“@bolz_odet: If you ever mention me in your post, I will vex for you”
“@pablocamden: Normally we can blame injuries for our end of the season collapse. Now we know we just not good enough”
“@ladyarse: I said a few weeks back, Arsenal is like a three-legged puppy; useless but you can’t help but love them”
“@goonerzade: I feel terrible for the goner kids in the front. How do we allow children witness this ATROCITY”
“@bbelgam: Sad….I swear down, I feel like crying…Screw you #Arsenal”
“@DaygeeDr: My finest player is Fabregas…I think it’s time you left…You deserve a better team”
“@Marc_my_wordz: Great win by the Arsenal ladies, 5-0. A clean sheet and 5 goals. Arsenal guys go and watch!!!”
“@gooneresscas: Same shit, different day. Dominating possession but not really creating clear cut chances and conceding at the other end”
@ladyarse: Well Arsenal, it’s been emotional. I’ll give you that”
“@OleGunner: Djourou’s turn to have a disastrous game. Should have chosen a better game.
“@MattSnr: Millions in the bank, but still no commanding central defender”
“@Zukkie: I can’t wait for Wenger’s post match interview, I’m itching to hear what else he has to say. I want to know what he’ll use to defend himself this time”
“@Pablo_Jenkins: Character? No. Belief? No. Spirit? No. Fight? No”
“@Graham_Dell: I just can’t see Wenger not changing things this summer, he can’t enjoy being on that touchline, looks like he’s gonna have a heart attack”
“@Amuristos: 3 big disappointments in just 1 week! #Arsenal”
“@goonerfreak23: Looking at the past 2 seasons we have collapsed in the 2nd half…no difference this time”
“@arseblog: If I was Szczesny, I’d be gutted. Two amazing saves immediately followed by Bolton goals from unspeakably shit defending”
“@Orbinho: Everybody wrote Arsenal off at the start of the season. Looks like they were right”
“@SwindonGooner: There were so many ifs, buts, could’ves and should’ves this season”
The last comment I will put wasn’t gotten from Twitter. It was a text message sent to me by ChiEbuka Nworah after I failed to pick his calls up.
“Guy na Arsenal do you this kain thing? Pick ya fone up. Ending ur title hopes ain’t one of the best ways to wish Gunner fans a belated Happy Easter. Tony, I swear that you will not forget this Easter of 2011 in a hurry”.
I’ve fed you with the views of gooners on Twitter…
It’s my TURN.
At times, it can feel like there is checklist of Arsenal’s failings, real or imagined. Game by game, they are ticked off: the susceptibility to set-pieces; the habit of conceding late goals; the need for a dominant central defender; the profligacy in attack; the lack of leadership; the psychological frailty.
But as their title challenge came to a depressing and definitive conclusion at the Reebok Stadium, perhaps the most frightening factor was the predictability of it all. This was the Arsenal of caricature, the side whose fragile beauty goes unrewarded because of their own flaws, the talented technicians seemingly condemned to finish third in a two-horse race now. This was justification for the pragmatists in their criticism of the purists.
After letting in a 102nd-minute goal seven days earlier, conceding in the 90th minute was comparatively early leading to more late frustration for Arsenal, and yesterday Bolton added their names to the litany who have breached the Gunners’ defense in the closing minutes. Arsenal’s anxiety, like United’s buoyancy, turns such strikes into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Opportunities were squandered at the Reebok, just as they have been over the course of a couple of months: Walcott, El Capitan and Nasri all spurned chances. Only rVp displayed deadliness in front of goal, scoring with expert precision after a one-two with the captain.
Meanwhile, a defensive generosity manifests itself. In the build-up to both goals, a man was allowed to burst clear of their defense: first Yang Chin-Ko, then Elmander
Previously one of the most improved players of Arsenal’s campaign, Djourou endured an awkward afternoon. The debate about AW the Alchemist’s failure to sign a commanding centre-half last season has never gone away, but now it may intensify, because when the weaknesses in their candidature are so apparent that even the sometimes myopic manager is accepting some of them, they have reached a crossroads. It is time for change; not at the helm, but in the team.
Yet Arsenal’s inability to turn that into victory was all too typical. Wenger will not abandon his football principles, and nor should he, but the need for a couple of hard-bitten stalwarts to shore up his side has rarely been stronger.
AW the Alchemist had this to say,
“Our chances are minimal now, that’s for sure. We dropped too many points. It is very frustrating because we should come home this week with nine points and we come back with two. The numbers are the numbers. We conceded six goals this week. You cannot afford to concede six goals in three games, particularly in April. It is very unsatisfactory because that’s one of the easiest run-ins we have had for quite some time, we didn’t take our chances many times in the season because the potential is there. We still lack something that is called maturity, experience, calm in key situations.”
It’s now evident that his philosophy of young talent has failed him so let’s see what will happen this summer.
I’ll end this long post with a food for thought for gooners everywhere.
“When you’re in the light, everyone will follow you…but when you enter into the dark…even your shadow will leave you”.
Some people decamped yesterday but I’ll still pledge my allegiance to Arsenal Football Club.
I was a fan when we won 2 doubles and went unbeaten for an entire campaign. I’ll still be a fan through this trying period.
I won’t be mentioning my blog followers on Twitter when i publish posts again till till next season so honour me by subscribing to the blog with your email so that anytime I publish a post it would come to your phone or computer as the case may be. It’s in the one of the widgets on the brown sidebar on the right hand side.
In Arsene we trust.
When Man Utd played Everton yesterday, the commentator made a comment in the 80th minute,
“With Man Utd still probing and pressing, the fans are only showing anxiety and concern unlike the fans at the Emirates that show fear and desperation in times like this”.
Man Utd pressed hard and showed patience and calmness to see out the game even though Everton’s goalie Howard the Bald was in inspired form. Chelsea on the other hand was more than a match for relegation threatened West Ham with El Nino scoring his first goal since the days Adolf Hitler ruled Germany. El Nino should thank his heavens that he scored yesterday. Terry J was on the prowl
We were on the summit of Mount Premiership in December when Nasri singlehandedly decimated the Fool-ham defense with two breathtaking goals. After leading for one week, Wong Fei-Hong’s header in Old Strafford was enough for us to be displaced from the top by Man Utd.
We’ve spent a very considerable amount of time in 2nd place but dropped to 3rd after that the Squisha’s own goal handed a point to Wigan. After rVp’s stunning hattrick against the aforementioned club, we moved back up to 2nd spot and have been displaced again by Chelshit thanks to our dismal run of form that have seen us pick up a meager 8 points from a possible 18.
There have been much talk about our mental weakness, signings in the summer, AW the Alchemist talking about nerves and El Capitan’s interview.
Goal difference will play a major role in the run in for the title because Man Utd has +39 while Chelshit has +37 so with us at +32 I’ll prefer us to add to the 66 we’ve scored in the league. In the early part of the season, we were goal hungry against teams like Blackpool, Braga and Shakhtar scoring well over 5 goals.
Bolton has lost their last 8 games against us and were also mauled by 5 goals against the usually goal miserly Stoke so I’ll prefer us to add to their misery.
For team news, TR7 and Diaby will be missing for today’s tie. It’s really unfortunate when you think of the amount of times Diaby has spent out injured.
Szczesny and the regular back four will continue their defensive roles. El Capitan, Song and Wilshere will also be the starting midfield triumvirate while the attack will be spearheaded by Nasri, Walcott and rVp.
We have won just 2 of our last 10 games against lowly teams like Blackpool and Leyton Orient so we need to start winning games if we truly want to end up as Barclay’s Premier League champions.
We have been blinded by next Sunday’s game against Man Utd so let’s hope that we secure a win today because we need it for a million and one reasons. We need it to get on 67 points to be level with Chelshit again, we need it to give ourselves a newly found belief, we need it to show those travelling fans that he heading up to the Reebok to show them that their money won’t be a waste, we need it to put some pressure of AW the Alchemist because the fans and media Vultures alike are asking for a pound of flesh like Shylock.
In other news, AW the Alchemist is optimistic that Nasri and Clichy would put pen to paper on new contracts because their contracts expire in the summer of 2012. Even Football Manager got that right.
Enjoy the game wherever you are.
Jesus Christ rose today after 3 days in the grave; let’s hope that Arsenal will rise to the occasion with a win after a long spell of unwanted and avoidable draws.
Arsenal has to remember that @omomo14 wants to dance naked on his street so a win today will bring him closer to achieving that impossible feat.