Monday, December 14, 2009

Arshavin's Brilliance Gives Arsenal Vital Win

We're back in it. This past weekend was just about as good of a weekend as we could have asked for in the Premiership. Chelsea dropped points at home to Everton, Man City drew with Bolton, and best of all, United lost at home to Aston Villa. Meanwhile, we played on Sunday, and it was a rough match up at Anfield vs Liverpool. Arsenal came out on top, and really showed some grit and character in the process. Down 1-0 at halftime, and inspired by a special Arsene Wenger team talk, the team fought back through an own goal from Glen Johnson and an absolute cracker from Arshavin gave us all three points and effectively put Liverpool in a position where they have a real uphill battle just to get fourth. So now we're only 3 points back of United and only 6 points behind Chelsea, with a game in hand. After we lost to Chelsea not many people would have put us in such a good position right now, but here we are and we're looking fantastic.

Arshavin's goal was really something special. This is the only link I could find for it now that hasn't been removed from YouTube. If you're really lucky, like me, you'll be a member of ArsenalTV Online and can just watch it over and over in high quality. It really was amazing though.

One of the main talking points for the match was Arsene Wenger's team talk at half time. Apparently it was a lot more harsh than it normally is, because Cesc had this to say about it:

"The boss screamed. I've never seen him like that before. He was really disappointed in the first half and said we didn't deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt if we played like that. And I think he was right. In the second half we turned it around."

Arsene Wenger gettin nice with it. I like that, even though I couldn't picture yelling saying that the players don't deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt. I think it's probably what the team needed though, as they turned around the result at a place where it's hard to get any result at all. He's normally a calm guy all the time, so you can see where this would have gotten a reaction from the players in this case, and that was exactly what was needed. He can't pull this out all the time, but he chose the time carefully and it paid off. There's only one Arsene Wenger!

After the match, Arsene had this to say:

"We were a bit lucky with our first goal, but the fear was in the Liverpool camp in the second half. It was an outstanding second goal and from then on Liverpool's pace dropped. Afterwards we were not under any real threat. For us, it gets us back into it. Mathematically we're in a good position again, especially with our game in hand. We knew with what happened with the results yesterday (Saturday), that we needed to win here. We did so and that's something very positive. Now it is down to consistency."

Consistency is exactly what it is down to. Beating Liverpool means nothing if we lose other matches that we should win. There are more losses by the top teams in the Premier League this year than I can remember in quite some time, so it's going to be all about who can stay consistent and beat the teams that they should beat.

So looking ahead to the next few league matches, we have Burnley away, home to Hull, home to Villa, and away to Pompey to close out the month. So three teams near the bottom of the table, and Villa, who just beat United at home. Burnley all really tough at Turf Moor so that one certainly won't be easy, just ask Alex Ferguson. It's a stretch of games that worries me honestly, but on paper you'd say it's easier than the last month we've had. We just seem to have most of our problems against the "weaker" sides in the league and we have three of them out of the next four matches.

It's a good time to be an Arsenal supporter. We play the best football, our players aren't cunts, and we're in with a shout in the title hunt. Raise your banners high, and come on you Gunners!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Arsenal Looking For Strong Draw In Champions League

Hello everyone. So the Champions League group stage finished up yesterday, and Arsenal comfortably topped their group even though we lost 1-0 yesterday to Olimpiakos. We played almost all youngsters because the match didn't matter and we were looking ahead to Liverpool this weekend. So today I wanted to talk about the possibilities for who we can draw in the next round, and they are as follows:

AC Milan, Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Porto, Lyon, Inter, and Stuttgart.

My theory on this (which is not really a theory but a well known fact) is that you have to beat the best teams to win the competition anyway, so it doesn't really matter who you face when, because eventually you have to beat them all. But in this case, I think I'd rather leave the work of knocking out Bayern and Inter to somebody else, like Chelsea or United or Barca. They're both strong teams when they're playing well, which is often for Inter and not nearly as often for Bayern, and could give us a rough time.

The only other team I'd like to avoid in the next round is CSKA Moscow. Not because it's an especially tough match up for us, but because I don't want the team to have to travel to Russia in the middle of the week. It doesn't bode well for the weekend fixture if you're traveling thousands of miles Tuesday or Wednesday.

As for AC Milan, Porto, Lyon, or Stuttgart...bring it on. I think we would beat any of those teams over two legs quite comfortably. Stuttgart looked good yesterday, but I would still fancy us to beat them after two legs. Lyon can be tough on their day, and they do have the keeper I'd like to have at Arsenal (Hugo Lloris), but we'd beat them as well.

As for the match yesterday, I thought Ramsey was exceptional, Merida had a very good first half, and Song was as solid as ever. Biggest disappointments for me were certainly Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela (who just signed a new contract today.) Walcott especially is starting to worry me. He's been in the first team for over three years now and has regressed if anything. I know he's had a bad run of injuries but yesterday he looked awful. First touch was especially bad, and he consistently seems to make poor decisions on the pitch. Hopefully he'll come around with more playing time, but I'm starting to wonder if Theo will ever make it at Arsenal.

Overall though I was impressed with the Young Goons, going to Greece and playing well for most of the match. The average age of the squad was 20, and that was WITH a 32 year old Silvestre playing. Now that's a young team. They should all feel happy about their performance, even if they aren't happy about the result. Many bright futures are on the way.

Alright, that's enough for today. Let me know your thoughts on who you want in the draw.

"Smoke weed talk sh*t like Lane Kiffin."

Tiger Woods' wife is a gold digger.