Tag Archives: Walcott

Match Preview – Arsenal vs Norwich (Away – Match 8) (Post #15)

Rumours are circulating that the rightful heir to the throne of the Arsenal Kingdom has returned in service to his legion. He is touted to replace the memories of yesteryear by upholding the same qualities that were displayed by his predecessors King Henry and Prince Cesc. He has also been duly notified that the jester of the court – one Robin Van Persie has left. He was also been reported to have approved Arsenal’s acquisition of the services of two new commanders in chief – General Podolski et General Giroud. He would also get back to matters alongside his old allies from his youth- Knights Diaby, Ramsey and Arteta. But most importantly, what will happen in the English continent is his new alliance with the Excellence of Execution, a wizard even- Santi Cazorla. These are signs of prosperity in terms of the royalty displayed. The new councils at Stamford Bridge and theEastlands along with the perennial archrivals overat the Kop, Old Trafford and White Hart Lane have all been warned of his return. He is JACK WILSHERE.

I know remove my Medieval style thinking hat and proceed to our Match Preview for Arsenal vs Norwich (Away).

Match Preview- Arsenal vs Norwich (Away) – Match 8:

Well that was a looooooong international break but I am glad we are back albeit with Theo getting a nasty injury but this is aint the first time he’s got injured after finally getting back good form. Let us hope he comes back strong, well atleast he has so much time to sort out if he is going to stay or leave.

Possible team line up:

GK: Mannone (our only top choice, please stay uninjured Vito)

DEF: Santos, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Corp. Jenkinson. I’d like to see Santos get some game time and that is exactly what will happen with Gibbs out injured. Koscielny didn’t have a good outing for France, he has a back injury as well, stay strong Gunner. He will hopefully feature at some point in this month’s fixtures.Sagna is back too, but not to full match fitness, I am sure he will be eased into the matches. This month’s fixtures aren’t as demanding as they usually are.

MID: Arteta, Cazorla, Ramsey (Never any doubt about these three now). Now who features in the fourth position in the midfield quartet is the million dollar question because it could make or break our game especially after a long international break. Coquelin or Chambo or the Dench Kid Frimpong can step up. Frimpong can stay back and allow Arteta some time up front. Gervinho might be rested after his African trip, he may start but then again it is up to the boss. This could be a very tricky decision. Or could this be ARSHAVIN’s rennaisance period??? Watch this space…

ATT: Giroud HAS to feature, he is just picking up pace for club and country both assists and goal wise. Him and Podolski up front should be a delight to watch. We can FINALLY have a two striker/forward pairing, last seen in the Arsenal circa 2003/04 ala Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.

Prediction:

Arsenal 3-1 Norwich. I expect us to give away a sloppy goal or a penalty given our team rust. But we’ll switch gears once the players get back to how it was two weeks ago (wow it’s been two weeks?!) and we will win with all guns blazing.

So … Buckle up, sit back and relax. It’s the weekend and this is ARSENAL !!! Look forward to our post match analysis and thank you for reading. Plus if you have any special article requests for all things Arsenal or even football in general please do let me know. With all honesty, it is a delight writing for you fellow Gunners and also for other fans who are kind enough to appreciate this, all you lot are the best in the world! Cheers!

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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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Match Preview – Arsenal vs Stoke (Away – Match 2) (Post #3)

I’ve been bed ridden for 1.5 days with a nasty cold, sore throat and fever, but somehow I am still ‘stoked’ for the away game on Sunday- Arsenal vs Stoke. In case you’ve been away from all the transfer news, we’ve lost Sahin out to Liverpool. Wenger said that he wants to land a special player in a few days. Like most Gunners, I am eagerly excited and equally frustrated at the ups and downs of this transfer window. Oh and did I mention that Theo Walcott might be leaving the club soon as well? But anyways, let’s get back to the football part. Tony Pulis’ side always pose a physical threat to Arsenal. I pray that none of our new recruits especially Cazorla get injured during this match. So let’s take a look at the potential line-up and possible score prediction at the end of 90 minutes.

Line-up:

GK: Chesney is expected to be in goal and will brush off a slight rib injury. Fabianski might return to the sub bench replacing Mannone after his back injury subsided.

DEF: Expect the same back four (Gibbs, Vermaelen, Per, Jenkinson) to maintain continuity- Also because we have no other choice with Andre Santos being arrested and Sagna still out injured long time. Keep the faith in Corporal Jenkinson, the lad’s doing his best. That being said, Le Boss wants to sign a defender (The ‘Special’ Player) and a defensive midfielder (to fill in for Song). I don’t know how many of you were impressed at our defensive shape and organization against Sunderland. I certainly was, I can see the Steve Bould effect. But Wenger would like to change the formation to a more attacking stance which we could witness at the Britannia Stadium.

MID: Arteta and Diaby will be the midfield core, Wenger has a LOT of faith in Diaby. He is a talented player, no doubt with even France Coach Laurent Blanc speaking highly of his skills. The Song replacement will come to rotate with either Arteta or Diaby, based on the fatigue levels of the two. Cazorla and Gervinho are attacking mainstays without a doubt, well atleast until Gervinho goes for the African Cup of Nations and also until Wilshere, Rosicky get back. Oh and if Walcott isn’t on the team sheet tomorrow, it’s a confirmation that he is leaving. But not to worry, we have one Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain waiting in the wings, quite literally.

ATT: After that sliced shot last week, Giroud might be itching to prove himself, which can only be a good thing, unless he hogs all the chances. Podolski for me must play in the left wing position, where Robin Van Nistelrooy (Refer previous posts to get this reference) first started for Arsenal. Also, Arshavin needs to be given a free role and not be limited to the left wing and a little more effort from his side would also be highly welcoming- Such a waste of talent.

Score Prediction:

Hmm, a 1-1 at the Britannia Stadium doesn’t seem unlikely. Expect a parked bus defence and counter attacks from Stoke. If you are a prediction maestro, leave your score predictions below and if any of you get it right, you will henceforth be the official Score Teller. Don’t forget to check out our page http://www.facebook.com/gunnersfolife . We also have a facebook group – http://www.facebook.com/groups/gunnersfolife plus I am always glad to hear your thoughts on our club on Twitter, my handle is @AslamIMZ.

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