Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Are Premiership ref's as xenophobic to Arsenal as the media?

This will sound like a moan and it is in effect, but over the season Arsenal have been dealt a bad hand with referee decisions.

It's easy to say "Just get on with it" and I agree to a certain extent but a couple of comment's I received on an earlier article certainly gave me food for thought.

The comments were from an anonymous poster and Kalle. I hope they don't mind me using their comments.

"The lack of English players hurts Arsenal because the English refs will continually bone the club with bad calls because of it. it goes all the way back to Arsene's original team when only half his players were foreign. am i supposed to believe that the ref's don't hold the same xenophobic feelings that are constantly spouted by English managers, coaches, players and fans?"

"Mr Anonymous comment at 18:18 really scared me. I wanted to write a piece and found identical words of my thoughts. I do KNOW that not having English players hurt Arsenal in one way only. Ref Decisions.
I was laughing when I saw on MOTD that Manure conceded a penalty in EPL for the first time in a year.

Forget about that. I remember PV4 taking about leaving EPL for the same reason. The only way we can win seems to be by being 5x better than any other team. therefore we do doubles that year.

Anyway, another evidence of EPL referees is that they never do well in Euro and World Cup, neither in CL and UEFA Cup. Countries such as Sweden whose league is 40th in Europe produces far better referees than EPL. That tells you that we need to get professional referees from outside England to take the game forward."

I think they are both excellent comments. They both have great point's and I agree with them.

Do Arsenal have to perform better than anyone else to win thing's because we have more foreign players than any other club?

Do Arsenal get a raw deal from Premiership referee's?

The media certainly seem to take great delight in Arsenal failing. I wonder if that's because we have embarrassed them with a title challenge this season after being written off by them all?

Ref's are only human and can make mistakes just like you and I. I accept that, but is it more than that?

Are Premiership ref's taking too much notice of the media's anti-Arsenal propaganda and letting it affect the way that they take charge of Arsenal matches?

Keep it Goonerish......

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

England will struggle even with five foreigner quota FFS!!

I read that Sepp Blatter has stuck his oar in again and is pushing for clubs to have a five "foreign" player restriction on the playing field.

This will give the national side a better chance of winning things and allow home-grown players a chance to progress and not be held back by the foreign players coming to these shores.


I'm fed up with this shit. It is not the foreign players faults that England have continuously failed at the major tournament's we compete in. It go's way back beyond that. If anything, players from abroad can only IMPROVE us.

It's about time that us English pulled our heads from our arse's and realised that we are not as good as we think we are.

The media hype us up and set us up for the fall every single time. We are the Tottenham of the international level.

We are light years behind the likes of France, Germany, Italy, Spain (shall I go on?) It begins at grass-roots levels where we are inferior and it continues further through the age progression.

It's time that we took responsibility for a change instead of blaming our own failings on others. Of course it's easy to do that. Lets blame everyone else for being shit, that's the easy way out.

The day that us English admit our own failings is the day that we can start to improve and get on par with the countries mentioned.

We are stuck in the 1960's. Football has moved on since we won the World Cup. It's been 42 years. How long has it been since the proper foreign "invasion"? Around 5-10 years maybe? How was England doing from 1966 until then? Not very well.

So lets take responsibility ourselves. Change the way we coach our kids. Then we will start to do well.

If an English player is good enough, then he will get in the side. Why should teams be forced to play an average English player over a talented foreigner? It's stupid logic and won't improve our national side.

We need to sort out our method's and get to reality. We are not good enough.

By reducing the amount of foreign players to each team will just make the Premiership a poorer place. At the moment it is arguably the most exciting and elite league in Europe. Foreigner's have helped the Premiership. Lets not reduce the quality of it.

We can get more English players coming through, lets go about it the right way. Starting at grass-roots. Then you're see the best and most natural way for English players to become world beaters. Maybe we can stop using foreigners as scape-goats then!!

Keep it Goonerish.........

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Is it our lack of English backbone that is costing us trophies?

I was watching the Chelsea V Manchester United game with my Chelsea mad friend and he brought up a comment that infuriated me and resulted in an argument for a few hours! (A raging debate to pass the time!)

His argument is that Arsenal have no bottle and that is because we have hardly any English players. Also because of us, England will struggle in the future and how can England win World cups if the top sides have no English players.

I was angry with his comments because Arsenal having hardly any English players doesn't really bother me.

I couldn't care where the players come from who play for Arsenal. As long as they do the business for the club then I'm happy.

And in fairness to the England side, who could fit into the Arsenal style of play? None of them if you ask me. It's so obvious at International tournaments that England are lacking in technical ability. We try bless us, but for all our effort we fail.

Arsenal have a style of play that involves pace and technique, we don't depend on hard graft and long balls. England don't play our way and for me, there are hardly any English players that I think could get in the Arsenal side. And I mean Gerrard, Rooney and Lampard as well.

And as for the argument that England fail because of Arsenal, do me favour!!!

When did England last win the World Cup? 1966? Wenger took over Arsenal in 1996. That's thirty years in between. England won nothing in that time, I suppose that's Arsenal and Wenger's fault as well!

Look at the amount of times England have lost on penalties or just been knocked out of tournaments. Surely that shows that English players lose their bottle as well as anyone?

I hope that no-one reading this thinks I'm on a anti-England rant. I'm English and I would love England to win something in my life. But Arsenal are my true love and when under the cosh I will defend my club's honour.

And if you look at the big picture, Arsenal are really the only "real" English club in the top four. The owners of Chelsea aren't English, the owners of Manchester United aren't English, the owners of Liverpool aren't English. Arsenal are run by English people.

So in my opinion, it is not a lack of English backbone that is costing us trophies. It is a lack of depth in the squad and a little more experience needed. I coundn't care less if a player came from London or Lille, as long as they did the business for my club.

Keep it Goonerish....

Saturday, 26 April 2008

The return of the king?-Sorry but nooooooooo way will this happen.

This summer there will be more rumours circulating around the comings and goings at the Emirates than there are pigeons in Trafalgar square!

We are being linked with a number of players and to be honest some of the names mentioned excite me.

I know though deep down inside that no-one knows who Wenger will release or purchase.

No-body ever see's a signing that Wenger makes coming. But as I've said previously I do feel that a player with a reputation may come a-knocking on the door of Wenger's office and sign on the dotted line.

The latest is that we are considering bringing back the King. Thierry Henry. I do not think that this will happen.

He is rightly a god amongst us Gooners and we were devestated to see him take off the number 14 shirt and say va-va-voom last summer.

Now most of us questioned Wenger's sanity at the time. But he obviously knew that the time was right to release the Frenchman and open a new chapter in the Arsenal book.

Wenger has been proved right time and time again about when to release players who have past thier peak. Regardless of name and reputation Wenger is quite ruthless.

Henry has struggled this season, badly. And I appreciate that he is often played out of position but I don't think that his body is up to the rigourous level needed in the Premiership anymore.

He would miss more games than he would play and we already have enough injury-prone players as it is. (RVP, Rosicky)

I love Thierry like a brother from another mother, but I can't see how him re-signing would benefit Arsenal in anyway. We have moved on and we can't go back to the past.

I'd much rather see us sign David Villa than Henry. Sorry Tito.

It seem's a similar situation to when Vieira left us. Every year linked with a move away from us but since moving on every year with re-joining us.

I know Wenger hasn't ruled anything out about Henry but I think that he is humouring the media more than anything. The crafty devil.

So-The return of the King? Sorry but in my eye's no. But that dosen't mean I don't love the bloke.

Keep it Goonerish.........

Hlebs replacement lined up? And Le Boss may yet surprise us all!!

No-one really knows what go's on in Le bosse's head when it comes to players arriving at Arsenal.

One obvious trend over the years is that Wenger very rarely spends a big amount of money on one player.

Us Gooners have watched the Chelsea's, Manchester United's, Liverpool's and even Tottenham spend big big money while we have had to be content with a side built on a fraction of the price.

I think that we may be surprised this summer with a big name signing. I have a gut feeling that we will sign someone with a big reputation.

Think along the lines of Robinho. I think that he will be the big name player that we sign this summer. We have been linked with him before and it seems that there is admiration from both parts for each other.

A potential target, Modric, has believed to have been signed up by our lovely neighbours Tottenham. Lets hope that he turn's out as good a signing as Darren Bent.

Do you think that Wenger will make a big signing?

I wrote about Hleb yesterday and I think that even if he doe's leave then Wenger will NOT sign a replacement. I reckon that Wenger will "promote" from with-in.

I'm thinking that our little Mexican Carlos Vela will feature quite alot next season. He will be given the number "8" shirt and may begin on the bench to begin with, but will feature more and more as the campaign go's on.

He is a class act but will Gooners be content will another youngster filling the gaps?

For all we know, Hleb may not even leave yet!! I hope he doesn't, but you can never say what's around the corner in football.

Keep it goonerish......

Friday, 25 April 2008

Seriously, why would Hleb want to go?

The rumours about Hleb leaving the Gunners are getting stronger, but why would he want to leave?

Even worse is that the rumours are saying he could go for as little as £3 million!!!! He is worth at least £15 million.

Is it that the ice cream is better in Italy? If so, can't we just ship him over his favourite flavour?

Is it more money? Well thats probably the main reason of course!

Does his girlfriend and wife-to-be Nastya the Belarius posh spice fancy the Milan fashion?

Well, one things for certain in my eyes. Wenger should be firm with Hleb, stand his ground and tell him that he is not moving anywhere.

Unless Wenger is willing to let Hleb leave of course?!!

Hleb can have it all at Arsenal. He has stated in the past how happy he is at the club and how much he enjoys life in London. He is part of a team, that if kept together, CAN dominate the Premiership. (With a couple of add-ons, of course!)

The English Premiership is the place to be. Domestic football in Italy has had it's day. The league over there is so poor and dull, a talent like Hleb would be wasted. He should continue his development at Arsenal, where it seems he has finally settled.

His best footballing years are ahead of him. Spend them at a club going places. A place where he has played some brilliant stuff and can only get better. Spend them in the most exciting league in the world. Then when past his hay-day, go to Italy and enjoy the ice-cream.

If Wenger let's him go I feel that both him and Hleb will rue the day the Belarius international left the Emirates.

And I for one would hope that his last contribution to Arsenal was not a slap to the face of Murty.

Keep it Goonerish......

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Gallas WILL leave and Song the man to replace Flamini?

There is no doubt in my mind that if Arsene Wenger take's the captain's armband off William Gallas in the summer then our defender will leave the club.

Gallas seem's the type who would throw his toy's out of his pram and demoting him as skipper would put a major dent in his pride.

I couldn't see him staying at the Arsenal if he wasn't captain. It would be hard for anyone to lose the captaincy and continue to play for the same club. It would be double hard for Gallas as he is a very strong willed character and I'm sure that he would do his nut and throw a major strop if he was demoted.

For me the only way a player could continue to play for the same club if demoted as captain would be if the captain himself gave it up. Gallas is very unlikely to do this as it would be like admitting he has failed the job.

Many people have different opinion's on Gallas leading the Arsenal side. I personally like Gallas as skipper simply because of his will to win at all cost's. This doesn't make me right, it's just my opinion.

One things for certain though, take the arm-band from Gallas, and we can say bye bye to him.

Flamini's contract has been a major talking point for Gooner's. The will-he wont-he situation is getting worrying. The offer is on the table and it has yet to be signed.

The noise's coming out from Flamini appear to encouraging but that means nothing really. The fact is the contract hasn't been signed and that is not good news.

If the worst happen's and our little terrier doe's leave the Emirates, could Song be the man to replace the Frenchman? We all know Wenger will promote in-house if need be and Song is beginning to look a real prospect.

I must admit when he first burst on the scene I wasn't too impressed. But he has improved in bundles and he showed his ability in the ANC for Cameroon.

Could he be Cesc's minder next season? Or will Le Boss go and get a replacement if Flamimi leaves? My monie's on Song.

Keep it Goonerish.......

Saturday, 19 April 2008

The return of boy wonder

It's a little out of order to single out one player from a faultless team performance, but it's my blog and I can do what I want!

Today we saw the return of the boy wonder. Robin Van Persie.

The whole team were excellent though and produced a fantastic display of total football against Reading. Arsenal seem to like playing against them, always playing great flowing football and entertaining us Gooner's.

I'm picking out Van Persie as today was the second FULL ninety minutes he has played in 15 months! An unbelievable stat and its show's the amount of time he has spent on the treatment table.

He is a very important player for us and although not on the score sheet today, he could have added maybe another 15-20 Premiership goal's for us. Let's not forget the goals we have missed that Eduardo would have scored as well.

I really feel that Van Persie could have made a difference to our Premiership title challenge this year. He couldn't help our, at times, shit defending, but today proved the difference from a half fit Van Persie and a fully fit one.

He was superb and it's obvious that his return has made us look more of a threat from set-pieces in recent matches.

His corner's cause havoc and as for his shooting from the dead ball: dangerous. He strikes the ball with that left peg so well. When we get a free-kick around the box now there's more expectation for a goal, just because of the way Van Persie hits it.

I hope he remains fit now. He has been unfortunate with injuries and could be become a liability for us if he keep's getting injured. He has the best left foot in the Premiership and the potential in my eyes to be a top three world-class striker. He just need's to remain free of injury to fulfil that potential.

The boy wonder is back. Lets hope it's for good and next season is a full one for the boy.

Keep it Goonerish.....

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Jens Lehmann-good bye or good riddance?

Saturday's match against Reading could be Jens Lehmann's final game in an Arsenal shirt at the Emirates.

Mad Jens (as he is dearly known by us Gooner's) is certain to leave us in the summer and I wonder what the reaction will be from my fellow Gooner's when he walks out the door?

It took a big man to step into David Seaman's boots when he left for pastures new at Manchester City. Jens was that man.

His character and confidence eased him into the Arsenal goal and in his first season we went unbeaten in the Premiership.

He has made us laugh and made us cry over the year's. His antics since joining us have made him the most spoken about keeper in the Premiership.

The ref's certainly know him. I've never seen, and doubt I will ever see again, a goalie who gets booked so much! It make's you laugh at times.

There are times when I've thought "Jens, u fuckin' idiot!" and there are times when I've pissed myself laughing with his antics.

I still feel he should have been number one this season. I can't knock Almunia for his efforts in the sticks, but I just felt more confident with Lehmann playing.

I won't miss his bitter outburst's at not playing. At time's I've felt he is bang out of order. But when has the big German ever kept his mouth shut? Never!

I will miss his character and when he shove's an opponent or shout's at them for getting to close too him. That made me laugh.

Lets not forget that he was, and is a bloody good goalkeeper, who stepped into a legend's shadow and earned our respect. It can't have been easy for anyone, but Jens had the self-belief to do it. And do it he did.

I'd like to say to Jens good luck for the future. We had more good times than bad. I wish you could have controlled your bitterness but i'll forget that. You did a great job at Arsenal and was a character.

I hope we give him a great send off and I'm sure we will. So sod off u bitter git! But good luck mate.

Keep it Goonerish.....

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Let the transfer rumour's begin

With Arsenal Wenger stating he will sign one experienced player and that he is not afraid to spend big money, the rumours have begun to circulate quicker than Walcott can sprint five yards.

The latest, and biggest name to be linked with a move to Arsenal is Spanish hot-shot David Villa. Now this rumour hasn't come from Arsene or Arsenal, it came from the player himself.

He said he watched the Premiership alot, and the team that caught his eye more than any other was Arsenal.

He feel's our brand of football suits his game best of all and the Valencia chairman will let him go in the summer.

Although this is a rumour, this would be the standard of player I would love Le Boss to sign. Villa is top top class and if there was any chance of him coming to Arsenal then I would pay for him to fly to England, the taxi from the airport and let him stay at my house for the duration.

I'd even cook him paella every night and read him good night stories. He is that good!

I know, I know, I sound over the top. But it's nice to be linked to a player like Villa and for him to say such nice things about our club.

Anyway I think I'm allowed to get a little excited, afterall, we're normally linked with ten year old Peruvian's! (no disrepect meant to ten year old Peruvian's. I'm sure you are all great footballer's!)

I'm off to take my medicine. Feel free to leave your rumour's in the comment section.

Keep it Goonerish......

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Who's better, Clichy or Evra? And should we dump Gallas?

Read an article by Steven Howard in the Sun. He even made a bit of sense for a change, in parts! Anyway, one thing he wrote about got me thinking.

There was a part where he was going on about the usual pro-United shite he spouts. Near the end he wrote about United's Patrice Evra saying he was the best full-back in the Premiership and that he was outstanding.

Now I will admit that he is a very good left-back. But the best full-back in the Premiership?! That I disagree with.

This will of course come across as being biase, with me obviously being a Gooner, but I'd have thought that Clichy is the better of the two. And if Evra was outstanding in the match on Sunday then Clichy's performance was out of this world.

Clichy should have been made man of the match in my book. He was everywhere and played excellent.

Why doe's man of the match have to be rewarded to a player on the winning side? Clichy deserved it in a tight call between him and Hleb.

I'd rather take our full-backs (Clichy and Sagna) over any in the Premiership and even Europe. So there Steven Howard, are two full-backs better than Evra. Get your facts right! Evra is the third best full-back in the league!

I've also read alot about Gallas lately. Critic's are claiming he isn't a good enough leader and should be stripped of his captaincy. I disagree.

When Arsenal were winning for fun most people were saying that Gallas is a winner and that his winning influence was running through the side, inspiring them to great things and what a captain! I agree totally with this.

I don't agree that he is the main reason for our slump. The slump is down to a lack of cover for key players who got injured. Thats not Gallas's fault. Lets not kick a man when he's down.

People are split over the Birmingham incident. I feel that he showed how much he cared, other's feel he was petulant and let the side down. Thats just difference of opinion, I've no qualm's with that.

We all have different opinion's. Mine is that he's a good captain and I think he should remain as captain of Arsenal. The next captain should be Toure and then after that, Cesc.

Keep it Goonerish.......

Monday, 14 April 2008

Wenger has the best poker face in football

While watching Le Bosse's interview the other day I had to chuckle.

It happened when he was discussing who he may sign in the summer. He said "maybe one experianced" player.

It made me laugh because nobody ever know's what Wenger is going to do when signing players. He say's one thing and doe's something completely different!

How many times has he done the unexpected? Quite often. This involves all transfer activity with Arsenal. Coming or going.

It always seems to be unexpected. Wenger keep's his cards so close to his chest. There is never a hint of who is signing or leaving.

This is why I take his comment's about who we will be signing as tongue in cheek. Wenger say's one player, that could really mean more! Who knows?

And just because he say's "one experianced guy" doe's that mean the end of the summer spree? Who knows?

We may sign one experianced player and several others who aren't! Would you complain if we sign one estabilished player and a few young stars we've been linked with?

Players with a great future like Capel, Zapata and Richards? I wouldn't.

Its obvious that there will be comings and goings in the summer at the Emirates. Lets not get too hasty about who Wenger will sign or sell yet. We dont know, and we won't until it does happen.

Lets just wait and see before pouncing on Wenger. We may surprised, or not!

Keep it Goonerish......

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Arsenal are like a boxer without a K.O punch

I can't fault Arsenal's effort and endeavour today. Top class and a performance at the champions patch that we Gooner's can be proud of.

A terrific game that we bossed for the most part. But that is our problem. We can dominate games but fail to K.O the opponent.

We could be sitting here now with big smiles after a victory at Old Trafford that may have dragged us back into the title race. We're not though, because we lack that killer instinct to finish teams off when we dominate.

I have a mixture of emotions right now. On one hand I'm proud of the way we played today. We gave everything and although we are a spent force in the title race there is no way this side is a spent force in general as alot of people would try to have you believe.

On the other hand I'm gutted because the team deserved more from the game than they got but thats down to themselves for lacking a cutting edge and not finishing United off.

I thought that we handled Ronaldo very well today. Us Gooner's may hate him in the United shirt but have a little bit of admiration for him as well.

He was average today and for the second game in a row we have kept the two most dangerous players we have faced quiet only to have them both score penalties against us! I'm talking of Ronaldo and Gerrard.

When the ball bundled in off Ade's hand for our goal I was estatic.

If any team deserves a bit of luck its Arsenal. The amount of things going against us lately has been disheartening but that luck ran out with Gallas trying to stake a claim for the number one spot next season!

Ronaldo who was kept quiet all game finishing from the spot.

When Hargreaves the Canadian scored the free kick it felt like a kick in the balls. But in all fairness, it was a quality free-kick.

What now for us? I just want this season over now. It is in effect but now we will be going through the motions of playing games we really don't want to be playing.

I'm really unhappy at how the season has ended for us. Gutted in fact. But after today you couldn't split us and United. There is only one difference-the K.O punch. United at the moment have it, we don't.

It hasn't been a complete shit season. Yes we have no silverware AGAIN, but I'm confident that will change next year. Keep the team together and with a few add on's Arsenal will get that K.O punch back.

We have shown we can compete and I'm sure we are on the verge of something great.

We all want Arsenal to win things. That is what football is all about. Winning things. We wont in 2008, but I'd bet anything we'll have smiles put back on our face's in 2009.

Keep it Goonerish......

Mad Jens starts! Arsenal line up:


Eboue Toure Gallas Clichy

Hleb Song Gilberto Cesc RVP


Fuck me Lehmann gets a start and Wenger has gone for "more steel" in centre midfield with the inclusion of Song.

. A 4-5-1 when defending and 4-3-3 when attacking.

Prediction 1-1.

Keep it Goonerish....

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Bergkamp v Keane-The future?

By me writing this please dont think i'm beginning a Wenger out campaign! Far from it, I'd love Wenger to stay as long as he want's! But, one day he will be gone. Simple as that. However;

Would u like to see legend Dennis Bergkamp return to Arsenal one day as gaffer as his replacement?

I wouldn't mind! Bergkamp will begin coaching soon and may link up with Marco Van Basten at Ajax.

It is at Ajax he will get his coaching badges and with a potential link-up between Arsenal and Ajax, is there a possibility that Bergkamp will become a future manager at Arsenal?

We have to accept that one day Arsenal will be without Wenger as boss. If I'm honest, that is a day that I'm dreading.

I couldn't imagine Wenger not being at Arsenal, just as United fans couldn't imagine being without Fergie.

In my view, when the day comes the blow could be softened by appointing the Ice man as Arsenal boss.

I feel Bergkamp could become a great manager and its great news that he is even considering returning to the game.

Its surely on the cards that he will manage either us or Ajax, and I would love it to be us that Bergkamp takes the plunge with when the day comes calling.

I think when he gets his coaching badges Arsenal should snap him up and groom him as the future manager.

He would attract players to the club, he knows Arsenal and was a football genius. Plus he is a very intelligent man and in my view could cope with being thrown straight into the managers seat at Arsenal.

We love him, he love's us, the clubs in his blood and he could be the perfect replacement for the day that Wenger's reign at Arsenal ends.

With Roy Keane doing well at Sunderland, could he be heading to United as manager one day?

Bergkamp and Keane were involved in epic titanic games between Arsenal and United as players, could they be involved in epic titanic games between Arsenal and United as managers?

Keep it Goonerish.......

Friday, 11 April 2008

Theo is straining at the leash-RELEASE THE HOUND!

Had Arsenal knocked Liverpool out the Champions League on the back of Theo Walcott's run at Anfield he quite rightly would be getting plenty of praise from all angles.

It was the best piece of skill seen in ANY competition for a long long time and should be the re-ignition of young Theo's career, the moment he finally arrived in an Arsenal shirt.

Instead it will be forgotten as moments later Liverpool put out Arsenal's Champions League fuse.

The expectation on Theo's shouldiers is huge. And until recently he hasn't quite been able to live up to it. But its not his fault he is young, cost a lot of money and is English is it?

He hasn't been ready but he is now. His recent performances have shown it.

Until lately we have only seen glimpse's of what Theo can do. He has been used as an impact player from the bench. Someone with pace to run at tired leg's late on in matches.

He wasn't ready to start games, he is now.

Gone seems the naive star-struck kid, replaced with a power pacy player ready to take on the world. He is ready now. Ready to start game's. He wasn't before despite his recent superb cameo's from the bench.

I know Eboue's been poor lately and Theo has been great, but would it be fair to have expected Theo to save our season? Thats what would have happened. He already has alot resting on his shouldiers and that would have been a burden he could do without. Saving a struggling team.

Nothing is expected of Arsenal now. Now is the time to loosen the leash and set Theo free. No pressure, just play. Go build a platform to show us what you can do next season. And i'm sure it will be a big season for Theo.

Theo has been protected enough, its time to unleash him. Starting with United on Sunday. Theo has been straining the leash for a while, now its time to UNLEASH THE HOUND!

Keep it Goonerish.....

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Is Flamini about to do to us what Campbell did to Tottenham?

Flamini has been a relevation this season in the Arsenal shirt.

He was expected to leave us last summer but decided otherwise and I'm glad he did as he has been one of, if not the best, performer's for us all season.

So much so we all are desperate for him to take the contract on offer and tie his future to our club. But, he still hasn't put pen to paper and doubts whether he will actually sign, have begun to linger.

With Juventus and AC Milan sniffing around him, and reportedly ready to double whatever wages Arsenal offer him, is he simply going to run down his current contract and do to us what Sol Campbell did to Tottenham!

I hope not! Although highly amusing to us at the time when Sol signed for the Gunner's, I would hope Flamini would not do that to us.

I know its not the same as Flamini leaving us and joining Tottenham, but to run down his contract and sign for ANY club would really be a liberty after stating how happy he is at Arsenal and how he wants a new deal with us.

The noise coming from Flamini is good and I think the only reason he hasn't signed yet is because he is concentrating on his football and on Arsenal's campaign.

With that campaign seemingly over and his injury that keeps him out for three weeks he now has plenty of time to sign a new deal. If he REALLY wants to.

Wenger said Flamini will sign in April. Well for me if he doesn't sign and commit to Arsenal in the time he is injured then I think we will be saying goodbye to Mathieu and good luck in Italy.

I hope it doesn't come to that!

Keep it Goonerish......

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

So close, yet so far away

It seem's criminal that our season will come to nothing.

For all the great football we've played and leading the Premiership for so long for it to end with no silverware is heart-breaking.

There are has been much to admire about this Arsenal side.

We have been up against it all season and it has proven to be just a little too much for us at the final hurdle.

It's devestating that our season seems to ending in this fashion. Our "collapse" in recent weeks has been hard to watch.

A season that promised so much is now over unless we pull off a miracle and win the Premiership.

I know Jesus performs miracle's but even he would have his work cut out providing us with this one!

It will be very tough for Arsenal to go to Old Trafford on sunday. The players will be destroyed by last night, even if they only feel half of what us Gooner's do for the badge on that shirt.

Last night I felt two very contrasting emotions in the space of 120 seconds. One moment as high as the tallest mountain, the next so low I swear I saw the devil. (may have been the champions league one who Benitez has a pact with)

This result will no doubt give fans like the Spuds ammunition about our trophy drought. I know this is small consolation but I wouldn't be surprised to see the drought ended next year. I know we want trophies now but this team has surpassed many expectations this year and will get better.

Hopefully Wenger will concede we are a few short to last the distance and add to the squad. I don't want us to stop playing the way we play football though.

Next season will be the biggest yet for Wenger. Our palates have been whetted by levels we have shown this season. We are contenders again and next season is REALLY REALLY big. We need a trophy and we want one soon.

I also feel next season is GUNNER be big for Theo. Lately he has been showing us he can do and I'm gutted for him that his run last night won't be remembered. 2008/2009 will be the year Theo fulfil's his promise.

It doesn't seem fair we end this season with nothing again, but I'm hoping it will be the last for a long time.

Keep it Goonerish.....

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Good luck Liverpool. (not that you need it)

Let me start by saying good luck to Liverpool for the rest of the tournament.

This Champions League tie has produced two games of pulsating football that has really boiled down to the luckier of the teams progressing through to play Chelsea in the semi-finals.

Please dont anyone think this is sour grapes but in reality the tie has been decided by two penalty decisions. Arsenal didn't get their's, Liverpool did.

I'm gutted right now, but I'm more gutted for Theo Walcot. The run that he produced to set up the second Arsenal goal deserved more than a defeat. That run was career defining and we should be talking about that being his glory moment. The moment Theo arrived. He has really been the shining light in Arsenal's recent demise.

I'll write a bigger article about tonight's events tomorrow. I'm too disappointed to write a more detailed right now.

So Liverpool, I hope you win it now. You don't need luck, you have that in abundance (please dont take that as being bitter!) Tonights game will be the best in the Champions League this year and congratulations for winning and well done. I'm gutted but proud of my club.

Keep it Goonerish......

Liverpool are not GUNNER stop us!

Many people are predicting that Arsenal will be swept away by the Anfield myth tonight. I've had Liverpool fans on here telling me that us Gooner's don't understand the European nights at Anfield and we are there for the taking. I understand that Anfield has a great atmosphere on these nights, but so what? I won't get dragged into the myth.

I understand its going to be difficult for Arsenal. But when do we ever do things the easy way! Our dip in form and Liverpool's rise in form suggest a banker home win. I don't.

I fancy us to upset the odds. What Liverpool fan's dont understand is that we are best with our backs against the wall. And tonight is one of those nights where we seem up against it from the off.

Arsenal will carve up opportunities to score and we are capable of scoring anywhere. Especially Anfield. And if we score first I should imagine a bit of nervous fever will sweep around Anfield and that will spread to the Liverpool players.

The question is, do Liverpool sit on the away goal? Or try to kill Arsenal off? Whatever they do, I bet they are already nervous knowing one goal from Arsenal changes the tie completely. Arsenal have to score and will take the game to Liverpool come what may and this sets up for a great match.

I like Scouser's. Arsenal and Liverpool have a connection in Ray Kennedy and a mutual respect for each other. But I'm sorry, you are not GUNNER stop us tonight.

Keep it Goonerish......

Monday, 7 April 2008

Ribery would have been perfect for Arsenal

Franck Ribery would have been an absolute star in the red and white of Arsenal.

He would have fit straight into the system that Arsene love's to play. Pass and move. He would also provide goal's from the flanks that we have missed since Pires and Freddie left the club.

Wide midfield is an area we need to strengthen, and Ribery would have fit the bill. He can play either side and boy could we have used him this season!

It's believed that Wenger had the chance to bring him to the Emirates last summer. The reason's he didn't arrive vary.

The most popular being that his wage demands were too extreme and Wenger refused to break Arsenal's wage structure. This is understandable and knowing Wenger it's probably the most truthful.

The other main rumour was Thierry Henry leaving. Apparently Henry advised Ribery against the move because he was going AND Wengers own future at Arsenal was in doubt.

For whatever reasons he didn't sign for Arsenal I often wonder what might have been had he signed the dotted line at the Emirates?

He would have played a big part with the injuries that Rosicky has had and no doubt scored some vital goals from an area that we find goals hard to come by.

I suppose I should stop moaning about what might have been!

But I just cant help but wonder how good Ribery might have been wearing our shirt.

Keep it Goonerish......

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Arsenal linked with wide player-who scores goals!

I remember a time when Arsenal were linked with every Tom, Dick and Harry that was available.

There wasn't a day gone by when we wasn't about to sign someone-according to newspaper's and other sources.

Now it seems that we are only linked with the new "Kaka", twelve year old Brazilian's or their son's cousin who is four and a half!

This latest rumour is different though. This player is estabilished and has proven quality, is a wide player (on either flank) he score's goals AND would not bust the bank! A perfect signing you say? I'd like it to happen. His name?......

Ricardo Quaresma. The Porto star could be available for a cut-price fee of just £5m, but, I must add, only if Porto are relegated due to match-fixing rumours.

In any case he is the sort of signing I would like Wenger to make. Creative, exciting, shoots on sight and get's you on the edge of your seat. Whether there is substance to the story I don't know. But it's nice to linked to a player of this caliber for a change!

I suppose I can dream!.......

Keep it Goonerish...........

Where do Arsenal need to strengthen the squad?

It's obvious that the lack of numbers in the squad have affected Arsenal lasting the pace of the Premiership marathon title race.

For me Arsenal's strongest matchday squad matches Manchester United and Chelsea's. It may even be better than those mentioned.

The big problem lies when we suffer injuries and suspensions to those player's. The squad then become's thin and although it is full of quality it becomes hard to compete as we can't rotate to keep players fresh like United and Chelsea can.

We have a good core in this squad, keep it together and add a few more player's and we will be a major force.

The question is where do we add to the squad? What position's need to be strengthed to make Arsenal last the pace?

I think we need to strengthen in the following areas:


Almunia has done well this season but even now I would still prefer Lehmann to be number one. With no disrepect to Almunia, Manchester United and Chelsea's goalkeeping number two's maybe better than him.

With Lehmann certain to leave we need more cover or a new number one.


We could do with signing a wide-midfield player on the right who hugs the line and can score goals. With Vela coming back in the summer I think we are covered for the left hand side.

Eboue has been handed the job of playing on the right recently and has shown that he isn't really up to the job there. For me he is good back-up for Sagna at right back.


Earlier in the season we looked top heavy with centre midfield players.

The truth is that after selling Diarra we have been forced to rely on just two in Cesc and Flamini. They have been run into the ground and need a rest.

Gilberto's powers have waned despite a good game yesterday. His future looks uncertain and in any case I think he needs to be replaced.


Without doubt a position that needs to be added too. With a long term injury to Eduardo and the injury-prone Van Persie, Arsenal have looked thread-bare upfront.

Adebayor has his doubters but without him where would Arsenal be this season?

He needs help with the goal's and I dont doubt had Eduardo not suffered that horrific injury and Van Persie wasn't made of glass then Arsenal would be faring better.

So thats my assessment on where Arsenal need to strengthen. We all think we're manager's and think we know what needs to be done!

You may or may not agree with me on this. But I'd love to hear where you think we need to strengthen.

Keep it Goonerish.....

R.I.P title challenge, bring on Liverpool (again)

For me it is extremely hard to say this, so I'll take a deep breath, count to five and type it down......1....2....3....4....5....the title challenge is over. R.I.P title challenge.

I said I would NEVER give up till the end, but I'm throwing the towel in now. I'm so gutted right now and I look out the window see the snow fall and it reminds me of how Arsenal's title challenge has come tumbling down. (poetic!)

After dropping points against Liverpool yesterday, the gap between us and United is too big to close. Especially with the number of games remaining. And whats annoying is I bet 'Boro pull off a shock victory today! It would be typical!

The squad that Wenger has built at Arsenal is very very talented. There is no denying that. I feel though it's just the numbers that we lack. We have high quality just a lack of quantity.

There will be work for Wenger to do in the summer. I don't think a major overhaul is needed, far from it. If we can keep this squad together and add a couple more players to strengthen certain positions then Arsenal will be a major force to contend with.

The Premiership title race is a marathon, not a sprint and Arsenal sprinted out of the traps very quickly. United and Chelsea have squad's big enough to cope with marathons, Arsenal, at the moment, don't.

Perhaps we peaked to early in the season? It seems that way. But this season will undoubtedly provide the squad we have with the final piece of the puzzle. Experience.

With a couple more players added then Arsenal will be more than ready to last the distance next season. I'm certain of that.

So for this season, the title race is over. It was nice to be involved even if it may have ended slightly earlier than we would have liked. It's the first time since 2005 that we have been in the mixer and next season we will be more than capable of lasting the distance.

It should be even more interesting next season of course. I feel that it will be a four-horse race, with Liverpool coming into the mixer. They are only one or two players away from competing with ourselves, United and Chelsea too.

And talking of Liverpool, we of course have to play them (again!) on Tuesday.

So with the title gone, we turn our attentions to the do or die game in the Champions League on Tuesday. In fairness Liverpool should be dead and buried after Arsenal's performance in the second half of the first leg.

We should have been going to Anfield with the game as a formality. It is of course, not a formality. It will be a very very hard game. Liverpool will feel that they have the edge after the away goal, and rightly so.

I feel though that Arsenal most defiantly have a goal in them at Anfield. It will be a fantastic game and Arsenal will play as they always play. It will be interesting to see how Liverpool play though.

Will they come out and try to put the tie to bed? Or will they sit compact like they did at the Emirates content with the away goal that they have? I dont think that the Liverpool fans will be happy with the second option at home, or will they?!

I have every confidence in Arsenal going to Anfield and claiming a very famous European victory. It will be tough of course, but this game has become a must win for both sides as it is the only piece of silver-ware remaining for either.

And I hope that will be enough motivation for Arsenal to have. To come so far this season and end up potless would be a travesty.

Keep it Goonerish.....

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Premiership or Champion's League?

Today Wenger faces some very tough selection problems. His opposite number however, doesn't have it as hard.

With fourth place virtually secured Benitez will have the choice of resting player's for tuesday's decider.

Arsene still believes that the title is a reality, so he doesn't really have the choice of resting anyone and needs the victory much more than Benitez.

Many Gooner's feel Arsenal are out of the title race. Who can blame them? I cant! The form shown prior to the Bolton game was unbelievable from a side chasing the title.

I still believe the title is a possibility. Slim chance I admit! But I refuse to give up until it's REALLY over. I'm with Wenger in that United will drop points in their remaining games, hard to see I know with the form they are in, but I think they will.

Turning to tuesday upcoming game, it's obviously going to be a draining one. Player's will need to be fresh for that game. And with Arsenal's squad lacking in numbers then I doubt that they will be.

Having said that, the magnitude of the game should raise the player's itself.

There is every chance that Arsenal will score and get the away goal to even the tie up. In fact we WILL score at Anfield. I'm sure of that

Should Wenger put all his egg's in the Champions League basket and rest player's in todays game? Or should he keep the faith that we can still win the title, as well?

I think Arsene should pick his best and strongest eleven to try and win today's game. To win, we keep us in touch with United and give a moral victory to the player's. Winning breed's confidence and that's what Arsenal need to get back, that winning habit.

I think we should still be fighting on both fronts, not having to choose like my title suggests. What do you think?

Keep it Goonerish.....

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Are Rosicky and Van Persie becoming liabilities for Arsenal?

I love Rosicky and Van Persie. I think that they are undoubted world-class player's and on their day would walk into most teams.

They both ooze talent, and try to play football the right way. They fit into Arsenal's system very well and are Arsene Wenger type players.

Both are skillful, score goals and provide the unexpected, however, this is when fit!

They are injured so much it has become a strain on a small squad. I know it's not their fault that the squad is small in number's but the amount of injuries they both get doesn't help matters!

I can't understand how they get injured so much. Maybe they are just unlucky. In Rosicky's case a Czech doctor has said he has a muscle imbalance! Rosicky hasn't got any muscles, but he has got good balance!

Van Persie has the most lethal left foot in England. But he hardly ever gets the opportunity to use it.

We have missed them both this season when they have been injured. Very much in fact. We have missed Van Persie's goals, that would have taken the burden off Adebayor's shouldiers and Rosicky's creativity.

In fact, I feel we have missed Rosicky more. He is key to our passing and movement game and without him we seem to lack that creative spark. Hleb and Cesc can't do it all on their own and Rosicky is as important as those mentioned.

I hate to say it, but are they becoming liabilities for Arsenal? They miss more than they play and are becoming the new Darren Anderton's of football!

Keep it Goonerish......

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Is Benitez in a pact with the Champions League Devil?!

Rafael Benitez is a great tactican and manager. He is also a very lucky one! I think that he is in a pact with the Champions League Devil!

The man has had untold good fortune in this trophy and undoubtedly had a fair share tonight too.

Liverpool will, for obvious reason's, be the happier of the two club's after tonight's result. To come away with an away goal gives them an advantage for the tie, but I would certainly not rule Arsenal out of this tie yet. We are more than capable of scoring at Anfield.

The game started pretty cagey from both fronts which is understandable given what is at stake here.

In the five minutes leading to the opening goal Arsenal began to get the better of a scrappy start from both teams. We were rewarded with Adebayor heading home unchallenged from a Robin Van Persie cross.

Our celebrations were short-lived though. Within four minutes Liverpool had equalised through Dirk Kuyt after Steven Gerrard had somehow managed to evade two half-hearted challenges.

The second challenge came from Toure who before the game pin-pointed Gerrard as Liverpool's main threat! Maybe Toure should have taken heed to his own advice! Although in fairness Flamini could have cleared the ball in the build up to the goal.

Arsenal and the Gooner faithful seemed stunned by the goal and Liverpool controlled the rest of the first half growing in confidence, threatening to add a second.

We needed half time to regroup and let Wenger speak his words of wisdom. Whatever he said, worked. We came out in the second period with rockets up our arses and seemed to be camped in Liverpool territory only relenting when the occasional hoof down the field came from the Liverpool defence to give them a breather.

We had some chances to put the game to bed. Eboue missed a chance from a Walcott pull-back and probably the strangest decision came from Bendtner who tried to turn in a Fabregas effort that was going in! Had he left it, Arsenal would have been in front and Wenger wouldn't have to been at a loss to explain how Arsenal didn't win tonight!

Talking of strange decisions, the ref made a huge boo-boo by not giving Arsenal a penalty after Hleb went past SIX Liverpool and was pulled down by Kuyt. It was blatant and the ref was only five yards away. He must dropped his contact lense's!

It's hard to swallow a big decision like that going against your side when it's that blatant. I must say though, apart from that and a tug on Adebayor on the edge of the box, the ref had an excellent game.

So what now? The tie is set up for a nail-biting second leg at Anfield. The European nights there are said to be legendry. The Kopites will feel that they have one leg through the door but I wouldn't underestimate this Arsenal team. I don't think the Scouser's will either. They know they are in for a game, just as we do.

It's wide open in my book. Liverpool may have won the battle tonight, but they will not win the war!

Keep it Goonerish.......

Liverpool scare the life outta me!

Everything about Liverpool scares me, Gerrard, Benitez, Torres, Crouch, their European history, everything, the whole package.

In fact I'm so scared that we drew Liverpool I think that Arsenal should not even turn up tonight and give Liverpool a bye into the next round!

I am of course talking shite. But if you believe what some people are saying, then this is how we should be feeling.

Sure Liverpool have a great European history and will be a very difficult side to play, they seem to reserve their best for Europe, and in Torres they have a wonderful player bang in form.

But we are Arsenal. We should fear no-one, respect yes, but fear, NO!

I think Liverpool love to cling on to the tag of being European masters, let them do this. They may take their eye off the game itself while believing their own European hype.

As much as Liverpool seem to play their best in Europe, we seem to reserve our best when the big games come along. And this game is HUGE!

After the confidence boosting victory over Bolton I expect Arsenal to be right up for this game and go straight for Liverpool's throats. Expect a very positive start from Arsenal and an early goal would be just what the doctor ordered.

It is vital though that we don't concede tonight. Even if we don't score then 0-0 is a good result to build on for the second leg. I'd always fancy us to go to Anfield and get a goal.

If we keep the ball like we did at Anfield earlier in the season then I think we will progress through. The Liverpool players looked cream-crackered after that game and it's no surprise after chasing shadows for the most part of the day.

The next twelve days are the biggest in Wengers Arsenal career and I'm sure that he and his Arsenal side will be up to the challenge. It will be difficult but I think Arsenal may just surprise a few people in the coming fortnight.

I've a feeling that tonight's game will provide the best atmosphere that the Emirates has ever heard. It will be a roof raiser and could well be a turning point in future games!

Lets get it on!!!!

Keep it Goonerish.......