Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal | After The Euphoria Comes The Inquest


Every now and then, every football fan will see one game that he will never forget; one that he will remember exactly where he watched fifty years later, who he watched it with and most of the details.

In 1989, the Nigerian Flying Eagles came from 4-0 down against the USSR in the quarter-finals of the Under 21 championships. With 25 minutes to go, the deficit was overturned and we went on to win the game on penalties. No Nigerian of my generation will forget the game that came to be known as the "Miracle in Damman"

Watch Arsene Wenger Post-Reading Interview

Arsenal Vs Reading Highlights (High Definition)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Wenger's View Of QPR: 'We needed to be patient'



Wenger: 'We needed to be patient'

Dear Arsenal supporter,

We were delighted to get back to winning ways against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

It was important we won after losing our last two games. We had to wait for our chance and make sure we took it.

I was happy with the result because our confidence was a bit jaded.

QPR have quality and I don't think they will stay at the bottom of the league. We were a bit lucky they had Stephane Mbia sent off, because it made it easier for us to find a winner in the last 20 minutes. We played a serious game against a good team.

I made the decision to start Jack Wilshere and was impressed with his performance. Technically he was excellent and overall he produced a classy performance.

I didn't tell Jack I would be starting him until the morning of the game. Sometimes I think it's better to not have much time to think about the game when you have been out for such a long time. I also included him because I thought a player with his experience and class would give the team a lift.

We'll have to see how he responds from the game. He was kicked on Saturday and had no problem, which is a good sign.

It was also a big positive for us to see Bacary Sagna make his return. He did well and is physically ready.

Thanks for your support.


Arsène Wenger

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Over-analyzing Norwich



Recently, I read an interview in which Patrick Viera was quoted as saying that Arsenal has the ability to beat any team in the world. It was worthy praise from a man that the Arsenal faithful are divided about his current status -legend or traitor. There was a caveat at the end of that quote, "...but they also have the ability to lose to any team in the world too."

Monday, 22 October 2012

Wenger's View On Norwich: It was a shock to the system


Wenger: 'It was a shock to the system'

Dear Arsenal supporter,

We gave a disappointing performance against Norwich on Saturday.

I felt that we lacked a bit of sharpness throughout the game. We tried to get into our rhythm after 20 minutes but we missed what makes you successful at the top level - complete focus.

We certainly had a lot of the ball but ultimately we did not create much with that possession. It was an illusionary domination.

Mikel Arteta Reacts To Norwich Defeat

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Silent Guns | Who On Earth Loses To Norwich?


If ever there was a day to call the name Gunners to question, yesterday was it. What the fuck kind of gun fires like we did yesterday? I've seen us have some really bad days but yesterday was the daddy.

Norwich City! Who on earth loses to Norwich? They had played seven before us and won none. They are 19th on the damned table. Did we even take a shot at their goal in all of 90 minutes? Okay, I remember the one Arteta took in the last ten minutes or so that their keeper wrapped up comfortably. Other than that, did we threaten Norwich's goal?

Are we really title contenders? How can we possibly be that when we lose games such as this one? How can we hope to be up there with the title contenders in the last few weeks of the season?

It will be easy to chalk our loss to Norwich down to the goal that Mannone conceded which brought to fore his lack of any credible claim to becoming first choice keeper but the team as a whole was complete rubbish for all of 90 minutes.

It will be easy to chalk it down to a hangover from the international break but Chelsea, City and United had just as many players as us involved but they put up good shows yesterday and all of them took maximum points from their games. We knew this before we played later in the evening. We knew we needed a win to keep pace at the top.If we needed to be motivated, this was it.

It will be easy to chalk it down to the injuries we had ahead of the game but we had better quality in every position than Norwich  except maybe the goalkeeping position. No, Mannone isn't a top flight keeper. Neither is the man whose position he has usurped. I am talking about Fabianski because Mannone really has no chance of upstaging Szczesny. And if Szczesny is out injured and Fabianski is out for 3 months, what happens if anything happens to Mannone? Someone called Martinez will take over. We have a goalkeeper crisis but I guess that's the subject of another day's venting. Aaaaaaarggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Okay, maybe it's Wenger's fault -he's usually the easiest target on days like this. But come on he fielded the strongest possible side minus the injured. Should he have donned a jersey and taken to the field?

I don't think so. I think the team has to take responsibility for this one.It was such an unenergetic display from every single player that started the game yesterday except for Arteta. He put in a decent shift and his exasperation showed at various times

The depth we boasted at the beginning of the season is really neither here nor there, is it? Gnabry, an 18 year old prospect was the best we could do when we needed a rabbit to be pulled out of the hat. I didn't think so and he didn't.

This was a day when we should  have been celebrating Wilshere's return to the team after he was surprisingly [for lack of a better word] named in the match day squad. Just like I thought he was only there for show. We couldn't call on him when we needed a match winner and rightly so. Norwich defended desperately at times and someone may have sent him back to the horse placenta people

I really am tired and not in the mood for this blogging shit today.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Breakdown -Adrian Clarke Analyzes The Season So Far


After The Interlull | It's Norwich Away!


Two whole bleeding weeks without any real football. Really wasn't much else to do with all the extra time I had on my hands but to hole up in my man cave at every opportunity and tidy up all sorts of things I keep putting off for when I can find good time. Did come up from my semi-hibernation for 90 minutes last Saturday to watch the Super Eagles spank the Lone Stars of Liberia 6-1 to qualify for next year's African Cup of Nations.

Also took the time to get familiar with Fifa13 as well. Haven't been able to find much time for it since my ordered copy arrived. Have won some and lost some. While I like some of the new features, I really am pissed off with what EASports did with the first touch control -it's so difficult to bring the ball under control with the first touch now. Really will take some getting used to.

Watch Ray Parlour Teach Poldi A Few London Slangs

Arsene Wenger's Press Conference Pre- Norwich


Friday, 12 October 2012

Yawn! The Interlull! Yawn!




Yaaaaawn! One week without football and the international break is only halfway gone. Thankfully the first of the international games will be played this evening and we'll get to see a few games without any emotions and pray silently that all members of the red and white army who have been conscripted to go do battle for their various countries will return in one piece.

The club has confirmed that the Koscielney scare from yesterday was just that -a scare. He passed a medical examination yesterday afternoon and was back in training by evening.

Thankfully there are other ways to get Arsenal entertainment when the team is not doing it on the green grass.

Sagna graced the Twitter takeover couch recently and took on a few questions

 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Why I Welcomed This Interlull | The Squad Gets Deeper After The Break


I usually hate the international break with the kind of passion that I only reserve for bad breath and BO but this time I welcomed it with a loving bear hug and hoped to hibernate for the two weeks that it will last.

I welcomed the break because I saw Gibbs limp off against West Ham last Saturday and after watching his replacement, Santos for the rest of the game I was convinced that he isn't the ideal cover for Gibbs. I really am fond of that cheerfully disposed Brazillian but whatever else Andre Santos may bring to the team, defending isn't one of them. I will be glad to see Gibbs back, fit and ready to man that left-back position; the international break will afford him time to rest and get back to first team duties. He was on England's list for their two games during the international break but that injury against West Ham put paid to that.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Wenger: 'We passed an important test'


Dear Arsenal supporter,

We expected a difficult match at West Ham on Saturday and we were not disappointed.

It was a game with a lot of pace, where both teams went for it in different styles. It was a good test mentally as well, because we went 1-0 down to West Ham's first shot on goal.

But we came back, won the game and passed an important test of character.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Arsenal 3 -Olympiakos 1 | Winning Ugly | An Inquest Into Some Awful defending


Quite often we are accused of being more interested in playing pretty than grinding out a result when we really need to get a result. This time we dug in as the occasion demanded and ground out a result. No, it wasn't vintage Arsenal by any stretch of the imagination on the night but it's three points in the bag. Six points out of six. That is what the records will say and that is really all that matters. No one will remember the nail-biting ninety minutes that was endured to secure this win. No one will care that we didn't play well on the night. The only statistic that matters ultimately went in our favour. Arsenal 3 - Olympiakos 1.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Preview Olympiakos: Up Against The Geeks


First off, after reading the financial report released last week by Arsenal Holdings, it was easy to grasp the fact that the club had made what looked like very significant pre-tax profit but there was a lot more fiscal mumbo jumbo along with this good news that my poor little head found difficult to decipher. I didn't worry much because on Twitter I follow a fellow who goes by the odd name, The Swiss Rambler. I don't know anyone else who's more savvy about the business of football than he is and from experience I knew he wouldn't be able to resist dissecting and breaking it down for pinheads like me. He didn't disappoint. His piece 'Arsenal -The Song Remains The Same' is well worth the read and you will get an education while you are at it.

Watch Wenger Press Conference Pre-Olympiakos


wengoly by arsenalist

Monday, 1 October 2012

Wenger's Views On The Chelsea Game


Wenger: 'I felt that we gave the game away'

Dear Arsenal supporter,

We played against a good team on Saturday but I feel that we gave the game away.

Chelsea had three shots on target and scored two goals, from soft set-pieces. Defensively we were just not at the level you have to be in a game like that, and we were punished for it.

My players showed plenty of quality and spirit but we have to show personality and authority to ensure we do not concede goals in that manner.

We did not attack the ball on either goal and you could see that the main difference between ourselves and Chelsea was in the air. That made a difference.

In big games like this it is vital not to make mistakes because every time you are behind in a big game you have a 65 per cent chance to lose. We came back at Manchester City last week and did so again against Chelsea, but then straight away we gave away another goal.

After that you have to take risks and you open yourself up because you are playing against good players and they can hit you on the counter-attack.

We had our chances, with Olivier Giroud going close right at the end. It was a good opportunity and I have to say that Petr Cech kept Chelsea in the game at times - he was outstanding.

There could be an over-reaction to a defeat like this but we will deal with that. What is important is the personality you show in a big game. We were not at the right level in that respect.

We have another big game coming up against Olympiacos on Wednesday so let's focus on that now and get the right result. We have made a strong start in the Champions League and we want to keep that going.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Arsenal Ladies after they won the Women's Super League on Sunday. It is a tremendous achievement and they now have a chance to complete an unbeaten season next weekend.

Thanks for your support.


Arsène Wenger
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