Monday, 13 August 2012

Van Persie Threw His Shirt To The Fans After The FC Koln Game. What Did They Do With It?

"How do I combine this crop of beauties"
I doubt if FC Koln would have pushed for this friendly as part of the deal that brought Podolski to Arsenal if they had looked into a crystal ball and seen the result of yesterday's game.To be beaten 4 nil in your own backyard with your fans watching isn't a thing one will willingly put one's signature on if one can help it but of course there were financial benefits to having Arsenal FC play in their stadium and it was just a friendly after all.


It was a much higher quality friendly than any of the other games we saw the boys play during the pre-season tour of the Far East considering the cast  and opposition. While the Far East games had largely been public relations show pieces designed for marketing, the FC Koln game was used to bloody the new signings alongside next seasons first teamers.

All the new boys were in the starting eleven with some reading meaning into the absence of Song and RVP in  the line-up but then neither were Kos and Szcezney and they are nowhere near the want-away list.

The first goal came off a corner kick from the tiny Cazorla which Mert flicked back and Vermaleen then headed beyond the hapless Koln keeper who was really excellent for much of the game despite the scoreline. Considering our problems with converting set pieces in recent times, the manner in which the goal came raised hopes that we'll have a better time at those from now on with most crediting the influence of Bould for that little bit of "magic".

Cazorla's influence on the game was quite glaring and got me dreaming of what a combination of him and Arteta in the middle of the park will bring to the table and it sure was one hell of a wet dream. Both have enough techniques to dominate the middle of the park against any team and with the protection of a committed DM can wreak havoc in the final third of any opposition in the form of goals or the final ball. There I go dreaming again.

Giroud looked sharp all the way while he was on the field and would have gotten on the score sheet but for the heroics of the Koln keeper. Two things can be said of him, he's not shot shy and he knows where the goal post is as I really can't remember any of his shots being off-target.

Podolski scored the second goal from a penalty after Ox got bungled over in the box by a Koln defender and seemed to get lost for much of the time while he played but turned up to square the third past the Koln keeper again. He made way for Van Persie mid way through the second half. He did show what he is capable of and  Barcelona may even be considering making an approach for him right now despite his only having just signed on.
Expectedly Van Persie got a chilly reception when he came on. While Vermaleen handed over the captain's arm band to him to the dismay of some of the faithful, the arm chair body language analysts pulled out their scarcely-used note pads and stubby pencils ready to read meaning into every move he made on the field. My favourite was, "RVP's body language says it all, he doesn't want to get injured, he has a medical coming up soon".

Can't say he made much of an impression for the twenty minutes he was on but we all know better than to judge the man on the basis of that performance. Personally, on the strength of what I saw yesterday I am more convinced than ever if I ever entertained any doubts that this is a squad that can win trophies if we keep RVP, Theo, Song and even Arshavin. The strength of the resultant bench will cause Arsene Wenger a selection headache which may have already started judging from the prescription glasses he was donning yesterday.
A section of fans used the opportunity of his first outing in an Arsenal shirt since his infamous declaration to vent their fury and booed his every move but one thing must be said for the man, he remained dignified and even threw his shirt into the crowd after the game as the video below shows.


What can not be independently verified is what the receiver did with it. As a friend said, "someone must have pissed on it", while another said, 'I would have gladly taken what may be the last shirt he wears for Arsenal".

What is certain is that the faithful are still divided on whether he should be forgiven but as I've said here before I am certain that issue will be put to rest by him if he bangs in about five goals in his first six games but that of course is if he stays.

What I can not fault is Vermaleen handing over the skipper's arm band to him when he came on. Until the issue of if he's staying or going is resolved, he remains the appointed captain although I believe this issue will play a major part in any negotiations of his staying put. Depending on how much he considers stripping him of the arm band as a dent on his ego, he may decide on that count to move to United knowing this is the move that will hurt us most afterall we hurt him too.

Song and Arshavin came on after the break and didnt have any impact worth harping upon other than Arshavin characteristically miscuing a simple pass to RVP that he would only have needed to tap into the gaping Koln goal. I still saw glimpses of the player he once was for us and will take a chance on him for one more season with the hope that the quality of the new signings will rub off on him and restore his glory days. I love the little Russian like that

It is unfair to focus on negatives in a game that we won 4 nil away afterall football is a team game but I think Mannone deserves a mention in this category. For a keeper who was mostly untested for the duration of the game because from defense to mid-field to attack, the boys did a good job, Mannone appeared nervy when called on to make simple saves and got caught out once because of bad positioning but luckily the ball hit the cross-bar and bounced away. He is only the third choice keeper but 'Flappy Fabianski' who is in second is also not convincing cover for  Szczesny .

We may need to step up the hunt for a better cover for Szczesny than both currently offer and we may start with the FC Koln keeper Timo Horn. He did a mighty good job between the posts for Koln despite the score line; the score line would have been more emphatic if not for some of his heroics.

All in all it was a game that showed a glimpse of what to expect from the boys from Saturday the 18th and the future certainly looks so bright that even the most ardent critics of Wenger and his boys over the past few years have seen reason to smile.
Got to run now, it's a Monday in Lagos and I have to join the fray and hustle. Other issues will be treated form tomorrow but for now let's bask in the warm glow of yesterday's result while resuming the wet dream of  next season's possibilities. Holla!


Follow on Twitter @naijaendgooner and do feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

18 comments:

  1. This really is our season and I bet we will have trophies to show at the end of the season. Up Gunners

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  2. Koln is hardly the opposition to judge our squad by. A couple of games into the season against EPL games and we should be able to say. but then my name is Thomas

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    1. You really are living up to your name bro. BELIEVE is the watch word

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  3. Lol @ wet dream. can just picture it

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  4. Arsene was wearing specs when he first came to the EPL. Probably dug up the same old one knowing how he hates to spend money

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  5. That wet dream, bro. Add Sahin to the picture. That one made me come. I guarantee it works or get your money back

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    1. You took that line too literarily, Jaden. Hope you did it in the bathroom

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  6. Song isnt all that. We need to let him go and get a more defensive minded DM or maybe convert him to an attacking MF

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  7. how did vermaelen hand the armaband to RVP? TV5 was relaced at half time while RVP came on at the 70th minute, does that mean arsenal didn't start the second half with anyone wearing the arm band? plz clearify

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    1. Oh boy. That's one hell of a blunder. Thanks for pointing it out. Can't even remember who handed it over right now. But will surely investigate. Hate that I'll have to give credit to "anonymous" for this

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  8. cant wait for the season to start now. with cazorla and arteta in midfield and all the others complimenting we are reall contenders this time

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    1. Say that again, Youssef and this time shout it out loud

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  9. At last I can go into a new season with hope that we will win something . RVP and Song must not be allowed to go. gooner for life

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  10. Poldi was there to score a poacher's goal when we needed one. No frills just get on with it. Thats something we've lacked for a while now.

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  11. Giving that turncoat the captain's arm band is a total disgrace

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  12. Yea Tony, he should hav been stripped off it immediately after he released that piece of horse shit he did

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  13. Le-Grove for the first time in a long while was impressed with Wenger,lol. Went to his blog last night to check out his reaction. He however, said Wenger supporters shouldn't think that there's light at the end of the tunnel yet as he is of the opinion that we dispose of Song to bring in M'Villa.

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    Replies
    1. Lol. sometimes I think that dude wants Wenger dead. read the article too. I think he's talking through his a-hole though asking for Song to be sold

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