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Arsenal Becomes One of the 7-1ders of the Premier League

Apologies for not publishing any post yesterday. I was granted the honor of gracing my cousin’s wedding with my presence. The event went well and there was even time to get a chicken or two.

Arsenal has been through a tumultuous phase so a response was needed to restore some confidence to a team bereft of it. Arsene Wenger tweaked the lineup a bit and my prayers were answered when I saw Tomas Rosicky in Aaron Ramsey’s place. The Coq also replaced Sagna at right back.

Arsenal got off to a flyer when the predator in the box van Persie got on the end of a Theo Walcott pass. Robin van Persie attempted two chipped efforts against Sunderland and Bolton that hit the post, but he wasn’t to be third time lucky as his lobbed effort drifted wide.

Blackburn equalized when Modeste was fouled by Laurent Koscielny on the edge of the area. Morten-Gamst dispatched the freekick goalwards but Szczesny should’ve done a bit better.

Arsenal restored the lead when Alex Song’s amazing through ball found Walcott that fed van Persie again for another easy tap in.

Van Persie turned from scorer to provider when he executed a superb through ball to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The youngster skipped past Paul Robinson to make it three.

Thomas Vermaelen almost made it four from a Mikel Arteta cross but the post came to Blackburn’s rescue. Late on, Blackburn’s misery was compounded when Gael Givet earned himself an early bath for a two-footed lounge on van Persie.

Arsenal picked up where they left off in the second half with a well-taken goal from Arteta. That was his third against Blackburn this season.

Walcott was having the game of his life on the right hand side and he made another mazy run that setup the Ox for Arsenal’s fifth. The Ox was high in confidence and he showed his sultry skills to skip past some defenders before sending an inch-perfect cross for Arteta but the Spaniard blazed the ball over.

Francis Coquelin wasn’t going to miss out on the party. He showed good awareness to create a chance for van Persie’s hattrick and Arsenal’s sixth goal.

Wenger brought on Thierry Henry, Bacary Sagna and Yossi Benayoun to join the party. Benayoun had a quick snapshot that was saved by the goalie.

Late on, Thierry Henry won the ball off a defender before exchanging passes with van Persie to put the icing on a well-baked cake.

Szczesny (6.5) had a boring day at the office.

Coquelin (7.5) was imperious on the right and he created the assist from van Persie’s third goal.

Vermaelen (7.0) almost scored Arsenal’s fourth goal and put up another decent shift as a left back.

Koscielny (7.0) conceded the foul that led to Blackburn but recovered well as the game went on.

Mertesacker (7.0) won some headers at the back and worked hard in defense.

Song (9.0) was a colossus in midfield and supplied in some superb passes for his teammates.

Arteta (8.0) scored his third goal against Blackburn this season. Cool if you ask me.

Rosicky (7.5) looked a lot like the Little Mozart Arsenal acquired from Dortmund. He pulled the strings in midfield today.

Walcott (9.0) put up his best Arsenal performance this season and laid on three assists for his teammates to make his tally to seven.

The Ox (9.5) scored his first league goals at the Emirates and it’s fair to say that he had a stormer.

Van Persie (10.0) scored a hat-trick, laid on two assists and was an inspiration on the pitch. What else could you possibly ask from a great captain.

Sagna (6.5) played in an unfamiliar left back role but he did okay.

Henry (7.5) bowed out in grand style. #Legend

Benayoun (6.0) was a bit ineffectual.

This result will go a long way in bringing back the confidence to the camp in its bid to move high up the table.

It’s great to knowing that Arsenal’s performance against Blackburn made the team to become one of the 7-1ders of the Premier League.

Crisis?

What crisis?

Sayonara

Aftermath of the Blackburn game and the club’s confidence issues

Apologies for not publishing your daily Arsenal digest yesterday. I woke up really late and arrived at work late too. After a long day of plying my trade, I decided to hang out with my friends to have some chicken and beer. The chicken I’m writing about isn’t the chicken standing on shit ℓįkε Tottenham’s crested logo, it’s the type of ‘chicken’ that sits on your thighs and strokes your head with one of her hands.

Its pretty difficult to blog in such a situation. 😀

The Premier League’s 5th weekend had it all.

Arsenal endured its worst start in 58 years, the three promoted sides secured convincing victories, the striker-deficient Sunderland whitewashed Stoke Rugby FC, the water-tight Man City let Fulham back, King Kenny and his expensive Red ruffians got gazumped by Tottenham and Fernando Torres had the miss of the millennium despite scoring his first goal since the days Shakespeare wrote all his plays.

Arsenal activated their Self Destruct mode against Blackburn in Ewood Park and all Hell broke loose as Wenger’s men literally saved Steve Kean’s job with that disastrous second half performance.

However, Johan Djourou remains optimistic and has told the media Vultures that Arsenal has to bounce back:

“When you lose, it is always important to have a response. Even if it is at home in the Carling Cup, we want to win so we need a big response on Tuesday.”

“We have to bounce back because we have another game and we have to be ready for those. We are disappointed but there is still a long way to go and things are not over yet.

“We had many chances to put the game to bed in the first half and, when you don’t do that, you are always in danger of getting punished. I think that is what happened on Saturday.

“The team is building together and we are getting stronger together. We could have won the game but this team has got a lot of potential and we have to work hard to be the best.”

It’s always good to practice what you preach but Djourou has been shambolic for Arsenal and his waned form dates back to the preseason adventures. It’s understandable for a center back not to adept as a full back but Djourou was largely disappointing and he has to improve.

Last season, Djourou rose from the shadows to emerge as Arsenal’s best defender by a far mile but its sad to know that he didn’t build on this form. With the Verm still out, Djourou has to step up his game to challenge the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker but I’m sure that he’ll get a runout tomorrow.

As the adage goes:

“Uneasy is the head that wears the crown”

King Arsène Wenger has come under serious stick following his sides poor showing on Saturday and whispers are emanating about his future as Arsenal’s boss.

Since his arrival in 1996, he hasn’t missed out on a Champions League qualifying place but Wenger’s men are in a very precarious position in the Premier League. If Fulham beat Man City, Arsenal would have been sitting pretty in the relegation zone.

Wenger said that his team paid for their weak moments and the players are lacking confidence.

“That’s where we were guilty. The second, third and fourth goal are all goals where we made basic errors and you just have to focus on the next game.”

“You could see that the confidence in our defenders has gone and it’s important to find it back.”

“We have the potential to do well, you could see that so overall I believe it’s important that we get our confidence back quickly.

“It’s very difficult to accept that you lose a game when you have that much domination, that many chances. It’s unbelievable.”

If your team can’t get the confidence to play a team that was on the bottom of the table, I wonder where the confidence wants to appear from.

There are been many games were the opponent hasn’t been that good, Arsenal has been very poor. The list of matches to be mentioned are endless so I won’t bother delving there.

I’ve learnt a lot of lessons from Arsenal’s match against Blackburn and there were more negatives than positives:

Laurent Koscielny

Koscielny has shown that he’s an inconsistent defender and he really needs to improve on that. You cannot expect Thomas Vermaelen to be fit all season long and Koscielny has to show that he’s a deputy that can be banked upon.

You might feel that I’m a little bit harsh on Kos but he’s not getting any younger. He turned 26 when Arsenal played Swansea but he proved his mettle in the game against Dortmund.

That’s the Koscielny I want to watch every week.
Marouane Chamakh

The Moroccan is turning out to be a peripheral figure at the Emirates and it’s high time he gets a decent run out to gain his confidence back.

I really wish Wenger can employ the 4-4-2 again someday. The Arsenal of the 2007/08 was breathtaking.

Zonal Marking

Set pieces has always been Arsenal’s undoing in recent seasons and Saturday’s game was no different. Yakubu’s second goal was as a result of more porous defending by Arsenal in the 18-yard box.

Wenger’s men have to get it right as the season progresses because more goals could be conceded from there.

Defensive high line

Anytime I think of Nani’s goal against Arsenal, I get a feeling that’s equivalent to a man that wants to shoot his own foot.

Nani was acres of space away from Arsenal’s backline and he had a million and one options to choose from. Annoyingly enough, he made the most embarrassing choice of them all; chipping it over Wojciech Szczesny.

Arsenal’s defense tends to keep a line without executing the offside trap welll and it has been exploited by the opposition.

This simply has to stop.

Despite all this, Emmanuel Frimpong still tagets a top four finish:

“People have written us off this season – and obviously that 8-2 game at Manchester United didn’t help.

“It was a very difficult situation but the manager has told us it was something that only happens once.”

“We started slowly and at the moment we are playing catch up – but I believe top four would be a good achievement for us.”

A man who cannot afford a car shouldn’t be hoping for private jets but @AdeGooner shares the same optimism with Frimpong, that’s why he has the quote of the day.

@AdeGooner: “I’m happy Liverpool is dropping points. Good for the fourth place campaign, Sp*rs aren’t a threat for that position.”

It’s one game at a time, if you ask me.

I’m going to publish another post around 9am.

This post was meant for yesterday.

Forgive this blogger 🙂

Sayonara.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back 🙂

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Finally, you can subscribe to the blog to get notifications of new posts by email

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Arsenal defies the laws of football mathematics, lose despite scoring 5 goals

For what its worth, I’m happy its Sunday.

I’ll have the chance to go to church and spend some happy time with my God without thinking about Arsenal or anything related to the club.

After the shocking performance at Old Trafford, the boys produced an unconvincing performance against Swansea. This was followed by a valiant defensive performance against Dortmund in Germany so the spirits were lifted again.

Yesterday, Arsenal came up against a side that had secured three losses in quick succession. A club whose manager was more or less in a pot of hot boiling soup and he was really walking on a thin thread.

Arsenal also had in the back of its mind that the two big guns were going to lock horns with each other so a victory was paramount.

Enough with the intro, here comes the detailed match review.

Arsène Wenger’s lineup was good enough to decimate a team that was at the foot of the table when they kicked off.

My pre-match line prediction was torn to bits because Wenger put up three players that I didn’t expect to start.

Andre Santos made his first start ahead of Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey was fit enough to get the nod ahead of Yossi Benayoun and Andrey Arshavin’s rejuvenated form earned him a starting berth ahead of Theo Walcott.

Blackburn’s Hoilett suffered a nasty concussion last week but he didn’t show any signs of it when he took Bacary Sagna on the run before sending a near post cross that was intercepted by Wojciech Szczesny.

Barcelona reject Ruben Rochina evaded Alex Song in midfield but his effort went wide. Gervinho was back in the squad after his three-match ban and he connected well with Sagna on the right who swung in a cross for van Persie but his control let him down.

Sagna also sent in another cross that was headed into the danger area by RVP but no player in Red and White was in the same wavelength with its captain.

Arsenal looked more lively as the game went on so it was no surprise when the Gunners broke the deadlock through newbie Gervinho. Song sent a through ball behind Scott Dann and Gervinho did well to get around the ball before lashing it home even though there was some aid from Chris Samba’s deflection.

Arshavin was also coming into the party and he had two shots that were parried away by Robinson. The first was from a van Persie pass while the other was from a ball in mid-air.

Gervinho also showed some good movement to evade a marker but his shot was parried again by Robinson. Blackburn hit Arsenal on the counter but Andre Santos made a very good tackle that made him seem like a bus stop.

Arsenal attacked again from the right with Gervinho and Sagna on the thick of things. Sagna ran with the ball and cut it back but the Ivorian sent the ball into orbit.

So much has been said about Arsenal’s defensive frailties and it was exploited again by the hosts. There seemed to be no danger when Hoilett was with the ball in midfield but everything turned upside down for the Gunners when his through ball found Yakubu. The defense was keeping a high line but Andre Santos knew nothing about that so he kept the Nigerian onside.

Yakubu saw the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny but his finish was as cool and collected as ever. A simple toe poke that rolled into the goal.

The equalizer raised Blackburn’s spirits and they almost got the lead when Szczesny was caught in No Man’s Land from a deep free kick from Robinson. He had Sagna to thank when the looping goal-bound header was intercepted by the full back.

Sagna then suffered a nasty collision and it turned out to be another turning point for Arsenal defensively. However the offense were doing their bit and Arsenal went 2 up thanks to another new boy. A player that had scored in Ewood Park last month, Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard smashed the ball to the roof after a lovely cut back from Ramsey.

Van Persie had another chance to punish Blackburn but he decided to enter his silky mode and Samba was having none of that so he cleared it for a corner.

Blackburn sent in a corner but they were exposed on the counter by Arsenal. Ramsey won the ball in Arsenal’s box before feeding Gervinho. Arshavin made the kind of off the ball run he made against Liverpool in April 2009 for Arsenal’s 4th goal but unlike Walcott who fed Arshavin for the goal, Gervinho’s execution of a pass was really poor so that chance was squandered.

Andre Santos sent in a good cross from the left but it evaded everyone in Blackburn’s box. Koscielny managed to get on the end of it but he failed to get it under control.

The match was to have more turning points from an Arsenal perspective and the biggest of them all was the unwanted selfish nature shown by Gervinho.

Arshavin worked really had to get in behind the full back from midfield before sending a inch-perfect ball to Gervinho. Gervinho had a defender to challenge but van Persie was the F in free on the right hand side.

Instead of supplying a through ball to his clinical captain, Gervinho dallied on the ball before smashing it on the center back’s leg for a corner. Van Persie was very cross and it was evidenced by the stern look he give the foreheaded one.

That scene reminded me of a football movie I watched eons ago called goal. The hispanic Santiago played for Newcastle and had a chance to feed another striker but he chose to be selfish and the chance went begging.

Shortly afterwards, he went to his gaffer but the disappointed manager said:

“The other striker was free on your right hand side. If you were sure that you were going to score, you would have scored. If not you pass it to the man that’s in a better position to score.”

This might not be the exact quotes from the manager because I watched the movie light years ago but I’m sure that you get the friggin’ message.

If Gervinho supplied the pass, Arsenal might have been 3 up and the game would have been done and dusted but 2-1 at half time gave Blackburn some hope.

At halftime, I’d already gotten the title for today’s post:

Blackburn 1 Arsenal 2: The new boys show ’em how its done

But I didn’t get that chance because the second half turned out to be something else.

To be frank, I didn’t see Blackburn’s equalizer because the light was taken by NEPA but when restored the electricity back I saw a 2-2 score line on the EA Sports board and I went to Live Scores and I saw 50′ Song o.g. there.

So Song scored an own goal, big deal. The match was still fresh so I believed that my Arsenal will still create more chances to win the game.

The next highlight I witnessed was a good save from Szczesny after Mertesacker’s pace was exploited yet again.

The final turning point that destroyed Arsenal was the introduction of Johan Djourou for the injured Sagna.

Shortly after his arrival, Blackburn won a corner kick. The ball was swung in and it arrived at N’ Zonzi’s feet after a poor header from Koscielny. N’ Zonzi blasted the ball goalwards and Yakubu was on hand to score his second goal on his Blackburn debut.

Many people might point to the fact that Yakubu was a fraction offside but it doesn’t matter because the goal stood. Wenger replaced Arshavin with Walcott to add some steam to the attack.

Walcott used his pace to great effect when he faced Dann but the defender fouled him and earned himself a booking. Van Persie wasted the resulting free kick though.

With Arsenal pressing for an equalizer, they were bound to be exposed at the back and this led to the match clincher for Blackburn.

A counter attack emanated from the right hand side and Djourou mistimed his anticipated tackle so he was left for dead by Olsson. The winger reached Szczesny’s near post and drilled in a cross for a teammate to slam home but it wasn’t necessary because Koscielny bestowed the honor on himself to gift Blackburn with an own goal to kill the tie off at 4-2.

Van Persie had two headers from point-blank range that were sent over the top by an inspired Paul Robinson. Wenger’s last ♠ on the deck was Marouane Chamakh and he brought in the Moroccan for Song as he went gung ho for broke.

Chamakh almost had an immediate impact from a corner but he was adjudged to have pushed the defender in the ƒølløώ up to his header.

Walcott and Ramsey combined well to win a corner but Robinson made another fine stop from another RVP header.

Djourou was having a torrid time as Arsenal’s right back but he compounded it all when he sent a simple cross out for a goal kick.

Arsenal scored their 5th goal of the game when RVP sent in a brilliant cross that was nodded home by the headmaster himself, Marouane Chamakh.

That was his first league goal in almost a year (November 2010) and his first goal since March.

As expected, Arsenal had a late rally but Blackburn’s resolute defending and more Robinson heroics kept the score line intact.

Van Persie had another shot that was saved at point blank range while Mertesacker’s header was a whisker away from goal. Chamakh had the last header that went wide.

At the sound of the ref’s whistle, the frustration from Wenger was glaring while a previously frustrated Steve Kean was basking in euphoria as his team won the match despite the fact that the opposition scored 5 goals.

Szczesny (5.5) wasn’t as commanding as he always is and could have done better to anticipate the final balls that led to goals.

Sagna (7.0) had a good run at right back before getting injured.

Andre Santos (5.0) made his first start on a poor note. He kept Blackburn onside twice and was caught napping a few times.

Koscielny (5.5) had a bad day in the office and compounded it with Blackburn’s match winner.

Mertesacker (6.0) his pace was exploited to full effect by Blackburn.

Song (6.5) destroyed all the good he had done on the pitch by gifting Blackburn their equalizer.

Ramsey (7.0) had a solid game evidenced by his assist.

Arteta (7.5) broke his Arsenal duck in stunning fashion.

Arshavin (7.0) put up a solid performance that justified his start ahead of Walcott.

Gervinho (7.0) had a well taken goal but should have fed RVP at the end of the first half.

Van Persie (6.5) was very profligate in attack.

Djourou (5.0) had a stinker.

Walcott (6.5) threatened well with his pace.

Chamakh (7.0) scored his first goal since the days King Arthur ruled Britain.

Judging from last season, Arsenal has won just three matches in their last 16 but if you want to judge with this season only, Arsenal has lost three of his first five matches in the Premier League.

If that’s not woeful, then I don’t know what the word means.

Despite all the sadness in the air, there was still time for some humor from gooners and football fans alike so I’m going to end today’s post with my quotes of the day.

Chiebuka Nworah:

“Arsenal has been dealing with the 8 – 2 massacre 4 – 3 weeks now and I really 8-2 admit that 4-3 weeks I’ve been laughing at Arsenal.”

Antonio Ovoke:

@Antonioovoke: “When I love a girl the way I love Arsenal, then I truly know that she’s the one I’m to marry”

Ogbonna Nwodo:

WAEC Mathematics past question,

1a) In a football match team A scores 5 goals while their opponents, team B, score 2 goals. Team B wins the match. How is this possible?

(5 marks)

1b) what is the final score for this game?

(2 marks)

Note: if u don’t know question 1b come back next year.

I always publish quotes of the day from my followers and friends alike but the final one was quoted by me,

@goonerdaily: “RT if you’re used to heartbreak, despair, disappointment and frustration from your football club :)”

I got more retweets than the goals scored by Messi and Ronaldo put together.

Speaking of Messi, he scored a hattrick when Barcelona gazumped Osasuna with 8 unreplied goals,

And yes, Cesc Fabregas scored 😦

Sayonara.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back 🙂

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Finally, you can subscribe to the blog to get notifications of new posts by email

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