Daily Archives: September 15, 2011

Yossi speaks, Koscielny hails Song and Arteta wants trophies

Arsenal has made its quick transition from the splendor of Europe’s elite competition to the grueling 10-month competition where the leader of the log takes all at the end of 38 rounds of matches.

With events from the deadline day still fresh in the heads of gooners, one can now look with optimism for what’s to come in the following months. Arsenal is currently 11th in the log standings so it’s essential for Arsène Wenger and his men to push on to the end.

The likes of Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea still lead the chasing pack but times will surely come when they’ll lock horns with each other and Sunday will be the day when two of England’s football heavyweights will lock horns with each other.

With injuries being the order of the day for Arsenal, the replacements drafted into the squad have been very impressive. This would certainly mean that players coming back to the squad will have to up their game because competition has become the latest trend in Arsenal.

One of the players that have done a splendid job so far has been the newbie, Mikel Arteta. The Spainiard was very impressive against Swansea and played even better when Arsenal visited the Westfalen Stadion in Germany.

Arteta took out time to talk to the media Vultures about his early days and his take on the club’s present trophyless predicament that has lasted for six long years.

Arteta has reviewed that Cesc Fabregas gave him some advice after his move to Arsenal:

I talked to him the day after I signed the contract and he advised me on two or three things. To be honest he was really nice to me.

“He advised me on the areas to live, about the team-mates, about the Club and how good it is and the people here. It was very good.

“We are not friends because we have never played together, but we know each other because we have some friends in common.”

It’s always nice to get a tip or two from a compatriot in a club and this showed that a part of Arsenal still remains in El Capitan’s heart even if he’s flourishing at Planet Catalunya.

Arteta also talked about the pressure of expectation at the club and he labeled it as a good thing:

“With a club like Arsenal, you are going to be under pressure and you need to handle it and try your best. At every club I have been at, I have had pressure and this is not going to be different.”

“But being under pressure is good because it means people expect something from you.”

Arteta is a player that may be expected to start almost every game week in week out and some gooners still look at him in the mold of the departed captain Cesc Fabregas.

Arteta has told the fans not to compare him with El Capitan but he gives the fans that El Capitan-like feeling. Arteta also talked about Arsenal’s trophy situation and has declared that he wants to win trophies at the club:

“The challenge here is to win trophies and at Everton I didn’t have the chance to do that. Hopefully we are going to have it here and we can make it.”

Arteta will definitely do his bit on the pitch and the fans will be hopeful for more performances like the two he has already made.

Yossi Benayoun is another player that has been very impressive so far in the matches he has played so far. Benayoun wasn’t really an attacking threat in Westfalen Stadion but he made some crunch tackles that helped Arsenal’s cause in the 1-1 draw.

He has also come out to say that a lot of positives can be taken from the draw against Dortmund.

“It is very positive. When you are 1-0 up with two minutes to go, you can feel already the three points so it was a little bit disappointing.

“But we did a good performance and hopefully we can continue that against Blackburn on Saturday.

He has also told the media Vultures that Arsenal’s new signings have been a boost:

“Over time it will improve with not only Arteta but the whole team. We have a few new players and I think there is a lot of quality in this team, it doesn’t matter who plays.”

“I was happy to play, I was one of the three midfielders and I feel comfortable playing there. Most of the time I play there for Israel, sometimes I play on the left-wing.”

Benayoun’s versatility has already been exploited by Arsenal and it was used in the club’s last match against Dortmund.

He started in the hole behind the front three at the start of the match and moved to the left wing when Frimpong came in for Walcott. He was also redeployed to the right wing when Andre Santos entered the field of play.

The new signings have been impressive so far with Mertesacker being a colossus at the back, Arteta being splendid in the middle of the park and Benayoun doing his bit for the side. The gooners still await starts from Andre Santos and Park CY.

Laurent Koscielny amassed many games for Arsenal last season and was involved in all competitions. He has hailed Arsenal’s defense after the club’s gallant display against Dortmund and has also reiterated that his job has been easy with Song back around.

Alex Song is a very talented holding midfielder that has gotten more matured with each passing year. He has done very well to protect his back line but his exploits in the 2009/10 will never go unnoticed because he was a gem in the middle of the park.

The Reserves were in action against Bolton’s Reserve in a match that ended in a 3-3 draw. Neil Banfield handed starts to Ryo Miyaichi, Ignasi Miquel and the Chambered Ox. Bolton on the other hand, had a stronger side on paper with the likes of renowned Premier League names like David Wheater, David N’ Gog and Tuncay Sanli.

It was also good to see Stuart Holden in action again. The American broke his leg last season.

N’ Gog scored a brace while Tuncay scored the other. Arsenal’s Sanchez Watt, Oghuzan Ozyakup and Luke Freeman scored for Arsenal.

In other news, Henri Lansbury has signed a new deal, Arsenal and AC Milan are fighting for Riccardo Montolivo and Arsenal target Marvin Martin has left the door open for Arsenal after inserting a get-out clause in his new Sochaux deal.

The quote of the day goes to Arsenal’s Dutch legend, Dennis Bergkamp:

“Behind the kick of every ball there has to be a thought.”

This was culled from the brilliant article on Dennis Bergkamp by Amlan Majumdar tagged THT Heroes – Dennis Bergkamp – A tribute.

Trust me, it’s worth a read.


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