Thursday, 31 January 2008
Keep it Goonerish.........
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
In the summer it looked like he was about to leave Arsenal, but after a long chat with Arsene Wenger he decided to stay at the club and fight for a place. Whatever Wenger said to him I'm glad, because have seen a player transformed from a squad member to a crucial part of the Arsenal side.
He has formed such a great partnership with Fabregas and the players complement each others styles in a big way. His style of play allows Fabregas to get on the ball and do what Cesc doe's best, but this doesn't inhibit Flamini to get forward and score some crucial goals himself.
He has fantastic work-rate and stamina. He seems to be everywhere on the pitch and I don't think any player in the Premiership covers as much ground as him. This is the Flamini that we have known about for years, but he has added good technical ability to his play as well. He doesn't look out of place in this Arsenal side at all and this season has attempted the second most passes in the Premiership of all the players.
The rate that Flamini has progressed this season makes me think just how good can he be in the future? The main thing is that this future is in an Arsenal shirt. According to the player himself, a new contract with the Gunners has almost been agreed. He has made it his priority to stay at the club and has made it clear how happy he is here. He has also spoke about the closeness in the Arsenal squad.
He is only 23 years old and has the potential (on this season's form) to become one of the best midfielders in world football. This is not an exaggeration. He and Fabregas can become the best partnership in football. They have time on their side and will only get better and grow together.
He has taken his chance to play every week and is currently undroppable. He deserves his chance as he has been patient and shown if you bide your time at Arsenal then you will be given a chance. Many players have moaned about not being in the starting line-up (Diarra!) but Flamini has shown that if you wait, take your chance, then you can show how good you are.
Flamini is a lesson to every footballer and there is a saying that the best things in life are worth waiting for.....
How true that is....
Keep it Goonerish........
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Tonight is a chance for us to open up a 3 point gap on ManUsa as they don't play until tomorrow. It is important that we claim all three points tonight as from now till the end of the season any slip up could result in being pipped to the title, and Newcastle at home is a game where we expect to pick up three points. Don't get me wrong, there will be surprises from now till May, but I can't see one happening tonight.
Wenger will have easier selection problems tonight. When picking the side for the game on Saturday he had to keep one eye on tonight's game, so I wouldn't expect any major changes from the side that played on Saturday. The fittest and freshest from that game will properly start tonight. I'd properly expect to see a line up like this;
Sagna Senderos Gallas Clichy
Hleb Cesc Flamini Diaby
I think Theo may start on the bench tonight after playing against Spurs and Newcastle last week. He may need a little breather. He would be good to use as an impact sub as we all now how much pace he has and the havoc that he can cause. He did well in the second half on Saturday, and hopefully can build on that. His pace caused the Toon defence problems and hopefully it's something that we will see out of Theo more often.
A player that has surprised me lately is Senderos. His form has improved game by game and although at times he gives us Gooners a near heart-attack, he has been doing well in recent matches. He seems like a player who when he gets a run of games improves with each one. It's not often he gets the chance to feature in a run of games, so when he comes in for the odd game his concentration lets him down. Lets hope that he continues his good form tonight.
I can see us coming away with the points tonight but not by the same scoreline from the Cup. It'll be 4-0! Only joking, I think Newcastle will try to play like they did for the first half again and the first goal will be crucial again. I fancy a 2-0 victory with goal in each half. Ade and Eduardo will score the goals and we'll be 3 points clear at the top.
Keep it Goonerish............
Monday, 28 January 2008
"Hello son, guess who we got in the Cup?"
"Dunno, probably ManUsa at a guess.."
"Yep, away as well"
The conservation went quiet.....Then we both started to piss ourselves laughing. It had to be them. Away as well. It seems every season we get a hard draw, but if you want to win the Cup then you have to play the big teams at some point. It doesn't really bother me that we have got ManUsa, I'm looking forward to a great game of football. Hopefully by then we will hitting the form of early season, but I feel we have enough to go to Old Trafford and get a famous victory.
I love the clashes with United, it gets the blood pumping and fires you up something big time. Over the years I can remember great Cup matches against them. Especially the Semi-Final games in April 1999. I know we ended up beaten but those games are what football is all about. I was in Lanzarote, 16 and pissed up. I remember Anelka putting the ball in the net and me going mad, screaming at the drunk Mancunians, only to look up and see the linesman with his flag up!! To get told to sit down was an understatement! Great memories.
But that's what games like this throw up, passion and excitement. I personally can't wait for that weekend 0f February 16/17th. Typically, Chelski and the Calm downs get a nice home draw each against lower league sides, but never mind. And the only concern I have for the ManUsa game is that we have Milan the same week. Wenger will have to prioritise the Cups then for sure.
There is huge talk of Arsenal putting in an 11th hour bid for Woodgate. Apparently just to piss off the Spuds!! It's obvious that he is a great centre half. And we have been crying out for cover in that position all season. But he is very injury prone and would he accept coming to Arsenal and being third choice centre back? Kolo and Gallas are the obvious pairing and could Woodgate dislodge either? I don't think so.
He seems at the wrong age for Wenger to take a risk on, at 28 he is no spring chicken in the age of a footballer. If he was five years younger then maybe Wenger would risk the chance. But if that was the case then surely Wenger would have made an offer before? However, the clubs bidding for him are Spurs, Newcastle and an unnamed club. This has me thinking it could be Arsenal because of the hush hush way we sign players!! That and surely Tottenham would have announced his signature by now???!!!! I'm getting confused!!
Anyway, its been a busy day news wise for the Gunners and I'm getting hungry so goodbye for now and see ya all tomorrow!
Keep it Goonerish.........
Ray Kennedy was in an era before mine, mine started with the Alan Smith's, Ian Wright's, Merson's, Rocastle's and Limpar's, but I've always known about Ray Kennedy. But he was brought to my attention even more when ArsenalAnalysis, (A great Arsenal blog) compared our very own Bendtner to the style in which Kennedy played.
Ray Kennedy scored a header with three minutes to go at White Hart Lane in May 1971, which won Arsenal the title, to earn Legendary status at the Gooners, and three years later he left the Gunners and signed for Bob Paisleys Liverpool. Kennedy won 17 England caps, six First Division titles, three European Cups, one FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup, Fairs Cup, European Super Cup and even a Welsh Cup with Swansea.
Now his sad story starts. At the age of 34, he had to put all the caps and medals up for auction. The reason, Parkinson's disease had ravaged his body. He had a testimonial in 1991, and since then has had no steady income. His condition deteriorated further, meaning no income from what other ex-footballers fall on. After-dinner speeches, coaching, etc.
Arsenal and Liverpool fans have set up an Appeal called the Ray of Hope. Which hopefully can give the man a better quality of life. Events are being organised in London and Liverpool over the next year, and hopefully fans from other clubs will touch upon his plight too.
You can pledge to the firstname.lastname@example.org or a send a cheque to the Ray of Hope Appeal c/o HSBC account 21817299 sort-code 40-03-27.
Many thanks to Brain Reade for writing the article and bringing it to attention. As Gooners lets give a little back for a man who us a huge amount in 1971 at White hart Lane.
Keep it Goonerish...............
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Saturday, 26 January 2008
Friday, 25 January 2008
We have a great FA Cup record, especially under the Legend Arsene Wenger and even though it's properly third in his targets for the season, he takes this Cup very seriously. He has taken Arsenal to four FA Cups victory's. And the first was against tomorrows opposition in the final, The Barcodes, in 1998 one half of a superb double season. Wenger spoke of his desire to win the game and that of Kevin Keegans return;
"We want to do well in the FA Cup. At the moment, there is no choice to make - we want to bounce back after the disappointment of Tuesday night," he said.
"When I will be in a situation where I have to choose between the FA Cup, the championship or the Champions League, I will prioritise the two other competitions.
"At the moment, the FA Cup is the next game, and we want to win the next game."
"Maybe he gave them the lift they needed," said Wenger.
"Everybody lives with their personality, but at the end of the day it is about making the right decisions for the club. Kevin has done that very successfully in the past."
Arsenal's FA Cup record;
FA Cup Winners (10)
2005 Beat Manchester Utd 5-4 on penalties (after 0-0 draw)
2003 Beat Southampton 1-0
2002 Beat Chelsea 2-0
1998 Beat Newcastle United 2-0
1993 Beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
1979 Beat Manchester United 3-2
1971 Beat Liverpool 2-1
1950 Beat Liverpool 2-0
1936 Beat Sheffield United 1-0
1930 Beat Huddersfield Town 2-0
This game has added spice by Kevin Keegan's return to the Newcastle job. The man only knows one way to prepare his side and how they play. Attack. I'm hoping that this will play into Arsenal hands tomorrow. On our day we can tear sides apart with our football. This is a game that we can win comfortably. We haven't been in the best of form in the last month, and the excellent 3-0 victory over Fulham last week was the best football we've played in a while.
I'm not sure how the boy's will start tomorrow's game. They could be a little nervous after the result in the week, but maybe they wont because of a major change in personnel? Confidence may have taken a little knock in the ranks but the players will be angry and will look to rectify THAT result with a victory. One thing's for certain, an early goal for us tomorrow would be a godsend and if any doubts were in place then that could help wipe them out.
The side will be picked from a squad of;
Almunia, Sagna, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Rosicky, Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Eduardo, Adebayor, Lehmann, Gilberto, Diaby, J Hoyte, Bendtner, Walcott.
In other news, Theo wont be going out on loan. The question was put to Wenger following rumours of a possibe swoop by several sides.
"No, because we are very short," said Wenger when asked whether anyone would now be allowed to go on loan following the Carling Cup exit.
Wenger told Arsenal TV Online: "We have 17 players at the moment, and you could see with the players who were on the bench at Tottenham that they should not have been on the bench there."
This quote from Wenger makes me think that maybe if the squad wasn't shortened by the injury to RVP and Eboue being in the African Nations Cup, then he would consider letting Walcott go on loan? Maybe I'm reading into it too much!!
Anyway, lets get behind the boys tomorrow and hope that our name will be in the 5th round draw! I'm sure that it will!!!!!!
Keep it Goonerish............
Thursday, 24 January 2008
There are many games that come to mind involving this fixture for me. But I've rounded it down to two to choose from! The two most favourite Arsenal V Spuds games in my memory (I'm 25!) are the 5-4 victory in 2004 or the 2-2 draw to clinch the league title in 2004!
The first game I remember very very well, because I was sat amongst the Spuds!!! My old governor at work was a Spud season ticket holder and he bought me and my work mate tickets for the game. The only drawback being that I had to sit with the Scum! This didn't throw me because I wanted to see the game so bad, and I didn't care where I sat. We went to the game by car and my Governor decided that we should have a pint! I thought to myself I must be mad as I was searched by the bouncers walking into the bar. I was hoping that they wouldn't undo my jacket as I had on my Arsenal shirt underneath it!
Anyway after that hairy moment we went to the game and I have never in my whole entire life wanted to scream out so much! The game was incredible and every time I thought that we had wrapped up the game, the Spud's pulled something back. I even shouted "Yessssssssss" when Arsenal scored the 4th! But I styled it out. The Spuds must have realised something when I was the only one not standing when they sung "Stand up if you hate Arsenal" every time they got to Arsenal, I would mutter Tottenham under my breath!
Anyway, I got out alive and proud that I had infiltrated the Spud ranks! That game was incredible, and I will never forget it in my life!
The other holds special memories, the reason being it won us the Title. And to win the title at Shite Fart Pain is an incredible feeling. The Spuds must have felt humiliated to have a Title won in their own backyard. And especially by us, the Club that they sooooooo want to be like. The build up to that game was tense and as I stepped into the pub to watch the game, I knew we was on the verge of something special. The pub was separated by Gooners and Spuds, each having their own side and the atmosphere was building up rapidly. When Vieria stretched out his long leg to slot home the pub went ballistic and I only wish that I was there with the Gooners in Shite Fart Pain! I would love to have felt that raw Gooner emotion, especially when that final whistle went.
To be there and witness it in front of my very own eyes would have been a dream come true and I envy the Gooners that was there. It was one of the proudest moments I've ever had as an Arsenal fan, and believe me there have been plenty!
I could bang on all day about how proud I am to be a Gooner. And even though the other night was terrible, I have to many great Arsenal-Spud memories to let it taint them.
I think my favourite Arsenal-Spud's game is when we won the Title there. The Spud's will never have an opportunity to do that to us in our own backyard. And that will live in memory till my dying day.
So what are your favourite Arsenal-Spud moments? Trust me, it feels great to right them down!!!!!!!
Keep it Goonerish.
Club's in the Premiership were apparently made aware of the fact that Theo could be available to loan, and one club strongly linked were West Ham. The loan would only be until the end of the season. Wenger doe's feel letting players out on loan can help the player gain vital progress and maybe this is the situation here. But, he only lets them out on loan with the assurance of first team football otherwise he won't let them go.
Theo has got great potential and Wenger splashed out a reported £13 million on the youngster, I think it was £5 million upfront. The player has yet to establish himself and seems short of confidence at times and even out of his depth. I feel he could develop into a good player. It must be hard that the spotlight is on him so early in his career, and maybe a short term move out of it will do his long term future good.
Keep it Goonerish......
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
You could see how much it meant to the Spud's players by the way they reacted at the final whistle. Admittedly it was the first time they had beaten us in 21 attempts and it was the Fizzy Pop Cup semi-final, but they were dancing around like they had won the damn thing! What they must remember is that they haven't won it yet, and if they fall flat on their faces in the final then all that dancing around will make them look pretty silly!
Let's get things in perspective here; Despite Spud's "Superb" victory, I'd still much rather be in Arsenal's position then the Spud's. We are second in the league on goal difference and fighting for the title. When was the last time Spurs challenged for the title? Or actually won the league? Was it 1961 or something like that? Also we have what they want so badly and have had for a long time. Champions League football. This was the year that they were going to take this away from us. Oh yeah? Don't think so!!
We have so much going for us, don't let this game get you too down. Remember the run had to end some time, OK not in the way it did but remember that Spud's will live off this for the rest of their lives. We have our titles and Cup history to remind them about. Not forgetting the future trophies that this young Arsenal side will bring. Trust me, these players will be stronger for this Cup run in the long run.
We have to face it, Spurs were better than us over the two legs. It hurts at the moment, but that pain will go away. This result will be irreverent at the end of the season when we are crowned Champions and the Spud's have been beaten in the final. Dont forget it took 21 games for them to beat us, dont forget we've done the double over them in the league this season,don't forget it took a Gooner for them to win their last Cup, and don't forget that they wont be in the Champions League again next season, unlike us.
So Spud's, gloat while you can. You know it won't last, when we are crowned Champions and have either the Champions League or FA Cup wrapped up. It won't mean a thing. Your'e eleventh in the league and exactly 27 points behind my dear club. You haven't won a trophie since 1999 and will proberly never see your side win the league in your lifetime again. So enjoy the Fizzy Pop Cup. It's about your level. Mickey Mouse.
Keep it Goonerish.
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
It's a difficult question. There are hundreds of players racing through your mind at once. To be honest, its the superstars of world football that come to mind straight away. Players like Kaka, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, E'eto and Henry (Erg-Been there!)
After thinking long and hard about this and weighing up my many options, I plumped for a player who isn't a superstar. Well not yet anyway! A player who plays in the Premiership, and he isn't foreign either! (Not that that makes a difference!) The player I decided to sign and would love this to happen, is Micah Richards.
We all know about Micah Richards. I rate him so highly it's unreal! He is absolutely superb. Built like a boxer and extremely agile with plenty of pace. He try's playing football as well, not just hoofing the ball down the pitch like John Terry! His performance against ManUsa earlier in the season was breathtaking.
He is a versatile player, comfortable at right-back or centre back. Currently England's number one right-back, he will surely will the future rock in the centre of England's defence. He will be one of the best centre backs in world football. No doubt about it.
It's well known that he followed Arsenal as a kid, and I think he'd jump at the chance of joining Arsenal. He loved Wrighty and Vieira. Could you imagine joining your boyhood club? It'd be a dream come true.
If he was at Arsenal, he'd learn from two of the best centre backs in the game. Gallas and Sende.....I mean Toure! He would eventually proceed Gallas and form a partnership with Toure, that I believe would be unmatched anywhere. What a future backline, Sagna Toure Richards Clichy!
So Mr Wenger, make a Gooner happy. Get on the phone, give me an open cheque book and let me get Micah Richards!
Who would you Gooners sign?
Keep it Goonerish.
Monday, 21 January 2008
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Saturday, 19 January 2008
Fulham haven't won a game in 11 and we haven't lost in 10, despite not playing well lately. Surely this bodes well, picking up points and not losing while not playing to our full potential. This game pits second top against second bottom which would suggest an easy game for Arsenal judging by the run of games both clubs are in. I don't think this will be easy. Teams raise their game an extra 10% against Arsenal, and I expect the same from Fulham today.
The team news for Arsenal is;
Arsenal look set to have winger Tomas Rosicky back following a virus, but striker Robin van Persie is sidelined by a niggling thigh problem.
Johan Djourou (groin) is also out while Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Alex Song are at the Africa Cup of Nations
Arsenal (from): Almunia, Sagna, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Rosicky, Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Eduardo, Adebayor, Lehmann, Gilberto, Diaby, J Hoyte, Bendtner, Denilson, Walcott.
Wenger seems up for it, judging by recent comments;
"There is a real hunger and we are all on the same wavelength. We have the same love for the game, and that drives you on.
"You feel there is a potential in the side and that you want to win, but they want to win as well. We have taken a step forward this season.
"That makes me believe we can win trophies at the end of the season."
We have a great record against Fulham in the Premiership we have beaten them 11 times, which is more then any other side. We also have the best scoring record against them too, banging in 30 goals.
If Cesc starts which is expected, then he will be making his 150th start for the club. That is phenomenal for a 20 year old. I fancy us to grind out a result today. I dont think it will be a "pretty" match. Fulham will come for a battle and Arsenal have proved this season that we are more than up for that. When we opened our season against Fulham and took the three points, it set us up for the season. I believe that was one of the first "big" tests that we faced and we passed it. It gave us belief in the side and more importantly, it gave the side belief.
I think we will grind out a 2-0 victory, and hopefully Ade will score first. We have never lost when he's on the scoresheet. Expect a tight game and a battle. I think our extra quality will show.
Keep it Goonerish.
Friday, 18 January 2008
Arsenal play with pace, passing and movement. Ribery fits the bill in all of these. Rosicky and Hleb for me are hugely important to this Arsenal side. They are such clever players and are at the heart of alot of Arsenal moves. They are full of movement and seem to have so much time on the ball when it's at their feet. When they are missing, it seems Arsenal lack creativity at times. Obviously we have Cesc who is just as important, but he can't do it alone. I think that Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb are the most influential players when our passing and movement are on form.
Ribery would have been a great signing for Arsenal. He has great close ball control and runs around players with ease, a bit like Hleb. He has a great deal of pace and is doing very well at Bayern Munich. I know he isn't the out and out winger who keeps out wide and delivers cross after cross that alot of Gooners want, but I think he is a like for like player for Hleb or Rosicky. He could very easily slot into the Arsenal side with the way that he plays the game.
In recent games the whole side have struggled, but if you ask me I'd say the two who seem to be struggling the most are the wide players. In this I mean the "Back up" players, Diaby and Walcott.
Diaby seems to hold on to the ball for too long, which slows up our play. I admit in his defence, he isn't a natural wide player. But it's so frustrating to see him hold it when a simple pass is all that's needed! Believe me, I rate Diaby and I hope long-term he will play in the middle but hopefully he will cut this out of his play and dribble when needed and pass when it needs to be passed.
I think Walcott seems to be struggling with confidence. He has great pace and that is what defenders hate. I'd love to see him running at defenders, taking them on but he seems inhibited at times. Long-term he sees himself as a striker, but he must learn the basics of the game first, and that's why he is played on the wing.
I believe that if Ribery had signed, we would have enough "wide" players in the squad to cope when either Rosicky or Hleb are unavailable. He is in my eye's an Arsenal type of player and could adapt to the Premiership easily. He also has good experience, having played for France in a World Cup Final. The way he plays football is exciting to watch, and that is what we've grown accustomed to at Arsenal. I honestly belived that we would sign him when we were linked with him in the past because of the way he plays. He is a very typical Wenger player.
Maybe we didn't sign him because he is a big star now in his own right, and Wenger doesn't sign stars, he makes them. Plus he would have cost a huge amount of money and thats not Wengers style either. But this is one player that I wish Wenger would have taken a chance on and signed. Think of Rosicky, Hleb and Ribery, that would have been awesome.
Keep it Goonerish.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
The main thing that I spoke about was the fact that in the first leg our "Reserve" side played poorly but were undefeated against a full strength Spud's side! The main thing that the Spuds spoke about was that we didn't fill our stadium! I had to laugh at this, the truth behind the matter is that the Tottenham board are to blame for this! Allow me to explain.
Arsenal didn't fill the Emirates against Tottenham because the Tottenham board refused to let Arsenal cut the ticket prices down for the game. The Gunners always reduce prices for the Fizzy Pop Cup, due to the fact we never field a full strength side in the competition. We always give the kid's an outing in the Cup and give them a chance to mature and a way into the first team. It's a fact that we have done this for the last two seasons, with the agreement of the opposition. In this time we have always had a full house for every game.
Spurs insisted that the prices be Category A prices, as if we were playing ManUre or Chelski etc; The Arsenal fans knew we wouldn't have a full strength line up and because of the expensive prices for tickets on normal games decided to watch at home. Can u blame them? I cant!
So because of the Tottenham board being arseholes there were 7,000 empty seats at the game. It shows you how tight the Tottenham board are! but as Mulder and Scully say, the truth is out there! So Tottenham board, u are too BLAME! The Arsenal board were trying to be kind for our supporters and look after them, but there you go. It shows u that the Spuds board have no class!
Keep it Goonerish
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
It's frustrated me that he has chosen this path for his career. I can understand his frustration at not being an Arsenal regular and not getting many games, but I really do believe he would have played an important part in Arsenal's season. I dont think he realise's how close he was to getting a place in the Arsenal line up. He the next centre midfielder that Wenger would have selected had Cesc or the Flamster would have been rested or injured. All he needed is a little patience, and I'm sure that he would have found himself playing more often. He has got so much potential, he could develope into a very good player. Under Wengers guidence, who knows what he could have achieved?
It seem's that he was more concerned about playing for France than his club side. I think he see's the Euro's coming up and has panicked into making a move. I mean don't get me wrong Pompey are a good club with great fans, but they wont be challenging for honours! He will do well at Portsmouth, but wont achieve much. I believe he will rue this transfer, like most players do when leaving Arsenal.
I'd have thought maybe loaning him out for the remainder of the season may have been an option. It would'nt have been ideal for Arsenal, but he'd still be an Arsenal player and we could have him for next season with a fresh start. It hasn't happened like that and he is gone. A shame because he had great potential but that's football!
I suppose him leaving wont affect us too much, he hasn't played many games and he hasn't endeared himself to the fans! I only hope that him leaving wont affect his best mate Diaby's place at the club. All I can say Lassana is that YOU ARE A DIV!
Keep it Goonerish.
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Both missed the pre-season at Arsenal, which wasn't ideal for either player. Gilberto was on International duty and Diarra a signing on transfer deadline day. Flamini stepped in on pre-season and has taken his chance, making it impossible to drop him for anyone. He has become a key player for Arsenal and is one of the most improved players I've seen for a long time. He stands in front of Gilberto and Diarra for a place in the Arsenal starting eleven alongside Cesc Fabregas.
An even further blow for Gilberto was the announcement of Gallas as the new Captain of Arsenal. Many people including myself, believed that Gilberto would be the natural successor to Henry for the Captaincy. After all he Captained the side for long periods last season. You hardly heard a grumble from him about the situation. He admitted that it surprised him, maybe even shocked him a little but that was the end of it for him. He just got over the disappointment of it, and got on with it. He didn't start slagging off his peers, unlike a giant German at the club!
Diarra on the other hand, has been at the club for five minutes. And all we've heard is that he wants to leave for first team football! I understand his frustration, after all he is young and hungry and was put in the same situation as he was at Chelski. On the bench. But, did he really just expect to walk straight into the Arsenal side? Obviously he did!!
The thing is, I really rate Diarra. I think that he could be a great long-term player for Arsenal. Think how good he could be under Wengers guidance? He could become a very very good player if he bides his time and is patient. I've been impressed with him on the pitch in action this season when he has played. I think we missed him against the Spuds last week. He is a very competitive player and you cant have enough of them!
Giberto on the other hand, has been the complete opposite. He has been poor this season and it seems that his levels have dropped. BUT, he remains a class above Diarra. Not on the playing side, but his professional attitude. It has been second to none. Maybe it's to do with maturity? I don't know.
Perhaps an option would be to let Diarra go out on loan for the remainder of the season? For me, not the best option for the club but it would mean we'd keep the player. It wouldn't be ideal because we could do with him for the run-in that we will have from now to the end of the season. If that was the case, he can come back after the Euro's and have a pre-season at the club. And a fresh start.
One thing for certain, Giberto has impressed me this season with his attitude and dignity that he has shown. If he can rub some of that on to Diarra, then us Gooners will be laughing. So Diarra, have a chat with Gilberto and think seriously about the effect leaving Arsenal will have on you're career. Many have left before and most seriously regret it.
Keep it Goonerish.
Monday, 14 January 2008
1.Lehmann- After retiring from football two years ago, Jens has teamed up with David Hasslehoff to create dream band "Da Twinz" The pair have gone multi-platinum in the German charts with their new sound, De Moan. They have four number 1's!!
2.Diaby- Keeps getting told off at the dinner table for not passing the salt. Still doesn't pass then!!
3.Sagna- Has an endorsement with Tesco Value Spaghetti called Tesco Value Sagna.
4.Cesc- Just played his 1023th game as Arsenal Skipper. Also retained the World player of the year award, for the 5th time!
5.Toure- Newly appointed Ivory Coast Prime minister.
6.Senderos- Starting his loan spell at Millwall from Swindon after move to Leyton Orient breaks down. Named in League 2 team of the year!
7.Rosicky- 'Little Mozart' Just like his nickname namesake is now a classical music genius. Just released his 6th classical album. A legend in the Czech Republic.
8.Diarra- Now at his 19th club after moaning that he couldn't get in the side. Plying his trade in the French Alps Premier Division.
9.Dudu- Just scored his 112th goal for Croatia in just 98 games.
10.Gallas- Starring in French film, 'Last of the Mohican's'
11.Van Persie- Has just scored his 312th goal for Arsenal. Making him the 2nd top scorer in the Arsenal history charts.
13.Hleb- Voted Belarus playboy of the year for 7th year in a row.
15.Denilson- Named Brazilian Captain for 2018 World Cup in England.
16.Flamini- Has just completed a 150 mile run for charity. Didn't even stop for a drink. He hopes to run across the whole of Europe next week!
17. Song- Cameroon Captain and player/coach. Assistant to uncle Rigobert.
19.Gilberto- Now Brazil manager, hopes for victory in the World Cup.
20.Djourou- Just started a new job making Swiss rolls in Switzerland. Hopes to be promoted soon!
21.Fabianski- Poland and Arsenal number one. Has keep a record 29 clean sheets in a row!
22.Clichy- Still the best left back in the world! 'Stole' Cheryl Cole off cAshley Cole, just for a laugh!
24.Almunia- Has a new career as an Eminem lookalike. Recently appeared on BBC show The one and only, singing 'Will the real Slim Shady please stand up'!!
25.Adebayor- One half of new-look remade band Milly Vanilly.
26.Bendtner- Banging in goals for fun. Just recorded a TV advert with Casper Schmeichal for Danish bacon!!
27.Eboue- The other half of new-look remade band Milly Vanilly!! Has created a new dance craze called "Get touched, go down and hold your face" It's everywhere on the dance floors all over the world!!
30.Traore- 2nd best leftback in the world. Alternating with Clichy week in week out at Arsenal.
31.Hoyte- Mr Dependable. Still at Arsenal despite not being a regular in the side. Does general duties at the club. The new Pat Rice!!!!
32.Walcott- England Captain has scored 387 Arsenal goals, 314 of them skillfully chested in like the goal he scored against the Spuds!! Get in!!!
Arsene Wenger- AKA Legend. Now Chairman AND manager at the club. Has won a record 10 Premiership League and Champions League trophies in a row. The FA Cup and Carling Cup have been won by the Arsenal 2nd side for the last 8 years!!!
So there you have it. The Arsenal squad in 10 years!! I wonder if it will happen!! Would love to hear your ideas!!
Keep it Goonerish.
Thursday, 10 January 2008
For some reason I always felt as the game ticked down and the Spuds kept missing chances that Arsenal were going to pull something out the hat. We did, courtesy of Theo skillfully chesting a clearance from Lee past the despairing Cerny!! And I must add, what a finish it was from Walcott. The way he took it was class!! Ha HA! From then on I thought that Arsenal would go on to win the game. But almost instantly the Spuds nearly scored with Defoe missing a sitter! It must be his new bird Danielle Lloyd keeping him up all night, or that silly haircut which looked like he'd run over by a push bike!!
At the end of the match, I was relieved to have a draw. Which gives us something to build on for the second leg. I hope in the second leg the players play with no fear and go play their natural game. I think if we play our football then we can go to Shite Hart Lane and claim a victory. We need to have alot more urgency in the second leg and defend better from the off.
I have to say that the Spuds were unlucky to not come away with a famous victory. BUT, I must add that they played well with their strongest side and we had a near reserve playing very poor and still the Spuds cant beat us!! That bodes well for the future and the players will be better for knowing this. I hope in the second leg we are not as flat and use the ball alot better than we did last night.
Keep it Goonerish.
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Its been twenty, yes I repeat, twenty long games for the Spuds since they last defeated Arsenal!! It was on my 17Th birthday, way back on the 07/11/99!!!! Since then it has been pure frustration for Spuds, but it hasn't stopped the fans from being as cocky as ever!! It makes me laugh about the number of times I've heard that this is the year of the Cockerel, it's our time. Only for them to fail on the pitch, time and time again. I'd feel sorry for them, but I cant, they bring it on themselves. When will they learn? Stop building yourselves up!! U set Yourselves up for the fall every time!! You had your chance in 2006, and you bottled it. You are now even further away from us, and we are getting better all the time!! That is not over-confidence on my part, it's the harsh reality that Spuds have to face up too!!!
Right, rant over!! As I say, tonight will be a tight one. But, I feel it will be a great game. I expect goals, and although Spuds do have danger men, I reckon the form of Eduardo could be the telling factor tonight. The man is ice cold in front of goal, it wouldn't surprise me for him to score a couple in a game like this. There will be chances aplenty for the young Gunners, and he is the man that u want to be on the end of them. I swear under Wenger's guidance this player could become one of Europe's leading marksman!! He is that good at taking chances and at a team like Arsenal who create so many, he will be devastating. He is starting to settle at Arsenal now, can u imagine how good he will be next season? He has also just been named the O2 Arsenal.com player of the month, and deservedly so.
"Eduardo was still finding his feet in the hustle and bustle of English football at the start of last month but by the end of December he was justifying Arsene Wenger's billing as Arsenal's "secret weapon". The fans certainly agree - they have picked the Croatian striker as their Player of the Month.
Eduardo only featured in five of Arsenal's nine games but still did enough to scoop 27.8 per cent of the votes. He was quiet at Newcastle and Middlesbrough but exploded into life in the Carling Cup win at Blackburn, firing the young Gunners into a two-goal lead and slotting home the winner in extra time after Rovers had pegged back Wenger's side.
The Croatian produced two more clinical strikes at Everton to turn a one-goal deficit into a 2-1 lead. It was yet more evidence that the Croatian is probably the Club's most natural finisher since Ian Wright. Eduardo has staked an early claim for the January prize too after goals against West Ham and Burnley, taking his recent tally to six in just four games."
Other good news, is Robin Van Persie is available for selection and will properly feature at some time in the game from the bench. Arsène Wenger was delighted to have the 24-year-old back in the fold at last.
“Yes Robin van Persie is back in the squad,” he said. “He had a little set-back coming back from his knee injury, it was a muscle problem. But the positive side of it is that he could forget about his knee and work on his fitness.”
Its great to see Robin back, and with Ade available as well, surely Arsenal have the most talented quartet in the Premiership?
Tonight you will see this young Arsenal side hold no fear, as proved when showing plenty of bottle in last years Semi-final to come back from two down. And with home advantage, I reckon it will be another victory for the Arsenal. With Eduardo in the form he is in, and the side playing like the first team play football, I feel it will be enough for an Arsenal win.
This is the Spuds cup final, unfortunately for them it will be twenty ONE games since they last beat us after tonight.
Keep it Goonerish.
Monday, 7 January 2008
Here is the forth round draw:
Arsenal v Stoke or Newcastle
Coventry v Walsall or Milwall
Oldham v Huddlesfield
Swindon or Barnet v Fulham or Bristol Rovers
Wigan v Chelsea
Luton or Liverpool v Swansea City or Havant and Waterlooville
Southend v Barnsley
Southampton v Norwich or Bury
Manchester United v Spurs or Reading
Portsmouth v Plymouth
Derby or Sheffield Wed v Preston
Watford v Wolves
Peterborough v Charlton or WBA
Sheffield Utd v West Ham or Man City
Mansfield Town v Middlesbrough
Tranmere/ Hereford v Cardiff
I think Arsenal will do well in this years FA Cup. Wenger has a love for it and the last couple of seasons we haven't performed as well as Wenger would have liked us too. I'm sure this will spur on the Gunners and I hope Wenger can add the trophie to the Arsenal collection!!!
Keep it Goonerish.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
Saturday, 5 January 2008
It was December 5th 1967, that Pat made his first apperance in an Arsenal shirt. The first of 528 apperances for the club! He was working at a greengrocers on Gillespie Road and joined the Gunners in 1964 as an appentice. He played as a right back and eventually became the club captain.
At Arsenal he won the Inter-Fairs cup in 1970 and was part of the double winning side of 1971. He appeared in FIVE FA-cup finals, winning two. He left Arsenal in 1980, moving down the road to Watford and played 137 times for the club, helping them to promotion. He retired as a player in 1984. He played 49 times for his country, Northern Ireland.
When he retired as a player he returned to Arsenal as a coach, and has remained here ever since. He was a coach for 12 years and even managed the side in September 1996 when then caretaker manager Stewart Houston quit the club. He even had a 100% record in the Premiership, winning three out of three games!! He lost one in the UEFA cup, at home to German club Borussia Monchengladbech. (Useless manager! Joking)
At the end of the month, a Mr Arsene Wenger, an unknown Frenchman took over the club and made Pat Rice his assistant manager. Pat has played a key role in the success at the club since the arrival of Wenger. And we have seen the best football played in the history of the club winning two doubles (1997/98 and 2001/02) an unbeaten season and a currant squad, which has the potential to better even those successes!!!
So here's to Pat Rice, Mr Arsenal, hope u remain as Wengers sidekick for many years to come!!
Keep it Goonerish.
"It will not become a circus. We are quite well equipped here to handle that. We have mirrors, doors and everything that is needed.
"He's just come back from a long break and has had injuries, He joined us on Jan 2. He will not be playing in any games and will not be registered. He is just training. He is working to be fit before moving back to Los Angeles in February, so now, in January, we are giving him assistance with his fitness. He doesn't live far away and always loved Arsenal. That's why we help him."
Wenger was asked whether Beckham would be signing and responded with a simple "No". Beckham has been giving a training kit with 23, a number he wears for La Galaxy and the number he wore at Real Madrid. He will train with the reserves, but at times will train with the first team.
I think that Beckham training with the Gunners is great for both parties. It allows Beckham to get fit, and train at the highest level of football around. And having Beckham at the club will help the players, as he can give advice to the young squad. He has won many trophies and the players will take in his advice and this can only be a good thing with the club chasing trophies.
Keep it Goonerish.
Friday, 4 January 2008
Wenger appointed William Gallas as the new Arsenal skipper, in a move that surprised alot of Gooners. Even myself. Most people believed Gilberto would be next in line after the departure of Legendary Thierry Henry, I did too.
Alas for Gilberto, it wasn't to be and Gallas was picked as the next in line. Everyone thought poor Gilberto, and he has rarely featured in the Arsenal team since. Due to the superb form of the Flamster who has taken his chance and been one of the best players for Arsenal this season.
It has proved to be a great move by Wenger, Gallas for me, is a natural born winner and seems to get every thing out of his teammates and has inspired a new "Win at all costs" mentality at the Gunners. Although things haven't been so rosy lately!
So the next skipper has to follow this and in my view, only two players can. Kolo Toure and Cesc Fabregas.
Both of these players can fall into the winners mentality which will inspire the players if EITHER were Captain of the club.
Kolo has been at the club since February 2002, which makes him the longest serving player currently at Arsenal.
He is seen by many as a future Arsenal skipper. He was the junior vice Arsenal captain last year and he first Captained Arsenal against Liverpool in the 6-3 Carling cup win in January 2007.
Cesc has been at the club since September 2003, signing as a 16 year old prodigy from Barcalona. He was the youngest player to ever start for Arsenal and the youngest to ever score for Arsenal.
People have suggested we appoint Cesc to keep him out of Real Madrid and Barca clutchies, I understand this. But it should be in the best interests of Arsenal, the club is always bigger than the player.
Although Cesc will be older and wiser when the time comes, I'd have Kolo as captain and Cesc as vice Captain when the time arises. Kolo will have earned it with the amount of time he has spent at the club and by playing and learning beside his current leader William Gallas.
Gallas's experience will rub off on Kolo and make him into a total defender. And I believe its better for a captain to be a defender, who can see the whole pitch.
Cesc WILL be a future captain for Arsenal, but must bide his time and will be next in line, after Kolo in my eyes.
Keep it Goonerish.........
Thursday, 3 January 2008
I feel that Arsene WONT sign anyone. He wont want to upset the harmony and balance of this squad that he has created. I think he feels the squad is strong enough to cope without Kolo and Song. That's why we wont be signing anyone in January. Signing a big name may please the fans, but we know Wenger doesn't work this way. He wont want to upset the squad and he has too deal with "apparently" unhappy players already such as Diarra and Lehmann. Well, we all know Lehmann's unhappy!!
But, what if Gallas or Senderos get injured? Assuming these will be the pairing Wenger will use, what would happen? Sure we have Djourou, who I think is better than Senderos and going to be a fine player, but have we got enough QUALITY cover to compensate? We can use Gilberto here, but we know he isn't happy to play there and we can use Sagna or Hoyte there. But is that enough? I'm not too sure.
In the time Kolo is away, the fixture list isn't too harsh on us and u never know, the Ivory Coast may get knocked out early! (Please!) Kolo is a great influence in this Arsenal team. He is currently the longest serving Arsenal player, and viewed by many, including myself as a future Arsenal captain. So of course we will miss a player of this stature. That does not mean we should panic buy and I believe Wenger will keep the faith in the squad for the next month.
Although,I do feel we should strengthen this position in the summer. In my view, and I hate to say this, we should sell Senderos and sign another defender. I don't think the Premiership suits his game. In my view, it's too pacy for him and he might be better playing in a country where the pace is slow, like Italy. He does have good quality's and many say he is the best header er of the ball at the club but I'm not convinced he is good enough for Arsenal. I think Djourou has the potential to do well at Arsenal. His qualities suit the English Premiership. And he seems more comfortable on the ball than Senderos. Sorry Phil!!!
So my opinion is keep the squad we have until the summer and then strengthen at the back. Have Kolo, Gallas and Djourou, plus another.
Keep it goonerish.
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
He made over 300 appearances for Arsenal, and 2 for Scotland having previously played for England under 15's! After retiring as a player, he worked as a coach and then as a broadcaster, presenting for around 28 years. Let's not forget he coached at Arsenal for 28 years too!! Coaching goalkeepers like Seaman, Jennings and Lukic, he retired in the 2002/03 season.
I'm sure all the Gooners in the world would like to congratulate Mr Wilson in this honour and his legendry status at the club. Well done Bob! U deserve it.