Finally…Some Silverbear and Podolski’s Take on Arsenal
As Gunnerblog stated, yesterday was a “strange day” as the club won a trophy and Gervinho scored a goal.
In Gervinho’s first campaign with the club, he scored four goals and supplied eight assists to his teammates. He didn’t start his Arsenal career on a bright note after that infamous brawl with Joey Barton but he was an instrumental figure in both qualifying legs against Udinese.
He opened his goalscoring account in that mysterious 4-3 defeat to Blackburn before playing a key role in the victory against Stoke. He scored his third and fourth goals against Wigan and Wolves but he left London for the shores of Africa in January to represent the tournament favorites, Ivory Coast.
After killing a bird in the sky with his penalty against Zambia, Gervinho returned back to the club like a figure that saw Freddy Krueger in his dreams, without his claws though. He suffered a dip in his confidence levels and lost his starting berth to Yossi Benayoun and the Ox. However, Gervinho capped a scintillating performance against Southampton with a goal worthy of a second look.
A detailed match report of the Southampton and Anderlecht games are found on the club’s website. Arsenal beat Anderlecht by a lone goal courtesy of an exquisite Henri Lansbury finish and the second fixture against Southampton was a stalemate that was decided by penalty shoot-out.
The team that played Anderlecht was captained by Kieran Gibbs who was part of a back line that was manned by Daniel Boateng, Ignasi Miquel and Carl Jenkinson. Nico Yennaris, Craig Eastmond, Henri Lansbury, Thomas Eisfeld and Sanchez Watt formed a formidable midfield force while Marouane Chamakh spearheaded the attack.
I’d learned that Chamakh fluffed a good chance in the game but I wasn’t surprised as well. Lansbury goal came from a brilliant Jenkinson cross.
The squad that played against Southampton had a more experienced outlook per se, with Vito Mannone being the custodian between the sticks for the Gunners. Captain for the day, Johan Djourou was at the heart of Arsenal’s defense with Kyle Bartley. Andre Santos and Jernade Meade provided with from the flanks. In midfield, Eastmond and Lansbury retained their places but they were joined by Kyle Ebecillo, Chuks Aneke and Francis Coquelin. Gervinho was the center forward.
After 45 minutes of football, Kyle Ebecillo lost the decisive penalty but Arsenal had done enough to win a nice shiny cuddly bear in honor of Markus Liebherr.
Elsewhere, dead jokes are emanating that Johan Djourou has “lifted a trophy” before van Persie. The club is expecting its captain to take part in the pre-season tour to the Far East to take on Malaysia XI, Manchester City and Kitchee in the tail end of this month.
His future remains in doubt but new signing, Lukas Podolski, has stated that he’ll like to play alongside the Dutchman:
“All I can say is Van Persie had an amazing record last season and hopefully there is a way he can stay with Arsenal,”
“It would be great to play with him, but obviously this is not in my control.”
Podolski had some sweet words to say about his new manager as well, talking about his impressive Champions League qualification record and his high reputation in Germany. The striker also spoke about Wenger’s passion for attacking football, flamboyancy, as well as his principles.
Podolski also shared his views on the club’s ambition, buttressing a point that most football fans expect the title run-in to be between the two Manchester giants, but he believes that Arsenal have the quality to surprise in the upcoming campaign.
“Arsenal have a quality squad and they should not aim to finish behind the rest or just settle for top four. Champions League football is the minimum requirement at Arsenal, but we should aim higher,
“For me, we have as good a chance as anyone in the Premier League. The key will be to start well and, unlike Manchester City or United, there will not be as much pressure on us.”
It’s good to see players with this much hunger to succeed unlike other players that settle for places on the bench with their fat salaries in their accounts.
There’s a great feeling of optimism among the Arsenal faithful for this forthcoming season and I hope we won’t say what we’ve been saying in the past seven seasons…
“Next season will be better”
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