Theo Walcott on possible arrivals, Udinese game and taking more responsibility

August 18, 2011

With players leaving Arsenal left and right, Arsenal’s winger, Theo Walcott is ready to take more responsibility and is confident Arsene wenger will bring in new payers to replace the ones leaving.

Following the win against Udinese, Walcott admitted he was satisfied by the win and the clean sheet against a very dangerous counter attacking team. Praising the young player, he added they did well for their part against a technically strong side.

Going into the second the leg, the winger added that the team is looking forward to the battle away from home as it will be a tough game and felt that the pressure will be more on them.

“I think 1-0 is very positive. The clean sheet was very important. A lot of young lads came on tonight and did very well. Udinese are a very good team – they are technically very strong, quick and at times I think they taught us a bit of a lesson. They are very strong in midfield but it is a good result.

We have players to come back as well and they are going to be under more pressure at their place because they have to come at us more. It is going to be tough but we are looking forward to the battle.

We didn’t want to commit too many bodies forward on Tuesday night because we know how dangerous they are counter-attacking teams. So we were very tight as a defence and that is a positive – two clean sheets in two games is great.”

On his performance, the winger said that he likes it out there and hopefully that will make the manager play him in the striker’s role. He did add that it is not a demand and only wants to give Wenger options.

Walcott scored the only goal of the game; morover, he did go close with another despite scuffing a couple of shots.

“I just like to put it out there. The boss has always promised me in time I will get a chance to play up front. It’s been six years so hopefully if I keep scoring I can get a chance up front with Robin van Persie maybe. That’s only out in the open – I am not demanding anything. I am just giving the boss something to think about!”

On possible transfers, the English man added that he is confident the boss has players lined up to arrive.

“Well, I am smiling right now so I am very positive. Tuesday’s result was very positive and hopefully it will help the fans as well. I am sure the boss has got players coming – I don’t know – but if you sell one of your best players I am sure he has got options coming in.

But the mood is very good. We got a very good result at Newcastle I thought, especially going down to ten men. A clean sheet was very good and we had young players come on and gain experience in the Champions League. We have another very tough game at the weekend and then head out to Italy.”

Arsenal was missing key players for the game against Udinese. Walcott, however, stood up and played an important role in the win and later admitted he is not afraid to take more responsibility.

“I was the oldest player on the table for dinner at Newcastle at 22 years old [he recalled]. It was quite funny but I’ll do anything I can do to help the young players coming through. I have been around for a long time so I know what it’s all about and if I can help anyone out I will happily do that.

This team has always been known for being so young but we cannot use that excuse anymore. We need to win something and that’s the most important thing.

It is important to have a mixture of experience and young players but the boss knows what he is doing. He has some great players that he has picked up and we didn’t know where they came from. Only time will tell what the boss will do.”

 


Wenger: I will sign a defender?,Joel Campbell deal agreed, no Mata, No Jadson | Tevez for Nasri!?

August 13, 2011

The new Premier League season is set to kick off today, and we are up against Newcastle. However, a lot has been revealed in terms of arrivals and who to expect at Arsenal before the window closes.

With Fabregas and Nasri on the verge of exit, though Arsenal has still not officially confirmed it, there is news that we have agreed terms to sign the young Costa Rican, Joel Campbell. It was revealed yesterday by the official Arsenal site.

The 19-year-old is a left footed striker, who was involved in the recently concluded Copa America and also in the under 20 world cup. He has made 6 full appearances for his country scoring twice in the process. He has 10 goals in 12 game at the under 20 level. He has appeared 8 times for his club, Deportivo Saprissa, in his country’s Premier division.

Arsene Wenger was delighted and said that he is looking to forward to working with Campbell. He said:

“Joel Campbell has already shown that he is a player with great ability, and has also performed well on the international stage at a young age. We look forward to the formalities of the transfer being completed and working with Joel when he joins us at Arsenal.”

Now, I am caught between two thoughts here. One is that, any signing is better than nothing and he might turn out to be quite good. He is welcome to the club and may he have a great future with us.  On the other hand, isn’t it getting frustrating that we have bought another young player to develop. We have so many of such players that I am not sure who will make it to the next level. We had JET, who was supposed to be the next great striker, but we let him go. We now go on and bring another 19-year-old, who has played only 8 games for his club. We will spend time with him, develop him and then we won’t be even sure that he will commit to the club. I have this very bad feeling these days that only young players want to join Arsenal because they know they will get the chance to develop here and then leave on their terms. That’s how I feel. Anyways, let’s hope that he will adjust to our league quickly and score lots of goals. Fingers crossed! By the way, does he need to get a work Permit?

The Sun is reporting that Nasri’s move to Man City has been blocked by Arsenal for the reason that we want Tevez in exchange. Now, I don’t know where The Sun came up with this idea but I really like it. However, there are concrete reasons that we won’t see it happen. It is simple, Tevez is estimated to be around 50 million, his wages are extremely high, he wants to leave England and not just Man City and we already have bought a striker, Joel Campbell. So why will Wenger spend another 25 million, that is if we sell Nasri for 25, for another striker who doesn’t want to stay in England? May be, he will surprise us all. I won’t have my fingers crossed for this one.

Arsene Wenger also revealed that we are not moving in for Mata. He said:

“We will not do (a deal for) Juan Mata. I don’t have to give a reason”

There you have it, short and bitter. After months of speculation, we won’t be going after him, great! I would have really liked to see him in an Arsenal shirt. He does join our list of failed summer transfers though.

Arsene also put an end to rumors regarding Jadson. The Brazilian midfielder is valued at 10 million by his club, Shakhtar Donetsk. The rumors started after Fabregas’ move to Barcelona was reported to be completed. Arsene, however, said that we are not talking to his club:

“We are nowhere near on Jadson. We are not talking to Shakhtar about him”

I wasn’t really fussed about this signing so basically I don’t care if he isn’t coming.

The ambiguous statement, on the other hand, is that Wenger has revealed that a defender will be signed before the transfer window closes. There is a catch however, the player must be better than what we already have! Now, this was one the thing I didn’t want to hear. This is what he said when asked about signing a defender:

“We have specialised people who work everywhere. Every club looks for centre-backs in the whole world. People with unlimited resources look for a centre-back. We are not in a supermarket where you go to a shelf and you ask ‘where are the centre-backs or the strikers?’

We are today in an international market where all over the world people look for the same players. Massive clubs have scouts all over the world and if they don’t find anyone, in the end they come to us. You don’t need to be a genius to understand that.

We will have a new centre-back by the end of the transfer window because Thomas Vermaelen only played five games last year. To buy just for the sake of buying – you won’t find me there. If I’m convinced the player has the quality, I will always do it if he’s better than the players we have.”

He should have stopped at “we will buy a new defender by the of the transfer window”. And seriously how can he not find any one better than what we have, amazing! I want to ask Wenger that does this mean Joel Campbell was signed becasue he is better than the players we have? Wenger’s rule of buying players must be same the same for every position or is it just for defence?

I just hope that Wenger does find whatever he looks for in a defender and pray that it is not a Squillaci and then signs him. Enough with this BS of having quality and not finding the right player.

That is all for now. Will be coming up with Newcastle preview later…

 


Player Ratings: Newcastle 4 – 4 Arsenal

February 5, 2011

You can win with 11 men against 14, but 10 against 14 becomes a very daunting task. People will say that Arsenal should have done more in the second half, and I agree, but it doesn’t change the fact the standard of refereeing was just poor today and it’s not for the first time. It is there for all to see how much the ref can influence a game. And I know it will be forgotten in a minute and no one will talk about the refereeing as they will have Arsenal to talk about. And such pathetic standards will continue because the FA is incompetent to the very core of its existence.

Coming to the performance of the team, it can be divided into two halves.

In the first half we were very much in the driving seat as Newcastle were at times mere spectators. We controlled the midfield, our passing was sublime, the movement was excellent and the finishing was spot on. At the back we were comfortable as we dominated the game.

The second half, however, was very poor as compared to the first. Down to 10 men, we struggled to control the midfield as Newcastle attacked our goal aerially through set pieces and long balls. Upfront there was no movement as we were stuck up at the back.

Coming to player ratings:

Szczesny (7): Was a spectator in the first half. In the second he was the centre of attention. Made some brilliant saves and cannot be blamed for the goals. Still needs to improve his distribution on kicks.

Sagna (6.5): Good first half as we dominated the game. In the second did well on most occasions while we were being showered with long balls. Good cross for the assist on the fourth goal.

Koscielny (6.5): Top performance in the first half. Made some very good interceptions and was strong in the air. In the second he continued with it but we had too many long balls and set pieces to defend. The penalty conceded was very soft; in fact the ref was in no position to award it. However, he must be careful in the future in making such tackles in the danger area.

Djourou (7.5): Also had a top game. Partnered well with Koscielny and did well on every occasion. Scored a good goal. I hope he isn’t seriously injured.

Clichy (6): He too was brilliant in the first half. In the second made only one mistake that led to goal. Otherwise did well.

Diaby (7.5 – not taking into account his sending off): Impressive first half as he broke up the play of Newcastle very easily and linked up nicely with the forward players. However, he should have kept cool when fouled by Barton. It was what Barton wanted and Diaby complied.  

Fabregas (6.5): Awesome first half. The number of delightful balls he delivered in the first half was just a treat to watch. However, in the second he couldn’t do much as the pressure mounted.

Wilshere (6): He too was very good in the first half and similarly to all, vanished in the second. Isn’t the answer to our defensive cover in absence of Song, Diaby and Denilson.

Walcott (7): Looked dangerous whenever he had the ball. Took the first goal very nicely and good cut back for the assist on third. Provided defensive cover in the second half before he was substituted.

Van Persie (6.5): Scored three goals, one of which was called offside though. Provide good cover in defense in the first half but didn’t do much in the second. Delivered in some good free kicks and corners.

Arshavin (7): Another two assist to his name. Helped the team overall before getting substituted.

Subs:

Squillaci (6) needs to improve his communication with Koscielny as we can’t go on like this forever. Didn’t do anything wrong but also didn’t help the team with his experience. Rosicky (3.5) failed to do for what he was brought. In fact he made things harder for us. The second penalty was never a penalty, it was just incompetent refereeing which will go unpunished as usual. Eboue (4) also failed to provide cover in defense.

Well, we have certainly dropped two points which after the first half none would have imagined that we would drop. As it stands, we have to move on from here and not let this result be our downfall. There is still a lot to play for and with United losing, it’s not that bad. And I hope the result doesn’t affect us psychologically.

And seriously, one can only win against 14 men once a week.


Arsene Wenger’s latest update on the squad including Vermaelen and Fabianski

February 3, 2011

Arsene Wenger today gave the latest update on the squad ahead of the match against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Arsene Wenger revealed that Walcott will be available for the match but ruled out Song’s inclusion in the squad after both players had picked up knocks in the game against Everton.

Regarding Vermaelen, Wenger updated that he is making good progress and will be back in three to four weeks. As for Nasri, Wenger maintained that he is going to be out for three weeks as he had revealed in his last update on Nasri.

The manager also gave the bad news regarding Fabianski’s injury as he confirmed that the pole is going to miss the rest of the season due to a surgery on his shoulder.

With Almunia back from his injury, Wenger added that the competition for the goal keeping position is now between Almunia and Szczesny, who is already confirmed as our first choice keeper.

Wenger, however, confirmed that Szczesny is going to start in goal on Saturday.

Wenger, at his press conference, said:

 “ Alex Song has a nasty kick, yes. I think he will be out for Saturday. Walcott, we have good news, he will be available.

Samir Nasri, as I said, we predict 21 days from his injury [so] that means three weeks. Thomas Vermaelen is making very good progress so he should be [back in] three to four more weeks.

We had bad news for Lukasz Fabianski because he need surgery on his shoulder. He has decided after having seen a few specialists that he will have surgery in Germany. It means his season is over.

The competition for the places at the moment will be between Wojciech and Almunia. Wojciech will play the next game.”


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


Non-Vintage Arsenal down Newcastle: Report, thoughts and ratings

October 28, 2010

A comfortable win sees us qualify for the quarterfinal of the Carling Cup for yet another year, 9th successive season.

We started brightly as Vela tested Krul in the opening minute followed by Bendtner who was denied thrice in succession, twice by the defence and once by the keeper. Eboue, Walcott and Gibbs all had shots on goal in the opening 10 minutes as we meant business. Read the rest of this entry »


Newcastle vs Arsenal preview: One step closer to a trophy!

October 27, 2010

Tonight we face Newcastle away from home in the Carling Cup. In the last round when we taught the Spuds a lesson, Newcastle themselves overcame Chelsea. They have an overall one more win than us against us in all competitions; still they haven’t won the last seven cup ties against us. The stats are here and the facts here. Read the rest of this entry »