Daily Archives: September 7, 2012
The first set of international fixtures take place today and Arsenal has its fair share of contingent representing their motherlands. Two Gunners will even lock horns tonight as Aaron Ramsey’s Wales take on the hugely impressive Belgian team with a certain Thomas Vermaelen in it. I’m tipping this red hot Belgian side to run riot past Wales but with players like Ramsey and the world’s best left-footed Chimpanzee in their ranks, the outcome could be different.
While the matches will be ongoing tonight, Bacary Sagna will be in his home with his beautiful Ludivine, as he watches his Les Bleus play against Finland. Sagna was utterly disappointed to miss out on the European Championships courtesy of his second broken leg but Mark Debuchy did pretty well in his absence.
Mr. Consistency has been on the news lately, as he has expressed his frustration over the way the club conducted its transfer business this summer, with emphasis being on Alex Song’s sale to Barcelona,
“Everyone knew Robin was leaving. But Alex? He’s 24. He had three years on contract. I still don’t understand. He’s a huge loss.
When the two best players go, you ask questions. Fans come up to me in the street, I understand the frustration. Like them I don’t understand everything.”
Both players contributed immensely to Arsenal last season with 38 goals and 29 assists, making them indispensable but in a “selling” club like Arsenal, no one is. For worth its worth, Jack Wilshere and Vermaelen have reiterated their desires to be Gunners for life, but if they make any move towards the exit door, Arsenal will gladly open it.
Like Sagna, we the fans were deeply concerned about the sale of Alex Song because it came out of the blue. We had made our minds up on the van Persie saga but his move to Manchester United was a bitter pill to swallow. But at least, the pill has been swallowed.
Many cynics were very quick to speculate that Sagna might be next in line to move away from the Emirates, as he currently has one year left on his deal after the next summer. New football rules have put players with a year left on their contracts in a strong position to control their football destinies, but Arsenal fans are still bewildered why the club always wait towards the end before offering key players new deals.
Look at the Theo Walcott contract situation for instance, the club knew that he, van Persie and Andrey Arshavin had contracts expiring in 2013 but all focus was aimed at RvP because of his undoubted importance to the team. Now that RvP has become a part of the team’s history, efforts to keep Walcott are ongoing (which reached a deadlock) but it seems as if the club is ready to cut its losses with the Russian captain.
Zenit are fighting hard to sign Arshavin and Luis Nani, and it seems as if the club has sanctioned his sale, but the Russian is determined to prove his worth at the Emirates.
Back to Sagna, it’s okay to be frustrated but the performances of his team should have done something to calm the storm. His deputy, Carl Jenkinson, has showed maturity beyond his years and Arsenal fans can sleep well at night, knowing that the young bloke can always step up if there’s a need to rest Sagna.
Francis Coquelin is another player that has recently voiced his frustrations, but unlike Sagna that’s crying about player sales, Le Coq wants to play football.
The youngster did pretty well last season in various positions, making him a stand-out utility player but the fact that Wenger gleefully allowed Song to go without sourcing a direct replacement hinted that he has plans for Coquelin. Arteta has been playing the “Pirlo” role as Wenger had stated but at the age of 30, his days are numbered in Arsenal.
If Coquelin can exercise some patience, the holding role will be his for the taking in the near future. However, if he feels that he needs to leave to see regular first team football, so be it.
Arsenal it was, Arsenal it is and Arsenal it will ever be.
Last season, Wenger tried a lot of players in the defensive positions but such a feat won’t be repeated this year, thanks to the great defensive works of Steve Bould, or Lord Bouldimort, as I prefer to call him.
Harry Potter fans would know that Steve Bould is as bald as the Dark Lord, as he has also split his soul in seven Horcruxes, that are also in seven different locations – The Clock of the Emirates, Tony Pulis’ Baseball Cap, the East end of the Brittania, the penalty spot at Highbury, a goal post at Underhill, Emmanuel Frimpong’s mohawk and Gervinho’s forehead
Vermaelen has heaped praise on the new assistant boss for steadying the defensive ship and his manager, Wenger, has ran out of superlatives for Lord Bouldimort,
“We have played two teams who didn’t really attack, but he is doing a good job. We continue our training regime. He has taken over from Pat Rice for the defensive job where he is doing very well.
Will we finish with the best defence in the league? I hope so!”
You can call it “early days” if you like, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to discover that Arsenal’s defense has improved drastically with Steve Bould’s defensive tactics.
Take the Liverpool game for instance,
Any time the Liverpool wingers were with the ball, Lukas Podolski and Ox changed to emergency fullbacks, while Kieran Gibbs and Jenko drifted inwards, making Arsenal to have a back six. Even Greece couldn’t do this in Euro 2004.
The zonal marking was superb as well. The Gunners lined themselves up in the six yard box, with their eyes firmly focused on the ball. Per Mertesacker and the skipper, Thomas Vermaelen, championed such events.
A true test of Lord Bouldimort’s dark magic will be tested in the Etihad, a few weeks from now. Then the world will stand and fear Arsenal’s defensive Dark Lord, Lord Bouldimort.
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