Daily Archives: May 29, 2011

Song talks about mentality and a quick focus on the birthday boy: Andrey Arshavin

As a proud Nigerian, the Premier League is more or less the most viewed league in the country so the football fans of this country have divided themselves into 4 main fan zones which involve the top 3 clubs that wear Red and the final fan zone being that Blue wearing team from West London. With Liverpool’s trophyless inactivity in recent years, the English Premier League fandom has been divided into Chelsea, Man Utd and of course the Arsenal.

Yesterday, Man Utd had the chance to be crowned as Champions of Europe for the 4th time but they came up against a side that’s infested with aliens from other galaxies. That diving nitwit called Dani Alves has a head that’s shaped like Saturn without the rings on, David ‘son’ of Villa shoots more balls than the amount of Sun rays that hit the Ozone Layer, Xavi and Iniesta were put in the same spaceship with Superman when Krypton was about to go into oblivion and Lionel Messi is the supreme ruler of his own planet. He came on a personal mission to invade Earth and his invasion plans are working well because he’s literally worshipped in some sections of the Earth.

The champions of England played the champions of Spain yesterday night but it was a one way contest from start to finish. As expected Man Utd’s Korean superstar Wong Fei-Hong worked his skins off but it wasn’t enough because old hags like Hugh Giggs Hefner couldn’t keep up with the pace of Barcelona. Rooney’s goal was beautiful but Villa’s match winner was the kind of goal you’ll score in Pro Evolution Soccer when you press the ‘R2’ button after taking the shot.

I hate Barcelona for unsettling Fabregas, funding Busacca to give rVp the softest of red cards and their long list of players that can’t shut up but I hate Man Utd more so I was happy with the end result because if United had won yesterday’s match, Twitter would have been forced to extend their 140 character limit because Man Utd fans over my timeline went haywire when Rooney equalized for them. I don’t even want to write about how my Man Utd contacts on BlackBerry Messenger were acting up.

I’ll give you a few quotes from the beaten finalists,

Rio Ferdy says,

“At 1-1 we genuinely thought we could win the game. But we got hit with a bit of a sucker punch. A couple of their goals were preventable, but you’ve got to give credit when it’s due. We had a gameplan today that we thought could beat them. Tonight, it just wasn’t to be.”

Vidic the Terrible says,

“When you come to the final, you want to win. We didn’t win today, but we have to say tonight that Barcelona played some good football. They had more chances than we did. And they were better than us tonight.”

And Edwin van der Save says,

We made one or two mistakes, and they punish you. It was one game too many for us I think. It’s not nice to lose of course but they had the better chances. I don’t know if I could have prevented Leo Messi’s goal. I thought I positioned myself well but David Villa was blocking my sight. Messi tends to curl it to the far post and he just clipped it around Villa. They are very good. We started well in the first 15 minutes, same as we did in Rome, and you just have to try and score the first goal but we didn’t do that It’s not always given that your career ends on a good note but I thank everybody for the memories and we’ll see each other again.”

You can’t deny that Barcelona is the greatest team in this era but I’m proud to say that they met their demise at the Emirates even after scoring first. That’s one game, I can tell my kids about in the near future.

To Arsenal news, I’ll start with Aaron Ramsey. After spending a shitload of time out injured thanks to that dimwitted Rugby oaf called Shawcross, he did very well to come back and get unto the pitch to gain match fitness. Nottingham Forest and Cardiff where the teams that offered to give Ramsey the match fitness he needed but there was still time for him to feature at this parent club Arsenal this season. Things went from good to better for the youngling when new Welsh boss Gary Speed awarded him with the biggest individual honor a footballer playing for his national team can have, the captaincy. Ramsey was also the person that put a little dent in Man Utd’s title bid even if they still ended up as champions. Ramsey has urged AW to splash the cash this summer to bring it that much needed quality that has been lacking in certain areas of the pitch. I know that spending £∞m on a certain player is no true guarantee for a trophy but it’ll go a long way because Arsenal FC is a club whose players get injured mysteriously. Take this season for instance, Eboue’s knee against Braga in the Champions League, rVp’s knee against Birmingham in the Carling Spoon final and Djourou’s shoulder against Man Utd in the FA Cup. These were injuries that were supposed to make them stay out for all eternity but they made amazing comebacks.  On the other hand, Fabregas’ hammy was supposed to keep him out for a few weeks but it changed to a few extra weeks. Vermaelen’s Achilles tendon was a different story on its own.

I don’t need AW to buy every player that’s linked to us but I want him to get us a center back, a holding midfielder and a winger. I’ll keep you updated as more transfer stories unfold.

Rambo celebrating his goal against United

Alex Song grew from strength to strength this season with more consistent performances for Arsenal this season. Even though his new hair-do seems like a fashion disaster to me, his exploits on the pitch has gone a long way to impress his ever growing fans. He even improved his game massively by adding goals to the equation. Out of the 5 he scored this season, the match winner against West Ham still stands out as one of my personal favorites because I was scared that it was going to be one of those Arsenal games that we’ll press and probe but nothing will come out of it. We still had such games last season with Sunderland and Blackburn the most notable. If someone told me that we were going to draw those games at the Emirates I would have laughed the person off but they actually happened. The principle attribute that was the major factor why Arsenal couldn’t convert 1 point to 3 was the issue of the team’s weak mentality. There were many games Arsenal left me with tears and agony. When you needed them to give that extra 110% they were found wanting.

At the start of the year, Arsenal was the only team in the Premier League that was gunning for all four trophies football as a sport had to offer. There’s one adage that I read in Emirates View Point and it has been in my head forever,

“If you haven’t had your first cigarette, you can never be addicted to smoking”

In the present crop of players under AW’s disposal, only a meager amount of 5 players know what it feels like to stand on that podium with all your fans screaming in elation. Fabregas, Clichy, rVp and Almunia won the FA Cup in 2005 while Squillaci has a long list of trophy hauls he won in his days at France and Spain. The others just read about them in books or re-live them in their dreams. This is not the time to point fingers at player A or player B because the season reminds me of T.I.’s hit track, dead and gone. Song has come out to say that we need to change our mental approach next season if we want to break that trophy duck. It’s also pleasing to know that these words are coming out from a player like Song because the fans can attest to his approach play this season. He was never afraid to make that tackle and get that yellow card as long as the opposition play has been stopped. Even after being booked, Song was still there to make more tackles and stop play. He crossed the line when we played Sunderland at the Stadium of Light but I felt that the booking was soft though. The only players that played in the same wavelength with Song to me all season long where Szczesny, Sagna, Wilshere and rVp. There were other players that played in the mold but they didn’t maintain it all season long.

Mentality isn’t something you can just teach in a class. It’s something that the individual will have to improve by himself. Next season starts in August so we’ll have to wait and see if Song and the other ‘high mentality’ blokes can rub off their influence on the rest of the squad.

Song in action

There’s a Gunner that turned 30 today. He was born in the city of St. Petersburg. I still prefer the city when it was called Leningrad. This gunner started his career in Zenit St. Petersburg when he was 18 and played stayed in the club for almost a decade achieving legendary status there before being snapped by Arsenal for £15m in the winter of 2009 on the very last day of that transfer window. This gunner made over 300 appearances for his former employers and was instrumental in their league win in 2007. He also gave the 2 assists that were needed to sink Rangers in the 2008 UEFA Cup final. In the same year, he dazzled Man Utd in the UEFA Super Cup to win the trophy for his Russian side. On the international scene, he helped his country to win the bronze medal in the last European Championships that took place in Switzerland and Austria in 2008. He was very distraught when his country missed out of the 2010 World Cup but he played a major role in his country’s bid to win the hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup even though he won’t be among the 23 men that will represent his country.

In his first season at Arsenal, he took the Premier League by storm with his account opener being at the hands of Arsenal’s goal scoring maiden, Paul Robinson. His highest point in his Arsenal career was the incredible 4-goal affair he had at Anfield in the spring of 2009. The first was from a Fabregas pass after some good work by Nasri, he worked the 2nd himself after some poor Liverpool defending, his hattrick was gifted to him on a platter thanks to more atrocious defending from Liverpool and his 4th came from a brilliant counter attack that was started by Walcott. His first full season with Arsenal was last season and he came up with the goods scoring 10 league goals in 30 appearances but he got injured when Arsenal played Barca in that 2-2 draw at the Emirates. This season he hasn’t been that little magician we all felt he could be but he still did well enough to score 10 goals and lay on a lion’s share of assists for his teammates.

With all the summer shenanigans about player departures going on, he has relieved me and other Arsenal fans by saying he’ll be at Arsenal next season.

Happy Birthday Andrey Arshavin.

I hope that you’ll quell your own personal inconsistent demons with better performances next season.

The tweet of the day goes to @jimthegooner

“@jimthegooner: Retweet if your team has beaten Barcelona this season”

I guess that we are the only fans that can retweet on that tweet. Except you’re a fan of Hercules CF

That’s a wrap folks.