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In Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

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Articles

Theo’s emission from the U21’s means he will be named in the seniors

In Arsenal FC on February 23, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

Its really quiet at the moment, eerily quiet, at this time of the season you are expecting hype, hype and more hype. UEFA’s plan to play the last 16 round of the Champions League looks a failure, especially as the plan was to give each game more exposure. Fail, Platini.

The only real thing to talk about is…. *flicks through Newsnow quickly*… is the emission of Theo Walcott from the England under 21’s squad. You would think that now he is back fit again he would either be in the proper England squad or the Under 21’s – and as they play on the same night I reckon it means hes gonna be playing against Egypt at Wembley in a few weeks.

Right now I would prefer it if he was just left alone to focus on Arsenal and staying fit, if he doesn’t get injured again he will probably go to South Africa – rightly or wrongly. He needs to start showing some form now he has a couple of games under his belt and from what I have heard, there was improvement against Sunderland so lets hope he continues this against Stoke on Saturday evening.

There is some kind of jinx with England and Theo, he seems to get injured nine times out of ten, and in the one out of ten, scores a hat-trick and gets hyped up beyond all recognition.

Theres an interview with Jens Lehmann in the Mail, what a fantastic keeper he was, he was a class above Manuel Almunia. Rising to the big occasion and almost single handedly won us the FA Cup in 2005. I’m sure any autobiography of his would be a hilarious read, he was often criticised for being eccentric and OTT but he was a right laugh, the type of personality that made the League the best in the world at the time.

Right, thats about it for today, nothing else to say really. Till tomorrow.

Articles

Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland: Job done, next please

In Arsenal FC, Premier League 2009/10, Title chase 2009/10 last 13 games on February 22, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

It was a game we should have won on paper, and we did. No complaints.

I can’t give you an in depth analysis of the game to be honest, I didn’t see it due to work commitments, the same commitments that mean I will be missing the game against Stoke as well. Why can’t the schedulers work around me, eh? Why?!

From what I have heard the side flattered to deceive, chances were missed and as usual we had a hell of a lot of players missing. It was good to see Nicklas Bendtner score and it would be foolish to bet against him getting a few in the games coming up, he is a rhythm player and he is going to get a very decent run in the side in his favored position by the looks of things, it his time to shine. It was great movement to get on the end of the brilliant Eboue’s cross and a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

Onto Eboue, I’ve heard he had a very fine game indeed. I believe him to be the only player we have that will  get the ball and really run at people with pace and power, a type of player we sorely miss. We have contrasting options at right back with the more defensive Bakary Sagna and the offensive Emmanuel Eboue, a good conundrum to have. Eboue deserves to start against Stoke.

It was important we capitalised on more dropped points by United, leaving us two points behind but as they are not playing in the league next weekend, we can overtake them with a win away at Stoke, which is much easier said than done. It goes to show we are still in the mix, third favorites most definitely but this season has thrown up so many twists and turns who would bank on a few more in the final 10-11 games of the season?

Hopefully we will have a few more returnees against Stoke and its high time we gritted our teeth and went at them and won. Twice now they have made mugs of us, proved THEM right, and by ‘them’ you know who I mean, the doubters and critics. More than ever I want this team to prove them wrong, to shove their words down their throats so hard they come our their arse, we want to challenge? We must must win next weekend.

From reading around it seems Samir Nasri had a decent game which is good to see, maybe he has read some of the criticism I’ve given him recently. He has not been up to scratch, floating around on the edge of game is not living up to the 12 million quid price tag, he should be winning them and/or contributing to wins. I hope his performance was an improvement and he can carry that on next weekend because its gonna be a tricky one.

The same goes for Theo Walcott, there has been a lot of praise going around for his performance but excuse the sceptic in me when I say, if he wasn’t English, would the same things have been said? He was blinding in parts apparently, but in others…just the same old Theo, no end product. I hope it was an improvement. He’s been unlucky, a good run of form now would get him on the plane to South Africa.

Articles

Part 2/13: No euro-hangover allowed against Sunderland

In Arsenal FC, Premier League 2009/10, Title chase 2009/10 last 13 games on February 20, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

Over the past few season we have had a fair few hangovers – of the non-alcoholic variety.

Of course I mean the European midweek variety, and we can’t afford to feel sluggish, tired or generally shite tomorrow, the team is depleted but the show must go on, we need three points to keep our faint title hopes alive. We have dropped points after three midweek European games so far this season.

We have lost Diaby to a knee problem, Eduardo’s ‘small small small hamstring’ is still hamstrung and we may well lose Sol Campbell too. There is a chance we could have Song and Almunia back but its no certainty either, all in all it is a bit of a pickle, and congested in that injury treatment room.

Gallas is out for weeks, Eduardo’s injury length is indefinite, as is Diaby’s. Robin van Persie is out for another two months at least, Gibbs – the season, Djourou – the season and Andrey Arshavin could be out for a few weeks too.

Sunderland will not want to take the game to us, so we need power, pace and some decent finishing. I’ve had it with playing Nasri and Rosicky together on the flanks, its samish and unsuccessful, I’d start Eboue there as he is probably our most direct player. It is an important game for Bendtner I feel, he needs that all important goal to get his confidence in front of goal up. He has been out a long time and has been rushed back into a big run of games, he needs time but we don’t really have it.

In midfield I’d be tempted to start Ramsey ahead of Denilson in Diaby’s absence, Cesc and Song make up the other two.

We just have to hope Sol Campbell makes it, Kenwyne Jones is the type of forward we have spectacularly failed to deal with this season so we need to be wary of him and the 15 goal Darren Bent who rather stiffed us one up in Sunderland.

No points can be dropped, if they are its gotta be game over … but I’ve said that before, we all have. I’ll be missing this one as Ive got to work. Typical.

til tomorrow. Come on you redsssssssssss!!!

Articles

Arsenal register higher income than United

In Arsenal FC on February 20, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

‘Arsenal has risen to the third spot, thanks to the real estate transaction that allowed the London club to earn £88 million. For the first time, Manchester United (4th) is not among the top three clubs,’

Thought this would be a good article to point out, is it a sign that the approach of the past ten years is starting to pay off? It must be noted that we will not have that real estate to sell off every year – hence an inflated figure this time around, but United are ever in decline. If your a United fan, I advise a strong drink before reading.

Article here.

Articles

Fed up of the negativity / Arsene needs to look deeper than stats

In Arsenal FC on February 20, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

Evening all,

there has been a lot of negativity around the place these past few days, I really don’t know how bloggers and the like get off on slating the team all over the place – don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Criticism is alright, fine, a good thing. But non-ending tirades of abuse aimed at a selection of players and the manager of Arsenal FC is down right ridiculous.

One blog famed for its insults fired at the boss said this:

Ive given up on Wenger long ago. I hope the board have a shortlist by now. Wenger showed his contempt for us when he dropped Arshavin for the Chelsea semi-final. He showed his contempt for the 9,500 fans at Old Trafford when he got stuffed 4-0 in the FA Cup, and he showed his contempt for the 6,500 Gooners at Stoke, when he chucked the FA Cup again with a 3-1 defeat.

So we now know how profoundly selfish he is, how arrogant he is, how he doesn’t listen, how deeply misguided his Youth Project has proved to be. The greatest spin-doctor in the history of organised sport has recently told us that third place is a bigger achievement than winning a domestic cup.

There is nobody more of a bandwagon writer than this man. A joke, a total and utter joke. He sounds off like a broken record every time the team loses – its the managers fault, when they are winning its the players success – not the managers. I might be wrong but it wouldn’t surprise me if he thinks Wenger is to blame for global warming and famine in Africa.

At the start of the season would fans have taken this scenario?: 6 points off the top of the table and needing a 1-0 win at home to go through to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League?

You know what, I would have taken it.

We know certain players are not up to it (at the moment), I have mentioned a fair few of them before and for the readers’ sake I will name them again:

Almunia

Fabianski

Clichy

Denilson

Nasri

Walcott

Vela

Silvestre

I believe Almunia is a decent second choice, but sadly not a number one. I was a big supporter of his last season and previous to that but his form has slid to such an extent that I believe we need a world class keeper, especially given our attacking game. Fabianski has mental weakness from what I gather, we can’t allow that with other members of the squad having fragile temperaments too.

I called Gael Clichy the best left back in the world a couple of seasons ago, now he is a wreck – a shadow of the player, and I can’t see that player returning anytime soon. He gets skinned game after game, even by average players. Onto Denilson, a player I backed time and time again. My gripe? Lack of effort. Watch the Rooney goal again, he isn’t fussed.

Nasri has been diabolical really, he had a good season last time out but has been a sufferer of second season syndrome. Is it confidence? Its not lack of talent thats for sure.. Maybe he is surrounded by to many of the same type of player – one of my main gripes with the manager. Either way, this season he has stagnated and needs to show the manger the player he spent 12 million quid on.

Walcott – Lack of intelligence on a football pitch has been shown again. Prepared to give him time though.

Vela… seems to spend more time playing for Mexico than he does for us. Another injury prone player who may be young but isn’t repaying the managers faith and perseverance over several seasons and the fuss in having him loaned out to Spanish clubs. Just seems more of the same. Again, I am prepared to give him time but a season on loan at a Premiership side is needed next season in my opinion.

Silvestre… he tries, and for that I have no grudge against him at all, he was good at his peak and would have been an asset but his peak has passed and is a player in decline. Will probably have an unceremonious exit in the summer.

The boss has to look deeper though, why is our defence so crap? They are OK as individuals but as a unit they fail miserably. Communication? Coaching? My moneys on the latter… which improves the former.

The message? ignore the people who just want to stir up trouble like that disgruntled old beatnick (he admits as much himself) on that site, I suppose at least he can string a sentence together unlike some other blogs who don’t deserve the time of day. They know who they are.

Til next time.

Articles

Porto 2 Arsenal 1: See yesterday’s blog – but we can win at home

In Arsenal FC, Champions League 2009/10 on February 18, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

It was a disaster waiting to happen, it was a disaster that should spell a new goalkeeper in the summer because by God do we need one. Come back Almunia, all is forgiven.

I suppose it really isn’t that bad of the face of things, we got the important away goal and are still in the tie, a 1-0 at home will put us soundly through. So is it so bad considering we were without most of our best players?

Fans are probably so angry because both goals were preventable in the extreme, the first was an incredible piece of incompetent goalkeeping and after the Stoke disaster and the FA Cup semi-final display under Lucasz Fabianski’s belt, it is hard to see him staying at the club much longer if fans have their way. The ball was crossed into the six yard box and somehow he fumbled it into the net, it was Roy Carrol-like. He has just done it too many times now and whilst he has obvious talent, there are massive question marks over his mental strength.

I feel sorry for him, for whatever reason he isn’t good enough right now to be Arsenal’s second choice, Almunia isn’t good enough to be first choice. We need a world class keeper badly, especially given our attacking game.

It seemed the damage was limited when Sol Campbell scored to make it 1-1, credit must go to Rosicky who flicked the ball back across goal – into the danger area – for Campbell to head it home. What a story, Champions League final to Notts County, back to scoring in the Champions League again. Incredible.

The goal to make it 2-1 Porto was just unbelievable. The ball was played back to Fabianski after Sol Campbell accidentally made contact with the ball, and Fabianski picked it up. A) No free kick – the back pass was unintentional.  B) Fabianski should have put his foot through it but panicked.

It got worse.

Fabianski threw the ball back to the ref quickly, who allowed a quick free kick. Fine. No problem. We have done it in the past. No complaints about that. But, the ref gave the go ahead whilst blocking Sol Campbell completely. How utterly ridiculous is that?

Then there was the penalty appeal, a blatant foul on Rosicky – cast iron. His legs were taken. Arsenal will never get a penalty again it seems, its so frustrating, on another day, with another ref the game could have been so much different.

We can’t hide the same old failures though, the naff defence and keepers who are just not up to standard, we must stop conceding if we are to go anywhere in the Champions League but I just can’t see us tightening our defence. If we were playing a better side it would be game over. This time its Porto though, who are really not very good.

It is frustrating, so frustrating but we are only at half time. We have the advantage of a three week gap until the return leg so whilst the missing players will probably not return for the Sunderland game, they should be back in those three weeks.

I said yesterday that it could be a case of damage limitation, but we made our own damage, we dug our own grave and what Cesc Fabregas described as ‘schoolboy errors’ will frustrate him more than anyone. He deserves better if I’m honest. He addressed the fans on the plane as normal after the game and promised us a win in the return leg, and we will get one, no doubts about that.

This team don’t seem to get much in the way of luck, and wouldn’t it be just their luck if we drew one of the few teams we fear in the competition? Barca, Chelsea, United and at a push, Bayern Munich. There is a lot of work to be done though.

Til tomorrow.

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