Daily Archives: August 29, 2011
As a blogger of a club like Arsenal you’ll have to gear yourself for the good times, the bad times and the horrible times because they’ll always be there.
As every season progresses, Arsene Wenger and his men….boys start with renewed optimism and fresh hope but Wenger has lost the plot this time.
I must say that I’m happy with the FA for giving Arsenal this kind of fixtures early on to show Wenger that he has a lot to do this season. With two days left in the transfer window, he will definitely act fast because he has been embarrassed beyond measure at the hands of his greatest rival.
He sold his first choice left back and was faced with the option of purchasing Leighton Baines or Jose Enrique.
What did he do? He decided to promote an injury prone player to take on the position as the number 1 and he also decided that his deputy would be an inexperienced French turned Senegalese that has been disappointing in his loan spells at Benfica and Juventus.
His team conceded 21 goals from set pieces last season and the Emirates was the only stadium where no goal was conceded outside the box so it was imminent that a new center back was supposed to be signed to pair up with Vermaelen.
The media Vultures scavenged the footballing galaxy and decided to come up with names like Chris Samba, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Per Mertesacker, Scott Dann, enigma106, Professor Xavier and Shao Kahn of Mortal Kombat but Wenger decided that he was okay with an aging Frenchman that was cloned from Silvestre, an upcoming Frenchman that played a shitload of games last season and a Swiss brown-haired Mohican that has a loose nut in his cerebral column.
That wasn’t enough, he decided to sell the player that represented everything Arsenal stood for. A player that gave a century of assists in eight years at the club. A player that’s regarded as Arsenal’s Optimus Prime in the CyberTron realm.
Optimus Fabregas Prime actually wanted to go and play with his fellow transformers in Planet Catalunya so Wenger respected his wishes and decided to tell him sayonara.
Optimus was the All-Spark of the club so a replacement was badly needed to ease the creativity burden off players like Jack Wilshere but the boss decided to stick with the present lot that had the likes of a washed up Czech midfielder, an inexperienced GhanEnglish mohican, a Welsh captain, a Cameroonian superstar and loads of other youngsters.
Wenger handed the arm band to Arsenal’s most lethal finisher and Flying Dutchman who led his team out on the 13th of August in St. James Park. The boring stalemate was marred by a red card that was brandished to a debutant.
Udinese visited the Emirates for a vital qualifier on a cold Tuesday night and it took a Walcott finish to separate the sides for the next date in a week. Arsenal played poorly and showed signs of the defects that were created from the key players were sold to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
King Kenny put his money where his mouth was and splashed the cash for the positions of his squad that needed improvement. After offloading Torres for a record British transfer fee, he grabbed a considerable chunk of that money to purchase a player that looks like WWE’s Edge for a whooping £35m. He also got extra funds from his superiors to purchase Ajax and Uruguay’s hitman Luis Suarez.
Suarez turned out to be an amazing signing as he paid for his huge outlay with breathtaking performances. This season Dalglish was at it again with more signings such as Mr. Downs Syndrome, Charlie Chaplin, Jose Enrique and the Necky Henderson.
When King Kenny arrived at the Emirates with his Red Army, Arsenal was involved in another boring showing after Frimpong foolishly got himself red card but it took a £23m Suarez to be the difference between 3 points and 1 as Liverpool broke their 11-year drought in Arsenal’s home to emerge as victors.
Lessons were learnt from the weekend’s encounter and Arsenal’s game of the season was to take place in Frulli on a Wednesday night. After Di Natale’s heroics in the entire two-legged affair, Arsenal had the last laugh and proceeded to the group stages for the 14th season in a row.
The chums at UEFA did their thing and Arsenal was paired in Group F with Olympique Marseille, Olympiakos and Borussia Dortmund. All attention was turned to the North London vs Manchester Sunday.
Arsenal’s bitter rivals and neighbors Tottenham had the task of hosting the money bags while Wenger and his depleted squad were to travel up North to the Theater of Dreams.
Edin Dzeko stole the show when both clubs locked horns and $amir Na$ri was pretty awesome in his debut with three assists.
When I saw the lineup that was about to play a Man Utd side that whitewashed Tottenham, I hoped for the worst but I was in the opinion that Arsenal was about to commence a damage limitation exercise.
As expected, the impressive Wojciech Szczesny was in between the sticks and his confidence was boosted after that fantastic penalty save from Di Natale.
Sagna has been playing in an unfamiliar left back position for the past two games but he became unavailable for selection because he fell ill so Traore was given the nod in his stead.
Vermaelen suffered an injury when Arsenal played Udinese so Koscielny had to pass a late fitness test to play beside Djourou in the heart of Arsenal’s defense. Jenkinson continued at right back.
Questions were raised about the player that was to assume the holding midfield role because of the unavailability of Song and Frimpong so Wenger produced the answer in the form of an untested Francis Coquelin.
Van Persie led the attack and was assisted by Arshavin and Walcott on the flanks. The Man Utd side that played yesterday was the exact lineup that played against Tottenham.
From the start of the game, Arsenal looked nervy. Koscielny gave a back pass to Szczesny but the keeper dallied a bit before blasting the ball on Welbeck’s body for a goal kick.
Cleverley had half a chance and sent his effort wide. Rooney also had a snap shot saved by Szczesny. On the other end, Arshavin sent a pass to Traore but the attack was defended well with consummate ease by the Man Utd back line.
Ashley Young was a constant threat on the left hand side and he fed a ball to Welbeck who tried to chip the goalie but his effort went wide. Young also teed up Rooney but the striker was blocked by Djourou.
Arsenal offered no real threat up front and clearly lacked ideas in the final third. Walcott launched a counter attack and fed Arshavin. The Russian made a glorious mess of things and another chance went begging.
Traore managed to get loose off the clutches of Nani to make a run forward. With van Persie on his left and Walcott on his right, Traore kept on going aimlessly with the ball and it was taken away from him the way a bully takes candy from a kid.
The first talking point arrived when Young received a pass from Welbeck. When Young controlled the ball, Coquelin charged him but won the ball fair and square so Howard Webb was having none of it.
Rosicky linked up with Walcott but his shot was very tame. Arshavin has being criticized in recent times for not getting “stuck in” so he got himself into trouble after a poor lounge on Phil Jones leaving Mr. Webb no choice but to brandish a yellow.
Arsenal built up attacks from the right hand side but Walcott’s final ball didn’t find any Arsenal player. With Arsenal messing up with their chances, Man Utd showed them how it was done thanks to more atrocious defending from Arsenal.
Evra crossed a ball into the danger area but Koscielny headed it away to safety that arrived in the form of Anderson. The T-Pain look-alike lofted the ball back into the box in between Djourou and Koscielny and both players didn’t take charge of the ball so Welbeck popped up with a simple header and the floodgates were set to be open.
While the Man Utd players were basking in euphoria shortly after going one up, they were brought down to Earth when Howard Webb awarded Arsenal a penalty for a foul on Walcott from Jonny Evans.
Arsenal’s captain Van Persie had the chance to equalize from 12 yards but his effort was saved by de Gea. Van Persie knelt on the ground in despair while de Gea’s teammates rushed unto to congratulate him for keeping the lead intact.
Arsenal was made to rue that golden chance because Man Utd scored shortly afterwards. Rooney crossed a ball into the box but it was nodded away by Armand Traore. Young got the ball at the edge of the box before curling it into the far corner.
In as much as I’m an Arsenal fan and it was my club that conceded that goal, it was a thing of beauty and a classic example of a goal you would score in Pro Evolution Soccer when you tap the R2 button after shooting.
With Arsenal going two goals down, they had to step up but the Gunners had a double chance that was saved by de Gea. Arshavin smashed the first shot and the ball was parried straight to RVP who lashed it at the goalie.
Minutes after that, Welbeck pulled his hammy when he chased after an intended through pass so the 2010/11 signing of the season, Javier Hernandez replaced him.
Arsenal’s defense was playing with a very high line so the back line was exposed with over the top through balls from Man Utd’s midfield.
Cleverley sent a lovely over the top ball to Young but he was fouled on the edge of the area by Jenkinson. Mr. Webb awarded a free kick and booked the young lad.
Rooney, Young and Nani stood with the dead ball and it seemed as if the players were bent on executing a move practiced in training and it came to effect in the best possible manner.
Rooney brought the ball to life before Young killed it again then the £250,000 per week man used his technique to curl the ball over the wall. Szczesny put a hand to it but it wasn’t a strong hand. 3-0 already in the first half and it was getting embarrassing.
With the half easing off, Arsenal finally got off the mark with its first Premier League goal thanks to Theo Walcott. Ramsey and Arshavin connected well before giving Rosicky who sent a through ball for Walcott. His first time shot went through de Gea’s legs and Arsenal went into the break with a two-goal deficit.
The bench didn’t even help matters, Wenger had Fabianski, Miquel, Sunu, Ozyakup, Lansbury, Chambered Ox and Chamakh to call upon. Five players present in the bench had not started any game for Arsenal. Helpful innit?
Arsenal started the second half brightly with Ramsey wasting another chance created by Rosicky. Young had a shot that was saved by Szczesny. Nani got in behind Traore but chose to chip the goalie instead of passing to an available teammate.
Walcott was on the left hand side when he passed the ball to Rosicky who chipped the ball in for a free RVP but Arsenal’s captain uncharacteristically took a first time shot instead of bringing it under control. De Gea made the save and another chance went with the wind.
Cleverley executed a neat one-two with Chicharito but his finish down. Nani also missed a glorious chance from point-blank range after receiving a pass from Young.
Wenger removed Coquelin to bring on the Chambered Ox and his midfield crumbled from there. A very bad tactical error by Wenger. Arshavin wasn’t playing so well as usual so if there was any player that was to replace the Chambered Ox with, it would have been AA23.
As soon as Coquelin left the midfield, Anderson and Cleverley ran riot. Another free kick was to take place at the edge of the box again and the usual suspects stepped up again. Rooney played the ball to the far post and the hapless Szczesny watched as the ball slammed the net to give Man Utd that three-goal cushion.
Nani made it 5 when he chipped Szczesny from close range and Park JS made it 6 with his first attempt on goal.
Arsenal looked very demoralized but there was still time for the Gunners to add to their count. Jenkinson was free on the right and he sent a cross into Man Utd’s box. Jones headed it away but the header came back to Jenkinson who nodded it straight to the path of RVP who smashed the roof with his effort.
If he scored that penalty in the first half, the game might have had a different outlook. Rooney was on a hattrick when he received the ball from outside the box. He noticed that Szczesny was off his line so he sent an audacious lob goalwards that hit the post to spare Szczesny’s blushes.
Another over the top pass was Arsenal’s undoing as Jenkinson saw red for foul on Chicharito. For the third league match in a row, Arsenal had another player that was sent off.
Rooney’s free kick went over but he sealed his hattrick when Walcott fouled Evra in the box to win a spot kick that was dispatched clinically by the striker.
When Man Utd went 7 up, Wenger took out two of his most important players before they would fall victim to injuries or getting sent off because these are the latest trends that are associated with Arsenal.
Chamakh replaced RVP while Lansbury came on for Walcott. With Arsenal dead and buried in the game, Young poured the final grains of sand in the Arsenal grave with another sumptuous curled effort that beat Szczesny to leave the final score line at 8-2.
Shortly after the final whistle, my BlackBerry device was subjected to different forms of torture from my friends and enemies alike. Man Utd fans that’d not called me since the days Yar’ Adua was ruling Nigeria decided to remember the good ol’ enigma106 and laugh hysterically before cutting the phone.
Twitter was another avenue where people went haywire by mentioning me and other Arsenal fans to taunt us. BlackBerry messenger had its own set of nutjobs that sent a million and one broadcast messages about Arsenal.
“It was a terrible day for us. A combination of weakness in certain areas and we collapsed physically in the second half”
Szczesny (4.5) refused dinner at home because he already ‘8’ at Old Trafford.
Jenkinson (5.5) was torn apart by Young but he still managed to give an assist.
Traore (4.5) was shambolic in defense and was exposed countless times.
Koscielny (5.0) made some vital interceptions but kept a very line with his partner.
Djourou (4.5) was at fault for the match’s opener and was missing in action in the defense at times.
Ramsey (4.0) had one touch too many in several occasions and squandered many goal bound opportunities.
Rosicky (6.5) was Arsenal’s brightest spark, gave an assist and supplied many good passes that were not utilized.
Coquelin (6.0) had a tough debut but did well under the conditions.
Arshavin (4.5) was a a pain to watch.
Walcott (6.0) had a well taken goal
RVP (5.5) missed a spot kick but got his name on the score sheet.
Chambered Ox (4.5) showed why he was worth £12m. Thanks Arsene.
The last time Arsenal lost with 8 goals, Zeus, Hera and the other Greek gods were giving their blessings to Greece for the first ever Olympic Games in 1896. 53 years before Wenger was born.
Our league form since the Carling Cup final loss to Birmingham:
That’s 18 points out of a possible 51
I’m very distraught but it’s kinda funny to know that it’s just matchday 3 in the Premier League and everybody is panicking. They tend to forget that the other ‘big boys’ will play each other. Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool will still lock horns and I’m stilll optimistic that new players will arrive before Wednesday.
With what Wenger witnessed at the back, he’ll probably beef up his offer for Cahill.
Gooners, don’t fret.
There are 35 more league matches to go.
But I can’t deny that Manchester United was
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