Monthly Archives: December 2012

Some Opta stats of the season so far…

7 – Per Mertesacker has made more last man saving tackles than any other player in the Premier League

Per  - last man saving tackle

Per – last man saving tackle

71% – Manchester City have scored the highest % of second half goals in the Premier League this season

18 – Robin van Persie has been involved in more goals (scored 12, assisted 6) than any other player this season

Van Persie - Rampant

Van Persie – Rampant

6 – Of the nine penalties missed this season, six have been by the top four teams (Man Utd 3, City, Chelsea & Arsenal 1 each)

125 – 125 of the 501 Premier League goals scored this season have been own goals or come directly from errors

66 – The number of goals scored from outside the box in the 2012-13 Premier League with Chelsea & Spurs (6) leading the way

40% – Norwich City have scored the highest percentage of headed goals in the 2012-13 Premier League

4 – Liverpool have benefited from the most own goals scored by opponents this season

109 – F.Torres has scored every 109 mins on average in the PL under R.Benitez, compared to a goal every 279 mins under other bosses

25 – Man Utd’s total of 25 goals conceded is the highest by the team top of the PL at Xmas since Norwich in 1992-93 (34)

8 – Of the last 18 Premier League games to see a team score 6+ goals, Chelsea are responsible for eight of them

13 – Michu has now equalled Sergio Aguero’s record of 13 PL goals before Xmas by a foreigner in their debut PL season

Michu - Value for money

Michu – Value for money

82 – Robin van Persie now been involved in 82 goals (60 goals, 22 assists) in 81 PL appearances since the start of 2010-11

4 – Arsenal have won more penalties in the league this season (4) than they did over the whole of 2011/12 (3).





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Champions League last 16 draw

Uefa Champions League last 16 draw:

Galatasaray v Schalke – I have a couple of Galatasaray jerseys at home, gifted by one of my distributors when I used to work with a pharma company in Hyderabad, so for senti sake, lets hope the Turkish club makes it to the next round

Celtic v Juventus – Celtic has had a dream run so far…but Juventus is in top form in the last 18 odd months, so it could be the Italians going through here

Arsenal v Bayern Munich – Heart says Arsenal, but brain says Bayern Munich! Bayern’s strong record at the Allianz Arena would be a big plus for them

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund – I haven’t seen these two teams play so far in the CL, but I have been reading a lot about how these two teams were the most exciting teams in this year’s CL so far…so anyone would do

AC Milan v Barcelona – Barcelona is having an incredible season in La Liga and they did have a couple of blips in the group stage of CL, but you never know. I won’t be surprised if Milan makes it in this tie

Real Madrid v Manchester United – Standout match of the draw, no doubt about that. This is one of the matches I will not miss for sure. I would like Madrid to make it. If real win this match, they would be favourites to win the CL this time.

Valencia v Paris St Germain – Ibrahimovic might inspire PSG to sail through this tie. If Valencia win this one it would be an upset I guess

Porto v Malaga – Malaga should win this one and be in the 16 for the first time. Porto played good so far but this is as far as they can go

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Santi Cazorla with his hat-trick ball

Cazorla with the match ball after the Reading match

Cazorla with the match ball after the Reading match

Thanks to Arteta on twitter 🙂

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5 core players sign on…one pending

5 core players sign pending

Jenkinson Ramsey Wilshere Chamberlain Gibbs

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December 19, 2012 · 22:48

A new low but it was coming and Guardiola whispers

In a Cup match anything can happen. But somehow as I was watching the match, I could sense that this was coming. When we were down by a goal, I was praying for us to equalise and that we did at the fag end of the match through Vermaelen. And we controlled most of the match but could never convert any of our chances. It has been the story so far this season as well as many preceding seasons, a lot of possession but no goals to show. That’s where we differ with Barca, they score!

In the match against West Brom one thing I observed was the way Gervinho played. He will get the ball in the wide areas, but would try to get into the 12 yard box all by himself and take a shot, when there were couple of opportunities for him to pass to Giroud. But he didn’t. I know that Gervinho is a player who likes to take on the opponent, do some tricks, dribble past him and shoot. But when it doesn’t work a couple of times, should he not try giving a pass to the centre forward in the team. I am amazed he was allowed to continue in that match. But his striking credentials came into question in the Capital One cup match against Bradford. His miss will go down as one of the worst misses of the season for Arsenal. What was he doing?

How can he miss this?

And the only reason I think he is still playing is because Arsene doesn’t have any options. We only have a playing XI, we do not have a good bench. If we want to replace Gervinho, we only have an underperforming Arshaving or Chamakh. But then who is to blame for that. I think it is high time Wenger went out and bought some players. Else this could get worse in the next few matches.

Wenger seems to be a frustrated soul as the season is progressing. And then there is news of a rift between him and Bould coming out in the open. Then there is the news of Guardiola expressing his interest in managing Arsenal.

More frustration for Arsene

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December 14, 2012 · 22:48

West Brom @ home – must win

Last few weeks have been harrowing for the manager, answering questions about his reign in North London following the toothless display of the team over the period. Arsenal lie 10th in the league, quite an unfamiliar position at this stage of the season for many fans. And the last match in the premier league was a defeat at home for the team against a spirited Swansea. But what has irked most fans is our lack of attacking options.

I would say that Wenger has to take the blame for not getting one more striker or a midfielder in the summer. If he expected Diaby, Wilshere and Rosicky to come back from injury and give the team the extra boost, it has not worked so far. Wilshere will take atleast another month to get back to the form that he displayed before he went out injured. Rosicky has started showing the spark, but honestly he needs to be brought in slowly into the first team. Let me not make any comment on Diaby. I think we should not expect anything from him because he is so very prone to injuries. I really had some hope on him when  we started but then thats about as long as he has survived fit.

I think this team can still finish in the top 3 or 4 come end of the season. But then we will need to start winning and scoring some goals. And also but one or two players in the January transfer window. We definitely need a striker. We can’t hope to finish the season with only Giroud as the striker. And lets hope there will be some buyer for Chamakh and Arshavin in January. I really would not want to let go of Arshavin but I think he is not putting in the 100% that is required of him.

I would not even want to comment on all the rubbish that is going on about asking for Wenger’s resignation. I think people need to be realistic here.

On the weekend match against West Brom, we should have our key players fresh after a good rest, ready to blow away the opposition. Podolski is a suspect, so is Sagna. West Brom has played well so far in being in the top half of the table. But I guess they are punching much above their weight at this stage. They are 5 points and 5 places above Arsenal at this stage. And Arsenal have their lowest points tally in the Wenger reign at this stage and West Brom’s league position is their highest after 15 games since 1981! So lets hope we get the much wanted 3 points. We need that desperately to get back that confidence going for a very busy month. This has now become a kind of must win for the team in all respects.

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5th, 12th, 4th, 10th, 4th, 1st, 4th, 1st, 6th, 4th, 7th, 7th, 6th 10th

That is how Arsenal finished in the league, 15 years before Wenger took up the reins at Highbury. Thanks to fellow Gooner “Saltee” on the Guardian website!

And the 15 years from then have been

1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd

We can argue that maybe the comparison should be made with United, Chelsea or even Man City. But I don’t think any two clubs are alike. They have their own philosophies on how they play, who they buy and how much they will pay.

I think Gooners need to be patient for one or two more seasons more and then complain if we don’t do well. We are no Abrahmovic led club which will give instant justice!!!

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