Arsenal Makes a ‘Bould’ Move, Euro Selections and Transfer Speculations
Arsenal had the god of soccer and Lady Luck to thank after capitulating against Norwich to lose their stranglehold on third place. In somewhat mysterious circumstances, Tottenham and Newcastle managed to follow suit. While the disappointments of the team’s shortcomings have been very obvious, Francis Coquelin has declared that all focus will be aimed on West Brom.
Coquelin’s reactions are reminiscent of the way the Super Eagles’ captain, Joseph Yobo, reacted after the shocking loss to Greece in the 2010 FIFA World Cup group stage fixture. Nigeria had lost it’s first two fixtures to Argentina and Greece, but a victory against Korea Republic coupled with a bad result for Greece against Argentina would have seen the Eagles end the group in second place.
We all know how the final fixture between Nigeria and Korea Republic panned out with the major highlight being that unbelievable miss by Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who was unfortunately relegated with Blackburn yesterday night.
In the Premier League Form Table, Arsenal is languishing in 10th place with two wins, one defeat and three draws on the trot in their last six games. Another draw against West Brom, coupled with a victory for Tottenham would see the Gunners end in fourth place, putting their Champions League destiny in the hands of Bayern Munich.
Hopefully, it won’t be like Arsenal, like Nigeria.
Patrick James Rice undying and committed service to Arsenal is coming to an end this campaign and his replacement has been announced, Stephen Andrew Bould. The reactions to the announcement has been positive, with Gooners believing the Bould’s defensive background could help the first team fix up their careless defensive attitude.
Reserve manager, Neil Banfield, has also been promoted to the first team setup.
Baldy…Bouldy began his football career at Stoke City as a right back in 1980 but switched to centre back as the season progressed. After notching up 183 league appearances for Stoke in eight seasons, he moved to Arsenal in 1988 for a fee of £390,000.
At Arsenal, he forged his name alongside, Mr. Arsenal, Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon into Arsenal folklore winning an amazing haul of trophies along the way. In the 1991/92 campaign, Bould was voted as the Arsenal Player of the Year for his outstanding performances.
After amassing 288 appearances in 11 seasons at Arsenal, Bould made his final football move to Sunderland in 1999. However, his time with the Black Cats was short-lived as arthritis and obviously, old age contributed in his retirement from the beautiful game.
A year after announcing his retirement, Bould got his coaching badges and was signed up by Arsenal in 2001. He has been at the youth setup for many years and he became the Head Coach of the Arsenal Under-18s. He has now taken the ‘bould’ step to become Arsene Wenger’s right-hand man and we can only hope that this change will be a step in the right direction.
This tweet below epitomizes the effects of change,
With the Euros just around the horizon, national team managers are now in the spotlight, as they announce provisional squad members that will be cut down to the last 23 in due time. The last major football tournament, the 2010 FIFA World Cup saw many managers make high-profile exclusions from their squads.
While unfortunate injuries played a part in David Beckham, Michael Ballack, Rio Ferdinard, Luis Nani and John Mikel Obi missing out on their various national team set-ups, the intentional omissions of Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri, Mathieu Flamini, Karim Benzema, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti and Alexandre Pato et al raised a few eyebrows.
The English Premier League has had it’s fair share of exports to international tournaments and this year will be no different. The manager of the Oranje, Bert van Marwijk has named his provisional squad to represent the tournament favorites in the forthcoming Euros.
The Premier League was represented by Tim Krul, Johnny Heitenga, Nigel de Jong, Rafael van der Fart, Dirk Kuyt and the striker that literally scores when he wants, Robin van Persie.
These Premier League exports in the aforementioned list deserve to be in the Dutch National side because of their outstanding performances all season long. Krul has had 15 clean sheets this season and he’s a forerunner for the Silver Glove as we don’t need a soothsayer to tell us the winner. Heitenga and de Jong have been rock-solid in their defensive duties while van der Fart has been a phenom for those Spuds.
Kuyt hasn’t been getting much playing time this term but he still showcased his effectiveness with that match-winning goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup. I’ve certainly run out of superlatives for Robin van Persie as he epitomizes everything Arsenal stands for this season.
However, Wenger has warned his team not to be over-reliant on the Flying Dutchman in the final game against West Brom.
Germany’s Joachim Loew has also announced his provisional German Machines squad for the Euros with the only Premier League export being the Big F*ckin’ Giant, Per Mertesacker. Arsenal’s new recruit Lukas Podolski looks certain to add to his amazing haul of 95 caps at the age of 26. Podolski even has taken out time to reveal his reason for joining Arsenal.
Moving over to transfer gossip, Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young will be on the hunt for new employers this summer. This piece of info will certainly be like music to the ears of many Gooners out there.
The world-best striker, Nicklas Bendtner still remains uncertain about his Sunderland future and I won’t mind him back at our ranks, as long as he keeps his mouth shut and let his feet do the talking, if you know what I mean.
I wrote an article a few weeks ago stating my reasons why I’d prefer Bendtner to stay at Arsenal;
- His goal-to-game ratio at Arsenal is quite impressive, considering the fact that he’s not a first team regular. In every season he played for Arsenal bar his first (where he was away on loan at Birmingham), Bendtner closed in on double figures and he surpassed the mark twice with 15 goals (2008/09) and 12 goals (2009/10)
- He has never said anything negative about Arsenal, its manager or his fellow teammates even securing a move to Sunderland. Yes, he has some off field issues but he doesn’t seem to have any problem with teammates or anything too disruptive (think Balotelli).
- Last season, he scored nine goals and raked up five assists despite playing on the wing, and usually playing only the final 15 minutes when the team was already losing. He is way better than Chamakh, and I’d take him over the Moroccan anyday, anytime.
That’s yer lot for today.
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