Final game of the season, Wilshere dropped form the under 21 squad? and another Fabregas Story!

May 22, 2011

To start off with, I would like all Gooners to stand up and give a great round of applause to the Arsenal Ladies for winning the FA cup yesterday. Congratulations to them!

Coming to matters at hand, only a few hours are left for EPL season to officially end. Except the relegation battle there is nothing exciting to look forward to. I hope that Blackpool does survive though. As for the Gooners, I believe many of you will be looking ahead to the long summer and hoping for some positive changes at Arsenal.

We are up against Fulham and to be honest there is nothing much to say about the game. It will be a nice change just to win and to end the season on a high. We may even finish third but don’t hold your breath.  

Arsene Wenger, however, is adamant that there is still something to play for.

“I feel there is something to play for because Man City still have a difficult game at Bolton. We know that through our own experience up there. So that means it is down to us to just try and win our game. If they win, they win. The most important thing is that we are responsible and fight for our future.”

I hope the players are on the same wavelength.

An interesting report has come up today. The Mirror is saying that we are prepared to sell Fabregas  to Barcelona if the price is in the range of £50 million. Whatever their source I don’t believe it. It is the final day of the season and it is the first of many stories that we will see this summer. Till the time Arsene Wenger comes up with anything, I am not buying any speculation about Fabregas.

The Mirror is also reporting some good news. They say that Stuart Pearce has finally omitted Jack Wilshere (and Andy Carroll) form the England under 21 squad. I cannot say what made him change his mind although I won’t bet on common sense. I hope it is true because Wilshere badly needs a rest as he has played insane amounts of football this season. He is only 19 and playing this much football without rest will be only harmful for him.  And we don’t want a tired player at the start of next season.

And then there were the usuall rumors of Gary Cahill and Chris Samba to Arsenal. I hope we sign Cahill though!!

That I guess is all for now. I want this season to end but I know I will miss the football badly.  The speculations and rumors will continue no doubt and there will be many surprises but it will take some time to adjust to weekends without football.

Have a good day and a great summer. For now just savour the final game of the season before the long summer starts!


Arsenal vs Liverpool: Preview and Starting Eleven

April 17, 2011

Today we start our final push for the title. We host a resurgent Liverpool at the Emirates and no less than three points is what we require.

This is our title deciding week and I hope the team is ready to deal with it because it won’t be easy at all.

It has been a long time since we drew in the opening game of the season against Liverpool. With Liverpool going through many ups and down since then, with defeats against bottom placed teams to massive wins against top teams, they have been somewhat very unpredictable. However, under Dalglish they have been a changed side and make no mistake today’s game is going to be very difficult if we are to get the three points.

With their spending in the January window, they look more stable and have added two dimensions to their attack. With Andy Carroll, they can play the aerial route football and with Luis Suarez they can play the quick passing game. They will no doubt mix it up and it will be up to our defense to deal with them. With Dirk Kuyt always a threat, our team will have to stay alert at all times. Mistakes at the back will be costly today and I hope the whole team supports the defense when under attack.   

Upfront we will have to be clinical. Fabregas and company will no doubt create openings but it will up to our forward to finish them. Van Persie and Theo Walcott will have to be at the top of their game. The cost of missed chances will be more than a game today.

It isn’t easy to predict such a game as it can be either high scoring or one decided by a single goal. Both teams can win this, so we have to make sure we score the winning goals. Two years back we somewhat ended Liverpool’s title chances by a drawing against them at their home, Arshavin scored four goals back then, so, I hope Liverpool doesn’t return the favour today.

If things aren’t going our way, we will need someone to remind Liverpool that if they win, United will get the 19th title for sure. Now would Liverpool want that? Jokes aside, the title will be over for us if we don’t win any of the remaining games starting from today. Even a draw is fatal. I am gunning for a win and hoping that our team gives it their best shot and even if we lose or draw or end up without the title, we can hold our heads up.  

As far as the lineup is concerned, it will be interesting to see who Arsene opts to start with as many players are returning from injury and we do have three important games in 8 days to play.

Szczesny for me starts in goal after what Wenger said in his pre-match press conference. With no Sagna, Eboue will feature again on the right and the other flank will be taken up by Clichy. If and only if Djourou is hundred percent, I will start with him partnering Koscielny.

In the middle of the park Fabregas is the easy pick. Diaby for me stays in the lineup. I am caught up between Song and Wilshere. Again if Song isn’t hundred percent, I will start with Wilshere.

Upfront van Persie will be flanked by Nasri and Walcott. Arshavin is an asset in big games therefore he can be brought on at any time to change the game. However, I won’t mind if Arshavin starts this game at the expense of Walcott.

Probable Starting Eleven: Szczesny, Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Wilshere, Fabregas, Diaby, Walcott, RVP, Nasri

Before I conclude, below is what Arsene Wenger said about today’s game:

“When you are in the title race it is always like that. When we played the Carling Cup Final, Barcelona away and Manchester United three days later, we were out of three competitions.

Now Tottenham and Chelsea are out of the competitions. When you fight for big prizes in one week it can be gone. It makes Sunday’s game vital of course. If we do not beat Liverpool and Tottenham the season won’t be over but the title will be over for sure.

If we win all the games then yes, we will win the Premier League [as long as Manchester United] can draw somewhere. It’s not 100 per cent even if we win our games but we know what we have to do.”

I hope the players keep that in mind when they are out on the field.

That’s it. Have a good day and enjoy the match. Tonight we deal with the first of our seven remaining obstacles. Keep the faith and your fingers crossed!!


Newcastle United vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven

February 5, 2011

Today is yet another Premiership game and this time our opponents are Newcastle United, who have already beaten us at our home this season.

For me they are an unpredictable team as they have the knack of getting unexpected results. When they are on fire they can score plenty of goals, when not, they also concede plenty. Conversely, they can also frustrate with good organization at the back as they did the last time against us.   

This match is going to be difficult and we will need to be on top of our game to get the maximum. Newcastle will resort to the same tactics employed the last time they faced us. They will keep it very tight at the back and look for opportunities on set pieces and counters. However, with no Andy Carroll, our jobs will be slightly easier in defense but we would need to break them down upfront. And for that we will require a high tempo start and an early goal.

On the other hand, this game is going to get more difficult if we don’t score goals and Newcastle will be more than happy to get a point.

As for the starting eleven, I hope Wenger doesn’t make too many changes for this one. I will go out with the same team that started against Everton, replacing the injured.

Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that Szczesny is going to be in goal. As for the centre backs, I have a feeling that Squillaci is going to start today.  However, I would go with Djourou and Koscielny as we can’t afford to make mistakes at the back in this one. Sagna and Clichy must retain their places from the last game.

In the middle, with no Song, Diaby will get a start. Wilshere must keep his focus today and start better. Fabregas will complete the midfield.

Rosicky didn’t have a good game last time, so I would replace him with Arshavin, who certainly looked better. Walcott has been declared fit, so he must start on the right side. If not, then Bendtner will be the next best option. Van Persie to retain his place.  

Probable Starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Wilshere, Fabregas, Diaby, Walcott, RVP, Arshavin

As usual, the way we are playing we should win this and we must because we don’t have the option of dropping points.  However, we will need a similar display of character today which we displayed against Everton, if things are not going in our favor.

Three points is all that matters and I hope we don’t get any more injuries.

Keep your fingers crossed and let’s beat them like we did in the Carling Cup earlier in the season.  

Come on Gunners!!


Arsenal 0 – 1 Newcastle: Angry thoughts + ratings

November 8, 2010

Poor, pathetic, lethargic, lackluster and unbelievable display of football by us as we lose to a newly promoted team at home again. There is nothing good to write from the match as there was nothing worthwhile from Arsenal.  We simply put on the shirts and went out there to win against a team that we know can damage any team. I am at a loss for words as to what happened today to Arsenal. After the loss at Shakhtar I had a feeling that we would put up a good show today but it never came.

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