Daily Archives: October 13, 2011

Edu appears, Arshavin beats self and Fabianski ponders chickening out

Premier League football is just around the corner and all eyes will be firmly fixed on the mouth-watering fixtures this weekend. King Kenny and his expensive recruits will face a true test when they play the Champ19ns, Chelsea sweat it out with Everton while Arsenal hosts fellow strugglers Sunderland on a bright Sunday afternoon.

There are so many things a person can admire about football and I’ll discuss a point or two.

Football is a sport that unifies any and everybody to give them a common cause.  I’m pretty sure that the Boko Haram bombers were as disappointed as the South-South militants when Nigeria failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations after the disappointing draw with Guinea.

My other point involves those that were part of the game at some point in their lives. Ex-footballers still support and watch the matches of their favorite teams and they even go as far as saying a thing or two to the media Vultures if need be.

In recent weeks, Arsenal legends like Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp have voiced their frustrations following Arsenal’s capitulation this season but another Arsenal great has come out from his South American cave to talk about the club he served from 2001 to 2005 notching a century of league appearances throughout the period.

Eduardo Cesar Daude Gaspar or Edu as he was popularly known in Highbury was a Gunner with a cultured left foot and I’m not writing about that great Arsenal blog that’s owned by a bloke named Yogi’s Warrior. He made his Arsenal debut in 2001 but he was synonymous with injuries throughout his stay at the club.

He was quite honored in his Arsenal days with two Premier Leagues (2002, 2004), three FA Cups (2002, 2003, 2005) and two Community Shields (2002, 2004). Edu is presently a general manager in Corinthians SK in his native Brazil but like Dennis Bergkamp, he hasn’t ruled out a move to England in the foreseeable future.

He also commented on Arsenal’s present predicament and he said that every team needs time to gel. He also ran out of superlatives for his compatriot at Arsenal, Andre Santos and he declared that the fans are going to love him:

“He is a very good player and a very good guy, with the ball he is technically fantastic, a typical Brazilian player.

“But every Brazilian needs time to adapt to the league because the English league is so different. I am 100 per cent sure that the fans will love him because he is very good with the ball.”

“I know the Brazilian players at Arsenal very well, all the Brazilians follow them,” he said. “I follow Arsenal as well.

“Before he came to London, Andre spoke to me and asked me about Arsenal – and it’s nice to see so many Brazilians here. If they are here maybe it is because me, Silvinho and Gilberto did something good.”

Andre Santos didn’t have the best of starts in Ewood Park but he was very outstanding when Arsenal defeated the football Spartans of modern day Greece, Olympiakos. He showcased his attacking prowess but his defending on the night wasn’t quite questionable.

Kieran Gibbs has finally come of age this season and it’s good to know that there’ll be healthy competition for the left back position with Wenger having the final selection headache on matchday. However, there’s a Gunner that isn’t ready to face such competition and he might chicken out of the club in January.

Lukasz Fabianski arrived in Arsenal on the back of two back to back awards for the Best Keeper in the Polish League but his exploits on the pitch were simply atrocious. It was fabled that Fabianski kept like a goalie with eyes behind his back on the training ground but he couldn’t replicate that form on the pitch.

When I think of his top-notch calamitous moment against Porto in February 2010, I always give myself a few fits of laughter but Fabianski matured as a player in the 2010/11 campaign. Manuel Almunia let complacency creep into his game and Fabianski came in his stead and grabbed the bull by its horns and its balls.

His performance against Everton was world-class and his 90th-minute save against Wolves in November 2010 will go down as one of the greatest saves in Arsenal’s history. It can never beat David Seaman’s clawed save against Sheffield United in a million years though.

David Seaman of Arsenal makes a spectacular save to keep the ball out during the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Arsenal and Sheffield

Fabianski’s shoulder injury paved the way for his younger compatriot to challenge for the Number One jersey and Szczesny has not looked back. This has made Fabianski quite grumpy:

“That injury brought me back to the beginning. It hurts, because I was number 1 and I lost that place not through poor form but through injury, which didn’t let me play for 9 months. I have to fight from the beginning now and I think I can win it. Wojciech [Szczesny] wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for that incident in January. I can’t complain though, that’s football.”

I know that if my situation doesn’t change by January, I will be thinking about it [leaving Arsenal]. I’d have to, because I want to go to the Euros. That’s the only way I can convince the national team coach – by playing well and regularly.

“I don’t want to think about this now, because we have couple of months until the transfer window. Until then all I can do is work hard in training and take the chances I get.”

If Fabianski decides not to fight for his place and leave in January, a certain Vito Mannone will be elevated by one step so the Pole shouldn’t think that Wenger will break sweat if he goes on like this. I’m pretty sure that he’s going to be Arsenal’s ‘Cup Keeper’ and he should make do with the chances that he’ll get.

At least, he acknowledged that fact.

There’s also another Gunner that has lost his starting berth in the team because he has no plans of chickening out. Instead, he has pledged to step up his game.

Andrey Arshavin amassed a total of 10 goals and 17 assists last season but he has been disappointing in this current campaign and he has vowed to turn on a new leaf:

“They should expect more from me, of course. “They should expect some more tricks, goals and unbelievable passes.”

“To be honest I am still expecting more from me as well. But believe me, I do everything I can do.

“I just have to give everything I can at the moment, just on the pitch. I want to score more goals and bring my team to the title.”

I wish he said that the fans should expect a certain Russian that took Euro 2008 by storm, bagged four goals in Anfield with just four shots, made mince meat of a bloke from Blackburn before smashing Paul Robinson’s net for his first Arsenal goal and scored Arsenal’s winner against Barcelona in the first knockout phase of the Champions League last season.

That’s the Andrey Arshavin that I would want to see week in week out and I hope that he fulfills this task because he’s still regarded as one of Arsenal’s ‘senior’ players.

In other Arsenal news, Tomas Rosicky has picked up a groin strain, Alisher Usmanov wants to up his shares to a percentage over 30% and Chuks Aneke wants to show what he’s made of.

Arsenal has also been linked with a striker from Malaga called Salomon Rondon. The name “Rondon” reminds me of a certain Jamaican DJ that my pal Tomasz introduced his music to me. 😀

Have a swell Thursday.

Arsenal actually needs Thor right now because Loki has been dealing with the club through the injuries, bad refereeing decisions and ill-luck that he has imposed on the team.


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