Monthly Archives: August 2013

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur (North London Derby)

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The season has just begun and already the most fiercest rivalry is upon us. Yes folks, it’s time for the North London Derby. It has been a very different kind of summer for both Arsenal and Tottenham as in one hand, Spurs have spent and re-invested all of their money from the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid on buying quality players and breaking their transfer record three times in the same window whereas on the other hand, Arsenal are yet to spend a single penny and all the Arsenal fans are having to satisfy themselves with just Sonogo and Flamini who have come on free transfers. 

But, the summer business won’t define this match as this is a Derby game and in a derby match, everything depends on the desire and commitment to win. Last season, Arsenal had once again beat Tottenham to secure a top 4 position but since the last couple of years Tottenham have come closer to us and are pushing to get into the top 4. They are now a top threat in the English Premier League. With just a couple of days left in the transfer window, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger must try to add a few quality players in order to compete on all fronts this season but he also have to motivate his players to beat Spurs not only to continue their winning momentum but also to prove a point that Arsenal are going nowhere…

Team news: Ramsey and Wilshere are available while Lukas Podolski is out for 8-10 weeks with a hamstring injury. 

UCL Play-off Review: Arsenal 2-0 Fenerbahce (Agg: 5-0, Rambo is shooting hard)

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Yes folks, our “Rambo” is shooting hard as Aaron Ramsey continues his good form in front of goal as he fired in a brace on Tuesday night to see off the challenge of Fenerbahce and take Arsenal into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the 16th year in a row.

The atmosphere inside the Emirates Stadium was not great even after the players pulled of a couple of great results last week because the fans who spends their hard-earned money to watch their favorite club in action has not repaid them yet with just a week left in the transfer window.

The game started on a slow pace. Arsenal looked relaxed but Fenerbahce did try to threaten our goal when Szczesny pulled off a couple of great saves in the first half. But, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey continued his brilliant form for the club this season as he calmly finished a couple of brilliant assists from Walcott and Gibbs in both the halves. With that 5-0 aggregate win over the Turkish giants, Arsenal books a spot on Thursday nights UEFA Champions League group stage draw. However, there was a bad news for the Arsenal management staff as Lukas Podolski suffered a hamstring injury which will keep him out for at least 8-10 weeks. More, headache for us the Arsenal fans because with just 5 days to go until the transfer window, Arsenal despite qualifying for Champions League football this season hasn’t been able to attract any big players or make any significant signings. 

Having said that, I’ll try to remain calm till Monday hoping to see our manager make some good deals done for the betterment of Arsenal Football Club.

UCL Play-off Preview: Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce (Agg: 3-0, Finish the job)

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After back to back victories in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers and in the English Premier League, the Gunners will now look to secure their place in this seasons Champions League group stage when they face Turkish giants Fenebahce in the 2nd leg at the Emirates. Arsenal are already 3-0 up after their impressive showing last week in Istanbul. The Gunners are now flying high and playing with much more maturity and composure compared to their opening league defeat to Aston Villa.

Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger said that there will be no new signings before this game and added that he would not rest any key players for this game as this game is vital for our season and that the team wants to finish the job at the Emirates. 

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With just a week left in the summer transfer window, Arsenal must strengthen their side because in my opinion to compete at the highest level, a team needs to have great quality and depth in their squad which Arsenal is lacking at the moment even though we do have the best first 11 in the league right now. Maybe, Wenger is waiting for the group stage qualification to convince our targets that Arsenal are a top side. Let’s hope the team does the job in a professional manner and moves forward. 

EPL Review: Fulham 1-3 Arsenal (First 3 points of the season secured)

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After last Saturday’s poor showing, the Gunners rectified their mistakes and put on another brilliant away performance in the space of just 3 days as they defeated their London rivals Fulham by 3 goals to 1 in a rainy Saturday afternoon. The win gives us our first 3 points of the season and after this win Arsenal also became the first ever London club to register 100 London Derby wins in English Premier League history.

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Olivier Giroud continued his hot steak in front of goal when he beautifully finished a left footed effort in the 14th minute of the game which puts the Gunners a goal up. Arsenal dominated most of the game, pressing high up the pitch and their counter-attacking in this particular match was top notch. Podolski then puts the Gunners on the driving seat when he clinically finished Theo’s rebound shot from the edge of the penalty area. In the second half just like the first, Arsenal controlled the pace of the game although Fulham upped their game little bit but Podolski sealed the first 3 points of the season for Arsenal when he fired in his second goal through his deadly left foot. Jack Wilshere also made his 100th appearance for Arsenal when he came off the bench in the second half.

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This win was vital as after last Saturday’s dismal showing, the players stepped up their game and produced couple of great performances this week. With just 8 days left in the transfer window, it’s now time for the boss to do his job and secure a few quality signings so that Arsenal can be able to compete on all fronts this season.

EPL Preview: Fulham vs. Arsenal (Right the wrongs of last Saturday)

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Right the wrongs. Yes folks, that is exactly what the guys and our manager needs to do when we travel to the Craven Cottage to face Fulham this weekend. 

Wednesday night’s convincing win against Fenerbahce takes a bit of pressure off from the players and especially from the manager after last Saturday’s dismal showing against Aston Villa. It’s also good to hear that after that midweek UEFA Champions League qualifier win we are once again been linked to world-class players like Benzema and Di Maria for a possible move to the Emirates and not average players like Cabaye etc.etc. 

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Wenger confirmed in his pre-match press conference that there is no fresh injuries ahead of our trip to the Craven Cottage and said that everyone should be available from Wednesday night. That’s a good news as we can all see clearly the fact that our thin is very very very thin at the moment. One more good news is the fact that our main striker Olivier Giroud has now scored 2 goals in 2 back to back games and adds to his impressive pre-season scoring streak. Let’s hope the players rights the wrongs of last Saturday’s depressing Premier League opener and gets back to winning ways in the league.

UCL Play-off Review: Fenerbahce 0-3 Arsenal (That’s more like it)

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After all the doom and gloom, blaming him, blaming her, bitching about this and that guy, the Gunners have stabled the ship as they put on a brilliant display to convincingly beat the Turkish giants Fenerbahce 3-0 at their own ground. 

After last Saturday’s horrible league opening match defeat to Aston Villa, Arsenal Football Club came under a lot of criticism by the media as well as by its own fans but the players showed great spirit and character to play their hearts out and answer their critics by putting up a great performance on the football pitch which they did throughout the 90 minutes. Nobody saw it coming including myself. We actually controlled the whole game from the start to the finish. We created a lot of chances in the first half but the final ball was missing. We rectified that problem in the second half and took advantage of every single opportunity that came our way. Gibbs opened the scoring when he finished Walcott’s calm and collective pass from the right then the ever increasing confidence of one Aaron Ramsey got even more confidence boost when he scored a superb right footed goal from outside the penalty area. And then the hot scoring streak of Olivier Giroud continued as he calmly finished a penalty which was awarded to us in the 77th minute when Walcott was brought down inside the box by a Fenerbahce defender. Those 3 away goals meant a lot to Arsenal especially after Saturday’s defeat as those 3 goals should be enough to give us a group stage entry into the UEFA Champions League. But, there’s still another leg left in this tie so unless Fenerbahce can pull of the miracle of miracles, Arsenal’s place in this season’s Champions League group stage draw is all but confirmed. 

That win stables the ship and if the guys finish the job next week, then the board will also be awarded with another 30 million pounds to add to their already huge cash reserve which can prove vital in order for Arsene Wenger to bring in a few quality players before the transfer window closes on September the 2nd. 

UCL Play-off Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Arsenal (Thin gets thinner as stakes gets higher)

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Thin get thinner as stakes gets higher. Yes, my fellow Gooners and Goonerettes, the moment of truth has arrived. After fighting to the last day of last season to secure a top 4 spot, Arsenal will now have to go through another hurdle to get into the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. But, the worry is that even though after finishing in the top 4, we could not bring any big names into our club. We can blame the board for it. We can blame the manager for it but first we have to do the job with what we have right now. There are still 12 days left for us to strengthen our squad so keep the faith in that department.

We go into this crucial UCL qualifying match with just 9 out of the 11 first team players fit to play. With Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Bacary Sagna, Gibbs, Ramsey and Rosicky all getting injured in the weekend it will really be a massive task for Wenger’s men to come out of Turkey with a positive result. On the other hand, Fenerbahce’s team is much better than the team to whom we lost at the weekend. Our squad is getting thinner but the stakes are getting higher than ever before. In my opinion, it’s all Wenger’s doing and I sincerely hope that he knows what he is doing.

That will do it for now folks. Let’s hope the Gunners put things back on track and right the wrongs against Fenerbahce. AMEN.

 

EPL Review: Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa (Facing the consequences)

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It’s only the first game of the season but I am absolutely shattered at what I saw today. I have never seen us play that bad on the opening day ever. It was like God made us play that bad just to wake our management up. It was a disgusting performance and we can’t blame the players for it because just like us the fans, the players also deserved better for all their hard work of last season where ty somehow manages to secure a top 4 spot so that their club can bring in quality players but we are yet to sign a proper established player and the season has already begun and on top of that we started the campaign with a heavy defeat against a side who managed to win just 5 games last season. 

Arsenal started brightly and looked aggressive and got the lead when Oxlade Chamberlain brilliantly passed the ball to Giroud who finished it handsomely. But, after that everything went against us. Suddenly, we were committing one foul after another and looked nervous. Aston Villa came back when Szczesny brought down Agbonlahor inside the box and gave away a penalty which was scored by Benteke. Then, it was all about Aston Villa controlling the game and hitting us on the counter-attack. Many players got injured namely Gibbs, Chamberlain. In the 2nd half, the referee turned the game upside down by giving another penalty to Villa but it was an unfair decision as after seeing the replay everyone can confirm that Koscielny cleared the ball fair and square but the referee gave it anyway and Benteke scored his double. After that, Koscielny got red carded after getting another yellow under his belt. We came close to equalize when Rosicky’s solo effort was blocked by Guzan, the Aston Villa keeper. After that, we failed to create any clear cut chances and Villa killed the game after scoring yet another goal from counter-attack. The goal was scored by their new signing Luna. We lost the game 3-1 which makes this our 1st ever opening day defeat in 12 years. 

A lot of work to be done by the management team with 16 days to go in the transfer window. We don’t even a have a proper squad now to face Fenerbahce in mid-week. “APPALLING”. 

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Aston Villa (Let the games begin)

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Yes folks, the brand new Premier League season is back. After 3 months of absolute nightmare in our transfer business, at least we can now divert our minds and focus on on the game itself rather than waiting for things to happen in the summer transfer window.

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It has been well documented about how we just managed to squeeze into that top 4 spot which by many experts was important in order for us to attract top stars but I am now writing this blog post on the eve of the new season and still we are waiting to see a proper new face at Arsenal Football Club. Yes, we have bought Yaya Sonogo on a free transfer but that will not solve our problems. Not only that we haven’t signed any quality players yet but we are also cleaning up our team by selling all the deadwood’s such as Squillaci, Chamakh, Denilson etc. etc. which is a good thing but that has made our squad paper thin. Now, we don’t even have a proper squad to last an entire season. I don’t know what’s going on in the mind of Arsene Wenger. What is he trying to achieve?

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Anyways, back to football now, we will start this new campaign at home against Aston Villa who battled most of last season not to get relegated but were eventually successful to survive another season. As it’s a home game, even though we don’t have a proper squad yet but as fans we expect us to get the 3 points. We haven’t won our opening fixtures of the Premier League since last couple of years so its vital that we at least start the season on a winning note.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN… COME ON YOU GUNNERS… AMEN…!!! 

 

 

Pre-season Review: Arsenal 3-1 Manchester City (Money CANNOT buy “CLASS”)

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Yes folks, the Gunners have proved once again that money is not the only way to succeed in football as they beat this summers highest spenders without spending a single penny by 3 goals to 1.
We got off to a slow start but as the game progressed we started to dictate the game and took advantage of all the chances that came our way. Theo Walcott started the scoring in the 10th minute when he superbly finished Ramsey’s through ball by cutting in from the left wing. In the second half, we scored a couple of back to back goals thanks to Ramsey & Giroud’s excellent finishing abilities. At the end, Man City managed to score a consolation goal thanks to Negredo’s strike in the last 20 minutes of the match. The match ended 3-1 to the Arsenal.
 
So, with that win we have concluded this years pre-season campaign with 5 wins, a draw and a loss. Giroud was the highest scorer with 8 goals in 7 games which is a very good news for us as his goals will be very vital for us this season. 
 
Now, we have to get ready for the real job in hand and that’s to start the league campaign on a positive note against Aston Villa next weekend. Come on you Gunners…