Monthly Archives: July 2015

Diaby Reveals Why He Joined Marseille and More Players Leave on Loan

Good luck Abou

Time truly waits for no man.

I’m scheduled to travel offshore next week so I’ve been heavily involved in some front end activity here at work. Surprisingly, the last two days have waltzed past me and I’ve not even had the time to write anything on the blog. Its times like this I wished I had a columnist that could hold the fort when I’m not available but it’s aii. These things happen.

As we eagerly anticipate the Community Shield between the Gunners and those Rent Boys, their manager has been on the news lately and I wouldn’t even bother you with the bullcrap he has been spitting from his pile hole recently. I know Arsene Wenger hasn’t defeated him in 13 attempts but all records are meant to be broken. More on the Community Shield in the coming days.

The club has finally confirmed that Wojciech Szczesny has completed his long-awaited loan move to AS Roma and Arseblog wrote a rather emotional piece about the goalie, which in my honest opinion was a very good read, so help yourselves out. That’s if you haven’t seenit already. I’ve shared my thoughts on the Szczesny to Roma issue as well, so there’s no point dwelling on it anymore.


Elsewhere, the club has also confirmed that youngster, Jon Toral, will play the 2015/16 campaign in Birmingham City. Toral was loaned to Brentford last season and he made 37 appearances for the Bees, scoring six goals which included a scintillating hat-trick against Blackpool. Birmingham hasn’t returned to the Premier League since their relegation in the 2010/11 campaign but they’d fondly remember the Capital One Cup victory over the Gunners that season. Arsenal has had its fair share of contingent that have played for the club in the past with Lord Nicklas Bendtner featuring consistently for the club in the 2006/07 season, scoring 13 goals in 48 appearances for the club. Aliaksandr Hleb featured for the club as well, and he suffered the ignominy of relegation.

Szczesny and Toral will join the likes of Yaya Sanogo (Ajax) and Carl Jenkinson (West Ham) as players that have been farmed out on loan and I’d expect more players to join this list.

You also must be aware that everyone’s sweetheart, Abou Diaby, has returned home to play for Marseille. Just a few weeks ago, he was pretty close to signing for West Brom and Sky Sports even reported that he was due to go for a medical with the Baggies, but the move fell through for reasons best known to the injury gods of Novigrad, Velen and Skellige.

Diaby made 182 appearances in nine-and-a-half years for the Gunners but sadly, he made only two appearances in his last two seasons with the club. In an exclusive interview with RMC Sport, Diaby has revealed his reasons for leaving the Gunners, snubbed a move to West Brom and joined Marseille,

“It was knowing which club would help me the best medically. That was my real priority. I had very, very advanced talks with West Brom. But I found Marseille was better. I thought: why not come back to France?

“I don’t want to draw emotional conclusions. The reality is different. I haven’t played for two years. I need to rebuild myself, to put myself in a good place to play football again. It wasn’t an easy choice, but it was my choice.”

“I had hard times in those nine years, but some beautiful moments. I had the chance to get to know Arsene Wenger, who is a truly great coach and a great man, too.

“I regret that I wasn’t able to show all my qualities and potential. Now, a new chapter begins.”

His time at Arsenal was riddled with injuries and he has identified Marseille as a club that could help him medically. I wish him the very best in this new chapter of his life and I hope he realizes that potential we couldn’t see at Arsenal because of his injuries.


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Jeff Reine-Adelaide: The Next Best Thing at Arsenal


Jeff Reine-Adelaide scout report

A star in the making

Football has evolved to the level where everyone is more concerned about results, so there is a high demand for teams to lineup their strongest possible squads to challenge for every competition. Different football club board of directors have different expectations for their respective teams and it cascades down to the manager to assemble a team capable of matching those expectations, because if he doesn’t his head will be on a plate and a new manager would be hired.

Oil-rich clubs like PSG and Manchester City can afford to have their fare shares of ‘trails and errors’, because the money is readily available for the managers to sign whoever they please as long as the prices is right. With clubs spending big for talent out there, what would happen to the young ones coming up? Different teams have different philosophies (I know LVG has abused this word – sadly) when it comes to player recruitment. FC Barcelona, for instance, isn’t afraid to spend big when they want to, but the club believes in investing in the sheer talent available from their world-famous La Masia Academy, and when you think of the fact that the club has produced world beaters like Lionel Messi and co., you can tell that investing from within is a plausible option too.

That brings us to a club like Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger has been on the helm for 18 years and he has seen several generations of players come and go from Arsenal. We also know that Wenger is a strong believer of investing in youth, and under his tutelage, youngsters like Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere have broke into the first team and performed admirably. Wenger also chooses the option in investing in youngsters from other clubs to allow them continue their football education in Hale End Academy and today, the club can be proud of the likes of Hector Bellerin, that was snapped from Barcelona at just 11 years of age, and he’s challenging a veteran like Matt Debuchy for his place.

This season, the club signed a couple of youngsters from other clubs with two players, Vlad Dragomir and Jeff Reine-Adelaide, been touted as the players that have massive potential. Born in 1998, Jeff Reine-Adelaide played for the RC Lens Under-19 side and impressed heavily, featuring in a number of playing positions across midfield and attack. When he joined the club this summer, he was tipped to be part of the Barclays Asia Trophy squad but he withdrew and was replaced by Jon Toral.

After a successful Barclay’s Asia Trophy tour, Arsenal hosted three other European sides in the Emirates Cup and the fans got a glimpse of Reine-Adelaide’s talent in the mauling of Lyon. It was a very superb cameo performance and Wenger had a couple of sweet words to say on the youngster after the game,

Reine-Adelaideis something special you know. He is a great talent and when he came on you could see that – 17-years-old, let’s not forget that. In fact, I don’t remember how I played at 17 but I didn’t play like that!

It is exciting to work with these players. You can imagine how they will look in two or three years for the club. That is always exciting” 

When the club released the team sheet for the game against Lord Bendtner’s Wolfsburg, Reine-Adelaide was starting and he proved his worth with another great performance that was capped with a neat assist for Theo Walcott. I really don’t expect the young lad to start against a fierce opponent like Chelsea in the Community Shield but I’m confident that he’d get a run out in the Capital One Cup this season.

Let’s hope he can keep his feet on the ground and focus on improving himself.


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Arsenal 1-0 Wolfsburg: Match Report and Player Ratings

Another day, another trophy

Arsenal 1 (Walcott 50′) – Wolfsburg 0

Match HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

If you might have noticed, I’m having some technical difficulties with the appearance of the site but I’ve contracted Mr. Fix It in the Wreck it Ralph movie to sort things out. Bear with me.

To be frank, I missed the entire first half of the match against Wolfsburg because I was in Yaba but from the highlights I saw afterwards, I didn’t really miss much. Theo Walcott started as a center forward and he had a couple of chances to make his mark. Firing a shot at the goalie with his first attempt and losing the composure I believe he’s renowned for. Mesut Ozil also hit the deck after a miscued effort that just missed by a lick of paint.

It was the second half I witnessed and I saw that young Gun, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, strutting his stuff with such confidence. After making mince meat of some marker, he had the option of passing to Chuba Akpom and Theo Walcott but the young lad chose the right option of feeding Walcott that toe poked the ball past Diego Benaglio to score what proved to be the match winner.

Walcott celebrates with Jeff Reine-Adelaide after the youngster set up his goal in the second half

Walcott celebrating with Reine-Adelaide

Arsenal almost shot themselves on the foot when Mikel Arteta uncharacteristically gifted the ball to Kevin de Bruyne of all people but the Belgian blasted his shot into orbit. Reine-Adelaide continued to run the show and he made an audacious attempt with the outside of his boot to Walcott’s path. The Englishman put on the afterburners but Benaglio showed some good anticipation to avert the danger. Walcott was getting into the groove and he even attempted a Thierry Henry-esque one time finish that missed its intended target.

Petr Cech was enjoying his home debut and he was determined to mark it with a clean sheet. There were a couple of goal attempts from Ricardo Rodriguez and Josuha Guilavogui but it was bread and butter stuff for the Czech legend. Wenger wanted to add some oil to Arsenal’s engine by bringing on Aaron Ramsey and Ox. Both players almost contributed to scoring a second goal when Ox made one of his trademark slalom runs before feeding Ramsey but the Welsh Jesus’ chip went wide off the mark.

From that point onwards, it was a relatively dull affair that was sparked to life by Isaac Hayden’s beautiful curled effort that brought out the best in the goalie. The solitary goal was enough for the Gunners to win the Emirates Cup for the first time in five years.

Player Ratings


Petr Cech was assured in goal and made routine saves when he needed to. 7/10

Calum Chambers has adapted well to his center back role and he did okay at the heart of the Arsenal defense. 7/10

Gabriel didn’t have much to do then make some Denilson-esque side passes all game long. 6/10

Hector Bellerin struggled a bit defensively and didn’t offer much of a threat from an attacking standpoint. 6/10

Nacho Monreal put up another solid display as you’d expect from the Spaniard. 7/10


Mikel Arteta looked tidy in possession but he almost committed an error that would have led to a goal. 6/10

Santi Cazorla didn’t influence the game as much as he would have liked. 6/10

Jack Wilshere had a very good game, spraying passes with such finesse. 7/10

Mesut Ozil didn’t replicate his awesome form of the previous game but he did good too. 7/10


Jeff Reine-Adelaide didn’t play like a 17-year-old and he showed why the club was ready to invest in him. Such a top lad. 9/10

Theo Walcott got another run-out as a center forward and popped up with the all-important goal. His numbers surely speak for him. 8/10


Chuba Akpom has been a different player since his hat-trick against Singapore. Terribly selfish and he struggled yesterday as well. 4/10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injected his directness and pace into the game which changed the outlook of things. I’m tipping the lad for greatness this season. 7/10

Aaron Ramsey added some steel to the midfield when he replaced Arteta. 7/10

Olivier Giroud and Isaac Hayden didn’t play long enough to get a Gooner Daily rating.

All roads lead to Wembley.

Food for thought.


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