Category Archives: Post-Match Analysis

ARSENAL SEASON ULTIMATUM … THIS IS THE END. FOR NOW…

The following is for ALL football fans especially the Gunners – A good number of Gunners have asked me as to why I haven’t done an Arsenal blog for the past few games. Well I’ll tell you why … The following 4 lines are what I wrote post Tottenham 5-2 win -“Such is the life of an Arsenal fan that you are sent up and down a rollercoaster through a season of football. We are now on the up, so let us hope that we stay uninjured. Get our injured back fit and training well. Plus weed out any deadwood in our squad and bring in some talents that would help us finish on a high come the end of the season“.  This was what I started writing as the intro for the Aston Villa Away match. But something made me stop and say, you know what… don’t get your hopes up. That was a one-off thing. And rightly so, after that we drew to Villa (Villa deserved to win). Drew with Everton (Everton deserved to win), beat Montpellier (how did we manage that?), lose to Swansea at home (This would have never happened at Highbury) and lose to Olympiacos (Am I the only one seeing a pattern here?).

Now let me tell you newly joined Arsenal fans about how our beloved club was back then J and how it is now L – After that (and most importantly) what is our status now? More on that later.

THEN

NOW

 21aWe had quality players such as Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and dedicated players like Ray Parlour, Lauren, Fredrik Ljunberg, Jens Lehmann, Sol Campbell and Sylvian Wiltord to name a few. But neither set of players overlooked the other because the likes of Thierry Henry were always made to work and hustle by the hard men Tony Adams and vice versa. They never took their abilities for granted. They displayed real flair, effort, passion, belief and spirit (all the terms that Wenger talks of now about his current squad) by working for each other and being a real unit. They defined team chemistry. Back then, you’re either in or you’re out. If one of the squad player was tackled, he’d have his Gunner brothers came forth to question the tackler and defend his mate. Arsenal FC stood their ground together and fought. That my fellow fans, is why we had Victoria Concordia Crescit (Victory through Harmony).  21bWe have quality players such as Cazorla, Podolski, Arteta, Wilshere, etc. but all the responsibilities are placed on the shoulders of these talents to magically make us win each match. Most of the rest of the lot just show up to make up the eleven whilst the others in the squad are just happy to wallop £60,000-70,000 a week and have a relaxed life and show up for training once a week. There is no team chemistry, no team bonding, there is no team! They are just a bunch of talented or special skilled individuals brought in together to somehow gel and create total football. Some of them are in North London for tourist purposes! And yet some of them manage to grow the grapes to come fight for more money, threaten to transfer to a rival. No man is bigger than a club, not you, not me, not RvP, not Wenger, not nobody!!
21cThe aura that was around Arsene Wenger. The players I mentioned above wouldn’t even dare to call him by name. Such is the respect he demanded from them to the extent that even now after leaving our club and having retired, they still refer to him as “The Boss”. The Boss used to question these marquee talents even if they put up a good performance. Good wasn’t enough, le boss demanded great. He used to match the fierceness of Sir Alex Ferguson, who I know together made English football what it is today by having their Ali-Frazier moments. 21dIt hurts to see someone I still look up to having to go through this near decade of mishaps. He is Mr. Football, his principles are divine. I would like to remember his legacy as the man on the left rather than the man at the right. Arsene Wenger will always be our best manager. The players need to back him up. I’d be uber grateful if he just asked me to be a water boy for Arsenal FC. Le Boss has now turned into a sympathetic father figure trying to cover the ears and save the feelings of his young squad from the media and what not. Sigh.
21eDavid Dein is a lifelong Arsenal fan who had personally bought in the likes of Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry from the grips of then footballing giants Inter Milan, AC Milan etc. He still lives in the new apartments built over the hallowed grounds of Highbury. His managerial role in the board was above par, representing Arsenal as part of the English FA Board and even beyond for FIFA. He asked what Wenger wanted and got what our club wanted as well. He orchestrated the Emirates switch over. And then he was thrown out because his ambitions for our club were higher. Our last trophy was under Dein’s reign as Director. Status then: DON’T MESS WITH US. 21fIvan Gazidis is a very smart businessman brought in to join Stan Kroenke. However, both are non-football natives. And during their tenure, we have sold three club captains, a whole roster of talented players who were developed through our club’s resources and our (fans) hard earned money through tickets and merchandise just to be sold to our rivals and in the process strengthen them whilst weakening us. We have not won any trophies in this time, and again if someone tries to convince me by saying the Emirates cup is a trophy (which we haven’t won in recent times), then go watch golf or something. Status now: FEEDER CLUB, 50% DISCOUNTS THANKS TO THE BOSMAN CLAUSE!
21gGone are the glory days when we celebrated in unison. Highbury was filled with happy faces; kids smiling because they just got to witness their favourite stars play the beautiful game in the beautiful way. The Arsenal way. We used to enjoy football. Watching an Arsenal game was the highlight of most of my weekends. A great match would motivate us to go and play on the street and fields emulating quick 1-2 passes with your mates and doing the latest Thierry Henry celebration style. Gone, gone are those days. 21h Nowadays, our stadium is filled with boos and jeers to our own side with the away fans having a ball, a goal or two even. This new Black Scarf Movement is about hardcore Arsenal fans making their voices heard. Thankfully it has all been peaceful. I was really interested at how the Arsenal fans have finally spoken out. Here is a sample of an Arsenal fan nicknamed ‘Bully’. After you listen to him, you’d call him a Legend. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4TJ5WG2qlM … Credit to the great work done by the folks at Arsenal Fan TV. Worth subscribing to!

Final message:

I believe Wenger has to take over a board position and also Alisher Usmanov along with David Dein (both of whom represent the Red and White Army) should join Le Boss and take over from Kroenke, Gazidis and Hill-Wood. I believe only one man can take over as our boss and I know he is the man for it.

ENTER: Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Portsmouth v Liverpool - Fratton Park

TONY ADAMS aka MR. ARSENAL

The man will instil discipline and will give a sense of pride and strength back to our Arsenal badge. #TONY ADAMS FOR MANAGER. Oh by the way, just a heads up … I won’t be posting any match blogs till something is resolved with our club and our table position. This is my way of observing in silence hopefully the end of a bad decade of trophy-less fan hood and very soon usher in an era of goals, glory and hopefully trophies! Peace out!!! #STAY STRONG GUNNERS!! Join our facebook community http://www.facebook.com/gunnersfolife spread the word and show our solidarity by sticking together for the values of our club! With this I tear up saying CMON ARSENAL!! CMON U GUNNERZ!! I wish for the good ol’ days and also hoping our voices are heard ….

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Fulham Home – Match 11) (Post #20)

Well well well … 2-0 up somehow! 2-1, 2-2, 2-3 oh wait 3-3, miss a last minute penalty (which wasn’t a penalty). End result- 11 games and 16 points, Arsenal’s worst start to a season. Almost one third of the season is gone and we are down the dumps. We are already out of the title race and even the most positive of the optimists would have to concede that our season is over atleast in the league, for now. And I think it is ok if we the fans think that way but sadly the players are having that mind-set even before we did!

There was a sense of dread around the Emirates with the anxiety, booing, tension just by this lack of intensity and enthusiasm by the lads. Fulham just started the match on the fifth gear like it was their own home ground and somehow we managed to put in two goals. But after that it was pretty much the Berbatov and Ruiz show. They had all the time in the world, there was no Alex Song to press them constantly. Meanwhile, they were pressing us to the extent that we had to keep passing back to the defenders who themselves were pressed to pass to Mannone.

I was hoping we would redeem ourselves and have a convincing win but even after 2-0, I was still not cheered up and the notion around the room of Arsenal fans with me was still the same. We weren’t going to jump in joy until what the score line and performance was after 90 minutes. And well we weren’t disappointed but just sighing with the missed penalty and basically summing up our seasons for the past few years, so close yet so far. So talented yet so wasteful.

I can’t put my finger on what is wrong with what is happening. But one thing is for sure, we lack passion and commitment and that can’t be covered with the excuse of having no or low confidence. Because just a few weeks ago- we were firing on all cylinders. I think the Scotsman at Old Trafford runs a regimen of discipline and demands 110% week in and week out. Our own boss, Mr. Arsene Wenger once upon a time would not even allow the likes of ketchup and chocolate in the stomachs of his squad members, but yet I am completely surprised at how we have the likes of Santos and other slightly unfit members in our squad. That would have been a complete no-no in his prime days of management. He used to have control and bring fear even among the toughest of men (Keown, Parlour, Vieira), he used to demand respect from those grown men. Somehow, he has turned from Master to a father figure having nurtured the likes of Cesc, Nasri, Theo.. Maybe he has softened his aggression and expects aesthetic and beautiful football to win. Even our Invincibles squad (2003-04) had to show grit to win some of their “vs Stoke or Bolton” matches. That is lacking in our squad.

Some of you may think it may be asking too much of our squad, but 10 years ago, Arsenal made no excuses. Arsenal set the standard for English football. Arsenal defined the beautiful game that is football. Barcelona are just the new showmen in that sense. The current or somewhat newly joined Arsenal fans should not give in to lowered standards of success (if any) of our club. Arsenal FC was one of the best, if not the best club in the world. I’d like to think we still are. So do not expect less, do not be satisfied. We are the Arsenal. If Arsenal runs through your blood, those four words should send a chill down your spine and know that we were once proud, feared and respected. Victoria Concordia Crescit – DAMMIT that used to mean something now it is just transfer issues, wage problems and feeder club labels. We cannot pin our hopes of resurrection on one young already burdened shoulder of Jack Wilshere, although I am sure he will give it all to get us there. I like most others pray and wait to see Arsenal and its crest flying high in England, Europe … the World where it really belongs. This is your Gunner Az signing off, until next week’s North London Derby. Adios….

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Norwich (Away – Match 8) (Post #16)

Ladies and Gentlemen, this will probably be the just another rant in blogosphere history. But read it and have a think and do share if you felt the same too. For the first time in my 12+ years of Arsenal fanhood- I’d actually fallen asleep watching an Arsenal game, granted I was immensely tired after work and workout. But I’ve always watched till the final whistle but yesterday I found it real hard. Even our players were just completely jaded. Each player was still figuring out what he had to do on the pitch even Santi Cazorla. Everyone was of sorts, plus Chambo’s got injured.  Sigh…. There really isn’t much to say, even the boss just came flat out and admitted and I quote: “We were well below par today”. Having said that, credit must go to Norwich who took full advantage of our state of jetlag and lack of coordination. Folks I think we can all agree and blame it all on one thing and I have just two words for that – International Break! But wait, how do teams like United, Chelsea, Man City get away with it? Is it our squad depth? Or the lack of quality in the deep ends of our squad? Let’s take a look. Man City were a goal down and they had Edin Dzeko come on and score the equalizer AND the winning goal. Chelsea just destroyed Tottenham at the White Hart Lane and I don’t need to tell you about their resources. How about United you ask? Well they bought this striker, remember? Last year’s top league goalscorer, used to play for us… Robin Van Persie, yea he scored two goals for them and assisted too. Yea they bought our best striker. But then you ask me- what about their substitutes? Danny Welbeck is their reserve who comes on to score one more along with Rooney to make it 4-2 against a resilient Stoke City. When we had our reserves (by which I mean substitutes) on, Arshavin was lacklustre although he has so much more potential and Chambo got injured. Chamakh is already set for Bordeaux by the looks of it. Theo was injured, Koscielny out with a back injury while playing for France. So yesterday should have been a routine win but noooooo it didn’t happen. We have Schalke this Wednesday but luckily its at the Emirates, so let’s hope the lads recuperate faster and make that three out of three in the Champions League. I will catch up with you folks for our weekend game at home to QPR. Until then I hope you all are praying like me when I say SAVE US WILSHERE!

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs West Ham (Away – Match 7) (Post #14)

Ahahahaaaaaaa! 3-1 to the Arsenal, I was delighted with the victory and how well we handled a rugged West Ham team. For this Post Match Analysis, we will take a different view and analyse the game from start to the end (rather than the individual performances – only because today was a team performance and because this was a derby match). I would say we have gelled as a team to about 85%, there is still some more intuitiveness needed in our game. But I was happy to see faster and fluent passing, more accurate team play. I think the last 15% would just be to have better communication ESPECIALLY when it comes to who is going to shoot a dropping ball or who is going to pick up the ball after defending a corner.

From the start of the game, Sam Allardyce’s men sent a message of intent as they kept playing long balls into the box and hustling our players each time with rough pressing. The only thing I like about Allardyce’s teams is that they fight tough but not dirty. Stoke on the other hand, go for the kill quite literally. So the game started off with an intensity well suited for a derby. Listening to the home fans singing ‘Forever blowing bubbles’ at Upton Park was a jolly reminder of the club, the fans and their passion. I’d recommend listening to their anthem; I would rate it as high as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Right so back to the game-

A few back and forth attacks by both teams told us that this match was going to be pacy and intense. Mohamed Diamé just kept us on our toes and he ended up scoring a brilliant goal. But I almost always prefer when we are 1-0 down because that brings more out of us soon after. As expected, it rightfully did with Giroud toe-poking the ball into the goal with a move which he initially started and linked to Podolski with. Just a few minutes earlier, Giroud had misplayed a headed ball forwarded by Per into the box, so that goal made up for that. Now, Andy Carroll seemed to be immense for Sam’s team but this is where his counterpart – Olivier Giroud was even better. He had lesser chances to win the ball, but he made it count each time- that made the key difference in the score line. So it ended 1-1 at the first half. Oh and a VERY cool fact, if you remember a few posts ago, I told you that Thierry Henry took 9 league games to score his first goal, well Giroud has taken the same 9 games to score his first league goal- Only in football ladies and gentleman, only in football.

The second half started with a more intense Arsenal, probably boosted by the equalizer and some strong but encouraging words from Le Boss Wenger. As time went by with the two teams still getting back to groove post half-time, they started to get tired and Diamé was taken off. Phew! For us, Gervinho who played well was taken off to be rested and Theo came on. Ramsey was not substituted because he was just being a brilliant central midfielder. His movements remind me of Tomas Rosicky, the way he turns, collects and moves about the pitch is so uncannily similar to the Lil Mozart. Theo scored a good goal (assisted by Giroud) and very passionately celebrated and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of his but after his recent performances, he has every right to demand to play in the central striker position.

Two things ended the match in a fitting manner; one was the Vaz Te-Mannone incident. Replays show that Ricardo Vaz Te had intentionally used his shin to kick into Mannone’s head and decided to dive after to make it look unintentional. What happened when he dived was his shoulder dislocated and he seemed to be in immense pain. Hopefully he gets well soon but that is karma getting right back at you. That is an important lesson for ANY footballer new or seasoned. FIFA’s fair play system may not be quite effective but the beautiful game was made so only because of playing good, clean and enjoyable football. I like tackles and such, but if you go about kicking people in the head for joy, you need to get your head checked first.

And the finally thing I wanted to cap this post off with was that beautiful goal by Cazorla. I have no words to describe this little masterclass. You have to go watch the goal again, simply amazing! So at the end of the match, we know we can wrap up games however tough they may get. We also know that Gibbs may be out for a while after he picked up a knock but Santos can deputize, that is what he was bought on for.

Oh and I cannot leave without mentioning the performance of Corporal Jenkinson (from a family of Arsenal fans), he kept flying down the right wing and kept at it all 90+5 minutes. I am so happy for him and I am sure his granddad is too …. Well we have a 2 week break (sigh) but I’ll see you on the other side, when we face Norwich away on the 20th of October. Cheerio!

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Chelsea (Home – Match 6) (Post #12)

Sigh. Our first loss of the season and it all happened because of one event- Diaby’s injury. I mentioned that he has to play a massive role in this game. His injury and hence absence in this game changed the complexion of the game. How you ask? He is a box to box player. He can break a team’s attack and thrust forward to the other end and provide the final ball. Chambo did well but this match needed a Diaby. What hurts more is the open goal and I really feel bad for Laurent Koscielny. This isn’t the first time he has scored an own goal in an important match that has made us lose all three points. Anyways, this is going to be a short Post Match Analysis only because I am a bit peeved about the result. Here we go…

I apologize but I am just a tad bit annoyed to go on and write about our performance today but we’ll get there. It’s only because it was difficult to watch us keep attacking with Chelsea parking the bus and beat us without Drogba and that too in our own stadium! Here is the match breakdown:

GK: Mannone did well despite what happened. He still needs to be a bigger physical presence. I can see him taking over from Buffon in some years. But he needs to be tougher and must impose his will, be more vociferous. All the great goalkeepers marshal their defence by yelling and pushing them. Some of the greats who showed these characters are Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann, Gigi Buffon and of course David Seaman.

DEF: I think Arsenal as a team didn’t defend well today, which is why we saw Bould get angry for the first time this season. Clearly, he wasn’t happy. The Boss made sure of that as well. Maybe this is where Mertesacker should have stayed? I believe he needed a rest but now I am having a rethink because his rotation for this game was Koscielny who scored the own goal. Corp. Jenkinson however was immense on the right flank. Well done,  Bacary Sagna will have a tough time competing for that place.

MID: Once Diaby left the pitch and Chambo came on, there was an immediate recognition that we were significantly low in terms of physical presence on the pitch (especially with Per and Giroud on the bench). Then the game seemed like what we have witnessed for the past half-decade. An interesting point a fellow Gunner brought up during the game was this- “Maybe now if we had Alex Song as a defensive midfield option, we wouldn’t have conceived these set pieces that led to the goals”. Well that’s enough food for thought.

ATT: Podolski seems to be out of it a bit. Hopefully, he doesn’t do an Arshavin. Also, I hope Giroud like Koscielny will hopefully bounce back faster and produce positive results.

 

For people studying and working through the week-

Arsenal vs Olympiakos-

Prediction: 2-0 win

Wishlist: No more injuries (otherwise we know how this will end), Wilshere coming back soon, Giroud and Koscielny proving their worth again and finally a good subway sandwich to comfort the 1-2 loss. Good night folks!

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Man City (Away – Match 5) (Post #10)

Ladies and gentleman, I am pumped up after this match we just witnessed. Arsenal 1-1 Man City, yet again the prediction came true. Now I wish I said 2-1 and maybe then Gervinho would have slotted in one of the many chances he had today. But overall, I am very happy with Arsenal’s performance. This is the Arsenal vs Man City Post Match Analysis, have a good read!

ARSENAL 1-1 MAN CITY AT THE ETIHAD:

I think for this post, we have to mention EVERY player on the pitch for Arsenal and state their contributions-

Mannone: One mistake with the corner led to Man City going 1-0 up. But I did say, he will be tested but the more important issue is that he bounced back VERY QUICKLY and kept calm and brought Arsenal home by not conceding after.

Gibbs: Ran up and down and worked well with Gervinho. He should have taken the shot at the first half chance though.

Corporal Jenkinson: What can I say? I will sum it up with the Gary Neville (of Sky Sports) quote: “I don’t know him, but the kid looks like he would run through a brick wall for you”.

Mertesacker: A solid block of defence in our core. There were countless times he just stood his ground and stopped Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko, Balotelli and whoever they brought on.

Koscielny: Stood in for an ill Vermaelen today. Not only did he cover for our Captain but salvaged a well-deserved point by bombarding forward. What I loved more was him tracking back Aguero and swiping the ball off his feet. As the pic above says, Laurent Koscielny IS A BOSS!!

Arteta: Complete professional. He gives his 100% every game and today was no different. Glad to see the rest of the team working as hard as him. He did forget to cover the far post though that led to Lescott scoring but again, not much could have been done. Arteta lead us brilliantly today.

Diaby: Looked tired in the second half, he had a good time in midfield, but he would have learnt a few things from playing against Yaya Toure. Diaby’s runs and turns and shooting reminded me of a young Vieira.

Cazorla: Pulling the strings as always. His shot from outside the box lead to our corner to get the equaliser. He never gives up, always cheerful and he is our focal point in terms of attack.

Gervinho: People are criticizing his performance but he kept the team going forward. He will come back stronger against Coventry.

Ramsey: He is a young Iniesta in the making. Wilshere will be our Xavi. A great display from the Welshman today, now some consistency would make him a first team regular.

Podolski: The German looked quiet today but did his duties in the first half. He needs to be rested and played only at Chelsea next.

Overall: Amazing team performance, everyone did their bit. Ramsey and Corp. Jenkinson are two worthy mentions. Well done lads!

We have Coventry in the Capital One cup (formerly Carling cup) on Wednesday, resting our top players is vital. Coquelin, Arshavin, Giroud and Chamakh must play then. That’s it from here, have a great week ahead. Gunners- THIS IS IT! THIS IS OUR SEASON!! CMON ARSENAL!

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Match Preview – Arsenal vs Manchester City (Away – Match 5) (Post #9) + Montpellier Post Match Analysis

Alright, so for this read, we will quickly run through the Montpellier Post Match Analysis followed by the preview for Arsenal vs Man City this weekend. This weekend will mark the beginning of a very challenging end to September with the likes of Man City and Chelsea to face us. There will be certain points in these matches which will give us an insight into our club’s strength and where we are in terms of the top 4. But before that- our performance at Montpellier

Arsenal 2-1 Montpellier:

As I predicted we did win 2-1 this Tuesday evening. It was straight forward and simple in the sense that we did enough to win whilst overcoming fatigue from the weekend thumping to Southampton. Plus this being our first continental away test and with the boss being side-lined with a 3 match UEFA ban, the players and Bouldy had to prove themselves. And they did, they delivered. I was surprised that Podolski wasn’t rested given the big matches ahead. Thankfully no one was injured and we have a few days to recover. Mannone impressed and could very well oust Chesney out of the #1 position; I like this competition for places within the team. Again in defence, I thought Koscielny would have come in for Per or Vermaelen. Having said that, I believe there will be rotations this weekend, but more on that later.

An all-round good performance from defence and midfield as expected. Cazorla quietly doing his work but Gervinho and Podolski represent this new sense of attack in Arsenal, that being RUTHLESS AGGRESSION. The moment Montpellier scored, it lit a fuse in the Arsenal and we literally went all guns blazing. And nothing is more beautiful to watch when the lads come out with quick passing, incisive crossing and deadly finishing. I’ve been hearing that Giroud is being critiqued badly for not scoring, in my opinion he served the team VERY WELL. He set up Podolski perfectly and the German powerhouse rightfully acknowledged the same in the post-match interview. No complaint but the team is showing signs of tiredness and that should affect our team line up for Man City, let’s get to that now.

Arsenal vs Man City  away at the Eastlands:

Possible Teamsheet:

GK: Mannone (This will be the Italian’s chance to prove himself and take over from Chesney)

DEF: Gibbs, Vermaelen, Koscielny (Per NEEDS a rest), Corp. Jenkinson

MID: Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla, Gervinho, Ramsey/Walcott (Expect a packed midfield to provide more cover)

ATT: Podolski up front (Giroud hopefully will feature and score)

Exception: We could have Podolski instead of Ramsey/Walcott and Giroud leading the line. Don’t be surprised. We need to pack heavy for the likes of Yaya, Aguero, Dzeko, Tevez, Balotelli, Kompany … need I go more?

Key battles: My score prediction is based on the fact that both teams are very similar in some cases. Let’s have a look- PODOLSKI vs AGUERO, CAZORLA vs SILVA, DIABY vs YAYA, KOMPANY vs VERMAELEN. Oh and don’t forget Nasri, just wait to hear the boos and you know he is there.

Score Prediction:  Arsenal 1-1 Man City. Cagey start both teams wary of the other’s counter attack but Mannone will be tested and Man City don’t necessarily defend well as a team. Take out Yaya and Kompany and surely Cazorla will find holes through their defence.

Enjoy the match, thanks for the support and CMON YOU GUNNERS!!!

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Southampton (Home – Match 4) (Post #8) and Montpellier Champions League Preview

Arsenal 6-1 Southampton, well what can I say?? We saw the Arsenal from the glory days. Quick 1-2 passing, intricate team plays, solid defence as a unit and ruthless aggression. The only thing I feel bad about is that, it happened to a good manager (Nigel Adkins). Hopefully, he is given time to make his team a Premier League mainstay. So, this post will quickly review our game this weekend and also preview our Champions League to Montpellier (Reason: For fans who have work or study during the week, you can do your pre-match read now!). Ok, here we go:

Arsenal 6-1 Southampton Post Match Analysis:

Defensive display: Except for the fumble by Chesney, we were rock solid at the back. Per Mertesacker proved me wrong by being consistent and reliable. I thought he should have had a rest and give Koscielny a run. But it is amazing to see that someone like Koscielny has to compete for a place in the team. That can only be a good sign. I expect him to be in the line-up for Montpellier though but more on that later. Even with our well-kept defence, Gibbs and Corp. Jenkinson still managed to give the Southampton fullbacks a horrid time. Arsenal now has the perfect blend of discipline to match their attacking flair. Thank you Steve Bould.

Midfield and Forward: As I predicted, the whole midfield and forward setup was the same except that Coquelin was given a run ahead of Ramsey. Giroud must have been itching to come on and score but didn’t have any chances his way for the few minutes he played. His confidence will have taken a dent. But remember there was this kid from Paris who didn’t score for 9 games after his Arsenal debut. His name, if you can recollect is Thierry Henry. I am still giving Giroud the benefit of the doubt; he will score soon- A goal against his former club perhaps? Podolski with that freekick- Perfect. Robin Van what’s his name? Gervinho also removed any critics off his back who were complaining about his goal drought. Ramsey and Walcott played fine cameo roles.

 

Key Players: Most importantly, there were two Spaniards running the show in a quiet yet dominant manner. Arteta and Cazorla were like producer and director of the film. Tells you how good Spain is when these two can’t feature in the first team. The whole team should be moulded around these two. Top, top players … Overall, 6-1 was a very satisfying run. Now, we move on to Montpellier before we go to clash with the clubs from Manchester.

Arsenal vs Montpellier Match Preview:

Arsenal play away to Montpellier on Tuesday, this will kick off our Champions League campaign. How we start is crucial to our progression both in Europe and into the next few weeks of tough fixtures. Straight to the possible line-up now:

Team sheet: Chesney, Gibbs, Koscielny, Per/Vermaelen, Corp. Jenkinson/Coquelin, Arteta, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud.

Subsitutes who will feature at some point: Podolski and Diaby.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 away at France. GIROUD TO SCORE AGAINST HIS FORMER CLUB. I’m  serious he will. (It’s not like we’ve had goalless strikers have we?).

Oh and WHERE IS ARSHAVIN??. I’d like to be paid £70,000 a week just chilling. He’s living the dream!

Hope you had a good weekend and enjoy your week ahead. Also, you Gunners have doubled in viewership after the last post. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Arsenal and its fans- BEST IN THE WORLD!

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Liverpool (Away – Match 3) (Post #6)

So, Arsenal win 2-0 Liverpool away at Anfield. Great result for us, I predicted a 2-1 but 2-0 is better! I may still be a bit peeved because I just saw Robin Van ‘Nistelrooy’ score a hat-trick despite missing a penalty to help United beat Southampton away. Bad piece of business for us so far. But the international break has come. My cynical side hopes Robin is used well for Netherlands. Real well. All 90 minutes well. Anyways, moving back to better things- Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski… What a way to open your account by defeating Steven Gerrard and his men. I have never seen a more disciplined Arsenal in quite a while. Good on ya Steve Bould. Let’s see how our team fared today in all departments-

At the back: Mannone was all jitters but the defence provided great cover. Vermalen and Per did a great job although I am worried about our captain’s injury at the end of the game. Gibbs was found missing in the first half but thankfully Podolski did his defensive track-backs quite well. Walcott could learn a thing or two (Anyone else think he’ll be out by January?). Arteta was classy as always. Corporal Jenkinson was mighty on the right side by neutralizing Raheem Sterling.

In the middle: With Arteta holding well and stopping Liverpool plays, Diaby was given the license to thrust forward and that boy showed insane skill levels. The ball was silky smooth on his feet. Such an amazing player, I can see why Wenger didn’t want to let him go. The Ox did his bit too even if he looked a bit jaded. And finally Cazorla, I just have one thing to say. I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY REASON IF HE IS SOLD TO THE RICH CLUBS FOR “BUSINESS” PURPOSES OR BECAUSE HE WANTED TO LEAVE. SIGN HIM UP FOR 10 YEARS, I DON’T CARE. DO NOT LET GO OF HIM.

 

UP FRONT: OUR ATTACK, Sorry still had the CAPS on. Right, much better. Podolski is such an honest guy. You can see it on the pitch and in his style. Giroud on the other hand sulks like Anelka, plays like the lovechild of Chamakh and Bendtner. If football wasn’t his thing, it’s good for his income that he is atleast good looking. But I STILL believe he will score goals for us, he is a poacher. He needs to play like one and not change his style for Arsenal. I don’t want him to become a Carlos Vela, Chamakh, Bendtner or a Park Chu Young. And where is Arshavin??!!

Summary: Good win. Happy at our team stability. Let’s take a look at the Good, Bad and the Ugly.

Good: First win of the season. Cazorla and Podolski off the mark. Diaby and 90 minutes together.

Bad: Vermaelen knock at the end of the game. Giroud’s sulking behaviour.

Ugly: RvP … oops, Robin Van Nistelrooy’s hat-trick.

Southampton visit us next week. Look forward to our Match Preview. And as always, we love hearing from you. Enjoy your week ahead Gunners! Peace…

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Post Match Analysis – Arsenal vs Sunderland (Home – Match 1) (Post #2)

Season Opener – Arsenal  0-0 Sunderland at the our home.. the Emirates stadium. Oh dear…. Sit down and take a deep breath Gunners. The following is more of a short rant than an article. Ready?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME Arsenal?!! We’ve started Day 1 of the season with already 2 points behind any team that wins let alone the other elite clubs. If we want to challenge, a draw at home for a season opener is not good enough even if it is against a Martin O’Neill side. The players are not at fault, they were just not well prepared. Here are my thoughts-

  1. The Board decide to make more cash via marketing and send the team to Asia for a tour. Wenger accepts or has to accept and has to make a last minute friendly with Cologne to actually get some match time for the players both old and new to the club.
  2. There can be no excuses made by the club that the new players need to gel because frankly the new comers did their bit quite well for their debuts. And apart from Arteta and Gervinho, the other players looked jaded and lacklustre.
  3. Looking from a player’s perspective, how would any player feel when one of their good mates and dressing room favorite Alex Song, who arguably was a top player for the club with experience … shows up for training and then is asked to say his goodbyes and board a flight to Barcelona for a medical. This despite the fact that the club wants to sell him even though he stated he was quite happy to stay. Oh and this after selling our top marquee player to our bitter rivals a few days ago.
  4. Now we get to the fans perspective, we were all delighted that we signed Podolski, Giroud and the best signing amongst all clubs this year would be Santi Cazorla. That gave us an illusion of ‘lessons learnt’. But come the start of the season, we lose our top two players Robin Van Nistelrooy (This name stands) and Alex Song. In my opinion Song is a greater loss in terms of the development capital we have lost having raised him for 7 years.

Add the fact that even the other club players and managers are baffled by our sales at the last minute. The fact that there wasn’t a thought given about selling Song is just dumbfounding. I personally find myself feeling at both ends of the spectrum which I’ve noticed even amongst the celebrity Gunners. Sometimes the extreme- baffled and filled with anguish like Piers Morgan is (quite understandably). And sometimes highly tranquil and unflustered like Dara O’Briain (probably because we feel desensitized to this charade after all these years). What the club calls for “balancing the books” is merely an emasculation of the football values of the club. We cannot look at Man City or elsewhere and say they are all about the money, Why? Because they still deliver on the pitch and make it happen for and with the players. As for us- We are fed with the pretence that we are puritans of football, but what we seem to be are a ruthless business club making a quick buck. The boos at the end of the match said it all. Forgive me, I must now retire this weekend by going to Youtube and looking at videos of the Ol’ Les Invincibles days. Seems a long time ago, oh wait, judging by the 240p video quality… it has been.

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