Daily Archives: March 1, 2012

A Tale of Mikel Arteta and Henri Lansbury Scores an Unfathomable Goal

Cesc Fabregas' replacement?

I’ll start today’s post with a tweet from Onyinye Chime:

@onyimama: “#thatAwkwardmoment when an Arsenal fan asks for the time and you tell him 8.02″

This was in the wake of that horrific evening when Manchester United was simply gr-eight and like Midas, anything their forwards touched turned to gold…goals. Arsene Wenger’s eyes were opened in the worst possible manner so he opted for some relief materials:

“Relief materials began arriving Emirates stadium barely 24hrs, as the aftermath of the devastation left by an 8.2 magnitude earthquake which brought Arsenal on it’s knees.

French envoy C. Y. Park unceremoniously arrived 1st due to French interests and proximity. On the 31st, Turkish authorities sent in Brazilian-born mercenary Andre Santos.
Next was the arrival of a 6.6 ton German cargo named MV Per, which was closely followed by Ambassador Mikel Arteta from Everton.

Admiral Villas-Boas (AVB) of the Royal Blue Navy on compassionate grounds, deployed for a brief period Israeli trained mosad Yossi Benayoun to oversee operations until hostilities cease at Arsenal.”

Like Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Ricardo Quaresma (I wonder what dimension he’s in now), Mikel Arteta was forged out from Barcelona’s Mutant Academy in Planet Krypton.

Arteta couldn’t break into the FC Barcelona starting XI so he was sent to Paris St. Germain on loan for two seasons before he was sold to Glasgow Rangers in 2002. In his first season at Rangers, he became a household name but the Spanish homesickness effect that attacked Jose Antonio Reyes in his Arsenal days came on Arteta so he was packaged and sent back to Spain.

When he moved to Real Sociedad in 2004, Arteta relished the prospect of playing with his childhood friend, Xabi Alonso the soccer quarterback but the midfielder moved to England to play for Liverpool. Arteta struggled a lot in Sociedad so he was sent on loan to Everton in a deal that had the clause of a permanent transfer.

Arteta impressed David Moyes during the loan spell and sealed a move to the Merseysiders and notched up a total of 208 games, smashing in 33 goals. Arteta also won the Everton Player of the Season award twice (2005/06 and 2006/07).

Arteta made a £10m switch to Arsenal around 11pm making him Wenger’s final signing for the summer and Fabregas’ ideal replacement at the club. As expected, he waved his goodbyes to the Evertonians and thanked them for their support in his time at Goodison Park.

It wasn’t rocket science to know that the lure of Champions League football played a vital role in the Spaniard’s move to the Emirates and Everton legend Graeme Sharp stated that Arteta can be as good as Fabregas. Arteta has become an essential piece in Arsene Wenger’s jigsaw puzzle and he has even contributed to his team with four goals and a couple of assists.

His first Arsenal goal was a highly technical finish that slammed the roof of the net in that somewhat mysterious 4-3 loss to Blackburn, he joined the party with a well-taken finish when Arsenal smashed three past West Brom, he launched a pile-driver from distance in the 4-0 thumping of Wigan and he scored his third goal against Blackburn in the 7-0 mauling.

Fresh from expressing his optimism on a potential upset against AC Milan in the second leg, Arteta has reiterated his desire for people to stop comparing him with the departed Cesc Fabregas and he also spoke about life in Catalunya:

“I do not want to be Cesc’s substitute and I have no thoughts like that, my dream and aim is to win a big trophy for the club and to play for Spain. I would have loved to have had the chance to play for Spain, but I have not yet and I hope that someday that will change.”

“I have always wondered if I could have made it in the Barca first team. That is very difficult though and a limited option. To reach the team is not so tough, but staying there is, when I left I knew what I was doing. Pep [Guardiola] was still in the first team, Xavi hardly played and I know that it would be a long and difficult time waiting for a chance.”

“That is why I decided to take the decision to leave. I am very proud to have been at Barcelona though.”

In my opinion, it’s not right to compare Mikel Arteta with Cesc Fabregas by virtue of the fact that they were assigned in different roles by Arsene Wenger. Fabregas was the fulcrum of the team and he thrived admirably in the hole behind the striker. His best season still remains the 2009/10 campaign were he scored 19 goals and had a boatload of assists. Arteta on the other hand, plays a holding role alongside Alex Song leaving the attacking role for the likes of Aaron Ramsey or Tomas Rosicky.

Like Fabregas, Arteta has great technique and a good passing range but his creativity is eons away from Fabregas. In 208 games for Everton, he scored 33 goals and supplied 41 assists while El Capitan scored 57 goals and a century of assists in 303 games. For once, the numbers don’t lie.

A lot of Gunners represented their nations in yesterday’s interlull and they all went through their games unscathed. While all eyes were firmly fixed on glittering fixtures like the game between England and Holland in Wembley, I’ve decided to switch my focus to England’s Under-21s 4-0 victory over Belgium Under-21s. Arsenal’s Henri Lansbury scored twice while Steven Caulker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed the rout.

The England Under-21s have secured a play-off spot after topping Group 8 with 15 points above the likes of Belgium, Norway, Azerbaijan and Iceland. The game will be forever remembered by this unfathomable goal by Henri Lansbury.

You can’t help but drool with the prospect of watching Henri Lansbury play for Arsenal next season. I hope he gets his chance.

Besides, he can be an able deputy for Wojciech Szczesny. 😀


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