Daily Archives: March 2, 2012
With the needless round of international fixtures out of the way, focus has been firmly fixed on the Premier League as Arsenal visits Anfield to take on Liverpool in another game of the season encounter.
Many Gooners will fondly remember the game that sealed the title in 1989 but I have fresher memories of Arsenal’s visits to Anfield and no game can rival that enthralling 4-4 draw that took place in April 2009. It’s noteworthy that all three goal scorers in that game are presently struggling and their football careers have hit a steep end.
Fernando Torres was on fire that evening as he headed home his first and made mince meat of Mikael Silvestre to score his second goal of the night. Yossi Benayoun got a whack in the face when he scored his first and salvaged a draw late on for his team.
The undisputed hero of the night was the four-midable Andrey Arshavin, that scored all Arsenal’s goals in stunning fashion. The first goal was from a Cesc Fabregas pass after some good work by Samir Nasri, he worked the second himself after some poor Liverpool defending, his hat-trick was gifted to him on a platter thanks to more atrocious defending from Liverpool and his fourth came from a brilliant counter attack that was launched by Theo Walcott.
Fernando Torres has become the standard football has decided to use in rating transfer flops while Arshavin was shipped back to Russia with love. Yossi Benayoun recently voiced his frustration about his lack of games at Arsenal.
Injuries have become a norm in this part of North London but it’s also “refreshing” to know that Arsenal’s “enemies” haven’t been spared either. Steven Gerrard flexed his elbows a bit when he lifted the Carling Cup a few weeks ago but he’s a major doubt for tomorrow’s clash because he has twanged his hammy. AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato has also been ravaged by the injury gods as he’s set to miss the second leg courtesy of a muscle tear.
At Arsenal, the long-term absentees like Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin are still nursing their injuries but Johan Djourou has joined the list as he’s set to miss out for a month. Aaron Ramsey missed out of Gary Speed’s Memorial match against Costa Rica and he’s ruled out for two more games.
On the bright side, Andre Santos is a fortnight away from full fitness and Per Mertesacker has revealed that all is going well with the recuperation phase of his ankle injury. The Gentle Giant reported that he has stopped using clutches and he has been able to work thanks to a custom-made boot and a splint that prevents the ankle from twisting.
He labeled the Champions League loss to Milan as “torture” and hailed his team’s fight-back against Tottenham:
“I almost felt like in the old days, when I followed Arsenal from a distance and felt like a fan: “This is a great club!” I am really proud of being part of a team that is capable of putting in a performance like that.
Ryo Miyaichi has come under the spotlight for all the right reasons as he was recently named as Bolton’s Player of the Month for February. Miyaichi also earned his first call-up for the Blue Samurais of Japan was he didn’t make it from the bench.
The goal he scored against Millwall in the FA Cup was a stuff made in dreams and his boss, Owen Coyle has ran out of superlatives for the young lad:
“He is a young player that continues to get better and we are trying to bring him on in the right way. We are giving him the platform for him to realise how far he wants to go in the game. “We have seen it before – Jack Wilshere, Danny Sturridge – we gave them the opportunities.
“He comes on with freshness, enthusiasm, pace, quality. He has a real desire to push himself on and I love working with that type of young player. Because of how well Ryo has played for us, he has emerged to be in the national squad. Then he goes and he is not used, and we think he could have been here with us all week.”
Right from his days at Burnley, I’ve always held Owen Coyle with high regard and his short input to Jack Wilshere’s career will forever be labeled as a success story. Wilshere rejoined Arsenal and was very instrumental in the Gunner’s cause last season.
Coyle also brought out the best in Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and the youngster has scored more goals than Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres put together. I hope he continues his great works with Ryo Miyaichi and I earnestly hope that he’ll do his bit to save Bolton from relegation.
In his time at Arsenal, Dennis Bergkamp was worshipped like a demigod because he made football seem like a sport made for the gods. His style of play that was chiefly focused around his amazing technique captivated Gooners worldwide and his service to the club was undying. It was only befitting that his farewell match was the first game played at the Emirates Stadium.
Robin van Persie was brought into the squad as the long-term replacement for the Dutch technician and many Gooners were happy when the Flying Dutchman took over the sacred No. 10 jersey that was previously worn by that mercenary called William Gallas.
Bergkamp has hailed van Persie for stepping up the plate to deal with the pressure of becoming Arsenal’s talisman this season. He also stated that a player of van Persie’s calibre deserves trophies and we all hope he’ll get one next season.
The average Arsenal fan always believes that the next season will be better than the previous campaign and we’ve said the same cliche for the past six years.
I just hope Arsene Wenger gets it right this summer.
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