Arsenal finished off Wigan comfortably in the end. The scoreline which should ideally have been 8-0 or something was 4-0 after 90 mintes. It could have been 5-0 after the two added minutes as Arsenal finished the match with a chance which the unlucky Van Persie could not convert. With this win, Arsenal are sixth in the league( temporarily of course as it depends on the Liverpool result) with 17 goals so far in 5 games, which is by far the highest in the league.
Vermaelen turned out to be the star with two well taken goals, one with his head and the other with his left leg, a sublime finish. He is slowly becoming a crowd favourite with his play, both at the back and in front off set-pieces. His first was a towering header jumping above the Wigan defence and then a one two with Eboue on the left, and a finish which will make Van Persie jealous kept the Gunners two goals ahead. After that every touch of his was cheered by the crowd.
The third was again a good move of the numerous ones created by Arsenal today with Clichy taking time on the right before delivering a weighted cross to Eduardo whose strike hit the post and came off couple of players before it went to Eduardo again who smashed it towards goal and off Eboue into goal. Eboue will get credit for this goal. And a word about Eboue here, he had a good match and this is the same match last year in which he was booed out by the Gooners. Three cheers for him for his performance which will make us forget the previous one. And a word to all you Gooners, lets not boo our own player. As long as he is wearing an Arsenal jersey, lets just support him.
And before the fourth was coming there were chances galore with Van Persie missing a nice through chip from Fabregas and Song going it all alone before hitting the outside of the left post. And there were some good moves too. Diaby was replaced by Ramsey and Eboue and Eduardo made way for Bendtner and Rosicky. This ignited some new moves with Rosicky being more involved and Bendtner also getting more exposure to the passes. He combined with van Persie on the right before crossing to the near post were a limping Fabregas found the net. Hope our captain’s limp is temporary and he will be back to fitness soon.
So that was a well deserved 3 points and lets hope the team builds on this.
The first full match I saw this season of Arsenal and it was a wonderful 3-1 victory at home against the hapless-Celtics at Emirates. Coming into this match, Celtics needed atleast 2 goals to attain parity on the first leg score. Their gameplan was to score an early goal and put Arsenal under pressure at home. Fabregas was injured and Arshavin and Van Persie were rested ahead of this clash.
The team that started had a solid defence in the form of Clichy and Sagna in the wings, with the quick-gelling duo of Gallas and Vermaelen at the centre. The midfield comprised of Diaby, Denilson, Song and Eboue with Eduardo and Bendtner leading the line. Eboue had a good game and I think some of the feints and moves he has in his armour are really world-class, when he pulls them off. his performance was rewarded with a goal which was sweetly taken. Denilson, Diaby and Song played a very disciplined game showing the maturity that they are gaining. If they play like this then my opinion about them will only get better and better.
Bendtner had a decent game where he played a crucial part in the second goal with a elegant back-heel. But he missed a sitter of a header at the stroke of half-time. Eduardo had a great game except for the dive to win the penalty. This will be a mlack mark in his otherwise wonderful performance which involved a curler of a shot which was saved by the Celtics goalie. He is gaining in confidence and will be our 20 goal striker for sure this year.
Ramsey came in and got injured which led to Arsenal playing the last 5 minutes with 10 men. I hope he is back to training and fitness. Wilshere came along with Arshavin with 20 minutes remaining in the match. Arshavin is such a skillful clever player that there is excitement on the field when he is playing. He can make those telling runs, wonderful dribbles and feints and make those killer passes and score some goals. He scored his first european goal for Arsenal and I thought when he was on the field we could have scored a couple more. I love that guy and hope he stays fit and scores many more memorable ones, including a couple on Saturday;)
Credit to Celtics for providing wonderful entertainment in the tie. They played well and hard luck to them for the penalty decision. Not that not having that penalty would have saved them the tie because definitely Arsenal were the better team on the night and also over two legs. Good luch to them in SPL now.
Without Cesc if we could show so much creativity on the field it is quite impressive. The passing and movement of the team on the whole was of high standard. Looks like this team is moving in the right direction in the league as well as in Europe. Now lets hope that we get an easy group in tomorrow’s Champions League draw. There is a wonderful article on the current Arsenal formation here. A good read I would say.
You could not have asked for a better start than this. An away match against Everton is not an easy one be it the start or the middle of the season, but the 6-1 demolition job of Everton was the biggest margin of victory in the Premier League. Goals from Denilson (when was the last time he scored), Vermaelen(that is a scoring a debut), Gallas, couple for Captain Cesc and a return to scoring charts for Eduardo.
Like Wenger mentioned after the match, when we are having a match like this, anyone in this team can score!!! Well that is quite true. We do have matches like this once in a while. Song and Denilson did have a good match and it is players like them who have to play like this week in and week out if we have to give a title-challenge come December. Already bookers William have brought down the odds of Arsenal’s title chances from 9-1 to 11-2!!! Mark Lawrenson in BBC had predicted a 2-0 victory to Everton in his weekly predictions, I am sure he is having a great day today. In a way I like it when people under-estimate us and we prove them wrong. I guess Patrick Barclay in Times is the only pundit who gave Arsenal some weightage.
Lets not get over excited by this win and prepare and finish the job at Celtics midweek so that we are assured of some revenue from playing in Europe. And then take it up from there. And one good word for Van Persie, Arshavin and Bendtner who were immense in the match too. Almunia was stellar under the bars catching every corner and cross that came to the Arsenal box. It really feels nice after we win like this 🙂
Filed under Almunia, Arsenal, Arshavin, Celtic FC, Cesc, Denilson, Eduardo, Fabregas, Gallas, Patrick Barclay, Vermaelen
A great display of finishing from Eduardo and Vela sealed our entry into the quarterfinals of the FA cup followed by one of the most surprise combinations for an Arsenal goal ever, a Song backheel and a Eboue drive for the third goal.Well surprises do happen but credit should be given where it is due, Song and Eboue had a good match.
But for me the man of the match was Arshavin. He was making those piercing runs, giving those through balls and looked like doing the unexpected and make the opposition in disarray.Like I have been saying in this blog for some time now, he is going to be the key difference for us from now till the end of the season. And this match saw the comeback fo Eduardo(with the captain’s armband) and Walcott from their long layoff from injury. Burnley should also be credited for not parking their bus in front of their defence and attacking right from the 1st minute. A word of praise for Kieran Gibbs too. He is a star for the future.
One of the things which was lacking in Adebayor and Bendtner and to some extent in Van Persie was their finishing. If they needed some lessons, they should just see the replay of the Vela goal for maintaining composure and scoring with his leg but thinking from his head…and the Eduardo goal for the turn which broke the offside wall and the heel kick which surprised the goalie on the direction of the shot. Again a strikers instinct in display. He is our poacher when it comes to playing inside the box. One should note that Van Persie got a similar chance like Eduardo’s and he missed and Walcott had a similar one to Vela’s and he too missed. But I am sure these guys will all improve and the team will get better and better as the season comes to an end.
With this result we are 3 matches away from the FA Cup triumph. I know we should not take it too soon, but if this team just displays some consistency we are in store for a cracker of a finish in both the cup competitions and for the league, though we may not win it now. The CL match tomorrow at Roma is going to be crucial and I believe we will score as Roma will be looking to score and therefore opening up space at the middle of the park and back. I would love to see Van Persie starting with Eduardo up front. The likely team:
Eduardo Van Persie
Arshavin Nasri Denilson Walcott
Clichy Gallas Toure Sagna
Well this is a good team and I have the confidence that they can beat Roma away from home.
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.
The season is dead and buried now. It has been a good season for Arsenal given the fact that, Henry’s exit and a new bunch of players playing together for the first time were written off even before the ball was kicked. The Gunners did a creditable job finishing 4 points behind Manchester United and 2 points behind Chelsea, when you take into perspective some refereeing decisions which could have gone either ways and the 8 games without a win that they went through post the Eduardo injury.
Manchester did the double and have grown in strength and look firm favourites for next year already. Chelsea had a late surge towards the end and Arsenal lost steam after being in the front for a long time last season. Here is a list of some of the best of the season in EPL
Team of the year
Sagna Rio Ferdinand Vidic Clichy
Ronaldo Gerrard Fabregas Petrov
David James has been consistent and his presence under the bars was assurance to Harry Redknap’s team. Vidic and Rio provided the stability at the centre of defence which was responsible for the less goals in the Goals Against column on the tables. They complement each other very well. In Sagna and Clichy Arsenal had the best full backs in the league. Sagne was good in the air as well as surging back to defend while Clichy was an engine with energy left to do a run even in the 90th minute.
I am going in with a 4-5-1 combination as the defensive midfielder role has become one of the most important roles in any team. Players like Flamini, Mascherano, Carrick/Hargreaves have got that ability to cut down moves from opposition by coming down with the tackles at the right time. They break moves and win back possession. And in that role Flamini excelled beyond compare.
If a player scores 30 goals in a season and he operates in midfield, that is a performance worth many awards and hence Ronaldo makes his way into the team without any doubt. He along with Gerrard will be the attacking options in this team. Gerrard had a consistent performance and his attitude is one of the best in the league when it comes to leading the team by example. Fabregas added a few goals to the most number of assists in the league and was again the most creative midfielder in the league. On the left wing I am going with Petrov from Manchester City as he came out as a person with an awesome left foot. I wonder why he did not get mention in any other team of the years. He had some lethal crosses throughout the season and looks like a good introduction to the league.
With all the attacking options in the team I think the lone guy forward would be good enough for this team. And if that lone forward is Torres, nothing like it. That guy doesn’t miss many chances and his finishing has been impeccable. Great to see him play in EPL.
Players who scored the most crucial goals
Jamie Bullard – Like Tevez last year for West Ham United, Bullard scored the most crucial goals towards the end of the season when Fulham needed it most to keep their premiership hopes alive. His freekick goals were as best as any that you will in the league and all those goals made for points which saved them relegation.
Carlos Tevez – He was the most important goalscorer for Manchester United this year as he scored in getting some vital points in drawn matches as well as some victorious matches.
Best new Signing
Torres – He was expensive but he has justified every bit of it. He doesn’t miss many chances and his finishing was brilliant. He has got the power and doesn’t go down that easily to challenges
Sagna – He was one of the most stable players in Arsenal this season and he was good with tackles as well as on the air. He complemented Eboue well on the right side and was playing some really good football till he got injured towards the end of the season.
Roque Santa Cruz – When Mark Hughes bought him from Bayern Munich there were many doubters but fifteen goals in the season is very commendable froma player who cost much much less than someone like Torres. He is only 26 and expect more from him next season.
Best match of the season
Manchester United vs Arsenal – This match played in April was a very keenly contested match and Arsenal showed their class. They dominated the match but gave away a dubious freekick and suffered a defeat. Great display from Arsenal and if they had won that match, then it would have been a different end to the season.
Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Barclays Premier League, Blackburn Rovers, Cesc, Chelsea, Clichy, Cristiano Ronaldo, David James, Eduardo, Eduardo Injury, England, EPL, Fabregas, Flamini, Fulham, Gael Clichy, Gerrard, Gunners, Hargreaves, Jamie Bullard, Liverpool, Man City, Manchester United, Mascherano, Petrov, Premier League, Rio Ferdinand, Ronaldo, Roque Santa Cruz, Sagna, Tevez, Torres, Vidic, Wenger, West Ham
One of the best performers of last season, Flamini left for AC Milan on a free transfer, which would certainly dent Wenger’s confidence in rebuilding a somewhat stable team. With Hleb also rumoured to leave with his agent coming out in the media with all sorts of a threat of buying out his own contract and joining Inter.
Arsenal has definitely improved as a team from last season with more points and a better position than last year. But the problem is that so has the other teams which meant that Manchester United and Chelsea got just better than Arsenal. Wenger’s hands tied for transfer and salary money means our most valuable player, Fabregas gets half of what say a Ronaldo or Terry might get. Now the challenge is to keep this team like this for next year. Real and Barca can come calling for Fabregas with double of what he is currently getting and this is where all the good will that Wenger has put in with his young players will come through. His relationship with Fabregas and other young players should keep them in this club for couple more years or atleast an year even if they dont win any trophy.
The team is well set at the back with probably a Center back needed and the midfield cover for Fabregas is also required in the Flamini mode. Gilberto could do that next season if he stays and with couple of youngsters set to graduate into the senior team, I guess midfield is taken care of. Vela is set to come back into the first team from Osasuna, where he is on loan. And another finisher in the front would be a welcome addition as Eduardo would not be back before December and Persie can be prone to further injuries. Probably Rosicky would also be fit for next season and play atleast 20-30 matches.
So it is a challenge for Wenger to make sure the likes of Hleb and all stay and get some quality signings like Sagna into the team with whatever little money that he has in his transfer kitty.
Coming to the title run in this year, it is all set to be one of the most watched footballing weekend of all time in the history of football. It is definitely advantage Manchester United as the decider match starts all at the same time. One goal for either team would put pressure on the other, but for me it is United’s to lose than Chelsea’s to win. It is all set to be an awesome Sunday for all football lovers.
Filed under AC Milan, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Barcelona, Carlos Vela, Cesc, Chelsea, Eduardo, EPL, Fabregas, Gilberto, Hleb, Inter Milan, John Terry, Manchester United, Osasuna, Ronaldo, Rosicky, Sagna, Wenger