Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A Fighting Draw at the Hawthorns !!!

                         Before the game, had voiced my concern over what happens if Arsenal get a little complacent after the run of form we were having!!! And later read about Flamini explaining what his unfinished business was that he talked off when his transfer had been completed. he talks that he had a greta time with Arsenal before leaving to a different competition, but feels the guilt that he couldn't win the UCL after reaching the finals and also the 07-08 season were Arsenal lead the league for most part before Eduardo's horrific injury played with the mental strength and we subsequently squandered our title.
The game started with Arsenal on the back foot in the flair, that we have in our passing. And credit to West Brom for efficiently nullifying our midfield so easily. The 1st real scare came when a shot deflected off Flamini's arse was heading towards the goal when SZCZ was going the other direction but somehow turned in his stride and pilled off a world class save in the end. Majority of the first half was both teams midfield canceling each other out, while Jack was being fouled left, right and center by the WBA players and while the referee turned a blind eye towards the tackles at Arsenal players their confidence seemed going down with each decision going the other way. The tone of play allowed WBA to dictate play in a manner that was a bit worrying to the fans!!! and WBA soon scored the 1st of the match. The game didn't make Arsenal stand up and start delivering soon but we kept pushing gradually. And who else to score other than Wilshere, with the game he was having  and the constant chants among fans about his recent smoking bout. and a beaut of a volley it was too.
                          The game saw quite a few bookings and a few Arsenal players carrying knocks over the game. While Jenkinson was pretty decent with his track backs; he was clueless against long balls more than often which is a worrying sign for a second right back of a team challenging for the title. The second half fared better for the gunners with Giroud and Ramsey exchanging few quick passes in the WBA third of the field. Bacary's presence was missed so was the tempo that Rossa brings with him. Ozil had another subdued game; he is not taking the game head on for Arsenal like many fans keep thinking. He is more of a contributor than someone like Cesc or too some extent Rossa do when they play they dictate how the whole team works as a unit. The game ended by Ramsey being subbed off for Rossa and Giroud being taken off for TGSTEL (read Bentdner) but he didn't really have enough time to have any meaningful attack.
                         1-1 at the hawthorns isn't a bad result in any means. It was a tough result to achieve given the kind of wins they had recently yet i still feel we didn't take the game by its horns too. Gibbs received his first England senior call up this week, pretty deserving me thinks considering the consistency in his performances. Aaron Ramsey and Arsene Wenger win the Player of the Month and The Manager Of the Month resp. but the best part wold definitely be Arsenal retaining their position on the top of the Table. If you observe the league table even a noob might understand what kind o competitive league this is, rather than the constant media bickering that the league is hyped and the German or the Italian leagues being more competitive. Coming to this weekend the International Break is here and Arsenal fans would be excited and eagerly waiting the return off some very influential players who were out with injury. Also the players carrying knocks will get enough time to charge off their reserve power and start afresh after the break. So until something major happens this week its Adios from moi . 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Unsung Hero and a preview to the WBA game

                     Was a bit too excited to write a blog after the Arsenal victory over Napoli. So here goes a preview to what might come ahead this week.  But first a few appreciation in for the game against Napoli. So the match was of two halves to be fair one in which Arsenal showed their attackin fluidity over the visitors tearing their defense apart with the slick and pacy passing associated with Arsene's sides and in the other half moving towards a resolute defensive performance worthy of any italian side... The team's mental strength and the ability to hold on to a lead showcased yet for another time.
                     Now the transferred in player Ozil has been on song for most o the times he has played but what has made Arsenal a better team is definitely the free signin of Flamini he's been vocal and a leader on field with his quick tackles to break the opposition moves before they develop to any serious threat. On the other hand players like Gibbs and Bacary have been quietly making up solid performances game after game their contribution might be over looked slightly coz of the strategical brilliance of Ramsey and Ozil combining over the weeks. There are times when Ramsey Ozil Flamini and Giroud combine that turns defenders almost impossible to mark just one of them such has been the technical flair in the players.
Flamini trying a #Henrying pose while Giroud looks on

                     The hawthorns visit us now with a senior team that rides high on confidence after defeating a Utd side that has absolutely no clue of whats happenin to them. the question that would be runnin on the back of every gooners mind now would be our run of form that has been so in flow now would be ruined by whom and when. Whether we would bounce back if that happens or develop a  slump in form after that. But judging by the reaction after the Villa game there's not much to worry about any kind of reaction from the gooners. We'll be behind our team eggin them on for another clean sheet maybe. The defender in me just loves it when Arsenal  manage to keep a clean sheet or hold out our lead with a resounding Defensive performance.
                    So plenty to look forward to this month with us still having to play BVB and Chelsea with Norwich and Crystal Palace sandwiched in between. With Cazorla scheduled to return after the international break the prospects look real interesting for Arsenal at the moment. Touchwood for this run not to stop until we win a trophy to hold the players in form at the moment coz sure as hell the oil funded clubs will come calling soon to us for our better players but watchin the team play more as a unit o family than the past few seasons and we gooners can just hope they keep supporting each other until the goal is achieved... And on a closing note this Ramsey edit by a gooner :D #cheers #hic hic !!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Swans taken to the sea by Gunners

             So Saturday appeared a bit too soon after the toiling trip to the hawthorns. After playing over 120 minutes there was a bit of concern over some of the 1st team members of the squad whether they'll be match fit in time. And another concern for me was whether or not i get to watch the match, a friends party involving the 1st of a kind pitcher of Old Monk was hard not to resist. So there i was sitting at Jersey 9 pub and waitin for the game week to start.
              Upfirst Chelshit were playin Sp*rs so had to endure 90 mins of a tame London derby. Yes the referee got a few decisions wrong but he did that consistently well for both teams, and the match ended in a draw with both teams getting just a point which goes well for us. Now to the Manchester teams both red and blue conceded the 1st goal and den came back on level terms while city fans a brief sense of relief when they went a goal up to villa they conceded two brilliant counter attacking finishes making the England no.1 look like a schoolboy. And the other half of Manchester slumped to their 2nd defeat in a row when Berahino sealed the deal after a Rooney equalizer. City lie at 5th in the table and Utd lie 12th when this was written...

Rambo time at Liberty stadium
    A great set of results when Arsenal are sitting pretty at the top and having a good away run fancy a tough test at the Liberty stadium. Gooners were positively surprised to see Gnabry in the line up to the match when he had played 120 mins at the Hawthorns and was lookin exhausted by the end of it. But trusting Wenger has never been wrong about young players and the line ups and trust he shows and gives the players is never futile. So the match starts two of the top 5 passing teams in the EPL facing each other and the 1st half was about cancelling each other attacks and nullifying the game of the opponent, the home side started in  a strong fashion and Jonjo and Michu started their attacks Ramsey and Flamini started their own brand of high pressure football and the gunners started to settle in. The half was exciting not for the goals but for the range of passin and interceptions on display. So far was the proficiency in display that even the defenders were battling to prove which defense could roll out a better pass.The attacks were not flowing enough for either side as there was no shots on target during the 1st half in added time Giroud had a glorious chance when a scintillating Gnabry took charge on the flanks and a hazy run to deliver Giroud the ball but the striker couldn't react well enough and the chance was wasted. The 2nd half started in a similar fashion but the gunners began to take charge almost immediately and Wilshere Ramsey Gnabry and Giroud started a string of beautiful passin leadin to attack after attack at that. Ozil had a subdued match this...
               In that run of play and excellent move involving Ramsey Wilshere Giroud and Gnabry ended in one of the finest attackin team goal u'll ever get to see and Gnabry entered the record books with his 1st goal in an EPL match youngest after Cesc4Fabregas  (my idol, i may add). 4 minutes later the man with the golden feet at the moment for Arsenal notched up his 8th in as many games Aaron Ramsey. The welsh man was relived by Giroud after Wilshere broke down the swans attack and strung a beautiful 1-2 with Ramsey to find Giroud who in turn found Ramsey who dispatched the shot/pass with aplomb. 0-2 and top of the table. Away gooners in full flow the night couldn't be more Arsenal like without a few scares Bony was brought on by the swans and he started nice and direct got space and boom goes a shot. We had a few more scares to deal with Wilshere erring a pass straight on to Bony who miscued the shot.LUCK. But Bony made the impact and Swansea side was rejuvenated with his presence they started to be more confident and a momentary lapse of concentration and Bony passed it to the on comin Ben davies who finished in style 1-2 .
Arsene brought the back up full backs on to kill some time and to ensure the 3pts on the day he completes 17 years with Arsenal... 
               Final whistle and the gooners were celebrating a rare brilliant Saturday!!! Arsenal on top of the table with two point lead over scum, Manchester supporters feeling down the drain and well that made a near perfect weekend some more rum and i am Mr. Smiley for the weekend!!! Until to welcome Napoli to the Emirates its Hic Hic!!! from my side foxriver11 signin off . Adios!!!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Young Gunners Penalize WBA

    WBA 1-1 Arsenal (3-4 on penalties).
Eis Eis baby!!!
    Hic ! Hic! Another round of rum for me before I start writing this.
The cup tie, when Arsene usually throws the young guns into shallow waters was here and boy, were we on the edge. It was supposed to be an easy draw for the gooners considering the run of form we were in; but Wenger had done what he does best, a young squad with just a few 1st team players and those who desperately wanted some game time after their injury layoffs.

Lineups for the night

West Brom: L Daniels, Reid, Dawson, Lugano, Popov, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Sessegnon, Sinclair, Berahino, Long
Subs: Camp (gk), McAuley, J Olsson, Rosenberg, Amalfitano, Morrison, Jones

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Hayden, Arteta, Eisfeld, Ryo, Bendtner, Gnabry
Subs: Viviano, Bellerin, Flamini, Olsson, Iwobi, Akpom, Park
Hayden got a surprise debut at the hawthorns because of a shoulder niggle on Flamini. Per, Gnabry and Flamini were the only players who were involved in the side that won against stoke in the weekend. It was an untidy game from the kick-off as two sides full of unfamiliar names wrestled to get to grips with both themselves and each other. The 1st half was fairly uneventful for both teams, until late in the half when either side could have taken the lead. First, it was Gnabry who tried a shot on goal which was paired away by Reid after a goal line save. And minutes later, Fabianski was called into action for a quick save when Mulumbu sent a volley flying across the goal.

For WBA Mulumbu, Sessegnon, Sinclair and Berahino were controlling the midfield battle over Arsenal and attack after attack kept flying down the right hand side where Monreal was having a tough time dealing with Berahino. The young guns of Arsenal were growing into the game as the game progressed. Hayden put in some strong challenges and was pretty effective in breaking WBA attacks along with Arteta. Miyachi and Gnabry kept making runs on the WBA defense, but their final ball wasn't up to the mark. Bentdner was excellent for someone who hasn't played a lot for Arsenal even though he has been with us for over 9 seasons now.

The only disappointment was Eisfield, he looked lost for brief patches during the match except for a sublimely taken goal for which even Wenger praised him saying he showed Pires's class in his 1st touch to gather the ball from Bentdner and slot it deftly past the keeper, 1-0 to Arsenal against the run of play. WBA kept persisting and a momentarily collapse of concentration by the gunners allowed Berahino to equalize, a well taken finish at that.

81 minutes into the game and Eisfield was replaced by 17 yr old Akpom, Hayden was replaced moments later by Kris Olsson. In injury-time Gnabry had a chance to steal the win, but he couldn’t connect with a fine cross by Jenkinson. Extra-time saw Arteta forced off with cramps in his left foot, perhaps unsurprising given his lack of game time, and Hector Bellerin slotted into midfield despite being a right-back.
Olsson and Bellerin took no time in settling in and played pretty decent in the final minutes. The last two minutes of Extra Time sent shivers down gooners spines when Amalfitano came on and sent a few shots Fabianski's way; one hitting the cross bar on the dying moments. Penalties!!!

It’s been cruel to Arsenal a few years running now, but I guess lady luck does give a breather occasionally after all. It looked like the Gunners were dead and buried when Serge Gnabry missed, but poor efforts by Amalfitano and Dawson gave Nacho Monreal the chance to score the decisive kick, which he duly smacked home.

The composure shown by the young guns to even step up to the penalty spot was a clear sign of Arsene's favorite character that he looks in players. On an irrelevant note, it was heartening to be on the other end of a penalty result!! Also watching TGSTEL to be playing with a different kind of attitude was also a positive note, me thinks :p. Anyways back to the weekend fixture against Swansea to look forward to now and assist master Özil terrorize some swans.  

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Arsenal welcome Stoke a la Rambo style

All eyes were set on the Manchester derby taking place later in  the evening but at Islington a few hours before masses gathered to welcome a Stoke side unlike many that Pulis used to show us was gonna be entertained by gooners who wanted a bitter sweet revenge for the in-form Ramsey.

Yes, the same Aaron Ramsey who was booed off the pitch when Shawcross horribly tried to end a career of a budding talent. But years passed on to that incident and Aaron rose again like a phoenix rising from the flames giving his all for a team that were trying to find a balance, a foothold for a position that was always doubted of their worth by the English media. His mental strength was the thing that Arsene Wenger grew so fond of speaking to the press about his team overall on a regular basis. So when the season where he actually began to show his potential on the pitch started, gooners all over began to anticipate the horrors that would hold for the Welsh captain when he faces the team that almost ruined him. Another much speculated player so far has been the arrival of Mesut Ozil, many have compared his signing to the Ice Man one of Wenger's classiest signings ever. I had failed to grasp the intensity of what this meant, but now reading the similarities in their signing and class i am beginning to understand the similarities these players have. Besides being World class players, both came at a time where Arsenal actually were pretty balanced in the attacking midfield department but were in deep crap at both their strikers and defensive positions but the influence that world class players have on a pretty average team can be phenomenal to say the least.

 Arsenal forced to make a very late change to the side that beat Marseille mid week Walcott replaced by young German Gnabry on the right hand side because of an abdominal muscle problem to the English forward. It wasn't long since Arsenal found their rhythm in the half before Wilshere was fouled by Charlie Adam disrupting the flow of the game but what was surprising was the way Arsenal nicked the 1st goal of the game. SET PLAY against stoke Ozil whipped in an attempt on goal which was parried on to Ramsey who seems can't make any mistake know. 1-0 to the gunners. The Emirates crowd exploded with promise of more to come. Steven Nzonzi then eluded BFG to send a shot towards SZCZ. Cameron was the quickest to react and stoke equalised 1-1.

Arsenal stepped up the pressure after the goal and were rewarded soon after a Ozil corner led to a Goal by Per Mertesacker looping header, second time lucky fot the BFG who had a similar effort saved moments before 2-1 to the gunners. In the second half Stoke dictated the tempo for most of the match but Gnabry who was rising in stature in the half tried an audacious long ranger at Begovic, who had  saved the effort comfortably remained untroubled for the first 20 mins. Thankfully the gunners scored again against the run of play from another set piece. Set piece against stoke this never fails to rub the smile off my face. Anyways it was Wilshere been fouled for the nth time in the match that led to the free kick which was taken by Ozil who had a looped ball for Bacary in the box who made no mistake and looped it over begovic 3-1.

Gibbs and Flamini just grew into the game and controlled the Stoke moves before it got turned to serious threats, clever interceptions and Koscielny controlling the long balls completely negated Stoke threat. Miyachi, Monreal and Arteta got a run in before the clock ticked down, Arsenal fans were high and running singing we are top of the league as the whistle blew. Its true not many games have been played to celebrate in that manner but considering our previous starts to the seasons we deserve all the cheer and spirit we get from the fans and also ask as fans of the club ;).