2 days ago, I had a nightmare that Ipswich might just nick it after we’ve gone 2 up. I also dreamt that Arshavin had the last one-on-one chance in the 93rd minute after a wonderful through ball from Cesc “El Capitan” Fabregas. After sprinting away from the last defender, Arshavin killed a hawk that was about to pick up a chick somewhere in the stands. As the ref was about to end the game, my alarm rang at my ear and i woke up without thinking twice. At least i didn’t hear the final whistle so something might have happened.
I wrote in yesterday’s post that i expected AW the Alchemist to field at least 70% of the squad that spanked Wigan. He gave us 72% with Denilson coming in for Song, Bendtner for walcott and Arshavin for Nasri.
Our best defender so far Johan “Injourou” Djourou made his 100th appearance in Arsenal colours. It’s a good milestone to reach but it’s not so good “statistics” wise. Johan joined us from Etoile-Carouge in 2003 and broke into the setup 2 years later. 100 games in 8 years at the club signifies that he has averaged just 12.5 games per season. I don’t call him “Injourou” for nothing you know.
The game started with a surprise kick off shot from some bloke who has Lead written all over his jersey. He probably scored such a goal in training and then thought to himself,”What the f*ck, lemme have a go”. The audacious effort went over the bar though. I think Wojciech “Szszsz” Szczesny had it covered.
Bacary Sagna had a good but short game. He sent a very good cross to rVp but his effort went wide. It was good to see that AW the Alchemist chose Robin van Persie ahead of Chamakh. Even if it was against a “lowly” Championship outfit, he knew that there was a lot at stake here.
Ipswich built up an attack which led to a free kick. A young chap whipped it into our danger area but it was headed over the bar. The only downside was that there was a collision between Szszsz and Sagna. Both men were treated for lengthy spells but only one had no choice but to recover because his replacement may be overawed by having his debut on such an important match. The other couldn’t make and was replaced by Emmanuel Eboue. I tend to wonder how young James Shea would have fared if Szszsz was declared injured.
Nicklas “Wald Bezt” Bendtner was deployed on the right wing. He created a good chance for his captain but that elusive Carling Spoon goal failed to come El Capitan’s way because Fulop smothered the ball on his second attempt.
It was going to be one of “those nights” in the first half.
Bendtner received an awkward cross from Arsenal’s left back, dinked a cross into the far post where rVp was unmarked. When the ball left his head, i leapt to the air in celebration of our leveler on aggregate. Fulop’s bar had other plans. The tie still remained goalless.
The man with the whistle, Mr. Halsey blew for half time. The 60,000 or so gathered in the Emirates were bewildered how we weren’t on top. An air if uncertainty started creeping in. I dreamt about Arsenal taking a 2-goal lead. I hadn’t seen it yet.
We went into the break the better side. Ipswich’s defending had been resolute and organised. As always, we had all the possession the World could offer but we couldn’t break them down.
If it was in Football Manager ™ , I would have used the “encourage” team talk or “you’re outplaying them everywhere” team talk. Whatever AW the Alchemist said to his boys for 15 minutes can never be known by us the fans. All i can say is that it “worked a treat”.
Arsenal started the second half with positive intent. Their gameplay showed that there was calmness. A feat that can only be shown by a mature set of individuals.
El Capitan had a free kick that fell to Bendtner, but his quick-fire shot was blocked by a group of die-hard Ipswich defenders.
Another player who has been outstanding this season is our Whizkhid, Jack Wilshere. He supported Denilson a lot in the game and sent some delightful through passes that were like hot knives passing through butter.
The through pass he gave to El Capitan was simply stunning. It was a classic example of the L1 and Δ combo in Pro Evolution Soccer ™ . El Capitan brought the down superbly but lashed his left foot shot across goal and past the post.
After much perseverance, we got what our play deserved. Breakthrough. Wilshere who was simply faultless tonight sent another delicious long ball to the rangy Dane. He used his technique to bring the ball under control, cut inside the area then curled the ball past Fulop. That was the kind of goal i saw in my dreams but it was actually a “goal made in dreams”.
The relief around the Emirates was visible with the fans rallying their side for the killer blow. With Huddersfield Town coming up in 4 days time, it would have been a bit embarrassing if Ipswich took the game to extra time.
Andrei Arshavin was having one of his horror showings yesterday. If tweets could injure a player, AA would have been out for 8 months because the gooners on Twitter screaming for his withdrawal from the pitch. I termed yesterday’s game as a “make or break” game for him.
Just 3 minutes after going 1 up, an attacking move led to a corner kick. Arshavin lackadaisically went to the corner flank, moved back and crossed the ball. Fulop misjudged the flight of the ball and Koscielny nodded home. I call him “Kos100%tackle” because his amazing anticipation ability. It was nice to see him score his 2nd ever Arsenal goal with his head, considering how he missed from 2 yards out in Stamford Bridge last October.
2 goals to the good and the Emirates erupted a roar that showed many emotions. We were a few minutes away from booking a ticket to Wembley.
We bossed the game well and showed no mercy to Ipswich in terms of ball possession. I mistakenly changed the channel and saw a man that looked like Freddy Krueger. The lead character of “Nightmare” on Elm Street. I gave out a good laugh and went back to the game.
Late in the game, my nightmare almost became a reality. Ipswich’s Jason Scotland popped up from the left and fired a low drive to Szszsz’s near post. It was good to see that his concentration levels were in check.
The striker, Jason Scotland hails from T & T and had his Football Manager 2010 finishing attribute as 19. The finish was quite poor for a player FM 2010 rated highly. Football Manager 2011 dropped his finishing attribute to 11. It’s quite understandable now.
The player that put the nail in Ipswich’s curtain was a player who deserved it. Club captain and talisman, Francesc Fabregas Soler. Even while having a bad day at the office, Arshavin supplied the assist for the 2nd goal. He got the ball and played a magic trick on the defender before cushioning a pass for our captain who had the simple task of sliding in to put the ball through the legs of Fulop. His first Carling Spoon goal for Arsenal. What a time to break that duck.
There was even time to bring on Nasri and Walcott. They told AW the Alchemist that they didn’t want to miss out on the fun.
At the final whistle, the celebrations seen everywhere was a good feeling. People went haywire on Twitter, i broke my glass tumbler with Guinness still inside.
3-0 to the Arsenal and a Wembley ticket booked for the 27th of February.
Szszsz (6.9) kept another clean sheet. Clichy (6.8) did very well at left back. Sagna didn’t play long enough to get a rating. Let’s hope the injury is not that bad. We’ll need him in the foreseeable future. Eboue (6.5) was fair. Injourou (6.8) continued his solid consistent run in the defence. Koscielny (7.3) scored a towering header and put up a good all round performance. Whizkhid (7.5) bossed the midfield and sent in delightful through balls. Denilson (6.8) did well to hold the line. El Capitan (7.5) was as simply faultless. Bendtner’s (7.9) goal was a joy to behold. Arshavin (7.4) had 2 assists. In Football Manager, you’ll 7.4 for that. rVp (6.9) linked up play well. He now has 6 goals in his last “4” games. 6 in 3 was kinda better. Nasri and Walcott won’t get ratings.
My night was filled up with mixed feelings. At half time, i was a bit down with our play but i was drinking a bottle of Guinness cheerfully because Blackpool were 2 goals to the good against the Red Hell Owners.
At full time, i was obviously happy that we won but i was really gutted to see that Man Utd won the game 3-2. Even with 10 minutes added on due to Evin Twin Rafael’s injury, Blackpool couldn’t snatch one back.
The major talking point of the game will definitely be the glaring penalty that was not awarded to Blackpool.
Man Utd won that game for three good reasons. 1. They were stronger on paper, 2. They had the “Premier League experience” factor and 3. They are currently on a referee recruitment exercise.
We all thought that it was only the “baldest” ref of them all. We didn’t know that more refs are on the cards.
Arsenal FC, we simply asked you to help us end the drought
Thanks for “bringing the rain”.
That’s all for now
Wembley………..A very magnificent stadium. A stadium that is treated with most respect in England. Home to Carling Spoon finals, FA Cup semis and final and of course, the home ground of the 3 Lions.
We are just 90 minutes away. All we have to do is a little “pest control”………Take out Jewelry’s Tractor Army in our turf.
Jewelry’s Tractor Army has only one objective today. To “park the bus”.
Arsenal FC knows that the task ahead is simple. Win tonight and all the players’s trophy lifting and podium climbing fantasies will come through. A win tonight will also ensure that our enemies keep their mouths shut and create something new to taunt us with. I guess Patrice “Monsieur Tuck-In” Evra and Jose “Moaninho” Mourinho will restructure their words anytime the media Vultures approach them concerning Arsenal FC.
With a FA Cup tie just four days away, AW the Alchemist said that he will “rotate” the squad ahead of tonight’s game. It’s not a bad idea to rotate the squad but i require up to 70% of the team that spanked WigWig last Saturday to be in the starting lineup tonight. We need players that have the burning desire inside them to be on the pitch tonight.
This is a night that i will not want us to be profligate, one goal for the opposition would require us to score 3 or more to qualify. I wouldn’t expect them to roll over and play dead like WigWig. The Jewelry himself has promised to “stun” us.
The historians say that we have never overturned a deficit we incurred in a semifinal first leg. I’m not sure they were talking about the Jewelry’s Tractor Army. The Cashlings put 7 goals past them, I expect us to match them at least.
Our last three semifinal second legs in the Carling Spoon don’t bring happy memories. Malboro Cigarette FC nicked us in 2003. WigWig gave us a sucker punch in 2006 with probably the last kick of the ball. Twitch FC mutilated us in 2008. I believe that 2011 will be a lot different.
Wojciech “Szszsz” Szczesny will continue in goal tonight. Even if Lukasz “Flyin Fabbi” Fabianski was fit, Szszsz would still have gotten the nod. I expect Bacary “Timaya” Sagna to continue at the right back position. His concentration, awareness, crosses and maybe goals will be vital to us. Emmanuel “Farma” Eboue can enjoy himself when Huddersfield Town come to town. Kieran “Ogo Gibbsy” Gibbs is an able deputy for Gael “Flash” Clichy but i expect Flash to start because Ogo Gibbsy will get another chance to strut his stuff against Huddersfield Town. There will be no chances in the center back position but the not so good news is that Sebastien “Squisha” Squillaci is back.
I regard is as “not so good news” because Squisha won’t play both defensive positions. His return means that there will be rest for either Laurent “Kos100%tackle” Koscielny or Johan “Injourou” Djourou and not both of them. AW the Alchemist says that the club is no where near getting a center back. He’s saying that Squisha is just days away and the injury situation of Thomas “Verminator” Vermaelen is getting better. He even says that the Verminator might make the BarcAliens encounter in 3 weeks time. That’s too soon if you ask me but let’s keep our fingers crossed. I guess we’ll have to make do with what we have.
For the midfield, i expect Jack “Whizkhid” Wilshere and Alex “Sabinus” Song to continue in the holding midfield position. The normally harsh FA where kind enough to hand us a tie with Huddersfield Town. AW the Alchemist can reshuffle the entire squad if he likes on Saturday because we’ll still get a victory against them. A win against Huddersfield will send us to the 5th round. A win tonight to his 2nd Carling Spoon final as Arsenal manager. His last final ended in defeat because of Didier “the Drog Man” Drogba. Whizkhid and Sabinus will give us that stability we need. Whizkhid has even been vocal about tonight’s game. The attacking midfield slot will go to Cesc “El Capitan” Fabregas. I just hope that Tomas “Banana Lomo” Rosicky will be at the bench tonight. His absence in our last two games is still a conundrum.
The final guess is who AW the Alchemist will deploy as his attacking trio. He should tonight’s game be a “make or break” game for Andrei “Hotty” Arshavin. One more below par preformance and its curtains for him. I don’t mean selling him to Leningrad FC though. Samir “El Rufai” Nasri should be deployed at the right wing. We will need his trickery tonight. The lottery winning question is asking who will be tonight’s center forward. Will it be our cocky but not delivering forward Nicklas “Wald Bezt” Bendtner, our silent but effective team striker Marouane “ChiAmaka” Chamakh or our Red Hot flying Dutch man Robin “Glassboned” van Persie. It has been reported that Carlos “Aztec Warrior” Vela won’t be on the podium with his teammates should we win the Carling Spoon in late February or early March. AW the Alchemist said that he’s going out on loan by the end of this week. I sincerely hope that he’ll get playing action in his new club and come back to challenge for a place in the squad next season.
The answer of the lottery winning question is ChiAmaka. Glassboned vP is on form but can at least settle for a place on the bench. Wald Bezt should do the same too.
So my expected lineup should be
So there you have it. 11 men can can make history. We are also eligible to bring on 3 more men.
The tweet of the day goes to El Capitan. He says, “@Cesc4official: Need a full Emirates with the best atmosphere of the season so far tonight. We are all together in this. See you all tonight! Come on!”
I’m pretty sure that El Capitan will give 110% tonight. I suggest the fans and his teammates do the same.
I created a collage that i wanted to use as the avatar for my blog @goonerdaily but Twitter considered it “too big”.
Arsenal Football Club, You are one match away from ending the “drought”.
Bring on the rain.
Here’s to my happiest blog post yet tomorrow.
Jewelry’s Tractor Army 1 Gunners 0: Hapless Arsenal struggle against a struggling lower league team.
First †нє good stuff: Arsenal’s new signing Silver Well has been sent to Levante on loan.
Now †нє horrible stuff: Jewelry’s Tractor Army vs Arsenal match review.
In one word…..Pathetic.
In a squad of over 30 players, only 4 can boast that they have won any silverware in Red and White colours. Club captain, Cesc “El Capitan” Fabregas, club vice-captain, Robin “glassboned” van Persie, former 3rd in command but unsettled goalie, Manuel “Stainless Steel” Almunia and ever present left back and long serving servant, Gael “Flash” Clichy. †нє remaining players in †нє squad have no idea how it feels to stand on †нє podium with a trophy staring at you and waiting to be carried.
When †нє BarcAliens won †нє Champions League in 2009 at Rome, every player put their hands down in unison while waiting for their die-hard captain Carles “DrugDeala” Puyol to lift †нє mighty silver trophy. They had already won †нє Liga BBVA and †нє King’s Cup. †нє greedy BarcAliens still went on to win †нє Club World Cup. They had already won †нє Spanish and UEFA Super Cup before †нє season. That meant that 38-year old Baldy Pep had amassed 6 trophies in one bloody year with his BarcAlien stooges. Yet his squad is as hungry as ever as if they have been on a trophyless campaign. After replacing Moaninho’s Thugs at †нє top following that 5-0 mauling, they have not even thought of taking their Alien foot off †нє accelerator.
We pass well, they pass well. We keep possession, they keep possession. We have short players, they have short players. But there are two major differences between us and †нє BarcAliens….they are very clinical, we are extremely profligate and they have DESIRE while we have no bloody idea what that word means.
For a club that has won on nothing in 5 years to lose to a team that just conceded 7 goals to a side †нє aforementioned club won 3-1 is really disturbing.
†нє Carling Spoon loss to Burnley in 2009 was a result of Nicklas “Wald Bezt” Bendtner’s profligacy and a playing squad filled up with high school dropouts. †нє Carling Spoon defeat to †нє Cash Money Oil Money Billionaires last season was because their squad was way better than us on †нє night. Yesterday’s game was unexplainable for †нє neutrals. When i saw †нє lineup, i was scared for †нє Tractor Army. AW †нє Alchemist said that he was going to take †нє game seriously. I didn’t know that he was †нє “S” in serious.
I expected Tomas “Banana Lomo” Rosicky to be †нє first person to walk into †нє pitch but i saw El Capitan.
After all †нє prematch talk about resting Johan “Injourou” Djourou and †нє introduction of Ignasi “El Youngita” Miquel, i saw our next best thing in †нє number 20 jersey walking unto †нє pitch with his teammates. Someone should get that lad a black hair dye, it’s supposed to be ubiquitous in England.
I also expected a start for Carlos “Aztec Warrior” Vela but i saw Gooner Daily’s worst player of 2010 walk unto †нє pitch. He was utter shite throughout †нє game and was rightly replaced by †нє Aztec Warrior in †нє 79th minute.
As for †нє game, we were more “boring” than †нє Cash Money Oil Money Billionaires.
I snored throughout †нє first half. If you went to a dictionary or searched google for †нє definition of a “poor first half”, you’ll see †нє pictures of our logos close to each other. All i could vividly remember was that their left back who sounds like O’ Shea got a yellow card after being out sprinted by Theo “Wal Kuint” Walcott. I can also remember a bicycle kick goal that was ruled offside.
†нє second half picked up where †нє first left off with more putrid football from Arsenal. Wald Bezt said that he was going to grab †нє bull by its horns and balls but spent most of †нє time outside †нє box.
†нє best thing he did all night was to pass †нє ball to El Capitan in †нє box but †нє general Arsenal “pass †нє ball” syndrome infected our captain at that point thereby wasting a glorious chance.
†нє Injourou-Kos100%tackle has been very efficient this season. Through balls from “over †нє top” have been dealt with superbly this season by both players. Yesterday †нє tactic was employed continuously and we were exposed at †нє back. There was a ball that came in from †нєir Christian Obodo looking right back to †нє heart of our defense. Kos100%tackle failed in his bid to put †нє ball under control but was saved by his partner before †нє striker could pounce.
Kieran “Ogo Gibbsy” Gibbs took a right foot shot that went over.
AW †нє Alchemist made 2 changes: Alex “Sabinus” Song for Jack “Whizkhid” Wilshere and Marouane “ChiAmaka” Chamakh for Wald Bezt. As soon as ChiAmaka came in, i saw this tweet.,”RT@ladyarse: Nik – watch how Chamakh GETS IN THE BOX”
Wal Kuint was sent through by El Capitan but couldn’t chip †нє goalie from a tight angle.
A moment of controversy came up when Wojciech “Szszsz” Szczesny decided to catch †нє ball outside †нє box.
Another magnificent chance came El Capitan’s way and he missed by a lick of paint in †нє 6 yard box. If he used his head or foot we would have gone ahead but †нє ball hit his knee. That was †нє same knee that gave us a goal against †нє Red Striped Black Pussies.
In †нє 77th minute, †нє “unthinkable” happened. I believe you know what that means because I’m in no mood to describe †нє opponent’s goal. All i can say is that †нє chap was in an offside position.
Aztec Warrior replaced Hotty in †нє 79th minute then a late rally followed.
So at full time, it was 1-0. A 1984 win less against us record broken to bits.
For my match ratings
Szszsz (6.4) didn’t do too much and was lucky his “funny act” went unpunished. Ogo Gibbsy (6.5) overlapped well and sent some nice crosses in. Farma (5.8) has given his boss a cause for concern. Maybe we need a new right back too. Injourou (6.7) made some vital interceptions at †нє back. Kos100%tackle (6.4) struggled a bit. Whizkhid (6.8) worked extremely hard in †нє midfield. NwaSamba (6.5) was a passenger most times. El Capitan (6.0) put in a very below-par performance. So unlike him. Hotty (4.8) was utter shite. Wal Kuint (6.3) ran at †нє defender well but lacked in †нє final third. Wald Bezt (5.7) didn’t put his money where his mouth was. ChiAmaka (6.5) had a good shot saved late on. Sabinus (6.4) didn’t have a serious effect on †нє game. Aztec Warrior (6.1) should have started.
Once in a while, Gooner Daily searches Twitter for some match day tweets. Here’s Gooner Daily’s top 3 for yesterday’s game.
RT @_bdon_: “Arsenal didn’t deserve anything from the game. And got nothing”.
RT @arseblog: “That was a Phil Collins of a performance from Arsenal”.
RT @ladyarse: “The last time I felt this annoyed at a ‘performance’ was v Man U at the Emirates in CL…I refused to do a blog the next day”.
Let’s hope @ladyarse will do a blog today. You can check it out at http://www.ladyarse.com
That’s all for today.
Let’s remember what @Nicarlos said.
RT “@Nicarlos: Well no need to dwell on this game, we are still in FOUR competitions.”
And he’s right, we are still in †нє quad.
Let’s not forget quickly how we fared against Porto. We overturned a 2-1 deficit with a 5-0 mauling.