Monthly Archives: July 2016

Thoughts on the MLS ALl Stars Game and New Kits Revealed


Sadly, I couldn’t watch the MLS All Stars vs Arsenal game live for two reasons; 1. The timimg (2 a.m in Lagos, Nigeria) and 2. The mere fact that it wasn’t even shown in this part of the world. Users of applications like Mobdro turned out to be real MVPs as they feasted their eyes on some good Gunner footie.

The hosts had a strong lineup with Arsenal’s scourge, Didier Drogba, leading the line in a team that had the legendary Andrea Pirlo, Giovani dos Santos, goal poacher extraordinaire, David Villa, and 2007 World Player of the Year, Kaka. On the Arsenal side, Petr Cech led the team out with a rearguard that contained Kieran Gibbs, Krystian Bielik, Rob Holding and soon-to-be-departing Matt Debuchy. Mo’ Elneny and Francis Coquelin provided the picot in the midfield with Joel Campbell, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in front of them. Then Walcott led the line.

The game itself was end to end stuff with Cech making a couple of saves for his side but Arsenal got the lead when Campbell got scythed down in the box leaving no choice but to point to the spot. The Costa Rican dusted himself up, placed the ball in the spot and blasted it home. He needs to rehearse that celebration dance with Coquelin though.

I wasn’t surprised when Drogba fired in the equalizer but I was more concerned with the acres of space he had to do his thing. The first shot was blocked by Cech, he had a second bite of the cherry and it was blocked by Holding, then he was third time lucky as his looping shot evaded all the bodies on the goal line to creep into Cech’s unguarded net.

MLS MVP, Sebastian Giovinco, joined the fray in the second half and made a nuisance of himself but there was one moment when Cech had to be on his guard to keep the Toronto forward at bay. Just when it seemed like the spoils were going to be shared again, Chuba Akpom reacted quickly to a Nacho Monreal drilled effort to win the contest for the Gunners.

It was another good run out for the lads, and those that watched the full game stated how impressive Rob Holding was.

Elsewhere, the away and third kits for the season have been launched. They weren’t looking bad at all and I’m sure I can’t wait to get my hands on them.


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Defenders Linked as Wenger Confirms Mertesacker Injury

It’s evident that Per Mertesacker’s injury is really as bad as we feared with the manager confirming it in a press conference,

“We have bad news on Per Mertesacker. He played in Lens on Friday night, he finished the game and had a little pain on his knee. We found out the next day that it was much more serious than expected. He had surgery yesterday in Germany. It all went well. I know you will ask me for how long he will be out. I don’t know that, it’s months, but I don’t know how long he will be out for.”

Arsenal fans know that when the boss talks this way, we should fear for worst. Take a trip down memory lane in September 2015, when the manager confirmed that Danny Welbeck had gone through a surgery to fix a knee problem. If I can remember clearly, he used the same words ‘I don’t know how long he’d be out for’. We didn’t see that guy Welbz till February 2016 whenhe scored that super header against Leicester.

With Mertesacker reaching the last year of his contract as well as hitting the 30+ mark, things might not pan out too well for the man that is set to be named Arsenal captain. However, Arsenal fans should be happy with Wenger’s quotes of the club looking for experienced center backs in the transfer market to replace the BFG.

Online Sportbooks would be tipping the Gunners to sign a new defender but I’m wondering what odds could surface for that.

Reports surfacing social media is that Arsenal has made an enquiry for Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi. The lad started well in the European Championships but found games hard to come by as the tournament progressed. Mustafi, 24, joined the Mestalla-based outfit two season ago and featured consistently for the club, making 78 appearances in the last two campaigns. In his 12 caps for Germany, he has scored a solitary goal that came against Ukraine in the Euros.

Napoli’s Kalilou Koulibaly has also been mentioned but he’s a defender on high demand with Chelsea also interested in his services. With an imposing height of 6′ 5″, Koulibaly would bring a lot of physicality to the defense and he just off of the back of a brilliant campaign with Napoli.

Arsenal aren’t exactly short on numbers defensively, with Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers available for selection. Holding is a very raw talent, so is Chambers, while Gabriel hasn’t really progressed as much as we would have liked. Mertesacker’s injury has made signing a new defender a big priority as signing a forward.

Over to you, Arsene


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Per Mertesacker Adds to Arsenal’s Injury Woes

There were pictures of the squad on a certain tarmac with some Fly Emirates staff but some certain sharp eyed fans like K_Sturna noticed that the club captain wasn’t on that photo. C’mon, a player of his stature is certainly not hard to find. Injuries and Arsenal are two things that have been synonymous in recent years, and it seems as if that trend is set to continue in the new campaign.

With Arsenal playing a MLS AllStar squad on Friday, it’s evident that the team would be desperately short in the back when Gabriel Paulista left back at London Colney because of tonsilitis problem that was reported earlier in the campaign. Things are looking really grim as it has been confirmed that imminent club captain, Per Mertesacker, has suffered a knee injury and he’s scheduled to miss up to five months.

With Laurent Koscielny still on his extended break following his Euro 2016 exertions, Arsenal is left with just Calum Chambers and new signing, Rob Holding, as the center backs available for selection. Nacho Monreal and Matt Debuchy have featured in makeshift center back roles, but with Sky Sports reporting that Bordeaux is bracing themselves to make an official bid for the French fullback, he’s more than likely to leave.

It’s important to see how Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy respond to this predicament. Arsenal has been renowned to be a reactive side when it comes to some certain kinds of signings, but I have a hunch that Wenger would prefer to see Gabriel grow, than splurging in the transfer market for a new center back.

We will have to keep our fingers crossed though.


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