Match Preview – Arsenal vs West Ham (Away – Match 7) (Post #13)

Gunners- This is the Arsenal vs West Ham Match Preview. So one week and one subway sandwich later, I have recuperated and am excited to see Arsenal go away to West Ham to face an old enemy in Sam Allardyce. Today will not be an easy task. We will have to earn three hard points and that will reflect on the scoreline. Allardyce munching away on whatever it is that he eats, has always been a thorn to our side’s progression through past seasons. This time however, he doesn’t have the same resources as he once had in Bolton but expect long crosses and hard tackles. This will be a messy affair.

Oh and did you hear about the nasty flu virus going around the dressing room? Theo, Vermaelen, Coquelin just recovered from it, Per seems to have got it now. And for this reason, Le Boss wants to ban handshakes for a bit (Ironic, let’s see if he and Sam shake hands at the end of this game). Ok ok, now to the breakdown of the game ahead-

GK: Mannone still hasn’t won plaudits for his performances. The Chelsea result may have pushed his progress a back for now but nonetheless I don’t fret as much as I used to when Almunia and Fabianski were running about between the posts.

DEF: Per still needs to recover leaving for an unchanged back four- Gibbs, Corp. Jenkinson, Vermaelen and Koscielny. I would however be tempted to play Yennaris or Coquelin today. Coquelin was amazing against Olympiakos. Coquelin, Miquel, Yennaris and Jenkinson are such bright prospects. The future is looking good (provided we don’t go on selling about). Plus Sagna is going to find it hard to break into the first team. The Corporal has taken his position across the right flank.

MID: Arteta needs a rest but he will have to feature with Diaby and Rosicky still out. Wilshere is going to be in his second comeback game by featuring in another U-21 game, which may also feature Bacary Sagna (In U-21? Go figure). Playmaking ahead of Arteta will be his other genius Spanish compatriot Mr. Santi Cazorla. Gervinho will play but will be taken off to give him some deserved rest. Walcott may come on later for him. That leaves just one position free in the midfield and there is only one person who will take it, not because of lack of squad depth but because of quality. His name is Aaron Ramsey (Rambo). He is slowly signs of finally consistently producing class from his raw potential days.

ATT: Up front Podolski will support Giroud. So yes a 4-4-1-1 formation. Podolski and Gervinho will of course keep interchanging positions through the course of the game.

Score Prediction: Arsenal 1-0 or 2-1 or 3-1. It is not a walk in the park.

Today’s wishlist: Ramsey continues to shine, Gervinho keeps scoring, Giroud scores and Podolski showing just as much as passion as he showed after scoring against Olympiacos. Such an enterprising person he seems.

ONE NIL TO THE ARSENAL! ONE NIL TO THE ARSENAL! ONE NIL TO THE AAAAARSENAAAAL!!!! That’s all folks!

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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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Match Preview – Arsenal vs Chelsea (Home – Match 6) (Post #11)

Gunners and Gunnerettes, this is the Match Preview of Arsenal vs Chelsea at the Emirates. Before going straight off the bat to our game I must say a great 6-1 win against Coventry. It was expected though; the latter stages will be more of a test. Arshavin finally answered my question. Giroud did well too. But Nico Yennaris and Francis Coquelin, watch out for these two- mark my words , these guys are future superstars. Oxlade-Chamberlain (‘Chambo’) thumped one into the top corner, well done lad. That’s about enough with the Capital One Cup now back to Chelsea.

I’m sorry if I scared you but Drogba is not coming back to haunt us anymore. But it’s actually a pity; I would have loved to see him go against this Bould-ered up defence. He is not our problem anymore, that costly winger from Belgium, the Bio Hazard, I mean Eden Hazard is. He is the one we need to watch out for. Both he and Mata will be the first ones to genuinely test Gibbs and Corp. Jenkinson because let’s face it, Man City play more centrally unless Milner is on the pitch and no other team has tested our wings yet. Obi Mikel is nowhere near the likes of Essien, so Cazorla should find his ways. Podolski should show his worth in this match I feel, only then the demons of losing one RvP will be banished (If you remember, his display at Stamford Bridge won us the enthralling 5-3 match).

Team line up:

GK: Mannone (Go on son, make us proud  … No fumbles today, aiite?).

DEF: Gibbs, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Corp. Jenkinson (They had a good rest this week, let’s hope they are fresh and ready for battle. Per needs some more rest. Bless that gentle German giant).

MID: Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla, Ramsey/Walcott, Gervinho (Diaby will play a massive role in this game, Arteta solid as always, Cazorla the same, Gervinho needs to put on his shooting boots and both Ramsey and Walcott need to prove their consistency. That is the only factor keeping these two talented players from taking it to the next level).

ATT: Podolski (Use that thunderbolt power from your left foot son!).

Possible substitutions: If there are no cards or injuries, Ramsey/Walcott and Giroud will feature later on. Maybe even Arshavin hopefully, he deserves a chance. Santos could come in if we are a few goals up.

Score Prediction: This is what most of you have been waiting for. A 3-1 or 3-2 win to the Arsenal. We will HAVE to make this statement today and on Nov. 3 against United.

Like us at www.facebook.com/gunnersfolife … Just like our players, we get the strength from you, fellow fans and football enthusiasts. Thanks for the mighty support. Much appreciated, keep it real … ARSENAL ALL THE WAY.

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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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Match Preview – Arsenal vs Southampton (Home – Match 4) (Post #7)

2 weeks! And we’re back after the international break with Arsenal vs Southampton at the Emirates today. Arsenal has had three cleansheets from the start of the season. A fourth would be a new record for Arsenal FC. International breaks have always been a nuisance for our club but this time around we have had a breather at the right time with a few players recovering namely Vermaelen. Today will also feature the return of Chesney, our #1. Koscielny also provides great defensive depth now. So let’s go straight to preview the match and our possible team sheet for today.

GK: Chesney! Chesney! Chesney!

DEF: Gibbs and Corp. Jenkinson on the backwings. Koscielny in place of Mertesacker most likely to give Per a well-deserved rest. Expect a few mistakes post international break but overall the Bould effect will overcome this.

MID: Midfield General Mikel Arteta alongside Ramsey (Diaby won’t be risked by Wenger, he’s his precious) in the centre. On the wings, Gervinho should return with the Ox at the other side. Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Walcott (out with a virus) and gets to play against his former club. This is his chance to get back to some fine displays he showed last season, especially the ones against Blackburn and AC Milan.

ATT: With the Champions League games starting, there will now be a fixture congestion (More football for us!). So bearing that in mind, I expect Giroud to replace Podolski an hour into the game with the exception of any unexpected injuries. Of course, we can look forward to that gem of a footballer, Mr. Santi Cazorla to create for both these men. Best playmaker Arsenal has had in years. I’m still chomping at the bits to see him play week in and week out. Oh and I will continue to ask this every week till it comes to fruition- Where is Arshavin? A T-shirt titled ‘Arshavin Missing’ with Arshavin and his traditional ‘Shh’ gesture would be fitting merchandise. I’d wear it. I’m sure someone out there must already be selling it.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Southampton. A well fought win and wait for iiiiiiiiiitt… GIROUD WILL SCORE TODAY. There you go, that’s a headline. I also have more faith in the defence now (Dear back four- Please don’t break this happy little wish of mine, keep another cleansheet).

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE READERS: I’d like to thank all the Gunners thus far from 51 countries who come to read the blog, especially from Malaysia (love Nasi Goreng and Satay), the UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Germany, the US, India, Ireland and SO MANY more across Africa and Asia. I really appreciate the fact that you enjoy the blog. Now, let’s hope the Arsenal deliver the goods and make this weekend enjoyable and look forward to the Post Match Analysis. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, predictions and anything you have to say about our wonderful club. You know where to join us, http://www.facebook.com/gunnersfolife and for you twitterati – http://twitter.com/aslamimz . I sign off for now chanting- “AND IT’S ARSENAL, ARSENAL WE SING, WE’RE BY FAR THE GREATEST TEAM THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN!” BOOYAAH!

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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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Match Preview – Arsenal vs Liverpool (Away – Match 3) (Post #5)

So were you anxious through the last week of the transfer deadline? Looking forward to Arsenal away at Liverpool this Sunday? I was, to tell you the truth. Now? Not so much. Why you ask? Let me tell you what I’ve been upto last week-

I’ve been refreshing my home page for football news day in and day out for the past 6 days. Looking for an Arsenal buy or selling off the “deadwood” (Bendtner, Park). But what I saw was this: Man City sign five players including Maicon and Javi Garcia on deadline day. Tottenham swoop Clint Dempsey and Hugo Lloris. Fulham sign Berbatov. Chelsea surpass £1billion in transfer spending in 7 years of Abrahamovich’s reign. And finally, Arsenal LOAN (meaning we still pay their wages) both Park Chu Young to Celta Vigo and Bendtner to Juventus. The Old Lady came out saying she signed Bendtner only as a last resort. Poooofffff.

Now, I ask the brave Gunners to proceed and delve into looking at our match preview against Liverpool- In contrast, I am optimistic about our game at Anfield. Liverpool unlike Sunderland or Stoke will bring an urgency and purpose to our game. Following their bittersweet display against Man City, expect Liverpool to be on the resurgence. Here now is a look at our possible line-up and our favourite segment – Score Prediction.

GK: Chesney is yet to undergo tests to see if he has finally overcome the nagging rib injury. Mannone can provide cover. Not much to worry about (I hope). Who are we facing up front? Suarez. Oh crap.

DEF: Koscielny is still out and is also undergoing fitness tests. Touchwood the back four we have now stays fit and brings another clean sheet. Gibbs-Per-Vermaelen-Corporal Jenkinson.

MID: A change up is necessary. If we are to counter the inspiring display of one Raheem Sterling, we must put forth Oxlade-Chamberlain or even Walcott (despite being still locked in contract negotiations). So, a midfield quartet with Arteta at the back, Gervinho/Ramsey and Oxlade/Walcott on either side with Cazorla spearheading the diamond would counter Brendan Rogers’ midfield setup comfortably.

ATT: Podolski cutting in from the left supporting Giroud is the ONLY right option. Arshavin should be given a run in at Anfield. This always has been a happy hunting ground for the Russian, maybe this could re-ignite his second Arsenal spell.

Score Prediciton: 2-1 to the Arsenal! This result would be better than another 0-0 or a loss before heading into the dreaded international break. Here’s to hoping.

Villain of the week:  This segment sees the return of an old enemy- Jose Mourinho, for swiping Essien off our hands from Chelsea.

Summary of the transfer window and season thus far: I find it hard to be enthusiastic about the season. There are still some Gunners who ask to hold on and that we will challenge. Some more frustrated than I am are already looking past this season. I think with 2 points in 2 games and with the tough games coming up, Arsenal’s title challenge in my opinion will all come to an end by the end of September. And hence fittingly, I find myself listening to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci5D5r6ZjXA ….

 

 

 

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Post Match Analysis- Arsenal vs Stoke (Away – Match 2) (Post #4)

Alo alo Gunners! This is for your eyes only- the post-match analysis for the Arsenal vs Stoke away game. Before we get to the nitty gritty, I must admit I was initially scared about how the lads would look in the purple kit in the Premier League but them Gunners made it look goooooooood! Right, with that out of the way- I predicted a 1-1 draw at the Britannia and I wasn’t far off. It would be far-fetched to say we are on a goal drought after just two tough games. But come the end of September when we have finished playing Liverpool (Away), Southampton (Home), Man City (Away) and Chelsea (Home), expect the media to pounce on our “deficiencies” irrespective of good or bad results.

Now, here is my insight on how our team has positively trended this season compared to a few years ago:

A few years ago, we were all scared of our vulnerability of the man between the posts (Almunia). He was a good goalkeeper for us but just had some inconsistent matches. Now we have Chesney owning the #1 position like a boss. Mannone impressed (although he looked a bit nervous) and Fabianski is a good #2. We are quite content if not happy about our Goalkeeping solutions.

Now if we take a look at our defensive situation in a similar light, we’ve always had an unsettled defence pair at the back for half a decade, let me take you down memory lane- Djourou, Senderos, Campbell, Gallas, Silvestre, Squillaci, Miquel with Song and Gilberto making cameo appearances. Over the past season, we have established a hardcore pair of centre backs- Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen (Cue epic music!). And, as backup we have the highly technical and gentle German Giant- Per Mertesacker. If that isn’t good enough, Steve Bould has come in and brought an overall defensive shape to our team. I know I keep going on about this, but I cannot emphasise how important this is to our club being taken seriously by the other elites in the league and in Europe. No more 8-2 or 4-0 losses. No more curling under my Arsenal posters and crying like a baby. HELL NO!

On the attacking front, Santi Cazorla is pure magic. He has a Messi-esque movement about him. An interesting stat– Only 3 players in last Liga’s season had over a 1000 passes- Messi: 1303, Xavi: 1101 and Cazorla: 1037. Enough said. Podolski showed promising signs of adapting to the league. Giroud reminds me of Bendtner and Djokovic. Let’s hope he reminds us of goals because I am one of those Gunners who jumps up from a chair in joy after a goal is scored. By the way, did anyone else cringe when Robin Van Nistelrooy (You should get the reference by now) scored? (He’s put a dagger in Arsenal’s heart). A quick point- I am really happy at how Podolski and Co. are showing team spirit on the pitch- Tres important!

Summary: As things stand, Arsenal are headed towards 38 cleansheets and 38 points in the bag. Surely the trend will change to more positive results, yes? Maybe? … 90 more minutes at Merseyside against the always valiant Liverpool will tell.

Villain of the week: Robin Van Nistelrooy (and already nominated for Villain of the season)

Thank you note: We’ve had a tremendous response from Gunners worldwide (from 27 countries across all continents except the Antarctic). These are humble beginnings and we are ever grateful to our fellow Gunners. The best fans for the best team in the world!