Arsene Wenger on Arsenal’s performance and Lee Bowyer’s tackle on Sagna

January 2, 2011

Arsene was delighted after Arsenal overcame the physical battle against Birmingham and recorded a convincing win yesterday at St Andrews. With goals in both halves of the match, Arsenal dominated the game with Birmingham at times mere spectators. 

However, Birmingham did try to get something from the fixture by resorting to their physical game. Arsenal coped well with it and responded with some excellent passing which completely shut Birmingham out of the match.

When asked about the match, Wenger said that the team was mentally prepared for the physical challenges. The plan, Wenger said, was to keep the ball down and play their game. Wenger said that the team played well with plenty of chances in the first half and an outstanding game in the second half.

He gave the credit to his players for keeping their focus and staying calm and intelligent in the game. He further praised the resilience showed by his squad and said that he was proud of them.

Regarding Lee Bowyer’s tackle on Sagna, Wenger said that he can’t comment on it as he hasn’t seen the replay. He continued by saying that he doesn’t want to think about it because the way Arsenal want to play football is more important. Wenger is, however, convinced that the win will have further strengthened the belief in the squad.

Arsene Wenger after the match said:

“We were prepared mentally today to face physical challenges and we prepared ourselves not to lose our game and be calm, intelligent and especially to have the focus to put the ball down and play our game. We had chances in the first half and in the second half we had an outstanding game.

We needed to be resilient without losing our nerves. I give great credit to my players for doing that because they kept calm, intelligent and never let nerves come out in their game. I am very proud of my team today.

I don’t want to talk too much about that because I haven’t seen a replay yet. I don’t want to keep that in my mind tonight because what’s more important is the way we want to play football. I am convinced this win today will strengthen the belief of the squad.”

Player ratings: Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan

December 1, 2010

The match didn’t turn out to be difficult at all. Wigan were really poor as we made easy work of them without really getting out of second gear. The result although sends us into the semi finals of the Carling Cup which matters the most.

The performance as such wasn’t an eye catching one but the game had its moments. After a slow start we found our rhythm slowly and steadily. Van Persie, Vela and Wilshere produced some delightful balls yesterday. Had we been clinical in front of goal and had the ref seen two open handballs in the box we would have scored plenty of goals. A clean sheet is also a bonus.

The defencec overall was solid yesterday although they weren’t tested much. Eboue looked nervous but the other players helped him out. The midfield didn’t get a hold on the centre in the first half but had it controlled in the second. They helped out in the defence also. The forwards also had an on and off game. They missed plenty of chances but still there movement was good. Overall it was a satisfactory performance as there were  plenty of changes and most have not played many games.

Coming to player ratings:

Szczesny: He was a mere spectator yesterday. Did well when called upon. His distribution was also good 6.5

Eboue: Was not at ease against Moses and didn’t offer much going forward. 5.5

Djourou: He was excellent yesterday. Assisted Eboue a lot and never looked panicked. 7

Koscielny: Same as Djourou. Convincing performance and good in the air. Made some good interceptions and tackles. 7

Gibbs: Offensively contributed a lot. Defensively was okay barring a few mistakes. Need more games. 6.5

Denilson: Provided the balance yesterday. Kept the game ticking and linked the play nicely. He had some bad moments but worked hard. 7

Wilshere: Started slowly again and then made some excellent passes in the second half. An improved performance from last time. 7

Van Persie: Oh boy! I had forgotten what he can offer us. His vision, his movement, his eye for a pass and his execution were awesome. Still he is far from his best but what he did yesterday was a treat to watch. Needs game time and hopefully he will stay fit. 7.5

Walcott: Tried hard but yet again failed to make much of an impact. His crossing was not good at all although on set pieces he did better. His decision making was also not good. 6

Vela: If he had not missed the goals he would have had a perfect game. Still he was everywhere yesterday. Most of  the things happened through him and he never stopped despite missing the goals. Delivered some excellent balls upfront and even got an assist. 8  

Bendtner: Complete opposite of Vela. He was anonymous and poor in the first half. Somewhat improved in the second. He did score a goal though and that is important. Still needs to do a lot to prove his words. 6.5


Nasri kept the ball moving. He did miss a scoring opportunity though. Eastmond did what was asked of him and JET had no time to impress. No ratings for them.

So as it stands, with Man Utd also kicked out of the tournament, Carling Cup is for ours to lose now. Hopefully we will win it, which will be the start of plenty trophies to come.

Aston Villa 2 – 4 Arsenal match report: Sweet victory! Finally

November 27, 2010

What a game; it was high tempo, free flowing and tense. It had plenty of goals, plenty of drama and plenty of edgy moments for us. I was nearly trembling near the end.  In those final 20 minutes, when Villa scored the second I wasn’t even breathing properly.

This match was pretty similar to the one last weekend but it had a different result. We started dominantly in the first half and took a two goal lead heading into the break. Villa came back rejuvenated and scored their opener within 6 minutes of the start of second. Deja vu! Plenty of tweets were coming in with these words, “Please Arsenal not again”.  Read the rest of this entry »

Arsenal 1 – 0 West Ham: We can grind out results! + ratings

October 31, 2010

I was a relieved man when that ball went into the back of the net and so must all the Gooners around the word. Clichy and Song saved our day at the right moment.

It was again one of those games where we were supposed to win it easily but things weren’t going our way. We had plenty of possession, we created a few clear chances which were denied by the keeper and the ones that missed the keeper were stopped by the woodwork. At one point I was just cursing our luck and hoping that it doesn’t end with us dropping points. Read the rest of this entry »

A Massive Win No Doubt Plus Ratings

September 29, 2010

The result against Partizan is a massive one for us after the shock loss at the weekend. It wasn’t one of the amazing games but it had its moments. At times it was very evenly fought out in the midfield but for major parts we had the game under control with the keep ball.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunderland 1 – 1 Arsenal: Pathetic Refereeing

September 19, 2010

Well we have surely dropped a couple of points that were in the bag by conceding a goal in the final second – rather the match should have been over by that time.

We never really showed up for the match. The midfield play was awful, we had no possession, we didn’t create much and that missed penalty really sums up our performance. But we did defend really well for most part of the match.

And the refereeing was just unacceptable. Our players were booked for ridiculous things whereas the opposition players were getting away with fouls that were bookable. The ref even played more time than the stipulated extra time. Maybe Allardyce and company really got to the refs this time.  Now this is called influencing Mr Allardyce, by blaming others you have achieved your goal.

Still all is not lost. We have to remain positive.

Full analysis and ratings to follow.