Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year Gooners!

Just wanna say to everyone Happy New Year! In about 5 hours I proberly wont be able to talk let alone say it then so have a Good Night and Keep it Goonerish. Have a great 2008 and hoping Arsene guides us to trophiefull year!

Almunia for England?

So Manuel Almunia for England? Not for me. It's been said in recent weeks, there is a possibility of Almunia playing for England to solve the England goalkeeper crisis. I think that this is wrong. He's SPANISH not English and should only represent Spain. I do however think it's alright to have a foreign manager. The manager should be the best man for the job, regardless of nationality. We, after all want England to do well and we now have a good manager. Although in truth, it's more than just having a good manager, it go's deeper than that. Back to grass roots level.
We can't start having players from other countries playing for our own. After all, u look at the Irish and Scotland squads over the years and they have players playing for them who have a dog related to a Scottish cat or an Irish tree monkey meaning they can play for that country!! It's laughable. How can u say for years how you're an English man and but find out u have a great-great-great-great uncle who was a quarter Welsh and then declare you're love for the Welsh Dragon?!
Almunia should wait for a chance to play for Spain. If it doesn't happen, it's unfortunate. I hope England don't go down this road. I think other countries shouldn't do it either. We have a great player in Eduardo who's done it, bit I still don't agree with it.
England should have an English team. And before anyone gives it about Arsenal having hardly any English players and I should shut up, that's not what this is about. For me, its Arsenal first and England second. But that does not mean I want England to fail or go down this road to make us better.
Anyway, I'm not English, I'm Goonerish!!!

Friday, 28 December 2007

Diarra cant go?

I've just been chatting to a friend of mine about Lassana Diarra. By all accounts he cant leave Arsenal in January because it would mean playing for three different clubs in twelve months. Can anyone shed any light on this? I remember the same situation with Mascherano becoming complicated when signing for Liverpool, but that was properly more to do with him being owned by about 24 different people and teams!!
Fifa rules state a player can not play for more than two teams between 1 July and 30 June. If this the case then Diarra WILL NOT be leaving the Emirates anytime soon.
If I'm honest I'd like him to stay at the club. I think he is a good player and shows good battling qualitys. People say he lacks attacking abilities and maybe this is true, but when he has a full pre-season with Arsenal and has been Wengerised then he has great potential to do well with Arsenal. He is the closest player we have to Gilberto and I'd be happy for him to stay at the club and fight for his place. Hopefully he will knuckle down and continue to battle for a place. I reckon if it wasn't for the form of Flamini, he properly would start most games along side Cesc. Just my opinion. Keep it Goonerish.

Go back to basics

Everton away. Tough game at anytime but they are bang on form and ready to take on anyone at the moment. But we are Arsenal and must pick up points at tough places like Goodison Park. The Christmas calender has always been the toughest time in the Premiership season with the amount of games to be played. Arsenal, and I'm not making excuses here, have looked tired in recent games. We've had alot of away games and also started the season early because of Champions League Qualifiers. Injuries took their toll on a number of players recently and u can see these players not picking up the type of form they had early season. We've got a strong squad so we should use it.
I like us to go back to basics against Everton. 4-4-2. The players look more comfortable with it and we have the players to use it, even with RVP out injured. No doubt Everton will go for the victory tomorrow and will not be content with a point like Portsmouth were on Boxing day.
As stated in a previous post, Arsenal haven't been at their best in recent weeks. What us Gooners need to understand is that we cant play the swash buckling football we love to see Arsenal play EVERY week. There will be times when we struggle, but I'm positive we will turn it round and get playing to how we are used to seeing Arsenal play. It's encouraging to see the side still picking up points, even when we're not playing well. And its encouraging to see the side still trying to play to their beliefs and still trying to play good football.
It's important that the players focus tomorrow and take one game at a time. It's been a busy period and I don't think it will affect the players going to tomorrows game in second place. They are ready for any test this season and have passed all the tests so far. I think the first test was Fulham, on the opening game of the season. To win that gave the players the confidence of a good start. Then came the week with Liverpool and Manchester United, we came through undefeated. But for me the biggest test was our reaction to defeat. We had Chelsea after the defeat at 'Boro, and we had the strength of character to win that. Tomorrow is another test, and these players are showing us how good they are at football, and also alot of steel. Expect alot of steel tomorrow. We've always been at our best with our backs to the wall. Keep it Gooonerish.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Dont Panic!

Well, the game against Pompey didn't give us the three points we wanted but lets not panic and overreact.We should give Pompey some credit, Pompey played for the point and got what they deserved from the game.They came out to contain Arsenal and I'm not surprised as when they tried to match us in the past we have torn them apart and Harry Redknapp is experienced enough to know this. It was a game of very few chances.
I think the 4-5-1 formation we used, played against us in this game. It left Adebayor isolated too often and he didn't hold the ball up well enough but too be fair to him, he had a lack of support. Hleb went far too deep at times and this suffocated the midfield, meaning Cesc couldn't dictate the play as he likes to do. We're at our best when playing 4-4-2, we are at our most fluent when playing this way. I'd have liked to have seen Bendtner starting last night. I think he is due a start and maybe we would have won the game if he had started? I think we can play the 4-5-1 when we are in Europe or against rival sides to be slightly more conservative,but in these type of games go for it and use the 4-4-2.
Also, we haven't been playing well the last few games. But, if this is our "Bad Run" for the season I'll take it. We're not losing and still picking up points and are only a point behind ManUre. Who would have thought it at the beginning of the season? So lets not panic and remember that form is temporary, class is permanent!

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Xmas Gooners!

Just wanna say Merry Xmas to all the Gooners in the world! I'm happy as we done the Spuds! Hopefully shut them up until the Carling Cup! I'll update the blog soon, i've been....slightly intoxicated shall we say since the Spuds game! So, have a good one and keep it Goonerish!!!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Spuds and Cups!

AC Milan, AAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCC MMMMMMMMMMilan! I actually think that's not a bad draw for us. Sure, they've won it on numerous occasions and are currently the holders, BUT, I feel that we have the squad to beat them. The current Milan side have several stars in their ranks but they are struggling in Serie A at the moment, especially at the San Siro. They do enjoy Europe though and although its a BIG test for Arsenal, we have a style of play that they will not enjoy. They have several aging players in their side and our football, will wear them out. We have great pace in the side and must keep our focus as Milan have a very experienced side. Obviously u need a bit bit of luck and we mustn't concede a goal in the first leg at The Emirates. U also need a bit of luck with injuries, something we haven't had for a couple of seasons now. I'm sure many Gooners thought "Oh no, Milan" well, I'll tell u every team wanted to avoid Arsenal. I'm sure we'll be fine with the draw and maybe we'll raise our game even more, I'm not saying Milan are an easy touch, but it may work for us.
As for tomorrow, the Spuds are coming to town!! I feel over the last few years this fixture, in my eyes, became just another game. That due to our success and Spuds struggling. Please don't call me cocky, it's just how I felt. That changed though when they nearly pipped us to forth spot and it ignited my feelings towards them. The Spud fans, decided to become very cocky and believed a shift of power to the white half of north London was arising, Well, as we know, it didn't happen, and the next season we finished even more points ahead of them. U would think this would shut them up, oh no. They got worse!! This is the Year of the Cockerel, we'll do it this year! Resulting in me having several £50 bets with numerous Spuds! Anyway, five months later, a new manager and twenty two points behind, they began to quieten down. Then the Cup draw sparks them all off again and the coming Saturday!! They begin again!! I just hope, that one day, they will realise that they set themselves up the fall every time.
We have only Walcott as a doubt for tomorrows game, which shocks me as I thought Eboue was out for ages, strange. It good to have a fully rested squad against a side who had ten men and had to use every resource against City in the week. It all points to a home victory, and altough I vowed never to predict a score again. I just had a tenner on Arsenal winning 3-1!! So thats my prediction.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Blackburn 2-3 YoungStars

Well, where do I start??? I'll start by saying how my prediction for the match was proberly the worst prediction in the history of mankind !! It was the total opposite to what happened, and I will now never predict a match again!!
It started so well for Arsenal and the first half, we was immense. Spraying the ball around with ease and looking like world beaters. In the first half, I have to single Diaby, Diarra and Bendtner. These three, and I'm not taking anything away from the others who all played well too, stood out for me. Bendtner looked total class and his holding up play is superb. He wins almost everything in the air and seems to hang in the air for ages when jumping.
Diarra looked like he was everywhere and was at the heart of most things that Arsenal done. Apperantly, he wants out of Arsenal. I think he should bide his time. I can understand his frustration of not playing all the time but I think he is the closest player we have to Gilberto. Now, Gilberto has been superb for Arsenal, but if I had to let him or Diarra go, I'd choose Gilberto. Because of Diarra's age and potential.
Diaby ran past people with ease and scored with a good finish on the half volley, looping over Friedal. He is going to be WORLD CLASS, he is fantastic and if he is patient, under Wenger's guidance, he will have the world at his feet.
As I say we were superb in the first half, and if I'm honest, the game swung in Blackburn's favour through an offside goal just before halftime. It gave Blackburn belief in the second half and the game completely changed. They drew level, and deservedly so. Football is such a funny game and to see two half's like this is why we love the game. In the 90th minute Denilson had a funny turn and two-footed Dunn and was given a straight red in the melee. He deserved the straight red, but players like Savage and Dunn screaming at the ref proberly didn't help matters! It went to extra time, and Eduardo scored the winner with a cool finish.
I have to mention Eduardo, he had two chances, one on one, and coolly finished them. He is a great finisher and I feel he has to be given time to settle at the club. When he takes chances like that, we know why Wenger signed him. He will adjust to Arsenal and to the Premiership sooner rather than later.
Overall, a great result for the youngSTAR's and on to the next round, where these kids will fear no-one!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Away at Ewood

Tonight we travel to Blackburn in the Carling cup and the side will be completely different to the one that faced Chelsea at the weekend. I'd expect several changes to the team and whoever Wenger picks will be up to the task, as proved in last seasons Carling cup run when we beat a number of decent top flight sides. With Spuds coming to the Emirates on Saturday it will be good to be able to rest players and have have pretty much a full side available for the clash.
Tonights game will be a tough fixture for the team, it will be cold and i'm sure Blackburn will be physical and try to knock this young side out of stride. In the last round we faced a tough away fixture at Bramall Lane and I think Sheffield United paid a price for allowing us to much time and respect, and got hammered for it. Blackburn will be wounded after getting beat 5-3 on Saturday and will be up for tonights game. Expect a full blooded rip roaring opening 20 minutes where Blackburn will try to get the crowd behind them and get amongst Arsenal.
I'm sure the side that Wenger picks will expect this and will cope. If Arsenal stick to their passing and have plenty of the ball, then I expect us to do the job. Blackburn will get tired if Arsenal play their usual game and we have plenty of pace in the side to get behind Blackburn late on. I think we will win this game, it will be a good one and tight, but I fancy a 1-0. I think the side will be:
Hoyte Senderos Song/Toure Traore
Denilson Gilberto Diarra Walcott
Bendtner Eduardo/RVP

Monday, 17 December 2007

Cheers cAshley!!

Well, Grand Slam Sunday is over and as predicted in my last post, Arsenal and United has emerged as winners in their games. This puts us TEN points clear of Liverpool and SIX of Chelsea. This is a great advantage but I'm not ruling any of these teams out of the race for the Title, it's only December and the team that is the most consistent will win this league. I hope we've had our little wobble with the games at Newcastle and Middlesborough, but if u ask me, I think the point at St James was a good one. If you was offered a point at Newcastle at the beginning of the season, before u knew we would be doing so well, then u would take it. It's a tough place to go.
Anyway, Arsenal have beaten Chelsea and it was thoroughly deserved in my book. Ok, Cech made a mistake for the goal but we played very well and took the points. At times we played some great stuff and the way we defended was admiral. We were very resiliant and showed this especially in the last 15-20 minutes when we had alot of tired legs, in the past we havent showed this resilence and I wonder if Gallas being appointed Captain is the reason. The man is a born winner and seems to get an extra mile from his players. Talking of extra miles, how many does Flamini get through in a game!! The man grafts game to game and surely covers the most distance of any player in this league! The game had a few little niggles and one resulted in John Terry having to come off. The challenge from Eboue was late and he deserved his yellow, but is'nt it just giving Terry a bit of his own medicine? Did'nt I see him go through Cesc and try to cut him in half? I have no sympathy for Terry at all.
cAshley Cole and Cesc seemed to have a running battle all game and it's clear that they dont get on!! Cesc took Cole out and Cole retaliated, I loved it when Cesc did that. Cole fouled Hleb and Rosicky on a number of occasions. Cole showed his mentality when he stuck his fingers up at the crowd who used to worship him, right back at u pal!
To be fair though, I'd like to say thanks to Cole. Him leaving, has meant Clichy stepping into the side and providing us with Gallas. Clichy will be the best left back in the world and Gallas has stepped up to be a great Captain. So cheers cAshley!
Overall its been great for Arsenal this weekend, sure a draw between United and Liverpool would have been the best result for us but when the pressure was on, we passed the test. It must have been hard knowing United have just beaten Liverpool and going out to face Chelsea but its another show of character from these Arsenal players who now, must know that they can win the title.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Chelsea are coming!

We have 24 hours to go until Chelsea come to the Emirates on a day called Grand Slam Sunday!!! The other game being Liverpool v Manchester United, what a day it will be! I fancy United to go to Anfield and claim all three points and knock us off the top of the table, but only for a couple of hours as I feel we will beat Chelsea in a tight game.
News is that Cesc,Hleb and Flamini could be back for the game but dont expect Wenger to play all three from the start. They wont be match fit at the moment and also RVP has only just come back as well so thats four players who lack match fitness. I expect them to be in the squad though, and to all play some part in this match.
Chelsea are without Drogba through injury and Essian through suspension. I think Chelsea are a different side without Drogba and they cant be as direct as they'd like without him. I dont care what anyone says Chelsea still play direct football with plenty of long diagonal passes aiming towards Drogba. They have lacked a cutting edge without him, as proved in the game against Valencia in the week.
Arsenal will surely go back to a 442 formation for this game with RVP back in the side, i'm glad that we have these players all coming back as we a tough few games coming up.
I think the game is going to be really tight but i've a feeling we will be celebrating at the end of the day at the top of the league again. I think we're due a victory over Chelsea as well, it's been a while! I remember when they could'nt beat us at all and now they are undefeated against us for a few games.
My team:
Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Hleb Gilberto Cesc Rosicky
Also some little toe rag called cAshley Cole is coming back, make sure he knows it!!!!!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Gunners gunning for big guns!!

After the results of last nights games Arsenal have finished second in the group. Meaning a potential clash against either Porto, Barca, Inter, Real Madrid or AC Milan. For me, I could'nt care less who we face in the next round as u have to face the best to win it. The only disadvantage is we face the first leg at home, but this should'nt matter too much as long as u dont concede. Even a 0-0 at home in the first leg is a good result and encourages an away goal in the second leg. I've a sneaky feeling that we will get Barcelona, but as Wenger says, the players will be more focused in the big games and to be honest on our day we're untouchable football-wise. And I include Barca and Manchester United in my thinking. I look forward to the draw and I'm sure when its made we will get a little feeling in our stomachs and mine will be excitement!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm sure the players are confident against whoever they play and rightly so. And I can tell u this, every team that has won their groups will want to avoid Arsenal in the next round. Many teams around Europe realise the potential in this Arsenal side and that the future of our great club is huge.
When the draw for the Champions League is made, it will allow the players to focus on the league again, which is a good thing with Chelsea coming to the Emirates on Sunday. More on that another day!!!!