Daily Archives: April 25, 2011
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.