Monthly Archives: January 2014

Signings Alert – Kim Källström joins Arsenal on loan

Arsenal Football Club is pleased to announce the signing of Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom on loan until the end of the season from Russian club Spartak Moscow. Kim has been brought in to fill the spot in central midfield left vacant for 4-6 weeks as a result of Aaron Ramsey’s injury set-back.

 
Here are a few pictures from the clubs official website http://www.arsenal.com of Kim Kallstrom in an Arsenal shirt –
 
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EPL Review: Southampton 2-2 Arsenal (Complacency kills)

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Complacency kills as Arsenal dropped a couple of vital points against a determined Southampton side who literally dominated the Gunners throughout the match but Arsenal somehow, someway managed to grab hold of the draw and takes a point.

It was a very sluggish performance from the players last night. Nobody looked prepared along with the bad news that we had no Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey to give us some power in the midfield cost us. Southampton dominated the Gunners left, right and center in the first half and deservedly went ahead through a Jose Fonte header. It was our worst performance of this season thus far. Wenger needed to wake our players up at half-time which I’d like to think that he did as they came out all guns blazing in the 2nd half and quickly went ahead to lead the match 2-1 with a couple of great goals from Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla. But, after that we switched off again defensively which is very rare considering how well we have been defending this season and got paid for it as Adam Lallana burst through our midfield and scored the equalizer for the Saints. After conceding that equalizer, there was still about half an hour left in the game but we couldn’t create anymore clear cut chances and our hopes of winning the match went up in the air after going down to 10 men as Mathieu Flamini deservedly got sent off for a two footed tackle. Flamini’s stupidity restricted us from going all out for the win and we had to settle with a point at the end. Full time score: 2-2.

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As a result of this result, Arsenal could go down to third in the league if Manchester and Chelsea wins their respective matches. So, it’s an early warning for Wenger’s men to regain their focus before heading into the nightmarish fixtures of the coming two months.

EPL Preview: Southampton vs. Arsenal (Tough away test but another must win)

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It’s going to be a tough away test for the Premier League leaders as they look to keep hold of their top of the table position by beating a well managed Southampton side. 3 points are a must for Wenger’s men looking at the tough fixtures ahead in the coming couple of months.

Team news: Jack Wilshere is a doubt while Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen are back to the squad.

2014 had begun in a fine fashion for the Gunners as they are on a 7-match winning run in all competitions but looking at the fixtures in February and March, it must be said that Wenger’s men can’t afford to drop points against mid-table clubs like Southampton. Southampton will be without couple of their key players while Arsenal will welcome back the trio of Ramsey, Arteta and Vermaelen into the squad after a few weeks in the sidelines through injury. 

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Prior to the match, Arsenal have also made a major announcement about their upcoming 5-year kit-partnership deal with PUMA which is expected to be worth over 30 million a year. That’s a major step forward for the club after 8 years of transition because of the stadium move back in 2006. 

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FA Cup Review: Arsenal 4-0 Coventry City (Deadly Podolski sends us through)

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Deadly Lukas Podolski helped Arsenal to cruise through to the 5th round of the FA Cup after a convincing 4-0 win against Coventry City. Podolski’s first half brace and Santi and Giroud’s cameo at the end have booked a place for Arsenal in the hat for the 5th round draw of the FA Cup.

It was a chilly night with rain pouring over the Emirates Stadium but it took just about 13 minutes for the Gunners to open their scoring as Lukas Podolski netted home a brilliant left footed finish through a delightful assist from Mesut Ozil. Some 15 minutes later, it was Podolski again who scored but this time through a header from a corner kick. Coventry did had a chance but it was saved brilliantly by Fabianski. Arsenal took  their feet off the paddle a little bit in the second half as Coventry had a more productive spell in front of Arsenal’s goal but couldn’t convert the chances that were gifted to them. At the end, it was the super substitutes Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud who gets the job done for the Gunners with their cool and calm finishes. Arsenal won the tie 4-0.

It was another clean sheet victory for the already impressive defense of Arsenal. Last season, Arsenal bowed out of the FA Cup in the 5th round at the hands of Blackburn so they must be ready and focused if they don’t want to repeat that again this season.

FA Cup Preview: Arsenal vs. Coventry City (A Friday night delight)

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It’s a rare Friday night delight for Arsenal fans as the Gunners will play their first Friday night match after nearly a decade against Coventry City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Team news: Nicklas Bendtner is back while Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta are still out.

Arsenal will look forward to continue their chase for a cup double this season by winning against Coventry City in the FA Cup. The Gunners beat their North London rivals Tottenham pretty convincingly in the previous round and since then they have won both of their league games and are now sitting at the top of the Barclays Premier League. So, they will try to continue their winning momentum as a good run in the cup is very crucial for the confidence inside the squad. Wenger is happy to have Nicklas Bendtner back after 2 weeks out through injury which he suffered on New Years’ Day immediately after scoring the late opening goal against Cardiff City. We can expect a mixture of both youth and experience in the starting XI for this match. Wenger reminded the media that Arsenal haven’t forgotten last season’s FA Cup exit at this same round against Blackburn and hence will be doubly focused on getting the job done this time around.

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EPL Review: Arsenal 2-0 Fulham (Santi to the rescue)

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Santi Cazorla to the rescue as Arsenal maintains their top spot in the Barclays Premier League through his 2nd half brace against Fulham. It was another struggling performance from the Gunners but like many other times this season, they just knows how to get the job done and they did get it done once again.

Arsenal started the match in fine fashion and created a golden chance when Wilshere’s pass reached Ozil but the German couldn’t get a clear touch to net it in. After that, Fulham slowly came into the game and started to throw in a few counter-attacking threats and Sidwell made Szczesny work from outside the box. The score stayed at 0-0 at half time and Arsene Wenger had to wake his players up as Manchester City were winning their league match against Cardiff at the same time. Arsene Wenger’s half-time talk seemed to have worked as in the second half we saw a hungry Arsenal team pushing forward to get the lead. Their persistence paid off as Santi Cazorla scored a couple of goals with his right and left foot respectively within a space of 5 minutes to secure the Gunners another precious 3 Premier League points. 

With this victory, Arsenal have equaled their best run in the English Premier League this season with another 5 consecutive wins. Arsenal now also have the best defensive record in the league with 10 clean sheets under their belt.

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Fulham (Walking wounded but a must win)

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Heading into another weekend of Premier League football, Arsenal finds themselves walking wounded as many players have been ruled out for the London Derby against Fulham this Saturday at the Emirates Stadium. 

Team news: Ramsey, Arteta, Vermaelen are out while Rosicky and Monreal may come back to the squad.

Arsenal will be looking forward to put on a better performance as opposed to the one they displayed in the 2nd half against Villa earlier in the week. According to the Arsenal manager, the growing confidence in the side will overtake their injury blows and won’t damage their performances on the pitch. Fulham, on the other hand, are having a torrid season under Martin Jol this season and are fighting to stay in the Barclays Premier League. With Manchester City and Chelsea breathing down Arsenal’s neck, the Gunners must keep winning the winnable games against the lower teams in the league if they are to have a say in the title race towards the business end of the season. Come on you Gunners.

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EPL Review: Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal (Winning it “ugly”)

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Arsenal had to dig deep and win it ugly as they earned a narrow 2-1 victory away at Villa Park against Aston Villa to go back to the top of the Barclays Premier League.

It was a game of two halves with Arsenal absolutely dominating the opposition’s half. But, it was a matter of a special 60 seconds which demolished the Villains resistance when Arsenal scored two quick goals through Wilshere and Giroud’s quality finish. After that, the fans might have thought that the Gunners will get more goals and that the game was theirs but that didn’t happen as like the nature of their performances this season, they gave their opponents a chance to comeback with a much more relaxed approach in the second half and paid the price for it as after the 70th minute Villa gave themselves a chance to get something from this match with a brilliant headed goal from Benteke. After that, it was a nerve wrecking and nail-biting end to the match with Arsenal having to hold on to the narrow lead. They held on and showed the people, like many other times this season, their defensive resistance and their newly found way of winning games “ugly”. Arsenal beat Aston Villa 2-1 at the end.

This result takes the Gunners back to the top of the English Premier League table.

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EPL Preview: Aston Villa vs. Arsenal (Pressure is on the Gunners)

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Pressure is very much on the Gunners as they prepare to face Aston Villa in their first away match of 2014. After seeing all of their rivals win at the weekend, Arsenal must not lose ground as because of the results elsewhere they have slipped to third in the Barclays Premier League.

Team news: Theo Walcott is out for six months with a knee ligament damage while Oxlade-Chamberlain is back after a 5 month absence due to injury.

Aston Villa achieved a shocking win in the very first match of the season where they stunned the Emirates crowd with a 3-1 victory over the Gunners. Since then, many things had changed. Villa couldn’t carry the positive momentum whereas Arsenal made two huge signings of Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Flamini which took them to the top of the table. But, now it’s time to keep up pressure at the top as title favorites Manchester City and Chelsea both are growing stronger and stronger each week and there’s no scope for error at this stage of the season.

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FA Cup Review: Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur (North London is still red)

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North London is still red as Arsenal eliminated their neighbors Tottenham Hotspur from the FA Cup in a very convincing and dominating manner. Arsenal made a lot of changed while Spurs only made one but still the Gunners outclassed and outperformed Tottenham in many levels. This victory is immense for the morale of the team and the players deserved to go through to the next round of the competition.

Arsenal dominated both halves of the game. They knew what this game is all about and that’s why went for it from the off and it took them about 30 minutes to open the scoring after waves after waves of attack when the youngster Serge Gnabry gave a beautifully weighted pass to Cazorla who finished it in brilliant fashion to give Gunners the lead at half time. The second half was more of the same and it was soon 2-0 to Arsenal when Spurs’s player Rose lost the ball in midfield to Rosicky who continued to rush towards the goal and managed to score a gorgeous chipped goal. Bad news from the game was that both Arteta and Walcott got injured at the end and the Gunners had to survive the final 15 minutes with 10 men and they did that pretty well and were able to keep another clean-sheet.

This was Arsenal’s 2nd 2-0 home win this year so it’s good to see that the year 2014 has started in fine fashion for the Gunners who are now in for achieving a double this season. Hope, the players play like this in the next round and try to get a ticket to Wembley in May. 

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