Monthly Archives: October 2016

Lucas Perez Out for Six Weeks – How Arsenal of Him

Image result for lucas perez injured

It took quite some time for the Gunners to sign the ‘world class’ center forward the fans craved and with the transfer window reaching its twilight zone, Arsenal swooped for Deportivo’s Lucas Perez. This move was greeted with optimism because the fans didn’t know much about him. His debut coincided with his birthday and he did well to create an assist for Laurent Koscielny’s equalizer against Southampton.

With Arsenal’s new look formation that saw Alexis Sanchez lead the line, Lucas saw himself relegated to the bench but he did great in the EFL Cup game against Nottingham Forest, netting himself a brace. However, he spent more time on the bench and voiced out his frustrations during an interview with Spanish radio station, Onda Cero,

“When I first arrived here I expected to have more of a starring role. [But] the teammates that are playing in my position are doing a great job.

“We have won seven games in a row and, at the end of the day, the coach wants what is best for the team.

“I had hoped to have more playing time, but what I have to do now is make the most of the opportunities I get.”

With the first team players showing early signs of fatigue, it was evident that Wenger was going to overhaul the squad against Reading, with Lucas getting another ‘opportunity’ to show what he’s made of. He put up a good performance but his outing lasted for only 72 minutes when he struggled to recuperate from the tackle by Reading’s Danzell Gravenberch. It has been confirmed that Lucas is likely to be out for six weeks, which essentially rules him out of the crucial clashes against Tottenham, Manchester United and the all-important Champions League tie against Paris St. Germain.

This is a big blow to the Spanish forward, as he’s just settling to life in his new club and even though the opportunities to play haven’t been as consistent as he would have hoped, he would have been in contention if he was fit. With Olivier Giroud returning to full fitness, Arsenal ‘may not’ miss Lucas but Arsene Wenger would prefer to have all his available players at his disposal as the Gunners are challenging on four fronts at the moment.

The club is currently in second place in the Premier League and we all know that the league is a marathon that ends in May but each result remains crucial. The EFL Cup is down to the last eight with Arsenal hosting Southampton on November 28. This was a game Lucas was odds-on to start but he would be taking Abou Diaby’s spot in the treatment table. Then there’s the Champions League and FA Cup next year.

It’s just distressing to see how our players tends to suffer severe injuries and stay out for so long. Aaron Ramsey had an injury in August and hasn’t kicked the ball since then. Giroud had a ‘toe injury’ that sidelined him for an eternity before he made his return against Reading. Even Santi Cazorla got a knock against Ludogorets and has been out of action since then.

I wish Lucas a speedy recovery and I hope he would make more meaningful contributions to the team between now and the end of the season.


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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Gives his Manager Something to Think About

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring, driving into the penalty area before finishing past Reading's Ali Al-Habsi

Match Report Match HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

Last night’s clash with Reading was a testament of the depth of the current Arsenal squad. As predicted, Emiliano Martinez played in goal with Kieran Gibbs, Rob Holding, Gabriel Paulista and Carl Jenkinson in front of him. Jenks was clearly elated in returning to first team football after such a long time out of the game. In midfield, Mohamed Elneny played alongside AInsely Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi with Lucas Perez flanked by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

It was a very interesting game as the fringe players played very well and it would have been a dream return for Jenkinson when he was clean through on goal but his shot got parried to his path by Ali Al-Habsi. Jenks had a second bite of the cherry but his header looped over the bar. The Gunners opened the scoring when the Ox bore down on goal and blasted a shot to Al Habsi’s far post, giving the keeper no chance to make a save. he had attempted the same kinda effort early on but it sailed off the mark by a lick of paint. After a fairly balanced second half, Oxlade-Chamberlain scored what proved to be the winner with a lashed effort that deflected past the Reading goalie and that put the game beyond doubt.

There was a cameo appearance for Chris Willock and it was good seeing Olivier Giroud back in action after quite a long time out. He had one powerful header that was saved by the goalie and he can pat himself on the back for a good performance as he assisted the goal that sealed off the game for his club. Arsenal’s reward for the win over Reading is a quarterfinal clash against Southampton. The Gunners had faced them a few weeks ago and had Santi Cazorla to thank as his late penalty changed one point to three in an instant. Elsewhere, Manchester United would host West Ham, Liverpool would host Leeds and Hull City plays Newcastle.

For those that don’t know, this is turning out to be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain best scoring return for the club as he has already netted five goals for the club this season. He got his first goal in the curtain raiser of the season against Liverpool, got into the party in the trouncing of Ludogorets but the EFL Cup seems to be the competition he savors the most with three goals so far.

One wonders if his virtuoso performances in recent weeks would swing things in his favor with the games coming thick and fast. Following Arsenal’s draw with Middlesbrough, Arsene Wenger would want the lads to bounce back against the struggling Sunderland and he would want his team to be fired up for that game. With many first team regulars rested, there would be a couple that would be raring for more action and I’m sure the Ox falls into this category.

Following a slump of form, he lost his place in the side as Wenger changed his outlook but he has done his bit to turn up with good performances and now, it’s down to the manager to decide whether he deserves a first team berth in the Premier League game this weekend.

At least, he has given his manager something to think about.


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Reading Preview: Time for the Fringe Players to Step Up

Image result for chamakh goal reading

Arsenal has been on an amazing run lately which culminated in 9 consecutive wins up until Saturday, when Middlesbrough pooped Arsene Wenger’s birthday party. In fairness to Boro, it wasn’t a stroll in the park for the Gunners as Petr Cech earned his pay with some excellent saves to keep the game at bay. On the other end of the pitch, Victor Valdes had a stormer and the scoreline was a reflection of the proceedings.

With the Premier League shoved to the corner for some EFL Cup action, Arsene Wenger is set to rest his first team starters, allowing the second string side to take center stage. The official site showed pictures of the players training and it was nice seeing Carl Jenkinson in action. For a player that has missed so much action after suffering that nasty knee injury while on loan at West Ham, it would be a proud moment for Corporal Jenks wearing the sacred Red and White again.

Arsenal Team News

There would be wholesale changes to the squad with Emiliano Martinez in goal for Petr Cech. David Ospina is the club’s Champions League goalkeeper and possibly the FA Cup goalie, so I don’t expect him to be the custodian in goal against Reading today. In defense, I expect to see the British triumvirate of Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and the exciting Rob Holding playing alongside the fit-again Gabriel Paulista. These four players are badly in need of games and would be hoping the midfielders and attackers do their business to ensure they qualify for the next round.

In midfield, I believe we would see Mohamed Elneny in action but with Mesut Ozil, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla set to be rested, we could see Jeff Reine-Adelaide and possibly Alex Iwobi in the creative midfield role. I would also expect the ‘forgotten’ Olivier Giroud to be flanked by Lucas Perez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Ox has been pushing hard for a starting berth and this would be offer another opportunity for the young Englishman to strut his stuff.

Arsenal Injury / Suspension News

Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck (knee), Santi Cazorla (Achilles tendon), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Granit Xhaka (suspension)

Arsenal Predicted Lineup

Arsenal 4-2-3-1 football formation

Reading Team News

Arsenal’s opponents will not be pushovers and the recent draw with Boro would be a stark reminder of the team not to underrate any side. Jaap Stam’s side aren’t doing badly in the Skybet Championship, fresh off a 1-0 away win over Rotherham that has seen them languish in eighth place. Reading has featured in three EFL Cup rounds before the draws cast them against the Gunners. They had already dispatched Plymouth Argyle, Milton Keynes Dons and Brighton. The Gunners will have to be mindful of John Swift that is currently leading the scoring charts for the Royals with four goals.

Reading Injury / Suspension

Reading has a clean bill of health

Reading Predicted Lineup

Reading 4-3-3 football formation

Team Form


  • Last Five Games: W W W W D
  • Last Result: Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough
  • Leading Goalscorer: Theo Walcott (8)


  • Last Five Games: L D D L W
  • Last Result: Rotherham United 0-1 Reading
  • Leading Goalscorer: John Swift (4)

Gooner Daily predicts a 4 – 1 win.


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