Monthly Archives: December 2010

Arsenal vs Chelsea

Wenger in his match conference

The statistics are history and every game is a new start

It's a fierce affair - Arsenal vs Chelsea

In the last 5 matches between these two teams, Chelsea lead Arsenal 13-2 in goals. Chelsea’s star player Drogba has played against Arsenal 13 times and has won on 10 occasions, drawn thrice and has scored 13 times!!! And everytime before these teams meet the stats are rolled out and it gets piled on to the benefit of Chelsea after every match. It never looks like an even match-up at all.

Arsenal gets mentally defeated going into matches against the top two sides in the Premier League for the last few years now. Though Chelsea have been in very bad form if you compare it with the way they started the season, it is these kind of matches which bring them back from the brink. Arsenal need to bounce back with a win if they want to show to the rest of the league that they are serious contenders this year.

Diaby likes Terry

Thankfully we have most of our players except Vermaelen back to fitness. So Wenger cannot complain on any injury crisis as well. Abou Diaby, Fabianski and Van Persie are all back knocking on the starting XI, Fabregas has regained his match fitness and hopefully his touch as well.

 

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Qatar 2022: Is it for real???

The small Middle Eastern country beat the likes of Australia, US, Japan, Korea to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. There are a lot of negatives in conducting the WC in this small country of a little more than a million people, mainly the weather in June which will be extremely hot. But then they had some very imaginative ideas on constructing stadiums and infrastructure to support the bid.

Here are some of them –

Fifa rules demand that World Cup matches be played under an open roof. Qatar’s answer to that is to create a three metre-high bank of cool air in which players can play and spectators can watch.

The source of the air-conditioning can be found in the swathe of desert adjacent to the stadium: a “solar farm”, where photovoltaic cells pour energy, year-round, into the national grid and where tubes of water are heated to 200 degrees Celsius, before their energy is alchemised into cooling vast freezer packs that sit under the stadium

It is offering to spend £25bn ($40bn) on a rail and metro system to transport fans around the peninsula. It is promising to dismantle its stadiums after the competition and transport them to poorer countries in the region.

Here is a pic of the Doha Port stadium which they intend to construct

 

Doha Port Stadium: An Artist’s impression

You can view more about the other stadiums here

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A Clash with United

Going into the Monday night match, an average Gooner will have a thousand thoughts on what will happen at Old Trafford. Not all those thoughts are going to be highly positive or for that matter positive ones. Such has been the inconsistency of the team that personally I will be happy if we come back with a point from Manchester.

United is a difficult team to beat especially at their home and with our bad string of results in the red half of Manchester I will be highly sceptical of anyone who tells me we have a chance to win there. Ferguson started the mind games by again asking his fans to not chant the unwanted Wenger chants. Some people actually believe that it is more of a Ferguson reminder to his supporters than a way to ask them to shut up. Evra has furthered the cause by calling Arsenal a “Training Centre”, but nothing(no cups) to show as results. I hope we can win something and shut the traps of the likes of Evra.

We are not in a bad position as of now, sitting on top of the Premier League, qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League and in the Semi-finals of the Carling Cup. This is a good start for December. But we really need to see where we are come the end of January 2011. This is truly a crucial period for all the top clubs competing for the league. For Arsenal and Chelsea, 3 of their next 5 games are against top 4 sides!!! Here is a very positive prediction from Sam Wallace on how this period will turn out. Positive for Arsenal 🙂

Given our second spot finish in the CL pool, we could face one of the four opposition – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Schalke and Bayern Munich. Barcelona is a definite no-no for any of the teams, Real to some extent because Mourinho manages them. So that leaves the two German sides and I think we do have a chance with them, honestly we do and I would say if it is any of these two clubs, then we should be in the semis unless we screw up badly.

For the time being lets concentrate on the game in hand, come on you Gunners!!!

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Danger period ahead

It is that time of the season again…Normally during the packed December schedule, we kind of lose our sight and feel crampy in the cold and lose our way in the league. From defeats to draws we make our Christmas feel miserable for the team and supporters. The snow has started falling, and the matches are going to set off one after the other soon.

And this is probably the time when we will be involved in a lot of matches and injuries and suspensions come to haunt us. We are already suffering with our beloved captain resting and not looking like getting back soon. But hopefully we have a fit squad minus Nasri who seems to be having a minor trouble. So lets set that aside and look at the fixtures ahead. (Courtesy: BBC Sports)

Saturday, 4 December 2010
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal v Fulham, 15:00 – Well this is hopefully an easy 3 points in the league
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Uefa Champions League
Arsenal v Partizan Belgrade, GpH, 19:45 – A must win match for us as we have to ensure qualification on our own merit rather than depend on some other result

Monday, 13 December 2010

Barclays Premier League
Man Utd v Arsenal, 20:00 – Monday night in India, this is a tough one…and we will certainly be the underdogs playing at Old Trafford
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal v Stoke, 15:00 – This will be one of those tricky fixtures with a lot of pressure incase we concede first and even if we score first we will still feel insecure with a 2 goal lead
Monday, 27 December 2010
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal v Chelsea, 20:00 – The other big one where we will be the underdogs even if we would have been playing them at home. We certainly seem to lose the plot whenever we play them home or away. Drogba might retain his goal scoring form in this match
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Barclays Premier League
Wigan v Arsenal, 19:45 – Tricky away matches in the cold away at Wigan
Saturday, 1 January 2011
Barclays Premier League
Birmingham v Arsenal, 17:30 – Another travel away from home in the new year…lets say not an easy match
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal v Man City, 19:45 – Tough one again, but I think we have the quality to beat them again this season
Saturday, 8 January 2011
The FA Cup
Arsenal v Leeds United, R3, 15:00 – The FA cup tie which will be crucial for us to be competing in a few competitions come January end.
So in the Premier league we have 21 points to play for between today and Jan 8th, that is like in about a month’s time. We should ideally aim for atleast 15 points and I think we would have come out of this unscathed. Anything more will tilt a lot of things in our favour.
More thoughts on this as the month progresses. And also I want to write about the 2018 and 2022 world cup bids…

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