Category Archives: Premier League

Arsenal go second in the league

Arsenal climbed to the second spot in the Premier League beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 away from home. It was not a good first half though the Gunners put in two goals or rather Wolves conceded two own goals. As my friend sent an sms, the way the Wolves set up play in the first half, they were fast becoming lambs for slaughter!!!

The Wolves matched Arsenal attack for attack in the first half and surely had a couple of chances to go ahead. And I think this season Arsenal is enjoying a bit of luck in some matches where one they didnt concede and two scored on the other end when it mattered. Eduardo was lively upfront and was instrumental in pressurising the Wolves defence in making them concede two goals in the first half. Diaby getting substituted with Song (who was rested initially by keeping him in the bench) improved the midfield play.

Ramsey making a rare premier league start was quite impressive and so was Fabregas and Arshavin. Gallas was brave at the back with some impressive tackles and Gibbs at left back was a refreshing presence. van Persie provided a sublime assist to Fabregas for the third goal,coming out of a beautiful Arsenal play and Arshavin rounded off a beautiful goal to finish off in style. We should not have conceded the goal in the last few minutes and Almunia definitely would not have liked it.

Arsenal now have 36 goals from 11 games. Van Persie has 7 goals, Fabregas 6 goals and Arshavin has 4. In terms of assists, Fabregas leads with 10 and van Persie has 7.

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A wonderful victory against Spurs

It is 3-0 to the Gunners!!!

For all the big talk dished out by Robbie Keane, his team just showed the opposite. They lacked in depth as they did really miss their most creative players in Luka Modric, Lennon and Defoe playing against their london rivals, who also missed a trio of creative players in Rosicky, Nasri and Walcott…it is a different matter whether they would have still made the team if they were fit.

Arsenal’s formation seems to be a rock solid one with Diaby and Song playing ahead of the defence and Song in particular looking like an ace when it comes to breaking the opposition moves and stoppinng play. Diaby seriously needs to improve and this is where I feel a Nasri(like he did in the Carling Cup) or a Rosicky can make a positive difference to this team.

Van Persie seems to be hitting a purple patch and Arshavin and Bendtner along with our new goal-scoring midfielder captain Cesc Fabregas seems to be combinign well. Sagna is looking more attack-minded and Clichy seriously needs to get his crosses right. It is amazing that this team seems to be having so much to improve and still doing good. I wonder how it would be once they all combine well and play to their potential. Vermaelen and Gallas are strong behind and the way Vermaelen headed out all the balls to Crouch I am not worried anymore about any tall forward troubling us at the back. I just want to see how Vermaelen will play against Drogba the physically strong forward whom we have not encountered so far.

One last word about Fabregas’ goal. He was absolutely fantastic and I am sure with this one he has become more adorable to the fans…you rock Cesc!

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Arsenal hit Blackburn for a six

In a wonderful display of attacking football, Arsenal scored six goals from six different players to win against Blackburn Rovers at home. This came as a fitting tribute to Wenger, entering into his 14th year at the club with this match. Thierry Henry was also on attendance with his family to see the young Gunners take centre-stage despite going behind twice early in the match.

A 10/10 performance from our Captain Marvellous, Cesc was sexy throughout the match. He made 4 assists and scored one in a match which was probably his best in the season so far. He was all over the place. And he made it a point to the Gooners in the stadium that he is dedicated to this club and is not going anywhere in his goal celebration. What a player, what an attitude and what a vision!!!

It didn’t start all that well for Arsenal, when a pretty long free-kick taken by Robinson was headed into the goal as Mannone found himself in no-mans-land, advancing to collect the ball but not able to do so. This was probbaly his in-experience showing in the starting minutes of the match and I can only see him learning from these mistakes. Otherwise he had a wonderful match, not that he had much to do. Arsenal found parity soon through our goal-scoring machine, no not Bendtner, but Vermaelen :). He was felled near the centre of the pitch, but referee waved played-on and the ball was nicely played on to an advancing Vermaelen by Fabregas and he rocketed a shot to the right corner with his impeccable left foot.

Against the run of play, again Balckburn found the net, this time a deflection of Gallas into the goal. That was pretty much of what Blackburn could do, other than a legitimate penalty shout, which the referee did not give. Not that it mattered in the end though. Almost immediately after the second Blackburn goal, Fabregas put through van Persie, who seems to be taking these kind of goals as a regular fare these days. Please note that by this time, Arsenal were playing flowing football, with our flair players Arshavin and Rosicky involved in the thick of thinigs. Again a nice lay-off to Arshavin on the left saw the Russian squeeze a goal past Robinson. So at that time the score read 3-2.

It was not over and the second half was again Arsenal at its attacking best. And this time, Fabregas in trying to feed van Persie first and then Rosicky, got the ball back from the Czech, chested it and hit a loose left foot shot for a goal. This was a deserving finish that makes the captain our join top scorer in the league with 4 goals along with Vermaelen. Enter Theo, and he must have been barely in when a good counter attack saw Arshavin pass the ball to Cesc, who had the vision to see Walcott coming on the right to lay the ball on his path. A neat finish from Walcott was all it required and that was what he did precisely. 5-2.

The captain was substituted to a thunderous applause and in came Bendtner and Ramsey to play out the final 15 odd mins. Bendtner got time to increase his goal tally with a glorious finish with his right foot, which was a nearly impossible stop for Robinson. All’s well and that ends well. Despite letting in 6 goals, Paul Robinson had a decent game otherwise it would have been some 8 or 10 goals!!!

Top scorers for Arsenal in the Premier League

Fabregas, Vermaelen – 4 goals

van Persie – 3 goals

Arshavin, Diaby, Eduardo, Gallas – 2 goals

Bendtner, Denilson, Ramsey, Rosicky, Walcott – 1 goal

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And some more stats from season 2008-09

From Sky sports here

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More opta stats from the Guardian

courtesy Guardian/Opta
942 – The final goal tally was the second lowest in Premier League history.

14 – Manchester United set a new record of 14 consecutive clean sheets between November 2008 and February 2009.

167 – There have been 167 headed goals scored this season.

22 – Liverpool have recouped the most points from losing positions this season.

23 – Sunderland dropped the most points from winning positions this season.

31 – There were just 31 goals scored at White Hart lane – fewer than at any other stadium.

59 – The Hawthorns saw more goals than any other this season.

117 – Kevin Davies conceded the most fouls this season. He has topped this ranking in five of the last six seasons.

5 – Danny Murphy has scored five goals this season – all penalties.

37 – Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 37 goals in his last 33 league games at Old Trafford.

100 – Kanu made his 100th appearance as a substitute in the Premier League when he came off the bench away at Blackburn on May 9, becoming the first player to reach this landmark.

100 – Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard and Emile Heskey all scored their 100th Premier League goals this season to make it 16 players to reach this landmark.

11 – Chelsea set a new Premier League record of 11 consecutive away wins between April and December 2008.

248 – Chelsea fired in the most shots on target this season.

566 – Hull committed the most fouls in the division.

73 & 5 – Stoke City picked up the most cards – 73 yellow and five red.

24 – Manchester United kept the most clean sheets.

50 – United had the best home record picking up 50 points.

44 – Chelsea had the best away record winning 44 points.

57 – Frank Lampard had more shots on target than any other player.

10 – Lampard and Robin van Persie were joint-top of the assists ranking.

167 – Lee Cattermole made 167 tackles during the season – a league high.

14 – Marouane Fellaini picked up the most yellow cards in the top flight.

7 – Seven players were sent off twice in this season’s campaign.

80% – Mark Schwarzer of Fulham was the league’s best shot-stopper saving 80% of shots on target faced.

149 – Jussi Jaaskelainen made more saves than any other goalkeeper.

6-0 – Man City’s win over Portsmouth at home was the season’s biggest winning margin.

7 – Peter Crouch scored more headed goals than any other player.

18% – Headed goals accounted for 18% of all strikes this season.

1 – Middlesbrough scored fewer headed goals than any other team.

7 – Bolton conceded more headed goals than any other side.

19% – of the goals Arsenal conceded came from outside the box – the highest proportion in the top flight.

20 – Hull took 20 points from their opening nine games but just 15 from their last 29 matches.

22% – Bolton scored the highest percentage of goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches.

36% – Middlesbrough scored the highest percentage of goals in the final 15 minutes of games.

10 – Hull scored the most goals from corners.

9 – Newcastle gave away a league high nine penalties in 2008-09.

8 – The Magpies also had eight red cards shown to their players – a division high.

34 – Manchester City have used more players than any other team in the league this season.

21 – Aston Villa have called upon the least amount of players in the league this season.

7 – Blackburn won a joint-high seven penalties along with Man City.

3 – Blackburn missed three penalties – more than any other team.

10 – Bolton scored 10 goals from free-kicks – the most in the division.

51% – Hull scored the highest percentage of their goals from set plays.

20% – Spurs scored the lowest percentage of goals from set pieces.

12 – Hull conceded 12 goals from corners – a league high.

38% – Everton conceded the highest proportion of goals from set-plays.

21% – Fulham conceded the lowest percentage of goals from set-plays .

11.5% – Around one in every nine goals scored was netted by a substitute.

9 – Spurs, Manchester United and Liverpool all had nine goals scored by substitutes – a joint-league high.

61 – Aston Villa used the fewest substitutes.

109 – Hull, Stoke and Liverpool made the most substitutions.

6 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored six goals from outside the box – more than any other player.

26 – Manchester United have used the most number of players as substitutes.

4 – Bolton have had more players featuring in every game of the season than any other side.

3 – Liverpool have the most players who have accrued 10 or more goals this season.

5 – Newcastle used the most penalty takers this season.

5 – Sunderland only had five players who scored more than once this season.

7 –Liverpool had more opponents sent off than any other side in the top division.

29 – The opposition hit the woodwork more often against Hull than any other team.

345 – English players scored 345 goals in 2008-09, accounting for just 37% of goals.

15% – Aston Villa were the league’s most clinical teams scoring with 15% of their shots.

8% – Wigan had the worst conversion rate in the top division.

81% – Chelsea were the most accurate passers this term.

337 – Stoke took the most long throw ins.

267 – Rory Delap took 189 more long throws than any other player.

9 – Stoke scored the most goals from throw-in situations.

33% – One third of all goals scored this season came from set-plays.

8 – Eight different Liverpool players scored with shots from outside the box.

0 – Liverpool were the only team not to suffer a home defeat in the Premier League.

13 – Spurs picked up the most points in London derbies this season.

8 – West Ham picked up the fewest in capital clashes.

30 – Liverpool garnered 30 points against their north west rivals.

1 – Bolton won just one match against another team from the north west.

8 – Sunderland took the most points in north east derbies.

77 – Liverpool were the league’s top scorers with 77 goals.

83 – Shaun Wright-Phillips made more successful dribbles than anyone else.

4 – Anton Ferdinand and Hermann Hreidarsson both received four yellow cards for dissent, more than any other players in the year the FA’s ‘Respect’ campaign was launched.

10 – Stoke have collected only 10 of their 45 points on the road this season.

5 – Aston Villa have benefited from five own goals this season – more than any other team in the division.

6 – Jamie Carragher and Richard Dunne now hold the Premier League record for own goals with six apiece.

6 – Middlesbrough scored six own goals – more than any other team.

24 – Gareth Bale has played 24 league games for Spurs and never been on the winning side.

86 – Liverpool’s total of 86 points is their best ever haul in Premier League history.

2 – Liverpool became the first team in top-flight history to lose only two games and not win the title.

63 – Spurs have not won away at any of the big four since August 1993 – a run of 63 games.

86 – Liverpool’s tally of 86 points is the highest of any team not winning the league in a 38-game Premier League season.

10 – It is 10 seasons since the Premier League top-scorer ended the campaign with fewer than 20 goals.

82 – Stewart Downing had more shots (including blocked attempts) than any other player who did not score.

110 – Liverpool allowed their opponents fewer shots on target than any other team.

141 – Arsenal caught more opponents offside than any other team.

141 – Hull were flagged offside more than any other team.

61 – Djibril Cisse was caught offside more than any other player.

6 – Six players scored hat-tricks this season.

4 – Andrey Arshavin was the first player to score four goals in a Premier League and not end on the winning side.

13 – Mike Dean awarded more penalties than any other referee.

8 – Mike Dean sent off more players than any other official.

63 – There were 63 red cards shown this season.

13.5 – Mark Halsey was the league’s most lenient official, showing a card on average for every 13.5 fouls.

5.8 – Rob Styles was the strictest referee dishing out a card for every 5.8 fouls committed.

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TV Rights for Premier League & Spuds preview

Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday with a team that looks light on the midfield with Nasri, Denilson, Song and Eboue…My god if we cme back with a win with this team we should be blessed…Arshavin most probably won’t be playing and Keane will be playing in all probability. Lets hope we keep the record of beating the Spuds intact.

Premier League sold its TV rights recently for 1.78 Billion pounds in this time of recession. Here is a break up of the deal and how the TV rights have grown over the last cople of decades…

BSkyB (paid £1.623bn) won rights to:

Package A: 23 matches shown at 16:00 on Sundays

Package B: 23 matches shown at 13:30 on Sundays

Package C: Minimum of 12 matches at 20:00 on Monday, the rest either at 13:30 on Sunday or 17:15 on Saturday or other times

Package E: 23 matches shown at 1245 on Saturdays

Package F: Seven to 13 matches on midweek evenings/bank holidays, 10 to 16 at 12:45 on Saturday and 16:00 on Sundays

Setanta (paid £159m) won rights to: Package D: Minimum of 18 matches at 17:15 on Saturday, the rest either at 13:30 on Sunday, 20:00 on Monday or other times

Total 2010-13 income from live British rights: £1.782bn.

*Current deal (2007-2010): Sky won packages A, B, E and F for £1.314bn total, and Setanta won packages C and D for £392m combined, for a total of £1.706bn.

*The rise and rise of the Premier League: How TV rights values have increased

1992-1997: BSkyB, 60 games/season, £190m – deal value, £633,000/game

1997-2001: BSkyB, 60 games, £670m, £2.79m/game

2001-2004: BSkyB, 110 games, £1.2bn, £3.64m/game

2004-2007: BSkyB, 138 games, £1.024bn, £2.47m/game

2007-2010: BSkyB and Setanta, 138 games, £1.706bn, £4.12m/game

2010-2013: BSkyB/Setanta 138 games, £1.782bn, £4.3m/game

(courtesy- The Independent)

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Season Review 2007-08

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

David James

Sagna Rio Ferdinand Vidic Clichy

Flamini

Ronaldo Gerrard Fabregas Petrov

Torres

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.

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