Author Archives: enigma106

Arsenal Fans on Twitter React to the Signing of Petr Cech

Petr Cech

After a protracted wait, Arsenal finally announced the signing of Petr Cech from cross town rivals, Chelsea. The Czech veteran made 486 appearances for the Blues, keeping over 200 clean sheets in his 11 year stint with the club. Cech still holds the record for being the fastest player to reach 100 clean sheets in Premier League history, as he amassed his first century of shutouts in just 180 appearances. His individual awards and trophy haul are also very impressive as the goalie has won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Europa League and of course, the biggest prize in club football, the Champions League.

As expected, Cech’s transfer sparked a reaction on Twitter with the hashtag #WelcomeCech used by Arsenal fans to share their thoughts on the news signing. Here’s Gooner Daily’s pick of the bunch…

He was used to seeing a lot of bus parking players on the pitch but he’s going to have the protection from his back four as well as the Coq Block marshaling the middle of the park. As we all know, Francis Coquelin doesn’t leave any prisoners.

Everyone can thank Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, for making this move see the light of day. If it was left to that _____ of a manager called Jose Mourinho, he would have still been rotting in Chelsea’s bench.

With David Ospina tipped to move away from the Emirates, Wojciech Szczesny would benefit from having a veteran like Cech to understudy.

The vine shows his reaction right now…

I guess we know that Cesc Fabregas will retire as a rent boy

I think I had that reaction too

Just see how young Theo looks here. How time flies.

It was a good day indeed

I agree with this. Having Cech around will be a breath of fresh air for the defense.

I’m looking forward to seeing more saves like this.

What’s your reaction?

Sayonara.

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Galatasaray Want Podolski: Does He Still Have a Future at Arsenal?

 

While we anxiously wait for the imminent announcement of the Petr Cech deal, there has been some transfer speculation surrounding the club (as always). Arsenal seems to be a piece of meat for all these sports columns, with various sites linking all sorts of players with the club.

According to the folks at Fox Sports, Turkish juggernauts, Galatasaray SK, have declared their interest in signing Lukas Podolski this summer. The Turkish giants had a great campaign last season, winning the Turkish SuperLig with just three points above their fierce rivals, Fenerbahce. They also did the double after beating Bursaspor in the Turkish Cup final. Burak Yilmaz led the scoring charts with 22 goals and the new gaffer, Hamza Hamzaoglu, would be hoping for Podolski to get into the scoring act next season.

By winning the League, Galatasaray would qualify for the Champions League group stages next season but they will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their shameful campaign last season. They were paired in the same group with Borussia Dortmund, Anderlecht and of course, Arsenal. They were on the end of some real bashing from Arsenal and Dortmund in particular, conceding four goals each time they met both sides home and away.

After featuring sparingly for the Gunners in the first half of the season, Podolski was loaned to Inter Milan at the start of the January transfer window and it’s fair to say that he didn’t light up any fireworks in the city of Milan. Poldi featured 18 times for the Nerazzuri and scored only one goal, a good goal too, against Udinese.

With Inter failing to retain his services, he has returned to the club but he harbors hopes of playing his part next season,

“I’ve always felt comfortable there. With the fans, with the team and also with the manager. I’m going back to play, I have to say my qualities suit Arsenal.

“Inter? Last season went how it went. English football is the one which best suits my style, but I know how suddenly everything can change.”

When your manager is looking for a goalscoring opportunity while losing to Swansea and he brings on a raw talent like Yaya Sanogo instead of a seasoned veteran with over 100 caps for his country, it speaks in large volumes. It’s very evident that Arsene Wenger has lost faith in Podolski and it’s really strange bearing in mind that he scored 26 goals in his first two seasons with the club. Everyone associated with the club considers the German to be a liability rather than asset but his quality is undoubted. Podolski is the kind of guy that can be anonymous all game long but when you have a strikerin a one-on-one situation, he’s the one man you’d be wishing to have in such a position.

Even Wenger has acknowledged that the German is a great finisher but there are other facets to his game that has found him wanting. Podolski is highly effective when playing from the left flank as he has a very good technique with the ball on his feet but off the ball, his game needs some improvement, even though I don’t think that can happen, bearing in mind that he’s already 30. When he was featured as a center forward, he doesn’t hold up play, hassle opposition defenders, offers a focal point in attack or pose a threat in the air – something you can also count on Olivier Giroud to do for you.

Wenger has a vast array of players that can be featured on the left flank with Alexis Sanchez being the alpha-dog in that position. Mesut Ozil featured there at some point last season and when Danny Welbeck lost his place in the starting lineup as a center forward, he got some game time there. Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are very adept playing on that position, so it’s going to be hard to see where Podolski would fit.

Podolski was also critical of his manager when he made his move to Italy and I feel it may come back to bite him in the arse. When you think of the fact that he got featured in a dead-rubber game against Galatasaray and even netted a brace, only to return to the bench when the Gunners played Newcastle, it’s a situation that shows what the manager clearly felt about him.

I like Podolski. He’s a lovable bloke that does a lot of nice stuff on social media but if he wants to remain at the club, his chances of featuring consistently are slim to none.

If I was in his shoes, I’d go to Turkey and play consistent football so that I can be in Joachim Loew’s squad for Euro 2016. That and maybe the 2018 World Cup in Russia could be his last big international tournaments. He’d want to be playing regularly to at least give himself a chance of playing for his country.

Sadly, he might not have that at Arsenal.

Sayonara.

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Hernán Feler and his Tale of Vidal Joining Arsenal

Teammates in country and errr…club?

After watching Paraguay shock Brazil last night, the Copa America has now been reduced to only four teams with Chile, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay set to battle among themselves to take home South America’s biggest crown. Argentina are clearly the favorites to win the competition but Chile has been the most exciting side to watch throughout the tournament. After beginning the campaign with a 2-1 win over Ecuador, the Chileans were held to a draw by Mexico before demolishing Bolivia to advance to the knockout stages. Their quarterfinal victory over Uruguay was hard-fought, even though it was marred by the controversy sparked by Gonzalo Jara.

That brings us to today’s discussion.

Many of you might not know Hernan Feler, but he was the same guy that reported on radio that Alexis Sanchez was on his way to Arsenal. You know how these pundits ‘claim’ to have inside sources that feed them in-house information of the dealings going on in most football clubs and stuff like this. While I’d decide to take this bit of info with a pinch of salt till I see if on the official website of course, the prospect of having a player like Arturo Vidal at Arsenal is downright mouthwatering.

The lad began his career at Colo Colo where he won three titles with them before taking the big step many South Americans do by going to Europe. His destination was the industrial city of Leverkusen and he spent four years with the German outfit, gaining widespread recognition for his top-notch performances with the club so it was only a matter of time before the predators of Europe came sniffing around and after 117 league appearances for Leverkusen, Vidal completed a €10.5 million move to Juventus.

It was in Juventus that Vidal has blossomed into a complete midfielder and in his four seasons at the club, the Old Lady has won the Scudetto four times consecutively. He has also won two Italian Super Cups as well as last season’s Coppa Italia. Vidal was part of the Juventus team that came close to winning an unprecedented treble but they were thwarted by a rampant Barcelona side.

At Juventus, Vidal is known as Il Guerriero (“The Warrior”) and Rey Arturo (“King Arthur”) due to his tenacious, combative and aggressive style of play. The Chilean workhorse is also a very good tackler of the ball and his ability to read the game effectively is shown in the way he anticipates the ball. While thriving well as a holding midfielder, Vidal can play the box to box role effectively and while in this role, his eye for goal is somewhat sharpened which is evident from the 35 league goals he has scored for Juventus. Due to his good composure, Vidal is also Juve’s number one penalty taker and his record from the spot is exemplary.

According to Hernan Feler, Arturo Vidal is coming to Arsenal. Apparently, he has always been keeping in touch with the Gunners since 2011 and he also knew about the Alexis deal before it happened but he chose not to talk about it till it became official. It has also been reported that Sanchez has played in a role in convincing Vidal that Arsenal is the place to be, just like how reports surfaced that Tomas Rosicky said a thing or two to Petr Cech before he declared his interest in joining Arsenal.

We will monitor the situation closely and see how things pan out, even though I don’t intend to raise my hopes on this just yet.

Sayonara.

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Medical Cech Up Completed and Ospina on Fire

I was looking forward to the weekend for more reasons than one. We had this crazy ass audit at work and as expected, all hands were on deck to ensure that we had everything in place for ’em auditors. Despite the stress from work, I still took out time to go to Shaunz Bar in Victoria Island (a karaoke bar) and I sang a couple of songs and of course, had a bit too much to drink.

So I get back home on a Friday night, weak as fuck and I was like, ‘hey, David Ospina is playing tonight against Lionel Messi and co.’ With the game starting by 12.30am, I tried to take a nap to see I’d wake up just in time for the match and yes, my lil ol’ alarm clock did its thing and I was up watching Colombia and Argentina lock horns for a place in the semis.

Colombia has been very pathetic from an attacking standpoint and when I saw Radamel Falcao on the bench with Jackson Martinez taking his place, I figured that the manager, Jose Pekerman, had gotten tired of watching El Tigre play like shite throughout the tourney and it was time to give a hungrier forward like Martinez a chance to show them scouts that he’s up to the task. “Hames” Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado offered little or no threat up front and with the talent at Argentina’s disposal, you’d expect them to save the betters chances and they did.

David Ospina had the game of his life making save after save but there was none better than his double save from Sergio Aguero and Messi that got Arsenal fans wishing he wasn’t going to be sold.

Ospina wasn’t done there. He went on to make another magnificent save from a point blank header but he could count his lucky stars that the ball clipped the post and crept behind him instead of hitting his back and going in. In the end, the game went to the lottery of penalties and while there were a couple of spot kicks Ospina followed, his reach didn’t allow him make any save. Meanwhile, some of his teammates were busy killing birds in the sky with their spot kicks.

Despite the fact that Colombia has crashed out of the tournament, Ospina can pat himself on the back for having a great tournament that saw him keep three clean sheets in four games which included the likes of Brazil and Argentina. With his agent reportedly in Turkey trying to finalize a move to Fenerbahce, I’m sure the Turkish fans would be delighted with what they saw from Ospina in the Copa America.

Many Arsenal fans have mixed feelings about Ospina leaving the club after just one season but with a keeper as vastly experienced and talismanic as Petr Cech, you have to make exceptions.

Speaking of Cech, the Czech goalie completed his medicals ahead of a move to North London. Yes, it’s true and it’s only a matter of time before we see the world class goalie don the Arsenal goalkeepers kit while taking photo shoots. I shared my thoughts in the past about the goalkeeping situation at the club and I don’t think I’m ready to go in circles again.

It’s time to get a haircut because I look like a beast right now.

Sayonara.

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Thoughts on Koscielny’s Link with Madrid and Schneiderlin Off to Man Utd?

 

The Copa America has been serving as a good distraction this summer with Chile and Peru advancing to the semifinals and they await the winners of the Argentina vs. Colombia and Brazil vs. Paraguay games. However, it’s transfer news that has been dominating the back pages with the usual bits and bobs here and there.

Morgan Schneiderlin is a player that has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal for as long as I can remember and it’s evident that Southampton is resigned to allowing the player leave this summer but the Saints have placed a price tag of £25 million for one of their prized asset. The Mirror has reported that LVG has given Ed Woodward the go-ahead to make a bid for the midfielder and from all indications, Manchester United is ready to meet Southampton’s asking price. The club spent close to £150 million last summer and they’d continue in that vein as they have been linked with a host of players, including Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.

If Schneiderlin makes the proposed move to Manchester United, some Arsenal fans would be hoping that Wenger has plans to get a quality holding midfielder to support Francis Coquelin next season. Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are candidates to play the role of backup to Le Coq but we know that they are past their primes. Coquelin was regarded as a major success story last season but many fans believe that he cannot play every game in the forthcoming season but we will see how things pan out as the weeks progress.

Elsewhere, amid the uncertainty surrounding Sergio Ramos’ future, the Mirror has reported that Real Madrid has identified Laurent Koscielny as a possible replacement. It’s been reported that the Spanish juggernaut are set to offer the Gunners a fee worth £21 million for the Boss. Koscielny has been at Arsenal for five years and has grown from strength to strength to become an indispensable member of the squad.

According to Squawka, Koscielny won 56 percent of his headed duels in the Premier League last season and, in typical Arsenal fashion, maintained an impressive passing accuracy of 89 per cent across his 27 appearances. The centre-back’s 93 interceptions demonstrates his excellent reading of the game, while his total of 166 successful clearances hints at the calming influence he has on his fellow defenders.

When the French defender was out injured for a considerable chunk of the campaign, Arsenal struggled defensively as Arsene Wenger featured the likes of Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers and even Matt Debuchy to play alongside Per Mertesacker. With his return to the team, Arsenal’s fortune changed for good and as expected, the club finished the season strongly as well as winning the FA Cup to crown their efforts.

Arsenal is now at the peak of their financial powers and I don’t believe that they’d be swayed by Real Madrid’s advances. The only challenge would come if Koscielny opts out, like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and co. Then again, what do I know.

I’d monitor the situation in the coming weeks.

Sayonara.

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