Before the match against Chelsea, Wenger boldly challenged his team to come out all guns blazing and said this is the moment when the Gunners should stand and be counted as title contenders. Sadly, that moment came and the team was left demoralised with a 0-3 verdict at home, bringing to an end a glorious run of victories at home. We were beaten fair and square whatever Wenger says about the referee disallowing the goal etc. We hardly had any shots on goal which troubled Cech.
There are of-course talking points, the biggest from an Arsenal stand-point would be why Song was substituted at half time? Wenger could have easily replaced Walcott with Denilson who was looking a bit shaky. And Song was having a wonderful match till that point.
Secondly, Ashley Cole made those two telling crosses which led to the two goals. How I wish Clichy could improve on this aspect. Clichy for all his speed and skill, lacks in getting those crosses in the right areas. How many times have we seen crosses going over the goal or going miles above the goal mouth.
And even if the crosses come in, who in this Arsenal team can rise above towering defences and head the ball into the goal. We do not have a forward who can come in place of Bendtner.
It is time to concede that with the current team that we have we should look at finishing in the top 3. Maybe a cup or two at the end of the season would be a bonus and Wenger will buy in January.
Saw this very sentimental story on Alexander Song, Arsenal’s most improved player this season.
As part of Arsenal’s charity of the season, today’s game will raise money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Arsenal has pledged to contribite half a million pounds to the hospital to build a new ward and unit for lung diseases.
So may Arsenal win and close the gap against Chelsea today. Go Gunners!!!
Arsenal got into the knockout stages of the Champions League for the tenth straight year with a 2-0 win against Standard Liege. There were injury problems though after the match with Gibbs being sidelined for close to 3 months with a fractured metatarsal and this after he came back from a minor injury to feature in this match. Gallas had a clash of head with Arshavin and was subed midway. Wenger though in his post match interview has said
Gallas has a slight ankle problem and a swollen eye. I think he will recover from the eye and the ankle soon.
Though he didn’t mention by when, I assume he meant before the weekend match. Gibbs he said was more serious.
Nasri capitalised on a defensive slip up and slotted in the first goal. He along with Fabregas controlled the midfield throughout the match. The second came from a Denilson long ranger. Playing in his 100th match, Denilson took his chance and drilled a wonderf ul shot from outside the penalty box high into the box.
Fabregas earned a unnecessary yellow card in the fag end of the match which resulted in the Standard player being sent off for a “headbutt”.
So now all set for the season-defining sunday thriller against Chelsea.
Thanks to Arsenal TV subscription, I got to see what Wenger had to say about the most controversial football incident in recent past – the Henry Handball – that sent the French to South Africa and the Irish to despair.
Wenger didn’t blame Henry, but he did have a couple of things to say about use of video technology being used in cases like this. He did say that the ref should have sensed something when Henry did not celebrate spontaneously or when 11 Irish players confronted him!!! And the ref did not have video technology which he could have used in such situations to help him take a informed decision. Ok maybe video technology might not be helpful in all cases but in such obvious cases,it will only help. Valid point professor.
Sportscentre in ESPN with their various animation software points out that the linesman should have had a clear vision but still didn’t help in this case. Lets hope that the best thing that can possibly happen is introduction of video technology for such situations.
Regarding the weekend match, Wenger did confirm that Gibbs will be ready but will play only in the mid-week Champions League match. And when asked would it be Traore or Silvestre at left back, he did mention that there is another player who can play in that position without mentioning the name. Who could that be? Eboue?
Fabianski and Denilson are available for the Sunderland match and Denilson will start. Strange that Wenger still doesn’t have information from Russia on Arshavin. Not that he is injured or anything but I hope Arshavin is fully fit and active because against teams like Sunderland, who seems to be in some good form, we need some creativity and goals.
In a serious setback to Arsenal’s remaining season aspirations, Van Persie got injured in a meaningless friendly against Italy…Persie was regaining his best form when this nonsense had to happen…Preliminary reports say 3 months layoff which might be quite a difficult time for Arsenal with Bendtner also out injured.
Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope that he is not terribly injured and face even more time off the game.
Arsenal climbed to the second spot in the Premier League beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 away from home. It was not a good first half though the Gunners put in two goals or rather Wolves conceded two own goals. As my friend sent an sms, the way the Wolves set up play in the first half, they were fast becoming lambs for slaughter!!!
The Wolves matched Arsenal attack for attack in the first half and surely had a couple of chances to go ahead. And I think this season Arsenal is enjoying a bit of luck in some matches where one they didnt concede and two scored on the other end when it mattered. Eduardo was lively upfront and was instrumental in pressurising the Wolves defence in making them concede two goals in the first half. Diaby getting substituted with Song (who was rested initially by keeping him in the bench) improved the midfield play.
Ramsey making a rare premier league start was quite impressive and so was Fabregas and Arshavin. Gallas was brave at the back with some impressive tackles and Gibbs at left back was a refreshing presence. van Persie provided a sublime assist to Fabregas for the third goal,coming out of a beautiful Arsenal play and Arshavin rounded off a beautiful goal to finish off in style. We should not have conceded the goal in the last few minutes and Almunia definitely would not have liked it.
Arsenal now have 36 goals from 11 games. Van Persie has 7 goals, Fabregas 6 goals and Arshavin has 4. In terms of assists, Fabregas leads with 10 and van Persie has 7.
It is 3-0 to the Gunners!!!
For all the big talk dished out by Robbie Keane, his team just showed the opposite. They lacked in depth as they did really miss their most creative players in Luka Modric, Lennon and Defoe playing against their london rivals, who also missed a trio of creative players in Rosicky, Nasri and Walcott…it is a different matter whether they would have still made the team if they were fit.
Arsenal’s formation seems to be a rock solid one with Diaby and Song playing ahead of the defence and Song in particular looking like an ace when it comes to breaking the opposition moves and stoppinng play. Diaby seriously needs to improve and this is where I feel a Nasri(like he did in the Carling Cup) or a Rosicky can make a positive difference to this team.
Van Persie seems to be hitting a purple patch and Arshavin and Bendtner along with our new goal-scoring midfielder captain Cesc Fabregas seems to be combinign well. Sagna is looking more attack-minded and Clichy seriously needs to get his crosses right. It is amazing that this team seems to be having so much to improve and still doing good. I wonder how it would be once they all combine well and play to their potential. Vermaelen and Gallas are strong behind and the way Vermaelen headed out all the balls to Crouch I am not worried anymore about any tall forward troubling us at the back. I just want to see how Vermaelen will play against Drogba the physically strong forward whom we have not encountered so far.
One last word about Fabregas’ goal. He was absolutely fantastic and I am sure with this one he has become more adorable to the fans…you rock Cesc!