Monthly Archives: September 2008

Arsenal’s Consistency in Question

This is a shock result, no doubgt about that, but the way in which the Gunners responded to the two goal deficit was appalling. The team was not there and whatever chances were created did not get converted. It was a match where all the eleven players played a bad game.

Hull City like any other newly promoted club put in a 110% performance in a stage which they would not see that often. They fought for every ball and showed more committment on the field. Arsenal on the other hand were lacking in the spirit and I wonder if they were complacent of sorts. The movement was lacking in the Gunners and the passing game was not taking off all that well.

There have been complaints of whether Gallas and Toure form a god defensive pairing or not at the centre of defence. Djourou might be better bet to replace any one of them and I would love to see Gallas being replaced by Djourou in the next match. Or dont be surprised if Silvestre partners either Toure or Gallas in the defence. Clichy looked a bit out of sorts and did not have any notable runs in the opposition half.

Defence was just fine with fabregas taking a shot at goal towards the end and Denilson loking decent with Fabregas at the centre…But do we need a more fighting defensive mid-fielder is the question? And even if that is the question do we have an answer in the form of any player is the even bigger question? Can we try out Ramsey to play that role? I am sure Wenger has started pondering on all these questions and more after the end of this match.

Forward line was looking toothless with RVP shooting wide off the mark. If he can get it on target then 90% of those shots are goals because they are unstoppable shots. Adebayor had a bad match to add to our troubles. Is consistency the key problem for us? Should we rotate the strikers more often? I think so.

We should give credit where it is due. I thought Hull City played really well. They fought for every ball and were not as physical as people expected them to be. They played fair, won the ball and outscored us to beat us at home. The first goal was a beauty and I do not think anyone can be blamed for that goal. It curled and dipped at the right time beating a stretched Almunia. The second was something which we should have averted. We concede out of a corner again. We need to have a strategy to take care of this blemish which we encounter every time we concede a corner or a freekick.

Emirates stadium which should have been a fortress is not turning out to be one and 2 defeats in 6 games might not be what we expected if we wanted to win the league. This leaves us with no room for error anymore and we have six matches against the likes of United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Consistency is the key and tonight’s match against Porto would be the best palce to prove that we are back with a bang.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Emirates, EPL, Hull City

At home to Hull City

Newly promoted side Hull City, who find themselves surprisingly 7th in the League play their first Top 4 team when they visit the Emirates stadium. When the match kicks off at Emirates, Arsenal could find themselves second or third depending on what happens to Liverpool and Chelsea in their respective matches.

Hull has had a very good start to the premiership – A confidence boosting win against Fulham, score draw with Blackburn, a traumatising loss to Wigan (0-5), an encouraging  with Newcastle and a 4 goal draw against Everton. Not bad when you have 8 points from 5 games and the media was speculating if they would be this years Derby County. Honestly a creditable performance indeed. They would be relishing this match, to play in front of 60,000 fans against one of the top teams in England. I am sure they would make sure they give 110% in this match.

Arsenal on the other hand will be wanting to secure the top position come end of the week. They have had a good week’s rest, seeing the young guns go blazing against Sheffield United in the Carling Cup. It would be interesting to see if Wenger gives an opportunity to Vela or Ramsey or Wilshere in this match if Arsenal is leading comfortably in this match. Not that I am demeaning Hull, but I would love to see the kids play in the Premier League.

Here is an interesting point from The Telegraph

Hull manager Phil Brown was Sam Allardyce’s right-hand man when Bolton became Wenger’s bogey team.

In January 2005, Wenger confronted Brown on the touchline during an Arsenal v Bolton game and the pair went eyeball to eyeball. Seconds later, Bolton netted the winner, prompting Brown to celebrate with conspicuous glee. The scorer that day was Stelios Giannakopoulos, who a year later scored again in a 1-0 Bolton victory. Wenger might not have been pleased to discover Stelios signed for Hull this week and could make his debut on Saturday.

1 Comment

Filed under Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Emirates, EPL, Hull City, Vela, Wilshere

Proud to be a Gooner!!!

Arsenal youngsters 6-0 Sheffield United.

“This is the best group of youngsters I have had in all my time at the club” – coming from Wenger this is ultimate praise for this young bunch.

Take a bow

Hat-trick hero with the match ball

Leave a comment

Filed under Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Bendtner, Carling Cup, Carlos Vela, Jack Wilshere, Sheffield United

Zakumi


So Zakumi,the Leopard will be the official mascot of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. 

The name is a composition of “ZA”, standing for South Africa, and “kumi” translating into “10” in various languages across Africa. Inspired by his football idols, Zakumi has dyed his hair green as he felt it would be the perfect camouflage against the green of the football pitch. You can read more in the official FIFA site.

For more stories and exciting videos on and around Zakumi and his predecessors, please visit the official website,www.FIFA.com/Zakumi.

2 Comments

Filed under FIFA, FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa, World Cup, Zakumi

Bolton bolted at Reebok

In a superior performance laced with style and substance Arsenal overcame a physical Bolton at their home ground by three goals to one. With this result and other results going Arsenal’s way, the Gunners could well end up on top of the Premier League come the weekend.

The match started off with Arsenal showing their class and superiority in passing the ball around. but everytime Bolton won a free-kick, or a throw in or a corner, they looked threatening. Arsenal conceded first from a set-piece and the home crowd were celebrating first. But then came a brief 10 minute spell of Arsenal domination which left the 11 Bolton players to defend their goal. It was a exhilarating football fom Arsenal and it was a matter of when they will score. A brilliant one two from Adebayor and Bendtner saw the ball reach Eboue who played in the left wing who smashed in his first goal for Arsenal in the premier league. Arsenal continued their domination and was again rewarded with a neatly made goal orchestrated by Fabregas and Denilson and finished by Bendtner.

The first half ended with Clichy getting injured by a red-card-Kevin-Davies-tackle which ended only in a yellow. Anyways Clichy is fine now and hopefully should be back in training in a couple of days time. We have replacements in the form of Silvestre, provided he is fit and the dude Kieran Gibbs!!!

The second half saw a recharged Bolton taking control of the possession and movement though Arsenal did have their chance. Adebayor had a very good performace if you ask me setting up a lot of moves and providing assist for the third goal. Arsenal were less forceful in the second half and the one goal lead was always under threat as long as Bolton crossed into the box. Almunia was called into action more then once and he did have a creditable performance under the bar.

No match is complete these days without mentioning the man of the moment, Theo Walcott. He came in for Eboue and was instrumental in some of the best moves in the second half. His run with the ball from the centre and cross to Adebayor on the right was the move that resulted in the third goal. Adebayor was selfless and crossed to Denilson who scored his second of the season. What a way to end the match.

So far Wenger has taken care of two of the toughest away matches of the season, Blackburn and Bolton in style and that too in between the trip to Kiev. Lets see if Wenger can keep this run going with this young team.

1 Comment

Filed under Adebayor, Almunia, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Bendtner, Bolton Wanderers, Clichy, Denilson, Eboue, EPL, Fabregas, Kevin Davies, Reebok Stadium

Angry Wenger after a Frustu match

Arsenal return back to England after yet another dismal performance in Ukraine. Dynamo Kiev scored from a very disputable penalty and seemed to take all three points at home when Gallas the new Euro top scorer restored parity with two minutes left. All in all it would be satisfying to come back with a point given the circumstances but I think Arsenal will sink this Ukrainian ship in London in the return leg. Walcott was once again the hero providing the cross from the right which was poked in by Gallas.

Wenger has come out strongly against the Kiev players, especially on their tackle on Walcott…He says

The referee should have sent the left-back off three times because he tried to destroy Walcott.

On the Sagna Penalty

Sagna is convinced he [Ognjen Vukojevic] pulled him with his two hands on his shirt and then went down. We have to deal with that; if you get a penalty you get a penalty.

On the referee not giving enough injury time

I wanted to know how we only played three minutes injury time and then during these three minutes we only played one minute of injury time. Every referee looks to have a different computer to calculate injury time and I still don’t know how it works. He couldn’t explain to me; he just told me he felt it was enough.

The game was a mixture of frustration and relief, frustration because the game should have been over at half-time, and relief because we scored with minutes to go. When we got back to 1-1, Dynamo looked very, very tired but the game was finished with the interruptions. You could feel the game was there for the taking but we had no opportunity to play. We feel we have lost two points but the referee should have sent the left-back off three times because he tried to destroy Walcott.

Next up is Porto at home on September 30th

3 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Champions League, Dynamo Kiev, Europe, Gallas, Sagna, Walcott

Champions League Preview Dynamo Kiev vs Arsenal

Arsenal have travelled to Kiev without the injured duo of Samir Nasri and Silvestre in what is normally a tricky tie. The good news is that Clichy and Eboue are fit after picking up injuries in the whitewash at Blackburn Rovers. The team is in a high, but there are a few pointers to this game

– The Ukrainian side did not pick up a single point in the 2007/08 group stage – the worst record of any of the 32 teams

– Dynamo, who finished second in the Ukrainian Premier League last season, have a new man at the helm in Yuri Semin and will hope for a positive start

– Arsenal for all their pedigree, have lost on all three previous visits to Ukraine

– Dynamo have had the better of past matches against Arsenal. When the teams met in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage, Dynamo earned a 1-1 draw at Highbury and then won the return 3-1 in Ukraine

– Dynamo won the sides’ second meeting in Kiev 2-1 in the 2003/04 group stage. Maksim Shatskikh and Valentin Belkevich struck for the home side with Thierry Henry replying late on. However, Arsenal won the return 1-0 through an Ashley Cole goal and ended up topping the group with Dynamo down in fourth place

– Arsenal got the better of an FC Lokomotiv Moskva side coached by Semin in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage. After a goalless draw in Russia, the London team won 2-0 at home in their final game to secure first place in the section – and eliminate their opponents

courtesy UEFA.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Arsenal, Champions League, Dynamo Kiev