Monthly Archives: July 2014

Southampton’s Garage Sale Continues: Arsenal Signs Chambers

Calum Chambers

 

Koeman: Come one! Come all!

Koeman: The Southampton garage sale has taken its full swing. We have agile lads that know how to press the ball more times than the amount of gel Cristiano Ronaldo puts on his hair. Who’s ready to bid?

Brenda: Ah! I see a good penalty taker in your ranks. My players fall on the ground a lot like sack of potatoes and I wouldn’t mind having the old hag.

Koeman: Welcome Brenda, I have just what you need! Rickie ol’ Lambert, penalty taker extraordinaire!

Brenda: That’s the man I want. Here’s a £4m bid for the lad.

Koeman: Sold! And Lambert goes to Liverpool for peanuts. Off you go mate!

Lambert: Brenda my hero. Thanks for showing interest in me despite my advancing years. I’d give it my best shot.

Brenda: Sure. Get in the Liverpool bus before I change my mind. Hey Koeman, I’m not done yet!

Koeman: Ah Brenda, what do yer want this time?

Brenda: I need a winger that can play in attacking midfield when I tweak my tactics. He should have a fan song that would start with ‘Lalalalalalalalalana’.

Koeman: Errrrr…Brenda, that’s my prized asset and my captain. And his name is Adam Lallana, you prick. Not for sale.

*Brenda brings out huge wad of cash and starts counting slowly*

*Koeman coughs profusely*

Brenda: As I was saying before you insulted me, I need your so-called prized asset. Every player has his price. Or don’t you think so?

*Koeman starts to sweat and begins adjusting his collar*

Koeman: Oh Brenda, you’re a wise man. May I present my captain, Lallana. More skillful than your lot in Liverpool and he has a goal or two in him, but he’d cost you a fortune.

Brenda: B*tch please, I sold the bitey one for £75m. I’ve been laughing to the bank like ‘ha ha ha ha’. *drops a large chunk of cash (£25m) for Lallana*

Koeman: My word! Sold! And Lallana goes to Liverpool.

Lallana: Goodbye boss, sorry I never had the chance to work with you. *exchanges hug with Koeman*

Koeman: *whispering to Lallana* It’s okay mate, don’t tell him about your fucked up knee.

Lallana: LOL! Sure. Hope the money is good enough.

Koeman: Are you kidding, this cash can get me a Dusan Tadic and there would still be enough change to feed some refugees in Africa.

Brenda: Kooooooooeman! I’m not done yet.

Koeman: Seriously bro! I just took over this job from Mauricio Pochettino. You might as just change your team’s name to ‘Liverhampton‘ or ‘Southampool

Brenda: I would have laughed at your joke, but with the kinda money at my disposal, I don’t do funny, I do Mulla. I want your best defender and I’m willing to pay good cash.

Koeman: Too late, I sold my best defender to Manchester United, and trust me, they paid silly money for the bloke.

Louis van Gaal: YOU DONT MEAN IT

Shaw: lol boss, at least he recognizes that I was the best defender in Southampton last season and he wasn’t my manager. I guess he watches TV well then.

Koeman: F**k you Shaw. Brenda, I have a Croatian defender that goes by the name of Dejan Lovren and he’s level-headed, unlike your Martin Skrtel that plays like he has a rush of blood to his head.

Brenda: Whatever man! Here’s £20m.

Koeman: Sold!

*Arsene Wenger steps in and sees Brenda with three players*

Brenda: Monsieur Wenger, I see that you don’t want to be left out on the Southampton Garage Sale.

Wenger: Yes, Mr. Rodgers. I’m looking for a versatile player that can play as a right back, center back and holding midfielder.

Brenda: Wenger, always the economist. I read on the news that you signed a right back from Newcastle. Why don’t you just spend some goddamn money and buy a defender and holding midfielder.

Wenger: Brenda, I see you have stunted memory. Before the Debuchy deal, I signed a player you even wanted. Alexis Sanchez…lol

Brenda: Arrrrrrrrgh! How many times do I have to tell you that he chose Arsenal ahead of Liverpool because of geography!!!

Wenger: Whatever makes you sleep at night bruh!

*Brenda zooms away with his new recruits to Anfield*

Wenger: Mr. Koeman, welcome to the Premier League. I see you’re struggling to hold onto your key players.

Koeman: Tell me about it!

Wenger: I’ve been there mate. And it’s a big ass b*tch. Grooming a player for so long, only to have him snapped from you by some rich predator.

*Koeman hugs Wenger*

Wenger: Well, to the business of the day. I need a versatile player that can play as a right back, center back and holding midfielder. Hope I’ve come to the right place.

Koeman: The papers say that you want Morgan Schneiderlein. He can play as a holding midfielder, not right back or center back. Spurs are even interested in him.

Wenger: I would not repeat myself!

Koeman: Okay sir, there is a candidate that can suit your demands but he’s English and you know what they say about English blokes, especially when they are young and have prospect.

Wenger: We live in a world where crappy Englishmen like Andy Carroll can cost £35m so I get you. Just take it easy with your inflated price.

Koeman: How about £16m?

Wenger: Lemme ping Ivan Gazidis.

*Wenger exchanges IMs with Gazidis*

Wenger: Koeman, I’d sign Calum Chambers for an undisclosed fee.

Koeman: Sold!.

Wenger: Where my Chambers at?

Chambers: Here I am boss!

Wenger: That’s my boy, welcome to the future.

Koeman: The Garage Sale isn’t over though. Come one, come all!

****

Sayonara

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David Ospina: 10 Things You Need to Know about Arsenal’s New Signing

When Lukasz Fabianski left the club on a Bosman, it was cast in stone that Arsenal was going to secure the services of a new goalkeeper that would challenge Wojciech Szczesny for his starting place. With the captures of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, the fans were expectant of seeing new faces and Wenger inadvertently hinted that David Ospina was on his way to the Emirates,

“You know at the start Szczęsny will be the number one, then again it’ll be down to performances and, if Ospina shows that he is better, he will play.”

The official site has revealed that Arsenal has secured the services of the Colombian shot stopper for an undisclosed fee (wondering why it’s always ‘undisclosed’ at Arsenal) and Arsene Wenger had some sweet words for the new recruit,

“David Ospina is an excellent goalkeeper, with good experience and a proven record of performing with Nice and Colombia. He will add strength to our squad and we are very pleased that he will be joining us.”

The battle between Ospina and Szczesny is one that would benefit the club and I’m looking forward to it. Without further ado, here are 10 things you need to know about Arsenal’s new signing.

He’s James “Hamez” Rodriguez’ Brother-in-law

Hamez and Ospina’s sister, Daniela

Hamez Rodriguez was a star in the making right from his FC Porto days but he was out of the spotlight a bit when he joined AS Monaco last season for 45m Euros. The Colombian star put up consistent performances for his team and following Radamel Falcao’s knee injury, the nation hinged their hopes on Rodriguez in the recently concluded World Cup and boy, did he deliver.

While Hamez won plaudits for his exploits on the pitch, I’m pretty certain that his mind was focused on his wife and David Ospina’s younger sister, Daniela and their beautiful daughter, Salome.

He’s the Second Youngest Goalie to Start for Colombia

Ospina represented Colombia at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 level before making his debut for the national team at the age of 21, making him the second youngest goalkeeper to represent Colombia.

Ospina saving Edinson Cavani’s header

Ospina has gone on to make 48 caps for his country and he had a great World Cup by his standards.

He Replaced Hugo Lloris at OGC Nice

Hugo Lloris currently captains France and has been a household name in world football for a very long time but his career actually began in his hometown, Nice. He made his debut as a teenager in October 2005 and started in goal during the team’s run to the 2006 Coupe de la Ligue Final.

Lloris at Nice

After excelling at the club for three seasons (made 77 appearances), Lloris moved to Olympique Lyonnais before securing a move to Tottenham years later. When Lloris left Nice in 2008, the French outfit signed Ospina from Atletico Nacional.

He Suffered an Awkward Injury in the 2011 Copa America

Since making his debut in 2010, Ospina was a first-team regular for Colombia and he helped the country qualify for the Copa America a year later, which was to be hosted by Argentina. In a pre-match training, Hugo Rodallega charged down a pass outside the box, and caught Ospina in the face with his shoulder when the goalkeeper came out to kick the ball clear. Ospina laid motionless on the ground and he had to receive swift medical treatment.

That injury ruled him out of the tournament but Colombia still went on to top the group that had Bolivia, Costa Rica and the hosts, Argentina. Colombia was knocked out by Peru in the quarterfinals.

His Disciplinary Record at Nice was a Concern

Ospina’s time at Nice was marred by the abnormal amount of cards he amassed (11 yellows and four reds) due to his erratic nature. He has been sent off when he lost his temper on the pitch but in this video showing the match highlights between P.S.G and Nice, Ospina earned himself a red card (In the 2′ 17″ mark of the video) when he scythed Ezequiel Lavezzi in the box.

At Arsenal, he’d need to put his temper in check because English fans would be quick to bring out their pitchforks and torches if he tries such a feat in the Premier League.

He Almost Secured a Move to Besiktas SK

In 2012, Ospina’s performances in Nice caught the eye and Turkish giants, Besiktas SK, set their sights on the Colombian goalie. After a protracted transfer saga, Nice called off the deal due to financial constraints faced by the Turks. Besiktas were in hot soup at the point in time as their failure to pay their staff and wages brought them some sanctions from UEFA.

He Made his Professional Debut at 17

Keepers are usually known for being late bloomers but Ospina began his career at quite an early age.

Ospina in his Atletico Nacional days. That’s Adriano beside him…

In Atletico Nacional, Ospina had already won back to back Colombian league titles as a first-choice shot stopper. Atletico Nacional was where he plied his trade and where he produced the form that earned him a move to Europe. He notched 97 appearances for the Colombian outfit in three seasons.

He’s Fearless in the Air

Since his move from Atletico Nacional to OGC Nice, Ospina has featured consistently for the French outfit. While he was renowned for being an excellent shot stopper and dominant in his box, one of Ospina’s remarkable traits is his aerial ability. Last season, he had an amazing 98% claims in the box which showed that he literally got every aerial ball in the box he went for, which is a show of great decision making.

His Stats were Better than Wojciech Szczesny Last Season

PSG’s Salvatore Sirigu won the Golden Glove award in the Ligue 1 last season by conceding the least amount of gaols (23) in the division but there were several contenders for the crown. Lille’s Vincent Enyeama earned plaudits for his amazing clean sheet run but his save success rate (77.4%) were considerably less than Sirigu’s 78.5%. However, Ospina had a remarkable save success rate of 80.2% compared to Szczesny’s 73% at Arsenal.

Nice lost all the nine games Ospina missed out, conceded an average of two goals per game but when Ospina was between the sticks, Nice won 12 games with an average of 1.45 points per game. The graphical illustration below juxtaposes between Szczesny and Ospina stats last season.

image

Stats via WhoScored

Despite featuring in less games than Szczesny, Ospina edged past the Pole in saves per game, save success, goals conceded per game and crosses claimed. Many might be quick to point out the gulf in quality between the English Premier League and Ligue 1 but I feel that doesn’t necessarily apply with goalkeepers.

His Farewell from Nice was Very Emotional

It’s never easy saying goodbye especially when you leave a club that made you what you are in the world of football. In 2008, Nice’s gaffer, Frederic Antonetti, signed a relatively unknown 19-year-old Colombian and thrust him straight into first-team action. Losing a local hero like Hugo Lloris to Lyon was a big wrench, so replacing him with an untested Colombian kid was a bold move by the manager, which ended up playing off.

After six years and close to 200 appearances, this lad is about to start a new adventure in his life and this video showed how he was teary while bidding farewell to his teammates and the staff of OGC Nice.

Welcome to Arsenal, David Ospina.

Sayonara.

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NY Red Bulls 1 Arsenal 0: The Gunners Lack Cutting Edge

Netted: Bradley Wright-Phillips scores against Arsenal

Bradley Wright-Phillips netting the winner

Red Bulls Arena (Friendly)

Player RatingsMatch HighlightsWenger’s Press Conference

The pre-match proceedings was rightly dominated by Thierry Henry coming up against his old team and after a rather long wait, the match kicked off by 10pm in Nigeria. Seeing the lineup made me somewhat confused as Nacho Monreal played in the middle, Gedion Zelalem on the right and Tomas Rosicky in a false nine role. Arsenal was well represented in the Red Bulls Arena as 500 fans came all the way from the UK while the remaining 4,500 were made up of the Gooners based in USA.

Right from the onset, the Red Bulls had the chance to go one up when Henry had a free kick in a place that was his bread and butter in his Arsenal days. However, he ballooned his free kick over the bar. Arsenal responded with some neat passing that saw Kieran Gibbs close in on goal but Luis Robles parried the ball to safety.

Arsenal’s defense was carved open and Henry was one on one with Wojciech Szczesny. The crowd held its breath in anticipation of a trademark Henry-esque placed finish but Szczesny stretched to pass a superb save from the King. On the other end, Santi Cazorla was afford a half chance at goal and his curled effort missed by a whisker. It was end to end stuff as Henry teed up Bradley Wright-Phillips that sent his shot wide and within minutes, Aaron Ramsey had a half chance that went wide as well.

After soaking some pressure from the home team, Arsenal launched a swift counter attack and they were three on two but when the ball got to Cazorla, he swung a wayward pass and that great chance went begging. The match opener arrived when Henry swung a corner kick that was flicked goalwards by an unmarked Ambrose Oyongo. With the ball in the six yard box, Wright-Phillips got a foot on it before Mikel Arteta to put the home side one goal to the good.

Ramsey and Monreal playing the ‘blame game’

Arsenal almost responded immediately when Jack Wilshere drifted into the box and executed a neat one-two with Zelalem but he didn’t wrap his foot around the ball to generate enough power to blast it pass Robles, thereby making the goalie to smother the ball.

At the start of the second half, Arsene Wenger made wholesale changes to the squad with Damian Martinez, Hector Bellerin, Ignasi Miquel, Abou Diaby, Francis Coquelin, Mathieu Flamini and a real striker, Chuba Akpom, coming into the fray. Akpom made his mark almost immediately by executing a deft back-heeled pass to an onrushing Cazorla but the Spaniard blasted his shot straight at Robles. Thierry Henry’s exit from the pitch was marked with a rousing ovation and it was no surprise when he went to exchange pleasantries with Wenger before joining his team in the dugout.

Old friends: Thierry Henry embraces Arsene Wenger

Akpom continued to influence the game and fashioned a chance that was brilliantly dispatched home by Diaby but the linesman’s flag spared NYRB’s blushes. Sam crossed the ball for Chris Duvall whose header went wide off the mark but the ref inexplicably chose to award the Red Bulls a fictitious corner kick.

Miquel did well to win the ball before launching a long ball that sent Akpom clean on goal but a rush of blood to the head saw the young striker miss a glorious chance. Late on, Kris Olsson had a free kick on the edge of the area but he launched his shot into orbit.

Despite the fact that it was a good run-out for the lads, it’s fair to say that the Gunners lacked cutting edge.

Sayonara.

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