Monthly Archives: September 2011

Post-Bolton thoughts, van Persie stalls and Walcott’s trophy hunt

Arsenal secured its first convincing win in the Premier League and the spirits in the squad are high again.

Alex Song’s goal brought out a smile on Wenger’s face that had been laden with frustration in recent weeks. Arsenal’s boss was really happy with the win against Bolton:

“It is a deserved win that is welcome for us. We cannot drop many points anymore. I feel the referee had a good game.”

Wenger was also quick to acknowledge the club’s captain and he stated that van Persie is growing into the captain’s role:

“I think that he’s one of those guys that develop with responsibilities. You would think that he’s not a natural from the start but when he has the responsibility he grows into the role.”

It’s fair to say that he led by example with his brace against Bolton and the player himself is happy with the victory. Van Persie also took out time to talk to the media Vultures about joining the 100 club.

“I’m very proud. I’m only the 17th player in Arsenal’s history to pass the 100 goal mark. Its a big achievement.”

With the way the contract situation involving Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri was sorted out, Wenger is gearing himself up to get new deals for Thomas Vermaelen, Theo Walcott and the club’s captain whose deals expire in 2013 but the media Vultures report that van Persie is not ready to sign a new deal.

According to their reports, van Persie has made it clear he is in no rush and is desperate to be successful in his career:

“I still have almost two years until 2013. So for the moment that’s fine, but I don’t know. We will have to look.”


“I’m happy with my contract, I’m good. That’s how it is, I can’t say much more. I can’t look into the future.”

“The main thing for me is the team and that we play well. I do believe you have to look for a right moment to sit down and speak about your own stuff. It’s not only about me, it’s about the team.

“I don’t want to give the wrong message to speak about my own stuff while the others are a bit more important.

“I can’t say we are talking now because we are so busy – we have games every three or four days.”

We all know that van Persie, Vermaelen and Walcott have two years left but its paramount to give them new contracts at this stage of the season because if Arsenal fails to win any trophy yet again at the end of this present campaign, we’ll be in for another long summer because many clubs will come with the shopping bags to a football store called Arsenal.

However, there’s a player within the squad that’s hungry for trophies:

“Trophies are the thing you’re gonna look back on in the history books. Look at Hugh Giggs Hefner, a great example, and the trophies he’s won.”

“You want to show your kids what you’ve won and what you’ve achieved in your life and, um, nothing so far. We’ve been so close, The Carling Cup last year when I was injured, and against Chelsea in the [2007] final, when I got my first goal. Nearly there. So it’s got to be this year. It has to be. We’ve got to believe we can do it with the slow start we’ve had.”

I can’t agree more with Theo Walcott but there are five major factors why Arsenal hasn’t won a trophy in the past six years:

Ill-luck, injuries to key players in games we need them the most, the squad’s indiscipline, bad officiating decisions and in special cases, Wenger’s tactical blunders.

If Arsenal can avoid these this season, the Gunners will be dancing with Champagne on a certain podium but they’ve already played their part with just two months gone.

The squad suffered from ill-luck in the 4-3 reverse at Ewood Park. Squad indiscipline against Newcastle and Liverpool turned out to be critical as the team was humiliated by Manchester United late August. The officials lost the plot when offside decisions against Liverpool and Blackburn were left to stand and Wenger’s tactical frailty was exposed when he took out Coquelin for the Ox in Old Trafford and Sagna for Djourou in Ewood Park.

We all know how the injury situation is at the club with the likes of Vermaelen, Diaby and Wilshere still out of action.

Speaking of injuries, Arsenal is relieved to know that Walcott’s injury is a minor one and he could be in line to face Olympiakos on Wednesday.

Arsenal can do without Walcott’s services on Wednesday but Sunday’s game against rivals Tottenham is a more important game for a player of Walcott’s calibre.

He has been in good form this season with his goals and assists so he’ll be a valuable asset in White Hart Lane on Sunday because he’ll definitely be more than a handful for Benoit Assou-Ekoto.

Moving over to transfer news, Wenger has stated that Arsenal got a better deal for Nasri than Fabregas:

“I always said that Cesc was a bargain. With Nasri we got reasonable price for a player thart had one year to go.”

“With Cesc we were forced into the situation because he’s one of the best midfielders in the world and we sold him under his worth”

There’s no point crying over spilled milk. Arsemal amassed £65m from the sales of Fabregas and Nasri and I can’t recall any other team this summer that made that kind of money from the sale of just two players.

He used a small chunk of the money to get five experienced players and I’m pretty sure that most gooners are content with the new signings.

The media Vultures have also reported that Manchester City is gearing up a £30m bid for van Persie in January as the player has become ‘disillusioned’ with the sales of Clichy, Nasri, Fabregas.

Andre Santos came in for Clichy while Gervinho and Arteta are able replacements for Nasri and Fabregas so what is there to be ‘disillusioned’ about?

I can’t deny that there’s a difference in quality with the ongoing players and their incoming replacements but they are not miles apart.

Andre Santos has more attacking verve than Clichy but the Frenchman’s pace and quick recovery was a valuable asset at Arsenal but his form waned and he probably needed a new challenge so his exit was welcome.

Let’s not forget that there was a certain Kieran Gibbs that was raring to go.

Gervinho is a better proven goal scorer than Samir Nasri but the French maestro was more intelligent with the ball at his feet. Gervinho can be a miserly player when he wants to be and that’s not the Arsenal way but I’m sure that he’ll learn well as the days go by.

When Tomas Rosicky was in Dortmund, he made four shots with every five passes he received but after his induction to the Arsenal way, he gave five more passes to every five he received.

The comparism between Arteta and Fabregas is something I won’t derive pleasure in analyzing so I’ll summarize it all in a single sentence. Arteta can also pass, shoot, dictate tempo and supply set pieces like Fabregas.

Remember that I didn’t write that he was better.

To end the transfer news up, Barcelona has joined in the pursuit for Gary Cahill and Arsenal is linked with a £4m raid for Hertha Berlin’s Raffael.

In other Arsenal related news, Mertesacker has stated that he’s not satisfied with his performances and has vowed to improve.

Arsenal’s Carling Cup win against Shrewsbury Town has fixed the club on a 4th round date with Bolton and the Arsenal Ladies have won the unprecedented domestic treble

I’m facing major problems with my BlackBerry device so all blog posts will be made with my laptop for the time being till I get a new BlackBerry.

This would also mean that I will not facebook and tweet as frequently as usual with my handles @enigma106 and @goonerdaily but I’ll be popping up from time to time to tweet with Twitter via web to notify my followers with updates as well as ƒølløώ backs. 🙂

Have a great Monday.

Sayonara.

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Arsenal 3 Bolton 0: Captain Van persie becomes a centurion

Even if it was early days, yesterday’s match seemed like a relegation 6-pointer.

The home side had a very patchy form that started with a draw which was followed by two losses in a row. An unconvincing win was followed by a shock loss to the team that was at the foot of the table.

The away side wasn’t any better. They started impressively with a 4-0 spanking of the new boys in the block but they’ve been on the wrong end of four successive defeats.

Kieran Gibbs did well in the Carling Cup so he was selected ahead of Andre Santos. Walcott was also chosen against Arshavin in the fresh side that had a break on Tuesday.

Bolton was the first to draw first blood when a Chris Eagles cross was nodded into the dabger area by David Wheater. Pratley got on the end of the ball and produced an amazing save from Wojciech Szczesny. Eagles also threatened again with another ball to Martin Petrov but Per Mertesacker was on hand to avert the danger.

Arsenal turned on the style to attack Bolton and a free kick was won on the left hand side of Bolton’s area, an area that can also be called as van Persie’s territory. The Dutchman swung it in but it was easy pickings for Bolton’s stalwart Jussi Jaaskelainen. The man with the whistle Mark Clattenburg requested for the free kick to be taken again so Mikel Arteta gave the ball a little nudge and van Persie curled it to the top corner but it missed by a lick of paint.

The Elbow Man Kevin Davies had played 120 matches in a row for the Trotters but he was warming the bench yesterday. However, he was sent back into action when David N’ Gog seemed concussed from the head bashing he received from Laurent Koscielny minutes ago.

Davies almost found himself through on goal but his control let him down after receiving a good pass from Paul Robinson. Arsenal’s defense was found wanting yet again and the Gunner might have been punished had Davies put that ball under control.

Koscielny had one of those moments where he waltzed forward and he almost put Arsenal 1 up. He ran a considerable length of the pitch before feeding Theo Walcott but he remained forward. Walcott gave it to Gervinho before delivering a cross into the box to see an unmarked Koscielny. The Frenchman attempted a scissors kick but his effort went wide.

Walcott had some chances at the end of the half but that was it from an Arsenal perspective because Mr. Clattenburg signaled for halftime. Arsenal was encouraging but had no goals to show for it, a familiar story.

Arsenal went into a flyer at the start of the second half thanks to some decisive attacking play. Gervinho got the ball in midfield and made a run but he was tackled by some bloke but as Ramsey received the ball, Mr. Clattenburg waved play-on instead of stopping play for an infringement. Ramsey moved with the ball before setting up RVP on the edge of the box. He dallied a bit before creating a chance for himself to beat Jaaskelainen on his near post.

Gervinho had a lovely one-two with Alex Song but he couldn’t finish off the delightful move. Bolton’s woes were compounded when a Ramsey through pass was heading straight to Walcott but he was impeded by Wheater who happened to be Bolton’s last man leaving the ref no choice but to brandish a red.

Arteta almost increased Arsenal’s lead after some brilliant work from Gervinho and van Persie on the left hand side but the ball was intercepted for a corner kick. Jaaskelainen was in the thick of things for Bolton and he was called to action again when van Persie teed up Walcott for a shot that was duly saved by the goalie but he parried it straight to Arteta’s direction that smashed another ball goalwards but the Finn was on hand to belly his years and make another good stop.

At some point Bolton had a swift counter attack that almost leveled the tie but Szczesny’s concentration was in check when Eagles lashed in a low drive goalwards. In an instance, it was Arsenal that was on the other end of Bolton’s goal with a low effort form van Persie that was saved by the goalie.

There was also a little moment of madness when van Persie was in the midst of five Bolton players in an off the ball event but the intended brawl didn’t emanate as the ref and other players eased everything off.

Gervinho and Walcott were nuisances to Bolton’s defense and the English winger chipped a delightful ball that was headed home by van Persie but Jaaskelainen appeared from nowhere to make another wonder save.  Arteta swung in the corner but it was headed away from the danger to the path of Koscielny who smashed it back to the goal but the goalie was in inspired form as he made another good save.

Arsenal was knocking at Bolton’s door for the second but Jaaskelainen stood at the front the door and attempted to swallow the key so Arsenal had to switch to its battering ram mode and there was nothing the Finn could do about that.

Ramsey sent another through ball to Walcott on the right hand side and the winger had acres of space to exploit. He raised his head up and found van Persie free so he sent a well weighted ball to Arsenal’s captain who made the slightest of touches to score Arsenal’s second goal. That was also his 100th for the club after six years of magnificent service.

Ramsey was having an amazing game in midfield and he was left to fire the trigger from long range and he did to produce another good save from Jaaskelainen. Song supplied the pass of the day to Walcott who had all the time in the world to finish the ball in any way that would have been pleasing to him.

Walcott had limitless options to score the goal but he chose the most awkward of them all, a quick low drive that was punched to safety by Jaaskelainen. Gervinho’s time on the pitch was up so Wenger opted for the little Russian pygmy called Andrei Arshavin. Arteta was also sacrificed for the injury returnee Tomas Rosicky.

Arsenal kept pushing for the match clincher but they became more wasteful. With the tie against Olympiakos in mind, the Centurion was substituted for Marouane Chamakh but he knew who was going to get the band this time.

Arsenal killed off the tie after some amazing work from Bacary Sagna. The full back ran at the defense before cutting the ball back into Bolton’s danger area. The ball missed out on Ramsey but Song was in hand to evade his marker before finishing aplomb.

In a very delightful afternoon for Arsene Wenger, the Gunners and the fans alike, despair became the order of the day when Walcott pulled up short after attempting to chase a ball from Chamakh. The winger had a great game but the demons of injuries came to dwell on him when he was having a good time.

At the end of the whistle, Arsenal was home and dry and had propelled five places up the log to be placed at 12th position. The weekend also had its fair share of records with van Persie entering the 100 club, Peter Crouch scoring in his sixth different club and Fernando Torres scoring in his second game in a row since the days Merlin was the chief wizard of Britain.

Szczesny (7.0) had an uneventful day at the office but came to action when he was called.

Sagna (7.0) supplied the assist for the final goal.

Gibbs (6.5) did okay on the left and played a big role in Eagles weak shot with his burst of pace.

Koscielny (7.0) showed off his attacking talents while doing a decent job at the back.

Mertesacker (6.5) had a good game by his standards.

Song (8.5) was amazing yet again and finished it off with a well taken goal.

Ramsey (8.0) was ubiquitous in midfield and always wanted the ball because he knew what to do with it.

Arteta (7.0) had another great outing for his new club.

Walcott (8.0) was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Bolton defense. Disappointed to see how his evening ended. 😦

Gervinho (7.0) ran at the Bolton defense with real drive and intent.

Van Persie (9.0) scored a century of goals for his club, an amazing return for a truly amazing player.

Arshavin, Rosicky and Chamakh didn’t play long enough to get Gooner Daily ratings.

In a weekend were the Big Boys showed what they are made of, Stoke Rugby FC proved to the world why the Britannia Stadium has become a fortress with a well deserved 1-1 draw with the champions. Peter Crouch made history in that game while Luis Nani continued to show stats wise why he has been better than Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United.

As at yesterday in their Manure United careers, CR7 and Michael Jackson’s clone shared 19 goals each at the club but Yar’ Adua is better off with 33 assists while CR7 had 12.

The sun is shining again at the Emirates; Olympiakos comes up next before a trip to the rejuvenated old enemy Tottenham Hotspurs.

They also have a weapon that Arsenal used to destroy them back in the days, Emmanuel Greedybayor.

Sayonara

 

 

Slim hopes on Wilshere and Wenger gets some Barca DNA

Friday was one hell of a day…and it had its own story but all I can write is that there was Red Label, good music, one chicken and a room to end the equation.

Just as HBO’s Titus Pullo would say to Lucius Vorenus when he commits any wrongdoing,

“Apologies”.

I also wanted to write a preview for the Bolton game but my Blackberry’s battery decided to give up on me so there’s no point taking any medicine after death.

Prior to the game against Bolton, Wenger commended the fans for their loyalty and he talked about improving the defense.

Van Persie was the most vocal of the Gunners before the Bolton game and it was only befitting that he reached a personal milestone when Arsenal thrashed the Midlands outfit.

He urged the fans to stay positive and called for spirits within the team. The performance from the Gunners was very splendid but I’ll publish a detailed match review post tomorrow.

Jack Wilshere played many games for Arsenal last season but he hasn’t graced the pitch this campaign because of a niggling ankle injury that was aggravated in the Emirates Cup and the medical team has been accessing the situation closely.

Recent reports have emerged that Wilshere will soon undergo an ankle surgery to solve the problem and he’s expected to be out till December or maybe beyond it.

Wilshere’s absence hasn’t really been felt because Ramsey has come into the party and he has all the moves ℓįkε Jagger.

Arteta has also been very impressive and it’s fair to say that Song has really advanced and has turned into one of the finest holding midfielders in the business.

Speaking of business, the media Vultures have done their bit again to link Arsenal with more players from the Milky Way.

They’ve reported that Arsenal is linked with a £10m move for Fiorentina’s Peruvian attacking full back Juan Manuel Vargas. The bloke is a good set piece taker and is renowned for supplying inch-perfect crosses but his arrival could be to the detriment of Kieran Gibbs, who’s still on his learning curve.

They also say that Arsenal could return for Cahill in January because Inter Milan has placed him on their radar.

I became really sick and tired of the way the media Vultures handled the Cahill situation. It was obvious that Arsenal needed a new defensive messiah to pair up with Thomas Vermaelen but Wenger looked into it and decided that Per Mertesacker was good enough but these Vultures are having none of it.

The last transfer news update is the sweetest of them all. Wenger and Arsenal has gotten the last laugh with the Cesc Fabregas issue by signing Joan Laporta’s son, Guim.

Laporta’s kid is a right back that’s in the mold of the Saturn-head shaped diving degree holder and nitwit, Dani Alves.

I’ve not seen Laporta’s son kick a ball before but by virtue of the fact that he’s Barca DNA, there’s hope for the future because he could be sold back to Barcelona in 2020 for over £40m :D.

To round it all up, the Chambered Ox is grateful to Southampton for showing him the light. It’s always good to show gratitude to person that helped you in the long run become somebody because you may never know….

Arsenal has also sent a SOS note to Bergkamp and Owen Hargreaves said that Man Utd’s medical staff used him like a Guinea Pig.

To those Arsenal fans that diss and get distraught easily about Arsenal’s current predicament,

Click on this link.

The article was written from a Grimsby fan.

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