FC Barcelona v FC Spartak Moscow - UEFA Champions League

Källström Joins Arsenal: Thoughts & Poll

Well, I don’t think anybody was expecting such a high intensity end to the transfer window!

Wenger has said before that he would like to completely wipe out the January transfer window, and I think that today shows exactly why. It’s just another time period where fans are able to question his ability. For the past few months, it seemed like the January transfer window was going to be a blessing because we have seen more recently that Giroud needs time to rest and some good competition, especially with Walcott out injured. Once again Wenger has baffled us by shunning the opportunity to sign a striker. Instead we got a 31-year old Swedish midfielder.

I have to admit, I know little to nothing about Källström except that he is left footed, plays for Sweden, and used to be at Lyon. He was a top class player in FIFA 06 I believe. He is by no means a bad signing, with him having over 100 caps for Sweden, and over 200 for Lyon. Not only can his experience play a vital role in our push for the title, but also his versatility as he can play anywhere in midfield, whether it be on the wings, deep, or in an attacking position. He will provide us a with some quality and cover with Ramsey, Wilshere, and Flamini all out.

Now the thing that I don’t understand is this: How come we made reportedly made loan bids for Kalou, Klose, and possibly Cisse all so late in the transfer window? If we wanted to sign a striker, we should have at least tried to bring one in before the end of the window. Our failed late bids for these players showed a sign of desperation and confusion in the club. Klose or Cisse would have been great short term loan options to carry us out through the rest of the season as both of them are proven goalscorers. Kalou on the other hand is… well… a player.

In terms of people leaving the club, Frimpong and Park both went out to Barnsley and Watford respectively. Frimpong left permanently, and from his face in the picture below, it seems like somebody tricked him into signing a contract with Barnsley. Frimpong was always more of a celebrity at the club than a player, but he truly cared about Arsenal and it is sad to see him go.

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So what did you think of deadline day? Do we still have a chance at the title? Vote and leave a comment below.

 

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Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea: Match Thoughtzzzzzz

What an exciting game of football that was!

Arsenal missed a good opportunity to restore their place at top of the league with a unexciting draw against Chelsea. Here are some match thoughts:

Mike Dean was the worst man on the field. It cannot be a coincidence that Arsenal have played fifteen games with Mike Dean and only win one. That’s a 6.7% winning percentage. Dean did nothing to change the minds of Arsenal fans yesterday after a woeful refereeing display. Those two big decisions that he had to make in the first half were both incorrect, as Mikel should have seen red while Walcott was brought down in the box. Maybe the penalty call was trickier, but there is no reason why he shouldn’t have shown red to Mikel. Also, Mike Dean’s control of the game was pathetic at times.

Arsenal are not the same team of a month ago. Unfortunately, the results aren’t coming in anymore, and that is due to the recent lackluster performances we have been putting in. We haven’t been terrible in recent weeks, but our passing and play has felt so one dimensional. The last time we actually beat a team due to our quality was against Hull five games ago. We have to start playing better against the big teams if we are going to mount a serious title challenge. Fortunately, we have beaten all the smaller clubs so we are still in the mix.

Giroud is not clinical enough. First off, let me say that Giroud is an excellent number nine striker and one of our most important players. Unfortunately, he isn’t enough. Giroud is not the player he was when he arrived, as his work ethic has gone up tremendously along with his ability. However, he will never be that striker that is required to win a team  a league, and if we had the striker yesterday, we would have gotten the three points. There is no question about our need for a new striker, it all comes down to whether or not Wenger is willing to get his chequebook out.

The real title race starts now. This is undoubtedly the closest title race I’ve seen since I started watching football, mainly due to the amount of teams who are fighting for it. Who would have thought that Everton and Liverpool would both be where they are at right now? It’s simple who is going to win it this season, and that is whoever is most consistent. Arsenal need to get back on track as our next two games are really going to be a test of character, belief, and desire. Whether or not the players are mature enough is the question.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League

Man City 6-3 Arsenal: Match Thoughts

The results in football matches can be ambiguous as we all know. Today, the scoreline reflects the game very well.

Man City away is the toughest fixture in the league. There has been absolutely no question about that when you look at their record at home this season. Coming into the match, most Arsenal fans would have been pleased to get a draw, some skeptical fans hoping for a win. What surprises me is the tactics that Wenger employed for this match. We all know that City are going to score goals, it’s inevitable. This season, only Hull have conceded less than three goals at the Etihad. Now we also know that Arsenal can score goals, but away to City, we were never going to outscore them, which was what Wenger’s game plan actually was. Overall, it was a disappointing performance to cut our lead back. Here are some match thoughts.

Wenger should have started Arteta. Now more onto Wenger’s choice of tactics for the game. The first mistake of the game was not playing with two holding midfielders. Arteta has been solid this season between him and Flamini they have protected our defence well. City has such a strong midfield, and their full backs get up so often; our defence ended up being exposed on numerous occasions. For the first time in quite a while, our defence was extremely poor, and I believe that a big part of that is due to our midfield’s inability to help out. Our string cheese defence lost us this game.

Walcott deserves a chance up front after his performance. The one silver lining of this match was our attacking ability and in particular Theo Walcott’s performance. It is rare for teams to score at the Etihad, with only Wayne Rooney and Lukaku managing that feat before the match. Walcott managed to get a brace and was unlucky not to score a third. The amount of diagonal runs Walcott made was very encouraging. In the past, finishing has been Walcott’s problem but if he plays the rest of the season like today, then I don’t believe that people will be saying the same thing about Walcott at the end of the season. His second goal was very Henry esque, which I’m sure will please Gooners everywhere.

Having said that, we need a world class striker. Don’t get me wrong, Giroud has been one of our best performers this season. However, he isn’t good enough to play every single weekend like Van Persie, nor does he possess the ability to do well against some clubs. In recent weeks, we have had some tough tests: Dortmund, Liverpool, United, and Everton to name a few. Those are all games in which Giroud has failed to perform, and today was his worst of the season. Giroud has several qualities that he is very good at which makes him a valuable asset to our squad, but most of the qualities he possess don’t work with the bigger clubs. For example, Giroud is one of the best in the league at playing those delicate one two passes. Against top clubs, he hasn’t been able to because teams know how to stop us. Another problem with Giroud is that he is slow and not the best dribbler of the ball which causes our counter attacks to break down easily. Now, most of the qualities he has make a good striker, which he is, but he isn’t what we need every single week.

We didn’t really play badly. This is sort of a contradiction to most of the stuff I have said earlier, but in all honesty, we played all right. The problem is that we played against Man City at the Etihad by trying to score more goals than them. Besides our defence acting as bystanders for most attacks, we created opportunities and scored some well worked goals. I thought that Ramsey did really well along with Walcott. They were probably our two stand out performers of the match and against any other team, their performances would have led to a good victory. Unfortunately, if we are to be title contenders, we also have to beat the big guns, which we have not been able to do this season.

Now onto Monday for the Champions League draw. We’re going to have to play one of the weaker teams like Barca or Real, so I’m sure that this game will be a warm up for one of those.

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Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea: Match Thoughts

Arsenal came storming out of the Capital One Cup with a 2-0 loss at home against Chelsea. Here are some belated match thoughts.

Arsenal are lacking depth in size and quality- If there was one thing that was really made clear to me while watching that match was the difference in depth between Arsenal and Chelsea. It is really quite embarrassing how Chelsea were able to start their non starters and still be able to play Mata, De Bruyne, Essien, Luiz, and Eto’o. Mean while, Arsenal started almost our strongest team (people who are saying that Arsenal put out a weaker team are clearly in denial) with Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Giroud and Rosicky all playing. First off, Rosicky is the only one who should have played yesterday and maybe Jack Wilshere, maybe. Many players are in need of a break and another 90 minutes of hard fighting by some of the players is clearly not going to help their fitness needs. Secondly, the reason we started those players is because they really are our only options. It is amazing how small our squad is when compared to Chelsea. They are able to start Eto’o and have Demba Ba on the bench while we are able to start master Bendtner and have Park on the bench. Chelsea our favorites for the title by many people just because of how strong their weakest link is.

Arsenal Still Need to Spend in January- Let me start off by saying that I am thrilled by the way that the team has played this season and the way in which things have occurred. On transfer deadline day, I was very pleased with the Ozil signing yet I was still disappointed by the fact that we didn’t sign anyone else. Ozil is a great player, but he is not going to be enough to give us a team capable of becoming the best. We can still win the title, but it is only going to get tougher unless Wenger splashes some cash in January. If I was in Arsene’s shoes, I presume he has some big feet, I would be looking for a striker who is able to score and dribble the ball. The two players that come to mind are Suarez and Rooney. If we are able to sign one of them, we will have a squad that I will be confident in saying that we can beat anybody in the world. That’s how close we are to achieving greatness, One player. It will be difficult to get Rooney or Suarez, but if it can happen for any amount of money this January, we should try our hardest to get one.

Mata puts Chelsea 2-0 in front.

We Didn’t Play Badly- We didn’t play good by any means, but it isn’t like we were terrible. You can tell that we wanted it more than Chelsea, the only problem was that it felt like boys against men, and that is a terrible feeling to have in football. I don’t want to signal anybody out just yet, but we were very, very immature in some areas. You can see the experience, physique, and quality that Chelsea had in the squad, Our midfield is probably the best in the country, but last night, we were shown what we have been missing, a strong holding midfielder. Maybe it’s not fair to criticize as we didn’t have Flamini in the squad, but if you take him out of the equation, we have no players who can play that position well. Those of you who say that Arteta is good there aren’t looking at the big picture. He is good for calming things down and passing the ball to more advanced areas from that position. He is nowhere near as good as Flamini when it comes to taking the ball off of players and stopping opposition attacks. Is defensive midfield an area in which Wenger should strengthen in January. I wouldn’t say so, but if an injury were to occur to Flamini, we don’t have much cover there.

Jenkinson Needs Some Loan Time- Oh Carl, what to say. First off, many supporters like him because of his love for the club. I appreciate that he is one of us and wants to do his uttermost best for the club, and he showed last night how much he was willing to try to do well for the team on many occasions. Unfortunately, his mistake was costly and it wasn’t unpredictable. There were a few times in the game yesterday where he was just horrendous in defence. His clearances were awful and his decision making was just as poor. When going forward, he did a better job of breaking down our attacks than he did Chelsea’s. It was clear to everybody in the stadium that he needs some more experience in order to play for a big club. A loan out is the best option, as right now I don’t feel confident with him stepping in for Sagna. Despite all of his negatives, it will be hard to fault him for his commitment and work ethic. There is probably no other player in the team who tried as hard last night to make something happen. Unfortunately, the quality just isn’t there at the moment. If he is going to fulfill his potential, it is most likely going to have to start at some other club.

What did you feel about the game? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal: Match Thoughts

So Arsenal extended their place as leaders of the Premier League for another weekend. Anybody who thought that going to Crystal Palace was going to be easy was mistaking, as there are no easy games in the league.  In the end it was a hard fought out victory but a deserved one. Here are some match thoughts.

Wenger Got his Tactics Spot On- Wenger had a bit of work to do today, with Flamini coming off injured and Arteta getting sent off. He surprised us all by bringing in Gnabry for Flamini since the young German is naturally a winger while Flamini is a defensive midfielder. I thought that it was a mistake but Gnabry added some dimension to our football and Crystal Palace still weren’t able to break us down, despite being without a natural holding midfielder. When Arteta got sent off, Wenger once again made the right call by bringing on Wilshere and Monreal to the midfield. We played as if we still had eleven on the pitch, so credit goes to Arsene for that. The strange thing is that we looked more dangerous with ten than we did with eleven.

Szczesny with his MOTM award.

Szczesny Deserves Some Praise- Our big Pole has been in scintillating form this season, but most of it has gone unnoticed due to Ozil, Ramsey, and the fact that we keep conceding penalties and flukes. Szczesny was on top form today and without him we certainly wouldn’t have won. There was one period were he made two saves in quick succession that were absolutely sublime. They kept us in the game and now we are sitting pretty at the top of the league.

Giroud Needs Help- In my honest opinion, I wasn’t too impressed with Giroud today. A lot of Arsenal fans will criticize me for saying that, but that’s just what I feel. He wasn’t bad by any means, it’s just that he felt like a weak link whenever he got the ball. Giroud is at his best when we are going forward so that he can lurk around the penalty box. Unfortunately for him today, we didn’t really have those kinds of moments, which meant Giroud had to come out deeper than usual. His dribbling skills are certainly not the best and he is not the greatest passer; those are skills that aren’t necessary to be a good striker, it’s just that we need to have a striker who can play like that for games like today. If we had a partner for him like Rooney or Suarez than there is no doubt we would have a more lethal front line. Of course, he did take his goal well to give him some confidence.

Gnabry and Ramsey are Exciting to Watch- Let me start off by saying that Gnabry is not a complete footballer at the moment and I would not want him to be starting almost every week. However, he has shown in almost every game he has played this season that he has bags of potential. Today, his movement was very promising. He almost reminds me a bit of Ronaldo, especially with the way he won the penalty. The only difference between him and Ronaldo was that there was actual contact between the two players. He still has a long way to go, but as long as he keeps doing what he is doing, there is no doubt in my mind that he can become the next big thing, like Nicklas Bendtner and Walcott before him.

Now onto something everybody knows, Aaron Ramsey can almost be considered world class. That is depending on your definition of world class. The way that he plays is so positive, it reminds me a lot of Zidane. He has found his personal move, the roulette, as he attempted it on a few occasions today. His cross for Giroud was superb at the end of the game, along with his dribbling and passing. The scary thing is that Ramsey is still only 22 years old, meaning that he has a good five years to become better. Gareth Bale is going to be wishing he can play like Aaron Ramsey.

The last thing that I want to mention is that we play Chelsea in the Capital One Cup this week, and I am hoping for a completely changed XI. When you see Ozil and Giroud sucking air at the end of the game like they way they were, you know it’s time for them to have a break. It looks like the Great Dane is going to get his chance to shine next week!

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Fabregas Wants Arsenal Return- Lack of Strikers the Problem?

How many times does it happen? It seems like every time a player leaves Arsenal, they talk about how much they like the club and want to return. I don’t think there is any player who wouldn’t want to come back to Arsenal, unless they know that they won’t be allowed back (Van Persie and Nasri, I’m talking about you).

The latest player to become nostalgic about their time at the club is no other than our former captain, Cesc Fabregas. Our at least, to talk about one day rejoining the club.

Former Gooner

Cesc Fabregas had an interview with the Guardian, in which he spoke about his desire to rejoin the club at one stage in the future:

“Arsenal is in my heart and always will be. It was important for me to leave the right way. I think the fans understood,” Fabregas told theGuardian.

“I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to go back and play there one day, or maybe after football. The club’s like a family so even if it wasn’t as a coach, I’m sure they’d give me the chance to play a role. It’s a club that is always going to be there and will always open its doors to me.”

Cesc also talked about how he sees Arsenal doing this season:

“I really hope [Arsenal can win the title]. They’ve started very well. They look very strong; let’s see how they last. With Manchester there is always talk about a dip, but it never happens. A lot gets decided over Christmas: the team that hangs in there best, that can resist the best, will take the title.

“If you have the chance to sign Ozil, you can’t let it pass you by,” he said. “I think he’s going to enjoy it enormously. He’s the man who has to make the difference in the final third. His last pass is brilliant, he’ll get more space and with space he kills you. He’s going to score more goals himself because of that space. There’s no one better than him for that mediapunta [attacking midfielder] role.

“I watch the way [Aaron] Ramsey is playing now, how he looks so liberated, and I think maybe I blocked his way. Maybe I was an obstacle.

“Sometimes you need someone to leave for you to step forward and say: ‘I’m here.’ I’m saying that about Ramsey just as an example… I could say the same for Jack [Wilshere]. It’s the concept I’m talking about, the idea of stepping up. That mental unblocking is so important. Both of them have a brilliant future.

“[They can be] as good as they want. They have quality on the ball and they have the physical attributes. Ramsey’s stamina is spectacular. Wilshere is a bit different to the typical English player: he’s more of a short passer.

“Ramsey is one of those that you look at and think: ‘He doesn’t stand out in any specific quality, but he does everything, everything, well.’ His touch is good, his movement’s good, now he’s scoring goals too, providing assists. He’s a kid who as a team player is a beast. Above all, he now has the confidence, responsibility.”

Fabregas does seem to be update on current Arsenal affairs, as any true Arsenal fan should be. Fabregas was one of my favourite players over the past few years, as he was a true Arsenal player, someone who plays for the crest on the front of the shirt. When he left for Barcelona, I wasn’t upset at him, I just felt saddened. That’s the difference between him and Van Persie. When I first saw Van Persie in a Utd. shirt, I felt like I wanted to shoot him with a sniper. Seeing Fabregas in a Barca shirt is like seeing your daughter in a stripper outfit, their your creation but not in the right place.

Moving away from Fabregas, Arsenal’s defeat to Dortmund on Tuesday was our first defeat in a while, and it has got me thinking a little bit. Mainly, what is our main problem with the squad and how can we fix it. Many people will jump straight to the striker problem but I don’t feel like that is our real problem. Giroud is a fine striker and given the right opportunity he can be lethal, it’s just that he isn’t prolific enough. Our real problem is that good teams know how to break us down easily, as we are very predictable.

Watching the Dortmund game was painful at times in my opinion. It wasn’t like Norwich, as we didn’t have time with the ball. Almost every pass we tried to make was a risky ball just so that we can try to make the tempo of the game faster, a tactic which really showed that when teams know how to play against us, we are poor. The fact that Dortmund, our first real test of the season, can come to our own stadium and win almost every ball was poor. It should have been the opposite way, with us pressing for every ball. The Dortmund game was our first real test of the season, and we have to have a plan B for teams that are going to play like them. I can guarantee you that when the other big clubs in the league come to the Emirates they will try the same approach as Dortmund. 

So how do we solve the problem. Well we need to play wider and retain possession better. There have been a couple of times this season were we have been forced into the counter attack and luckily we scored on a few. For example, against Stoke, we were beaten on possession. How does the best passing team in the league lose to a rugby team on possession? We were only able to score thanks to three set pieces. Also, for a good sixty minutes against Norwich, we were on the back foot and seemed unable to do anything effectively. Thankfully, it only took one piece of quality football for the game to change. We aren’t going to get opportunities like that against Chelsea or City though. Against Dortmund, we were too flat during the first half and were unable to create anything due to this. In the second, when we put Ozil on the wing and had Sagna involved more, we were 10x more dangerous. Unfortunately, Dortmund punished us on the break.

This is the brightest Arsenal squad I have seen in a long time and I am very happy with the way things are going. With a couple of changes, we can be up there come the seasons end. COYG

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Arsenal 1-2 Dortmund: Disappointing Performance = Disappointing Result

What can you say about the result? Some people believe that we didn’t deserve it, others thought we did. The truth of the matter is that we lost an important game and are now heading into some very important Champions League matches. We are yet to play Dortmund away and Napoli away, so if we are to achieve qualification, it is going to be very difficult.

We started the match with a predictable starting eleven, as I didn’t expect Cazorla to play two games in a few days. Rosicky took his place, while Ramsey started ahead of the injured Flamini. We lacked a couple of things in the match, and Flamini and Cazorla not playing probably had a big effect. First off, Arteta is no Flamini. We didn’t sign Arteta to be the hard man in midfield who wants to break other players bones. That is what we signed Flamini for, and him not being in the middle of the park really showed some of our weaknesses. Secondly, Cazorla is important to our creativity. Today, we had an entire Dortmund defence blocking Ozil, making sure he wasn’t going to sniff out an opportunity for any of our other players. When Cazorla did come on, you can see what a good player he is, especially compared to Wilshere. Cazorla is a creator, someone who is able to make things happen. It seemed like Wilshere would rather be anywhere else, but maybe the knock he received had an effect on his performance.

Dortmund’s first goal came after a defensive mistake.

The first half was painful to watch at times. We allowed Dortmund to come at us over and over again. Our passing was so risky and uncreative, we weren’t able to have some sort of tempo to our passing. Dortmund’s first goal was pathetic from our defence, in particular Aaron Ramsey. What he was trying to do there was beyond me. It seemed like he wanted to give Dortmund the ball. The less said about it the better. One player who did impress me in the first half was Giroud. He fought for everything and even managed to score a real striker’s goal. Unfortunately, his link up play wasn’t working today and that affected our tempo.

The start of the second half wasn’t much of an improvement. We had to wait for Dortmund to get tired before we were able to have a go at them. Unfortunately for us, we conceded a bad goal on the counter attack. Conceding like we did is very painful to watch. It is like watching a kid get run over by a car. You know it is going to happen, but you can’t dare to look away. Sagna was out of position due to him trying to create something upfront. It was a costly gamble, and one that could just prove to fatal.

After the game, Wenger spoke to Arsenal.com:

on the match…
It was a game of high intensity but very few chances. Dortmund were well organised to stop us from playing, and I must says as well that we were not as good as we can be offensively. Some of our players were not as fresh as they were recently. But we put ourselves on the back foot with the first goal and naive for the second goal. If you look at the number of saves our keeper had to make tonight and you concede two goals, you can say that we can only look at ourselves for not being mature enough in situations like that. If you cannot win the game, you don’t lose it. Especially in the second half when we were on top, we made things difficult for ourselves by giving them the second goal.

on the state of Group F…
It is tight and difficult for us, but possible. You have three teams with six points, and we have played twice at home and once away, so that means we need a result away from home – but we can do that.

on picking the players up…
A disappointment like that is part of what makes a team grow. I feel that some players, physically, are a bit jaded at the moment and it is a bit down recovering physically.

With Napoli beating Marseille today, the group hasn’t become any easier. It will be difficult but with a bit of luck and support, we can still qualify. COYG

Arsenal v Borrusia Dortmund- Match Preview

Crazy Dortmund Banner

It is a game that is expected to be oozing with quality football. England’s in form team versus the free flowing football of Dortmund. It is Arsenal v Borrusia Dortmund, and it is expected to be a spectacle.

Coming into this game, we are in a very good position. Six points from Marseille and Napoli is great, but now we face arguably our biggest threat, Borrusia Dortmund. If we win, we will be in pole position to qualify for the last sixteen. If we lose, Dortmund are back on track following their defeat away to Napoli. It is going to be close, but great teams should be able to get out of tough groups. That’s why City and United have been failing in the past couple of seasons.

If there is one team that I hold a high respect for in Europe, it is Borrusia Dortmund. From their style of play to their fans, I appreciate almost everything about them. I have said before that Jurgen Klopp would be my ideal successor to Arsene Wenger, who is not going to be signing a contract any time soon. Arsenal and Dortmund are similar in a number of ways, and that is why I feel that tomorrow’s game will be special.

Wenger is expected to rotate the squad a little bit so expect to see some changes in midfield. Flamini is the only player completely ruled out, so Wenger is still going to be able to switch it up as much as he likes. I would be surprised to see Cazorla start, with Rosicky being his likely replacement. It looks like Ramsey will start, although I know that Wenger wants to give him a rest. Wenger also wanted to give a rest to Ozil last weekend, but he is too important to just leave out, especially for a game like this. Unfortunately, Podolski and Walcott are both a not going to be fit for another few weeks so we are going to be a bit short in the forward position.

Speaking before the game on Sky Sports News, Jurgen Klopp revealed his thoughts over Arsenal:

“This team missed one player and maybe it can be Mesut Ozil,” said Klopp.

“He is technically perfect, he is fast and has developed a drive to goal. He is very intelligent and can play in any team. He has everything, is a natural and it works very well.

“That is why it was a great idea from Arsenal and not so from the one team who let him go. One year ago no one thought it was possible they could play brilliant football without (Santi) Cazorla.

“Now they have some injuries and still look strong with (Aaron) Ramsey and (Jack) Wilshere, (Tomas) Rosicky is back in shape and (Olivier) Giroud, he is one of the best strikers.

“As a supporter this is one of the most beautiful types of football to watch.

“Who is strong enough to be champions in the Premier League is of course strong enough to go to the final of the Champions League.

“Now they are back in the race for titles and we want to stop them.”

It is great to have the fear factor back. We have been to much of a pushover in the past couple of years so a little bit of intimidation is much needed. Ozil alone has offered quite a bit a change to the way other teams see us, as now we have someone that opposition players know to be Word Class.

It will be a tough game tomorrow, but with a jumping atmosphere and a good start, the team will definitely have more belief. Dortmund have some very good players, so maybe Wenger can also do a little scouting as well. That’s all from me, COYG!

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Arsenal 4-1 Norwich- Now That Was Better

The scoreline flatters Arsenal a little bit, but if we played the whole game like we did in the last ten minutes, we could have hit ten.

Arsenal started the match with good news as Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, and Bacary Sagna were all selected to play. It surprised me a bit that Wenger had chosen of all of them to start as Sagna was only 80% fit yesterday and Cazorla hadn’t received any game time since the NDL. Aaron Ramsey ended up starting from the bench as he received a much needed rest.

Arsenal started the match well and on 18 minutes they got their reward. Jack Wilshere started with the ball in his own half before passing it to Cazorla who passed it back to Wilshere who flicked it up to Giroud who re-flicked it back to Wilshere who calmly slotted it into the back of the net. It is really a goal that you need to watch to  fully grasp and understand it’s sheer brilliance. Wilshere is on a roll now having scored two goals in two matches in the Premier League. It was his first league goal at the Emirates and hopefully this little run he’s having isn’t going to end anytime soon.

To be honest, Arsenal played poorly for the rest of the half, especially once Flamini had to come off. Norwich had so much more possession and Arsenal just waited around without really having a go at winning the ball back. The half time whistle came at a good time as the players seemed to be experiencing some fatigue. The second half didn’t start that much better for Arsenal and we struggled to get a tempo going. Norwich looked the more dangerous of the two sides but they never really tested Szczesny too much.

The second goal came at a perfect time for us as Norwich were starting to get a foot hold on the game. Giroud’s wonderful cross found Ozil’s head as he steered home a very nice header into the back of the net. It was a striker’s goal scored by our record signing, who actually played as a striker for Germany against Ireland last week. Norwich were not done yet and found a lifeline in the 70th minute when Howson’s volley found it’s way past Szczesny. It made for a more composed finish to the game by Arsenal.

Ozil celebrates scoring. Picture from Arsenal.com

Bendtner came on for Giroud to try and wrap up the three points for us. He received an ironic cheer with his first touch from the supporters, but he did do okay in his time. Ramsey won us the game in the 83rd minute when his Messi like movements faked out at least 27 Norwich players before finishing with aplomb. Aaron Ramsey has to be the biggest surprise of the season after Ronaldhino’s teeth correction. He is a totally different player now and I am so thrilled for us to have him on a long term contract. Gareth Bale will be hoping to become the next Aaron Ramsey.

Arsenal scored their fourth when Rosicky’s cross found Ramsey who delightfully steered it back to Ozil. He couldn’t miss and got his second goal of the game. Unfortunately, there was no time for a hat trick but he will be able to try again on Tuesday when Arsenal entertain Dortmund at the Emirates.

On Arsenal.com’s post match interview with Arsene Wenger, he was full of praise for the side:

on the first goal… 
It was certainly one of the best [Arsenal] goals, one that I enjoyed the most as well because it was a team goal. It had combinations and the speed which you always like your team to play with, unfortunately it doesn’t happen always. This one was a mixture of technical quality, speedy thinking, quick reaction and as well being calm in front of goal. It had nearly everything you want to have, combined speed and calm and relaxed attitude. It was a great goal. I think we have scored some good goals this season already. All the goals were great, but the first was exceptional because it was improvised, combination play.

on the game…
We won 4-1 and their keeper had a good game. But I think as well that Norwich played well, so it is strange. They made it difficult for us. We had a difficult period between 30 and 60 minutes where we struggled a little bit to keep our game going. I would come out of the game thinking Norwich is a good team.

That just about concludes it from me. Not much else to say besides WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE STILL!

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Arsenal v Norwich- Match Preview

It seems like an eternity since the last time Arsenal played. Thankfully, this eternity is set to end tomorrow as we host Norwich City at the Emirates.

My biggest concern for the match was whether or not Ozil and Cazorla were going to be fit in time. Wenger pretty much confirmed that they are both fit, but it looks like Cazorla isn’t going to start due to lack of match fitness. It seems unlikely that we are going to be able to see the orgasmic link up between Ozil and Cazorla tomorrow, but it is great nonetheless to have them back. Sagna is also 80% fit, but a start for Jenkinson seems the more likely.

Last season, we had a bit of a tough time against Norwich, but in the end it became one of our games of the season. If you remember, we were 1-0 down in the 85th minute when Arteta equalized from the spot. Giroud and Podolski scored in the dying moments of that game to win it 3-1. It was an absolutely fantastic victory last season, and a great game, but I am hoping for something a bit less pressurizing. Norwich are in the relegation zone and Arsenal are top of the table, so you would expect for fans and players to be confident coming into this game. If there is one thing I’ve learned from watching football in the past years is that you can never ever underestimate a team. Each game is going to be difficult, there is no way around that. We have had troubles at the Emirates for some reason, and a good start is an absolute must for tomorrow.

Last time we played at home, it was against Napoli and we were explosive at the beginning of the game. Ozil scored his first goal in the red and white and he assisted Giroud for us to have a 2-0 lead after fifteen minutes. That is probably the only time I can remember in recent history of us being comfortable at home. It seems like we are able to play our game better away for some reason.

Anyways, our injury problems are becoming less and less. Podolski, Chamberlain, and Walcott being the only first team players still out of the squad. Unfortunately, they are all vital assets to our team and we will still miss them. We are a bit short in the wings with our only natural players there being Gnabry and Miyaichi. Ozil and Cazorla have played there before and although the latter hasn’t really impressed me on the wings as he does in the centre of the field, Ozil has shown some quality playing in that position and I hope he will play there tomorrow. Rosicky is another option along with Wilshere.

I don’t like making predictions about Arsenal matches as I feel like whenever I do, I jinx the team or something, so I’m just going to say that the team needs to fight hard and play together like they did against Napoli. The fans must also be in full voice as well to make a rocking atmosphere at the Emirates. COYG

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West Brom 1-1 Arsenal- Lucky Escape

If there were any doubts over West Brom’s quality since the start of the season, the last two performances by Baggies have surely convinced people of their quality.

Last week, West Brom proved to people that they certainly were no pushovers, as they beat Utd with real ease at Old Trafford. It was never going to be an easy game coming into the Hawthorns, and having seen what West Brom can do in previous weeks, we were prepared for a battle.

Arsene’s only change to the side that beat Napoli 2-0 on Tuesday was the introduction of Wilshere in place of Tomas Rosicky. Somewhat of a strange move in my opinion, considering Wilshere had lighten up the headlines quite recently. I felt Rosicky did very well against Napoli as he showed why experience can be vital for us this season. The squad still clearly lacks depth, as our striking options were limited to Bendtner on the bench.

West Brom started the match with a bit of fire in their belly . It seemed like every ball being pumped into the box was going to be a dangerous ball to work with. I must say that Arsenal handled the majority of the pressure well and were even able to create a bit of a tempo at times. The only thing missing was the final ball unfortunately, as it seemed like almost every time we got the ball into a good position, we would try and make something happen that was clearly never going to be pulled off. There were a couple of poor players in the first half, most notably Jack Wilshere and Carl Jenkinson. One thing that I have to say about Jenkinson is that he does put in an excruciating amount of effort into everything he does, unfortunately he just isn’t of the same level as Sagna. Wilshere seemed more of a ghost of a player, as almost every single West Brom player was able to knock him off the ball with ease. Of course the match wasn’t made any easier thanks to some poor officiating by Lee Mason who was abysmal to say the least. West Brom scored a deserved goal after lots of pressure towards the second half. Their ball into the box was usually very dangerous and for once the Arsenal defence were left stranded thanks to a great header by Yacob. The match entered half time at 1-0.

Arsenal started the second half with a bit more pace, but a bit less composure. This was evident by the amount of balls that Arsenal failed to deliver to a player into the box as well as the amount of passes going astray. To be fair to the players, West Brom were playing with ten men behind the ball and hardly let Arsenal change direction of the game. They had to do something and unfortunately almost every chance created ended in disappointment. West Brom played well in the second half and didn’t just try to get the draw. Fair play to them for actually trying to score a winner as most teams will just shut off when they were at a decent result against a top club. Arsenal’s goal came from almost nothing as Ozil did well to play in Giroud, who sent the ball to Rosicky who set up Wilshere to strike a sweet volley from outside the box. It took a deflection but take nothing away from the skill and technique used by the young English midfielder. Arsenal’s only other good chance came shortly afterwards and once again, it was Wilshere who was involved. He set up Giroud with a delightful through ball and unfortunately, Myhill stood up strong to deny the Frenchman. There were not really any other clear cut opportunities and the match ended one all.

Wilshere scored with a well struck volley.

Overall, it is definitely a point won rather two lost. You would expect Arsenal to play a little better but all credit goes to West Brom, they were actually decent. Anyways, coming to the Hawthorns is never easy as many teams have been beaten there. A point sends Arsenal back up to first in the league thanks to having scored more goals than Liverpool.

Speaking after the game to the media, Wenger talked about the performance.

“Pleased? No because I want to win but if you ask me if it was a fair point over the 90 minutes I would say yes. Why? Because we were 1-0 down just before half-time and straight after half-time Anelka misses a chance for 2-0 and that would have made it difficult. After that I have some regrets because when we came back to 1-1 in the last half an hour we had the chances to score a second goal but we have shown spirit to come back and we did give it our all until the end to try to win. But they did as well and they have many players who can provoke one against one on the break and run with the ball so they made it difficult for us and they defended very well. West Brom confirmed today why they won at Manchester United because they have good pace in every position and they have a huge squad. When you think today Anichebe was not there and they had Long and Morrsion on the bench. Dorrans was not in the squad so they have a massive squad of quality players.”

“I feel it was important not to lose once we were down today and that is the most important thing. For the mental comfort it’s good to remain top after two away games.”

Wenger seems disappointed not to have won as any good manager would be. However, we have to remember that the race to the Premier League title is not a sprint it’s a marathon. You aren’t going to win it by trying something crazy in every match. The key to the title is consistency, and so far, Arsenal are the most consistent team in the league. If we can keep that up, I have no doubts that we will be up there when the curtains start to draw to a close.

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Arsenal v Napoli- Match Preview

Arsenal fans may finally be able to get their wish tomorrow, watch Higuain score a goal at the Emirates. Unfortunately for us, it won’t be in an Arsenal shirt.

Arsenal face Napoli tomorrow in what could be a critical match in this media dubbed group of death. Napoli beat Dortmund 2-1 at their home stadium last time out, while Arsenal took on Marseille in France. At the current moment, us and Napoli are the two sides who have three points, but as always, the Champions league is ever so unpredictable.

Napoli has a squad that excites me like an Emile Heskey birthday cake. They are under new management and ultimately have started an exciting new project. Many of their players happen to be former Real Madrid players, which is unsurprising since their manager, Rafa Benitez, has been trying to emulate the Madrid team ever since Valencia. Some of these players include Higuain, Callejon, and Raul Albiol. Arsenal fans will have much knowledge over one of these players, as he was on the verge of joining Arsenal over 50 times during the Summer. Amazingly, the transfer of Higuain to Arsenal never panned out and now we are stick with some chap named Nicklas Bendtner.

Speaking to the media before the match, Wenger declared that he had tried to sign Higuain:

“We were working on two or three targets and he was one of them,” Wenger said. “It didn’t come off in the end, that doesn’t take anything away from his quality.

“Napoli took advantage of that at the right moment, it’s more about timing as well.

“In the end Real Madrid sold two great players, one of them went to Napoli, one [Mesut Ozil] went to Arsenal so it’s 1-1 on that front.”

Wenger has a weird of way of communicating. For example, last weekend he said that Ramsey plus Ganbry’s age equaled 40 something and the week before that he said that Ozil and Flamini both cost £21m. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with what he is saying, it’s just that he may be getting up their in age and his mind may be completely lost. Anyways, I believe that Higuain is a great player and I am sad that we didn’t sign him. We probably need someone like him more than Ozil, although Ozil is a better player overall.

Rafa Benitez also spoke to the media before the match:

“I am expecting a strong team because I think Arsène Wenger is the best coach in the Premier League,” said Benitez. “Wenger is a great manager, a great person and someone who knows the league here in England.

“He has experience in Europe, Arsenal is always top four and he is doing a great job. Hopefully he can win [the Champions League], but another year, not this one.”

I have always been indifferent towards Benitez but he is definitely a manager I respect. Some of these managers just seem like idiots but he seems like he is committed to whatever club he is trying to manage, no matter how hard the fans are trying to kick him out. He is taking a daring approach to the season with this Napoli squad, and I expect him to do well in a rather tedious Italian league. A return to the Premier League is inevitable for him, so maybe could he be Wenger’s successor. I sure as hell hope not.

Usually I would make a prediction before the match but I have the power to ruin games so I’m not saying anything. Meander your thoughts and create your own ludicrous predictions, I will have no part in it. Anyways, come on you Gunners!

Gad

Swansea 1-2 Arsenal- Brilliant Win!

We’re top of the league still!

Today was one of those days when you have to take advantage of things going around you. Man Utd, City, Chelsea, and Tottenham all dropping points on the same weekend is something that doesn’t happen to many times a season.  Maybe it was the fact that we knew all of the scores from the earlier kickoffs that helped give us the extra edge to get the three points, and although it was no easy task, we were able to beat a very good Swansea team away from home.

Arsenal started the match unchanged from the side that beat Stoke last weekend. I was not sure about Gnabry at the start of the match, as he didn’t impress at West Brom and seemed rather timid at home last weekend. How wrong I was about him. The young German is really shaping up to be a good player and he is not the only one who is impressing. Our entire midfield is really synchronizing together at the current moment, creating chances and passing very efficiently. It will be exciting to see who is going to be in our starting XI once all of our midfielders become fit again.

The first half was one of the most mediocre and uneventful halves I’ve seen of Arsenal in a long time. Swansea were retaining possession the entire period, forcing Arsenal to drop back a lot. It was hard for us to get any shape or movement going, so our only option was the counter-attack, which we didn’t even create that many chances off of. The entire squad was nervous under possession and unable to pick out players from only a few yards away. It was disappointing and very frustrating to watch; luckily the match stayed at nil nil.

The second half was almost a complete 360 turnaround of the first. Immediately after the restart the match was stretched, with both teams trying to find the opening goal. Arsenal started playing more and more slowly and retained possession very well to take the sting out of Swansea. Once we slowed things down more and more of our players found space and confidence to try things. Ozil become more effective, being able to drop into the hole between the striker and the defence while Wilshere was also starting coming into the centre of the field. Gnabry, who I thought got better and better over the period of the game, started taking on players with confidence and power. He reminded me a lot of Oxlade Chamberlain but maybe even a bit better. We looked so much more subtle when we had possession and a deserved goal eventually came.

In the 58th minute, following some good possession, the ball sort of ricocheted around the box and Ramsey found an unmarked Serge Gnabry at the edge of the box. The young German showed no signs of immaturity whats so ever as he found the bottom left corner of the goal with aplomb. It was his first goal for the club and one of surely many more to come. Arsenal looked a completely different side, and another German almost got his first goal for the club. Ramsey released Ozil who was one on one with the keeper. He waited for the Vorm to go down but the keeper stood strong and was able to make a terrific save. It was unfortunate as a player of his quality should be scoring from there, but all credit to the keeper. Arsenal grabbed their second with some really beautiful build up play. Wilshere, Giroud, and Ozil played some neat passes and flicks between each other before the ball found it’s way to Aaron Ramsey, who sent the ball into the the roof the net, grabbing his eighth goal of the season. It was nothing more than Arsenal deserved.

Gad

Gnabry puts Arsenal 1-0 up.
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane

Swansea didn’t really look that threatening until the 80th minute when Bony sent a delicious ball to Ben Davis who only had to make some sort of contact for the ball to hit the back of the net. That set out for one of the most nervy finishes to a game all season where I swear that I lost 20 Lbs of body sweat. Szczesny did well in the end it has to be said as he confidently collected balls in the middle of the air during crucial periods. We held on for the three points. Three massive, massive points. We now lie two points ahead of Tottenham in first in the league with another trip to West Brom next weekend. It is a good time to be an Arsenal fan as it seems we have finally found the light at the end of the rainbow.

Arsenal's Danish striker Nicklas Bendtne

Arsenal’s Young Guns Advance in the Cup- Chelsea Next

Arsenal’s youngsters showed a great deal of maturity and composure in order to ensure that Arsenal progress to the next stage of the Capital One Cup. They were given the task of playing in a very difficult place for 120 minutes on a late night midweek game. Games are not necessary won on performances, and once again, Arsenal showed tonight that they can win ugly.

Unfortunately for me, I was not able to watch the whole match, and the time that I did spend watching the match, it involved a frustrating buffer along with an annoying gorilla on the sidebar. Not perfect conditions in which to enjoy watching a football match, but I will try and make some opinions over what I did see.

Arsenal started the match with a very much changed lineup to that against Stoke City on Saturday. Most of our starting XI did not even travel with the squad, although there was the slight exception: Mertesacker, Monreal, Arteta, Jenkinson, and Vermaelen being the only real first team players on the field. It was going to be a big task for these young gunners, especially considering that many of the players in the starting XI had received no game time at all this season, with Fabianski, Hayden, Eisfeld, Miyaichi (barely), Bellerin, Olsson, Viviano, Iwobi, Bendnter, and Akpom all suffering from lack of playing time. West Brom’s side was fairly strong and on paper looked the better team.

I didn’t happen to see any of the first half but from information I have gathered it was very uneventful. The second half showed a little bit more urgency from both sides, mainly coming from the home team, but both sides came out to win. Arsenal’s passing and link up play wasn’t of the highest quality, but that would be forgiven considering most of the players have never played with each other before. Arsenal opened the scoring on the night with Thomas Eisfeld grabbing the first goal. He finished very well having given the goalkeeper the eyes.

Picture from Arsenal.com

West Brom hit back rather quickly with a powerful header from Berahino. It was in all honesty a deserved goal for West Brom, and from then on it looked very likely that West Brom were going to be taking the lead sometime soon. Somehow, Arsenal’s two centrebacks stood strong and firm and dealt with every single cross that came into the box. So it went into extra time and eventually, penalties.

Penalties are always a lottery but there is always one team that seems like they have the upper hand going into the spot kicks. Considering Arsenal have a bunch of youngsters and it was at West Brom’s stadium, it seemed like Arsenal were all set for a defeat. However, the young guns showed real class and maturity by firing home all but one of their penalties. Gnabry was the unfortunate one who had his rather poor penalty saved. The final result made his Gnabry’s missed penalty less extenuating. It was Arsenal’s day, and although it wasn’t pretty, we have once again shown that winning ugly is sometimes necessary.

Now, Arsenal has the task of entertaining Chelsea at the Emirates in the next round of the cup!

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West Brom v Arsenal- League Cup Match Preview

Arsenal will enter the Capital One Cup with a match against West Brom at the Hawthorns. Wenger is widely expected to field a mixed squad with players who are not usually in the starting XI.

Usually, Arsenal will have the first round of the League Cup to experiment with different players. This season, it is going to be very difficult for Wenger to change this squad too much, considering all the injuries and lack of depth we have in the squad. An example of this would be young German forward Serge Gnabry. He has lots of potential but virtually no experience, yet he is expected to start for the first team matches in the coming weeks. Having too much pressure on young players so early can halt their growing process.

Speaking before the match, Arsene Wenger talked to Arsenal.com about one player in particular, Nicklas Bendnter.

“He had nearly gone somewhere else [in August] and in the end he stayed because it didn’t work out and we needed him here,” the boss told Arsenal Player.

“Now he can convince everybody. We are open-minded, we believe in his qualities. I personally believe in his qualities. It’s just down to attitude and fighting [spirit]. When he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker. He gets his chance. Our job is about that. Take your chance.

“Fans forgive you everything as long as you produce the performances on the football pitch. That’s what people want. I think our fans have a positive attitude towards Bendtner and they will be behind him. Only you can create that with your performances.”

It is sad that we have resorted to playing Bendtner, especially since the last time he played for Arsenal was against Liverpool at the Emirates a couple of seasons ago. Since then, Bendtner has had unsuccessful loans at two clubs, including relegation threatened Sunderland and Serie A Champions Juventus. Bendtner was widely expected to leave Arsenal in the transfer window, but stayed due to shortages up front. It won’t be a pretty site seeing the big Dane in the starting XI tomorrow, but it is better than having nobody.

Actual non-editeded picture of Bendtner

Overall, I believe the squad is going to be fairly strong. I sincerely hope that Ozil, Giroud, Sagna, Mertesacker, Flamini, and Ramsey are given breaks. We have a much more important game at Swansea on Saturday, one that we must put out a strong side against. Our record to Swansea is sort of poor, so we will be hoping to pick up three points at the Liberty Stadium.

It will certainly be a tough game tomorrow, especially since West Brom are likely to field a mature starting XI. Let’s hope for the perfect start to a competition that will see us laugh all the way down to Wembley.

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Arsenal v Stoke- Match Preview

Ozil is set to make his home Arsenal debut in front of one of England’s biggest rugby teams.

Stoke City is one of those teams that I absolutely despise. There is not a single redeeming factor about them, as they have quite a distaste for Arsenal F.C. while we have a distaste for the type of football they insist on playing. More to the point, Stoke will be a tough game and the only redeeming factor is that it will be at home.

Arsenal have received no new injuries since their victory in Marseille on Wednesday night, while one player may be returning- Mikel Arteta. We have been a bit short recently in midfield, so Arteta will definitely help, but I don’t feel he is a guaranteed starter by any means. We have Flamini, Ozil, Wilshere, and Ramsey all operating the midfield right now, and it seems to be working rather well. I don’t see why Wenger would want to change it, as Flamini is more of a defensive midfielder than Arteta will ever be. Arteta is one of our more consistent players and he has an incredible pass accuracy ratio, but he is not as decisive to this team in my opinion as some will believe. Still, as long as he keeps Frimpong out of the team I will be happy.

Wenger addressed the media yesterday, mentioning our current striker shortage:

“We have now strikers who are real strikers,” said Wenger. “Sanogo is not fit but he has stature as well, we are building him up physically, he has good technical quality. And don’t forget we have Bendtner who is coming back.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for him [Bendtner]. Honestly, he was supposed to go, but he stayed and once he stays you have to consider him as a full player of the squad.

“If he deserves to play in front of Giroud, he plays in front of Giroud. That is as simple as that.

“He lost his way a little bit, but he is not a bad boy. He is a good guy. He took the easy way a little bit but now he realises there are some [signals] in your career when players think that is the moment for them. He has got the message.”

I wonder what Wenger has been smoking because it’s quite obvious that we need to strengthen up front. Bendtner is one of my least favourite players of all time and I hate everything about him, which is pretty much the nicest comment I can make about him. Sanogo is a very inexperienced, crap looking player, so I feel no confidence with him either. Really, I just hope Giroud plays every game until the January transfer window so then we can ship Bendtner off to Hull or somewhere and sign someone that wears trousers around their waste.

The gayest straight man ever.

I would expect Wenger to go for the same lineup that beat Marseille 2-1 on Wednesday night, as the players are really gelling nicely. It would be great to see Wilshere and Ozil playing at the Emirates together for the first time, so that is definitely something we all can look forward to. One thing that I have noticed about Ozil is his reluctance to shoot though! He sort of reminds me of Hleb when he shapes up to shoot and then tries to feed someone in. It would be fantastic to see him get on the score sheet for the first time on Sunday.

Let’s all laugh at Mourinho.

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Marseille v Arsenal- Match Preview

Champions League is back! And Arsenal is still in it!

Arsenal play Marseille for the second time in the group stages in the past two seasons. Last time Arsenal made the journey to France, a certain Aaron Ramsey scored an important last minute goal to ensure Arsenal grab the three points. This time around, he will be looking to add to his goal scoring record against Marseille, and he not many people would bet against him failing to do so.

Ramsey last minute goal

Everything is currently looking good on the injury front as Ozil and Giroud are said to be fit to play. Their is a difference between being fit to play and being ready to play, but unfortunately for Arsenal, we really don’t have an option over who to start. We could put Walcott down the center but who would be on his wing? Gnabry?

It is going to be a difficult game for sure, as all games in the Champions league are. We really need to grab the 3 points as we may struggle to find them elsewhere (Napoli and Dortmund are very tough oppositions). The group stage couldn’t have come much tougher for Arsenal, but it will be interesting to see how we react to the challenge.

Speaking before the game, Arsene Wenger gave some thoughts over the group:

“If you look at the group, I would say yes it is the hardest group because all the four teams have a chance to qualify,” said the Arsenal boss.

“That means that every game is basically a very important one. On average you need 10 points to qualify so that gives you the task – 10 points in a group is difficult as that could be a reasonable number to get through.

“Away games will play a big part because it is difficult to predict that you will absolutely win your three home games.

“But anyway, you need points away from home and as you know, like in every competition, the start is very important for the confidence of the team and to put you in a good position so on Wednesday we start.

“Is it home or away? It is the same, basically, we come here and we will try to win the game.”

It wouldn’t bother me too much if Arsenal fail to qualify. Really.

I believe that Arsenal may have a very small chance to win the Champions League already, and we have a real chance to win the Premier League. If we focus on the league 100%, than I believe we could be serious contenders. It may be too early for Champions League contention but I would love to be wrong.

I’m looking forward to the game, but my number one priority is fitness right now. We play Stoke on Sunday so we will need everyone match sharp. Giroud is probably going to be forced to play even with his knock. I hope Ozil is on the bench as he may need some resting time as the last couple of weeks have gone really fast for him. Either way, I believe Arsenal have what it takes to beat Marseille.

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Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal- Öutstanding Football

We’re top of the league!

Going to the Stadium of Light is one of my least favourite experiences of every season. Not only is the pitch at a non-league standard, but they Sunderland happen to have a manager and team that would kill you if they get the chance. Thankfully, we had something to look forward to today.

Ever since transfer deadline day, we have been waiting for Ozil’s debut and today, we finally got to see what we have been waiting for. And he did not disappoint.

Ozil adds a new dimension to our football. Our midfield is packed with extraordinary talent and watching the whole midfield link up together today was quite beautiful. Especially considering we didn’t even have Santi Cazorla who missed out through injury. Ozil’s greatest strength is his passing of course, but his mind is also something that he has strong. First off, he isn’t the sort of player who is just going to pass side wards. He was always looking to do something positive with the ball and 9 times out of 10, he was able to do something. It was all quite extraordinary considering he is in a new league and he was feeling under the weather.

Arsenal’s savior.

Arsenal started off the game quite well with Giroud scoring after ten minutes. Ozil made a good ball towards Giroud who finished with aplomb yet again. Giroud has been under pressure to succeed and win the hearts of Arsenal fans, and so far this season, he hasn’t disappointed. Ozil made several great passes for Walcott yet the Englishman was unable to convert any of them. If Walcott wants to play up top, he is going to have to improve his finishing. Right now, he is mediocre at best. Anyways, Arsenal should have gone into half time 5-0.

As usual, Arsenal made a dumb error at the start of the second half and conceded a penalty for 1-1. How many times do Arsenal get punished for not killing teams off? Anyways, after Sunderland scored, it looked like being another one of those days. Arsenal scored a rather fantastic goal in the 65th minute when Aaron Ramsey finished from the edge of the box. Once again, Aaron Ramsey showed his class as it was a fantastic goal at a fantastic time. Arsenal were lucky to escape conceding a second when Jozy Altidore and Sagna were fighting out for a ball near the edge of the box. Sagna fouled Altidore who went ahead and put the ball in the back of the net, before the referee called play back. It was a moment that made Sunderland fans angry but it wouldn’t have been deserved. Ramsey killed the game off in the 76th minute when he finished well following great football with Ozil and Giroud.

It was a fantastic team performance, although it almost was a disappointment. Still, Arsenal got the job done and our now sitting pretty at the top of the league.

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Özil Would Have Come for Free- Gervinho is Deluded

Another quiet day passes by in the worst weekend of football in the season…

It’s quite depressing not being able to watch any games during the weekend. Yes, there are the lower division games, but not watching the Premier League every weekend is like a little piece of me dying. The little boy inside of me wants to explode.

Speaking of the little boys inside of us, Özil has come out and said that he would have joined Arsenal for free:

“In some way, that conversation flicked a switch in me and made me realise what I had lost at Madrid – transparency, trust, respect,” Ozil told Die Welt.

“Arsene told me exactly how he saw me, how he wanted to use me, what he expected of me.

“I would have even joined Arsenal for free.”

You can interpret what he said in a couple of different ways, one being he has no control over how much he costs and he wouldn’t have cared if he joined for free, but I am going to say that he was so moved by the conversation that he had with Wenger that he has changed his perspective of life and become a gooner and when he says he would have joined for free he means that money is no longer an object that he holds to have any importance.

One player who does not fit into that category was Ivory Coast calamity Gervinho. He came out and said this yesterday:

“I was not getting much time on the pitch and was in need of this time to improve and play my best football. Wenger was not prepared to give it to me,” he explained to The Sun.

“Also my position on the wing was not what I was expecting and I wasn’t happy with it.”

“It would have helped had he shown more confidence in me,” he added.

The problem with Gervinho wasn’t that Wenger didn’t show any confidence in him, it was that he was absolute crap. He was one of those players who I believe is stronger when he is sitting on the bench than when he is playing- literally. I would rather us be playing with ten men than playing with two Gervinhos in a team. Of course, he isn’t the only player that I feel this way about (Our new number 23).

Better than Messi and Pele combined?

There is some talk going around about Wenger being offered a new deal. Why is he getting a new deal you may ask? Well apparently it is for signing Mesut Özil. Yes, signing a player has awarded Wenger a new contract. Not for the fact that he has not won the league for ten years or been on a trophy drought for eight , it is because we have signed one world class player and let go of several of our own.

I like Wenger as a person. He is somebody who you would want in charge of your club, but his failure to adapt to the changing world of football has led us to fall behind some of the new powerhouses. Do I think he is worth a new deal? It is too soon to say. A couple of weeks ago I would have wanted him sacked but I am prepared to give him til the end of the season to show us if he still has any magic left in him. It would be sad to see him go no matter what the circumstances are. He is and will forever be an Arsenal legend, which is something that may be keeping his job at the moment. A title and the Champions League at the end of the season would be a nice way to go out though.

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Özil Signing Changes Things

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Next Bergkamp???

International weekends are the absolute worst thing once the season starts. It feels like you need to be doing something, but you don’t want to do anything except for watch football. Of course, the matter isn’t helped at all since we have to wait another week before we can see our new star man play.

I watched the second half of the Germany-Austria game yesterday, to see how our new boy is in action. To sum it all up for you, he is incredibly sound in possession, good in tight spaces, and is sort of like the anti-Denilson. As I am sure you are all aware, Denilson only passed the ball sidewards, as Özil is always looking forward. Özil played as a lone striker in the last 10 minutes of the game which could be a preview of something that may happen at Arsenal. Can Wenger be set to play with the false number 9? We certainly have enough midfielders to do so.

Midfielders are probably the most important part of any team. Games are won or lost in midfield (although the same goes for defence). Arsenal’s game is dependent on the midfield though, so a strong and large midfield has to be in order if Arsenal’s style of football is to be functioning properly. Arsenal’s midfield without Özil is very strong, so it was surprising to see Arsenal make a midfielder as their marquee signing of the Summer.

Obviously, Wenger wanted to sign a creative goalscorer, or get two for the price of one (Di Maria and Benzema). After we missed out on Suarez, Wenger had to make the decision over who to go after. It made perfect sense for us to try and get Di Maria and Benzema, but unfortunately for us, neither of them wanted to leave Madrid. Out of nowhere came the Cabaye bid, which I am not even sure why we bid for him.

Signing Flamini practically ended our Cabaye chase, and to be honest, I would rather Flamini on a free than spending £20m on a player who was probably not going to be in our first team. Flamini is also a versatile player, being able to play right back and the centre of the park. The Flamini signing didn’t go so well at first with Arsenal fans, mainly because we all wanted to sign a big marquee player.

At the end of the transfer window, we weren’t sure at all what we were going to get. We were linked with about 250 players, but none of them even seemed like real targets, not even Özil. However, we were all pretty certain that we would get someone from Madrid as Wenger spoke of the “domino effect” that would occur once Bale joined the Spanish giants.

Shortly after Bale left Spurs, Arsenal were revealed to be in advanced talks over signing Mesut Özil. At first, I was excited but I was also confused over why we needed to sign a creative midfielder. But if you look at the stats and really think about the club, you will see that Özil is a perfect signing. Our midfield is very good but we still were lacking a real Fabregas-esque player. Cazorla is very good, but he is not someone who I believe is going to be able to pull all the strings together by himself. Wislhere has potential, but his injury problems and expectations have overwhelmed him. Zelalem looks to be a real talent, but at 16 you don’t want him playing too many games. Rosicky is getting up there in years, so this looks to be his last season. Özil on the other hand, is 24 and better than all the players mentioned before.

So transfer deadline day came and we eventually got our man, but I was very  disappointed that we weren’t able to get a striker. If you look at the Arsenal squad, there is a big difference in quality throughout all of the positions. Having Bendtner and Park up front is not what I would have expected at the begging of the season.

Bendtner spent all Summer making a fool of himself as he rejected at least 5 clubs due to his incomprehensible wages. In the end, he wasn’t even able to join Crystal Palace. There was the agreement with Arsenal to let him go, but because we couldn’t find a striker, he had to stay. I personally thought that Demba Ba on loan would have been a great signing. We would have got him for a season while we tried to sign a real striker in the Winter or next Summer. Now, we are sweating every time Giroud plays. Please let Sanogo be the next Henry.

The only reason I can find, or hope to find, for Arsenal not signing a big name striker was because they are planning on spending in January. We all know that Suarez was our number one target this Summer, and he may be our number one target this Winter. It’s sort of hard to predict what will happen in January but we all need to hope that it is something good.

Özil joining is not just great on the field though, His singing has uplifted the spirits of every single Arsenal fan. Plus, he may have changed the way clubs look at us. We now know that the club is willing to spend £40m+ on a player and that we can attract the top players. Now that Özil has joined, I want to find one striker who doesn’t want to play in our midfield. If we can attract a big name striker, we would truly, truly, be title contenders once more.

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Özil Joins Arsenal- Ahaa!

Hooray!!

Arsenal has officially created the best midfield in the league.

Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Flamini, Rosicky, Arteta, and Diaby all currently occupy our midifeld. You may even be able to put Podolski and Walcott in their as well. What does Wenger do? Wenger’s only gone out and signed Mesut Özil.

It’s quite a brilliant piece of transfer business and I’m absolutely buzzing. He is without doubt one of the top 3 midfielders in the world, and he plays for Arsenal! Wow, if only we signed a striker to go along with him.

It was widely expected that Özil was going to join Arsenal as many top British newspapers reported it yesterday. It is believed that the deal was already in place to go through and we were just waiting for Bale to join Madrid, so Real wouldn’t have any problems in getting Bale. Surely if Tottenham knew we were in neogotiations for Özil they would have made Real do something else for them. Overall, it was some pretty smart play by the two clubs.

This is exactly the sort of player that we have been needing. A true marquee player that would make others want to join as well. If you see how excited the fans are, you know that he is a good signing. The only problem is that we should have signed a striker with him.

Demba Ba was linked earlier but as soon as Chelsea knew we were going to get Özil, I believe they backed out of the deal. Fair enough, they know we are now title contenders. However, we should of at least got someone. That someone should have been Higuain.

Overall, it has been a pretty good couple of days for Arsenal. Let’s get this straight. Arsenal beat Tottenham, a team that have spent £110m, in the North London Derby. Tottenham sold their Chimp to Real. Arsenal signed one of the best players in the world who hasn’t even reached his peak yet. Yep, that sounds about right.

And people want Arsene sacked.

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Arsenal Prove Quality- Transfers Coming

Mesut Ozil

North London Derby day is always a special day, and it is always a bit more sweet when you win. It’s even more sweet when you beat a team that has just spent £110m on players.

Yes, you can complain about Wenger not strengthening, but you cannot complain about our performance. We truly were the better side from the start and we have once again proved that we do have quality. However, we have also shown that we lack depth badly.

When you’re bench consists of a 16 year old who looks like he is 10 years old and a new signing that doesn’t appear to have played football before in his life, you start to worry. Fortunately, we didn’t have to experiment as we had Flamini, Sagna, and Monreal come off of the bench.

Not going to go too much in detail into the game as I am sure you all know what happened, but Arsenal started better and got their reward from Giroud finishing very clinically 6 years away from goal. I’m not a Giroud fan at all, but you have to admit that it was a classy finish. He has shown that he can score this season, which is a big plus for us, but we still need a new striker.

Cazorla was immense in midfield, playing the silky smooth football. His second freekick was almost a superb goal and he was very unfortunate to miss. Ramsey was a boss again in midfield, while Flamini showed that he still can do a job. Mertesacker was impressive in defence, winning countless amounts of headers. Szczesny impressed once again to give the manager a reason not sign a new goalkeeper, although it looks like Emiliano Viviano is set to join the club.

Wenger spoke after the game on transfers:

I am not against spending money, but I want to add super quality to our squad. Tottenham got a lot of money for Bale, they have to invest it – I understand that. The need is different for us, we need one or two super players and we will try to add that. We have 24 more hours, so maybe we can surprise you. Maybe not – but I am confident.

I cannot wait too see who are the super players Wenger is after. Lots of talk has been around Ozil and if he were to join that would be superb. Imagine him and a top striker joining. I would literally cry if that happens. Anyways, deadline day has arrived so shit is about to get real. Enjoy your sick day.

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Midfielders Galore Linked

Spurs reached £110m today. Arsenal are still trying to pass the -£10m mark.

Wenger’s lack of transfer activity has come to as a surprise to many people, but one thing that surprises me most is what players we are being linked with.

What do you mean by that? We have just signed Flamini, wanted to sign Cabaye, and now are linked with Ozil, Draxler, and Kaka. Heck, we are linked with just about every player on the Real squad right now. Still, I believe Di Maria is the most likely to join, but only after Bale has left Tottenham.

If I was Wenger, I would do everything to bolster my strike force. With Podolski and Chamberlain facing long periods on the sidelines, our most dangerous attacking threat right now it probably Theo Walcott. That’s not saying anything good. Walcott has matured in the past couple of seasons but he is not a finished product, I hope. His finishing and decision making seem to be his two biggest problem areas, although he has improved in his finishing over the past year a bit.

Right now, our main striker role is occupied by Giroud and Sanogo. Giroud isn’t clinical enough nor good enough to be my first choice striker. Watching Sanogo play is a bit of a pain. He’s young, but not that young, and seems to have no clue what he is doing. He makes Bendtner look like Messi.

Out of the current striker options available, I would go for Cavani. Oh wait, he left at the beginning of the Summer. I guess we’ll just have to sign Falcao. Yep, that’s right, he left even earlier than Cavani. It’s a card game people, everyone is afraid to do any business early, just ask City, Chelsea, PSG, and Monaco.

Back onto the main subject, I don”t really think our midfield needs to be strengthened that much. It never hurts to have too many good players, but the fact that we are obviously lacking quality in other key areas means that we need to strengthen there first. Out of the midfield players linked, I would be happy for us to sign Draxler. He’s only 19, but without a doubt he will be the next Gotze. He already has experience in the Bundesliga making 78 appearances for Schalke, and winning six international caps for Germany. Sounds like a good Wenger signing to me.

Coming to Arsenal!

I would be happy to see Kaka join as well, but a player like him isn’t really what we need. We have Rosicky to be our old experienced player to come in and do a job, so a move for him is unlikely. Fellaini would have been my personal choice to sign at the beginning of the Summer, but dreams die when you are an Arsenal fan.

Tottenham’s new look squad means that Arsenal have to be careful this weekend. They have signed some good players that will make them become a title force, however, I do believe that this current Arsenal squad can put up a fight against them this Sunday. It will be tricky, but the Red side of London always prevails.

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Wenger Has a Lot of Work to Do

Sanogo has played more Champions League football than Spurs will this season!

To be a good side and to be a great side are two different things. There are many things that contribute to becoming a great side, one of which is great players, but another is something that Arsenal lacks, great ambition. Sometimes, taking risks is less risky than taking none at all. The current Arsenal board lacks and imagination or desire to change the direction of the club, and they seem to be fine with that.

Say what you want about the current group of players, but they are not bad. They aren’t great but they are a side capable of competing for Champions League football. The Premier League is a bit of a stretch but Champions League football should be something that this team can compete for. We have gotten rid of a lot of week links in the side which is a big plus, but unfortunately, the squad hasn’t been strengthened at all. And to some extent, it has weakened.

At the start of the Summer, we were linked to a plethora of marquee signings, it was impossible to believe that we would be this close to deadline day with a £10m profit to our bank. Yet, the current dumbos in charge of the club see no need to spend big. There is absolutely no reason not to spend big though. We have the money, we have Champions League football, we just lack ambition.

I believe that Wenger does want to strengthen, but the club is so bad at negotiating, we haven’t been able to make any sufficient offers. That being said, I believe that Wenger has way too much faith in his current squad. Is it time for him to go? I think so. A top, young, hungry manager would want to spend big. AVB is the perfect example. Bale hasn’t even left the club and they are going well above the £100m mark. And they don’t even have Champions League football!

The time has come to sign some class. Not Flamini or Cabaye, but actual players. The only way this can happen is if the board comes to their senses, which will only happen through their wallets. If the club starts to make less and less money, then the board may just say that it is time to start spending. This could be a crazy theory considering the board seems to be completely messed up.

A director of football is needed, badly. We don’t need some Ivan Gazidis who wants to pocket money for himself, we need a David Dein and an Usmanov, people that actually want the club to do well for themselves. Seriously, if I was in charge of the club, I would guarantee that we would be title contenders. I would even work for free, something that none of the current board members would ever do.

So in a nutshell, Wenger needs to sign some players in the next few days. At least five. Chances are becoming slimmer that we are actually going to get a world class player, which is very disappointing in my opinion. It is perhaps to late for the club to change it’s ways this Summer, and I am afraid that we will be punished for it. Liverpool and Tottenham are now stronger in my opinion, and until we sign some marquee players, that will be the case for years to come.

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Arsenal 2-0 Fenerbahce- Champions League Secured

For the 16th consecutive season, Arsenal have made it to the Champions League group stages!

Not that there was much doubt after that 3-0 win in the first leg, but you can never be too sure with the Arsenal. The boys did well and now we can take it easy until Sunday. By we, I mean the players, not Wenger who needs to be working till the early hours to sign some players!

There were a few positives from the game. For one, Ramsey was magnificent again. His second goal was a touch of a class and his first came down to being in the right place at the right time. Cazorla was wonderful and played some silky smooth football at times. He was unlucky not to score in the second half with a low left footed shot. Overall, it was a positive and relieving win from the Gunners.

One negative was that Podolski did pull up at the beginning of the second half. He looks to be out for a few weeks which can only mean that we now have to sign a winger. Di Maria looks most likely but any deal for him is probably not going to be announced until Bale leaves for Madrid. Di Maria is a player I like but I don’t believe he is a game changer in the squad. Still, he will be a very much welcomed addition.

One interesting point is that Juan Mata’s father was at the game. Juan Mata is supposedly transfer listed by Chelsea, for some reason having been player of the season twice in a row for the Blues. If he were to join it would be an absolutely magnificent signing. Can’t really see that one happening though.

Arsenal have a week to get their transfer deals sorted. Flamini and Cabaye look to be the two most likely, which is actually quite sad. Cabaye is probably the only person that wants the deal to go through while Flamini is stuck without a club. Anyways, anyone is better nothing. Let’s hope that we see some real players join though.

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Fulham 1-3 Arsenal- No Crisis Here

Crisis? What crisis?

In the past 5 months, Arsenal have been on an excellent run of form. They have only lost two games, one of which happened to be home to Aston Villa. Scratch that out and everybody would be talking about how good of a side we actually do have.

Is this side good enough to win the league? The answer to that is no, and the fact that Wenger hasn’t done anything about it is why us Arsenal fans are really upset. The media has intensified the first game of the season to a point of a astronomical importance where a defeat would mean that the club is more of a relegation battle team rather than a top four side. The defeat to Aston Villa was an embarrassment and this result has in no way changed that fact. The only thing that has changed is that people may start to realize that we aren’t actually that bad.

The starting eleven for the side was as expected, with Sagna filling the void at centre back. Perhaps the only change that was unexpected was that to exclude Jack Wilshere, who made the bench. Wilshere is still not allowed to play more than two games a week, as he his mom wants him to focus on his chores and school work instead. His classmate Gedion Zelalem also made the bench.

Going to Craven Cottage is one of those places you don’t want to go, but  you know you have to. Arsenal doesn’t have that good of a record there, although last season we were victorious in a 1-0 win.  The match started out at a good pace for Arsenal, as we pushed to win every ball and made some quick passes. The midfield was entirely dominated by our boys for many parts of the game. It really was a bit of a shock as to how much we were in control. Nevertheless, Arsenal can never fully be in control. Fulham did have a couple of bright spots which could have changed the entire dynamic of the game.

The first goal was a bit of a fluke. Ramsey shot from distance and it ricocheted between Giroud and a Fulham defender and Giroud ended up with possession and had the simple task of making it 1-0. Two shots on target, two goals for Olivier Giroud in the league this season. Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, this is not the time for Giroud to score goals. Wenger will be contemplating who he needs in the transfer window and with every goal Giroud scores, he may hesitate in making a decision. I personally would spend £70m on a striker alone, but that’s just me.

Arsenal were in control for much of the first half but Szczesny did have a bit of work today. Shortly after the deadlock was broken, Fulham forced Szcz into making two consecutive saves in a crowded penalty area. Szczesny is a player that is a mixed package. I like him as a person and I want him to do well, and in the past two games you get the feel that he may be maturing. The less said about Villa the better.

Ahhaa!

One player who has been linked with a loan move away from the club, Lukas Podolski, showed why we need him. His first goal may not seem that difficult but with a player on the line and in these conditions, Podolski finished with aplomb. Why Podolski hasn’t been starting has baffled me a bit, because if you look at his stats, it really is amazing how much he contributes to the team. He will score goals and make assists. He and Arshavin sort of have the same problem, except Podolski has a six pack while Arshavin has a potato pack. They both can be doing nothing the whole game then score 2 goals. Nothing wrong with scoring 2 goals every game.

Fulham were a bit more threatening in the second half, so Arsenal needed a third goal to kill the game off. Giroud took possession quite superbly and Cazorla picked out Podolski quite superbly who once again finished with aplomb. Unfortunately for the German, it was no too be his day for a hat trick as he was substituted out for Yaya Sanogo towards the end of the game. Speaking of Sanogo, I’m not sure if it is that he has little to no experience playing or he is just not that good, but he seems to be struggling with the big boys. He may need loan time if he is going to develop into a top footballer, as I sincerely hope that Wenger doesn’t make him a starter. Only time will tell.

So overall, the game was a success. The new away kit brings back good memories and looks good as well. Some transfer activity is required and Wenger needs to make 3-4 good signings if we are going to even compete with the big clubs. Things are looking comfortable in the Champions League as well, so at the current moment (transfers aside), life is good for Arsenal.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Fulham v Arsenal - Craven Cottage

Arsenal Have Lost the Plot

It would be wrong to expect anything with this Arsenal Football Club.

If you were to write a list of things to go wrong yesterday, we probably checked the box for every single box. Injuries, bad performance, “poisonous atmosphere”, and bad result. This was all against a team that barely stayed up in the League last season. Quite pathetic are the two words that come to mind.

In May, Gazidis was quite adamant that we were going to spend big money to sign big players. Instead, we have signed a 20-year old injury prone French player who has only played a handful of games in the Ligue 2. Along with that, seventeen players have left. There is no more deadwood at the club, which is a positive, however, there is no wood. Aaron Ramsey had to play centre back yesterday! Sagna played left back! Why are these players p;laying in these positions? The answer is simple, we have no players available. Wenger has to sign now, just so that we can field a squad that doesn’t involve a goalkeeper playing centre back.

One disappointment that I have now is what Wenger is going to do. He is probably in pressure to sign players, players that we don’t need to sign. For example, when we lost 8-2 to United, Wenger panicked and signed some players just to get the fans off his back. The players weren’t bad, but they hardly improved the team. Mertesacker and Arteta are the only survivors from transfer deadline day 2011. I expect (which I shouldn’t do) that Wenger will sign a defender, particularly a right sided defender. We have Sagna and Jenkinson, with the latter being a player that I do not feel comfortable with at all. I appreciate Jenkinson because he is a great Arsenal fan and loves the club, but so is Frimpong. I feel that Arsenal fans may be a bit blinded by Jenkinson’s love for the club rather than his playing ability. If anyone honestly believes that Jenkinson has the potential to be as good as any of our rivals right backs then you need to get up and smell the coffee.

What we need is a centre back, a defensive midfielder, and a striker. In all honesty, we need more than that, but that is what Wenger should go for. I can picture Wenger singing players for these positions, but I don;t believe that he is going to break the bank to sign any of these players. We have been linked to some world class names but I don’t think that Wenger is going to sign any of them. We already missed out on Higuain. Fellaini’s release clause has expired and we haven’t even been linked to any top defender this Summer. We need quality, not quantity. I don’t understand why Gazidis isn’t on the phone doing everything he can to sign someone like Luis Suarez. I guarantee you that if David Dein was at the club, someone would have already joined. Please Wenger, we need quality players, or Spurs and Liverpool will finish above us.

Some fans may want Wenger to go and I really don’t see any reason why he should be manager of Arsenal. It’s quite obvious why he has been in charge of the club for the past eight years, to keep the club in the top four and have good finances. Wenger didn’t spend simply because the board didn’t want him to. They wanted money for the Emirates and it was quite obvious that they knew we weren’t going to compete anymore. Now that we have money, we need a hungry manager that is willing to spend money and play to win. People may ask who they would want if Wenger left, and I have two names that come to mind. The first one I would want is Jurgen Klopp. He won the Bundesliga with Dortmund, took them to the Champions league final, and has got Dortmund to play some of the most attractive football in all of Europe. The next one is Michael Laudrop. The style of football that he has got Swansea to play is quite marvelous plus he won the League Cup last season with his squad. All though Swansea lost 4-1 to United yesterday, the football they played was very good and the scoreline could have easily been opposite if Swansea was the clinical side.

Overall, I would like to say that the club has gone downhill to the extremes. Every club bar United has strengthened this Summer, and the reason why United haven’t signed anyone is simply because they don’t really need anyone. It’s almost as if Wenger wants the club to fail. The title is almost a certainty to be lost and now we may not even qualify for the Champions League. Who would want to join us if we don’t make Champions League? We need quality players, not quantity players. Wenger needs to sign Luis Suarez and Lars Bender in order for us to compete for the top four. There is no rocket science here. Sign the players or money and fans will be lost.

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Chamakh Leaves- Gustavo Would Like to Come

The Summer Arsenal cleanup continues.

Maroune Chamakh. When we first signed him, everybody had hopes. He was tall, just had a pretty good season with Bordeaux, and he was something that Arsenal had been missing for a while. His first few months turned out pretty good but what happened to him afterwards was quite pathetic. You can pretty much say that after Van Persie became fit in the 10-11 season, Chamakh started to play like a 75 year old man. He hardly played and when he did, there was nobody expecting him to score. Last season, he went on loan to West Ham to try and salvage something for his career. He had a poor time and it’s no surprise that he has officially joined Crystal Palace today. Many people said that it was only a loan but it is confirmed that he is 100% out of here. Can’t say I am really sorry to see him go, and actually, I am very happy to see him leave. It is fantastic to see Arsene getting rid of these crap players.

In transfer news today, Luiz Gustavo has spoke about his proposed possible move to Arsenal.

“I am in a very delicate situation at Bayern and this needs sorting out. I have personal and professional reasons to move.

“I have heard about the Arsenal interest. It’s a big club we’re talking about here so of course I’d like to play for them.

“Arsenal play a very attractive brand of football and are in the Champions League. They also have a very clever manager in Arsene Wenger.

“Even when Bayern beat them in the last Champions League [on aggregate] you could see they are not pushovers.”

He would be a fantastic signing, but I hope he wouldn’t be the only one if he does join. If him and Suarez join on transfer deadline day than it would give fans the hope that is needed in order to believe that we can win the Premier League. Without any signings, it will just be a subdued atmosphere at the stadium. Let’s hope some transfers get sorted out quickly!

Fenerbahce v Arsenal - UEFA Champions League

Arsenal Get Fenerbahce in Champions League- John Henry Talks Suarez

Well, at least Arsenal are going to be in 2 games in the Champions League this season.

If there was any team that Arsenal fans from across the world hoped to avoid in the Champions League qualifier, it is Fenerbahce. Not only is Fenerbahce a good side, they also have the crazy fans on their side who are willing to go to the extremes in order to get their side to win games. To make matters worse, Arsenal have failed to strengthen their squad this Summer and will be put to the test in order to make the group stages.

One transfer that has been the centre of attention for quite some time now is that of Suarez. Suarez doesn’t want to stay at Liverpool, he has said so publicly and very resolutely. The situation is quite similar to that of Van Persie, except Suarez signed a new contract last season while Van Persie was only 12 months away from leaving on a free. Still, both players have said they want to leave the club and it is unhealthy to keep a player at a team if they don’t want to be there.

John W. Henry has been smoking something strong and recently said this:

We are not going to sell Luis. It’s a football reason. It’s not finances. At this point, so late in window, with everyone who’s already moved or isn’t moving, we do not have time to replace him,” Henry continued. “So for football reasons we can’t – and especially to Arsenal. We’ve made that clear. I have said to Ivan Gazidis [Arsenal Chief Executive] in a personal conversation that we will not sell to Arsenal.”

He seems to be quite adamant to not sell to Arsenal. Obviously, he thinks it will be better to have a player that wants to leave playing for you then getting a reasonable amount of money while you still can. One thing that I find quite astonishing is the fact that the only team that has been public over this deal has been Liverpool. Arsene has confirmed that we have made a bid for Suarez. That’s it! Liverpool have been going on about how Arsenal lack class and quite frankly, look at the club that is in debt and has been sinking for the past 20 years and see how much class they have.

Arsenal need to sign Suarez in my opinion. Whether or not you like him, we need something to the squad. There aren’t many better players out there and their are certainly no more players out there for sale of the same quality of Suarez. If you look at the squad, it is no secret that the club is falling behind in terms of quality and depth. Tottenham have bought quality in the transfer window with Paulinho, Soldado, and Capoue all joining.  It is very disappointing to see the club falling behind like this and if we don’t add a big name to the squad we will not finish in top four, let alone challenge for the title. Plus, Tottenham still have Bale while adding all of these new additions.

Arsenal play City tomorrow and I don’t expect there to be many cheers from the Arsenal fans tomorrow. Let’s sign some quality and do it quickly Arsene!

Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in his seat as Chairman Peter Hill Wood walks down to occupy his seat. Kroenke was not in his seat for the second half

Gervinho Leaves the Club- Time to Make Progress

If there were to be no signings this Summer, you can say that Wenger did half of what the fans wanted him to do, get rid of the deadwood.

Gervinho has finally completed his move to AS Roma today. It was pretty much done a week ago, but like everything related to Arsenal, the deal was slow to be announced. Gervinho has to be one of the biggest disappointments we’ve had transfer wise. When he first joined, myself and many gooners around the world were very pleased. He had scored many goals and made many assists at Lille, so you had the feeling that he would strive at Arsenal. His first game for the club was that preseason friendly against Cologne in which Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners. Gervinho grabbed a brace that day and Jenkinson scored a memorable goal of his own.

It’s not like Gervinho is that bad of a player, it’s just that he isn’t good enough for the Premier League and more specifically, a top four club. His red card against Newcastle foreshadowed the rest of his Arsenal career, as in the past season he had some pretty shocking games. He was chosen by Wenger quite a few times to lead the line last season and he did so well, once or twice. The problem with Gervinho was that he was too unpredictable and nonclinical in front of goal.  His unpredictably came in handy a few times, but he was too unpredictable for himself to really make a contribution.  He was never a mean player or an upset one so I have respect for him and wish him well at Roma. Roma don’t have a kit supplier this season so maybe the reason they signed him was too advertise on his forehead.

Arsenal haven’t signed anybody. Surprise! It’s not looking too rosy at the moment, with Liverpool playing games with Suarez who is playing games with Liverpool. We all know that the whole transfer situation is Wenger’s master plan to bring Suarez to the club and cause Liverpool to implode. You have too look at the facts in order to make an opinion over the situation. All that we know is that Suarez wants to leave Liverpool, Liverpool don’t want him to go, Brendan Rodgers is an idiot, John Henry likes money, and Wenger is watching the whole thing from a distance, ready to pounce.

The main reason that Arsenal sold Van Persie is because he publicly came out and said he wanted to leave. Arsenal respected his wishes and is now at Manchester United. Suarez comes out publicly and says he wants to leave and what happens? Rodgers says that he is a total disrespect to the club and makes him train alone. Liverpool don’t really want a player playing for them who has said such things about the club, would they? Liverpool has become one messed up club and their insecurity has been shown on the pitch for the past few years. Hopefully, something good will happen sometime soon.

Montpellier vs Arsenal FC

Gervinho Trains With Roma- Perez Arrives at Arsenal

With the Emirates Cup now out of the way, we only have one game left before the season opener against Aston Villa. That game is against Manchester City in Helsinki this Saturday. Will we have any new signings before then? So far, we have only signed Sanogo, a 20 year old injury pron French player who joined as a free agent. The only player that we are after is Luis Suarez and it is quite evident that he wants to join us. The only thing standing in our way is a disillusion man named Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers believes that Suarez is worth as much as Bale, even though Bale hasn’t signed for anybody and is about £50m overpriced. Anyways, we’ll see how this unfolds in the next couple of weeks.

Not much news going on today but Gervinho is now just waiting for his Roma deal to be complete. He completed his medical yesterday and has already stopped for photos with Roma apparel. I for one am very happy to see Gervinho leave. It’s not like he was a bad player, he was just not very good. I hope he does do well in the future as his Arsenal move obviously didn’t work out.

Forza… Roma?

Arsenal have taken some defensive midfielder known as Sebastian Perez on trial. He plays for Atletico Nacional and is 20 years old. This is his time to show what he can do while he trains with the first team. I’m not sure what players have been on trial with the club in the past few years, the only one I remember is Brek Shea, who ended up joining Stoke City. He could be a good player and come into the first team and solve our defensive midfield problems or he could be the next Denilson. We’ll see what happens with him.

As Gervinho will be learning to say in the couple of weeks, Ciao!

luis-suarez-patrice-evra

Wenger Wants Amicable Solution to Suarez Saga- Sanogo Will Surprise You- Ian Wright Speaks

Good afternoon,

If you looked at a graphic of all the teams in the Premier League and how many players have been brought in, you would think that it was the middle of June, not the beginning of August. And by that I mean if you look at Arsenal’s transfer record it looks like the middle of June.

The Emirates Cup starts tomorrow with Porto playing Galatasaray followed by Arsenal v Napoli. It should be an exciting encounter; much more exciting than playing against Vietnam and the Indonesia XI. Arsenal still haven’t opened their bank account for the new season, but one player who was linked heavily with joining the club is set to play tomorrow. That’s right, Gonzalo Higuain. Everyone made it seem very plausible that the only destination for Higuain was Arsenal. Arsenal supposedly struck a deal with the player and were making encouraging talks with Real Madrid before Cavani left to PSG. After that, Real believed that they can get more money from Napoli and the rest was history. Higuain did end up leaving for £34m, which is a price that I believe is too high for him. Then again, we could have bid that and then have more money to sign other players, like Fellaini.

Wenger had his pre-match press conference today, in which he addressed the Luis Suarez situation:

“The transfer window finishes on August 31 and we are working very hard to strengthen the squad,” he said.

“I don’t want to speak about Suarez because that’s between Liverpool and Arsenal.

“We completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. And we want to do that, if it’s feasible, in an amicable way. We have to keep as much as confidentiality as possible.”

I have always had a high respect for Wenger because of his professionalism. He is never going to come out and say something to make things heat up, something that managers like Mourinho would do. Although, at times you wish he would be a bit more precise and authoritative over things, you have to admire the way he handles ambiguous situations. His comments about keeping it with Liverpool alone may explain the reason why you haven’t been hearing news about it every single day, compared to a certain over-rated-priced chimpanzee.

One of the main concerns with Suarez is his discipline, another matter that Wenger spoke about:

‘We have values that we want our players to respect. No matter where they come from we will be of course very touchy on that.

‘This club has built a reputation not only over my years here but over 130 years, and values that are very important for this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where they come from.

‘And that will be with every potential signing.’

If Suarez does join, one of the reasons why I wouldn’t be as worried is because of Arsene Wenger. He hasn’t let players become bigger than the club, act in childish manners, or do anything that a professional shouldn’t do. The last player that I remember acting in that sort of way was William Gallas. Do you remember what happened to old Willy? He was stripped of his captaincy due to his public attack on the team. Wenger took immediate action and was dropped and stripped of the captain’s armband. If Suarez acts in some fashion that is disrespectful to the club, I am sure that some punishment will be in order.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has also spoken upon the proposed deal:

“I’d welcome him at Arsenal with open arms,” Wright told BBC Sport.

“But if I was Suarez, when you look at everything, it does seem strange he would want to go to Arsenal. I would give Liverpool another season.”

“Gerrard is not someone who comes out and says things flippantly,” said Wright, who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal.

“If you look at Arsenal – not won anything in eight years, just challenging for fourth place, not really any players there who will make him say ‘I’m going to play with him and him’ – Gerrard has got a point.”

Suarez must have some reason why he would want to join Arsenal. Is it because of Champions League football? Is it because of Arsenal’s future? Or is it because of Liverppol’s change kit? The latter seems to be the most likely to me. Anyways, he could be the first of many big signings at Arsenal, or he could not join and be the first of big players that we have failed to sign. Hopefully the solution is reached sooner rather than later, like inbetween Liverpool’s first game and Arsenal first game. That way he could knock out two of the six games in one day (I don’t think that’s possible)!

Finally, Arsenal’s big summer singing Yaya Sanogo is set to make his debut this weekend.  He’s another player that Wenger has spoken of: 

‘Sanogo will surprise you, because your expectation doesn’t look to be high. He will not surprise me because my expectation is very high. He’s a top class striker.

My expectation for him is high. He is one of the best young players in football manager (a game which Wenger needs to play more of). He did do very well for France in the Euros this Summer, so I expect him to pick up where he left off. My instant reaction when I see him is that we have signed another Kanu or Adebayor like player. The boy is tall and has those long legs like the Kanu and Adebayor. Let’s hope that he has a better career here than both of them, as neither Kanu nor Adebayor really became great players for the club. Kanu did have some magnificent moments, like the hat trick at Stamford Bridge, but he failed to become an in and out starter for the side. Adebayor had some great moments for Arsenal as well, like when he left. Speaking of Kanu, yesterday was his birthday. He turned 24.

I’ll hopefully be able to watch the Emirates Cup tomorrow and then write a match report after the game. Have a good day.

Reading v Arsenal

Potential For a Disappointment Rising- Eboue Still Loves Arsenal

Good afternoon

Arsenal have a long time record of signing and bringing up youth players into the first team squad. This has been the way to go in the past almost decade now due to the club trying to maintain the finances of building a stadium and staying in the top 4 places of the Premier League. Now that Arsenal does have money, I don’t even know if they know how to spend it.

Let’s back up to the year 2007. Arsenal finished 4th the year below and were overly reliant on one player, a certain mister Thierry Henry. Wenger let the Arsenal skipper leave as he wanted to win the Champions League and Henry felt he could not achieve that with the kids that were coming up at Arsenal. So Henry went to Barcelona for £20m. Little did Arsenal fans know that that would be the first of many top players to leave the club. So with every passing year since then, Wenger has invested into the French Second Division, developed some players into above average, and then achieved the exact same thing every season while making a profit.

This Summer, Arsenal have had money. It’s not an assumption made by the media or Arsenal fans. We actually have money. Gazidis was talking in the beginning of the Summer about how we were going to spend it and all the good stuff. So far, we have signed one player and he was a free agent. In fact, we’ve also only gone for 2 players so far, and one of them is set to make their debut against Arsenal this weekend in the Emirates Cup. If you don’t know who that is, it is Gonzalo Higuain. Imagine the stadium if he scored and we lost the game. The atmosphere of the fans would be either subdued or angry. The other player that Arsenal is after is already going to miss the first 6 games of the season due to his abnormal behavior in the Premier League.

I don’t know what Wenger and the board are doing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Arsenal just made a £40,000,001 just to make the fans believe that we tried for a world class player. Did anyone actually believe that the bid would be accepted? I don’t think so, the bid was designed to talk to Suarez but nothing has been said since then, besides Brendan Rodgers claiming that Suarez “understands” Liverpool’s position. For me, it’s very simple. Suarez wants to leave the club, Arsenal are the only club that wants him, Arsenal needs to sing some good players, Liverpool don’t want a bad atmosphere in the team. Why can’t they just accept the bid and go bid £80m for Silvestre?

Anyways, if Wenger doesn’t spend this Summer, in my opinoin, it would be worse than selling another one of our star men. Why? Because you can say that we sold Van Persie because he said he didn’t want to play for the club and we were going to lose him for free. You can’t say,”Oh, we didn’t sign anyone because everybody was still playing for a team.” If Wenger doesn’t sign anyone, I believe it is his time to go. He has had a very secure job over the past few years because the club knew that he wasn’t going to spend any money. Now that the club has money, we are expected to make the push for the Title and with the current squad we have, that seems highly unlikely, although we did put on a good string of results at the end of the season.

In Emirates Cup news, Emmanuel Eboue has re-declared his love for Arsenal:

“I always want to hear news from the club because I am a big supporter of them. I’m a Galatasaray player now, but I am still in love with Arsenal and I always watch their games.

“The club only did good things for me, and I never had any trouble from anybody. My only bad day was that game against Wigan, but that was something you must be ready for as football player. I will never, ever forget Arsenal or its supporters and I cannot wait to see them again.

“I am so excited [about the Emirates Cup]! I was on holiday when I first found out – one of my friends called me and said: ‘Manu, you know you’re going to play in the Emirates Cup against Arsenal?’

“I couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait to see my old team-mates, the staff and of course the fans. They all did so many good things for me, and it’s going to be a brilliant experience.”

His quote about his only bad day being at Wigan makes a tear come to my cheek. We all love Eboue and he got some undeserved hate that day, with so called fans booing him off of the pitch. The fact that he was able to come back from that day as an even better footballer really shows his true character. I always liked Eboue because of his versatility on the field. One game he can be right back, the next right midfield, and then right winger. No matter where he played you can tell he played for the club and not for the money. He wasn’t the best footballer but his commitment was always superb.

Have a good rest of your day.

304371

Wenger Doesn’t Want to Spend?- Giroud Wanted- Defender Linked

Good afternoon,

Arsenal and transfers has been the subject to a lot of discussion for such a long time now. Arsenal have always taken the conservative approach to transfers, having made a profit in transfer money almost every single season. Ivan Gazidis said at the beginning of the Summer that Arsenal had money to spend to compete. So why haven’t Arsenal signed somebody yet? Listen to the interview below featuring Amy Lawrence.

You have to have realistic expectations when entering the market and I believe that us Arsenal fans have had fairly realistic expectations considering what we have been told and what we have tried to do lately. Going for Higuain was not a dangerous move at all, and he was a very realistic signing who would have made a great addition to the squad. We didn’t get him because Napoli wanted him more. That was a big disappointment and now we are going for Suarez. What if we don’t get Suarez?

The board has been under pressure recently to spend, and I believe that they are willing to, however, they need to comply with Wenger over what they plan to do in the window. Having gone for Higuain and Suarez already, you can tell two things; the club has money to spend and we want a striker. Wenger doesn’t want to spend big though, so he isn’t going to try to break the bank like some other clubs will in order to sign a player. Gazidis on the other hand seems more than ready to splash the cash, having already made several comments about signing Rooney or other players that have wages of around £250,000.

If Arsenal fail to sign a big name in the transfer window this Summer, Wenger will feel the heat. If the club hadn’t come out and publicly stated their intentions to compete with the best in Europe’s market, then you could say,”Oh, it’s the same old Arsenal.” With all that’s been said now, it would be pathetic if Arsenal don’t sign a player that is world class. The fans will be very upset and their will be an uproar in the club.

In transfer news today, Valencia have reportedly made a bid for Giroud which we have rejected. I’m not sure I believe the story, but Valencia are in need of a new striker after Soldado’s imminent move to Spurs. Giroud is a player that I  don’t think is that good. Is he a player that I would want on my team? Probably not, however, he is important for his assets to the club. First off, I don’t believe that he is of the quality for a top 4 side (Adebayor, Defoe, Chamakh, Park, and Torres aren’t either). Secondly, although I don’t feel he is of the quality of a top striker, he is a big player that can win headers. Also, he is improving with his finishing, although he isn’t a player I would trust one-on-one in the Champions League Final with. He is also very good at making assists, making a couple of great one-two’s; Podolski v Montpellier at home and Gibbs v Swansea away come to mind. Finally, he is all that Arsenal has that I feel is an out and out centre forward. Walcott and Podolski both played their last season, but neither of them really excelled in that position.

Finally, Nicklas Bendtner is still in talks with joining someone, this time Malaga. Bendtner is all about the money, money, money. His move to Frankfurt fell through because of his ridiculous wage demands and the same thing may be happening to Malaga. Their are reports suggesting that we want their right back Jesus Gamez as a swap deal for Bendnter. I’m all for getting a new right back, as I feel that Jenkinson isn’t quite ready to be a first team player. However, I would feel a little disappointed to sign a player like that when we should be going for some top class players. Will Wenger capitulate to the fans or is this going to be another Jewish kid on Christmas Day transfer windo?

Andrei_Arshavin_Jack_Wilshere_2009

Wilshere Only 80% Fit- Hope for Bale to Stay

Good afternoon,

The day hasn’t started with a prolific amount of news for Arsenal as some may have predicted, so only a short post for today. First off, I would like to pay tribute to Christian Benitez, who tragically died at age 27. If you remember, he played for Birmingham a couple of seasons ago and he was one of Ecuador’s best players. For him to die just a week after making his £10m move to Qatar just makes the matter worse. It is sad hearing this type of news about a player that I remember, and I give my thoughts to his family.

In Arsenal news, Jack Wilshere was speaking about the Asia tour and how it let young players shine as he did a few years ago:

“I remember when I was their age,” he told Arsenal Player. “It’s good to come away and get used to being around the first team and learning from the manager, who is good at bringing young players in and breaking them in slowly.

“They’ve done well and hopefully they can get in the Emirates Cup squad and really show the home crowd what they can do.”

Wilshere also talked about future preseason preparations and how well he is doing at the moment:

“I felt better and better every game,” he added. “It’s difficult with the conditions. You struggle to catch your breath.

“The performances have got better every game and the opposition have got harder every game so it’s good preparation. We’ve got the Emirates Cup coming up now and then Man City [in Helsinki] and then the season starts so we’re going to be flying.

“I’m probably 80 per cent fit. We’ve got a couple more tests and then we’ll be ready.”

This preseason’s Jack Wilshere is Gedion Zelalem in my opinion. He has rose onto the stage and has shown people why he is compared to Cesc Fabregas so frequently. Perhaps this season is to early for Zelalem, but you can still expect him to make some first team appearances in the Capital One Cup and Meaningless games. Many people talk about how he is actually more advanced than Fabregas at his age and it is easy to see why. Some of the passes he made will make Fabregas proud today. His main problem is probably his weak stature, but that’s mainly because he is only 16 years old. Football isn’t all about your strength though, a fact that is supported by quite a few players: Messi, Cazorla, Xavi, Iniesta, Jesus Navas, Wilshere, and so on. Having said that, you need to be a bit stronger in order to succeed in the Premier League.

In transfer news today, Gareth Bale has said that he wants to talk to Real Madrid. The ringleader of Tottenham, Daniel Levy, is adamant that he won’t be sold to Real Madrid. As a Gooner and strong hater of the species known as “Bale”, I seriously hope that he doesn’t leave. Why? Solely due to the sum of money Real are prepared to spend. Reports are suggesting that the sum is close to £85m! How on Earth is Gareth Bale priced at £85m! He had half of a good season and then he suddenly becomes one of the best players in the world? You have to admit, he is a good player, but he isn’t that good. Ronaldo is a much better player than him, and yet Bale’s proposed transfer would break the world record transfer fee. While there will be many pros for him going to Real, there will also be some cons. First off, Tottenham will have £85m to spend in transfers. They would be able to get a plethora of good players. They would go from one injury away to being a bottom half club to having an abundance of players that can lead the club to a Champions League place. Having said that, if he does go to Real Madrid, then they will not go for Suarez, meaning that Arsenal are the front runners for the Uruguayan’s signature. Even if you are one of those people that don’t want Suarez to come, if we don’t sign him then it would be a disappointment in terms of our transfer activity this Summer. I feel like it would be a disappointment in it’s own right if we only sign one player, but we set out in the beginning of the transfer window to sign a world class goalscorer. Having lost Higuain, Suarez is now our only target. He seems to want to come, which is a plus in the transfer.

That’s all for today, have a good day.

higuain

Higuain Gone- Suarez Allowed to Talk- Bernard Speaks

Good afternoon,

A few weeks ago, it looked almost 100% certain that Arsenal would sign Gonzalo Higuain. He seemed like a very good fit for the club. He is 25 years old and has scored over 100 goals for Real Madrid, being a regular in their first team for the past 6 seasons. Every single major newspaper were fairly confident that Higuain had agreed to join Arsenal.

Not surprisingly, Arsenal have failed to get their man. It’s not the first time this has happened this Summer, as I genuinely believe that Wemger has seriously tried to sign some players. Grenier (who scored a wonder goal yesterday) said that a bid was rejected from Arsenal as he signed a new contract. There are many rumours that Arsenal also tried to sign Ashley Williams as well. It doesn’t seem like Arsenal have been able to make serious offers for players. Just ask Brendan Rodgers and John Henry. 

Higuain was a player that I would have loved to have joined. He was the right age, the right price, and had the skills needed to become a great player at the club. He was also a player that I have admired for a couple of years and always thought he would be a great signing for the club. There is speculation over how close Arsenal did come to signing him, but I don’t feel we were ever that close. There was so much rambling going on about him on twitter and the media that you never knew what was real and what was made up. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez did say that Arsenal haven’t made an offer for him, and at the time, that seemed like he was just pushing our buttons. Higuain is still likely to play at the Emirates, in the Emirates Cup against Arsenal. Wouldn’t that be hilarious if he scored? I’m sure that Wenger will get a warm reception, unless we sign someone before then.

Suarez is apparently angry at Liverpool for rejecting the bid from Arsenal. Brendan Rodgers seems like he is willing to sell him, but he wants to get his money’s worth off of him. It’s clear that Suarez wants to leave the club, and that is probably what is causing Liverpool to even consider selling him. It is a very similar situation to that of Van Persie last season, as both players were the club’s heroes and both want to leave. I think that £40,000,001 is a fair price for Suarez, considering his problems (in which there are quite a few). If he was a normal person, then he would probably be sold for somewhere around £60,000,000, which is what I think his value is quality wise. It will be interesting to see how much Arsenal are willing to pay for him, and considering all the players Wenger has missed out on this Summer, I predict the answer is a lot.

Arsenal target Bernard won the Copa Libertadores last night for Atletico Mineiro. This is what he said after the match:

“I’ll keep working until the board decides something about the transfer,” the youngster told Sportv. “There are offers from English football, Shakhtar and Porto.” 
He added: “I don’t have anything to say about the fans. If I could, I would stay here the rest of my life.
“I don’t know what can happen with me but, if I leave, I know I will have done my job.
“I have said a thousand times that I want to stay, but it doesn’t depend on me now.
“I made it clear that, if I stay or not, I wanted to leave here with an important title. It’s up to God to decide if I stay or not, up to God, [Atletico Mineiro’s] presidency and the board.
“I am very happy and I want to celebrate this title, which is one of the most important ones I will have in my life.”

I could be wrong, but usually when a player says that he will stay at the club for the rest of his career he isn’t going to be forced out the door, unless he is just saying that for talk. I think Bernard would be a good signing for the club to give us depth in the team. It’s funny how he says that he has done his job for the club even though he is only 20 years old. That tells you how much the Brazilian teams have to play for.

Have a good rest of your day.

Suarez

Suarez Wants Arsenal Talks- John Henry Makes a Point

Good afternoon,

It is quite a change to see Arsenal bid more than £15m for a player. It is even more strange to see Arsenal bid £40m for a player. It is even more strange to see Arsenal bid £40,000,001 for a player! These are changing times at Arsenal, and hopefully, these changes are going to lead us to future success.

So Arsenal did in fact make a £40m bid for Luis Suarez last night. Suarez is a player that will cause heated debates among the Arsenal fans as many fans don’t want that type of player at our club. However, we need some quality in the side and Suarez has that. Also, Wenger is probably not looking to sign anybody else right now, since many of the big named players have already joined other teams, leaving Suarez as his only option.

Long term target Gonzalo Higuain could be joining Napoli some time soon, as he was not named in Ancelotti’s team to face Lyon later today. The deal for Higuain with Napoli is said to be around £32m, which in my opinion is too much for the player. He is a great player and excellent finisher, but £32m for him is much too high. If the asking price was what drove Wenger away then I wouldn’t put too much blame on him. He would much rather sign Suarez for an extra ten million, as you know that he can do it in the Premier League.

So why does Wenger want to sign Suarez? First off, Suarez’s record at Ajax was impeccable with 111 goals in 159 appearances. In the 09-10 season, he scored 35 goals in 33 appearances. Since joining Liverpool in 2011, Suarez has went on to score 51 goals in 96 appearances, while making 24 assists along the way. His international record isn’t bad either. He has scored 35 goals in 69 appearances for Uruguay, making him the nations all time leading goal scorer.

The problem with Suarez isn’t his skills, it is the stuff that comes along with him. After his racial incident with Evra, the bite on Ivanovic, and the diving, many Arsenal fans believe that he would have a  negative impact at the club. Arsenal’s problem now is that we have to sign him or face not signing any top strikers this Summer (unless there is a dramatic u-turn on the Rooney situation). Arsenal were so close to signing Jovetic at the beginning of the Summer, and now he went to City for only £23m. Higuain is set to join Napoli, Soldado could be joining Tottenham, Negredo went to City, Villa went to Atletico, LLorente and Tevez went to Juventus, Cavani went to PSG, and Falcao went to Monaco. We could have any one of those players but for some reason, Wenger refused to go for them, leaving us with Suarez or nothing. Although, to be fair, Suarez might be the best footballer on that list.

Suarez wants talks with Arsenal according to the BBC. The reason Arsenal bid that extra pound was because Suarez has a clause in his contract which states that if any bid goes above £40m, Suarez has to be informed of it himself. Liverpool have probably informed Suarez of it and it seems like Suarez wants to talk to the club. Whether or not this is true or if the talks will lead to anything is a completely different question.

Liverpool owner John W. Henry wrote this on twitter:

What are they smoking at the Emirates? Well, Gazidis is working hard in Asia right now with the rest of the players, trying to be fit for the new season. Stan Kroenke is a mystery to many Arsenal fans, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he is a crackhead or if he is like some underground drug lord. More to the point, what professional would right that on Twitter? It would be a completely different scenario if somebody like Rio Ferdinand wrote that but it was the owner of one of the largest mediocre clubs in the world. Also, what does he mean by that tweet? Does it mean that the bid was too low? We may find out sooner than later.

Have a good rest of your day.

Bernard

False Rumours Among Us- Arsenal Win 3rd in a Row

Good afternoon,

If you look at all of the major team’s preseasons so far, Arsenal have been the only one to really show up to their games and win them comfortably. With scoring 17 goals in 3 games along with being top of the league, it is impossible for anybody to be complaining about us so far, right?

So Arsenal played Wenger’s former team Nagoya Grampus Eight yesterday. It was always going to be a bit of tougher task than the Indonesia XI or Vietnam, but it was still a game in which Arsenal was fully expected to come out on top. The game started well with Olivier Giroud scoring after three minutes with a fine header. Arsenal then had to wait until the 26th minute to score again with Ryo Miyaichi finishing with aplomb from the penalty spot. It was a nice gesture by Arteta to let Ryo take the penalty, as he was the crowd favourite of the game yesterday. Walcott had many chances to score yesterday but he didn’t take advantage of any until the 55th minute when Zelalem found him with a beautiful through ball. Once again, Zelalem was the talk of the show. Arsenal really then took their foot off the petal and Nagoya were able to score a consolation goal. Overall it was a good workout for the players as they get set to travel to face Urawa Red Diamonds on a game on Friday.

Arsenal’s transfer rumours have taken a snag ever since Arsenal left to go on tour. Their have been so many false rumours it is amazing to see how many people actually believe them. I’ve decided to go one on one with each player that Arsenal has been linked with and tell you what I think is the situation regarding the player.

Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas is wanted by Man Utd. Barcelona don’t want to sell him, however, if Fabregas does want to leave he will be allowed to leave. Arsenal are said to have first refusal on the deal, so any offer accepted by Utd would let Arsenal make an offer as well. Fabregas has always said that he owes Arsenal, so if it comes down to Arsenal and Man Utd, he will have to choose. Will he join another former Arsenal captain at Utd? If he does, it will make Wenger selling Fabregas to Barcelona the worst move of Wenger’s career. Fabregas was a fans favourite at Arsenal, he isn’t getting as much love at Barcelona, but if he joins Utd, people will hate him forever.

Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t listen to the media. If you only listened to what the Mail had to say, you would think that Arsenal have Higuain, Suarez, and Rooney all playing for them right now. I believe that Wenger does want Higuain, Ancelotti wants to keep him, Higuain is torn, and Napoli are ready to pounce. However, I believe that Wenger would rather sign Suarez ahead of Higuain, that’s why he isn’t pushing for the deal to go through just yet.

Bernard

This transfer rumour started when some Brazilian reporter said he was on his way to Arsenal. From there, people believed he was having a medical with the club and had already joined. This is not the case and you should not believe it. Wenger came out yesterday and said reports of Bernard were untrue, yet two hours later, he was due for a medical on Friday! I would definitely sign Bernard as all of the big clubs have small Brazilians, but it just isn’t likely that we have even made an offer for him yet. However, I can see that transfer happening if Wenger genuinely does want him.

That’s all for today, have a fantastic rest of your day.

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New Defensive Injuries

Good afternoon,

Just a quick news round up for today to explain what’s going on. First off, Arsenal’s injury haunting continues as Szczesny and Koscielny have both pulled out of training. They will both miss the match against Nagoya Grampus Eight tomorrow. Szczesny reportedly has a lower back injury while Koscielny has a right ankle problem. They are both important players, as you I have never felt to confident when Fabianski is playing. Still, it is uncertain what the extent of the injuries actually is.

Tomorrow is the game against Arsene Wenger’s former club, Nagoya Grampus Eight. I would expect for the game to be more difficult than the ones that we have already played this preseason. There are a few players that have impressed me so far, one of whom is Gedium Zelalem. The boy’s passing in the past couple of games has been very reminiscent of Fabregas. The way that he unlocks defences at such a young age is really quite incredible. I would hope that he would get a run out tomorrow. Another player who I am sure is going to get a good run out is Ryo Miyaichi. He has been unlucky with injuries since he joined the club, which is unfortunate because Wenger had high hopes for him. I hope that he will be fit next season and show what he is capable of, but he is really going to have to impress in the next few games if he is going to give Wenger reason to put him in the starting XI. It would also be interesting to see if Wenger loans him out with all the talk of getting a new striker. We will just have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading, have a good rest of your day.

 

Bacary-Sagna

Sagna Has No Plans to Quit- Brazilian Could Be On His Way

Good afternoon,

The transfer market is starting to heat up, with all sorts of nonsensical stories flying all around. If anybody for any second believes that Juan Mata is on his way to Arsenal and Mourinho wants Higuain then you are mistaken. There are a number of reasons why I can’t see Higuain going to join Mourinho’s men. For starters, the whole reason Higuain wanted to leave Madrd was because of Mourinho. He didn’t get enough game time and wasn’t prepared to be sitting on the bench, even if he was playing with some of the best players in the world. Also, Mourinho said that is “Rooney or bust” which means that a Higuain deal is not something he intend to pursue with. I’ve been wrong before, but I don’t think that a move to Chelsea is anything more than nonsense.

One player who is not going to be going anywhere this Summer is French full back Bacary Sagna. Sagna was linked to PSG and Monaco at the end of the season, and it seemed pretty likely that he will leave. Here is what he had to say about his future:

“I enjoy playing for Arsenal,” Sagna told the Guardian. “I love my team, and I always give my best. I’m still here. Many people were talking about me going back to France but I’m still here and I’m looking forward to a big season with Arsenal.

“Last season was difficult. I only had one year left and people were looking at that and maybe thinking I would leave. But I tried to stay as calm as I could. Now I will work hard in pre-season and have a good season for Arsenal.”

It seems to me like there are a lot of players on this Arsenal squad who are excited for the upcoming season? Could they know something we don’t? Either they are avid readers of the Mail or they have been given some information by Wenger saying that big things are coming. No matter, I feel this is a big season for Arsenal. If Arsenal have a poor season, then Wenger will spend money next Summer. If Arsenal sign a few players and then win a trophy, it will be considered a success and more players will want to join.

In news of players coming into the club, Brazilian winger Bernard is reportedly linked with a move to Arsenal. If you saw the Confederations Cup, you would have seen Bernard play a few games for Brazil. He’s only 5″5, but he has lots of pace and skill. I’ve never really see him play, but he seems like he can be good. He is a winger, a position that I feel Arsenal can be a little short in quality wise on. Arsenal have Podolski on the left with Cazorla coming in for some games. Cazorla isn’t a winger so signing one could give Cazorla a chance to play every game in his preferred position. Anyways, if we sign Bernard and a striker, those would be some impressive acquisitions. I still feel like we need a holding midfielder though.

Thanks for reading, have a good day.

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Wenger Speaks About Rooney- Santos All Set to Join Flamengo

Good afternoon,

So there’s been a lot of talk about Rooney in the past week. David Moyes came out and said that he is pretty much only going to be used as a backup to Van Persie. For a player of Rooney’s quality and age, I understand why he would be upset, however, he is not bigger than the club. Currently, I believe the only reason Man Utd want to keep Rooney is because they don’t want to play against him in the Premier League.

Arsenal and Chelsea are the two front runners in the race to sign Rooney. Jose Mourinho was speaking yesterday about how Wayne Rooney is their only transfer target, suggesting that they are willing to go all out to try and sign him. If he had to choose between Chelsea and Arsenal, I’m fairly certain that he would rather join the team in Blue, mainly due to the money. Arsene Wenger spoke about his wages:

“We have not the problem of the wages of Wayne Rooney, but it’s very difficult for us to talk about a specific case. We work hard but we are not close to signing anybody.

“The competition in Europe is very hard at the moment. There’s a lot of money and not many players.”

When Wenger talks about the competition in Europe, it makes you wonder because this was the Summer of strikers leaving. Wenger could have worked harder to sign at least one of the following: Falcao, Cavani, Tevez, Llorente, and Neymar. I believe that Higuain is still the best chance of a striker joining Arsenal this Summer. Wenger probably would prefer Suarez, mainly because of his goal scoring record and expeirence in the league plus his versatility up front. He can play almost anywhere up there, so Arsene can switch positions with him Giroud, Walcott, and Podolski. If we sign any one of Higuain, Suarez, or Rooney, I think that the club would be lifted and have a much better chance of winning the league.

Everybody’s favourite player Andre Santos is set to leave Arsenal, again. Flamengo are the takers this time, after Germio had him last season. For most Arsenal fans, Santos’ is a bit of enemy due to his relationship with Van Persie and when he asked for his shirt in the middle of the game. For me, my problem with him is that he is rubbish.

“We all know André [Santos] well. He played for Flamengo in the past besides working with me at Corinthians.

“He is an experienced full-back, has played in many places, has a lot of quality, a player that will add a lot if everything works out and the deal becomes official.”

A deal looks likely and will be finalized in the next 48 hours. Left back is a position where I don’t feel we need any players in. Monreal and Gibbs are going to fight out to see who is going to be first choice, but you wouldn’t mind to see any of them start a game. Miquel has also been used as a left back in preseason, suggesting that he may play there if one of them get’s injured. The defence is strong I feel, however, I don’t feel like it is large enough. Our preferred centre back pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny is fantastic, but if one of them get’s injured, who is going to come in? Sagna has shown his ability to shine in the position, and I would much rather him than some 33 year old french man that Wenger signed as a free agent. The talk of Ashley Williams has died down and he is overrated to start with. Chucks Aneke has been playing back there in preseason but he really hasn’t had any need to show off what he can do. Anyways, Wenger just needs to sign at least a striker and a midfielder.

Thanks for reading. Have a good day.

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Arsenal Smash 7 Again- At. Madrid Rubbish Cazorla Rumour

Just a quick short news round up to keep you up to date.

Arsenal played Vietnam in Vietnam today, in front of a packed stadium. Giroud was the centre of attention once again as he scored 3 magnificent goals. Like seriously, his finishing in the past two games has been quite incredible. The first one he may have gotten a bit of luck with the goalkeeper, but the second and third were so expertly taken. Unfortunately, Wenger is now going to come out and say we don’t need to sign anybody. The Ox scored a great goal at the start of the second half before Akpom scored a quick fire double. He is going to be competing with Sanogo next season for sure. Ignasi Miquel then scored the Arsenal’s last goal of the game with a really good finish into the bottom corner. He was playing left back, which proves that he can be valuable to the squad with his versatility. Vietnam scored the last goal of the match to make it 7-1; a goal which really made the Vietnamese jump out of their seats. They were celebrating almost as much as Tahiti did when they scored against Nigeria.

In transfer news, Cazorla was crazily linked with a move to Atletico Madrid. No such deal has been taken place nor will take place. It is a pretty crazy story to be honest, but then again, I thought Song to Barcelona was a crazy story as well. Anyways, you don’t need to worry about Wenger selling any of our best players this Summer, as all of our players have good long term contracts. He wouldn’t sell just for the sake of selling, would he?

That’s all from me today, I’ll be back with a regular post tomorrow. Have a good rest of your day.

Arsenal-v-Indonesia-All-Stars-2053843

Arsenal Start Asia Tour With a Bang- Fabregas Would Never Go To United

Good afternoon,

So Arsenal played their first game yesterday since the game at St. James’ Park, which was around 2 months ago. Usually, the first game of preseason is quiet and the players just want to get a feel for the ball. I must say that I was impressed by how fit and ready the Arsenal players were. Sure, it was the Indonesia XI, but the fact that they attacked and chased balls so easily for the course of the game is very encouraging, especially when you consider that Man City and Utd lost to similar teams.

So the match started off with Arsenal pressing high up the field, with Gnarby, Walcott, and Akpom being the players up front. In all honesty, every player was playing as a striker at some point or another. Arsenal’s first goal came with Chamberlain using great pace to beat a few defenders before passing it back for Walcott to slot home. It was a good finish and it was 1-0 till half time. The second half saw quite a few changes be made, with many youngsters getting an opportunity to impress. One youngster that impressed was Gnarby (who played a big part in the second goal). Gnarby took the ball past a defender before crossing to Akpom who delicately slotted the ball in the back of the net. Some experienced players then came on in the form of Rosicky, Podolski, Sagna, and Giroud. The latter scored a goal with his first touch following a Sanga cross. A couple of minutes later, Giroud scored a great goal from another Sagna cross. It was far to simple. Podolski rifled one in before Kris Olsson and Eisfeld both scored. The final score was 7-0 and in all honesty it should have been more.

Overall a very good performance to get you excited for the new season. Arsenal play on Wednesday against Vietnam, which could be an interesting game. You would expect to see a few more first team players in that one for sure.

In transfer news today, Man Utd have made a £25m bid for Fabregas, while Arsenal are expected to increase their offer of Suarez to £35m. It would be hard to see any of those transfers happening, especially with the offers tabled. Fabregas left Arsenal for £25.4m, so it would be hard to see Barca accepting a transfer for the same price. Plus, Barcelona have just sold Thiago to Bayern Munich, so their midfield is going to have lost a little depth. Barcelona’s midfield is aging also, and Fabregas is world class and still has many more years at the top. Why would Barca let him go? Also, does anyone actually think that Fabregas would join United? I know money is what football is all about but Fabregas isn’t that type of player. He made a ton of money at Arsenal and left for Barcelona clearly for sporting reasons. Usually that is just talk, but Fabregas’ values are too high. There is talk of Arsenal having a buy back clause in his contract, so if a bid for Fabregas was accepted, Arsenal would be able to bid as well for less money.

Anyways, have a good rest of your day.

Swansea City v Arsenal - Premier League

Wenger Ready to Commit- Targeting Quality Signings

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Good afternoon,

With the club in Asia right now for their preseason tour, there isn’t much to report on, since the players are preparing for their first game tomorrow. Gazidis is also in Asia for some reason, even though he should be on the phone with players agents trying to sign some top class players.

Wenger was asked several questions at an interview yesterday over many things: finances, his future, and transfer targets. When asked about Suarez, Higuain, and Rooney, here was his response.

They are all realistic targets quality wise, but not all of them are available to join us. First of all, those players are under contract and it is the club who decide if they can go and, if they go, if they can join us.

We have better financial resources than the years before and it is resources we have created ourselves. That is massively important to us.

For years we were out of the race for the top-level transfers but we are coming back now because we are in a better financial situation and also because of Financial Fair Play. That will give everybody a bit more even ground.

We must also rely on the quality of our work, on the style of our play and the fact we develop our own players. We will only use financial resources to bring in one or two players who will give us something more.

We will see what we can do until the end of the transfer period and certainly before the new season starts. That’s what we are working on at the moment.

The fans, the players, everybody is reassured by big names. But what is important is that we don’t need numbers, we need quality. We are working very hard and I’m confident we will be able to do it.

So Wenger pretty much just admitted that we are only going to sign 1 or 2 players? I hope by that he means spend more than £35m on only one or two players, as this squad may need a few more players than that. BEsides that, everything that he says is true. We don’t want to do a City and just sign players for the heck of it. Arsenal look at players and see if their qualities are able to contribute to the squad. Wenger also puts a certain value on players, and is reluctant to spend anything above that amount.  Out of the three mentioned, (Suarez, Higuain, and Rooney), the player that I feel has the best chance of coming still is Higuain. However, I don’t think he is first choice. I believe that Suarez is. Arsenal have resources, so a fee with Real Madrid isn’t that big of an issue. The bigger issue is whether or not they want to spend so much on a player when they may be able to get someone with higher quality. That’s why we haven’t signed anybody yet. Still, it’s good to be linked with top players and know that we can sign them.

Also, Wenger is ready to put pen to paper on a new deal to extend his contract with the club.

“I am committed to staying longer at this club. I’ve already had a chat with Ivan. It went very well, not a problem,” Wenger said.

“The link with PSG is there because I’m French and I know the owners. But if that was the case then I would be there already. I’m not at PSG because my heart is with Arsenal.”

It’s good to know that the manager cares so much for the club. Wenger is a man I’ve always had mixed emotions with (especially after Bradford and Swansea last season). However, you have to look at his positives and they certainly out weigh his negatives. First off, he managed to take us into the Champions Leauge again when Tottenham were so far ahead of us in March. Nobody thought that we had a chance but yet we still did it. Secondly, what other manager has been able to sign so many young players and turn them into world class players? He doesn’t spend much money and therefore we are one of the most financially stable clubs in the world. At times it seems like he doesn’t know what he is doing and his ambitions aren’t strong enough, but I still say that he hasn’t had a lot to go with as the board just wants to pocket money. He seems to be what runs the club, even though the manager shouldn’t be the number one person at a club; you have to have a strong board in order to accomplish goals. Next season will be a big one for him, so I think that giving him a long term contract won’t be an ideal situation. Still, I think he is the right person for the job for the time being.

Have a good rest of your day.

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League

Wenger Coy on Suarez- Highlights of Last Season’s Tour

Arsenal have landed in Asia for their pre season tour. Hooray!

I listed the official 24 man squad for the tour yesterday, however, I only explained why Bendtner, Vermaelen, and Gervinho aren’t there. There are a few other players in which I didn’t list who didn’t make the cut. Some other players include Park, Chamakh, Cazorla, Monreal, Sanogo, and Santos. In order of the players listed, I’m going to try and guess why each player isn’t there.

Park has been one of Wenger’s worst signings ever. He is living proof that the Ligue 1 isn’t anywhere near the same quality as the Premier League. Last season, he was on loan to Celta Vigo, where he only managed to score 3 goals in 20 appearances. Since his loan ended, he hasn’t even been seen training with the first team. Where is Waldo? Nobody knows for sure, however, he is South Korean so he does have some dealing with the military that he may have to get taken care of. I’m pretty sure that he avoided his military service, but I can be wrong. Nobody would be complaining if he was never seen in an Arsenal shirt again.

Chamakh is much like Park, except he is a cross between Ronaldo and a horse. When he first signed, I was excited, you were excited, everybody was excited. He scored with his head with ease and was in the right place at the right time. After the first four months of his Arsenal career finished, he finished. There have been several pictures of him smoking bongs (something I don’t advise if you’re a professional footballer). Last season, he went on loan to West Ham United and scored as many goals as I have for Arsenal. Where is he right now? He has been training with the team but is not in the squad due to the fact that he is rubbish.

Cazorla and Monreal are two first team players who you would expect to be in the squad. If you follow football, you should know that Monreal and Cazorla were just playing in the Confederations Cup. Therefore they need a break. Also, Cazorla played every game last season, so he is going to need an extra long one if you ask me. Sanogo is also in a similar situation, as he is currently playing for the France u-12’s.

Last and maybe least is Andre Santos. Ever since he played like crap, fans have turned their backs on him. When he asked V.Persie for his shirt during half time, fans were infuriated with him and he became public enemy number 1. After that, Wenger player the Verminator at left back and sent Santos on loan to Gremio. Monreal was then brought in a week later. Santos has been linked with a move away, with several mediocre clubs looking for his services.

Wenger had a press conference and was asked about Suarez. Here are his words:

“Suarez? As you know the transfer period demands secrets and confidentiality, so I can’t answer the question.”

That means that Wenger is definitely looking to sign him, which means that we do have money in the bank! The only question is, will Wenger actually spend it? Suarez is a frightening player, using every meaning of the word frightening. He’s quick, hungry (literately), skilled, and racially ignorant. I’ve talked a lot about Suarez already, so you decide if you want him.

Finally, here’s a video of Arsenal v the Malaysia XI from last season. Arsenal play them Sunday in which you can watch on Arsenal Player, which is now free. It isn’t going to be live, so you have to go to Arsenal Player at 4:30 PM in order to watch the game without knowing the score.

Malaysia XI v Arsenal

Arsenal Name 24-Man Squad to Asia- Bendnter Move in Doubt

Good afternoon,

Not much news going on, thanks to the media trying so hard to make false stories that they can’t even make up anything now (except for Fabregas apparently having a £25m release clause now). So straight to the Tour.

Arsenal leave for their tour of Asia today, with Wenger officially announcing the 24 men he is taking with him. Here is the list.

Mikel Arteta
Lukasz Fabianski
Kieran Gibbs
Olivier Giroud
Carl Jenkinson
Laurent Koscielny
Per Mertesacker
Ignasi Miquel
Ryo
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Lukas Podolski
Aaron Ramsey
Tomas Rosicky
Bacary Sagna
Wojciech Szczesny
Theo Walcott
Jack Wilshere
Serge Gnabry
Damian Martinez
Kris Olsson
Chuba Akpom
Thomas Eisfeld
Chuks Aneke
Gedion Zelalem

Quite a few names aren’t seen on that list, Higuain being one of them, but also some players you would expect to see. Vermaelen is missing due to injury, as he confirmed on twitter. Gervinho is out due to sickness, which means that a move to Roma is edging closer than ever. Bendtner is out because he was supposed to be joining Eintracht Frankfurt, however, a deal is close to falling through due to the big Dane’s wage demands. Chamakh and Park are also both absent, so a move for them might be happening (fingers crossed). It’s good to see a bunch of young players on the list, as you never know what to expect. Zelalem has very high hopes from Arsene Wenger to be a great player, so it will be interesting to see how he will do in the tour. One player who shined in the last tour of Asia was Thomas Eisfeld, who scored 2 goals. He has not been giving as much first team action as I would have expected by now, so now will be his chance to prove he has quality.

Back to the Bendtner saga, here’s what Eintracht Frankfurt’s technical director had to say:

“Our special thanks go to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for the constructive discussions and good co-operation,” Huebner told the club’s official website.

“There was a willingness from all three parties (to make the deal happen), but ultimately it will not fit.”

If Bendtner doesn’t leave this Summer, it will be a bad situation for him. He isn’t going to get any game time and he is just going to be out partying, collecting his pay cheque. It is a sad downfall from when he claimed he would be the best in the world one day. He may be the best crackhead in the world now.

Finally, I leave you with a video from Arsenal Fan TV. It’s an interview with famous blogger Tim Payton who describes the current situation at the club in regards to transfers and finances. It gives you hope and make you excited for the future!

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Arsenal Make Improved Offer For Suarez?- Gervinho to Roma- Bedntner to Frankfurt

Good afternoon,

Not much news to report of today (a trend that doesn’t seem like changing). There are a few stories here and there so let’s get down to it.

First off, a very unreliable source, Goal.com, says that Arsenal are prepared to up their offer to £35m for Luis Suarez. This deal is making less and less sense by the minute. It says on goal.com that Arsenal have switched their attention over to Suarez after they have struggled to agree a few with Real Madrid over Gonzalo Higuain. Why would we make a bid for £35m if we won’t bid £26m for Higuain?  Even more so, why didn’t Arsenal try to sign one of the big name strikers that left at the beginning of the Summer? It just seems like moments like these show that Wenger has no clue what he’s doing.

If Suarez were to join, I think that most of the fans will be divided over what to think. Half of them would say that he is a cheat and half would say that he would turn us into title contenders. Their are still other strikers that Wenger can sign this Summer: Rooney, Lewandowksi, Higuain, and Benteke are all others that can join for around the same region as Suarez. Out of all those players listed, Rooney is the one that I think would be the safest signing. He has Premier League experience and won the Champions League with Utd in 2008. Lewandowski and Higuain are similar players, as they both have done well for their respected clubs and in the Champions League. I personally wouldn’t want to go for Benteke. He is a good player, but I feel like one good season shouldn’t determine whether or not he is a great player. If you remember the 07-08 season, Roque Santa Cruz was immense for Blackburn, scoring 19 goals in the league. Santa Cruz then went to City and was a flop by every definition of the word. Benteke had the same record as Santa Cruz last season, scoring 19 goals in the league, so you can’t be too sure whether or not he would be a good signing.

Out of all the current Arsenal players, there a couple that I think are better to have injured then to have on the field. One of those is Gervinho. He is the definition of inconsistency. Last season, he had a couple of good games at the beginning, did horribly in the middle, had a couple of good games in the end, and then finished the season poorly. When Gervinho is playing well, it is because his random moves and kicks are ending up in places where you wouldn’t expect them to. He isn’t clinical at all, as he misses so many one on one opportunities. He is a frustrating player, and he is one that I would be glad to sell. Apparently, Roma are in negotiations with Arsenal over a possible transfer for Gervinho. Both clubs are willing to complete a deal, but Arsenal are trying to get their money back, after signing him for £10m. Anything close to that would be good business by the club.

Finally, world class striker Nicklas Bendtner is finally set to leave the club.

“It’s up to us now. There are no problems with Arsenal, but we need to check whether it is financially feasible,” Eintracht’s director of sport Bruno Huebner told Frankfurt paper Neue Presse.

Bendtner has had a unfulfilled career at Arsenal. Some people believed that he was going to be a great striker, scoring 20 goals a season. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case and has an average of scoring 5.1 goals a season since 2005.

Arsenal will be heading on tour soon, and a deal for anybody seems highly unlikely. Let’s hope we can sign someone sometime soon.

Gareth Bale and his grandad

Gareth Bale and his grandad

Liverpool v Chelsea - FA Cup Final

We Have Not Been Audacious Enough- Suarez a Real Possibility- New Away Kit

Good afternoon,

Arsenal have apparently been planning an audacious stunt to perform today while revealing the new away kit. It was said to be months in the making. This “audacious stunt” was a giantmural of the British core at Arsenal modeling the new away kit on Emirates Stadium covering up the legends. Not exactly what the words audacious and stunt actually mean.

Anyways, getting to the more serious news, Luis Suarez (the least serious person in football) has been talking about a move away from Liverpool.

‘Is good to know that I am still valued by teams like Arsenal. Friends call me up to ask if I am moving to Chelsea, to which I laugh,’ Suarez told Speaking to Uruguayan radio station Sport 809.

‘There have been no offers yet, but Liverpool know exactly what is going on and what I want.

‘My agent is in charge, he knows what I want, I am resting and relaxed. I am due back in about ten days, on the 21st of July (for the friendly with Melbourne Victory)… a phone call could change everything.’

I would like to know why Suarez is laughing at moving to Chelsea. Is it because he tried to bite Ivanovic’s ear off? They would probably have to put one of those things that they put on dogs when they are biting too much on Suarez’s face.

Suarez is a player that you either don’t want at all or you do want, badly. The thing about him is that you have no freaking idea what he is going to do. If he does come to Arsenal, the only way I would be okay is if he spends a month in a mental hospital and get’s a special certificate saying that he has made it a month without biting anybody.

If you watched any Liverpool games last season, or if you watch YouTube a lot, you will know that Suarez has tremendous skill. His stats from last season were very impressive, as he scored 30 goals in 44 appearances and made 11 assists.  That’s better than Rooney’s and Higuain’s record from last season. He can score goals and has Premier League experience, which checks all the marks that we are looking for. Still, the fact that he is a racist, cannibalistic, cheat may play a big part in whether or not people want him.

The fact that Arsenal have made a firm offer to Liverpool (which the BBC has restated, twice) leads me to believe that we have money to spend and we are trying to sign some top quality players. However, there are a few questions that need to be answered. First off, it’s not like we sold anybody recently which gives us more money to spend right now than at the beginning of the Summer. So why didn’t we make offers for quality players who were 100% on the way out: Cavani, Falcao, and Neymar are a few to name. Seriously, if we can bid £30m+ for Suarez, why didn’t we bid for the players listed before? Granted Cavani is still available (although a move to PSG looks closer than ever), these players all left for prices around the £40m mark. Can you imagine if we signed Neymar? Everybody would be talking about how we are going to be title challengers. Instead, we don’t know if we are even going to sign anybody thanks to not being able to negotiate. If Wenger is serious about signing Suarez, he should have been more serious about signing somebody that actually was listed on the market as available to leave.

Finally, Arsenal have released their new away kit. It looks very similar to the one used in the invincible’s season, so let’s hope it gives us the same results. My opinion over the kit is that it is very Arsenal, as it uses the famous yellow and blue that we wore to win so many trophies. I think that it looks good, I don’t love it, but it is a good away kit. The socks are a bit funky, but overall it’s a job well done by Nike.

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Suarez Bid Rejected- Higuain Deal Stalls

Good afternoon,

The transfer window has taken a couple of twists and turns over the past day. It really proves just how crazy this transfer window can be at times, and also how confusing it can be. It seems like every club has the ability to sign players except for Arsenal. I can picture Wenger saying it now,”We made some good offers, but nobody accepted our bids. We have a young squad that can compete for the title.”

First up in transfer news deals with a shock bid for a frightening player, Luis Suarez. BBC reports that Liverpool have turned down a £30m bid for Luis Suarez from Arsenal, and the bid was immediately rejected. Suarez has been asking for a move this Summer, but it comes as a big surprise that Arsenal were the first team to a make a move for him. Real Madrid were and still are the club that seems the most likely destination for Suarez, however, I can see him moving to join the rest of the scumbags at Chelsea. I don’t know how well Ivanovic will feel if Suarez joins Chelsea.

Yum!!!

Suarez is a player that many fans have different opinions of. The majority of fans in the Premier League will agree that he is a diving, cannibalistic cheat, but he still does have quality in terms of his skills. There are not many players in the league that have the vision that Suarez has, plus his ball control is phenomenal at times. However, his other side almost completely destroys his reputation as a quality footballer. He has been at the center of controversy too many times. Any time you try to bite someone’s ear off, you have to admit that the man have problems. He has attempted to do that twice. So I don’t think I would want Suarez at Arsenal. He would sort of be effecting the club in the same way that a billionaire owner will effect a club. What I mean by that is this; we have spent the last eight years doing the right thing by paying off debt and being conservative in the transfer market. Our activity in the community has been second to none, as no other club in the league is as active as us when it comes to charity. My dream and the goal for the club is for us to win the Premier League the right way. Not by getting some billionaire owner to sign all the best players, but by using money that we have earned to sign some good players and letting young players mature into world class players. Signing Suarez could change the way others look at our club and cause way too much controversy for us to be winning the right way.

In other news, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez may have said this:

“We don’t want him to go,” he said. “Furthermore, nobody from Arsenal has come here, or made an offer, not €27m, nothing. There is no offer.”

This comes as a big shock if it is true. Higuain stated at the end of the season that he wanted to go and had told Real Madrid officials. So for Real Madrid to come out now and say they don’t want him to go comes as a surprise. However, the quote may be false, as many top reporters and websites said that Arsenal were very close to signing him. Still, its depressing to read these words.

If this is true, then it can mean a couple of different things. For one, it can mean that Real just want more money from Arsenal and there already is a bid in place. Also, it may mean that Arsenal haven’t bid for Higuain. Why Arsenal may not have bid for Higuain could be because they are looking to sign Rooney or Suarez instead, as they both have Premier League experience and could help us win the title. Wenger doesn’t like to sign too many players in one position and it seems like he would like to make sure that we can’t get Rooney or Suarez before signing Higuain. That makes sense, right? Also, Arsenal may have bid for Suarez just to push Real Madrid’s buttons and to make them accept a bid from us. I hope that’s the case. Anyways, there’s a couple of things that are certain, Arsenal have signed an injury prone Ligue 2 striker that is 20 years old, and I need a hug.

Have a good rest of your day.

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Poll: Has Wenger Done Enough to Warrant a New Contract

With rumours of Wenger’s contract being delayed, it begins to spark questions over what the hold up is it and why they haven’t been able to announce it yet. Some fans over recent seasons have been entirely against Wenger, believing that he was holding the club back from reaching it’s maximum potential. I personally believe that for what he has, Wenger has done well over the past few seasons and he is still the man for the job. While I wish that he would open the chequebook on more occasions. It’s the begging of a new financial stability at the club, and there are few people who I would trust with the newly added funds other than Wenger. This season, he has proven that he still has the ability to get a team to compete at the top level and a trophy may be waiting for us at the end of the season, a trophy that would have come through years of progress and delay, yet earned rather than bought. Do you think Wenger should get a new contract? Vote and leave a comment below.

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Berbatov to Arsenal in January?

Recent reports are linking Arsenal to the experienced Bulgarian striker as a possible striker option during the January transfer window. Arsenal have been linked to a plethora of strikers this season, and any chance of Wenger signing a £20m+ striker seems very unlikely. Arsenal are lacking a reliable centre forward to be backup to Giroud, with Bendtner showing a desire to get out of the club as quickly as possible (despite scoring an Heskey esque header against Hull).

 Berbatov is said to be looking to leave Fulham due to a poor start to the season. He has experience in the league and racked up an impressive seventeen goals last season. Berbatov has played for two of our biggest rivals in Tottenham and Man Utd, and seems to do everything very nonchalantly. Will he be a good signing for us? Vote and leave a comment below.

New Players are Making the Difference – Everyone Laugh at Tottenham

Wojcieh Szczesny

It’s almost December and Arsenal are still first!

To begin the blog off, I would like to pay tribute to Gunners Legend Pat Rice, who is currently receiving treatment for cancer. Pat Rice is a true Arsenal legend, both on and off the pitch. It’s been unusual not seeing him next to Wenger for the past season and a half, as you always used to see him screaming at players to do more. I would like to wish him a speedy recovery.

When you look at the reasons why Arsenal are first, it comes down simply to one thing, consistency. Usually, Arsenal and consistency are not two words that coincide together, but this season it could not be much more different. When you look at the start of the season, there were many ways in which you can fault the Arsenal squad. You could say that they were not old enough, strong enough, or even just good enough. Then came the signing of Mesut Ozil. Ozil’s greatest contribution to the club has not come on the pitch but rather the immediate impact it had on everybody. Days before he joined, people were protesting against the club refusing to buy shirts, pies, or even go to the games. Now, Ozil is currently the third most sold shirt in the world. That is quite a turnaround.

It’s not just the signing of Ozil that has made the difference though. Wenger has to take credit for the position of the club because he made the entire squad from scratch almost. It seems like every player that he has signed in the past few seasons are turning out to be very good players, and since we are not a selling club anymore, we are able to gel together. Just look at some of our best players this season: Szczesny (came from the youth ranks, with many people saying that we needed to sign a new goalkeeper in the Summer), Koscielny (Joined having one year of football in a top division), Ramsey (One of our most inconsistent and frustrating players over the past couple of seasons) and Mertesacker (Had a difficult first season but has been superb in the past two). The list can keep going and going. All of these players are thanks to Wenger.

Moving away from Arsenal’s season, I would like to give a special shout out to Tottenham, London’s finest. I don’t think any gooner in the world would care if Tottenham lost 6-0 to any team every week of the season, and seeing them lose in that fashion to City last weekend was one of the greatest joys of the season. Tottenham have scored 9 goals this season, and it seems like all nine have been from the penalty spot. Look at how times have changed. At the beginning of the season, most of us were upset that Tottenham spent £100m while we were yet to spend a penny. Now look at where we are at. Don’t worry Spurs fans, you can get back on track by beating Tromso (whatever Tromso is) today in the Europa League.

Everyone one have a good day.

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Yes Wenger, We Do Need a New Striker

The Arsenal players are finally back from their two week break, if you can call it a break. The majority of our players have been looking fatigued in the past weeks, and a break would have been nice for them. Instead, the majority got some pointless friendlies across the globe. It’s not all bad though, as some players like Ozil got a night off, but in all honesty, some of the players are still needing some rest.

While some players get breaks, others don’t get the chance to receive one. By some players, I mean Giroud. It is quite clear that he is our only true striker and the fact that he has no competition is worrying. Everybody in the world seems to understand that we are lacking serious depth, everyone except Wenger.

Speaking to reporters, Wenger spoke about our current striking situation:

“I think we can win the title without signing a striker,” Wenger told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against third place Southampton at Emirates Stadium.

“[Lukas] Podolski is not back but he shouldn’t be too far now. They make it less critical to sign a striker. Also, Theo [Walcott] gives us qualities that other players haven’t got. It’s a different option. Theo also gives us an opportunity to be a mobile striker. If we lose Giroud today we have nobody with body weight up front.

“Look, I am not against it [a January signing]. I don’t say I never make a mistake. I certainly made some. Sometimes it is because we didn’t sign the right player.

“It is always difficult in the middle of the season [to sign the right players]. If somebody is doing well somewhere the clubs do not necessarily want to sell him. They can wait until the end of the season. Most of the time it is because we didn’t find [the right players].”

Wenger isn’t necessarily saying that we aren’t going to sign anyone in January, but it doesn’t seem like he is going to be moving any mountains to try and sign a world class striker that we are desperately needing.

Looking at Giroud this season, I feel that we have an improved player who is willing to put team before himself. I am also seeing a player who is in need of a break, able to get complacent, and a tad bit overrated. Seriously, Giroud is good but not great. People comparing him to Van Persie are going a bit on the extreme side. Not to say that I wouldn’t rather Giroud on the team than Van Persie though.

Players coming back

Players coming back

The thing that I like the most about Giroud is his physicality and link up play. I don’t think there are any other strikers in the league who are able to create that link between the midfield and strikers like Giroud can. Some of the one twos he plays have been phenomenal to say the least. One that comes to mind is Wilshere’s fantastic team goal against Norwich last month. Giroud created that goal with sheer technique.

Having said that about Giroud, I still believe that he is over confident at times and not as good as people make out for him to be. Confidence is one of the most important aspects to how well a player is going to play in a certain game. Some times, Giroud has taken players on or shot from 30 yards when he should have played the simpler pass. Usually I wouldn’t mind a player going for goal from distance or trying to beat players, but Giroud has never shown that he has the ability to really dribble the ball very well or score from outside the penalty box. I can only think of one time when Giroud has scored from outside the box, in a game against Brighton in the FA Cup; besides that I don’t believe he has ever really shone in his shooting ability.

Giroud alone is not going to win us the title for two reasons: the fact that he is alone and he will really thrive with a good striking partner. I’m not talking about someone like Walcott or Podolski, I’m talking about a striker’s striker. Someone like Lewandowski or Suarez will really make a difference to our season. If we can sign a top class striker this January, we will be favourites for the league without question, and I believe actual 100% contenders. I feel antipathy whenever Wenger talks about his future transfer dealings as it seems like he never really wants to sign anyone. He surprised us on transfer deadline day, but it is not going to be enough for the whole season. Well, we have Ozil now, now it’s time to bring in another £40m player.