Monthly Archives: September 2011

Oxlade-Chamberlain in the spotlight and Adebayor tries to calm the storm

The North London derby gets closer and closer and I’m anticipating it with enthusiasm because I expect another epic encounter between two great rivals. The media Vultures will take out time to do what they are known for and this fixture will be no different.

They’ve already reported that Aaron Ramsey says that Arsenal won’t be the underdogs for the derby and I’ll agree with the Welsh captain. The fact that Arsenal is just sitting below Tottenham won’t change the general consensus that the game will be an equally fought contest.

Down the years, this fixture has produced great moments for the fans of these clubs but some emphasis will be laid on an ex-Gunner that is currently plying his trade on loan to Tottenham, Emmanuel Adebayor.

Adebayor served Arsenal from the winter of 2006 to the summer of 2009 and he managed to amass 46 league goals in 105 appearances. Shortly after moving to Manchester City, Adebayor was wearing the Blue of the Manchester based outfit when Arsenal visited the City of Manchester Stadium in a Premier League encounterbut the game was marred by Arsenal’s awful display and Adebayor’s antics on the field.

This earned him a villian-like status amongst the Arsenal faithful and he turned out to be a hated figure in the return leg at the Emirates.

Adebayor has moved to Real Madrid before making a U-turn to the white half of North London but the match between Tottenham and Arsenal is likely to raise some tensions between the Gunners on the pitch and Emmanuel Adebayor. Van Persie received a  first-hand demonstration of Adebayor’s aggressiveness so there’s a high chance of rVp doing something very canny behind the scenes.

However, Adebayor gathered up some media Vultures to issue a public apology to Arsenal:

‘I regret what I have done and I say sorry to everyone but at the end of the day sorry doesn’t change anything. For me it’s over.

‘I’m looking forward to playing against Arsenal again on Sunday but believe me, if I have a chance to score, trust me I will score but as for the celebration, never in my life will I do something like that again.’
‘It will be a funny game [on Sunday], it’ll be fantastic. I have a chance to play against Arsenal again, the club that gave me the chance to be where I am today. I have a huge respect for the club.’

Awwww…….Ade has gone all touchy. Gimme a break.

I’m pretty sure that Wenger will tell his men to behave themselves in the best possible manner because this derby has seen its fair share of red cards so it would be foolish for any Gunner to overreact in a game of this magnitude especially with their positions in the Premier League.

There is a Gunner that has come into the spotlight for more reasons than one. For starters, he has turned out to be Arsenal’s most expensive acquisition this season with a £12m price tag on his head. His footballing exploits earned him a place in the npower League 1 Team of the Year and he has made a blistering start to his Arsenal career with two goals in the first two games he has started for the club.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or the Chambered Ox as I prefer to call him made history by being the youngest ever English goal scorer in the Champions League and he was quick to say a thing or two about the proud moment:

“I am proud to score in the Champions League tonight for the team. I made a little contribution and I’m hoping I can push on from here and improve”

The Chambered Ox has also talked about pushing for a starting role and he unveiled the reason why he chose to play for Arsenal:

“I always used to watch Arsenal and I loved the way they played football. I think it was the manager, stadium and fans that sold it for me. “

“The boss is a massive influence in the game and he is such an intelligent man. The stuff he says, you have to sit back and can only admire. Even in his team talk for today, the stuff he says is brilliant.

“You always learn stuff from him. He has a quiet word every now and again but the stuff he says is spot on. You think ‘yeah, actually I didn’t realise that and thank you.’ He’s just a fantastic man and I think the way he thought he could develop my game really pushed me towards Arsenal.

“It’s a massive club and nights like this prove it. I came to a few games last season – the Barcelona one here when they won – and I was blown away so that was it.”

The future is really bright with the likes of the Chambered Ox in it and with Theo Walcott struggling with injuries and Arshavin putting up inconsistent performances, the young lad could be in line for a starting berth because we all know that Arsene Wenger is never afraid to hand any youngster a chance as long as the player merits it.

The season is still young so I’ll expect to see the Chambered Ox strut his stuff as it progresses and I’m also drooling with the prospect of watching Ryo Miyaichi play too.

In other Arsenal news, Gervinho says that he’s enjoying his stay at the club while Per Mertesacker is relishing the challenge of playing Tottenham.

The month is over so I’m going to publish the polls for the awards for the month of September tonight.

Please don’t forget to vote for your Save of the month as well as your assist, goal, match, worst match, most improved, most disappointing and of course, the Gunner of the Month.

Vermaelen looks certain to be dethroned as he was the winner for the award last month.

Till then.


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10 reasons to look forward to the North London derby

Football is a sport that is widely regarded as the best sport in the world for more reasons than one. It’s a game that unifies all diversities for a common cause.

Many people on Earth watch the game for the love of it while others familiarize themselves with a specific team and stick to them through thick and thin. In the various leagues of the world, there are specific games that are regarded above others because there’s some spice added to it.

Judging from SuperSport’s advert on El Classico, there’s a funny scene where no one will be seen on the streets because the match is ongoing. You would even hear the sound of some crickets. :d

England has been touted as the home of football and there are many football clubs in the country. My focus is on the match between two football juggernauts in the Northern part of London, Arsenal and Tottenham.

Down the years, the matches between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs have produced moments of quality and individual brilliance from footballers that have placed their names in the folklore of their clubs. Moments like Thierry Henry’s magnificent solo run in the 3-0 victory, Emmanuel Adebayor’s goal of the season in the 3-1 victory or David Bentley’s unbelievable long range projectile missile in the 4-4 draw could only be produced in a match of this caliber.

Arsenal, Tottenham and football fans alike love watching the North London derby and here’s my take of the top ten reasons to watch the game on Sunday.

Rivalry: Facing the old enemy

There’s nothing sweeter than facing a familiar foe in a battle that will last for a long while. In football terms, Arsenal and Tottenham always look forward to facing each other because of the rivalry involved with both sides.

Bragging rights

In recent times, Arsenal always had bragging rights over their neighbors until Juande Ramos ended it in grand style in that 5-1 demolition in the Carling Cup semis of 2008. That game also unveiled a little feud between Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner.

Arsenal saw off the threat of Tottenham in subsequent years till that 2-1 defeat in White Hart Lane that unveiled Danny Rose to the world. Tottenham added further misery in the 3-2 reverse last season in November. Both teams will want to use Sunday’s game to tip the scale to the winning team’s side.

Past records

Arsenal and Tottenham have produced games that have been updated to record books from time to time and I’m pretty sure that Sunday’s clash will be no different.

Epic encounters

5-4, 4-4, 3-3….the list goes on.

Games between Arsenal and Tottenham provide enthralling encounters for even the neutrals to enjoy. No one expected an unlikely comeback in Harry Redknapp’s first game in charge of Tottenham when they were two goals down with only five minutes to spare. Nobody also expected a Tottenham comeback when they were two goals down at halftime in the Emirates after they were outplayed by their illustrious neighbors but the second half was a different ball game.

With the way both teams are playing, every football lover will be expecting another epic encounter.

Stars on the spotlight

Down the years, stars like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Robbie Keane were in the spotlight for all the right reasons when Arsenal played Tottenham but in recent times Rafael van der Vaart has joined the party to be a scourge to the Gunners with his performances in the North London derby last season.

On Sunday, the likes of Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie will want to play well enough to see their names in the front pages on the Monday sports news headlines.

Derby debuts for new signings

Harry Redknapp and Arsene Wenger got their bags and their wallets open to visit football Walmarts and eBays to acquire players for the forthcoming campaign.

From a Tottenham perspective, Scott Parker and Brad Friedel despite being Premier League veterans will get their first dose of the drug called the North London derby. Per Mertesacker, Gervinho and Andre Santos will face Arsenal’s foes for the first time in a game that a lot will be expected of them.

Arsenal and Tottenham’s resurgence

The league started on a poor note for Wenger and his men but three successive wins on the trot in all competitions played will be an added incentive from an Arsenal point of view.

Tottenham started the season with sound bashing from the clubs from Manchester but three successive league wins have brought smiles back to the faces of the White half of North London so Sunday’s encounter is going to be a lot sweeter because it’s fair to say that both teams are on form.

Positions in the Premier League table

In all my years as an Arsenal fan, I’ve never seen the Gunners finish below the Spurs.

I’ve also been very confident with this assessment to the stage that I was in the opinion that if Arsenal ever ends up in 17th place, Tottenham will get relegated but the trend hasn’t been followed because those in the White half of North London wave at the Red half from above in Mount Premiership.

Super Sunday

The Premier League has a knack for setting up these sorts of fixtures on Sunday evenings and this match is no different. Sunday matches are always the most comfortable to watch especially after a great Sunday service at church.

Emmanuel Adebayor

I had to put Mr. Greedybayor as the final reason to look forward to the North London derby. He was Tottenham’s personal terrorist in his Arsenal days as he pumped goals past the likes of Paul Robinson, Carlo Cudincini and probably Heurelho Gomes.

Adebayor was shipped out to the oil moneybags of Manchester City after a disappointing last season with Arsenal and he has struggled to challenge for a place in Mancini’s squad. During his pretty decent loan spell at Real Madrid, he still managed to score against Tottenham but it’s really awkward to know that the Tottenham fans that rained boos on him in his Arsenal days created a song for him when he decimated Liverpool.

Well that’s football for you.

I don’t know about you but I’m going to be with my Guinness and my Arsenal muffler on the 2nd of October when Arsenal visits White Hart Lane to play their fiercest rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs.



Wilshere out for all eternity, more injuries and van Persie’s contract issue

Adjusting to life without my BlackBerry hasn’t been fun :(.

It can be likened to a junkie that has been told to stop taking his ‘white girl’ without even going to rehab. I miss tweeting, facebooking and pinging with my family, gooners, friends and my chickens too.

I could go on and on about all the sad tales of missing my phone but it will be better if I open up a sad blog for it called “memiors of a sad blogger”. The last time I checked, this is an Arsenal blog.

The media Vultures have started circling round Arsenal and van Persie and a lot of fuss has been made over a player that has two years left in Arsenal Football Club. They’ve reported that van Persie is keeping Arsenal waiting over signing a new deal but the boss is unperturbed over the situation.

Wenger has told the media Vultures that he has activated his hakuna matata mode over the van Persie contract situation:

“A new contract depends on us and on Robin. On our side we are quite clear so that is no problem. I do not say there is no problem because it does not depend only on us but we are clear with our intention. “

“I have a high level of expectation for him and his performances are as high as I expect them to be. He plays well with the team, with the other players, and he finishes well. His finishing record is absolutely fantastic, he has scored 26 goals in 31 games and he is not only a finisher.”

“After that you have to respect that he has nearly two years to go so let’s not make an immediate issue of something like that.”

‘Two years in football is a very, very long time.”

There’s a lot of time between today and June 30, 2013 so let’s not smash our head on any wall or shoot anybody’s foot over the time the club’s captain still has in the club.

In Arsenal, there are many pressing concerns that give the manager and the fans alike things to think about.

There are days when the fans think about the defense, other days the fans think about the club’s poor form and its profligacy in front of goal. Today’s present worry is the club’s injury situation.

Jack Wilshere went under the knife to rectify his ankle problems and the operation was successful but the midfielder is going to be sidelined for the best part of four to five months. :(

Wilshere played a lot of matches last season and the bloke was even Hell-bent on playing in the European Under-21 Championships that took place in Denmark where Spain emerged as the winners. The midfielder hasn’t kicked the ball for Arsenal in any competitive game this season and his absence has been truly felt because everybody believed that he was going to build on his form from last season.

Wenger bemoans his absence but he was quick to spread his bullet-proof wings to defend Arsenal’s medical staff that has been under fire in recent times:

“It’s unfair because the club medical staff haven’t made any mistakes on that front. It is unfortunate and we are all very sad at the club that it has happened to such a young boy.”

“We were even more worried as it was a complicated procedure so it was a big relief yesterday for everybody at the club that the operation went well. I am convinced that the medical staff have not made any mistakes on this case.”

Arsenal’s medical staff has been criticized for the way they’ve handled injuries in the past but Wenger also told the media Vultures that he’s happy with his options in midfield. When Arsenal visited Old Trafford, his midfield was very bare but the acquisitions of Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta has gone a long way to add some steel to the midfield.

Unfortunately enough, Wilshere isn’t the only Gunner that has joined the long-term absentees like Thomas Vermaelen (ankle), Abou Diaby (ankle), Sebastien Squillaci (calf) and the recently joined Yossi Benayoun (strain) and Johan Djourou (hamstring). New Gunners like Laurent Koscielny (ankle), Theo Walcott (knee) and Gervinho (muscular) have joined the list of absentees so Wenger’s squad against Olympiakos will be stretched to its bare minimums.

In other Arsenal news, Juventus have declared that they cannot afford Walcott, Arteta says that playing for the club is one of his biggest challenges yet and Wenger has been deeply impressed by Mertesacker.

Wenger is also closing in on his 15th anniversary as Arsenal’s manager and he has played down the milestone:

There is plenty not to be happy about, I never look back and I am not an anniversary fan.”

“In top-level sport you have to see what comes next and try to focus on that. The only thing that matters to me is [Wednesday] night.”

“It is the last touchline ban,” he confirmed. “I will be forced to have a dinner in the Directors’ Box!”

That’s him though, I’ll go haywire when GoonerDaily turns 1 on the 26th of November, 2011


Post-Bolton thoughts, van Persie stalls and Walcott’s trophy hunt

Arsenal secured its first convincing win in the Premier League and the spirits in the squad are high again.

Alex Song’s goal brought out a smile on Wenger’s face that had been laden with frustration in recent weeks. Arsenal’s boss was really happy with the win against Bolton:

“It is a deserved win that is welcome for us. We cannot drop many points anymore. I feel the referee had a good game.”

Wenger was also quick to acknowledge the club’s captain and he stated that van Persie is growing into the captain’s role:

“I think that he’s one of those guys that develop with responsibilities. You would think that he’s not a natural from the start but when he has the responsibility he grows into the role.”

It’s fair to say that he led by example with his brace against Bolton and the player himself is happy with the victory. Van Persie also took out time to talk to the media Vultures about joining the 100 club.

“I’m very proud. I’m only the 17th player in Arsenal’s history to pass the 100 goal mark. Its a big achievement.”

With the way the contract situation involving Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri was sorted out, Wenger is gearing himself up to get new deals for Thomas Vermaelen, Theo Walcott and the club’s captain whose deals expire in 2013 but the media Vultures report that van Persie is not ready to sign a new deal.

According to their reports, van Persie has made it clear he is in no rush and is desperate to be successful in his career:

“I still have almost two years until 2013. So for the moment that’s fine, but I don’t know. We will have to look.”

“I’m happy with my contract, I’m good. That’s how it is, I can’t say much more. I can’t look into the future.”

“The main thing for me is the team and that we play well. I do believe you have to look for a right moment to sit down and speak about your own stuff. It’s not only about me, it’s about the team.

“I don’t want to give the wrong message to speak about my own stuff while the others are a bit more important.

“I can’t say we are talking now because we are so busy – we have games every three or four days.”

We all know that van Persie, Vermaelen and Walcott have two years left but its paramount to give them new contracts at this stage of the season because if Arsenal fails to win any trophy yet again at the end of this present campaign, we’ll be in for another long summer because many clubs will come with the shopping bags to a football store called Arsenal.

However, there’s a player within the squad that’s hungry for trophies:

“Trophies are the thing you’re gonna look back on in the history books. Look at Hugh Giggs Hefner, a great example, and the trophies he’s won.”

“You want to show your kids what you’ve won and what you’ve achieved in your life and, um, nothing so far. We’ve been so close, The Carling Cup last year when I was injured, and against Chelsea in the [2007] final, when I got my first goal. Nearly there. So it’s got to be this year. It has to be. We’ve got to believe we can do it with the slow start we’ve had.”

I can’t agree more with Theo Walcott but there are five major factors why Arsenal hasn’t won a trophy in the past six years:

Ill-luck, injuries to key players in games we need them the most, the squad’s indiscipline, bad officiating decisions and in special cases, Wenger’s tactical blunders.

If Arsenal can avoid these this season, the Gunners will be dancing with Champagne on a certain podium but they’ve already played their part with just two months gone.

The squad suffered from ill-luck in the 4-3 reverse at Ewood Park. Squad indiscipline against Newcastle and Liverpool turned out to be critical as the team was humiliated by Manchester United late August. The officials lost the plot when offside decisions against Liverpool and Blackburn were left to stand and Wenger’s tactical frailty was exposed when he took out Coquelin for the Ox in Old Trafford and Sagna for Djourou in Ewood Park.

We all know how the injury situation is at the club with the likes of Vermaelen, Diaby and Wilshere still out of action.

Speaking of injuries, Arsenal is relieved to know that Walcott’s injury is a minor one and he could be in line to face Olympiakos on Wednesday.

Arsenal can do without Walcott’s services on Wednesday but Sunday’s game against rivals Tottenham is a more important game for a player of Walcott’s calibre.

He has been in good form this season with his goals and assists so he’ll be a valuable asset in White Hart Lane on Sunday because he’ll definitely be more than a handful for Benoit Assou-Ekoto.

Moving over to transfer news, Wenger has stated that Arsenal got a better deal for Nasri than Fabregas:

“I always said that Cesc was a bargain. With Nasri we got reasonable price for a player thart had one year to go.”

“With Cesc we were forced into the situation because he’s one of the best midfielders in the world and we sold him under his worth”

There’s no point crying over spilled milk. Arsemal amassed £65m from the sales of Fabregas and Nasri and I can’t recall any other team this summer that made that kind of money from the sale of just two players.

He used a small chunk of the money to get five experienced players and I’m pretty sure that most gooners are content with the new signings.

The media Vultures have also reported that Manchester City is gearing up a £30m bid for van Persie in January as the player has become ‘disillusioned’ with the sales of Clichy, Nasri, Fabregas.

Andre Santos came in for Clichy while Gervinho and Arteta are able replacements for Nasri and Fabregas so what is there to be ‘disillusioned’ about?

I can’t deny that there’s a difference in quality with the ongoing players and their incoming replacements but they are not miles apart.

Andre Santos has more attacking verve than Clichy but the Frenchman’s pace and quick recovery was a valuable asset at Arsenal but his form waned and he probably needed a new challenge so his exit was welcome.

Let’s not forget that there was a certain Kieran Gibbs that was raring to go.

Gervinho is a better proven goal scorer than Samir Nasri but the French maestro was more intelligent with the ball at his feet. Gervinho can be a miserly player when he wants to be and that’s not the Arsenal way but I’m sure that he’ll learn well as the days go by.

When Tomas Rosicky was in Dortmund, he made four shots with every five passes he received but after his induction to the Arsenal way, he gave five more passes to every five he received.

The comparism between Arteta and Fabregas is something I won’t derive pleasure in analyzing so I’ll summarize it all in a single sentence. Arteta can also pass, shoot, dictate tempo and supply set pieces like Fabregas.

Remember that I didn’t write that he was better.

To end the transfer news up, Barcelona has joined in the pursuit for Gary Cahill and Arsenal is linked with a £4m raid for Hertha Berlin’s Raffael.

In other Arsenal related news, Mertesacker has stated that he’s not satisfied with his performances and has vowed to improve.

Arsenal’s Carling Cup win against Shrewsbury Town has fixed the club on a 4th round date with Bolton and the Arsenal Ladies have won the unprecedented domestic treble

I’m facing major problems with my BlackBerry device so all blog posts will be made with my laptop for the time being till I get a new BlackBerry.

This would also mean that I will not facebook and tweet as frequently as usual with my handles @enigma106 and @goonerdaily but I’ll be popping up from time to time to tweet with Twitter via web to notify my followers with updates as well as ƒølløώ backs. :)

Have a great Monday.


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Arsenal 3 Bolton 0: Captain Van persie becomes a centurion

Even if it was early days, yesterday’s match seemed like a relegation 6-pointer.

The home side had a very patchy form that started with a draw which was followed by two losses in a row. An unconvincing win was followed by a shock loss to the team that was at the foot of the table.

The away side wasn’t any better. They started impressively with a 4-0 spanking of the new boys in the block but they’ve been on the wrong end of four successive defeats.

Kieran Gibbs did well in the Carling Cup so he was selected ahead of Andre Santos. Walcott was also chosen against Arshavin in the fresh side that had a break on Tuesday.

Bolton was the first to draw first blood when a Chris Eagles cross was nodded into the dabger area by David Wheater. Pratley got on the end of the ball and produced an amazing save from Wojciech Szczesny. Eagles also threatened again with another ball to Martin Petrov but Per Mertesacker was on hand to avert the danger.

Arsenal turned on the style to attack Bolton and a free kick was won on the left hand side of Bolton’s area, an area that can also be called as van Persie’s territory. The Dutchman swung it in but it was easy pickings for Bolton’s stalwart Jussi Jaaskelainen. The man with the whistle Mark Clattenburg requested for the free kick to be taken again so Mikel Arteta gave the ball a little nudge and van Persie curled it to the top corner but it missed by a lick of paint.

The Elbow Man Kevin Davies had played 120 matches in a row for the Trotters but he was warming the bench yesterday. However, he was sent back into action when David N’ Gog seemed concussed from the head bashing he received from Laurent Koscielny minutes ago.

Davies almost found himself through on goal but his control let him down after receiving a good pass from Paul Robinson. Arsenal’s defense was found wanting yet again and the Gunner might have been punished had Davies put that ball under control.

Koscielny had one of those moments where he waltzed forward and he almost put Arsenal 1 up. He ran a considerable length of the pitch before feeding Theo Walcott but he remained forward. Walcott gave it to Gervinho before delivering a cross into the box to see an unmarked Koscielny. The Frenchman attempted a scissors kick but his effort went wide.

Walcott had some chances at the end of the half but that was it from an Arsenal perspective because Mr. Clattenburg signaled for halftime. Arsenal was encouraging but had no goals to show for it, a familiar story.

Arsenal went into a flyer at the start of the second half thanks to some decisive attacking play. Gervinho got the ball in midfield and made a run but he was tackled by some bloke but as Ramsey received the ball, Mr. Clattenburg waved play-on instead of stopping play for an infringement. Ramsey moved with the ball before setting up RVP on the edge of the box. He dallied a bit before creating a chance for himself to beat Jaaskelainen on his near post.

Gervinho had a lovely one-two with Alex Song but he couldn’t finish off the delightful move. Bolton’s woes were compounded when a Ramsey through pass was heading straight to Walcott but he was impeded by Wheater who happened to be Bolton’s last man leaving the ref no choice but to brandish a red.

Arteta almost increased Arsenal’s lead after some brilliant work from Gervinho and van Persie on the left hand side but the ball was intercepted for a corner kick. Jaaskelainen was in the thick of things for Bolton and he was called to action again when van Persie teed up Walcott for a shot that was duly saved by the goalie but he parried it straight to Arteta’s direction that smashed another ball goalwards but the Finn was on hand to belly his years and make another good stop.

At some point Bolton had a swift counter attack that almost leveled the tie but Szczesny’s concentration was in check when Eagles lashed in a low drive goalwards. In an instance, it was Arsenal that was on the other end of Bolton’s goal with a low effort form van Persie that was saved by the goalie.

There was also a little moment of madness when van Persie was in the midst of five Bolton players in an off the ball event but the intended brawl didn’t emanate as the ref and other players eased everything off.

Gervinho and Walcott were nuisances to Bolton’s defense and the English winger chipped a delightful ball that was headed home by van Persie but Jaaskelainen appeared from nowhere to make another wonder save.  Arteta swung in the corner but it was headed away from the danger to the path of Koscielny who smashed it back to the goal but the goalie was in inspired form as he made another good save.

Arsenal was knocking at Bolton’s door for the second but Jaaskelainen stood at the front the door and attempted to swallow the key so Arsenal had to switch to its battering ram mode and there was nothing the Finn could do about that.

Ramsey sent another through ball to Walcott on the right hand side and the winger had acres of space to exploit. He raised his head up and found van Persie free so he sent a well weighted ball to Arsenal’s captain who made the slightest of touches to score Arsenal’s second goal. That was also his 100th for the club after six years of magnificent service.

Ramsey was having an amazing game in midfield and he was left to fire the trigger from long range and he did to produce another good save from Jaaskelainen. Song supplied the pass of the day to Walcott who had all the time in the world to finish the ball in any way that would have been pleasing to him.

Walcott had limitless options to score the goal but he chose the most awkward of them all, a quick low drive that was punched to safety by Jaaskelainen. Gervinho’s time on the pitch was up so Wenger opted for the little Russian pygmy called Andrei Arshavin. Arteta was also sacrificed for the injury returnee Tomas Rosicky.

Arsenal kept pushing for the match clincher but they became more wasteful. With the tie against Olympiakos in mind, the Centurion was substituted for Marouane Chamakh but he knew who was going to get the band this time.

Arsenal killed off the tie after some amazing work from Bacary Sagna. The full back ran at the defense before cutting the ball back into Bolton’s danger area. The ball missed out on Ramsey but Song was in hand to evade his marker before finishing aplomb.

In a very delightful afternoon for Arsene Wenger, the Gunners and the fans alike, despair became the order of the day when Walcott pulled up short after attempting to chase a ball from Chamakh. The winger had a great game but the demons of injuries came to dwell on him when he was having a good time.

At the end of the whistle, Arsenal was home and dry and had propelled five places up the log to be placed at 12th position. The weekend also had its fair share of records with van Persie entering the 100 club, Peter Crouch scoring in his sixth different club and Fernando Torres scoring in his second game in a row since the days Merlin was the chief wizard of Britain.

Szczesny (7.0) had an uneventful day at the office but came to action when he was called.

Sagna (7.0) supplied the assist for the final goal.

Gibbs (6.5) did okay on the left and played a big role in Eagles weak shot with his burst of pace.

Koscielny (7.0) showed off his attacking talents while doing a decent job at the back.

Mertesacker (6.5) had a good game by his standards.

Song (8.5) was amazing yet again and finished it off with a well taken goal.

Ramsey (8.0) was ubiquitous in midfield and always wanted the ball because he knew what to do with it.

Arteta (7.0) had another great outing for his new club.

Walcott (8.0) was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Bolton defense. Disappointed to see how his evening ended. :(

Gervinho (7.0) ran at the Bolton defense with real drive and intent.

Van Persie (9.0) scored a century of goals for his club, an amazing return for a truly amazing player.

Arshavin, Rosicky and Chamakh didn’t play long enough to get Gooner Daily ratings.

In a weekend were the Big Boys showed what they are made of, Stoke Rugby FC proved to the world why the Britannia Stadium has become a fortress with a well deserved 1-1 draw with the champions. Peter Crouch made history in that game while Luis Nani continued to show stats wise why he has been better than Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United.

As at yesterday in their Manure United careers, CR7 and Michael Jackson’s clone shared 19 goals each at the club but Yar’ Adua is better off with 33 assists while CR7 had 12.

The sun is shining again at the Emirates; Olympiakos comes up next before a trip to the rejuvenated old enemy Tottenham Hotspurs.

They also have a weapon that Arsenal used to destroy them back in the days, Emmanuel Greedybayor.





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