Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Arsenal Transfer Window Preview Part 2- January 2009

Morning all. Last day of 2008 has come and I'm still alive and if you're reading this so are you so congratulations on making it through another year. Yesterday I ran down the first half of our January transfer preview for Arsenal and today I'm going to finish that off with the second half of who we should buy and maybe even a little who we should sell. We did central defenders and central midfielders yesterday, so that leaves us our wide and attacking players for today.

Let's look at what we have so far out wide. We have Nasri, who is certainly a quality player as long as he can stay healthy, which hasn't been as much as you'd like. There is Eboue, who is really a right back and has been forced onto the wing and really isn't very effective out there. Rosicky is ALWAYS hurt and probably won't play for us anymore barring a miraculous recovery from his injury that has kept him out for a year. And of course we have Theo, who is out for a couple more months but he really looked great at the start of this year until the time of his injury. Diaby is also used out wide occasionally but he is a central midfielder and we really shouldn't accept having to play someone out of position so much.

So it is clear that we really could use a wide player, at least to add some depth while Theo is out and hopefully to create some competition for places with say, Eboue. There has been a ton of talk about Andrei Arshavin ever since Russia's run at Euro 2008. He was good at the Euro's, yes I'll give you that, but do we really know how he would adapt to the Premiership? He's 27 years old and would command a huge fee, yet he hasn't been tested in a top flight league. I'm going to come right out and say that I don't want Arsenal to buy Arshavin. Sp*rs bought Pavlyuchenko because of his performances in the Euro's alongside Arshavin and he hasn't worked out great for them. I just don't see him as the best option and I hope we look somewhere else. That somewhere else could be Mikel Arteta of Everton. Reports are in already that we will make a 12 million pound bid for him, which could be enough to get him from Everton. He's a huge player for them who they won't want to part with but for the right price they would have to accept, especially since the player would most likely want to come play for Arsenal. He's been playing in the Premiership for a long time so he has that needed experience which would hopefully mean he could make an immeadiate impact. He is very versatile as well meaning that he could play in Cesc's role while he is injured and move out wide or alongside him when Cesc returns. He's also good on set pieces and he really just looks like a better option to me. Another option I could think of hasn't had as much talk as the other two but as I said yesterday, Valencia are strapped for cash and a very good player on their team just happens to play on the wing. I'm talking about Silva, who plays with Cesc for Spain. I have no idea what kind of fee he would command but he is a great player and would surely benefit any team he was in.

Moving on to the strikers and you'd have to say that if we were totally set for players in a posititon then it would be at striker. We have two good strikers in RvP and Adebayor who can get the job done at the top flight as well as Eduardo, plus some youngsters like Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner in waiting. I'll admit though that I'm not a big Bendtner fan. I think he gives off the impression that he is not trying hard a lot of times when he is on the pitch and it really bothers me. A lot of times when he plays it is up front by himself and when you're up top by yourself it really requires a lot of movement from you, which he doesn't seem to have. Sure he scores the odd good goal sometimes but I think his attitude of entitlement is a problem and if we received a decent offer for him I suggest we take it. If we were to bring in a striker, which we won't, then my personal choice would be Sergio "Kun" Aguero.

Last but not least we need to talk about which players we want leaving if we had our choice. Players that are not Arsenal calibre who are playing for Arsenal and should not be. Alex Song immeadiately springs to mind. He's not good enough in midfield or in defense to ever be a first eleven player and really makes me nervous even when he comes on in reserve or as a sub. When you look at other top clubs do you see players of Alex Song's skill level? Not really, and if there is one, then they don't play nearly as much as Song does for us. I also think Eboue would do well with a change of scenery. He hasn't really improved on the wing ever since he was moved there and he certainly won't ever be better than Sagna at right back. He's decent cover but even when Sagna has been out the boss has chosen to use other people instead of him at right back, which should tell you something. As I mentioned, I don't think Bendtner has much of a future here at Arsenal and I think an offer for him would see him gone.

Now by point behind this is that we can't afford to sell ANY players without having signed or having every intention of signing quality replacements for them. Our squad has shown that it is too then and we really need to grow it not sell more. We sold Hleb, Gilberto, and Flamini (I know, he left, he wasn't sold) without really bringing in any replacements and we can't have that again.

So that's about it. The transfer window opens in 12 hours, while we'll all be ringing in the New Year. I hope all of you have a fantastic 2009 and that Arsenal do as well. Everyone drink up, hook up, do drugs if that is your thing, just make it a great start to the New Year! Make sure you check out the forums if you never have or leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are! Cheers! I'll leave you with this video to go into the New Year. Warning: Semi-offensive and also hilarious material.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arsenal Transfer Window Preview Part 1- January 2009

What's up everybody? As there is only one day left in 2008 and we move to 2009, I figured I'd take the time today to put together a little bit of a transfer window preview, looking at some options that could come in. Obviously Arsene is one who normally surprises everyone and buys players that nobody expects and/or have never been heard of before, so this could be way off but like I said, it's just possibilities and will hopefully start some good discussion.

So to start off, we have to figure out which areas of the squad need to be addressed. I think the two glaring holes are in the center of defense and in midfield. Some people say we need a keeper but I think Almunia has shown that he is a quality keeper worthy of his spot in the team.

So for the defender, we have to look at what we have and what we need in turn. William Gallas is a 31 year old smaller center back who has shown a penchant for scoring goals and also allowing goals on set pieces. Sometimes he looks great and others he looks like the worst player on the pitch. He's not getting any younger, and his leadership has certainly been questionable. Kolo Toure used to be a very stable defender for us and is in the same mold as Gallas in terms of size and style. He seems to have lost some of what he had before in terms of quality in the past year. Mikael Silvestre is pretty bloody awful and shouldn't really ever play in a team that has title ambitions every year. Johann Djourou looks quite good and is still young. He's bigger than Kolo and Gallas and should only get better with time. Fairly good on the headers and pretty good at marking.

I think what we need in defense is another player in the style of Djourou who can win the long balls that have become a staple of the Premiership. An experienced player who maybe wouldn't command a huge fee. Sol Campbell's departure, while he was getting old, really did take a lot of experience and physicality out of our defense. We need somebody who can rough up opposing strikers. Now who that is I don't know. In the summer we were linked with Raul Albiol, who plays for Valencia. He's got good size and speed and can play in defense or as a defensive midfielder. Valencia have also had some finanacial troubles so they would probably sell if the right offer came in. Steven Taylor is a young player with Premiership experience that has good size and strength and looks to have a bright future as well. Hard to tell how much he would cost but it could be an option. Cristian Zapata is another player we have been linked with in the past year and could still be an option. I think any of those three could be real possibilities due to the fact that they are all currently playing at top level clubs in top leagues which gives them the experience to play for a club like ours in a league like the Premiership. They all have size and strength and will probably all get better over time.

If you have any others you can think of feel free to leave them in the comments.

The other main area we need to address as soon as possible is in midfield. We've been sorely lacking in the holding role since the departure of Mathieu Flamini AND Gilberto Silva left in the summer. Looking back, that was not the best idea to let Gilberto leave after Flamini left, but now we have a hole there that needs to be filled. I have seen mention of Scott Parker, since he can play in that role and he is used to the Premiership since he plays for West Ham. He's 28 years old so that might reduce the fee for him some, but I don't know how he would fit into the Arsenal style of play. Of course we had all the talk of Xabi Alonso in the summer, but it never worked out, reportedly because of a 2 million pound difference in what they wanted for him and what we offered. Let me tell you, it's not going to happen. Liverpool are fighting for the title and he's been playing quite a lot for them this season. I doubt they'd sell him and even if they wanted to then the fee would be higher now than it was and I don't know if he'd want to come and battle for 4th instead of a title. Marcos Senna of Villareal has also been linked with us, and he could be an affordable option because of his age. He wouldn't be a long term solution by any means but he could be at the top of his game for another two years or so.

That's about it for part 1 of the transfer preview. I'll get to part 2 tomorrow. If you have any ideas of who YOU would like to sign, feel free to leave it in the comments or any other thoughts you want to put out there. One more day in 2008, enjoy it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quick Arsenal-Portsmouth Preview

Morning all. Just a quick one today as I've got a busy day ahead and honestly I'm really so tired that I can barely write. We play Portsmouth in 45 minutes and see the first return of Tony Adams as an opposing manager. Pompey have been pretty terrible since he took over, and since we're playing at home we really need this to be a win.

While you never like to see anyone injured, I can't say I'm too bothered that Alex Song will miss this game through injury, and possibly Johann Djourou as well. Clichy should be back giving us a back four of Sagna-Toure-Gallas-Clichy, which on paper looks really good but we have seen that it is clearly otherwise. Emmanuel Adebayor is back after serving his suspension for a B.S. red card against the scousers. Obviously Eduardo, Rosicky, Cesc, and Theo are all still out.

We really need to pull off a win today. We're on our best run of the season, 5 games without defeat, and Pompey have had three straight defeats. Our class needs to show through to get a result here, and we could really use a Villa loss; and while we're at it how about a United and Chelsea loss too.

Arsene Wenger has said that Tony Adams will one day become a great manager, and I hope he does. I just hope it isn't today against us.

"He [Adams] was a great leader but there is a difference (between being a captain and manager).

"He will certainly be a great manager and he has the qualities needed to become one."

Alright that's about all the time I have this morning. Match is in thirty minutes so everyone kick back and enjoy what we'll hope will be a convincing win. Come on you Gunners!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

No Defense for This Type of Defense

Well if you forgot we had a match yesterday, woke up knowing we didn't have Cesc or Adebayor, and saw that we had drawn 2-2 at Aston Villa, you would have thought it was a good result for us. However, if you actually watched the match, then you realize that we should have been able to hold on for a win. Was it our best performance? Hardly. But anytime you are up 2-0 in the second half you need to be stout enough to hold on for a win. Gallas brought down Agbonlahor for a penalty that Gareth Barry converted, and then our ultimate failure came in extra time. A cross came in from the right side to the left of the box and a simple one touch back in to the middle of the box for Zat Knight spelled our demise. He took the chance well and hit it right into the back of the net as the clock was about to run out.

Looking at the replay just makes you feel sick. It's the 92nd minute in a match that you are leading and we only have three defenders in our box when they are sending crosses in. Why are we so far up the pitch when there is so little time left while defending a lead? It's coming down to the wire and we're letting them pass it around in our box like they're on a damn training pitch. Can anyone really argue now that Senderos is not as good as Silvestre? What was the purpose of buying him? Did Wenger really still think he was a quality player or did he just want an extra body to put in defense? I can only imagine, but he just isn't very good.

While Arsene Wenger is still talking about winning the title, I think our goals must now change. Liverpool are ten points up on us halfway through the season, and are playing much better than us. And while we have shown that we can play with the best teams on our day, our consistency has been awful this year and a realistic expectation needs to be just qualification for the Champions League next season. We are three points behind Aston Villa and Manchester United now, with United having two games in hand. We have only nine wins and five losses so far, which is hardly a statistic to brag about. It will be an uphill battle with Villa playing so well, and I am hoping that a couple of buys in January will strengthen our squad enough to overtake them. In the end I still think we are the better team with better players, but it is the mental side of the game that we must adapt to in order to take back our Champions League spot.

While a lot of the fault does reside in our defence, our midfielders must also be back helping to close down and defend. When we only had three in the box on that last goal they were all defenders. You would hope that you would have some of your midfielders coming back to help in that situation but none of them are even close to the ball.

We've all been over who we think we need to bring in. Some have said Arteta, some have said Xabi Alonso, and still others have been wanting a defender. I think we could probably use all three, but I still want a defender more than anything. Gallas is very incosistent, Toure has not been at his best all year, and Silvestre is just not very good. The problem is, which defender would you buy? I'll leave that up to Arsene Wenger, because he is one of the best at finding talents from abroad. But let there be no doubt that we cannot continue like this.

I must have a little bit today on Bacary Sagna, who was truly inspired yesterday. I've always loved Sagna and he put on one of his best performances for Arsenal yesterday. He was brilliant from start to finish and definitely was man of the match for me. I also will give some credit to Denilson for taking the advantage when a little opening was given to him in the first half. Against the run of play, he struck and we took advantage of it. Credit to him.

So it's on to Portsmouth next, who have been pretty dreadful since Tony Adams took over, unfortunately for him. It is however, a chance we need to take to get three points. The January transfer window is only days away, and we may, for the first time in awhile, see some new players coming in in that window. We need to fight on. The Champions League is not far out of our reach and we have to want it more than Aston Villa wants it. Let's go Arsenal, Come on you Gunners!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Arsenal Christmas List

Today is Christmas Eve, and I will be departing in an hour to go spend it with my entire family, but I figured I'd do a quick Christmas post before all the festivities begin. I think an Arsenal Christmas list is in order so I've put one together for the rest of the season. If you think of any fun additions go ahead and leave them in the comments. These are in no particular order by the way.

1. Someone who can play in place of Cesc while he is out. Diaby is not Cesc, nor is Denilson, Ramsey, Song, or anyone else on our team. We need to buy someone to play the rest of this year in Cesc's spot while he is out. I could think of a couple of names but Arsene never buys anyone that we've heard of so I think it's best to just say we need SOMEONE there.

2. To stay undeafeated against the rest of the "Big Four." We've done it so far, with 2 wins and a draw, and I think it'd be great to be able to keep it that way the rest of the year. It will obviously be tougher without our captain but at least we would be able to say we didn't lose to any of them even once.

3. To beat Tottenham Hotspur at Shite Hart Lane. They screwed us over at the Emirates and we really owe them a beating. The only thing better than destroying them at home is destroying them on the road.

4. To stay in the Top Four. We've struggled this year, and fallen out of the top four, with Villa slipping in our spot. We NEED to make it into the Champions League next year, and so we really need to get back into at least 4th spot.

5. A new defender. I think that goes without saying. Djourou has turned in some good performances but since I think Gallas' time at Arsenal is nearing it's in we could use a good, tall, strong defender.

6. A holding midfielder better than Alex Song. Sorry, but Alex is just not good enough to be playing this much for Arsenal. Give us somebody better please. Again, not going to name names but a quality DM is just what we need.

7. Keep Usmanov out of Arsenal. There has been some drama within the Arsenal boardroom lately and it may be an opening for Alisher "As Large As Russia Itself" Usmanov to buy his way into the boardroom. We can't have it. He's a wanker who knows nothing about football or Arsenal or how to not be a cunt. Please Arsenal, do not let him in, at any cost.

8. A Trophy. It's going to be tough without our captain, but we still have at least two chances for silverware in the FA Cup and the Champions League. We'd all love a trophy, so let's do it Arsenal!

That's my Arsenal Christmas list. If we could get half of those things it'd be awesome but all of them would make it the best Christmas ever.

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you enjoy spending time with your family and I hope you all have wonderful times! Cheers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Eduardo Returns Tomorrow!

Hooray, the day has finally arrived. Well actually it is still a day away but we can start the official countdown now. Eduardo is making his long awaited return to playing for Arsenal, albeit in the reserves. After that horrific injury he went through I think everyone has been looking forward to see how he would recover and come back and he's recovered more quickly than I thought he could have. He's been in training for a while now and Arsene Wenger thinks he's ready to take to the field in a match situation, and I can't wait.

I'll admit, before Eduardo's injury I wasn't his biggest fan. Not saying I didn't like the guy, he just wasn't my favorite player, but now he's right up there. How can you not respect and like a guy who fights back from an injury like that? Plus he is a good, proven goal scorer and we could certainly use that. I'm certainly going to be nervous every time someone goes in for a tackle on him though. I'm sure he will too but hopefully he is not too apprehensive and gets through it without any problems. A lot of times after you recover from an injury you play trying NOT to get hurt and not playing naturally and a lot of times those are the times you end up getting injured, so we'll hope he is in a good state mentally. I haven't heard an interview with him lately so I really don't know how he is feeling but I'm sure he's glad to be back.

I hope nobody expects too much from him. Remember that he hasn't played since February and his leg was horribly injured and it's his first match back. Successfully completing 45 minutes should be considered a success and should help him get his confidence back in his ability to use the leg in a match. Anything he can do on top of that is just fantastic and I can't wait to see him back for the first team soon. We're all rooting for you Eddy, knock em dead!

In other news, Emmanuel Eboue says he is going to silence the fans who were booing him at the Emirates.

"It was sad. I did not expect that reaction from the public because I have always given all for Arsenal. But I am a professional and I have respect for the reactions of the crowd. The manager has encouraged me in the last few days and told me that you get over these things by working harder and fighting. He has promised me that if I give 200 per cent in every game, the fans will applaud me again."
Yes indeed, the fans will applaud you if you give 200 per cent in every game. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be your thing really so we'll see if you stick to it. Fans cheer for players who give everything for the team, so try it.

And the last thing for today is Salamanca wanting to take Carlos Vela on loan again. He's been on loan there last season but I can't see him being sent out again this year. Our squad really isn't deep enough to lose anymore players so I'll expect him to stay with Arsenal. He's a great player with a great future and I hope we get to see more of him in the weeks to come.

That's all I've got for today. I'll probably try to get something up tomorrow so I'll talk to you then. Everyone support Eduardo tomorrow! Cheers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Champions League Draw, And a Youngster Could Be Leaving

Morning all. 2-0 loss to Porto yesterday with a sub-par side shows us finishing second in the group. It really was an abject performance and I'm pretty sick of seeing a midfield of poor players (Song) and out of position players (Ramsey, Diaby). It didn't help that we had Clichy and Sagna out in defense either but the fact of the matter is the game didn't mean a whole lot since we were already qualified. Being in second though gives us an option of Roma, Panathanaikos, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the first knockout round. Obviously you'd think the easiest draw out of all of those would be Panathanaikos, and it would also see a return for Gilberto Silva, who would certainly get a good reception. I'd like to see us draw them but I really wouldn't mind Roma or Juventus. Panathanikos finished top of their group over Inter Milan and looked really good throughout the group stages, so it wouldn't be an easy tie for certain but I think we are the better team there. Plus, I want to see Gilberto back. If we HAD finished top of the group, the possible opponents would have been Inter, Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Lyon. Probably a bit easier as a whole considering you have the second leg at home then but that's what happens when you play a below par squad in a Champions League match, you lose.

So the draw for that knockout round will be made next Friday, and I'll try to get the results of that up right after they come out if possible. Who would you all like to see us face?

Johann Djourou says it doesn't matter to him that we finished second in the group.

"I don't think it matters.

"When you get through to the last 16 they're all great teams, so I don't think there's anyone in particular we want to avoid."

Right you are Johann and the moral of the story is to win the competition you have to get all the other teams out at some point anyway, so it doesn't really make much difference who you beat first.

In some young gunner news today, it appears Jay Simpson will be allowed to go out on loan, and it will probably be to a Premiership club. Hull and West Brom are thought to be the favorites to sign him for the rest of the season according to Sky Sports. I think it would be fantastic if he could go out and get some playing time for either of those teams, particularly Hull. Playing time at a young age is very valuable especially in a side that is overachieving and willing to go and attack like Hull is. If they put the offer in I really think Arsene should accept it. He won't play here so we might as well let him go somewhere and play in the same league to really see how he does.

And last but not least, Mike Silvestre says there is still time for the squad to "grow up" before the end of the season and win some silverware. Maybe if Silvestre was a better defender then it would help contribute to that hypothesis. Still though, his point is valid. There is still a lot of season left to go and we can still win the FA Cup, the League, or the Champions League.

C'mon you Gunners!

One more thing, if you are into theme parks then please do check out the link at the right for Amusement Life. They are a great up and coming hub for all amusement news, reviews, reports, and information. It's being run by my best friend, so please do check out his website. Cheers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Reaction To Eboue, and More

Morning all. It seems people still want to talk about what happened with Emmanuel Eboue in the match Saturday, and since there isn't much else to write about today, that's what we'll continue with. I said yesterday that paying fans should be allowed to boo if they want, and when a player plays terribly and/or doesn't show effort, then why should he not be booed? Just because they play for Arsenal means ANY type of performance is acceptable and we should just clap them off? The way I see it, we want players who want to play hard and play well for Arsenal, and while everyone has a bad game once in awhile, Eboue's appearance Saturday was absoultely abject.

Richard Williams of the Guardian says that Eboue's treatment was unfair and his tears shamed all of the booing fans. Richard Williams is wrong. There is not a single case I can think of where it would be acceptable behaviour for a proffessional footballer to cry over being booed, no matter who does it. You get paid more than most of us can even dream to do something most of us would do for free, playing for Arsenal. Man up Eboue. Crying like you are ten years old and just missed a penalty is not going to make anyone feel sorry for you and regret booing your shite performance. Man's game bitch. Eboue isn't good enough to play in our first team anyway, and if we actually had a deeper squad he probably wouldn't, so it's not like this is his first bad performance for Arsenal. If you pay tons of money for tickets and you get pissed off at Eboue, go ahead and boo him. He needs to play better or accept criticism better.

Emmanuel Adebayor says it doesn't matter how we play, it just matters if we win. I think he's half right. We all want to play beautifully yes, but I think more importantly we want to win. It'd be nice if we could always do both, but that isn't going to happen. I think against the sides that go out to defend against us we need to have a "score at all costs" motto going into it. These seem to be the games where we have great build up play that leads to nothing. In the second half of the season we really need to get results against these weaker teams and Adebayor is right on there, we need to win, not play beautifully.

So we have a match against Porto tomorrow that will determine who finishes top of our Champions League group. It's a rare match we can all enjoy without any stress at all. We're already qualified and I don't really think it matters much if you finish 1st or 2nd in the group. You have to beat every team left in it anyway at some point, so I don't think it matters in what order they fall. I'd like to see Kolo get to play with Djourou again, and I'd suspect some fringe players like Bendtner and/or Vela will get to play. I think we can get a win. We beat them 4-0 at the Grove and we are the better team. It is tough to play in Portugal though, so it may turn out to be a draw. Either way I'll just enjoy watching the match.

And for the people like C10-Goona who think you are not an Arsenal supporter if you don't agree with their definition of a supporter, please go read another blog or just keep your mouth shut on this one. Just because I have an opinion different from yours does not mean I am not a supporter. I don't think I would write an Arsenal blog for over a year if I wasn't a fan. I don't have that kind of time and neither does anyone else. So like I said, Arsenal fans need to quit telling other Arsenal fans they are "not supporters" or should "go support Chelsea" because it's just stupid. Last I checked there isn't a chairman of Arsenal fans that decides whether you are a fan or not. So please shut your mouth or get a new site to comment on.

That's about it for the day. Hope for a win tomorrow and hope Chelsea, Liverpool, and United all lose just because life is better that way. Cheers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rosicky Out Until At Least March, Eduardo Back Soon

Morning all. Bad news today. Coming off our 1-0 win over Wigan we find out today that Tomas Rosicky will be out until at least March. He's been out since last January so it'll be at least a 14 month recovery (longer than Eduardo's broken leg) for a hamstring injury. I think it is fairly safe to say that Tomas' career is in serious jeopardy. They have set dates for his return before now and each time they have pushed it back so we really can't even hold our breath for march. It's a shame that he's injured, but he's had a habit of that since coming to Arsenal and honestly I'm more worried about the health of Arsenal as a whole than the health of Rosicky's hamstring. Being injured really messed us up last year as we were short of wide players going into the title stretch. It's also forced us to buy Samir Nasri (who I think is a great player) when we maybe could and would have normally used it to buy a defender or central midfielder. If he doesn't make it back before the end of the season, then I can't see him ever playing another match for Arsenal. His constant injury problems make him not worth the quality he provides when healthy. So for his sake and the team's, let's hope he can make it back by March.

In better injury news though, Eduardo will be playing in only eight days! Arsene Wenger says he'll play December 16th against the Portsmouth reserves. I'm pretty excited about watching it (thanks ArsenalTV Online) and I'm really really hoping he comes through with flying colors. He's been out so long with such a devastating injury and you don't really know how he'll react to being out in a competitive situation again. The best analogy I could come up with was Top Gun. In Top Gun, when Goose and Maverick eject from the plane and Goose slams into the canopy and is killed, it really rattles Maverick, just like Eduardo's injury will have undoubtebly rattled him. Viper gets him back in the air though as soon as possible but Maverick is still a little tentative and not at his best, but with time he becomes more comfortable being back where he belongs and succeeds in battle. Eduardo, too, will be a bit nervous about his leg and how it will react to playing a match. With time though he'll feel comfortable on it and make a full recovery, and return to top goal-scoring form. Good luck Eddy, can't wait to have you back. I put in the great clip from Top Gun here in case you haven't seen it.

One last thing, Kolo Toure wants the fans to lay off the "heckling" of Eboue. In all fairness, it was his first game back in six weeks but when you play badly then people are well within their rights to boo you. If you pay for a ticket to the match you should be able to boo someone for a poor performance. Eboue was absoultely awful on Saturday and the boos were warranted. You never see a player substituted on and then back off later in the match, and he was. That just shows you how bad he was. If he can't handle a few boos then he is in the wrong proffession. Man up Eboue and play better, and try harder, and then you won't hear the boos. If you keep playing how you have played for us for the last year or so though, it will continue.

That's about all I've got. Maybe I'll do a podcast at the end of the week but I haven't decided yet. We'll see if I get enough emails from you all. ArseNole{@} Cheers.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Questions Remain About Arsenal

Morning all, or afternoon, depending where you are and when you read this. I really need to write more on here. I'm still trying to get the new site ready for it's debut and it's taking much longer than expected so I'm going to be sticking with this one for awhile.

So what has happened in the past week? Well, we played Chelsea last Sunday. It was one of the rare Sunday matches I got to see and I even got my girlfriend to watch it with me. And the match was stressful and fantastic all at once. Coming off defeats to Villa and Man City I'll admit I wasn't too optimistic going into the match and when Djourou was unlucky with the own goal I figured there wasn't much of a way back considering the opposition. I was wrong however and we got a gift to make it 1-1 on a goal where RvP was clearly offside but I haven't heard one Arsenal fan complain about it. Just a minute later we scored again and this time nobody could have any complaints about the referrees or anything else, it was just brilliant. RvP acted out of instinct I think and just sent it in the far corner and I got a rug burn from sliding on the carpet when it went in. We held on pretty easily after that and it was another great result which brought about yet more questions.

Why is it that we can lose 2-0 at home to Aston Villa and 3-0 away to Manchester City but win 2-1 against United and Chelsea? It's frustrating to no end and there isn't a clear answer in sight. Is it a lack of effort against the "smaller" teams or is it only being able to really get themselves up for a match against the top top clubs? When your losses on the season are mostly against teams from the bottom half of the table you really have to question a lot. It's wonderful beating all our big rivals but when you are losing to Stoke and Fulham it doesn't mean nearly as much.

We know that our squad isn't deep enough, certainly, but we've had lineups like the ones that beat Chelsea all season. It was lucky to have Sagna and Adebayor back for sure, but we should have a large enough squad to make up for their absences when they do get injured. January I think will probably see us buy a couple of players, although the victories against Chelsea and United I fear may lead Arsene Wenger to vindication for his experiment and say that no changes are needed. But two wins do not make a season. Sylvestre was a useless buy, and we still need another defender. I think if an offer comes in for Gallas, we should probably take it. Djourou should be starting every game for us now. We need a new midfielder or two as well. Song isn't good enough to play for Arsenal consistently and while I love Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, having a 16 year old on the bench isn't a good sign. I think with Eduardo coming back we will be set at striker, as Vela has shown his quality plus we have Ade and RvP. I think Bendtner is a terribly frustrating player who looks lazy every time he comes on the pitch, but he does have his moments. His pink boots though, are awful.

So to sum it up I suppose, is that the team needs to be able to get itself up for matches against the lower teams just like it has for the top 4 teams. Cesc is undefeated as captain and may his reign be long and prosperous. May the footballing Gods shine on Arsenal through this busy christmas season and January transfer window, and let's hope we keep playing like we did against Chelsea! Up the Gunners!