Arsene Wenger on Aaron Ramsey’s return and Ignasi Miquel’s potential

February 23, 2011

Aaron Ramsey is going to return to Arsenal after his loan spell at Cardiff City expires this Saturday.

Speaking to the official website, Arsene Wenger confirmed that Aaron Ramsey will return to Arsenal and will be available for the replay against Leyton Orient on Wednesday. The manger said that the reports on his progress from Cardiff are good and added he will be utilised when he returns to the club.

Aaron Ramsey, on Tuesday, scored a goal for Cardiff against Leicester City as he played the full ninety minutes.  He is set to feature for Cardiff on Saturday again before he says his farewell to a month-long loan spell.  

Arsene Wenger, on Ramsey’s return, said:

“He is on loan until Saturday. After that he comes back. He could be available for the second game against Leyton Orient on Wednesday.

I have had good reports from Cardiff and I intend to use him. He could not play last Saturday because he had a little hip problem and we demanded that he rest. I think he will play this Saturday again and then we will see if he comes through that game well. After that he is available for Arsenal.”

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has praised Ignasi Miquel by saying that he has the potential to be a top-level player.

Ignasi Miquel made a promising start to his Arsenal career when he made his first team debut on Sunday against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup 5th round clash.

On his performance, the manager told the official website that how he has a lot to learn before he will be able to play in the top Leagues as he added the most important thing is that he has shown the talent to play at the highest level.

On Tuesday, Arsene said:

“He is not yet ready [for Premier League or Champions League] but he did enough to show that he will play in the Premier League and the Champions League. I feel that is the most important thing.

He has some aspects of his game that he has to work on, a bit more committed in the challenges, better in the air. But overall he has shown that he has the potential to play in there.”


Player Ratings: Leyton Orient 1 – 1 Arsenal

February 21, 2011

Well, that was very very disappointing from Arsenal after what we have seen in the past couple of weeks. I didn’t even want to write anything about the match as I felt that a team who is going for all trophies don’t show up to face opponents like that. Nonetheless, after having a good night sleep and analyzing, I guess there are a few positives to take. One, Ignasi Miquel is one for the future, two, we are still in the FA Cup and three, Rosicky scored a goal.

The negatives I will leave for you as it was a night to be forgotten to say the least. I tweeted after the game that maybe we need a performance like this after every great win just to get back on the ground (if you know what I mean). One thing is for sure, the players who started yesterday have to step up exponentially if they are to help the team achieve something because Wenger can’t play our regulars in every match.  

Coming to player ratings:

Almunia (4): I didn’t want him to start yesterday as I said in my preview that we must keep Szczesny in goal. Why? Almunia demonstrated it with the manner he let that ball go past him. Didn’t have to do anything for the whole game and when the time came….. you saw what happened.

Sagna (6): Nothing special from the Frenchman. At the back wasn’t tested much and up front didn’t contribute significantly.

Squillaci (6.5): A good game from the centre back as he was composed and didn’t make his usual mistakes. A good block with his face to deny Orient a clear goal although he didn’t knew much about it.

Miquel (6): He is one for the future as I said before. Was calm and comfortable on the ball and did well on most of the occasions. Should have done better when Tehoue went past him to score the equalizer. I won’t blame him, though, because Gibbs was the senior player there and he should have done better than him.

Gibbs (5.5): I have a feeling that he needs a lesson in ‘how to defend’ as he demonstrated with his naivety in letting Tehoue go past him to score the goal. Upfront, however, he was useful as he made a couple of good runs and should have had an assist. Needs to improve his crossing through.

Song (4): He just moved up and down without any positivity.

Denilson (5): Did what he mostly does. Enough said.

Rosicky (7.5): He had a good game as he was one of the two better players out there for us. Moved around well and dropped deep to make things happen. Scored a very well taken goal and could have had another if not for the Orient keeper. Had the players around him been better, he would have had a very influential game. Keep it up Rosicky!

Bendtner (6): Poor finishing, poor first touch and add to that selfishness and arrogance (some may call it confidence) you get Bendtner. Again no end product.  May be I am a bit harsh on him as he isn’t playing at his favored position but still, he needs to play for the team. I thank him for the good assist though.

Chamakh (2): No comment.

Arshavin (7): The second of our two better players. Despite not at his best he looked lively at times and moved around well. Could have gotten a goal, as he hit the post, and had an assist, keeper saved Rosicky’s effort.

So, another extra fixture that we have to play now and I hope, if similar players start again, they will play better at the Emirates. I would not want them to start together again but the timing of the fixture is such that we cannot play our whole first team. I hope when the time comes, Wenger puts up a good balanced side that can finish the job.

Time to turn our focus on the Stoke game now as we cannot drop points in the League.

Have a great day!


Ipswich Town vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven

January 11, 2011

After barely surviving in the FA Cup on Saturday, we are up against Ipswich Town in the Carling Cup semifinal tomorrow.

I don’t know much about Ipswich’s team. Only that their dismal performance in the Championship has led to the sacking of their coach Roy Keane and since then they have been thrashed by Chelsea in the FA Cup. But as this is the semifinal of the Carling Cup, they will be a changed team and this can be tricky match. They will no doubt fancy their chances over two legs and try and get something from their home game.

Still, as always, I expect us to win this without much fuss, provided we don’t play like we did against Leeds.

The starting eleven for tomorrow is again going to be a hard decision for Wenger. With three games in seven days coming up, rotation will be a key part of it. And as the semifinal is spread over two legs, I believe a team similar to what we saw against Leeds will be put out.

With Squillaci joining the injured players and Vermaelen yet to return, the choice for centre backs is very limited. Koscielny for me is a sure starter. Djouroru I feel won’t be risked as there is a League match at the weekend. However, we can play Song back there and also give Ignasi Miquel a chance. I will prefer Song. On the flanks Eboue and Gibbs are going to start as Sagna is still suspended and Gibbs needs a run of games.

Szczesny is a sure starter with Wenger already confirming it.

In middle I will go with Denilson and hopefully he will keep it simple and not disappoint. Rosicky should start again and Wilshere to partner him.

Up front it’s time that Wenger picks either Chamakh or Bendtner to start because both of them starting together haven’t helped us or either of them. For tomorrow, I will go with Chamakh. Arshavin hasn’t been performing well and has been highly criticized for his past few performances. Still, I would start with him so that he can get his confidence back. On the right I will start with Walcott or if he is rested then Vela will be the next best option.

Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Song, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin

Hopefully we will not have many problems tomorrow and maybe give Ramsey some playing time as he also needs to up his match fitness.

As far as the result is concerned, a win will be ideal. However, a draw or a draw plus away goal(s) won’t be bad.

Hopefully it won’t come to away goals and we will win both the fixtures and eventually the Carling Cup. Keep your fingers crossed!!