Arsene wants Nasri to stay as Chelsea shows interest in him!

August 16, 2011

With Fabregas gone, many believe, it is only a matter of time before Nasri also moves out. With continuously being linked away from Arsenal for the past eight months, the Frenchman hasn’t helped the cause as his intentions are still not clear. However, he, not signing the contract is indication enough of not wanting to commit his future with Arsenal. At the moment, it seems that he may be on his way to Manchester City.

Arsene Wenger, on the contrary, is reluctant to sell him. When asked about his future, the manager admitted that he wants him to stay and added he will do his best to sort the situation.

“Ideally I want Samir Nasri to stay, but as much as we were in a strong position on the contract side with Cesc, the situation is a bit different. Hopefully we can sort the situation out.”

I can’t help it, but I have made my mind that Nasri will leave us. If we couldn’t persuade him to sign the contract in the last eight months, how can the remaining 14 days of the window change that? Still, I don’t mind trying and I won’t mind to be proved wrong. Bribing him with the central role might change his mind!? or quality new signings!?

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s coach, Andre Villas- Boas, after their opening game on Sunday, expressed his interest in Nasri. Chelsea are in the market for a midfielder and Villas nonchalantly admitted that Nasri is an exciting player.

These were his words, when he was asked about Luca Modric of Tottenham:

“I just explained to you the sense of urgency in midfield. But it doesn’t mean that it’s Luka. Not that I’m interested, but you have Samir Nasri terminating contract. He’s one of the most exciting players in the Premier League and that’s the reality, as well as Luka, as well as other players.”

With Chelsea showing interest and Nasri not wanting to commit, the best option for us will be to sell him to the highest bidder, that is, if Nasri hasn’t agreed terms with City already. A bidding war between Chelsea and Man City is sure to increase  his value and that will help us to acquire a better replacement in return!

What do you all think? Should we keep him or bring this chapter to an end too?

 


Andre Arshavin is going nowhere, Denilson is!! And we have made our first signing!?

May 21, 2011

I cannot understand why everyone out in the football world is reporting that we are getting rid of Arshavin this summer. Arshavin has been one of our most important contributors this season in terms of goals and assists. Take away his contribution and see where we would have ended up. No doubt, he had his bad games and he has looked anonymous many times but he still has been producing important assists and goals. And seriously, do we want goals and assist or someone who warms the bench and comes on to make things worse?

There have been reports circulating that Chelsea are looking to acquire his services. Even Zenit St Petersberg has their doors open for him. What I find interesting is that they cite the manager’s frustration with Arshavin not performing well being one of the reasons that may lead to Arshavin’s departure. The other being that Arshavin himself wants to leave as he hasn’t been playing regularly. Both of these reasons are ridiculous because Wenger has many other players to be frustrated with than from someone who has scored 10 goals and produced 17 assists. And to make 51 appearances in a season, I guess, is more than enough.

Andre Arshavin is going nowhere until and unless he or Arsene Wenger says it.

And by the way why should we let him go!? He is a type of player that will produce something out of nothing. He is a game changer and despite looking lazy, he will produce one moment of brilliance that can win games.  Look at the game against West Bromwich. We were two goals down and going for a double loss against a newly promoted team. And bam out of nowhere, he scored the first goal. The keeper didn’t even have time to move. He followed it with an assist for the second and we were saved from another embarrassment. There are many other important goals that he has scored this season and you cannot rule out his assists.

And if I am not wrong, he is the most direct player we have. He is one of the few who will go for goal whenever there is a chance. This habit of his is on the decline though but that is due to the way we play. He is intelligent, he has these sudden bursts of speed and can power away from any defense and he has tricks up his sleeve. This season he might have looked lazy and uninterested but he has done more than some of the others who have played.

And you cannot deny that there has been a positive improvement in his attitude after his bad spell at the end of last year. These last few months he has been doing his defensive duties quite well too. At times he has drifted off but what more can you expect from a player who is nearing 30 and his specialty is playing upfront.

We brought him to score and create goals and that he is doing. Also, this season stats are his best yet for Arsenal in a full season.

We need to improve our team and selling Arshavin is not the way to go.  We can be better off without Denilson, Rosicky, Eboue to name a few but we will go a step back if we let him go.  

And speaking of Denilson, he has finally decided to quit Arsenal (about time too!!) which is the best thing that has happened ever since the win against Man United. He has told The Sun that this has been his worst season ever and wants to leave now for a fresh start in Spain or Italy. Below are some of his words which seem a bit ironic because he was responsible for some of the embarrassing moments in the last three years.

“A footballer’s career is over very quickly so it is time for me to move on. This has been the worst season of my life.  I’ve been to see Arsene Wenger and told him how I felt and he agreed to let me go. I need a fresh challenge and although I’m taking a big gamble, I’m ready to take that risk. So I am flying home to Brazil on Sunday and I’m hoping I can make a fresh start in Spain or maybe Italy.”

I am so upset. I am a winner and I came here to win trophies but I’ve been here for five years and won nothing. There’s something missing at Arsenal but no one knows what it is. Not the manager, not the players – nobody.  But we are still the best footballing side in Britain, we play beautiful football. Only Barcelona do it better. But we don’t win trophies. That’s so frustrating, you can’t imagine how frustrating. Some people say we don’t succeed because we are too young and naive – but that’s no excuse.

I remember leading Liverpool 1-0 and they scored in the last seconds. We were 4-0 up at Newcastle but drew. We also lost to Newcastle at home and West Brom and Aston Villa. We threw it away against Sunderland and Blackburn at the Emirates. Let’s be honest, some of those games were shocking, shameful. We are better than that. But until Arsenal stop throwing away those silly points in those stupid games nothing will change.”

You can read the rest of it here.

So, we have our first positive news for the summer. I think no one will be upset by this because except a few games, Denilson has always been a liability for us. And to be honest, he won’t be missed. My only regret is why he didn’t realise three years back that his time was over at Arsenal!? I will never know!!

Jokes aside, we now have to find a club that will offer the right money for him and then to find a top replacement for him. Bastian Schweinsteiger anyone!!

Another interesting bit of news has surfaced. Fox Sports is reporting that we have agreed a pre-contract with 23-year-old Argentinean, Ricky Alvarez. He will be joining Arsenal after his current deal expires at the end of the Clausura campaign. He is currently playing for Velez Sarsfield’s in the Argentine Primera División.

At the moment we only know that he is a 6’2” left footed attacking midfielder. Reports are that he is a versatile player and can play as a second striker. He has pace and has a powerful shot. He suffered a knee cruciate ligament injury when he started for Sarsfield back in 2008. However, since recovering, he has won the Argentine Primera División title in 2009.

Is this our first signing of the summer? Can’t say anything with certainty, although, we will know in a couple of days how true the reports are. Also can’t say what he can offer us with having not seen him play at all. He is left footed and his pace can only be an advantage. It does seem though that we are going back to old days with pacey wingers and all, if we do sign him.

Hoping for the best. That’s all for now. Have a good day!!

p.s. This post was written in two parts. I had written the part about Arshavin on Wednesday but didn’t get the time to post it. Arsene Wenger in his press conference on Thursday said that he expects Arshavin to be at Arsenal next season.


Arsenal vs Manchester United: Preview and Starting Eleven

May 1, 2011

Approaching today’s game would have been so different and wonderful had we won the Carling Cup final and the last 6 Premier League games. Now, it is only a game where we need a win to at least finish third and in the process make the title race interesting for some more weeks. Sadly we won’t be involved! The game which should have been the title decider (in a way it still is if Manu wins) is now only a game to restore our pride.

If you take a look at the league table, Man city are in a very good position to finish third provided they win all their remaining games and we lose even one of ours. Not likely to happen but we can be in serious trouble if we don’t perform in any of our remaining games.

To be honest, my heart is saying that we will win this one because we always perform when there is nothing nagging us in the back of our minds. We might have looked short on confidence in the last few games, but today, I feel we will get the response from the team, which should have come after the Carling Cup final defeat.

Manchester United, on the other hand, are looking quite strong. They, for one, have a much better defense than the likes of Bolton, Blackburn and Sunderland and are better equipped in attack. It will be difficult to score as well as difficult to defend. The devils approach will be simple. They will get bodies behind the ball and score on the counter using the speed of Nani and Rooney. And they do know how to finish clinically. They will have no problem in defending all day and score a poachers goal. They have done it before and they will do this again.

We will have to be intelligent in our play. Draw them out of their half and then exploit the gaps using Walcott’s pace. Keep things simple. Make sure that mistakes are’t made becaue United will be waiting to pounce on it. One thing is for sure, we will have to give a massive performance if we want to take the three points.

Arsenal! Remember how you beat  Chelsea, City and Barcelona and forget what has happened in the last month.

As far as the starting eleven is concerned, there is nothing much to choose from. The same team that featured against Bolton is on the cards again.

Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Wilshere, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, RVP, Walcott.

I am tempted to start with Arshavin, if he can give a performance to remember and therefore shut the mouths of those who want him to be sold.

I hope Fabregas has his mind on the game as there have been reports of a break up between him and his girlfriend.

Arsene Wenger in his pre-match press conference talked about the frustrations and disappointments of this season and how the top four spot is not yet confirmed and how the focus is to win our games. He said: 

“We have to watch that. I am convinced that is not done. Even being in the top four is not done. We have to fight like mad. It is not a massive concern maybe because if Tottenham come up then Manchester City or Chelsea drop as they all play each other. But our focus has to be to win our games.” 

I hope the players focus on their game and finishing third or possibly second and not on what Tottenham and City and Chelsea are doing. 

That is all for now as there is nothing else to discuss. Enjoy the game and have a good time. Looking forward to a good game!!


Arsenal vs Everton: Preview and Starting Eleven

February 1, 2011

After a hard fought victory against Huddersfield Town just two days back, we are back in action tonight at the Emirates against Everton.

Everton are enjoying a very decent spell at the moment and after holding Chelsea to a draw at the weekend, they will certainly be looking for at least a point tonight. Last season they gave us a very hard time in this fixture and only Rosicky’s goal in injury time got us a point. So expect a very difficult game.  

As for us, we have given some very dominating and some very frustrating performances in the past few games. If we are to get the maximum points tonight and keep pace with United at the top, we will need another dominating performance from our team.

As for the starting eleven, I am expecting only Koscielny and Arshavin to keep their places from the last game.

Szczesny will return in goal as well as Djourou at the centre back position. On the flanks we will see our best fullbacks, Sagna and Clichy, to return as tonight we cannot take risks.

In the middle too, our most lethal trio of Fabregas, Wilshere and Song will be back.

As for the forwards, with Nasri out, I would prefer Arsahvin to start in his place with Van Persie and Walcott completing the team.

Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Walcott, RVP,Arshavin.

As for the game, I have said before that it won’t be easy, so we will need the right attitude from the start. Possession will be vital along with finishing our chances. We will need to make sure that we aren’t caught on the counter as Everton are very good at it. An early goal for us will make the game easier. However, if they score first, things will become more difficult.

Considering the fact that our first team will be starting, I am expecting a win but still we will need a top performance from them as we cannot drop more points in the Premier League. Another three goals plus a clean sheet will be amazing but I will be content with a win no matter how we get it. And I hope no one else gets injured.

Keep your fingers crossed!! This game will be exciting to the very end.


Player Ratings: Wigan 2 – 2 Arsenal

December 30, 2010

The overall team performance was very much below par yesterday. We started very casually and never really stepped up. We enjoyed a good patch late in the first half but that was all individual brilliance. As a team we never really clicked today and here questions arise like where was the balance when the starting team was picked? Maybe Wenger will know about it.

The defence was quite shaky and never looked comfortable whenever Wigan were on the attack. The communication wasn’t there and at times most were caught out of position. The midfield is also to be blamed for our woes at the back as they never supported the defenders.

The midfield didn’t create much today. There were some moments where it looked like we were stepping up but the next moment it was all quiet.

Upfront, none of the players had any understanding among them.

Coming to player ratings:

Fabianski (5.5): He is a good shot stopper and is fine whenever the ball stays low. He just can’t make up his mind on the aerial ones and just doesn’t marshal his defence. Two goals in two games conceded in almost the same manner i.e. getting caught out of position. Besides that he did well in stopping N’Zogbia’s shots in the second half

Sagna (6): Wasn’t at ease today although showed good work rate while sweeping the flanks. Should have done better on the corner that led to the equalizer.

Koscielny (5): He makes mistakes and then covers up. Why not avoid the mistakes and make life easier!!?? Was caught out of position many times yesterday. Did make some vital interceptions though. Gave away a soft penalty, although IMO it wasn’t. Still should have done better and he needs to stop doing costly mistakes.

Squillaci (5): Scored an own goal, although he couldn’t have done anything else due to the way he was caught. Bedsides that did a fair job but needs a lot of improvement.

Eboue (4): I had my doubts before the game in starting him, and they were confirmed after the game. He was harassed all night by Nzogbia. He was caught out of position many times and never was comfortable on the flanks.

Denilson (5): Very poor in the first half, rather being a holding midfielder he was completely absent. Improved somewhat in the second half.

Rosicky (6.5): One of our better players out there. He tried really hard and some of his passes were good but the players around him were too slow. Dropped down deep at times to get the ball and did well for his part.

Diaby (no rating): Not even half an hour had passed and he was substituted for an injury. While he was on did nothing of worth. I hope he does get back to his best because we will need him,

Arshavin (6.5): Anonymous in the first part. Woke up for like 10 minutes in which he changed the game and then went back to his usual self. Made an assist and scored an awesome goal in those 10 minutes. If somehow he can play like that for just 60 minutes, we would be having no problems in winning games. He did miss a chance in the second half that would have killed the game. We only want that he should play consistently because we know what he can do.

Chamakh (5): Another one of his disappointing games. Didn’t know what to do. Missed a few half chances besides contributing in defence.

Bendtner (6): He too like Arshavin was absent for most parts of the game. Did better in the second half. Scored a very well taken goal. He needs to step up though if he wants to be starting regularly.

 Subs:

Wilshere (7) was an example out there to others. He tried hard, made things happen and did his job superbly. Was involved in most of the things upfront and he brought some spark to our game when he came on. Nasri and Walcott were brought on far too late. No ratings for them.

Final word

Disappointing, yes!, but  it’s not a disaster. We didn’t lose and it was a type of match which we could have easily lost.  We have dropped two points and the manner of dropping the points is questionable. And yes, we could have done better but every day is not a holiday. We still have 19 games to go and anything can happen in them. At the moment we need to focus on our next couple of games and make sure the mistakes done yesterday are not repeated.

We have a a few days to prepare for our next match at Birmingham. It will be more difficult than this and I hope we do show up for it like we did against Chelsea.


Arsene wenger on the points dropped and making 8 changes to the team

December 30, 2010

After the impressive win against Chelsea, it was necessary to follow it up with a win. However, that didn’t materialize as we were held by 10-men Wigan.

Wenger, after the game, admitted that Arsenal didn’t do enough in the second half after coming back to lead the game. He was disappointed that they dropped points by conceding a goal when Wigan were reduced to 10 men.  According to him it was a difficult game as Wigan were committed. He acknowledged Wigan for fighting hard and never giving up.

However, Wenger maintained that Arsenal did well in coming back and dominating the game in the first half but was disappointed that they couldn’t continue with it in the second. In games like these you have to score the third because it can end up very easily as a draw.

Wenger, however, didn’t blame the 8 changes, that he made for the match, for the points dropped. He defended his decision on making the changes after the match by saying that it wasn’t a problem as he cannot play the same team every match with two games coming up in quick succession.

Many would argue that Wenger shouldn’t have made these many changes. I for one feel that although the changes were necessary, Wenger should have kept the balance of the team. Starting Denilson with Diaby, Bendtner with Arshavin, Eboue against N’Zogbia where some of the odd choices. However, with the team put out, we should have still won had we showed some urgency.

On the impact of this game on title race, Wenger commented that it will be known at the end as Manu also dropped points.

After the match, Wenger said:

“We were 2-1 up and playing against ten men and we dropped two points. Overall, it was a difficult game with high levels of commitment from Wigan. They caught us a bit at the start and after that we came back into it a little bit. In the second half we didn’t do enough and we conceded two goals from two set pieces.

Credit to them, they didn’t give up. I thought we tried very hard. The pitch became more and more difficult for us to put passes together. They defended deeper in the second half and it was more difficult for us to find space. Wigan fought very hard today. I felt in the first half we had a great dominance and came back well but in the second half we didn’t produce enough or offer enough.

We had a disadvantage that Wigan played three days ago and only 48 hours ago we played a big game in the evening. I had to change it because we play on Saturday and again on Wednesday so we can’t always play with the same team. But I don’t think that was a problem at all.

Last night Manchester United drew 1-1 with Birmingham, we drew 2-2 today so we will know at the end of the season. It was a difficult game, you always felt that any mistake at the back and we could pay for it. As long as we didn’t score the third goal in this kind of game it can end 2-2.”


Theo Walcott on the emphatic win against Chelsea: ‘It was great to be part of that’

December 29, 2010

Theo Walcott had a very influential game against Chelsea as we defeated them in an emphatic fashion on Monday night. Walcott got an assist as well as scored the third goal that proved to be important in the end.

Speaking about the match he said that it wasn’t easy at all and it was all down to the whole team getting everything right that got the result. The attitude matters in such games and it was visible that we clearly wanted the win.

Walcott said that it feels nice to be a part of the team as they overcame the Champions by dominating the game for most parts and he further praised the fans for the atmosphere.

In the match with Manu we looked ordinary but against Chelsea we were a changed team as Walcott declared Arsenal’s performance against Chelsea as their best of the season so far.

As for conceding the goal he said that a win matters most. Walcott admits that it might have led the fans to think about the Tottenham outcome but we held on. Had we not missed our chances the scores would have been different and Walcott doesn’t mind it as long as the three points are taken. Walcott just wants that they continue with the winning and increase their points.

And hopefully it will bear some fruit at the end.

Walcott said:

“I wouldn’t say it was easy but I thought everyone got their jobs right. It was nice to get a win against a big team and against the champions. It was great to be part of that. It’s a dream really.

You could sense the atmosphere. The fans were right up for it, just like the players were and we just didn’t let Chelsea play.

It was nice to see an Arsenal team actually do everything right and hopefully we’ll just continue to do that.

In the Manchester United defeat [a fortnight earlier] we had spells where we weren’t at our best. But I think this was our best.

When they got their goal our fans might have been thinking ‘here we go, Tottenham all over again’. That scenario, but we managed to hold on and missed loads of chance. It could have been 5-2, 5-3 but a win is a win. We got three points on the board and we just have to keep on clocking them up.”