Monthly Archives: September 2011

Oxlade-Chamberlain in the spotlight and Adebayor tries to calm the storm

The North London derby gets closer and closer and I’m anticipating it with enthusiasm because I expect another epic encounter between two great rivals. The media Vultures will take out time to do what they are known for and this fixture will be no different.

They’ve already reported that Aaron Ramsey says that Arsenal won’t be the underdogs for the derby and I’ll agree with the Welsh captain. The fact that Arsenal is just sitting below Tottenham won’t change the general consensus that the game will be an equally fought contest.

Down the years, this fixture has produced great moments for the fans of these clubs but some emphasis will be laid on an ex-Gunner that is currently plying his trade on loan to Tottenham, Emmanuel Adebayor.

Adebayor served Arsenal from the winter of 2006 to the summer of 2009 and he managed to amass 46 league goals in 105 appearances. Shortly after moving to Manchester City, Adebayor was wearing the Blue of the Manchester based outfit when Arsenal visited the City of Manchester Stadium in a Premier League encounterbut the game was marred by Arsenal’s awful display and Adebayor’s antics on the field.

This earned him a villian-like status amongst the Arsenal faithful and he turned out to be a hated figure in the return leg at the Emirates.

Adebayor has moved to Real Madrid before making a U-turn to the white half of North London but the match between Tottenham and Arsenal is likely to raise some tensions between the Gunners on the pitch and Emmanuel Adebayor. Van Persie received a  first-hand demonstration of Adebayor’s aggressiveness so there’s a high chance of rVp doing something very canny behind the scenes.

However, Adebayor gathered up some media Vultures to issue a public apology to Arsenal:

‘I regret what I have done and I say sorry to everyone but at the end of the day sorry doesn’t change anything. For me it’s over.

‘I’m looking forward to playing against Arsenal again on Sunday but believe me, if I have a chance to score, trust me I will score but as for the celebration, never in my life will I do something like that again.’
‘It will be a funny game [on Sunday], it’ll be fantastic. I have a chance to play against Arsenal again, the club that gave me the chance to be where I am today. I have a huge respect for the club.’

Awwww…….Ade has gone all touchy. Gimme a break.

I’m pretty sure that Wenger will tell his men to behave themselves in the best possible manner because this derby has seen its fair share of red cards so it would be foolish for any Gunner to overreact in a game of this magnitude especially with their positions in the Premier League.

There is a Gunner that has come into the spotlight for more reasons than one. For starters, he has turned out to be Arsenal’s most expensive acquisition this season with a £12m price tag on his head. His footballing exploits earned him a place in the npower League 1 Team of the Year and he has made a blistering start to his Arsenal career with two goals in the first two games he has started for the club.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or the Chambered Ox as I prefer to call him made history by being the youngest ever English goal scorer in the Champions League and he was quick to say a thing or two about the proud moment:

“I am proud to score in the Champions League tonight for the team. I made a little contribution and I’m hoping I can push on from here and improve”

The Chambered Ox has also talked about pushing for a starting role and he unveiled the reason why he chose to play for Arsenal:

“I always used to watch Arsenal and I loved the way they played football. I think it was the manager, stadium and fans that sold it for me. “

“The boss is a massive influence in the game and he is such an intelligent man. The stuff he says, you have to sit back and can only admire. Even in his team talk for today, the stuff he says is brilliant.

“You always learn stuff from him. He has a quiet word every now and again but the stuff he says is spot on. You think ‘yeah, actually I didn’t realise that and thank you.’ He’s just a fantastic man and I think the way he thought he could develop my game really pushed me towards Arsenal.

“It’s a massive club and nights like this prove it. I came to a few games last season – the Barcelona one here when they won – and I was blown away so that was it.”

The future is really bright with the likes of the Chambered Ox in it and with Theo Walcott struggling with injuries and Arshavin putting up inconsistent performances, the young lad could be in line for a starting berth because we all know that Arsene Wenger is never afraid to hand any youngster a chance as long as the player merits it.

The season is still young so I’ll expect to see the Chambered Ox strut his stuff as it progresses and I’m also drooling with the prospect of watching Ryo Miyaichi play too.

In other Arsenal news, Gervinho says that he’s enjoying his stay at the club while Per Mertesacker is relishing the challenge of playing Tottenham.

The month is over so I’m going to publish the polls for the awards for the month of September tonight.

Please don’t forget to vote for your Save of the month as well as your assist, goal, match, worst match, most improved, most disappointing and of course, the Gunner of the Month.

Vermaelen looks certain to be dethroned as he was the winner for the award last month.

Till then.


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10 reasons to look forward to the North London derby

Football is a sport that is widely regarded as the best sport in the world for more reasons than one. It’s a game that unifies all diversities for a common cause.

Many people on Earth watch the game for the love of it while others familiarize themselves with a specific team and stick to them through thick and thin. In the various leagues of the world, there are specific games that are regarded above others because there’s some spice added to it.

Judging from SuperSport’s advert on El Classico, there’s a funny scene where no one will be seen on the streets because the match is ongoing. You would even hear the sound of some crickets. :d

England has been touted as the home of football and there are many football clubs in the country. My focus is on the match between two football juggernauts in the Northern part of London, Arsenal and Tottenham.

Down the years, the matches between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs have produced moments of quality and individual brilliance from footballers that have placed their names in the folklore of their clubs. Moments like Thierry Henry’s magnificent solo run in the 3-0 victory, Emmanuel Adebayor’s goal of the season in the 3-1 victory or David Bentley’s unbelievable long range projectile missile in the 4-4 draw could only be produced in a match of this caliber.

Arsenal, Tottenham and football fans alike love watching the North London derby and here’s my take of the top ten reasons to watch the game on Sunday.

Rivalry: Facing the old enemy

There’s nothing sweeter than facing a familiar foe in a battle that will last for a long while. In football terms, Arsenal and Tottenham always look forward to facing each other because of the rivalry involved with both sides.

Bragging rights

In recent times, Arsenal always had bragging rights over their neighbors until Juande Ramos ended it in grand style in that 5-1 demolition in the Carling Cup semis of 2008. That game also unveiled a little feud between Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner.

Arsenal saw off the threat of Tottenham in subsequent years till that 2-1 defeat in White Hart Lane that unveiled Danny Rose to the world. Tottenham added further misery in the 3-2 reverse last season in November. Both teams will want to use Sunday’s game to tip the scale to the winning team’s side.

Past records

Arsenal and Tottenham have produced games that have been updated to record books from time to time and I’m pretty sure that Sunday’s clash will be no different.

Epic encounters

5-4, 4-4, 3-3….the list goes on.

Games between Arsenal and Tottenham provide enthralling encounters for even the neutrals to enjoy. No one expected an unlikely comeback in Harry Redknapp’s first game in charge of Tottenham when they were two goals down with only five minutes to spare. Nobody also expected a Tottenham comeback when they were two goals down at halftime in the Emirates after they were outplayed by their illustrious neighbors but the second half was a different ball game.

With the way both teams are playing, every football lover will be expecting another epic encounter.

Stars on the spotlight

Down the years, stars like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Robbie Keane were in the spotlight for all the right reasons when Arsenal played Tottenham but in recent times Rafael van der Vaart has joined the party to be a scourge to the Gunners with his performances in the North London derby last season.

On Sunday, the likes of Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie will want to play well enough to see their names in the front pages on the Monday sports news headlines.

Derby debuts for new signings

Harry Redknapp and Arsene Wenger got their bags and their wallets open to visit football Walmarts and eBays to acquire players for the forthcoming campaign.

From a Tottenham perspective, Scott Parker and Brad Friedel despite being Premier League veterans will get their first dose of the drug called the North London derby. Per Mertesacker, Gervinho and Andre Santos will face Arsenal’s foes for the first time in a game that a lot will be expected of them.

Arsenal and Tottenham’s resurgence

The league started on a poor note for Wenger and his men but three successive wins on the trot in all competitions played will be an added incentive from an Arsenal point of view.

Tottenham started the season with sound bashing from the clubs from Manchester but three successive league wins have brought smiles back to the faces of the White half of North London so Sunday’s encounter is going to be a lot sweeter because it’s fair to say that both teams are on form.

Positions in the Premier League table

In all my years as an Arsenal fan, I’ve never seen the Gunners finish below the Spurs.

I’ve also been very confident with this assessment to the stage that I was in the opinion that if Arsenal ever ends up in 17th place, Tottenham will get relegated but the trend hasn’t been followed because those in the White half of North London wave at the Red half from above in Mount Premiership.

Super Sunday

The Premier League has a knack for setting up these sorts of fixtures on Sunday evenings and this match is no different. Sunday matches are always the most comfortable to watch especially after a great Sunday service at church.

Emmanuel Adebayor

I had to put Mr. Greedybayor as the final reason to look forward to the North London derby. He was Tottenham’s personal terrorist in his Arsenal days as he pumped goals past the likes of Paul Robinson, Carlo Cudincini and probably Heurelho Gomes.

Adebayor was shipped out to the oil moneybags of Manchester City after a disappointing last season with Arsenal and he has struggled to challenge for a place in Mancini’s squad. During his pretty decent loan spell at Real Madrid, he still managed to score against Tottenham but it’s really awkward to know that the Tottenham fans that rained boos on him in his Arsenal days created a song for him when he decimated Liverpool.

Well that’s football for you.

I don’t know about you but I’m going to be with my Guinness and my Arsenal muffler on the 2nd of October when Arsenal visits White Hart Lane to play their fiercest rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs.



Wilshere out for all eternity, more injuries and van Persie’s contract issue

Adjusting to life without my BlackBerry hasn’t been fun :(.

It can be likened to a junkie that has been told to stop taking his ‘white girl’ without even going to rehab. I miss tweeting, facebooking and pinging with my family, gooners, friends and my chickens too.

I could go on and on about all the sad tales of missing my phone but it will be better if I open up a sad blog for it called “memiors of a sad blogger”. The last time I checked, this is an Arsenal blog.

The media Vultures have started circling round Arsenal and van Persie and a lot of fuss has been made over a player that has two years left in Arsenal Football Club. They’ve reported that van Persie is keeping Arsenal waiting over signing a new deal but the boss is unperturbed over the situation.

Wenger has told the media Vultures that he has activated his hakuna matata mode over the van Persie contract situation:

“A new contract depends on us and on Robin. On our side we are quite clear so that is no problem. I do not say there is no problem because it does not depend only on us but we are clear with our intention. “

“I have a high level of expectation for him and his performances are as high as I expect them to be. He plays well with the team, with the other players, and he finishes well. His finishing record is absolutely fantastic, he has scored 26 goals in 31 games and he is not only a finisher.”

“After that you have to respect that he has nearly two years to go so let’s not make an immediate issue of something like that.”

‘Two years in football is a very, very long time.”

There’s a lot of time between today and June 30, 2013 so let’s not smash our head on any wall or shoot anybody’s foot over the time the club’s captain still has in the club.

In Arsenal, there are many pressing concerns that give the manager and the fans alike things to think about.

There are days when the fans think about the defense, other days the fans think about the club’s poor form and its profligacy in front of goal. Today’s present worry is the club’s injury situation.

Jack Wilshere went under the knife to rectify his ankle problems and the operation was successful but the midfielder is going to be sidelined for the best part of four to five months. 🙁

Wilshere played a lot of matches last season and the bloke was even Hell-bent on playing in the European Under-21 Championships that took place in Denmark where Spain emerged as the winners. The midfielder hasn’t kicked the ball for Arsenal in any competitive game this season and his absence has been truly felt because everybody believed that he was going to build on his form from last season.

Wenger bemoans his absence but he was quick to spread his bullet-proof wings to defend Arsenal’s medical staff that has been under fire in recent times:

“It’s unfair because the club medical staff haven’t made any mistakes on that front. It is unfortunate and we are all very sad at the club that it has happened to such a young boy.”

“We were even more worried as it was a complicated procedure so it was a big relief yesterday for everybody at the club that the operation went well. I am convinced that the medical staff have not made any mistakes on this case.”

Arsenal’s medical staff has been criticized for the way they’ve handled injuries in the past but Wenger also told the media Vultures that he’s happy with his options in midfield. When Arsenal visited Old Trafford, his midfield was very bare but the acquisitions of Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta has gone a long way to add some steel to the midfield.

Unfortunately enough, Wilshere isn’t the only Gunner that has joined the long-term absentees like Thomas Vermaelen (ankle), Abou Diaby (ankle), Sebastien Squillaci (calf) and the recently joined Yossi Benayoun (strain) and Johan Djourou (hamstring). New Gunners like Laurent Koscielny (ankle), Theo Walcott (knee) and Gervinho (muscular) have joined the list of absentees so Wenger’s squad against Olympiakos will be stretched to its bare minimums.

In other Arsenal news, Juventus have declared that they cannot afford Walcott, Arteta says that playing for the club is one of his biggest challenges yet and Wenger has been deeply impressed by Mertesacker.

Wenger is also closing in on his 15th anniversary as Arsenal’s manager and he has played down the milestone:

There is plenty not to be happy about, I never look back and I am not an anniversary fan.”

“In top-level sport you have to see what comes next and try to focus on that. The only thing that matters to me is [Wednesday] night.”

“It is the last touchline ban,” he confirmed. “I will be forced to have a dinner in the Directors’ Box!”

That’s him though, I’ll go haywire when GoonerDaily turns 1 on the 26th of November, 2011