Monthly Archives: September 2007

Denilson Goal against Newcastle

Thanks Goodplaya for the link

As shot from the stands in Emirates Stadium

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Filed under Arsenal, Carling Cup, Denilson, Newcastle

West Ham vs Arsenal Preview

Having got a point away from Ewood Park and all the 3 points from White Hart Lane, the next big challenge comes at Upton Park, later today. Are they up to it? On current form yes, but it will be a difficult place to come away with all the 3 points. So this is the challenge that this new brigade faces.

It is very important for the Gunners to keep the momentum going as the other big three are playing comparatively easy opposition this weekend – Chelsea at home to Fulham, Man Utd away to Birmingham and Liverpool away to Wigan. I think Fulham has played some engrossing football this season with some high scoring draws. That should be an interesting match at Stamford bridge. So Arsenal need to win this match to keep that points lead against these opposition, which makes this match against the Hammers very important.

On team news, the good news is that Eboue is back and I would love to see the combination with Sagna on the right flank. Lets hope they combine well to give some goals from thats side. So I think the team would look like this for this match.

Almunia

Sagna Toure Senderos Clichy

Eboue Fabregas Gilberto Hleb

van Persie Adebayor

We might see Bendtner coming in, in the latter stages of the game. I am in Bangkok this weekend and hence would be trying to catch the excitement here. Go Gunners

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Filed under Arsenal, EPL, West Ham

About Fabregas & Wenger

Football Association’s director of football development and former England international, Sir Trevor Brooking says that English Youngsters could learn from the mental strength of Fabregas. He says in this article in Daily Mail :

I am sure Cesc coming through so well is because he has benefited from being around someone like Arsene Wenger.

Some coaches probably would not have thrown him in at 16 or 17, but he felt Cesc had that mental strength to deal with everything.

I was brought up that when you get the ball, your first thought is ‘can I play it forwards?’ Everybody gets obsessed with playing the square pass, but the early ball forwards has to be the one, and Fabregas looks for that one all the time.

He is really confident about playing it between tight areas, and that is what we have to encourage.

And in a well written article in ESPN Soccernet, read about how Wenger finds potential and moulds them in the way he sees them develop.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Fabregas

Peter Hill Wood’s Chelsea comments & Carling Cup

A day after the Arsenal results were declared, Chairman Peter Hill Wood made some comments on Chelsea, maybe he was prompted by some journalist…he said

I don’t want to run Chelsea down, but one has to concede Manchester United and Liverpool are probably the biggest names in UK football.

For Chelsea to think they are suddenly going to dominate United and Liverpool is fantasy. It is not going to happen

I found it very surprising Chelsea had only 25,000 for a Champions League game

Our fan-base probably started in the 30s and it’s been handed down from father to son and so on. It takes 100 years to build and about 100 minutes to destroy

Money is irrelevant to history and how big your club is

For Arsenal, the last couple of months have been like a dream come true. On the field the team is playing some wonderful football and winning matches both domestically as well as in Europe. Off the field the financial results have been one of the best putting it into the top of European clubs. It is an ideal start and lets hope that it continues that way both on and off the field.

And to make matters more sweet, the team started with only 3 of the members from the team that beat Derby County in the weekend, to meet Newcastle and won 2-0. Bendtner and Denilson opened their account for the club. You can catch the goals and the Senderos save here on this youtube video.

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Filed under Carling Cup, Newcastle

The Force is with Arsenal

5 goals, a hat-trick, 3 points and top of the table…what more do you want?

I was watching the match at Rick’s Cafe in Bangsar, the official meeting place of the Arsenal Football Club Malaysia Supporters, with a whole bunch of Gooners. Met up with a few of them, including the office-bearers and I will be a regular here from now on. Classy group of guys I should say. See you all soon for another Arsenal victory.

It was going to be an easy outing but Arsenal will take these matches a bit more seriously for the time being as these were the matches which lost us points in the previous seasons. Played at Arsenal’s pace all through the 90 minutes, it was left to see how many goals Arsenal will hit – in the end it was one more than the Spurs and one less than Liverpool. Arsenal has not played a top four team till now and till them all comments on the title hopes should not be discussed. We are on a roll and let it just gather mass. However the way Liverpool, Chelsea and Man Utd have stumbled through the league with other teams is a very positive sign for Arsenal.

Adebayor or Persie or even Eduardo should never be compared to Henry. I think Wenger is never looking at substituting Henry at the club, but what he has done is distribute that responsibility of scoring goals and creating chances to Adebayor, Persie, Eduardo and Fabregas. So far it has been a taken up splendidly by this young team. Adebayor scored his first hat-trick for Arsenal and Fabregas again lit up the scoreline with a superlative effort from outside the box. Eduardo won the penalty which was converted and the Croatian is slowly getting into the groove. But I think the most important goal came from Diaby. He has been likened to Viera not only with the style of play but also looks and built. He scored a scintillating goal avoiding the challenges of two Derby players and slamming a shot which hit the side of the post and went in. He needed a goal and got it. So our mid-field players are now on the scoreline more often than not.

Walcott was a concern because he was beating everyone with his pace and turns, but when it came to giving that final pass or taking the chance on a shot at goal, he was found wanting. He is trying too hard to impress. He can just get better from here and I think with the Carling Cup running that he will get in the days to come, it should do him a lot of good.

  • Adebayor is on top of the Barclays Premier League goal scorers with 6 goals and the Fabulous Fabregas second with 4 goals. Way to go Gunners!
  • The technique of Adebayor to leap and chest the ball and then run it down to the goals is quite impressive. He was all over the Derby defence
  • The defence was a bit rusty once or twice and they will have tighten that part. Sagna was impressive yet again. He is according to me the signing of the year, no doubt
  • As the Sky Sports cameras showed, there were some 10 odd cameras behind the Derby County goal and not a single one behind the Arsenal goal, this shows what was expected in this match

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Filed under Adebayor, Arsenal, Derby County, EPL, Fabregas

Weekend Preview

League toppers Arsenal invite newcomers Derby county to the Emirates in what could determine a very crucial weekend for Arsenal’s title aspirations. Firstly, 3 points here will take them a few points ahead of Man U and Chelsea depending on the outcome of that match ofcourse. Moreover, Liverpool loks like beating Birmingham at Anfield and Arsenal cannot look at relaxing even a bit. Second reason why this is a crucial match is because last year Arsenal’s problem was these smaller teams which defended with 11 men and did not allow the Gunners to play their natural game. But the team of 2007 is good at unlocking defence, proven by the fact that we scored one against Man City and looked like scoring a couple more that day.

Injuries are a big issue as reported in the club website. Rosicky is out with a hamstring & Hleb has taken a knock on his knees. So that rules out 2 players from the current XI. Senderos is deemed fit and should start in the centre of defence in all probability. And Wenger has indicated that Walcott and Eduardo might get a nod in. So I think the team might look like this –

 Almunia

Sagna/Flamini Toure Senderos Clichy

Walcott Gilberto Fabregas Diaby

Eduardo Persie/Bendtner

Well if we get 3 points and 2 goals, it should be considered a good victory.

In the biggest clash of the weekend, Mourinho-less Chelsea travel to Old Trafford, in what should be a  scintillating match but what could turn out to be boring affair, given how these two teams have been playing against each other in the last few matches. Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see how this Chelsea team plays now. From this performance a lot of sports analysts in different channels are gonna bisect and dissect and extrapolate Chelsea’s future for this season and many seasons to come.

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Filed under Arsenal, Chelsea, Derby County, EPL, Man U

Mourinho – Over and Out!

It was not long ago when Mourinho said this:

“There are only two ways for me to leave Chelsea,one way is in June 2010 when I finish my contract and if the club doesn’t give me a new one. It is the end of my contract and I am out. The second way is for Chelsea to sack me. The way of the manager leaving the club by deciding to walk away, no chance! I will never do this to Chelsea supporters.”

mourinho.jpg

Well he could not take it anymore I guess and he sent text messages to five of his senior squad members about his decision and made a quiet exit. The exact reasons of his exit will be known in the next few days. Given his character, he will not leave quietly, isn’t it. He was his own man and I personally thought that he thought a bit too much about himself.

A few days back, Peter Kenyon came out in the media with the vision of the club and where they wanted to be in 10 years time. And more importantly how they planned to achieve glory – by playing attractive football which will make the fans come in numbers to watch them play, atleast more than 25,ooo fans…This was completely opposite to the way they were currently playing and winning. And credit has to be given for whatever they won, however boring it was. Mourinho has a style of play and he was good at it. It ensured success but not attractive football.

He will be missed for all the snide remarks he made pre-match and post match. When you look back, was it really his fault? He was given money to spend and assemble a team to win the league and other cups domestic as well as in Europe. In the first year itself he built a team spirit and won them trophies. Nobody asked him to play attractive football and nobody complained. His fault was that he should have seen this coming. There were several players forced down his throat, but that didnt mean that whoever he bought otherwise were playing some attractive football.

Here is a good read on Mourinho from the Daily Mail: End of an era…and an ego

I think this season is seeing a contrast of playing styles and paying styles in Chelsea and Arsenal. May the good of the game survive.

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Filed under Chelsea, Mourinho