Category Archives: Chelsea

Chelsea beat us fair and square and next years CL entry

I do not think we can complain about the 4-1 loss to Chelsea at home…our biggest loss this season and that too coming after 20 unbeaten games in the premier league. We had our chances and Walcott missed a number of them after creating them and Diaby made the wrong choice by going for a shot which he could have left for Fabregas(given our finishing and luck, maybe he would also have not finished it). Well we had our chances and we didn’t convert, Chelsea did that was the difference.

No point in complaining but I thought Silvestre was partially responsible in letting in the first two goals. Wenger could have probably got a younger, fitter and energetic player than him I am sure. He has a sweet tooth for the French players, it might not work all the time. Atleast not on Silvestre. The goal that he conceded in that ill-fated FA cup semi comes to mind. Agreed, that Fabianski came out too early but Silvestre gave up on the chase mich before that. Please sell him.

I would like to make a separate post on how we can improve the squad but I would definetely like to see a experienced goalie and centre-back in the team, next season. Somehow I have a feeling that our midfield and forward line look decent.

The Guardian has a good report on the implications of the fourth place finish. Here is an exercpt from the article

Uefa has introduced play-offs, which will run alongside the old qualification rounds and contain the teams from the higher-profile leagues.

The fourth-placed Premier League team will enter the final play-off round, together with the fourth-placed finishers from Italy and Spain and the third-placed finishers from Germany and France. These teams will be joined by the ­winners of ties between the ­runners-up from Portugal, Holland, ­Scotland, Turkey, Ukraine, Belgium, Greece, Czech Republic and Romania, plus the third-placed team from Russia.

The 10 teams will then be divided into five seeds and five non-seeds, based on their Uefa club co­efficient, and drawn seeds against non-seeds, with the winners of the two-legged ties advancing to the group stage.

Arsenal are certain to be seeded, given their consistent level of achievement in Europe, but the danger would lie in them drawing an emerging team who, because of a lack of a recent track record, are not afforded seeded status. Italy’s current fourth-placed team, Fiorentina, fit that profile, as do Germany’s third-placed team, Hertha Berlin. Even Valencia, ­currently fourth in Spain, would not be guaranteed to be seeded. Nor might ­Arsenal relish being drawn against Sporting ­Lisbon, Shakhtar Donetsk or Celtic, all second in their leagues at present.

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, Silvestre, 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

Lucky Arsenal beat Chelsea

Before the match started any Gooner would have told you that one point from this game is more than enough, especially when the team is going to Stamford Bridge on the back of 2 defeats. So when with a bit of luck the team beat Chelsea convincingly in the end, every fan would be relishing in it. It’s really different when Arsenal win. You go to sleep feeling nice, and you wake up the next morning feeling even better, especially after you beat one of the strong, title-contenders.

Chelsea applied pressure from the first half and deservingly went ahead by an error from Djourou, which resulted in an own goal. And when Chelsea went into the break leading by a goal, Martin Tyler made a telling statement, Chelsea has not conceded a goal in the second half of any premier league match this season. Well, whatever confidence a Gooner would have had, got drained there itself.

I should say that the way we played was not upto our usual standard. Denilson and Song to some extent were below par and I dont know how many times we ended up giving wrong passes. It was only in the 60th minute when luck turned in Arsenal’s favour. Van Persie who was clearly offside banged a shot into the right corner using his wrong foot. In another three minutes, Fabregas’s freekick was headed down by Adebayor and Van persie turned and swirled a shot past a diving Cech. Anelka and Kalou proved to everyone that they are not exactly the best strikers that a rich club like Chelsea can afford. It was as if the youngsters were teaching the oldies at Stamford Bridge a lesson.

rvp

Gallas returned to his old ground amidst a lot of jeers from the crowd throughout the match, but he would have been one of the many who would have left the stadium happier.

“William was outstanding today,” Wenger said. “Absolutely amazing. He came out of that period with a lot of credit and his commitment is fantastic. He was outstanding today, just as he was against Dynamo Kiev. He shows he is a real fighter. Instead of giving up, he’s a fighter.”

“There’s no problem at all,” Van Persie said. “He’s a respected colleague and a very good player. It’s not my day, it’s our day.”

 So it is Wigan next saturday and if we can keep the winning run under the new Captain, it would do the chances of this team a whole lot good. Liverpool come to Emirates on December 20th and I would love to see how this team responds to the current League leaders. Till then…

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Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Chelsea, EPL, Fabregas, Stamford Bridge, Van Persie

Does Robinho know what he is doing?

Who knows, he might become a success in Man City but the whole deal stinks. Real Madrid might be feeling good that they were able to dispose him off and make a handsome return in the process. He was uttering only Chelsea ever since Scolari took over at Stamford Bridge and ultimately went to the club in Blue jersey in Manchester.

Here is a good one 

The national team, preparing for World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia over the next week, gave a press conference on Thursday. Asked about his transfer, Robinho mentioned Chelsea, and ‘the offer Chelsea made to Real Madrid’ several times in the course of his answer, and when the journalist sought clarification afterwards (‘You mean Manchester City, right?’), the man of the moment blinked and replied ‘yeah, right. Manchester City, sorry,’ before moving onto the next question

How sad is that?

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Filed under Chelsea, Man City, Real Madrid, Robinho

Berba to Utd, Binho to ManC and none to Ashburton Grove

In a midnight of pounds and faxes, transfer deadlines were met and unmet with a host of transfer deals across Europe and England as some of the top Premier league clubs made last minute additions to their squad. Of the notable ones were the long pending transfer of Berbatov to United. It seems the new super rick Sheikhs of Man City wanted to hijack the bid but Berbatov stood firm to commit himself to Man Utd.

But the most interesting bit of transfer happened in the Blue Half of Manchester as City swooped on Chelsea target Robinho from Real. Now that was something that must have irked off Abrahmovic…and I like that 🙂

Here are the list of transfer dealings from the top 4 clubs of EPL…courtesy Telegraph UK

Deadline Day deals:

Player From To Fee
Roman Pavlyuchenko Spartak Moscow Tottenham £14m
Vedran Corluka Manchester City Tottenham £8.5m
Jonas Olsson NEC Nijmegan WBA £800,000 rising to £1.6m
Omar Garcia Athletic Bilbao Rotherham Free
Vitor Flora Botafogo Liverpool Free
Ryan Gallagher Blackburn Plymouth Season Loan
Ryan Donk AZ Alkmaar WBA Season Loan
Kamil Zayatte Young Boys Berne Hull Season Loan
Blerim Dzemaili Bolton Torino Season Loan
Nadim Belhadj Lens Portsmouth Season Loan
Ignacio Gonzalez Valencia Newcastle Season Loan
Mark Bunn Northampton Blackburn Rovers Undisclosed
Louis Saha Manchester United Everton Undisclosed
Steve Finnan Liverpool Espanyol Undisclosed
Peter Guloisi MTK Hungaria Liverpool Undisclosed
Sean Evans Manchester United Aberystwyth Free
Collins John Fulham Nijmegen Free
Rachid Bouaouzan Wigan Nijmegen Season loan
Andriy Voronin Liverpool Hertha Berlin Season loan
Jonathan Grounds Middlesbrough Norwich City Three-month loan
Jean-Francois Christophe Portsmouth Southend United One-month loan
Gabriel Zakuani Fulham Peterborough One-month loan
Javan Vidal Manchester City Grimsby One-month loan
Danny Higginbotham Sunderland Stoke City Undisclosed
Carlo Nash Everton Wigan Athletic Undisclosed
Daniel Cousin Hull City Rangers £4m
Antonie Sibierski Norwich City Wigan Athletic 5 month loan
Martin Cranie Charlton Athletic Portsmouth Season loan
Xisco Newcastle United Deportivo La Coruna £8.2m
Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur £30.75m
Fraizer Campbell Tottenham Hotspur Manchester United Season loan
Michael Tonge Stoke City Sheffield United £1.5m
Tom Soares Stoke City Crystal Palace £1.5m
Julian Gray Fulham Coventry City Season loan

The top 4 clubs’ tranfer activities this year –

Arsenal

IN

Samir Nasri Marseille £12.8m

Aaron Ramsey Cardiff £5m

Mikael Silvestre Manchester U £750,000

Amaury Bischoff Werder Bremen Undisclosed

Francis Coquelin Stade Lavallois Free

OUT

Alexander Hleb Barcelona £11.8m rising to £13.5m

Justin Hoyte Middlesbrough £3m

Gilberto Silva Panathinaikos £1m

Mathieu Flamini AC Milan Free

Jens Lehmann Stuttgart Free

Kerrea Gilbert Leicester Season Loan

Havard Nordtveit Salamanca Season Loan

Nacer Barazite Derby 5 Month Loan

Armand Traore Portsmouth Season Loan

Chelsea

IN

Jose Bosingwa Porto £16.2m

Deco Barcelona £7.9m

Fabio Paim Sporting Lisbon Season Loan

OUT

Steve Sidwell Aston Villa £5m

Khalid Boulahrouz Stuttgart £4m

Tal Ben Haim Manchester C £3m

Claude Makelele Paris St-Germain Free

Harry Worley Leicester Free

Anthony Grant Southend Free

Andriy Shevchenko AC Milan Undisclosed

Ryan Bertrand Norwich Season Loan

Shaun Cummings MK Dons 1 Month Loan

Slobodan Rajkovic FC Twente Season Loan

Ben Sahar Portsmouth Season Loan

Michael Modubi Westerloo Season Loan

Jeffrey Ntuka Westerloo Season Loan

Emmanuel Sarki Westerloo Season Loan

Jimmy Smith Sheffield Wed Season Loan

Hernan Crespo Inter Milan Season Loan

Claudio Pizarro Werder Bremen Season Loan

Lee Sawyer Southend 3 Month Loan

Jack Cork Southampton 6 Month Loan

Adrian Pettigrew Released

James Simmonds Released

Phil Younghusband Released

Liverpool

IN

Albert Riera Espanyol Undisclosed

Peter Gulacsi MTK Hungaria Undisclosed

Vito Flora Botafogo Free

Robbie Keane Tottenham £19m rising to £20.3m

Andrea Dossena Udinese £7m

Diego Cavalieri Palmeiras £3m

David Ngog Paris St-Germain £1.5m

Nikola Saric Herfolge £600,000

Vincent Weijl AZ Alkmaar Nominal

Christopher Buchtmann Borussia Dortmund Undisclosed

Philipp Degen Borussia Dortmund Free

Emmanuel Mendy Murcia Deportivo Free

Zsolt Poloskei MTK Hungaria Season Loan

OUT

Steve Finnan Espanyol Undisclosed

Andriy Voronin Hertha Berlin Season loan

John Arne Riise Roma £4m

Scott Carson WBA £3.25m

Peter Crouch Portsmouth £9m rising to £11m

Danny Guthrie Newcastle £2.5m

Anthony Le Tallec Le Mans £1.1m

Charlie Barnett Tranmere Free

Besian Idrizaj Wacker Innsbruck Free

Harry Kewell Galatasaray Free

Godwin Antwi Tranmere 6 Month Loan

Adam Hammill Blackpool 6 Month Loan

Jack Hobbs Leicester Season Loan

Robbie Threlfall Hereford Season Loan

David Martin Leicester6 Month Loan

Sebastien Leto Olympiakos 2 Year Loan

Craig Lindfield Bournemouth 4 Month Loan

Manchester United

IN

Dimitar Berbatov Tottenham £30.75m

Davide Petrucci Roma £200,000

OUT

Dong Fangzhou Released

Gerard Pique Barcelona £4m

Chris Eagles Burnley £1.2m

Mikael Silvestre Arsenal £750,000

Richie Jones Hartlepool Free

Michael Lea Scunthorpe Free

Kieron Lee Oldham Free

Conor McCormack Triestina Free

Scott McManus Crewe Free

David Williams Oldham Free

Tom Heaton Cardiff Season Loan

Ferbin Brandy Swansea 6 Month Loan extension

Danny Simpson Blackburn Season Loan

Fraizer Campbell Tottenham Season loan

Lee Martin Nottm Fst Season Loan

Craig Cathcart Plymouth 6 Month Loan

Michael Barnes Released

Sean Evans Aberystwyth Released Free

Chris Fagan Released

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Filed under Arsenal, Berbatov, Chelsea, EPL, Liverpool, Manchester United, Robinho, tranfer deals, Transfer

Away at Craven Cottage

After deservedly getting 3 points from their match against West Brom, though just by a solitary goal, Arsenal travel across the city to meet Fulham at Craven Cottage on week 2 of this season. It was heartening to see Manchester United being held by Newcastle at Old Trafford but the way Chelsea demolished Portsmouth is trouble for all the other teams in the league. Chelsea this season increasingly looks like the team to beat.

On the injury front, Fabregas, Rosicky and Diaby are still not available for selection. Alex Song is back from Olympics and if he has got enough rest, should be playing in the centre of the park with Denilson. Samir Nasri seems to have shrugged off his injury that kept him out of the French squad. That should be interesting. On the other hand, Fulham would be missing Andy Johnson whom they signed from Everton dues to injury.

Wenger should look to start the season like he did last year when we had 8 wins in 9 games. That is the kind of start which can drive the confidence in this young side and give them the momentum to chase the title. Chelsea slamming in 4 goals against a team United failed to score (Community Shiled) is bad news, especially when you see that the goalkeeper who let in 4 is David James!!! Eboue’s position is a debating point across many an Arsenal forum and I would like to see him be the first choice replacement for right back or winger. If things go well, maybe Vela will also get a chance to play in this match.

Toure should be starting the match with Gallas alongside him. Another interesting bit of transfer was the signing of Silvestre from Manchester United. He is 31 and French and is a versatile player who can play as a central defender or left back. It seems he has come cheap at 750k pounds. Smart Purchase? Yes. But every Gooner is looking forward to Wenger buying an experienced holding midfielder to strengthen the team than such buys. As of now it is a wait and watch game from Wenger’s side and he will in all likelihood throw in a surprise come the transfer deadline.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Chelsea, Craven Cottage, EPL, Fulham, Silvestre

Season 2008-09: Contenders – I

Manchester United

With both the domestic and the European titles under their belt, they would be brimming with confidence this time around. They would ideally be looking at retaining both the titles and in doing so become eligible to be the best United team ever. Ferguson has managed to retain his talismanic winger Ronaldo for one more season and has not made any notable buys so far. He is short of one striker and is eyeing the Spurs spearhead Berbatov who Ramos is reluctant to sell as he has already lost Keane.

The community shield was won in the penalty and it once again showed the fighting skills of Tevez and the youth and exuberance of Nani in the absence of Ronaldo and Rooney. But are they good enough to win the league this time also? Needs to be seen, as I can see them challenging the others only if they buy one more striker. This could be the last season for Van Der Saar, Giggs, Scholes and Gary Neville in this team. Queiroz has already left for Portugal and it is quite odd to see Alex Ferguson without his partner in coaching.

With Ronaldo and Rooney missing the beginning of the season I think United will lose their momentum initially though they will come back strongly. But how will Ronaldo play after his operation, will their new striker(if they buy anyone) fit in well with the team, can the Defenders put in one more stellar season? A lot of questions but I think they will not prosper as they did last year.

Prediction: Finish 3rd in the league

Chelsea

A new coach, old players and couple of good additions, Chelsea just look bigger and better this season. Having got Scolari as the coach who admitted openly that his only motivation was money, Chelsea did the best they could in getting a good coach. The other important thing they did was retain the services (so far) of Frank Lampard, their star player. With Drogba now looking at seeing out his contract and Ballack in some good European form this team will be pushing all limits this time around.

Deco was a wonderful signing and I wonder where he would fit in as the Chelsea midfield looks packed with talent. They have to make sure Lampard, Ballack, Essien, Deco, Joe Cole all get to play now. Scolari’s man management skill will be tested and if his past experience in handling the Brazilian national side is anything to go by then he definitely will. He is still pursuing Robinho and wonder if that is required at all.

Last year they know how close they came to winning the league as well as the Champion’s league. People like Ballack and Deco have shown their class in the just concluded Euros and would like to give it one more shot and honestly I think this year’s Chelsea team has got a better cutting edge than the previous season’s. They can maintain the winning momentum for 38 games and now they have coach who will provide the spark.

Prediction: English Premier League Champions

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Champions League, Chelsea, EPL, Europe, Manchester United