2008-04-29T23:35:33.409+08:00Bulgarian newspaper The Sofia Echo have confirmed that Arsenal have signed Levski Sofia midfielder Nikolay Dimitrov for a reported £700,000 rising to £1 million.
2008-03-25T21:24:49.027+08:00Will we see Carlos Vela stepping into the Emirates Stadium wearing this?
2008-02-08T15:30:13.519+08:00I woke up today and read that The Premier League had proposed an idea to extend the premiership season to 39 matches, adding an 'international round' in January. Being a Malaysian Gooner I was obviously excited by the prospect of Gallas leading out my heroes in Kuala Lumpur but after giving it some serious thought it doesn't seem like a very good idea.
2007-12-23T01:00:14.872+08:00Emmanuel Adebayor has admitted that Arsenal had to fight for the draw against a disciplined Sp*rs side, the Togolese international told Sky Sports 1,
"We opened the scoring but Tottenham did well and came back.
"We won, it was the most important thing.
"Today's game was to fight to the end and we had to show the fans that.
"We are going to celebrate very well but focus and win as many games as possible."Manuel Almunia mean while admitted that he doesn't practice penalties and that they save was down to luck. He said,
"Tottenham played a good game and came back to 1-1. But then Manuel saved the penalty and it was a mental blow for them.
"We got another goal but it was a tough game."Source
2007-12-23T00:16:59.393+08:00Barclays Premier LeagueArsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotsp*rsARS: Adebayor (47) , Bendtner (74)CUNTS: Berbatov (65) , Keane (71- missed penalty)Emirates StadiumManuel AlmuniaPlayed well and made a VERY important penalty save. Some might blame him for the goal but I think the shot was hit with so much power that it just flashed past him.Player Rating: 8 *MOTMBacary SagnaPushed forward when he could but a lot of his runs went unnoticed by the Arsenal players as Eboue frequently ran inside inside of playing 1-2s with Bacary like they usually.Still had a good game though.Player Rating: 7.5Kolo ToureAs always a rock in defence. His partnership has become very important to this team and losing him to the ACN will be a big loss. Gave away the penalty but thanks to Almunia went unpunished. His speed made sure that no Sp*rs player could get past the Arsenal back line.Player Rating: 7.5William GallasWas silently doing his job which is always a good thing for a defender. Got rid of danger with minimum fuss, perhaps should have tracked down Berbatov faster for the Sp*rs goal.Player Rating: 7Gael ClichyLike Sagna played well but did not get the service when he went up. Although he didn't get to push up as often as Sagna due to Sp*rs playing Aaron Lennon very high up the pitch. Kept the mini-dude quiet for the most of the match, his speed makes it hard for any forward to get past him easily. Make countless interceptions with broke up numerous Sp*rs attacks.Player Rating: 8Emmanuel EboueLike most of Arsenal's attacking players played well below what was needed. Made a few good passes but didn't make much of an impact and went inside too many times when the obvious choice would have been to pass to the overlapping Sagna.Player Rating: 5.5Matthieu FlaminiWas the leader in midfield. Which was very important today as Hleb and Cesc were not as good as they usually are, Cesc especially.Controlled the midfield well. Hope he doesn't leave, sign the new contract please Matthieu. Though he didn't do too much defending, it proves that we need a DM that can also attack which to me would signal the end of Gilberto's time at the club. A commanding performance, but nothing to go hyper about. It just shows how bad the rest of the midfield played.Player Rating: 7.5Cesc FabregasDidn't do too much until he set up the opening goal. Almost all of his through balls were cut out easily and was robbed of the ball quite a few times in the Arsenal half. Having said that, the assist for Adebayor's opener was just as important as that Almunia save, what vision! Average performance.Player Rating: 6.5Tomas RosickyLargely ineffective and was pretty much absent in the first half. Played the perfect ball to Cesc for the opening goal but besides that didn't too too much until the last few minutes. It looks to me Rosicky looks best when Arsenal are not the counter and seems to disappear when Arsenal play are forced to push forward.Player Rating: 6.5Alexander HlebWas his usually tricky self. His first touch and turn is probably one of the best in the business. But like Cesc, his passes went nowhere and was caught out in Arsenal half more than once.Player Rating: 6Emmanuel AdebayorDid exactly what his job was. Chase the ball and hold it up until help arrived. Cant blame him for the below par performance from the midfield today and took his goal excellently. There was this one occasion when Ade worked his butt off to pressure the Sp*rs defence and crossed the ball to the with an over head'ish kick only for there to be no one else anywhere near the box.Player Rating: 8Nicklas BendtnerWell he was deployed to get the winning goal and he did it in. Can't say much else. Like Adebayor was chasing shadows in the last few minutes as Sp*rs threw everything forward.Player Rating: 7.5Gilberto SilvaDidnt play long enough to be given a rating.Player Rating: -Like the ratings show, the Arsenal side were full of 6 and 7s. This would have been another draw last season but this season the[...]
2009-01-07T04:00:10.203+08:00Barclays Premier LeagueArsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotsp*rsARS: Adebayor (47) , Bendtner (74)CUNTS: Berbatov (65) , Keane (71- missed penalty)Emirates StadiumWhat a match...or at least what a second half! We have now opened up a 4 point lead at the top with Man Utd only playing tomorrow. Well 2 of Arsenal's playing staff replied to the press with good performances. Almunia answered Lehmann's comments that Almunia has never won a match for Arsenal by doing exactly that, making a crucial save from Robbie Keane's penalty to keep the game at 1-1. Younes Kaboul said before the match that whenever he plays against Adebayor, the Togolese striker never scores. Adebayor will be laughing is ass now wouldn't he.The first half was a boring affair with Arsenal the passing the ball around the midfield area while while Sp*rs also did not do much harm when they were on the ball. Both keepers didn't have a lot of hard work to do. Almunia was largely left to picking out crosses and making one save from a free kick. Robinson was tested twice, though both were quite save-able efforts from Eboue and Toure.In the 2nd half the game opened up and on 47 minutes a good pass from Rosicky found Cesc who fought off Tainio before back heeling to to Adebayor who curled it home for 1-0 and Kaboul's pride...shattered! Arsenal kept pushing forward for the second but couldnt find the breakthrough in a game where the Sp*rs defence showed stubbornness beyond their potential. And on 64 minutes a cross from Aaron Lennon found Robbie Keane on the far post who blasted his shot against the cross bar and away for a throw to Arsenal. From the resulting throw in, Arsenal gave the ball away and the ball somehow found its way to Dimitar Berbatov who hit it with such power that even though it was at Almunia's near post he could do nothing about it, 1-1.Now the momentum was with Sp*rs and they ventured forward looking for the winners. They were given the opportunity when Toure brought Berbatov down in the box. Penalty and Robbie Keane stepped up confidently to take the penalty but the pressure got to him as he failed to hit his shot as well as he usually does and Amunia made a save that proved decisive in the end. Arsenal made a change, taking off Eboue for Bendtner. And Bendtner's first touch is to head in a Rosicky corner for Arsenal to take the lead slightly against the run of play. 2-1 Arsenal and Sp*rs now make attacking substitutions to chase the equaliser. Wenger replied by replacing Hleb with Gilberto as Arsenal looked to defend their way to the final whistle and they did exactly that.You cant help but think that this match joins the many many matches last season that would have ended a draw but this Arsenal side are a lot more resourceful than last season and with Arsenal going into Christmas guaranteed top spot, no pundit can deny the Gunners' ability to challenge for the premiership title this season. Man Utd now have to beat Everton at Old Trafford to close back the gap while Arsenal win visit the Merseysiders on Boxing Day which should prove another stern test for this Arsenal side.Make sure to post your views on the match in the comments section.Discuss this and other Arsenal articles and topics at GoonersWorld forums![...]
2007-12-22T23:29:18.658+08:00Barclays Premier League
2007-12-19T15:28:26.954+08:00Match ReportLukasz FabianskiPlayed well in goal. A few of his throws weren't too good but overall performance was good, made some good saves especially that one-on one against Santa Cruz.Rating: 6.5Justin HoytePlayed well, got forward and was among the few players to still have pace in extra time,very good stamina.Rating: 7Alex SongFrom the player that everyone made fun of to one of the best CBs in the squad. Sure he is 4th choice but he played like a star and looked like a regular starter. Was calm defensively and added some into attack when needed. Alex Song, from laughing stalk to Man of The Match.Rating: 9 *MOTMPhilippe SenderosPlayed well enough, no mistakes which is always good when it comes to Senderos' clumsy defending. Had to good chance to score once but was offside.Rating: 7.5Armand TraoreAccording to Adebayor the fastest player in the squad and you wouldn't be surprised by the way he ran all over the pitch. Like his senior Clichy, has to work on his crossing. A little more polish in defending and we could have a world-beater on our hands.Rating: 7.5Mark RandallStarted out well and played his part in the opener. Did start to look nervous when Blackburn started attacking and gave the ball away a lot. He is still a young kid though and has the time to get better.Rating: 5.5DenilsonPlays the Cesc role with less of him joining in attack which is understandable since he was actually a DM at Sao Paulo. He sprays the ball all around the field well and if he didn't get that red card (which he deserved), he'd be right up there with Alex Song in the ratings.Rating: 8Lassana DiarraWas excellent in the DM role. Got himself out of trouble more than once with pace and good dribbling. Didn't offer much in attack but that's not really his job.Rating: 8Abou DiabyHe was outstanding in the first half but gave the ball away a lot in the second half. Very good in attack and was OK in defending. And he scored another fantastic goal to add to his collection.Rating: 7.5Nicklas BendtnerHe could replace Adebayor very easily. In fact in some aspects he is already better and today he showed he has pace, strength and a very good passer of the ball. Didn't really test the goalkeeper much but he played largely as the 2nd striker.Rating: 7.5EduardoHe is still settling here in England and you can understand that with the weather and speed of the game here being much higher but one thing a striker has no matter where you put him is an eye for goal. His finishing is outstanding, if Adebayor could finish like him he would be the complete player. He was largely quiet throughout the game but popped up with 2 goals that sent Arsenal through today. In the end when you are the main striker in a side, this is what you want, GOALS. And he delivered.Rating: 8.5The substitutes didn't really have that much time to make an impact so I wont rate them. Barazite was on the longest but got injured before he could get into the game. Gibbs and Merida came on too late to do much.Discuss this and other Arsenal articles and topics at GoonersWorld forums![...]
2007-12-19T15:34:26.847+08:00Carling CupBlackburn Rovers 2-3 Arsenal (aet)BLA: Santa Cruz (41 , 59)ARS: Diaby (6) , Eduardo (29 , 105)Ewood ParkAn impressive display at Ewood park showed why the 2nd string team are not ready to be regular starters but can be called upon when needed to. With Theo Walcott not feeling well it was a chance for Wenger to show off another Englishman that is currently being groomed at the Arsenal Academy, Mark Randall. Randall started out on the right, sometimes changing places with Denilson who played in the middle throughout the match. Denilson's partner was none another than the impatient Diarra while Diaby played on the left. Fabianski started in goal and had Hoyte (RB), Song (CB), Senderos (CB) and Traore (LB) in front of him. Nicklas Bendtner started in his usual Adebayor type role and he was accompanied by Crozillian Eduardo.The game started out with Arsenal doing the attacking. Blackburn's defence looked unusually weak, giving lots of space to Arsenal and we all know what happens when teams give us space. On 6 minutes, A good passage of play between Bendtner and Randall ended with a Bendtner cross which was put into the back into the net via Diaby's left foot, 1-0 Arsenal. I have often said that I like Bendtner better than Adebayor and today he has shown again why he is in more ways than one better. His cross for the goal was perfectly weighted, Adebayor has drifted to the right and crossed on occasions as well but rarely deliver crosses of any quality. This is not the first time Bendtner has done this, he also played an outstanding cross for Eduardo in the 3-1 loss to Sevilla in the Champion's League.Arsenal continued to dominate the match and on 26 minutes Denilson if I remember correctly played Cesc-like ball behind the Blackburn defence, leaving Eduardo with the simplest of finishers. Some might say that it was a mistake from Samba and that goal could have been prevented by I believe Denilson's ball was hit with such perfection that you cant really blame Samba for not getting there in time. 2-0 to The Arsenal and it looked as if this was going to be a fun away day. The 4000+ travelling Arsenal fans sang the 'To Be A Gooner' Chant while Blackburn fans were obviously silent. But Blackburn were handed a lifeline late into the first half, ex-Arsenal boy Bentley played a ball behind the defence to Matt Derbyshire who was in an offside position but thanks to the linesman play was allowed to continue. Derbyshire played a first time ball low and into the 6 yard box where Roque Santa Cruz slid in for his 4 goal in 2 matches. At the end of the first half, Blackburn were filled with hope as despite being pretty much played off their own pitch they were still only 1 goal down at the break.Mark Hughes obviously reminded them that as well and they game out for the 2nd half and looked a totally side. Almost instantaneously, Santa Cruz found himself one-on-one with Fabianski. Santa Cruz tried to get past Fabianski but Fabianski got a hand to the ball, leaving Santa to just get the ball from behind him and shoot into an empty net. Then comes, ALEX SONG to the rescue, speeding back and clearing the ball away before Santa Cruz could shoot. On 59 minutes, a Blackburn free kick found Santa Cruz's head and he would not be denied this time. 2-2 and Blackburn look the more likely team to score a third. Alex Song shouldn't have let Santa Cruz get in front of him for the goal but he would end up doing more than enough for us to forget this little mistake.Arsenal slowed the speed of the game down and started passing the ball like they usually do and found their way back into the game. Nacer Barazite came on for Randall to give more attacking impetus into Arsenal's play. It was quite even going into the last few minutes with perhaps Blackburn being the slightly better side but Alex Song was incredible and it didn't look he [...]
2007-12-13T23:06:57.273+08:00Not a bad time to start blogging again after my exams. The win over Romanian side Steaua Bucharest wasn't enough for top spot in the group. The result of this is that we can play Real Madrid, Porto, Inter, holders AC Milan or the club that made us £16.1 million richer Barcelona. Anyone else playing for a reunion with The King himself. Everyone can remember the last time we had a reunion with a former captain of the club. Patrick Vieira was on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline at Highbury 2 years ago. If that isn't bad enough, he lost the ball for the opening goal when Robert Pires decided to make his first ever tackle to get the ball, a few seconds later the ball was in the back of the net. Scored by PV4's 'replacement', Cesc Fabregas. Hopefully we can see a similar reunion when Titi visits with Arsenal winning thanks to goals from Eduardo(he can score in Europe, its the league that he has problems with).
2007-11-30T12:25:45.140+08:00The good people at FFC have sent me the results from a survey of 3,000 England fans following the Euro 2008 "campaign". Interesting that most people don't agree with Arsene about the next manager being English, cant say I'm surprised though considering 'walrus face' is the MOST TALENTED English manager.Only 4% Of Fans Back England To Win World Cup London 27th November 2007 … A Football Fans Census survey of over 3,000 England fans from all Premier and Football League Clubs has revealed that only 4% believe England will win the tournament in 2010. The survey comes hot on the heels of the FA’s announcement to conduct a 'root and branch review' into the senior England set up following the defeat to Croatia. Fans will be hoping for some positive steps, as only 13% of them currently believe that the side will get beyond the Quarter Final stage in the 2010 World Cup. England’s Poisoned Chalice? The majority of fans (54%) believe the England Manager’s job has become a poisoned chalice. 60% of fans think there is too much pressure on the England Manager and 25% think that there is “way too much” pressure. Worryingly, for everyone who has the best interests of the English national team at heart, 76% of fans feel there is a possibility that the amount of pressure on the England Manager could make it difficult to attract the best candidates. Others Should Share Responsibility While 94% of fans endorse The FA’s decision to sack Steve McClaren - they also feel that others should shoulder the responsibility. When asked who they would blame the most for England's failure to qualify for the European Championships, 45% of fans blame the players - only 6% less than those who blame the manager. In another indictment of the “Golden Generation”, only 35% of fans think that the players still care enough about playing for England, although the majority of fans (58%) do not feel that individual players should be booed. 81% of fans feel it was right to sack Terry Venables, but their discontent does not end in the dressing room; 67% of supporters feel that Brian Barwick, The FA Chief Executive, should take “a lot” (45%) or “full” (22%) responsibility for England's failure to qualify for the European Championships. The majority of supporters (54%) also feel that FA Chairman, Geoff Thompson should take a lot (40%) or full (14%) responsibility. Nationality Not An Issue England fans want the best person for the England Manager job, regardless of nationality, and they feel that that person is Jose Mourinho. The results are a clear indication that the majority of fans want the best man for the job, regardless of nationality. Non-English managers picked up 70% of the total manager vote, while only 14% of fans state that the next manager ‘has to be English’. Fans were asked who they would like to see appointed as the next England Manager from a choice of 20 of the bookies’ favourite candidates on the day Steve McClaren was sacked. Jose Mourinho emerges as the clear favourite among England fans as the man they want to succeed Steve McClaren. The “Special One” polled 36% of the vote, and in doing so received over four times as many votes as the two next best placed managers - Martin O’Neill and Harry Redknapp - both on 8% each. Club & Country The club v country debate is often central to discussions about the national side. While fans are most loyal to their clubs, they are also signalling that they want football’s decision makers to ensure that future developments in the game strike a balance between club football and the strength of the national side. When asked which is most important for them, a majority of fans 51% said their club, but 43% replied that club and country were equally important to and 6% said their country was mos[...]
2009-01-07T04:01:17.294+08:00This stat needs confirmation but I think this is the first time The Mighty
2009-01-07T04:02:00.832+08:00An easy match which I have to say I expected us to win. I did worry though if they took the lead, Arsenal would have problems breaking down a Portsmouth defence which is very strong. As it turns out, Portsmouth didn't even turn up for the first half and after Adebayor's grass cutter of a penalty gave us the lead I knew it was 3 points in the bag. If Arsenal take the lead, rarely do I worry about the result, my heart doesn't pound like I'm having a heart attack, it must be because we have the excellent ability to turn defence into attack faster than Frank Lampard can say 'doughnut'. If Arsenal scored first in at least 70% of their games this season, the title will definitely return to North London. Some stats on how we do if we score first would be nice. Anyone got any info? Post it in the comments section.The early goal that was so important came after Robin van Persie was brought down in the box by David James, who seems to do better when he doesn't get England call ups. About the penalty, although it was DEFINITELY a penalty, no doubts about it I hate it when strikers see the keeper come and and intentionally look for the penalty. I'm not saying RvP is a cheat, because he isn't, he didn't dive he just made sure that no matter what happened, James would get nothing of the ball and he succeeded. This is not the first time strikers have looked for penalties, you know what they are trying to do when the touch away from the 'keeper is not only away from goal but also rather strong which if it were a normal touch would force the striker to the corner flag instead of a goal scoring opportunity. Like I said earlier, it is legal but I don't like the players look for penalties. We don't hear of it enough because even the best players do it, Mr.Barcelona himself Thierry henry has done it, Wayne Rooney has mastered the art so well that he could make it a sport of its own and the great Alan Shearer use to make this move popular by drifting around in the box until a defender committed himself to the tackle. Anyway, Adebayor stepped up as the famous Arsenal rule where the player that is fouled cannot take the penalty forced RvP to watch on as the Togo international slotted home to James' left(and James went right).A Rosicky corner found Gilberto's head late in the second half. the Brazilian's header only went as far as Cesc Fabregas' chest. Fab chested down the ball, turned and shot all in a quick second. Arsenal 2-0 up and looking comfortable. On to the 2nd half and Pompey started out well but it was Arsenal that created the best chance when Big Phil's header was saved impressively by James. Minutes later, Kanu got behind the defence and before he could even think of running was gunned down by Senderos, not intentional but he was the last man and it was a straight red.How did Arsenal react by going 10 man down? Gilberto moved to CB to compensate for Phil's loss. After a brief spell of Pompey pressure, it started. If any sports team ever believed in the phrase 'the best form of defence is attack', it would be Arsenal. Instead of going defensive and keeping the tight, the team pushed forward for the 3rd. You could say this was naive of the players but to be fair to the players, they kept a good balance between attack and defence. The pressure paid off when Pompey were caught ball watching, literally, and Rosicky blasted a ball through Glen Johnson's legs and past James in a flash to give Arsenal a 3-0 lead. But only 18 seconds after the restart Pompey hit back with a Kanu turn come deflection....against himself!The game went stale after that as Arsenal started to just maintain possession and not attack to much and even when Portsmouth had the ball, they never looked like scoring. Diaby came on late in the game an[...]
2007-09-01T19:04:27.046+08:00Transfer windows closes and despite Arsenal having 'Boardroom Wars', 'Chaos at Arsenal' and 'Lack of Ambition by Gunners', our superb side not only are off to a better start this season (06/07: 2D, 1L - 07/08: 2W, 1D) but we have also improved our squad while making a profit on transfers. Its no wonder Mr.Edelman is so happy about the clubs profits which is to be announced in September.A quick look at the transfer ins and outs will tell the story:INLukasz Fabianski (Legia Warsaw, £2m)Havard Nordtveit (FK Haugesund, £2m)Bacary Sagna (Auxerre, £6m)Eduardo Da Silva (Dynamo Zagreb, £8m)Lassana Diarra (Chelsea, £2m).OUTJérémie Aliadière (Middlesbrough, £2m)Matthew Connolly (Colchester United, season loan)Johan Djourou (Birmingham City, loan till Jan)Ryan Garry (Bournemouth, free)Kerrea Gilbert (Southend, loan till Jan)Thierry Henry (Barcelona, £16.1m)Fredrik Ljungberg (West Ham, £3m)Arturo Lupoli (Fiorentina, free)Fabrice Muamba (Birmingham City, £4m)Mart Poom (Watford, free)José Antonio Reyes (Atlético Madrid, £8m-estimate)Jay Simpson (Millwall, loan till Jan).Note: Red=First Team Blue=Squad Players Purple=YouthSUMMARYFirst team: 2-in, 3-out.Now you would look at 3 outs and 2 ins and say that its a bad thing that we have lost more players than we have gained but if you look at the players we have lost compared to players we have gained its a positive exchange. Thierry Henry went 7 years without getting any serious injuries at Arsenal, every loved the fact that he not only scored all the time but he also rarely missed a game through injury but his last season at Arsenal is one to forget. Besides the fact that he was injured for most of the season, the times that he played showed us that he wasn't the player he used to be. Entering into his 30's and nowhere near the top of his game, I think Arsene made the right decision is letting the talisman leave. The transfer fee of £16.1m seems about fair to me. Some might argue that if Darren Bent is worth £16.2m then Thierry Henry is worth £100m, I cant say I disagree but we have to remember when you are trying to offload a player it becomes a buyers market and they dictate the price. Thierry henry didn't want to start the season with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger didn't want him here either. Actually, I was quite surprised we got £16m but I guess Barcelona didn't want to let negotiations stall miss another chance to sign a Beckham like shirt-selling superstar. Not much needs to be said about Freddie Ljungberg, he has continued to lose his ability over the past 3 seasons or so. If there ever was a player that the Arsene wouldn't mind off his team sheet it would have been Freddie Ljungberg. Losing his ability by the day and burning £70,000 p/w in the clubs account. Jose Antonio Reyes is a prime example of what the transfer market is like. If he had wanted to stay in Arsenal he could easily have been sold for £13m but because everyone knew that he wanted to return to Spain he price tag dropped so much that even real Madrid didnt want to pay more than £5m for him. In the end, the loss of a player that played no part in the team last season is not really going to hurt us. The replacement, Eduardo Da Silva will give more to Arsenal's new style of football than Henry would have and at 24 he is definitely got a future ahead of him. Bacary Sagna becoming our first choice right back and made Eboue the replacement for the departed Ljungberg. Unfortunately we have not seem a replacement for Jose Antonio Reyes which is a slight worry as Rosicky is the only player in the squad that can play naturally on the left wing(thoigh even he is more suited in the hole). Even without a 2nd choice left winger, this first team is definitely be[...]
2007-08-20T02:24:45.715+08:00Im not gonna sit here and lie that I watched the match because I didn't. I watched Man Utd get beaten by Man City and lady luck must be Russian because Chelsea should have walked away from Anfield with their first loss of the season.
2007-08-13T00:52:03.824+08:002 late goals and Arsenal get their first 3 points on the board.
2007-08-12T22:42:42.905+08:00Can we at least say its an improvement? We complained when we only got draws at the Emirates last season and the Gunners have delivered 3 important points as it looks like the other big teams (Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Sunderland) all got opening day wins. Some positives to take from this game. We're going to see 4 strikers battle for one forward spot as Hleb is playing amazingly well in his new position. He has also kept his promise of shooting more as he had a few pops at goal, and what a finish for the winner! Bendtner is looking exciting, I had a big grin on my face when he beat the Fulham defender to a header by a couple of feet and nearly scored. He will definitely be challenging for a start if RvP isn't fit. Eboue, although not as exciting as he was against Inter, he still looks better than Hleb on the right and he links up with new signing Bacary Sagna very well.Speaking of our no.3, he played well going forward and although he tackled very well when he was defending, he was caught out of position on more than one occasion, forcing Toure to move to the right and Flamini slotting in at CB temporarily while Sagna returns to his position. Without Gilberto, I think Flamini will have to play an important role as a DM, he is not only our only capable DM besides Gilberto (Song who?), but he also knows a thing or two about defending in a back 4. Toure despite a mistake looked very strong and looked like a leader throughout the 90 minutes. His partner Gallas, also looked good. Gallas looked invisible for most of the game, which is a good thing. And in the second half when we needed a goal, he didn't hesitate to makes runs forward to help the team. I didn't see this side of Gallas last season and I'm happy I saw it today. Clichy played well and proved that his speed will make him a force to be reckoned with going forward, his crosses still need improving though.The biggest plus I can think of is the partnership of Rosicky and Hleb. They compliment each other very well with both players being very good on their feet. Rosicky wasn't afraid to take long range shots and it looks like his pre-season fitness worries are behind him. Hleb like I said earlier, was outstanding and looked like the most likely to score among the starters.Now on to the negatives, lets start with the obvious...LEHMANN. After that horrible mistake I got scared whenever he touched the ball. And (forgive me all Gooners around the world for saying this) for a brief moment I mumbled, "Id rather have beach blonde Almunia in goal!". After realising what I said, I quickly said my prayers and apologised to the Arsenal gods. Another worry is that sides are beginning to realise that everything goes through Cesc and they put 2 and as Fulham did today, sometimes 3 men on him. Cesc managed to wiggle away from those mediocre guys(no offence to Fulham but you guys are not Man Utd) but if he comes up against Essien, Scholes or Gerrard he might have a few problems.The biggest worry though remains that we over rely on Van Persie now. Its worrying when a guy that scored2 goals the whole of last season looked more threatening in front of goal than your main striker. Now, dont get me wrong I think van Persie is one of the best, if not the best striker in the premiership but when he is having an off day or the oppositions defence is dealing with him well, like Fulham did today then we may have a few problems. Theo Walcott came on late in the game and didn't make much of an impact aside from going very close from finishing the game off in injury time. Alex Song came on seconds before the final whistle.Player ratings coming up shortly.[...]
2007-08-08T22:53:06.127+08:00I watched the Arsenal-Ajax match today which took place here in Malaysia. The young Arsenal team sent here which included defender Ogogo, Jay Simpson, Rui Fonte, the outstanding Nazer Barazite and new signing Gilles Sunu did not inpress me one bit. I hate to be honest, but if that match is anything to go by for the future of the Arsenal team, not many if any of those players would make it to the first team.
2007-08-04T12:37:57.002+08:00Not the easiest draw we could have gotten in the CL but its better than getting Fenerbahce or AEK Athens. Liverpool, despite what the English press are saying, will breeze past Toulouse who were lucky to even finish in a European spot last season. Celtic though will struggle against Spatak Moscow and I wont be surprised if Gordon Strachan and Co end up playing UEFA Cup football this season.This tie will undoubtedly remind most fans of the Thierry Henry Show in Prague 2 years ago when he famously equalled and broke Wrighty's record. The words "Record Breaker, History Maker....Thierry Henry" will forever ring in my head. 2 years on the weird coincidence the CL loves giving us, just like how beating Vieira's Juve proved a point, this match will either tell Arsenal if this new strike force is better than the one-man firing squad of Thierry Henry.One things for sure, Robin van Persie is not Thierry Henry. It worries me how much pressure he is under as Arsenal fans look to him to become our new talisman. Unlike previous years where you could probably guess Arsenal's starting strikers in a match, this season all 4 of Arsenal's strikers(Theo not included, he plays at RM) are potential starters, but only RvP would probably start every game he is fit. Arsenal are looking to Van Persie to fill the huge Titi shoes when what they should be doing is making sure the attack doesnt revolve around one striker. Van Persie doent have Titi's speed and if the likes of Everton and Sunderland were to put 3 men on him, like sides use to do against Titi, he will not get by them as easily. Titi was a runner, RvP is a shooter.Arsenal have a chance now to show the world that they are better now post-Henry and there's no better way to prove it than by reminding Sparta Prague that 2 years ago, Arsenal beat them, not Thierry Henry.The 1st leg will be played in Prague on the 14 or 15th of August while the Czechs will visit Emirates Stadium on the 28th or 29th for the 2nd leg. I fancy Eboue to start on the right instead of Walcott who is still quite raw, and despite his blistering pace his technical ability needs improving. I watched him at Barnet and despite playing against a team obviously inferior to the Arsenal, the only thing that got him past the Barnet defence was his speed. Eboue on the other hand, embarrassed the Inter defence on more than one occasion during the Emirates Cup and I never want to see him play in a full-back role ever again. With Bacary and Eboue on the right we now look like the old Arsenal, great on one side, shit on the other. The Arsenal that did the double in 02 had the best left side in Europe, but the right side on the team were invisible not because of lack of quality but because Ljungberg loved travelling inside instead of staying on the wing, much like Hleb but with a lot more goals. Now, Arsenal left has the Gail Force that is Gael Clichy but in front him he has a player that will probably never be in front of him in Tomas Rosicky, who is 10 times more affective in the middle or behind the strikers (similar to Hleb). If Arsenal can get their hands on Quaresma(although highly unlikely), we would have the balace that no Arsenal team have ever had, NOT EVEN THE INVINCIBLES!My predictions over 2 legs:Arsenal 3-1 Sparta Prague (a 1-1 draw in Prague)Liverpool 5-0 Toulouse (3-0 trashing at Anfield)Celtic 1-1 CSKA Moscow (CSKA through on away goals rule :D)[...]
2007-07-15T21:32:21.754+08:00(image) Pix: Rodrigo Palacio... yes, thats a pony tail!
2007-07-11T19:20:11.934+08:00The Sun have reported the Arsenal have signed Bakari Sagna for £6m. They also have an image which, judging by the quality was taken by a Nokia phone or is a photoshop. Anyway, if the image is to be believed, he will wear the number 3 shirt previously worn by...Nigel Winterburn! The article though is slightly misleading as The Sun, being the reliable paper it is, never confirmed the deal instead they just posted quotes from Gallas' rants on his site. Anyway, other sources say that the deal with Sagna is settled but Auxerre dont want to settle for anything less than £10m which is way too much.
2007-07-04T17:19:37.929+08:00(image) Well, there are so many quotes regarding our new signing that they deserve their very own post. It appears that Dudu will have Eduardo on the back of his shirt. What is it with the Silva's? Why aren't they proud of their names? It is kinda scary the amount of pressure the press is putting on this kid...
2007-07-04T17:29:54.733+08:00Lots of news today so lets start off with Bakari Sagna's latest plee to join Arsenal. I have to say though, after seeing Robinho go on striker to join Real, then Essien went on strike to join Chelsea..its nice to see a player wanting to join us so badly. But if he ever goes on strike Arsenal should not sign him as thats disrespectful and it shows immaturity. Anyway, about Sagna, he has been telling Football365 that he wants to join the Gunners but the Auxerre BOD are asking for way too much money. One quote in particular caught my attention:"Regarding at what price Auxerre want to transfer me, I can't join another French club. So if I leave, I will go to England."Auxerre directors ask for a lot of money, I am not lucky. It is capital for my future."Ok 2..Surely at least half of the french clubs in Ligue 1 can afford £6m. Basically what this tells me is that Auxerre want something close to £10m which would not be the best deal for a defender unless we have the money to spare. I have stated many times that I want Sagna at Arsenal because that means we can push Eboue to the wing but at £10m, is he worth it? A quick search in FM found Anthony Vanden Boore (Fiorentina), Rafinha (Shalke 04) and Eduardo Ratinho (Corinthians, i think). All wonderkids according to my scout ;-)Arsenal.com has confirmed that we have signed 17 year-old Norwegian defender Harvard Nordtveit from FK Haugesund on a long term contract for an undisclosed fee (£2m). Another one for the future. He played for Norway at both the Under-17's and Under-19's European Championships.Paul Merson is worried about Arsenal now that Thierry Henry has left. You cant take him seriously after the first paragraph when he says the spuds have a 50% chance of finishing 4th. I wonder why everyone is saying that Henry's absence means Arsenal will crumble. We went nearly the whole of last season without him and we still got 4th place quite comfortably. Eduardo will bring something we didn't have last season which was someone in the box to put away all those crosses so we are definitely stronger. The return of RvP from injury, Gallas building a partnership with Toure and a new keeper to challenge Lehmann, this side will not only finish 4th but it will give Man Utd and Chelsea more of a title race than the 06/07 side did.The Sun reports that the board have offered Wenger £75k to remain at the helm for another 4 years. Wenger is currently paid £50k but I doubt money has anything to do with the decision to sign a contract or not. They also claim that we are battling with Juve to sign Obafemi Martins and that neither side has tabled the £13m offer to trigger his get-out clause. hard to believe anything The Sun says but if it is true, I would still prefer Huntelaar.Something tells me we're gonna sign another player within the next week,Till then...[...]
2007-07-04T17:20:10.998+08:00Arsenal.com have confirmed that Dudu will wear the number 9 shirt. The number has been worn in the past by amazing players such as Francis Jeffers, JA Reyes and Julio Baptista... ohh crap!