Daily Archives: February 13, 2012
When Arsenal played AS Roma in the 2008/09 Champions League Knockout Phase, the game had to go to the gruelling drama of a penalty shoutout with the Gunners coming out on top. Kolo Toure was among the spot kick takers that night but the way he positioned himself to take his kick and raced to the ball like a raging bull sent chills down my spine but it was enough to beat Doni in goal.
Three years later in Libreville, Kolo Toure was faced with an uphill task of scoring a penalty for his nation in sudden death but his intimidating penalty style didn’t put the goalie off. His blushes were spared when Rainford Kalaba killed a bird in the sky with his effort.
Up stepped Gervinho, the ninth penalty taker for the Elephants which painted the picture vividly that Le Forehead wasn’t ready or confident enough to be among the spot kick takers. With limited options available by virtue of the players that had taken spot kicks, Gervinho walked sluggishly to the 18-yard box, sent the keeper the wrong way but broke Ivorian hearts with a poor penalty kick.
The rest they say is history…
In a run to the final with nine goals scored and none conceded, it was fair to say that Ivory Coast deserved to win the 2012 African Cup of Nations…just like the way Arsenal deserved to win the 2011 Carling Cup. 🙁
While some lovebirds would spend Tuesday night in different locations around the world, I and a certain faction of individuals would be drinking some Heineken, which turns out to be the official beer of the UEFA Champions League that has come to stay after a two month wait.
Arsenal would visit San Siro on Wednesday to take on AC Milan but Arsene Wenger would be without the services of Per Mertesacker that suffered a somewhat mysterious ankle injury last Saturday. While the likes of Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs are on their way to full fitness, Mertesacker has joined the injury list to have fun with the likes of Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere in Arsenal’s physio room.
However, there’s a defender at Arsenal that’s getting a bit grumpy following a string of performances in a different position. Thomas Vermaelen won a place in the PFA 2009 Team of the Year following his stellar performances in the heart of Arsenal’s defence but injuries have made the boss to deploy him as a make-shift left back.
According to Sky Sports, Thomas Vermaelen has expressed his frustration with playing at left-back as he does not feel he can perform to the best of his ability:
“I am fed up playing at left-back, I don’t think I am good there. I want to achieve my highest level and I can’t do that on the left.”
“I play there to help the team but it gives me no satisfaction as I can’t reach my best standard. I do my job but seldom feel content after matches. If the team wins I am happy, but it remains frustrating.”
His grumpiness didn’t stop there as he further expressed his disappointment in losing the Belgian captain’s armband to Vincent Kompany. This is certainly not the time to point any finger at Vermaelen but I feel that it’s highly unnecessary going to the media Vultures to put some pressure on his manager.
Thomas Vermaelen is undoubtedly Arsenal’s best center back but he has to remember that Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have done very well in the heart of Arsenal’s defence. While Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs got injured for a considerable chunk of the season, was Vermaelen expecting his manager to go select Ignasi Miquel when he was still fit?
Mertesacker will be out for some time so I guess he’ll get his wish. Arsene Wenger has the final say though.
Still sticking with the League of Extraordinary Grumpy Men, Arsenal’s transfer target Lukas Podolski was also expressed his disillusionment with life at FC Cologne. Podolski said that he rejoined the club from FC Bayern because of the promises made by the club to challenge for a top eight place in the Bundesliga.
Since his arrival in 2009, FC Cologne has been languishing in the mid-table with 12th, 13th and a 10th placed finish in the past three seasons. With 21 games played in the Bundesliga this season, FC Cologne is presently in 12th place and this certainly isn’t the “top eight” challenge Podolski had in mind.
However, Podolski reiterated that he has not yet made a decision on his future and will only do so in the summer. He’ll definitely be a great addition to Arsenal and here are five reasons why.
I wonder why Vermaelen and Podolski decided to be so grumpy. Maybe they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. 🙂
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