Category Archives: Arsene Wenger

Wenger remarks, Celtic tie and what to expect

The smooth operator that Arsene is in the transfer market, we cannot be sure about whom he is going to buy or not buy unless he does one of them come the end of the transfer window. But he sure has been talking about the money spinning clubs, especially Machester City and Real Madrid.

Manchester City at the moment look like they have a great squad quality-wise, but sometimes when you buy more than three players you take a technical gamble. Yes, sometimes it clicks straightaway but  sometimes it takes a few months and Real Madrid are in the same situation. They have bought fantastic players but you have to ask if they will click or not in a few months. Nobody knows. That’s not predictable. If you do not find your balance straight away it can be difficult.

Rightly said, given that Wenger himself thinks that no player should be bought beyond a particular value (in his case I think 15 million pounds will be the maximum). To him that player is not really wanted to make a team that he thinks will play football on the field for 90 minutes and win. He goes on to say

Real Madrid were not 10th last year, they were second. They had good players and a good team. City have more to create than Real Madrid.

A very valid point, certainly Real didn’t need such an overhaul to move just one place on the table. Even with this overhaul I doubt if they will really beat Barca to the La Liga title. And it must be such a suffocating period for the other players who are in the team seeing so many new expensive signings coming in. It is not a good environment to be in.

So it is Celtic FC whom we will meet in the UEFA Champions League play-off round in the Non-champions route on 18/19th of August and the return leg at Emirates on August 25/26th. This is crucial for the team as the group stage of the Champions league means a lot of money for the club, which is needed badly. The tie is not going to be an easy one and keeping the team fit and without injury is going to be key this season. Let’s hope we start the season well enough and carry on the momentum to Europe.

So can we expect more signings and exits from the club in the next couple of weeks??? The answer seems to be “yes”, given the fact that Senderos looks ready for a move to Everton. And given that we would definetely need to buy a defender. And also a defensive midfielder would be an ideal signing to close the season. I seriously think with respect to the forward line we have enough back up in the team, but we will need a midfielder if Wenger intends to play the 4-3-3.

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Filed under Arsene Wenger, Celtic FC, Champions League, Everton, Man City, Real Madrid, Senderos, UEFA

The fabulous back four of yesteryears and the Wenger years in video

In a weekend where we take on the might of ever-improving Chelsea under Hiddink, here are some interesting reads and videos.

The Fab Four – Talks about our famous back four assembled by George Graham consisting of Winterburn-Adams-Bould-Dixon/Keown. The second title they won by conceding only 18 goals and losing just once (almost unbeaten, isn’t it)

Arsene Wenger – Those were the days, tracks Wengers 13 year journey with Arsenal. Some good videos

Enjoy the reads and hope we beat Chelsea…Drogba and Arshavin are most probably notable absentees

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Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Arshavin, Chelsea, Drogba, George Graham, Nigel Winterburn, Steve Bould

The better team won

There is no doubt in my mind that the better team amongst Arsenal and Manchester United won over two legs and qualified for the finals. Manchester United beat Arsenal 1-3 at the Emirates and with an aggregate of 4-1 will play in the finals in Rome. The other finalist will be decided tonight from the Barcelona and Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge.

Going into the match Arsenal needed to score 2 goals and concede none to reach the finals. The crowd was the loudest I have heard in the Emirates and the flags which were distributed in all the seats were a sight to watch. Maybe that inspired the team for the first 5-6 minutes where they fought tooth for tooth for every ball and was dominating the play. United had no clue. Then came the first killer blow. A advancing Ronaldo on the left side crossed in front of the goal and the youngest player on the field, Kieran Gibbs, who had a mammoth game in the first leg, keeping Ronaldo under control, slipped and could not recover enough to beat Park’s shot at goal. Taanng!!! So now Arsenal need to score 3 goals for a outright entry into the finals.

Within another 3 minutes, Fabregas lost the ball and in trying to recover the ball Van Persie fouled Ronaldo (though Ronaldo went down too easily)and in the resultant free-kick, Ronaldo unleashed a fierce shot which dipped and curled in and caught Almunia by surprise (he should have saved it, but I guess it was one of those things). Well this goal virtually killed the tie. Expecting this Arsenal team to score 4 goals against this United side will be asking for too much. Felt bad for the crowd who had been behind the team and was positive about a fightback from the team though we had conceded a goal. The game was buried in the 11th minute.

The rest of the match was something that just passed by. Arsenal was trying to break through the midfield-defensive wall of United and were unsuccessful.United on the other hand substituted their players who were on yellow card and also scored one more in a counter attack.

 So Arsenal’s title hunt comes to an end and probably the only thing left to do for the season is to win all the remaining matches in the premier league, which include a match each against Chelsea(next weekend) and Manchester United. Finishing third looks difficult as it is not in our hands(Chelsea has to lose two matches and we have to win all our remaining matches). The differene between finishing third and fourth is an automatic qualification to the Champions League and playing a qualifier which could also be depending on the luck of the draw a 4th placed team from Italy or Spain or some Eastern European team.

Its time for Arsene to think of what is lacking in this team, a central defender (very urgent) probably. I think with Song and Denilson maturing,Rosicky hopefully back for the next season, I feel we have a good midfield back up. Not to forget Ramsey. If we do not lose Van Persie and lose Adebayor, the forward line will still look healthy with Eduardo, Bendtner, Vela acting as back up to Van Persie and Arshavin. I feel we have a good team for the next season if we can keep the flock together.

More later.

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Filed under Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Arshavin, Champions League, Europe, Kieran Gibbs, Ronaldo

5 good reads before the CL clash against Man Utd

1.Daniel Taylor (Guardian) looks at the tactics that Ferguson is going to employ against Arsenal

2.Matt Hughes (Times) talks about the conflics between the two managers

3.Ian Herbert (Independent) looks at the threat of Walcott and others against Man Utd

4.Daid Pleat(Guardian) analyses the keyclashes in tonight’s match

5. BBC match preview

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Filed under Alex Ferguson, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, BBC, Champions League, Europe, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times

Eduardo “fit” again

Let me start the new year with some good news – Eduardo our man who promised a lot before he got injured played 45 minutes in training…but it might be sometime before he is back playing in the premier league. This was disclosed by Arsene Wenger in Arsenal TV today.

Get back to your scoring form Eduardo…we need some inspiration in the second half of the league.

In other news, Arshavin has been quite seriously rumoured to join Arsenal. It might be a decent fit but I still feel that we need a defensive midfielder.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arsenal TV, Arsene Wenger, Arshavin, Eduardo, Eduardo Injury

Wenger needs to improve the squad for a top 4 finish

What a see-saw match…First I thought we were not getting any points in this match. Then we scored two and I thought maybe we are lucky enough for 3 points with this team and then it was finally 2 points lost…the way we defended, probably it was one point gained. It was awful defending which cost us in the end.

To me Song, Denilson and Diaby are second grade players to be in this team. I know some of you might not agree with me as one of two of them scored the goals for us…but that doesnt mean that they are good enough to be in the Arsenal team. Denilson might get the benefit of doubt, but there is no doubt about the lazy and laidback Diaby and Song. Diaby tries a lot of flicks and clever passes throughout the match and I wonder how many times he has given the ball away to opposition. It gets frustrating sometimes watching him play.

And in Silvestre and Gallas we have two good players who have lost the edge. Gallas is slow for the Premier league and the penalty conceded was unpardonable. So I hope Wenger does something to rectify this…And Toure is not at his best. Probably Djourou is our best bet for central defence!!!

I do not have much more to write about the match but I have to mention about Sagna…He was the most outstanding player in an Arsenal jersey last night. He was solid at the back. And I don’t have words to describe that over head kick to make that save!!!

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Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Aston Villa, Denilson, Diaby, Gallas, Silvestre, Song

Cesc Injury and Villa preview

Just when you thought the team has held on to it’s ground(be it at whichever level)by beating Man Utd, Chelse and then drawing against Liverpool, comes the news of Fabregas’s possible absence for a period of 4 months!!! That means he will be available in end April 2009.

I just checked our schedule and at most he wil get to play the last 4-5 matches and for your information the third last and the second last match of the season is against Chelsea(at home) and Manchester United (away) respectively. But if ever we thought we had a slender hope of getting anywhere near 2nd or 3rd or even 1st place for that matter, it has just been brushed away by Alonso’s powerful foot. Aston Villa will be the most happiest team this weekend as they know that a win or even a draw will be good enough for them to lay claims to breaching the top 4 in the league.

But where do we go from here. Certainly a Diaby-Song-Denilson combination in the midfield will do us no good. I think except for Wenger everyone else thinks that way. So do not be surprised if Wenger fields these 3 along with Nasri in the midfield. I would love to see someone like Ramsey get a chance. Atleast it would mean some fresh ideas and possible a breakthrough.The biggest question is going to be whether Wenger will buy in the January transfer window(which he has not done for a long long time) to compensate for Fabregas’s absence. I guess only Arsene knows the answer to this question.

So when we go visiting Villa this Friday, we definetely have a match of high pressure. We need to win this one to show some steel in the team ranks. We have to show that we can get 3 points without Cesc and Adebayor. Villa is really looking good and I admire that team when they are not playing us. Ashley Young is actually the kind of player who will fit into our team and will be able to contribute. Anyways, we need three points, for being in the top four and not to compete for the league. If that happens, its well and good. So all the best to the Gunners.

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Filed under Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Aston Villa, Cesc, Fabregas